Wednesday, 28 March 2018

WIP Wednesday: Symbol Gloves

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

Two-colour Double-Knitting on a double-pointed needle set.  There is one partial row completed.
Well, it's going to be a short WIP Wed update today.  My current discovery is that double-knitting k1, p1, ribbing is actually a really, really slow process for the inexperienced!  Since last week's post I have knit only about half a row of ribbing -- it took me that long to get this joined in the round properly and going.

My other discovery is that it wasn't the best idea to cast this on in a yarn that seems to have a tendency to split.  I've worked with the *Northbound Knitting Merino Nylon before, and it didn't split on me, so now I'm wondering if it's this particular needle/yarn combination.    I also did manage to split the yarn during one of many attempts to cast on, so maybe it's just that, too. I'm still impressed enough to give it a few rows and see what happens.

. . . a few rows will probably be another week or so, at my current pace!  I'm really hoping I can get into the rhythm of the double-knitting and it will speed up when I don't have to constantly check my place.

All that said, I'm really enjoying my foray into double-knitting. It's not nearly as hard as I thought it would be, just fiddly and slow at the moment.

As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more of my adventures in learning double-knitting!

Friday, 23 March 2018

FO Friday: Colours of Spring Shawl

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

Well, it's done!  I finally finished it!

A woman wearing a garter stitch and lace crescent shawl.  The shawl is striped in a blue-green gradient.  One edge of the shawl is out of frame, with the other end wrapped around her shoulder, with the wingspan held open.
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
 It was an adventure getting decent pictures, since as you can see from the photo, it's quite big! But, I happen to love giant shawls, so I'm quite happy with it.   It's got a nice big wingspan (I haven't yet measured to see just how big), and it's absolutely wonderful to wear!

When I took it to the Toronto Knitter's Guild March Meeting (March 21), people were commenting on the awesome colours. Well, I can't take credit for the colour choice -- the colours are the beautiful gradient kits of *OceanWindKnits on Etsy.   But, I'm absolutely thrilled with how they worked in the pattern!

The shawl itself is a crecent shawl with sections of garter stitch and sections of lace.  The bottom border is an i-chord bind off.  (And yes, it took a while, but it's not hard, I promise!)

I'm hoping to have the pattern up for testing sometime next week, if all goes well (I want to finish the pattern drafting for my Gauntlet Socks, first), but stay tuned here or on other social media channels for the test-knit call!

Hope you enjoyed my newest FO, and stay tuned for the pattern soon!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

WIP Wednesday: Adventures in Double-Knitting!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

. . . yes, I cast something else on, even if I haven't gotten very far.

Two-colour Double-Knitting cast on to three double-pointed needles. I'm working on a new pattern idea -- the Symbol Gloves.  They're double-knit fingerless gloves with colourwork symbols around the cuff and top of hand -- and the idea is that the pattern will include options for several different symbols!

I've been thinking up a simple symbol library.  So far, I've got ideas of: a Maple Leaf; the Welsh ddraig goch,(red dragon), a set of hearts, and a sketch of an interlocking geometric symbol. 

But, all those symbol ideas don't mean very much if I don't get this cast on and sorted out!  This is my very first foray into double-knitting, and it's definitely an adventure.  It's not super-hard, so please, don't let me scare you away from double-knitting, but it's definitely quite different from normal knitting in the round.  

Yarn is *Northbound Knitting Superwash Merino/Nylon Fingering, in "Littoria" and "Espresso". These are another set of gift-knitting, so the colours were requested by my giftee.   Needles are a set of *HiyaHiya 2mm double-pointed needles (I know, 2mm is tiny, especially for double-knitting, but I didn't want a super thick fabric, either.  It's an experiment!) 

I'm following a couple of tutorials on double-knitting to help me through this, both are from The Yarn Loop.  They show you how to cast on, and how to work in double knitting (and I will post these to my Fiber Arts Resources List, so you can find them there, too!

Well, I think that's it for this week's update! Until next post, folks, and thanks for reading!

Friday, 16 March 2018

Book Giveaway: Windward Collection by Knit Picks!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

Cover Image of the Windward Collection, featuring a cabled pullover sweater.
Photo Credit: KnitPicks
Short post today, but I've got some exciting news, folks!

I'm giving away two free digital copies of the *Windward Collection,  published by KnitPicks, to two lucky winners on social media.  This beautiful pattern collection has sixteen patterns from some amazing designers, including my very own *MacAskill Scarf!

So, how do you enter? Well, I'm hosting two giveaways, once on Instagram, and one on Facebook!  And yes, you can enter on both platforms, so you've got two chances to win!

The contest will be open until 11:59 pm, March 31, so please, take a moment to go to either Facebook or Instagram (or both) and let me know which of the patterns from the Windward collection you'd like to make!

A woman wearing an intricately cabled knit hat.
Photo Credit: KnitPicks
A woman wearing a long cabled rectangular shawl.  The shawl is draped over her shoulder and falls to her feet.
Photo Credit: KnitPicks
I've already got a few favorites, with my personal choice being the beautiful *Carrick Shawl by Emily Dormier (even though I know it's a project I'd probably never finish, give it's size)! For a more manageable project, and something I'd have a hope of finishing in a year, I'd probably pick the
*Copan Hat by Joyce Fassbender.

Finally, do please note that comments left on this blog post, however much I love to hear your ideas, do not count as entries into the giveaway.   Please post your comments to Facebook or Instagram!

Well, I think that's it. All the technical stuff on the giveaways is over on
Facebook and Instagram, so you can find out everything else you need there!  I look forward to seeing people's thoughts and favorite patterns!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

WIP Wednesday: Last Colour on the Colours of Spring Shawl!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

And, I'm back with another WIP Wed!

Well, today's post is back to the Colours of Spring Shawl!  I want to get this done as soon as possible, so it can go out for testing as soon as possible, too.   And, I'm finally to the last colour in the *OceanWind Gradient Sets, so there's not that much further to go!   

A Garter stitch and lace shawl still live on the needles.  It is knit in gradient stripes from dark blue to teal green.  There are stitch markers visible in the work -- a small silver crab, and small silver shells.
Right now, according to my spreadsheet (I love spreadsheets, they do so much of the designing math for me!) I'm currently working at across 341 sts for the current row (eek!), so each row is taking about about 30 minutes in garter stitch.  The lace sections do likely take longer.  I don't have an exact time per row, since I usually just judge how much total time using a neat little program (and app) called Toggl. It tells me how long I've taken on something, but not how many rows I've knit unless I record that separately. (Hmm, now that I think of it, it might be a good idea to record time-per-row on a project like this!)

What I do know is that I've got about another 20 rows to go before the I-chord bind off.  While I did make my original swatch with a ruffle, I'm leaning towards the I-chord bind off, personally.  So, unless I hear any requests for a ruffled edge from the Pattern Muses on Patreon over the next few days, I'll be going with an I-chord bind off.  (Also, according to my spreadsheet, the I-chord bindoff takes a lot less yarn then the ruffles, which makes sense).

Since I keep getting asked about the stitch markers on this shawl; the stitch marker set is the absolutely adorable *Ocean Shells Stitch Marker Set, from *Winemakerssister on Etsy.  It comes with your choice of little sea mascot -- I got the crab, though a few people have wondered if it's a spider rather then a crab.   I love that the markers are customizable to different needle sizes -- I ordered the 'crochet' size, so that they're actually locking stitch markers (my personal preference for both knitting and crochet!)  And, apparently, they're worthy of commentary -- I've had a few comments on them both online and when I'm knitting in public!

Given that I'm pretty close to finishing this, maybe, maybe, I'll be able to finish it for this week's FO Friday.  I'm trying, here, folks, and I'm really hoping I can!  It all depends on how long that darn bind-off takes!

Anyway, thanks for reading, and stay tuned, since I hope to put this up for testing soon.  

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

WIP Wednesday: MacAskill Scarf

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

A knit scarf with a celtic-knot style main cable laying flat.  The scarf is knit in an aran or bulky yarn; and is still live on two wooden straight needles.Well, welcome back to WIP Wed, and this is something you folks haven't seen before -- my version of the MacAskill scarf!  I couldn't share it while the pattern was under wraps, and, somewhat shamefully, I haven't quite finished it yet!

But, here it is!  The yarn is *Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky in "Fjord Heather", and the pattern is my very own *MacAskill scarf, available as a digital download, or as part of the Windward Collection.  The needles are my wonderful 7mm Maple Wood needles from Turn of the Century -- they're one of the rare times you'll see me working on straight needles, but I love these needles!

I'm quite enjoying working on this scarf -- I loved it when I was designing it and that fun feeling hasn't gone away!  I'm four repeats in, so not that much more to go!  I'm trying to finish it for the March Meeting of the Toronto Knitter's Guild and the member Show and Tell.  I figure it will go well with the copy of the Windward Collection that's available as a prize in the Guild Raffle!  (And yes, it was originally slated as a prize in the Feb Guild Raffle, but things got shuffled around.  My apologies for the confusion!)

I have discovered one thing with this pattern, though.  While I'm now a convert to cabling without a cable needle, I've found that this pattern, because of the 5 stitch crosses, really does need the two cable needles as written, at least for those crosses.  Otherwise, though, it works amazingly well. 

Well, it's a shorter update today (things are busy here, plus I've got a photo shoot this afternoon), so it's a short WIP Wed update.  

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Friday, 2 March 2018

(Half)FO Friday: One (1) Gauntlet Sock!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

Yes, I know, it's been quite a while since my last FO Friday post, and this one is a bit of a cheat.

It's only one sock.  Not two.   But, that one sock is, in fact, done, after try number . . . I forget. So, it's enough of a victory that I consider it a finished object. 
A gradient sock on someone's foot. The sock gradient runs from a deep royal blue at the cuff to a paler sky blue at the toe.

This is the first of the Gauntlet Socks, finally done!  I'm actually really thrilled to get this off the needles.  I was getting rather frustrated with knitting it, given the number of tries it took to get something that fit (that's my own fault for knitting a sock on the bias, I know!) But the knitting was becoming frustrating, which is never a good thing.  If something gets to the point of being too frustrating, my ADHD brain will stop working on it and throw it into the corner, regardless of the consequences of not working on it.  Not good, and definitely not constructive. 

Though, given the number of froggings this poor yarn has gone through, I can't say enough good things about the *Washtenaw Wool Leelenau base -- most sock yarns wouldn't have held up to what I put this poor yarn through! (I was given the yarn as yarn support for this design, and I`m absolutely impressed at how durable it is!)

So, with one sock done, I'm going to take a break from the knitting, and shift my brain to writing up the pattern for these.  Since the socks are identical between left foot and right foot (there's no mirroring), I can write the pattern based on my prototype; and get that out to my testers while I take a break from knitting these.  Then, my plan is that by the time the test-knit call finishes, I'll have the second sock knit up, and can do the photography.   Hopefully, that plan survives contact with real life -- my planning definitely didn't hold true for my poor Woodland Mittens, which have taken way longer then I thought to get to a point where I'm happy with the pattern. (They are coming, I promise!  I've gotten the pattern back from my tech-editor, and I'm working through the changes, plus I need to do another photo shoot, which, if the weather holds, will be this afternoon!)

And, on that note, if this looks like something you'd be interested in testing, you can sign up for the notification over on my Ravelry Test Knit thread. (I hold all my test-knits via Ravelry).  And, if you're not a Ravelry member, signup is fast, and free! Plus, Ravelry is an amazing resource for fiber people, so I strongly suggest it anyway!  Don't worry, though, if you're not interested in Ravelry, I will post the test-knit call for these to Social Media and my Newsletter as well, though the best place to stay informed is the Ravelry Thread.  

I don't know exactly when this pattern will go up for testing -- it depends on how quickly I'm able to translate my notes to a coherent pattern.  But I'm hoping it won't take too long, my first glance says it shouldn't, but I've been wrong before!  So, stay tuned here and on Ravelry for future updates!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

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

Hello everyone!  So, as we move into Spring, the March 2018  Featured Pattern is now live! (Is it March already? Eek!) The Mitered Drawstring Project Bag Pattern is 50% off at $2.50 CAD for the month of March!
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
CAD $2.50
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 March, 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 Bag in the comments of this post by March 31, 2018.  Please note that the bag doesn't have to have been started in March, just finished in March!

You can also win by posting to the giveaway on Facebook, my Ravelry Group, and on Instagram, giving 4 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 (four possible 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.