Sunday, September 30, 2012

we have a winner!


My first giveaway is over. I had a wonderful response from current and new readers and I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad to announce that the winner of my first giveaway is.... *drum roll please*.....


Dawn G. is the winner of a pair of hand-knit slippers, a mug cozy, AD space, etsy store credit, professionally edited photos, and a Starbucks gift card! What a haul. 

A huge thanks to all my sponsors who have donated to this giveaway: Autumn Bee @ Gypsy Bee, Alyssa @ Sugar, Spice and a Dash of Advice, Meghan @, and Vicki @ The Domesticated Me.

Thank you all for participating. For all you new readers out there, thanks for joining me on my journey and I hope you enjoy reading about my crafting adventures!

All the best,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

september sponsor love


Can you believe September ends tomorrow? I certainly can't. The kiddies at school are very excited though. October is a very fun month at our school and I know I can't wait to see all of their ghoulish drawings and awesome costumes come at the end of the month. But that's at school. Here at the blog, the end of September marks the end of my first big month. I mentioned it in an earlier post (the one about my super cool GIVEAWAY... which ends tomorrow!) that September has been so amazing for me in terms of support, both from readers and the lovely sponsors I have met since offering advertising space on the blog. A girl can't be more grateful. From twitter mentions, giveaway prizes to constant support, these ladies have made September an amazing first month blogging. Thank you ladies for sharing this month with me! 


I'd love to help other bloggers reach out to my readers as well. If you'd like to sponsor The Rural Knitter in October, there are still spaces available! Check out my sponsor page. There are four different ad options and hopefully one appeals to you. I offer FREE button swap space for smaller buttons but if you'd like to swap ads of a similar size, please email me. I'd be more than happy to give you a promo code for a bigger space. 

Here's to bigger and better things in October!!

PS. Don't forget to check out my GIVEAWAY. It ends tomorrow! Enter for your chance to win ad space, gift cards, etsy store credit and handmade knit items from moi!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my etsy shop is open!

I've been a bit asbsent from the blog the past few days. That's because I've been very busy taking pictures, figuring out shop policies and working up ads for my very own ETSY SHOP! I'm terribly excited for this next step. I've had friends and family asking for custom made items since I started knitting seriously last fall, but this seems like the smartest next step for me. An etsy store gives me the opportunity to reach more individuals, to highlight my pieces in one place and to act as a catalogue.
Currently I'm working on adding more items to the shop each day. So far I've listed hats that I have already made which are ready to order and there are also custom listings for slippers, mug cozies, and cabled cowls. There are even swatches of available colours on each listing to help you see all the options to choose from.
I'd love it if you checked it out. Click the link below to see all my current listing.
 I'm so happy to be able to share my work with all of you.
Snapshots of the Shop


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Outport photo shoot

A few days ago I mentioned that I modelled for my cousin in a photo shoot. I've seen a preview of a few of the pictures but last night I got to see the final shots. I have to tell you, I'm thrilled with the result. I really wanted the chance to get some professional photos of the hats I've knitted lately and these are above and beyond what I expected. The hat I'm wearing is the hat Gwen Stacy (aka Emma Stone) wore in The Amazing Spiderman. I finished it last week and my sister is wearing the slouchy version of the Seed Beret that I made for her for her birthday. 

My sis, cousin and I went out to my grandparent's old place in Webbers and took a few props with us and we had an amazing time. The scenery there is breathtaking and I'm so glad this could be the background for the shots. Isn't Newfoundland just gorgeous?!

A HUGE thank you to my cousin Stephanie J. for taking this beautiful shots!

While I don't get there often, this is one of my favourite places in Newfoundland. The cliffs remind me of Ireland and looking in at the harbour of Lawn is a spectacular view. Webbers also has a very rich history and is tied to a very memorable naval disaster that occurred in 1942 when the USS Truxton and USS Pollux ran aground here. It is also a site of Resettlement. My grandparents and all other families living here in the late 1950's were told to move their houses to a larger nearby town or they would not get access to the same amenities as these 'growth centres'. So with the money the government gave them, my grandparents put their small salt box house on a flat-bed truck and drove the house down the harbour to place her on a piece of land in Lawn, NL. In many other outport town in the province however, houses were floated across the water and into the harbour by boat. 

This is one of the most iconic pictures that captures 'resettlement' in Newfoundland. 

It is history and culture like this that makes me so happy that I moved to this wonderful province as a teenager. If I hadn't, I would have been missing out on so much of my family's heritage, I believe.

Want to win some amazing prizes? How about hand knit slippers? What about gift cards? Or Etsy store credit? Check out my very 1st giveaway by clicking the image below!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

My first giveaway!


I'm so excited. I finally get to host my first giveaway.While the blog has been up and running for a number of months, I've been blogging seriously for almost a month now, so I'm thrilled to be hosting my first giveaway as a way to celebrate my first big month. September has brought so many good things my way and I'm very grateful. I have new followers, and sponsors who are AMAZING and I've almost reached 10,000 views! Isn't that awesome?! That's a big deal for a small town girl like me who never would have thought anyone would want to keep up with what I do. So to celebrate I'm offering some great goodies to those of you that love knitting, vintage, coffee, professional photo editing and blogging.

Autumn from Gypsy Bee
Blog | Shop | Pinterest | Twitter

What's up for grabs from Autumn? A $10 credit to her Etsy shop!
Hello Darlings, I'm Autumn Bee, blogger from The Busy Bee and shop owner of Gypsybeee Vintage! I'm a wife, vintage hoarder, home maker, amateur chef, and stay at home mommy to two littles. On my blog you can find all things vintage (mostly focusing on mid century goodness), recipes, DIY projects, and all kids of other random things that inspire me. Come on over and say hello!

Alyssa from Sugar, Spice and A Dash of Advice
What's up for grabs from Alyssa? A $5 Starbucks e-gift card!
Hi everyone! I'm Alyssa and I blog over at Sugar, Spice, and a Dash of Advice. I write about everything in my life from baking to beauty to real life issues, and everything in between! I love to write about things that bring bits of happiness into my life. I love making new friends so come visit me sometime soon!

Meghan from
     Blog | Facebook

What's up for grabs from Meghan? 1 month large AD space and 5 professionally edited photos of winner's choice.
Hello friends! My name is Meghan and I blog over at I am a Celiac who loves to get creative in the kitchen. I'm a health nut and am always soaking up ways to live a healthier, simpler and more peaceful life. There are several things that make my heart happy: Jesus, my husband, our dog Dakota, photography,playing outside,creating things and traveling! I'd love for you to come over and pay me a visit. Say hi and stay a while! 

Vicki from The Domesticated Me
Blog | Facebook | 
What's up for grabs from Vicki? 6 months of advertising on my blog with a 250x250 ad. This includes a monthly feature post about their blog/shop whatever they would like me to feature.

I'm Vicki. I live in a small country town in Australia with my completely amazing daughter (we shall call her Monkey). We are both obsessed with all things DIY and crafty. If you ever visited us you would our dining room table is always messy with our latest project. A couple of years ago we moved from the city to the country. I have to say that it's the best thing I have ever done. Life in the country is so different. Moving to the country somehow kick-started what I like to call my "Betty Crocker" phase (code for: I love to bake).

Ever since I was kid I have always loved home renovating, but we live in a rental (houses are expensive) and so I'm pretty limited in what we can do. Thankfully I have some awesome landlords who have allowed me to paint (they even paid for it!), and so room by room we are giving our place a "cosmetic"
makeover. I sell things from around the house that we no longer need or use, and we put that money into new things to decorate the house with. (yes I am a frugal mum as well!)

And finally, what am I giving away? 
I'm giving away a hand knit pair of Eyelet slippers, a mug cozy (both in a colour of your choosing!) AND Large Ad space on The Rural Knitter for 2 months! 

So let's get to it. 
- Complete all the entries to get as many chances to win as possible and show support to my blogging friends.
- The giveaway ends on Sunday, Sept. 30th at midnight.
- Please be honest with your entries. I'm going to look into all follows before picking the winner. 
- One winner takes all!!

A huge thanks to my sponsors and those of you who have participated in this giveaway!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend Giveaway Excitement


Exciting things await you this weekend. Tomorrow marks my first full month at serious blogging and to celebrate I'll be hosting my very first giveaway! I'm quite excited. I hope you enjoy all the prizes and share the love by entering and visiting my lovely sponsors and giveaway participants.

On a similar note, one of those lovely sponsors, Vicki from The Domesticated Me, is hosting her own giveaway that I'm involved with.  Click the banner below to see what I'm giving away!

Stay tuned followers. A big giveaway awaits and I'll finally get to share some of the amazing shots from the photoshoot I was in this weekend past.

Exciting things to come!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

teacups and bears


I finished Henri. It took me forever, but I finished. It took me so long because I am terrible at sewing, but I'm very happy with my newest little teddy bear. I'd love to try this project again so I could work on my sewing techniques, however. How ever do you sew a leg onto a body without a huge seam? I couldn't wrap my head around it. 

But, as long as you don't turn Henri around, he's quite adorable. Great for a first try if I do say so myself.

Now to find my next project. Maybe another plush toy?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Henri, the one-armed bear


I recently fell in love with an adorable teddy bear pattern and I had to pull out some scrap yarn and start it right away. I had never knit a toy before, so Henri is my first attempt. He's not even done. I think he's so cute that I had to share it with you mid-project.

Henri is one-armed at the moment, and completely legless, but isn't he the sweetest? If you want to check out the pattern and try it for yourself, you can find it here

Tonight I've been spending the evening getting well aquainted with my couch and Netflix. I just discovered the very amazing British TV show Misfits and I can't get enough. I'm also counting down the hours until the season premiere of Bones. I love TV season!

Are you looking forward to the return of your favourite show? Which one?

Sunday, September 16, 2012



It's been a great weekend. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my sister and extremely talented cousin, Stephanie, partaking in a photo shoot of some of my most recent knitted hats. We went out to my grandparent's land in Webbers and got to model in the grass, overlooking the cliffs. I've had a chance to see them now and they are so lovely! I can't wait to share them with you. 

And today is my sister's birthday! She's 24 today and we had a family BBQ for her last night at my grandmother's house. I love a nice family gathering.

Happy birthday, sister!

Friday, September 14, 2012

An exciting announcement!


What a great day today is. Here in Newfoundland the sun is shining brightly and its quite warm out for the middle of September. As a teacher, these are things that make our days even better. Well, that and coffee. I'm quite addicted to the stuff again (I normally take the summer off from coffee drinking and stick to colder drinks) and that morning routine of standing in line at Tim Horton's seems to set everything right before I step into school. Even the smell of caffeine brightens my spirits these days.

On another, non-caffeine note, I have an exciting announcement to make. I'm participating in my very first giveaway, right this very minute! The lovely Alyssa over at Sugar, Spice, and a Dash of Advice has started the giveaway on her blog and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. Head over to the site to see what I'm giving away and get your chance to enter.

Also, if you haven't had the chance to yet, check out the new idea board on Tumblr. I'll be filling it with lovely pictures in the coming days. You can find it HERE.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An idea board...


I've been absolutely inspired. During a evening of pinterest perusing, I stumbled along a beautiful Tumblr theme and just had to start an idea board with. I collect pictures I think are beautiful and inspiring, so I thought this would be a great way of sharing those with you, without bombarding the blog. Of course I'll still be sharing my favourites here though.

So if you're a part of the Tumblr community, or just love beautiful pictures of a little bit of everything, come share the love at The Rural Knitter's Idea Board.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interview with a Designer: Nikki Van De Car


I'm a knitwear designer wannabe. I'd love to be able to design my own patterns and create something other people can make. So when I discovered some wonderful new designs on Ravelry from designer Nikki Van De Car, I just had to find out what her inspiration for designing was (and if she had any tips for those of us who want to walk in her shoes). She's been designing the most adorable clothes for newborns and toddlers and I can't wait to knit some of these garments for all the babies people keep having around here.

Nikki Van De Car was born in Hawaii and now lives in New Jersey. Her blog, What To Knit When You're Expecting, chronicles her day-to-day life with her daughter Maile and all the crawling, teething and knitting that goes on. She also has a significant following on Ravelry. Her book, What To Knit When You're Expecting is named after and based on the blog, and is a collection of 27 knitting patterns for babies ages 0-12 months.

What’s your name?  Nikki Van De Car 

Where are you from? I’m originally from Volcano, on the Big Island of Hawaii, but I’m now living in Jersey City, New Jersey. 

How long have you been designing knitwear? I designed my first pattern, Autumn Leaves, in 2008, as a gift for a friend’s baby, and I continued to dabble in designing for a couple of years after before really diving in. 

What made you want to start designing? I think I saw it as the next obvious challenge—I taught myself various different knitting techniques through trial and error (though colorwork scared me for a long time!) and I wanted to see if I could design, too. There’s also something extra special about giving somebody that you have not only knit for them, but have designed specifically for them. 

What inspires or influences the pieces you design? I draw a lot of inspiration from place—Hawaii, most often, but also from people. My Maile Sweater pattern, for instance, is named after a vine that is worn traditionally as a lei, but it also happens to be my daughter’s name, and I designed the sweater for her when she was two months old. For my book, I continued to think about children I know—nieces, nephews, the children of friends—and I designed sweaters specifically for them. 

What is the most fun and most challenging aspects of pattern design? Oh, lord, the math. There is knitting software that I could buy and use, but I’m afraid that it might make me a little less creative (I would also feel like maybe the program was designing instead of me—I live in fear of The Matrix). On the other hand, it might keep me from making so many mistakes! I am not very good with math, and so often I have to turn to my husband for help—I’ll sketch a diagram and have him help me fill in the blanks. 

What yarn do you prefer to knit with? Oh my, how to choose. I love Malabrigo Worsted, I love anything by Madelinetosh, a lot of Rowan (though they keep canceling my favorites!) I also really like a lot of Knitpicks yarns. 

Do you look up to any other designers? Who doesn’t want to be Kim Hargreaves when they grow up? I also love Kate Davies, Ysolda Teague, Heidi Kirrmaier, Anna and Heidi Pickles…the list goes on and on. 

When did you first fall in love with knitting? I was taught to knit by the owner of a shop I worked at in college—Shar Jacobsen was sort of knitting guru in town, and her teaching methods were very hands-off. She taught me to cast on, she taught me to knit, purl, and cast-off, and then she left me to it. My first project was a little dog blanket that I kept accidentally increasing—it was extremely lopsided. 

What is your favorite type of project to knit? Somebody else’s design! I love knitting my own designs, but sometimes it’s nice to let somebody else drive the car for a while—and I always learn something new. 

What’s on your needles right now? Now that Maile’s almost three, I’m working on a bunch of toddler-sized sweaters. I also have a Paper Dolls languishing in a closet somewhere that I really want to finish. 

Do you do any other crafty things in your spare time? I would love to learn to spin! But I haven’t been able to tackle it. I’d also love to sew, to quilt...someday. 

Any advice for new or aspiring designers? Well, this is what worked for me: start with free patterns. My learning curve was a bit high, and there were a number of things I would have gone back and done differently with some early designs (and I got to!) But knitters can be very forgiving if your pattern is free, and they’re happy to give feedback—and it’s a good way to build an audience. Who doesn’t like free?

What’s coming up for you that you’re most proud of (or that you’d like to highlight)? In case I didn’t mention it earlier, I have a book! What To Knit When You’re Expecting is a collection of 27 patterns for babies ages 0-12 months. The patterns range from first trimester projects (which are moderately advanced, since there are months to finish) to second trimester (when most parents can determine the baby’s gender and prepare for a boy or girl), to third trimester quickies, when time is short. It’s available in the UK here and will be coming out in the US in October. There will also be editions coming out in Finland, France, and a French Canadian edition as well, though I’m not sure when exactly those will be available.

Thanks, Nikki! All the best luck in the upcoming book launch. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! 

You can find Nikki on RAVELRY and at her blog What To Knit When You're Expecting

So, what do you think? If you're a knitwear designer, do you have any advice for knitters who aspire to design? If you're in my shoes, what do you think of Nikki's advice?          

I dream in floral

Yesterday I shared some amazing (and one quite frightful) vintage patterns with you from Mary Maxim. When I went back to look further through the lot, I found a beautiful cover for a Bernat magazine/catalogue that I thought I'd share with you as well. I'm a massive fan of anything foloral and this reminds me of my grandmother and Cath Kidston.

I love the white, offset by the floral wallpaper and the pink of the afghan. This just really embraces the feel of the 60's for me.

On another note, I have something exciting to post for you later this afternoon. I recently did an interview with a knitwear designer and I'll be sharing that with you in a few hours. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vintage pattern finds


All your positive thinking has paid off. Hurricane Leslie has left us unscathed here in my hometown and I couldn't be happier. I was lucky to have the day off work because of the storm and while Leslie was quite ferocious in the wee hours of the morning, by the time I awoke, the sun was shining. Thanks to all of you who sent positive thoughts our way. I like to think they really made a difference. 

On a different note, while my sister and I have were relaxing this afternoon, watching Modern Family, I decided to go through a stack of vintage patterns and magazines I was given by a fellow knitter some weeks ago. Oh boy, what fun I had! Most of them were from the 60s and 70s and I was in my glee seeing what was in style at that time. Especially amusing were the Canadiana themed jackets that I will share with you below. 

I think this pattern is especially awe-worthy. Who else thinks this was originally knit for Hitler? 

I want a sweater like this for myself so every week can be Shark Week.

Is there a correlation between Rockets and assault rifles? I didn't think so until now.

And finally, I leave you with the scariest knitted sweater ever created. I think Phil Dunphy would agree. I apologize if you wore something similar as a child.

For me, I'm going back into the pile. Hopefully I can find some more patterns to share with you tomorrow. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

There's a storm a-brewin'

Dear friends,

It's been quite the hectic day here. I got an early morning call for a substitute day (yay!) and spent the day teaching Art at my favourite school. Work wise, it was a great day. However, there is a storm brewing in the Atlantic ocean and it has most of us here in on the peninsula very shaken up.

In just a few short hours Hurricane Leslie is expected to hit us directly. Packing wind of 120 km/h and a warning of 70-100mm of rain, things will not be pretty in my hometown for the next day or two.

Hurricanes don't hit here often. By the time they reach this little neck of the woods (the northern most shores of the Atlantic ocean), hurricanes have normally downgraded to Tropical storms or tropical depressions and their wind and rain is nothing unlike what we see every few weeks. But in 2010, Hurricane Igor struck the peninsula with so much force that it washed out the main roads here in 5 different places, stranding us from the rest of the island of Newfoundland. 129mm of rain fell in 8 hours and while some families struggled to bail out their homes, some struggled to reach each other.

[NOTE: There is some foul language in this video. I post it only to highlight how the hurricane affected the area of Newfoundland where I live.]

No one expected Igor. No one was prepared. The peninsula ran out of gasoline and we soon ran out of certain provisions such as milk. With one road connecting us to the rest of the island, it was impossible to get trucks here with food. A few days after the hurricane, the government was forced to send a boat with provisions to provide us with the goods we needed until the highway could be fixed.

An image of the dam overflowing in my grandmother's community of Lawn, Newfoundland in Sept. 2010. Photo found on

And this all could happen again tomorrow. Needless to say, I'm a little stressed out.

I just got home from the grocery store and it was complete madness. All the water was completely sold out. With better warning of what is coming, everyone is better prepared this time. But the panic is new.
As I drove home from the store, the gas station I passed was full, with a line of cars backed up down the street, hoping to get gas before Leslie hit. I am very thankful I had a full tank already.

And now I'm getting ready to prepare the house. With winds in excess of 120km/h the big worry with this storm is not washed out roads, but falling trees and flying debris, so we need to get everything out of the garden and off the deck before the wind picks up. Losing power is also a serious worry. Luckily my sister (who has recently moved home) has emergency preparedness training so she has everything under control. The only thing we are worried about in this household now is the force of mother nature.

So, if you're reading this, please think positive thoughts for us here tonight. We may not have it as bad as we did two years ago, but any good thoughts can't hurt.

I'll post again soon and let you know how we all fair, given that I have power and internet access.