Friday, March 24, 2017

Miss Babs Spring 2017 Knit-Along

Have you heard about the Miss Babs Spring KAL? Miss Babs is hosting the knit-along in her Ravelry Group. Has one of the patterns in the Spring Collection caught your eye? This is great time to pick a pattern and knit with your Miss Babs Yarns that you have stashed away.

Basic rules:
  • Knit up any one of the ten Spring 2017 collection patterns.
  • In Miss Babs yarn.
  • WIPs are OK.
  • Make a Ravelry project page with photo(s) of your project.
  • Finish by May 1 to be eligible for prizes: one $100 gift card and one $50 gift card to missbabs.com.

I am joining in the fun by knitting my own shawl pattern, Furinji, for my sister. She chose the color Blarney Stone in Keira. Miss Babs has such great colors to choose from.
It's working up pretty quickly. I find the garter stitch portion of the shawl very soothing. It's great for watching Netflix at night because I don't have to pay too much attention.
I am really enjoying seeing knitters knitting my Furinji Shawl. It's always fun to see other peoples yarn and color choices. Veronica (GoldenIris on Ravelry) has modified my pattern by adding beads at the edge of her shawl. Take a look at her finished shawl and her instructions for adding beads. It's beautiful!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Everyday Fingering in Northern Lights from OnTheRound Yarn
 
Swatching
 
Crochet
 
Coffee Mugs I recently saw at Home Goods.
 
Cute cat stitch markers from a Instagram friend.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: Love + Leche Lotion Bars


Recently, I had the opportunity to try Love + Leche's new Sheep Sweet Lotion Bar. Every day my hands take a beating from washing dishes, cooking and taking care of my kids. I don't often use lotion on my hands because I don't want my hands to have a greasy residue. As a knitwear designer, I don't want any lotion to get on my yarn or my knitting needles. This lotion bar was such a nice surprise. It does not feel greasy and keeps my hands nicely moisturized. The warmth of my hands gently melts the lotion bar onto my hands. I find that it quickly absorbs into my skin so that there is no residue. I keep the tin on my desk so it is easily accessible.

Love+Leche Lotion Bars are an all-natural, concentrated, solid form of lotion. I love that their lotion bars are all hand poured. The bars are designed by a local sculptor and inspired by their Santa Fe life. The golden beeswax, and organic calendula flowers are harvested by their beekeeper and farmer friends in Northern New Mexico. They scent their products using only natural essential oils. I chose the unscented bar and they also sent me a sample of the Lavender Mint. It smells amazing! My 9 yr old daughter can't keep her hands off the Lavender Mint one. She keeps telling me how good it smells.

© Love + Leche
It took over a year of dreaming, designing, and working with a local Santa Fe sculptor to create the Sheep Sweet Lotion Bar. The design of the two sheep was created just for knitters and fiber artists which I think will make perfect gifts for any knitter, crocheter, weaver, or spinner in your life. I think the sculptor did an amazing job with carving the mold, so I like to preserve the cute sheep on the lotion bar. I rub the bottom and sides of the bar and avoid the top.

For my blog readers, Love + Leche is offering a special gift, "Buy one lotion bar in a tin (min $14) get a free mini balm sample ($4 value). Exp 5/1/17".  Use coupon code angelatong at the checkout cart. Time to shop for some lotion bars.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Malabrigo March 2017 Sale

March means Malabrigo Madness. Every March, the Malabrigo Junkies on Ravelry host a big Knit-along and Crochet-along. The Malabrigo Yarn company sends prize yarns which goes to the contest winners. Malabrigo March starts March 1 at 12:01 am your time. You can cast on as many projects as you would like between this time and March 31 at 11:59pm. Projects must be made with Malabrigo Yarn to be eligible to win a prize. Head on over to their info page to get all the details.

For those of you that are still looking for patterns, I am offering 25% off my patterns that features Malabrigo Yarns. Use coupon code MM2017 to get 25% off, starting March 1 until March 31.
Kouyou
LaReine
Yin Yang Shawl
Balance Shawl
Opposites
Ornamental
Yin Yang Collection

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The SweetGeorgia Show, Episode 048: Angela Tong on Being a Multi-Passionate Crafter

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a guest on The SweetGeorgia Show. The podcast episode aired this week. I had a great time chatting with Felicia Lo of SweetGeorgia Yarns on being a multi-passionate crafter. I talk about how I got started designing knitwear, how I started weaving, getting my first loom, how I keep organized and other crafts that I like to do.

Craftsy Class Giveaway
On the podcast, I am giving away one free Craftsy Class to a lucky listener. The giveaway is open until the end of March. Head on over to listen to the podcast and enter the giveaway, The SweetGeorgia Show Episode 048: Angela Tong.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Seyon Lodge Fiber Professionals Retreat 2017

In February, I attended the 3rd Annual Seyon Lodge Fiber Professionals Retreat in Vermont. Becky Herrick is the creator and organizer of this event. It is a low key retreat. You bring your knitting/crochet projects and sit around the fireplace to talk shop, play games, catch up with each other or talk about something else. You can sleep in, go snowshoeing, or get up early for a walk in the woods. In the past we have hired a yoga instructor and the last 2 years we have hired a masseuse. 
The retreat is held at the Seyon Lodge in Vermont. The lodge is a comfortable and quaint bed & breakfast operated by the Vermont State Parks. It is 1.5 hours from Burlington, VT, 3 hours from Boston, MA, and 5.5 hours from NYC. It's nestled in the 27,000 acre Groton State Forest (which is rural even by Vermont standards). There are 8 rooms, 14 beds, and plenty of shared baths. Along with the dining room there is a library, a common room with a fireplace, and a conference room.

The innkeepers always feed us well. Everything is locally sourced and cooked or baked at the lodge. You can tell them your dietary needs ahead of time and they can accommodate the menu to your needs. I always feel so spoiled by having all my meals cooked for me during the whole weekend. This year they baked this amazing chocolate cake for Friday night's dessert. They were so nice to share the recipe with me because I liked it so much.
This is the main room where we hang out. We can stay in our pj's and just relax in front of the fireplace. Since all of us come from different states, a lot of people bring adult beverages, snacks and treats to share. A lot of eating goes on during this weekend. 
 
The last 2 years, we have hired a certified massage therapist to come to the lodge for those that want a massage. Jessica of Luna Lotus Bodywork is amazing! She really takes all of my pain away. If she was closer, I would make regular appointments with her. Since it takes me 5 hours to get to Vermont, this will remain my yearly treat to myself.

This year the weather was perfect for snowshoeing. Some people brought their own or you can rent them from the lodge. The location is also perfect for knitwear photo shoots. All of us designers pitch in to model, style and shoot photos for our new designs if we happen to have them done and ready to go. It's a wonderful collaborate effort.
On the drive back, Heather and I stopped by The Green Mountain Spinnery. We also ran into our fiber retreat friends who had the same idea as us. If you are passing through Putney, Vermont, definitely make a stop there. Gorgeous yarns in so many beautiful colors.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Miss Babs Spring 2017: Furinji

© Miss Babs
 
I haven't designed a shawl in a while, so I am really excited about my latest shawl design, Furinji. It was designed in collaboration with Miss Babs for their Spring 2017 Collection. Furinji is an asymmetrical triangular shawl worked from one point increasing outwards. The shawl has a garter stitch body and features a lace edging with a decorative fringe created by picots.
 © Angela Tong

The lace picot edging is my favorite detail in the shawl. The garter stitch body keeps the shawl easy to knit and the edging keeps the knitting from being boring. Furinji is knit with one skein of Keira in a babette colorway, Blue Dasher. It has crisp stitch definition with very little halo. Each skein has 560 yards so it yields a very nice sized shawl.
© Miss Babs

There was one slight change from my original design concept when I was finishing up the sample. In my sketch, you can see that there is no fringe on the other side. I felt it needed something on the bind off side of the shawl to balance the lace picot edging, so I used a picot bind off. I am very happy with how it turned out.

To block the shawl, I wet blocked it. I ran wires through the picots and the garter edge at the top of the shawl. Then I pulled aggressively and used the Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers to pin it down. I let it dry overnight and it came out perfectly. You can find my Furinji shawl pattern on Ravelry.