Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good Times With Friends

Monday evening I had fun visiting with author friends Debbie Macomber and Marie Bostwick. Debbie was on a book tour for her new book One Simple Act and we got to share what is going on with our lives and books. Both Debbie and Marie have books on the NYT bestseller list now.

I got to catch them up on what has been going on here. October was extremely busy here at Kanine Knits. It started with book signings at the Big E in Massachusetts. It was great meeting all the people who made a point to find all the authors in the Connecticut Authors & Publishers Assoc. booth in the Connecticut Building.

Next I was off to Torrington to be part of the WOW Forum celebrating the women of the world. It was a great chance to meet business women from all over Connecticut and connect as they discover the books and pattens. The speakers were excellent but it was the attendees that made the event more fun.

Then it was Stitches East in Hartford and three wonderful days meeting knitters from all over the east coast. Of course, not only did I meet all the dog lovers who enjoyed my books and
patterns but I also met with people who have cats who wanted to know when their book will be coming out. I am collecting photos from fanciers around the country that show off these cats and hopefully The Crafty Cats Knit will be out soon after Christmas
However, people who love cats weren’t the only ones looking for a book. When you raise llamas and alpacas, the beautiful soft yarn that comes from them gives knitters some wonderful colors. These colors need designs so, to gain inspiration, I went to photograph a herd of llamas last week and this week I’m off to do the same with alpacas. Then it will be constant designing.

I will also be bring out more dog breed patterns. I have created about 30 more but they all need the samples knit, so as each is finished, I will upload them to the Kanine Knits webpage
pattern list.

I am delighted that the newest book from Kanine Knits, The Crafty Poodle Knits has met with enthusiasm not only from visitors to Stitches East but from fanciers around the world.

Carol Burgers, Cape Town, South Africa commented

"This book is highly recommended ........ excellent, accurate and exciting poodle patterns for poodle lovers all over the world!!!! Thank you Peggy!!!!!!! :-)"

It's adorable! I love the pictures and designs. Thank you for a lovely book.
Jackie Castaldo, New York

I am really enjoying your book. I do not have time to knit a sweater but am going to do pockets and appliqué then on a store bought one. I have shown poodles for 30 years. I think your poodles are the most accurate/realistic poodles that that I have ever seen .Thank you for doing them. Pat Aloe-Stauber

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stitches Is Coming, Stitches Is Coming

in Hartford, CT
I'll be at my LYS's booth
The Yarn Garden LLC
booth #1014

Stitches East is only a little over a week away and I am really looking forward to it. I will be signing my books all three days in booth 1014 which belongs to my local yarn shop THE YARN GARDEN, LLC. in Meriden, Connecticut. I am looking forward to meeting all the dog lovers and talking about the books and patterns that I have as well as getting suggestions for what you want next.

I am working to add a bunch of new breeds to the collection of "Portraits of Dogs in Knitting" before Stitches. The designs are done but the samples have to be knit and photographed. So I am madly knitting.

Now that the Poodle book has joined the Samoyed, Lab, Golden, Berner, Newf and Corgi books, the next books that are being written are those for German Shepherds, Pugs, Shelties & Collies, Bichon and Boxers. The many designs for these are growing. However, I am taking a few weeks to get out and meet knitters before I disappear into my world of books again. If you have a favorite breed that you don't see on the Kanine Knits site, let me know.

So if you are going to be at Stitches East, come by the booth and say hello.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New Poodle Book to join
the Crafty Dog Knits series.

The Crafty Poodle Knits:
Knitting Projects for Dog Lovers
This is the latest book in
The Crafty Dog Knits
books series.

It is due out September 25, 2009.
20% OFF

click here to order
What do you get with this special knitting book? You get stories about Poodles including all the wonderful activities, such as retrieving, herding, agility, flyball, and much more. You also get 25 charted pictorial knitting designs of these Poodles doing all their favorite activities and you are not done because you also get 25 Knitting Patterns which include sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, afghans and more.
It's a Poodle Extravaganza!

I want to thank all the wonderful Poodle Fanciers who so generously shared photos of their dogs with me to add to the beauty of the book. These people who live all over the world have one thing in common and that is their love for Poodles.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A beautiful Afghan
will be auctioned off at the

Leo Fall Ball.

The Leonberger Club of Ontario will be holding their Leo Fall Ball. As part of this fundraiser they are auctioning off a very special afghan.

We are honored that the club has used the Kanine Knits' Leonberger Pattern from our "Portraits of Dogs in Knitting" series as the centerpiece for this absolutely beautiful piece of knitting.

The Leo Fall Ball Fundraiser will be held on September 26, 2009 from 10 am to 6 pm. at the Dogz Canine Sports Center, 3859 Carling Ave., Ottawa, Ontario CANADA. The afghan is part of a silent auction to help raise money for Leonberger Rescue Ontario. This is a great cause. I hope everyone in the area that can, will participate. For more information, click the link above.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

July post is a little late

I spent most of July having, what my surgeon referred to, as my first vacation in twenty years. But I can't kick because, in spite of the fact that I am still walking around still like an old lady, I found that I don't have cancer and that's a great thing.

So, I am back at work finishing up the Poodle book which will go on pre-sale in a couple of weeks. I have had fun making friends with Poodle owners around the world. These are very smart and versatile dogs that inspire design. The fact that they come in three sizes and a variety of both color and coat cut, made it fun.

Last week, I received in the mail, a video of a lecture I gave to the Soundview Knitting Guild in Trumbull, Connecticut. I spoke to them last January about how Kanine Knits got started, how the books began, how to read the patterns and about intarsia knitting. This is a wonderful group that is very large and active.

Since the video was 37 minutes long, I chopped it up into bite sized You Tube segments and put it on my webpage. So if you want to learn more about working these designs, my approach to intarsia and some finishing techniques, just click here and go to the page.

I love speaking to groups (it's the teacher in me) and when I meet one that is so interested and enthusiastic, it is a real treat. I hope you enjoy the talk.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Busy Week - Full of Books
"Autograph Anyone?"

The week has been filled with lots of exciting adventures as well as the day to day routines. To begin with, I approved the printing of The Crafty Welsh Corgi Knits - Pembroke and Cardigan. I had a lot of fun creating this book and it is dedicated to my late friend John Lang who was a longtime obedience club member and who had a amazing bond with his Pembroke Welsh Corgis over the years. John was always interested in forwarding the interest of the breed.

On Thursday, I stood in line with hundreds of others for the chance to meet Martha Stewart at the book signing for her new book Cupcakes at RJ Julia Bookstore. This is a wonderful shop in Madison, Connecticut. The line stretched the length of the block which gave me a chance to chat with those around me. I entertained my new friend, Joanne, by telling her all about Kanine Knits and the Crafty Dog Knits book series that I write. When I got to the front of the line, she took these photos. Martha autographed her book Cupcakes and then I showed her two of my Kanine Knits: Portraits of Dogs in Knitting patterns that showed her breeds. One pattern showed the Chow design I created that had been knit by Victoria Pettigrew of VIP Fibers using the hair spun from her own Paw Paw. She then checked out the Crafty Bernese Mt Dog Knits book of the series. She enjoyed it and was delighted with my concept of single breed knitting portrait books.

Saturday I was off to Greenwich Kennel Club to sign some autographs myself. It was fun sharing the tent with a bunch of very talented authors. I got to talk about my books and patterns, autograph and talk to exhibitors about future books. The Portuguese Water Dog group decided they definitely need a knitting book and some Poodle exhibitors said they would like to send me photos of their dogs for the book I'm working on now. It was a perfect day for showing with temperatures cool enough for the dogs and the sun out. This was a great place to show off my books as well as "talk the talk if not walk the walk" of showing that has been such a large part of my life for more than forty years.

Just to finish the weekend on a theme, I drove over to the Fabric Bug in Thomaston, CT to attend my friend Marie Bostwick's autograph session for her new novel The Thread of Truth. This is the second in her wonderful series that is based around a quilt shop in Connecticut so it was appropriate that she'd be signing books as quilters worked merrily away around her. The first book in the series, A Single Thread, introduced us to these strong interesting women and the challenges they face.

It was a wonderfully busy week with old friends and new. I look forward to what next week will hold.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Book from Kanine Knits!

The Crafty Welsh Corgi Knits
Pembroke and Cardigan

Due out on June 10, 2009

20% Pre-publication Discount Available till June 1st.

This book, like the others in the Crafty Dog Knits series, contains stories about the Welsh Corgis which inspired the 25 charted intarsia knitting designs which can be worked into 25 different patterns for sweaters, hats, scarves, afghans, etc. in sizes from infant to mens 2x. The book is filled with wonderful photographs of these dogs in action.

To learn more about the book and take advantage of the pre-publication discount that is ONLY good till June 1st, just click on the webpage

For those of you who might be attending, I'll be autographing my books at the
Greenwich Kennel Club Show
on June 6th at
Taylor Farm Park, Canfield Ave. & Calf Pasture Beach Blvd.

East Norwalk, CT
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Judging starts at 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Rain or Shine.
Come and say hi.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Congratulations "Bo" on your new home!

Today is the day that Portuguese Water Dog, "Bo", makes his official debut at the White House and becomes the First Family's dog. This six month old puppy, who was returned to his breeder, has now found a permanent home with a family that will love him. We hope he enjoys his new home.

The Portuguese Water Dog is a wonderful, playful, sporting breed that makes an excellent family pet. Their curly water-repellent coat softens the head and body that is classic to the sporting style. At Kanine Knits, the design is in the puppy or pet style rather than the Lion Cut that is used for adults in the show ring.

To view this pattern and those of over 100 other breeds, as well as the Crafty Dog Knits book series come to

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Meet a Friend & Fellow Author/Designer
Donna Druchunas

Donna and I recently got together to talk about her new book Ethnic Knitting Exploration - Lithuaina, Iceland and Ireland. I thought I'd share some of that conversation with you. Since I work in Intarsia and Donna works in Fairisle, I thought that you would enjoy the variety.

Peggy - " You call the book Ethnic Knitting Exploration. Why did you choose to use the term Exploration? "

Donna - "This is a three book series. The first book was called Discovery because it was a introduction into the world of ethnic knitting. The second book is Exploration because it provides more techniques for the knitter to go further and explore different sweater constructions and shapes. The last book will be Adventure, because it will go beyond traditional techniques into the adventure of modern ethnic knitting in different countries and it is my hopes that each knitter will depart on their own knitting adventures. "

Peggy - "How do patterns from Lithuania, Iceland and Ireland differ from those in other parts of the world such as South America and Asia? "

Donna - "In Iceland and Ireland, interesting shapes of sweaters have been made. The Icelandic yoke sweater is a seamless design that flows and drapes over the shoulders with no seam-lines to break up the patterning that is knitted on the yoke. It's a flattering design for many figure types, although it may not be appropriate for women with narrow shoulders. My favorite part of knitting yoke sweaters is that when knitted from the bottom up (as they are in Ethnic Knitting Exploration), you start with a large number of stitches after joining the front, back, and sleeves into one piece, and then you decrease several times, so you have fewer and fewer stitches and your knitting goes faster and faster until all that's left to knit is the neckband.

In Ireland, the Aran sweater developed as a variation of the Gansey that was knitted in the round with shoulder straps that separated the front and back of the body and added depth to the neckline. After time, knitters started working these designs back and forth in pieces, with saddles instead of straps. The saddle extends from the top of the sleeve to the neckline. The effect is similar to that of a strap, but the construction is completely different. This design works particularly well on Aran sweaters, because a cable panel that is worked up the center of the sleeve can be extended to the neckband, creating a very striking design feature.

In Lithuania sweaters were not knitted as part of the traditional costume, but they became popular, as they did in Western Europe and America, in the twentieth century. Raglan sweaters are similar, except the decreases are lined up so they create phony "seams" that break up the patterning. This can be used to advantage by those with narrow shoulders. By placing a horizontal band of patterning around the yoke on a raglan sweater, it can create the illusion that one's shoulders are wider. Normally the raglan design is the least flattering on those with narrow shoulders. The raglan shape was popular for Aran sweaters knitted in Ireland in the mid-twentieth century because the shape was easy and fast to make for production knitting. These Aran raglans were knitted flat in pieces and sewn together. The raglan shaping also became popular in Lithuania in the mid-twentieth century, although it is not tied to traditional pattern or texture stitches in that country.

I don't really know much about traditional sweater designs from Asia or South America, actually. In Japan, most knitting books tend to have modern, tailored sweater designs with shaped armholes and set-in sleeves. "

Peggy - "How did you decide which sweater shapes you would choose to teach your approach?"

Donna - "In the series, many shapes will be covered. But I started simple and each book gets a little more complicated. Discovery featured only drop shoulder and modified drop shoulder designs, so newer knitters could focus on the circular knitting and the basic construction of the garments. Exploration includes yoke, raglan, and saddle shoulder designs that result in sweaters that drape more naturally around the shoulders and that can be made with a more customized fit than a drop shoulder design. The third book will talk about more fitted garments. "

Peggy - "The book seems to go way beyond simple instructions to complete a sweater and more into empowering the knitter to use this information to create their own styles. Do you like to encourage designing in knitters? "

Donna - "I think it's empowering to be able to create your own designs. Not that we always have to do that! I enjoy knitting from other people's patterns as much as anyone. But even if you never plan to design your own garments, knowing about how garments should fit, how different types of stitches behave, how garment construction works gives you the ability to alter patterns to suit your own needs and to fit you perfectly. "

Peggy - " You recommend smooth yarn to show off the pattern designs, but do you have any favorites with which you like to work? "

Donna - "It's so hard to pick a favorite yarn! For fine-weight projects, I am currently in love with Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino. For medium-weight, there are so many yarns that I love. Here are a few classics that I've used over and over again:

Plymouth Suri Merino for it's soft hand and wonderful drape. Alpaca is not as springy as wool and texture patterns don't "pop" as much as with a more tightly spun yarn, but the results are still fabulous. And colorwork is just gorgeous.

Mission Falls 18/24 Wool is a great superwash alternative for colorwork. Superwash wool opens up a LOT when knitted in cable designs, so wash your swatch to see how the fabric reacts.

Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted because it's an inexpensive, basic yarn. It's a single, so the stitches look differently than they do when knitted with a plied yarn. I love this yarn for textured knitting. It's not as soft as merino or alpaca, however.

I hate to lists favorites though, because there are so many wonderful yarns on the market these days. I just love to swatch and try them all out! Trying new yarns is one of my favorite parts of the Exploration. "

Thursday, February 05, 2009

View a slide show of Kanine Knits Patterns!
and then visit the website to see them all.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Soundview Knitting Guild

What a wonderful time I had last evening when I traveled to Trumbull, Connecticut to speak to the Soundview Knitting Guild. This is a large group of knitters who gather monthly to work on their own projects and to do knitting for charity. They are very enthusiastic and were welcoming to me.

My talk, of course, was on how I create my portraits of dogs in knitting using intarsia. I was impressed by all the questions and the interest in the subject. There are a lot of dog lovers in this group.

One of the interesting parts of the evening was the fact that they arranged for my talked to be taped to be broadcast on Channel 17 in Trumbull and then for the video recording to be housed in the Trumbull Public Library to be viewed by members of the community who were unable to attend the meeting.

Soundview is quite a large group of dedicated members. I was made to feel very welcome and enjoyed sharing my love for designing and knitting. Many were interested in my books and patterns that I brought to the meeting and there was a push to have a knitting book for Pug lovers done quickly.

I hope to place a copy of the recording up on my website soon.

I want to thank all the members of the guild for making me feel so welcome.