I have maybe a weird question and need a bit of advice. The other day I got a Ravelry notification that someone making one of my designs had added a photo. I was super excited because it seems that a lot of the people purchasing my patterns don’t really use Ravelry to keep track of projects. I went to look at the photos, which show the lovely beginnings of a project but the knitting chart is clearly visible in two photos.
My heart immediately sank. My first thought was how to go about asking her to crop her photos or blur out the chart. But I’ve let it stew in my brain too long and now I’m not sure what to do. Knitting patterns are my primary income source, and I’d like to believe most people wouldn’t take her photos and try and use the chart, but I know some might – I probably would.
Is there a kind way to go about bringing this to her attention? It’s probably not an intentional thing, and they are lovely snapshots of her work. I would hate upset this person or lose business from people using her image in place of a purchased pattern. Or is this not a big deal at all?
Well it’s been a month in the making, but my latest pattern has finally gone up on Ravelry. My test knitters are finishing up (a blog post for a different time…) and the pattern went live yesterday morning (my computer ran out of battery before I could blog about it and I got into the celebratory vodka…).
Anyway, my Marka Mittens can be found here if anyone is interested. Lots of people worked hard for all of this to come together and I’m always humbled and amazed that literal strangers take an interest in what I make.
This weekend turned into quite a hibernation. Friday we accidentally slept twice as long as we had intended and ended up waking up around 10 pm. So going out to dinner or socializing at all was off the table. Saturday I woke up in so much pain I considered going to the ER. I couldn’t move my neck without pain shooting down my spine and arm. After I spent some time laying on the floor crying K dug out the ice packs from when he had back problems last year. Cold seemed to make things a little worse and the three blankets I was swaddled in weren’t helping so I switched to heat packs. Thankfully those helped enough that I got some movement back. (The three whiskey’s I had sure loosened things up…) We ended up just ordering take-out and spent another night on the couch. I’m feeling much better today, just some stiffness leftover.
I started working on a shawl today. I’ll probably end up gifting it to my mom since it’s pinkish and I’m not a huge shawl wearer anyways. It’s In the Pines by Kristina Kephart who’s I believe is a new designer. It’s got a lovely texture created by slipped stitches and the pattern is easy enough to memorize that I don’t need to look at the pattern until I get to the decreases. After spending a few hours on it I’m already noticing my wrists hurting again, but I need something to keep my hands busy before I go crazy.
I’m also currently looking for test knitters for my Marka Mittens (featured at the top of the post) if anyone is inclined. Feel free to comment here for more details or drop by my group to join in.
Things have been pretty slow around here. Trying to stay caught up on laundry, trying to cook healthier meals which means more dishes, and trying to sleep on a consistent schedule. Spent some time last week knitting away on my shawl and I started to notice my right wrist hurting. Decided to take a break on the shawl, you know, to rest my joints. Me being me, I couldn’t sit still and not knit anything for a day or two to feel better so I made a pair of mittens in about two and a half days. Now my wrists AND hands hurt. I’m shocked too…
Anyways mittens are finished and blocking, and now I just need to motivate myself to write up the pattern. The chart is pretty much done, it just needs a little tweak here and there to look nice. The writing part is what kills me, and I know that’s a shock to you all as well since I’m SO GOOD at blogging consistently these days. Once I get started it goes pretty quickly, and I know that, but for some reason it takes me forever to start writing. Somewhere in my brain I think that I need to have a pattern title and images before writing up the pattern, which is pretty illogical, those are the easiest things to add or change in a pattern. I guess I did start playing around with a few titles but they feel pretentious and also kind of lame. Finding titles I’m happy with is always such a struggle for me – it’s hard to come up with something original and memorable and on brand without being floofy or overly descriptive and boring. Are there professional title givers? I’m totally open to suggestions if you have a good one!
Hopefully I can talk K into going out sometime this week to help me take pictures, but he’s got a head cold, and I’ve got some kind of stomach thing so I won’t hold my breath. I’m hoping whatever bugs we’ve got go away quickly and I find some motivation to write out this pattern before the weekend. If I wait any longer by the time I get all the tech editing and test knitting done it won’t even be winter anymore.
Do you do any other crafts besides knitting? What are they, and did learning to knit come before or after learning these other crafts?
These kinds of prompts are fun for me because I get to spend half an hour digging through all the photos on my computer (wishing they were actually organized..) and relive a bunch of memories and shitty hair cuts.
I have been creative from very early on in life. I spent a lot of time playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos and was lucky enough to get piles of art kits as gifts for most of my life. I was also fortunate enough to go to a Montessori school where my creativity was not only encouraged but fed with new skills. We were taught to make crochet chains with our fingers by age three (what an excellent way to build fine motor skills while also keeping a group of preschoolers quiet), we also learned to do basic running stitch embroidery by age 4. From there I hit the ground running. My mom tells this story of me around age 4 that I vaguely remember; she walked into the kitchen to find me sitting at the table where I had traced, cut and was now sewing an entire outfit for my doll by hand without help. I remember not being able to get the shirt over her giant doll head so I cut up the back of the shirt and used yarn to lace it back up for an edgy and decorative and reusable closure. Textile things have always come easy to me, and I’ve always enjoyed them. Lanyard keychains and friendship bracelets were basically my shit in the late 90’s.
I majored in art in high school, mainly paintings and print making but I did crochet myself a full human spine out of plastic bags which was pretty cool. From there I went to art school and fully developed my love (obsession) with all things fibers and textiles. The main philosophy of the school was to teach you from the ground up. So for textiles we learned to dye our own yarn and fabric, we learned to make our own yarn and fabric and from there we basically could do anything we wanted. I really really liked weaving. The meticulous threading process, spending hours hunched over the back of the loom threading hundreds of threads through the reed and heddles. During my weaving course I taught myself how to knit (we didn’t really have a knitting course at that time, and by the time they added one I far surpassed the knowledge range of the teacher on that particular subject). I also learned to quilt at the end of my senior year. This class was only offered once a year and each year I never seemed to have time for it in my schedule. I’m so grateful I was able to fit it in, but I wish I could have learned sooner, if I had my trajectory might have been very different. These are some of my favorite pieces from the end of art school. The top two are from my senior show in which my partner and I studied the duality and dichotomy of silk moths and wool eating moths. One moth is lauded for created fiber and one moth is loathed for consuming it. (Top Image is a silk grid on a silk screen with a projection of silk moths spinning cocoons, middle image is a woven wool screen with handspun wool grid covered in different food stuffs used to encourage different larva to eat the screen – we were NOT ALLOWED to bring wool moths into a fiber department for obvious and disappointing reasons).
This image is of a very large quilt I made and cherish. It’s a lone star quilt with a hand dyed gradient and hand quilting with hand dyed matching thread. My sister still has the actual images she took for me but I’ve never seen them.
Since then space has been a little limited, so its hard to produce large works and life gets in the way of spending 200 hours laboring over one project. I’ve made some smaller wall quilts and other little things, but mostly focused on knitting. My new house has a tiny extra bedroom that I’m using as a sewing/craft room but my loom is definitely not going to get in there. We have a mud room with great light that I might end up using once we get the giant couch out of there. I would love to be able to weave again. I do have some quilting and sewing projects lined up in the mean-time.
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.
The 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.
I 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.
Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?
My best friend gave me this yarn as a bridesmaid’s gift almost three years ago. I like the colors and I love how it feels, I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT. I’ve mentioned before, fancy yarns hold me up. I also have no idea what to do with variegated yarns. For someone who primarily does colorwork I don’t like not being in control of wear the colors go. I’m afraid of color pooling or weird awkward stripes. I don’t want to waste this yarn on something I’ll never wear or just give away to someone because I didn’t like how it ended up. Even though it’s sock yarn it feels too precious for just socks. I’ve considered buying a another skein or two of a solid color and doing some colorwork with it, but nothing ever jumps out at me when I look online. If you’ve got the perfect pattern for this yarn leave me a comment and let me know!
If anyone has followed any of my other social medias you’ll know that these mittens are my absolute favorite thing I’ve ever knit, and possibly ever made. I worked at developing this pattern for like three years. I tried a bunch of different yarns and cuffs and thumb shapes. I think I made five different mittens until I landed on these. I am so so so proud of them and I love wearing them.
I finished knitting them right before Valentine’s Day last year. K took me to the Wisconsin Dells for a little getaway that weekend and IT WASN’T EVEN COLD ENOUGH TO WEAR THEM. We went on a hike around Devil’s Lake that weekend, there were people all over the ice fishing and hanging out, but it was warm enough for actual living mutant mosquitos to be swarming around. It was a great weekend, but I digress.. I wore these guys on the hike anyways so I could have him take some photos for me since it’s pretty hard to take photos using your own hands as models.
Not only is this my favorite pattern, but it seems to be everyone else’s favorite of all the patterns I’ve published. If you’re interested in make a pair for yourself (or your mother-sister-daughter-grandma-girlfriend-bestfriend because the holidays are eminent) my Russian Flower Mittens pattern is available on Ravelry and theres also a matching hat pattern!
I don’t remember exactly how I learned even though it was only five or six years ago, but the easy answer is that I taught myself from youtube videos. The tricky answer is that I have a degree in textiles and we covered basic knitting in several courses.
I picked up the basics from youtube videos – casting on and the knit stitch are all you really need to know to get started. I was in a weaving studio at the time so I was completely surrounded by yarn which was amazing, except it was all teeny-tiny weaving yarn and I had no concept of gauge for knitting. For whatever reason I decided to knit a tiny ass sweater to go with it.
It was a baby sweater pattern but I was using like lace weight yarn and US 1 needles – which in my defense I still do – but I didn’t adjust any of the stitch counts to make it fit an actual human baby. But this did spur an actual like “art” thing later so it worked out I guess. Anyways, I didn’t know about blocking or how to make button holes or anything so it isn’t really finished but I was so dang proud of it. It’s pretty wonky and phone cameras back then were pretty much garbage by today’s standards but I got all the parts right, and I effectively taught myself how to make a garment and knit cables.
From there I was pretty much unstoppable. That summer I tried and failed miserably at lace and figured out how to use dpns to knit in the round. A year later I had lace all figured out and knit a lot of miniature sweaters that I designed myself.
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 rustling 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.
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.