Sunday, May 01, 2011

moving again ...

.... before you faint, no we're not moving physical abodes ... we REALLY like Virginia.  

But we are moving to a full website with blog and other stuff that I think you'll enjoy.  So re-set your favorite to:

Thank you for reading this note and heading on over ... click around and let me know what you think (remembering of course that it is a work in progress and may still need a little bit of tweaking)!Enjoy the journey

Mary C. Gildersleeve

By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs

Thursday, April 28, 2011

THREE new designs posted today!

I love Easter ... not just cuz now I can eat candy or because Jesus rose to conquer sin and death ... or even because dh has Easter week for Spring Break. I love Easter because I usually get lots of projects done.  This week has been no exception .... here are THREE new designs I just posted in my Ravelry store:

Royal Red Butterfly Shawl (approx. 33" x 15") -- pdf download is $5.00
NOTE: you must be able to knit from a chart for this design!

AND, I'm about two-thirds done with a cable sampler jacket!  Cool, huh?

All three items above were knit with Spring Gate Farm's Cashmere(50%)/Silk(25%)/Merino(25%) blend in jewel tones.  BTW, for those in the area ... I'll be at Graves Mountain Lodge's Fiber Festival on Saturday (9-4, free) with the lovely lady who breeds the cashmere goats that give us this beautiful yarn!  Please stop by and say howdy ... these and other designs I've done for Spring Gate will be available as well as skeins and skeins of her lovely fiber!

Enjoy the journey
Mary C. Gildersleeve

By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs

Monday, April 18, 2011

Look what I received in the mail today ...

It's BEAUTIFUL!  More Knitting in the Sun: 32 Patterns to knit for kids is packed with wonderful knits (of all kinds) to make for kids for those hot, summer months!  The designs are separated into:  accessories, bottoms, sleeveless, short sleeves, long sleeves,and cardigans.  My design is in the center of the cover ... Pippi's Lacy-collared top (pg 71-73) ... and the sleeveless section.  Check it out ... you'll love all the designs in there!
Enjoy the journey
Mary C. Gildersleeve

By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring is blooming ... and so is this baby blanket!

Just finished this beautiful baby blanket for a dear friend who just gave birth last week to a gorgeous baby girl.  
Spring is Blooming is knit with Dale of Norway's Falk (a washable, sport-weight wool) but could also be done in a sport weight cotton!  The design starts in the center with eight stitches and you keep working in circles, increasing as you go (and some of those increases are cleverly hidden within the lace panels) until you end up with 280sts and a 30" diamater baby blanket.

Spring is indeed Blooming!  

NOTE:  You must be able to knit from charts for this bounteous bloom.  

If you'd like to download the pdf of this design, here's the link:
Spring is Blooming ($7.50) 

or check out all my designs at my Ravelry store ....

Enjoy the journey
Mary C. Gildersleeve

By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Design and review of the knitting retreat yesterday ....

Here's a design that has just come off the blocking board, photographed and posted in my Ravelry store:

Spring Garden Wrap, done in a cashmere/bamboo blend, and a fun lace pattern.  This design was so reminscent of a freshly planted garden, with it's furrows, that I just had to photograph it in front of our just-blooming dogwood!

The design, knit with Spring Gate Farm's medium weight cashmere (80%)/bamboo (20%) in a gorgeous springy sage green is perfect for all-year wear:  it's got the warmth of wool with the cooling/evaporative properties of bamboo so it will be comfortable all year-round.  The ends are tied and then buttoned (don't you love that button?) for keeping it closed.  The construction keeps the shawlette on your shoulders, too!

Yesterday's knitting retreat hosted by Dog House Yarns out at Graves Mountain was glorious!  I drove out with a dear knitting friend, chatting the whole way (which was excellent as by the time I got there, I wasn't nervous or anxious at'all!), and although the day was overcast and a bit misty, it was gorgeous!  This was the first time I'd been to Graves Mountain, but it definitely won't be my last ... especially since they are having their 1st Annual "Let's Get Naked: From Toes to Clothes" fiber festival on Saturday, April 30th.

The retreat itself was well attended -- almost 50 ladies of all ages knitting away while listening to me tell them all the wonderful facts about fiber (and NOT the breakfast kind).  We then had an all-you-can-eat, traditional family-food lunch (meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables au gratin, spinach salad with fresh strawberries, homemade apple cake with ice cream, etc) .... what a feast!  The afternoon sessions included a few break-out/small group sessions:  I facilitated a "tips and tricks" session where ladies asked me how to fix this or that which of course led to more questions and more answers; I then did an overview of short-rows:  when to use them and how to do them!  It was great fun.

The best part:  after spending a day with wonderful folks talking about one of my most favorite subjects .... I came home to a ready dinner, a clean house and a family who missed me!  What more could I want?

Next weekend, it's off to the Olde Liberty Fibre Faire in Bedford!

Enjoy the journey
Mary C. Gildersleeve

By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs

Monday, April 04, 2011

Support creativity and get some bang for your buck!

Last week, I found out about the coolest thing ... a way to support creative efforts, fledgling artists, published designers do even more.  Shannon Okey (the brains behind the phenomenal publishing house of Cooperative Press, hand-knits designer and all round amazingly creative woman) has started a month-long campaign to do even more for indie knitting designers, using a program called Kickstarter.

Here's a video that shows some of the designs that are going into the new series Shannon is publishing:  

I have some designs in these upcoming books -- a set of knitted dolls for Fresh Designs: Toys and a set of southwest-inspired sofa pillows in Fresh Designs: Home.  

Now, these books will be published this summer regardless of Shannon matching (or even better, beating) her goal of $5000.  The important thing here ... and why I've already pledged a bit ... is that this is a chance to help an indie publisher, indie hand-knits designers, and a host of other folks do something very cool ... very creative.  Any pledge, large or small (even $1) will help.  There are some cool incentives for different pledge points -- including copies of the 10-book Fresh Design books!

So what are you waiting for?  Go make a pledge, would ya?  And thanks .... from one of many independent hand-knits designers!

Enjoy the journey
Mary C. Gildersleeve

By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs

Saturday, April 02, 2011

New "old" design ... September in Colorado

Here's a design that was published in the online magazine, KnitCircus (Fall 2010).  After six months, the design reverted to me, so I've posted it for sale in my Ravelry store.
 The artist modeling September in Colorado!
 Close-up of the yoke design
the full sweater
September in Colorado (sizes XS-XL) is a great exercise in colorwork/stranded knitting.  An original charted yoke design contains all the colors of Colorado in September -- the green on some trees, the yellow aspen leaves, the shades of brown, and of course, the white of the "surprise" snow falls!

This design is available for immediate download for $4.99 from my Ravelry store (the link below works whether or not you're a member of Ravelry)

Enjoy the journey
Mary C. Gildersleeve

By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs