The Beginning and the End

A few months ago I was lying in bed unable to sleep. I started thinking about yarn (as you do) and some beautiful silk hankies I had in my stash. As I lay there I came up with a plan to write a pattern and use my beautiful silk hankies. I consulted my stitch dictionary and selected my lace patterns, and then I cast on. The initial cowl turned out quite lovely, but I ran out of hankies before the cowl was done. So I pulled out another batch of hankies and knit a second cowl. It is done just in time to take pictures for the pattern.

1

Did I mention that I’m publishing the pattern on Ravelry (Not that I’m super proud and excited or anything)? It will be called Raindrops and Wildflowers and I am releasing the pattern on Saturday, July 1. Eeeeeeee!!!

Watch this space. There will be a discount code.

Simple Washcloths: A Recipe

A week or two ago my husband told me that some friends of ours are having a housewarming party. I immediately decided to knit them some washcloths. I had some Peaches and Creme worsted cotton in my stash, and some US 9/5.5 mm needles were free, so I cast on. Here is my washcloth recipe:

Using a cotton yarn and corresponding needles (I like Peaches and Creme or Sugar and Cream Worsted and US 7-9/4.5-5.5 mm needles) CO 4 sts. K 1 row.

Increase row: Sl 1, K1, YO, K to end of row. Continue increasing in this way until you have as many stitches as you want. I like big washcloths, so I usually increase up to 60 or 65 stitches.

When you have the desired number of stitches begin decreases: Sl 1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K to end of row. Repeat until you have 4 stitches remaining. BO and weave in ends.

washcloths

I think that washcloths make a great gift. They are useful in the kitchen, bathroom, and generally in life. And they are quick to make. Work up a set of 2-4, tie them up with ribbon, and give them with a smile. You will be the star of the party!

ribbon

If (like my husband) you don’t like the holes on the edges, simply use a different increase:

     Increase row: Sl 1, K1, KFB, K to end of row.

          Decrease row: Sl 1, K1, K2tog, K to end of row.

Do you use handmade washcloths? Do you have a favourite pattern or recipe?

In Progress

In order from newest to oldest projects…

  • Washcloths: Some friends recently bought a house and are having a housewarming party. I am knitting them some washcloths because every home needs something hand knitted.

washcloth

  • Watermelon Socks: I’m past the gusset and well into the foot and starting to get a bit pink. I pulled a few yards of white out so the sock would turn pink more quickly.

watermelon

  • Raindrops and Wildflowers Cowl: this is my second time knitting this pattern. I don’t normally re-knit patterns, and I am having a hard time with this one. On the original I ran out of yarn before the final border, so I have to re-knit for pattern photos. I keep telling myself it is worth it…

cowl

What’s on your needles?

Watermelon Socks

A few months ago my husband and I went to Arizona to see my family. While we were there we visited a yarn store and I bought some vacation yarn (as you do).

The time has come to use the watermelon yarn to make watermelon socks. I can’t wait!

leg

trees

Next up: turning the heel! It’s magic!

(In case you’re wondering, the pattern is Hermione’s Everyday Socks)

Me Made May: Takeaways

This was the first year that I participated in Me Made May. I was really surprised that I was able to wear something I had made every day in May – some days I even wore more than one me-made item. Getting dressed some days was hard, though. I realized that I have a me-made wardrobe gap: I see clothing style in a continuum of how casual or dressy it is. The continuum looks like this: casual, medium casual, business casual, professional, dressy. At home I wear mostly casual clothes – jeans or shorts and a t-shirt, or even pajamas. At work I like to dress on the nicer end of business casual. But most of the clothes that I have made fit in the medium casual range, so I don’t always want to wear them at home or at work. This tells me that I need to make more t-shirts and truly casual wear so I can be comfortable at home. I also need to make more business casual clothes so I can feel comfortable at work. I will still wear my medium-casual clothes (both around the house and on the job), but changing what I make will eliminate the time I spend standing in front of my closet wondering what to wear.

I’d like to build a wardrobe that is truly functional and beautiful. Part of that vision is wearing sleeveless shirts with cardigans to be wearable in all seasons. I see lace cardigans over simple sleeveless tops worn with pants in fun colours. Or coloured tops with black or grey pants. Or black tops with grey or coloured pants. I’m still working toward this, but finding the Wiksten tank pattern is a huge step in the right direction. I like how the pattern can be made with nice fabric to dress it up, or in simple cottons for everyday wear. I also have yarn for 3 cardigans now, so I guess I should get making.

Interviewed By Cyndi Tiedt

There is nothing like being interviewed to make you feel like a “real” designer. I started working with Cyndi Tiedt recently when I asked her to tech edit my next pattern (It’s called Raindrops and Wildflowers, and I’m releasing it in the beginning of July). She got the pattern back to me super quickly and had some really helpful feedback. If you are thinking of designing and need a tech editor Cyndi is the person you want.

Cyndi recently started a new series on her blog where she interviews some of the designers she works with. She kicked the series off by interviewing me.

~~~~~

  1. Where do you get your inspiration for designing?

I find inspiration in so many places. Sometimes a yarn will inspire me or a stitch pattern that I just can’t not use. I studied music in college and I’ve thought about doing a series of patterns based on operas.

  1. What are your favourite items to design? Accessories? Garments? Toys?

Right now my ideas are mostly for accessories. Hats, cowls, and mitts are easier to design than sweaters, but I’d love to work up to some sweater designs.

  1. What is your favourite design that you’ve made? Why? 

Currently I have only published one pattern: the Chevron Lace Headband. It’s free on Ravelry, and a delightful knit if I do say so myself. I’m working on a second pattern that I plan to release in July.

Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chevron-lace-headband-2

Chevron Lace Headband

 

  1. Do you prefer using textural stitch patterns or colour to highlight your design features?

Right now I’m favoring textured stitches. I’m always amazed at how much a single colour can bring to the table when paired with different textures.

  1. If you were on a desert island and could only bring ONE project to work on, what would it be?

I believe the standard answer is a wedding ring shawl since this would take forever to knit. That sounds like a great option to me, especially since you wouldn’t need anything very heavy to wear on a desert island.

  1. If there were a house fire and for some reason you had enough time to dive into your stash, but you could only grab ONE skein to save…..which one would it be and why?

I recently spun 575 yards of beaded silk in a mustardy colour. It was a pain to spin, especially with the beads, but the result is stunning! I don’t know if I can bear to knit with it ever (but if I do I will probably make the Aeolian Shawl).

 silk

 

The Quick 10:

  1. Colour or neutral? Colour, but not too bright.
  2. Cashmere or silk? Silk
  3. Wool or alpaca? Wool
  4. DPN’s or Magic Loop? DPN’s all the way!
  5. Seamless or seamed? Seamless wherever possible
  6. Straight or circular? Circular all the way
  7. Continental or English? Continental
  8. Wood or metal needles? Wood, except for DPN’s size US2 or under. Then I prefer metal.
  9. Lace or cables? Lace
  10. Socks or shawls? Both.

Me Made May

This month I participated in Me Made May. I’ve seen this in the past and wanted to participate, but didn’t really know how. I looked it up this year, and basically Me Made May is a challenge to wear the things you have made every day in the month of May. I wasn’t sure if I had enough handmade clothing items to do this, but I decided to try. It ended up being a great way to find things I had made that I had forgotten about and to try different clothing combinations. I will definitely do this again.

One dress, three ways: I love my Alabama Chanin inspired grey dress. I feel very cute wearing it, and it is so easy to style!

Tank Tops: May is warm where I live, so I wore my tank tops a lot. One is self drafted and two are Wiksten tanks (one of which I upcycled from a shirt my husband had torn).

Socks: I wore my Fraternal Slytherin socks a lot. As in every time they were clean. Also, I finished my Pink Floyd socks this month and they have been a bright addition to my handmade wardrobe.

2pairs

Accessories: The Chevron Lace Headband is my first published pattern (and it’s free). I’m about to publish a pattern for this cowl as well – it will be called Raindrops and Wildflowers and I’m planning to publish it in July. I also wore my Wedding Shawl and a ribbon rose hair clip I had forgotten about.

Other: I don’t wear skirts as much as I used to, so I had forgotten how much I loved my Joseph skirt. I wore my Lace-Back vest, and my long sleeve Alamaba Chanin t-shirt for the odd cold day.