#WIPWEDNESDAY and New Patterns

I skipped yesterdays blog prompt. I just didn’t have the energy to write anything and the topic seemed a bit redundant and needlessly negative. I feel the same about today’s so I’m going to skip this one too.

img_2548The mice are back. We woke up last Friday to the struggles of a not dead but very trapped mouse trying to crawl back down the hole with the trap. Not exactly a pleasant wake up. Thankfully K was able to deal with it. There’s another one in there tonight trying to eat our left over french fries. It does’t seem to be bothered for very long when I bang on the cabinet. I’ve taped the doors shut because the cat is very capable of opening the doors but maybe not so capable of doing the deed. It can enjoy some cold fries for it’s last supper and I’ll put our last trap under the sink tomorrow. It looks like someone had tried to cover the hole with foaming caulk of some sort but it’s obviously been chewed threw since then. We need to come up with a more permanent solution. I don’t like being responsible for all these mouse corpses.

I’ve been busy knitting away. I finished the snowflake socks and plan on making a matching hat, much like the tree set if you’ve been following along. I wrote a pattern for the tree set and published it a little over a week ago. Happy Trees is available HERE and HERE if you’re interested. I’ve been struggling to take halfway decent photo’s in this house. My parent’s have a nice weathered deck that worked really well for me in the past. I have dingy carpet, wood-like but not nearly floors, and weird colored walls. Outside is old blacktop and a crumbling but not aesthetically so concrete front porch. I’ve been considering building some sort of set to stage my garments because I just can’t get decent images. Another contributing issue is the fact that I’m rarely awake for any significant amount of day light. I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually, but for now it’s really frustrating me.

sept socks grid 2I also was finally able to publish a sock pattern I’ve been working on for months. This pattern was the subject of my very first #WIPWEDNESDAY. This one took a bit of finagling to get right. I decided to have it professionally tech edited which was incredibly nerve wracking but ultimately a good decision. Getting my files back all marked up was like getting a final paper back in college, only somehow worse. After that was all through I had test knitters work on it. This is something I’ve been doing for a while and I’ve been having a string of really bad luck with getting them to finish on deadline – or even at all. This batch was very helpful and gave me lots of feedback though. But anyways, Get a Room is available along with the rest of my patterns on Ravelry and I’d love for you to go check them out. A lot of hands (and feet – haha) went into this one and I’m really proud of it.

 

#WIPWednesday

I’ve had a pretty busy week. I made two loaves of bread (one when I was very very intoxicated). I read a real live actual book which I haven’t made time to do in what seems like years. I finally made curtains for my living room – I’ve got the sewing bug now so I’ll probably be working on some more sewing projects coming up.

I  spent the week thinking I was going crazy. Every evening I could hear something 5703F15E-F226-4B5F-9C2A-FA06CC14A7DArustling around in the kitchen. I kept checking but didn’t find anything, not even a hole in the bag of cat food. Thankfully the cat confirmed I wasn’t crazy and kept guard on the kitchen for me.

Last night I cleared out all my cabinets and set a mouse trap just in case. Not five minutes later it snapped. So I’m not nuts. I can’t bring myself to look  in the cabinet so I’ll have to wait for K to get home and check for me.

I’ve also been anxiously awaiting my test knitters to finish up so I can publish a pattern I’ve been working on for months. It’s been a very long process but hopefully it’ll be worth it. My group of knitters have had a lot of feedback which is great. A lot of people have worked really hard on the pattern and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

I mentioned working on some sweater socks in my last #fridayfavorites post. I finished them and suddenly it was 75 degrees. Now that it’s appropriately freezing again it hasn’t stopped raining so I haven’t been able to take better images. These are super cozy and used up some yarn I’ve had laying around for a few years. I made the hat mostly to make a pompom. I haven’t made a pompom since like second grade and it was SO satisfying.

3EA6F34B-EAC3-48AC-9DF5-2310A2529154

Since the tree socks went so quickly I decided to make some more cozy socks. I started some snowflake socks the other night with more stashed yarn but ran out of red last night. I think I’m going to make three patterns and release them as a set before the holidays.

 

 

#WIPWednesday

FB0AE9BC-D575-4E76-A9E0-DA2CACA387A1Its another dreary, gloomy day. I’m playing the annual fall game of chicken with the weather – see how long we can freeze in the house before I have to turn the heat on. The weather might win this one early as I’m wrapped in two blankets on the couch, the cat hasn’t left his pillow in hours, and The Boy has the mattress heater turned on while he sleeps. My coffee went cold. I’m avoiding the shower because I don’t want to deal with wet hair for the next four hours. I wanted to quilt something today but my studio feels colder than the living room for some reason. It’s really very tempting to just stay under all these blankets binge watching something and knitting away at my shawl.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.34.36 PM
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kristen-mclaren

But alas the lure of feeling productive beckons. As of yesterday I’ve officially been publishing knitting patterns on Ravelry for one year. Today I have ten patterns available!   Thinking about it blows my mind. I’ve recently decided to get very serious about producing patterns. I started by having my last pattern test knit. I put out a call on Instagram and a few people agreed to help me out. This ended up being a mostly disappointing experience. For my latest pattern, I went with a professional Tech Editor. So far it’s been really good, although getting my first draft back was like getting a term paper back covered in red marks. It forced me to really edit myself though and I ended up reworking a bunch of stuff I was too lazy to deal with in the first draft. All good things. Much learning.

Anyways – since I’m kind of refusing to leave my nest on the couch today except for more tea and the resulting potty breaks – It’s time to go through my old patterns and apply some things I’ve learned over the last year to fix ’em up.

# WIP WEDNESDAY

Since I’m finishing up my latest pattern I thought it would be cool to go through my design process. I think without even realizing it, we’re constantly consuming media all day. While there are definitely terrifying things about that aspect of our culture, I’m going to try and focus on the positives of this. As a visual, and an observant person I choose to see the inundation of information as a constant source of inspiration for my practice. Whether I’m scrolling through Instagram, falling into the black hole that is Pinterest, or selling my soul to Netflix I’m constantly taking in visual information and therefore collecting a vast bank of inspiration.

The ah-ha moment for the pattern I’m working on now came about while I was test knitting a sock pattern for another designer. I was casually knitting in front of the tv, watching Vikings on the History Channel (Such a soap opera, but full of incredible textiles). I kept seeing this woven screen in the background of one of the sets and every time it caught my interest.

Vikings-woven screen
It’s very possible I’m not just into this show for the textiles…

At first I was thinking about a weaving project and doodled it a few different ways in my sketchbook.

I ended up finishing the socks I was working on and needed to find another project for myself to knit. After doodling it a few more times I started playing with it in my knitting software and the pattern was born. Two weeks and a computer crash later I’m about to write up this pattern and find some test knitters.

Here are some in-progress shots I’ve posted on Instagram. Follow me there and be the first to get pattern information, more #wip updates, and cute cat pictures.