April 30, 2014

You Get What You Pay For...

My last post elicited a few comments - I love a healthy discussion especially when it involves knitting.  The best line is "sometimes we knit just to knit".

My other line I found I've used a lot while teaching knitting classes is "You Get What You Pay For".  It usually involves a free pattern and the knitter doesn't get the instructions or lack of instructions.  I always explain as a designer you post a free pattern sometimes and it might not be the most thorough or complete pattern out there but it is FREE.

I have a few free patterns - they mostly are from when I first started designing and I was dipping my toe in the water.  Some are free because I heavily adapted a pattern or stitch pattern that someone else had put up for free.

What amazes me is my free patterns are my most popular - maybe I shouldn't be too amazed as free is easy to do on Ravelry and Craftsy.  We all download free patterns - why not, they're free!

My most popular pattern are my Santa Hat Ornaments - 623 downloads since October 2013.

My other hot free pattern is the Farfalle Cardigan - I get daily updates from Craftsy indicating it has been downloaded.  Ravelry has 154 downloads and Craftsy has 847 since November 2012!  Wow!

So, here's an idea.  If you like a person's free pattern, then why not help encourage and support them by purchasing a pay for pattern?  It's kind of like paying it forward...  Just an idea I had to float out there.

It all started with this simple scarf pattern - 79 downloads to date.  It was the first pattern I ever wrote up and it encouraged me to keep designing.

April 23, 2014

Enough Already

One of the things I do to help my LYS where I work is find new, interesting free patterns to share with the customers.  We sometimes send out emails with these so people can see what is going on in the knitting world.

After today's search I just had to say what has been in my mind for a while - how many shawl patterns do we really need?  I'm "shawled" out!  Every search for hot right now and free is mostly shawls.

Here's the thing - how often do you wear your shawls?  I have knit several in my day but worn them very little - it's almost a running joke in my old knitting group about how we knit them but never wear them.

Yes, they are lovely and interesting to knit (one of my favorite architectural knits was Stephen West's Pagona) but seriously enough already.

End of mini-rant.  Sorry to offend the shawl lovers of the world.

April 19, 2014

Great Minds Think Alike

The other day while I was working at the LYS, the owner and I got to brainstorming.  She had the idea of using some yarns that might not be the best for a full sweater to make a necklace.  So, we threw three skeins together and I got to work.  The brains were going fast and furious on this and I loved the creative fire that was lit.  She thought of how to do to the button tab...I came up with the flexibility of a necklace that can be done several ways.  Ta-dah!  Presenting Twist and Shout Necklace.


I had this done in 24 hours!  When I got tired of one color I jumped to the next so I had a variety of yarns to work with to keep me interested.  When I got to work the next morning we threw a bunch of colors together and packaged them up - perfect for Mother's Day gift - make it or give it to a knitter.

April 4, 2014

Fit To Flatter with Amy

When I first started working on a regular basis at my LYS, I noticed that Amy Herzog was going to be doing a Fit To Flatter workshop.  While the class was already full, I put my name to work that evening.  I am so glad I did!

Amy arrived with a suitcase full of sweaters and she spoke about fit, measurements, body types and how to flatter them.  While busily taking notes as Iron Horse will be one of the yarn stores carrying the Custom Fit program and I need to know this stuff, I had a few lightbulb revelations.

I own Amy's Fit To Flatter book which I read but didn't do what she said.  I assumed that my body is proportional - my bust/waist/hips measurements are hourglass numbers.  Hence, I thought I was proportional.  Amy took one look at me and told me I have broad shoulders and would be considered "top heavy" body type.  WHAT!?!  I've been thinking wrong all along.  Now I admit I don't like the moniker "top heavy" especially since I've been over-endowed with the girls.  But once she explained the style sweaters that look best on "top heavy" bodies I totally got it.  Those type sweaters are my favorites.

Lightbulb moment here!  It was a wonderful workshop and I hope those who attended got as much out of it as I did.