A new pattern: the James Cowl (for AHC awareness)

Unless you were living without electricity I am sure you saw the phenomimon that is the Ice Bucket Challenge. It all started with Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was stricken with ALS and has decided not to raise the white flag. I find it's viralness so inspiring and very personal.

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As you may know, if you've been reading this blog or bought a copy of the Cowl for Nick that I had someone close to me who was diagnosed with ALS – the father of one of my best friends. We lost Nick over a year ago and it still stings. He was a generous, caring, funny and downright amazing man. He had a wonderful personality and humor that still shines through his wife, daughter, son and his beautiful grandchildren. He has left a wonderful legacy behind but, oh, how we all wish he was still here to enjoy it.

To see the world becoming more aware of this disease and seeing ALS organizations around the globe benefiting from heightened donations is amazing. I even got pretty defensive for all the cynics who didn't get it. Awareness = progress. 

I often think of ALS when I see my son going through his bouts of paralisis. I imagine that his frustration is similar to those who are losing control of their muscles with ALS. Both persons are so sharp mentally but their bodies are unfortunately failing them. Of course, AHC (Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood) affects a far less percentage (approx 350 cases in the US alone) and is not nearly as fatal as ALS but it still deserves attention of it's own.

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James Cowl
Yarn: O-Wool Balance Bulky, 2 skeins, peridot
Needles: US 10.5

It's with that in mind I give you the James Cowl. An easy, chunky cowl, knit up in no more than two-three days – a perfect last minute gift. All proceeds of this cowl will go to towards medical research in finding an effective treatment for AHC. In fact, 50% of the proceeds of ALL my patterns going forward with go towards AHC research. Right now all we have are experimental drugs and ideas of what can help. We need something more concrete.

I often reflect on the philosophy of "What do you love to do? What are you good at? Who needs you to do these things?" Well it's time I offer my talents to this group of deserving people including my amazing son. Perhaps that's why I was gifted with this knit talent in the first place.

If you want to donate or do more for our cause please visit CureAHC.org and AHCF.org to help! We are a small community but a hopeful and proud one. Our children are strong individuals and while they struggle with physical and mental road bumps, are the most inspiring people we have ever met.

Buy a pattern, get TWO, or three 😉 Make a cowl, gift a cowl, share this post and keep warm.

Happy Knitting!
Margaux & James

Jamesandiprofile

WIP Wednesday: Color Block

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Things are progressing smoothly with my color block sweater which I now refer to as Kendi. When last I left you I was waiting for my colors to arrive, now I am just about to cast on for the 2nd sleeve.

I decided to make this sweater in pieces. I know the craze these days is to make sweaters that are all-in-one piece and sometimes that is pretty glorious BUT there are good reasons to make sweaters in pieces and my girl, Amy, has pretty much summed them up beautifuly. (She's a redic designer so, like, pay attention 😉 ahem, her new book is coming out soon, too!)

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And taking the mother of all knitters (EZ's) advice I started with a sleeve. Sleeves work well as a very large gauge swatch. You can double check your gauge without committing too much to the project. Good thing too because I was about a quarter of the way into the sleeve before I decided to rip back and make it a tad smaller and the increases a tad quicker.

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As for the front, I really enjoy how the neutral tones down the bright colors. Before I started that section I really wondered if it was going to look too obnoxious. The top really balances it all out.

What are you working on?

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New Pattern: Hudson Cowl

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I'm happy to release my latest pattern the Hudson Cowl! I don't know about you but I am pretty much done with winter! I cannot wait to see grass again and flowers and sunshine.

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Hudson Cowl

Finished Measurements: Cowl comes in two sizes – 25"/16"length circumference for a close fitting cowl or a 52"/9.5" long cowl that can be wrapped around the next twice.
Yarn: Madeline Tosh DK (100% merino wool, 225yrds), 2 skeins needed for both sizes
Needles: US 8 (5mm) 16" or 40" circular needle

I find that the textured stitching reminds me of the 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf but is a little more challenging in that both rounds require you to either increase or decrease sts. It's a perfect cowl for an advanced beginner and even seasoned pro's as it will keep your attention throughout!

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Get yourself a nice pop of color and cast on today!

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New Design: Sky Blanket

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My second knit for Baby H is this hexagon crib blanket which I call the Sky Blanket. When I was contemplating making him a blanket I knew I wanted it to be a bit out of the ordinary. After searching a few patterns on Ravelry and seeing some inspiring pins on Pinterest I fell in love with a hexagon style blanket.

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I decided to chose one color palate and have the colors "blend" from dark to light. After the initial sketch and finished blanket I really do love how it came out!

I even like the "wrong side".

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I am so happy to share the blanket love with you all

Sky Blanket

Details:

Yarn: Plymouth Encore, 4 balls (one of each color) – I used Natural, Light Grey Blue, Nautical Blue and Navy.
Needles: US 8 (5.0mm)
Notions: Tapestry Needle
Notes: Each hexagon is knitted seperately and then seamed together. The edges are left "raw".

The pattern is sized for a crib blanket but once you get the hang of making the hexagons the size is up to you!  

Queue it up! or

 

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New Design: The Gate Sweater

 

Gate-Pullover

Photos by Nathan Rega, Harper Point Photography

 My newest design in the Winter issue of Knitscene – the Gate Sweater.

Sweater Details:
Sizes 30 (35, 40, 45, 50)" bust circumference; shown in size 35"
Yarn Valley Yarns Northfield (70% merino, 20% baby alpaca, 10% silk; 124 yd [113 m]/50 g):
• camel, 7 (7, 8, 8, 9) skeins
Gauge 20 sts and 32 rows = 4" in St st
Tools
• Size 6 (4 mm): 32" circular (cir) needle
• Size G (4 mm) crochet hook
• Markers (m)
• Stitch holders
• Yarn needle 

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Photos by Nathan Rega, Harper Point Photography

I was inspired to design this piece from an episode of Downton Abby! I remember during one of the many hours of watching that fabulous show I was taken in by something Lavinia was wearing. It was a blouse that had a lace motif that crawled across the shoulder. I loved how it looked and then began thinking of how that would translate to a knitted piece.

The answer for this piece was by knitting the sweater sideways. Being that the rest of the sweater is in stockinette it turns out to a pretty simple piece.

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Photos by Nathan Rega, Harper Point Photography

I finished off the bottom with a little seed stitch border to keep it from rolling. I hope you all enjoy knitting up one this fall! It would go perfect with a dark pair of jeans and boots!

Get your copy of Knitscene today either at your LYS or online!

IK Design: Big Tile Yoke Sweater

I am so excited to share my first Interweave design – the Big Tile Yoke Sweater!

This design was inspired by an awning I saw while walking in the Mission one afternoon. The awning had this bold Moroccan motif that I immediately thought would go perfectly on a yoke sweater.

I know short sleeves on a turtleneck seems a bit backwards but I think it works well as a fall transition piece. 

The yarn is brown sheep Nature Spun and with a gauge of 12 sts over 4" you could conceivably whip this out over a long weekend! I couldn't be happier with out the sweater turned out and love the way it looks one the model. I hope you'll pick up a copy of IK Fall and whip one out for yourself!

xo,

m

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It's been a whirlwind month over here and I apologize for the absence! My husband and I had a little traveling to do and I had another fantabulous deadline to prepare for which left the blog a little lonesome. 

There are so many good things to share including my first sweater pattern in print! I'm only a wee bit excited about it. Not that I know the exact page number or anything like that. 

It's a simple sweater with a little peek at the sleeve. I originally imagined it being knitted in a dark color in a yarn with lots of drape like silk or bamboo. For the magazine I knitted it in cotton and added some random stripes. To be honest I loved this result too!

I took a quick shot of myself wearing it before I mailed it out. Sorry for the cropped head – my hair was rediculous that day.

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I like that the top I first envisioned as a "going out" top can be transfored into everday wear. I hope you'll grab a copy of VK and cast on one! 

To the queue!

Happy knitting!

M

Sutro Wrap

Sutro Wrap

A new knitted love.

Perhaps my favorite part of it (besides it's simplicty) is that it can be worn so many different ways. Tied above, draped below, or wrapped around the body.

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Sutro Wrap

Sutro Wrap

The yarn is Noro Kogarashi, a lovely silk wool blend.

Buy via Ravelry or Craftsy. Wear madly and often.

A pair of sweethearts

Sweetheart Cozies

When I first started drinking coffee I only drank iced. The thought of burning my tounge on a bitter drink was silly and somewhat masochistic. I had what a friend would call "cake in a cup." Iced coffee with milk and sugar.

I eventually transitioned to 2% and then to skim.  Soon I didn't even take milk in my coffee and began to drink a sip of hot cups here and there and all of a sudden I begain drinking more hot than cold! And here I am with a Kuerig machine to boot!

But a hot cup makes for burned hands and not a happy Margaux make. I'd seen coffee cozies before but add a bit of pinterest inspiration and here we have Sweetheart Cozies.

Sweetheart Cozies

Two halves when put together make a whole. Cozies for a pair of partners, lovers, best friends and most of all java lovers. 

Get the pattern here! (eta, decided to make this a freebie for all you lovers out there! Enjoy!)

Happy Valentines Day!

xoxo