Saturday, December 31, 2011

Johanna twice

Just under the wire for 2011, here we are wearing Johanna.  Juliet's in her black and white randomly striped version and I'm in the very textural diamond brocade – or winter lace as I've come to think of it.  Both have been knit with Quince & Co.'s delightful chickadee wool.

Pattern will be posted on Ravelry by tomorrow – if the Fates allow – though I'll likely toast its launch tonight!  I just can't wait.

Thank you family, friends, and Ravelry fans, for inspiration, motivation, and support.  It's been a fun year of happy knitting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter lace?

Here's a peek at my next piece, Johanna, named for my grandmother's grandmother.  

I just love the delicate texture of this diamond brocade that feels like lace to me without the holes.  Juliet and I collaborated on the sweater design, but she wanted stripes – random stripes! and although her wish is my command I feared random stripes might intimidate prospective knitters especially in light of shaping and buttoned cuffs. (I'll admit to being a bit intimidated myself!)  So I've made her version first, serving the groundwork for dimensions and sizing.  It looks fabulous on her and we'll certainly get a picture during our next photo shoot.  Meanwhile my work continues, happily, on this – aiming for a December pattern launch. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Flossie stole

The generous dimensions of my all-season Flossie Stole serve the wearer well - as a neck wrap fending winter winds or around the shoulders for gentler breezes.  Answering my search for a simple yet interesting lace, is this 11 stitch by 20 row repeat of zigzag vine.  Briefly trimmed with garter stitch, you'll find this an enjoyable project to make and most luxurious to wear. 

Click here for pattern details.

You'll find this pattern for sale on Ravelry.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Augusta - aka Gussie

Great aunt Augusta, better known as Gussie, was a bit of a wild child I'm told and I'm intrigued – the ideal namesake I feel for this sassy knit.  Here I offer the lace and shaping of my Louise cardigan re-imagined slightly shorter with elbow length sleeves and a broad neckline scoop, making for a perfect all-season topper. Wide garter stitch bands that trim its edges create a calming balance for the active diagonal of its lace.  Most flattering, it may easily be dressed up or down, shown here fashioned with a favorite belt.  Pieces are knit flat, bottom up, with seaming.

Click here for pattern details.

You'll find this pattern for sale on Ravelry.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Introducing Louise

Juliet introduces Louise in Quince's wonderful birds egg blue chickadee wool. Lace translated for a cardigan in this piece is trimmed and "waisted" with wide garter bands. Styling features include slim fitting three-quarter sleeves and a broad banded neckline. Unbuttoned it's a casual hip skimming topper, or button it up to reveal hour-glass shaping with blousy elegance. No worries - the 10 stitch by 16 row repeat of its lace is easily mastered. Pieces are knit flat, bottom up, with seaming.

Click here for pattern details.

You'll find this pattern for sale on Ravelry.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birds Egg

This color makes my heart sing.  And is what Louise, my next design offering, will be wearing.  She's almost done, launched hopefully by week's end.  Quince & Co. does a fine job with colors, and the gauge of their chickadee yarn line suits my aesthetic.

I've been working on Louise for the past several weeks, on its knitting and its documentation simultaneously, and have been struck along the way with how the writing has served the designing – 2 halves of the whole, the what and how – keeping my process honest and text most simply put.  Its stitch and row calculations have at times been complicated to work out, which should not be apparent to those who give the project a go.  That's my goal.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marlene revisited

I logged in to my Ravelry site today and was amazed to see 23 new posts of user activity favoriting or queueing Marlene since yesterday.  Zowie.  Thank you ravelry member who spawned the activity with a single discussion board mention. 

Marlene was the first pattern I published on Ravelry, named for my mum, who is forever in my heart.  She'd be delighted too.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hilda's up!

I posted Hilda to Ravelry and Patternfish last week and by now I'm happy to report Ravelry's "thumbs up" count for Hilda has exceeded that of Martha, my previous front-runner.  Just what the doctor (of motivation) ordered. Click here for pattern details.

I had intended to launch Gussie next the third in my summer lace series, but just as I was gearing up to do so notice of Patternfish's 10,000th design competition arrived by email.  Gussie, I feel, would be a worthy submission, so I've paused on her launch for now to give Hilda the spotlight in good time for fall planning.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thank you CEY

Classic Elite Yarns contacted me last week OUT OF THE BLUE asking permission to use May in their new webletter just out today.  Needless to say I agreed.

I've used their Wool Bam Boo (50% wool-50% bamboo) exclusively for the past several years.  I'm accustomed to its gauge and attracted to its texture, each stitch so delineated.  The drape is perfect for my styling.  For my next project I'm using Quince & Co.'s Chickadee, and loving that too.  Probably a good idea for me to mix things up a bit, but I know I'll always return to my Wool Bam Boo!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Done, and next up

Phew.  Dorothy and Emma patterns are now completed and posted on Ravelry and Patternfish.  I do always underestimate the time it takes for this work.  I believe it could go on and on for as long as I let it since I obsess and wordsmith endlessly.  But no matter, a little obsessing is probably a good thing when it comes to all this math and writing.

And in between my episodes of obsession I got to work on my next piece the brainstorming part anyway, and lace research.  Doing so, I quickly got clearer on what I didn't want – not willing to turn my most fun activity into a mind bending count down or rip out session due to a too complex stitch/row repeat.  After my most happy experiences with Dorothy and Emma I now know lace knitting doesn't have to be that.  So after lots of looking and multiple swatches, decision made  

THIS!  –  but in a different color, with some delightful garter or seed stitch trimming, more than I've used in my prior two...  And I think I'll work the trim in a second color.  The sleeves will be longer but not too long, so will the hem.  I'll change up the neckline as well.  Intrigued?  Hope so.

Monday, July 11, 2011

hello Emma

Emma is done, and I'm a little sad actually - it was such a fun piece to knit I hate to see it come to an end!  On to the next one - but instructions to be documented for both Emma and Dorothy before I do.

Click here for pattern details.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thank you Juliet!

Ah, Dorothy pictures finally taken, thanks to daughter Juliet who photographed and choreographed the entire event.  She's my photographer from this day forward - if she'll accept the assignment!

Dorothy is my latest completed design, a leaf-lace shell and labor of love.  With get images now checked off, pattern will be forthcoming - posted on Ravelry soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lace series underway

It's been an active few months of lace knitting for me with lots of knit discovery along the way.  I'm loving the lace despite my earlier doubts.  It does take a bit more attention, but once underway not that much really.  And the stitches are simple.

My favorite part of lace knitting is the final blocking that reveals its fabulous texture. This is Emma - incorporating a chevron eyelet lace. There'll be short sleeves here and a scoop neck. I love the way the color of an undergarment will show through.

Another design, Dorothy, is already finished.  Its lace is a leaf pattern, a little more complex than the chevron so I kept it sleeveless.  The patterns of both Emma and Dorothy are almost done, except for pictures.  Hopefully I'll have these published on Ravelry within the next few weeks.  There'll be a third too - longer sleeves, less of a scoop on the neck, and perhaps a bit longer on the hips.  The lace pattern will be different from these first 2, though has not yet been decided.  I'll commit to 3 in this series, but I'm enjoying the lacework so much there could be more.  We shall see..

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Launch, at last!

I learned last week that Knitty has relinquished 2 of my 3 submitted designs (fingers crossed for consideration of the third in the Deep Fall issue!), which has now freed me to post on Patternfish and Ravelry.  So, happily, Martha (shown on Juliet below), May, and Hattie are now launched - hopefully to accolades :), but honestly I find the Ravelry group to be so friendly and supportive.  I'm already pleased with the response.

Recapping then, this first series of designs has been built on a shaped bodice with variations in the neckline.  Next up I'm all about the lace.  Smitten with my Jared Flood stole experience, I'm aiming to incorporate lace textures into a simple bodice.  More on this to come.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lace knitting - are you kidding?

I'm always on the lookout for projects that allow me to gain new knitting skills and Jared Flood's Autumn Leaves Stole, that stole my heart, seemed like just the thing!  And to be sure it has been - long tail cast on method (I'm hooked) and the charts (so visual) - but oh the lace!  It's hard. Not Jared's fault.  His pattern is delightful and clear.  And not the stitches either, that are very basic.  It's just my first trial with the stitch by stitch variations of lace and its requisite counting and thinking.  This process is not one of meditation, which I've now come to know has drawn me to the craft, but rather one of complete attention.  Of being there for each stitch and its sequence with the one before and the other one after, and on and on.  Chances are I'll incorporate knitted lace in an upcoming piece since it's too beautiful to ignore, but to preserve sanity I think it will be done in tandem with another - one that allows background noise and mindful wanderings.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hilda submitted

Well, Quince & Co. never responded so I submitted my Hilda design to Knitty on March 29th.  Looking for meaning and calling on guardian angels, I chose this date because it was my grandmother Mildred's birthday.  I was happy to see it on my calendar as I was making my decision.  A sign?  She would have been 110.  Hilda was Mildred's sister.  Another sign :).  Now Knitty has 3 of my designs - Hilda, Hattie, and Martha - for potential  publication. Surrounded by these kindred spirits we shall see, but taking things as they come, I'm at work on my website.  More about that soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Time flies

I didn't plan to let so much time go by between postings, been working on latest 2 sweater pieces - Hattie (as previously mentioned) and HildaHilda's in final stages now, which I'll offer to  Quince & Co. by next week.  I don't know if they work with outside designers, but since I used Quince wool (chickadee) I decided to give it a shot.  Their website is an inspiration too.  Hattie's already submitted to Knitty along with Martha before that.  The deadline is April 1st for early fall issue so I suppose they'll respond soon.

My first sale, typewritten, was made to my local yarn store back in 1983 – a favorite purple sweater with green hearts for daughter Juliet, then 3. She models for me now too.  You'll see her wearing Martha soon, when I'm free to post it or it gets posted. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I'm hard at work on my latest project, named Hattie. Not quite post-ready yet as there'll be a remake before I do.  There's been too many changes along the way to trust scribbles without a double-check.  Hattie (Harriet) was my grandmother's aunt, the youngest sibling of her mother Martha, born in 1888.  I was a teenager when our paths crossed; she was in her late 70s.  She appreciated my interest so I've got her knitting needles.  Hattie, the sweater, has a shawl collar created as a separate piece that extends around the neckline and down the bodice front as a vertical insert. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Documenting the pattern

Yesterday I revised the pattern for my latest sweater.  I’m hoping to submit it and another to before their First Fall + Holiday Headstart 2011deadline on April 1st so I'm motivated. Time taken for this can feel endless but the process helps me plan and think so it's time well spent. Patty Lyons, a teacher at a seminar I took recently at the Vogue Knitting Live Conference, talked about the benefits of mindful knitting – working with an understanding of the designer’s intent.  It made sense to me so I reformatted my patterns and added a column for notes and extra information, to relay my intent.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Today I started a blog - and it's taken the better part of it to figure things out.

I became a member of Ravelry a while ago but only recently checked back in.  I posted a few of my sweaters and was shocked when within minutes members were responding.  I've been added to several project queues and have made a few sales from the linked Patternfish site.  The internet is a wonderful thing.