Wednesday, 25 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Sneak Peek from the Designer's Challenge -- Lorien Cowl

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Hello again, all, and welcome back to another (admittedly, sadly belated) installment of WIP Wednesday!

I'm sorry this wasn't posted sooner, but my computer decided to have a fit of anger and not boot properly.  I think my much-loved 8 year old laptop is in danger of finally dying a final death. Anyway, I did get it working, (and have ordered a new external HD to assist with backups and eventual file transfers), so onto WIP Wed proper!

This particular new WIP is my entry into the October/November Ravelry Designer's Challenge, assuming I can get it finished in time.  I've got the working title of "Lorien Cowl" -- me being a complete Lord of the Rings fan, it just made sense to call a cowl of falling leaves the "Lorien Cowl."

A lace leaf stitch pattern on circular needles. Yarn is a deep turquoise/teal with a cabled texture.  Knitting and yarn are both in a wooden yarn bowl
Yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Fingering, in "Neptune."   It's a bit of a sticky yarn, so frogging back when I make mistakes has proven interesting,  It's on my 4mm circular needle; and tucked inside the gorgeous yarn bowl I got from *NaturalKnotWood. 

Also, my additional apologies to those who follow my Patreon Behind the Scenes -- you won't see that much more progress, I'm afraid.  I got maybe another ten rows done between pictures.  As mentioned above, I spent most of Wed morning arguing with my laptop and hoping it would boot properly.  So, less time for knitting, sadly.

Well, that's it for this installment.  I've got some more work on the Spiralling Star Mittens for Barter that I plan to show next week, but otherwise, that's about it for now.  Until next time!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Ravelry Designer's Challenge, August/September Voting

Shwmae a chroseo! 

It's a short post today, but hello all the same, and welcome to my third successful attempt at completing the Ravelry Designer's Challenge!

A top-down view of a stranded colourwork hat.  The background colour is a blue gradient, and the foreground mandala pattern is a navy blue.
I suspect (and hope!) many readers remember my Winter Mandala Tam.  Well, even though it didn't turn out quite the way I had wanted, it is still in the running for the Designer's Challenge Voting!

As always with the designer's challenge, the entries are all absolutely gorgeous.   So, I'd very much encourage people to go check out the entries in the Ravelry Thread, and cast their vote. There's some gorgeous stuff there!  Voting runs until November 2nd, so you've got just under two weeks.  You will need to be a Ravelry member to cast your vote, but, sign up is free (all you need is an e-mail).

Thanks for taking a look, and stay tuned for the results!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Spiralling Star Mittens for Barter!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Prynhawn da! (Good afternoon!) And welcome to this week's WIP Wednesday!

And yes, it's now afternoon by the time I got around to writing this, but, it's still Wednesday, so that counts, right?

A textured mitten in progress on circular needles.  The yarn is fingering weight, and grey with specks of other colours. The yarn and mitten are in a purple ceramic yarn bowl, along with a small wooden ruler.This weeks WIP is something I started just yesterday -- a pair of Spiralling Star Mittens.  They're actually to barter with one of my friends who does video work.  The deal is, I make him mittens, he helps with the filming and setup for my upcoming Youtube channel.  (I'm finding I really do need a camera-person to make sure my hands stay in frame while I'm filming tutorials!)

So I've got the mittens in my new yarn bowl that I got from Patina Studios at the Woodstock Fleece Festival (there is a post forthcoming about my adventures there), 

Yarn is an *80/20 BFL/Nylon blend in the colourway "Work Jeans" from Crooked Kitchen Yarn's *Etsy Store.   This yarn is lovely!  I have a particular weakness for BFL/Nylon blends, since they wear so well, and this yarn, so far, is keeping with that promise!  My friend is the one who picked the colourway (since they're for him, he does, of course, get veto power).  
Two cats on either side of a a yarn bow with knitting in it.
The cat on the left is Jessie, the cat on the right is Tika.

And it also seems that this particular yarn (or maybe it's the yarn bowl) is cat-approved, as well!  While I was trying to take a photo, this happened first!  Our two cats were quite content there!  They did of course, refuse to look at the camera despite my attempts (because they're cats and enjoy being contrary, I think!)  But, no mittens (or yarn) was harmed; they're usually pretty good yarn cats.  They've only ever really made a tangle of my skeins once. Though they do sometimes hunt skeins of yarn, if the yarn isn't put away.  But they don't untangle it, just hunt it. 

Well, that's it for today in this corner of the internet! Stay tuned for more WIP's (and hopefully even a few FO's soon!)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: More on the Geometric Mittens

Hello again, and welcome to another installment of WIP Wednesday!

It's a short update this time around.  Things were quiet over the weekend, since I went up to my aunt's cottage for Thanksgiving.  But, I did get some knitting time then, plus more time since I got back -- I also took them to Knit Night -- so here's an update on the Geometric Mittens!

A mitten on the needles.  The cuff is stranded colourwork and ribbing, while the back of the hand shows an intarsia geometric diamond.
As you can see, they're coming along pretty well for a prototype, though they will definitely need to be blocked when I'm done.  For some reason the second diamond has something weird going on with the tension at one edge -- I'll have to play around with it and see what's going on there.

I'm actually relatively happy with how these are turning out.  I'm pretty close to where I'll have to start decreasing for the top of the mitten (I'm wondering if I can fit a third diamond repeat between the decreases for a larger size, so I'll have to experiment a little and do some math).  Once I finish this mitten, I'm planning to take these needles and do the ribbing to finish off the third Spiralling Star Fingerless Mitten I've been working on. Well, yes, I could just buy new needles, but I'm trying to actually finish things, not just leave WIP's live on the needles!

That's it for this week's post (it is a shorter post folks, since I wasn't knitting as much)!  Thanks for tuning in and I'll be back next week with more WIPs!

P.S.  I will be going to Woodstock Fleece Festival, since the Toronto Knitter's Guild has chartered a bus!  If you're interested in catching a ride with the guild, there are still seats available.  And, if you're planning to drive there, then hopefully I'll see some familiar faces at the festival this weekend!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Geometric Mittens and Intarsia in the Round

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Welcome back to another installment of WIP Wednesday!

This time around, it's a long-neglected project, partially because it took me forever to actually figure out how to do what I wanted to do!

Theses are the tentatively-titled Geometric Mittens, and so far, I'm pretty happy with how they're coming along!
The cuff of a mitten done in green and white colourwork.  The knitting is on top of both yarn balls resting in a yarn bowl.  The front of the work is facing, and you can see a set of live stitches in the contast colour where the intarsia has begun.

I actually started these almost a year ago, as part of the Ravelry Designer's Challenge, but I put them on hold.  Between other commitments at the time, and figuring out the best way to do (and write down) the technique idea I had in my head, they didn't get very far at the time.

While the ribbing is stranded colourwork, the main motif will be done as a type of intarsia in the round (and yes, these mittens will have a full tutorial!).  It's taken a lot of experimentation to find a technique that did what I wanted it to do, but, so far, so good!  I've just started the intarsia section, so here's hoping it does work out the way I think it should!

The yarn for these comes from two different sources.  The green (MC) is Briggs and Little Durasport.  It's rougher on the skin then most merino sock yarns, but it wears like iron.   The CC is handspun from Fibersden Studio, which I got last year at the Haliburton Studio Tour!  According to my notes, it's a merino/nylon blend.

Needles are *2.5mm HiyaHiya circulars, which are working out well for this pattern.  For mittens it's always a trick to figure out how to best handle the thumb gusset, I find. While my personal preference so far has to put all the thumb gusset stitches on one double-pointed needle, it's always a bit fiddly for the first few rounds, plus, you then have to rearrange the stitches when you've finished the thumb.  With the circulars and magic loop, plus some *locking stitch markers to mark the thumb, it seems to actually be easier to do them this way!

I'm hoping to finish at least one of these up so I can free up my needles for another project (I'm trying to not take the easy route and just buy even more knitting needles!), so these are still going to take a while to finish up.  Plus, I know I'll want to do a complete photo tutorial (and hopefully video tutorial) as well.  With all that said, I'm not sure when this pattern will actually be ready for testing.  But, it's an ongoing project, and one I'm enjoying, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October Featured Pattern and Mini-KAL: Mitered Drawstring Project Bag

The September 2017 Featured Pattern is here: The Mitered Drawstring Project Bag is 50% off at $2.50 CAD for the month of September!  
A drawstring bag made primarily of joined mitered squares. The top has eyelets with a twisted cord threaded through them, and a skein of yarn is partially out of the open bag.]
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
 "Buy Now"
You can buy the pattern through Ravelry or Etsy, the discount is available on both platforms.  The discount should be applied automatically on Ravelry, and be visible on Etsy.   As always, let me know if something doesn't work!

Now as usual, onto the Mini-KAL!

For the month of October, any finished Mitered Drawstring Project Bag has a chance to win a pattern from any of my self-published patterns!  To enter on the blog, simply post a link to your completed Mitered Drawstring Project Bags in the comments of this post by October 31, 2017.  Please note that the bag(s) don't have to have been started in October, just finished in October!

You can also win by posting to the giveaway on Facebook, and in my Ravelry Group, giving 3 chances to win in total!*

I always look forward to seeing your Finished Objects! Please post them to various social media with #SarahDawnsDesigns, and/or to my Ravelry Group if you're on Ravelry.  That way, I can see the awesome that you folks make!

*One entry per person for each project per platform (three entries total for each completed project). Winners will be drawn at random using random number generation. Winners must have a valid e-mail address to receive the patterns. Participants may enter the same project on more then one platform, but may only enter each project once per platform.