Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall Wrapped Up designer Debbie Swartzel and JBW's First Yarn Giveaway!


Do Something Creative Every Day

Those five words are on the wall above my desk reminding me that there’s more to life than groceries and laundry. Cross stitch, sewing, scrapbooking, stamping. These are just a few of the creative hobbies I’ve had and amazingly each of them prepared me for knitting. Cross stitch taught me to have an even tension, sewing an understanding of garment construction; scrapbooking and stamping introduced me to creating my own pleasing visual design with color, texture and placement. I’ve sold my stamps, have a cross stitch piece that’s been hibernating for years and my sewing machine is buried in the basement doomed to begrudgingly make its annual appearance when I can’t come up with a way to avoid it. Scrapbooking-I still scrapbook but it’s all digital today. No fuss, no muss and there are always enough “S” stickers!

In 2003, at the urging of a couple of friends I took the required private lesson and first six week class. I came home from my private lesson able to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off and I was in heaven. I immediately fell needle, yarn and marker for knitting. I just couldn’t put my needles down. My kids quickly tired of me saying, " just let me finish this row".

Fast forward to 2010 and a simple email from a friend: March looks like a long month at school, want to plan a play date? She wanted to take me to visit a yarn store where her good friend worked. Who could resist such an invitation? At Close Knit Knittery (sadly now closed) I met Teri, friend of my friend Deb, and Shari, the store owner. Teri had started designing and knitting felted messenger bags and I was duly impressed and inspired. A couple of years before I had purchased a similar garment to Fall Wrapped Up at a local outlet and I’d had nothing but complements. I searched the internet to no avail, I could not find a pattern for a wrap like the one I so adored. So now with a little inspiration from Teri, and encouragement from Deb, I set off to figure this darn thing out.

The trip to Close Knit Knittery inspired something else: the desire to knit in community. All these years I’d primarily knit at home, in the car (with my husband driving) at dance competitions and soccer tournaments and even a time or two on the beach, but never with other knitters. That same afternoon, I came home and searched for local knitting groups and to my surprise there was a group meeting that night at a coffee shop just a few miles from home and I got up the courage to go. There were just three of us that night but I felt welcomed and immediately enjoyed the company of these other ladies who loved yarn as much as I did and returned regularly through the spring and early summer.

After completing a project with a deadline I immersed myself in developing this pattern. This took some collaboration with some people on Ravelry, reading about various techniques and editing and reediting a chart on Excel. As soon as there was something on paper that seemed like it would work, I cast on. And frogged and cast on again. Thankfully, like childbirth the pain of these false starts faded quickly. My new friends at the coffee shop urged me to submit the pattern on Ravelry or Knitty.com and I started looking into it, downloading a template and reformatting it.

So how does someone from North Carolina come to be a fan of Jimmy Beans Wool? A native Californian, I’ve loved Jimmy Beans Wool since I visited their Truckee, California store with my mom shortly after I started knitting and both of us grieved its loss though a highlight of our last family visit to the Lake Tahoe area was a road trip to Reno to visit the original JBW in person.

About the time I was trying to figure out how to market my pattern, Jimmy Beans sent their June newsletter announcing the Landscape Collection pattern contest. When I saw that announcement, I just knew that this was the venue for my debut pattern so I sent a picture and description of my original which was a light worsted weight and waited to see what might happen. The timing almost made me wait for another time as there wasn’t much time from the announcement until the schematics were due, and I knew that if I was selected as a finalist I’d lose a lot of knitting time as we were leaving on vacation the day after the finalists were to be announced. But every once in a while you just have to go for broke and see what happens. I’m glad I did. We returned from vacation to a box full of beautiful yarn and after working out gauge and adjusting the pattern for this luxurious chunky alpaca yarn I giddily started knitting.

I have to say that I have been honored to have been chosen as a finalist for JBW’s first pattern contest. I pray that I will not be a one shot wonder but will add other designs that knitters will enjoy. One plug for my pattern, all I can say is that no matter how hard we tried the photos really do not do this garment justice. In this case the thousand words may be worth more than the photo. I hope that knitting this will bring you and whoever wears it much pleasure. May you do something creative every day, too!

Bio: Debbie began knitting in 2003 and began modifying patterns almost immediately. Fall Wrapped Up is Debbie’s first original pattern though there are other designs swirling around inside her head waiting patiently for her to find the time to develop them. Debbie lives on the shores of Lake Norman in North Carolina with her husband and two children on the verge of emptying the nest. A preschool director by day, knitting is her refuge, her therapy and her daily creative outlet.

In honor of Debbie's wonderful pattern (which is available free on the Jimmy Beans Wool website) we are giving away 6 beautiful hanks of the Misti Alpaca Landscape Collection yarn in the color of your choice. Coincidentally, this is just enough to complete Debbie's creative design!

To enter the contest, leave a comment (only one per person!) between now and November 28th at 2 pm PST. Using a random number generator we will pick a post and that person will win the 6 hanks of Landscape Collection yarn. Jeanne will be announcing the winner Monday November 29th here on the blog, so check back in to see if you are the lucky winner!!!

200 comments:

  1. Wow! What a great giveaway :)
    railyuh@gmail.com

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  2. How generous! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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  3. Beautiful pattern, and beautiful yarn! Happy Holidays!

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  4. I love this blog! I want to teach myself to knit. Your wrap is gorgeous!

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  5. Adore this yarn and, as it is my birthday on the 28th, would love to have it!

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  6. What a wonderful giveaway thank you so much

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  7. Fantastic Giveaway. Good luck to all...

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  8. Your pattern is really nice. I hope I win because I'm definitely making it. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Happy Thanksgiving!

    rdejam@ij.net

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  9. What a lovely thing to do at Thanksgiving!

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  10. What a great giveaway. Happy Thanksgiving. And thanks for the beautiful pattern and story!!!

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  11. Another fantastic yarn from Misti Alpaca! Their colors are so beautiful too! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. What a fabulous give away! Love the story too, gives hope to all of us who wish too start designing.

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  13. From one North Carolinian to another - beautiful design! I can't wait to see what you do next!

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  14. Fabulous JOB! love the pattern and love the yarn too!

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  15. I have learned being creative every day can mean making something creative, but it can also include thinking about your every day tasks differently. Creativity comes in many forms - and those who are creative see the world in an "outside the box" kind of way.

    Thanks Jimmy Beans for helping with one of my creative addictions.

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  16. Happy Thanksgiving to the best online yarn retailer I know of. What an awesome giveaway!

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  17. I love the pattern AND the story. Knitting stories are always encouraging, inspiring!

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  18. Thank you for the pattern and for reminding us how important it is to be creative, and think creatively, every day.

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  19. Absolutely beautiful yarn in both look and feel :-)

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  20. This is a great pattern, so happy/ proud of Debbie. Can't wait to go back to the coffee shop after the holidays.

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  21. I would love to win 6 hanks of Misti Alpaca Landscape Collection!

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  22. What a lovely story to read! Thanks for sharing it!

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  23. What a great giveaway! More please! Happy Thanksgiving to all you knutty knitters.

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  24. What a great way to promote a beautiful pattern and great yarn.

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  25. Love the shawl. Winning yarn is always a very good thing.

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  26. That's really pretty and a wonderful story. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  27. Love the colorways! And love the chance to win some free yarn!

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  28. I adore Misti Alpaca, but have never seen this subgroup: can't wait.

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  29. Jimmy Beans is my absolute favorite yarn store. I wish I could visit in person.

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  30. I love your blog!! Misti Alpaca is one of my favorites! Keeping my fingers crossed!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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  31. Beautiful wrap! Would be perfect to wear to my son's wedding rehearsal and dinner!

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  32. This is such a lovely wrap, it looks so cosy and warm (and the yarn is just beautiful). Congratulations on your great design!

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  33. Lovely design, beautiful yarn, great giveaway! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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  34. Even if I can't give much time to creativity right now, I try to sneak in a few stitches as it gives me grounding and balance.

    Lovely design! Lovely yarn!

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  35. Love the story and love this yarn! Have a terrific holiday!!! I'll miss Movie Madness days!

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  36. Great post and beautiful yarn!

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  37. What a great story and pattern and yarn combination works wonderfully together.

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  38. That yarn and wrap are beautiful.

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  39. beautiful pattern!! very inspiring beginning.. thank you :)

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  40. Just beautiful. I would love to be able to make that!

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  41. So beautiful! Another thing to be thankful for during this season.

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  42. This is such a great give away. I love Misti Alpaca!

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  43. What a gorgeous wrap! Thanks for the opportunity to win the yarn to make it! Happy Thanskgiving!

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  44. This wrap is so pretty and it looks WARM! I LOOOOVE the Landscape Collection (my latest project uses it)...

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  45. Wonderful idea, gorgeous wrap, thanks for the opportunity, Eileen

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  46. I love the softness of alpaca and the Landscape Collection is gorgeous. Thanks for the contest.

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  47. Enjoyed Debbie on the yesterday's Movie Madness chat. This article added more depth. I love the Landscape and have a color all picked out!

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  48. wow how very generous- great story I am inspired to create every day . sandy

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  49. woohoo! certainly would make a wonderful Christmas knit! :)

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  50. What a great idea for a great yarn and pattern. Count me in! Thank you, Lisa

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  51. Wow! This yarn is fantastic, I want some more to work with :)

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  52. What a wonderful giveaway! I have one skein of this beautiful stuff, and its AMAZING!!!!!

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  53. Great yarn great giveaway, hope I win :)

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  54. There's nothing I enjoy more than knitting, unless it's knitting with free yarn! ;o) Thanks for a fabulous giveaway!

    Sandie
    zaftig2k at yahoo dot com
    http://zaftigdelights.blogspot.com

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  55. this is so pretty. and what a great give away!

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  56. Beautiful wrap. Seems very cozy

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  57. As a novice, but obsessed knitter, Debbie's story is inspirational. I would love to win some of this lovely yarn to try out!

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  58. Beautiful shawlette, Debbie! I'd love to win enough yarn to make it!

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  59. I too have a cross-stitch pattern in long-term hibernation.

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  60. This is a lovely gift to the winner during this hectic holiday season! Good luck everyone!!

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  61. I would be so happy to win this giveaway. The design is beautiful, and the yarn looks so yummy.

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  62. Ooh, that would be so nice! I made a cowl out of this recently, and it's not only beautiful but oh so soft! Yippee, maybe I'll win!

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  63. Love it!

    kristinfitzgerald on Ravelry

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  64. What an inspiring story! I've been toying with the idea of designing something someday... You just added fuel to the fire.

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  65. A very thoughtful give-away!

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  66. Congratulations on the pattern and the yarn is beautiful.

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  67. What a great give-away! I love Misty Alpaka! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm posting from my phone and hope this works;-) Anniebelle

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  68. What an inspiration for all of us! I have to get off the net and get knitting!

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  69. The landscape colors are beautiful, I'm more worried about picking a color! Can't wait to make the wrap.

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  70. Love the colors in this collection.

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  71. What a lovely shawl! Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

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  72. gorgeous pattern and yummy yarn! thanks for this generous giveaway!

    - Eliana -

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  73. Beautiful. Would love to win!!

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  74. Already downloaded the pattern, I'm ready and waiting for the yarn!

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  75. Misti Alpaca is beautiful and so soft-love the feel of it.

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  76. This yarn is GORGEOUS - I'm going to go download the pattern! LOVE Jimmy Beans Wool!!!

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  77. So generous of you, yes count me in!

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  78. gorgeous pattern! count me in for the giveaway!
    casey

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  79. Awesome giveaway! This yarn is amazing!

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  80. What a beautiful pattern and the yarn is perfect. You have a real talent for putting together a variegated yarn with a pattern that really shows off the yarn. Congratulations!

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  81. Congrats, Debbie, on your first of many patterns! I really enjoyed your story :)

    And please enter me in this awesome contest!

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  82. Gorgeous yarn. I love giveaways!

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  83. I'd love to win some yarn, please!

    Jennifer
    tbowen1 at nc.rr.com

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  84. Lovely pattern, Happy Holidays

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  85. The pattern is really lovely and you certainly can't go wrong with Misti Alpaca! Happy Holidays!

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  86. Great Contest and Happy Holidays

    R_Z_T@msn.com

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  87. I'd love to win the gorgeous yarn.

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  88. Beautiful yarn and interesting pattern!

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  89. Fabulous colors that I'd love to knit!

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  90. Happy Holidays! Great post. Thanks

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  91. Great pattern, wonderful yarn!! Enter me to win, please!

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  92. Betty H in Plano, TXNovember 27, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Cool story. Love contests.

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  93. Beautiful pattern that works up wonderfully in that yarn! What an honor for the designer. Love the backstory to the design and the desiger!

    Janet
    Dallas, TX

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  94. Beautiful yarn! Please enter me to win. Thanks!

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  95. What an inspiring story - perhaps I'll give designing a go one day too!

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  96. What a great giveaway! I hope I'm the lucky duck!!! :-)

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  97. We are all lucky that so many creative, talented people are drawn to knitting.

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  98. Awesome giveaway :) enter me please!

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  99. Inspiring story. Thanks for the giveaway. Nkzmom@gmail.com

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  100. This is a kind and generous offer. Good luck to everyone.

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  101. Very nice. Knitting is my therapy as well.

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  102. Would love to see this up close - it looks gorgeous!

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  103. Would LOVE to have this! The Yarn is Gorgeous!!!! :)

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  104. Beautiful pattern and lovely yarn! Happy Holidays!

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  105. Thank you for sharing this story. It is very inspirational to hear about someone who has taken the plunge into designing their own patterns.

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  106. Inspiring story - and beautiful yarn.

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  107. I love this pattern and look forward to using your yarn to knit it.

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  108. Wow, gorgeous yarn, great giveaway! Keeping fingers crossed ...

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  109. Ooh, gorgeous yarn and lovely pattern!

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  110. What a great giveaway--good luck to y'all!

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  111. Alpaca yarn is my favorite! It's so silky-soft and warm :D

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  112. Amazing, lovely yarn! I felt much the same way when I started knitting, although I lack the knowledge for garment construction. :)

    nirathom@indiana.edu

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  113. Congratulations on getting your pattern published, Jeanne!

    It's lovely! :)

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  114. Super fun give-away!
    archercrafts@gmail.com

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  115. Lovely, lovely stuff. I'd take it if I get picked!

    xx

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  116. Amazing giveaway!

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  117. Very pretty! Would love one in Amity Island or Big Whiskey. :) Thanks for the opportunity!

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  118. Wow! Thank you and Happy Holidays to everyone! :)

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  119. Yipes! I definitely meant Debbie, not Jeanne. My apologies!

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  120. Oh I want to win this! really bad! LOL!!! pick me! memememememe! lol!

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  121. Great pattern and awesome yarn!

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  122. Great story and great giveaway!

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  123. Beautiful yarn - I hope I win!

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  124. Would look lovely in Endor Moon I'm thinking!

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  125. How could I resist such a temptation?
    Consider me entered. Love the wrap.

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  126. love your wrap--and the yarn! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  127. What a great giveaway idea! And what lovely yarn! Hope you had some happy holidays :)

    LauraMB42@yahoo.com

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  128. What a great pattern! Thanks for the giveaway chance, too!

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  129. It is beautiful! Congratulations on the lovely design :)

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  130. I'd love to win. I'm just getting back into knitting after a year-long hiatus due to an very intense schedule.

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  131. Great giveaway, thanks!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

    winterharp (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  132. Gorgeous yarn! The only problem winning would be deciding what to knit!

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  133. Great stuff. Have my fingers crossed!

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  134. what a great idea! Good luck everyone!!

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  135. I LOVE alpaca! Thanks for the offer! doverath at yahoo.com

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  136. Lovely! And how sweet of you to be giving some away!

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  137. What beautiful yarn and great pattern. It would be hard to choose!

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  138. Please pick me... even though I am currently on a sock mission I could do a wrap mission next.

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  139. Please count me in - this yarn looks yummy!

    esea, Ravelry

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  140. Free yarn is like free books, you can lose!

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  141. The wrap and the yarn are beautiful!

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  142. Great inspiration. Do something creative every day. I should hang that up on my wall somewhere. Thank you for sharing.

    joyiers@yahoo.com

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  143. michelle at caperkayleeATgmailDOTcomNovember 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    i couldn't agree more about the way one's life activities inform each other. keep weaving them together in interesting ways.

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  144. I love watching the video reviews that the ladies do on JBW... makes it so much easier to order online when I'm unable to get to a crafty store :) I've finished up 2 cowls and started on another cowl and capplet since I had knee surgery this past Monday, so going on JBW and watching everthing has helped me be creative in some way shape or form <3 Thank you!

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  145. i would love some nice soft yarn, how generous of you !!!

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  146. *grin* What a great way to celebrate a beautiful new pattern! In Alpaca, too! (mmmm)

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  147. I'd really love some of this yarn!

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  148. Sweet! What a story and a giveaway!

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  149. Awesome story - knitting is addictive!

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  150. beautiful colors, I would love to add this yarn to my stash. Can't wait to touch it and dream.

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  151. wonderful pattern would love to win this yarn!!

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  152. Congrats on the pretty pattern. I'd love to win the fluffy yarn, too.

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  153. Gorgeous!!! I'd love to win!!

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  154. Thanks for offering! I'd love to win!

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  155. I love reading this blog, and I love your post! I think this is a fabulous giveaway, too! :)

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  156. What a beautiful wrap and what a great way to end the Thanksgiving weekend!

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  157. The pattern really brings out the colors in the yarn! Beautiful!!

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  158. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing more great patterns from you :)

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  159. Looks beautiful - once again, wish I had the nerve and patience and talent to design! Haha. Good for you.

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  160. Wow! What a great giveaway before Christmas! Thanks

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  161. Can I sneak under the wire? I LOVE Misti Alpaca yarn and would dearly love to win this fabulous prize! Great pattern too--warm and wonderful ;-)

    catsknit@yahoo.ca

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  162. What a great giveaway! Beautiful pattern and looks so very comfy in this cold reno weather.

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  163. What a great giveaway! Beautiful pattern and looks so very comfy in this cold reno weather.

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  164. Lovely pattern and yarn!

    ccajatcoxdotnet

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