New Patterns and a Sale!

New Patterns and a Sale!

I have two new pattern releases from October.  First is a free cowl pattern published on the Underground Crafter blog called the Meander Cowl.  This is a quick to knit design that uses slipped stitches to create the colorwork pattern, so you’ll only use one color of yarn in each round.  You can find it free on the Underground Crafter blog.

My second pattern from October is a little Cabled Phone Cozy.  This pattern is a great introduction to cables and it showcases a special button.  It also makes a quick to knit gift for someone special.  You can find it for sale on Ravelry.

Speaking of sales, the Indie Gift a Long starts tomorrow.  Over 300 participating indie designers  have thousands of patterns on sale for 25% off through November 28th, 2017.  Then you can join in knit and crochet alongs for the rest of the year and win some great prizes!  Check it out!  You can find my patterns for the Gift a Long in bundle on Ravelry.

 

Vihm Cowl Released in Knotions

Vihm Cowl Released in Knotions

I’m excited to announce that the Vihm Cowl has been released in the September 2017 issue of Knotions, a free online knitting magazine.

The Vihm Cowl is squishy, slip stitch pattern worked in three skeins of Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Bulky.   It has  a great teardrop texture on the front and a more striped but still interesting texture on the back.  It’s a great pattern to keep you warm all fall and winter!

 

Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere

Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere

I just finished a draft of my first five size, fitted, top down sweater pattern.  I’ve made a few multi-size patterns.  My Gynnes Cardigan has two sizes, but that only required changing the back width and a bit of thought to the sleeves.  I also have a hat pattern in three sizes, but again, that was just a matter of changing the circumference and aligning it with the pattern repeat.

This was a bit different.  Five sizes from XS to XL, fitted with waist shaping, and including some border lace with a six stitch repeat.  Also a top down seamless construction, so I had to calculate the sleeved cap knit in short rows.  I started by making a very detailed spreadsheet with over 150 rows that calculated each and every major number for the pattern.

I used main two resources to do this.  First, in 2015 I took JC Briar’s very excellent Manage Those Numbers class at Stitches West and her handout and my sample spreadsheets from the class helped immensely.  I especially appreciate the concept of making everything possible a formula off of key numbers so if you change those numbers everything else changes along with it (more on that in a minute).  She was also great about pointing out some key functions that make pattern writing easier.

Second, I used Faina Goberstein’s Craftsy class Sizing Knitwear Patterns.  From it I learned quite a bit about how to organize my spreadsheet and use color to keep track of sizes and which numbers would go in the pattern and which would not.

Discussions from the designer’s forums on Ravelry gave me some other clues and putting it all together was a multi-day job.  Then I spent a few hours transferring those numbers to the pattern and writing out the directions as I referred frequently back to similar sweater patterns to make sure I was following the right conventions.  It was exhausting but fun to really dig in and apply some new skills.  At one point I realized I had not doubled a number that I should have and made sure it fit with another multiple later, but once I made the change to the key numbers, everything else just cascaded into place and a whole section was correctly updated.

The pattern is under wraps until spring, hopefully I’ll be able to give some sneak peeks along the way!

Introducing the Seacliff Beach Poncho

Introducing the Seacliff Beach Poncho

 

I have a new pattern out that ventures into new territory for me.  Although I learned to crochet long before I learned to knit, I haven’t released any patterns until now that included crochet.  I love both crafts and often say I am “bi-craftual.”  Sometimes I look at a design and think, “That would be so much easier to do in [insert the other craft here].”  With this pattern I combined what I consider the best of both crafts.  The body of the poncho is knit in a light garter lace pattern that molds to fit the wearer while the trim is crocheted in an open pattern with dangling flower motifs.  In addition, a crocheted trim around the neckline provides stability in this area.

I’m also venturing into new territory by hosting my first “a-long,” in this case a knit and crochet along for the pattern.  You can find details on my Ravelry page where the K&CAL is being held.

You can find the pattern on both Ravelry and Craftsy at this time and the K&CAL on my Ravelry group.  Check out the pattern and come join the fun!

Setting Some New Design Goals

Setting Some New Design Goals

Way back in March of 2014, I wrote a post about my design goals.  I had eight different styles of shawls that I wanted to experiment with and with my new release coming out next week, I will have accomplished all of them.

They were:

  1. Bottom up construction- this became my Spring Chill shawl (an old pattern now that doesn’t reflect my current style)
  2. Top down construction- my second shawl, Vefr, fulfilled this first (also an old pattern)
  3. Rectangular reversible- my third early pattern, the Ocean Waves Stole
  4. Center panel triangular- the Kerti Shawl, published in the book Joyful Lace
  5. Crescent shaped- the Tierra Shawl is a bottom up version and the Vedru Shawl is a top down crescent
  6. Rectangular with arms and symmetrical ends- one of my favorite things I’ve designed is the Gynnes Cardigan
  7. Cowl that also works as a poncho/shrug-  this idea became the Lumi Capelet
  8. Shawl that alternates knit and crochet- and this idea became a new pattern coming out next week, a summer poncho with a crocheted border

So I think it’s time to set some new design goals.  There are a lot of things I’m excited about working on, but my ideas are expanding beyond just lace shawls.  Here are my new design goals:

  1. Create a series of eight learn to knit patterns that can be used by yarn shops, complete with student handouts and teacher notes.
  2. Develop several garments that incorporate lace and slipped stitch pattern work.
  3. Develop some accessories using Fair Isle techniques.
  4. Continue to explore lace shawls in all their many shapes.

These are a little more general than my previous goals, but reflect my current interests and goals.  The first design goal is pretty clear cut– eight pattern kits and it’s done.  The others I think I’ll call complete when I have 2-3 patterns in each category.

And if you are still wondering about that summer poncho that mixes knit and crochet, here’s a sneak peek!

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I was 31 when I became a mother, so in honor of Mother’s Day today I’m running a one day sale in my Ravelry store.  Get any of my self published patterns for 31% off for today only through midnight PST.

Here is my firstborn when he was just a few weeks old.  Isn’t he amazing!

Fitting Socks

Fitting Socks

Fitting socks is a bit easier than fitting sweaters, you mainly have to worry about the length of your foot and the circumference of you foot and/or ankle.  Most of my sock books recommend about 10% negative ease for the sock circumference and 1/2″ of negative ease for sock length.

Here’s how I found the ideal sock dimensions for my foot.  First I measured around the widest part of my foot just below my toes.  On me, this measurement is just shy of 9″.  On my calculator I put in my foot measurement times .9 and pressed the equals key.  (9 x .9 = 8.1)  My idea sock circumference would be around 8″.  Why multiply by .9 you might ask?  To make a tube 10% smaller than my actual foot circumference, I need 9/10 of the total size.  Multiplying by .9 gives me an answer that is 9/10 the original number.  Since my foot is really just shy of 9″, I rounded my answer down.

Length is a bit easier.  I measured my foot length while standing and subtract 1/2″.  My foot length is 9 1/2″.  9 1/2″ – 1/2″ = 9″  So I need a 9″ foot length on my socks.

All this works great as long as you are getting the gauge listed in the pattern.  I always swatch in the round when making a gauge swatch for socks.  I usually cast on the number of stitches in 4″ in a tube and knit in the round for an inch or two.  I then measure across the tube.  If it is 2″ across, I’m getting gauge.  If not, I do a purl row and switch needles and try for another inch or two.  If the tube is too large, I try smaller needles, if the tube is too small, I try larger needles.

For my last pair of socks, I simply could not get the row gauge listed in the pattern.  It called for 34 stitches over 4″ (or 8.5 stitches an inch) and even on my smallest needles, I could only get 32 stitches over 4″ (or 8 stitches an inch).  So I multiplied my gauge per inch by my ideal sock circumference (8 stitches x 8″ = 64) and I picked the sock size in the pattern that used 64 stitches– in my case, my pattern had a size that used that exact amount, but you may need to pick a size with a few less stitches than your ideal.  I then went through the pattern circled the numbers for the 64 stitch size for anything that was about sock circumference and I circled the numbers for my “real” size (as if I were getting gauge) for any directions having to do with length.   That way I was able to make a sock that fit!

(Most sock patterns use measurements, not row counts, for directions having to do with length.  If my pattern had included row counts, I would have needed to check my row gauge and adjust those as well, but in sock patterns this is not at all common.)

Of course, if you just enjoy making socks, every pair you make will probably fit somebody!  Here’s a pair that I though I was making for myself but they turned out the perfect size for my husband!

 

 

 

 

May Classes at Yarn Shop Santa Cruz

May Classes at Yarn Shop Santa Cruz

I have new classes coming up in May at Yarn Shop Santa Cruz. Call the shop at 831-515-7966 to register!

Sock Club Sundays

Every first Sunday of the month 10am-11:30am, this month May 7th.

Join the fun, while filling your drawer full of hand-knit socks as many other knitters have done via the popular #operationsockdrawer on social media. This month we’ll work on the pattern Tip Toe Up.

During the monthly meeting we will go over the selected pattern and review any new techniques or tricky steps. Members will vote on what sock pattern we will tackle next. You will have a chance to cast on and get started but not before we “show and tell” our FS=finished socks!

Cost: $15 per session

Skills needed: Basic knitting skills (knit, purl, cast-on, bind-off)
and should be comfortable knitting in the round

Knitting 101- Mug Rug

When: Monday, May 8th from 12:00-3:00pm
Cost: $40

This is for the total beginner or if you need a refresher. Make a handy mug rug to go under your favorite hot drink. You will learn how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off.

We’ll also discuss how to read a simple knitting pattern and practice identifying and fixing your mistakes as you go.

Prerequisite Skills: None

Materials Needed: US size 7 knitting needles, light or medium colored smooth worsted weight yarn (suggested: Plymouth Worsted Super Wash), row counter, small scissors, tape measure, and a darning needle

Introducing the Vedru Shawl

Introducing the Vedru Shawl

In January I attended my first TNNA show and met the lovely couple who own Twisted Owl Fiber Studio. They had some perfectly glorious yarns and when I met them again at Stitches West, I ended up with a lovely skein of 2-ply sock and a set of mini-skeins. I came home with them and the Vedru Shawl flew off my needles so fast, it almost knit itself!

Vedru is a classic top down crescent shawl design perfect for using a special collection of mini-skeins. There are no complex stitches or purling in this lovely, peaceful garter stitch lace knit. The design works well with solid yarns, tonal yarns, or yarns with subtle variegation. The pattern includes directions for two sizes with six or eight stripes.

Skills Needed:

Cast on, bind off, knit, yarn over, knit two together, knit front and back, picking up stitches

Finished Measurements:

Small size (shown) is approximately 50”/127 cm at widest point and 14”/35.5 cm long at center
Large size (not shown) is approximately 61”/155 cm at widest point and 17”/43 cm long at center

Line by line written directions are included.

Materials Needed:

Twisted Owl Fiber Studio 2-Ply Sock (100 g, 400 yd, 80% Merino, 20% Nylon), (1, 2) skeins in Tin Can (MC), or (80, 120) yd of another fingering weight yarn

Twisted Owl Fiber Studio 2-Ply Sock mini-skeins (25 g, 100 yd, 80% Merino, 20% Nylon), (6, 8) skeins or at least 14 g/56 yd in each of (6, 8) contrasting colors of another fingering weight yarn. Sample uses Green Tea (Color A), Grouch (Color B), Pine (Color C), Emerald (Color D), Teal (Color E), and Azure (Color F)

US size 4 3.5 mm 40” 100 cm circular needles or size to obtain correct gauge

Stitch markers (optional)
Tapestry needle

Gauge:

20 sts and 48 rows = 4” 10 cm in garter stitch, blocked
Gauge is not critical to this project but will affect the amount of yarn used and the overall size of the project.

You can purchase this pattern on Ravelry in my shop.

Introducing the Diamond Lace Headband

Introducing the Diamond Lace Headband

This weekend I released a new pattern– a simple lace headband that can use up a bit of worsted weight yarn you have leftover from another project.  It’s an elegant little gift that you can complete in a few hours and the pattern includes information to custom fit the size.

Both written and charted instructions are included for the lace pattern.

You can find the Diamond Lace Headband on Ravelry and it is free through April 20th when you use the coupon code “SPRING” at checkout!