Guest Blog: A few of our favorite knitters – Featuring BetsyJo and Her Daughter Nora

bHi! I’m Betsy, Katie & Kara’s sister, and also one of their biggest fans. I’m wife to Paul and Mom to three pretty awesome kids. By day I’m a Cardiac nurse, by night, I knit. Constantly. I couldn’t be more excited to have an unending supply of amazing yarn from these two sisters of mine, and I love getting to test-knit for them when the opportunity comes up.

Just three years ago I was a non-knitter, a skeptic who would watch as my sisters quickly cranked out all sorts of lovely projects. I liked to tease them and act as if I had no time to pick up that kind of trivial hobby. I wasn’t all that interested until one snowy evening in Vermont, when boredom set in with a vengeance. We were on a Ryan family vacation; the kids were enjoying the indoor pool, and my sisters were knitting away, chattering away about their next pattern, with a plan visit to a LYS the next day. And I? I was sitting there, bored as could be, completely bewildered at their knitting jargon. LYS? What’s that?? I turned to my sister Colleen and asked her to teach me, right then and there. I haven’t been the same since. Now, I have to knit every day, even if it’s just a little bit, a few rows to both relax and make me feel productive.

Like my sisters, I had to share my hobby with someone I loved. So when my daughter Nora took an interest, I was thrilled. She’s a speedy little knitter, and recently came with me to the New England Fiber Festival to pick out a Nice and Knit Beanie Kit. She came away with Worsted Harpoon and a spiffy Vineyard pompom to match. The pattern was just right for her, simple and clear, with quick results for an 11-year-old attention span. Plus, it’s just stinking cute.

She has plans to knit up another one as a Christmas gift for her Dad, shown here in the Nutmeg color way she chose for him. (Shhhh, it’s a surprise.)

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Here’s a link to get your own skein of Nice and Knit Worsted, and download the pattern for free! Either make one for someone you love to keep them toasty this winter, or give it to your favorite knitter. They’ll thank ya’ for it, that’s for sure.


Editor’s Note:  What Betsy didn’t mention is that she’s a really awesome photographer and some of the photos you see here on Nice & Knit are courtesy of her amazing skills. Hop on over to her blog to check it out! http://betsyjoblog.com but carve out a little time because her talent not just for photography but her gift of words will totally suck you in.

That’s SO 2004!

We’re 10 years late to the Facebook party, but I have finally taken the few minutes it requires to get our Nice & Knit Facebook page going. Cutting edge, right?

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I’ve noticed myself more and more keeping up with blogs via my Facebook feed and since I appreciate getting blog updates in my own feed I thought, well maybe you would too. So “Like” our Facebook page to stay in touch and see what we have going on -  not just on the blog but on other social channels too and maybe even get some Facebook exclusive content…like giveaways and the one we have starting NOW.  Hop on over to our shiny new page and hit the “like” or “share” button to be entered to win one of our hat kits!  The kit includes 1 skein of Nice & Knit Worsted, a color coordinating pompom and printed copy of the Nice & Knit Beanie pattern.

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Namaste Needle Build Your Own

I want to share my current favorite needle case.  I think it is absolutely priceless.  Namaste Build Your Own Binder is amazing.  I have three different interchangeable sets, countless single circular needles, and an entire set of double pointed needles.  Previous to this binder, they could be found in drawers, under beds, in the car, an interchangeable cord could be found attached to Lego men even.  Every time I needed a 24″ cord I couldn’t find it or the correct needle to attach it to.  While at the Fiber Festival of New England I found this game changer.  After going on a needle hunt I was pleasantly surprised to find I have enough needles for a lifetime, and now they are so prettily displayed in their own binder insert organized by size and brand.

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I purchased two pocket inserts that hold the Addi Clicks, Knitters Pride, Knitters Pride Trendz Acrylic needles, and the Knitters Pride Double pointed needles.  I also purchased the mesh pocket insert for the cords, and notions.  The binder itself also has perfect zippered pockets for patterns & extras!

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I actually just open it up and turn the pages for fun sometimes.

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When paired with this little knitting tool bag I am a picture of organization (and a lot of you know, thats a feat.)

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Why so many needles?  Well, beside the obvious too many projects going at the same time, depending on my project my needle choice alters.  I have also found that my Knitters Pride can be easily snapped.  I leave my knitting on the couch, or floor and sometimes they are broken.  With three wild men, I should know better, but I have also stepped right on one or two and heard the sickening snap.  I do love the sharp tip on the wood needles and this keeps me going back for more.

Addis are pretty much indestructible and are good for me when my gauge is tight.  The Trendz Acrylics are new to me, look so fun,  but honestly I find them a little on the light side, but I have not used them enough to give them a fair assessment.  How about you?  What are your favorite needles?

Cast-on-itis

Cast-on-itis. It’s a real thing. Common symptoms include trolling Ravelry for hours picking out a half a dozen patterns you need to knit right away, scrambling to find the right needles, pulling old projects off said needles to cast on, wanting to do nothing but knit, daydreaming about your knitting project while doing chores, getting up at the crack of dawn to crank out a few rows, and the list goes on….and Katie and I are both suffering from this ‘ailment’.

Lately, we’ve been feeling pretty inspired by all of the beautiful projects we’ve seen and we’re so passionate about our own yarns that all we want to do is cast on new projects and knit them as fast as possible.

Right now I have 5 projects on my needles that are all calling (or shouting) my name. That doesn’t include the old unfinished projects stashed in a closet somewhere. No, these are all gorgeous knits that I’m still so in love with that I’m having a hard time deciding which one to pick up and knit when I have a few minutes.  I’m even representing most of our yarn weights. I have 2 projects cast on in DK, 2 in worsted and 1 in sport.

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In this pile of goodies you’ll find

- A test knit for byannieclaire
- Girasole by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed
- Fisherman’s Dream Pillow by Nice & Knit
- Gale by Alicia Plummer
- Berenice by Julie Hoover

In total we have a baby knit, a toddler knit, a blanket, a pillow and an adult knit on the needles with 2 deadlines before Thanksgiving and 3 by Christmas.  Now that’s variety!

This is Katie 

I have been knitting every spare minute as well, and I have a major case of cast-on-itis!  Believe it or not, I feel that I have had a lot of restraint.

Like Kara, I also have a test knit on the needles, I am working on Travelling Dress for Joji Locatelli.  (a designer that I admire greatly!)  I am so excited to be testing this dress for her!  I think that I may do a sweater length instead of a longer dress but I am still deciding on that!

Purl Bee bias blanket is still being worked on (Darren is somewhat patiently waiting for me to finish that for him)

I am working on Hello Winter still, and really do not have a long way to go on that!  A couple days of real dedicated knitting would have it about wrapped up!

I have a few pattens that I am truly itching to cast on so this pile may grow in the next few days ;)  I love the fall for this very reason,  the ideas keep flowing and my hands keep knitting.

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Patterns & Free Shipping!

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We had a fabulous weekend at the Fiber Festival of New England.  It was a blast to meet so many talented knitters and to see the excitement as you perused our yarns and patterns.  Thank you so much for your kind words and your support!  We will be posting all of our photos from the Fiber Festival soon.

Today, we are releasing our Fisherman’s Dream pillow on Ravelry & in the Nice & Knit Shop!  To celebrate we are offering FREE shipping on all orders shipped in the United States until Friday November 7. Enter the code FREESHIP at checkout.

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Fisherman’s Dream is available for immediate download on Ravelry, and in our shop in kit form, which includes two skeins of Nice & Knit worsted and a beautiful printed pattern.

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Equally as exciting, we’ve updated our Mystic Comfort pattern!  New photos and knit in our own yarns, its a real stunner!  Also, now available in kit form!  Two skeins of Nice & Knit DK with a four page printed pattern.  This makes a perfect Christmas gift for your knitting friends!

 

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Don’t forget, you only have 3 days to take advantage of free shipping for orders placed within the United States!  Enter the code FREESHIP at checkout and it will automatically be taken off your order.

Delighted.

Our printed patterns are here!  So delighted to see all of our new patterns in print form!  These will be available this weekend at the Fiber Festival in MA. 

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The Mystic Comfort Pillow pattern has been restyled and is a 4 page beautiful spread.  (updating on Ravelry next week as well!)

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Maritime Cowl, Mystic comfort, Fisherman’s Dream, and our Free Nice & Knit Beanie pattern will all be available and in kit form!

Fisherman’s Dream

Our Fisherman’s Dream pillow pattern will be released and available for purchase at the Fiber Festival of New England this weekend!  This pillow will make a perfect and beautiful Christmas gift.  Knit this up for someone you love.  Fisherman’s Dream will also be available in kit form for all your knitting friends!

Knit up in the spirit of classic Fishermans wear, this pillow is the perfect addition to your home.  The design features intertwining cables and a traditional honeycomb stitch, reminiscent of all things nautical.  Though the design looks complicated, it is an intuitive knit, featuring clear and concise charted instructions.

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This classic-cabled cushy pillow is knit in two skeins of Nice & Knit Worsted – High Tide color way.  We will be releasing this for purchase on Ravelry and on our website Tuesday Nov 4th!

I feel like we are constantly saying how crazy busy we are.  Its been fantastically busy these past few weeks.  We are so excited for our first Fiber Festival.   We can’t wait to meet you all there!

Again.  We are so grateful to Betsy who takes these fabulous photos.  She makes everything look amazing.

Comforts of Home

Katie has been working on a new pillow pattern and even has shared a few sneak peeks on instagram.  The pattern will be available by the end of the month!

But while she works on a new pattern, I’m working on our classic Mystic Comfort Pillow in our very own Nice & Knit DK in the Nutmeg Colorway. I had started this last winter and only got about 2″ into before I set it down to knit something else. But I picked it up on Sunday and by Tuesday evening I had the front side complete. It’s a really quick knit and is a great addition to your couch or favorite chair to add a little comfort as we head into Fall and Winter.

Fall is in full force here in New England. The leaves are gorgeous shades of orange, yellow, red and brown and the rain is more and more frequent, but we’re trying to get out and enjoy the cooler evenings and fresh crisp air. Suddenly, Brooklyn is looking like a grown up little girl and I’m still loving every second!

 

Silence is Golden

Okay, well maybe not when you are supposed to be blogging.  We know we’ve been kinda quiet.  We’ve been dying, twisting, labeling, knitting, photographing, organizing, getting ready for a big event for Nice & Knit.  We are joining Creative Fibers on November 2 & 3 at the Fiber Festival of New England.  The festival is held at the Eastern States Fair Grounds – we hope to see you there!  Nice & Knit yarns, kits and patterns will all be available for purchase.

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Thankfully our sister Betsy has projects flying off the needles in Nice & Knit yarn.  She was privileged enough to test knit for Shannon Cook of Very Shannon!  The pattern is Schwimmen and it is lovely in Nice & Knit DK Dockside.  The pattern is part of Shannon & Jane Richmonds new ebook Seasonless.  Kara looks pretty cute in this slouchy hat.

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So have patience with us while we continue to grow our yarn line and dye up some beauties for the Fiber Festival.  Also make sure to follow us on instagram @niceandknit for {basically} daily updates!

Mini Man Sweater

We’re so thrilled that Baby Stanley #2 is a boy! Of course the day we found out, I made of long list of little knits I needed to make and cast on that very day.  I’m happy to report I’ve crossed a few off the list:

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I’ve gotten a little sidetracked with some other projects lately, in preparation for the New England Fiber Festival so my list might look this way for a little while so it’s good thing I have a few more months before he’s here!

Today we’ll look at the Seamless Braid Cardigan.

It was a wonderful little pattern that is extremely easy to understand and didn’t require any seaming, except I hate knitting sleeves on double pointed needles so I knit them flat and seamed them anyway. I am so so happy with the result, I’m ready to call this one my most favorite knit ;)  See, I told you I say that about every newly finished project.  I still have to buy buttons and sew them on and I’m considering knitting little elbow patches for it too.

 

Don’t forget, today is the last day to save 25% off your entire order at http://www.niceandknit.com! Enter promo code TAKE25.

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