Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Week, Silently

Best of IG this week.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Test Knits Are Fun!

If you don't subscribe to their newsletter, you might have missed that this month Knotions is all about tutorials!  There is a little bit about a whole lot of different knitting techniques covering everything from making pompoms to how to have more even ribbing in your knitting.  Chock full of good stuff!

To demonstrate a couple of the techniques Jody, the editor who also designs...check out her other patterns here...included patterns for three different, footie socks.  I test knit one of them for her.  (Yes, I still test knit as well as design!)

Be Strong and Carry On.

I used Patons Kroy FX - Cameo Colors and a US 3 needle for my version.

These socks are knit toe up, which made a change from my usual go to cuff down patterns and include a Strong Heel... no picking up of stitches!

In a departure from my usual "matchy, matchy" stance I tried getting both socks from one ball of yarn, so they are definitely fraternal twins not identical, and then had to scrounge some additional yardage from a project TDQ was working on and abandoned when I was a few yards short for the second sock. (She warns you to buy the second ball but keep the receipt in the pattern...depending on how long your foot is you might not need it and can return the second ball for a different colorway and make another pair!)

I think that both socks took just a couple of evenings of pleasure very quickly made, perfect for those "I forgot to get you a present" occasions.

I think I might want to make the lace ones next!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

At the Ballet....

Everything was beautiful at the ballet.
Graceful men lift lovely girls in white.
Everything was beautiful at ballet.
I was happy... at the ballet.

If knitting were music, the stitches would be the keys, and the repeats would be the time signature. 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.  

At the ballet, the dancers are pulling on their costumes and stretching, warming up their bodies for the dancing to come; in the orchestra pit the musicians are pulling out their instruments that have been nestled in cases lined with felt, not tuned, and begin tuning them.

This cuff down sock pattern has both line by line and charted instructions for the top of foot and front leg cables and lace pattern. 


As with all of the "Tuned" sock patterns, Knot Tuned, Fine Tuned, Disco Tuned and Simple Melody 
these socks drew their inspiration from the act of making music.  While I am sure that I am not finished exploring the options there, the next socks will be a little different...even if they did still get named after a song!  

Want a sneak peak?  Ok! Here is a little bit of a teaser.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What I'm Working On.

July to me always brings back memories of being young and getting to spend the summer lazing around at the pool or just hanging out with friends in the sun.  Back then I thought the entire world slowed down for the summer and took things easy.

As an adult I know that isn't true, in fact many years summer have been my busiest times with classes to teach and jazz concerts in the park to attend.  This year, July has been more laid back, and I can't tell you how much I have been enjoying it!

Last week Monster Man was here for a visit, TOB and TFB had a birthday and there were movies to see, games to play, a few diy home fixes to do....and a lot of projects leapt off my needles.  Which means that this week I am spending a lot of time finishing up the writing of patterns, getting ready to wrap up two test knits and put up another two....

So my works in progress are mostly in the writing, photography and editing phases.

My goal this week is to get the patterns for all of these things ready for testing....

The last picture there....the red "thing" is a little further along and the toe-up socks you will hear more about on Saturday...

The final entry on my to-do list is..... hit the publish on this one!
Tune in Tomorrow for the Pattern Release notes.
What are you working on this week?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Put Them All Together...

Knitting is a strange beast sometimes.  A technique that one knitter "gets" instantly leaves another gnashing her jaws and throwing her project across the room (TAR) which is probably why I like it so much.  There is never just one way to do things, and for some things there are lots of different ways to achieve the same end.

If you "google" short row knitting and look at the wikipedia page it says :

"In knitting, a short row is a row that is not fully knitted; the work is turned before reaching the end of the row. Just before the work is turned, the yarn is generally passed around the next unknitted stitch to prevent a hole from forming at the turning point."

Looks like the writer of that article only knew one kind of short row!  But there are many more to pick from.

While working on my Quill Cardigan, which uses short rows for both the wide shawl collar and the top down set in sleeves, I did a lot of thinking about short rows and the different ways they could be done.

As you may have noticed I wrote up and entire series of tutorials on Short Rows for Knotions this month.

The first up was German Short Rows

Followed by Japanese Short Rows and the Catch Method (these two are very similar!)

And then  Shadow Wraps

Which led to Yarn Over Short Rows

This week Knotions put them all together in a free pdf download with a bonus demonstration of how all the different kinds of short rows, I could find, stack up in garter stitch.  (If you know of any short row methods that I missed, let me know in the comments so I can swatch them too!)

But...give them all a try, see which one you like best, because no matter which method the pattern actually calls for, you can swap out one type for another because they all end the same way : with  a row that is not fully knitted; giving extra fabric on the outside edge of a curve, in the bust area if you need a little more give, an attractive alternative to bind offs that take several rows like in shoulders, heels of socks...the list goes on! 

Who knows you might find your own new favorite way of working short rows.

Now that that series of tutorials is complete....might be time to find another technique that can be done several different ways!  Are there any you would like to see me explore?  Leave a comment with your suggestions!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Mid Week Round Up

How's your week so far?  Technically I am taking this week as a vacation, know those Muses, they do a lot of business when you were occupied doing other things!  (Seriously I hear more designers complaining that inspiration is whispered in their ears while they are jogging, swimming, in the shower, at work or otherwise not able to sketch, write, knit!)

So I might have had a project jump on and off my needles in rapid succession...not quite ready for public consumption but a couple of pictures to give you an idea of the wonderful colors that I have been playing with.

(The is the Blue Ridge Colorway from Unplanned Peacock, on their DK Superwash Merino. Nice stuff!)

It jumped on and off my needles in record time!

Which of course left me with some spare needles sitting around....for exactly three minutes when I suddenly suffered from another bout of Startitis!  And this happened.....
Obviously one is a toe up sock...the other?  ItsaSecret.  :)

And then this happened.....
Yep, the MonsterMan shows up and things just break...all on their own!  Wouldn't have anything to do with his extra long feet or arms would it?

Wood glue fix for now...if it doesn't hold, well Wool Gathering is coming up and I believe that I can get a new swift then!

What's on your needles this week?


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My WIPs are ...

This week at Chez Yarn Diet, my WIPs are not even worth the time it would take to photograph them!

Yesterday I woke up convinced it was wasn't...

Today is, but it feels like Wednesday just put on Monday's clothes and is pretending to be someone else.


Go read this instead of my WIP update.  Believe me, it is much more interesting than my trying to grade a tank top in 8 sizes!


Monday, July 10, 2017

The Adventures in Short Rows continue.....

Do you remember when I played with German Short Rows?

Today on Knotions I revisit short rows with two more methods.....

Short Rows
How many ways do you know to perform short rows?


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Toot...Tute..... for ....Tutorials

Into each knitter's life some short rows appear!

As a sock knitter who prefers a heel flap and gusset in my socks I do one version of short rows.  No wraps and turns in those ones, but for short row heels, there are wraps and turns to deal with...but what if you don't like wrap and turn?  Are there other choices?

You Betcha!  In fact, I played with some and one of them is available for you to see at Knotions!.

German Short Rows....

For the entire month of July, rumor has it, that Knotions is going to be all about showing you how to Craft Smarter with lots of tutorials.

I can't wait to see what else is going to be on there!

Where do you go when you are looking for tutorials?


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What are You Working On?

I hope those of you who celebrated yesterday had a wonderful holiday!

I decided to take today to recover from eating all those doughnuts!  (Actually we didn't eat them all, there are  still several left, so if you are in the neighborhood...feel free to snag one!)

But, as it is WIP Wednesday, here's a quick look at what I am working on today.

Most of it is the "not as fun as knitting" part of pattern development.

Every designer has their own way of approaching actually knitting the patterns, I write, then knit, then edit...all of these need some editing, the final pictures and to be sent off for tech editing.

I am old school, I write on the computer, knit from paper and make notes as I go.  Which is why you can see a written pattern with highlights on it...things I need to take a closer look at.

Not that it is all photos and editing for me....there is a little bit of actual knitting going on too!  (Mostly in my car today though.)

So what's on your needles today?


Tuesday, July 4, 2017


For those of us who live in the United States, today is the day that commemorates the nation becoming independent from it's parent.  Making their own rules, building their own government.

In many ways, as with so many holidays and traditions it has become commercialized and is all about food, fireworks and sales at furniture stores...

But here, we are all about food and knitting...I say food today because when I think it through all of our family traditions revolve around specific foods.  For us, Independence Day means doughnuts!

Although time consuming, except for the frying and glazing or sugaring, doughnuts are not labor intensive, so I might have made some progress on a new cast on....


And woven in the last of the ends on an older one.

Those of you who have been around the blog a while will know that I don't do New Years Resolutions (but certainly do Full Year Goal Planning) and I work on a single "habit" that will get me towards my goals each month.  I review my goals each quarter and adjust them as needed.

The end of June marked the half way point through my goals for the year.  I took a long hard look at them, a couple got changed, one got taken completely off the table as I came to realize that although it was something I cared about, it didn't fit with my overall "mission" for the year.  I also took a hard look at the habits I had planned for the rest of the year and tweaked them.

Funny, it all actually ties in with that title up there.  Independence.

My goals were all around being able to be independent from ...well it doesn't matter what it was from really and everyone has their own story, so maybe without the details it can tie into yours? 

One of my friends asked me what yarn fumes I was inhaling, when I said that to her..."You are a self supporting, single mom.  No family within 3,000 miles to pick up the slack.  You never, ever, ask for help, you always give it...where is it you think you are not independent? You have a "Wanna Be Knight in Shining Armor*" trying to save you, and you won't let them, you own your own doesn't get much more independent than that..."

Which is where she is wrong.  It does get more independent than that.  Everything I have ever done, has all been about one of two things...either proving someone right (seldom) or proving them wrong (all the time!  You tell me I can't do something and I am right there doing it in spades!)

One of my goals for this year was to only design things that make my heart sing, and although I have stuck to it, I have so very nearly fallen down the "this is popular, it will boost sales that pay for college" rabbit hole a couple of times.  Which is actually where this (mostly) ties in..I nearly forgot to be intentional about what I designed.  I nearly jumped on the asymmetry multi color band wagon and ...yeah...I am more Audrey Hepburn than ...I don't even know who in the movie world to tag for that, it is so not my style.....Stephen West in the knitting world. (Don't get me wrong, Stephen West is brilliant.  He makes me wish I could do the splits, wear multi-color brioche with confidence or dye my hair blue!.  I buy his patterns without any intention of knitting them because he is just so much fun...but he isn't my style.)

I don't usually make my monthly habits public, but July is all about Intention.  I will be Intentional about what I do, what I design, what I knit and the intention will not be to prove someone right or prove someone wrong...just to prove I can make my heart sing all the time!

So what will you be intentional about this month?

*And Wanna Be Knight, just in case you read this - we're fun, it's great...but you cannot save me from myself and I don't want you to.  Be there with the bandages and antibiotic cream when I fall, the tissues when I need to cry, and  laugh with me when it is all so funny.  I fly without a net because all too often in my life, the net has been pulled out from under me with no warning, or the rules of the game have changed from one moment to the next.