Friday, August 30, 2013

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Marylene Lynx
Blog: Marylene's Blog
Rav ID: marlynx
Some Great Designs: marlynx's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: July 16, 2010

In my original post, I described marlynx's work as having a soft, easy romanticism.
I'm sure you'll agree that aesthetic continues, over three years on.

There's three patterns I'll be pointing out to you, representing just a fraction of the new designs she's published since July 2010:

Zelda, a sleeveless top that cascades, beautifully, down towards a gentle ruffle and undulating bottom edge. Delicate, pretty, perfect warm-weather knit. 

In a show of talented colourwork, there's the Ingrid's Mitts and the matching Ingrid's Beanie.  It's no simple thing to combine so many colour and patterns into one piece as a cohesive whole. These are some of the most riotously-lovely winter accessories I've seen in a long time.

As a strong, almost exclusive, self-publisher, I very much admire marlynx's output! It's a lot of work to self-publish (or independently-publish, as I prefer the terminology). Looking forward to more of your designs!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Thank you to everyone who's entered the Thick Chill giveaway, both on the blog and through the email list.

The winner of the blog giveaway is #38, as determined by the random number generator: Greta!
The winner of the email list giveaway is #12 (in order I received your entries): elenaknits!

I'll be contacting both of you in the next couple of minutes to get your mailing addresses.

Onwards! It's time for me to start polishing up some knits for the Autumn edition of Hinterland.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mine. Mine. Mine.


Here comes Butterick 5639, in view C, yet again.
In an attempt to get it right, I shortened the skirt pieces and made the size 10 rather than 12.
That mostly fixed the extra-fabric-at-the-armholes-issues, but still persists in being too large around the ribcage.
I had to take it in at the sides again. But, have succeeded in not having to create those disappointing bust darts.

I plan on making a cooler-weather version of this dress, but I'm thinking it's about time to move on to another pattern, one that might be more flattering (hit at the waist, rather than below the bust).

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hinterland Autumn; Sneak Peek

Just a taste of one of the patterns in the upcoming Hinterland Autumn collection!
I can't wait to show you the rest.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Kira Dulaney
Site: Kira K Designs
Rav ID: kirakdesigns
Some Great Designs: kirakdesign's Rav Designer Page

This designer has over 80 patterns! You need to check them out. I'm just going to give a teaser here of two.

Rose Window Slouch, which is pictured, is a very pretty and wearable crochet hat. YES! Crochet hat. This might be be nicest crocheted hat I've ever seen. It uses the strengths of that needlework to good effect, with interesting texture and lovely openwork.

And another hat, this one knit: Mandala. Again, there's some fantastic texture here. It's really getting me in the mood for the autumn! I love how the cables dance towards a beautifully interlaced centre.

So yes, just a quick tasting here. Browse through her work to see so much more!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sewing Success; Sort of

Popping by to show off my latest sewing success!
It's Butterick 5639, in view C.
Yay for pocketses!
I say "sort of" success. And this I say because, well, ultimately I'm lazy with my sewing. I rammed the zipper on the back there, and it looked all good and seamed and flat and lovely.

Then, after a full day of wearing this puppy (at work, no less), my boyfriend helpfully pointed out that, given the right angle, you can totally see through a 2" gap at the base of the zipper. Which happens to coincide with my ass.
So yeah, possible bum flashage aside, this dress was fast (did it in two days! Except for, you know, the ventilation holes at the back...) and is rather flattering.

You can sort of, but not really, see the added bust darts on this pic.
Again, I see that the size I'm supposed to be is actually pretty big on me. The measurements for a size 12 are the same as my actual measurements, so I figured I was safe. I ended up having to: 1) take in the dress 1" at each side! 2) hem it up big time (though, being part hobbit, I do expect that) and 3) create bust darts.

Point 3) was pretty disappointing, as the dress has pretty seams for the bust rather than darts. There was just too much fabric at the armpits, and I'm not sure if that's due to my bust being to big or small for the dress, or maybe my armholes are smaller than the average bear?
Any experienced sewers have any ideas?

I would like very much to make more of these dresses, and would be chuffed if I could determine the ill-fit issues and correct them.

Thanks all!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thick Chill Giveaway

I'm super pleased to be included in Reclaimed, Knit Picks' new Fall 2013 Collection. It includes fifteen new patterns that focus on transition, with designs that range from scarves to cardigans, hats and mitts.

My pattern in Reclaimed is Thick Chill, and here's the deets:

Yarn Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky; 4 hanks
Gauge 9 stitches and 14 rows = 4 inches in stockinette
Needle Size US 15 / 10.0 mm
Yardage 548 yards / 501 m
Size one size; 25" tall, 33" around

Because of that gauge, it's a quick knit. Something fun and functional, a piece that's great for gifting (and pretty great for keeping, too!) Big hoods/cowls like this are my favourite cold-weather accessory!

You can check Thick Chill out on ravelry here.

You can buy the pattern individually for $4.99 here.
There's the option of buying with the yarn in a kit, and getting yourself all 15 of the beautiful patterns in Reclaimed in ebook or hardcopy form.

But that's not why you're here! You're here because I'm hosting a giveaway.

What you can win
  • a digital copy of Reclaimed, including all fifteen patterns
  • four hanks of Wool of the Andes Bulky in Spruce, so you can make your very own Thick Chill!
What you have to do to win?
  • comment on this post, letting me know what YOUR favourite cold-weather garment/accessory is to knit
  • fyi: email listers get an extra chance to win. Want to join? Clicky here!
  • Winner will be announced on August 29, so comment before then!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Raiku Räsänen
Blog: outo lintu linnassa
Rav ID: Raiku
Some Great Designs: Raiku's Rav Designer Page

My idea behind sharing these indie designer posts with you all is simply to generate inspiration and raise the awareness of newer designers. With that in mind, many times the patterns I feature aren't necessarily published, or in English! But I find that seeing the great creativity of other knitters gives me fuel and fire to produce more and more interesting work.

So, this week's designer may not have published patterns for all her work, but I certainly think you'll find them beautiful and inspiring nonetheless!

Pictured is Charlotta toinen, a delicately cabled pair of socks that are making me wish it was autumn right now. I can't wait anyhow, but the idea of pulling on a pair of lovelies like these gets me all cozy and ready for tromps through dried leaves with chilly air.

Charlotta ensimmäinen gives me that feeling too. It's yet another delicately cabled piece, this time a cute slouchy hat.

Kirahvintäplähuivi is a cool double-knit cowl with a neato abstract pattern allover. You know me and my love of cowls!

And linked here is Raiku's newest design, which she hopes to publish before the fall. Another cozy-looking piece!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

And the Winner is...

Congratulations to Sheila! The Random Number Generator has declared you (well, number 7, really!) You're the lucky winner of the Bijou Basin Ranch giveaway. I'll be contacting you in the next few minutes to get your mailing info.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Keep your eyes peeled; there's more giveaways on the blog soon!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tons Happening; And Here's a Quilt

Lots of news on the blog lately! And the fun's not gonna stop, people.

Hinterland still has its Autumn and Winter editions, and I have another pattern or two waiting in the wings to debut.

I still love to load myself up with projects galore. In my personal non-knitting news, I've decided that my crafty supply hoarding has been going on for far too long, and it's about time I put all the lovely things I've been collecting over the years to good use.

To that end: all my friends better watch out, there's handmade gifts coming your way (they're the best kind! Full of love and stuff!).

First up is one of my good friend's birthday gift1.

I got this quilt done in about, mmm, a week. It was a lot of fun. I had to restrain myself from tweeting endlessly about how much I wanted to get home and sew it.

The little herringbone pattern is easy. For a lazy quilter like me, it's very nice to have pieces that are all the same size and shape to cut out (save for flipping the fabric upside-down to get the reverse side of the chevron).

This whole making-a-quilt-in-a-week thing will likely continue. I have about four friends with birthdays in August, about five in September, three October birthdays, four November ones, and a couple in December. I seem to cluster all my family and friends around the last half of the year. What's with that?!

1 Today is her actual birthday. So happy birthday Val!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: al-albrigo
Blog: al abrigo
Rav ID: al-abrigo
Some Great Designs: al-abrigo's Rav Designer Page

This Spanish designer has a wonderful selection of sweet and simple patterns. The sorts of pieces that look fun to knit and wear.

First up is the pictured Scabiosa Top. Knit this one while the summer's still here! I really like its combination of lace and solid stockinette. The pattern is available for download in English.

And, in yet another edition of patterns-for-kids-that-I-wish-were-for-grown-ups, her 

Singing in the Rain kid's boots are adorable! They come in two sizes, 0-6 months and 6-12 months. There's a lot of babies happening amongst my family and friends lately. I think some of those wee ones will be getting these!

Finally, there's the cute kids knit wendy. A nice little dress, it's got simple enough elements to be a quick and relaxing knit, but enough going on to make it interesting. I really dig that pleat!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Reclaimed: Thick Chill is Live!

© Knit Picks
New pattern ahoy!
This one's been under wraps for what feels like ages, and now I get to share my excitement with you!

Reclaimed is Knit Picks' new Fall 2013 Collection. All the 15 new patterns focus on transition; those first moments of autumn that peek in to your late summer. When your mind turns to sweaters and scarves and all forms of the knitted warmth that you'll be making and needing in the coming months.

My pattern in Reclaimed is Thick Chill, a fun, quick, warm knit that is worked up on huge needles (that's US 15 / 10 mm, people!). Cowl/hoods are some of my favourite cold-weather accessories. Very useful: they keep you warm, they're adaptable, and they can cover your head and leave you without hat-hair (my priorities are straight, ya'll).

One of my favourite things about Thick Chill is the gauge: 9 stitches to 4 inches! Oh yeah! That's the beauty of Wool of the Andes Bulky held double. Lovely thick fabric, that collects and hugs around your neck and shoulders in a lovely, sculptural way.

You can buy the pattern individually for $4.99 here.
There's the option of buying with the yarn in a kit, and getting yourself all 15 of the beautiful patterns in Reclaimed in ebook or hardcopy form.

Check it out on ravelry.

Bijou Basin Ranch Yarn

I like to try new stuff.
Especially new yarrny stuff.

So when the opportunity arose for me to get my paws on some fibre I'd never knit with before, I absolutely jumped for joy. There very well may have been heel-clicking involved.

My cup of joy overfloweth-ed upon the arrival of my very own package of Bijou Basin Ranch
yarn. I received a lovely sock pattern and two hanks of Tibetan Dream sock yarn.

Yarn Profile:
85% yak, 25% nylon
4oz (113 grams) = 440 yards
US#2 - #4 needles
7 stitches per inch

Read a few comments and see some projects made from this yarn here on Ravelry.

As to what I think of this yarn: it's lovely! I'm going to run down the list here of some good stuff about this yarn:

-colours: they have a selection of solids and variegated yarns, each very strong, sturdy, classic, and adaptable. These are the sorts of colours you can turn to for a timeless knitwear piece, something that will likely appeal to many (if not all!) people lucky enough to be on your knit-gift-list.

-texture: a natural sort of squishy, and soft enough to wear against your skin, the yak fibres are strong (good for socks!) and warm (especially socks for the upcoming chilly months!) I thought it might be interesting for you to read a very little bit about yak fibre here, on Knitting Daily.

-yardage: 440 yards / hank? Yes please! I love sock weight yarn with its fantastic yardage.

Want some Bijou Basin Tibetan Dream yarn for yourself? That's easy.
Just comment on this post and let me know if you've ever knit with yak fibre before. I'm curious!

I'll be drawing the lucky winner on Thursday August 15. You'll get a hank of Tibetan Dream in Siegfried colourway and a copy of the Woven Sock pattern.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Hinterland: Summer

 photo hinterlandcoversummer_zps2b62bcea.png
It's here! It's here! It's finally here!
While the summer may very well be winding down, I present you with my first in my Hinterland collection.

This edition has three patterns: Killdeer, Ontario Skies, and Raccoon's Home Range.

Killdeer - on rav photo 108_zps9dfd81ff.jpg

The Killdeer Cardigan is for light, bright, breezy summertime walks through the woods. Just enough to keep the sun off your back, the top-down yoked shape dips out gracefully towards softly ruffled sleeve caps, and descends down, with two pockets for comfort and found treasures.
Graceful ties in the front can keep it closed and closer to your body, or open and breezy.

Note: two models shown on ravelry pattern page, each wearing the size Small. Model with glasses is 5’1”, and model with striped shirt is 5’11”.

Killdeer - on rav photo 022_zps8c96c556.jpgKnit Picks CotLin, 70% Tanguis Cotton, 30% Linen, 123 y / 112 m per skein, Cashew, 5 (5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8) hanks
4 mm (US 6) straights or circulars
18 sts and 24 rows = 4” in stockinette
Sizing Note
The structure of this cardigan does not rely on your bust measurement, but you should choose the size which is closest to your actual bust measurement. Your Cross Back measurement is the number you will see on the schematic.
For ease of choice, here is the CYC standard of sizing, including the Bust and Cross Back sizes. These are generalized sizes; your Bust and Cross Back measurements may be different sizes from each other. If you would like to measure your Cross Back, you can refer to this link:
provisional cast on, cable cast on, picking up stitches, short rows

Ontario Skies - on rav photo 026_zpsc5405fc9.jpg
Ontario Skies

Ontario Skies is a graceful summer wardrobe staple. The adjustable straps allow you to wear it in a number of ways, and make it very easy to adjust the size to the wearer.
An otherwise continuous stream of stockinette is made challenging by the insertion of a pleat on the back, short rows to form the bust, and short rows along the bottom edge for just-that-bit of extra coverage on your back.

Ontario Skies - on rav photo 012_zpsa44cccad.jpgYarn
Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Cotton, 100% Organic Cotton, 150 y / 137 m per hank, Glacier, 3 (3, 4, 4, 5, 5) hanks
3.25 mm (US 3) circulars
20 sts and 28 rows = 4” / 10 cm in stockinette
XS (S, M, L, XL, XXL)
29 (33, 37, 41, 45, 49)” / 73.5 (84, 94,104, 114, 124.5) cm
stitch holders and/or dpns
Choose the bust size that is within =/- 2” / 5 cm of your actual bust measurement.
short rows, picking up stitches, cable cast on, knitting in the round

Raccoon's Home Range - on rav photo 268_zps9024a0fd.jpg
Raccoon's Home Range

Raccoon’s Home Range is an adaptable and highly useful knit for your summer spent outdoors. Roll it up and tie it securely for carrying or use as a pillow for staring at the clouds; unfurl and use as a cozy picnic blanket for two; or wrap around yourself (or snuggle close to someone else) around a chilly evening campfire.
Raccoon's Home Range - on rav photo 243_zps5acb00d8.jpg
Knit Picks Billow, 100% Pima Cotton, 120 y / 110 m per hank, Yarn A: Willow (5 hanks), Yarn B: Natural (5 hanks), Yarn C: Clarity (1 hank)
6 mm (US 10) circulars
13 sts and 20 rows = 4” / 10 cm in garter
one size

What's in the ebook?
The ebook contains Killdeer, Ontario Skies, and Raccoon's Home Range. It also has complementary information about the collection's inspiration, short "bios" of the raccoon, killdeer, and Carolinian forest zone, and an extensive annotated bibliography.

The ebook is $9.99 CAD. Killdeer is $5.99 CAD. Ontario Skies is $4.50 CAD. Raccoon's Home Range is $4.50 CAD.

Where to Purchase
You can buy the patterns individually or all together in the ebook on ravelry.

Thanks to my great tech editor, Holly Priestley, and my kind and talented photographer, Mark! 

Gratefulness and Recognition

I hope you'll indulge me for something of a rumination.

Very recently my sister paid me a visit, bringing me a surprise gift. (It's this way-cool ring right here. She knows my taste, peeps!)

I joked "what's this for? Is it because I'm AWESOME!?". And truly, I joked. I had no idea. I was scanning my memory banks, wondering what the last thing I may have done for her was that would provoke a lovely little gift.

It was, in fact, nothing. I'd done nothing for her, but she had chosen to give me a gift in recognition of my "...knitting, getting submissions accepted, and your success on your blog!"1. I'm not one for sappiness in general, so I have to admit that's not the reason I'm sharing this story with you.

My motivation is mainly to get all feminist-y here.
That is: my sister's gesture was kind, and particularly so, because women have certain prescribed milestones in life that are traditionally celebrated. These milestones are, unsurprisingly, tied to traditional goals and role for women, such as marriage and having children.

While I do not endorse Sex and the City as a feminist wonderland, there's been a couple of storylines that reflect on these ideas. They've questioned, in their own way, why women who do not fall into traditional roles are not deemed worthy of celebration. If you don't have kids, and you don't get married, your life doesn't get celebrated. In essence, you haven't done anything worth recognizing. There's no culturally accepted "woman-gets-a-great-job" party. There's no "way-to-go-on-purchasing-a-home-on-your-own" shower.

But what my sister has done for me is, in a very small way, demonstrate that there are things I've done that are worth recognizing.

Again, I'm not trying to be sappy, and I'm certainly not trying to toot my own horn, but I am trying to highlight that you, and/or women you care about, may be feeling similarly overlooked. When we enter our mid-to-late-20s, these sorts of issues begin to arise. You may see it happening yourself, with friends around you. Traditional milestones left unmet. Some friends being seemingly constantly celebrated, while others are not.

I'm hoping that this post might inspire you to look to these women you care for, and let them know that even if they are living their life in a non-traditional way, they nonetheless have a life with milestones worth celebrating.
1 So I quote from the pretty card she wrote to me along with the gift.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Emily Ross
Blog: knitterain
Rav ID: knitterain
Some Great Designs: knitterain's Rav Designer Page

How beautiful is this shawl?
This week's designer, knitterain, shows us how it's done with her delicate and lovely patterns.

So, that shawl in the picture is Arlington, and it's a great example of her style. Pieces that could certainly be timeless, and always are solid, attractive, and rewarding knits.

I'll give you two more examples:

There's the cooly colourful Burano, inspired by the brightly hued streets of that Italian city. The pattern page describes it as a relaxing knit with high flexibility, and I'd have to agree. Top down, garter stitch, two different sizes, and again, timeless and lovely. You can't go wrong!

Last example: Haruni.
It's translated into about 10 languages, has options for crochet OR knitted bind offs, charts, and a top-down design. Everything I read about this pattern I like!