Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Silento Sunday

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Chit Chatting Away

Oh the past week has been the usual whirlwind of places to be, things to do, patterns to release...and the next few weeks get even more filled with places to be, things to's wedding and graduation season at Chez Yarn Diet!

So in an attempt to play catch up...


Just So Stories, How the Rhino Got His Skin!

Another pattern in my explorations of new and different things to do with that skein of self striping yarn you have had in your stash when it was "too pretty" to hide in your shoes!

This time around, Felici Worsted Weight makes for a thoroughly decadent, warm neck wrap!

Worked in bright colors, like the picture above, it makes a great statement piece, in subdued colors (like below) a more subtle cuddle.

Folded over, it is very much like the wrinkly skin of  a Rhino, with lots of little pockets to trap warm air and keep you cozy...pulled up, it is tall enough to cover your ears when the wind blows!

You can get the pattern on  Ravelry.

A year after it's initial debut on Knotions, Ashes of Roses has been released with extended endings and new line by line instructions for the previously charted only pattern.

This pattern, or rather the versions that other knitters have made, has, to my knowledge won three best in show awards at Fairs, raised money for charity, been worn to weddings...the list goes on!

Again you can get the pattern on Ravelry but also on Love Knitting!  (Of course the free version is still available on Knotions, so long as charts are your thing and you don't want the additional endings!)

(Side note, those additional endings...knitters who got the pattern and had extra gradient emailed me or private messaged me through Ravelry to see if I had them and I wrote them based on their yarn availability.  Never be afraid to ask..I think it's fun to help knitters get to use every possible inch of that special yarn!  And while I can't always fit that play into my schedule, if I betcha I will!)

And on that note...I have a wedding to get ready for!


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter

Coming on Thursday

Just So Stories


Now available on Love Knitting and Ravelry

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Let's Talk About Swatch For a Minute...

Let's talk about Swatch for a minute!
Well how do you think
 it feels about what's been going on?
Let's talk about swatch for a minute!
Well how do you think
it feels about what's gone wrong????...
Face it, every knitter at some point has said "My swatch lied!"
Well I, for one, am going to tell you that the poor (innocent) swatch didn't lie. 
Let's talk about dreams,
I never learned to read the signs.
Let's think about what it all means.....
Sometimes, when knitters swatch, they fool themselves by making the following rookie mistakes.... 

The swatch they made, wasn't made with the exact yarn and needles they planned for the project!  
Even a little thing like switching from blue to green or one needle brand to another (or even different length circular needles in the same brand) can change how the knitting behaves.

The swatch wasn't big enough!  If you are aiming for a gauge of (say) 32 stitches to 4 inches (10 cm) do not cast on 32 or even 42 stitches.  Cast on at least twice that many, and knit for at least half again as many rows for the row gauge.

The swatch has a border on it that the knitting project doesn't!  That pretty garter stitch border pulls the knitting to being more "square" than it will be with out it...Just say no to borders...unless...your finished project is going to have that *same* border.

The swatch was knit flat when the project is to be knit in the round...well there are ways to get around that one, but for me...if I am swatching for an in the round pattern, I swatch in the round.

And the worst mistake yet...Not swatching!

I never seem to have the time....
This past week all I seem to have knit are swatches!
Would you like to see some?

 I have one more on the might take the full 400 yards of sock yarn before I know if it will ever grow up to be anything!

How do you feel about swatching?


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Let's Hear it for the Shawl

A few days ago, the lovely Loraine of Woolly, Madly, Deeply interviewed me for her blog, which was a rather fun exercise for me!  She asked several questions that had me really thinking about what and how I design.

One of them was "What inspires you?"

I get inspiration from so many different sources that it was really hard to answer that question!  Let's look at this shawl (which coincidentally is my newest release with Knotions.

photo by Edsgar Portrait Studio for Knotions
Last year, everywhere I went, every home decor magazine and many pretty pictures I saw on Instagram, had planters that looked like old fashioned bird cages.  I adored the look, but try as I might, my black thumb meant that after a few weeks of having planters filled with pretty succulents or greenery, I had cages filled with dying leaves and brownery instead of greenery.

So, I decided to knit myself one. (Actually it turned into several!)

Aviarium started with my wanting to make something akin to this...

but in knitting!

The elements I really wanted to capture were the straight lines of both the upright bars and the bands around the cage, with the leaves and flowers peeking out from between them.
photo by Edsgar Portrait Studio for Knotions

But as any designer will tell you, one of the hardest things about designing a patterned shawl is figuring out how to get those increases into the pattern without interrupting what the patterning is trying to say. 

To solve that I combined two different types of shawl shaping...a regular progression of increases along the spines (the upright bars) and a large series of increases like you would find in a Pi-Shawl between the bands that run around the cage.

You would think that would be it...but it turns out that I had more to "say" about those birdcages and plants...there will be more of these types of patterns in different shapes (because those cages come in all sorts of shapes and sizes) over the next year!

You can get Aviarium from Knotions or on Ravelry.

If you want to learn more about different shawl shapes, Shawl Star now includes 43 recipes for creating your own!  Using the affiliate link means I get a small percentage of the sales price, but you do not pay a single penny more for the ebook!

Until next time...Happy Knitting!