Friday, 29 November 2019

FO Friday: Cosmic Crochet Cowl!

*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, at no additional cost to you! And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for helping to keep rent paid!**

a crochet cowl, done in a crochet cluster stitch.  The cowl is variegated colours of deep blue, bright green, dark purple, and brown.
Yeay for another FO Friday! I've been on a bit of a roll with Finished Objects; and this week, I finished the Cosmic Crochet Cowl quickly enough that it didn't even get a WIP Wed post!  

And my apologies for the not-so-great photo, but I wanted to get this up for FO Friday, considering I skipped WIP Wed this week.  I actually haven't blocked this yet (yes, I know, I know), but I wanted to grab the photo before it went dark here.

Anyway, yarn is the (discontinued), Fleece Artist Sea Wool in 'SeaStorm'  I've had this languishing in my stash for a while, because I couldn't get it to look right when I knit it up.  It always came out 'wonky' (yes, that's a technical term!), because of the variegation!  But, in this crochet pattern, it works out quite well!

Hook is my 3.5 mm (US E) hook from *Leither Co, that I was lucky enough to win on the Marly Bird Podcast!  It works very well for this pattern, with one catch -- the shorter shaft of the hook makes crocheting 6 stitches together a bit of a challenge, but it still worked out well enough!

These will be up for testing soon(ish), again, as soon as I get the pattern written up! (Oh, and if you want a guaranteed spot as a test-knitter, and the chance to have a say in future pattern designs, check out the Pattern Muses on Patreon!

Well, I've been on an FO kick. Have you folks finished something up over this weekend -- and, it a long weekend for the folks in the US -- happy Thanksgiving, for the folks south of the border!  I wish you lots of tasty food and an enjoyable long weekend with lots of crafting time!  

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Gift Ideas for the Knitter or Crocheter in your life!

*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, at no additional cost to you! And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for helping to keep rent paid!  Also, this blog post is, in fact, sponsored, but don't worry, I've tried every product on this list myself! **

So, I'm trying something new!  

I know from my own experience that the non-knitters and non-crocheters among us have no idea what to get us crafty folks as gifts over the holidays.   So, after being inspired by the Etsy Gift Guides, I put together a list I hope will be helpful!

If you're a crafter, feel free to check out and pass on what I've posted; and if you're a non-crafter, hopefully this will give you a starting point for gifts for the knitters/crocheters in your life!

I'll also include a few of my own thoughts on each thing, 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

Lets start with Yarn:

So, for yarn, there's -so- many brands of yarn I could recommend, but one of the dyers I've worked with and loved is *oceanwindknits.  I've worked with their yarns before,  using her *Gabriola Mini-Skein Sets and  I can say that their yarns are absolutely wonderful!  Each mini-skein 25 g, so the set of 5 works out to 440 yards (about the same as a skein of sock yarn).  And yes, there are *full skein fade sets available too!  

Also under Yarn is *TurtlePurl Yarns.    I've been lucky enough to work with several of her yarns -- I've worked with her TurtlePurl Worsted (sadly, not available through her Etsy shop), and her *self-striping sock yarn (though that project is a secret for a bit longer, more on that coming soon!)

A crochet hat in the alpine stitch, laying flat. The hat is done in a speckled pink/purple/grey/whiteAnd last on the yarn list is *Leither Co's Superwash DK -- I got the chance to try the *"Blushing Sage" colouway, when I won a skein from a podcast; and it's a very nice yarn to work with --  I worked one of my sample hats in it!   It's softer then I expected for a Superwash, but still is quite a durable yarn, able to survive several froggings!




Next on the list are crochet hooks!

Someone holding a small circle of crochet, worked in the round, and a crochet hook. The hook is metal with a carved wooden handle, and the yarn is yellow sock yarn with black flecks, held double.  I'm particular about my crochet hooks in particular, and I've recently fallen in love with the *Leither Co. Crochet Hooks.  I -love- the fact that they go down to a 2.25 mm (US B) hook, and the metal shafts mean that there's a much less risk of me snapping the hook.    The one I have is a 3.5 mm (US E) hook that I've been using on a few different projects recently because I love it so much!  I'm thrilled I actually won this hook from a podcast; because I'm definitely going to go out and get a few more! 

And now Stitch Markers. 

A close up view of a locking stitch marker with a silver crab charm.
Not sure about what else to get?  Stitch Markers usually go over relatively well!  I get most of my stitchmarkers from various Etsy Shops, from*EfficientSense's Etsy Shop*WineMakersSister's Etsy Shop, and Fibremancy's Etsy Shop.   I love the fact that all of these shops have stitch markers that can open and close, so that they can be used with crochet. Indeed, the little crab stitch marker on the right, came from one of *my favorite stitch marker sets -- a set of shells with purls, and then a little crab! (You can also pick a narwhal, dolphin, or seahorse, if you want!) 

Finally, how did I forget various notions! 

Buttons and Ribbons are something most crafters love to have in stash as well! 

I've had the chance to try various wonderful buttons from various Etsy shops, including these beautiful *coconut shell buttons from  *BonjourHandmadeDIY,  as well as oak *buttons from The Woodlot!

And ribbon?  Ribbon, at least in my opinion, is a wonderful crafting tool, and finding *organic cotton ribbon made my month!  What makes it even better is that you can buy by the meter, so you don't have an entire extra spool of ribbon sitting around in storage. So for this one, I suggest finding out how much ribbon your prospective crafter might need. 

So yeah, there you have it!  I hope one of those links is helpful, (or, at the very least, entertaining!)  And if you're still stuck for ideas for gifts, Etsy has put together a bunch of *gift guides to help!

Friday, 22 November 2019

FO Friday! Diamond Lace Legwarmers!

Two boot toppers laying flat.  They are knit with 2 by 2 ribbing in the round, and the top is done in a diamond lace pattern.  Yarn is blue with speckles of many colours.
*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, at no additional cost to you! And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for helping to keep rent paid!**

Yeay for another FO Friday! The Boot Toppers are done!

Yarn is *Spun Right Round's Superwash Worsted in "The Water's Fine."  I have to admit, I think the lace got a little lost within the speckles, but, for a first-try, I'm quite happy with these!  I think I will try a second sample in a solid or tonal to see how those work up, but, again, I'm happy with these (and will be happy to wear them in our predicted Arctic air mass this winter!)

Needles are my 3.25 mm Aero dpns.  I have to admit for a certain nostalgia for my Aero dpns.  They're workhorse needles, they're inherited, and  I love them! I also love them for the length, too -- most of the modern needles I find are shorter, while these, being longer, can actually be used for hats and such!

These will be up for testing soon(ish), as soon as I get the pattern written up!  (Oh, and if you want to name it -- Pattern Muses on Patreon can help and suggest a pattern name!)

So what have you folks finished up?  Post links in the comments -- I'd love to see what you've made!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

#ThankYouPatrons! 2019-2020 Toronto Knitter's Guild Membership!

Well, it's #ThankYouPatrons day!

And I'm thrilled to have all of my Patrons supporting my work, both past and present, making what I do a little bit more possible!  Thank you for all your support!

What does that mean!  Well, this year, Patrons graciously and wonderfully covered the cost of my membership in the Toronto Knitter's Guild!

Line Art of a smiling sheep holding balls of wool, there are hearts above the sheep's head.
Image Credit: Toronto Knitter's Guild
And why is that important?  The Toronto Knitter's guild is a wonderful group of knitters (and crocheters), but it's also one of the centre meeting points for Toronto's professional Fiber Arts scenes.   Local dyers, shops, designers, and more, as well as knitters and crocheters of all stripes, come together once a month to make, learn, connect, and inspire!

And what else does membership do!  Well, it gets a discount at the local yarn stores, does that count?

But why post this at all -- I mean, wouldn't a 'thank you' note somewhere on the internet have worked just as well?

Maybe.  But I also believe in trying to show my patrons (and everyone else who supports me!)  where the money goes.  Sure, there's rent and groceries and cat food, but if I say "oh, at this goal on Patreon I'll do 'x'" then I feel it's important to show that's actually what I'm doing, and I've done the thing I said I'm going to do with that money!

And what's upcoming with the Guild?   Why is this an important thing now?  Well this month's meeting is Kyle Vey of VectorKnits, the designer behind the now-viral Wingspan Shawl!  So that promises to be wonderful!

It's thanks to my amazing Patrons that I have a chance to meet these people, one designer to another.   So thank you again for opening up this amazing opportunity!


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

WIP Wednesday: Twitch Community Blanket!


Welcome back to WIP Wed! I've finished up a few things, so, this week, I'm showing off my Twitch Community Blanket!  If you've ever heard my talk about Subscriber Squares on my Twitch Stream, this is what I'm talking about!

 A blanket made of mitered squares, with names embroidered on each square. One square is in progress on a set of wooden needles.
Yarn is various colours of Briggs and Little Atlantic, picked by subscribers to my Twitch channel -- and then I embroider their names on the blanket square!  So far, it's been a fun project (even if I am a bit behind!)

Pattern is a very basic mitered square blanket setup (you can find basic instructions here) that I've altered to do what I specifically want it to do,  I'm also adding edging and eventually an I-chord border -- and the colours of the edging and border are and will be chosen by the folks who donate bits over on my Twitch Channel

Needles are my 7 mm Turn of the Century Wooden Needles.  They're long straights, so they're a bit unwieldy for working on the camera, but I love them anyway. 

Eventually, this blanket will be double-sided. . . and even further in the future, the blanket will be finished and put up in a huge Twitch Giveaway!  Yes, when it is done, it will go out to one lucky person in my Twitch Community!

Want to see this blanket being made live?  Check out my Twitch Channel at 10:30 am (Eastern Time), every Friday!  

And I admit, with temps hitting -20 C this morning, I'm looking forward to working on this blanket again on Friday (I primarily work on it on stream, so folks can see their squares being made!)  So it's great to have a nice squishy wool blanket on my lap!    What are you folks working on -- feel free to show off in the comments! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Pattern Release: Marianna 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 budget!**


Hello folks! So the Marianna Shawl is finally live on Ravelry and Etsy!  

A woman wearing a large blue-green lace shawl. She is holding the shawl at her neck with one hand.
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
 Buy Now
$7.00 CAD
It's a large square shawl (sample measures 68 inches /170 cm square), knit from the centre out with lace-weight yarn, and using approximately 1600 yards of yarn!

The edging is knit flat and joined to the shawl as you work. The main lace mesh motif and the edging pattern are both charted, with written instructions available as a secondary download.  In addition, there is a large-print version available as well, that is also compatible with screen-reading technology!

As for the shawl itself?  It came about after exploring the beautiful Stitch Patterns of Gannet Designs. They seemed the perfect stitch patterns for the mesh lace of a larger shawl.

The sample shawl is knit in *Knit Picks Gloss Lace in the colourway “Marina” (which sadly, has since been discontinued).  And this inspired the name of the shawl, because, during the entire production process, my brain kept insisting that the colourway was called “Marianna”! Hence, the Marianna Shawl!

As always, I look forward to seeing what you make, so 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.

Also, this post wouldn't be complete without thanks to my amazing Pattern Muses over on Patreon! And the pattern is now available to Pattern Muses over on Patreon!

I hope you enjoy, and happy crafting!

Friday, 8 November 2019

FO Friday: Alpine Hat Number Two!

**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, at no additional cost to you! And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for helping to keep rent paid!**

And yeay for another FO Friday!   Yes, I finally finished the size-small sample for my Alpine Hat!  (P.S  I've got a test-knit call up for this hat -- I still need some testers for the Large Size!)

A crochet hat done in a textured stitch.  The hat is mustard-yellow with small flecks of black.

Yarn is Wool is the Answer 4-Ply Superwash Merino with Neps in "Mustard", held double!  I was lucky enough to have enough leftover from my Silver Dragon Cowl (and you can find that project in Issue 109 of Now Magazine -- more details coming soon!

I'm really enjoying working with it! It's 100 % Merino wool, with Neps (the little black bits), made from Donegal Tweed. Working with it held double is a bit of an adventure, since I was working under 4 strands at once, but it wasn't difficult at all!

Hook is my 3.5 mm (US E) hook from *Leither Co., (which I won from the Marly Bird Yarn Thing Podcast)!  The Leither Hooks are actually quite nice, (I'm finding I much prefer the wooden handles) and I will have to keep them in mind as I build up my crochet hook collection!

Anyway, I've finished the second hat (and both hats will be up for sale in my Etsy shop soon!)!  So, what things have you finished on this FO Friday?

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

WIP Wednesday: Diamond Lace Boot Toppers -- Almost to the Lace!

**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, at no additional cost to you! And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for helping to keep rent paid!**

Welcome back to WIP Wed!   This week, I've gotten a bit more done on my Diamond Lace Boot Toppers, and am now just one row below the lace pattern!

A tube of 2 by 2 ribbing on double-pointed needles. Yarn is worsted-weight sky blue yarn, with speckles in many colours. There is a shell stitch marker clipped into the work between the dpns.

Yarn is  *Spun Right Round's Superwash Worsted in "The Water's Fine,"   and, the speckles have really grown on me!  I really wasn't sure originally, but now, I quite like it!  I want to see how they work up when I get into the lace section!  

Needles are my 3.25 mm old Aero needles. I find that I'm really quite find of most of my old Aero needles, -- and I don't see them in shops any more!  

I admit, I've actually been neglecting these in favour of other work, but I've still gotten a few rows here and there. And the name is still a work-in-progress -- Patrons can suggest names over on Patreon!

The pretty little *Shell Stitch Marker is from *WineMakersSister's Etsy Shop --  I went and got a whole bunch of lobster claw stitch markers from her shop a while ago, and they're great for working with DPNs, because you can hook them into the work, rather then have them going over the needles. Means, that I can put markers between my DPNs! 

So what are you folks working on today? We're supposed to get our first actual snowfall this afternoon, so it's definitely getting into proper 'knitting season'!  Show off your warm winter knits (and crochets) in the comments below, I'd love to see!

Friday, 1 November 2019

November Featured Pattern and KAL: Snowdrop Lace Cowl

**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, at no additional cost to you! And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for helping to keep rent paid!**

Welcome to November! 

We're getting into colder weather here in the Northern Hemisphere; and we're also getting into the holiday 'crunch' of time!   So, perfect solution -- My Snowdrop Cowl is warm, comfortable, and can be knit in a day! And, it's now 50% off at $2.75 CAD (Regular Price $5.50 CAD) until 11:59, November 30th!

A woman wearing a blue bulky knit cowl. The cowl has a lace and cable pattern.
Photography: Douvlak Photography
$2.75 CAD
The cowl is worked in the round, with garter stitch edging and the Snowdrop Cable and Lace Pattern forming the body of the cowl.  The yarn used in the pattern is Blue Sky Fibers Bulky, which is 50% alpaca, 50% wool. It is classified as a super-bulky, so for substitution purposes, you’ll want to double most yarns if you want to knit this in anything below a bulky-weight. Also, if you’re substituting yarns, I’d suggest a yarn with at least 50% wool content.

The pattern has been test-knit and tech-edited, as well!

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, the Mini-KAL And there have been changes!

For the month of November, any finished Snowdrop Cowl has a chance to win a $25 USD gift card from *EatSleepKnit; and one pattern from any of my self-published patterns! To enter on the blog, simply post a link to your completed Cowl in the comments of this post by November 30, 2019. Please note that the Cowl doesn't have to have been started in November, just finished in November!

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). One Winner will be drawn at random using random number generation. Winner must have a valid e-mail address to receive the pattern and electronic gift card. Participants may enter the same project on more then one platform, but may only enter each project once per platform.