So, April was one of those “just keep your head above water” kind of months. Busy weekends and husband traveling for work half the work days made the month feel like an intense juggling act. And the climax was my son’s 4th birthday party last weekend.
The two designs that I was able to work on are mostly secret for now – one magazine submission and one possible partnership with a local farm. I’m also working on a bridal shower gift and a baby gift, plus we are revamping how we teach Beginning Knitting and Beginning Crochet at Natural Stitches, so I have had a few swatches and write-ups to do for that.
I can show you the almost finished baby gift.
It still needs to have its ends sewn in and I need to pick buttons. It is a new sample for my baby crochet cardigan pattern which desperately needs a name.
I have been thinking about this pattern a lot. It will likely be the next one that I send to my tech editor and self-publish. I have been debating what sizes I should offer the pattern in and what variations to include. It is a fairly straightforward design, almost entirely in half-double crochet and with raglan shaping. So the value I’m offering is a graded pattern that is ideal for a crocheter who is new to making garments, but I want to include some language about customizing in the hope that it can appeal to intermediate crocheters, too.
My current thinking is that I am going to offer it in larger kid sizes so that it has some reusability. I am working on the grading and pattern layout now, and I think I will probably crochet one of the largest sizes while my tech editor is working on it. I am debating whether to get test knitters through ravelry.
On the plus side, going through testing would allow me to see all of the sizes and to get some projects up on ravelry. On the down side, I’m not sure that I really have time to run a test – dealing with the communication with the testers especially. I suppose I will keep pondering it while I continue working out the written pattern.
I cannot wait to wear this sweater next week! I’ll post a link when the pattern is posted on ravelry.
Yeah… Not the best photo ever. I’m too excited to wait to share!
I have finally caught back up to where as was when I had to rip out 9 inches of sweater and now the body is done.
The sweater is turning out great and have at least 1/3rd of the first sleeve done since I took this picture on Sunday. Since today was my last day of work this month, I shouldn’t have trouble finishing it for the requested deadline on Saturday. This is a test knit for my friend who designed it and I know she’s anxious to release it before the weather warms up. (I think Mother Nature is in her corner on this one…)
Berra Scarf Ravelry Page
I have a new pattern for sale! This is the crocheted scarf that I taught at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. I also have an upcoming class in the pattern at Natural Stitches on April 14th from 11:30am to 1:30pm.
I designed this scarf pattern to demonstrate how easy it is to make something with repeating motifs, and how straightforward it is to crochet them together as you go. As you finish each motif, you use part of the last round to crochet it to the previous motifs. And the whole scarf is made up of repeating squares and triangles – easy to work up on the go.
I also wanted to write a pattern to take advantage of all of the amazing hand dyed and kettle-dyed sock yarns on the market. This pattern is a great way to use that special skein of yarn in a project that you can show off whenever there is a chill in the air or an overbearing air-conditioner blowing on your neck. The lace pattern is simple enough that it should work well with a multi-colored yarn as well as a tonal.
The scarf is made using basic crochet stitches to form a lace pattern in a motif. Chain, single crochet, double crochet, cluster stitches, slipped stitches and adjustable rings are used.
A diamond motif should be approximately 3.5” square after blocking and 3” square before blocking. Gauge is not critical to the pattern as long as motifs are coming out at a fairly consistent size.
9” x 60”, measured at the widest point and from tip to tip.
U.S. Size G, 7 or H – size needed to produce noted gauge
Any sock or fingering weight yarn in a wool or wool-blend.
Pattern uses standard CYCA Abbreviations and Symbols. Motif directions are provided in written and charted form. Directions for connecting motifs are described in words and shown in multiple crochet diagrams. Pattern can easily be lengthened if the crocheter has more yarn by making additional motifs and crocheting them together.
March has turned into a month of craziness. Lots of weekend plans, lots of teaching, the deadline for my secret project, a lot going on at my day job and making all of that happen while also enjoying some of my girl’s Spring Break.
The little bit of sanity in all of this has been the sweater I’ve been test knitting for my friend. The yarn is gorgeous, there is a lot of stockinette stitch and it has been easy to pick up to knit just a few rows at a time. I’m just following her instructions, so I don’t have to do math or think very hard. Apparently I took the not thinking part to heart and I was not reading the instructions as carefully as I thought.
I had just finished the body of the sweater and I had started picking up along the edge for the collar/front bands, when a comment in the test knitting ravelry post caught me by surprise. A fellow knitter had needed to work far fewer rows after the increases than I had. So, I took a look at the pattern.
With dread, I realized that I had missed an important word in the pattern. The important word was the difference between increasing every 2 rows and increasing every 4 rows.
So at lunchtime today, I pulled out the stitches I had started to pick up around the collar. Then I put my circular needle through the last correct row of the sweater. It is a little hard to see in the photo since the cable of the circular needle is clear, but that line you see, where the stitches are puckered together, is where I will be ripping back to. Tonight I will hook it up to the ball winder and take it out…
We all make mistakes. No matter how long we have been knitting.
Each year in March or April, I go away for the week with a group of great friends. This weekend was our 5th trip and it was just as great as always.
We talk. We knit. We cook. We eat. There are movies on in the background (usually ones that we have mostly seen so we don’t care if some dialogue gets missed) and sometimes an outing to hike or explore or run.
It’s restorative and relaxing, and it always goes very quickly. Even more so this year since I was knitting class samples for the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, as well as my secret project.
Now I am home. Easing back into real life and the responsibilities which will rush at me tomorrow.
Hmmm…my two active projects at the moment don’t have any pictures to show you.
One, is a secret. I got word last week that a design submission was accepted for publication. Weeeeee! But…that means secret knitting for the time being. I will be sure to take some progress shots so I can share it with you when the time is right.
Number two is the sweater test knit that I mentioned previously. It’s coming along very nicely, but since I’m knitting the whole body on a 32″ needle I can’t easily take a good photograph at the moment. I hope to finish the body this weekend and then I’ll take a progress photo to share. Also, I want to do the lovely color justice, so a bad indoor photo just won’t do!
This weekend is my annual girl’s knitting weekend. 48 hours with good friends, knitting and a break from the duties of mommy hood and household chores. (Ok, we each take turns cooking and doing dishes…but we don’t have to feed small, picky people.)
Time for me to go pack my yarn, needles, hooks and notions!
My friend SJ is working on her first sweater pattern for publication and I am test knitting for her. I have to tell you that I have been looking forward to casting on a sweater using someone else’s pattern. My last two not-quite-finished sweaters for myself have been examples for my Top Down Sweater Workshop…and although I love the custom fit, I am excited to make a sweater for which I don’t need to and really can’t do any math. (I might shorten the sweater by an inch or two with her permission since I am short waisted…but since it is a test knit it is not my place to do a bunch of customizing. And since it is an open cardigan, I don’t think a bunch of customizing should be necessary anyway!
I am knitting it entirely with items purchased using a gift card that I got for Christmas. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy Worsted in the Happy Forest colorway and the needles are my new ChiaoGoo Interchangable Spin set. I’m using US Size 5 because I’m a loose knitter like that.
The stitch markers that I’m using are adorable little sheep that Santa put in my stocking. A little internet search showed that they can be found here.
I’ll share my progress as I am able to take photos in reasonable light conditions. I don’t mind winter in general, but I do look forward to having some more daylight in the evenings!
If you aren’t a subscriber to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival newsletter, then you might have missed the fact that there is a chance to win a free spot in one of my classes. The lucky winner gets to take my Crochet Motif Scarf class for free!
Details are in the latest newsletter here: http://pghknitandcrochet.com/?cat=5.
I mentioned how much I loved the yarn I got last month from the InterStellar Yarn Alliance. As I said, it inspired me to swatch for a design submission, both because the colors were so lovely and because the yarn itself was so soft and lovely. The Aurora yarn that Stephanie dyes is 20% cashmere and it is totally to die for. It is just wonderful.
So after my design had been submitted, I realized that I could take a step back and make something for myself with the yarn. Because even if the design is picked and even if they want to use the same yarn, they aren’t going to let me use a limited edition colorway to make my design.
So I cast on the Translated Mitts by Roxanne Richardson. They are turning out really well and are a nice break from my own designs when my brain needs to just follow a pattern and not think so hard.
Translated Mittens in Aurora yarn dyed by Space Cadet Creations