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On the Needles in February

On the Needles in February

Friday afternoon, I sat down on the couch and realized that I was surrounded by knitting bags!  Here’s what’s on the needles in this first week of February.

Last month, I started working on the CustomFit version of the Featherweight Cardigan.  I’m using Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud Lace yarn and I’m using this project to learn to knit on a knitting belt!  I’ve got about five inches of the back completed and I’m getting faster.  My goal is to be able to walk and knit using the knitting belt, but so far, I can just meander between the kitchen and the living room.

Last year at Stitches West, I took JC Briar’s class on Beginning Brioche.  The handout included a chart for us to practice our increases and decreases and shortly after the class I got some Malabrigo Rios in Black and Jupiter and started the chart as a scarf.  As Stitches West is coming up again at the end of the month and I have another class with JC (this time it’s Slick Set In Sleeves), I thought I’d try to finish it before the show.

I’m continuing to make progress on my Wynne Shawl by Sarah Jordan.  I started this as part of the Indie Designer GAL on Ravelry, but realized after Christmas I couldn’t finish it by the deadline and that its long rows of garter were so great as a knitting group project.  I bring this with me to my Saturday knitting group and to guild meetings and it will get done eventually.

I’m working on the second sock of a pair from the pattern Vanilla is the New Black by Anneh Fletcher.  It has an unusual heel construction and I’ve been using the p

attern to try out the Addi Flexi Flip needles I got at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle.  I really like the pattern and it makes a nice heel that’s good for a high arch, but is easier than working a heel flap and gusset.  The needles are similar to working with Magic Loop and a bit easier than three or four DPNs.

 

Finally, I’m working on a secret knitting design that should be complete in the next few months or so.  More details on that when it comes out!

On the CSM, I’ve completed a few more pairs of socks and made a hat from a double layer of laceweight yarn.  You can find the details of how I did that on my Ravelry project page.

 

Test Knitters Needed

Test Knitters Needed

 

I’m looking for test knitters for a new stole. Worn as a scarf or stole, Sinine is a lightweight, lacy garment to add grace and sophistication to your wardrobe. Beads, bobbles, and fringe accent this fully reversible rectangular garment. The pattern is adjustable in both length and width, and can be worked with or without beads.

The test knit runs through February 22, 2018.  If you are interested, you’ll need to be a Ravelry member.  You can find full details of the test knit here on my Ravelry group.

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!

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.