This is my mood board for my next pattern–the beautiful, bright blooms of rhododendrons. I love creating these mood boards and they really help me focus on the important elements of the design.
Until midnight EST, January 31, the hat pattern is free when you purchase the cowl. No coupon code needed! Just put them both in your shopping cart.
P.S. I tried a thing with the pattern video. What do you think?
One of my goals for 2017 is to release at least one pattern a month.
Okay, I know I said I don’t do resolutions, but I do make goals. I know what I want to accomplish, and I have to have a plan to get there.
Releasing a pattern every month requires a fair amount of planning. One of the first things I’ve started to do is to create a mood board. The mood board sets the feel for the design and helps me firm up the ideas that are floating around in my head. I see themes start to emerge in regards to shapes, lines, and color. I sketch, scribble ideas, look through stitch dictionaries, and look at yarns all based on the mood board. The simple act of creating the mood board really helps me get everything finalized and ready to begin knitting and writing the actual pattern.
Here’s the mood board for February’s pattern.
February is a grey month so I knew I wanted something bright but seasonal. Frozen leaves and icy waterfalls with the promise of warmer weather to keep you going through the cold, dark days of February.
I hope you can see the inspiration from the mood board in the shawl in progress. I’m quite pleased with how things are progressing.
I don’t do resolutions. I just don’t. They just don’t work for me. So when I think about what I want the new year to bring, what I want to accomplish in the new year, I choose a word. A word that represents what I want to focus on this coming year, a word to guide me, a word to guide my designs. A word that has meaning.
This year my word is Roots, which sounds kind of…well, odd. In fact it took me some time to accept that this was my word, but I couldn’t ignore it.
Always remember your roots
They are the foundation of your life
And the wings of your future.
After I chose my word, I created a Pinterest board with inspiration. You can check out my 2017 Pinterest board here. I ended up purchasing the art print above after seeing it pop up in my Pinterest searches. The artist? Is in West Virginia. How very, very serendipitous. The print hangs over my workspace for inspiration.
Do you choose a guiding word for the new year? I’d love to hear what it is.
The 2016 Indie Gift-Along has started!
The Indie Gift-Along is a 6 week long Knit/Crochet Along with patterns from hundreds of independent designers like me. From now until November 30 at 11:59 pm EST, ten of my patterns will be discounted by 25% by using the coupon code ‘giftalong2016’.
After the sale, the GAL continues on until the end of the year. There are 2200 electronic pattern prizes to be won and hundreds of physical prizes like yarn, stitch markers, and project bags. All you have to do is cast on a pattern from any of the participating designers and share it in the threads on Ravelry. There are fun games with prizes so you’re not limited to only knitting or crocheting to win a prize.
There’s so much more information about the Gift-Along on Ravelry so let me give you all the links for everything you need to know.
All of the really important information is here. Go and read all about it.
All of the participating designers are here. There are 14 pages of designers to browse through. Go make a shopping list!
All of my discount eligible patterns are here. Don’t forget, though, ANY of my patterns are eligible for participation in the GAL, just as long as you didn’t cast on before November 22.
I still need to decide what I’m going to cast on. I have some madelinetosh Pashmina in my stash that needs to be something.
I was so excited when Lisa from Indie Untangled e-mailed me a while back asking if I would like to design a pattern for the Where We Knit club in 2017. I said yes right away. I became even more excited when I found out I was paired with Victoria from Eden Cottage Yarns. I’ve long admired the beautiful colors from Eden Cottage so to do a design with Victoria’s yarn is going to be so much fun.
For the Where We Knit club, each dyer and designer team works together to come up with an exclusive color and design, each of which is inspired by where we knit. Our inspiration photo is below, and our theme is The Magic Hour.
Sign ups for the 2017 club are now open, and there are a limited number of spots available. Every quarter, beginning in February, you receive yarn, pattern, and fun accessories in your package. There is a lot more information about how to sign up and payment information over at the Indie Untangled website. Go check it out. Go on! I hope to see you in the club next year!
This past week was rough. I believe that might be the understatement of the year there. Besides the US elections (and I’m not talking about it), my trusty laptop, where I do 100% of my design work, died.
I was sitting in the floor, working, when a cup of tea hit the floor. My laptop was just close enough to the spill to receive a good amount of splash. It died. I screamed. I dried it off. Turned it upside down to drain. Put it in a bag with rice. I checked Dropbox to see how much work I may have lost.
Three years worth. Yeah. Dropbox hadn’t fully backed up my files and most of the past three years were on a dead laptop. I cried. Oh, I cried. My husband made chocolate chip cookies to try to make me feel better. He hugged me while I sat on the couch and stared into space.
A few days later I booted up the laptop, and it works. Kinda. I was able to pull all of my work off the hard drive and back up into Dropbox. The keyboard is shot. The mouse doesn’t quite work the way it should. It freezes every now and then. I now have a new laptop, and I think I have everything I need to get back to work. The kids can use the old laptop to play games and watch Netflix until it gives up the ghost.
This past week, y’all.
I did it.
I designed something other than a shawl.
My socks are worked from the cuff down with a heel flap and gusset construction. The leg and the toe have a zig zag stranded colorwork pattern, and the toes and heels are worked in a contrast color.
These socks are relatively simple if you’re familiar with knitting socks. The colorwork pattern is only a five round pattern and uses two colors per round and would be a great introduction to stranded colorwork.
The socks take their name from the Gauley River in West Virginia. Every fall, the Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the Summersville Dam into the Gauley turning the river into wild rapids. The zig zag colorwork pattern in the socks reminds me of how the river zig zags all over the place during Gauley Season.
If you’re an avid sock knitter, you can purchase the Anzula Sock booklet for $18. Five patterns for $18 is quite a steal. If you just want to knit these socks, the pattern is available for individual download for $6.
Finished Size 7.5 (8.5)” foot circumference and 9 (9.5)” long from back of heel to tip of toe: foot and leg length are adjustable, however, adjustments may change yarn requirements. Socks shown measure 7.5”.
Yarn Anzula Squishy (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 385 yd 352 m/4 oz 114 g): gravity (MC), storm (CC1), avocado (CC2), 1 skein each.
Needles Size 1 (2.25 mm): set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Marker (m); tapestry needle.
Gauge 30 sts and 44 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch.
I’m hard at work getting things up and running for my first Mystery KnitAlong (MKAL). I’m just putting the final touches on the pattern and have to send it off for editing. Designing and hosting a MKAL was one of my big goals for 2016 so I’m pretty excited to get things underway.
These are just two of the three colors used in the MKAL shawl. The third color is a light pink and is currently attached to the project while I figure out the bind off. Plain or fancy? Fancy or plain? Both options? Maybe.
I’m using madelinetosh Twist Light for the yarn and the colors are gorgeous.
When I’m not working on the MKAL or taking care of one of a million things that need to be done around here, I’m trying to sneak in some reading. I’m currently reading Mrs. Jeffries Learns the Trade by Emily Brightwell, which is a compilation of the first three Mrs. Jeffries stories. I’m on a huge mystery novel kick right now, and it shows no signs of going away.
Linking up with Yarn Along.
What do you get when you have an indie dyer who is a University of Cincinnati graduate and a designer who lives in Cincinnati?
You get Rookwood.
Rookwood is a crescent shaped shawl, worked from the bottom up. The bottom edge has lace, garter stitch, and twisted rib. The body of the shawl is worked in garter stitch with simple short rows.
Jeanne from Destination Yarn dyed the colors found in the pottery from Rookwood Pottery. I used a stitch pattern that mimicked the lines and curves found in the pottery.
I think we did an awesome job translating the colors and lines from the pottery to yarn and design.
Rookwood is available for purchase on Ravelry. Jeanne will be opening up pre-orders for a kit that contains the yarn and a download code for the pattern on her website. There will also be a knit along for Rookwood hosted in the Destination Yarn Ravelry group. I hope you’ll join us for fun and prizes!
I’ve mentioned before that Juliana is a dancer. This is her first year on competition teams in both jazz and tap dance. She loves it. She’s already planning on auditioning for a third team next year. I spend a lot of time driving her to and from the dance studio, and we’ve spent a few weekends now at competitions since we’re right smack in the middle of competition season.
Her team has done very well in competitions so far this year. She’s got a new trophy on her shelf and her team jacket is rapidly acquiring award pins. For a kid who is so shy and quiet around people she doesn’t know, she’s so confident on stage. We’re all so proud of her!
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m from Appalachia. The Huntington, West Virginia area specifically. It’s no secret that I’m proud to have strong, deep Appalachian roots. Part of my family has been in that part of West Virginia since before there was a West Virginia. Hell, even before there was a United States.
Doing things by hand and creating are strong traditions in Appalachia, but I’ve never seen much or heard much about the fiber arts in Appalachia. Quilting? Yes. Anything else? No. So I started Googling and found some books.
I’ve just started to dive into them. Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands covers a little bit of everything. There’s a section on spinning and weaving, natural dyeing, and a brief mention of knitting and crocheting.
It would be possible to mention a great number of examples of work with the sewing needle, the knitting needle, and the crochet hook in every Highland state, but such a list once begun would never end.
Textile Art from Southern Appalachia: the quiet work of women is almost solely focused on weaving. There are many examples of woven “kivers” or “kiverlets” (translation from Appalachian English: “cover” or “coverlet”) with the stories of the women who created them. There are so many colors and patterns here! I have no desire to learn how to weave, but I can see a great deal of knitting inspiration coming from these pages. I’m excited to learn more and perhaps reinterpret some old stories and crafts on my needles.
Gradient yarns and mini-skein packs are so trendy right now and for good reason. They’re beautiful!! I’m a sucker for a beautiful gradient. Back last year, the LYS where I work started carrying Wonderland Yarns Mini-Skein packs. I bought a pack with no idea of what to do with it.
I decided I was going to keep it simple. An asymmetrical, all garter stitch shawl.
The pattern is going out to test knitters today, and it will be ready for release by the end of March.
Maybe I’ll knit another one with one of the two other mini-skein packs I have. I just can’t resist them! Do you like gradient yarns? Do you have a bunch of mini-skeins? What do you like to knit with them?
When I was at Rhinebeck this past October, we stopped in The Knitting Garage, located inside the Stickle’s store. I bought a skein of Hedgehog Fibres DK in Birthday Cake. It was a total spur of the moment purchase, but I’m so glad I grabbed a skein.
Over the course of the Christmas holiday, I chose a pattern to use with the yarn. I wanted something that was an easy knit and wouldn’t compete with the speckley goodness of the yarn.
I chose Hermes Baby by Rachel Coopey.
I think my pairing of this pattern with this yarn was just perfect. Simple hat, fun yarn. It was a nice 2 day project for the lazy days after Christmas.
This week, I finally finished a new design. I’ll admit that I wasn’t looking forward to the finishing on this. I’m pretty terrible with grafting so I kept putting it off , and putting it off, and putting it off, but I did it.
A cowl, knit in the round, with stripes and stranded knitting. I’ll be looking for test knitters soon. I’m always looking for awesome knitters for test knitting so if you’re interested, leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I’ll put you on my list.
Have you finished any projects this week?
Juliana requested a pair of socks well over a year ago. She picked out the yarn from my stash, and it sat waiting for me to get around to it. When I *finally* cast on a pair of socks for her, the yarn did that up there in the picture. It was cut in multiple places which resulted in multiple small balls of yarn, pieces that were almost felted together, and well, it was a mess. At first I thought it was possibly moth eaten. I mean, how can a skein of yarn, be so badly damaged? It didn’t show any other signs of mothiness, and the rest of the yarn stored with it is absolutely fine. So this was just one very bad skein.
She chose another skein of yarn from the stash.
This is Tess’ Designer Yarns sock yarn that I bought way, way back in 2006 at Maryland Sheep and Wool (I think). Juliana chose the Longjohn Socks pattern by Anne Hanson. Juliana wants socks that have a pattern but don’t have lace or cables.
One sock is done. The second is ready for me to start. These socks make a great “waiting for dance class to be over” project.
The only other project on my needles is a new shawl design.
All that’s left for this shawl is for me to decide what kind of bind off it needs. Doesn’t lace just look so, well, crap, before it’s blocked?
Way back in the Summer of 2014, I received the best surprise when my design, Baya, appeared on the cover of Pom Pom Quarterly. I screamed out loud, and I totally scared my kids with my reaction. I have a copy of the magazine cover hanging over my workspace. The design that appeared on the cover, Baya, is now available to you as an individual download.
Baya is a crescent-shaped shawl that is worked from the bottom up. The bottom edge is worked in a lace weight yarn in a lace and cable pattern. The shawl body is worked in fingering weight yarn in squishy garter stitch. Short rows are used to create the crescent shaping. Like the rest of my patterns that use this construction, there are no wrap and turns for the short rows. You just turn the work and start the next row.
Baya is a two-color shawl, using two different shades of pink from SweetGeorgia Yarns. You can get creative in your color choices or you can go for a monochromatic look and choose the same colors for the edge and body. If you use SweetGeorgia Yarns, you have tons of fun color choices!
Sizing and Measurements: One size: 144 cm / 56½” wide by 26 cm / 10¼” deep at central point.
Yarn: Yarn A: 375 yards (343 m) lace weight yarn. Shown in Sweet Georgia CashSilk Lace (55% silk, 45% cashmere; 366 m / 400 yds per 50 g), Orchid. Yarn B: 325 yards (274 m) fingering weight yarn. Shown in Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock (80% merino, 20% nylon; 389 m / 425 yds per 115 g), Raspberry.
Gauge: 16 sts & 40 rows = 10 cm / 4” in garter stitch with B and US 5 (3.75 mm) needle after blocking.
Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5 circular needle, 100 cm / 40” length, 3.5 mm / US 4 circular needle, 100 cm / 40” length.
Always use a needle size that will result in the correct gauge after blocking.
Notions: Cable needle, tapestry needle.
It’s time to check out this year’s Indie Design Gift Along!
335 indie designers from around the world are offering thousands of patterns for sale from November 19 (8:00 pm EST) through November 27 (11:59 pm EST). All of the sale eligible patterns are 25% off with the coupon code ‘giftalong2015’.
That’s not all! The fun doesn’t end when the sale ends. From November 19 (8:00 pm EST) through December 31 at midnight, ALL paid patterns from participating designers are eligible for prizes in the KAL/CAL. You can check out all of the rules here. Want to browse all of the participating designers and see what they’re offering? Check out the thread here.
You can look at my Gift Along bundle and click on each pattern to see more details.
Pour yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage and look through all of the patterns. What patterns do you like? What’s going straight onto your queue? I’ll highlight some of my favorite patterns and designers over the next few weeks, but I want to see your faves too!
Unexpected Cables is the latest book from Heather Zoppetti. Her first book, Everyday Lace, was published in 2014 and focused on patterns that featured easy, wearable lace. Unexpected Cables focuses on designs with modern cables. From the Introduction in the book:
When many people think of cable knitting, the first images that come to mind are big, boxy fisherman sweaters. This is exactly NOT what you will find in Unexpected Cables. The goal of this book is to update the cable from heirloom to modern in unexpected ways. By using sleeker garment shapes, mixing cables with lace, and constructing garments and accessories in abstract ways, I hope to motivate the knitter to explore cable knitting in unexpected ways.
The book is divided into three chapters: Refined, Lace, and Abstract. Each chapter contains multiple designs that exemplify each concept. Personally, I am most drawn towards the patterns in the Refined chapter. My favorite pattern in the book is in this chapter.
The book has patterns for both garments and accessories. Sweaters, vest, socks, hats, cowls, and shawls are all here. All of the patterns use lightweight yarns–nothing heavier than a worsted weight. What the book doesn’t have are instructions to actually teach you how to cable. There are a variety of illustrated techniques and tricks (like how to cable without a cable needle), but this book isn’t for someone who is new to cabling. The book also only has charts; there are no written instructions for the charts.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite patterns.
First up is Leola. Leola is a ruffled shawl/scarf with twisted stitches.
Leola is in the Refined chapter.
Next is Safe Harbor. Safe Harbor is a cowl that combines lace & cables and is found in the Lace chapter.
My favorite pattern in the book is Rheems. I love everything about this pullover.
Rheems is also found in the Refined chapter.
Here’s the fun part: I have a copy of Unexpected Cables for you! Just leave me a comment and tell me what pattern from the book is your favorite. I’ll close comments on November 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm EST and draw a winner.
All photos courtesy F/W Media.
I design shawls. I do. I love shawls. I love lace too. But, sometimes, I want to design and knit something else. I’ve never designed anything with colorwork. Until now.
Oh, yeah! I like it a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Tell me, do you knit the same things over and over again or do you change it up every now and then?
In my last post, I said that our lives were entirely affected and entirely unaffected by Down syndrome. I saw a Facebook post this morning that resonated with me so I’m going to use it.
Yesterday, we went about our lives and not one damn thing had anything to do with Down syndrome.
Sunday morning pancakes.
Lazy pajama morning and afternoon.
Bengals game on TV.
Cub Scouts meeting.
Camp out planning.
Pizza for dinner.