(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.

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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.

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.

Just a Little Something

July 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

So I finished Azzu’s Shawl, made with the leftover skein of Arucania Ranco Multy I had from this wrap:

Snuggly soft and just warm enough

I think I might be addicted to these little shawlettes…especially now that I’ve discovered that a) there are a ton of patterns out there for them and b) many of those patterns can be made with a skein of sock yarn, which I have *ahem* an abundance of. And I don’t really knit socks anymore…it just sort of wore off (mostly because I don’t really wear them much except around the house in the winter, and that seems like a waste of pretty yarn and good knitting). So lets see how many of those skeins I can make into more of these little pretties before I get tired of them, too. Next up is the Out of My Head pattern with my treasured skein of Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in the Tyndareus colorway.

So's you can see the pretty lace patterning.

The eagle-eyed among you may spot a rather large error in the completed shawl here. Please note that the error is all mine and is due to my lack of paying attention rather than any lack of clarity on the designer’s part. I happened to be far enough past the error and also far enough into the “OMG I’m almost done I can’t wait I can’t wait” zone that I chose to just leave it be. Also, I found the tracking chart to be invaluable as I worked the pattern. Checklists FTW! (If you download the pattern from Ravelry, both the pattern and the checklist will be available to add to your library/download.)

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