Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ready for Another one?

Some things I am never ready for another of.....but some things, like knitting things, I am always up for more!

Today's trip down memory lane (for me at least, remember it takes a long time from concept to published book) is Blue Dahlia!

Well, sort of, mine is Hollyhock Dahlia, and if I remember correctly this is actually in Madeline Tosh Light.

As you might have guessed it is another piece from the book that Andrea Jurgrau has out, called The New Vintage Lace.

This one was inspired by a German Doily and has bold leaves and beads.
I love the shaping of this one, it sits perfectly on your shoulders without needing to be pinned to stay put, even when teaching financial education to 30 middle school students in the basement of a building downtown.

In other knitting news, there seems to be a run on baby blankets at work again this year.  Although I have not yet finished my Fractured Fractal in grey and white, I might have cast on another version in pink and white for a baby girl.

If I ever get a lunch break again, maybe I can actually do some knitting on them!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy American Mother's Day

For all the mothers, sisters of mothers, children of mothers and mothers of mothers out there....Happy Mother's Day! (I stole those words from another knitter, Thanks Jeri, I loved the way you phrased that and couldn't resist borrowing it, I changed it a little but it is still your sentiment!)

Mine has been mostly quiet, with a little knitting time and some help with yard work.  TDQ made me a bracelet (that's her thing these days, bracelets and necklaces, then running around selling them to her friends.)  It was a rough week so I needed a little peace and quiet in my life before Monday rolls around and rough week the second begins!

As I have mentioned before, Andrea, of Bad Cat Designs has a book that is soon to be at a bookseller near you (or available through Amazon as a dead tree version and Interweave as an e-book.)  As one of her faithful test knitters, I of course got a sneak peek at the designs when they were still in the charting and initial knitting phases.

It takes a long time to get from there to publication date, and I did not keep very good track at all of what yarns I used, which beads and needles...but I did manage to dig out some of my finished object photo's that I shared with Andrea when I was done with the knitting portion of each project.

Just to be different I am going to move right to the ending chapters of the book.  Where Andrea discusses and demonstrates how to take a vintage doily and turn it into something new!

We start with an 8 wedge doily.

Just like this one!

 Add some particularly luscious yarn (Lara's Creations Majestic in Your Highness)

Slightly larger needles, with a slightly adjusted chart gets you....

A pretty Purple Shawl!

TDQ hasn't had hair that long in quite a while, which helps to show just how long the process from ideas to book has been!

Of course, being a purple shawl it was immediately stolen by that sassy little model!

There are 22 patterns in the book, various shapes and sizes of shawls, doilies and hats. Pretty much something for every knitter, from beginners (The Purple Shawl is a good one for that) to the expert who wants a bit of a challenge.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Problem With Test Knitting

Now don't misunderstand me, I love test knitting for some of my favorite knit wear designers.  When my hands were doing their own thing and I found knitting difficult (some days impossible) it broke my heart that a couple of designs got knit by people other than me first (well second, the designer usually does get first go at things!)  But, occasionally there is a problem with test knitting.

You see, the timing between coming up with a great idea, charting it and knitting it, knitting it again, sending the pattern to your testers, getting input, making corrections (or changes to the design), sending it to the publisher, edits and more edits, to publication is a long (and if you are the designer, harrowing) road.

Part of the commitment with being a test knitter is you have to be able to keep a secret, so things get knit, photographed to show the designer and then packed away until they can be shared. (Ok, maybe I cheat on the packed away part sometimes and wear the things, or use them, which is probably why I have the small problem I do now!)

The New Vintage Lace, by Andrea Jurgrau is hitting a book store near you very shortly!  For those that can't wait, Interweave has an e-book version  and for those that want a sneak peek Amazon has a Look Inside feature.  Andrea has started putting the patterns on Ravelry so that we can link projects, and suggested that her test knitters could post a few of their finished object pictures.

Herein lies the problem!  First up she has posted the hats and some doilies, and while the hats were easy to get my hands on, and I know I knit the doilies I have no idea where I put them all!

So until I do, here is a small sampling of some of the test knits!

Clematis Doily

and hat

 Peaseblossom Hat


And finally, Giverny Beret

In other knitting news, the second fractal blanket went through a few more modifications and is one quarter the way through the border.  I haven't been getting much knitting time lately so it is pretty slow going.  Maybe one day soon I will post pictures of that too!