Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

Saying Thanks

November26

Black Friday Cyber Monday sale at Eclectic Closet Knitwear 20% off

The worlds converged – Gift-A-Long2016 and Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday are all happening at once this year. Want to find the best deal on my designs? All the details on my sale, which coupon to use and links to the designs are here.

Thank you for all your support of my designs and small business.

Indie Designer Gift-a-long sale collage

Indie Designer Giftalong

November22

The 2016 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long has begun and the forums are buzzing. I have selected 20 of my designs that are 25% off from today until November 30 at 11:59 pm with coupon code giftalong2016. The collage below is the one I developed to promote my bundle of sale patterns.

Indie Designer Gift-a-long sale collage

Join today! There are thousands of prizes to be won, lots of chatting in the GAL threads and holiday knitting/crocheting to be completed.

From the Ravelry Group:
What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers. From November 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2016 at midnight US EST there will be fun games, contests, and 8 KAL/CALs that will help you get your holiday knitting done with companionship and fun! From November 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm US EST to November 30th at 11:59pm US EST tons of indie designers will be discounting between 5 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event.

You can find a list of the 335 participating designers, with photos, here. For easy searching on Ravelry, view the bundles here.

Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, we encourage you to join a relevant KAL/CAL! (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the cowl KAL/CAL.) To join, simply write a post in the KAL/CAL thread you want to join, including the pattern name you will be knitting and a link to your project page. KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes but you’ve got to post to win!

KAL/CALs will run from November 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2016 at midnight US EST, plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting. We have tons of prizes and great conversation, plus a lot of other fun, so pull up a chair and join us!

80skeins collated all the stats and created the amazing infographic below. The organizers have put a lot of effort into this event, I think we’re going to blow last year out of the water.

giftalong 2016 infographic

 

 

 

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The Secret Way of Patterns

September20

This is both a happy and sad story but I’m hoping that readers can help this story have an exceptional ending.

Miriam wearing The Secret Way of Patterns

Miriam wearing The Secret Way of Patterns

My niece Miriam (7 years old) wants to be a fashion designer (and the Prime Minister of Canada but that’s another story). She spends a great deal of time drawing outfits and has had very distinct opinions on fashion style for several years. I thought it would be a great activity for us to start designing knitting patterns together and Miriam agreed.

Early in 2016 we went out to a local coffee house to discuss what Miriam wanted for her cowl. She made some initial sketches and we went through one of my Japanese stitch pattern books together, with Miriam marking down the number of the patterns she liked for about 20 pages before she got overwhelmed. She then narrowed the selection to 5 or 6 patterns after which we discussed how she’d like the cowl knit.

Of course, she had clear ideas about the direction the knitting should be done (along the length), the length of the cowl, how the patterns should go together (in bands) and the way the patterns should be repeated. She quickly narrowed down the smaller patterns to go between the larger motif but it took a bit of work before she finally managed to get it down to a final selection.

I swatched the patterns and that resulted in more fine-tuning and a change in how the smaller motifs were ordered between the larger one. After another swatch, Miriam was satisfied and I was ready to begin knitting on her cowl.

Miriam's sketch for her cowl

Miriam’s sketch for her cowl

Miriam wanted her cowl knit in a cream colour, with large blue buttons so she could wear it multiple ways. The result is the shorter sample which she is modeling in the photos. I knit this over the summer and part of it was done while in Haliburton (Ontario). My friends and I had rented a cottage there while they attended Indigodragonfly’s Stained Fingers Dye Camp. Kim McBrien Evans saw the piece and asked what I was working on and I told her the story behind the pattern. Kim got very excited and wanted to support Miriam in her design work and offered yarn support for the adult version of the cowl, which she is wearing in the photo of her and Miriam.

It was decided that the design would be “launched” at the Knitter’s Fair (held each September by the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Guild) in the Indigodragonfly booth. I was really excited because that meant I could take Miriam to the show and she could see her design on display, meet Kim and get inspired for our next design collaboration by looking at all the yarn.

Knitting was done, the pattern was written up and all was on track. Miriam named it “The Secret Way of Patterns.” We were going to have to do the photo shoot after the event but excitement was building for Miriam and I, as well as for my mother, Miriam’s grandmother. Other family members had seen the cowl since it was finished but Miriam hadn’t seen it. The plan was for it to be a surprise for her a day or two before the show. But this is where the story gets very sad.

Mom wearing Vieux Carré Stole

My Mom wearing Vieux Carré Stole

Three days before the Knitter’s Fair my mother passed away very suddenly due to health complications from a long term illness. None of us were expecting that and it was devastating to all of us, but especially to Miriam and her brother. It’s difficult to lose a grandmother at any age but it’s especially traumatic when you are under the age of 10. Friends scrambled together to get the sample to Kim for the show but we weren’t sure if Miriam and I would attend. Friday night I showed the cowl to Miriam and she suddenly started crying. I asked why and she said “Grandma won’t ever get to see it, how will she know I’m a designer now?” Luckily I was able to reassure her that Grandma did see it and thought it was beautiful. And in the end we attended the Knitter’s Fair together and Miriam got to meet Kim, show off her first design and feel like a designer for the first time, although it was very bittersweet. And even though we both felt very sad, we still had the photo shoot this past Saturday and Miriam did a great job.

Kim and Miriam at KW Knitter's Fair

Kim and Miriam at KW Knitter’s Fair

Now here’s where I’m hoping some of you can help make this story have an exceptional ending. My mother had asked that Learning For Humanity be listed as the charity for those wishing to make a donation in her name – she believed so much in education. My mom taught me to dream and passed on her love of crafting to both Miriam and I. She was always very supportive of my designing and was so excited that Miriam and I were designing together. In fact, the photo of my mother used for her funeral is her wearing my Vieux Carré Stole, a design I knit as a gift for her.

Miriam and I want to honour and remember my mother by supporting Learning For Humanity and inviting many others to support it as well. We’ve decided that 100% of the money from pattern sales of The Secret Way of Patterns will go to support the installation of Learning For Humanity educational systems in schools in Zambia until the end of 2016. Miriam is hoping that we could sell several thousand patterns (she’s hoping to raise enough to cover the costs of one school – I told her that we would need to sell 8,000 patterns to do that).

So our request is this – can you help us give this story an exceptional ending? You can buy the pattern here or make a direct donation (and receive a charitable receipt) here.

Miriam wearing The Secret Way of Patterns on a swing

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Palmaria Shawl, part of Northern Landscapes part 2

April28

Palmaria Shawl
Palmaria Shawl is inspired by the waved ridges of seaweed left on the rocky shores at Cape Norman, Newfoundland. Palmaria palmate, commonly known as Dulse, is a seaweed commonly found in the north east Atlantic.

Palmaria Shawl Stitch Detail

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Tablet Braid Scarf, Långhus Blanket, A-Frame Huts Stole, Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole, Blennerville Stole, and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (April 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

Tablet Braid Scarf, 6th pattern in Northern Landscapes part 2 collection

April21

Tablet Braid Scarf
This pattern is inspired by examples of Viking-Style tablet weaving fabrics. Vikings produced beautiful fabrics by this method which they used to decorate their clothes, used as belts and as headbands. This scarf is a stylized cable pattern similar to a common motif found in Viking tablet weaving.

Tablet Braid Scarf

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Långhus Blanket, Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole, Blennerville Stole, and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (April 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

Långhus Blanket, 5th pattern in Northern Landscapes part 2 collection

February28

Långhus Blanket

I’m so thrilled with my newest design release, the Långhus Blanket. The combination of the the main stitch pattern and the soft, almost flannel like quality of Bare Naked Wools Stone Soup DK results in a luscious blanket. This is the 5th pattern in part 2 of the Northern Landscapes collection and the pattern offers a range of blanket sizes, as well as an option for a wrap.

close up of stitch pattern of Långhus blanket stitch pattern

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole, Blennerville Stole, and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (April 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

Blennerville Stole, 4th pattern in Northern Landscapes part 2 collection

December21

Blennerville Stole

I’m so thrilled with my newest design release, the Blennerville Stole. The combination of the graphic patterns and the lusciousness of Sweet Paprika’s Adagio yarn (a truly decadent combination of silk and camel fibres) make for an indulgent wrap. This is the 4th release in Northern Landscapes, part two collection.

Stitch detail of Blennerville Stole

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (tentatively end of February 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

Cartouche Cowl

December4

Cartouche cowl glamour shot

When I first started designing I spent a lot of time paging through Japanese stitch dictionaries (and still do!) and found the main pattern used in this cowl. It reminded me of an Egyptian cartouche and I visualized it in a deeper vibrant red. That design, Cartouche Shawl, was published in Knitty, Winter 2011. I’ve since used these stitch patterns in the Cartouche Slouchy Beret and the Cartouche Stole; however, I still wasn’t done with this design and knew that I wanted to do a cowl and fingerless gloves to complete the set.

Cartouche cowl stitch pattern detail

And here is the result, the penultimate piece in the Cartouche series – the Cartouche Cowl.

Vogue Knitting, Fall 2015

July8

Made in Canada column, Vogue Knitting Fall 2015

Some things require serious squealing and excited jumping up and down. Getting mentioned in Vogue Knitting’s Made in Canada column certainly qualifies! Getting described by author Lee Ann Dalton in Vogue Knitting this way, “Janelle Martin makes you want everything she designs,” put me over the moon. Seeing that in bold print under one of my designs brought me to my figurative knees. Thank you Lee Ann for your amazing words. And a big thank you to my mentors, technical editor, and the rest of the team that helped me reach this point – you know who you are!

A special thank you to the beautiful Jen and talented Shawn for making my designs look so beautiful.

Secret Society Shawl

July5

Secret Society in Bare Naked Wools Mrs Lincolns Lace
I am thrilled to announce that I’ve released the “teaser” pattern for my new collection, Northern Landscapes. I’ve been working on these pieces for the past nine months and am excited to see the work nearing release.

You can purchase Secret Society either as an individual pattern for $7.50 or by pre-ordering the ebook. The ebook (a $75.00 value) is available for $24.95 until the rest of the patterns are released in mid-August, at which time the price for the ebook increases to $35.95.

Secret Society in Stone Soup Fingering

The patterns in the collection are also collated as a “set” in Ravelry. You can purchase individual patterns and these will be credited toward the cost of the ebook. Once you’ve spent $34.95 you will automatically receive the rest of the patterns from the collection in your library.

Purchase Secret Society:

Purchase Northern Landscapes, part one ebook:

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My Knitting Patterns


Audrey II



Angular Path Scarf



Cartouche Stole



Fossetta Cowl



Fossetta Hat



Sargaço Shawl



Whitman Hat



Every Which Way Cowl



Every Which Way Hat



Every Which Way Fingerless Mitts



Gothic Forest Scarf



Valencia Scarf



Branching Path Cowl



Flower Bell Stole



Whitman Cowl



New Tech Cowl



Vieux Carré Stole



Stacks Socks



Anna Perenna Shawlette



Taming of the Fox


Don't Ask Y

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Amplification Stole



Combs Cowl



Mindfulness Cowl



Tipsy Scarf



Gridwork Scarf
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