May 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I think it’s probably clear to most of you that I’m a pretty proficient knitter. As the kids these days (where “these days” = probably about 10 years ago) say, I’ve got mad knitting skillz. But I am slooooow. Not beginner-slow, and not (usually) making-lots-of-mistakes-slow, but it takes me awhile to make enough stitches to finish a project. I’m okay with this, mostly — I’ve always been this way, and I’ve accepted it.
Sometimes, though, I really want a nice, quick project (that’s not a tank top or fingerless mitts). And I have a fondness for bell sleeves and cowl necks. Combining those three things gave me Tantivy:
Tantivy is a close-fitting, casual pullover featuring deep belled cuffs with a thick ribbed pattern that is mirrored at the bottom edge and on the generous cowl. Eyelets along the waist and bust shaping as well as the sleeves and raglan shoulders add a feminine touch to this super-cozy sweater. This sweater is designed to be worn with minimal or no ease. The sleeves of this sweater are very fitted, except at the cuff.
Finished bust: 29 (32, 35, 38.5, 41.5, 45, 48, 51.25)” / 73.5 (81.5, 89, 98, 105.5, 114.5, 122, 130)cm
• 7 (7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10) skeins Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton: Khaki (103yds/94m; 3oz/85g weight)
• US 8/5mm 16” circular needle
• US 8/5mm 29” circular needle
• US 8/5mm dpns
• Stitch markers
• Stitch holders or spare needles
Gauge: 15 sts & 21 rows = 4″
Pattern available for $6 US.
May 20, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Back in the day, I wrote and published patterns mostly just as a lark. I would make up something off the cuff, scribble down the instructions, take a few snapshots, and put the patterns up for free. A couple of years ago, I started getting a little more serious. I wrote more complicated patterns, had them test-knitted, and maybe charged a few dollars for the finished pattern. Last year, I finally got confident and motivated enough to start submitting to publishers, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be fairly successful with that.
However, looking back to my early work, I think much of it fails to reflect the level of skill and professionalism I currently bring to my designs…and that’s important to me. Effective immediately, I am making all of my previously self-published patterns unavailable (designs published elsewhere will still be available, obviously). I will be reviewing these older patterns and will edit, reformat, and re-release those that pass muster in the coming weeks.
What does this mean to you? Not much, unless you’ve been meaning to download one of my free PDFs and just haven’t got around to it. If this applies to you and you really want one of these patterns before it’s re-released, just drop me an email at tastefuldiversions AT gmail DOT com and I’ll be happy to send you a copy (this is true of any patterns I decide not to re-release, too, but be aware that I won’t be making that decision lightly, so caveat cerdo).
May 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
The kumquat sign is, anyhow. I was at Trader Joe’s the other day, and they had the cutest little orange fruits just hanging out above this sign:
See there? “Eat ‘em whole; rind & all!” it says. “A sweet little burst of vitamin C!” Sweet, my ass. I bit into one and my face did that thing it does when you bite into something unexpectedly bitter. I think it took me about 20 minutes to completely unscrew it.
So I went on Pinterest, like I do, to see what I could find to do with these bitter little things (it’s the rind, by the way — I could taste the sweetness of the fruit but the rind just killed me). I considered candying them, and I considered making jam or marmalade out of them, but then I saw that someone had used them in a white sangria and since I had a 5 liter box of wine just hanging out in my fridge (judge not lest ye be judged), that seemed like the way to go.
It was not the way to go. Don’t get me wrong: it was drinkable. But it was just meh. I also threw in some pineapple, pear, and strawberries for a little added sweetness, and because eating the fruit is half the fun of sangria. Unfortunately, while the sangria itself was drinkable, the fruit was pretty much inedible. It seemed to leach up all the bitterness from the kumquats. That said, I think I’ll be doing the sangria thing again sans kumquats. If it works out, I’ll throw a recipe up here next time. I can promise it will be well-tested. Because that is the kind of sacrifice I am willing to make for my readers.
May 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I needed a quick and easy sweater to knit while Becky plays softball, something I could pick up and put down and look away from and not lose my place. I came across Coachella one day while shuffling through patterns on Ravelry and immediately knew I’d found my project. It went super fast, but I did have a few issues with it (my issues, not the pattern’s).
To wit: the top is much deeper than it should be. Either a) there’s an error in the row count in the pattern (unlikely given the number of projects), b) my row gauge was WAY, WAY off (also unlikely, given how on-target my stitch gauge was and how normal the stitches look) or c) I can’t count. The tank looks cute on me, but the front drop goes way down (I’ll have to wear a tank under it, which is okay) and the bust darts are at the bottom of my rib cage (no one will notice unless I point it out). Still going to make another one (or three) — love how fast and easy the pattern is. I used Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend in Celery for this one.
Other things I did wrong/differently: I did not use the smaller needle, because I did not read the pattern properly. It seems fine. Also, I only worked tbl on the first two rows because it was making my wrist hurt. Again, it seems fine.
I’ve actually started my second one at this point, in Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in Pistachio. I’m making the next size down and will actually try this one on (as recommended in the pattern) to make sure I don’t have the same problem twice. See? I can be taught!
May 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I had Big Plans for blogging tonight. Of course I had to get the schematic done for Tantivy first…and that turned into a project and a half, let me tell you. I’ll tell you all about that soon (and about my first tech editing experience, including my awesome tech editor, who has the patience of a saint). So I did finally get my schematic done, but now it is time for bed, and so instead of great new recipes (don’t worry — they’ll be coming soon!) you are getting stuck with this.
The good news is, this means Tantivy is finally, finally ready to be released. I’m going to write a nice, long, thoughtful blog about her and then release her into the wild sometime next week.
I’ll also be showing you some other projects I’ve been working on, both original and not. And did I mention delicious recipes? Maybe, possibly, there will even be a Found it on the Internet Friday post this week. Dare to dream.
April 22, 2013 § 4 Comments
I have this one really great pair of jeans. They look AND feel good and because of this, they are my go-to pair. Unfortunately, for awhile now, they’ve had this little coffee stain. It’s tiny, really, barely noticeably, but I notice it. Of course, I always forget about it and then notice it after I’ve already put the jeans on and am out and about and not wanting to be wearing coffee-stained jeans. So, finally, finally, I remembered about the coffee stain while not actually wearing the jeans anywhere and, bonus, while having a bleach pen on hand.
I love bleach pens for stuff like this — the gel stays pretty much where you put it. and it rinses out really easily, too. I freehanded a design right over the coffee stain, then expanded it out so it would look more like a deliberate design and less like I was bleaching out a wee little stain. I’m really pleased with the result and can’t wait to wear my “new” favorite jeans out on the town!
March 29, 2013 § 2 Comments
Check out my oh-so-Springy nails! I decided I was sick and tired of waiting for Spring to get here, so Wednesday I painted these bad boys up with pretty little cherry blossoms. My toes match, too, and (despite the 40 F temps) I wore my flip flops for the first* time this year.
The main polishes are from Julep’s Maven box, which I tried out for the first time this month. I got the Bombshell Box, which had this gorgeous almost-red fuschia color and the pretty gold-leafy color you see there. I’ll be honest, the Maven box is a little pricey for me, but the polishes go on really nicely and lasted without chipping a couple of days on me (which for me is a lot). I’m skipping this month, but will keep an eye on future boxes to see what they’ve got. (Full disclosure: if you click that linkie and sign up, I get reward points.)
Since Wednesday, I have been wearing skirts and flip flops and driving with the sunroof open and — most importantly — have gotten my annual Spring sinusitis. I declare Spring officially sprung!
* Okay, technically the second, but that one day when I was sick and had to take the kids to school and didn’t have the energy to put on my boots doesn’t count. Man, did I get some looks that day.