Friday, 4 September 2015

July/August Designer's Challenge Voting!

It's just a short announcement today: 

So, continuing might remember from my last post, the July/August Ravelry Designer's Challenge has now finished up, and people can vote for their favorite entries! 

The entries have been amazing, so I'm putting out a call for folks to go, check it out, and vote for your favorite. As usual, there's some beautiful work on display (feel free to look through past challenge threads, if you like!)

Voting runs until the 16th of September.  If you've got a minute,  please go take a look!  You will need to be a Ravelry member to see the forum thread and be able to vote, but signing up is completely free (and it's an absolutely wonderful knitting resource and community!)

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Designer's Challenge -- Mitered Drawstring Bag Preview!

Hello all!

So,  once again, I've been inspired by the wonderful people who run the Ravelry Designer's Challenge. 

The July/August Challenge was to create a bag using Miters, and an idea came to me almost instantly.

I went diving deep into my stash, and came up with several partial skeins of Red Heart Eco-Cotton (sadly, now discontinued, but any 'dishcloth cotton' should suffice just perfectly for this!)  

Photography: Stephanie Wallace
Although I knit this in what's classified as an Aran yarn, pretty much any yarn weight would work for this, which makes it a great stash-buster!

The base is started using the same cast-on that you would use for toe-up socks.  One the base is wide enough and deep enough, mitered squares are added right onto the live stitches.  The photo shows three 'tiers' of squares, but if you wanted a deeper bag, you could add more!   The squares are joined together by picking up and knitting stitches from the squares below.

Then, the mouth of the bag has eyelets for a twisted cord and a striped garter-stitch edge.

What's not shown here is that there is a second option for the bag bottom -- there's a tapered bottom, (which is the one shown), and I have plans to add in an option for a flatter, more circular bottom, as well. 

Well, regardless, I'm hoping to have this up for testing as soon as I get the layout work done!   Thanks for reading, and I plan to check back in soon!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Even A Triangular Shawl doesn't always work out. . .

Hello again all!

Well, I was still slugging away on my Flower and Lace Leaf Shawl. . . and the more I played around with it, the more I didn't like it.  It really wasn't doing what I wanted, even when I worked it in a triangular shawl.

So, to the frogging bin it went!  The yarn's wound up and stashed back under my bed to await its fate, which, I'm beginning to suspect, may be a pair of socks.  That was my original intent when I picked up this yarn, after all (and I'm a sucker for BFL socks!)

It's a short update, but I've almost got another design done, so I hope to have more for you in a week or so!

Thanks for all your patience!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Designer's Challenge -- Lace Mesh Tunic

Once again, I've been inspired by the Ravelry Designer's challenge, in this case, their June/July challenge, which is for a summer tunic or a beach cover up.

The second part of the challenge is that it has to use plant fibers, and that, initially, threw me for a loop.  I have a whole bunch of BSA Worsted Cotton in my stash, but it's marked for my own projects, or for Birthday and Christmas presents.  Besides, there's not enough of it there in any one colour to make a tunic, and I didn't feel like doing stripes.

But then I found my box of Handmaden Fine Yarn Flaxen.  (And when I say 'box' I mean 'box' -- it was still in the box it was mailed in!)

 I'd ordered it ages ago for a tunic pattern, and it struck me as just perfect for this! I can knit it tight, since the silk will grow, and the linen will help keep it light.  I was cautioned by the place that I ordered it from that the dye lots aren't quite the same, (you might be able to see the difference in the photograph) so I'll have to allow to a spot to alternate in the pattern.  But that fits in nicely with my plans to add in waist shaping, anyway.

I'm still tweaking how I want to do the lace mesh stitch, I'll be swatching things out later today.

The last part of the challenge is an interesting neckline.  I'm actually thinking I'll do a crew neckline with a buttoned collar -- I have some buttons that I think will look gorgeous with this yarn -- and if not, I can always raid my button jar!

Anyway, I'm super excited to swatch and cast on for this -- so I'll type a 'goodbye' for now!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Raindrop Shawlette

Hello all!

So, here's a finished entry into the Designer's Challenge (for once, I knit fast enough to get this done!)

I started with a skein of Anzula Breeze I'd picked up a while ago on a whim:

I didn't know what this was going to be when I got it,  and initially I wasn't too thrilled about the silk-linen blend.  It felt strange to my hand.    But it has such amazing drape that I knew it would have to be something amazing  and when this challenge came up it just clicked as both the perfect colour and the perfect yarn (well, at least to my mind -- my roommate isn't sure on the colour!)

Anyway, this challenge was to make a Shawlette inspired by the idea of Rain, using some sort of lace technique.    Well, the second I saw that, I knew I had to use the Raindrop Lace Stitch.  I had seen it ages ago, and always had never found quite the right project to use it in.   I played around with it, and came up with this:

It really does remind me of raindrops!

As for the rest of the shawl, I was initially a bit stumped by the border -- what did I want to do?  I was originally thinking some sort of beaded border -- but then, one day, as I was coming home,  I watched raindrops pooling in the street, right by the curb.  The border is just a simple set of YO's against a stocking stitch background, designed to imitate raindrops pooling together as they drain into the storm gutters.  It's not a wide border, but I think that worked out ok!

That being said,  now that I've finished this one -- it's not going up for testing immediately.  There are a few tweaks I want to make to the pattern before I put it up for testing.  I want to spread out the Raindrop lace a touch more, and make it a touch denser (more raindrops and a bit more lacy, if I can).  I also want to play around with the center spine increases, too, see if there's a way to incorporate them better into the pattern.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Classes and Finished Things!


I know it's been a while.  I'm seriously trying to get better about this whole bloging thing.  But right now, this is not my day job (though one day that would be amazing), and my day job (I work for a Library Association), is super busy right now.

Hence, no blog.  So, my apologies.

Anyway, though, I wanted to share something kind of awesome. 

I'm going to a knitting class tonight!  Kate Atherley is teaching a class on patten design at my LYS, and I'm going to be there tonight. I've already bought her book (which is a blessing and very, very useful!), and now I get to talk to her in person and ask my zillions of questions.  It's actually quite exciting!

On an even more exciting note,  I've finished two new prototypes, and I'm now going through the layout and modelling process to get the patterns actually written.

I've finished the Woodland Hat!

 I'm now going through the process with my wonderful layout designer to try and get this pattern actually onto (digital) paper, and get some modeled photographs. Then it will go out to test-knitters (if you'd like to test-knit, watch this space, since I'll be calling for test-knitters via Ravelry)!

The second is what I'm tentatively calling the Smuggler's Cove Scarf. It was a requested design from a friend of mine for Christmas, and I just finished it up last week. (Yes, Christmas presents happen in February sometimes.  I try not to, but hey, it happens).  I don't have any good pictures of it yet, but my gift-ee has consented to allow me to borrow it back to get good modeled photographs. I thought about keeping it until I could get it modeled, but I figured I'd already kept her waiting two months, so that just didn't seem fair!

Anyway, I'm hoping to update this space more, so stay tuned here!