November 23, 2013

Pinch Me!

I knew this was in the works but to have it come to fruition and be so beautifully done had me thinking it was surreal.  Pinch me now!

I had been in contact with Ashley at Berroco about my Just One More Cowl pattern and she decided it belonged on the blog in their Designer Spotlight which appears on Fridays.  Yesterday, my cowl was featured.  I was working at Iron Horse when a customer came in and said "Estella, you are famous!".  I hadn't seen it and didn't get to see it until I got home.

Just last week when I received payment for another design, I realized this is real.  I am a designer.  This blog post made it real for everyone else.  It may not pay all the bills, but my designing is making Christmas happen for our family and for that I'm thrilled and thankful!

Thank you Berroco, thank you Ashley, thank you Andra for giving me the push to contact Berroco, hmmm should I say I'd like to thank the Acadamy?  Thanks to my lovely daughter for making this pattern shine.

November 20, 2013

Loving Statistics

Ravelry is amazing for so many reasons but as a designer you can track a lot about your patterns and designs.  You can see who has queued or favorited patterns and you can see how many downloads are made of your individual patterns.  Ever since I put my mini Santa Hats pattern on Ravelry, I've had at least one download ever day for a month!  The Santa Hat pattern is my most popular one from a download perspective with over 300 downloads in the past month.  It is a free pattern so that helps.  I neglected to put my free Farfalle pattern in Ravelry until last month - it has only 21 downloads in the past month but I do know via Craftsy it has been downloaded 445 times on their website.

I am loving these statistics and tracking them…I know it seems a bit boring but it is a small sign that things are beginning to click on the designing front.

November 17, 2013

Wrapped in Warmth

I was asked to knit up a sample of Navarra for Iron Horse in Berroco Kodiak.  It was off the needles in less than a week and boy is it lovely and warm!  I cast on 46 stitches instead of the called for 66 and used only 4 skeins instead of 6.  This truly makes it a lovely, affordable gift.

November 13, 2013

Magic Cake Update

I have been working on my magic cake cowl and writing down the pattern.  When I started with my cake, I decided the colors in the center weren't in harmony with the rest of the cake.  Here's what I knit up and have put aside to join in with another magic cake.

After breaking off the yarn, I continued with the cake and got to knitting - I added in some textured stitches for interest and already have some ideas for the next one involving some slipped stitches.

I have pulled out my yarn, the bag of yarn I got that belonged to Kate Gilbert and I've started sorting.  I'm in trouble here - I can see a slew of these magic cakes being made.  Our kitchen table won't be used for meals for a while!

When I was at stitches, I saw magic cakes being sold in plastic containers that made them look like cupcakes - so very clever.

November 11, 2013

Stitches East - Part II

In my wanderings around Stitches East, there was one other indy dyer that I felt has some amazing colors - Periwinkle Sheep.  I circled back around and purchased these two skeins which are a new yarn base and they had on special for $21 instead of the $28 they will be charging.  I love the name of the gray - Silver Lining.  I'm always looking for the silver lining and found that was a perfect one for me to get.

I'm thinking of a cowl with stranded color work - I of course noticed they didn't have a lot of pattern support and gave them my card in case they were looking for some designs.  I'll wait a week and email the owner.  In the meantime, these two are ready to be wound and turned into something spectacular!

November 9, 2013

Stitches East - Part 1

I just got back from Stitches East - I took a day trip to Hartford which is only about 1 1/2 hours away.  I was there by 9:30, bought my ticket and waited in line to get in.

I immediately went to the aisle where I knew Kate and A Hundred Ravens would be…she saw me before I saw her and called out my name - not many Estella's out there.  Her booth was fantastic!

That's Kate on the left in the long black skirt.  The display in the center has our Mitt Kits.

Check out the gorgeous fall color ways!  In the background in an apron is Rachel who was a contestant on Fiber Factor.  Sadly, she is no longer in the running but it was so fun to finally meet her.

Okay, a few pics of the Mitt Kits.  She was almost out of them!

I had to take this as I used to live in Charlottesville and have purchased yarn from here.  Had a fun conversation with one of the owners who lives near where I grew up.

I spent about 2 hours walking around.  I must admit I didn't buy a lot - only 2 skeins of yarn which I'll talk about in the next post.  I also told Kate in my biased but honest opinion that her yarn has some of the best colors at Stitches.

November 8, 2013


No sooner than I finished my final design for Knit 123 I had to start something new.  I was listening to Paula on Knitting Pipeline and heard her describe the Magic Cake technique.

I hustled to my pile of leftover balls of yarn and followed her way of weighing them.  I then reviewed Jane Richmond's Magic Knot technique and set to winding.

Here's my Magic Cake which I'm going to turn into a long slouchy cowl.  You will see some beige and green in the center - once I started knitting I didn't like them there (I'm using this as a center pull with the shorter bits of yarn in the center).  So I broke it off and started with a different color from the center.  I'm thinking this would make a fun class of using up yarn and exploring color.

November 1, 2013

I Guess Free is Good!

Two days ago I posted this pattern as a free one on Ravelry.  I decided not to sell it as I had adapted someone else's free pattern for a different weight yarn - I also put in clearer directions.  In two days, it has been downloaded 100 times!  Wow!  I guess Free is Good!