Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday's are for Quiet Time

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hmmm. Friday came awful early this week

Well, it did for anyone with federal holiday benefits.

Here we are Friday and what do I have to show you?

Any finished patterns? (nope, with tech editors who were told to take their time because I already had a pattern release this month!)

I do have a prize picture to show you. I won this yarn in the Indie Designs Gift Along 2016.  And you cannot even tell how soft it is through your computer!

So what do you have this week?  To quote my children when I ask them questions sometimes...I got nothing!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Whatcha Doing Wednesday

As you could tell from the pictures on Sunday, at least one of my latest socks jumped off the needles.  The second was cast on in short order and as it would happen, has also jumped off the needles.  :)

I love socks for just that reason, cast on, knit a bit, cast off, weave in the ends, quick wash and block to make them even and they are DONE!

Well, almost in this case.

The knitting is done and now the hard part begins.  The editing.

So today, you get the back story of how a pattern grows, because honestly I have been so focused on editing the past couple of days, I have nothing to show you, and maybe you are interested in the process I use.  Maybe you dream of designing your own patterns, either just for yourself or to publish. 

Every designer does things their own way and I can only tell you the way I do it, because we are a secretive bunch and don't share too many of our secrets.  Actually though, I think my way is pretty standard, but who knows.  If you do, leave me a comment saying so!

Ok, back to my process.

First I need an idea.  And don't ask where inspiration comes from because the short answer is EVERYWHERE.

The outline of a fence, spelling words, musical notes written on sheet music, flowers, the twists and turns of a hiking path near a river, the herb gardens at the conservatory....literally everywhere.  And if everywhere isn't enough for you buy a stitch dictionary.  Seriously!  There are lots out there, but it is so much easier when inspiration just grabs you by the throat and says make me into something.

The next step is a little harder, turning that inspiration into a stitch pattern, or three, and deciding what type of item it needs to be.  Socks, a sweater, a shawl, mittens or a hat?  And yarn.  Which yarn to try.

And then, if you are being good you swatch and rip and swatch and rip some more refining that grouping of stitches to say just what you want them to.  (To be honest in socks, my first sock is my swatch!  And that pretty pink yarn got knitted and pulled out several times before I was happy with it!)

So I write and chart, then knit and knit.  Making changes as I go so that the second sock, in this case, is knitted following the pattern I have now created.

And then you think you are done!

But you are not!! the real heavy lifting begins.  When you write and knit and adjust and knit little inconsistencies slip in.  Did you end that row of instructions with a period? Did you mean to?  Are all the row headers bold?  Did you mention where to place stitch markers?  Having just knit this blessed thing twice, what did you just assume from what you wrote and what did you actually write.

So you edit and put the pattern away and then open it up again and edit some more.

And then you take that leap of faith and say to yourself is perfect.

So you bundle it up all pretty in bows and send it to your worst enemy* and wait.

And the waiting kills you, but you don't dare open that file again because as soon as you do, do you know what happens?  You find a mistake!

But worse...then the return email comes with the corrections.

So you gnash your teeth, and wonder why you were so stupid as to use the wrong words or decreases, why the markers don't appear in the pattern where they should, and you pour yourself a big glass of your favorite beverage and close the email and sleep on it.

Once you are rested and the feelings of absolute mortification that you sent someone something with mistakes in it passes, you open that file again and find that you are agreeing with every little detail.  So you apply the changes and send it back with any notes you might have, and wait again.

Then comes test knitting - can someone else recreate what I made based on those instructions, and a final review before hitting that publish button, or in the case of third party submission the eternal wait for publication day.

So that, my friends, is my Work In Progress this week.  I have been editing, reviewing tech edits and editing again, in the hopes that I can bring you clear, concise and error free patterns.

What do you have going on this week?


*Not really!  I have worked with several tech editors, two of whom I consider to be personal friends, even though we have never met in person.  They are the best!  They really do everything possible to make my patterns better and do a great job of understanding that every designer puts a little bit of their soul into what they write.  They are kind, but precise and very much sticklers for "it is in your style guide that you do it this way, so do it that way every time so the knitter knows what they are getting."  If something isn't clear they work through how to make it clear, rather than "do it this way" or "this is wrong". And when I happened to mention that the red ink made me want to cry...the next revision came in blue.  That is devotion to making sure that we work together well as a team.

If you are a designer, who is on your team?  Do you feel they are on your team or do you work against them sometimes?

Answer in the comments, or shoot me a pm on Ravelry (I am marydear there!) because I am really interested to know!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Not Quite The Finished Object I Was Hoping For!

Wine Tasting was fun last night, thanks for asking!  I did pick up one bottle while there, aren't you proud of my restraint? 

So, Finished Object Friday on Saturday...

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I am playing with a pretty pale pink yarn this week.  It is officially called Dogwood Heather, and while I am not really a "pink" person, at least not for pastels, it is ever so sweet and pretty.

It's sock yarn, which although doesn't mean it has to grow up to be socks, this one will.


I had charted what I thought was a sweet delicate little pattern for the leg and foot.  I like ribbing at the top of my socks so that is where I started, but, when I got to my chart, the ribbing didn't quite line up with the pattern the way I wanted. (Maybe because I can't count!)

So, off the needles she came and I turned her back into a ball of yarn and started again.

Second time through, got most of the way down the leg and saw just one little change that would make the pattern stitches just a little bit sweeter and would require that one little change being made way back on round 1.

Off the needles she came and I turned her back into a ball of yarn and started again.

Third time through.....Cast on, check.  Ribbing, check....leg...uh, nope started with the wrong chart.

Off the needles she came and I turned her back into a ball of yarn and started again.

Maybe this time would be the charm?

Cast on, check, ribbing, check, leg, check, heel flap, check, turn the heel, check, foot pattern......

This time I only ripped out 12 rounds.

I think I might be finished frogging this one and might actually get a sock before the night is through!

Why the last change if the pattern had been working fine through the leg and most of the foot?

I try to have my stitch patterns reach some kind of conclusion before the toe.  Sometimes the regular row repeats will do it, but other times you need to add a little something, or decrease a little something out to give it an end.  This pattern needed an ending. 

Without it, the toe looked like someone had stopped writing in the middle of.......


TOB made a little purple rabbit that just stopped in to say Hi.

Friday, January 13, 2017

We Interrupt This Post

Disclaimer, we don't watch tv around here (please explain to me why I am continuing to pay for cable in that case?  yeah, I can't explain it either except...) Well, we do about once a week, sometimes, when there is something good on, like Sherlock or Dr. Who or....actually I think that is about it on normal tv.  So I don't know if they still do this or not...but it used to be that sometimes if there was breaking news or something majorly important going on there would be this voice that would say "We interrupt this program to..." and whatever they were going to say or show you would follow.

In this case there is nothing to say or show to follow other than...

We Interrupt This Post to let you know that today's Finished Object Friday is being postponed due to wine tasting.

I'll let you know how it was tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

There's Something About This Knitter

I have a little secret to tell you.  Do you promise not to tell?

Ok, lean in close and I will whisper it in your ear.

I am not a monogamous knitter.

Are you shocked?  Are you surprised?  Or have you been reading this blog long enough to know that, even if sometimes I only show you one project at a time, there is always lots of stuff jumping on and off needles around here?

Which sometimes means that the things I show you, that don't seem to be moving along as quickly as you would suspect are not the only things being worked on!

For example this yarn that TDQ dyed for me.  (She knows I love a gradient!)

I cast it on and frogged the beginnings of a scarf/cowl/neck thing a couple of times before I settled into the actual pattern.

I am over half way through the yarn now

oh look shiny new yarn, I might have to cast on with that too!

Thank you for all the love that is being shown for my The White Queen's Shawl  I may be a little competitive, according to some people but it is thrilling me no end that I (currently) have the most "favs" of the patterns in this month's issue of Knotions!  The pattern is free to you, the knitter, which makes it an easy pick for your January knitting, especially if you want to spend the money you would usually spend on a pattern on some silk and cashmere yarn!