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February 26, 2006

Don't thank me

Thank my mom. She wrote up the pattern and it's now available. If you want to take a look, just pop on over here.

April 7, 2006

Deciduous!

I have finally finished the pattern for Deciduous. After having a few people test knit it, I decided to offer 6 sizes instead of my originally planned 3 sizes and it has a high and low back version in the same pattern.

That pattern is $9.99 and can be purchased here.

April 12, 2006

I got your pom-pom right here


Several people have requested the pattern to this hat, so I've posted it in the pattern area of my site. You can get the pattern here.
It’s really a very easy hat to knit, and it’s made with chunky yarn so you can bang this baby out in a weekend.

April 21, 2006

Well, in that case

I don't think I could have gotten a more positive response to good ol' Drake, if I had bribed you guys. So, I've cleaned up the pattern, fixed the typos (I hope) and posted him for sale.

People have made some great suggestions for modifications and variations. One I like in particular was to convert him to a messenger bag. While I no longer have the yarn or even the dyelot numbers to do that, I think it's worth mentioning for anyone who might be considering making one for themselves.

Curses

Next up, a possible exercise in futility. I want to knit Leo a sweater. I do this with a great deal of trepidation. Leo is not a fiber artist of any sort. He switches between calling it "sewing," "crocheting," and "knitting." When I wind, spin or knit yarn, his general thought is "Aren't there machines to do that?" I do not begrudge him this. He takes no end of joy in things that bore me to tears.

I have knit Leo a boatload of hats and I've even knit him a sweater before. He is always appreciative, but I have never knit him something he is totally satisfied with. The perfect item will always be lace weight thin and softer than silk, while still being manly in every way. Colors? Sure, as long as it's grey, brown, navy, or black.

So why do I want to knit him a sweater despite the fact that he hasn't asked and I'm pretty sure he won't be entirely content with it? Well, I want to design a few men's garments, to fill out my pattern portfolio, and I think the design is one that marginally less picky men will like, but I also can't help myself. I think he's pretty darned wonderful and knitting is about the most special thing I can do for him, so dammit, he's getting a sweater.

I started with a trip to the LYS where I got 4 skeins of yarn.

All were dubbed "a little thick." But I informed him that it would just have to do and he could wear it when it's colder out. I love him, but I'm not knitting a sweater on needles smaller than US #3.
So he began the feel test.
The top was the finest, but the superwash merino just wasn't soft enough.
The alpaca was soft enough but too thick
The Cathay was dismissed out of hand. No interest there
The last was the Baby Cashmerino. Thin enough to be acceptable, soft enough to pass the test, and if bought in a different color it would do.

So I shopped online for some good colors and prices. I know my LYS doesn't carry the quantity and color selection required. Webs had the best price once the discount was applied and I made my order.

In the mean time, I swatched.

Yup, the whole thing will be in ribbing. May the knitting gods grant me the strength to finish this baby.

Both swatches have been through the washing machine and laid flat to dry so I know the yarn will survive his general MO for washing sweaters. And yesterday, after about a week of waiting, the yarn arrived.

That's 13 skeins of grey/blue Baby Cashmerino.

October 18, 2006

Relying on the kindness of strangers and friends

I have a huge favor to ask you guys out there. I'm working on a pattern for a company and I need to have some good leg measurements for all different kinds of women, from petit to zaftig. I would NOT expect anyone to want to leave those sorts of measurements in my comments, so I'm hoping I can sweet talk you into emailing me those measurements with assurance that your numbers and names will never be released in combination with each other.

So, what I'd need is:

  1. Circumference at ball of foot

  2. Circumference at ankle

  3. Circumference at knee

  4. Distance from ankle to knee

  5. Circumference at mid thigh (Sit down. Measure halfway between knee and crease of lap)

  6. Distance from knee to mid thigh

or click the "Contact" button above. Either will allow you to send me an email. Include the subject line "my leg" and the measurements for each number in the body of the message.

And because I know this is a bit of a pain in the butt, I'll be sending one random contributor a special gift. The winner will be picked Friday night and can choose either a knitting or a spinning related little prize.

October 20, 2006

Final Countdown

Wow, you guys are awesome! I have been getting so many submissions for the leg contest, along with great little asides from many of you. I'm sorry I haven't had the time to personally thank and respond to each and every one of you.

For those who might be on the line about sharing your measurements with me, here's a little something that might sway you one way or the other. Below are pictures of what the winner will get to choose from.

If you choose a spinning related prize, you can choose from one of these orifice hooks.

Either a lamb themed hook.

Or a lizard themed hook.


If you prefer a knitting related prize, you can choose from one of two pairs of US sized 7 Clover knitting needles with decorated ends.

Again, I have a lamb themed variety.

Or a lizard theme.

These are definitely hand made and look the part but they're made with plenty of TLC, for whatever that is worth.

If the winner opts out of any of the items above, there will be an option for a yarn or roving prize instead.

I've extended the contest just a little longer, so you may get in your entries until mid-day Saturday, when the winner will be chosen.

Thanks again for all the submissions so far. I hope they keep rolling in.

October 23, 2006

Winner!

One Ms. Eve Ng has won our grand prize. She has chosen to receive a pair of knitting needles. She's left it up to me to choose which ones.

The remaining items will be sold in the near future.

For now, I'm sorting and charting and playing around with the 70 submissions I've received from all of you.

I'm fascinated and a little daunted by how many sizes and shapes we all come in. This should be a challenging project indeed.

January 8, 2007

I've got your hat right here

The hat pattern has been posted.

The gloves are coming soon.

January 9, 2007

Perhaps the longest glove pattern ever

The Lake Park Glove pattern is now available for free in the pattern section of my site. This thing was a beast to put together so if you find any issues, feel free to drop me a note.

The pattern is very simple, but I've offered lots of information for modifying the pattern and I made charts and verbose instructions for those of you who have a preference. I give because I love.

I hope a few of you will show me your hand spun and variegated yarns worked up in this stitch pattern. I think it'll be great to see how different yarns look.

March 10, 2007

9 months in the making

Wow, I was going through my old emails, to see when I started my project with Stitch Diva Studios, and it was nearly 9 months ago. The owner, Jennifer, contacted me while I was at BlogHer, to see if I'd be interested in designing some stockings inspired by the photography of E. J. Bellocq (WARNING: Probably not safe for work).

Normally, I think that most people design their patterns, send them off to whomever, and await questions from the tech editor. That's usually about as much interaction as you'll ever have. With Stitch Diva Studios, the entire process, from conception, to test knitting to tech editing, is interactive with all parties involved, and I had a pretty large party to attend. It was great. I couldn't list everyone involved without making this sound like a bad academy awards speech so I'll just say that I was really glad to have such great people working on my pattern.

The Pattern is called Bellocq, and is being previewed right now at Stitch Diva Studios. You can see the pattern by clicking here or click the image below.

Image Copyright Stitch Diva Studios. All rights reserved.

It's not for sale yet, but will be soon, so if you are interested, please check back at the link above, or join their mailing list.

April 6, 2007

A little slice of heaven

When I worked on site, at my job, I was often pretty far away from windows throughout the day. What little of the day I saw, was usually while I bustled between meetings.

Now that I work from home, I sit right next to a window, and I have Panda by my side. It's all I could ever have hoped. I love it.

There is one downside, though, when the days are absolutely beautiful, I feel like I'm in 3rd grade waiting for the school bell to sound and mark the end of the day.

Yesterday, was one such day. The sun is absolutely beaming, everything is verdant, and it was a mere hours before my weekend was scheduled to start. I could barely contain myself.

When my shift was up and I'd finally completed all those little things that seem to come up just when I think I'm done for the day, I decided that Panda and I needed a relaxing afternoon in the backyard.

We don't have any proper lawn furniture, but we do have some portable camping chairs. Ours happens to have a perfectly sized drink holding divot and yarn holster.

For a drink, I had myself a beer, though, to be honest, I was more like 25% of a beer, because I am a cheep date and it started to make me sleepy. For knitting, I had my super secret Stitchy McYarnpants project, so all you get to see is the gorgeous plum color and a big heap of knitted fabric, stitch holders and needles.

For entertainment, A Game of Thrones on my iPod. I'm such an audio book junkie. I'm so enamored of them, I exercise to them instead of music.

Panda made good use of the backyard as well.

Then she finally settled into a nice shady spot to watch me knit.

In the evening, I spun some of the Pearl colored Optim I got from Janel, last year.

This is my first time spinning Optim and it is unbelievably smooth and soft. Her colorway is beautifully subtle, which I love. This will be a colorway I can work into a very wearable item. I've started the second bobbin and will ply the two before moving onto my new Luxury Fiber of the Month; Baby Camel! I'm sure I'll absolutely bastardize the camel like I did the yak, but who cares, it's too soft to let languish.

April 16, 2007

I'm back!

Well, I just mailed off my top secret project, with all its fixin's to it's rightful owner. I'll miss that beautiful plum color Calmer but not as much as I've missed being able to talk crafty on my blog. While stories of Panda and hikes and tea and eating are all fun, it's yarny goodness upon which this blog is built.

So adios pretty plum calmer and, long time no see, Lily!

I've only had time to cast on and work a few rows of the second sleeve and it's amazing how hard it's been to get back into the swing of it.

Truth be told, I'm the sort of person who would likely have abandoned this with such a long hiatus. I know that's crazy, but when I lose momentum on something, it's almost never that I pick it back up again. It's good for me to push myself to finish these projects so they don't languish and end up ripped, or worse, donated to charity in their half knit form.

I have a couple other projects I'll probably be working on this year; projects that cannot be blogged right away but which I'm pretty excited about. But I also have big plans (bigger than any warping of the space time continuum can accommodate) that should all be bloggable.

May 17, 2007

Order one for everyone you know. No, order 2!

Thanks to Julia for posting about this.

I really can't tell you how excited I am for the release of this book. I have a pattern in here but I'm not just excited about my own piece. There are some phenomenal pieces from Julia, Mary Heather, Edna Hart and, of course, the author, Kat.

It was a truly extraordinary experience working with Kat. While I can't say I've had too many bad experiences designing for other people, working with someone who is an experienced designer, in this capacity, is liberating. She knows how to give just enough encouragement and direction to keep you on track but leaves you plenty of room to flex your creatively, and she is unfailingly supportive.

Since I was living in LA at the time, I was able to see many of the original proposed designs and I'm eager to see their final incarnations. The items I have seen are instant classics and should appeal to wide range of skill levels and taste.

The photograph? There's only one word for it, "beautiful."

It looks like I have to wait until November to get my grubby hands on a copy. If you are interested in pre-ordering, all the info is available here.

June 11, 2007

Chapeau Marnier

The new Knitty is up and I have a pattern there.


There was some confusion about whether the dark version of the hat would run in Knitty Spin or the green version would run in regular Knitty and the short version of the story is that both hats are pictured which is great, but that I flubbed and did the ribbon loops differently on each. So the instructions on Knitty are for the dark hat's loops and you can get the green hat's loops chart here. As always, feel free to press that little "contact" button up top if you need any help or clarification.


In other news, I went to the Maine Fiber Frolic, this weekend and had a great time. See some fun pics from my stay in Boston and visit to the Frolic, here. What, you need more motivation than that to look at my pictures? How's this for temptation?

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I leave to go back home, early tomorrow morning and while it's been wonderful to see my family and friends (so so great, really) I will glad, indeed, to see my little girls and Leo again.

June 28, 2007

Using Excel to aid in writing multi-sized patterns

This entry also posted at the Create Along.

Download the spreadsheet and play along at home.

It's been a while since I've done a tutorial and seeing as I use this technique all the time, it's about time I shared it with all of you. This also makes me feel better about the fact that I do not have any updates on my CAL project to post, as my deadline pieces are all keeping me busy.

NOTE: The attached spreadsheet is just a sample and contains measurements that may be useful but which may not meet the standards for some publications. You are welcome to use what I have for your own design purposes but it'll be you who has to ultimately support any patterns written from it, so do your research first.

The goal

Excel can be used to help you organize and plot your final pattern. Unfortunately, it can't do all the dirty work, but you can find yourself being a bit more consistent, if you let the program do your calculating. If you plan to submit your patterns for publication, providing a spreadsheet with all your work can be of great help to the tech editor. Doing so, may make logic errors more obvious and allow for faster editing.


A rough schematic of what we are shooting for

Continue reading "Using Excel to aid in writing multi-sized patterns" »

July 6, 2007

Dogs in repose

It's been hot, and Thea and Panda are shedding hair like they think their comfort depends on it. Wait, I guess it does. Anyway, it's hot, and when it's hot, doggies like to sleep.

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I just didn't realize one would want to do it in my sandals.


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Thea is a very good sleeper


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Panda ponders whether or not I've forgotten how to use the vacuum cleaner.

Yes, I know, it's been a LOT of doggy pictures. Would it help if I told you I'm actually knitting?


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It's a project I'm doing for Stitch Diva. It's coming along swimmingly though I've done a lot of ripping to get it to the point where I'm happy with it. Luckily, my time frame for the project makes it possible to get it juuuuust right. I like that.

In other news, I saw Ms. Kat Coyle's gorgeous Lace Style skirt on Knitty Gritty, yesterday.

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It's so sad that it's styled better on KG than it was in the actual book. Oh how I pine for that skirt.

July 10, 2007

Switching horses mid-stream

While I'm really excited about my current project for Stitch Diva, this particular stretch of the piece has dogged me. I originally calculated and cast on for this section on Saturday, while watching The Queen and enjoying a glass of wine. After more than 25 years of knitting, you'd think I'd know that I needed a little more focus than that, to calculate a pattern. I'm obviously a slow learner. I cast on 250 stitches, using the long tail cast-on, (my personal favorite for it's speed,) only, BAH, not enough tail.

So I ripped, and cast on again and made it. I knit my 250 (give or take) stitches for 20 rows, during the movie, and a bit the following day, before realizing that my calculations were off. Oh, yes, there was ripping.

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I focused myself on my calculations. I checked my work, and cast on again. After three tries, to get the cast on tail the right length, I nearly chucked my work out a window. Less stubborn knitters than I might have tried a couple of alternatives, such as:


  • A knitted on or cabled cast on, which requires no tail.
    Vetoed because I find it so dreadfully slow to do, I'd rather rip the long tail out forever and redo, like Sisyphus rolling his boulder up the mountain.

  • Long tail cast on worked from both ends of a center pull ball.
    Vetoed because it means another end to weave in. Also vetoed because of the aforementioned stubbornness.

  • Actually note the length of the tail for the failed cast on and extrapolate the needed additional length from there.
    Vetoed because I'm stupid.

But, all stubbornness and stupidity aside, I nearly did admit defeat and put the item in temporary time-out, until I realized that the cast on will be completely concealed with crochet. There is no way anyone is going to be able to see it. This gave me an option, when I realized I was about 50 stitches short of my goal. When I was left with a sufficient tail to weave in the end, but not enough to complete the cast on, I switched to a knitted on cast on.

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This puts a little tail in the middle of the cast on. To the right of the tail, in the image, is the long tail cast on, to the left is the knitted on cast on.

Here she is, really close up

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Personally, I would never do this if the cast on would be visible. There's a pretty noticeable difference and it would irk me even if no one else ever noticed. But since this baby will be obscured by crochet, there's no harm, no foul and my sanity is preserved.

October 8, 2007

Boho Baby Knits

I am so excited to be able to post about this book. Kat Coyle approached me a little over a year ago to see if I'd like to contribute to her upcoming book. I received my copy last week and wanted to wait until she posted before I did so.

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The cover alone will probably sell you. The patterns in this book run the gamut from simple to complex, but each is original, fun, and worked in gorgeous yarns. I think I speak for everyone who contributed when I say that Kat is absolutely fantastic to work with. She has great vision, an impeccable eye for color, and her years of designing makes her keenly aware of what a designer needs to do their job successfully. I'm so proud to be a part of this book.

This is my pattern, The Poet Coat. It's worked in two shades of Blue Sky Alpaca and adorned with gold star buttons and a zipper pull.

Poet Coat.jpg

The main pattern is a linen stitch which produces a really dense fabric without much bulk.

The model is simply too cute for words.

My friends, Mary-Heather Coger, Julia Trice and Edna Hart, also contributed patterns, as well as Beth Abaravich, whom I never got to know but whose work is absolutely brilliant.

October 15, 2007

Giselle

I am so pleased to present my newest pattern, Giselle, which will be available exclusively through Stitch Diva Studios.

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The pattern is currently in the tech editing stage, in Donna Druchunas' capable hands. After that, it goes to layout and then the pattern will be available for order.

Jennifer asked me to model the garment so I met with her, near her home and we shot over two days. I have the first day's shoot up at my Flickr account. I'll have the second day's shoot, shortly in the same location. Check out a couple of the outtakes at the end of the set.

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The garment is modeled in three variations; an all knit version (orange), a knit and crochet version (red and silver-mo betta pictures to come) and a cropped version in knit and crochet (to come, in brown and teal.) However, the knitter can work any of the styles in a single color or in two colors and may work knit or crochet trim in any combination.

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This design is based on a piece I've called, The Wedding Cardi, which I knit for myself back in 2005, for a friend's wedding.

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It was knit in a discontinued yarn, and well before I had a firm grasp of pattern writing. I had it as set dressing for one of my episodes of Knitty Gritty and have continued to receive requests for a pattern, since. I hope that this ends up being a popular pattern. I'll let you know when it's available for purchase.

October 24, 2007

Various and sundry topics

Lots more pictures of Giselle, including the cropped version, over here.

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See some beautifully retouched photos here.


Leo has been making jack-o-lanterns and I have been toasting the seeds.

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The pirate is getting a little long in the tooth, after a week outside. The orange one is new. It weighed almost 40lbs before being gutted. That's how much each of the pups weigh.


If the weather stays relatively mild, we'll be getting a lot more cosmos.

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The bees like em

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Is there anything sweeter?

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October 25, 2007

Epona

It is probably obvious that over the last year I have worked on some rather time consuming projects. I have several as yet unveiled ones as well as the Poet Coat and Giselle.

Something hit me this weekend and I just needed to knit a sock. As a general rule, I'm not much for knitting socks, though there are obviously some exceptions, but this weekend, it just felt like the right project and it is more portable than my larger secret project has become.

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Stats

Yarn: Socks that Rock Medium Weight Superwash Merino
Color: Rose Quarts
Yardage: About 130 yards per sock so a 380 yard skein is more than ample for a pair
Constructions: Toe up, short row toe, gusset, decorative heel flap, tubular bind off
Needles: Toe worked on 2.75MM, remainder of sock worked on 3.25 MM

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I did a few things that might not be totally standard. I worked the toe in a smaller needle than the rest of the sock because the gauge of the stockinette toe is so much wider than the twisted stitch pattern. The smaller needles weren't to match the gauge, just to make it a little more even.

And I decided to forgo the reinforced heel flap that most people like. I realize it's more functional to do a standard slipped stitch heel flap, but I just never liked how it interrupted the flow of the stitch pattern on a sock.

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Both motifs, on the sock, can be found in Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries but I made some modifications to both. The main motif required a substantial overhaul while the side motif was just changed so that it would have the same number of rows in each repeat as the main motif.

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I think my only concern with this design is that anyone with even slightly shapelier legs than my own, will need some shaping at the calf. Luckily, I've thought about how to handle that and will be putting shaping instructions in the pattern.

Oh, did I not mention that I plan to write a pattern for this? Yah, I do.

November 20, 2007

Hey everybody, you're invited to a grafting party.

With puppy chaser at the end.

I recently posted the shameful state of a piece I was working on, for a book. When last we saw this project, I had detached the sleeve, from below the cap, held it on a spare needle and ripped back the sleeve cap, so that I could remove the extra rows from one of the front sections of the garment.

After fixing the front, I picked up and reknit the sleeve cap.

09-Sleeve Cap Reknit


I moved the live stitches to circulars so I wouldn't have to deal with so many needles. This picture was taken en route to the ocean. The picture quality goes WAAAAY downhill from here. I apologize, but frankly, as much as I love you all, I'm not going to wait for a sunny day to get this issue fixed up.


I cut a tail long enough to go around the sleeve about 4 times. Aligning the sleeve with sleeve cap, I started grafting.

10-Begin grafting


There's a great tutorial here, if you've never tried grafting before.


Every few inches, I took a look at the row of grafting to assess the tension.

11-Check tension as you go


It can be ugly, no?


To fix, I just use my tapestry needle to ease the yarn out towards the unworked stitches.

11-Adjust tension


Sometimes I'd go back and adjust a couple times in the same spot, but I never lost my mind over it. The wool content of the yarn should allow me to ease out minor inconsistencies in the blocking stage.


The work went pretty quickly. Here, I'm nearly done.

12- nearly done


What can I say, I rather like grafting.


Once all was done, the work looked pretty much good as new.

13-Fin


Let's close this out with that puppy chaser I promised.

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See all the pics from our trip to the beach on Sunday, here.

November 28, 2007

What I did with my long weekend

I know I'm a little late to be reporting about my weekend. But these pictures are making me happy right now and I want to share.

I finally finished the piece I've been knitting for Donna Druchunas' upcoming book. We were all asked to incorporate one of Dorothy Reade's lace patterns into an original design. I love this sort of challenge. I find I'm far more creative when I have some sort of rule or limitation.

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I wish I could show you the whole thing but this teaser will have to do for now. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, Lion and Lamb. And the wee buttons? Those are vintage. I just love old buttons. I've been slowly amassing (maybe more of an "asmattering") a little collection of vintage buttons.

Completing this piece basically frees me of all deadline knitting. There is actually one other small item I need to knit but it's, as I said, small and I expect it to be rather fun, too.

I do have a substantial amount of pattern writing to do now, though. It's never as much fun as the designing and knitting but I guess it's what they pay me for, right?


On Saturday, Leo and I walked around downtown Portland a bit. We live about 10 minutes from downtown, but for the sake of our savings accounts, we don't go terribly often.

Obviously, most shops were a mob scene, this weekend, but we weren't terribly bothered by it. The air was crisp, there was no rain and very little wind. Just gorgeous.

I love how the sidewalks get stained by the fallen leaves.

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Hi, I'm the weird girl who photographs the sidewalk, how are you today?

When one stops staring at her toes, the stuff higher up looks pretty darn nice too.

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Check out THAT hottie.

January 10, 2008

Sexy knitting

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Woohoo! Both Bella Paquita AND Giselle were chosen for this session of the Sexy Knitters' Club.

I really couldn't be more flattered, especially considering the spectacular competition.
Just check out this list.

One of the things about my free patterns is that many are a bit rough around the edges, so I expect to be doing a lot of pattern support for Bella Paquita, but Giselle has been test knit 3 times, tech edited and copy edited so I'll mostly be answering clarifying questions for that one.

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If any of you were thinking about knitting either pattern, you might consider joining the group and knitting along. I can't wait to see how people's projects turn out.

April 15, 2008

Crime of Fashion Reissued

Well, as many of you might now know, MagKnits is no more. It was such a great site, and I'm sad to see it go, but it sounds like it was the right choice for Kerrie, and ultimately, that's what matters.

Instead of simply throwing my Crime of Fashion pattern up onto my site in its original form, I decided to spend a few days redoing all the charts to be cleaner and easier to read and print. Additionally, instead of the 32 custom character charts I offered in the original pattern, I'm now offering 48 letters, numbers and graphics and I've made actual size graph paper and included that in the download, so people can make their own designs.

I've decided to charge $2 for the new improved version. I know this is going to be controversial for some folks. Another person who did this got some terse comments from people who don't feel a once free pattern should be sold at a later date. For my part, reformatting, and retooling the pattern took quite a few hours and the cost is low enough, that I hope most people will agree that it's a fair price. I did contact people on Ravelry who were working on the pattern, and offered to send them the old charts at no cost if they needed them.

If you are interested in making this pattern, you can click the button below.


$2.00

Thanks so much.

April 18, 2008

Astoria Pattern

When I finished knitting Astoria, late last year, and decided I'd write a pattern, I thought it'd be a piece of cake. Well, after 4 months, innumerable hours and much conversing with my tech editor and beta reviewers, I think I've come up with a pattern I feel comfortable selling.

This 7 page pattern, filled with diagrams, charts, and tons of modification suggestions, comes with 10 sizes from 31"/79cm – 58"/147cm.

Additionally, you can download an Excel document, for free, with the motif, set up so that you can play around with different color combinations.

The pattern is available for download for $9.99. You can check out all the supplies, sizes and other specifications for this pattern here.

Thanks to everyone who expressed interest in the pattern. I hope that people will enjoy knitting this piece.

April 25, 2008

Sinuate Pattern Available

Sinuate in front of weedy lawn

The free pattern download for Sinuate is now available. If you are on Ravelry, you can see all the details here.

The pattern is two full pages of instructions plus a cover.

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The piece uses about 270 yards of fiber that's 15wpi (somewhere between a DK and Worsted) and requires US #6/4mm needles and a size F/3.75mm crochet hook.

If you have any trouble downloading the pattern, please let me know.

June 16, 2008

The unblogable list just keeps growing

If you were to look at my Ravelry notebook, you'd notice a lot of projects that are super top secret. (If I showed them to you, I'd have to kill you, and nobody wants that.)


Sadly enough, this doesn't even represent the full list of unbloggables. Two are to come (awaiting yarn) and one two-part pattern isn't represented (didn't get a good swatch shot before I sent it off.)

So, that means I've been very busy and haven't much to show for it around here.
But, in the next month and a half, or so, I expect to have a new self published pattern for you, which will reveal the whole behind these two little pieces.

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And, the premier issue of Twist Collective will be out with this bad boy.

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The rest will come in its due time. So funny too, I had this grand idea that I'd work on all self published stuff this year. How silly I am. I have been trying to do more of my own designs, but the opportunities that have arisen, to work on other projects, have just been too good to pass up. In the end, I think it's all worked out for the best.

That said, with several patterns being tech edited right now, and other patterns due very soon, I've been so entrenched in numbers and details that I needed to give myself a little break yesterday.

That's when El Matchador, some Spunky Eclectic merino and I, had ourselves a luxurious few hours while watching Deadwood on DVD.

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These are the singles spun not-too-tightly, using a supported long draw method. I plan to ply it pretty tightly once I've spun the 4 ounces I have. I think this will retain the softness without being too prone to pilling. The colorway is called Sage and it's an amazing mix of greens and browns, ranging from deep leafy green to red and yellow ocher. The picture really doesn't show the color well. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm eager to finish spinning up the remaining fiber, yet also feeling mentally refreshed enough to dive back into my deadline work.

In unrelated news, my parents arrive on Wednesday when we will belatedly celebrate Father's Day with my now-legitimate-no-longer-step father. Huzzah! And to add to the fun, my mom and I will be at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene on Friday and, maybe, Saturday. If you'll be there too, please say "hi." I have a feeling my wallet will be substantially lighter after leaving the event.

July 15, 2008

I don't want to alarm you, but there's a monster in the room

The pattern for the Alsace Le Monstre Hat, Doll and both combined, are now available for sale.

doll and hat together.jpg

Special thanks go out to Julia getting knocked up and inspiring me to come up with something unique and to Ada for her tech editing work.

If you have any trouble purchasing the pattern or find any issues with the instructions, don't hesitate to contact me.

September 2, 2008

Making a statement with your tush

When I first found Schmeebot's blog, I came for the Waffles, but even now that the photogenic golden has moved away, I enjoy my regular fix of delightful images. Recently, though, she gave me even more reason to love her blog, she's a member of the Axis of Evo. Woohoo!

Once I mentioned my interest in joining the brigade, she challenged me to a hot-pants-design-off. Well, that makes it sound a little more competitive than it is. Really we're just both designing some boy shorts and I'll be offering the pattern for free. Yipee!

Here's my initial sketch.

Boyshorts-sketch

And Schmee's great sketch is here.

I've code named this pattern, "Asses of Evo" but I'll need a more family friendly name for the final pattern.

The pattern will be worked in Elann Esprit in "Coffee Bean" and "Pecan" to be a sort of inverse of Charles Darwin's original drawing. I also picked up some "Wine" and "Natural" that I might use to knit a second pair, if the first come out well enough. For those who don't want to order from Elann, Esprit is the same as Cascade Fixation.

Surely, you are all awaiting, with bated breath, a chance to knit up some evolution themed hot pants, right? RIGHT? Sure you are.

Also, on a somewhat related note, I plan to do a new tutorial, sometime soon, on colorizing your sketches in Photoshop and using the program to play around with color combination.

September 17, 2008

Good lighting and a flattering angle

The second and final version of Assets of Evo are done. The first were pretty good, but I knew there were some elements that could be better.

I love the wine and black color combo. The browns are gorgeous, but this is more my color.

AofE_back.jpg

I redid the duplicate stitch chart to better reflect the proportions of the artwork. The previous was a little short and stout.

AofE_side.jpg

The front meets the strict standards of our Quality Control department, which is always good.

AofE_front with panda.jpg

The new crotch gusset fits so much better than the original design.

AofE_crotch view.jpg

And if I stand in just the right position, wearing a cute pair of shoes, with flattering lighting and soft focus, it doesn't look too bad on me.

assets of evo 3_4 view.jpg

I am now finishing up the pattern and then I'll be looking for a tech editor.

September 26, 2008

You want some hot pants? I gots your hot pants right here.

tattoo and shorts.jpg

Assets of Evo is up!

I'm playing around with a whole shareware sharewear (thanks colin, you know I love a good pun.) concept here. The pattern is free, either for download from my site or from Ravelry. So go get yourself a copy and knit away. If you happen to like the pattern and you can afford to do so, there's an option to make a donation towards the cost of the tech editing, supplies and labor that went into the pattern. Don't want to make a donation? Don't. It's all good.

As always, I try to provide error free patterns, but even with tech editing, errors can slip in, so please let me know if you find any problems with the pattern.

Now go get a copy and knit and be merry.

October 1, 2008

Spindlicity is back

Hey, guess who's back and looking better than ever?

I even have a pattern in this edition.

I actually designed this way back when, right after I designed my Lake Park Hat and Gloves. In fact, I designed it so long ago, it was before we adopted Ms. Theano-Purl. (Excuse me while I get a little nostalgic for puppy cuteness and then remember what a huge pain in the keister she was and how much more delightful she is now.)

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to actually look through the whole site but what I've seen looks great. Yay for the return of Spindlicity.

October 7, 2008

A compelling reason to buy the pattern

I have a feeling that almost everyone who reads my blog, also reads Julia's, but if you haven't seen, this, you are missing out.

Grif_Als01.jpg

Granted, the hat is knit for someone a little bit bigger than little Griffin is right now, but I still think he rocks it.

If you think that's cute, you can up the CQ (cuteness quotient) exponentially by adding some baby bell bottoms and some itty bitty toes.

Grif_Als03.jpg

I may not want kids for myself, but I sure love how they make knits look.

In unrelated news, blogging is probably going to be really sparse for the next week and a half. Leo has to make a last minute trip down to Uruguay for a family emergency. I've got my fingers crossed that things are less dire than they sound, but in the interim, I'll be basically cameraless and busy holding down the fort. Luckily, I'll have this great eyecandy at the top of the page, until blogging recommences.

November 13, 2008

Dietrich

The new Twist Collective is up and I think you'll agree that it's a fantastic issue. There are so many great designs by so many great designers.

My own contribution is Dietrich

dietrich_page.jpg

Photos copyright Caroline Bergeron All Rights Reserved

Layout by Twist collective.

Dietrich is a simple felted cloche with a subtle, asymmetrical brim. When I told Kate I really wanted to adorn it with a feather, she said it was a great idea and said she had just the feather, if I hadn't picked one out already. I think she did an amazing job styling it. I love it.

The only problem with designing felted items is that you can't know if you got it just right until it's too late to undo what you've done.

The hat starts big and floppy

dietrich1_pre felting.jpg

The first version had a VERY dramatic brim, which is fun, but not as practical, so I knit a second version, that you see in the pattern shots, and kept the original to play with.

dietrich1_embroidered2.jpg dietrich1_embroidered3.jpg

Using a simple back stitch, I embroidered some vines around the brim. I found a ribbon that picked up the shades of the embroidery and added that as well. I think it's cute and I'll definitely find more excuses to embroider on knitting.

Dietrich not your thing? There's oodles of great content over in the winter edition, so go on over and check it out.


January 14, 2009

Bijou

I have been working on this project since June, so it's with more than a little excitement that I finally show you my newest pattern in Twist Collective, called Bijou.

Bijou
1. Bijou - Red, 2. Bijou - Black, 3. Bijou - Red, 4. Bijou - Black
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Available in 12 sizes with two different sleeve options, this piece is knit in the round, from the bottom up, and is totally seamless.

The red version is shown knit in my size with no ease. The black version is knit a size larger and has about 3" of ease.

As always, let me know if you have any questions. I love to get feedback.

April 15, 2009

La Cumparsita

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The pattern for La Cumparsita is now available for purchase. Get all the details about the pattern here.


Though I've shown it as a shawl, this pattern is the perfect size to wrap around your neck as a versatile scarf, easily unfurled to cover those chilly arms or shoulders, when you are out for a nice meal or at the theater.

The pattern is made up of two simple lace motifs that grow down and out from the top center point. A simple picot bind off adds a charming touch to the hem of the shawl. The pattern will beautifully showcase your favorite kettle dyed, and nearly solid hand-painted sock yarns, or would look striking in a silk or mohair yarn.

May 5, 2009

Knitting in the Sun

Kristi Porter's new book, Knitting in the Sun is now available through Amazon and should be in your bookstores this weekend.

I have a piece in there called Aviara

Aviara


I snapped this photo of it with a clashy skirt before I sent it to Kristi, last year. This garment is offered in 8 sizes from 30"-58" bust sizes. See more specs for Aviara over on Ravelry.

I also knit the sample for Julia's lovely linen cloche and took this shot of it lounging at the beach.

Linen Cloche


Make sure you drop by Julia's page to see her gorgeous sleep set.

Piece by piece, patterns from the book are being added to the ravelry page so keep your eyes peeled. From the looks of it, it's going to be a great collection of lovely knits from a whole slew of great designers. I'm glad to be a part of it.

May 19, 2009

Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour

I lived most of my life in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, experiencing the full range of seasonal changes from hot and muggy to sub zero, covered in ice, I think my eyes just froze shut cold. But it wasn't until I moved to Los Angeles that I suddenly rediscovered knitting and took to it in earnest. Five years in a climate that rarely dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and often blasts right past 90, gave me a keen appreciation for versatile and light knits. As any of you living in warmer climates know, balancing comfort in the hottest temperatures with the over zealous application of climate control in various offices, restaurants, theaters and stores, is not as easy as one might assume.

Enter Kristi Porter's newest book, Knitting In The Sun. This collection of 32 projects is sure to please almost anyone who lives somewhere with at least a few months of warm weather.

For my stop on Kristi's blog tour, I'm doing a brief interview with several of the contributing designers from the book. A huge thank you to the following designers for their contribution (in alphabetical order).

I think you'll all agree that their answers are really interesting and their designs are simply lovely.

Images from Knitting in the Sun
1. Quimper, 2. Anna Maria Tank, 3. Cinnamon Bay, 4. Blacksea, 5. Alishan, 6. Yehliu, 7. Bordeaux, 8. Cover, 9. Provence, 10. Bardini, 11. Vernazza, 12. Cabrillo, 13. Puget Sound, 14. Coronado, 15. Windansea, 16. Aviara
Ravelry Link to the projects in this book here
Most images Copyright Wiley Publication, all rights reserved. One image copyright Julia Trice, all rights reserved.

Continue reading "Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour" »

August 15, 2009

Pas de Valse

So guess who has a new pattern out in the fantastic Twist Collective? Me! Did you guess that already? Is it weird when one answers her own rhetorical questions?

Anyway, the pattern is called Pas de Valse, and it's available in 12 sizes from 30" (to fit 28" bust) to 63" (to fit 61" bust).

Pas de Valse

My hope is that this will be a really versatile piece that will be both flattering and comfortable. It's also a fantastic canvas for showing off a special shawl pin -- just saying.

As always, I'm thrilled to be contributing to Twist and humbled by the beautiful pieces my colleagues have created. Go check out all the pretty now.

September 3, 2009

In the works

Well, your collective response to my inquiry about that slouchy cowl in my last post was so great that I got right to writing the pattern. My beta reviewers are looking over the very rough draft and then it's off to the tech editor early next week. As per most of my for sale patterns, it'll be offered in 12 sizes and have plenty of tips for getting a good fit. I hope it'll be well received.

It took a while to get the charts, calculations, schematic and text together, and I still need to get some detail shots and start the layout, but I've taken the summer off from classes, I don't have any design deadlines, and the most time consuming parts of the move are done so I actually had some *gasp* free time! I'm trying not to get used to it.

I've even had a little time for some more knitting

Prism lace transition

The yarn is some of the singles I spun during the Tour de Fleece. It started off looking like this.

Prism as hat

It's going to be a rectangular wrap but I think it'll be coming up a little shorter than I'd like so I've set aside some possible yarn with which to trim it.

And, since I've been doing cable charts for this project, I'm thinking about doing another illustrator chart tutorial. I just need to find the box the microphone.

October 12, 2009

Jamison Square

I'm happy to announce the release of Jamison Square, formerly known as the slouchy cowl.

Click on the image or right here to see all the details about this pattern.

Price $9.00

Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to finish the pattern. Here's hoping you enjoy knitting it as much as I enjoyed designing it.

And since I know not everyone has $9 to throw at a pattern, here's a picture of my petulant little pup.

TheaLooksPetulentHere

See, a little something for everyone.

November 6, 2009

The Manzanita Collection

The Manzanita Collection

Did you know that Ravelry now supports ebooks? As a designer, I think this is fantastic. In celebration of this nifty new tool and because, much to my chagrin, it's creeping up on that holiday season thingy, I've decided to offer my first official ebook.* You can now purchase Jamison Square, Astoria and La Cumparsita together for almost $7 off the price of buying them individually.

To purchase the collection, you can go here.

And, for sure, I don't want to punish those of you who have already purchased one or all of these patterns. If you are interested in the collection discount and have purchased any or all of the patterns, write me with the subject line: "Manzanita Collection" and include your receipt(s). I will invoice you for the cost difference or refund you the $6.99, if you've purchased all three before Friday November 6th.

As always, thanks to every one of you who supports me and/or other independent designers. I think that's downright awesome.

*Technically, Alsace has been functioning as a sort of ebook, but there's no need to split hairs.

November 16, 2009

Successful Lace Knitting

Almost three years ago, if I have the time line correct, Donna Druchunas asked me if I'd be interested in submitting a design for a book she was working on. She had a variety of lace stitches we could choose from and our pieces had to feature at least one of those stitch patterns.

Donna just released a couple of the pictures from the book, Successful Lace Knitting: Bringing Dorothy Reade's Patterns and Techniques to Today's Knitters, and, lookie, mine is one of the ones she's previewing.


Photos by Brent Kane, copyright Martingale & Company

You can see the other pieces she's previewing here.

I'm knee-deep in deadline knitting. I like to think that means I'm embracing my alter ego:

The Knitter
The Knitter

The upside is, I think I make a decent super villain. The downside is, I won't have much to blog until the end of the holiday season.

I'll try to slip you a few pup posts in the interim, you know. like this, where I send my dog out into hail.

January 22, 2010

Hair Apparent and giving even more

I've finished the pattern for Hair Apparent and added it to the collection of Help For Haiti patterns. Like all my more recent patterns, 50% of the price will be donated to Doctors Without Borders for any sales from January 15-January 31, 2010. 75% of any sales of my older self-published patterns, retroactive to January 15th, will also be included in the donation.

Not to get sappy, but I've been following a few Ravelry threads and the amount of money knitters have been able to donate is awe inspiring. If you are interested, check out the tally Yarn Harlot is keeping or browse the other patterns in Ravelry that are marked for donations to Haiti. The good godless folks of LSG alone have raised $40,000. It's a great reminder that many people making small gestures can add up to a lot.

I hope that any of you who have been on the line about sending a donation, will consider finding a charity you respect and sending an amount that you can spare. And for the loads of you who have clearly already reached deep into your pockets, despite the poor economy, I just want to say how moved I am by your generosity. Ok, sappiness over. Thanks for humoring me.

Hair Apparent

This ultra easy pattern can be worked up in a productive weekend or gradually completed over a week. There's a fun little braided brim and I've included a full photo tutorial at the end of the document for those who feel it may be beyond their skill level. I've also included both stripe instructions and both snap and button options. The hat is available in 5 sizes from premie to adult. The pattern is 4 pages plus a cover and is laid out so that secondary info (tutorials, gauge, schematics, etc) are on separate pages from the actual pattern instructions, so you can print out only the info you actually need and save paper and ink.

The price is $3.
Find out more about the pattern here.

IMG_0059

The pups were a great "help" during the photo shoots.

April 2, 2010

Damariscotta

The Spring/Summer 2010 Twist Collective is up and it's visually stunning and filled with amazing designs. I was lucky enough to have two submissions accepted and will do a blog post for each.

The first piece is Damariscotta.

Original Damariscotta Sketch

Named for a hard to pronounce but lovely little town in Maine, near where my dad's family has land. I'll sometimes fly out to Maine to go to the Fiber Frolic with my mom, and we'll all stay at a little cabin that my dad built on the land there.

June 2009 -- Maine

Having grown up in New England and having spent plenty of time in Maine, I associate the area with a love for the ocean, a rather pragmatic sensibility and clean and structural design. I strove to capture those qualities in this top.

Damariscotta

The piece is knit from the top down with instructions for an entirely seamless construction, right down to the double-knit hems that are grafted closed. I've also included instructions for people who might run at the sight of the words "graft" or "double-knit" so don't despair if that's not your cup of tea.

I also think this piece would be magnificent with a simple lace border around the hem and sleeves, instead of a finished hem shown. A wee bit of single crochet would prevent any curling and it would turn this simple piece into something worthy of a pretty pencil skirt and heels.

While I love the idea of a deep angled square neck (image it over a pretty little lace tank,) I knew that wouldn't suit everyone and that is why I chose the top-down construction instead of my preferred method of knitting bottom up. Keeping in mind that the single crochet will pull in the neck a little, one can simply throw the live stitches onto waste yarn and try the piece on to determine the most comfortable and flattering neckline depth and width.

Damariscotta

Once you work the neckline you like best, you can shape the torso to follow every curve or leave out the shaping altogether for a more relaxed fit. The sleeves can be worked the same way, and can easily be lengthened to fit your climate and preference.

So that's Damariscotta for you. I hope that those of you who like the design will enjoy knitting it, and if it's not your style, I have no doubt there's another piece in this edition that will catch your eye.

Check out this and all the other beautiful patterns in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition of Twist Collective, by going here.

April 14, 2010

Cecchetti

I talked about Damariscotta in my last post. This time, I'll be talking about Cecchetti.

Most of my designs are either inspired by a detail I've seen around which I build a garment or they are an interpretation of a theme or idea someone has proposed. In this case, Cecchetti may somewhat fit the former category but in many ways it's an interpretation of a sort of nostalgia I feel for things that aren't so much a part of my life these days.

Cecchetti Original Cecchetti Sketch

I'm a little bit bottom heavy (perhaps "pear shaped" is a more acceptable description) and I have always found drape neck designs, with their delicate folds of fabric framing the face, to be quite flattering on my figure, especially layered under the many suit jackets I no longer wear, now that I work from home. (I'm not complaining, working in my PJs with my dogs by my feet, beats looking fashionable, any day of the week.)

Inspiration for Cecchetti

Along with the subtle drape at the neck (for which I provide notes in the pattern for modifying it to be more or less draped) I also tried to capture the aesthetic of the warmup clothes my classmates and I used to wear when I (long ago) took ballet lessons. I was amazed at how overly long sleeves and leg-warmers, would make one's extensions and arm placements look even longer and more graceful. Cecchetti has a little more ease than those pieces I used to wear, and the soft, decadent silk and merino yarn is surely not meant for sweating and leaping, but the vertical body darts, sleeves that slip past the base of the hands and the hip length all serve to elongate and flatter the body.

I think that people who knit this piece will find it very comfortable as well as flattering and very easy to modify as you go to get a good custom fit. As with most of my designs, it's knit seamlessly in the round, including the set in sleeves. And do not worry about it being all in reverse stockinette, the instructions allow you to knit it either right side (purl side) out or wrong side (knit side) out.

Check out Cecchetti or any of the other beautiful Spring and Summer pieces over at Twist Collective.

April 30, 2010

Pre Order Knitting It Old School

Knitting%20it%20Old%20School%3A%2043%20Vintage-Inspired%20Patterns.jpeg

I would say it was about 4 years ago that Debbie (aka Stitchy McYarnpants) asked me if I'd contribute to a book she had been scheming up. At that time, it was just an idea, she had no publisher, no proposal, just a clear vision of what she had in mind.

Now, four years later, the book is finally ready for pre-order. I have two patterns in this book, including the cover piece (my second cover design this year!)

This book has a wonderful list of contributors, tech editing by Kristi Porter and the fantastically witty writing that you would expect from Debbie and Caro. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished book. If you are too, you can pre-order the book on amazon, here.

June 20, 2010

Contest

You know what I think is really useless? Blogging that you haven't blogged for a while and then apologizing. But you know what I think is cute? Posting a picture that captures that same sentiment.

Manzanita June 18, 2010
Contrite dog is contrite*

But how'z about I make it up to at least two of you out there.

Picture%201.png
Successful Lace Knitting


A little while ago, I posted about Donna Druchunas' new book, Successful Lace Knitting, to which I contributed the cover project. Well I recently received my copy and one extra copy, both of which are signed by the author. That means I have one more copy than I rightfully need.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below answering the following question.

What is the most embarrassing thing your parents/guardians ever did in front of your friends?

Here's my answer:
My biological father used to crochet his own banana hammocks and wear them in public to swim at the local country club. I'm from a small town, and people I grew up with still talk about it. It's memories like that, that make me all the more thankful for the upgrade I got a few years back. (Speaking of which, a very happy father's day, dad2.0!)

Here are the logistics of the drawing. Get your comment in by the end of day Friday June, 25, and I will pick one comment at random to receive the signed copy of Successful Lace Knitting. I will also award one gift certificate for a Twist Collective pattern (you will be able to pick from any that they offer) to the person who makes me laugh and/or cringe the hardest with their comment.





*Note, no dogs were actually made to feel contrite to produce this blog post.

August 1, 2010

New Twist Collective

If you haven't heard the news, the new Twist Collective is up. I feel really proud to be a part of this edition. My dear friend Julia has the cover design and rightfully so, because it's gorgeous.

And speaking of gorgeous, my friend Mary-Heather not only has a brilliant design in this edition, but she also modeled an entire story.

My modest contribution to the edition is Tolovana about which I'll post more soon.


Photo copyright Caro Benna Sheridan

For now, go go go, go look at the edition, it's a fantastic one, I might even be so bold as to say it's the best to date.

October 31, 2010

Picture Yourself

Every time I work on this pattern, I get Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds stuck in my head for a few days. I guess we can all be thankful I didn't call it, Achy Breaky.

This was a really fun pattern for me to knit and write. It just all happened pretty easily and I've already worn the piece out a couple of times. With all the rain and fog we have in Oregon right now, the bright orange stripes just seem so cheery.

The pattern is now available, thanks in no small part to Laura Chau's hard work tech editing it. You can get all the details about the pattern here on my site, or over in ravelry.


As an added bonus, until the end of the year, anyone who buys 3 or more patterns from me, will receive a 20% discount. No coupon required and past purchases through ravelry will apply! Applicable to all purchases except the Manzanita collection. The economy is still dragging. It seems like a great time to offer a discount.

November 16, 2010

Mata Hari

The Winter 2010 edition of Twist Collective is live and it features 31 patterns, along with some fantastic articles.

I'm pleased and flattered to have been asked to contributed to the Designer's Choice section. We were asked to come up with a design we would love to wear and model it for the section. My design is called, Mata Hari and features a plunging v-neck in back and a wide scoop neck in front. The garment looks just as good worn backwards and an optional bow adds just a touch of fun to the piece.

Mata Hari Mosaic
1. Mata_Hari0716, 2. Mata_Hari2011, 3. Mata_Hari1762, 4. Mata_Hari1421

I plan to write more about this piece later. For now, I hope you'll take a few moments to check out this beautiful edition.

February 20, 2011

Let's continue the birthday celebration

Friday was my birthday and I put it to good use. I released a pattern:

Dweezil_In_Space

And I went to the beach with the three beasts and one human I like best of all.

My birthday at the coast
1. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_171, 2. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_046, 3. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_053, 4. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_065, 5. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_118, 6. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_126, 7. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_130, 8. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_148, 9. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_150, 10. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_157, 11. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_169, 12. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_176, 13. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_182
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And as an added bonus, I did an interview a little while ago and now it's live. Check it out here.

Hope you all had a happy my-birthday as well.

March 22, 2011

Tidewater

I am very pleased to present my newest patterns, a set called Tidewater featuring:

A cowl:

Tidewater Cowl modeled by all of us
1. Tidewater_Cowl_19, 2. Tidewater_Cowl_27, 3. Tidewater_Cowl_24, 4. Tidewater_Cowl_08
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And a shawl

Tidewater_Shawl_25 Tidewater_Shawl_45

The patterns are both charted. The cowl also includes written out instructions for the lace, for those who are not comfortable working from charts. Each pattern is available individually and both are available together, as an ebook, for a reduced price.

Click to see all the details for the cowl and the shawl.

April 1, 2011

Raina

The new Twist Collective is live and for my friends and family still digging themselves out of snow drifts just to check the mail, it's a fresh, springy, breath of fresh air.

This is another stunner of an edition, with many names you probably already know and love and a few new folks as well. My design is Raina.

This piece is worked in Madelinetosh Pashmina so it's incredibly soft and a delight to wear. The lace trim at the hems, long lean ribbing and body darts, all make for an elegant and feminine fit, while the short sleeves, long length and modest scoop neck make it as comfortable as a favorite t-shirt, to wear.

Raina132

I hope you'll take a few moments to flip through the great new edition of Twist Collective. If Raina isn't your style (or even if it is) there is so much more to see and love.

August 1, 2011

Fall 2011 Twist Collective is Live

The new Twist Collective is live and it's beautiful. I have seen these patterns from their thoughtfully laid out submissions right up to their final tech edited PDF. I've read the articles from their early drafts to their polished finished composition. I feel personally invested in each and every piece's success and receptions from knitters.

There's a lot to love in this edition, including two beautiful garments from my dear friend, Julia Trice, and a must read article on seamed knitting, by Sandi Rosner. And while I think all the articles are fantastic, I'd be remis if I didn't direct you to this story, where you'll struggle to decide which is more endearing, the story itself or the beautiful illustrations.

Of course, I've made my own contribution to this edition (beyond my work behind the scenes), about which I plan to do a separate, more in-depth post. Make sure you cruise by my his and hers pattern, Doppler.


Photo copyright Jane Heller

Originally conceived as just a men's garment, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern to keep the knitting interesting but not too fussy, I added in a women's version too, sized proportionally for women's standards, with just a hint of waist shaping. Both patterns come with both the crew and turtleneck instructions, so you can really tailor this garment to your preference.

I know it's simple, without the excitement of some of the myriad designs also available in the edition, but I hope it'll be a wardrobe staple for those who choose to knit it.

Now stop reading my blog post and go check out this amazing new edition.

September 10, 2011

Interview at the Designer's Studio

Exactly 3 years ago today I posted an interview I did with Faina Goberstein and Dawn Leeseman about their book Casual Elegant Knits. Their blog tour was my first chance to get to know Faina, but it hasn't been my last. Since then, she and I have both contributed to the book Knitting in the Sun and Twist Collective.

When Faina first asked me if I'd do an interview for her ongoing Designer's Studio series, I agreed and then promptly got overwhelmed with other things and dropped the ball. Luckily, she gave me a second chance. The interview is now live and you can read it here. Don't forget to check out all the other interviews and if you find any interesting, consider leaving Faina a comment to thank her for all her hard work.


Ooof, there aren't any pictures in this post. Time to remedy that with some non sequitors.

Puppies at play.

Battling the water monster_comic
Click through to get to embiggen

And check out quilt numero dos.

My second quilt_23

September 20, 2011

Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery...

...that all started with the Big Bang (Theory).

Leo and I haven't had cable television for about the past 5 years. There was so little we actually wanted to watch that we weren't really getting our dollar's worth. We do have Netflix and Hulu set up and, of course, all 3 of the local PBS stations, and that works fine for us, however we are somewhat reliant on other people to let us know if there's anything we should be watching on Netflix, and it was my parent's suggestion that we watch The Big Bang Theory, that ultimately led to my most recent Twist Collective design, Doppler.

Maybe I shouldn't admit that. The show isn't known for it's cutting edge nor stylish fashion and this clip that spawned my design may make you wonder how many glasses into a bottle of wine I was when inspiration hit.

Nonetheless, after seeing this costume, I had this idea of a men's sweater, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern that radiated out from one shoulder. To be honest, from what I've seen, men's garment patterns don't sell quite the way women's do. It could be that they generally require more yarn or that more knitters are women and only knit for men on occasion. It could be that men frequently prefer garment styles that are a bit boring to knit. Or it could be something else altogether, but regardless, it seemed to make sense to offer this pattern both for men and women.


My original submission sketch and swatch

After talking with Kate, we decided that not everyone would be keen on the turtleneck so a second neckline option was in order too. This meant that the final pattern offered 11 women's sizes, 12 men's sizes and 2 neckline options for each. Now that's a-lotta-pattern to write. The tech editor may never forgive me.

Doppler_women_030

The garment is worked from the bottom-up, totally seamlessly, including the set-in sleeves, and once the set-up row for the ribbing is done, the stitch pattern is established and you can just knit away.

It was a lot of work cranking out two full sized garments in just over a month, but I managed to pull it off with enough time to get a few shots.

Leo looks mighty good in the men's version.

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But, I think I give my handsome guy a run for his money.

Doppler_men_onmarnie_009

I hope that people who knit this pattern will find it a great wardrobe staple. The two Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns were both a joy to work with and next to the skin soft as well. Check out Doppler and all the other great designs in this season's edition of Twist Collective

November 15, 2011

Theano and Zosia


The new Twist Collective is live. I know I say it every season and I mean it, I am honored and humbled to be a part of such an amazing magazine.

My two patterns this season are

Theano


And Zosia


As always, I'll talk more about the designs in a follow-up post. For now, go see everything in this beautiful edition, including all the amazing articles.

December 4, 2011

On the horizon

I feel like I'm on a designing kick right now. I just released two patterns for Twist, I have yarn for two deadline projects, due to publish next spring and I just sent a new design, Cercis, to my tech editor to be self published.

cercis_outtake_001

I took some pictures of Cercis this weekend, while we were at the coast. I thought I'd share my favorite outtake. It's useless for actually seeing the sweater but it has everything I love; my pack, haystack rock, a bright sunny day, knitting and the ocean.

I hope to have this pattern ready for release in the next couple of weeks. Until then, I have some designing to do.

December 8, 2011

Cercis

About 6 years ago, I designed Deciduous. I really loved the idea of the pattern, with it's organically shaped cables forming trees up the front. I've always known, though, that it would have a very limited appeal, being worked in an expensive yarn that's hard to substitute (cables on a tank top can't be worked in many yarns and still remain comfortable) in a style that may not be appropriate for many people's lifestyles and climate. I've had it in my head for a long time that I'd like to use those cables in a long sleeve garment using a yarn that's readily available, affordable and easy to substitute. It's been a long time coming, but Cercis is the result.

Cercis is offered in 12 sizes:
32 ½ (34, 36 ½, 38, 40 ½, 41 ½, 44, 45 ½, 48, 52, 55 ½, 59 ½)"
82.5 (86.5, 92.5, 96.5, 103, 105.5, 112, 115.5, 122, 132, 141, 151) cm

It's worked in 4 easy pieces and seamed together.

The pattern has tons of fitting tips, row and stitch counts at every step and every chart has a chart key on the same page. While the document is 11 pages long total, I've grouped information so you'll only need to print a few pages, as needed, saving you ink and paper.

In addition to releasing this pattern, I've decided to adjust my pricing model to be more consistent across the board. This means I've dropped the price of almost all my self published garment patterns (my Twist Patterns are not effected by this change.)

Check out all the details of the pattern here
Find the pattern on Ravelry here.

June 7, 2012

Because it's summer

Sometimes, I read through the designer forums on Ravelry and people discuss ideal times to release different types of patterns and often it's pointed out how terrible sales are in the warm months and how unwise it can be to release a pattern at a time when it won't generate a lot of buzz. All really interesting stuff, and good advice.

In unrelated news, I have a new pattern, Uchiwa.

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It's worked in a delightful merino/cashmere/nylon blend that is both soft and sturdy enough for regular use, though I did do a prototype in Koigu, and it worked just as well, albeit with a little less cushy softness.

Ahhh, cashmere in summer, I'm getting clammy just thinking about it. I'm pretty sure I missed my calling in marketing. I can tell I'm really selling you on this idea. But I'll say this, the holidays (if you celebrate them) aren't too far off and mittens and hats make for good gifts. And also, mittens are small and portable and it's winter in the southern hemisphere, so, this is totally the pattern you are looking for.

Want to find out more? Check out the pattern details here or on Ravelry

uchiwa_18

June 29, 2012

Foothills

I have been waiting with bated breath since Quince & Co posted this preview, last Monday. I love designing shawls. When Pam asked me if I would consider designing one for Quince & Co, right as I was swatching up a shawl design, I figured it was serendipity. I put together a quick proposal and the rest is history, except it's the present, not history, but you know what I mean.

The design starts with small textured hills growing larger and then ending in a deep fluted ruffle. It brought to mind the drive to Mt Hood, which we can see from our bedroom window.

The pattern starts at the center-back neck and works out to the bind off at the end of the ruffle, in a single piece. The pattern is primarily charted.


© Carrie Bostick Hoge

I love Quince & Co's dreamy styling and high key photography. It beats the pants off my standing in front of our run down fence near the strawberry patch.

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No strawberries were harmed in the filming of this shawl.

If you like the pattern, you can purchase it here. To see even more pictures, you can check out the Ravelry page for it.


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Darwin helps with the modeling

August 11, 2012

Fall 2012 Twist Collective

The new edition of Twist Collective is live. It has been for a few days. I should know, I was there when it happened.

To me, this edition is all about timeless, wearable items, and I'm at a loss to pick a favorite.

My contribution is Treillage.

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It features lots of dense cables and fabric covered buttons made with leftover quilting scraps.

Thea doesn't care for it.

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See the magazine page here
The details page is here
And the ravelry page is here

And don't forget to check out the whole edition, including all the great articles.

August 27, 2012

Tangerine Trees

My increasingly graying hair and I have a new pattern.

Tangerine Trees_53

I feel like I design fairly regularly, especially now that I publish most seasons with Twist, and I'm always trying to appeal to a wide variety of people, but Tangerine Trees is really a design for me. I love wide ballet style necks, body darts, buttons and cuffs. I don't normally wear prints or complicated textured patterns. I love all types of designs, but this is a design that looks like something I'd have in my personal wardrobe.

The garment is worked from the hem-up, with no seams except the underarm bind offs, which could be joined with a 3-needle bind off if you are really averse to grafting. The yoke features raglan shaping as well as an additional series of neck decreases which can easily be added to, to make the neck narrower. Short rows at each shoulder help to hide your underpinnings.

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I used fabric covered buttons on the cuffs and hem which gave me an excuse to dive through my stash of quilting remnants.

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If you like the photos, I have more details here and on the ravelry page, and the latter offer tons more photos.

A big thank you to Laura Chau for tech editing my pattern and of course to my pups for photo-bombing me while I was trying to take serious pattern photos.

February 26, 2006

Don't thank me

Thank my mom. She wrote up the pattern and it's now available. If you want to take a look, just pop on over here.

April 12, 2006

I got your pom-pom right here


Several people have requested the pattern to this hat, so I've posted it in the pattern area of my site. You can get the pattern here.
It’s really a very easy hat to knit, and it’s made with chunky yarn so you can bang this baby out in a weekend.

April 7, 2006

Deciduous!

I have finally finished the pattern for Deciduous. After having a few people test knit it, I decided to offer 6 sizes instead of my originally planned 3 sizes and it has a high and low back version in the same pattern.

That pattern is $9.99 and can be purchased here.

April 21, 2006

Well, in that case

I don't think I could have gotten a more positive response to good ol' Drake, if I had bribed you guys. So, I've cleaned up the pattern, fixed the typos (I hope) and posted him for sale.

People have made some great suggestions for modifications and variations. One I like in particular was to convert him to a messenger bag. While I no longer have the yarn or even the dyelot numbers to do that, I think it's worth mentioning for anyone who might be considering making one for themselves.

Curses

Next up, a possible exercise in futility. I want to knit Leo a sweater. I do this with a great deal of trepidation. Leo is not a fiber artist of any sort. He switches between calling it "sewing," "crocheting," and "knitting." When I wind, spin or knit yarn, his general thought is "Aren't there machines to do that?" I do not begrudge him this. He takes no end of joy in things that bore me to tears.

I have knit Leo a boatload of hats and I've even knit him a sweater before. He is always appreciative, but I have never knit him something he is totally satisfied with. The perfect item will always be lace weight thin and softer than silk, while still being manly in every way. Colors? Sure, as long as it's grey, brown, navy, or black.

So why do I want to knit him a sweater despite the fact that he hasn't asked and I'm pretty sure he won't be entirely content with it? Well, I want to design a few men's garments, to fill out my pattern portfolio, and I think the design is one that marginally less picky men will like, but I also can't help myself. I think he's pretty darned wonderful and knitting is about the most special thing I can do for him, so dammit, he's getting a sweater.

I started with a trip to the LYS where I got 4 skeins of yarn.

All were dubbed "a little thick." But I informed him that it would just have to do and he could wear it when it's colder out. I love him, but I'm not knitting a sweater on needles smaller than US #3.
So he began the feel test.
The top was the finest, but the superwash merino just wasn't soft enough.
The alpaca was soft enough but too thick
The Cathay was dismissed out of hand. No interest there
The last was the Baby Cashmerino. Thin enough to be acceptable, soft enough to pass the test, and if bought in a different color it would do.

So I shopped online for some good colors and prices. I know my LYS doesn't carry the quantity and color selection required. Webs had the best price once the discount was applied and I made my order.

In the mean time, I swatched.

Yup, the whole thing will be in ribbing. May the knitting gods grant me the strength to finish this baby.

Both swatches have been through the washing machine and laid flat to dry so I know the yarn will survive his general MO for washing sweaters. And yesterday, after about a week of waiting, the yarn arrived.

That's 13 skeins of grey/blue Baby Cashmerino.

October 23, 2006

Winner!

One Ms. Eve Ng has won our grand prize. She has chosen to receive a pair of knitting needles. She's left it up to me to choose which ones.

The remaining items will be sold in the near future.

For now, I'm sorting and charting and playing around with the 70 submissions I've received from all of you.

I'm fascinated and a little daunted by how many sizes and shapes we all come in. This should be a challenging project indeed.

October 20, 2006

Final Countdown

Wow, you guys are awesome! I have been getting so many submissions for the leg contest, along with great little asides from many of you. I'm sorry I haven't had the time to personally thank and respond to each and every one of you.

For those who might be on the line about sharing your measurements with me, here's a little something that might sway you one way or the other. Below are pictures of what the winner will get to choose from.

If you choose a spinning related prize, you can choose from one of these orifice hooks.

Either a lamb themed hook.

Or a lizard themed hook.


If you prefer a knitting related prize, you can choose from one of two pairs of US sized 7 Clover knitting needles with decorated ends.

Again, I have a lamb themed variety.

Or a lizard theme.

These are definitely hand made and look the part but they're made with plenty of TLC, for whatever that is worth.

If the winner opts out of any of the items above, there will be an option for a yarn or roving prize instead.

I've extended the contest just a little longer, so you may get in your entries until mid-day Saturday, when the winner will be chosen.

Thanks again for all the submissions so far. I hope they keep rolling in.

October 18, 2006

Relying on the kindness of strangers and friends

I have a huge favor to ask you guys out there. I'm working on a pattern for a company and I need to have some good leg measurements for all different kinds of women, from petit to zaftig. I would NOT expect anyone to want to leave those sorts of measurements in my comments, so I'm hoping I can sweet talk you into emailing me those measurements with assurance that your numbers and names will never be released in combination with each other.

So, what I'd need is:

  1. Circumference at ball of foot

  2. Circumference at ankle

  3. Circumference at knee

  4. Distance from ankle to knee

  5. Circumference at mid thigh (Sit down. Measure halfway between knee and crease of lap)

  6. Distance from knee to mid thigh

or click the "Contact" button above. Either will allow you to send me an email. Include the subject line "my leg" and the measurements for each number in the body of the message.

And because I know this is a bit of a pain in the butt, I'll be sending one random contributor a special gift. The winner will be picked Friday night and can choose either a knitting or a spinning related little prize.

January 9, 2007

Perhaps the longest glove pattern ever

The Lake Park Glove pattern is now available for free in the pattern section of my site. This thing was a beast to put together so if you find any issues, feel free to drop me a note.

The pattern is very simple, but I've offered lots of information for modifying the pattern and I made charts and verbose instructions for those of you who have a preference. I give because I love.

I hope a few of you will show me your hand spun and variegated yarns worked up in this stitch pattern. I think it'll be great to see how different yarns look.

January 8, 2007

I've got your hat right here

The hat pattern has been posted.

The gloves are coming soon.

March 10, 2007

9 months in the making

Wow, I was going through my old emails, to see when I started my project with Stitch Diva Studios, and it was nearly 9 months ago. The owner, Jennifer, contacted me while I was at BlogHer, to see if I'd be interested in designing some stockings inspired by the photography of E. J. Bellocq (WARNING: Probably not safe for work).

Normally, I think that most people design their patterns, send them off to whomever, and await questions from the tech editor. That's usually about as much interaction as you'll ever have. With Stitch Diva Studios, the entire process, from conception, to test knitting to tech editing, is interactive with all parties involved, and I had a pretty large party to attend. It was great. I couldn't list everyone involved without making this sound like a bad academy awards speech so I'll just say that I was really glad to have such great people working on my pattern.

The Pattern is called Bellocq, and is being previewed right now at Stitch Diva Studios. You can see the pattern by clicking here or click the image below.

Image Copyright Stitch Diva Studios. All rights reserved.

It's not for sale yet, but will be soon, so if you are interested, please check back at the link above, or join their mailing list.

April 6, 2007

A little slice of heaven

When I worked on site, at my job, I was often pretty far away from windows throughout the day. What little of the day I saw, was usually while I bustled between meetings.

Now that I work from home, I sit right next to a window, and I have Panda by my side. It's all I could ever have hoped. I love it.

There is one downside, though, when the days are absolutely beautiful, I feel like I'm in 3rd grade waiting for the school bell to sound and mark the end of the day.

Yesterday, was one such day. The sun is absolutely beaming, everything is verdant, and it was a mere hours before my weekend was scheduled to start. I could barely contain myself.

When my shift was up and I'd finally completed all those little things that seem to come up just when I think I'm done for the day, I decided that Panda and I needed a relaxing afternoon in the backyard.

We don't have any proper lawn furniture, but we do have some portable camping chairs. Ours happens to have a perfectly sized drink holding divot and yarn holster.

For a drink, I had myself a beer, though, to be honest, I was more like 25% of a beer, because I am a cheep date and it started to make me sleepy. For knitting, I had my super secret Stitchy McYarnpants project, so all you get to see is the gorgeous plum color and a big heap of knitted fabric, stitch holders and needles.

For entertainment, A Game of Thrones on my iPod. I'm such an audio book junkie. I'm so enamored of them, I exercise to them instead of music.

Panda made good use of the backyard as well.

Then she finally settled into a nice shady spot to watch me knit.

In the evening, I spun some of the Pearl colored Optim I got from Janel, last year.

This is my first time spinning Optim and it is unbelievably smooth and soft. Her colorway is beautifully subtle, which I love. This will be a colorway I can work into a very wearable item. I've started the second bobbin and will ply the two before moving onto my new Luxury Fiber of the Month; Baby Camel! I'm sure I'll absolutely bastardize the camel like I did the yak, but who cares, it's too soft to let languish.

April 16, 2007

I'm back!

Well, I just mailed off my top secret project, with all its fixin's to it's rightful owner. I'll miss that beautiful plum color Calmer but not as much as I've missed being able to talk crafty on my blog. While stories of Panda and hikes and tea and eating are all fun, it's yarny goodness upon which this blog is built.

So adios pretty plum calmer and, long time no see, Lily!

I've only had time to cast on and work a few rows of the second sleeve and it's amazing how hard it's been to get back into the swing of it.

Truth be told, I'm the sort of person who would likely have abandoned this with such a long hiatus. I know that's crazy, but when I lose momentum on something, it's almost never that I pick it back up again. It's good for me to push myself to finish these projects so they don't languish and end up ripped, or worse, donated to charity in their half knit form.

I have a couple other projects I'll probably be working on this year; projects that cannot be blogged right away but which I'm pretty excited about. But I also have big plans (bigger than any warping of the space time continuum can accommodate) that should all be bloggable.

May 17, 2007

Order one for everyone you know. No, order 2!

Thanks to Julia for posting about this.

I really can't tell you how excited I am for the release of this book. I have a pattern in here but I'm not just excited about my own piece. There are some phenomenal pieces from Julia, Mary Heather, Edna Hart and, of course, the author, Kat.

It was a truly extraordinary experience working with Kat. While I can't say I've had too many bad experiences designing for other people, working with someone who is an experienced designer, in this capacity, is liberating. She knows how to give just enough encouragement and direction to keep you on track but leaves you plenty of room to flex your creatively, and she is unfailingly supportive.

Since I was living in LA at the time, I was able to see many of the original proposed designs and I'm eager to see their final incarnations. The items I have seen are instant classics and should appeal to wide range of skill levels and taste.

The photograph? There's only one word for it, "beautiful."

It looks like I have to wait until November to get my grubby hands on a copy. If you are interested in pre-ordering, all the info is available here.

June 11, 2007

Chapeau Marnier

The new Knitty is up and I have a pattern there.


There was some confusion about whether the dark version of the hat would run in Knitty Spin or the green version would run in regular Knitty and the short version of the story is that both hats are pictured which is great, but that I flubbed and did the ribbon loops differently on each. So the instructions on Knitty are for the dark hat's loops and you can get the green hat's loops chart here. As always, feel free to press that little "contact" button up top if you need any help or clarification.


In other news, I went to the Maine Fiber Frolic, this weekend and had a great time. See some fun pics from my stay in Boston and visit to the Frolic, here. What, you need more motivation than that to look at my pictures? How's this for temptation?

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I leave to go back home, early tomorrow morning and while it's been wonderful to see my family and friends (so so great, really) I will glad, indeed, to see my little girls and Leo again.

June 28, 2007

Using Excel to aid in writing multi-sized patterns

This entry also posted at the Create Along.

Download the spreadsheet and play along at home.

It's been a while since I've done a tutorial and seeing as I use this technique all the time, it's about time I shared it with all of you. This also makes me feel better about the fact that I do not have any updates on my CAL project to post, as my deadline pieces are all keeping me busy.

NOTE: The attached spreadsheet is just a sample and contains measurements that may be useful but which may not meet the standards for some publications. You are welcome to use what I have for your own design purposes but it'll be you who has to ultimately support any patterns written from it, so do your research first.

The goal

Excel can be used to help you organize and plot your final pattern. Unfortunately, it can't do all the dirty work, but you can find yourself being a bit more consistent, if you let the program do your calculating. If you plan to submit your patterns for publication, providing a spreadsheet with all your work can be of great help to the tech editor. Doing so, may make logic errors more obvious and allow for faster editing.


A rough schematic of what we are shooting for

Continue reading "Using Excel to aid in writing multi-sized patterns" »

July 10, 2007

Switching horses mid-stream

While I'm really excited about my current project for Stitch Diva, this particular stretch of the piece has dogged me. I originally calculated and cast on for this section on Saturday, while watching The Queen and enjoying a glass of wine. After more than 25 years of knitting, you'd think I'd know that I needed a little more focus than that, to calculate a pattern. I'm obviously a slow learner. I cast on 250 stitches, using the long tail cast-on, (my personal favorite for it's speed,) only, BAH, not enough tail.

So I ripped, and cast on again and made it. I knit my 250 (give or take) stitches for 20 rows, during the movie, and a bit the following day, before realizing that my calculations were off. Oh, yes, there was ripping.

lotsofstitches.jpg

I focused myself on my calculations. I checked my work, and cast on again. After three tries, to get the cast on tail the right length, I nearly chucked my work out a window. Less stubborn knitters than I might have tried a couple of alternatives, such as:


  • A knitted on or cabled cast on, which requires no tail.
    Vetoed because I find it so dreadfully slow to do, I'd rather rip the long tail out forever and redo, like Sisyphus rolling his boulder up the mountain.

  • Long tail cast on worked from both ends of a center pull ball.
    Vetoed because it means another end to weave in. Also vetoed because of the aforementioned stubbornness.

  • Actually note the length of the tail for the failed cast on and extrapolate the needed additional length from there.
    Vetoed because I'm stupid.

But, all stubbornness and stupidity aside, I nearly did admit defeat and put the item in temporary time-out, until I realized that the cast on will be completely concealed with crochet. There is no way anyone is going to be able to see it. This gave me an option, when I realized I was about 50 stitches short of my goal. When I was left with a sufficient tail to weave in the end, but not enough to complete the cast on, I switched to a knitted on cast on.

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This puts a little tail in the middle of the cast on. To the right of the tail, in the image, is the long tail cast on, to the left is the knitted on cast on.

Here she is, really close up

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Personally, I would never do this if the cast on would be visible. There's a pretty noticeable difference and it would irk me even if no one else ever noticed. But since this baby will be obscured by crochet, there's no harm, no foul and my sanity is preserved.

July 6, 2007

Dogs in repose

It's been hot, and Thea and Panda are shedding hair like they think their comfort depends on it. Wait, I guess it does. Anyway, it's hot, and when it's hot, doggies like to sleep.

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I just didn't realize one would want to do it in my sandals.


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Thea is a very good sleeper


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Panda ponders whether or not I've forgotten how to use the vacuum cleaner.

Yes, I know, it's been a LOT of doggy pictures. Would it help if I told you I'm actually knitting?


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It's a project I'm doing for Stitch Diva. It's coming along swimmingly though I've done a lot of ripping to get it to the point where I'm happy with it. Luckily, my time frame for the project makes it possible to get it juuuuust right. I like that.

In other news, I saw Ms. Kat Coyle's gorgeous Lace Style skirt on Knitty Gritty, yesterday.

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It's so sad that it's styled better on KG than it was in the actual book. Oh how I pine for that skirt.

October 8, 2007

Boho Baby Knits

I am so excited to be able to post about this book. Kat Coyle approached me a little over a year ago to see if I'd like to contribute to her upcoming book. I received my copy last week and wanted to wait until she posted before I did so.

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The cover alone will probably sell you. The patterns in this book run the gamut from simple to complex, but each is original, fun, and worked in gorgeous yarns. I think I speak for everyone who contributed when I say that Kat is absolutely fantastic to work with. She has great vision, an impeccable eye for color, and her years of designing makes her keenly aware of what a designer needs to do their job successfully. I'm so proud to be a part of this book.

This is my pattern, The Poet Coat. It's worked in two shades of Blue Sky Alpaca and adorned with gold star buttons and a zipper pull.

Poet Coat.jpg

The main pattern is a linen stitch which produces a really dense fabric without much bulk.

The model is simply too cute for words.

My friends, Mary-Heather Coger, Julia Trice and Edna Hart, also contributed patterns, as well as Beth Abaravich, whom I never got to know but whose work is absolutely brilliant.

October 15, 2007

Giselle

I am so pleased to present my newest pattern, Giselle, which will be available exclusively through Stitch Diva Studios.

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The pattern is currently in the tech editing stage, in Donna Druchunas' capable hands. After that, it goes to layout and then the pattern will be available for order.

Jennifer asked me to model the garment so I met with her, near her home and we shot over two days. I have the first day's shoot up at my Flickr account. I'll have the second day's shoot, shortly in the same location. Check out a couple of the outtakes at the end of the set.

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The garment is modeled in three variations; an all knit version (orange), a knit and crochet version (red and silver-mo betta pictures to come) and a cropped version in knit and crochet (to come, in brown and teal.) However, the knitter can work any of the styles in a single color or in two colors and may work knit or crochet trim in any combination.

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This design is based on a piece I've called, The Wedding Cardi, which I knit for myself back in 2005, for a friend's wedding.

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It was knit in a discontinued yarn, and well before I had a firm grasp of pattern writing. I had it as set dressing for one of my episodes of Knitty Gritty and have continued to receive requests for a pattern, since. I hope that this ends up being a popular pattern. I'll let you know when it's available for purchase.

October 25, 2007

Epona

It is probably obvious that over the last year I have worked on some rather time consuming projects. I have several as yet unveiled ones as well as the Poet Coat and Giselle.

Something hit me this weekend and I just needed to knit a sock. As a general rule, I'm not much for knitting socks, though there are obviously some exceptions, but this weekend, it just felt like the right project and it is more portable than my larger secret project has become.

epona_side.jpg

Stats

Yarn: Socks that Rock Medium Weight Superwash Merino
Color: Rose Quarts
Yardage: About 130 yards per sock so a 380 yard skein is more than ample for a pair
Constructions: Toe up, short row toe, gusset, decorative heel flap, tubular bind off
Needles: Toe worked on 2.75MM, remainder of sock worked on 3.25 MM

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I did a few things that might not be totally standard. I worked the toe in a smaller needle than the rest of the sock because the gauge of the stockinette toe is so much wider than the twisted stitch pattern. The smaller needles weren't to match the gauge, just to make it a little more even.

And I decided to forgo the reinforced heel flap that most people like. I realize it's more functional to do a standard slipped stitch heel flap, but I just never liked how it interrupted the flow of the stitch pattern on a sock.

epona_snif.jpg

Both motifs, on the sock, can be found in Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries but I made some modifications to both. The main motif required a substantial overhaul while the side motif was just changed so that it would have the same number of rows in each repeat as the main motif.

epona_back.jpg

I think my only concern with this design is that anyone with even slightly shapelier legs than my own, will need some shaping at the calf. Luckily, I've thought about how to handle that and will be putting shaping instructions in the pattern.

Oh, did I not mention that I plan to write a pattern for this? Yah, I do.

October 24, 2007

Various and sundry topics

Lots more pictures of Giselle, including the cropped version, over here.

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See some beautifully retouched photos here.


Leo has been making jack-o-lanterns and I have been toasting the seeds.

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pirate pumpkin.jpg

The pirate is getting a little long in the tooth, after a week outside. The orange one is new. It weighed almost 40lbs before being gutted. That's how much each of the pups weigh.


If the weather stays relatively mild, we'll be getting a lot more cosmos.

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The bees like em

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Is there anything sweeter?

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November 28, 2007

What I did with my long weekend

I know I'm a little late to be reporting about my weekend. But these pictures are making me happy right now and I want to share.

I finally finished the piece I've been knitting for Donna Druchunas' upcoming book. We were all asked to incorporate one of Dorothy Reade's lace patterns into an original design. I love this sort of challenge. I find I'm far more creative when I have some sort of rule or limitation.

Finished_Donna_Design.jpg

I wish I could show you the whole thing but this teaser will have to do for now. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, Lion and Lamb. And the wee buttons? Those are vintage. I just love old buttons. I've been slowly amassing (maybe more of an "asmattering") a little collection of vintage buttons.

Completing this piece basically frees me of all deadline knitting. There is actually one other small item I need to knit but it's, as I said, small and I expect it to be rather fun, too.

I do have a substantial amount of pattern writing to do now, though. It's never as much fun as the designing and knitting but I guess it's what they pay me for, right?


On Saturday, Leo and I walked around downtown Portland a bit. We live about 10 minutes from downtown, but for the sake of our savings accounts, we don't go terribly often.

Obviously, most shops were a mob scene, this weekend, but we weren't terribly bothered by it. The air was crisp, there was no rain and very little wind. Just gorgeous.

I love how the sidewalks get stained by the fallen leaves.

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Hi, I'm the weird girl who photographs the sidewalk, how are you today?

When one stops staring at her toes, the stuff higher up looks pretty darn nice too.

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Check out THAT hottie.

November 20, 2007

Hey everybody, you're invited to a grafting party.

With puppy chaser at the end.

I recently posted the shameful state of a piece I was working on, for a book. When last we saw this project, I had detached the sleeve, from below the cap, held it on a spare needle and ripped back the sleeve cap, so that I could remove the extra rows from one of the front sections of the garment.

After fixing the front, I picked up and reknit the sleeve cap.

09-Sleeve Cap Reknit


I moved the live stitches to circulars so I wouldn't have to deal with so many needles. This picture was taken en route to the ocean. The picture quality goes WAAAAY downhill from here. I apologize, but frankly, as much as I love you all, I'm not going to wait for a sunny day to get this issue fixed up.


I cut a tail long enough to go around the sleeve about 4 times. Aligning the sleeve with sleeve cap, I started grafting.

10-Begin grafting


There's a great tutorial here, if you've never tried grafting before.


Every few inches, I took a look at the row of grafting to assess the tension.

11-Check tension as you go


It can be ugly, no?


To fix, I just use my tapestry needle to ease the yarn out towards the unworked stitches.

11-Adjust tension


Sometimes I'd go back and adjust a couple times in the same spot, but I never lost my mind over it. The wool content of the yarn should allow me to ease out minor inconsistencies in the blocking stage.


The work went pretty quickly. Here, I'm nearly done.

12- nearly done


What can I say, I rather like grafting.


Once all was done, the work looked pretty much good as new.

13-Fin


Let's close this out with that puppy chaser I promised.

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See all the pics from our trip to the beach on Sunday, here.

January 10, 2008

Sexy knitting

Sexyknitters4.jpg
Woohoo! Both Bella Paquita AND Giselle were chosen for this session of the Sexy Knitters' Club.

I really couldn't be more flattered, especially considering the spectacular competition.
Just check out this list.

One of the things about my free patterns is that many are a bit rough around the edges, so I expect to be doing a lot of pattern support for Bella Paquita, but Giselle has been test knit 3 times, tech edited and copy edited so I'll mostly be answering clarifying questions for that one.

BP_reshoot.jpg naama 317.jpg

If any of you were thinking about knitting either pattern, you might consider joining the group and knitting along. I can't wait to see how people's projects turn out.

April 15, 2008

Crime of Fashion Reissued

Well, as many of you might now know, MagKnits is no more. It was such a great site, and I'm sad to see it go, but it sounds like it was the right choice for Kerrie, and ultimately, that's what matters.

Instead of simply throwing my Crime of Fashion pattern up onto my site in its original form, I decided to spend a few days redoing all the charts to be cleaner and easier to read and print. Additionally, instead of the 32 custom character charts I offered in the original pattern, I'm now offering 48 letters, numbers and graphics and I've made actual size graph paper and included that in the download, so people can make their own designs.

I've decided to charge $2 for the new improved version. I know this is going to be controversial for some folks. Another person who did this got some terse comments from people who don't feel a once free pattern should be sold at a later date. For my part, reformatting, and retooling the pattern took quite a few hours and the cost is low enough, that I hope most people will agree that it's a fair price. I did contact people on Ravelry who were working on the pattern, and offered to send them the old charts at no cost if they needed them.

If you are interested in making this pattern, you can click the button below.


$2.00

Thanks so much.

April 18, 2008

Astoria Pattern

When I finished knitting Astoria, late last year, and decided I'd write a pattern, I thought it'd be a piece of cake. Well, after 4 months, innumerable hours and much conversing with my tech editor and beta reviewers, I think I've come up with a pattern I feel comfortable selling.

This 7 page pattern, filled with diagrams, charts, and tons of modification suggestions, comes with 10 sizes from 31"/79cm – 58"/147cm.

Additionally, you can download an Excel document, for free, with the motif, set up so that you can play around with different color combinations.

The pattern is available for download for $9.99. You can check out all the supplies, sizes and other specifications for this pattern here.

Thanks to everyone who expressed interest in the pattern. I hope that people will enjoy knitting this piece.

April 25, 2008

Sinuate Pattern Available

Sinuate in front of weedy lawn

The free pattern download for Sinuate is now available. If you are on Ravelry, you can see all the details here.

The pattern is two full pages of instructions plus a cover.

sinuatep1.jpg sinuatep2.jpg sinuatep3.jpg

The piece uses about 270 yards of fiber that's 15wpi (somewhere between a DK and Worsted) and requires US #6/4mm needles and a size F/3.75mm crochet hook.

If you have any trouble downloading the pattern, please let me know.

June 16, 2008

The unblogable list just keeps growing

If you were to look at my Ravelry notebook, you'd notice a lot of projects that are super top secret. (If I showed them to you, I'd have to kill you, and nobody wants that.)


Sadly enough, this doesn't even represent the full list of unbloggables. Two are to come (awaiting yarn) and one two-part pattern isn't represented (didn't get a good swatch shot before I sent it off.)

So, that means I've been very busy and haven't much to show for it around here.
But, in the next month and a half, or so, I expect to have a new self published pattern for you, which will reveal the whole behind these two little pieces.

Swatch1 Swatch2

And, the premier issue of Twist Collective will be out with this bad boy.

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The rest will come in its due time. So funny too, I had this grand idea that I'd work on all self published stuff this year. How silly I am. I have been trying to do more of my own designs, but the opportunities that have arisen, to work on other projects, have just been too good to pass up. In the end, I think it's all worked out for the best.

That said, with several patterns being tech edited right now, and other patterns due very soon, I've been so entrenched in numbers and details that I needed to give myself a little break yesterday.

That's when El Matchador, some Spunky Eclectic merino and I, had ourselves a luxurious few hours while watching Deadwood on DVD.

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These are the singles spun not-too-tightly, using a supported long draw method. I plan to ply it pretty tightly once I've spun the 4 ounces I have. I think this will retain the softness without being too prone to pilling. The colorway is called Sage and it's an amazing mix of greens and browns, ranging from deep leafy green to red and yellow ocher. The picture really doesn't show the color well. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm eager to finish spinning up the remaining fiber, yet also feeling mentally refreshed enough to dive back into my deadline work.

In unrelated news, my parents arrive on Wednesday when we will belatedly celebrate Father's Day with my now-legitimate-no-longer-step father. Huzzah! And to add to the fun, my mom and I will be at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene on Friday and, maybe, Saturday. If you'll be there too, please say "hi." I have a feeling my wallet will be substantially lighter after leaving the event.

July 15, 2008

I don't want to alarm you, but there's a monster in the room

The pattern for the Alsace Le Monstre Hat, Doll and both combined, are now available for sale.

doll and hat together.jpg

Special thanks go out to Julia getting knocked up and inspiring me to come up with something unique and to Ada for her tech editing work.

If you have any trouble purchasing the pattern or find any issues with the instructions, don't hesitate to contact me.

September 2, 2008

Making a statement with your tush

When I first found Schmeebot's blog, I came for the Waffles, but even now that the photogenic golden has moved away, I enjoy my regular fix of delightful images. Recently, though, she gave me even more reason to love her blog, she's a member of the Axis of Evo. Woohoo!

Once I mentioned my interest in joining the brigade, she challenged me to a hot-pants-design-off. Well, that makes it sound a little more competitive than it is. Really we're just both designing some boy shorts and I'll be offering the pattern for free. Yipee!

Here's my initial sketch.

Boyshorts-sketch

And Schmee's great sketch is here.

I've code named this pattern, "Asses of Evo" but I'll need a more family friendly name for the final pattern.

The pattern will be worked in Elann Esprit in "Coffee Bean" and "Pecan" to be a sort of inverse of Charles Darwin's original drawing. I also picked up some "Wine" and "Natural" that I might use to knit a second pair, if the first come out well enough. For those who don't want to order from Elann, Esprit is the same as Cascade Fixation.

Surely, you are all awaiting, with bated breath, a chance to knit up some evolution themed hot pants, right? RIGHT? Sure you are.

Also, on a somewhat related note, I plan to do a new tutorial, sometime soon, on colorizing your sketches in Photoshop and using the program to play around with color combination.

October 7, 2008

A compelling reason to buy the pattern

I have a feeling that almost everyone who reads my blog, also reads Julia's, but if you haven't seen, this, you are missing out.

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Granted, the hat is knit for someone a little bit bigger than little Griffin is right now, but I still think he rocks it.

If you think that's cute, you can up the CQ (cuteness quotient) exponentially by adding some baby bell bottoms and some itty bitty toes.

Grif_Als03.jpg

I may not want kids for myself, but I sure love how they make knits look.

In unrelated news, blogging is probably going to be really sparse for the next week and a half. Leo has to make a last minute trip down to Uruguay for a family emergency. I've got my fingers crossed that things are less dire than they sound, but in the interim, I'll be basically cameraless and busy holding down the fort. Luckily, I'll have this great eyecandy at the top of the page, until blogging recommences.

October 1, 2008

Spindlicity is back

Hey, guess who's back and looking better than ever?

I even have a pattern in this edition.

I actually designed this way back when, right after I designed my Lake Park Hat and Gloves. In fact, I designed it so long ago, it was before we adopted Ms. Theano-Purl. (Excuse me while I get a little nostalgic for puppy cuteness and then remember what a huge pain in the keister she was and how much more delightful she is now.)

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to actually look through the whole site but what I've seen looks great. Yay for the return of Spindlicity.

September 17, 2008

Good lighting and a flattering angle

The second and final version of Assets of Evo are done. The first were pretty good, but I knew there were some elements that could be better.

I love the wine and black color combo. The browns are gorgeous, but this is more my color.

AofE_back.jpg

I redid the duplicate stitch chart to better reflect the proportions of the artwork. The previous was a little short and stout.

AofE_side.jpg

The front meets the strict standards of our Quality Control department, which is always good.

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The new crotch gusset fits so much better than the original design.

AofE_crotch view.jpg

And if I stand in just the right position, wearing a cute pair of shoes, with flattering lighting and soft focus, it doesn't look too bad on me.

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I am now finishing up the pattern and then I'll be looking for a tech editor.

September 26, 2008

You want some hot pants? I gots your hot pants right here.

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Assets of Evo is up!

I'm playing around with a whole shareware sharewear (thanks colin, you know I love a good pun.) concept here. The pattern is free, either for download from my site or from Ravelry. So go get yourself a copy and knit away. If you happen to like the pattern and you can afford to do so, there's an option to make a donation towards the cost of the tech editing, supplies and labor that went into the pattern. Don't want to make a donation? Don't. It's all good.

As always, I try to provide error free patterns, but even with tech editing, errors can slip in, so please let me know if you find any problems with the pattern.

Now go get a copy and knit and be merry.

November 13, 2008

Dietrich

The new Twist Collective is up and I think you'll agree that it's a fantastic issue. There are so many great designs by so many great designers.

My own contribution is Dietrich

dietrich_page.jpg

Photos copyright Caroline Bergeron All Rights Reserved

Layout by Twist collective.

Dietrich is a simple felted cloche with a subtle, asymmetrical brim. When I told Kate I really wanted to adorn it with a feather, she said it was a great idea and said she had just the feather, if I hadn't picked one out already. I think she did an amazing job styling it. I love it.

The only problem with designing felted items is that you can't know if you got it just right until it's too late to undo what you've done.

The hat starts big and floppy

dietrich1_pre felting.jpg

The first version had a VERY dramatic brim, which is fun, but not as practical, so I knit a second version, that you see in the pattern shots, and kept the original to play with.

dietrich1_embroidered2.jpg dietrich1_embroidered3.jpg

Using a simple back stitch, I embroidered some vines around the brim. I found a ribbon that picked up the shades of the embroidery and added that as well. I think it's cute and I'll definitely find more excuses to embroider on knitting.

Dietrich not your thing? There's oodles of great content over in the winter edition, so go on over and check it out.

January 14, 2009

Bijou

I have been working on this project since June, so it's with more than a little excitement that I finally show you my newest pattern in Twist Collective, called Bijou.

Bijou
1. Bijou - Red, 2. Bijou - Black, 3. Bijou - Red, 4. Bijou - Black
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Available in 12 sizes with two different sleeve options, this piece is knit in the round, from the bottom up, and is totally seamless.

The red version is shown knit in my size with no ease. The black version is knit a size larger and has about 3" of ease.

As always, let me know if you have any questions. I love to get feedback.

May 5, 2009

Knitting in the Sun

Kristi Porter's new book, Knitting in the Sun is now available through Amazon and should be in your bookstores this weekend.

I have a piece in there called Aviara

Aviara


I snapped this photo of it with a clashy skirt before I sent it to Kristi, last year. This garment is offered in 8 sizes from 30"-58" bust sizes. See more specs for Aviara over on Ravelry.

I also knit the sample for Julia's lovely linen cloche and took this shot of it lounging at the beach.

Linen Cloche


Make sure you drop by Julia's page to see her gorgeous sleep set.

Piece by piece, patterns from the book are being added to the ravelry page so keep your eyes peeled. From the looks of it, it's going to be a great collection of lovely knits from a whole slew of great designers. I'm glad to be a part of it.

May 19, 2009

Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour

I lived most of my life in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, experiencing the full range of seasonal changes from hot and muggy to sub zero, covered in ice, I think my eyes just froze shut cold. But it wasn't until I moved to Los Angeles that I suddenly rediscovered knitting and took to it in earnest. Five years in a climate that rarely dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and often blasts right past 90, gave me a keen appreciation for versatile and light knits. As any of you living in warmer climates know, balancing comfort in the hottest temperatures with the over zealous application of climate control in various offices, restaurants, theaters and stores, is not as easy as one might assume.

Enter Kristi Porter's newest book, Knitting In The Sun. This collection of 32 projects is sure to please almost anyone who lives somewhere with at least a few months of warm weather.

For my stop on Kristi's blog tour, I'm doing a brief interview with several of the contributing designers from the book. A huge thank you to the following designers for their contribution (in alphabetical order).

I think you'll all agree that their answers are really interesting and their designs are simply lovely.

Images from Knitting in the Sun
1. Quimper, 2. Anna Maria Tank, 3. Cinnamon Bay, 4. Blacksea, 5. Alishan, 6. Yehliu, 7. Bordeaux, 8. Cover, 9. Provence, 10. Bardini, 11. Vernazza, 12. Cabrillo, 13. Puget Sound, 14. Coronado, 15. Windansea, 16. Aviara
Ravelry Link to the projects in this book here
Most images Copyright Wiley Publication, all rights reserved. One image copyright Julia Trice, all rights reserved.

Continue reading "Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour" »

April 15, 2009

La Cumparsita

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The pattern for La Cumparsita is now available for purchase. Get all the details about the pattern here.


Though I've shown it as a shawl, this pattern is the perfect size to wrap around your neck as a versatile scarf, easily unfurled to cover those chilly arms or shoulders, when you are out for a nice meal or at the theater.

The pattern is made up of two simple lace motifs that grow down and out from the top center point. A simple picot bind off adds a charming touch to the hem of the shawl. The pattern will beautifully showcase your favorite kettle dyed, and nearly solid hand-painted sock yarns, or would look striking in a silk or mohair yarn.

August 15, 2009

Pas de Valse

So guess who has a new pattern out in the fantastic Twist Collective? Me! Did you guess that already? Is it weird when one answers her own rhetorical questions?

Anyway, the pattern is called Pas de Valse, and it's available in 12 sizes from 30" (to fit 28" bust) to 63" (to fit 61" bust).

Pas de Valse

My hope is that this will be a really versatile piece that will be both flattering and comfortable. It's also a fantastic canvas for showing off a special shawl pin -- just saying.

As always, I'm thrilled to be contributing to Twist and humbled by the beautiful pieces my colleagues have created. Go check out all the pretty now.

September 3, 2009

In the works

Well, your collective response to my inquiry about that slouchy cowl in my last post was so great that I got right to writing the pattern. My beta reviewers are looking over the very rough draft and then it's off to the tech editor early next week. As per most of my for sale patterns, it'll be offered in 12 sizes and have plenty of tips for getting a good fit. I hope it'll be well received.

It took a while to get the charts, calculations, schematic and text together, and I still need to get some detail shots and start the layout, but I've taken the summer off from classes, I don't have any design deadlines, and the most time consuming parts of the move are done so I actually had some *gasp* free time! I'm trying not to get used to it.

I've even had a little time for some more knitting

Prism lace transition

The yarn is some of the singles I spun during the Tour de Fleece. It started off looking like this.

Prism as hat

It's going to be a rectangular wrap but I think it'll be coming up a little shorter than I'd like so I've set aside some possible yarn with which to trim it.

And, since I've been doing cable charts for this project, I'm thinking about doing another illustrator chart tutorial. I just need to find the box the microphone.

October 12, 2009

Jamison Square

I'm happy to announce the release of Jamison Square, formerly known as the slouchy cowl.

Click on the image or right here to see all the details about this pattern.

Price $9.00

Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to finish the pattern. Here's hoping you enjoy knitting it as much as I enjoyed designing it.

And since I know not everyone has $9 to throw at a pattern, here's a picture of my petulant little pup.

TheaLooksPetulentHere

See, a little something for everyone.

November 16, 2009

Successful Lace Knitting

Almost three years ago, if I have the time line correct, Donna Druchunas asked me if I'd be interested in submitting a design for a book she was working on. She had a variety of lace stitches we could choose from and our pieces had to feature at least one of those stitch patterns.

Donna just released a couple of the pictures from the book, Successful Lace Knitting: Bringing Dorothy Reade's Patterns and Techniques to Today's Knitters, and, lookie, mine is one of the ones she's previewing.


Photos by Brent Kane, copyright Martingale & Company

You can see the other pieces she's previewing here.

I'm knee-deep in deadline knitting. I like to think that means I'm embracing my alter ego:

The Knitter
The Knitter

The upside is, I think I make a decent super villain. The downside is, I won't have much to blog until the end of the holiday season.

I'll try to slip you a few pup posts in the interim, you know. like this, where I send my dog out into hail.

November 6, 2009

The Manzanita Collection

The Manzanita Collection

Did you know that Ravelry now supports ebooks? As a designer, I think this is fantastic. In celebration of this nifty new tool and because, much to my chagrin, it's creeping up on that holiday season thingy, I've decided to offer my first official ebook.* You can now purchase Jamison Square, Astoria and La Cumparsita together for almost $7 off the price of buying them individually.

To purchase the collection, you can go here.

And, for sure, I don't want to punish those of you who have already purchased one or all of these patterns. If you are interested in the collection discount and have purchased any or all of the patterns, write me with the subject line: "Manzanita Collection" and include your receipt(s). I will invoice you for the cost difference or refund you the $6.99, if you've purchased all three before Friday November 6th.

As always, thanks to every one of you who supports me and/or other independent designers. I think that's downright awesome.

*Technically, Alsace has been functioning as a sort of ebook, but there's no need to split hairs.

April 2, 2010

Damariscotta

The Spring/Summer 2010 Twist Collective is up and it's visually stunning and filled with amazing designs. I was lucky enough to have two submissions accepted and will do a blog post for each.

The first piece is Damariscotta.

Original Damariscotta Sketch

Named for a hard to pronounce but lovely little town in Maine, near where my dad's family has land. I'll sometimes fly out to Maine to go to the Fiber Frolic with my mom, and we'll all stay at a little cabin that my dad built on the land there.

June 2009 -- Maine

Having grown up in New England and having spent plenty of time in Maine, I associate the area with a love for the ocean, a rather pragmatic sensibility and clean and structural design. I strove to capture those qualities in this top.

Damariscotta

The piece is knit from the top down with instructions for an entirely seamless construction, right down to the double-knit hems that are grafted closed. I've also included instructions for people who might run at the sight of the words "graft" or "double-knit" so don't despair if that's not your cup of tea.

I also think this piece would be magnificent with a simple lace border around the hem and sleeves, instead of a finished hem shown. A wee bit of single crochet would prevent any curling and it would turn this simple piece into something worthy of a pretty pencil skirt and heels.

While I love the idea of a deep angled square neck (image it over a pretty little lace tank,) I knew that wouldn't suit everyone and that is why I chose the top-down construction instead of my preferred method of knitting bottom up. Keeping in mind that the single crochet will pull in the neck a little, one can simply throw the live stitches onto waste yarn and try the piece on to determine the most comfortable and flattering neckline depth and width.

Damariscotta

Once you work the neckline you like best, you can shape the torso to follow every curve or leave out the shaping altogether for a more relaxed fit. The sleeves can be worked the same way, and can easily be lengthened to fit your climate and preference.

So that's Damariscotta for you. I hope that those of you who like the design will enjoy knitting it, and if it's not your style, I have no doubt there's another piece in this edition that will catch your eye.

Check out this and all the other beautiful patterns in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition of Twist Collective, by going here.

January 22, 2010

Hair Apparent and giving even more

I've finished the pattern for Hair Apparent and added it to the collection of Help For Haiti patterns. Like all my more recent patterns, 50% of the price will be donated to Doctors Without Borders for any sales from January 15-January 31, 2010. 75% of any sales of my older self-published patterns, retroactive to January 15th, will also be included in the donation.

Not to get sappy, but I've been following a few Ravelry threads and the amount of money knitters have been able to donate is awe inspiring. If you are interested, check out the tally Yarn Harlot is keeping or browse the other patterns in Ravelry that are marked for donations to Haiti. The good godless folks of LSG alone have raised $40,000. It's a great reminder that many people making small gestures can add up to a lot.

I hope that any of you who have been on the line about sending a donation, will consider finding a charity you respect and sending an amount that you can spare. And for the loads of you who have clearly already reached deep into your pockets, despite the poor economy, I just want to say how moved I am by your generosity. Ok, sappiness over. Thanks for humoring me.

Hair Apparent

This ultra easy pattern can be worked up in a productive weekend or gradually completed over a week. There's a fun little braided brim and I've included a full photo tutorial at the end of the document for those who feel it may be beyond their skill level. I've also included both stripe instructions and both snap and button options. The hat is available in 5 sizes from premie to adult. The pattern is 4 pages plus a cover and is laid out so that secondary info (tutorials, gauge, schematics, etc) are on separate pages from the actual pattern instructions, so you can print out only the info you actually need and save paper and ink.

The price is $3.
Find out more about the pattern here.

IMG_0059

The pups were a great "help" during the photo shoots.

April 14, 2010

Cecchetti

I talked about Damariscotta in my last post. This time, I'll be talking about Cecchetti.

Most of my designs are either inspired by a detail I've seen around which I build a garment or they are an interpretation of a theme or idea someone has proposed. In this case, Cecchetti may somewhat fit the former category but in many ways it's an interpretation of a sort of nostalgia I feel for things that aren't so much a part of my life these days.

Cecchetti Original Cecchetti Sketch

I'm a little bit bottom heavy (perhaps "pear shaped" is a more acceptable description) and I have always found drape neck designs, with their delicate folds of fabric framing the face, to be quite flattering on my figure, especially layered under the many suit jackets I no longer wear, now that I work from home. (I'm not complaining, working in my PJs with my dogs by my feet, beats looking fashionable, any day of the week.)

Inspiration for Cecchetti

Along with the subtle drape at the neck (for which I provide notes in the pattern for modifying it to be more or less draped) I also tried to capture the aesthetic of the warmup clothes my classmates and I used to wear when I (long ago) took ballet lessons. I was amazed at how overly long sleeves and leg-warmers, would make one's extensions and arm placements look even longer and more graceful. Cecchetti has a little more ease than those pieces I used to wear, and the soft, decadent silk and merino yarn is surely not meant for sweating and leaping, but the vertical body darts, sleeves that slip past the base of the hands and the hip length all serve to elongate and flatter the body.

I think that people who knit this piece will find it very comfortable as well as flattering and very easy to modify as you go to get a good custom fit. As with most of my designs, it's knit seamlessly in the round, including the set in sleeves. And do not worry about it being all in reverse stockinette, the instructions allow you to knit it either right side (purl side) out or wrong side (knit side) out.

Check out Cecchetti or any of the other beautiful Spring and Summer pieces over at Twist Collective.

June 20, 2010

Contest

You know what I think is really useless? Blogging that you haven't blogged for a while and then apologizing. But you know what I think is cute? Posting a picture that captures that same sentiment.

Manzanita June 18, 2010
Contrite dog is contrite*

But how'z about I make it up to at least two of you out there.

Picture%201.png
Successful Lace Knitting


A little while ago, I posted about Donna Druchunas' new book, Successful Lace Knitting, to which I contributed the cover project. Well I recently received my copy and one extra copy, both of which are signed by the author. That means I have one more copy than I rightfully need.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below answering the following question.

What is the most embarrassing thing your parents/guardians ever did in front of your friends?

Here's my answer:
My biological father used to crochet his own banana hammocks and wear them in public to swim at the local country club. I'm from a small town, and people I grew up with still talk about it. It's memories like that, that make me all the more thankful for the upgrade I got a few years back. (Speaking of which, a very happy father's day, dad2.0!)

Here are the logistics of the drawing. Get your comment in by the end of day Friday June, 25, and I will pick one comment at random to receive the signed copy of Successful Lace Knitting. I will also award one gift certificate for a Twist Collective pattern (you will be able to pick from any that they offer) to the person who makes me laugh and/or cringe the hardest with their comment.





*Note, no dogs were actually made to feel contrite to produce this blog post.

April 30, 2010

Pre Order Knitting It Old School

Knitting%20it%20Old%20School%3A%2043%20Vintage-Inspired%20Patterns.jpeg

I would say it was about 4 years ago that Debbie (aka Stitchy McYarnpants) asked me if I'd contribute to a book she had been scheming up. At that time, it was just an idea, she had no publisher, no proposal, just a clear vision of what she had in mind.

Now, four years later, the book is finally ready for pre-order. I have two patterns in this book, including the cover piece (my second cover design this year!)

This book has a wonderful list of contributors, tech editing by Kristi Porter and the fantastically witty writing that you would expect from Debbie and Caro. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished book. If you are too, you can pre-order the book on amazon, here.

August 1, 2010

New Twist Collective

If you haven't heard the news, the new Twist Collective is up. I feel really proud to be a part of this edition. My dear friend Julia has the cover design and rightfully so, because it's gorgeous.

And speaking of gorgeous, my friend Mary-Heather not only has a brilliant design in this edition, but she also modeled an entire story.

My modest contribution to the edition is Tolovana about which I'll post more soon.


Photo copyright Caro Benna Sheridan

For now, go go go, go look at the edition, it's a fantastic one, I might even be so bold as to say it's the best to date.

November 16, 2010

Mata Hari

The Winter 2010 edition of Twist Collective is live and it features 31 patterns, along with some fantastic articles.

I'm pleased and flattered to have been asked to contributed to the Designer's Choice section. We were asked to come up with a design we would love to wear and model it for the section. My design is called, Mata Hari and features a plunging v-neck in back and a wide scoop neck in front. The garment looks just as good worn backwards and an optional bow adds just a touch of fun to the piece.

Mata Hari Mosaic
1. Mata_Hari0716, 2. Mata_Hari2011, 3. Mata_Hari1762, 4. Mata_Hari1421

I plan to write more about this piece later. For now, I hope you'll take a few moments to check out this beautiful edition.

October 31, 2010

Picture Yourself

Every time I work on this pattern, I get Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds stuck in my head for a few days. I guess we can all be thankful I didn't call it, Achy Breaky.

This was a really fun pattern for me to knit and write. It just all happened pretty easily and I've already worn the piece out a couple of times. With all the rain and fog we have in Oregon right now, the bright orange stripes just seem so cheery.

The pattern is now available, thanks in no small part to Laura Chau's hard work tech editing it. You can get all the details about the pattern here on my site, or over in ravelry.


As an added bonus, until the end of the year, anyone who buys 3 or more patterns from me, will receive a 20% discount. No coupon required and past purchases through ravelry will apply! Applicable to all purchases except the Manzanita collection. The economy is still dragging. It seems like a great time to offer a discount.

March 22, 2011

Tidewater

I am very pleased to present my newest patterns, a set called Tidewater featuring:

A cowl:

Tidewater Cowl modeled by all of us
1. Tidewater_Cowl_19, 2. Tidewater_Cowl_27, 3. Tidewater_Cowl_24, 4. Tidewater_Cowl_08
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And a shawl

Tidewater_Shawl_25 Tidewater_Shawl_45

The patterns are both charted. The cowl also includes written out instructions for the lace, for those who are not comfortable working from charts. Each pattern is available individually and both are available together, as an ebook, for a reduced price.

Click to see all the details for the cowl and the shawl.

February 20, 2011

Let's continue the birthday celebration

Friday was my birthday and I put it to good use. I released a pattern:

Dweezil_In_Space

And I went to the beach with the three beasts and one human I like best of all.

My birthday at the coast
1. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_171, 2. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_046, 3. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_053, 4. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_065, 5. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_118, 6. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_126, 7. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_130, 8. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_148, 9. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_150, 10. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_157, 11. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_169, 12. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_176, 13. February 18, 2011_Oregon Coast_182
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And as an added bonus, I did an interview a little while ago and now it's live. Check it out here.

Hope you all had a happy my-birthday as well.

April 1, 2011

Raina

The new Twist Collective is live and for my friends and family still digging themselves out of snow drifts just to check the mail, it's a fresh, springy, breath of fresh air.

This is another stunner of an edition, with many names you probably already know and love and a few new folks as well. My design is Raina.

This piece is worked in Madelinetosh Pashmina so it's incredibly soft and a delight to wear. The lace trim at the hems, long lean ribbing and body darts, all make for an elegant and feminine fit, while the short sleeves, long length and modest scoop neck make it as comfortable as a favorite t-shirt, to wear.

Raina132

I hope you'll take a few moments to flip through the great new edition of Twist Collective. If Raina isn't your style (or even if it is) there is so much more to see and love.

August 1, 2011

Fall 2011 Twist Collective is Live

The new Twist Collective is live and it's beautiful. I have seen these patterns from their thoughtfully laid out submissions right up to their final tech edited PDF. I've read the articles from their early drafts to their polished finished composition. I feel personally invested in each and every piece's success and receptions from knitters.

There's a lot to love in this edition, including two beautiful garments from my dear friend, Julia Trice, and a must read article on seamed knitting, by Sandi Rosner. And while I think all the articles are fantastic, I'd be remis if I didn't direct you to this story, where you'll struggle to decide which is more endearing, the story itself or the beautiful illustrations.

Of course, I've made my own contribution to this edition (beyond my work behind the scenes), about which I plan to do a separate, more in-depth post. Make sure you cruise by my his and hers pattern, Doppler.


Photo copyright Jane Heller

Originally conceived as just a men's garment, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern to keep the knitting interesting but not too fussy, I added in a women's version too, sized proportionally for women's standards, with just a hint of waist shaping. Both patterns come with both the crew and turtleneck instructions, so you can really tailor this garment to your preference.

I know it's simple, without the excitement of some of the myriad designs also available in the edition, but I hope it'll be a wardrobe staple for those who choose to knit it.

Now stop reading my blog post and go check out this amazing new edition.

September 20, 2011

Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery...

...that all started with the Big Bang (Theory).

Leo and I haven't had cable television for about the past 5 years. There was so little we actually wanted to watch that we weren't really getting our dollar's worth. We do have Netflix and Hulu set up and, of course, all 3 of the local PBS stations, and that works fine for us, however we are somewhat reliant on other people to let us know if there's anything we should be watching on Netflix, and it was my parent's suggestion that we watch The Big Bang Theory, that ultimately led to my most recent Twist Collective design, Doppler.

Maybe I shouldn't admit that. The show isn't known for it's cutting edge nor stylish fashion and this clip that spawned my design may make you wonder how many glasses into a bottle of wine I was when inspiration hit.

Nonetheless, after seeing this costume, I had this idea of a men's sweater, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern that radiated out from one shoulder. To be honest, from what I've seen, men's garment patterns don't sell quite the way women's do. It could be that they generally require more yarn or that more knitters are women and only knit for men on occasion. It could be that men frequently prefer garment styles that are a bit boring to knit. Or it could be something else altogether, but regardless, it seemed to make sense to offer this pattern both for men and women.


My original submission sketch and swatch

After talking with Kate, we decided that not everyone would be keen on the turtleneck so a second neckline option was in order too. This meant that the final pattern offered 11 women's sizes, 12 men's sizes and 2 neckline options for each. Now that's a-lotta-pattern to write. The tech editor may never forgive me.

Doppler_women_030

The garment is worked from the bottom-up, totally seamlessly, including the set-in sleeves, and once the set-up row for the ribbing is done, the stitch pattern is established and you can just knit away.

It was a lot of work cranking out two full sized garments in just over a month, but I managed to pull it off with enough time to get a few shots.

Leo looks mighty good in the men's version.

doppler-for-men_07

doppler-for-men_25

But, I think I give my handsome guy a run for his money.

Doppler_men_onmarnie_009

I hope that people who knit this pattern will find it a great wardrobe staple. The two Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns were both a joy to work with and next to the skin soft as well. Check out Doppler and all the other great designs in this season's edition of Twist Collective

September 10, 2011

Interview at the Designer's Studio

Exactly 3 years ago today I posted an interview I did with Faina Goberstein and Dawn Leeseman about their book Casual Elegant Knits. Their blog tour was my first chance to get to know Faina, but it hasn't been my last. Since then, she and I have both contributed to the book Knitting in the Sun and Twist Collective.

When Faina first asked me if I'd do an interview for her ongoing Designer's Studio series, I agreed and then promptly got overwhelmed with other things and dropped the ball. Luckily, she gave me a second chance. The interview is now live and you can read it here. Don't forget to check out all the other interviews and if you find any interesting, consider leaving Faina a comment to thank her for all her hard work.


Ooof, there aren't any pictures in this post. Time to remedy that with some non sequitors.

Puppies at play.

Battling the water monster_comic
Click through to get to embiggen

And check out quilt numero dos.

My second quilt_23

June 29, 2012

Foothills

I have been waiting with bated breath since Quince & Co posted this preview, last Monday. I love designing shawls. When Pam asked me if I would consider designing one for Quince & Co, right as I was swatching up a shawl design, I figured it was serendipity. I put together a quick proposal and the rest is history, except it's the present, not history, but you know what I mean.

The design starts with small textured hills growing larger and then ending in a deep fluted ruffle. It brought to mind the drive to Mt Hood, which we can see from our bedroom window.

The pattern starts at the center-back neck and works out to the bind off at the end of the ruffle, in a single piece. The pattern is primarily charted.


© Carrie Bostick Hoge

I love Quince & Co's dreamy styling and high key photography. It beats the pants off my standing in front of our run down fence near the strawberry patch.

Foothills_15
No strawberries were harmed in the filming of this shawl.

If you like the pattern, you can purchase it here. To see even more pictures, you can check out the Ravelry page for it.


Foothills_38
Darwin helps with the modeling

December 8, 2011

Cercis

About 6 years ago, I designed Deciduous. I really loved the idea of the pattern, with it's organically shaped cables forming trees up the front. I've always known, though, that it would have a very limited appeal, being worked in an expensive yarn that's hard to substitute (cables on a tank top can't be worked in many yarns and still remain comfortable) in a style that may not be appropriate for many people's lifestyles and climate. I've had it in my head for a long time that I'd like to use those cables in a long sleeve garment using a yarn that's readily available, affordable and easy to substitute. It's been a long time coming, but Cercis is the result.

Cercis is offered in 12 sizes:
32 ½ (34, 36 ½, 38, 40 ½, 41 ½, 44, 45 ½, 48, 52, 55 ½, 59 ½)"
82.5 (86.5, 92.5, 96.5, 103, 105.5, 112, 115.5, 122, 132, 141, 151) cm

It's worked in 4 easy pieces and seamed together.

The pattern has tons of fitting tips, row and stitch counts at every step and every chart has a chart key on the same page. While the document is 11 pages long total, I've grouped information so you'll only need to print a few pages, as needed, saving you ink and paper.

In addition to releasing this pattern, I've decided to adjust my pricing model to be more consistent across the board. This means I've dropped the price of almost all my self published garment patterns (my Twist Patterns are not effected by this change.)

Check out all the details of the pattern here
Find the pattern on Ravelry here.

December 4, 2011

On the horizon

I feel like I'm on a designing kick right now. I just released two patterns for Twist, I have yarn for two deadline projects, due to publish next spring and I just sent a new design, Cercis, to my tech editor to be self published.

cercis_outtake_001

I took some pictures of Cercis this weekend, while we were at the coast. I thought I'd share my favorite outtake. It's useless for actually seeing the sweater but it has everything I love; my pack, haystack rock, a bright sunny day, knitting and the ocean.

I hope to have this pattern ready for release in the next couple of weeks. Until then, I have some designing to do.

November 15, 2011

Theano and Zosia


The new Twist Collective is live. I know I say it every season and I mean it, I am honored and humbled to be a part of such an amazing magazine.

My two patterns this season are

Theano


And Zosia


As always, I'll talk more about the designs in a follow-up post. For now, go see everything in this beautiful edition, including all the amazing articles.

June 7, 2012

Because it's summer

Sometimes, I read through the designer forums on Ravelry and people discuss ideal times to release different types of patterns and often it's pointed out how terrible sales are in the warm months and how unwise it can be to release a pattern at a time when it won't generate a lot of buzz. All really interesting stuff, and good advice.

In unrelated news, I have a new pattern, Uchiwa.

uchiwa_02

It's worked in a delightful merino/cashmere/nylon blend that is both soft and sturdy enough for regular use, though I did do a prototype in Koigu, and it worked just as well, albeit with a little less cushy softness.

Ahhh, cashmere in summer, I'm getting clammy just thinking about it. I'm pretty sure I missed my calling in marketing. I can tell I'm really selling you on this idea. But I'll say this, the holidays (if you celebrate them) aren't too far off and mittens and hats make for good gifts. And also, mittens are small and portable and it's winter in the southern hemisphere, so, this is totally the pattern you are looking for.

Want to find out more? Check out the pattern details here or on Ravelry

uchiwa_18

March 7, 2013

Nieve

My newest cowl pattern, Nieve, is a double knit design, with tutorials for casting on, binding off and double knitting. The instructions include modification notes for making the cowl both longer and wider, and includes yarn estimates for each modification.

Nieve_52 Nieve_48

If you don't tend to have a lot of success with colorwork, you might really appreciate the benefits of double knitting. Yes, it's thicker and takes longer to work than a single layer, but there are no long floats to wrap or keep loose for proper tension. The end fabric is so much more elastic and reversible as well.

Nieve_68

Worked in worsted weight yarn, this is a reasonably fast project, and takes only one skein of each yarn.

The pattern is 4 pages long, plus a cover. The motif is charted and the cast on and double knitting instruction include step by step photos.

Want to find out more? Check out my pattern page, or visit the ravelry shop page.

Obligatory tortured dogs shot

Nieve_62

November 18, 2012

Non-fatal red shirt

We all know that in the first Star Trek series, wearing a red shirt, especially if you were a person of color, was a pretty fatal proposition. Don't leave the ship, unnamed security officer, just don't.

But then came The Next Generation. The prime directive stayed the same but the red shirt got a serious upgrade.

Jean-Luc-Picard-jean-luc-picard-24183235-675-859.jpeg
Hubba!

Riker was making it work, too.

I've never claimed to be a true sci-fi nerd (whatever that means,) but I was a huge fan of TNG, so when I was assigned some rich red yarn for my Winter 2012 Twist Collective project I didn't need a holodeck to picture my favorite starfleet captain. For sure, I wasn't going to mimic the color blocking and shoulder pads, but I loved the angular lines and slim fit. It had to be something wearable and practical and flattering, all at once.

And so was born Picard.



Photo Copyright Carrie Bostick Hoge

Picard is a top-down seamless raglan with short row shaping around the neck. This construction makes it really easy to modify the garment as you go, especially if you are a little tight on yarn. Once you get going, the stitch pattern is easy to memorize and flows smoothly into the hem ribbing. A little detailing on each sleeve cuff brings it all together.

Picard_2

I finished the garment with buttons, but this would be a great design for a separating two-way zipper or even hook and eye, if you prefer.

If you like this pattern, you can view the magazine page here, the shop page here, and the ravelry page here.

And if you want some reading to pair with your TNG themed knitting, be sure to check out this blog.

September 23, 2012

Arctium

I have a new pattern, Arctium, a lacy crescent shawl shown in two different fingering weight sock yarns. The pattern is worked from the top-down, in one continuous piece, using a true lace, pattern that has pattern stitches on both right and wrong side rows. Don't be intimidated, though, there are only a couple of stitches you need to know, and every charted page, has a key on it, so you won't be flipping back and forth to remember which stitch is what.

Arctium_Tanzanite_07


Arctium_Neptune_10

The pattern is 6 pages, plus a cover, with large charts, a schematic, and a detailed blocking guide to ensure you get great results. I even include some tips for making the shawl larger, if you'd like.

arctium_Pages

Arctium_Details_11

As you can see, even though they are each made with a single skein of fingering weight yarn, these shawls weigh a million pounds, though most of that weight is shame felt only by pets. Actual weight and yardage is supplied on both the ravelry page and in the pattern.

IMG_3285 IMG_3292

September 16, 2012

Coming soon

Arctium Coming Soon

When I was learning to knit, lace is what hooked me in, and that joy and satisfaction haven't waned. What's not to love about pairing yarn overs and decreases to form beautiful shapes and an airy fabric? Between Tangerine Trees and waiting patiently for my next deadline project yarn, I had just enough time to design something in lace that would use up some of my stash of hand dyed sock yarn.

The pattern is in the capable hands of a tech editor, while I put the finishing touches on the layout and photography. I hope to have this bad boy live by the end of the week.

August 27, 2012

Tangerine Trees

My increasingly graying hair and I have a new pattern.

Tangerine Trees_53

I feel like I design fairly regularly, especially now that I publish most seasons with Twist, and I'm always trying to appeal to a wide variety of people, but Tangerine Trees is really a design for me. I love wide ballet style necks, body darts, buttons and cuffs. I don't normally wear prints or complicated textured patterns. I love all types of designs, but this is a design that looks like something I'd have in my personal wardrobe.

The garment is worked from the hem-up, with no seams except the underarm bind offs, which could be joined with a 3-needle bind off if you are really averse to grafting. The yoke features raglan shaping as well as an additional series of neck decreases which can easily be added to, to make the neck narrower. Short rows at each shoulder help to hide your underpinnings.

Tangerine Trees_details_12

I used fabric covered buttons on the cuffs and hem which gave me an excuse to dive through my stash of quilting remnants.

Tangerine Trees_57

If you like the photos, I have more details here and on the ravelry page, and the latter offer tons more photos.

A big thank you to Laura Chau for tech editing my pattern and of course to my pups for photo-bombing me while I was trying to take serious pattern photos.

August 11, 2012

Fall 2012 Twist Collective

The new edition of Twist Collective is live. It has been for a few days. I should know, I was there when it happened.

To me, this edition is all about timeless, wearable items, and I'm at a loss to pick a favorite.

My contribution is Treillage.

treillage_073

It features lots of dense cables and fabric covered buttons made with leftover quilting scraps.

Thea doesn't care for it.

treillage_023

See the magazine page here
The details page is here
And the ravelry page is here

And don't forget to check out the whole edition, including all the great articles.

February 23, 2014

Three mittens and four cuffs for one pair of mittens

I think that one of the thing that draws me to designing is the problem solving. I used to buy those silly mensa puzzle books, just because I love figuring stuff out. But there are times when designing is just maddening, mostly because of stupid mistakes, like making a giant wacky thumb on a mitten.

willowherb_bad-thumb.jpg
Wonky thumb on the right.

The first Willowherb mitten I made had the thumb increases on the outside of the thumb and was almost an inch bigger in circumference than the final thumb. Shifting the increases in to the palm side made for a more pleasing shape and taking out some stitches gave it a better fit.

I knit another mitten, with a proper thumb. They are pretty fast to knit and I had plenty of yarn left, so I knit the third one and was feeling pretty good. The hat was done, I had two perfect mittens and we had plans to go to the coast for a shoot, in a couple days. I took some flat shots and wrote the pattern. An hour before leaving for the shoot, I was putting the final touches on the pattern, so it could go to the tech editor, and I noticed something.

willowherb_mismatched_cuffs.jpg

Do you see it? The cuff on the left is k1, p1 ribbing, the one on the right is k2, p2 ribbing. I couldn't believe it. The mittens had been done for days and this is the first time I noticed. The shoot was that day and I wouldn't have another chance to reschedule the trip to the beach before the pattern went live.

Leo asked me if anyone would even be able to tell, and I said that yes, definitely, people would be able to tell but even if they didn't I would not be able to live with them like this, so when we got in the car, I cast on and I knit and knit, despite the fact that knitting in the car makes me motion sick.

willowherb_knitting_cuff.jpg

And then, to add to my queasiness, I cut the old cuff off the mitten and then carefully grafted the new one on. I could have cut off the cuff and knit down from the mitten but I wasn't actually sure if I'd have time to finish the knitting before I got to the location. And since I worked the original with a tubular cast-on, I would have had to graft, no matter what, so I chose the option that would perfectly match the sister mitten.

willowherb_cuff.jpg

So there you go, more than a decade of designing experience, something like 30 years of knitting experience and over 100 patterns and I can still make completely ridiculous mistakes. But I'm happy. The end product is just like I imagined.

You can still get a discount on Willowherb by using the ShaliMarch discount code found here. Discount ends at midnight on Tuesday, February 24, at midnight, pacific.

February 19, 2014

Willowherb

Guess who has two thumbs, a birthday yesterday and a new pattern out? Did you guess this girl, right here? Because if not, you're a terrible guesser.

Willowherb is another design in honor of ShaliMarch. I wanted to get this out before Stitches West, in case any of you will be going and want to stop by the Shalimar Yarns booth to grope and ogle their pretty pretty yarns. Oh and be sure to check out this thread for a discount on my pattern and many others, throughout the event.

The Willowherb mittens come in two hand circumferences with easy instructions for adjusting the mitten length. The hat is in one size but will easily stretch to fit a variety of adult head sizes. Further adjustments can be made by adjusting the gauge at which you knit it.

Since the pieces are knit in a worsted weight yarn, they are pretty fast to knit. I was easily able to knit most of a single mitten, in one night. It's a nice break from all the garments and larger shawls I normally design.

For more details, check out the Ravelry page or my shop page.

February 15, 2014

Estival in other colors

In a perfect world where I could afford unlimited amounts of yarn and I knit so fast, I could churn out a large shawl in fingering weight yarn in a day or two, I would love to knit every piece I design in different colors and sizes so people could better imagine the items in their wardrobes. It's not easy for everyone to picture how something would look in different colors. I know there are colors that I generally find less appealing than others and it can bias my perception of a pattern, even though I know, rationally, how easy it is to change.

With a piece like Estival, the bright summery colors might catch your eye but they may be hard to see past, if you aren't normally one to wear bright buttery yellow and intense orange.

I thought it might be fun to play around in Photoshop a bit and see if I could come up with some interesting alternative color combinations. A knitter's options are only restricted to the colors yarn can be dyed, but what I can make look remotely convincing with the adjustment tools, is a little more limited. Even so, I think it really changes the whole feel of the shawl to see it in some other colorways.

My favorite thing about designing is seeing how people make a design their own. I'm hoping to see some fun color combinations or subtle solid pieces, in the future. It's always a surprise and a delight to see what knitters choose to do with an idea.

Estival and Acrtium are still on sale until end of day (pacific time zone) Monday, February 17 using the promo code in the ShaliMarch group. Be sure to check out all the other participating designs here.

February 11, 2014

Estival

Winter, in Portland is generally gray and rainy, though for the past week it's been more like the winters I from my childhood in New Hampshire.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you've already met Chippy, the keeper of our hummingbird feeder. Portland winters are generally so mild, that fewer birds migrate south, but it's been a rough one this year, so Chippy's been keeping up his energy with all-day binges at our sugar water dispenser.

The snow and ice are finally melting. We might even get mail and trash pick up today, but the resulting slush and fog have made me all the more pleased to have a splash of bright color.

Here's Estival.

I went to TNNA a few weeks back with my friend, Julia, who is hosting the ShaliMarch celebration on Ravelry. I got to meet Kristi and Paul, the owners of Shalimar Yarns, while I was there, and they gave me some of their beautiful hand-dyed sock yarn to make a shawl. I said I wanted orange or yellow and they gave me both and, well, the end result is, as Julia put it, "a riot of color," and I love it.

The pattern is written with instructions for 4 different sizes, from a 58" wingspan to a 94" wingspan. For each size, I've detailed how much yarn you'll need for each color and for the whole pattern, and I indicate the percentage of yarn used as you work through the pattern charts. If you have a kitchen or postal scale (or a scale for some more illicit purpose, I'm not judging) you can weigh your yarn at the start, and as you go to determine if you have enough to complete the project.

If you are interested in the pattern, you can check out the details on ravelry, and in my own shop, and you should definitely head over to the ShaliMarch thread to see all the new patterns, get discount codes and enter for chances to win prizes.

January 22, 2014

Atalanta

A few months ago, Sundara asked me if I'd be interested in designing something with one of her yarns. I've designed with her yarns before so I didn't need to think about it, and said I'd be glad to once my deadline work was out of the way. She sent me a whole bunch of emerald green Fingering Silky Merino and I was off.

Atalanta features princess seam lines in front and back, which are formed with ribbing and simple cable crosses. The scooped neck is easily modified to be higher or narrower, if desired.

The garment is almost entirely seamless. You cast on at the hem and work up in one piece to the armholes, then divide for fronts and back. The saddles are cast on then worked to the width of the shoulders. Sleeves are picked up from the armhole and worked down in the round. The saddles are sewn into place then the neck and placket ribbing is knit onto the garment.

Last minute work events brought me to LA right around TNNA time and my friend Julia invited me to go with her. While we were there, we each had a pattern ready to release in the coming days and we took the opportunity to get some shots of each other's patterns. Go see her gorgeous new design here.

If you are interested in buying Atalanta, you can check out all the details on my pattern page or the ravelry shop page. And if you are interested in buying a kit with enough yarn to make one of your own, go to Sundara's page, here. She's offering a 10% off discount code for select colors for just a couple of days.

November 26, 2013

Twist Collective Winter 2013 is Live

Twist Collective Winter 2013.jpg

The new Twist Collective launched last night and there's a lot to love. Check it out here. Everything in the edition is probably brand new to you, but I've been looking at these designs for months, and I know it's a strong edition when I'm still really excited about so many of them. I hope you will all like them too. As always, you can expect some great articles as well. I think my personal favorite might be the one on darning, but it's a hard choice. They are each fantastic in their own way.

You'll find my pattern in the Petite Patrie story. Ptolemy is a half circle shawl, featuring true lace (lace worked on right and wrong side rows) and a beaded scalloped border. The pattern is based on Elizabeth Zimermann's Pi Shawl formula in which the number of stitches doubles at a distance twice as far as the last doubling of stitches. The beads, while entirely optional, add just enough weight to the hem to ensure the shawl hangs nicely.

ptolemy_z_500.jpg
Photo © Linus Ouellet

I love that Twist styled it in a way that makes it look appropriate for daily wear. I use my shawls all the time and I want knitters to feel like they can work their knits into their daily life, too. Well, presuming your daily life doesn't involve a lot of live stock and/or heavy machinery. There are times when a shawl is a chic liability.

When I snapped my own shots, before sending it off to Twist, I went a little more dressy.

Ptolemy_13

Since I started sewing again, I've made a fair number of dresses and their sole purpose for existing has been as styling tools for my knitting. My life is not terribly fancy, but this is how I imagined most people would want to use such a shawl.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to flip through the edition and see if there's anything you like. If nothing else, you have to take a look because there's a pattern named, Pixie Farts. If you like Ptolemy, you can check out the magazine page, the shop page and the ravelry page.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the edition, so feel free to leave a comment below.

November 1, 2013

Gifted

Banner-IndieDesign-3_medium.jpg

I know, it's literally the day after halloween and I'm about to mention the gift-giving season. But let's be honest, if you are going to knit or crochet something for someone, especially if you are looking at hitting one of the gift-giving days of Hanukkah, there's not much time to wait.

Originally suggested by Larissa Brown, and organized by some amazing knit and crochet designers, the Gift-A-Long is a "multi-designer promotion to help you kick off your holiday gift-making." And if I might add to that, it's also a chance to score some new patterns for yourself at a great discount. All participating patterns are 25% off. The sale is running now through November 15. 

The group has also organized a bunch of prizes for people who post FOs before the end of the year, so if you do buy any patterns and you knit them, join the group, add your FOs and you'll be entered for a chance to win.

GAL_2013_graphic.jpg

I've decided to put my entire library of self-published patterns on sale. Just use the coupon code, "giftalong" to receive the discount. But really, make sure you check out all the patterns that are on sale. Of course, I'd love for people to buy my patterns, but there are thousands of other patterns that are also on sale. See all participating designers and designs here.

July 10, 2013

Aasha

Aasha
Check out the racing stripe

I'm excited to announce that my first serious self published crochet pattern is available now. Aasha starts with a long chain from which the border is worked and then the main pattern is worked into the same foundation chain, up to the neck, decreasing periodically to form the half circle shape.

The pattern has both charted and written out instructions. The charts are available both as a complete stand alone chart and broken out row by row with the previous rows faded and the rows yet to come, hidden from view, so you can see exactly what needs to be worked without any clutter. I hope people will find this format easy to use and make the pattern more accessible to people who are nervous about taking on a crochet project.

Pattern Pages

To find out more about the pattern, check out my pattern page, or head on over to Ravelry.

It's worth mentioning that I fell in love with this deep lavander-gray colorway from Madeline Tosh, when I saw it, but it wasn't until I saw the name for it, Composition Book Gray, that it ended up in my shopping basked. How great is that name? This piece would work up well in almost any nearly solid color. Since the motifs are so big, I think they look best when the color contrasts against what's underneath. My fish-belly white skin was happy to oblige, there.

For those of you who are just here for the pooch content, here's a little photo bombing from the beasties. So helpful!

Aasha_photobomb.jpg

June 20, 2013

Designing Lyssia


Photo Copyright Jane Heller

I created the original submission for Lyssia, over a year ago so I don't remember what originally led me to the idea, but I do remember grabbing a nice big ball of Cascade 220 superwash and knitting the entire ball of yarn into a swatch.

GinormousSwatch.jpg
Swatch of unusual size

Actually, I really need to back up a step here, because I didn't just magic those motifs on the needles, they required some pre-planning in Illustrator. Like Deciduous and Cercis, I wanted to create motifs of knit stitches that popped forward on a purl background, but knitting is a bit particular about that. You can stack knit stitches in columns, next to columns of purl stitches and the knits come forward. You see this with ribbing. But what happens when you have horizontal rows of knit stitches between horizontal rows of purl stitches? The knit stitches receed as you see in garter stitch. That means that, for my purposes, stitches could move up and they could move right to left with cable crosses, but I couldn't have perfectly horizontal rows of knit stitches and maintain the bas-relief effect I was going for. And while cable crosses work great for moving stitches side to side, there is a limit to how far you can cross stitches before they begin to pucker and change the gauge of the fabric, so I was limited to crossing no further than 2 stitches over 2 stitches when absolutely needed and I primarily moved stitches only one stitch over, in either directions, to ensure an even fabric. With these limitations in mind, I created the largest motif and then tweaked it to make the two smaller versions.

If you look at the monster swatch above, you may notice, especially with the smaller motifs, that I had originally put purl stitches just inside the outer edge of the motifs. I think it worked OK in the largest motif but really didn't look right in the smaller sizes so the final pattern has only knit stitches filling the motifs.

After swatching, I had three ideas for how I could use the motifs. Because the swatch ended up looking like half a cape, when I was done, that ended up being my first inclination. I also imagined using only the smallest motif to create a yoked design.

Capelet.jpg YokeCardigan.jpg

But the idea I most hoped would be picked up was the third design idea I had, where the motifs would be sprinkled in a seemingly random pattern around the garment.

Cardigan.jpg

This would be the most challenging of the three designs. I had to make sure that the layout I chose for the butterflies would look uniformly well placed in all sizes, without making the pattern unnecessarily long. Those are the sorts of challenges that keep designing interesting when they don't drive me to drink.

I could have done layouts for each size or range of sizes but instead, I decided to base butterfly placement on way points in the garment. The big butterfly is centered on the side, just above the hem, another motif hits right below the neckline and a few stitches away from the placket, another is centered on the shoulder, next to the front neck. I made a schematic of the largest and smallest size and drew, to-scale outlines of the motifs, so I could see if my plan would look balanced at the two extremes. That sounds like a lot of work, but I ended up using the small version for both a reference graphic in the pattern and as the basis for the schematic, so that little extra effort didn't go to waste.

As fun as all the knitting and designing was, my favorite part has been seeing the projects popping up in ravelry. In the end, that's what designing is really about.

July 10, 2014

Phosphene

Yesterday, I released a new crochet pattern, Phosphene. This crochet shawl is worked as individual motifs that are joined as you go. Since it's worked in lace weight yarn, it's a great project for these hot summer months.

And since it's made of a series of motifs, you can adapt it to almost any size or shape from a cowl to a blanket, depending on how you assemble the pieces and the yarn and hook you choose.

Like my other crochet shawl design, Aasha, I've included both charts and written out instructions. You'll find the entire motif charted on one page and round-by-round written and charted instructions, on another.

I hope this will make the patterns easier to follow and suitable even for crocheters who aren't comfortable with American crochet terminology. Though, if you are interested in converting the American terms to British or Scandinavian terminology, there's a helpful chart at the end of this page.

If you are interested in seeing more pictures and getting more details about this pattern, you can view it on Ravelry, and here on my site.

August 8, 2014

Heyday in the new Twist Collective

The new edition of Twist Collective came out, last week. Did you get a chance to see it? If not, grab a cup of your favorite warm or cold beverage, and take a few minutes to flip through its virtual pages, because there are so many fantastic pieces. I feel like I can't even pick favorites because I like so many of them for so many different reasons. The shawls, in particular, are really inspiring. Every last one is a winner and they look like they'd be a heck of a lot of fun to knit, too. And if you are a mitten person, especially if you are a colorwork mitten person, I really think you'll love what the designers have come up with. And of course, there are tons of garments, some socks, hats, mitts and cowls. So go take a look.

My piece is called Heyday. It's a sort of yoke/raglan hybrid, with body darts and a split neck. Just a few short rows over each sleeve, help shape the yoke around the shoulders. A simple cable/bobble pattern is worked around the hems and yoke and the neck is finished with some basic crochet. If you are a knit-only person, you can always substitute i-cord.

heyday

Worn open, the split neck makes a flattering v-neck, tied close, the neck is more of a ballet style, with a keyhole opening. Since the garment has so few details it's really a breeze to alter. Do you want to eliminate the split? Just work the yoke in the round. Do you want to make the neck narrower? Add more decreases rounds. Wider? Take out some decreases. This is really a piece you can customize and make your own.


heyday tied closed


My original swatch and proposal, even suggested subbing the small bobble for a glass bead. I didn't think Sundara's stunning Sport Merino Two in this richly hued colorways, needed any extra adornment, but for a subtler colorway like one of her Vintage shades, a little glimmer might be just the thing.


heyday original sketch


I really enjoyed both designing and knitting this piece. It's my first yoke-ish design and I was happy to see it come together without any big challenges. It's always a risk, taking on a new construction, under deadline, but I couldn't think of a better way to show of that swag-like stitch pattern.


heyday back


If you like this design, you can find out more about it in the following locations:



And you can find the yarn here with new colors coming all the time. I would love to know what your favorite piece in the edition is. Can you pick just one?

August 26, 2014

New pattern: Willoherb Pullover

I'm really excited to unveil my newest design, the Willowherb Pullover. If you like some of my other designs, you may recognize both the name and motif. I released a Willowherb Hat and Mitten set earlier this year.

This pullover has been tech edited and ready to go for about a month, now, but I've been waiting to release it until today because Kristi's including me in an update. This Thursday, starting at noon, EST, if you buy a sweater's worth of Paulie Worsted, you'll get a coupon for a free copy of this pattern. Plenty more details on the Shalimar update page and in the Shalimar ravelry group.

This pattern is available in 10 sizes, from 32" / 81.5 cm to 60" / 152.5 cm and fits comfortable with a little negative or positive ease. If you are between sizes, you can simply choose a size that suits your personal preference. I'd probably go down to the lower size, but if you like a fit that skims instead of clings, going up to the next size will be your best bet. Either way, I offer plenty of tips along the way, to customize your fit. You'll also find a comprehensive schematic in the pattern. It can be really helpful to measure a well fitting sweater in a similar weight, and compare it to the measurements in the schematic.

The sweater is offered for $8 as a stand-alone pattern or $10.50 if you buy it with the Willowherb Hat and Mitten set. You can either buy the two-pattern ebook, or buy the patterns individually. The discount is automatic and retroactive for customers who bought the hat and mitten set before I released the sweater.

As always, I want you to be happy with any purchase you make from my store. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to help you out.

October 31, 2014

Precipice Shawl and Cowl

There's clearly something in the air. Dyers are making beautiful gradient kits and knitters and crocheters are scooping them up. Why? Because they are beautiful, of course. The good folks at Pigeonroof Studios gave me some of their Mini-Skein Sets, a few months back and I've been swatching and ripping and mulling things over, trying to find the right project for them. I ended up settling on a crochet fan motif. The scalloped stitch pattern helps the gradient pattern to blend between colors, making the ombre affect even more pronounce, though I really feel it could be just as fun to mix up the order of the skeins, alternating darks and lights, for a different effect.

I started with a cowl, which uses only one, 240-yard/6-color Mini-Skein Set. It can be easily finished in a weekend, making it a great option for the gift-giving season. The stitch pattern is a simple 4-row repeat, and the buttons fasten into the existing openings created by the pattern.

But if you can get your hands on 4 or more Mini-Skein Sets (or a little under 1000 yards of the yarn of your choosing) you will have more than enough for a dramatic shawl.

The stitch pattern is only slightly more complicated, to form the triangular shape and it's edged with a surprisingly simple little border. While the pattern is written for 4 Mini-Skein Sets, you can really adapt it for whatever yardage you have, just work until you cannot work another full row in the current color, and switch to the next.

As with my other crochet patterns, all the stitch patterns are fully charted and include row-by-row instructions as well. US Crochet terms are used throughout, but the symbols should be standard for anyone who routinely works from crochet chart. For more on UK and US crochet terms, you can visit this page.

If you are interested in purchasing the cowl, the shawl or both, they are available individually and as a set. I'm also offering all three of my crochet shawl patterns and the cowl as a set. If you've already purchased either of my crochet shawl patterns, you can simply purchase the other items, individually, and the discount will be given, automatically.

Find out more about the pieces and purchase them individually or as a set using the following links;

Precipice Shawl

Precipice Cowl

Precipice Shawl and Cowl set

Crochet Collection

 

November 15, 2014

2014 Gift-A-Long

Last year, a few designers organized a mass gift-a-long in which any designer could participate and offer up their patterns for 25% off for a limited time. It was, I would say, a huge success, both for crafters and designers. Well, the gift-a-long is back and bigger and better. I'm really impressed with all the work the mods have done and they've drummed up a ton of great prizes that participating knitters and crocheters can win.

I'll be offering the patterns pictured below (also here) in this year's gift-a-long. Per the GAL rules, ebooks/collections aren't permitted, only individual pattern downloads, and there is a limit to the number of patterns we could offer this year, so I've picked the patterns where the discount will go the farthest. I mean, how many people really need 25% off a $3 pattern, right?

GAL2014.jpg

But don't stop at my shop, because there are so many great patterns on sale. Some helpful links:

  • The Gift-A-Long group is here
  • Participating designers and their eligible designs can be found here.
  • Find out about prizes here.
  • What to see blog posts about the GAL? Check out this thread.

I hope you'll take some time to look around, share links with your fellow crafters and, if it's in your budget, support some independent designers while getting a great discount. As always, if you have any questions or problems with purchasing my patterns, don't hesitate to contact me.

November 24, 2014

Twist Collective Winter 2014


Well, what can I say? The new Twist Collective is out and I'm over the moon. Not only do I have two pieces in the edition, but one made the cover. There have been 21 editions of Twist and I've been in all but one of them and my first cover was edition 19, so I consider it a very special honor to make the cover even once. And of course, it helps that James Brittain took the beautiful photos that Kate carefully styled. Every pattern in the magazine is the result of the hard work of a small group of talented people. I feel so fortunate to get to work with all of them.



Of course the magazine is full of brilliant designs. I keep wanting to tell you what my favorites are and then I realize there are too many I love, in different ways, for different reasons. I think it's definitely worth making a few passes through the edition.


And of course, don't miss the articles. Lela Nargi's article on Carol Milne's glass sculptures is not to be missed. Barbara Gregory, whose work is always exceptional, talks about the merits of mosaic knitting. Franklin Habit and Clara Parkes both bring their wit and wisdom to their columns, and don't miss Amy Kings final installment in her goat rearing adventures.


Here's where you can get all the details on my two pieces.


Intaglio


 



Magazine

Shop

Ravelry

Abyss

 

Magazine
Shop
Ravelry

March 13, 2015

Droid

Things must be a bit hectic, lately, because I released this pattern about a month ago and am only now getting a chance to blog about it. I suspect most of you have tracked me down on Ravelry, Twitter, or Facebook and have seen my posts about this set, but if you haven't my latest design features dancing robots (though some people see foxes or cats, it's all good in my book), rocket ships and craggy terrain. 

Julia (looking stunning in the pattern sample) and I spend a lot of time emailing about what we're working on, what we want to work on and how our published pieces have fared over time. It doesn't sound like much but having a friend who designs makes a huge difference. Whether it's a person to celebrate with you when you are really excited about a piece or someone to vent to when you are feeling frustrated or burned out, having someone around who gets it, is great. But you know your designer friend has gone above and beyond when she is so excited about your next design that she offers to knit a sample for a kid's version and have her son model it for the pattern.

Can you even handle how cute he is? The embroidered heart was 100% Julia's idea, and it's probably the best part of the whole design.

The women's version is knit seamlessly from the hems to the armholes and joined in one continuous yoke. Dart shaping is easily adjusted or omitted to get whatever fit you like. The ships are added at the end using duplicate stitch.

The kid's version is knit seamlessly from the hems the underarms, then worked back and forth in rows. There's a placket on the shoulder for comfort when taking the piece on and off.

Patterns are available individually or as a set for 20% off. You can get the discount either by buying the ebook or by purchasing each, separately. The discount is applied automatically when you buy the second pattern.

If you want to see more photos, read all the pattern details, or buy the patterns, you can find them here:

Women's Version

Children's Version

Ebook

And if you are trying to imagine other color options, I've put together a few options, based on Shalimar Yarn's extensive color palette.


Row 1 (left to right): billies blues/driftwood, love potion/buttermilk, oyster/waterchestnut
Row 2 (left to right): byzantium/buttermilk, shamrock/buttermilk, american beauty/buttermilk

Whatever colors you choose, be sure there's lots of contrast. Those skinny little legs and arms will show up best that way.

April 27, 2015

Zaida

Regardless of what the calendar would have you believe, it's been Spring in Oregon since February, when the first daffodils started poking their heads out of the ground, but it wasn't truly Spring for me until the new Twist Collective went live about a week ago.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out, there's plenty to love. Whenever I write these post, I think I'm going to list my favorites but them I go and look at the edition and I can never narrow it down. There are just too many beautiful pieces from so many talented designers. As a designer, being immersed in other people's fantastic work is both inspires me and pushes me to try to do better. Even after 12 years of designing, I still find myself learning new things with each project.

My contribution, this season is Zaida.


Photo copyright Fanny Jacob-Lafontaine

I would consider this one of my more ambitious designs. There are no visible cast-on or bind-off edges. Any cast-on edges are provisional and any bind-off edges are grafted. It was a lot of fun to design and I hope it'll be equally fun to knit.

I also have an article about Provisional Cast-Ons in the edition.

I demonstrate four different methods and discuss why I might choose one over another. There's also a tips and troubleshooting section to help you get the best results with your provisional cast-ons.

There are plenty of other great articles in the magazine and, of course, tons of great patterns, so I hope you'll take some time to flip through the edition and check it all out.

June 3, 2015

Helios

Today is Leo's birthday, which he hates because he's a birthday scrooge but that's OK because I love him and his birthday, enough for both of us. So a big happy birthday to my favorite human. Here's hoping he has a zillion more of these to suffer through.

As it happens, today is also the day you can check out my new pattern, Helios. Right now, it's available exclusively through Black Trillium Fibres. Melanie is hosting a KAL with prizes to be decided. You can get all the details here. I'm pretty excited about this shawl design. I had a lot of fun designing it and the yarn is a dreamy mix of silk and merino in a fine lace weight, which always feels extra special to me.

This piece uses Zimmermann’s pi-shawl construction, starting at the center neck and working out to the borders. The pattern is entirely charted with no written-out instructions and those buying the pattern during the KAL will receive a printed pattern.

With this shawl, I really wanted to play with the way different stitches read as different shades of the yarn color. Against a dark background, the yarn overs read as darkest and least saturated, then the purl areas, then the knit until you finally reach the twisted stitches which are the most saturated and brightest. Those twisted stitches work to form an outline between stitch patterns, giving a strong line of delineation between sections.

And since the yarn is so light and airy, I added just a few beads to the hem to give it a little weight. These are added as you are knitting, using a small crochet hook. They are, of course, totally optional.

I hope that if you are interested in the design and you have the budget and time to knit the pattern and purchase the yarn, that you'll support Melanie at Black Trillium Fibres. She's a local (to me) independent yarnie and she is as great to work with as her yarns are beautiful. If new yarn isn't in the picture for you, but you like the pattern, both she and I will be selling the pattern alone, after September.

I'm looking forward to following the progress of the KAL and seeing people's finished shawls. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to let me know. See more details and photos on Ravelry.

October 1, 2015

Two months of recap and Helios for sale

Did you all catch the eclipse? Portland weather is often cloudy and overcast so whether or not we'll get to see an astronomical event is pretty much a crap-shoot. We didn't have any luck with the last meteor shower and it with a bit of haze near the horizon, things didn't look good for the doomsday-moon event, but once it got a little darker and the moon rose a little higher, the show was spectacular.

moon.jpg

It's been a pretty crazy couple of months at the day job—so much so that I never got to tell you about new edition of Twist. I hope you've all seen it already, but if you haven't, I have a pattern and and article.

My pattern, Fortuna, is a half-circle shawl made up of three whole and two half repeats of a sort of free-form cable and lace pattern. Every row of the repeat is different so it's not mindless knitting, but in the DK-weight yarn, it knits up pretty quickly.

The Twist photography, as always, is stunning but I wish it were easier to capture the magic of the silk yarn I was assigned. The cables, stockinette, reverse stockinette and eyelets all reflect the light in subtly different ways and the intense sheen of silk can really play up those variances. The best example I was able to get was on my blocking board, taken at a steep angle.

This is definitely a yarn that is best appreciated in person. It was a pleasure to use. I wrote more about the shawl and offered some styling suggestions over on the Twist blog, a few weeks back. See the post here.

You can check out Fortuna in the Magazine, Shop and on Ravelry.

My article is on tubular cast-ons.


Tubular cast-ons (left) next to conventional cast-ons (right)

When used in the right places, tubular cast-ons can give garments a professional finish. Using this cast-on for cuff-down socks, and ribbed hems on sweaters, hats and other garments, produces a flexible and tidy edge. It's a great tool to have in your arsenal. Check out the whole article here.

Lastly, Helios is now available for purchase as an individual pattern download or as a printed pattern from MagCloud.

It was so great watching all the participants in the KAL, knit their piece over the past few months. A big thanks to all the members of the KAL and to Melanie at Black Trillium for her beautiful yarn and for organizing the knit-along.

December 3, 2015

Twist Collective Winter 2015 Edition

I hope you've all seen the Winter 2015 Twist Collective that went live a couple weeks ago. My designs for the edition, is featured in the "I think I'll stay home" shoot which might as well be called the "Marnie's life if she were better dressed" shoot because I'm a shameless homebody who spends most of her time in her pajamas. In fact, I'm writing this post from the comfort of my big red robe and fuzzy slipper boots, right now. And, as is my wont to do, I'm sipping tea from my favorite mug that is nearly as big as my head.

See, I'm just like the shoot only, sllliiiightly less well dressed. Don't you agree?

iana_b_500.jpg

The shawl is a modified half-circle design, featuring just enough beads to add a little weight and drape. I love beads, but I find they slow me down when I'm working so I prefer to use them sparingly. I chose a deep aubergine shade to pop against the lilac color of the shawl, though I think gray or silver would be a really nice alternative option, for a subtler effect.

iana_b_500.jpg

While I include instructions for a standard knitted picot bind-off, the sample is shown with my suggested bind-off. It's worked with a crochet hook using very simple crochet stitches and some pre-strung beads. I love this option for lace because the bind-off basically cannot be worked too tightly to block the piece out well.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but blocking lace shawls is one of my favorite parts of the shawl-designing process. It seems like magic; turning a crumpled mass of fabric into something airy, orderly and filled with unexpected detail. Twisted stitches, beads and nupps all pop and yarnovers and decreases scallop the edges in subtle or dramatic ways. But a tight bind-off can ruin the effect and knitters often can't tell how loose the bind-off needs to be until the piece is ready to be blocked. By then, hundreds of stitches may have been bound off, the yarn has been cut and ends woven in. It can be pretty disheartening.

The crochet method joins a small number of live stitches together with loops of single-crochet chains that provide more-than adequate flexibility to block out the shawl as aggressively or lightly as desired and unlike a too-loose standard bind-off, the edge is neat and tidy no matter how lightly the shawl is blocked.

Not a crocheter but willing to give it a try? The pattern includes a tutorial but if you want more detail, I've got an article for that.

crochet_hdc_step1-yarnover.jpg

Crochet really is my first crafting love and this season, I take you through the basics of holding the hook and yarn, and working all the basic stitches. Crochet is knitting's best friend and knowing how to do both will open new finishing and embellishing options for your projects and designs. It may take a little time to get comfortable with it, but crochet is a great tool to have in your arsenal. If you've never crocheted before, I hope you'll give it a try and if you just need a refresher, I hope the article will get you back on track. I even point you to some existing Twist patterns that already feature some crochet. You won't lack for projects to put your crochet skills to work.

And lastly, I have a companion article to last season's article on Tubular Cast-Ons.

tubular_intro_swatches01.jpg

Just as a tubular cast-on gives those edges a professional finish, a tubular bind-offs produce flexible and attractive edges that elevate the quality of the work to a more professional level. Learn to work a standard tubular bind-off and how to adjust the bind-off for knit-two, purl-two edgings like ribbing and moss stitch.

I feel so fortunate to be a part of Twist Collective each season and I never cease to be impressed with the great articles and designs my fellow contributors bring to each edition. Even if you don't like my additions to the edition, I hope you'll flip through the magazine, read the articles and browse the shop.

April 12, 2016

Flechir and some oldies but goodies

The time between the Winter and Spring/Summer editions of Twist Collective are always the longest span of the publication year and it means I'm the most anxious to see the Spring/Summer edition go live. Spring/Summer 2016 is up and it's got some beautiful new patterns, great articles and a little...ahem...twist. Kate picked 12 of her favorite older Twist patterns from a variety of designers and had them reknit in new yarns and colors, then packaged them all together at an incredible discount. How does 58% off sound to you? Even if you already own half the patterns, you still manage to save a little money buying the set, and if you've bought fewer than that -- or none at all -- this is an amazing value. I managed to snag two slots in the collection.

First up is Regent which I love in the deep blue-black Catherine Lowe yarn and in this more rustic, creamy-colored alpaca blend. I think this substitution really highlights how a garment can be redefined by the yarn choice. In the original yarn, it's suitable enough for an evening out. In the alpaca blend, it's more casual and can take you on your errands or snuggle up on the couch with you on a cold day.

regent_z_500.jpg

 

Next up is Picard and Kate kept the nod to his red shirt with bright red buttons. The original yarn had exceptional stitch definition, making the pattern really pop. The white yarn is similarly great for showing off twisted stitches but that pale color makes them stand out even better, and with a neutral color choice, the buttons can be little gems instead of being simply functional.

picard_z_500.jpg

 

Last, but hopefully not least, here's my new shawl design. Flechir is a 3/4-circle shawl worked from the top-center, out, then each scallop is finished individually. This means your best choices for yarns are ones that are not obviously variegated. The tweedy Northern Lights yarn used here is perfect. Up close, the yarn is several individual shades but they all blend into a harmonious whole from afar.

Here's the gorgeous photos from the magazine.

flechir_z_500.jpg

And here is one of my own photos showing the shape of the shawl. Since it's a 3/4-circle, the shawl falls in soft ruffles when you wear it or you can wrap it snuggly around your shoulders.

flechir02.jpg

What more photos and get all hte details? Check them out:

Regent: Magazine | Ravelry | Here
Picard: Magazine | Ravelry | Here
Flechir: Magazine | Ravelry | Here

And don't forget to check out the rest of the edition here.

 

 

September 19, 2016

New new new

I can't believe an entire month has passed since we launched the new edition of Twist. Between losing Panda and seemingly-unending home repairs that started in May with an attempt to get the house repainted and turned into an endeavor that required a carpenter, roofer, electricians and new decks, all before the painting could even begin, it's been hectic, to say the least. My poor little blog never stood a chance.

But the new edition of Twist is still waiting for you, if you haven't seen it yet and as always, I feel genuinely privileged to have a place in its virtual pages.

My first of two patterns is Lithograph a half-circle shawl design worked in twisted stitches and lace. For the submission process, I made a mini-prototype to show how the increases would blend into the background of the latticework.

lithograph_prototype.jpg

The final shawl is worked in Lisa Souza's Polwarth Wool and Silk yarn which is a breeze to work with and so lovely to touch. The silk gives it plenty of drape while the wool gives the piece some substance. It's a perfect choice for this pattern.

shawl in the garden

My second design is Antrea, a beanie, slouch and cowl pattern suitable for anyone. Knitters are probably aware of the general submissions process for patterns and they see the end product, but in between those points, yarn companies, designers, and the members of the publishing and editing team, all try to wrangle a zillion moving parts to make the magazine. Yarn is often being shipped to other countries and then the sample shipped back to tech editors in a third country before being handed off to the publisher for photography and anywhere in there, a missed deadline or late delivery can throw the process off kilter. So was the case with the yarn for Antrea. It was originally scheduled to go overseas, went missing, alternate yarn was shipped and the orphaned yarn, finally tracked down, needed a home. Having finished up Lithograph fairly quickly, I volunteered and was told that I may only receive one color so I should plan a design that didn't require two different shades.

A bit of virtual graph paper and a few hours of playing and I had a cable pattern suitable for a unisex set that could be worked in a single color or with a contrasting color in the ribbing.

antrea slouch and cowl antrea beanie

The SweetGeorgia Superwash DK is super soft and springy with great stitch definition so the pattern pops even in a darker shade. The hats can be worked in a smaller or larger circumference and fine-tuned with a tighter or looser gauge. One skein of each color will make either hat and the cowl in opposing colors dominance.

There's one more bit of new that you've probably noticed if you're friends with me on Facebook, I have a little bit of art with me all the time now.

tat_front.jpg
Oregon Grape blossoms

This beautiful piece was created by Ashton Allen at No Hope No Fear and it's even more beautiful than I could have imagined it would be.

tat_side.jpg
California Poppies, Mayflowers, and Violets

Each flower is the state flower for somewhere I've lived with a hummingbird in back because, well, hummingbirds are pretty.

tat_back.jpg
Lilacs and Anna's Hummingbird

Barring any unexpected issues, it'll be colored in November and the tattoo will be complete. I love everything about it and can't stop looking at Ashton's beautiful artwork.

November 23, 2016

2016 Gift-A-Long

A few years back, I participated in the Gift-A-Long and I'm doing it again this year. For those of you who aren't familiar the organizers describe it like this:

"The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers. From November 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2016 at midnight US EST there will be fun games, contests, and 8 KAL/CALs that will help you get your holiday knitting done with companionship and fun! From November 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm US EST to November 30th at 11:59pm US EST tons of indie designers will be discounting between 5 - 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Use coupon code: giftalong2016. You can read all about the details in this post: click here or on the FAQ page in our group pages."

My eligible patterns are shown in the graphic above and are viewable in my GAL bundle on ravelry. To get all the details and join in the fun, check out the Ravelry Group. You'll find pinterest boards of all eligible patterns from all the designers as well as details about prizes.

 

 

About pattern

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Marnie, speak! Good girl. in the pattern category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

panda is the previous category.

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