Wednesday, 25 July 2018

WIP Wednesday: Leg of the Hermione's Everyday Socks

**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, yep, I did miss last week's WIP Wed.  I was out and about doing some speaking on accessibility, and just didn't get back in time to put up last week's post. 

But, I'm back today!

So, the two things I've been working on the most attentively are my Ice Cream Sundae Socks (you can see my work on these in my new Youtube Studio Livestream!), and the Hermione's Everyday Socks.   While yes, the Ice Cream Sundae Socks have one sock done, I have to finish the other sock so that I can do the photo shoot for the final pattern. 

For the Hermione's socks, I took them to the Toronto Knitter's Guild Knit-in-Public day (next one is August 4th), and now they're coming along pretty well, I think!   

This pattern isn't one of my own designs, it's from fellow Ravelry Designer Erica Lueder, and it's her free Hermione's Everyday Sock Pattern, available on Ravelry or from her Blog. Part of why I took this to the Guild event is because the stitch pattern is amazingly 'travel friendly' -- this is a wonderful pattern if you're going to be splitting your attention, or, if you're going to have to be picking it up and down often (if you're like me, for example, and do your knitting on public transit!)

The leg of a textured sock on double-pointed needles.  The yarn is a blue and gold variegated yarn with a small amount of sparkle. There is a a stitch marker clipped into the work, the marker looks like a shell with a purl inside.
The yarn is Nerd Girl Yarns Astral, in the colourway "Pluto." It's 75% Merino, 20% Nylon, and 5% Stellina, Sadly, this colour is no longer available, since it was an exclusive dyed up for *Eat.Sleep.Knit in 2016. I did a hunt to see if anyone was de-stashing it on Ravelry, but it looks like the answer is no, sadly.  That said, the Astral base is absolutely beautiful, and still available from the Nerd Girl Yarns Web Store

Needles are my *HiyaHiya 2mm dpns, as always!  I find that it's far easier to make socks on dpns -- not because I dislike magic loop, but because I find that dpns are a bit more portable.  I did, however, recently get introduced to double-pointed needle project holders, and I'm fascinated, because they'll make dpn knitting even more portable (and reduce the risk of stitches slipping off the needle in transit!)  I have my eye on *this one, over on Etsy, though I haven't bought it yet.  I'm thinking I could buy it for myself as a birthday treat, and test it out, (and if anyone's used one, I'd love to hear how they work!)

The little *shell-and-purl stitch marker is from *Winemakerssister's Etsy Shop, and the four available mascots correspond with the teams for the 2018 *Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon, which is really rather adorable, I think. 

Anyway, that's about it for this week!  Thanks, for reading, as always, and I'd love to hear and see what you folks are making!  Please, feel free to post your crafty projects in the blog comments, so I can be amazed by your awesome work!  Until next week!

P.S.  I had a bit of a glitch with comment notifications over the last while that I just found out about yesterday.  So, if I didn't publish your comment before, it should be published now.  I don't know if the glitch is fixed (I hope so), but I'm also going to make a point of checking comments manually here on the blog, which should help.  So, if I missed your comments before, I'm -so- sorry!  Technology isn't always helpful, it seems, and thanks for all your patience!


Thursday, 19 July 2018

Charts and Written Instruction, a Designer's Dilemma:

Hello folks!

So, I'm back with a question to you folks, my amazing readers and makers:

How should I do both charts and written instructions?

An image of a question mark.Now, I know I want to do written instructions.  Not all patterns even need charts (something like my Mitered Bag, for example, didn't end up needing charts).  And writing written instructions is important in making my patterns accessible to people who use screen-reading software.

So, I want to do both charts and written instructions.  The question is, how?

Should I include only charts in the patterns, and written instructions as a separate download? Should I integrate both right into the pattern? Or should I put simple written instructions in the pattern, but more complicated written instructions in their own download (which is my current structure)?

Thing is, written instruction can run quite long, especially for something like a lace shawl.  And I figure that people don't necessarily want a 40-plus page pattern of line-by-line instruction.  But, some people do!  So, I'm seeking suggestions!

I'm open to many options, so long as they make my patterns accessible -- and who knows, there's always going to be something I haven't thought of, too!

So, please, sound off in the comments -- how would you like to see me handle charts and written instructions?  Do you have anything that you've seen done (or, for fellow designers, that you do in your own pattern writing)?  Or any other insight or thoughts?  I'd love to hear it!

Monday, 16 July 2018

Pattern Release: Garden Lace Socks

 Someone wearing a pair of green socks. They have a lace leaf pattern along the leg and top of the foot.Well I'm thrilled to announce that the Garden Lace Socks Pattern is now available for purchase on both Ravelry and Etsy!


These socks come from several ideas, but the biggest one was the idea of travelling lace leaves. I fell in love with this motif the first time I saw it, and this seemed the perfect place to use it! When I was working the partial garter rib, it reminded of a newly sown garden, all in neat lines. Hence, the name of the socks was a relatively easy choice!


These socks are knit cuff-down, with a standard heel flap and grafted toe. While the sample was knit on dpns, the pattern is written to be knitted using any circular knitting method. Instructions are given for two sizes, adult small and large. 

The sample was knitted with Fleece Artist BFL Sock, which is 80% Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) and 20% Nylon. Any fingering weight nylon/wool or nylon/merino blend should substitute nicely.  The lace pattern is both charted and written; the pattern and has been tested and tech-edited as well.

This pattern was released alongside the 2018 Great Toronto Yarn Hop -- if you were a Yarn Hop Participant in 2018, check your e-mail for a coupon code that will get you this pattern for free on Ravelry!  (The coupon code will expire at the end of September, so don't forget to grab your pattern before it's too late!)

http://www.ravelry.com/purchase/sarah-dawn-designs/471358
CAD $5.50
As always, I look forward to seeing what you make, and please, tag your creations on Social Media with #SarahDawnsDesigns, so I can find your awesome things! If you've got feedback, comments, or  questions about the pattern, you can comment here, post to the Ravelry Pattern thread, send me a PM on Ravelry, or e-mail me at sarahdawnsdesigns@gmail.com.  

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

WIP Wednesday: A wider thumb gusset on the 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!**

Hello, and welcome back to WIP Wed!  I haven't been doing much knitting this week -- those who follow me on Social Media may have already seen that I was out in Ottawa with friends!  I actually didn't get any knitting done at all over the course of the trip! But, it was fun!

But, I did get some knitting done before and after, and the only thing I worked on is my Symbol Gloves.  Sadly, there's not a lot of difference to show between last week's post, but, the thumb gusset is, in fact wider.   I've still got a good bit of increasing to go before it gets to where I want, though. 
A double-knit mitten on double-pointed needles, knit in contrasting colours of green and brown yarn. There are two dolphin charm stitch markers on the needle, marking the increases for the thumb gusset.
Yarn is the same as always,  *Northbound Knitting Superwash Merino/Nylon Fingering, in "Littoria" and "Espresso"    This isn't the softest sock yarn, but I don't want soft for these, I want something that can take the abuse of being gloves, and this yarn should work very well!  
Needles are *2mm HiyaHiya needles.  Now, usually, I'm not too particular about my needles (except for the fact that I can break thin wooden needles).  But for this project, I'm glad I'm working with my HiyaHiya's rather then my Aero needles.  The Aeros are a bit less slippery, but the Hiya Hiya's have way sharper points.  I can't imagine doing the m1p increase for the thumb gusset with the duller points of the Aero needles.

The *dolphin stitch markers are awesome finds from 
*EfficientSense's Etsy Store.  These are the lobster-claw style ones (I much prefer the claw style stitch markers, I can't accidentally knit them into my work!), and they're marking the thumb gusset. 

Now that I'm not doing either ribbing or colourwork, double knitting is settling into a nice rhythm.  I find I quite enjoy it, but it is still quite a bit slower then 'normal' knitting.  But, I can now work on these while doing something else, like playing computer games (Fallout 4 at the moment) or watching Netflix (I'm getting caught up with the second season of Jessica Jones). 

Well, here's hoping I can take advantage of a quieter week this week.  For those in the Toronto Area, I'll see you at The Great Toronto Yarn Hop this weekend!  I'm a team captain for Team Angora, and there's still one spot available! (P.S.  I've also got a new design launching concurrent with the Yarn Hop, so feel free to check that out as well -- it'll be free for Yarn Hop participants!)

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Ice Cream Sundae Socks Test-Knit Call!

**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!  For more details, click here.**

So, I've been quite productive over the past few months, and have another test-knit call now live!

This pattern is the Ice Cream Sundae Socks, and these are slated as the third-quarter release for the Pattern Muses on Patreon!   These socks have been in development for a bit, and actually underwent a change of yarn partway through my prototyping.  But, I'm really happy with how they turned out, and I'm glad to have them up for testing!

Someone wearing a knit sock.  The sock is blue with flecks of other colours, and knit in a stretchy ribbed lace.
These socks are stretchy ribbed lace socks designed for fingering-weight yarn.  They are knit cuff down, using a gusset and heel flap.  The toes are seamed with Kitchener Stitch. 

The sample was knit on *2 mm double-pointed needles, but the pattern is written that they could easily be knit using magic loop or two circulars, if you wanted.  Also, the socks are designed to have a bit of negative ease, since the lace and ribbing is so stretchy.  If you wanted slightly larger socks, you could easily go to 2.25 mm needles and a slightly larger tension.  The yarn I used is  *Blue Moon Fiber Arts Super Sparkle, but any sock yarn should work well for these socks.  With these socks, you can go for a bit more variegated, since the pattern helps break up the colours of the yarn. 

If people are interested, sign ups are here on the Ravelry Thread!  You will have to be a Ravelry.com member to view and post to the thread, but sign up is free.

The deadline for this test is July 24, 2018.  Testers who complete the test will receive the finished pattern for free, as well as one pattern of their choice from my self-published patterns.  Please note that you only have to finish one sock to count for the test!

Also, if you want to be notified on Ravelry about new test knits, you can PM me on Ravelry to sign up in my test-knitter's thread.  I'll also post test-knit calls here, to my other social media platforms (FacebookG+PatreonInstagram ), and, I'll send out test-knit calls to those on my mailing list, as well, so hopefully, anyone who's interested will see my test-knit calls.

Well, I hope you would consider being a tester!  And, if this test doesn't strike your fancy, I have a few more on the way, so something upcoming will hopefully be more to your style.  A
s always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

WIP Wednesday: Thumb of the 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!**

Well, this week has seen a lot more knitting time.  And I've finally had time to sit down and do some more pattern drafting on the Symbol Gloves.   So, I'm past the chart and onto the thumb!  

This is a good prototype, and for my first time doing double-knitting, it's not bad at all!  I found one spot where I didn't cast on properly, and the two layers of fabric aren't joined, but I can stitch that down after the fact.  But the thumb gusset's been interesting.  M1P is always a fiddly stitch at the best of times, and now I have to do it with another layer of yarn in the way!  So far so good, though!  I think that this is definitely a pattern I'll plan a Youtube Tutorial for. (Yes, the Youtube Channel is still in development! It's taking a lot longer then I thought to set up, but it is still going, I promise!)

A double-knit mitten on double-pointed needles, knit in contrasting colours of green and brown yarn. There are two dolphin charm stitch markers on the needle, marking the increases for the thumb gusset. Yarn is *Northbound Knitting Superwash Merino/Nylon Fingering, in "Littoria" and "Espresso" and I'm quite enjoying working with it!  It splits a bit sometimes (especially on that darn M1P stitch), but otherwise, no problems!  It's not the softest sock yarn I've worked with, but that's a good thing.  The super-soft yarns tend to pill and not hold up to friction as gloves. 

Needles are *2mm HiyaHiya needles (and this time I'm glad of the sharper points of the HiyaHiya needles.  They really help with the m1p.  I would not want to be doing this on my old Aero needles!)

The *dolphin stitch markers are awesome finds from 
*EfficientSense's Etsy Store.  These are the lobster-claw style ones (I much prefer the claw style stitch markers, they're far more versitile), but in this case, yes, I just have the claws hooked right over the needles.  The 2mm needles are small enough for that!

I do have to say, double knitting isn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be!  It just requires some figuring, that's all.  I'm starting to wonder if I should dare brioche knitting again?

Anyway, that's it for this week!  As always, thanks for reading!

Oh, folks in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- I'll be up there soon, and it looks like I'll have some free time around the downtown!  Any suggestions for yarn shops that are open on a Saturday? 


Sunday, 1 July 2018

July Featured Pattern and KAL: 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, folks, welcome to summer!  
For the month of July, the Colours of Spring Shawl Pattern is now 50% off for the month of July at $3.00 CAD. (Regular Price, $6 CAD). 
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer's finally here, in all it's glory!  So, I figured a light-weight fingering shawl was the perfect pattern for this summer.  Light enough to not be too warm, but thick enough to keep the sun off, and perfect for when the air-conditioning gets a bit too cool!  The pattern is written for two five-colour mini-skein sets, but is easily adjustable.  And don't worry, it will work up just as well with a gradient yarn, or even a solid coloured yarn.
The instructions are written, and the lace pattern is both charted and written.  The pattern has been tested and tech-edited as well.
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
CAD $3.00

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 July, any finished Colours of Spring Shawl 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 Colours of Spring Shawl in the comments of this post by July 31, 2018.  Please note that the shawl doesn't have to have been started in July, just finished in July!

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.