Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Website!

Hello Knitters!  This will be my last post from this blog.  Why?  Well, because I finally created a website!  Certainly took me long enough.  But using Weebly was super easy, and in a few hours I had it all done.  Please take a look,  You can see all my available patterns by category plus a sparkling new blog.  So far the new format is much more user friendly and allows me to add in photos with just a few clicks and no grumbling.  Happy Knitting!

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Pattern: Graciella Shawl

Hello from stormy North Carolina!  All sorts of house shaking thunder but (as of yet) no rain.  Luckily there was some beautiful morning light and I was able to take some photos of my new pattern, Graciella Shawl.

Graciella is a small crescent shawl with an Estonian lace border and a Stockinette stitch body worked in short rows.  It uses 350 yards laceweight yarn.

50" wide and 10" long at the center

ability to read a chart
sl1, k2tog, psso
5-st nupp


Also, today I had a funny conversation in the post office.  In the Designers group we've been having a lively conversation about how to explain our job to non-crafting people.  A lot of us get comments from people about knitting being a 'dead art'.  We're not all dead yet!  Today I was in the post office mailing off some design submissions.  The postal worker asked what was in the envelope, which caught me off guard because they usually just ask if there is anything perishable or flammable.  I answered papers and yarn.  Her face brightened and she exclaimed "Knitting!!  Now that's a dead art!"  I assured her that there are plenty of knitters left in the world.  Let's keep those traditions alive!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Zoey Star Beret redux

One of my go-to hats is my Zoey Star Beret.  I designed it several years ago and since then it has been one of my favorites.  I don't know if it is the design, neutral color, or warmth that always draws me in, but it seems that whenever I'm in a rush I grab it and run out the door.

Over the years I have learned a lot about designing, layout, and now (thanks to Craftsy!) photography.  I strive to put out the best patterns to my ability.  I have started using a new software for my pattern layouts in an attempt to make them more user friendly and make it easier for me to add photos.  Being one of my first few patterns, Zoey Star uses my original layout and rather crummy charting software.  I decided it was time to start the overhaul on my old patterns and this one is the first to get a makeover.  I even ventured into the forest this morning, in 90 degrees plus humidity and endured a dozen mosquito bites (silly me, no bug spray) to shoot some improved photos.  I look like I'm nice and cozy in my wool coat and hat, right?  Well I was beyond cozy, but nobody else needs to know that besides you and me, dear Knitters.

So, in addition to a new layout I have added a new size as well.  Zoey Star Beret now has instructions for a 20" and 22" brim circumference.

If you are interested, here is the Ravelry link.  $3 

In the near future I hope to be bringing you improved versions of several of my old patterns.  Until then, Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Glamorous Life of a Designer

The Glamorous Life of a Designer... or maybe I should call this post The Not So Glamorous Life of a Designer.  I had a funny moment today that I thought I would share.  I'm sure we all have visions of our 'dream jobs' and think how fun and fulfilling they must be.  Any sort of creative job would fit in that category.  Being a knitwear designer, I'm sure my friends and family have visions of me sitting in my design studio knitting away happily for days on end while my faithful assistant does the boring work of answering emails, organizing and grading patterns.  But I'm sure any designer will tell you that is not at all the case.  While I am lucky enough to have my own studio (spare bedroom with all my crafty junk shoved into it), I hardly spend any time in there and my assistant likes to goof off (see below) and is not so good at typing since he doesn't have thumbs.  He is a good foot warmer and alarm system, so he gets points for that.  He never lets me yarn wander away.  

Designing is done sporadically between all my other jobs.  While I don't have a full-time job away from home, like many other designers do, I am a full-time maid, laundress, dog walker and executive chef.  Today I had a very designer-y moment of having a design accepted for publication, and my moment of triumph is being celebrated by doing laundry.  Laundry will be followed shortly by vacuuming, typing and figuring out how to make a frittata for dinner.  Hopefully more design moments will be interspersed throughout day.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Knitscene Fall 2012 preview

Guess what?  The preview is up for Knitscene Fall 2012!  I have a pattern in this issue, Nocturnal Pullover.  It is a boatneck sweater with a lace owl motif.

 Creating the owl motif was great fun.  I started by finding a photo of an owl that I liked, then imported the image into Photoshop.  I added a grid on top, sizing the grid to approximately how many stitches across I wanted the motif to be.  Then I outlined the owl with yarn overs.  The complicated part was adding in the decreases to accompany the yarn overs.  It took a few tries before I could get it all to work out right.  Then I remembered that knit stitches are not square, so to keep my owl from being ridiculously long, I subtracted a few of the rows.  He looks a bit squat in the chart, but knits up to be a nicely proportioned little guy.

I am really excited to get my copy of this issue, so many lovely patterns and beautiful styling and photography.  I'm really drooling over the Terra Linda Cardigan by Rosemary Hill.  Here lace designs are always gorgeous, and this looks like a perfect fall sweater for me!  Fall where are you?!

Look for Knitscene Fall 2012 on newsstands July 10th!

New Pattern: Djoser Shawl

I am happy to announce that I have just published a new pattern, Djoser Shawl.  Djoser is a crescent shaped shawl worked from the bottom up with a two-color lace and bobble border and Stockinette stitch body worked in short rows.  While working on this design, I became an armchair Egyptologist watching documentaries on the pyramids of Egypt. Inspiration for the name came from Djoser, the first pharaoh of Egypt to build a pyramid. With a lace pattern shaped like little pyramids and yarn as blue as the Nile, I couldn’t resist using his name for this shawl.

58” wide and 14” long at center

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% merino; 420yds/384 m per 100 g skein); MC: baltic, 1 skein; CC: mare, 1 skein.
Approximate yardage needed:
MC: 400 yards CC: 200 yards

US #6/4 mm 32” circular needle
US #5/ 3.75mm 32” circular needle
Adjust needle size to get correct gauge.

Tapestry needle to weave in ends
23 stitch markers

19 sts and 34 rows = 4” in Stockinette stitch on smaller

ability to read a chart
long tail cast on
sl 1, k2tog, psso


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hello from North Carolina & Pattern in the Works

Sending you my warmest greetings from North Carolina, dear Knitters.  Far more than 'warmest', I would have to say hot and sticky with humidity!  This will be my first summer in the southern states and so far I find the humidity a bit oppressing.  But I am quite thrilled with my new (rented) home.  I am in a relatively rural area surrounded by small farms.  When I go out to the nearest shopping center I pass horses, cows, and fields of corn.  If only there were sheep!  But they might sweat to death in this heat. 

I've spent most of my time unpacking my house, yet managed to find some sanity-saving time to work up a new design.  It is a crescent shaped shawl worked in two colors of fingering weight yarn.  The border is a combination of lace and bobbles and the main body is Stockinette Stitch worked in short rows.  Here are a couple pictures of it blocking.  I am working on typing up the pattern and hoping to have it ready soon for test knitting.  If you are interested in test knitting come join my Ravelry group, Azalea & Rosebud Knits, I will post the call for testers there soon. 

Until then, dear Knitters, stay cool in the summer heat and Happy Knitting!