July 30, 2013

So Very True!

I saw this on FB and had to share it and then had to share it here...this is so very true.  You've heard me say that when I knit for someone I think about that person while I'm knitting and my love is in what I make for them.

July 27, 2013

What was I thinking?????

My sweet Swedish godfather asked me to make him a sweater...we discussed yarn, color and style.  He wanted a turtleneck "fishermans" sweater...his words.  I showed him the fisherman's rib and that's what he wanted in a natural white.  He paid for the yarn, Cascade 220, and gave me a turtleneck to use for measurements and I set to work.

What was I thinking to knit a whole sweater in this rib?  I will be stark raving mad by the end of it!

I even sent him Michele Wang's newest sweater - Squall - to see if I could zing it up a bit but he wants his simple sweater.  So here it is so far...

It's a vanilla sweater which I realized is perfect for him because every time my godmother and I went to Baskin Robins for ice cream he would ask for vanilla - seriously, who has all those flavors in front of them and wants vanilla?  My godfather - that's who!  So onward with the vanilla sweater - I think I'll have to find something tangier to knit in between.

July 21, 2013

Custom Fit Installment #1

Over the next month or so I'll be giving you updates on my Custom Fit beta testing for Amy Herzog.  This is a huge undertaking for her and I'm so excited to be part of it.  I am in the 5th group to be testing and should be starting my sweater in mid-August.

I swatched - probably not to the entire specs she wanted of 6"x6"...I did plain stockinette and realized I didn't want a stockinette sweater so I found a lovely textured pattern called "Dimples" and swatched that partway through the swatch.  It gives a denser fabric with some interest.

Here's my swatch:

On other fronts, I dropped of my Do You Like My Hat? to the owner of A Hundred Ravens and she loved it...we've started brainstorming for my next design.  Swatch is done and I hope to pick up some yarn this week and get creating.  Stay tuned!

July 16, 2013

Do You Like My Hat?

Presenting my newest design - the name is inspired by "Go, Dog. Go!' by P. D. Eastman.  Love the hat and the details and love the yarn.  Do You Like My Hat?

July 12, 2013

Set-In Sleeves Finishing Techniques

I am wondering if there is a debate out in Ravelry land (and I should look) about how to sew sleeves on a sweater.  I think I've talked about this before but I need to re-visit and discuss my thoughts on the process.

I learned to sew before I learned to knit.  When you make sleeves in a sewn garment you sew the sleeve seam first then you set the sleeve into the armhole - that's why they are called set-in sleeves, right?

I have always applied this process for a seamed sweater with set-in sleeves.  However, every now and then I run into instructions which recommend sewing the sleeve cap in then sewing the sleeve seam and under arm and side seam straight down.  I have trouble with this - how are you supposed to adjust the ease of the sleeve into the armhole when you don't have a hole for the arm?

So, I always buck the system and do it MY way which is the sewing way.  Correct me if I'm wrong here as I know I can always learn something new but I have yet to have a sleeve look unfitted.

And while I'm on my soapbox...there is something to be said for careful seaming.  I have two friends who I used to knit with years ago and they would spend a fortune on yarn and would knit gorgeous pieces.  Then they'd slap the sweater together with poor seaming and it would look like hell.  Why waste the time and money to knit a gorgeous sweater and not finish it properly?  It would kill me.  I attribute my finished sweaters to my sewing knowledge...maybe more people should sew before they seam a sweater...or knit seamless.

July 10, 2013

Farmer's Market Find

My daughter and I ventured out on a VERY hot Saturday to the local farmer's market in Natick Center.  There is a lovely town green right near a great yarn store, The Iron Horse.  As we strolled about and my daughter sampled all sorts of goodies, I noticed there was a yarn vendor.

Well, you know where we ended up lickety-split!  The vendor is an indie dyer with the label name of A Hundred Ravens.  As we are fingering the yarn (okay, I admit it as I am fondling and petting the yarn), I looked at her label and she lives right down the road in the same town.  Check her out also on Etsy.

So, we got to talking.  I told her I have designed a few patterns and she said she needed more patterns to sell with her yarn.  I told her I'd love to design something for her so I let my daughter pick the yarn which is their Danu line in the colorway Morgan.  I'm not surprised at the color choice as you've noticed purple is one of my daughter's favorites.

We discussed her pattern needs and she asked for mitts, mittens or a hat.  I think I'll go for mitts as I'm a bit mittened out right now.  She kindly gave me a designer discount and we were on our merry way.  I'm off to look at stitch patterns and swatch a bit...

July 9, 2013

Just One More Mitten

I decided it was high time to add more sizes to my Just One More Mitten pattern.  So I pulled out the leftover yarn from the last round of designing and got to work.  Right now the pattern is available in Child Small for $1.99 and now I have finished the Child Medium and Child Large/Adult Small sizes.   The pattern is live and updated on Ravelry and those who purchased it have been sent updated copies.

Here are the Child Medium ones all done and NOT ready to wear in this heat!

Here are the Child Large/Adult Small ones - funny thing is they look like they are different sizes in the photo but I think it is because I tried the right one on my too large hand too many times.  They are the same size.

July 7, 2013

I can barely contain myself!

Can you tell it is summer and I actually have time to post?  Lots going on and lots to share so I'll spread it out over a couple of days.  Here's the exciting story I have to share first!

When I saw that Amy Herzog was looking for Beta Testers for her new CustomFit software, I knew I wanted to be one of those few who was chosen.  I immediately emailed her and gave her my Ravelry ID and all sorts of other info including the fact that I worked for IBM years ago and was involved in purchasing ad space on the internet and am used to seeing roughed out software.  I also mentioned (timing is everything) that I was currently working on her Asilomar pattern.

Well, an email came through on Friday and the opening said this:

Hi everyone!
Hooray, we’d love to have you as a CustomFit beta tester! I’m so very, very excited to be working with you on this. Eeee! 

I could barely contain myself and my family thought I was a lunatic.  I get to pick a design from these options.

I have a sweater's worth of Cascade 220 in a lovely denim blue.  I'm leaning towards the first one and have swatched up a lovely textured pattern.  Here it is soaking - love that my Ziploc container is perfect for a swatch soak.

Last bit I realized (and I do believe things happen for a reason) is that Amy lives about an hour away.
More to come.

July 4, 2013

Little Knits

I've been knitting some little knits lately - no, there aren't any babies anywhere on my horizon friend-wise (and I am certainly done with baby making).  I just like making them for stash busting.  I recently cranked out 2 over the past few months - I'll probably sell them at the Wayland Depot like I did with my ornaments at Christmas.

This one was an invention of my own - simple top down cardigan - I love stripes and you'll see that I kept it up with the other baby sweater.  This yarn was used for another cardigan and I had lots leftover so I plugged the colors into the Random Strip Generator and voila!  I love it.

This lovely little newborn cardigan used some stash yarn I had that once belonged to Kate Gilbert.  It is incredibly soft.  I used a free pattern but instead of 2 colors I went for 3.  I love the combination - it looks like something from Provence.  It needs a good blocking but otherwise it is good to go.  Again, the Random Stripe Generator came to the rescue.

Right now I'm working to make larger sizes for my Just One More Mitten pattern.  One pair down, several more to go.

I also have put my name into the ring to beta test Amy Herzog's new CustomFit software.  I find out next week...keep your fingers crossed as I would love to do this.  Kind of funny that I happen to be knitting her latest Asilomar pattern as this opportunity came up.

July 2, 2013

Two Sleeves At Once

Right now I'm knitting (and loving knitting) Asilomar by Amy Herzog.  It is for my daughter and she chose a lovely color called Doe Heather in Cascade 220.  I'm at the point where I knit the sleeves (this is a pieced/seamed knit).  When I knit sleeves I tend to do them both at once on a long circular needle (I gave up on straight needles years ago).  Anyway, sometimes it is easy to flip the piece over before knitting the second sleeve and then I am off by 2 rows when I get back to the second sleeve.  So, I came up with a solution:

I simply join the two sleeves with a locking stitch marker - this keeps me from separating the two and knitting them unevenly if I'm not paying attention.  I often knit without looking especially while watching TV or a movie (heck, I even read while I'm knitting).

This clever solution I figured was worth sharing!  I'm sure someone else has come up with it too.

Onward on my sleeves.