Friday, November 05, 2010

New designs!

Okay, so what's new? Lots!

The Winter issue of Interweave Knits comes out later this month. I did two designs for it, Ginevra's Pullover in Malabrigo Twist and Malabrigo Lace, and the Kinetic Cowl, in Zitron Opus 1. Both were a lot of fun to knit! The sweater is worked top down in one piece with waist shaping, and the cowl starts out as a bias strip, showing off the self-striping yarn in a different way.

Also, there's the new Holiday issue of Vogue Knitting! The yarns I used for this one, Kid Seta Luxe and Cashmere Fino from Skacel, were so yummy that even the sweaty summer weather I endured while knitting didn't take away from the fun. I love the hint of sparkle and the dramatic cowl neck knit in glorious cashmere!

That's not all (I was REALLY busy this summer, let's leave it at that!) I also did 2 designs for the Holiday Knit Simple, both for girls. The jumper is in Stitch Nation Full o' Sheep and the cardigan is Claudia Worsted. Both use different sized (but very similar) cables, so you could knit them both as a set if you like.

For the November issue of Creative Knitting, I did a neck gaiter and hat set in a cozy yarn from Cascade called Baby Alpaca Chunky. Simple stripes, quick and easy to knit. My mom made off with the samples, saying they'll be perfect for supervising recess this winter.

Not to be outdone, I also designed a pair of cowls for the Interweave Holiday Gifts issue in more yummy yarns from Skacel, including Mosco (one of my all time favorites!) The two versions use the same stitch pattern to different effect. The cowl in Mosco is larger, drapier, and more dramatic while the tweed version is smaller and more rustic.

And last, but not least, crocheted Christmas stockings for the November/December issue of Crochet Today! in Red Heart Spark a Doodle and Holiday. These are a quick project-- I crocheted both in a day or so. The pom poms on the Spark a Doodle made a perfect "furry" top for the stockings.

Right now I'm catching my breath a bit and getting ready for the next round! Spring and Summer things are (mostly) behind me at this point, and thinking about next Fall is what is mainly on my mind, design-wise.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Tour Begins!

The blog tour for my book, Knit a Dozen Plus Slippers, begins tomorrow morning. The first stop (also a friend of mine who owns the best spinning shop ever) has kindly gotten started a little bit early. Check it out here.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Knit a Dozen Plus Slippers

My book, Knit a Dozen Plus Slippers is out! It features 13 slipper patterns, with a variety of heel/toe treatments and in sizes for the whole family. Here's a few:

Monday, June 28, 2010

What's new?

I've been getting a lot of new designs together lately-- all for winter. I'm so glad I have air conditioning, because I don't know how I could stand knitting mohair in the summer otherwise! :)

Previews for the Fall issues of Knit Simple and Knitscene are up, and I have 2 designs in each.

First, Knit Simple:

(photo by Paul Amato)
This one is in Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight, and sized to 3X!

(photo by Rose Callahan)
This one is in Classic Elite Montera and is knit top down in one piece.

And Knitscene:

In Mission Falls 1824 Wool.

In Stacy Charles Tivoli. The collar has some fancy short rows that create angles in the ribbing.

The sweater I'm working on now, for Interweave Knits, should be done in a matter of hours! I've got knitters working on some other projects, so the next few days are going to be filled with finishing (I always do that part myself-- actually I knit most of my samples too).

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Retreating, retreating, and Interweave Knits

(Yes, it's true! I finally got something in Interweave Knits- the Marigold Sweater in the Summer issue).

As a rather sharp departure from my usual mode of self-employed solitude, I spent most of the past week and a half at two different (and very enjoyable) retreats. I neglected to bring my camera to either, so here's a couple of pictures borrowed from friends who did (thanks ladies!).

That's me in the back corner looking studious.

First I attended the Spinning Loft's retreat in Pennsylvania, held at a stunningly gorgeous B&B. The focus was breed studies, and I enjoyed it more than I can say. Suffice to say I am now in possession of two items I swore I'd never buy: wool combs and dirty fleece. Thanks to Beth for getting me over my fear of both.

What a view, right? (p.s. Great picture Sonya!)

I was home a grand total of 2 days, then I was off again, this time to a knitting retreat organized by my friend Tina on the shores of Lake Huron, just north of Port Huron. I spent the next few days knitting (yes, on work projects mostly) and spinning a bit too (since the previous weekend had gotten me in the mood). It was so relaxing.

So now I'm back, scrambling to get my ducks back in a row where they belong. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday

Okay, as evidenced by my not-so-frequent posting these days, apparently I missed my blog's 5th birthday (it was Sunday). Or possibly I missed it because of all the ham and jellybeans, being Easter and all.

Anyway, New Stuff is out!

Little crocheted booties in the May/June Crochet Today!


Multiple things in the Knitscene Easy special issue (officially comes out next week).

Also-- yesterday marked 5 years since I published my first design (awwww...)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Stuff!

I've had several new patterns come out in the past few days-- in the June issue of Knit n' Style, Spring/Summer issue of Knit Simple, and a couple of yarn companies too. Take a look!

photo from Spring/Summer 2010 Knit Simple. Knit in Cascade Fixation.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Vogue Knitting, Spring Nashua

More new stuff!

Cable Neck Cardi in the Spring/Summer issue of Vogue Knitting
3 designs for Nashua Handknits Spring collection

See them all here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Toe-Up book winners!

Our lucky winners are Melody and Jae! Ladies, please email me at amypolcyn AT yahoo DOT com to let me know your addresses.

Thanks to all who tried!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Circular Knitting Redefined

The new book Circular Knitting Redefined is out, and is a fun interpretation on using circular needles. While all the projects are knit on circular needles, they aren't all in the round--all sorts of methods are included, such as side-to-side, top-down, and more.

I did two designs for the book. First, the Tribeca Belted Cardigan in Nashua Handknits Ecologie Wool (a nice thick and thin organic wool). It's knit in one piece from the bottom up, with raglan shaping and a shawl collar. No seams! The belt is made using double knitting for a nice thick piece that has no "wrong side".

Second, the Chain-Link Cardigan, knit in Berroco Comfort DK. It is knit from cuff to cuff with a slip-stitch color pattern on the cuffs and body. The color pattern is in garter stitch so it stands out in relief against the stockinette stitch ground. Both sweaters are sized up to a 52" bust so they will fit a wide variety of women.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Toe-Up Blog Tour!

Today we are lucky enough to be the next stop on the blog tour for Chrissy Gardiner's fabulous book Toe-Up! Patterns and Worksheets to Whip Your Sock Knitting Into Shape. Though I am a bit biased (I'm one of Chrissy's tech editors), this book really is an inspiring and useful guide to toe-up sock knitting.

Chrissy guides you through a number of different cast-ons, bind-offs, and toe and heel techniques, provides you with a wardrobe of lovely patterns for the whole family, and best of all-- the worksheets! These allow you to easily customize a pattern using your preferred techniques and size.

I asked Chrissy a few questions to find out more.

1. What inspired you to write the book?

At the time I started writing, there weren't really any comprehensive books on toe-up sock knitting out there. I got really excited about the idea of including worksheets that allow knitters to customize their toes and heels because it empowers them to take any pattern and figure out the hardest part (heel and toe math) without reinventing the formulas from scratch. Since there's a huge disproportion in the number of top-down sock patterns vs toe-up, this lets math-phobic toe-up sock fanatics easily convert many top-down sock patterns or make up their own designs.

2. I think all sock knitters have that "special thing" that made them fall in love with socks. For me it's turning heels. What do you love best about knitting socks?

To me, socks are the perfect little palette for really going crazy with your stitch patterns. They're not a huge time commitment and I find it easier to knit complicated designs in the round rather than flat (like on a scarf). I love socks for the sheer joy of experimentation. I have to admit to loving toe-up socks because I hate knitting toes and love knitting cuffs. Top-down socks can sometimes be agonizing for me once I turn the heel and have to knit that endless foot/toe before I can put them on. With toe-up socks, the fun part (for me) comes last, and I always love to save the best for last!

3. If you were only allowed to use one toe-up cast on for the rest of your life, what would it be? How about one bind off?

For the cast-on, no question - Judy's Magic Cast-On! I use it pretty much exclusively now. For bind-offs, I love the yarn-over bind-off that I learned from Eunny Jang years ago. Very soon I'm going to teach myself Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, which is an improved variation of the yarn-over bind-off that Jeny Staiman developed totally from scratch and introduced to the world via Knitty ( I tend to be resistant to change and it often takes me awhile to get on board with these newfangled things!

4. My favorite pattern in the book is Sakura. What was your inspiration for that design?

I originally designed Sakura (which is the Japanese word for cherry blossom - for the Woolgirl sock club a few years ago. When Jennifer Jett sent me the club yarn, she included a beautiful Chinese painting of a cherry tree in bloom (similar to the one at The picture immediately triggered the memory of a cherry tree motif I'd seen in one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries, and that motif became the panels I used on the heel flap and up the back of the leg. The lace pattern down the front of the sock reminded me of falling petals, and I spent hours tweaking an existing leaf lace pattern so that the leaves were offset and didn't look quite so "leafy".

5. Any advice for those considering self-publishing a book?

The biggest advantage of self-publishing (complete control) is also one of the most difficult aspects of it. You need to be prepared to learn how to either do or hire someone who can help you do book design, layout, photography, editing, proofreading, publicity and any number of other little detail things that have absolutely nothing to do with writing or designing. You really have to be full-service! I love many of those activities and am extremely happy to have the absolute last word on what goes into my books, but it can be overwhelming. Some days I want to just knit instead of thinking about photo styling and choosing the right fonts!

6. What's coming up next for you?

My next book, which I hope will be coming out sometime this fall, will feature biographical profiles of a cross-section of independent yarn dyers who are currently doing wonderful things with fiber. I'll be focusing on one or two colorways from each dyer and discussing my design process for each yarn as I come up with a sock design that inspired by that yarn. I always love to hear about other artists' creative processes, and I hope that lots of knitters will be interested in them as well!

Note from me: Love the book idea! :)

SO-- would you like to own your very own copy of this lovely tome? I have 2 copies to give away! Leave a comment on this post if you'd like to win and I'll randomly select 2 winners at the end of the week.

Next stop on the tour: The Designer's Studio

Saturday, January 30, 2010

TNNA Fashion Show

Check out the latest sweater I designed for Aslan Trends in the TNNA fashion show!

Friday, January 29, 2010

60 Quick Knits in Cascade 200

I, like many of you, I'm sure, love the simple practicality and awesome color range of Cascade 220. Also, it's one of those yarns that tends to always be in the stash, but not necessarily in sweater quantities. So how perfect to have a big book with lots of small projects using it?

I designed 2 scarves for the book-- here's one of them:

The other one is a mitered square affair using different variegated shades of 220. I'll put a picture up once I get my mitts on one. :)

(photos by Jack Deutsch)

Monday, January 25, 2010

New designs from Aslan Trends

I've been designing for Aslan Trends for the past couple of years, starting with a little boy's sweater I did for their pattern book Season's Change Volume 2. Since then, they've shifted their focus to individual patterns, which retailers can download for customers. Here's two of my latest for them, now available from yarn shops that carry Aslan Trends:

Cropped Lacy Jacket in Pima Clasico, a really nice to work with cotton yarn. Worked from the top down.

Del Sur Cardi in Del Sur, a super bulky thick and thin wool. Worked from the top down. Super fast yarn with a nice texture from the thick and thin.

I did a third design for them very recently in their new yarn Litoral, which a little bird tells me will be in an upcoming Aslan Trends newsletter.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lots of new designs!

Lots of new designs of mine have come out recently...
Aegean Mitts in the new Knitscene:

Apple Green Silk Cardigan in the Spring Love of Knitting:

Beaded Heart Reticule in the March Creative Knitting:

and, last but not least-- a little girl's dress in the April Knit n' Style: