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New Pattern Release: Seetang Cowl

New Pattern Release: Seetang Cowl

I’m so excited to announce a new pattern release!  The Seetang Cowl is a cozy and richly-textured cowl that uses a semi-solid and variegated yarn to create undulating textured stripes in a slipped stitch pattern.  Only one yarn is used per round in this rhythmic, easy-to-knit pattern and both written and charted instructions are provided.

I loved seeing all the variations my test knitters created!  They will be adding their projects over the next few days so you can see everything from subtle to bold color variations for this pattern!  Most test knitters completed this project in just a couple of days, so you know it will make a great last minute gift.

If you are a blog reader, please use the code SUMMER in Ravelry to receive 20% off this pattern through the end of July 2018.

I look forward to seeing your finished cowls!

New Japanese Knitting Book

New Japanese Knitting Book

 I recently purchased the book Japanese Knitting: Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More that has been translated into English and published by Tuttle Publishing.  They also recently published the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible, also a translation.

I have a number of Japanese stitch dictionaries but have shied away from the pattern books in Japanese, feeling concerned that there is too much I’d have to puzzle out.  This book is translated to English from the original Japanese but it keeps the format and style of the original patterns, which are much more brief than modern American patterns.  It also includes a special five page introduction to Japanese knitting patterns for English readers that explains how the patterns are traditionally laid out.  I think those five pages were worth the cost of the book because they have given me more confidence to look at the Japanese language pattern books again next time I am at a Japanese bookstore.

My favorite pattern in the whole book is F Poncho and Cardigan, a garment that can be worn both as a poncho style garment with sleeves or as a circle style cardigan.  It’s one of several two way garments that caught my imagination both as a knitter and as a designer.  I have yarn on the way and hope to start working on this one soon!

Despite being called Japanese Knitting, there are several crochet patterns included that have a very fresh look and interesting surface texture.  I particularly like P Vest and Stole, another two way garment that can be worn both as a long vest or as a wrap.

Many of the garments use simple shapes to make elegant silhouettes and would not be difficult to knit.  The English version helpfully includes cm to inch conversions on each pattern page for the measurements listed for that pattern.  It also includes a chart that gives you more details about the yarns used in the patterns, which are difficult to find outside of Japan, so that you can make effective substitutions.

Overall, I’m happy to be able to add this book to my collection and I hope Tuttle puts out more of these gems!

Crochet Water Balloons for Summer

Crochet Water Balloons for Summer

A few weeks ago a friend sent me a link to an article about crocheted water balloons.  The idea was to make a balloon shape out of Bernet Blanket yarn and then soak them in a bucket to throw instead of a traditional water balloon.  The yarn is very absorbent so they soak up a lot of water and make a pretty satisfying splat!

Advantages: reusable, machine washable, don’t leave bits of plastic all over your yarn for birds and wild animals to get, easy to “fill,” fast to make.

Disadvantages: don’t make quite the same explosive splash as a traditional water balloon and they are made of synthetic yarn so you haven’t gotten totally away from the plastic problem.

All the patterns I found online worked in rounds with a chain up instead of working in a spiral, and of course I felt many weren’t quite round enough or had enough of a balloon looking top.  Many patterns called for a magic loop start, which I think is hard in this yarn because it is so grippy.  So in the end, I designed my own pattern!

If you are local to Santa Cruz, CA, I’ll be teaching a class on how to make these at Knit Sew Make.    If not, or if you are already comfortable with crochet, here’s the pattern so you can make your own!

Materials Needed:

  • Size 9mm crochet hook (US size M)
  • Bernet Blanket Yarn (or other super bulky chenille style yarn)
  • Removable Stitch Marker

Note: Balloons are worked in a continuous spiral.  To keep track of where the rounds begin, place a removable stitch marker in the first stitch of the round and move it up after each round is completed.

Small Balloon

Round 1: Ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from the hook, do not join. (6 sts)

Round 2:  2 sc in each st around (12 sts)

Rounds 3-4: Sc 12.

Round 5: [Sc 4, sc 2 tog) twice. (10 sts)

Round 6: [Sc 3, sc 2 tog] twice. (8 sts)

Round 7: Sc 2 tog four times. (4 sts)

Round 8: Sc 4.

Round 9: [Sc 1, 2 sc in next st] twice, join to beginning of round with slip stitch. (6 sc).

Fasten off.  Use a piece of yarn to tie the neck of the balloon and push all ends to the inside of the balloon.

 

Large Balloon

Round 1: Ch 2, 8 sc in second ch from the hook, do not join. (8 sts)

Round 2: [Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc] four times. (12 sts)

Round 3: [Sc 2, 2 sc in the next sc] four times. (16 sts)

Round 4-7: Sc 16.

Round 8: Sc 2 tog eight times.  (8 sts)

Round 9: Sc 8.

Round 10: Sc 2 tog four times.  (4 sts)

Round 11: Sc 4.

Round 12: 2 sc in each stitch around, join to beginning of round with slip stitch. (8 sts)

Fasten off.  Use a piece of yarn to tie the neck of the balloon and push all ends to the inside of the balloon.

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.

 

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!

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!

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.

Looking for Test Knitters

Looking for Test Knitters

Creating a pattern is a many step process.  I’ve recently been playing with the project management tool Trello and setting up a master list of all the steps it takes to get a pattern from concept to publication.  I created 17 items that need to be to be completed for test knitting alone!

This post is step 7 or so: announcing the test knit on my blog.  So, on that note, I would like to show you the Vedru Shawl.

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.  All directions are written.

If you are interested in participating, please visit my Ravelry group, Heddi Craft Designs, and sign up in the test thread.

Free Simple Mug Rug Pattern Released This Week

Free Simple Mug Rug Pattern Released This Week

This week, I released a free pattern for a very simple mug rug— a square coaster to go under your tea or coffee mug.  This pattern was designed for beginning knitters as a first project to learn the knit and purl stitch and make a useful object at the same time, but it’s also a great quick knit for more experienced knitters for gifts or craft fairs.

And it goes great with my Coffee Cup Cozy pattern!

I hope  you enjoy this free pattern!