WIP WEDNESDAY

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I’ve been busy busy busy actually knitting things since my last post. I finished the Daisy Socks and completely revamped the pattern. The task of editing that pattern was a little daunting and took me several days to finish, though the actually knitting went quite quickly. It made me very aware of how much I’ve actually learned and accomplished in the last two years of writing patterns and has reignited my excitement with the whole design process. I’ve got about ten more patterns that could use an update which will hopefully be a good use of my time during the “slow season” of knitting.

ac802268-f086-4f5c-a4ce-a5c0e7ab34d6I’m also working on a new pattern for a pair of socks I just finished last night. I managed, with the grace of the knitting gods, to finish them in five days. I’m not sure if it was because I knit them one at a time (which I haven’t done in at least three years) or because they’re only one color, but whatever it was -they just flew off of my needles. They’re hanging up to dry as I’m typing this, and I’ve got the pattern mostly written up in another window. I’m currently debating hanging onto this pattern for a few months and maybe releasing it with a few others closer to the fall. I’ve got a few ideas brewing that would make a nice set with this pattern, but I’m also very impatient and know the pattern will burn a hole in my pocket? computer? while it’s waiting to be published.

ec0fc04a-7f80-4600-aa83-e1f6e8c07fbaMy basket is plugging along nicely and is actually starting to resemble a vessel instead of a “floppy weird frisbee” as K called it. I like working on it, though I have to take frequent breaks from it because it’s murder on my hands, wrists, and shoulder. After two nights of steadily working on it I ended up with a kink in my neck that last for several days and the fun shoot-y kind of pain in my left arm. The process is so repetitive and takes a lot of hand muscle to keep everything pulled taught all the while getting heavier and harder to hang onto. I’ve got so many ideas about how to finish it, except it’s only a couple of inches tall and I’ve got many more to go before it’s ready for a decorative element. I really enjoy how meditative the process is, and it’s given me lots of ideas for more baskets, but it takes so long to make any progress towards a finished product that it’s hard to motivate my monkey brain to finish it. I think it’s going to end up being a long term project that I pull out between all the other things I want to do.

 

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WIP WEDNESDAY: saving the best for last

Nothing like 80 degree weather to make a girl feel like knitting again… I hadn’t really felt like knitting since finishing my sweater back in March but last week I felt the call of the needles again. I’m working on editing my Daisy Socks pattern, the first socks I designed almost two years ago now. I’ve learned so much about construction and pattern writing since then that I figured it couldn’t hurt to update the pattern a little bit. I’ve already changed the toe construction and I figured I would give an afterthought heel a try.

Turning heels is actually one of my favorite things about knitting socks. There’s something endlessly satisfying about how a handful of short rows can completely change the shape of something. It always feels a bit like mathematical witchcraft to me. But one of the things that’s kept me interested in knitting all these years is that there’s always more techniques to learn, and afterthought heels seem to make a lot of sense with colorwork socks. When I got to my foot length I knit in my waste yarn and then kept on zipping along through the leg. I spent most of last night knitting away and if I do the same tonight I’ll probably finish the leg. This way seems like there’s a lot less counting stitches and making sure my pattern is lined up properly, and saving the best part for last is certainly motivating.

New Pattern!

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.

Updates and Planning

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s fucking cold here. I’m one of those people who generally like the cold but the last few days have been kind of ridiculous. There’s ice crystals on the inside of the car windows, the heat’s been running constantly, just now the cat pulled a blanket down from the arm of the couch to lay under. I’m grateful that the sun is shining through the windows and I’m actually awake in the day time to see it, but it’s too damn cold.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday, I know ours got to be a little stressful this year.

I actually managed to finish all the things I set out to make this year as gifts. I ended up making two pairs of socks, a cowl, a pair of pajama pants, and some little stockings were extra and just for fun. Everyone seemed really happy with their gifts which always makes me happy. My sister put her cowl on as soon as she opened it and aside from going to work or the grocery store, K hasn’t taken the pajama pants off.

I think those were the first garment that I actually completely finished sewing. I’ve made a few quilts and little pouches but I’ve never actually completely finished a garment before. He split his favorite pajama pants right up the back seam this fall and we never got around to buying him a new pair so I figured I could make him some new ones for christmas. I ended up cutting the old pair at the seams to draft a pattern. They turned out so well, I’m a little jealous I haven’t made a pair for myself. The hardest part was probably the dang button fly. Since I wasn’t using an actual pattern with instructions I ended up watching a handful of youtube videos trying to figure out the best way to do it. I eventually figured it out, but it turns out he doesn’t even use the fly. I don’t even have a picture of the pants for you, but he wore them on christmas and everyone seemed quite impressed with them.

I’m not working on anything specific right now, just the shawl I’ve had sitting around since summer. It takes about half and hour per row now so I’ll probably finish it sometime in the next twenty years. A friend has asked me if I would knit her pet rabbit a little sweater (and offered to pay in the same sentence!) so I’ve been thinking about the best way to do that. K has also noticed the lack of hand-knit items in his wardrobe so I’m gonna work on that for him. He needs gloves – he’s been wearing big work gloves to drive because that’s all he has – and I know he wants a bunch of socks. I’ll probably start with a bunch of basic socks and then make some really cool gloves for him in the next week or so, we just have to go buy more yarn.

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 11.48.15 AM.pngThis one got pretty long, but one more thing! Currently, all of my patterns are on sale for 25% off through the end of the year! I know lots of people knit a special project for themselves after all the gift knitting they did so check ’em out if anything catches your fancy.

Thanks for sticking around on this blogging adventure with me.

#WIP WEDNESDAY and NEW PATTERN!

Turning thoughts into things! Turns out it’s pretty cool to re-knit old things you’ve made. It’s crazy what a few years of experience will do. I remade that little santa stocking I talked about here and turned it into a little pattern. The new ones look way better than the old one if I do say so myself. My yarn choice/needle size is more effective and I used a duplicate stitch for the buckle instead of trying to knit it straight into the pattern. The pattern is available in my Ravelry Store if you’re looking for a quick little stash busting project. Also a great last minute gift for those people on your list who aren’t exactly knit-worthy but aren’t quite on your no-knit list this year.

Now my brain is buzzing with other little ornaments I could make which hopefully don’t involve a trip to the yarn store… We’ll see what I can come up with tonight!

A Year of Making

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 24

Have you ever made your own pattern or dyed your own yarn? How did it turn out?

About three years ago I started to get bored with making other people’s patterns. I think it came about from having mostly weird sized yarn and not very much money to buy more. I designed a few mitten patterns for holiday gifts and just kind of whipped them together. Over the next few years I started making a few socks and baby sweaters just based on gauge and measurement standards.daisy_sock_medium2 Nothing too fancy, just the basics. Then in the summer of 2016 I made these Daisy Socks and the rest, as they say, was history.

I got a lot of positive feedback on instagram and tumblr so I figured why not write up a pattern for them, how hard could it be? I already had the charts and the construction really isn’t that difficult to explain. I even found someone who wanted to test knit them (it only took her like five months to get around to finishing). I didn’t publish this pattern yet because I was hoping my test knitter would finish knitting, but in the mean time I was already working on another pattern. I ended up publishing two different patterns that October and decided to just go for it and publish the daisy socks without the test knitter in November.

It’s been about a year since I started and I now have 13 patterns available on Ravelry. I honestly can hardly believe it- people I don’t even know making things that came directly out of my jumbled brain garbage. There are definitely aspects I need to improve on this year as I take designing into a more and more professional realm, but I’m learning things with each pattern and always working to get better.

Once I make it through the holiday knitting rush I’ll have time and hopefully be bored enough of vanilla-ass socks to start designing patterns for next year. I also have every intention of maybe getting an etsy shop up and running. Lucky for you guys, you’ll probably be the first to know all the new things.

 

#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.

 

#FridayFavorites

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 10

Do you have a favorite pattern or designer?

This prompt conveniently lands on a Friday, so I think I’ll do a little Friday Favorites round up of a few of my favorite patterns I’ve personally knit.

Pine Bough Cowl by: Dianna Walla

I made this a few years ago (mine is the image on the right) It took almost ten skeins of yarn but was really fun to knit. The pattern was easy to memorize and it had never occurred to me before this to knit a scarf in a tube so that all the WS would be hidden away. I don’t know how “in” infinity scarves are anymore but it’s something I will continue to wear regardless.

Water For Elephants by: Yvette Noel

I’ve been a big fan of elephants for a while now and when I saw these socks I knew I had to make them. I believe these were the first pair of colorwork socks I’d ever made and if I’m being honest, probably spurred my obsession with making them. I had some cones of camel weaving yarn in my stash so I wound a big skein and dyed it black to have a contrasting color. I didn’t really check my gauge with these and they unfortunately are too small for my giant ass feet. But lucky enough for my mom, they fit her just fine. Less lucky for her – she has to hand wash them.

Dinosaur Jr. by: Katie Boyette

I’ve made this little cutie twice now. The first time was a gift for my best friend and her soon to be born little guy. It was so fun to see him take shape while I was knitting. He was so cute in fact that another friend of mine asked me to make one for his niece’s birthday. I added the purple foot pads and button eyes the second time around. I might even make this a third time because damnit it’s so cute I want one.

Salt by: Sylvia McFadden

The second I saw this pattern on Instagram I went and bought it on Ravelry. I knit this thing obsessively. The stitch pattern is so addicting the whole thing just unfurled from my needles. I couldn’t wait for winter to get here so I could wear this shawl. Mine came out a bit smaller than the pattern indicates but that’s hardly a shock considering how tightly I knit. I was so excited about this pattern that I even splurged on some Wool of the Andes yarn from Knit Picks. It’s definitely already one of my go too scarves this winter.

I wish it were cold enough to wear these all the time

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 6

What is your favorite piece that you’ve knit?

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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!

#FridayFavorites

Last weekend I made the coziest pair of sweater socks. I made both socks in like 36 hours which didn’t even seem real to me since I usually knit with needles no larger than US 2. They knit up so quick and easy that I made a hat the next day in practically one sitting (It could have been one sitting, but I woke up the next morning and didn’t like the crown decreases so I ripped that all out and made it better). I’ve got them all blocking in the kitchen right now and hope to have a pattern worked up sometime this weekend, but the weekend tends to get away from me.

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Studland by: Clare Devine 

I’m really not even sure why I’m so drawn to these. Usually I’m interested in more textural pieces or crazy colorwork pieces but there’s something so simple about these that I just love. I do really just love the yarn color and I was drawn in by the ‘lifestyle’ photos. Lifestyle photos are something I’m not very good at when photographing my own work, granted it’s pretty difficult to take normal looking pictures of your own feet when you don’t have a tripod or an adorable apartment.

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Ola Sokken by: Lill C. Schei

I’ve been kind of obsessed with gray and white and gray and yellow lately and these bring the best of those together. They’re geometric and fun and would certainly keep your toes warm all winter.

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Keel by: Brenda York

I just love how classic these socks are. They would make a great gift for anyone and would look great in any color combo. They make me think about sitting a porch watching autumn leaves fall drinking a cup of hot cider.