knitting patterns, release day

New designs!

Again, apologies for the crickets around these pages. Truly, I’ve been cooking up new designs, which requires me to sit by myself with the computer off, knitting away. This is a happy thing for me, but it does mean I’m doing a rotten job of keeping the blog and the website up-to-date. But, here I am, rectifying that, and I’m going to try to schedule myself blog time so that my posts here are a bit more regular.

Anyhow! New designs!

Sept1-5 copy

Salish Sea just came out on Friday (note to self: never release a new pattern on a long weekend again..). It’s designed to showcase gradient yarns (isn’t that yarn in the sample stunning? It’s Hilori’s Magical Yarnorium’s QBasic in the Brand Winter Fair colourway..)

Sept1-2smallSept1-1medSept1-3large

And, the Flowers of Ostara, the first design in my Wheel of the Year series, came out a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot to post about it. It’s an easy-peasy design with no purling in sight! And, it plays so nicely with variegated yarns. The sample yarn is Lichen and Lace’s 1 ply fingering in both the Wild Flower and Amethyst colourways (the small version is in Wild Flowers, the medium is in Amethyst, and the large uses both).

Currently, I’ve got hats and cowls and mitts in the works, as well as the two final shawls of the Moon series (they’re in testing). Autumn is knitting season, and my hands are busy! How about yours? Feel free to tell me what’s on your needles!

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knitting patterns, techniques

Blocking an Asymmetrical Shawl

So! I’ve got a few asymmetrical shawl designs in the works, and something that several of my testers have asked is how to block these shawls. I haven’t seen any step-by-step how-to’s out there, so I decided I’d make my own. Please bear in mind that this is what works for me – your mileage may vary! But, hopefully my process will give other knitters an idea of how to get a nicely shaped finished object.

Step 1: Soak your item! I didn’t take a photo of this step, because, well, how exciting is a lumpy knitted thingy sitting in a sink of water? But, I usually soak my to-be-blocked items for about 30 minutes. But, here’s a nifty trick I picked up somewhere – after washing your item (with a cleanser that’s appropriate for the fibre), I’ll add a little dollop of hair conditioner to the soaking water. This works especially well for wool that’s not particularly soft, and it makes everything smell nice, too!

Step 2: After I’ve squished some (but not all) of the water out of my item (don’t wring it, whatever you do!), I place it on my blocking mat. Then, I weave wires into the straight edges. This shawl has a picot edging along the cast-on edge, so I’ve woven the wire about three rows in from the cast-on so that the picots are nice and loose. It’s possible to weave the wire through the picots, but that will give the picots a triangular shape, which I don’t really like (YMMV, of course).

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The wires are partially in…..

 

Step 3: I secure the ends of the wires at the tip of the V (the base of the shawl).

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Step 4: Then, I stretch out the straight edges and pin them into place.

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Pre-stretched…

 

Post-stretched.
Post-stretched.

Step 5: Next, I weave a curved wire through the center portion of the curved edge.

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Step 6: Then, I pull the curved wire away from the v to open up the body of the shawl.

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Step 7: Then, wires go into the ends of the curved edge, and the curve is pinned into place.

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Step 8: The last step? Adjust the angle of the v. I often repin the straight edges at this point, as they sometimes get a little bunched up due to all the pulling and pinning of the curved edge.

PT1

That’s it! The shawl’s currently drying, so I can’t post a finished photo just yet, but I will once it’s off the wires and mat!

knitting patterns, release day, TWW

New Year, New Patterns!

So, it’s been a little quiet here on the blog, but not in the workshop! Despite dealing with a serious of rotten colds from November onward, I’ve been busy working up new patterns. This week, two new shawl patterns went live on Ravelry:

Flower Moon, which features the Flowered Fields stitch pattern for the body, and the gorgeous Estonian starflower pattern for the border. This shawl is suited to intermediate knitters – you should be comfortable doing increase stitches (3 into 9, for example), as well as shifting stitch repeats. However, once you get into the flow of the stitch patterns, they’re really fun and interesting!

Flower Moon Feature

And, Snow Moon, which knits up quickly in DK weight yarn, but is easily adaptable to fingering weight as well. Some of my testers added beads to their projects – check them out! They’re gorgeous!

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Both of these patterns are now available for purchase on Ravelry – just click the links above and you’ll be magically whooshed over there.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a new shawl pattern about to go up for testing, two toque-and-mitt sets that I’m knitting up, several new shawl patterns for spring and summer, and several sweaters that are waiting to be swatched and started. One of the challenges of all this designing work is trying to figure out what to work on when. Right now, the sweater that’s calling to be designed is knit in bulky weight, but if I was knitting it, I would have started it in late summer, so it would be ready for wearing in the fall. So, do I put it on the back burner for a while and work on summery things for a bit? I’m thinking that would be the smart thing to do….except for the pattern is tickling my brain, begging to be created. We’ll see what wins out…

In other news, I’ve also been thinking about content for the blog. One new feature I’m adding will be WOMN – What’s On My Needles. I’m planning on running this post on Fridays, and I’d love people to play along! I may just add a giveaway or two to entice readers to post photos of their works-in-progress, because who doesn’t enjoy a giveaway? I sure do! And also, as soon as I finish posting this, I’m going to sign-up for a solar dyeing workshop. I admit, I’m getting seduced by the idea of dyeing my own yarn, since when I come up wit a design idea, I often have a specific colour in mind, and I can’t always find it. Solution? Create my own! I haven’t informed the husband-person of this, though…hehehe.

Anyhow, happy Monday and happy New Year to all! And most importantly, happy knitting!

knitting patterns, release day

New pattern release: Wolf Moon!

Today is release day for my newest knitting pattern, Wolf Moon! Wolf Moon is a crescent-shaped shawl that features a simple, geometric lace body and a gently ruffled border. It’s a quick, fun knit that flows off the needles. I’ve used one of my favourite yarns for the sample – Sweet Fiber’s Sweet Merino Lite. This yarn is so wonderfully soft and fluffy, and comes in nice, big 115 gram skeins. Plus, Sweet Fiber uses fantastic colours that just inspire me!

 

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Anyhow, should you be interested, the pattern for Wolf Moon is available for purchase over on Ravelry.  Happy knitting!

 

(PS: Updated have been few and far between because I have been double-dog sick the last month. Hopefully, the worst is over and I’ll be back to blogging about my creative adventures very soon!)