I would like to thank everyone who joined in on the Striped Tooth Shawl KAL.  It was a great success.  I think everyone managed to have fun, knit a new project and create a “close knit” community in the Ravelry group.  As promised there are three KAL winners (picked completely at random),  Drum roll please….

1st prize – Orangecat (please email me with your mailing address so that I can mail your prize).

2nd & 3rd prizes – Kastsubear & Theschawmm (please email me with the three patterns of your choice from my Ravelry store).

Here is a picture of my finished Striped Tooth Shawl.  I know it isn’t the greatest picture, and the ends weren’t woven in yet.  But since I have woven them in… now I just need to block the thing.  I’ll try to get that done this week.

I hope to have more pictures of the other finished shawls later this week.  Please check back soon for the pictures of the other finished shawls as well as the vote for the next KAL that we will be starting in May.  I will be giving the options of 3-4 summery garments and of course there will be a prize!

You can always subscribe to my blog here to get updates on new patterns, sales, contests and giveaways!

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Veronika from Yarn on the House and I are at it again.  We have another giveaway for you.  It’s not like last time where we did the 12 days of Knitmas, but its still pretty good! This time there will be one lucky winner of three hanks of Pagewood Farm St. Elias in the colorway Chuck’s Favorite and the Olga’s Vest pattern.  Enter yourself or the big win here!  Also there is a little treat on her blog, a recorded interview with yours truly.  Enjoy!!

Well, I’m out of town yet again.  You know what that means… another giveaway! This time I’m away a little longer than usual, so instead of one week to enter, you’ll have two.  Lucky you!

What’s the prize? Glad you asked!  One very very lucky winner will receive the yarn and pattern to make one of my newer garment patterns, Silver Lining.  The winner will be able to choose to one of three colors of ShiBui Linen to make the Silver Lining pattern in the size of their choice (color choices coming soon).

Here’s how to enter, all you have to do is become a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest follower.  I will choose one follower from only one of three social network (I’m not telling which one).  One lucky follower will be announced on Sunday, May 26th, 2013.  The winner must claim his/her prize by Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 or he/she will forfeit the prize and I will choose a new winner.  That means that even if you didn’t win, you might still have a chance.  So keep checking back!

Congratulations to Facebook follower Tina Tiffin Williams – you are the lucky winner of the Hydra pattern PDF and yarn giveaway!  Please email Me@GraceAkhrem.com with your full address and the size you would like to make to claim your prize by Monday, April 1, 2013.

As you may or may not know Olga Buraya-Kefelian is an incredible designer and I am lucky to say she is also a dear friend. This month her beautiful collection with Quince & Co., Circles + Dots was released.  If you aren’t familiar with Olga’s work or this collection you don’t even know what you are missing! The Circles + Dots collection is composed of five pieces, including two garments and three accessories.  Olga has a real talent for designing pieces that are not just unusual but also very wearable.  The patterns are available for individual purchase or as a collection from Quince & Co. and Ravlery.

The collection definitely speaks for itself, but below there is a Q&A with Olga.  I’ll let her tell you all about the collection in her own words. P.S. There is a little treat at the very bottom, so make sure to read all the way through!!!

   

From left to right: Effervescence Cardigan, Compass Pullover, Gyre Scarf.

GA: What was your inspiration for the Circles + Dots collection from Quince & Co.?

OBK: I think main inspiration was the yarn itself. We know that wool is such a universal fiber to work with not only in knitting, but other forms of arts as well. I was trying to create something that would sort of delve into a little of different directions, that’s why I chose the circles and its versions through negative and positive spacing and play on dimensionality. At the time of actual development of the collection I was very influenced by polka dots and how one can get its look in knitwear. Besides designing a polka dot looking shawl using lace technique, this collection helped me explore more of those possibilities and techniques.

GA: Which of these five fabulous designs is your favorite and why?

OBK: That’s a very tricky questions, because some details of each of the design are my favorite. If I had to pick, it probably would be the Effervescence Cardigan because I designed the stitch used  just for that pattern!  But all of the stitches I utilized throughout the collection were carefully picked and then customized by me, so it makes it all unique. That’s the entire process that makes designer “a designer” where all puzzle pieces are carefully picked and then created in something beautiful.

GA: Which pattern from this collection did you have the most fun knitting and designing and why?

OBK: Cowry Hat, because you get to drop stitches and see the “bubbles” pop all over for this cool textured look.

GA: Did you come across any unforeseen challenges, difficulties or surprises (good or bad) while working on this collection?

OBK: When creating a collection there are always challenges, but most often I create them myself when it comes to the finished result and I am not satisfied with the particular design detail or certain look. I wouldn’t mind ripping my work and redoing it, but that unfortunately cuts into deadline. Being a perfectionist sometime works against you and against time, but in the end I am always happier with the result.

GA: How long did this collection take you to put together from conception to completion?

OBK: I normally knit all the design samples myself and Circles + Dots is a collection of rather fine knits took about 6-7 months from sketching stage to last finished knit. But when working on a collection I do not like to rush, some stages of the process have to be done organically. If there are doubts about certain details in a designs, it needs to simply simmer for a bit and the solution for any problem that I might have been having will arrive. But I always knit on other smaller things in between, that way I keep my mind distracted and keeps everything in perspective. And when I come back to the collection – I re-evaluate it with a fresh pair of eyes.

GA: Were there any project that you intended to be a part of the Circles + Dots collection, but just did make the cut?

OBK: Surprisingly, no. I am very humbled by this, but this collection didn’t have no rejected sketches or designs that just didn’t work out.

GA: What’s in the works or what’s next for you design wise? Anything exciting on the horizon?

OBK: There is always something in the works. I am currently working on a sweater for a collection and planning several other collections. It is quite hard to juggle the volume of ideas at times. But when I am in a knitting stage for a collection, my mind is already racing towards new exciting future designs. And although I can’t start working on those right away I am always sketching the ideas down and collecting them, then reworking them. It’s all a continuous process. And when the timing is right those new designs will certainly make their debut!

 

From left to right: Cowry Hat and Flotilla Mitts.

Surprise! The wonderful people of Quice & Co. have decided to sponsor a giveaway! One very lucky winner will receive one of the two patterns Cowry Hat or Flotilla Mitts and the yarn to accompany the pattern.  How awesome is that?! All you have to do to enter to win this prize is become a Facebook and/or Twitter follower.  One lucky follower will be announced on Sunday, March 2, 2013.  Make sure you enter to win and check back on this blog next Sunday to see if you won.  The winner will have one week to claim his/her prize otherwise it will be forfeited. Good luck to everyone!!!  You can also follow Olga on Facebook & Twitter!