New Pattern Alert! With Arch Shaping!

Neta has been released into the world...

This design is very personal and special to me. This sock is inspired by, and named for my Grandmother, Neta.

Neta is my paternal grandmother, and aside from being the kindest, most nurturing soul I’ve ever known she also taught me to knit and to make socks. She even managed to remain patient while teaching pre-teen me how to execute a successful Kitchener stitch, which speaks volumes about her capacity for patience and understanding. She was a finesse knitter, and she and her knitting have inspired every stitch I’ve ever knit. 

Neta is worked from the cuff down and features an easy to memorize stitch pattern on the front and back of the leg. This pattern features an Eye Of Partridge heel flap, and arch shaping through the gusset and instep stiches. The stitch pattern continues on the top of the foot until the pattern stitches are consumed and replaced by stockinette stitches. The sock ends with a wedge toe that is grafted closed using Kitchener stitch. 

This is the first pattern I've written that includes arch shaping.  Many of you with high insteps have been asking for arch shaping, and when you ask I try to deliver! 

Instructions are included for 4 circumferences and foot length is customizable.  The stitch pattern is both written and charted. 

You can download Neta with a 20% discount until Monday July 16th (no coupon code required).  You can find the pattern here. 

A Glimpse Into My Childhood With A New Sock Pattern

Phosphenes has been released into the world...

phos·phene
ˈfäsfēn
noun;plural noun: phosphenes
a ring or spot of light produced by pressure on the eyeball or direct stimulation of the visual system other than by light.
— Oxford Online Dictionary

Phosphenes is the grown up name of those cool shapes and colours that happen when you close your eyes tightly and rub them with your hands. When I was a kid, I loved rubbing my eyes, oohing and aahing over the kaleidoscope effect it created and then trying to open my eyes quickly enough to see all the colours, shapes and sparkles before they disappear. (I was really good at entertaining myself with this type of thing - we had no internet back then). 

This gorgeous yarn by Yarn Over New York has a hint of sparkle that reminds me of phosphenes and the stitch pattern was chosen to particularly play up the quick pops of colour that happen as you knit with it. The yarn is called "I❤ NY" and it's on her Broadway base. 

Phosphenes is worked cuff down starting with a tubular cast on (instructions are included and if you tend to cast on tightly, consider using larger needles for the cast on), a patterned heel flap and gussets and ends with a short row toe that is grafted closed with Kitchener stitch.  The pattern is graded for 5 circumferences and the foot length is customizable.

You can download Phosphenes with a 20% discount- no coupon code required - until Monday October 16th, 2017

Happy Knitting! 

Convergence Is Here

Convergence has been released into the world...

Convergence: the act of moving toward union or uniformity

The theory of convergence says that as societies develop they begin to converge and adopt or develop certain traits or characteristics of other developed societies.  I find this theory fascinating.  We live in interesting times; in my lifetime I've watched the world get smaller and smaller in so many ways (the fact that I carry the entire internet around in my purse, on my iPhone blows my mind).  We're able to connect with more people more quickly than ever before, yet in so many ways we've never been more disconnected from each other and in some ways we are more divergent than ever.  This design is inspired by the ebb and flow of convergence and divergence -  hopefully we are moving toward union

This pattern starts with 2 cable panels that are side by side at the top of the back of the leg of the sock.  The cable panels then separate and converge again on the front of the log just before the top of the foot.  Strategically placed increases and decreases help the cable panels to travel from the back to the front of the sock. 

The sample is knit using Simply Ewe Fiberworks River Street Sock in 'Golden Honey' and the name is absolutely perfect for this soft, mellow, golden yellow.  (She's taking names right now to dye up a special batch, so if you'd like a skein, your should head on over) 

Convergence is graded for 5 circumferences and the foot length is customizable. 

You can download Convergence with a 20% discount until Monday October 2nd - with no coupon code required! 

How About A Free Pattern? How About Several...

Abundance has been released into the world...

Can you believe summer is almost over?  In my part of the world, anyway.  I know my southern hemisphere friends are gearing up for spring, but where I live the days are starting to get shorter and the night air is a bit crisper - a portent of the new season to come.   

Fall is my favourite season and to celebrate it's imminent arrival and to help you bulk up your sock drawer for the cooler days ahead, I've teamed up with the amazing people at Knotions to release Abundance! 

I'm humbled to be in the company of some very talented designers in this issue, and I hope you'll find knitting inspiration from all the lovely designs they've contributed.  

This sock was actually designed late last year while I was reflecting, soul searching and contemplating on the feelings and experiences I want to manifest in the new year that was about to start.

I considered choosing a word of the year, but I couldn’t narrow it down to just one word. So I’ve decided to focus on a word each month.

The word for this month is abundance. I want to approach life from an abundance mindset. I want to focus on the abundance in my life and not the lack, I want to find opportunity when faced with an obstacle, and I want to share my abundant love, joy and happiness.

I hope you channel an abundance mindset while you knit this sock.  

Happy Knitting! 

 

New Pattern Alert - Light And Air Edition!

Aperture has been released into the world...


Aperture: /ˈapərˌCHər,ˈapərˌCHo͝or/ noun: a space through which light passes


These socks let in some light. And some air. These socks are perfect for summer nights when you need to keep your feet warm, but not too warm. They also make for a fun, quick knit! The pattern is worked from the top down with a patterned heel flap and gradually disappearing pattern on the top of the foot. The entire sock is then finished up nicely with a toe that is Kitchener stitched closed.

The yarn for this project was beautiful to work with!  the colours are gorgeous and there was just enough variegation in the yarn to keep it interesting but not compete with the stitch pattern.  Green and blue have always been one of my favourite colour combos.  This yarn is by  Machete Shoppe in their Simple Sock base in the colourway 'Curacao'.  

You can download Aperture with a 20% discount (no coupon code required)  until Monday August 14th, 2017 by clicking here.  

...and in case you haven't heard, I'll be hosting a KnitAlong in my Facebook group starting this Monday August 14th.  We'll be knitting Throw Kindness Around Like It's Confetti and there are lots of awesome, amazing prizes to be given away that have been donated by several talented and generous designers and makers.   If you like KnitAlongs and fun and prizes, head over to the Facebook group by clicking here and join us! 

I Am In A Magazine!

Ok, so I personally am not in a magazine but my design, Constant Companion, is in the October 2015 issue of I Like Knittng Magazine

Constant Companion Shawl



From the Magazine: This oversized yet cozy and elegant shawl is inspired by nature and the world around us. The beautiful green hues of the scarf are reminiscent of the last of the green grass on a crisp fall day while yarnovers and decreases create little lacy paw prints throughout.

This shawl is inspired by all the animals in my life, my love of fall and features squishy Madeline Tosh yarn.  

It is knit sideways with a garter stitch body and lace edging that is knit at the same time.  

This shawl uses two 100gram/ 3.5 ounce skeins of fingering weight yarn, but size is easily customizable.

I am honoured to be in very good company; there are a lot of beautiful designs by many talented designers in this issue of I Like Knitting.  

Are you a subscriber to  I Like Knitting? What other knitting magazines do you like to read or find inspiration from?

Blocking Cotton - Wet Blocking Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I steamblocked my new Allons-y market bag and it worked out wonderfully:
before blocking
after blocking
So when I made a smaller market bag I decided to try wet blocking it:
this is during blocking - that weird triangular thing is the flap of the pouch

this is after wet blocking and steam blocking
Ultimately, the wet blocking was a fail.  First, it took 3 full days for my project to dry; that was inside a centrally air-conditioned house, pinned to a blocking mat.  Second, when it finally dried, the fabric was coarse and not very pleasant to the touch.  Knitting is a tactile art and in my opinion should be wonderful to touch.  So I got my iron out and steam blocked it.  Just like with the larger bag, the fibre relaxed beautifully, softened up and the stitch pattern opened up exactly how I wanted it.  

The moral of my story?  Steam blocking cotton results in a softer and more co-operative fabric than wet blocking.  Also it takes about 35 1/2 less hours to steam block.




New Pattern!!

My new sock design, Solar Vortex has been released.  It is on Sale in my Ravelry store until Midnight Tonight for 30% off - no coupon code required.  You can find it here.

They are knit from the cuff down, but the pattern is reversible so if you are a toe-up knitter, that will work too.  The heel is added after the sock is finished so that the spiral pattern is not interrupted.  It is a simple 9 stitch repeat and is a quick, meditative knit.  If you knit it, please send me some pics,  I would love to see your finished project.

WIP Wednesday

I finished my Solar Vortex Socks over the weekend.  The testers are just finishing up and I expect to release it on Friday:

 My Cecily Twinset was only out of its project bag for one evening, but I  managed to add a few (very long) rows.  It still looks the same:

I am exactly halfway through my Hitchhiker scarf.  I plan on doing the traditional 42 teeth, and today I added the 21st tooth.  I know it's not really halfway since each row gets longer as the pattern progresses,so there will be way more stitches to knit in the 2nd half of the scarf, but according to the rules I have made up in my mind, I have just hit the halfway mark :)  Crazy knitter logic!
And I began swatching for something new this week - 3 needle sizes later and I am finally getting a fabric I like.  I am designing my first skirt!
Happy Knitting!

Blocking Cotton

I recently knit a a market bag from 100% cotton.  The bag features an attached pocket that the bag folds into when it is not in use and acts as a hidden pocket inside the bag when the bag is open.  A very clever design, if I do say so myself ;)

Normally I would not block a market bag, I would consider it self-blocking, but I wanted to make it fit nicely into its attached pouch and train the flap on the pouch to sit flat.

I chose to steam block as opposed to wet blocking because cotton is a stretchy fibre (especially when wet) and I did not want to change the shape or dimensions of the bag.  I do not own a steamer, I used my trusty steam iron

The fibre relaxed beautifully!  The before and after pics speak for themselves:


before blocking and weaving


after blocking and weaving



before weaving and blocking
after weaving and blocking
Blocking makes a huge difference.  I will have to re-block it each time I wash it, but it took me about 2 minutes so it really isn't a huge commitment.  I am working on another cotton project right now and will definitely block that one too.

WIP Wednesday

There has not been a lot of knitting this week.  The kids have been busy with sports, I was away at a Ladies' weekend, and this week seems to be the-week-of-all-the-medical-appointments.

I have made some progress on my Solar Vortex socks.  I have knit past where the heel will go (it's an afterthought heel so I do it after the rest of the sock is complete)



And I started a smaller market bag - I am determined to make this one come in below 100grams of yarn which will make it considerably smaller than it's huge counterpart that I showed you last week.


The Cecily Twinset and the Hitchhiker scarf are having a week off.  I hope to pick them both up again this weekend.

Getting Your Knit Fix When You Can't Knit

Last Monday I wrote about the sometimes painful side effects I get from knitting.  Occasionally,  the best way to deal with the pain and discomfort is to not pick up my needles for a few days.  Sounds extreme, I know - crazy talk!  But it helps and sadly, I need my hands to be healthy so I can (once in a while) use them for things other than knitting.

When I am forced to take a short knitting hiatus I still get my knit fix by indulging in non-knitting knitting activities.  I am still immersed in my knitting, I am still productive and my hands get a rest; this is a win-win situation. Some things that I might do if I can't knit include:

  • cleaning up my Ravelry queue - I try to keep it below 300 projects.  It needs to be culled and re-prioritized regularly
  • organize my stash - a huge ongoing project which will never be done.  Also, Ravelry has a great stash feature that allows you to upload your stash to Ravelry and keep track of what you have, where you keep it, how much you have and will even match your stash with patterns in your queue.  It is an amazing resource and I suck at making use of it
  • organize and tidy my notions and needles
  • organize my physical patterns and books.  I have a lot of books, and written resources that need to be organized and tidied up regularly
  • catch up on knitting blogs and YouTube videos
  • spend some time on Craftsy and Loveknitting soaking up the knitting and yarn porn
  • cruise Pinterest, Ravelry, Instagram and Facebook admiring other people's knitting and looking for inspiration 
  • mend any knitted items that have been waiting to be mended
  • weave in ends (sometimes I procrastinate)
  • block whatever has been waiting to be blocked
How do you cope when you can't knit?

WIP Wednesday

I made some progress on my Cecily Twinset this week; you'll have to take my word for it though because it looks exactly the same as last week:

I have added at least 2 inches.  It feels like I knit, and knit, and knit some more and the sweater just stays the same size.

I am also well on my way to having a second sock:
This pattern is written up and has been tech edited. It is currently with some of the best test knitters on the planet and should be available by the end of the month.

Also this week I have learned that Hitchhikers are addictive:
This is a very meditative, calming knit. It's also super quick and gives me the instant gratification that I am not getting from the sweater.

And I knit a quick market bag:
Excuse all my ends that are hanging out, I have not blocked it or woven in any ends yet.  This market bag is special...it has a hidden pocket for stashing your phone or wallet or some cash.  Very clever.  And when you are not using it as a bag, it folds into itself like this:

Ta-da!  Cool, right?  Again, please excuse my ends.  It also needs a button.  This  bag turned out much larger than I thought.  I wanted it to fit easily in my purse when it is folded up but at this size I would need a bigger purse.  My goal now is to re-work it so it uses only 100 grams of yarn (instead of 160 grams) and is a smaller package when folded up.  This would be great at the beach, grocery store, farmers' market and as holiday gifts.  I have lots of cotton in my stash, so I might make a few of them - after I get the dimensions right.

When Knitting Hurts

*Disclaimer - I am not a healthcare professional.  This post is not intended to replace medical advice.  This is my own personal experience and experiences that have been shared with my by others.  If you have a knitting related injury/strain/pain you should seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.

I have chronic wrist and finger pain (mainly in my right hand) from years of knitting.  Givingup knitting isn't an option for me; it's the only thing that keeps me sane(ish), and I can't imagine parting with my stash.  So, I've been forced to adapt my habits and make allowances for my pain.

I've seen doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists, and while none of them have been able to make the pain go away completely and stay away, I have taken away something from all of them and come up with my own coping strategy*:

  • Take a break: Knitting is meditative.  When I am knitting on a project and I find my 'flow', I can happily knit for hours in a state of serene contemplation.  This usually results in a sore hand/wrist the next day.  I have to mindfully take breaks, walk away and find something else to do.  Sometimes I knit by the inch (as in I will knit a certain number of inches then take a break), sometimes I knit with a time limit (as in I will change tasks in one hour, or after this episode or podcast)
  • Stretch: This infographic is from www.weareknitters.com .  I already do most of these stretches.  They help.  A lot. I find them especially helpful in the evening or at bedtime since everything seems to seize up while I sleep.  Click on the link above to see the stretches in motion and take a look at their excellent website. 
  • Warm water: Having a shower, a bath or even just washing some dishes in warm water seems to to help the pain and stiffness quite a bit.  
  • Wear a Brace: I hate this one, but it helps.  I have a brace for my right hand that restricts the range of motion and essentially forces me to rest.  It's a bitch to knit in, so I don't knit when I wear it, but that's probably the point. 
  • Medication: I occasionally take anti-inflammatories to help with the discomfort.  Not very often though as I do not want to become dependent on them.  

Here are some things that other knitters have told me work for them:

  • Change your knitting style: I'm not bi-stitchual. I only knit one way - I call it modified English style - the yarn is in my right hand, but instead of throwing it over the needle, I flick it with my index finger.  I have tried to switch to continental, but it doesn't work for me. I'm set in my ways.  I envy knitters who can alternate easily between English and Continental.  If you try this, be careful about doing it in the middle of a project as your tension may change and so might your gauge.  
  • Change Crafts: I'm also not bi-craftual.  I'm a one-trick pony.  I knit.  I occasionally crochet an edging or a small embellishment, but that's it.  If you are multi-craftual, you can give your hands and wrists a break by focusing on your other crafts for a while. Crocheting, sewing, writing, drawing, needlepoint, cross-stitch, spinning, dyeing...the fibre community is full of so many talented, multi-craftual people - we really are an amazing bunch of creative talents!
  • Avoidance: If there is a specific part of knitting that triggers your pain, avoid it.  Small circumference needles add to my pain.  I love to knit socks on 9 inch circular needles, but will have wrist pain for days afterwards.  Other knitters I know have noticed they have similar triggers.  Some have issues with small-sized needles, some have certain positions they cannot knit in and one knitter I know cannot use straights without getting elbow pain.  I avoid deadline knitting as well as I will marathon knit to make the deadline and end up in pain.  

*Disclaimer - I am not a healthcare professional.  This post is not intended to replace medical advice.  This is my own personal experience and experiences that have been shared with my by others.  If you have a knitting related injury/strain/pain you should seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.

Too Sick to Knit

So, apparently one can become too sick to knit.  I have an awful cold/throat infection/ear infection/fever combo that has literally knocked me off my feet.  The thought of even knitting something simple like stockinette stitch or plain garter is overwhelming right now.  The past few days I have mostly just laid around feeling sorry for myself and watching Netflix.

Prior to the viral-infection-from-Hell, I picked up my Cecily Twinset again and I am almost finished the first lace insert:
I love it.  It is going to look so pretty when it is blocked!

Here's how the entire cardigan is looking so far:
As modelled by the lovely Stella (we name our mannequins).  Fingering weight sweaters take a long time, people!

I also have some stash enhancement this week.  Knitpicks brought Felici back for a limited time in some limited colourways.  Felici has some strange power over me.  I become weak when it is available and have to order it.  As one knitter observed on Twitter, Felici has become the McRib of the yarn world.

So I ordered this:
My favourite is the 'Baker Street' colourway - I am a huge "Sherlock" fan, Husbeast picked the purple for socks for him and I picked the green for socks for me.  The orange is from the Knitpicks Dishie line.  I have never used Dishie, and it was on sale so I thought it was a good opporunity to try it out.  I have an idea for a market bag that this might work well for.  And a couple of little double-sided crochet hooks.  I use them as zipper pulls on all my Filofaxes (another expensive hobby I have) so that I always have access to them in case of  a dropped stitch.

Hopefully next week this viral-infection-from-Hell will be gone and I will have gotten some more knitting done.


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.




My Knitterly Bucket List

So, I am still in a rut, and while I can only knit on one project right now, I can at least dream about other knitterly things.

Knitting is a big part of my life and influences the other aspects of my life. I am pretty sure if we looked at a strand of my DNA under a microscope there would be a few cashmere and merino fibres woven in there amongst the genetic markers.

As a result of my yarnie inclinations,  many of the items on my mental bucket list are knitting related. If I had all the time and all the money, these are some of the things I would do, aka: My Knitterly Bucket List:
1.  I really want to go to Rhinebeck. This a a fibre enthusiasts paradise full of other yarn-minded people walking around in beautiful Rhinebeck Sweaters and not judging eachother for all the yarn and fibre purchases everyone is making.  My friend Sarah of The Canadian Knitter Podcast is going this year and I am happy and jealous for her at the same time.  This festival always happens at a busy time of year for me, but I am hopeful that one day my schedule will clear, the planets will align and I will go to Rhinebeck, New York and commune with my people.

2. I want go to WEBS.  This goal is far more likely as it is not limited to two days of the year like Rhinebeck and I could probably convince the Husbeast that there would be other things to do in the greater Boston area besides go to WEBS so we could make a get-away out of it.

3.  I want to knit all the things in my Ravelry queue.  This is a tough one.  My queue is like a living entity; it constantly grows and changes.  It usually sits between 200-300 items.  When it exceeds 300, I ruthlessly cull it back and then start adding again.  It changes with my tastes, my wardrobe needs, basically on a whim.

4.  I want to knit one of those sock yarn blankets that everyone seems to be knitting now.  I have boxes (not an understatement) of scrap sock yarn that I have been holding onto for years just for this purpose.  It is difficult for me to justify knitting on a mitred square when at any given time I have at least 3 other WIPs on the go and at least one of them seems to always have a deadline attached to it.

5. I want to go to the Edinburgh Fibre Festival.  No justification required.  Though I think this is a trip best suited for when the kidlets are older.

6.  I want to be part of a yarnbomb project or possibly a knitting flash mob (if such a thing exists).  But, as with #4, I have trouble justifying the time away from my other WIPs to make that happen.

7. I want FiloFax to design a knit-themed cover-story organizer (preferably in pocket size with 19mm rings and the wallet pocket) so that I can buy it and add it to my Filofax obsession collection.  This one kind of looks like knit stitches, but not enough to convince me to buy it.

8. I want to learn to sew so I can make pretty project bags.

9. I want to attend a weekend knitting retreat somewhere scenic and lovely.  As with #5, this is best suited for when my kidlets are older and our family schedule settles down a bit.

10. I want one of these or these.

What's on your Knitterly Bucket List?