Blissfields

May 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am so excited to share another new pattern with you this week! The Spring/Summer issue of Clotheshorse is out, and my skirt, Blissfields, is featured in the Festival section! Y’all, I love this little skirt. It’s so flirty and fun, and it works up super fast.

blissfields1a.jpg

Image ©Clotheshorse

There are a ton of other gorgeous patterns in this issue as well…I think a healthy chunk of my design fee is going to be going back to Clotheshorse!

 

At Full Gallop

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 by Laura Lynch

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

Materials:
• 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.

Rewriting History

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).

This Swatch is Trying to Kill Me

March 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Or, Another Post with no Picture Because I Can’t Show You Yet

Amongst the many other projects I’m working on is a sweater for a commission  On the plus side, there’s no actual deadline on this one (unfortunately, practically speaking, that means it keeps getting put off, and I really need to stop that because it’s going to be big and heavy at some point and I’ll probably be pretty unhappy if that point happens mid-August) (although really, it’s beginning to seem like it’s never going to be warm again up here in the frozen North, so maybe I’ll want a lap blanket in the middle of summer), but I have a little break between deadlined projects, so I started swatching.

I used the chart I had made up when I originally swatched for the submission, and got about, oh, 30 rows in before I realized that my new swatch looked nothing like my old swatch. So I got out the old swatch and tried to figure out what was going on. I got it mostly right, but there was something that was still eluding me…and I finally realized that I’d completely changed the pattern. Punchline: I had written out, in detail, the new pattern. Right underneath the chart I’d been referring to. Sigh.

Third time was the charm, though, and now it’s looking pretty awesome. This is another one I can’t wait  to share with you, not just because the pattern is going to be gorgeous  but because the yarn is so nice to work with (coughKnitPicksCityTweedcough).

After the Storm

November 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

For those of you who don’t know, I’m located smack in the middle of the area that just got bitch-slapped by Hurricane Sandy [sidenote: I have always, always hated the name Sandy.]. We got very, very lucky: no property damage, we never lost power, internet, or cable, no flooding. Many of our friends, extended family, and neighbors weren’t so fortunate.

Don’t get me wrong — we’ve been inconvenienced plenty…my darling children haven’t had school for a week and the bloom is quickly coming off the stay-at-home-mommy rose (seriously, homeschooling friends, I have no idea how you do this)…we can’t really go anywhere due to dangerous roads…grocery stores around us have very low stock on perishables… my paycheck didn’t get deposited due to the timing of the storm…but these are truly minor inconveniences compared to the losses and devastation those around us have gone through.

I’m releasing a new hat pattern today, Haimish. 100% of all proceeds for the month of November will be donated to a relief fund for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Haimish is a Yiddish word meaning “warm and comfortable; homey; folksy.” Easy to knit and wear, this comfy hat exemplifies these characteristics. Offset cables surround the hat, topping off the thick rib and rolled edging. It is rustic simplicity at its best. Offered in three sizes (child, adult small, adult large) for the whole family.

Size:

Child (Adult Small, Adult Large) / 14.25 (18, 21.25)” (NOTE: Hat is very stretchy and is designed with about 2″ of negative ease. I.e., if your head circumference is 20″, the 18″ size would fit you properly.)

Materials:

  • 80 (100, 150)yds Aran weight wool (shown in Katmandu Aran Tweed: Color 115 – Olive (104yds 50gm)
  • US 9/5.5mm 16” circular needle and dpns
  • Stitch marker

Gauge:

18 stitches and 22 rows = 4″ in pattern. Please take time to check your gauge, as this helps to ensure a successful project.

You can purchase the pattern online from Ravelry.com (you do not need a Ravelry account to purchase).

(non)Intelligent Design

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Three things happened to me yesterday, directly related to my designing of knitted things. Two are super awesome, and the other one not so much (and the lack of awesome there is exacerbated by it being avoidable):

Thing the first: I received notice that a submission I sent out a while back had been accepted. YAY! Emails of that flavor always give me a good 10 minutes or so of pure, unadulterated happiness before I start organizing and moving things around on my schedule and updating spreadsheets and whatnot. And even after the organizing part starts, there’s still a happy little glow there from the acceptance.

Thing the second: Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012 hit newsstands, and I received a note from a lovely woman asking me to please add my Maiden Fair Blouse pattern to Ravelry, as it was so beautiful and she’d like to add it to her queue. Done! A few notes about the Maiden Fair Blouse:

Slightly puffed sleeves, a low-cut neckline, and empire styling under the bust all evoke Regency-era fashion. Like many of Jane Austen’s characters, this little sweater has a sweet girlishness but also a hint of sophistication and elegance. The lace rib of the bodice is reflected in the detailing of the raglan sleeve shaping and easy ruffles adorn the edges.

It’s worked in Rowan Cashsoft DK, which is lovely both to look at and use. I really want to make one for me, if I ever have the time. Much like the cobbler’s children, I’m quickly finding that the designer never has cute new sweaters for herself. [Note to publishers: This is totally a problem I'm okay having.]

Thing the third: I tried on the sweater I’ve been working madly on (for self publishing! Finally a sweater for ME!) the past couple of weeks to check the armhole shaping…and discovered the chest measurement was way, way off. Let’s talk about this a minute, because I really have no one but myself to blame here. I mean, clearly my swatch is a filthy, filthy liar, but I know better by now than to ever fully trust a swatch.

I had a feeling while I was working the ribbing that it was going to be a bit wide, but I decided to ignore it/hope for the best/pretend it was all going to be fine once I was working in stockinette. THEN, I somehow never got around to actually measuring the width of the sweater (I’m blaming this on the fact that I was, at that point, determined that it would be my Rhinebeck sweater, which clearly didn’t happen anyhow — god, can you imagine how pissed I’d’ve been if I actually had managed to finish the thing for the show only to find it didn’t fit?). So I really could have saved myself a lot of heart/finger ache here, if I’d only a) trusted my instincts and/or b) actually taken a moment to check that I was on track. Sigh. At least it’ll be faster to knit it back up once I lose the extra stitches, right?

I’m going to put this one aside for awhile to focus on a couple of submissions and a super cute hat that should, in theory, be ready for release next week, but then I’m going to jump right back to it as, fit issues not withstanding, I think it’s going to be fabulous when it’s done properly.

Star Light, Star Bright

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
Wish I may, wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight

The enormity and magnificence of space has always struck me right to the core of my being. From the time I was a little girl, I remember looking up at the night sky with a tremendous sense of wonder and awe. Back then, the space program was in full swing, and Sally Ride was an astronaut, and it didn’t seem completely impossible that maybe someday I could fly among the stars. Then I grew up, and dreamed different dreams, and wished different wishes, and settled into my life on Earth…but I still get a tingle when I look up into the night sky.

My favorite of all the constellations is Cassiopeia…the beautiful but vain Aethiopian queen who incurred the wrath of Poseidon and was punished by being tied to her throne for eternity, placed in the heavens in such a position that for half the year she is sitting upside down. This shawlette is based on the shape of her constellation, an asymmetrical “W”. The garter lace of the main body forms tiny star shapes between the eyelets, and the lace border on the bottom edge evokes the shooting stars that are traditionally wished upon even after the first star of the night has passed.

Wish I May is now available on Ravelry.

Honey Badger Needs a Leash!

July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve just published a pattern over on Ravelry that honestly I’m almost embarrassed to call a pattern. Last week when I was at The Knit and Crochet Show, I needed a cord for my badge. So I made one. I thought some of you might need such a thing, too, so I’m sharing what I did.

You can download the pattern here.

Stepping outside

May 5, 2012 § Leave a comment


There are a lot of things that I’m moderately good at, and even a few things that I’m really, really good at. But there are also things I’m horrible at. One of those things is self-promotion. It makes me really, painfully uncomfortable to talk about myself and my accomplishments. And there’s this one really awesome thing that happened that I should tell you about, because this is, after all, ostensibly where I am to feature my professional design work. So here goes:

Last year, I decided to really buckle down and get this whole “pattern design” thing going. I’m comfortable with self-publication, but since I’m not great at self-promotion, my patterns tend to just sit there. I do actually know all of the things I should be doing differently…I just have a really hard time implementing them. So I decided to take a different tack, one I’d avoided before because of the fear of rejection. Turns out my fear of rejection is not as strong as my aversion to saying nice things about myself (yes, you read that correctly: I would actually rather hear other people say not-nice things about my work than to say nice things about it myself. I gots me some Issues™.). I started reading calls for submissions on Ravelry, did some sketching and swatching, and submitted a little bolero to Knitscene.

This little bolero, in fact. Which you can find in the Summer 2012 issue of Knitscene, available on newstands and in your local yarn store now, or directly from them here. (The protoype is pictured above in a black sparkly cotton that’s just gorgeous in person. ETA: It’s 2nd Time Cotton by K1C2)

Leaf lace detail — I think my favorite thing about this sweater is the way the insets create lovely big scallops along the neckline.

Since then I’ve been sending out submissions pretty regularly, and have had a couple of others picked up (which is why there’s been a dearth of content here lately — I’ve been spending every spare moment knitting my widdle pingers to the bone), so those will be out soon-ish. And I will be sure to tell you all about them when they’re available. Because you know what? I’m really proud of them, and me, and I think you’re going to like them.

FREE Pattern! Sangria Swirl

December 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

The other day, I came upon this delicious, unlabeled yarn. The colors were beautiful, the yarn was nice and chunky so I knew it would work up fast, and it felt just lovely in my hands. I did some measuring and weighing and figured out that I had about 450yds total. Perfect for a scarfy-shawl-thingie! What I wanted was another Clapotis but I knew it wasn’t nearly enough yarn for that. Then I thought maybe I’d just do another drop-wrap shawl, but I didn’t really want another big triangle, and so I thought I could do a rectangular one. And then…then I thought about doing a rectangle on the bias, similar to how the Clapotis is shaped.

So I sat down, cast on a couple stitches, and started to play with it.  Love. It. It spirals and stretches and you don’t really have to think much about what you’re doing. It can be worn as a scarf (doubled — it’s really long) or stretched out and worn as a wrap. Best of all, even for slow knitter me it was a crazy fast knit. I think it took me <20 hours all told, and I was figuring out the pattern as I went. Without further ado, I give you the Sangria Swirl:

It's a shawl!

No, wait! It's a scarf!

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Measurements:

72″ x 12″

Materials:

  • App. 450 yds bulky yarn
  • Size 11(8mm) needles

Instructions:

CO 3.
Increase section:
Row 1: kfb, k to end
Row 2: purl
Row 3: kfb, k to end
Row 4: purl
Row 5: kfb, k to end
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 14 times (84 rows, 45 stitches) Note: if you want to make your project wider, work more repeats of this section, and then work the same number of repeats of the decrease section, below

Work even section (no net increase or decrease):
Row 1: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 2: purl
Row 3: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 4: purl
Row 5: kfb, k to last 2, k2tog
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 22 times (216 rows, 45 stitches) Note: if you want your project to be longer or shorter, work more or fewer repeats of this section

Decrease section:
Row 1: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 2: purl
Row 3: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 4: purl
Row 5: k to last 2, k2tog
Row 6: purl, wrapping yarn twice around needle for each stitch (drop extra wrap when working next row)

Repeat these 6 rows a total of 14 times (300 rows, 3 stitches)

Bind off remaining 3 sts. Weave in ends.

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