Oh Crud…the left hand of the Barista Mitt is a tad off. I’m in the midst of doing up an errata sheet for it.
Basically, after binding off for the cuff on WS, you need to work in pattern to end of row. Turn to right side and knit across THEN join in the round. Once the mitt is joined in the round, k9 sts (gets you to the edge of the cuff) THEN add the st marker indicating beg of round. This will align the button cuff properly. At this point, you may add in your st markers to indicate front and back and re-align needles as needed if working on magic loop or 2 sets of circs.
Sorry - this errata escaped both me and my tech editor. Just another reason not to rush during the holidays - huh?!
I’m sure hoping that you knitters out there were savvy enough to catch it before you got too far into the mitt.
Nothing worse than ripping this close to christmas!
I have a group of very close friends that meet every Wednesday for knitting. We've been meeting for about 4 years now and it's been a blast. We exchange gifts every year and this year was by far the most creative year to date! I just wish that I had come up with the ingenious ideas myself.....
Beginning with the most prolific and creative knitter amongst the group, Sherri. She knit up these adorable Santa Bags and filled them with a knitting ornament. What an amazing idea! Ornament was purchased through: http://www.agoodyarnshop.com/
Our most savy Raveler in the group is Sue. She manages to find the best patterns on Ravelry and seems to know every yarn, pattern, and website and what's the hottest, must have "knitting" gadget, bag or color. She's our Go To person in the knitting world. She came up with the most ingenious gift - a purchased pattern waiting in our Ravelry message box. What fun to open up mail and find a pattern waiting to be downloaded! Not only that - but she managed to find EXACTLY what I would have chosen. I don't think I would have been able to pull that one off myself. Pattern can be found: http://thebrownstitch.com/2010/11/common-ground.html
As for our other knitting buddy, Leslie, well, she's a canning fiend. She preserves anything and everything so we got a few of her very time consuming jars of jelly and a Christmas towel - which I have none of and needed!
As for me, well I was far from creative. I gave everyone a Lantern Moon knitting purse.
So - for you knitters out there, here are some great ways to make a knitter happy.
It's a simple design that starts with a ribbing and finishes with the visible cuff. It prevents the boot from chafing your leg and also keeps snow and cold air from sneaking down the boot. It also glamorizes those drab boots! Pattern is currently available through Crown Mountain Farms.
With all this inclement weather, I've gotten quite a bit of knitting done. It doesn't help that my husband has been working into the dawn hours and I feel obligated to stay up and knit with him to keep him company. Ok - so that's just another excuse to knit all night! I've received this big Ole box of Cascade 220 sport yarn and I'm now enthralled in all knits worked on size 5 needles.
This Barista Mitt idea came from Lois at Allyn Knit shop (http://www.allynknitandspin.com) who had these fun coffee buttons and a new shipment of 220 sport. My initial idea was to work the mitt exactly like the Northwest Button Band hat - moss stitch cuff and plain knit for the rest - but I got bored with plain knitting and the mitts don't fit quite as well. You need some shaping to fit snug on the hand so I added a center cable and love it as is. However, I am going one step farther and having my test knitter work the same mitts only with a variation of the cable. This way, I can offer to cable styles. I figure if you're going to charge for the pattern, you need to give lots of variations to make it worth its value. I'd like to offer one other style with no cables for the beginner in mind as well. We'll see.
This scrunchy hat was designed for the Knit for Fun club (http://www.crownmountainfarms.co/) - using fingering weight sock yarn. I had it test knit in Crystal Palace Mini Mochi (http://www.straw.com/). I call it a scrunchy hat since the cable pulls the hat in and scrunches it up. Once on, the cables lay flat with a tad bit of wave. The cable used is your everyday cable only with half being in the knit stitch while the other half is purled. It gives the cable a bit more dimension.
After a windy storm - loss of power for over 13 hours and a 2-hour late start for school - I am still able to knit. I have a great camping lantern that can light up a room so knitting wasn't too strenuous on the eyes. Funny thing is I just taught my neighbor (like 2 days ago...) how to knit and she was knitting by flashlight (teenage boy trying to hold still with the flashlight so she can finish her row!), while another crazy knitting friend is knitting by candlelight! Now that's tough on the eyes.
So - this is what I was working on. Yea, yea, it looks fabulous, I know (it's a Nicky Epstein design and she's fabulous) - but there is a mistake in the center cable that must have happened during the excitement of the power outage. Good news is that I did a quick duplicate stitch over the mistake (had a cable going the wrong direction) and only I can tell where it was. I just hate ripping back such tedious cables in fear of not being able to get back on track. Besides, I now have a story and memory about the sweater that would be lost if I ripped back. Some things are better left as is - makes for a great conversation piece!
At the request of my sister-in-law, I have made a sock monkey hat for her grand-daughter. I liked the yarn - it's a chunky weight Farbo something - acrylic yarn. It turned out okay -
My next attempt is to make a winter ski cowl neck sock monkey. Same concept and design only in a cowl neck. She's a ski instructor and wants to be more visual on the slops so her students can see her better. It's not my thing, but it was good for me. Besides, how cute will it be on her 3 year old grand-daughter!
It must be sock season - or at least for me it is. I just finished the last sock club pattern for Crown Mountain Farms (http://www.crownmountainfarms.com/) for this year. I had to wrack my brain to come up with something different than all the other socks - and after some 15 different swatches, I decided to copy my Northwest Button Band hat idea and work the same concept onto a sock. I must say, I'm pleased with the outcome. Different heel flap for me - I used a combination of wyif, sl 1, wyib, k1 on the wrong side of the flap to create this sturdy seed stitch look. I'm thinking this sock could be adorable on a toddler or babies foot in some pink tone with a fun button and some Mary Jane shoes.
These socks were designed for Frog Tree Yarns (http://www.frogtreeyarns.com/) - using their new Pediboo 3-ply sock yarn. Both of these socks were test knit for me and both knitters raved about this yarn. This sock will be at TNNA, Long Beach at the Frog Tree Booth. The heel flap is the standard heel flap (sl 1, k1) - only done on the wrong side so that the bars would face the right side tot give some needed texture.
This sock was intended to be reversible - but after asking the opinion of my 3 test knitters, they all agreed that they prefer the knit side up with the cuff folded down - so no need to offer a reversible option.
No time to knit these days....Disneyland called to say they missed me, then school called to make sure the 3 amigas were still working the cake walk booth...now I have a family wedding tonight about 3 hours away. I'll be able to at least knit in the car for the trip up.
What a great day! I managed to convince my neighbor to allow me to take her picture with my new hat. She had 1 baby down for a nap, another youngster due home from school and according to her, a messy house to boot. And yes, she was kind enough to take time out of her very busy "mom" day to let me snap a few pictures. I literally took about 5 minutes - I only needed 5 minutes. She was remarkable!
Fall designs have been launched, classes at Northwest Needle Market have been taught and I have pretty much wrapped up 3rd quarter. I always take a break between the seasonal designs and try to wrap my head around organizing the desk (again), sketching the new designs and checking on all of my on-line accounts to be sure they've received and uploaded the fall designs.
I go over my list of "submission proposals" - much which has been missed. My deadlines and their deadlines don't seem to match well so I miss more proposals then I actually submit. In fact, I haven't sent out any proposals this fall which means I've missed them all for the next 6 months. Oh well...I probably needed the break.
So this week I think I'll try and conquer my list.
1-sketch design for Madrona Fiber Arts this February
2-swatch sock for Sock Hop club (due this November- better put an alert on this one)
3-post an iddy biddy winter trio errata (2 sentences were transposed)
4-finish a new design for Allyn Knit and Spin
5-print 4 old patterns in the new template (Faux baby hat, happy hallo-twining, spring gauntlets, unisex vest)
6-check on student count for upcoming class at Yorkshire Yarns (October 16)
7-finish Zealana yarns winter hat and create a You-Tube instructional for the hat
8-sketch a non-sock design using Frog Tree Yarns in Pediboo sock yarn for TNNA, Long Beach (January)
9-check website for improvements and updates
10-finish cowl neck on flattering summer shell for Frog Tree Yarns, Long Beach (January)
11-keep checking for new book on How to Knit Mittens, House of White Birches (I have 2 designs in the book) and new winter edition of Love of Knitting magazine (I have 2 designs)
I have been on the search for some fabulous test and sample knitters. It's hard to find good sample knitters. First of all, the pay is lousy. Second of all, I keep the knitted pieces. Third of all, we are going into the holiday knitting season so everyone is trying to crank out their own knitting first.
I finally got up the nerve to search for sample knitters on Ravelry. The response was enormous! Not only did I get a good response, many of them gave me a run down of big time designers that they regularily test knit for. Once you throw out a recognizable name, I'm convinced you gotta be good.
I sent out 3 socks, 1 hat, 1 cowl and 1 XL sweater ....all to be sample knit. I am working with one yarn company that buys all of the samples for their booth displays and will sell them as well to the yarn shop owners.
In the past, I've only had most of my patterns test knit by 1 person per project. Now that I have 4 different knitters on 1 pattern sock, I am noticing that each knitter brings new comments, suggestions and even questions that the others didn't. These knitters are truly perfecting the pattern for me in more ways than you would realize. It's not so much that I am looking for errors in the pattern but I am also wanting feedback. Did you enjoy knitting it? Did it fit you just right? Do you like the reversible look? Would you knit it again? Do you like the look of it? If I can't get positive feedback on the questions, then the pattern it too hoo hum to print.
A design is not successful without the tech editors, test knitters and sample knitters behind it.
The 2 handed Fair Isle class is next weekend and I'm just finishing up the photography, writing of the pattern, and re-doing the matching sock! I still need to get it off to the tech editor and then off to the printers....yikes, how do I get myself into these terrible deadlines?! It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for me wanting to change everything after the fact - and working on size 2 needles. Like for instance, on this hat, the trim was supposed to be a hem. Once I did the hem, I didn't like it. It was too bulky. So I changed it to a tiny roll which I like. But then I thought that I would prefer if all 3 projects start and look the same. So now I want to rewrite the pattern to begin with a 2 row seed stitch. Also - I think the hat is just a tad snug - by say half an inch. I can easily change the pattern but I don't have time to re-knit it so I think I'll have to write out the 2 trim options. As for the gauntlets, love the look - but need to tweek the pattern. The cuff was a tad tight on a few of my friends so want to work it up in 2 sizes. Then the hand part of the gauntlet was a tad loose so I need to take out the increased darts. Lastly, the socks. I ripped it back because they feel an inch too big around the ankle. Crunch time ...gotta go
Okay, so I kinda loved this no thinking hat making. All you do is go in the round, no charts to follow, no lace to work up - just plain old knitting. I got carried away with this project. I couldn't help myself with the color options. I only had 4 colors to work - and only 4 skeins of 100 yds as well. I was knitting them down to their last hair! I so enjoyed this project. I just hope that my students at Northwest Needle Market enjoy it as well.
I'm working with Frog Tree yarns (http://www.frogtreeyarns.com/) - Pedipoo which is their newest sock yarn. I'm designing a Winter Trio which will include socks and a matching hat. This is the project I'll be using in my 2-handed Fair Isle class coming up.
Since I'm working with such fine yarn and in such classic winter colors, I've decided to place darts up the center of the gauntlet for a more refined and shapely gauntlet. I'm adding guesset shaping to the thumb - which will give better shape and fit. I originally thought I wanted the darts to be positioned on the bottom of the wrist where it wouldn't be visible. However, now that I've tried it on, I almost prefer the darts to be placed on the top of the hand for some texture. The gauntlets are reversible - so it could be worn either way. For a more dramatic shape - the darts could be worked on both sides of the gauntlet - provided you have small wrists. I may have to try that on the next pair to see if it's too restrictive.
There is nothing more American than apple pie and the fair! And you simply can not go to the fair without making your way through the animal petting farm. Oatmeal the sheep was there and I couldn't stop hugging him. His matted fur (?) was so thick, my fingers would disappear when I scriched (spelling???) him. He was funny too because everytime I tried to take a picture of another animal, he would somehow get in the way and I'd get a picture of wool! There was also baby alpaca's - absolutely adorable! I just love the fair - and it seems that it seems that the fair is becoming a lost tradition. Many of my friends and my children's friends no longer attend the fair. Not sure why.
I walked through the exhibition hall where the quilts, knitting, canned foods and photography are displayed. The workmanship is incredible! I dragged my kids through the garden which is absolutely breathtaking with the grape vines cluttered with grapes, a vine patch full of zucchini, cucumber, squash and pumpkins and barrels full of beets, radishes and carrots. It just makes you want to garden more! They also have hands on demonstrations on making butter, milling flour and carding wool.
Brett Micheals had a concert blaring in the distance - and Lexi was dancing through the crowd to his music. Of course, the fair wouldn't be the same without the fried pickles (not bad), Elephant ears and the roasted corn. The 4H cat show was underway and it's always fun to walk through the cat show where every single cat is curled up in their litter box and not in their bed that their 4H mothers had made for them. I had so much fun, I'm going back this Tuesday with my brother and the girls.
Nothing like test knitting for myself! Although, sometimes I prefer it as I can find my mistakes first before someone else does! Actually - I am waiting for some yarn and I'm in between deadlines so I had some time. I love what I call, my dead zone. I can just knit without thinking. This is where knitting therapy happens.
This hat was knit out of Alpaca with a Twist - Baby Twist, DK weight yarn and it's just luscious to work with. I'll be teaching this class at the Northwest Needle Market show in Tukwila, September 25 and at Yorkshire Yarns (http://www.yorkshireyarns.com/) late October. This hat will actually reside permanently at Yorkshire Yarns along with the Alpaca with a Twist yarn for those of you that live in the Tacoma area.
It's just a fun and unique technique to striping in the round without the "jogs" or ladders.
I'm off to make the 2 striped hat now as I have plenty of yarn left over - gotta love 2 hats with 3 skeins!
It seems like everytime I finish up some knitting deadlines, I feel the need to just knit someone else's pattern. Knit something that I can just follow directions instead of writing down everything I'm doing and adjusting numbers and ripping out and re-swatching. It just sometimes is necessary to knit without having to think. So this weekend I picked up a project that I've been dying to do for some time. I bought the yarn (http://www.allynknitshop.com/) for my Knit A Long sweater and actually had a skein left to do these boots. Found some gorgeous Angora Roving on Etsy - last spring and then promptly put it away until all of my deadlines were met.
I'm really happy with the slippers. As usual, there are things I would change. Like I think I should have used thicker clumps of roving and I would have preferred a longer cuff. The cuff shown on the cocoknits pattern seems longer and fuller. Aside from that, it couldn't have been an easier pattern and you just can't beat the price - 1 skein (I think it cost me $9) is all it takes to make the pair! The yarn is Lamb's Pride Bulky (http://www.brownsheep.com/) - milled in the US (bonus in my book!) and the color is Golden Mushroom which is absolutely gorgeous. I may make a few pairs for my daughters for Xmas in Red with White fleece. Wouldn't that be adorable!
My dear dear friend, who never turns me down, kindly allowed me to photograph her in the seamless short sweater that was custom knit for a shop. Yes, this kind kind friend also sample knit this sweater.
It was the spur of the moment kind of thing as are all of my photoshoots - like I gave her a 20 minute notice that I was headed over. The craziest thing is that I took one look at her front door with her sitting chair and accessory pillows and I knew that I found the perfect location. I literally took 4 shots of her and was done. I couldn't believe that even her little dog matched perfectly with the sweater and setting. It was like a June Clever moment. I love my June Clever - oh, I mean, Sherri Hazen!
After the stress and hiatus from last spring's Photoshop class at the not-so-local community college, I thought I might be done with this further education thing. Now that I've had a break from school and forgot how much time this continued education took....I've signed up for yet another course! This time though, I think I found the perfect class. It's in Tacoma, every Wednesday from 6 - 7:30 at night (there goes dinner with family). It's super super cheap (which worries me) - and it's a beginner course in Fashion Illustration, using Adobe Illustrator which I have and have not even tinkered with yet.
There is another class that caught my eye - although I'll have to wait a quarter (don't want to overload myself!). It's Fashion Illustration - hand sketching. Sounds like a fun class. I hope they offer it next quarter.
The good news is it only runs for 1 month. I pay my tech editor to do all of my schematics right now and will probably continue to have her do my schematics as she is so proficient - but it's good for me to start dabbling in should I lose her to bigger and better opportunities - which I am sure will happen.
One of the first and few hots days that we have in Seattle should be enjoyed by water. I live on a peninsula surrounded by salt water beaches - some as close as 2 miles away. It's truly a gorgeous day but somehow I must have heat stroke because I thought I should spend the day working with just wool! Not small wool projects - but sweater size wool projects.
I'm not proud of it, but here is what I got accomplished today.............................
2 sweatesrs being blocked at the same time - one being the Baby Doll Cardigan (left) in Cascade 128 and the other being the Seamless Short Sweater (right) in Frog Tree Meriboo machine washable.
I need to go and get a button for this one.
I added buttons to my Knit-A-Long sweater (http://www.sweaterbabe.com/#85 wavy textured hood vest). Loved knitting up the sweater - love the style, love the construction of it and can't wait to wear it this fall.
Buttons remind me of bamboo - and I love them! Sweater was knit using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky - mushroom color. Will take better pictures on my next post.
Lastly, I worked on my jogless 3-striped hat using Frog Tree yarns - Meriboo in colors purple, lilac and grey. Loving the hat but working on size 6 needles so taking longing then I'd like. Love the 3 colors together, very rich hues. Class will be taught this fall.
Okay - so, I love love love this sweater....wanted the peacock feathers super bad until I saw what it looked like on me! I'm going to have to forego the peacock feathers. Isn't this the most fabulous sweater you've ever seen? It's in the Nicky Epstein book: Knitting on Top of the World
Here's the book it came out of. She's a fabulous designer and you must own at least one of her books to be called a knitter (that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!)
Well I can't post any pictures - but I am finishing up 2 deadlines for an upcoming Winter knitting magazine. I'm very happy with both designs but I hate deadlines...they just un-nerve me. And everytime I look over my instructions, I either start changing numbers around - because I don't trust myself or they don't look so good on paper, or they don't have rhythm. Then I just start making mistakes by confusing myself! I guess the worst part of the whole process is that I don't know how I compare to the other contributing designers.
Do they just plug in numbers and stick to it without re-adjusting? Do they work and re-work their pattern - racking up the hours and diminishing the hourly pay from $1 to 10 cents an hour? Are they more careless than I - or am I more green? Does the Tech Editor have more red ink stains on my pattern than anyone elses? Do they add unhappy faces to mine?
I guess the only way to build confidence or at least know where you stand against the other designers would be to tech edit on the magazine end. That way, you could see what the various designers have submitted and be re-assured that they make just as many mistakes as you do and that their numbers don't make any more sense. This is my 2nd magazine, and my 7th book contribution. It would be nice to get past the "I wish I knew my strengths and weaknesses". Although there is no time for a feedback sheet - or a sliding point system like at school, it would definitely let us know if we need to improve our skills on the next batch of designs or if we are doing just fine as is.
I have to get them both off by tomorrow - so gotta go. I'm thinking of going on a hyiatus (spelling???)...and knit a piece for myself using another designers design - yes, that being Nicky Epsteins Aran Gala sweater. It would put me temporarily out of commission but I think I've had all the deadlines I can handle for 1 year.
Oops - forgot, I still have a few more projects that need tending to!
I think one of my first knitting books was from my mom and it was a Nicky Epstein book. Every time I get together with my mom, she always buys me a knitting book and 90 times out of a 100, it's a Nicky Epstein book. In fact, for 10 years, that was the only designer name that I recognized and followed. I take knitting classes where ever I can - and when ever I can but I haven't caught sight of any Nicky classes. I haven't even seen her name on the TNNA or Madrona class schedules. So when I heard she was giving a class at Yorkshire yarns of Lakewood (http://www.yorkshireyarns.com/) - I knew I had to take it.
It's amazing at the designers, authors, anchor women and calendar chicks that Sonya can convince to talk, teach and book sign at her shop. Keep your radar on her calendar of events...
We had to bring 2 8x8 swatches with us. The class was based on her upcoming book due out in November - color blocking. Wasn't sure exactly what this class entailed, but I didn't care. We learned how to make a turtle stuffed animal out of one of the squares and a hat out of the other. I'm not a stuffed animal fan - but that wasn't the point of the class. The point that I got from it is that you can take something as simple as a block and transform it into anything you can imagine. She showed us how to create sweaters, gauntlets, shawls, hats, berets, purses and scarves out of 12x12 blocks. It was fascinating how her mind works.
I bought this book - because I fell in love with one of her sweaters in it that I actually saw at TNNA 2 years ago and couldn't get it out of my mind. Mind you, it's a little over the top - which I don't feel I am. In this case, however, I feel like I may be coming out of my shell! Get ready....
There are over 150 pearls on it with osterich feathers to ensure that I'll be noticed! The picture doesn't show off the gorgeous cable stitches or the richness of the yarn (Cascade Dolce) - or even the 3 different sizes of pearls sewn on in and between and around the cables.
I'm thinking if I can get some of my many deadlines done, I might have time to get this sweater done in time for my nieces wedding this October. Or will I look like the bride???? Mother of the bride????
I may also make it so that the Osterich feathers can be attached and detached as needed for the occasion.
Fun fun class....lastly...this sun shawl is spectacular up close. I'm not a shawl fan but this was unbelievably gorgeous in person. Knit with Art yarn - pure silk, the yarn alone cost $300 or so (according to Nicky). Perhaps that's another reason that it's so spectacular, anything knit in cashmere, angora or silk is going to be stunning! Interesting enough...is that it is knit in the garter stitch through out and short rows.....and I call myself a designer??? Now that's what a real designer creates!
I love taking classes....they inspire me to go further, think outside the paradigm and truly create a one of a kind master piece instead of the everyday dozen.
This is the 2-color jogless hat (upcoming class this fall)
Frog Tree yarn "Meriboo MW" - love this yarn....
Girls on vacation
Another great vacation. This time to the Pacific ocean. Each girl brought a friend - one being my darling niece and it was the absolute perfect vacation! My husband had 5 of his college buddies stay at the house for 3 nights for their yearly golf tournament so we were forced to leave home. I took 4 girls and 4 knitting projects and that's all I needed to be content.
I absolutely love Interweave Knits. I only get one knitting magazine and it's this one. I always read the magazine when I first get it, cover to cover while drinking my tea but being summer...I was hauling the kids off for a bike ride on the waterfront with my brother. So I grabbed the magazine and threw it in my beach bag to read at while having our picnic. We ended up buying lunch at a snack shack and walking for hours while the girls' biked. I came home late and exhausted and frankly forgot about the magazine until now....
I was just checking my last emails of the evening...don't know why. There can't be anything urgent at 10 pm! But, I had this strange email stating that she saw my sweater in an Ad in the Interweave Knits magazine that just came out. She went first to Frog Tree Yarns in search of the pattern then googled my name after she was unable to find anything on Frog Tree's website. She loves the sweater and wants to know where she can buy it. Good heavens, I wasn't aware of this Ad! I knew there was one coming out this fall in the Yarn Market News magazine - but I had no clue that my mug shot would be in my favorite magazine! It's not just any Ad - it's a quarter page Ad! Wow - I hope I can sleep tonight...
In keeping with my "Where do you like to Knit" line....I decided that knit-n-bake was just up my alley!
We headed over to Hills Resort (http://www.hillsresort.com/) in Priest Lake, Idaho for our yearly vacation with another family. It's in the Rocky mountains and the heat can be intense. The lake is glacier water and my big toe was screaming from what it thought was frost bite. There's only one way to cool off - laying in the raft and dipping the hands in the water once in a while to change direction. I kept the yarn in a plastic sack as a precaution and was able to get quite a bit of knitting done while bronzing....I mean burning. If you haven't knit-n-baked this summer, you haven't had a good summer yet!