Thursday, March 30, 2017

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk.....

I love knitting socks.  I  love designing socks.  I love wearing my hand knit socks.

What I don't love?  Naming my socks!

It can be very hard, not just coming up with a pattern name, but then making sure it isn't the same name as 47 other patterns have, or that the interesting word you heard doesn't mean something you don't intend it to in another language.

This time, the name came from a conversation on Ravelry.  One of the groups I am in has a pretty good mixture of other designers and knitters who support indie designers, so it is a great place to ask questions about what my peer group would do, and what regular knitters would like to see. 

In my (enormous) stash of sock yarns I have a lot of yarns that are not currently available.  Either the yarn was dropped by the larger commercial companies, the indie-dyer changed base yarns or, in some sad cases, stopped dyeing yarn commercially. 

I asked in the group chat thread if knitters would have a problem with my using a yarn that was not currently available for my sample on the pattern page, if I offered other (currently available) suggestions for yarns.  One of the people who responded had to keep editing her reply because her auto-correct kept changing Discontinued to Disco Tuned.

And so a pattern name was born!

In fact I like it so much'll see at the end of April!

So, without further behind the scenes stories.....Presenting :

Disco Tuned Socks!
If knitting were music, the basic stitch counts could tell you the rhythm (or time), and the knits and purls
could be the notes. If knitting were music, a simple two by two rib could be translated into the Key of C (no sharps or flats, just natural notes), in 2/2 time (or cut time). Changing just a few stitches (the notes) to cables or lace (sharps or flats), the entire musical world is at your knitting fingertips. With a basic ribbed back, but an interesting pattern on the front, these socks give you the best of the “ribbed socks fit so well” and “patterned socks seem to knit up so quickly” worlds.

Size Women’s Medium Sock, 8 inches wide, length adjustable.
Yarn 400 yd [366 meters] 100 gms [3.5 ounces] sock yarn. Sample Shown in Land O Lace Steffi, 80% superwash merino/ 20% nylon
Size US 1 (2.5 mm): double points or circular needles for working in the round.
Stitch markers, large eyed tapestry needle for grafting, and weaving in ends.
Optional: sock blockers, size 8 [1.5mm] crochet hook for nupps.
32 sts and 36 rows = 4” [10 cm] in St st after wet blocking.

This cuff down sock includes a heel flap and gusset and nupps worked in the round. Although instructions are given for 7 st nupps, 5 st nupps can be substituted. Don’t like nupps? The foot chart, which doesn’t include nupps, can be worked for the entire length of the sock.
Skills required : Working in the round, knit, purl, k2tog, k3tog, nupps, ssk, sssk, yo and kitchener stitch.

You can also substitute your favorite toe and heel, if you have one!
Thank you to Nancy Bellamy of LivetoKnit for Tech-Editing Services and all my test knitters!

The pattern is now available in my Ravelry Store here!

For special offers, discounts, and more, subscribe to my mailing list over there on the right hand side of your screen.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tune in Thursday....

Tune in on Thursday for a pattern release!

Here are all the teaser pictures in one place....

So, get our your dancing shoes, ready to dance the night away.  Grab your needles and yarn, along with your sense of adventure....these socks will keep your needles hopping!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017


Who’s peekin’ out from under a stairway
Calling a name that’s lighter than air
Who’s bending down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it’s Windy
Who’s tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody she sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy
(Excerpt taken from Windy by The Association)

So starts the pattern that I test knit just a couple of weeks ago!

The yarn I picked is a "lighter than air" cashmere, slightly thick, slightly thin...hinted out with its name of Handspun (although it is a commercially available yarn!).

It isn't often that you get to test knit for your tech editor, which I, being me, of course found ever so amusing.  :)

Presenting :

Whispering Softly by Nancy Bellamy of LivetoKnit.

I knit it exactly as the pattern is written, apart from subbing the Jade Sapphire Handspun Monogolian Cashmere for the Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted.

It is so soft, and cozy, the perfect little thing to wear around your neck when it is just slightly chilly and windy!  (So TDQ, of course stole it!)

It is also a very quick and intuitive knit, the perfect thing to whip up super quickly when you have forgotten that it is someones birthday tomorrow!

Whispering Softly and many other fabulous patterns are "officially" available tomorrow, but...I happen to know that they are live right now, so go check them out and tell me which one you like best this time around!

Coming next week, more peaks at the sock I teased you with the toes of on Wednesday.  Sign up for the newsletter to get a discount code when the pattern is officially published.  (Word to the wise, that is the only place you will be able to get a sale code for the pattern and the newsletter will go out on Thursday right after I hit the publish button!)

Another sneak peak for you, just cuz!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fighting with Beads

I am officially 115 rows into my Colourmart Lovers Spring Contest Piece and I am still fighting with my beads, every step of the way.

It's my own fault.  I bought cheap beads because I fell in love with the colors.

I know better.  But the good news is, even with fully half of these beads not actually having holes in them, 8 gms of size 10 beads is a lot of beads and I will have plenty to finish my piece...if not the patience to not get frustrated with the process!  :)

Nupps started appearing a few rows ago, and those are always fun.  But...the pics are all on my phone so you will have to find me on Instagram to see them.

In the we approach the end of the month that can only mean that a new pattern release is in the a teaser is in order.

Sign up for the newsletter for a discount code, I am not offering them anywhere else.  Yep, right over there on the right hand side of the blog!

Any guesses on what these socks are called?  Leave a comment with your guess!  I will give you one hint, it is NOT Stayin' Alive.


Monday, March 20, 2017


As I am sure you are aware, today marked the beginning of Spring.  At 6:29 am local time for me, the Spring Equinox officially arrived and with it the beginning of the Colourmart Lovers Group Spring Craftalong/Contest.  I have participated for several years now, both in the spring and the fall.

I actually started prepping for this years contest a couple of weeks ago when I had a little down time, waiting for some other things to happen, and got my design idea swatched, washed, blocked and charted.  A 25% off your entire purchase coupon got me some (already on sale) beads from the local big box craft store, in two sizes but the same colors, the needles were set and all I had to do this morning was set up my project page, entry post and cast on.

So let's talk about the yarn.  I am using a 2/15NM Alpaca/Wool Blend (obviously from ColourMart, it is their groups contest) in the exciting color of "white", which to my eye is more cream on top of fresh milk than bleached white.  They still (as of this writing) have some on the site and I am sorely tempted to buy more myself right now.  Even straight off the cone it is nice to knit with, but once it is washed....oh how soft and drapey!

Having already charted, morphed stitches around and charted some more, all I have to do now if knit until it is done.  Well, all I should have to do is knit until it is done....those pretty small beads are about 50% pretty blue chunks of glass that neither a crochet hook, yarn nor pin can go through. 

 Rather than "lined" with color they are "filled" with color, which is frustrating me no end.  I might have to "morph" away from the tiny beads a little sooner than I thought!

More on Wednesday, when I will know how quickly I give up on listening to Minnie Mouse laughing in my ear..."I told you this would be fun!"...


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

We are all just prisoners here

So, bonus points for knowing where the title comes from, but...

I am stuck on sleeve island. If the travel agent is to believed there will be a stop at Collar Cove and then a return trip home, but not until the weekend. Actually the rest of the trip cannot take place until the weekend.

I am a very goal driven person.  My goals for this week...a sock, a pattern, some coaching, some networking and research for things that have absolutely nothing to do with my knitting life.

So far,  I have toured a couple of technical institutes (with and for kids), and a whole bunch of other mumbo jumbo that makes no sense to me to have to go through....oh well, maybe next week will be more knitting productive.

Until then it is edits, writing, a foot to a sock and an IEP meeting.

So how is your week?


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It's the Most Numberful Time of The Year!

Happy Pi Day to all my American Friends!

Here are a few of my favorite Pi's....

Snow Queen by Andrea Jurgrau

Apple Pie....great recipe you should give it a whirl!


Peach Pie.

For my non-American friends, I am so sorry, your dating system does not allow for Pi Day (3/14 or 3.14) so you will have to eat cake instead.  LOL


Friday, March 10, 2017

Another Friday with Nothing to Share

How is it that someone who knits as much as I do could possibly have nothing to share on a Friday for FO Friday?

I can assure you there have been things finished....

I just can't share them yet.

Seriously, when I had twins, a second set of arms really should have been an option rather than my OBGYN offering to include "fixing" me if we had a C-Section. (Which we didn't so that question was a moot point!)

So I will turn it around...

How was your week?

What did you accomplish?

More importantly, what did you fail at?  Because, as a coach, I will tell you if you didn't fail at anything this week, you just aren't setting your scope broad enough.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Back to the Frog Pond Again

I won't bore you with the details...just know that I am enjoying a quick swim with the frogs in the local frog pond because I am six types of idiot.

(Some of you will know that to be true, in fact you have been telling me my entire life just how many types of idiot I am!)

Other than that, life is good at Chez Yarn Diet.  :)  I just need six or seven more sets of arms because I might just have charted and written enough designs to keep me going for the next year or so!

But...if you use Stitch Mastery, can you tell me, other than having it spit out written directions for your charts, why is it better than excel?

Between my tax refund and some third party submission money I might have the extra cash to buy the program and want to know if really it is worth it, or should I invest in more yarn?

Also, big shout out to Joeli from Joeli Creates.

I got an email that Designer BootCamp was coming back and I emailed her back with a question about the grading of patterns portion of the workshop and if she felt, with what I am currently doing it was worth it to me to pony up the cash to join...not only did she respond it was not the answer I expected anyone selling a workshop to give.

If you get coaching from me, her answer to me was what I would have given you...Have confidence that you know what you are doing.  Believe in yourself for a change! I believe in you and what you can do, do you?


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Living the Quiet Life

Last summer I had the opportunity to peruse the sock yarn collection at Unplanned Peacock's booth at a fiber festival.  Her colorways are inspired and if you ever get the chance to see them in person I highly recommend it! Natasha, who is Unplanned Peacock, also has an inspired way of putting colors together, if you ever need a contrasting tonal to go with a variegated yarn, just ask her to do the pairings!

One of the yarns I picked up was Kinky Sock in a riot of pinks, called Pink Floyd.  In talking to Natasha I found out that it was a special colorway designed for a shop in Floyd, VA called Wooly Jumper Yarns. Which led me on a quick search about the place, the owners and why it is special....which of course led to a design.

Located atop the magnificent Blue Ridge Plateau in southwestern Virginia, Floyd is a haven of natural beauty renowned for its hospitality and for a vibrant culture of music, arts, local foods and wines, and outdoor recreation. It is also home to Woolly Jumper Yarns, which is owned by Jackie and Michele. It is a little (but very charming) shop located on Floyd's "main street" next to the barber shop and the Floyd Country Store. They specialize in local, hand dyed and/or spun yarns. The shop attracts locals who like to gather on Thursday evenings for Knit Night, and tourists who are traveling the Crooked Road (for bluegrass music) looking for items that they wouldn't find at their local shops. Unplanned Peacock Studio dyed a special yarn for the store that they called Pink Floyd. This crescent shaped shawl is just perfect for wrapping around your shoulders, while enjoying the quiet life, be in it Floyd, VA, or your own back yard.

The finished piece is 70 inches by 13.5 inches after a firm wet blocking, which also opens up the twisted garter stitch to give the impression of mesh.
It includes short rows, a few wrapped stitches and the simple to knit border is presented in charted form only.

TDQ had tons of fun coming up with different ways to wear it.  I think that this picture of her wearing it as a head scarf is one of my favorites.  It makes me think of the old time big movie stars with her tinted glasses and head wrapped, ready to go for a ride in a convertible car.

The pattern is available now in my Ravelry Store.

Subscribers to my newsletter get sneak peaks and promo codes for new patterns when they are being released, if you haven't signed up yet....why not?


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What's in the Bag on Wednesday

What's in my knitting bag this week?

A linen shawl....some feathers....and the eternal socks.

I am so, so close to being done knitting this sample shawl.  The yarn is an ever so pretty pinky salmon color, 100% linen (which I think I finally have the hang of working with!) and the pattern is a mix of textures and lacy bits and makes me smile while I work on it.  (One of my goals this year was to design things that made my heart sing!

And Feathers!

Evie Scott  has this wonderful pattern in her Ravelry Store called Quill.  It is a very "me" sort of design for a cardigan.  Plain and comfy looking from the front, with feathers up the back that really add a little flair to what promised to be a very functional garment.  She is hosting a knit along where people can get "straight from the designer" help if they need to figure out the math a little differently to suit their body shape.

I joined the KAL, not because I needed help figuring out the math, that part I think I have down.  I am not up to grading a sweater into 16 different sizes, but I can figure it out for my body shape.  I joined for the fun!  And boy is it ever fun.

So, if you have a need for a beautiful cardigan sweater and want to join in the antics that is a chat thread in a KAL head over to this group on Ravelry.  To play along all you have to do is join the group, buy the pattern and pick your yarn, then declare you intent to knit....there will be prizes and lots of wacky jokes I am sure.

Tune in Tomorrow for a pattern release from me though!  This one has been waiting patiently for it to be her turn in the spotlight.  I hope you like her, I did!