I actually have a lot of trouble with spacial relationships, so it is surprising to me that I keep being fascinated with knitting geometric forms. (Fun With Triangles Hat and Baby Triangles Hat involved this geometry also.) Here is my newest design that required quite a bit of spacial thinking (and re-thinking when I got it backwards!) Garter Geometry Hat plays with diamonds and two different ways of forming triangles between them. I had the image in my mind of how I wanted the central decrease diamonds to just fit right into a field of garter stitch – as if they had been inserted. Easier imagined than done! And I wanted it straight forward to knit – no intarsia, no sewing, no stranding, and not a million ends to weave in. A tall order! Be prepared for some scrutiny from your knitting friends!
Two different Berroco Ultra Alpaca greens were in my stash and a trip to Webs while visiting in Massachusetts provided the perfect blue to complement them. I think Ultra Alpaca knit up in garter stitch has got to be one of my favorite knitted fabrics ever! But this hat would look great in any standard worsted weight yarn – Cascade 220, Wool of the Andes etc.
Knitting this hat really is fun – though it is not a beginner’s project. The skill level is considered “experienced” due to the techniques used, but everything is clearly explained in the pattern directions, and I think an adventurous intermediate knitter would enjoy knitting this.
Check out the details HERE or on Ravery.
My newest design, “Cable and Flare Scarf”, incorporates little cables that are identical on the front and the back of the scarf. In fact, the whole scarf is perfectly reversible! A very simple 2 stitch lace separates the cables that unwind into graceful flares at each end. The pattern is easily memorized and makes for some very satisfying knitting when you need a project that doesn’t require a lot of attention, yet isn’t boring. I knit most of this scarf either in the car (in the passenger’s seat of course!) or during my weekly knitting group meetings.
One of the best things that happened with this project is that I found a wonderful local photographer willing to work with me on making the best possible photos of my designs. Melissa Newcomb captured the spirit of the design in the photo above – and still was able to show the reversibility aspect and the detail of the cables and lace. Photographing knitting takes special considerations. I am so excited to work with Melissa again! In fact, we’ve already done a photo shoot for an upcoming sweater design. More on that in 2017!
See more about “Cable and Flare Scarf” HERE, or on Ravelry
This adorable little dog was my mom’s dog. A year ago, when mom moved in with us, I took over Daisy’s care. Now mom is living in a nearby assisted living facility and we find ourselves real dog owners for the first time. I’m a total newbie at this dog stuff – I actually called the vet one morning when she slept a little late. Turns out she was tired! Who knew?
When Daisy first arrived and I started walking her I would always forget the little baggies (necessary here in the village), and I frequently would end up with cold ears because Miss Daisy can decide to be mighty particular sometimes. So my newest design, “Walking Miss Daisy”, was born of shear practical necessity with big roomy pockets and a nicely fitted cozy hood. And it works up fairly quickly in bulky yarn. I had fun with playful i-cord designs on the pockets, but my testers all preferred their pockets plain – knitters choice!
My friend Mary Ann, who helped out with my mom and often walked Daisy, is my model for this pattern. I think Daisy approves!
See more about this pattern HERE , or on Ravelry, or Patternfish.
My latest pattern has been so much fun to design! I was lucky enough to meet Stephanie Griego last Fall at Knit East in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Stephanie is the talented dyer behind Dirty Water DyeWorks and dyes incredibly beautiful yarn! I came home with a skein of “Bertha” – a fingering weight merino, cashmere, nylon blend in a yummy, subtly variegated “Chocolate Raspberry” color and immediately started playing. I knew I wanted socks with texture – something ribbed to fit nicely, but not boring to knit. I came up with just the thing in my newest design: Two-Block Socks.
I have a background in weaving and spent many years working with weaving drafts, which can often be broken into “blocks” to design with. As I played with a stitch pattern from an old Mon-Tricot stitch dictionary I realized that it could be broken down into two design blocks and that those blocks could then be rearranged in many different ways. Not being able to make up my mind which arrangement I liked best, I decided to present the pattern in such a way that a knitter could knit socks in one of two block arrangements I detail, or they could play with the blocks to make their own arrangement. So many possibilities from one pattern!
Check out more about Two-Block Socks on the pattern page HERE, or in my Ravelry , Etsy, or Patternfish stores.
There is no end to the fun things going on in the Ravelry community! In March the group Malabrigo Junkies is hosting a month long event with KALs and contests and great promotions on patterns! Check out all the happenings for “Malabrigo March”. I was thrilled to be asked to participate as a designer who has been part of the Malabrigo Quickies program. I am offering 25% off each of my patterns that I designed for that program – Shapely Legs Legwarmers and Perfect Pitch Scarf. The coupon code for my promotion is Malmarch .There are many more designers participating and lots of great deals! What a lovely way to pass the often cold, dreary month of March – with a cup of tea and a yummy Malabrigo project on the needles!
I’m so excited to once again be a participating designer in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry – GAL for short! If you haven’t experienced the fun of the GAL before, be sure to join us this year. What is it? It is 6 weeks of fun activities, contests, prizes and knit-a-longs hosted on Ravelry and featuring patterns by independent designers. The whole thing starts off with an incredible sale! From Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST to Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST over 300 indie designers will be discounting between 5 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. That is thousands of patterns! Use coupon code: giftalong2015 when you check out. For the first time I actually had to choose some patterns to exclude from the sale since I now have 24 patterns for sale in my Ravelry store! But 20 of my patterns that would make great gifts are included. The link for the participating designers’ patterns goes live on the 19th and I will be sure to post it here. Each designer is represented by a collage with a link to their patterns. You can see my collage for the event at the top of this post. Here a link to the thread with ALL participating designer’s collages, which link to their Ravelry stores.
This year I am again part of the behind the scenes “Pinning Team” for the event. We pin every pattern that is included in the sale part of the GAL to appropriate boards on Pinterest. That makes a great way to browse designs by category. Search for “GAL 2015” on Pinterest to find the boards for hats, shawls, sweaters, etc. (They will be live at 8 pm on Nov 19th.) We have a crochet board as well. Doing this job puts me up close and personal with many designs and I am just so impressed by the creativity and talent among my fellow independent designers!
And don’t forget about the GAL once the sale period is over! Join one of the forums on Ravelry (links to come) to knit your gifts and see others. Those participating in the forums will get chances to win free patterns and a range of donated knitterly gifts. Oh, and you are not limited to the sale patterns for this part of the GAL – you can knit any paid pattern by any of the participating designers. I had fun knitting some other people’s designs last year and seeing other’s finished projects. For me the GAL has become an eagerly anticipated part of the holiday season – come join us!
To see more about the gift-a-long visit the Indie Design Gift-A-Long forum on Ravelry.
Here in Eastport, Maine we have the candy store of your dreams – “Sweeties Down East” is set in an eighteen hundred’s store front across from the water and is a kaleidoscope of colorful jars filled with old fashioned candy you buy by weight. What a perfect spot for the photo shoot of my newest design – “Candy Store Hat”, that takes its inspiration from those very same old fashioned candies. In the design I wanted to see if I could come up with a way to use multiple colors for the swirled stripes, rather than using stranded knitting. What I came up with is a combination of slipping stitches and one stitch intarsia and is a lot of fun to knit! The pattern explains the technique thoroughly, so if you are comfortable knitting in the round you can whip up this hat in no time.
I made a two color sample in the child’s size that looks just like peppermint candy!
I had an excellent time at the photo shoot! The store is a must see when you visit Eastport in the Summer!
You can see more about this design Here or on Ravelry.
The name for my newest design is “Perfect Pitch Scarf” because the design allows you to fine tune the relative lengths of the loop and tail to get just the perfect look – at least for that moment; there are so many ways to wear this scarf! My friend, Alice, a fine musician, agreed to model for the pattern and I love the way she is wearing her scarf, but also take a look at a few of the other ways testers came up with at the end of this post.
This was another design for the Malabrigo Quickies project – great designs in just one or two skeins of fabulous Malabrigo yarn. Not only is the yarn SOFT, but it is wonderful to work with. The particular yarn I chose for this design is dk weight Silky Merino – a 50/50 blend of silk and merino wool. It’s light and smooth, but still warm and cozy on bare skin.
Learn more about Perfect Pitch Scarf here or on Ravelry.
Sometimes a design idea comes to me with an obvious name, but often I think about several different names as I work on writing the pattern and knitting the sample. Sometimes the name I like best is already in use on Ravelry so I have to think again. That’s what happened with my newest sock design, so I decided to see what my fellow knitters could come up with by having a name contest in my Ravelry group. I also did this with my Flora and Stella sock pattern and was amazed at the creative ideas that were suggested. I was not disappointed this time either! “Swirling Star Socks” was my choice and the winner got a free pattern of her choice from my Ravelry Store.
These socks were the result of trying to translate one of my favorite weaving designs from when I was designing and selling handwoven textiles for the home. What I learned was that a weaving draft will not translate exactly into a chart for knitting! But after some trial and error I came up with a design that showed the movement I was trying to capture.
I can see both men and women wearing these socks – and indeed, my test knitters knit for both. To learn more about this design see the pattern page here, or visit Ravelry.
One of my favorite yarn companies is Malabrigo Yarn. Their yarns are hand dyed in Uruguay in some of the most beautiful colorways you can imagine! And soft – oh my!! The Malabrigo Junkies Ravelry group puts it bluntly: “Yes, Malabrigo IS like sex in a skein…” So needless to say, I was thrilled to have one of my designs chosen for their “Malabrigo Quickies” program! Here is how they describe “Quickies”:
“Quickies are small, fast projects which require only one or two skeins of yarn. Approximately every two weeks we’re teaming up with a talented independent designer to present an exciting new accessory (or other “small object”) pattern, showcasing one of our many yarns and colorways.”
I was chosen months ago for this February release time slot. I felt like quite the important designer when I received the yarn delivered straight from Uruguay! I have needed to keep my design under wraps through the whole process. I even needed a test knitter who would keep it secret! But today it is live, and will be promoted with other “Quickies” on Malabrigo’s website!
Shapely Legs Legwarmers grew out of a desire to wear legwarmers that didn’t bag and make my legs look chunky! The increases from ankle to calf grow organically out of the ribs and twisted stitch diamonds that hug the leg. The Malabrigo Merino Worsted feels incredible on bare legs! You can see more photos HERE.
Alex, at Malabrigo, has been wonderful to work with, and didn’t mind answering some of my newbie questions. I keep control of all aspects of the pattern and publishing – which is important to me, but they provide the yarn and give the pattern a boost with publicity on their blog, website, and other social media. I just recently sent in a proposal for the coming year’s “Quickies” program and am so excited to announce that I have also had a design accepted for a spot this October! But until then – it’s a secret!
You can take a look at other Malabrigo “Quickies” HERE. “Shapely Legs Legwarmers” can be purchased in my Ravelry Store, or Etsy.