On The Needles

This past week, I was able to knit a quick little pattern from Pam Powers. If you aren't familiar with Pam's work yet, I encourage you to take a peek at her portfolio - it is small but powerful! I had the pleasure of meeting Pam at TNNA this year and she is just as lovely as her designs.

The cowl provides just enough coverage to ward off a chill

Anyway, the pattern I selected was her Scalloped Ruff, which is an interesting little knit with two styling options - a cowl (pictured here), or a scarflette. I say interesting because of the construction method; you knit each scallop separately, then work them into the cowl as you go. Love it! I was able to whip out a scallop in about 10 minutes, and I think there are 11 scallops? All in all, this whole project took me only a few hours. But be warned - if you hate weaving in ends, this might not be the project for you! You'll have about 25 ends to weave in at the end of the project.

Scallops are fun and quick to knit

 I'll be teaching a little knitalong class for this project at True Blewe Yarns in Columbia, Missouri on November 10th from 10AM-2PM. The cost for the class is $30; together, we'll knit through a scallop, learn how to join one to the live stitches that make up the cowl, go over making short rows, and talk about weaving in ends and blocking the finished piece. Bring a snack and get ready for some laughs, because my teaching style is laid-back and fun. After all, if you're not having fun knitting, you're doing it wrong! ;)

The finished cowl would make a great holiday gift

I worked my sample in Frog Tree Meriboo, and used just under 3 skeins. This yarn is available for sale at True Blewe in a large variety of colors! Hope to see you in class!

For more details about my project, click here.


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Julep Maven - Free Nail Polish For All!

That's right! FREE STUFF! Y'all know I love my freebies. Read through for the whole story of how I've become hooked, or scroll to the bottom to find out how you can get your very own boxes of goodies for free!

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a major glamour girl. Big hair, makeup, heels, the works. These things have worked their way into my personal style over the last few years and have now become part of who I am (well, that and my signature curls, naturally). One thing I hadn't really put much effort into was my nails. Oh sure, when I lived in Florida there was this little nail salon in the mall I'd go to on my lunch break for cheap manicures, but since moving away I haven't really put any effort into them. Then I started seeing my friends tweet about putting crazy prints on their nails, and seeing all kinds of nail art pins over on Pinterest. I started thinking about nails again. I used to love having my nails done...why not learn how to do them myself? Let me just tell you - as with anything, having the right tools for the job makes a huge difference. Enter Julep.

I first learned about Julep through Pinterest, where someone had pinned a stunning photo of a beautiful nail polish I couldn't tell you the name of now if I had to. I found out that you can sign up for a service that will send you a box of nail polish in the mail every month, and it's called Julep Maven. It costs $19.99 per month and is guaranteed to have at least $40.00 worth of product in it. I asked around, but none of my polished friends seemed to have heard of it. Still, I was intrigued. I like getting things in the mail...I like nail polish! I decided that the price was a little bit more than I was comfortable spending every month on products I didn't know that much about, and decided to put the idea on the shelf to revisit later.

Last month, I won what Julep refers to as a "Golden Box";
instead of the usual 2 polishes, I got 6, a pair of earrings, and a tube of mascara!

THEN I found out you can try out the first box for FREE. Yup, free. They don't even charge you shipping! You just sign up for the service, use the handy-dandy coupon code "penny", and away you go. There's a fun personality quiz that matches you up with one of five styles - Boho Glam, American Beauty, Bombshell, Classic With a Twist, or It Girl. Each month, each style receives a different set of colors - and the great thing is, you can decide each month which girl you want to be! Far from being some kind of scheme where your credit card gets charged 20 bucks every month because you forgot to cancel your subscription, the gals over at Maven send you an email to confirm that you want a box that month (and if it's not in the budget, you just click "skip a month"). You also can choose to see just what each girl is getting in their box that month and select the colors that are most appealing to you, or just stick with the style you matched to and be surprised. I like peeking at all the colors! You can even choose to have your box sent to a friend's house that month for a special surprise. I think this would be great for birthdays!

So many pretty colors! Everything comes giftwrapped, too - so fun and girly!

After I got my first box for free, I was hooked. I also found out that Julep offers a referral service that can earn you free boxes - I've mentioned it on Twitter just twice and have earned a couple of freebies already! So far, I've received 9 polishes, some heel cream, a tube of mascara, and a pair of earrings, all for free. You can't beat that, right? The quality of this stuff is outstanding, too. It goes on smoothly and evens out like a dream, and the saturation of the colors is just great. Here's a shot of me modeling the Annie colorway in my new pattern, Surplus Stripes:

I would ordinarily never think to put blue on my fingernails, but isn't it glam?

Anyway, you can probably tell that I'm really enjoying this service so I'll stop raving about it now. Suffice to say, I'm probably going to be a Maven until I can change the color of my nails as frequently as I change my socks, and I'm okay with that.


You want to know how to sign up, don't you? Click here, click on "Take Our Style Quiz", take the test, give them all your info, and when you get to the end use the coupon code "FREEBOX" during checkout. This will reduce your total for the first month to $0.00! If you decide to cancel the service after your free box (but seriously - tell your friends about it first, because you might just keep getting free stuff!), log into your account and click "cancel" on the left hand side of the screen. No fees, no penalties, and you get to keep all the goodies in the first box!

Really. What do you have to lose? :)


Fall is here!

It's 48° and dreary outside today, which means this Texan has the heater running and is thinking of fall. I pulled my fall decorations out of storage, and now the house feels so festive!

Our handmade coffee table was updated with burlap cloth and a fall cornucopia

The dining room table hosts a metal pumpkin and fall foliage

I'm starting to like Halloween more and more, not necessarily because of the holiday itself (although the color scheme is starting to grow on me, and who doesn't love an excuse to dress up and hand out candy to excitable children?), but because of what it represents - the beginning of the holiday season! Once the Halloween decorations come out, that means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and right on its tail, Christmas. Ahhh, this is a fun few months. I didn't have a single Halloween decoration, so of course I had to go buy some.
 A bright sign on the front door warns visitors of spooky treats!

Extra special treats for this month's Etsy customers! I couldn't help myself!

Did I mention I love stickers? Inside, I'm still a 12-year-old girl. I just love decorating up my Etsy orders, and I like to think that getting a bright package in the mail with goodies inside makes their day, too. Why not stop by the shop and make a purchase? You never know what you'll find inside with your order! 

Now through the end of the month, receive 15% off any order from my Etsy shop with the code, "SpookySale". Enjoy!

Looking for the winner of CanarySanctuary's giveaway? Random.org tells me it's Rachel Coker! Congrats Rachel, you've won a digital copy of Ghosts! Drop me a line at SarahATsexyknitter.com, or on Ravelry (I'm TheSexyKnitter) by October 21 to claim your prize. :) _________________________________________________

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Things You Need: Ghosts by CanarySanctuary

I've been a fan of Teresa Gregorio's work for a long, long time. After all, her aesthetic is very similar to mine so it makes sense that a lot of her pieces appeal to me. Check out her work if you haven't yet! She's CanarySanctuary over on Ravelry, and you can find her design page here.

Teresa's latest and greatest

When Teresa told me she was going to be releasing a book based on the history of ghost culture, I went all grabbyhands - especially once I saw photos of some of the gorgeous patterns she was planning to include! I'll be totally honest and admit that worldwide ghost history isn't of particlar interest to me, but I did skim through some of the thirty-odd pages Teresa's provided on the topic and she's definitely put together a great collection of information and entertaining stories on the subject. (So, you know, if ghosts are your thing, this book is gonna be right up your alley. But even if they're not, you're going to want it anyway, just for the patterns.)

One of my favorites of the collection, a super sexy pencil skirt with a huge, girly bow waistband, implements a clever technique to make shaping easy on the knitter. This requires fingering weight yarn and is generously sized up to 3X - so none of you curvy girls are left out! I'd like to point out here that pencil skirts are right on for this season (think "Mad Men"), and look adorable with leggings for going into fall. You can wear the bow in the front or the back! Multiple styling options - love that. You could also jazz this up with a beaded ribbon and a yarn with a bit of sparkle, like Dream In Color Starry, or keep it low-key in a cotton blend and grosgrain ribbon.

Another winner for me were The Uncanny socks; y'all know I love my twisted stitches, and these socks have loads of lovely ones! These were inspired by a traditional Indian ghost called a "bhut", which apparently looks exactly like a human except for the fact that it has backwards-facing feet. (Talk about creepy! Now every time I interact with a weirdo I'm going to have to remember to make sure their feet point the proper direction, just in case...) Fair warning: the pattern for these is in chart form only, but the charts are just gorgeous so you probably would have wound up using them, anyway.

Aside from the gorgeousness of the photos for this, the Calavera Catrina caught my eye because I'm always on the lookout for a quirky hat. I mean, how often do you see a pattern for a knitted bonnet that's both fashionable and interesting to knit? Not very! This one is innspired by Mexico's Dia De Muerta and is worked in Madelinetosh Vintage. There are row-by-row instructions for each step of the way, and minimal seaming (photo tutorial included!) to finish, which I actually find refreshing. I like a bit of seaming now and then! The flowers are all knitted separately and sewn on, which means that you can customize this hat to your liking with as many or as few as you like, and in any configuration that you fancy. Brilliant.

There are 11 patterns in all in this 92-page book; see them all or purchase the ebook here.

Teresa has generously offered up a digital copy of her book to one lucky winner; to enter to win, queue up one (or more!) of the patterns from the collection, then come back here and leave a comment telling us which one was your favorite! I'll announce the winner on October 15th, and the winner will have 7 days to claim their prize or I'll pick someone else. So do come back and see if you won, okay?

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Yarnside Chats: Skein Twisting!

Don't you hate it when your skein comes undone? I filmed a little tutorial for how to retwist them; it's really easy!

PS - You'll notice this is Episode 5. To see the other episodes, visit my YouTube channel!


On The Needles

I thought it could be interesting to add a new feature to the blog, wherein I talk about what I have on the needles, or things I've recently completed! I don't often get to work on things that I can actually share on the blog, as a lot of what I do is super-top-secret contract work, but lately I've been pulling back from contract work a bit and taking more time to knit for myself and others.

One group of people I absolutely love to knit for is the Dr's family. Unlike my family members, these guys all live in cold-weather states and see the value in hand knits. They're constantly asking me for specific items, which I am only too happy to oblige them with.

 A handknit gift, all wrapped up. Scroll down for a peek at what's inside!

A few years ago for Christmas, my brother-in-law, Ben, asked if I could make him a hat that was "like a beanie, but that would cover my neck in the back". I figured if I did some searching I was sure to find an existing pattern that fit the description, and sure enough, after a bit of digging I found Julee Reeves' crocheted Quick and EZ Helmet Pattern. My first version was a big hit and (so I'm told) a camping favorite. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law didn't know that Ben had stuffed it in his camping jacket, and it had a trip through the wash and got felted. Ooops.

Here's V2.0, freshly off the crochet hook the middle of last month (lucky for me, I can whip one of these out in a couple of hours):

Ben sheepishly asked for another, which I was delighted to provide. This one's in superwash, though!

Ben's wife, Amy, is quite partial to hand knitted socks. The pair go hiking quite a bit, and have even been known to scale a few mountains, and she has a huge stash of heavy woollen socks already. When she discovered that I could produce socks that were pink and girly, she was hooked. I like letting her dig through my sock stash to pick out a yarn she likes, and she gets a kick out of it, too. For her birthday this year, she chose a pink-and-brown selection from PamelaMC34 which had been in my stash for years and I was convinced I would never knit with. I knew this highly variegated yarn needed a simple, allover pattern to go with it, so I settled on knitting a pair of my own Jekyll & Hydes. I just finished them last week, and I love how they turned out!

My first complete pair of Jekyll & Hydes, and I just couldn't leave the pattern alone.
These were modified for toe-up!

Most recently on the needles is half a BFF cowl that I'm sharing with Stacey Trock. When this pattern came out, I knew I wanted to start collecting cowl halves from all my knitty friends! I see more of these in my future. Maybe I'll link all the halves together for one giant cowl? What fun! I love the idea of this cowl - how hadn't anyone thought of this before? Props to Ysolda and Stephanie for making this happen.

Now I just need to decide on what goodies go with it before I pop it in the mail for Stacey!

As always, I have about twelve dozen things about to go on the needles, and I'll be back with a sneak peek very soon!