Always more to learn: Faroese-ish shawl design

WIP Faroese (ish) shawl

One of the things that I love most about knitting is that there’s always more to learn. New stitches to try, new ways to cast on or bind off, new tools, new ways of shaping and construction. No matter how long a person knits, they just never get to a place where they know EVERYTHING…there’s just SO MUCH to learn!

One of the things I’ve been dying to learn is how to use the two – triangle method of shawl construction that I teach in my Design Your Own Shawl Class to create a shawl with a panel down the center. So last week, I set my sights on figuring it out.

Basically, you just scoot each of the triangles over and plop a lace panel between them:

Like this:
New shawl design

The yarn is some that my friend Andrea dyed…a really soft cushy Merino / Cashmere / Nylon blend. I don’t see it for sale in her shop now, but when she has it, it’s so nice!

New “All Natural” pattern now available!

"All Natural" front


All Natural
©Stefanie Japel 2011

This breezy top is designed to hug the curves you love while being kind to those you don’t. The body of the sweater is knit flat from the top down in one piece on circular needles, and the front panel picked up and knit last. Construction is unique-but-simple. This is the first pattern in what will be a series of at least five in a collection that I’m calling “Full Grown” (more about that soon!)

Sizes: 30(34, 38, 42, 46, 50)” bust

Yarn: 750(850, 950, 1050, 1150, 1250) yards Malabrigo Organic Cotton (100% Organic Cotton; 230 yards / 100 grams) color: Natural
Needle: US7 (4.5mm) 24-inch or longer circular needle
Gauge: 4.5 sts and 6 rows in one inch square on US 7 needle

Finished Measurements:
Bust: 30(34, 38, 42, 46, 50)” circ.
Hem: 52(55, 59.5, 63.5, 66.5, 70.5)”
Back Neck: 6.5(6.5, 7.5, 7.5, 8.5, 8.5)”
Total (back) Length: 28 (29, 29, 30, 30, 30)”

"All Natural" front

(Click on either of the pics above for more photos. Pattern’s Ravelry page)

…more about me

It’s so fun to have so much to review and talk about. It makes me feel like I’m part of a larger, real community of knitters when people share their new books or yarn lines, or patterns with me, and I LOVE to talk about them. Somehow talking about other peoples’ successes is really motivational for me. Seeing Kristin’s and Joanna’s books out and doing so well (and I’ve got others to review soon!) is like some kind of fire is being lit under my OWN bum!

I’m having one of those time periods when I’m feeling extremely busy…but don’t really have a lot to show for it right now. If you follow me on Twitter, you know all of this already. I seem to be doing lots of microblogging, less BLOG blogging. It’s so easy to just type out each little thought these days and not take the time for a whole POST. Be careful if you follow my tweets, I’m a total over-tweeter.

I’m finally coming out of what I’ve been referring to as my Mommy Coma and getting back “out there” so to speak, with events and publications. We have a babysitter who comes over two mornings from 9 – 12, and in those six whole hours a week, I’ve been doing SO MUCH!

Here’s some of what I’ve been working on:

I’ve started a series of little booklets on various knitting techniques. They’ll be little Quick Guides, self-published both as e-books and in print, as a series. The first one, on custom-shaping patterns is getting close to being ready to pre-order! I’ll share more when it’s closer to finished.

I’ve also got several new patterns (woo hoo!) almost ready to come out for sale, like the white sweater from a few posts ago:
First sweater in my new FullGrown Pattern Collection
I’m actually looking for test-knitters on this one. If you’re interested, please see the Ravelry post.

And I just sent an adult version of my Whirligig shrug pattern to the tech editor:
Olive and Mazie

I’m going back to Colorado in April to teach at The Makerie (day classes are still open for sign up if you’re interested.) And in May to tape two more classes with Sympoz.

The “Mom & Me” book that I just finished with Chronicle has gone into tech & copy editing, and will be out in spring 2012. I also recently signed a contract with Cooperative Press to self-publish my “How to Design Top Down Sweaters” book. (This is the next big thing on the to-do list!) I hope to have this out within the year.

And I just learned that I’ve had three patterns and an article accepted for Winter publication in Interweave Knits and KnitScene magazines.

SO, fair readers, there’s a lot bubbling under the surface of this blog…and as I work on stuff, I’ll try to remember to share more of what’s going with me and not leave you in the dark!

New Online Class is OPEN!

My new online class at is ready to go! This is the class that I was taping when Olive and I went up to Denver back in March. The class focuses on Knitting Basics, like how to knit, purl, increase, decrease, but also works through pattern reading, blocking, weaving in ends, and more.

I think this would be a great class for a beginner, or for someone who’s just never taken a knitting class before and really wants to see how things are done. This might also be a nice gift for someone you know who would like to learn to knit! Students have unlimited, 24-hour access to the class, so they can watch any of the (High-Definition!) videos until they totally get it! :)

I’m so excited about this class! It was fun to make, the interface is really cool, and I just think you’ll have a lot of fun with it.

To celebrate, we’re offering the class at half price to all of my blog, Twitter, and Facebook friends!

AND…to make the deal extra spicy, one in every three people who sign up will have their registrations refunded!

In order to get the class at half price, click through this DISCOUNT LINK or click the first photo at the top of this post.

Somewhat fuzzy screenshot from the intro: