Posts categorized "Designing"

Tight. But Not Terrible.

The ribbon is on the skirt waist.

The skirt doesn't fit.

It's not really a surprise, I've put on a bit of weight in the last year. I have no idea how much because I don't own a scale. I do notice some of my "skinny" pieces are pretty tight right now and there's stuff I'm not wearing because they're not comfortable. A scale will merely put a number on what I already know.


I'm going to be more careful with my portion size, really cut back on alcohol (seriously, I've been doing a lot of social nights out for drinks in the last year for a bunch of reasons--some fun, some as a balm for rough times at work) and just be more mindful of what I consume. 

As for the skirt, well I suspect I was really relying on the stretchiness of  the fabric to make it fit and it makes more sense to add another repeat (or two) and get this right. 

The nice thing about the pattern is that it was easy enough to rip back the button holes and keep going (Confession, I ripped back, picked up the live stitches and then went and spun up some fibre because I need to take this whole unfinishing a finished project in chunks to keep the frustration down). 

Following some clever folks on Ravelry, I also plan to use snaps instead of buttonholes to keep it all nice looking. I do wish I had made it shorter, but there's no fixing that. I was even musing about turning it into a jumper by picking up stitches at the waist and working up (similar to what I did with my Ella coat) but that might be a tad too crazy. Or just too warm a dress even for a Canadian winter.

Now I'm looking at knit dresses.



The City in Winter 

Now I'm getting crazy ideas about doing a Custom Fit sweater that I could graft to Carnaby to make a dress. That's what I love about knitting--even when it goes wrong, I have the fun of thinking about how to make my work better. 

Blogging like it's 2007...A Blog Tour!

The fabulous and talented Julia Farwell-Clay has a new book out and she's cleverly organized a blog tour to promote her beautiful designs. Remember blog tours? I loved reading them!

The book is called From Folly Cove and is full of lovely wearable knits. I'm one of the last stops on the tour so I don't want to say too much. But there are contests! And discounts! Classic Elite, the publisher of the collection is even giving one lucky winner yarn to knit whatever design from the book they choose.

Check it out on Julia's blog or Ravelry.



Pattern Release: Ellipses Mittens

I have a new pattern for sale on Ravelry: Ellipses 

Ellipses kitty

The original release was part of the Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 Skein Club from Indigodragonfly.  It was a lot of fun to work with fellow smartasses on this one as it brought out our rather morbid (but fun!) side.

Why Ellipses?  Sometimes it's better not to talk about how your design ideas happen...**


These mittens are knit in soft, fuzzy Indigodragonfly Organic Merino fingering weight, held double for a more solid mitten.  The yarn felts with wear making the mittens cozy warm and almost windproof.

The colourway is Goodbye Kitty.  You might notice the bow motif on the hands and the XXs on the cuff (poor kitty).  I believe that colour is exclusive to Club members but any varigated yarn will work nicely.  As will a dk or light worsted held single.

Ellipses carnage

These are my Spring and Fall biking mittens and they've held up very nicely under hard wear.  (In the Winter I wear my Fiddleheads, sometimes with another pair inside).  

The pattern includes options for knitting with silk hankies (yum) and to make fingerless mittens.  The stitch patterns are in chart form only and while the cuff is a bit fiddly (I love me an applied Icord), the rest is fairly easy.

 **No Hello Kitties were hurt in the production of these mittens.  


hat in our 'hood, originally uploaded by Dr. Steph.

I wrote up a free pattern for Xander's 4x3 Top-Down, Hat of Power (aka 4x3TDHoP).

It's an easy beginner knit for someone wanting to start knitting in the round. I've indicated spots where you can modify the size, though it's pretty stretchy and should fit most older kids to adult size melons.


You can find the pattern on Ravelry here: download now.  If you don't use Ravelry, you can grab the pattern right here:  Download 4x3TDHop.  

If you're looking for the yarn I used, it's Indigodragonfly MCN Sport (the colour pictured is Herb Tarlek Jr.). One skein for the hat. 

I knit it in a couple of evenings.  I know it's spring, but there are still some hat wearing days left, or you could get a jump on holiday knitting.


I have a new pattern out!'s only for members of Indigodragonfly's Smart Ass Knitters/World domination Club. (For now, sorry).  Kim asked me to design for the club and it's the first offering.  I'm so pleased with the reception to the pattern and the shawl itself.

The yarn is Indigodragonfly MCN Lace in a colour called Paging Dr. Smartass (that would be me).  It's so nice to work with. Not a true skinny laceweight, more like a supermodel who ate a good solid dinner laceweight and it gets all soft and fluffy when it's washed.

The pattern will be available through Indigodragonfly in January 2011 and I'll have it up on Ravelry by early Spring. 

For all you club members, I'm keeping the pictures down near the bottom of the post so you can be surprised if you haven't yet got your package.


And the club itself is a hoot--We got the yarn, the pattern and a nice piece of "artisan swag" from a local ppotter in Kim's neck of the woods.  She made little clay pendants with M1, YO, SSK etc on them.  Very fun (I got SSK).

Next package is in August.  I can't wait to see it.

Until then, here's my lovely, smart ass in training Emma modelling the shawlette.  I like it so much I think I might make another one.





Spring Cleaning for my Knitting

I know there's been a bit too much blog silence lately, I'm hoping to get back into the habit since I enjoy writing regularly and I enjoy reading blogs too.  I still really like Twitter but I'm trying not to use all my blog mojo there.

If you do follow my Tweets, you'll notice I haven't been feeling all that great.  Just Spring stuff--colds and fatigue, but I think most of it is behind me now.  The good thing about being under the weather, but not too sick is that I have been doing a fair bit of knitting.  

The first priority project is an extra secret project.  I'm the first designer for Kim's Indigodragonfly Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 skein club.  The pattern and yarn will be sent to club members in June so this sneak peak is all I can show you.



I'm having a great time designing and I stretched myself with this one in the fancy construction department. That part was fun.  Ripping out 150 rows of garter stitch when I got my geometry wrong wasn't as fun!

The pattern is mine to release some time this summer; I'll keep you posted.

Next up are Xander's socks.  I have one done and on the heel for the second one.  His feet really are growing while I look, so I need to get these off the needles.  So it's the couch, Firefly and socks for the next few nights.



I also have some abandoned projects on deck that I want to finish because I have a LOT of things I would like to start.  I consider this spring cleaning for my knitting.  I'm on the last piece of my Nantucket Red Cardi--mine is Calmer Blue.  So that's an easy finished object.  

I also have not so much done on the Hanami stole.  I really love the idea of this shawl, but can't get my head around the basketweave pattern.  I'm hoping I can get my head down and just knit those last repeats (or even cheat and skip one) and then get to the cherry blossom part which I'm sure I can get my head around.  I'm using kidsilk haze which is rather unrippable so I'm going to give it a good solid try.

What's up after that?  Some baby clothes for my knitpal Keri who is due in July, perhaps a summer top for me and then, I'm not sure...only because I have tons of beautiful stash yarn and I want to knit it all.

Smartass Knitters for World Domination 1 Skein Club: Now accepting applications

Super-fab yarn dyer and wonderfully smart assed Kim over at Indigodragonfly has a 1 Skein Club starting in June.  It's open for subscriptions until Sunday March 14th and it's going to be lots of fun.

The deal is you get a skein of yarn dyed by Kim in a Club-exclusive colourway and a pattern.  I'm designing the first offering and am keeping company with other great smart-asses like Glenna C, Sarah Jenkins, Susan Lutsky,and Ronni Smith.  You also get a bonus of artisan swag--something nifty made by the creative folks that Kim meets during her work promoting the Arts. 

Yummy yarn, great patterns, swag, smart-ass-ness: What more could you want?

Did I hear <<Cashmere>>?

If you sign up for a 1 year subscription (6 shipments) there's even Cashmere.

Not sure? Go read the details.  And look at my recent Indigodragonfly acquisitions. 

Wounded in the Act of World Domination MCN Sock

Wounded in the Act of World Domination (Donut) Sock yarn

Self Elmolation (giggle) in MCN Sock for some socks for Xander.

Self Elmolation Sock

2ply Organic Merino in Seasky (I bought this as a gift for a friend and don't want to give it away)

2ply organic merino Seasky

Soft, squooshy colourful and cleverly named.  What's not to like?  And there's more here.  I'm particularly smitten with Beige.

Help For Haiti

First an update, and then a promotional plug for a pal who's doing more to help.

Update: Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of my Hansel pattern.  I donated the entire price to MSF.  It was only $65--but that's still great.  Thanks a bunch.  

Now the plug.  My knit pal Rosemary, pin maker extraordinaire and pattern designer of fabulous pretty things is selling her Brandywine shawl to raise money to Help Haiti.

Rosemary has a BIG goal.  She wants to sell 10,000 patterns to raise $50,000 dollars to help Haiti.  That's a lot of patterns.  She's already donated $2000, so she's well on her way.  It's a lovely shawl (great for those of you doing 10 shawls in 2010).  Have a peek and help the cause.

Hansel for Haiti

Just wanted to let you know that until January 31, 100% of the sales of my Hansel mitten pattern will be donated to Medicin Sans Frontieres (I'll even eat the paypal fees to donate the full $5). 

Hansel Mittens

If you're not on Ravelry, email me (link on the right) and I'll make the arrangements.

I don't sell a lot of patterns, so I'll top up the donations to an amount that I think is suitable.  Haiti needs a lot of help. 


Well it took me almost a year, but I finally released my Hansel Mittens.  


The companion to Ysolda's Gretel beret, these mittens knit up fast in heavy worsted or aran weight yarn and have a lattice cable pattern inspired by the beret.


The pattern includes charts and line-by-line instructions and is available on Ravelry for $5.00.  

The mittens have an 8" /20cm hand circumference and are 9.5" / 24 cm long.  For smaller mittens, knit to a tighter gauge.

I used Foxhill Farms Cormo Cross, but any worsted/aran weight yarn would do--about 220yds/200 metres.

So if you made Gretel you can get all matchy and have warm hands this winter.