Monday, June 9, 2014

OMG I'm a Knitwear Designer!

I just got word that a knitting magazine wants to buy one of my designs!  WOW!  I submitted it in at the beginning of April, and hadn't heard anything after 4 weeks, which is what the Call for Submisisons stated would be the wait time. I kind of forgot about it until the email came saying that the want to pay me for it and publish it.  YAY!  I'm so excited! Before you get too impressed it's not Interweave Knits or any really big name like that, but still, it's a great start for my first submission.

Of course I can't tell you anything else about it until it is published, which will be in about 5 months. Well I guess I can say it's a warm casual shawl. I will post more here when I can!  I am inspired though to get back to thinking about new designs. I have a ambitious idea for a sweater to size for babies up to adults, but we'll see how that goes!

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Friday, March 28, 2014

A Sweater Quest - knitting my first sweater

I have been knitting for about two years and it's time I make a sweater.  I know some people who actually start with making a sweater. I would have found that very overwhelming. Knitting did not come naturally to me, and when I look back at some of the early projects I cringe. But now I feel I am ready for a sweater.

I was further encouraged when I found Myra Wood's "The Perfect Fit Seamless Crazy Lace Top Down Sweater" class on Craftsy.

Crazy Lace Cardigan

These videos have been incredibly helpful. Myra explains sweater construction of a top down raglan step by step. She goes over so many important aspects of knitting a sweater. She talks about how the sweater is constructed, and why knitting "top-down" is so great because you can try it on as you go, and adjust the sizing. She shows you how to take proper measurements, and provides worksheets to help figure out the number of stitches to cast on, the number of increases and the number of rows and stitches you need to make your sweater fit perfectly.

I chose Cascade Sierra Quattro worsted weight yarn in Long Beach blue.  I wanted a cotton blend because here in the South cotton is much more practical than a heavy wool. When I try it on the fabric is cool to the touch, and very soft.  I really love this yarn and am disappointed that it is being discontinued. I stockpiled it when it was Steve's Deal of the Day on WEBS ( I'm using my new found favorite Knitter's Pride Dreamz interchangeable circular needles (sorry Chiaogoo Red Lace!). The needles are smooth and so pleasant to work with. And I love that the sizes are color coded.

 So far I have knit down to where I am going to start the feather and fan lace on the bottom of my sweater. The best thing about this is that it is so easy to customize it how you want. The pattern is for a bolero, but I am going for length down to high hip or so.  I really have learned so much about the knitting process doing this class.  I feel like this helped my knitting really 'click' for me. I get it now. I feel like I actually am starting to understand the mechanics of knitting. I can look at my knitting and understand how it works, and how to fix it as I go along.  It really has been an enlightening process for me.
It is definitely worth the full price,and sometimes it goes on sale too. I haven't heard one bad review for it, so if you are looking for help for starting your first sweater, or to find out how to adjust patterns to your size and shape, I highly recommend it:

Myra Wood's "The Perfect Fit Seamless Crazy Lace Top Down Sweater" class on
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Caledonian Magic - a cable cowl and my first pattern

Fulfilled a quest today: I became a pattern designer!

Caledonian Dreams

Okay, with Raverly anyone with a computer and the interest can be a pattern designer. But I always thought it would be cool to have patterns of my own. 

This pattern is a simple cable cowl, done in the round in DK weight yarn. The sample uses Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, but any wool DK weight yarn would do. It does need to be wool, preferably merino wool, if you want to achieve the relaxed look shown in the photos. A warm water bath after casting off relaxes the wool fibers and gives it a softer look.

This is a good pattern for someone wanting to try cables for the first time. 

Download the PDF on ravelry or download it here:

Caledonian Magic

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Is Monogamy all it's cracked up to be? Plus Behm-a-long update!

Now that I've gotten your attention...

I have mostly been a monogamous knitter. "Monogamous knitter" is the phrase knitters use to mean that they only work on one project at a time. I have tried to be a monogamous knitter, because I feared the dreaded "UFO" (the unfinished project that gathers dust in the back of your closet for years on end!). I worry that if I don't work on a project right away that I will never finish it.

The problem with this is that if I get bored with a project, or get my attention drawn to another project I want to start, I feel stressed to finish the boring project just to get through it and done. That happened with my Trillian scarf/shawl.  While the knitting was easy enough, it did get kind of boring (it is rows and rows of garter stitch after all). And I didn't finish it in time to wear it for Christmas, which was one of the goals. But I was afraid that if I didn't finish it I would never get back to it.

In the end I stopped it after it was just long enough to wrap around my neck as a cowl. In retrospect I should have continued it for another few inches, which would have made it easier to to use as a cowl.

I did end up liking the Knit Picks Gloss yarn that I used with this. While I was knitting it up it felt rather scratchy but after a soak in Wrapture it soften up quite a bit. I would use Gloss again.

But I am rethinking the wisdom of monogamous knitting. I think I will try having a few projects going at once, and see if I have issues with them ending up in Area 51 (where of course all the UFOs eventually end up...).

Current projects:
The Crazy Lace Cardigan class on with Myra Wood.  Just starting with the bolero. This is Cascade Sierra Quatro. I am in love with this yarn and want to buy WEBS entire supply of it and it's sister Cascade Sierra.

Starting a cowl with my Knit Picks Imagination yarn in the colorway Castle Walls.  This is for a Jane Austen group KAL challenge on ravelry. I've matched it up with Romi Hill's Sagebrush Infinity Cowl

And a cowl that I am designing based on the 3AM Cable Hat by smariek.  More to follow

What is your take on monogamous knitting?  Do you tend to knit only one project at a time? Do you have a limit of how many projects you have going at once? How long will you let a project languish before you give up on it?

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