More patterns available now!

I’m happy to say that, since my last pattern update in December, I’ve added four new patterns for sale on Ravelry!

Blizzard Winds Cowl

Blizzard Winds Cowl

The first two patterns were released a couple months ago and are a matching winter accessories set: Blizzard Winds Cowl and Blizzard Winds Hat.

I’d been in a regular designing mood one night and came up with this swirling pattern one night, no specific goal for it in mind. I also had decided that I wanted to experiment with picot edging, with I thought went well with the colorwork.

Blizzard Winds Hat

Blizzard Winds Hat

I happened to be working on the cowl during the Blizzard of 2013 back in February, when we got a record 3 feet of snow (No exaggeration there, we literally got 3 feet) in Connecticut.

As I was knitting, I realized the black swirls on the grey background reminded me of the blowing snow and wind outside at the time, and the bumpy picot edging reminded me of the snow drifts piling up, so I named the cowl after the blizzard. The hat soon followed.

The next pattern was released last month, my Staggered Diamonds Cowl.

Staggered Diamonds Cowl

Staggered Diamonds Cowl

I’ve always liked playing with twisted stitch designs ever since I was introduced to the idea back in 2009 when I knit my first pair of CanCan wristwarmers.

Since then, I’ve played with  twisted stitches on a regular basis, first introducing them into one of my designs with my Twisted Diamond Mitts.

The tricky part with these types of designs is that it’s difficult to make the pattern continuous when you’re using it in the round. Because the twisted stitches are essentially two-stitch cables, continuing them across the beginning/ending of a round would require traveling stitch markers, and would increase the difficulty of the project quite a bit, especially for beginning knitters.

You can see the break in the pattern here

You can see the break in the pattern here

I’ve struggled with how to address the beginning/ending of rounds in my patterns with colorwork as well. Since knitting in the round means knitting a spiraling tube, the end of one round lines up with the beginning of the next round, creating a jog in many continuous patterns, whether they’re colorwork, regular cables, or twisted stitches.

To solve this issue with my diamond cowl, I decided to avoid the jog and the traveling stitch markers completely by making a definitive beginning and ending to the stitch pattern that coincided with the beginning and ending of each round.

My most recent pattern, Mad about Merino Mitts, was just released today.

Mad about Merino Mitts

Mad about Merino Mitts

This pattern was particularly exciting for me to design, because it incorporates several different techniques, including one I hadn’t used in a design before: the lateral braid.

The pattern was designed to use up leftover yarn I had after finishing my Fabergé shawl, and I wanted to experiment with patterns to really showcase the lighter grey against the darker grey.

I’d seen the lateral braid before in other patterns, and it seemed like the perfect way to really block out the diamond pattern in the light yarn.

The diamond pattern is similar to the one in my Staggered Diamonds Cowl, with a smaller version on the hand and a larger version on the cuff.

Favorite Pattern Friday: Aeolian

Sidenote: I’ve decided to start up a couple new weekly features here including Favorite Pattern Fridays. These will be recurring posts. Check in again Monday for another new feature, “Queued of the Week!”

One of my favorite patterns I’ve made is the Aeolian shawl. It’s a very popular pattern on Ravelry, and for good reason.

My handknit Aeolian shawl

Me modeling my finished Aeolian

My Aeolian was my first beaded shawl, and was quite an undertaking. Having only have completed two shawlettes prior to beginning this project, I wondered if I’d gotten myself in over my head. However, I had found a yarn I loved and the perfect beads to match it (both on Etsy! The yarn here and the beads here!)

The allure of the finished product was strong enough, though, that I ignored my reservations and cast on.

Modeling my handknit Aeolian shawl

Another photo to show off the prettiness

One of the reasons I love this pattern is because it’s pretty easy to understand, even for someone relatively new to lace knitting. I had to go back and forth in the directions a few times for things to click in my head, but other than that I had very few issues. The beading was even easier than I feared it would be.

The main issue I had with the pattern was that the difference between k2tog/ssk and k3tog/sssk wasn’t entirely clear to me on the charts at first. Looking back now, I can see clearly that the k3tog/sssk lines are much bolder, and reach from corner to corner in their boxes, while the k2tog/ssk lines as thinner, slightly off-center in the boxes, and don’t reach the top corners of the boxes. While I was knitting, though, I couldn’t figure it out, but found the answer on a Ravelry thread. I had no other problems.

Overall, I love this pattern, and I’d recommend it to any knitter who enjoys a little bit of a challenge.

Pattern Roundup!

Yes, I know, it’s been a while since I last blogged. I’ve done a lot of knitting in that time, but what I want to share first are my patterns that I’ve published on Ravelry since I last posted. 🙂

Twisted Diamond Mitts

 

I came up with the idea for these mitts when I got some lovely yarn that I wanted to use to make an instant-gratification gift to myself after holiday knitting. I designed a simple-yet-pretty twisted stitch pattern that is easy enough to memorize, but
interesting enough to keep you from getting bored.

gloves2

Moss/Seed Stitch Hat

 

This hat is a simple knit that’s great for showcasing those yarns that feel so soft, but don’t necessarily have great stitch definition. The moss/seed stitch itself is squooshy, which accentuates the natural softness of any yarn.

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Climbing Lattice Hat

 

I came up with this hat when I wanted a hat that would show off the semi-solid nature of my yarn without too busy a pattern.
The hat features a weaving lattice pattern with decreases hidden by the cables.

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Climbing Lattice Neckwarmer

 

I came up with this neckwarmer to be a companion to my Climbing Lattice hat, and show off my semisolid yarn.
The neckwarmer features a weaving lattice pattern with basic cables running up the sides.
Neckwarmer is worked flat.

DSCF2208

Bubbling Diamonds Hat

 

I designed this hat to showcase the contrasting colors of some DK weight yarn I had. The hat features alternating bubble and diamond patterns in a stranded design.

There are 2 lengths available, depending on how many pattern repeats are done.

2012-07-15_13.58.02

Kera Wristwarmers

 

These fingerless mitts feature mirrored intertwined cables. They’re named after my sister, as I came up with the design for her Christmas gift this year.
They come in a small/medium size to fit wrist circumferences up to 7 inches, and a medium/large size to fit wrist circumferences 7 to 8 inches.

2012-11-08_12.38.39

Little things, big plans

Combining a House Cup off-month with summer heat equals not a ton of knitting happening right now, but a lot of planning given Christmas season is coming up.

I did manage to whip out a quick pair of basic fingerless mitts with some super soft, nice yarn I got a couple weeks ago, I think they turned out pretty cute:

The yarn’s interesting because it’s almost variegated, but not quite.

That’s my digital camera case for size reference at the top.

I also finished the Summer Flies shawl that I started while I was on vacation at the end of July, though I haven’t blocked it yet.

I used just under 2 balls of (about 300 yards) Classic Elite Yarns Fresco, which is a 60% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 10% Angora mix DK weight yarn, and lovely to work with. I loved the stitch definition I got with it too, I’m looking forward to seeing how it blocks out.

I don’t think I’m going to block it too aggressively, as it’s a pretty nice small scarf size now, so a light blocking should bring it to decent scarf size. It’s a little smaller than the pattern said because I used a DK weight instead of a worsted, but I think the size will work out in the end.

Still on the needles are the baby booties for my sister’s friend’s baby shower, which I hope to finish tonight since the baby shower is in two days! I also have my Spectacular Sightseeing Sunset Socks on the needles, but those are currently my in-the-purse-to-work-on-on-the-go project, so they don’t get a lot of love at home.

Speaking of purses, I got my Namaste Monroe bag last week, a birthday present from my parents! I love it, I’m using it as my regular purse plus knitting. It’s got 2 huge side pockets and one big center section, so I have plenty of room for all my purse things, plus a knitting project or two, and I don’t have to worry about my yarn snagging on my car keys, or falling out of my bag. Oh, and did I mention it’s purple?

Isn’t she beautiful?

Looking ahead, I’m working on my plans for the upcoming House Cup term. I was leaning toward doing an Arithmancy OWL (at least 8 of the same object) and doing 6 pairs of fingerless gloves, but then I discovered The Beekeeper’s Quilt, and may change my plans. I’m currently debating how I want to tackle the term, I might do the quilt as an OWL instead, and do the gloves for classes, or maybe do the gloves for the OWL and do groups of hexagons for the quilt for classes. I definitely have a lot of thinking to do, lol.

Image courtesy of tinyowlknits on Ravelry

A busy month, a big finish

I’m finally back to a “normal” knitting schedule after spending the vast majority of July racing to finish my Aeolian in time to wear it on the beach on my vacation at the end of the month.

Happily, I did finish it!

It’s finally finished!

I started the shawl as my Spring 2011 HPKCHC OWL, and while I didn’t finish enough in time to get the 50 mid-term points, I did finish in time to get the 100 completion points. Plus, I was just proud of finishing it in general. It’s the most intricate, complicated thing I’ve ever made!

I did have to give myself a break from the tiny yarn, tiny needles and tiny beads occasionally, though, so I did work a fairly quick test knit hat that turned out to be perfect for some llama yarn I had, and almost in Gryffindor colors too!

Now I just have to decide how crazy I am for next HPKCHC term, which starts Sept. 1. I’m thinking an OWL of 6 pairs of fingerless mitts as Christmas gifts, plus a small shawl for an Order of the Phoenix mission, and blanket squares for classes. But we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m just trying to clear my needles. 🙂

New fingerless gloves pattern for sale!

I just put my Fully Convertible Mittens pattern for sale on Ravelry! (You don’t have to be a Ravelry member to buy the pattern)  Please check them out and let me know what you think 🙂

A new month, a new plan!

Happy Independence Day weekend to my fellow US people! And Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends! And happy weekend to everyone else! And happy any other holiday that I’m not aware of! (If you are celebrating another holiday this weekend/week, let me know in the comments, I love learning new things!)

With the new month come new HPKCHC classes, and new plans.

First, let me recap my June progress, which unfortunately wasn’t near what I’d hoped thanks to a combination of startitis, carpal tunnel, and overambitious goals, lol.

I did get my little CMYK made for my sister, which I think turned out cute, even if she didn’t get the joke immediately.

My favorite project I finished (not that there was a lot of choice, I only finished two!) was my Cotyledon Hat, which I did as a test knit. I was happy about it because it finally gave me a great project to use my madelinetosh tosh dk that I bought on an HPKCHC WEBS trip in March. I’d been looking for the perfect project, but I only had one skein. Let me just say, this yarn was awesome to work with, it was very soft and had great stitch definition, which worked well for the hat.

I was worried at first that my hat was going to be too big, but it turned out perfect for use as a spring/fall hat. It’s not tight, so it won’t be windproof, but it looks cute and will work for those cool-not-cold days.

As far as plans for July go, I’m keeping it pretty simple: I’m planning to work exclusively on my Aeolian in an attempt to finish it before my vacation later in the month. I figure I can do some smaller projects for classes on vacation, but I can’t really finish and block a huge shawl in a motel room!

Sightseeing socks, lace addictions and the consequences of marathon knitting

What do you get when you cross marathon knitting with wrists that have personal vendettas against you?

You get almost a week of no knitting time, that’s what. 😦

I think the fact that I was knitting lace on tiny needles (My Aeolian and My Heaven, both lace on size 2s, and a sock also on size 2s) didn’t help either.

Let me just tell you, you know your hands need a long break right. now. when your thumb starts involuntarily shaking whenever you bend it, so much so that you can’t type on your phone with it. Ask me how I know.

As difficult as it was, I did make myself rest from knitting for several days. I was able to alleviate some of the restless hand-ness by spinning on my drop spindle, something I haven’t done in quite a while. I spun some gorgeous chocolate brown alpaca top that I had gotten at WEBS a few months ago, which proceeded to shed all over me. (Have you ever cleaned up after an alpaca? I have. It. Was. Awesome.)

Granted, I should have seen this coming. Let’s think about what I’ve been knitting over the past several weeks…

You can see where the sunset part comes in.

Spectacular Sightseeing Sunset Socks

Why yes, I am a fan of alliteration, how did you guess? 😉

These socks actually came about for exactly two reasons: 1) I wanted to try Michaels’ new Loops & Threads Luxury Sock yarn, and 2) I wanted something small and mindless to knit on a trip to New York City. I figured a pair of plan stockinette socks would be the perfect travel project, and would allow me to try this new yarn (which is very nice, I might add, I just wish it came in solid colors).

Over the course of two days, these socks were knit at:

  • Car ride from CT to NY train station
  • Train ride to New York City
  • NYC subway station while waiting for the train
  • Central Park bench
  • Yankee Stadium while waiting for the game to start
  • Train back from NYC
  • Car ride home from NY
  • Car ride to the beach
  • On the beach
  • At the outlet stores waiting for the rain to end
  • On the way home from the outlets

That’s a lot of tiny needle knitting.

That red is my lifeline, juuuust in case.

Aeolian

I’ve blogged about my Aeolian before, it’s my Ancient Runes OWL for the House Cup. In order to get “midterm credit” for it, I need to have it 50% done by the end of the month. My goal was to get out of the yucca pattern repeats (there were 12 repeats of 8 rows, and with each row getting longer, those yuccas seemed to go on forever).

On the morning of June 7, I had it at 15.10% (thank you handy Google spreadsheet). By the end of the day on June 11, I had it at 25.83%. That means I knit 7,332 teeny tiny stitches, complete with a whole lot of teeny tiny beads, in four days.

This is the edging as it’ll look on the shawl.

My Heaven

For some reason, I’ve become addicted to lace, and decided a couple weeks ago that I just HAD to find the perfect lace pattern for some gorgeous red baby alpaca yarn I have. I decided on a My Heaven (Ravelry link), as I had done a search for red lace shawls and saw a project page for a My Heaven done in red, and absolutely loved it. I haven’t been able to work on it much yet, because I want to get my Aeolian to 50%, but I’m trudging along on it.

The construction on this shawl is interesting because it’s unlike any shawls I’ve done before: you knit the entire edge sideways first, then pick up the stitches along the long edge to knit the body. The shawl as written has a garter stitch piece in the middle of the body, but I plan to just continue the lace pattern the entire way to make an airy, delicate shawl.

The colors are a little richer than this photo shows, but you can see the stitch definition.

Cotyledon Hat

This hat I’m doing as a test knit for another Raveler. I’m using madelinetosh tosh dk, and it is sucha lovely yarn to work with. It’s super soft, but it has a fairly tight twist and great stitch definition for the knit-through-the-back-loop ridges and the cables in this pattern.

The pattern actually caught my eye because it looked pretty and complex, but it turned out to be very simple, consisting of a few cables strategically placed.
So yeah. I think I can understand why my hands decided to freak out. For now, I’m going to work on finishing my hat on size 6 needles before moving back to my teeny tiny projects.

A joke for graphic designers?

My sister just aced her graphic design class, and as a congratulatory joke, I made her this cute little guy:

She didn’t get the joke until I explained it, which makes me wonder if I’m not as clever as I thought.

So, those of you out there who know about graphic design, or computers and images in general, do you get the joke?

Close encounters of the stitch dropping kind

My Aeolian is coming along quite well now that I’ve been able to devote my time to it. In the past week, I’ve been able to get about 15% of it done, which I know thanks to a wonderful spreadsheet a fellow House Cupper made.

I had a scary moment while knitting the other day, though. I’ve decided to put lifelines in every 4th yucca  chart repeat (there are 12 total) and every chart repeat after the yuccas. I was almost to the point where I could put in my second lifeline, when this happened:

Begin panic mode now.

I don’t know exactly how many stitches slipped off the needles. I just sat there staring in horror at it. Luckily, I was able to pick up the stitches and resume knitting with no major mishaps. Once I got my second lifeline in, and got 4 rows into the 9th yucca repeat (so that I could mark it as 15% on Ravelry), and put the project away for a few days so that I could breathe.

Wanting to give myself a break from the tiny yarn and tiny needles, I decided to start a pair of worsted weight fingerless gloves (I know, May isn’t exactly glove season).

I was debating what colors to use; I was originally thinking purple and black, but the purple was too dark to differentiate it from the black. I found some bright blue yarn I had, and decided to alternate it with the black instead.

I played around with a couple charts and settled on a pair of black mitts with blue dots placed throughout. I’m up to the thumb increases, and plan to make the pattern available on Ravelry once I finish one glove and get it test knitted.

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