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October 31, 2014

Precipice Shawl and Cowl

There's clearly something in the air. Dyers are making beautiful gradient kits and knitters and crocheters are scooping them up. Why? Because they are beautiful, of course. The good folks at Pigeonroof Studios gave me some of their Mini-Skein Sets, a few months back and I've been swatching and ripping and mulling things over, trying to find the right project for them. I ended up settling on a crochet fan motif. The scalloped stitch pattern helps the gradient pattern to blend between colors, making the ombre affect even more pronounce, though I really feel it could be just as fun to mix up the order of the skeins, alternating darks and lights, for a different effect.

I started with a cowl, which uses only one, 240-yard/6-color Mini-Skein Set. It can be easily finished in a weekend, making it a great option for the gift-giving season. The stitch pattern is a simple 4-row repeat, and the buttons fasten into the existing openings created by the pattern.

But if you can get your hands on 4 or more Mini-Skein Sets (or a little under 1000 yards of the yarn of your choosing) you will have more than enough for a dramatic shawl.

The stitch pattern is only slightly more complicated, to form the triangular shape and it's edged with a surprisingly simple little border. While the pattern is written for 4 Mini-Skein Sets, you can really adapt it for whatever yardage you have, just work until you cannot work another full row in the current color, and switch to the next.

As with my other crochet patterns, all the stitch patterns are fully charted and include row-by-row instructions as well. US Crochet terms are used throughout, but the symbols should be standard for anyone who routinely works from crochet chart. For more on UK and US crochet terms, you can visit this page.

If you are interested in purchasing the cowl, the shawl or both, they are available individually and as a set. I'm also offering all three of my crochet shawl patterns and the cowl as a set. If you've already purchased either of my crochet shawl patterns, you can simply purchase the other items, individually, and the discount will be given, automatically.

Find out more about the pieces and purchase them individually or as a set using the following links;

Precipice Shawl

Precipice Cowl

Precipice Shawl and Cowl set

Crochet Collection

 

Filed under: crochet , pattern

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September 22, 2014

Leo makes stuff too

When we moved into our house, a few years ago, there were a lot of things we liked, but there were some things that really needed to change, like the room with the horrifying mural and pepto pink trim. We still have to address the black shower in the master bath. I'm not sure what altered state led to that decision but I can assure you, it was a bad one. Anyway, one issue we have finally resolved, was getting rid of all the toxic railroad ties and the "rustic" wood fence, next to our driveway. Pardon the arrows, these are Leo's notes from the project.

After transporting all the ties to a facility equipped to dispose of the safely, we went to a landscaping supply shop and picked out some rocks and such to spiff up the joint. Leo somehow managed to schedule everything so that he ended up working some days in the rain and some days during 90+ degree weather.

When the delivery folks dropped everything off, they asked Leo how many people would be helping him. When he said, "um, none" the all looked worried for him. For the record, Leo's never actually done this before. No big deal, right?

 

There was a lot of breaking of things and also, clay and gravel and loose rocks pretty much everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if our neighbors were taking bets on whether or not it would ever be finished. They do not know the ingenuity and tenacity of my husband, though.

Check out our spiffy new stairs.

And the lovely rock wall around our rose garden. Those rocks are locally sourced volcanic rocks and when it rains again someday all that moss turns a gorgeous array of greens and yellows.

We've also started tucking some plants into the crevices between stones. We don't water anything in our front yard so whatever we plant has to make the best of what nature dishes up.

i love it. Every time I leave the house I just bust with pride at how nicely it all came together. There's more to do, of course. The fence will need replacing, and the gate was a quick and dirty fix we put up when we first moved in, so the dogs can't escape, but this was huge and I love the end result.

 

Filed under: leo , misc

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August 26, 2014

New pattern: Willoherb Pullover

I'm really excited to unveil my newest design, the Willowherb Pullover. If you like some of my other designs, you may recognize both the name and motif. I released a Willowherb Hat and Mitten set earlier this year.

This pullover has been tech edited and ready to go for about a month, now, but I've been waiting to release it until today because Kristi's including me in an update. This Thursday, starting at noon, EST, if you buy a sweater's worth of Paulie Worsted, you'll get a coupon for a free copy of this pattern. Plenty more details on the Shalimar update page and in the Shalimar ravelry group.

This pattern is available in 10 sizes, from 32" / 81.5 cm to 60" / 152.5 cm and fits comfortable with a little negative or positive ease. If you are between sizes, you can simply choose a size that suits your personal preference. I'd probably go down to the lower size, but if you like a fit that skims instead of clings, going up to the next size will be your best bet. Either way, I offer plenty of tips along the way, to customize your fit. You'll also find a comprehensive schematic in the pattern. It can be really helpful to measure a well fitting sweater in a similar weight, and compare it to the measurements in the schematic.

The sweater is offered for $8 as a stand-alone pattern or $10.50 if you buy it with the Willowherb Hat and Mitten set. You can either buy the two-pattern ebook, or buy the patterns individually. The discount is automatic and retroactive for customers who bought the hat and mitten set before I released the sweater.

As always, I want you to be happy with any purchase you make from my store. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to help you out.

Filed under: knitting , pattern

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August 8, 2014

Heyday in the new Twist Collective

The new edition of Twist Collective came out, last week. Did you get a chance to see it? If not, grab a cup of your favorite warm or cold beverage, and take a few minutes to flip through its virtual pages, because there are so many fantastic pieces. I feel like I can't even pick favorites because I like so many of them for so many different reasons. The shawls, in particular, are really inspiring. Every last one is a winner and they look like they'd be a heck of a lot of fun to knit, too. And if you are a mitten person, especially if you are a colorwork mitten person, I really think you'll love what the designers have come up with. And of course, there are tons of garments, some socks, hats, mitts and cowls. So go take a look.

My piece is called Heyday. It's a sort of yoke/raglan hybrid, with body darts and a split neck. Just a few short rows over each sleeve, help shape the yoke around the shoulders. A simple cable/bobble pattern is worked around the hems and yoke and the neck is finished with some basic crochet. If you are a knit-only person, you can always substitute i-cord.

heyday

Worn open, the split neck makes a flattering v-neck, tied close, the neck is more of a ballet style, with a keyhole opening. Since the garment has so few details it's really a breeze to alter. Do you want to eliminate the split? Just work the yoke in the round. Do you want to make the neck narrower? Add more decreases rounds. Wider? Take out some decreases. This is really a piece you can customize and make your own.


heyday tied closed


My original swatch and proposal, even suggested subbing the small bobble for a glass bead. I didn't think Sundara's stunning Sport Merino Two in this richly hued colorways, needed any extra adornment, but for a subtler colorway like one of her Vintage shades, a little glimmer might be just the thing.


heyday original sketch


I really enjoyed both designing and knitting this piece. It's my first yoke-ish design and I was happy to see it come together without any big challenges. It's always a risk, taking on a new construction, under deadline, but I couldn't think of a better way to show of that swag-like stitch pattern.


heyday back


If you like this design, you can find out more about it in the following locations:



And you can find the yarn here with new colors coming all the time. I would love to know what your favorite piece in the edition is. Can you pick just one?

Filed under: knitting , pattern , twist collective

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July 12, 2014

Charting crochet motifs in Illustrator

Some of us designers over in Ravelry, have been talking about charting crochet patterns. I think many of us who enjoy crochet, really appreciate charted designs. Not only can you see what is going on, but they are fairly well understood regardless of language. Crochet charts pose some unique challenges that knitting charts generally do not. While knitting is suspended from a cord or needle, making each row straight, while you are working it, crochet stitches grow organically from a single point and then tether to the previous row at any point the designer indicates. That means that you cannot simple set up a grid and build your chart. Each stitch may be a different height and width, or clustered together at the base or top, and all of that needs to be carefully crafted in the chart to make it clear what the crocheter needs to do next.

Definitely check out that thread for other tutorials, tips, and discussions, if this topic interests you.

There's certainly no single correct way to make charts, but it can be helpful to see how other people do theirs. Below is a rough take on how I do my own charts. This is a motif-style chart, but many of the steps would be applicable to flat rows, as well.

I lowered my monitor resolution to make everything on my screen bigger, but you'll still probably want to watch this in full screen. If you can't see the embedded video here, here's the link to youtube. And if you want to play around with the finished Illustrator file, I demoed in this video, you can download it here.

Filed under: crochet , design , illustrator , tutorial

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Feisty FidoFeeling Outnumbered? How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household.You Don't Have to be Evil to Work Here, But it HelpsBrave New Knits: Dozens of Projects and Personalities from the Knitting BlogosphereCowl GirlsFrom Dead to Worse

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