Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bakdash Jumper Pattern

Well hello blog, it's been awhile. Just jumping in quickly to say that my Bakdash Jumper from Issue 52 of Knit Now magazine (a UK-based magazine) is now available as an individual download! This is the original sample on the model, who is totally gorgeous:

I knitted the original in King Cole Merino Blend Aran, which I'm pretty sure is available only in the UK. I admit that I didn't like the yarn much. My skin is super sensitive (I'm allergic to soap. I break out in hives if I touch grass. Jewelry gives me a rash. This is annoying.), and this wool is not very soft. My hands did not like. So, I made myself another sample, in a size bigger, just for me.  

This one is knitted in Cascade 220 Superwash Aran. LOVE this yarn. This is the only sweater I own that I can actually wear all day with no wool-related discomfort. The yarn was really great to knit with, too. I want to knit everything with this yarn. And, it's a true aran weight, so this sweater was fast.

Bakdash is worked from the top down with raglan shaping. There is no waist shaping, but if you wanted to add some it would be easy to do. The cable panel flows into the ribbing at the bottom hem AND the neckband, a feat that required lots of the maths.  

I've updated the original pattern to include both imperial and metric measurements. The cable pattern is charted and written out so you can pick what's easiest for you. 

If you want to make a Bakdash for yourself, get the pattern on Ravelry for $6. From now until Sunday, February 7th, use coupon code Bakdash (note that there is no "c" in Bakdash) on Ravelry and get 30% off. Yay!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

Here we are, at the end of another year. I feel good about 2015:

  • after being solely self-employed for a year and a half, I got a job that I really like at LSU;
  • I generally have the house in the state I want it in, meaning we've got appropriate furniture, I've painted everything except the insides of our closets (dread), there are me-made curtains on all the windows, and I feel like everything is stylish and well-put together (mostly this all means that I'm no longer embarrassed to invite people over to our house. Geez Louise it's tough to make a new house how you want it.);
  • I made real strides in the knitting world this year, and I feel like a real, legitimate designer with at least a bit of name recognition, and;
  • I turned 30. Not sure if this is something to really feel good about, but it's a thing that happened. 
My 2015 knitting goals were: to have 5 third-party publication acceptances, including one out of Interweave Knits, Pompom Quarterly, and/or Twist Collective; to self-publish 20 patterns; and to have 5 patterns as part of the Knit Picks Independent Designers' Program. 

I made some goals, missed others. I'm really proud to say that I had 12 third-party acceptances in 2015, including one out of my specific three publishers. 

I made my self-publishing goal when I was still completely self-employed, so I'm giving myself a pass on not making that one, because it's a lot harder to knit all the time when you have to go to work. I self-published 12 patterns. That's not bad at all. 

I have three patterns in the Knit Picks program, with a fourth one just about done. That's close enough to five, right?

Overall: great success, and 22 patterns total. 

Here's a recap of everything I published this year. The third-party pubs are in roughly chronological order. The self-pubs are in whatever order the photos fit together. 

Third-Party Pubs April to August: 
Ouverte Tee (Knitscene Summer 2015), Bakdash Jumper (Knit Now Issue 52), Blowing Snow Cardigan (Midwestern Knits Book)

Third-Party Pubs October to November: 
Gnome and Toadstool Scarf (Charmed Collection from Knit Picks), Fair Isle PANTS (Holla Knits Winter 2015), Polka Dot Hat (Knit Now Issue 54)
More November to December: 
Chevron Gift Card Holder and Cabled Gift Card Holder, Celtic Knot Pillow (all three from the Knit Picks website), Locksley (Knittin' Little Winter 2015 Collection) 

Self publications. 
Row 1: Quarter Mile Shorts, Olmsted, Kenner Street Pullover, Water Skaters Cowl
Row 2: Bienville Slipper Socks, Diamond Lattice Mittens, Treillage Mitts, Oilean Hat
Row 3: Tullamore, Lisburn Cowl, LIGHTSABER, Lagniappe Gloves

Here's hoping for an even more successful, productive 2016, filled with lots of knitting! Happy New Year everyone!

(Also, as a thank-you for making this a great year, all patterns in my Ravelry shop are 30% off with coupon code "Hello2016" from now until midnight on January 1.)

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Pattern: Locksley

At the beginning of this month (oopsie, where has the time gone?), the Winter 2015 collection from Knittin' Little debuted. If you're unfamiliar, Knittin' Little is a gorgeous newish website devoted to children's patterns, curated by my invisible internet friend Andrea Sanchez. I was lucky enough to have a pattern accepted for this collection, and I LOVE the way it turned out!

This is Locksley, a stranded pullover with vintage-ski-sweater elements.

How cute is this little kid in this sweater? I just want to snuggle him and then make him some cocoa.

Locksley is knitted from the bottom up in the round with classic drop shoulders. It's got a great big shawl collar for style and warmth. The yarn I used in the sample is Knit Picks Swish Worsted- I sort of feel like I've been knitting my life out of this yarn lately, but that's ok, because it really is great. It's super soft, knits up well, and comes in lots of great colors. 

My idea for this pattern started with the arrows. I knew for certain that I wanted to knit a stranded colorwork pattern, and that it simply must have arrows. Mission accomplished. I love these arrows, and it would be awesome to design some other pieces with them, but time blah blah blah. Add it to the never-ending list. 

This sweater is sized from 6 months up to 12 years. I intended it for little boys, but who am I to force your kids into gender roles? 

6 mo. (12 mo., 18 mo., 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12)
Finished Chest Measurement: 17.5 (19, 20.25, 21.75, 23.25, 24.75, 26.25, 27.75, 30.5)”

Knit Picks Swish Worsted, 100% Superwash Merino Wool; 110yds/50g: 
MC: Dove Heather, 2 (2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7) skeins 
CC1: Delft Heather 1 (1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins 
CC2: Copper Heather 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2) skeins

Skills needed: 
Stranded colorwork in the round, reading charts, decreasing within charts, three-needle bind-off, picking up stitches.

Get the pattern for $6 here or here!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gift-A-Long 2015

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long, a hotly anticipated annual event on Ravelry, starts tonight at 7 pm central time.

"Um, I don't know what that is, why should I even care, ugh," you say.

Well, you should care, and here's why. From tonight until midnight on Friday November 27th, you can get 20 of my patterns on Ravelry for 25% off with coupon code giftalong2015. (See my discounted patterns here.) And it's not just me- there are 334 other designers participating this year. That's a lot of potential discounts. After the sale period, KALs will run until December 31st for ALL paid patterns by participating designers, not just the sale patterns. There are tons of prizes, including a copy of Charmed: Whimsical Knitted Accessories donated by yours truly.

In my magical world where I will have tons of free time to knit non-design stuff this Christmas season, I'm totally going to make either Graupel or Marooned socks by Hunter Hammerson, both of which will be discounted this week:

Graupel on the left, Marooned on the right

And Estheray by Annie Watts, which I ordered yarn for last month (not discounted, but it counts as part of the KAL):

And maybe this Hobby Horse for my nephew Simon, because I think it would so cute to watch him run around the yard riding a hobby horse. (Discounted, which is awesome because I've had my eye on this pattern for a year.)

I mean, this is all totally wishful thinking because I have five samples due before the end of the year, and I want to knit a sweater for my husband for Christmas, but I've only done the gauge swatch so far, and I'm halfway through a blanket that I really, really wanted to have done before Thanksgiving. I might end up just buying the patterns while they're discounted and finding time to knit them later.

Had your eye on one of my patterns? Now's the time to get it for 25% off! Patterns! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Giveaway Winner and a Couple New Patterns.

The winner of the sweater pattern from my last post is Tori, aka lilwestie on Ravelry. She's been contacted!

In the past week or two, I've had two new patterns come out, both for accessories. One is a self-published slipper sock pattern, and the other is a polka dot hat in Issue 54 of Knit Now magazine.

These are the Bienville Slipper Socks. They start with a cabled cuff that's knit sideways and seamed, then stitches are picked up around the bottom of the cuff for the sock itself. Knitted in worsted weight yarn, these are quick and make great gifts!

You can get the pattern on Ravelry for just $2 until November 21st.

Next is the Polka Dot Hat (clever name, I know) from Knit Now magazine.

Stranded colorwork doesn't get much easier than this. The hat is worked in two colors of Malabrigo Worsted, one of the lovliest yarns on the planet, and it's topped with a pompom. I love pompoms. A hat is not a hat without a pompom. 

This magazine is available in the UK, but you can get a copy here if you live elsewhere. 

In other news, yesterday was the first day that I wasn't too hot, so I think fall has finally arrived in Louisiana. I opened up the handknits bin this morning, and I'm looking forward to a day of football, knitting, apple cider, and kitty snuggles. Happy Sunday knitters!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I wrote a tutorial for Holla Knits.

Last stop on the Holla Knits Winter Issue blog tour! And yes, I know it's my second stop. I designed a pattern AND wrote an article, so that means I get to go twice.

The Winter issue of Holla Knits features a tutorial I wrote. I've had this article/tutorial in my head for over a year, and I'm really glad that I finally got a chance to write it and publish it where knitters will (hopefully) read it. My article is called Picking Up Stitches: The Sometimes, Always, Never Rule. I talk about picking up stitches (like for a collar or a button band), and I make an analogy between the "sometimes, always, never" rule about buttons on a suit coat and my own personal "sometimes, always, never" rule about which leg of a stitch to pick up a new stitch from. If that sounds complicated, it's actually not, it's just wordy. Anyway. Read my article and go forth, more confident in your knitting decision making! If you're not already a Holla Knits subscriber, you can get a copy of the magazine here so that you, too, can make good choices about picking up stitches. (It also has my AWESOME pattern for Fair Isle PANTS, so there's that incentive, too.)

To celebrate me finally writing something I've meant to since early 2014, let's have a giveaway! You can win one of my patterns that requires picking up stitches for a collar so that you can test out my rule.

Leave a comment before Sunday, November 15th, and you could win one of these sweater patterns, shown top to bottom, left to right:
Electric OasisGhost StoriesBellefonte, Tullamore
Kenner Street Pullover, Over the Fence, Fenwick IslandVistoire,
OlmstedEverett Henley.

Your choice! Tell me which sweater you like best, and be sure to leave me a way to contact you! I'll pick a random winner sometime on Sunday.

If you haven't read the other posts about this collection, here's a blog tour schedule.

Oct 26: Launch Day
Oct 27: The Sweatshop of Love - pattern giveaway
Oct 28: Cosmos and Cashmere - pattern giveaway
Oct 29: Brown Sheep Company Blog - SEG 2 balls Nature Spun Worsted Ash

Nov 3: Klever Knits
Nov 4: Canary Knits
Nov 5: Aphaia- pattern giveaway / SEG: 4 balls KP Brava Bulky

Nov 9: Ashwini J Designs - pattern giveaway
Nov 11: Cosmos and Cashmere

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

PANTS winner

The winner of a copy of the Fair Isle PANTS pattern is AnnBan. Thanks to all for commenting! I can't wait to see some finished pants!

In other news, last night I finished my weird Lisa Frank sort-of-rainbow socks. I didn't take a picture so you'll have to trust me. Here's a WIP shot.

This yarn is The Lemonade Shop's Stormy Day, and it was only ok. The yarn oddly felt like a cotton blend, and was a little bit rough on my hands. But now they're done, and I can start some new socks.

Someone gifted me the Jellyfish sock pattern a few weeks ago; are these too wild? Would I never wear them, or are they awesome? I tend to prefer knitting plainer socks, but these... I think I might have to go for it.

photo © Cookie A.