Finished: Socks for the Boy

Last weekend, partially thanks to the holiday and time spent sitting around playing Mad Libs with extended family, I finished the socks for the boy.
 
 

 I completed the toes Friday night, wove in the ends on Saturday, and put them in for a bath during Sunday chores. They were dry enough to put in the boy’s sock drawer on Tuesday night when I was processing clean laundry.
 
 Lack of sunlight this week made great pictures especially difficult. Conbined with the fact that he was excited to wear them Wednesday morning when he saw them in his drawer (yay!), and then left them under the dining room table at the end of the night (boo).
 
 


You can at least see from the not-so-great pictures that I was able to match the socks practically stitch for stitch. I either like socks that totally match or are totally different. I thought there was some chance my son would oppose very different color layouts, so I decided to play it safe…
 
 The yarn is Jawoll Magic by Lang Yarns, color 85-59. It is a single ply, but appears to be densely spun. Not my first choice for socks, but since he will grow out of them in a year or two, I was willing to accept the lack of longevity.
 
 I am making a pair for myself now in mostly stockinette. I’ll try to go easy on them when I wear them, but since they are so bright, I probably won’t reach for them as often as my other socks.

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The Gift-a-Long: A List

First, I want to thank all of my readers who took advantage of the sale portion of the Indie Gift-a-Long, in addition to all of the favorites and queues that my designs received. I had a very successful sale, and it was great fun to enjoy a burst of feeling popular and loved.

Second, Louise did a lovely interview with me on her blog. She asked interesting questions and did edit out any of my rambling. Thanks, Louise!

Third, the KAL/CAL portion of the Gift-a-long is still going strong and lasts until the last minute of 2014. Two ravelers are working on my patterns in the forums. There is Coaxial Hat being knit in handspun and a Dalgada Cowl being crocheted in a fun sparkly yarn. I’m anxious to see them both in the FO thread.

yarma_medium2Fourth, I’m working on a pair of Eidetic Mitts in yarn I picked up recently at the Indie Knit & Spin. The pattern is by my friend Sarah and the yarn is from Wren House Yarns, a local dyer. I hope to complete them before the end of the year!

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Designer Interview: Gabriella Henry, SweetP Designs

As a part of the Gift-a-Long, designers are doing blog interviews to get to know each other better and to help our readers get to know more designers. If you are a member of Ravelry, you can go to this post to see other blog posts about the GAL and GAL designers.

Today, I am pleased to be interviewing Gabriella Henry, aka SweetP Designs, about her design work and crafty interests. I hope you find this interesting and head over to ravelry to see more of her work. You can also check out her blog, her ravelry group, her pinterest board and her facebook group.Wayside_closeup_detail_small2

Gabriella is a New Zealand designer who specializes in accessory patterns – she uses many interesting stitch patterns that showcase those precious yarns that are sometimes hard to match with the right project. I could easily queue her entire catalog, her aesthetic speaks to me and all of the special yarns in my stash, but I especially love the Wayside Hat, the Hemlock Mitts and the Lucie Shawlette   (knit and crochet together!)

Amy: How does designing Hemlock_mitts2_small2fit in with the rest of your life? It is a full time job, part time job, or other? If you do a different job full time, is designing at all related?

Gabriella: I work Wed-Fri at a local school (so not really design related except for knitting during my lunch break!). I tend to cram as much of my design work as I can into Monday and Tuesday. Of course I am knitting and planning and thinking about knitting every day, but I guess I have two “dedicated” design days where I try and get the paperworky bits done. I also work very part time doing admin and other behind the scenes work for an indie yarn dyer in France (Tri’Coterie). When I’m not working I am a busy Mum to 3 daughters and a volunteer with the local ambulance service.

Amy: What is your favorite thing in your toolbag?lucie0_small2

Gabriella: Probably my Addi Click interchangeable needles. I am not a monogamous knitter or designer – I normally have lots of projects on the go and the interchangeable set lets me have a project on every cable :) I love the pointy tips for lace work.

Amy: What is your favorite thing about designing? Is it different than you thought it would be when you started?

Gabriella: I like the whole process of turning a scrap of an idea into a fully fledged pattern. I feel very privileged that designing gave me a creative outlet during the years that I was home with small children and that I can do a job I love in the hours and time that suits me.
My least favourite thing is photo editing :)

Amy: Are you a process crafter or a product crafter, and does that affect the way that you design?

Gabriella: I am definitely a process crafter and often choose projects not because I need the item, but because I want to know how to do that, or I want to try something new. Knitting is a constant learning process for me as I expose myself to new techniques and tips and this is one of the things I love most about my crafting. My inner product crafter is usually whispering in my ear when I design though.

Amy: Which of your designs was the result of wanting to learn something new and what can you tell us about the process?

Gabriella: Lately I have been expanding my crochet skills and have been exploring crochet design. My Andy neck and wrist warmer set was a result of knowing exactly the type of fabric I wanted to create and using crochet to achieve that. It’s been a great experience learning how to write patterns for another craft. Likewise my latest release is Lucie which is a combination of both knitting and crochet. I have enjoyed exploring how to combine both crafts in a way that remains approachable and achievable.

Amy: Describe your perfect crafting weekend.

Gabriella: Good friends, good yarn, good wine.

Amy: Excellent answer!
—————–

I hope this interview has inspired you to take a closer look at Gabriella’s work, and to explore the designs of some other GAL designers that you may not have seen before.

Remember, the KAL/CAL for the Gift-a-Long ends at midnight on December 31st. There are still many, many prizes to be won, games going on in the forums, and lots of ravelers to ooh and aah over your project photos in the project threads.

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Back on Track

Hoping to finish these socks up for the boy over the long weekend.
 
 

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Designer Interview: Miranda “Pokito” Grant

As a part of the Gift-a-Long, designers are doing blog interviews to get to know each other better and to help our readers get to know more designers. If you are a member of Ravelry, you can go to this post to see other blog posts about the GAL and GAL designers.

Today, I am interviewing Miranda Grant, aka Pokito, about her design work and crafty interests. I hope you find this interesting and head over here to see more of her work.

Among other things, she has intricate colorwork arm warmers, textured tams, and cabled mitts in her shop.
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Amy: How does designing fit in with the rest of your life? It is a full time job, part time job, or other?

Miranda: Designing is something that I do part time. There’s a lot more on the marketing/social side that I probably should do with it.

Amy: What is your favorite thing in your toolbag?

Miranda: I have a metal ruler/gauge/needle-sizer device that used to belong to my grandmother.

Amy: What is your favorite thing about designing? Is it different than you thought it would be when you started?

Miranda: I always like the rare times when I can think of a design, draw it up, and have it knit up like I thought it would without ripping, erasing, and breaking the laws of physics that sometimes happen. I’ve a had a few prototypes that must have entered a wormhole into a dimension where the math doesn’t matter.

I didn’t really set out to design. I had an idea for a scarf which became Kelp and for a while, that was that. Then I had an urge to knit floral mitts and I couldn’t find anything that suited what I had in mind, so then came Something Floral. Both of those were fairly easy to write out, pattern-wise, so when I thought to write out Gallivant I thought “How hard could it be?” Very. Had I known how hard it could be, I wouldn’t have done it.

The moral of the story is: Ignorance has its uses. When I started working on more designs, I expected to have delved further into lace than I’ve done.

Amy: Are you a process crafter or a product crafter, and does that affect the way that you design?

Miranda: I lean towards the process crafting. I knit slower in Stockinette stitch than in anything else. I need something to challenge my brain or it goes, “Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Hey let’s go work on that lace project with the tiny needles! Is it done yet?”

Amy: Describe your perfect crafting weekend.

Miranda: Lessee, I go to one of wool festivals that I’ve heard so much about and get to buy whatever I want because some one else is footing the bill. Then, I go home and knit all the things while marathoning Firefly with my friends.

—————–

I hope this has inspired you to take a closer look at Miranda’s work and to explore the designs of some other GAL designers that you may not have seen before.

Remember, the sale portion of the Gift-a-Long ends on Friday at midnight. I’ll also mention that I plan to raise the prices of a few of my designs in the new year, so the current prices with the 25% off promotion may be the lowest that prices ever get for several of my patterns. ;-)

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I can’t help it…

Whenever I teach Intro to Stranded Knitting, I like to have a stranded project on the needles so I have something in my hands that I can use to demonstrate techniques. And even if I have four or more students, a lot of the class is about the students doing the knitting and practicing with help nearby, so there is always some down time when I can actually knit.
 
 Since I first started teaching the class, I have made five versions of my Primero pattern in different colors and sizes. The one I made for my son is well worn but still fits. The one I made for me is a little short, but I haven’t made the time to rip out the crown and make it longer. It may become my daughter’s hat for that very reason!
 


So when I went to cast on a new hat to teach the class this past weekend, I really didn’t want to make another Primero. It’s a great beginner pattern, but I am no longer a beginner.
 
 I may have unintentionally designed a new hat this weekend. Looks like I really need to make some time to write up my backlog of patterns soon, because I just added another to the list!
 

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Indie Gift-a-Long 2014!

GAL14_Notebook-Indie-DesignPrepping for the holidays as only fiber folks can, with special deals from tons of indie designers!

What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 2 month long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by nearly 300 independent designers. From Thursday, November 13th at 8:00 pm US EST – Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm US EST those indie designers will be discounting over 3,800 patterns. Enter the coupon code “giftalong2014″ at checkout and 25% will be automatically taken off the pattern price. The list of participating designers and links to their patterns can be found in this thread – http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/indie-design-gift-a-long/2999184/1-25

GAL01_jpgYes, I am one of those 293 designers participating in the event. You can find my patterns here – http://www.ravelry.com/designers/amy-maceyko

Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, please join a relevant KAL/CAL! (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the cowl KAL/CAL.) To join, simply write a post in the KAL/CAL thread you want to join, including the pattern name you will be knitting and a link to your project page. KAL/CAL participants are eligible to win over 1,800 electronic prizes and over 70 physical prizes (yarn, gift cards, kits, etc) – but you gotta post to win! Rules and Eligibility for prizes can be found in this thread – http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/indie-design-gift-a-long/3066402/1-25

KAL/CALs will run from Thursday, November 13 at 8pm (US-EST) through our New Years Eve party, Wednesday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST), plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting. We have games, tons of prizes, great conversation, and a lot of fun, so pull up a chair and join us!

And be sure to use the tag #giftalong2014 when you post about your projects on social media.

On your mark…get set…. GIFT!!GAL14_logo-800

Note: While the discount code will work for all pattern purchases with the ravelry shopping cart (which can be accessed by non-ravelry members), only those who are logged into ravelry can participate in the KAL/CAL and be eligible for prizes. So if you aren’t a member of ravelry, what are you waiting for? Join today for free and join us for the Indie Gift-a-Long!

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