November 3, 2010

Free Pattern! Snowbird Mittens

So this afternoon I googled myself. You make sure that there isn't a new cult leader/arsonist/clown who shares my name now. I didn't turn up any nepharious Elli Stubenrauchs but I did discover that Woman's Day magzine has posted my Snowbird Mitten pattern as part of a VK Mittens & Gloves promo! Which means that I get to keep playing the Free Stuff Fairy and give you the link to the pattern. Yay!

I'm getting a lot of milage out of this photo.*

I don't receive royalties for these mittens from Vogue Knitting online sales, so I definitely encourage you to save yourself the normal $5 download or magazine/book purchase and snag the pattern for free. I have no idea how long WD will keep the pattern up on their website (one week? forever?) but it's there now. What are you waiting for? Go get it!

Ravel it

p.s. have you entered the Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting giveaway yet? The contest is open until 11:59pm EST, Friday, November 5, 2010.

*photo courtesy of Vogue Knitting/Soho Publishing

November 1, 2010

Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting - Book Review & Giveaway!

**The giveaway is now over, so comments are closed! -E**

If you read my post yesterday about my contribution to Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting, you'll already know that this is one book I've been eagerly anticipating for years! My mom too...she's been asking me when it will be coming out since I first told her about it in 2007. After a year or two of asking, I think she started to think I was making it up. Well guess what? The wait is's finally out!

look mom! it's totally real! (you can tell because it has a shadow)*

A little review of the book:

The book is broken down into three sections, all of which are pretty darned awesome. (If you want a peek at the Table of Contents you can find it over here.)

The first bit (and when I say "bit" I really mean "whopping 114 page chunk") covers a variety of more advanced knitting techniques. It starts simply with stripes and before you know it you've passed through slipped stitches, tubular knitting, and double knitting. There are whole chapters devoted to intarsia, stranded knitting, cables, lace, embellishments, and even a catch-all chapter with lots of other useful stuff. Like 16 pages of cast ons/cast offs. Debbie does not mess around...when there are multiple ways to do something she gives you a whacking great selection to choose from so you can find what works best for you. I approve.

TulipTop_crop.jpg NipTuck_crop.jpg
Pullovers! Tulip Top, by Laura Grutzeck - love! l adore the texture and applied i-cord bow. the colors rock too. Nip/Tuck sweater, by Lien Ngo - adorbs! fantastic pin-tuck-esque bib detail and fluttery sleeves.*

The second part of the book (46 pages or so) is all about designing sweaters. In this section Debbie walks us through four different types of sweater construction and makes the whole thing seem ridiculously straight-forward. And I'm saying this as someone who has dipped her toe into the waters of sweater design and run straight back to the mitten pool. The page addressing how to evenly space X increases (or decreases) over Y rows is worth the price of admission alone.

Crush_crop.jpg Coco_crop.jpg
Cardis! Crush shrug, by Alyssa Carlberg - a great little bolero. perfect for pairing with a high-waisted skirt. Coco cardi, by Ruthie Nussbaum - check out those sequins! so fabulous.*

The last part is the pattern section. I'll be honest...knowing that the book was delayed for a few years...I had mentally prepared myself for the pattern section to feel a little dated. So I was totally surprised by the sheer quantity of awesome. Being the selfish knitter that I am, the patterns I picked to show off in this post are the ones I want to knit for myself. Yum.

Who knows exactly why this book has taken so many years to finally make it to doesn't really matter. After seeing the final product it's pretty obvious that DS took the time she needed to do a fabulous job with it. Good for her.

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Accessories! Saxon the City stockings, by Julia Frank - knit on size 8s, these chunky beauties might even keep me warm in my freezing office this winter. Gretel Tam, by Ysolda Teague - I never got around to knitting this classic. Better late than never!*

Here's the Giveaway Part!

Want to win a copy of Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting? This book is all about taking your knitting up a notch, so leave a comment on this post telling me about the most challenging thing you've ever knit...or attempted to knit. Do you have a cabled nemesis that still lurks in the bottom of your knitting basket? Did you conquer a fantastically complex lace shawl? Maybe you've just finished your first scarf and it just about killed you. I can't wait to hear about it! Everyone is welcome to worries if you've never commented here before. Three (3!) copies are up for grabs, courtesy of Debbie Stoller and Workman Publishing!

The Normal Contesty Details:
Only one entry per person, please. International entries are encouraged...Workman Publishing said they will mail internationally (thanks)! I will close the contest at 11:59pm EST, Friday, November 5, 2010. The winning entries will be chosen using a random number generator. Good luck!

Ok, one more fun fact about this book...
My Aunt Nancy calls it "Stitch 'n Hmm" because she doesn't use bad language. So cute. Cracks me up every time I think about it.

*all photos courtesy of Debbie Stoller/Workman Publishing

**The giveaway is now over, so comments are closed! -E**

October 31, 2010

Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting - Free Pattern: (new and improved) Squirrelly Mittens

Years and years ago (also known as 2007) I was a fairly low-key knitblogger with a couple of free patterns, just hanging around doing my knitbloggerly thing. I'd never published a pattern in a magazine or book...the thought had never even crossed my mind. So imagine my surprise when one day, out of the blue, Debbie Stoller, Queen of Stitch 'n Bitch e-mailed me wondering if she could use my Squirrelly Swedish Mitten pattern in a new SnB book.

Yeah. You'd be excited too. There may or may not have been heart palpitations of delight.

Never one to keep things simple, I decided to improve the pattern a bit for the SnB version. Peasant thumbs have never worked very well for me, so I reworked the thumb into a stripey side-tab thumb (just like I'd recently designed for my Herringbone Mittens pattern) and I proudly knitted my samples in a slightly bilious orange and blue color combination.

yeah, I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking either

It wasn't long before I got an e-mail from Debbie asking if she could have them re-knit in different colors (she was very polite, citing contrast issues...but my guess is that she couldn't quite figure out why we'd gone with that color combination either). I happily gave her the go-ahead and some party unknown did a re-knit* with some very nice colors of Jamison & Smith 2-ply Jumper Yarn.

Then there was a bit of a wait (2.5 years or so) while the book was shuffled around in Publishing Purgatory, as sometimes happens.

In the intervening years I've published nine other patterns in magazines and books, and self-published a couple more too. So, as strange as this seems, I'm pleased to introduce you to my VERY FIRST PUBLISHED PATTERN:


Oh, and the icing on the cake? You can totally have a copy of the pattern. Here you go!** New and Improved Squirrelly Mittens for everybody!

Ravel it!

Tomorrow (Monday, November 1) Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting is officially released into the big wide world. I'll be doing a little review and a book giveaway, so stay tuned for that!

*unfortunately, whoever knit them didn't do a great job. oh well. live and learn.

**this is a pdf file. you'll need a recent-ish verson of Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to open it (free download here).

November 7, 2007

For you...

So I’ve been off in a world of my own lately. Granted it’s a very nice world with lots of yarn and hot cocoa and an imaginary Gregory Peck* rubbing my feet, but it’s about time to snap back to the Land of Blog before you think that I’ve gone and pulled a lonely-tourist-Charlotte-Charles on you. Hi there. Not dead! Just changing seasonal gears and getting my cold-weather knit on and working on that gift I promised you.

You may have noticed that making presents is one of my favorite ways of showing affection and expressing appreciation. Which is to say...I think you guys are the nicest bunch of blogreaders on the planet. Here, have a prezzie:

I'd like to give the world a Pom.

Download your very own copy here**. I've proofread the pattern about 10 bajillion times, but do let me know if there are any errors I've missed, and send me pics if you make a pair!

Hugs and Keeses,


*Roman Holiday-era Gregory Peck, please.
**Requires Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded for free here, if you don't already have it.

August 17, 2007


It's my birthday, so I made you a present!

MailingLabels.gif Hello. We are knitterly mailing labels.

Instructions for use:
1) Go here to download the pdf.*
2) Save a copy.
3) Print.
4) Cut apart.
5) Inscribe with address/short poem/recipe/instructions to your dogsitter/short message.
6) Affix to package/letter/knitting basket/significant other/whatever else you can think of, using tape/rubber cement/paste/mucilage/static electricity, or your adhesive of choice.
7) Enjoy!

*Requires Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded for free here, if you don't already have it.

March 23, 2006

Guess what I finished?

The mitten pattern!


Just to warn you, I changed the pattern a bit to make them a little longer. It turns out that, when it comes to guessing how long mittens for women with small hands should be, I stink. They were too short. They didn’t even fit my friend Ginny who has lovely short little fingers. So if you notice that the picture looks a little different from the instructions, you’re right. Follow the pattern, not the picture.

If you do decide to knit them, which I know isn’t highly likely with spring here and everything, feel free to drop me an e-mail at elliphantomknits(at)yahoo(dot)com with any questions. I proof-read it ten bazillion times, but it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed something. Oh, and you’ll need version 7.0 of Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the pattern. (free download here).

The pattern is here: Squirrelly Swedish Mittens

In other knitting news, I’m planning the spring line-up. This spring and summer is going to be devoted to knitting for me. I only have three gift-knits planned and I am going to try not to add any more (you can laugh all you want…I’m serious). More on that later.