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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ISLAND Pre-Order Book Release!!!

A collection of hand knits designed by Jane Richmond and inspired by life on Vancouver Island. This book was a special artistic journey to bring Jane's patterns to life with photography by Nicholas Kupiak, modeling by Kylee Shaw, and graphic design/layout  & conception by Shannon Cook & Jane Richmond.

More than just a knitting book, ISLAND is a visual and creative experience showcasing the majestic beauty of Vancouver Island. Filled with designs & fibers that are true to Jane's classic and modern aesthetic, ISLAND not only makes you want to knit, it also inspires you to lose yourself in an adventure of your own.

Be inspired, get lost in the journey, set your imagination free, and ESCAPE to the ISLAND.

 I S L A N D - $20
Print Copy  |  Digital Version  |  Printable PDF

hi everyone! shannon here from luvinthemommyhood and jane's partner in crime for the book! we are soooooo excited to announce that ISLAND is available for pre-order starting today and running for one week only!  books will ship november 30th!!!! woot woot!!!!  we've been really busy working on the sidelines to get copies available to you as quickly as possible and we hope you will all love the book and collection as much as we do.

included in your pre-order is the print copy of the book as well as the digital copy + printable PDF copies of all of the patterns!!!  so you can get knitting before your book even gets here! bring on the holiday knitting!

you can also now view all the projects contained in the book on ravelry.  visit our ISLAND ravelry store page here for more info.  for those of you who already have the book (yay!) please feel free to add your projects to the rav pages! we cannot wait to see them!  we will also be adding a new thread in the jane richmond ravelry group for you all to chat and share your ISLAND projects! fun!

and just cause we looooooovvvve the ISLAND video so much i'm posting it in here one more time...hehe.  can't get enough of it. makes me well up every time. i'm so happy that you all enjoyed the video as much as we did. i had so much fun putting it together for you all!

thank you all sooooo much for all of your support and for such a lovely and warm response to the book!  it means the world to us! we can't wait to see all of your wonderful and inspiring projects and stay tuned...we'll both be blogging about the whole "self publishing" a book process soon! <3

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Whip Up // Designer Series

Kathreen of Whip Up has been running a series of guest posts from knitwear designers. I for one, really enjoy reading about the design process of others in the industry. Everyone has their own approach and I find it fascinating to discover how others go through the creative process. I am the feature designer today but I encourage you to read through the entire series, there are some amazing guest designers:

...just to name a few!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Knit City

The weekend before last was Knit City in Vancouver and boy was it a whirl wind! I apologize for not posting earlier but it's honestly taken me this long to recover. Working tirelessly to wrap up the book in time, preparing my booth for the event, and moving to a new home all at the same time has really taken its toll and left me completely exhausted. 

. . .

Let me just say that the show was incredible! Amanda and Fiona did such a good job putting this event together and the sheer number of volunteers showed tremendous support for their efforts. The show kicked off with a swarm of people that didn't let up until later that afternoon. People were lined up hours before the doors opened on Saturday to score exclusive Knit City swag bags slated for the first 50 attendees. It was heartwarming to see such a positive response to the first year of this event, its a sure sign that Knit City will grow and gain recognition from further and further afar in the years to come. The selection of vendors was the best I've ever seen at an event like this which made it an absolute delight for attendees and participants alike. 

We brought a limited number of copies of my new book ISLAND for pre-release and I have to say that I really underestimated our order for the show. We sold out in a matter of hours on the first day and I apologize if you wanted to bring home a book but weren't able to. It will be available online very soon and I promise, next time I will bring more!

 A big HUGE thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth to say hello, buy a pattern, purchase a book, or give us a hug! My favorite part of Knit City was the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people! I'm kicking myself for not taking note of all of your names (or rav id's), I would be so grateful if you would leave a comment to say you stopped by, or come find me on Ravelry and say that you did! 

 Aja (thanks for my goodies!), Shannon, me, and Melissa

We got to meet and visit with all of the ladies of Baaad Anna's (above is the lovely and gorgeous Caitlin ffrench) and let me tell you, these ladies are Fun with a capital F!!! I know where I'm stopping next time I'm in Vancouver!

I was so excited to meet Tasia of Sewaholic the first day. Out of her purse she pulled this gorgeous version of Aesderina in Madtosh Vintage, the colourway is Jade. 

On the second day Tasia came back to show us her first mitten from the new book! Shannon and I were SO impressed, thank you Tasia for sharing your Rathtrevor mitt, you really made our day!

I also had the great pleasure of meeting designer Liz Abinante who travelled all the way from Chicago to teach and tend a booth. It was so great to talk shop with her and Andrea Rangel, plotting which knitting events to attend next!  

Thank you Shannon for taking this journey with me and for not leaving my side! I can't believe how lucky I am to have you as a friend!

 And thank you Arika for jumping in when we needed you most! I don't know what I would have done without you! 

...I'm already counting the days until next years event!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

ISLAND // Pre-Release

I have designed a line of patterns that flow together, all of them inspired by life on this gorgeous island. My idea was to create a manageable number of designs to take you through the season. One of each of all of the essentials: a cowl, scarf, hat, fingerless mitts, and cardigan. The collection was created with the intention of having photographer Nicholas Kupiak and his lovely muse Kylee Shaw take you on a journey through a day in the life on our Island. With the incredibly talented Shannon Cook on board, we were able to transform this photographic journal and collection of patterns into a beautiful book. I have always wanted to display my patterns in such a visually rich format, this project is that dream come to life, and I am so thrilled to finally share it with you.

But before I give too much away, Shannon has put together a preview of the book, so turn up the volume and come on a journey with us while we walk you through the pages of this soon-to-be-released collection...

A limited number of copies will be available exclusively at Knit City this Saturday and Sunday so come by and get your advance copy!

Full details on the book and its patterns will be made available after the pre-release at Knit City.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In the Garden // Tomato Review

Last weekend I moved from a house to an apartment and said good bye to my beloved garden. This meant harvesting all of the tomatoes left on the vine whether green or red and putting my little vegetable patch to rest. I am sad to say that my new balcony is in full shade (totally out of my control) but I've saved my essentials in a little gardening box in hopes of having soil to dig in the future.

My last In the Garden post will be this tomato review. I started a total of 15 varieties at the beginning of the year and 12 made it into my garden. I kept very detailed notes on each plant in hopes of narrowing down the varieties I would grow in years to come, choosing only the proven winners. I promised to share my findings for those who might find it useful in their own gardening adventures. The varieties ordered from West Coast Seeds were all chosen specifically for their early-ness, this is important due to the short seasons we experience here on the coast. If you are not a gardener, or you are but have no interest in growing tomatoes, you may want to skip this post altogether. 

Tomato Review

The tomato varieties below are listed in order of early-ness (ie. Golden Nugget was the first to ripen, then Rocket, Glacier... and so on)

Harvest: July 23rd

Gold Nugget

Size: Cherry
Variety: Bush
Flavor: Nice acidity.
Source: Last years crop, originally from Seedy Saturday in Victoria
Would you grow again? Yes, yellow tomatoes aren't my fave in terms of flavor but I would grow these again solely because they were the first to ripen.


Size: Cocktail
Variety: Bush
Flavor: Mildly sweet, thinner skin than the Glacier.
Source: West Coast Seeds
Would you grow again? Yes but only because it's such an early tomato, the flavor could have been better.


Size: Cocktail
Variety: Bush
Flavor: Mildly sweet, thicker skin is not so nice.
Source: West Coast Seeds
Would you grow again? Probably not. It ripened at the same time as Rocket but was a little less flavorful and had a less desirable texture and a slightly thicker skin.

Harvest: August 13th


Size: Small Cherry
Variety: Vine
Flavor: Super sweet, flavor winner!
Source: West Coast Seeds
Would you grow again? Absolutely, this was my all time favorite tomato. It wasn't the first to ripen but it certainly was ready in time to have a good season. The flavor was incredible and the baby cherry tomatoes were perfection. I would grow an entire garden of these! Yum yum.

Harvest: August 18th

OSU Blue

Size: Cocktail
Variety: Vine
Flavor: Very bland, flavor looser.
Source: Last years crop, originally from Chorus Frog Farm on Salt Spring Island
Would you grow again? No way. These were a bit of a mystery, the seeds were marked Sweet Million but what grew from them is nothing else but an OSU Blue from last years crop. These plants produce stunning fruit but mine were completely flavorless.

Ailsa Craig

Size: Cocktail
Variety: Vine
Flavor: Bland.
Source: Last years crop, originally from Cannor Nursery
Would you grow again? Nope. I'm not sure what happened with these because last year they were quite tasty, this year they were completely flavorless and not worth the wait.


Size: Slicing
Variety: Bush
Flavor: Watery and bland.
Source: West Coast Seeds
Would you grow again? Never! These were very watery, had zero flavor, and were pretty mealy. I strongly prefer cherry and cocktail tomatoes and don't normally eat slicing varieties but wanted to try these just for a little variety in the garden. Next time I'll stay true to my preferences, it's sort of like choosing to knit a sweater that doesn't really suite your body type.

Yellow Pear

Size: Cherry
Variety: Vine
Flavor: Mild acidity and sweetness. Less flavor than the Golden Nugget.
Source: Seedy Saturday Victoria (2011), Sunbird Seeds
Would you grow again? Probably not. As mentioned above, yellow tomatoes are not my favorite, I like to grow them for their colour, and because the Golden Nugget was tastier and earlier, I would choose to grow it over the Yellow Pear.

Harvest: September 12th

Peaceful Cherry

Size: Cherry
Variety: Vine
Flavor: Acidic and flavorful, nice bite.
Source: Seedy Saturday Victoria (2011), Vibrant Seeds
Would you grow again? Yes although I think in the end I would choose to grow Sweet Millions over this variety, they are more productive.

Harvest: September 28th

Nic's Tomatoes

Size: Slicing
Variety: Bush
Flavor: Mildly sweet, good flavor for a slicing variety.
Source: My landlord
Would you grow again? Every year my landlord would leave a bucket of young tomato plants he had started, on my stairs to add to the garden. I have no idea what these were but they had a neat shape much like an heirloom and good flavor for being a slicing tomato. I realize this isn't very helpful because the variety is a mystery but I've included them here as a reference for myself.

San Marzano Lampadina 2

Size: Roma
Variety: Vine
Source: My Aunt bought these for my Mom, I believe the distributor is Weston Seeds
Would you grow again? No, these tomatoes were totally depressed to be growing in my garden and not in Italian soil where they belong. Our season is too short and the temperatures don't get hot enough. I grew these for my Mom so I can't comment on how they tasted in the end.

Early Cascade

Size: Cocktail
Variety: Vine
Flavor: Good balance of acidity and sweetness, best of the bunch for this size. Thinner skin than Glacier and Rocket.
Source: West Coast Seeds
Would you grow again? Don't think so. The whole time I was growing them I thought that their name "Early Cascade" was some sort of joke, they were one of the last to produce fruit, and when they finally did, the fruit remained green forever! They were just beginning to turn when I pulled them off the plants at the end of the season, I had to put them in a brown paper bag in order to ripen them. That being said, they were yummy for being picked prematurely and the plant itself was by far the healthiest plant in the garden.


I really enjoyed myself this gardening season, I was well organized and payed close attention to what was working and what clearly shouldn't be repeated. I feel better prepared for my next vegetable bed, whenever that may be (a community garden plot perhaps). 

And the Winner is...

All in all the Sweeties were the winner, hands down! They were SO yummy, bite size, and fell off the vine when picked. They were shiny and perfectly round and the plant was extremely prolific. If I could grow only one variety these would be the ones. I highly recommend!

Rocket and Golden Nugget are definitely runners up because of their early-ness to ripen, choosing the wrong varieties here on the coast can mean no red tomatoes by the time the frost comes... a huge let down for all the time spent caring for the plants. 

I hope that this review is useful to some, especially those living in coastal regions where tomatoes don't normally thrive. I'd love to hear your winners and losers of the season! Let's compare notes. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Winner of Ghosts by Teresa Gregorio

...and the winner of the new eBook Ghosts by Teresa Gregorio is Kathy Wallace (sassykrafty on Ravelry).

Congratulations Kathy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blog Tour // Ghosts eBook by Teresa Gregorio

Today I have the great pleasure of being the next stop on Teresa Gregorio's Blog Tour for her new eBook, Ghosts: historiographies, cultural maniferstations, and the knits they've inspired. 

Teresa Gregorio was one of the first designers I started following on Ravelry and her blog Canary Knits was also one of the first blogs I ever read. Her writing style is quirky and intelligent, she often makes up her own words (hilarious) and even uses footnotes in many of her posts (some informative, some totally hilarious).   

Since then Teresa and I have formed a friendship online. We share gardening tips and laugh about the parallels in our highschool years. I was excited and honoured when she asked me to be a part of the tour. 

Not only has Teresa put together a collection of 11 patterns, she has also done extensive research on ghosts and the cultural differences in the way we view them. Included in the book are essays stemming from this research. You can view Teresa's video sneak peek where she touches on her inspirations for the book. 

Here are my absolute favorite pieces from the book... 

image source ~

Athenodorus was the first to catch my eye, I think its absolutely gorgeous with its huge satin ribon and simple shaping. 

image source ~

Galoshans is also one of my favorites. I love the shape of this piece and the combination of lace fabric, baggy fit, and shawl collar. This looks like such a comfy sweater, the kind that would be a staple in my wardrobe. 

image source ~
I also really favored Progressions, a small shawl that is simple and wearable. This would get a lot of use from me, I love shawls that can be worn as scarves.  

Teresa has so generously given me a copy of the eBook to giveaway! If you would like to win your very own copy of Ghosts simply leave a comment with your contact info (email or ravelry name). 
I will announce the winner this Friday!

* * *  This contest is now closed  * * *

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Petite Purls | Earflap Hat

 Photo by Brandy Fortune // Image source Petite Purls

Some time ago I submitted a design idea to Petite Purls. It was accepted for the Back to Basics series and I was beyond thrilled. My designs are often very basic, I like to use a simple idea and work towards a clearly written pattern and a garment that fits well. A classic piece is one that you might knit over and over again, each time learning something new about it's construction, each time making changes to suite the wearer. 

Photo by Brandy Fortune // Image source Petite Purls

Earflap hats are all Elsie has ever worn. She is a busy girl and has lots of energy, anything else would fall off during play. I really enjoy knitting this style from the top-down as it means no seaming or picking up stitches for the earflaps. It also makes it incredibly easy to customize the length and circumference.

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I did!

Happy Knitting!