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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Noisy

The Indie Gift Along is in full swing and...well that has kept my fingers occupied with knitting and chatting the chat threads, but didn't stop me from releasing a new pattern!

Presenting Norma Jeanne!

Yes...I know for me it is approaching the coldest days of the year, but, when it gets cold my thoughts turn to summer when I need a cotton tank top!  (And for my own personal use I might have a merino version too!)  Plus, in half the world it is approaching the hottest days of summer!

Knit in fingering weight, this oh-so-prim and proper top (from the front anyway!) goes from sedately being office ware under a jacket to full on "out partying at the beach bar" from the back!

You can get the pattern now on Ravelry!

As I said I have been knitting up a storm for the GAL...so far four projects are complete and the fifth is well on its way on my needles.

First up :  Ballan Hat

TDQ loves sunflowers so when I saw this pattern released earlier this year I knew I had to make it for her.  Tracey Lee (who hails from where it is summer now) does a wonderful job on what I consider the most important aspect of a hat...the crown!

Second up:  Oberon Socks

TOB loves green and it is traditional that he gets socks in his stocking and this pattern has all the things that make it the perfect pair of socks for someone who is about to have his internet name changed to Big Foot...(US Size 13 and growing!)  Lots of easy to do rows with just a few where you pay attention.  (I will be making this pattern again, you can count on that!)

Third up: Fafnir Hat

This one is for the bus driver that used to drive TOB to preschool, many years and most of the country away.  The most notable thing about this particular finished object is that yarn has traveled with me for something like 35 years!  (I got it when I worked at a yarn store in my teens!)

Next was a super quick Scarf: Bias Dropped Stitch Scarf for my "Other Daughter"...and yes she calls me her Other Mother!
And on that note...I have two more pairs of socks and at least two more hats to knit in the next 15 days!

Wish me luck!

~M

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Silent Night




~M

Friday, November 30, 2018

A Little Christmas Special for You

A little while ago, another designer I know wondered what would happen if three very different designers decide to collaborate on a sock design?

Magic!  And a lot of fun!

Annina from Artesanitarium Designs, myself and Tanja of Knitted in Switzerland have put together a little Christmas treat for you. 

A Mystery Knit Along for a pair of socks.

Each day from December 1st to December 24th we will be posting small clues on Instagram on one of our accounts.

Want to play along?

You will need:

100 g of fingering weight sock yarn.
US size 1 - 2.5 needles (2.0 - 3mm) to obtain a gauge of  32 sts and 36 rows to 4 inches (10cm)
A cable needle (optional, you can totally knit these without it if you prefer to cable without a cable needle)
Large eyed tapestry needle.

A knowledge of working in the round, basic cables, increases and decreases...but there is nothing too hard, I promise!

How to participate :

Follow each of us on Instagram.

Me
Knitted in Switzerland
Artesanitarium

The clues will be posted alternately from each of our accounts so it is crucial that you follow all three of us...but don't worry we will all post which account has the clue on it each day.

(To complete a full pair of socks, work two at a time using your preferred TAAT method.)

The fun starts tomorrow!

~M


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Saturday, November 17, 2018

So Much to tell you about

It's been a busy week!

First up, the beta knitting for a cowl was just about finished so I decided to go ahead and hit publish for a new cowl pattern. 

People sometimes ask what inspires someone to design a particular piece and for me, very often the answer is that I have a "pain point" to solve.

This time around the pain point was I want to knit myself a color block, fully reversible wrap that is seamless.  (And of course being me, I also wanted it in lace weight yarn with reversible lace patterns too!)

Changing colors in knitting usually leads to a row of unslightly bumps in the "old" color. So I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to get rid of that on the "wrong" side of the work.

But, who wants to figure that out on a 45 by 65 inch wrap, in laceweight?  (Spoiler, not me!)

So I grabbed two contrasting aran weight yarns and starting playing!

And thus was born  Cowl Trick!



You can purchase that pattern in my Ravelry Store by clicking here.

But wait, that's not all!

I am again thrilled to be included in a "special" issue of Knotions! The Sock Issue!  My contribution  is based on a houseplant!

Schlumbergera is probably the only houseplant that I have that I managed, somehow, to not kill!  In fact I have several because they seem to thrive on the balance of neglect and overwatering I give them!


Schlumbergera is a small genus of cacti with 6-9 species found in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil.  But you probably know them as a Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas Cactus!  With flowers in red, orange, pink and white, this easy-to-grow and -propagate plant is found in many homes, including mine!
Worked in three (or more!) colors, these top-down socks morph from slipped-stitch colorwork to comfy ribbing. Only one color is used at a time. The flowers take very little yarn, so dig out those little 15 gm scraps and put them to good use.
 



You can get your copy of these socks and some other truly lovely designs on Knotions


But wait...there's more!

Coming soon to Ravelry....The sixth annual Indie Designer Gift Along!  But I will tell you more about that this coming week!


~M

Friday, November 2, 2018

Pourquoi

One of the things that products and services are supposed to do are fix a "pain point" for the people who buy them...so that electric kettle that boils water in just a few minutes, while it performs the same function as the old fashioned one on your stove, could entice you to buy it if your "pain point" is the time it takes to boil water for tea or instant coffee...





What does that have to do with knitting?

One of my "pain points" in knitting is that funny little hump that crescent shawls sometimes get.  So many factors play into if the hump will block out or stick around forever...the yarn, how tightly you knit, how quickly or slowly increases are added, where they are added.

In my never-ending search for a crescent that would solve those problems for all knitters...I approached the problem backwards.  How could I make that hump worse?  Maybe those things could tell me how to make it better...then inspiration struck.  Instead of just making it worse, why not make it a feature.

How the shawl got her name:

Pourquoi Stories, porquoi means why in French, are also known as origin stories and include Australian Aboriginal dreamtimes stories, Alamat or legend stories from the Phillippines and Tinga Tinga Tales from African Cultures. They explain why certain animals are the way they are, for example why a tiger has stripes, a snake has no legs or the camel has a hump.
 






This shawl is made from one skein of Melilla Fingering Weight yarn from Cascade Yarns on US 6 (4mm) needles and starts with a small garter tab and ends with a fancy picot bind off (with a few beads thrown in for added weight at the bottom.)

You can get it now in my Ravelry Store!

In other knitting news, I am playing along in the NaKnitMo group on Ravelry.  My goal is to knit 70,000 stitches in the month of November and get a few things off my needles before the holiday knitting rush starts!  If you have WiPs you need to get off the needles, maybe you would like to join us?

Happy Knitting!

~M

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

Strings

A little while ago a friend of mine was looking for a special baby blanket to knit for the daughter of one of her friends.  I was flattered when she asked me if I had a shawl pattern that could be converted to a baby blanket and when I heard a little more about the parents to be, totally inspired to design something for her!

Both Mom and Dad are musicians and Mom actually plays first chair violin for a very well known Symphony Orchestra.

My friend had already picked out a layette set to make and a color scheme (pinks as in this day and age it is hard to get through a pregnancy without knowing if you are having a boy or a girl) so I took a look at the patterns she had already picked and...Cradle Song was born.
This baby blanket is started flat for the center, then stitches are picked up around all the edges for a String Trio border (I thought of it in 3/4 time as there are three spots for instruments and four edges to put them on!) and applause sections and a nice, neat, tidy I-cord edge.

We used three colors...all very girly but the same pattern would work wonderfully in a single color or neutrals...
Charting the Violins was harder than I thought and each time I swatched I ended up with "Cello" in my mind...which brings me to the sadder note to this post...another friend of mine, who had been in remission from cancer for many years got some heartbreaking news around the time I was finalizing the blanket pattern. 

She is also a music lover...Chamber Music and Cello's are her "thing".  (And maybe somewhere in the universe that was why all my violins were turning into cellos instead?)

A staunch supporter of the arts, this second friend has been working with Arion Chamber Music
that is her labor of love and here is mine...a portion of the pattern price will be donated to that group at the end of every year!

You can get your own copy of the pattern here...or just donate to Arion using the link above!  (Or throw caution to the wind and do both!)

Until next time..Knit on!

~M

Oh and PS...if you sign up for the newsletter...when I have new patterns you get a special (huge!) discount code.  I don't typically do sales so that is THE way to get a deal!