New Pattern Release!

River Song Socks has just been released and is 20% off in my Ravelry store - no coupon code required - until Tuesday March 15th at Midnight (EST)!

Designed to be both feminine and bold, this sock is inspired by River Song from Doctor Who. This design features an eye-catching and delicate cable design down the front of the leg and foot of each sock. The cable is set against a reverse stockinette background. River Song features a heel flap and gusset with half handkerchief heel and a wedge toe.

The pattern is needle-neutral, so you can knit it with your needle of choice in your preferred style. Written and charted instructions are provided, and the stitch pattern is easily reversible for knitters who prefer to knit socks toe-up. Instructions are included for narrow, medium and wide widths. Foot length is customizable.

New Pattern

It feels like ages since I have released a new pattern.

"Gitter" is the German word for "grid" or "lattice".  This reverse stockinette stitch lattice design on a sockinette background is a simple 10-row, 10-stitch repeat that makes for a quick, fun knit.

Gitter is knit from the cuff down with an Eye of Partridge heel and Kitchener Stitched toe. The Gitter stitch pattern is identical whether it is right-side-up or upside-down so it is easily adaptable to being knit toe-up.

The sample is knit in medium width (8 1/2 inches/ 21 1/2 centimetre).  Pattern instructions are also included for narrow (7 1/2 inch/ 19 centimetre) and wide (10 inch/ 25 centimetre) widths. Foot length is totally customizable.

You will need approximately 400 yards/ 365 metres of fingering weight yarn (sample is knit using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in 'icehouse'), size 2.25mm/ US size 1 needles (or size needed to obtain gauge), 2 stitch markers and a tapestry needle.

Skills required for this pattern are knit, purl, decreases, Kitchener stitch and working in the round.

Gitter is 50% off until Midnight EST on July 1st, 2015.  You can buy it on Ravelry.  You can also download a pattern preview.

A Hot Mess

So, it has not been a good knitting week.  I have been f#@&ing up all over the place.

Let's start with my Cecily Twinset.  This is what it looked like last week:
And here it is now:
That green and blue yarn in the photo?  That would be the lifeline that had to be installed because I messed up the lace insert so badly.  It's a mess.  I have had to rip back several rows.  The stitches are so tiny (8sts per inch) and there are so many of them (271 - well 267 actually but there should be 271) that I did not have the eyesight or mental fortitude to rip back two entire rows of lace, so I ripped back to before the lace chart.

A combination of trying to knit lace amid distractions kids and a failure to admit that stitch-markers are not a sign of weakness but actually a really helpful knitting tool that would have saved me time and tears is what led to this nightmare.  To top it off, it looks like I will have to cut the yarn that I ripped back and join a new skein.

Like any insane Knitter, I yelled at it and tossed it into the time-out bag to make sure it knows what it has done.  It has been in the time-out bag since Sunday.  I hope to be ready to look at it again today or tomorrow.

I have to finish ripping out the stitches and put the sweater back on the needles.  This time I will make full use of my knitting notions - stitch markers and wine.  Stitch-markers are important, people!
my favourite knitting tool
I was expecting to release the pattern for Gitter today, however since my math skills have declined to the point of non-existence, they are on hold.  I graded the pattern for 3 sizes.  I really messed up the math on the third size.  The numbers are so far off my tech editor has developed an eye twitch that I can sense from here (and she is in Boston).  Hopefully it will be available next week.

I did manage to get a sock off the needles this week:
It's lovely.  It was made for the husbeast.  By special request.  He really wants cotton socks.  I started them for him, then for reasons unknown made it to fit me.  Like a glove.  I don't know what I was thinking, but now I have a lovely cotton sock.  This is just a simple, cuff-down, heel flap, rounded-Kitchener-stitched toe.  The yarn is Patons Stretch in "Fruit Slices".  My husband would have loved them.  The second sock is in progress.  At this point I am just hoping to make them both the same size.

If you ever have a bad knitting day, knitting week or feel like tossing your needles out a window, you are not alone and I hope this post makes you feel better.  

Coming Soon

With Christmas and New Year celebrations behind us, my thoughts have turned to love - and by love I mean socks with hearts on them!

I have cast on 3 times for these socks.  I had envisioned a very different, larger heart motif, but it did not translate from my head to the needles very well, which is often the case so I have learned to integrate these false starts into the knitting process.  I try to accept them for what they are and not take it personally or punish the project by putting it in time out.

This is very bright yarn. It is the 'Brights' series of yarns by KnitPicks Stroll.  I love KnitPicks yarns, the colours and quality are excellent and shipping is quick and reasonable.  Shipping is a big consideration for me since shipping to Canada tends to be an expensive and sometimes lengthy process.  KnitPicks did not compensate me in anyway to say nice things, this is my honest, unsolicited opinion.

These socks are super quick to knit because the colourwork is done using mosaic knitting instead of stranded knitting.  That's right, no stranded knitting.  Mosaic knitting uses slipped stitches to achieve colourwork patterns - so you only work one colour at a time.  One colour per row = fast project.  I am thinking of writing up this design, but have not made up my mind for sure.  This design would also make adorable mittens or a hat.

I am using an afterthought heel on this sock.  You can see the scrap yarn in the photo that is currently in place of where the heel will go.  I am usually a heel flap and gusset kind of girl, but I think the afterthought heel will be more aesthetically pleasing in this case.  Still trying to decide if I want to add any hearts to the top of the foot.  That might be heart overkill.  The hearts go all the way around the leg of the sock.

Here is a picture of the front of the leg.  Hearts everywhere.

I might have to make a second pair of these; now my Husbeast wants a pair.  He loves loud socks.  He is an uber-conservative investment banking type but under his conservative dark suit, if you look down toward his feet he wears the funkiest socks he can find - which is probably why we get along so well; I fill his need for awesome-funky socks and he fills my need for someone who will wear my awesome-funky socks.

I have not decided on a name for these socks yet.  If you have any ideas let me know.  If I use your suggestion for a name, I will gift you a copy of the pattern.

New Pattern!

Regina has been released into the world! It is on sale 50% off until Midnight (EST) Friday January 9th, 2015 - no coupon code required.   Follow the above link or the link on my Designs page.

Regina is a very versatile piece born from my need for something adaptable and occasionally dramatic to wear with my favourite red trench coat.

Sometimes one wants to  make a dramatic entrance, no?

I love garter stripes, and an easy, mindless knit so I turned them up a notch by knitting them on the bias and using a Fibonacci-inspired stripe pattern.

The easy garter stitch pattern makes this ideal TV knitting, so I knit most of this wrap while watching TV with my daughter.  Her favourite show is "Once Upon a Time" and one of the main characters, Regina, inspired the name for this wrap; she is strong, dramatic and looks ravishing in red.

This wrap would be amazing in so many different colour combinations.  I am thinking of making myself another one in two neutrals (maybe a chocolate and a cream or a black and grey).  I can't wait to see what other knitters come up with!

This wrap is a yarn-eater though (I actually considered calling it "Yarn Eater") you will need 2 full 100gram skeins of each colour in fingering weight yarn.  Although, it would be great in a sport/DK/aran weight as well.

It's sooo versatile - here are lots of pictures to prove it!

I hope if you make it you will share photos of it - I would love to see them.

Coming Soon

Happy New Year!!!

May you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015!

I have been busily making plans for 2015.  I am hoping planning to release 12 new patterns in the new year, not including the 3 third-party publishing commitments I have coming up in first quarter of 2015.  Two of them have been completed and sent on their way.  I will post pics as soon as they are published and I am allowed to share the images.  I am busily working on the third design right now.  It is top secret (and very exciting!).  I am not allowed to show any pics of that one either.  But I will be able to brag fully about it in early Spring.

I am also planning 3 pairs of socks, 3 sweaters, 1 (possibly 2) skirts, a dog sweater, and 3 non-wearable accessories

I am hoping to release Regina in January. The pattern is on its way to the tech editor for approval.   Here are some preliminary pics from my iPhone. Please forgive the photo quality, I take these photos for my own reference while I am designing/knitting the project.

Regina is a looonnng (97 inches!) Fibonacci inspired garter stitch striped scarf/shawl that is knit on the bias.  It was born from my yearning for something versatile and dramatic that I can wear with my favourite red trench coat.  It is great for TV knitting as it is an easy two row repeat in garter stitch.  The colour changes keep it interesting.

Look how many ways you can wear it.  Totally versatile.  And long enough to be a little bit dramatic - when I'm in the mood to be dramatic.  Note my vacuum and stability ball photobombing in the background.

This would be great in so many colour combinations - black and just about any colour...two neutrals would be great in this pattern too.

Knitterly Quirks

I have come to realize and accept that I have a weird, masochistic attraction to patterns that may possibly require more yarn than I have.  I think it stems from a love of yarn that goes so deep that I feel compelled to use as much of it as I possibly can and have as little left over as humanly possible.

I have cast on the same skein of one-of-a-kind indie dyed red MCS by Mythic yarn three times now.  The first two times I frogged because I would have run out of yarn (surprise!) and this time I am so close to running out of yarn it is stupid but I do not have the heart to frog this yarn again.
Please forgive the crappy iphone photo
As of this morning, I have this much yarn left to do 8 more rows.  Each row takes .36g of yarn (yes, I am also an obsessive yarn-weigher) and I have 4.5g left.  It's a nail-biter.

This is where the project is so far:

Sorry for the photo quality - these photos are from my iphone and are blown up way beyond their normal size
I am transitioning from red to grey, so soon I  will either run out of red, or have just enough.  Then I can move on to obsessively weighing and panicking about whether or not I have enough grey left to finish the job.  I have no back up plan.  I live dangerously.  I am fairly conservative in most areas of my life, so apparently knitting is where I indulge my inner risk-taker, throw caution to the wind and take all the big risks.   I also skip swatching and often don't bother with stitch markers.  Yeah, I'm bad.

This red yarn is destined to become a scarf/shawl hybrid for me to wear with my favourite Calvin Klein red trench coat.  I am making it up as I go along, so if I run out of yarn it will not be an error in judgement, it will be a "design element."

New Pattern

My latest hat pattern, Noggin just went live on Ravelry.

I designed this hat to show off the beautiful variations in hand-dyed  and variegated yarn with short colour repeats.

This is a great pattern for that one skein of fingering weight, aritisan yarn in your stash that you want to show off but aren't sure how - this simple pattern lets the yarn shine without any texture or stitch patterns to compete with its beauty.  The contrast of vertical stripes against the horizontal stripes is interesting and a little unexpected

Instructions are included for a child-size hat and a teen/adult size hat in both beanie and slouchy style.

The brim of the child size hat measures 14 inches/ 38 centimetres unstretched.  The brim of the teen/adult size hat meaures 18 inches/ 45 centimetres unstretched - measured flat before grafting.

I was able to make both of these hats - an adult sized slouchy and a kids beanie with one 100gram skein of yarn and still have enough yarn left over for a pom pom!
I dyed the yarn used in the sample myself - with the help of Anna my friend any Dyeing guru over at Mythic Yarn.

Noggin is 50% off until Midnight EST on Wednesday December 17th, 2014!!!

In Case of Emergency Break Glass

So I made a dozen of these last night...little Christmas gifts for my yarnie friends.  I think they are really cute.  I will probably keep one for myself.  I was inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest of a shadow box full of yarn that said, "In case of Emergency Break Glass" and decided that I could totally downsize it and make it Christmas-y.

I feel like I have lots of knitting on the go but have not actually finished anything in a long time.  I did finish a sock, but I will be submitting it for potential publication so I can't show it to anybody yet - except the people who live with me and they are probably tired of looking at the thing and being forced to admire it.  I also have another almost completed sock that is also for submission so I can't brag about that one either.  I know most designers submit sketches, schematics and swatches, but I feel compelled to make the FO first so that I know the pattern is feasible and will result in a FO that is the same as what I envision in my head; so my process is a bit long.

We had a nice break in the weather today.  Unseasonably warm and a little bit of sun peeking through the clouds, so of course I grabbed my camera and some FOs and ran outside to photograph them in natural daylight, you know,  like you do.  I am sure that in my neighbourhood I am the crazy lady who photographs knitted things in trees, on shrubs, on fenceposts, etc.   And yet I am still not the quirkiest neighbour in our 'hood.

I took a few photos of Happy Feet.  It has been re-written, tech edited, and will be re-released this week.  One of my favourite patterns to knit because it is so quick and cozy.
I knit them in a pretty plum colour this time.  Love these house socks.

Free Pattern!!

Here is an easy, cuff-down, sock pattern written for fingering weight yarn.  Intended for that special skein of artisanal sock yarn that you have in your stash, OM... lets the yarn do the work and is a canvass to show off the unique texture and colour that makes that skein of  yarn so special.  If you knit these socks please put them on Ravelry as I love to see everyone's finished projects. OM... is available on Ravelry, here.

I have been playing with my pattern format lately and feel like I am getting close to a format and layout that I like.  I want the information to laid out in a way that is intuitive while also being efficient and economical from a use-of-toner perspective (for those of us who still print patterns).  Please let me know what you think - I value your feedback.

Happy Knitting!

Pattern Updates

Hi Knitters!

I have temporarily deactivated my patterns on Ravelry.  I am in the process of updating them, grading them for multiple sizes (where possible), having them tech edited and re-photographed.  This is a slower-than-I-was expecting process.  Actually writing the patterns is not nearly as much fun as knitting them, which is weirdly surprising to me.  Writing patterns actually gives me a serious itch to close the laptop and pick up my knitting needles in the same way that the Food Network makes me want to eat.   They will be back soon though.  I work diligently on them a little bit each day.

Happy News!

I am excited to announce that two of my patterns have been chosen to be included in the upcoming book 60-Minute Knits by Stackpole Publishing.  

I am thrilled to be a contributing designer to this project.  The book is due to be released in the Spring of 2015.  I will provide more details as I get them.