Wow! It has been hot here in NC State! Just trying to keep cool in our air-conditioned home. Our dear Golden is even wanting to stay inside. This is the boy that loves to sit in the grass in the backyard during the summer. When the humidity makes the heat index go above 104….that’s just too much for even our sun loving Golden Retriever.
This last week I published my Linear Rhythms Shawl on Ravelry and Etsy. This shawl was such a delight to design and knit up. I so enjoyed working with Glenheavenknits yarn! Highly recommend that you check out all of her beautiful yarns! With some of her beautiful yarn, I also designed the Addy Socks that I wrote about last time. This pattern was published as well on Ravelry, I still have yet to add it to Etsy. When I gave the socks(purple ones pictured below) to my dear granddaughter Addy, she refused to change socks for 4 days! I would say she was happy with them.
With all of the designs that I still have planned for this year, I sometimes need to take a step back and do some self-care knitting. I started a Soldotna Crop , and am loving how it is turning out! I am using a cotton/linen blend yarn, since I live in a warmer climate. I will insert a picture below. It is a very addictive pattern, it is so hard to put it down! I am almost ready to start the ribbing and finish the sleeves! What are you working on? Have you ever worked a pattern that you simply could not put it down?
I would love to hear about what you have been up to, feel free to share with me! I need to close and work on a design(sneak peak below). This one will require a video tutorial, so I have much to do!
It truly is summer here in NC! I love summer! The warmth, the flowers, school coming to an end for my boys….time to travel!!
We are planning a trip to see my daughter and her little family in Wisconsin. I am so excited about spending time with my grand daughters!! We will definitely have a trip or two to the beach.
In the meantime, I am getting designs worked up, and out to testers. I have a new shawl being tested, it will be published in July. I published my Just A Little Twisted Mitts on Ravelry, it is a forever free pattern. I have some sock patterns in the works right now. I am writing for toe-up and cuff down, both styles with a heel-flap and gusset construction, which takes a bit of math. I personally prefer to do the heel-flap and gusset in my socks, so that they have a better fit. I have them worked for newborn through adult L. I have 3 patterns in the works, more to come. My personal favorite, is socks worked toe-up. Most of the time I work with skeins that are remnants from projects, so I am not sure how long of a sock I can make. I work them TAAT(two at a time), so that I don’t have to play yarn chicken. Do you have a preferred way to knit your socks?
My first pattern is named Addy Socks, they are named after my grand daughter Adalyn. Adalyn loves to catch the frogs we have in our back yard. When I found the lace stitch, Little Frogs, I instantly knew they needed to be Addy socks! I knitted hers up in purple(photo below), her favorite color. I fell in love, and had to write up a pattern and make them for myself as well. Mine are still in progress, because the pattern writing/math, took more time than I had anticipated. I will be sending this pattern out to testers soon.
The beautiful thing about my toe-up heel-flap and gusset, is that it does not require picking up stitches, so you do not have any gaps! I use, and explain how to do them, German Short rows for the heel turn. As always, everyone has the option of using their favorite way to do toes, heels, and cuffs. It is an enjoyable knit.
This last month has been so busy with classes to teach, school functions/awards ceremonies to go to, running everyone where they need to be, I just didn’t have time to sit down and catch up. I am busy setting goals for my designs, and for my self in general. I want to try to spend more time with friends this summer, and, so to speak, stop and smell the flowers. I need to remember to enjoy the moments with friends and family, and not let them slip by. My health issues have changed and limited what I can do, so for a long time, I have let it. I am going to do more of what I can, and not dwell on what I can not.
I hope all is well for you, and that you are safe from the floods and tornadoes that many are dealing with here in the US.
Life tends to give me lots to do these days, when I go to sit down, I am either working on writing out a pattern, or knitting up a sample of a new design.
A few weeks ago I was given an opportunity to collaborate with a wonderfully talented Indie Dyer in Australia, Jenece of Glenheavenknits. This is my first collaboration, and I am so excited! I have previously used my own hand dyed yarns, or went to one of my local yarn stores to pick up the perfect skein. To have the chance to try yarn that I can not find locally, and is absolutely scrumptious, was just incredible to me! I let her know the ideas I have been working on, thinking she could choose one idea, and go with that. Instead, she sent enough yarn for each of these!! As I was waiting for the beauties to arrive, I had to put my design knitting on pause. This was the perfect opportunity for me to get some gift knitting/crochet done.
As I was looking for a project to work on for grandchildren, I found a crocheted Mosaic Bag pattern and knew that this was it! I quickly became addicted to making them! I got to the point that I was making one a day! Then the arthritis in my wrists wouldn’t have it any more, I had to put them down. I have found that crochet is much harder on my wrists than knitting. It was good timing, because that is when the yarn arrived from Glenheavenknits!!
I quickly got to work on the first priority pattern, my So Twisted Mitts! I am finally getting all of the mitt patterns added to my A Twist Collection e-book on Ravlery. The So Twisted Mitts I knit up using an incredible Aran weight Angora blend yarn, it has to be the softest yarn that I have had the pleasure to knit with! I am in love, and have plans for a cowl pattern in the future using this same yarn base. This pattern is now in the test knit phase and will be published on May 23rd or so.
My next mitts pattern will match my Just A Little Twisted hat pattern, with the cable down the outside of the hand and the twisted rib all around, these are being knit up on a DK weight Merino/silk blend yarn. This yarn is soft, plump, and has a sheen to it, beautiful stitch definition for the cables! I have more designs in the works, but will not go on about these today. I will share some photos of my progress below. I do however need to close and get back to work, I also have plans for a Margarita with my good friend. Have an amazing weekend!
Oh My! Yes, I have been hiding for awhile! My boys got sick, and decided to share with me(so thoughtful). We are all feeling much better now, so no worries. My oldest son that lives at home just turned 16 a few days ago….and for me, their birthdays get harder to face. I see all of my children growing, learning, and becoming themselves…. which is a wonderful process to watch… I just dread the leaving home part, and I see it coming far to quickly now. However, these are not the only reasons for being away. I really, just got out of the habit of it, and had a hard time getting back in to it. I have been busy knitting away. I recently started teaching knitting and crochet in my community, and really having a lot of fun with that! It has been such a joy to meet new people, and helping each of them learn a new skill. I also finished my latest shawl design and got the pattern out to testers!! I am so in love with the end result, and am having so much fun watching the shawls that my testers knit up come to life! It is such a fun knit! The border has a nice cable design that is framed by an I-cord edge, the main body pattern is a simple 4 row repeat that uses only knit stitch, no purling! I have included the optional tassels, which I am very fond of. My amazing testers are enjoying it, so that lets me know I have done well.
I have named her the Candrarryn Shawl, the design reminded me of a dragon, so I had to give her a dragon name. The pattern will be published on Ravlery in April, but will be in my Etsy shop very soon! Speaking of which, everything in my Etsy shop is 20% off through March 18th!
I did not get any work done on my cross stitching, I have been doing a lot of super secret work, that has kept me very busy. I am working on a Roxie The Hippo for a grand-daughter, a shawl for myself, and a pair of socks for myself. I finished crocheting up a June Sun Hat in preparation for our trip over Spring Break in April, and absolutely love it!
I have also been working on the patterns for fingerless gloves to match the hat patterns that I published earlier this year. So, yes, I have been a bit busy. I will try my best to be better at checking in with you, I would love to hear about your projects! I am in need of a cup of tea, so I will close for now. Until next time…. Be creative, be YOU!!
I have been a bit busy, I started teaching knit and crochet lessons in my community. It has been so much fun, I wish I had started this earlier! I just had to get over my introverted concerns, and do it. I am teaching what I love, meeting some wonderful people, and learning from those I am teaching. Since starting this new adventure, my days have gotten busy, I actually have to check my calendar, something I haven’t had to do since running my in-home daycare.
I just wanted to stop in and say “Hi!!!” to you though. I hope all is well, and that you have had some good crafting time! Did you learn anything new, or try anything new?
My knitting time has been very monogamous, only working on my new shawl design, and I really can’t share that with you right now, I want to keep it under wraps a little bit longer(pun intended).
I started a new cross stitch project. I finally purchased the Treasures Of The Deep SAL of 2018, and got going on January….I am loving it! The picture below is my progress, slow going, but very happy with it.
I was not able to get any spinning done since last I posted. I did a bit of yarn dyeing, but it was all custom orders, and for my own personal use in my designs, so it will not be in the shop. However, if you see something that you like in the photo below, feel free to contact me, I can definitely dye up more!
I will close for now, I am off to my Physical Therapy appointment. I hope you have a fantastic week! Be creative, be YOU!
I finished my Zweig sweater! I will probably live in it for awhile. I made a few adjustments for mine. I knitted up a size smaller so that it would be more form fitting, I knitted it to 18″ below the separation of sleeves, and so I also made the sleeves longer. I prefer my sweaters/shirts to hit at the hips, not my waist. I am in love with it! I used a yak/silk blend yarn, so it is very soft. So happy to have it done, and just in time for the cold temps we are getting.
I also got going on my big spinning project. I took some white bamboo fiber and some roving that I had received from my amazing Fibre Share partner last year. I blended them with my hand carders, and made rolags. I ended up with just under 4 oz. of fibre, which I divided into two equal piles and I then started spinning with a Z-twist. I have actually finished spinning the first bobbin, and have started the second. I am really hoping to get it finished over the weekend so I can ply them S-twist. It should make a fingering weight(fingers crossed) yarn that I can use in a shawl. Below are pictures of the fibre from beginning to the bobbins.
This week has been a bit slow, I have been dealing with back pain for a few weeks now. Doctor figured out the problem(spondylolisthesis), and will start physical therapy soon. It, in addition to my chronic pain that I already deal with in my lower back/SI joint….It has been a very uncomfortable time. I have had to decrease my knitting time and that has been miserable for me. I have always turned to my crafting to help me through pain, so I now need to find another way to deal with it until things work their way through with Physical therapy. Any suggestions? I thought maybe I could do some cross stitch or embroidery, but find my self in the same, head bent, position. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. On the bright side though……
I released the SO Twisted Hat pattern!! The second of three hat patterns in my A Twist Collection E-book. You can buy the hat patterns separately or save and buy the E-book(all 3 hat patterns). The third pattern will be released near Valentine’s Day. I have been very blessed with amazing test knitters for each of these, I don’t think I would have tried to learn how to knit left-handed if it hadn’t been for their needs. I have my next shawl pattern ready for testing now, but I will wait until I have finished up my sample knit. This one is a warm sophisticated asymmetrical triangle shawl. It uses DK weight yarn and has a gorgeous border worked right from the beginning cast on, framed by a simple i-cord edge. The main part of the shawl is worked in a fun pattern that requires no purling whatsoever! I can’t wait to show more teasers….but I will wait until it is finished. Let me know if you are interested in testing it for me. For those that do not know what is needed to be a tester, I just need knitters with basic knitting experience to knit up the pattern as written. While doing so, keeping a watch for any errors. You would get to keep the pattern for free, and with my bigger test(such as shawls), I also gift you any one of my other published patterns. It is a fun way to get new patterns before anyone else. If you’re interested, feel free to go to my Ravelry group and let me know.
Well, I hope you all have a good remainder of the week, and a great weekend. If you are here in the USA, keep warm! This polar vortex has hit so many with extremely cold temps.
Yep, I am a day later than usual. It has been a busy week! I published Vera’s Shawl this last weekend. Thank you to those that purchased one! I really enjoyed the process of this design, could be because of it being made in remembrance of my maternal grandmother. It was fun stitching up a pattern that I know she would have enjoyed. My second hat pattern in the Twist Collection series is finishing up with testers, and will be published either this weekend or early next week. Follow me on Instagram for updates on that. I also, put out the last hat pattern in the series for testing this week! A few of my testers have already finished theirs up! I have two shawls on the needles that I am designing, sneak peak of the asymmetric one here….
This should be ready for testing soon! (If you are interested in being a tester for me, join my group on Ravlery and let me know.) I am loving this yarn! I hand dyed this 100% Bluefaced Leicester a couple of months ago. I never put it in my shop, because I fell in love with the tonal colorway and the rustic feel to it! It knits up beautifully! I may add some to my shop one day….but I am being a bit selfish for now. I also finished one sleeve and started the second on my Zweig sweater! I may actually get to wear it soon! This week also included a doctor visit, and some dyeing for some custom orders for my Etsy shop,I even got some cross stitch done! SO yes, a little bit busy. I am hoping to get some spinning prep done over the weekend, so that I can get some more yarn spun up soon. I will focus on this asymmetric shawl first though. I just need to get editing done and then it will be ready to test. My sample is not even quite half way completed, so that may delay it a bit. This shawl will be a cozy big one, full of texture, yet very simple to work up! I can’t wait to show it off!!!
I will close for now, I need to finish up some dyeing and get some knitting done. Have a wonderful rest of your week! Remember, be creative, be YOU!
Below are pictures of my last design in the Twist collection and a look at my Zweig sweater that is nearly finished.
Well, hello! I hope our time apart has been good for you. The past few days have been very productive for me. I got a bit of fun spinning done. I had a few ounces each of camel down, and of angora. I just wanted to enjoy the process. These fibres are some of my favorites to spin! They feel so soft when spinning, and they create such beautiful yarn. The kind that you would never want to dye, and you have to find that special something to work it up in. I spun the camel woolen, and the angora semi-worsted. It was such an enjoyable morning, that I have promised myself I will take time at least once a month to do some spinning. I have some colorful fibre that I picked up at a local fibre festival here in NC, I want to blend it with some undyed Merino. I think that will be my next big project. I say big, because I will need to use my hand carders to blend them(still haven’t broken down and invested in a drum carder). This should create a very fun yarn!
This last week/weekend I got my next hat pattern finished up and is in the editing process.(Picture of knitting progress below) This should be ready for testing next week! (Yes, I am excited about that!) This is the third and final hat for the new e-book I have published to Ravelry. I will be working on some fingerless gloves to match at least two of the designs. I have also started designing a couple of shawls that have been sketched out and waiting patiently. One is being worked up right now, the other is still being tweaked. I will talk about each another time. I have two designs to be published on Ravlery next week. One is a two color triangle shawl, the other is a hat to be added to the collection I mentioned earlier. This shawl is very special to me, it is dedicated to my maternal Grandmother, Vera. She is the one who taught me how to knit and crochet. This shawl includes stitches she enjoyed knitting up; bobbles and chevron stitch. I am actually wearing my sample that I knit at the moment, its like a hug from her. If she were still around, I would have given it to her to enjoy.
In addition to all of these projects, I was “blessed” with a cold, one that had been going through our little family one by one. Luckily it is just a cold, and it only had us down for a day or two. Just in time for the warm snap in the weather! I am hoping to get out for some walks before the next cold spell moves in on Monday.
I will post some pictures of my spinning, hat in progress, and another of the hat and shawl patterns being published next week. What has your week been like? Did you accomplish something new? Did you challenge yourself? Did you take time to be creative? I hope so! If not, do it this week/weekend!
Until next time, have a wonderful week! Be creative, be YOU!
January is off to a start! This last weekend we celebrated my youngest sons thirteenth birthday! We live in North Carolina, so the weather was incredible, a warm 70 degrees. Saturday was spent with his friends, and Sunday(his actual birthday) was just a nice family time. We played games and had cake, red velvet cake(his favorite).
I also put another design out for testing this last week. I already have the shawl design nearly finished up, but now I have a new hat pattern out to testers. I am currently working on hat patterns using a combination of twisted stitches, cables, and slipped stitches. This is the second design for the e-book. I have been so lucky with finding amazing testers! For this design, one of my testers is a left-handed knitter, and she struggled a bit with the cables. In order to help her better, I quickly took a left-handed knitting class. What an incredible help this will be for me as a knitter/designer! Not only will this help me with knitting short rows, bobbles, and such….but, this will make me a better designer. I can now put tips for my left-handed knitters in my designs! I love being able to make knitting a more enjoyable process for anyone working up one of my designs. This was a great way to start off my new year! Always learning!
The title of this particular blog has to do with my adjustments to the winters here in North Carolina. We moved here after spending eleven years in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has cold, long winters. Some days the high temperature would be -45 degrees Fahrenheit, and would begin in October, and last as long as into May! Here in North Carolina the average temperatures in winter, even as a low, are warmer than a high temperature for Wisconsin winters. I have an adult daughter living in Wisconsin, with her little family, and I always feel guilty if I complain about the cold day(40-50 degrees), while she is in 8 degree weather there. The first year we moved out here, we were in hoodies and shirts in the 40 and 50 degree weather. Now that we have adjusted, I need a good jacket for the same weather. The crazy thing about North Carolina, is that we can have 70 degree weather in January and then a few days later have snow storm warnings. Its well worth the ups and downs to be close to the coast again though! I say again because I was born in Oregon, and lived there through my 20’s. As I sit here typing this out, it is very windy, as the forecasted winter storm approaches.
All of these adjustments and growth have been leading me to make some decisions about my goals for the year. Looking back on 2018, I had many adventures. I actually stepped out of my introverted life and entered into some pop-up markets, I started seriously designing knitwear, I created new and improved bag designs for my project bags, and have learned new ways to help me deal with my chronic pain. As far as the markets, I sold quite a bit in the first market, but each one following it became less and less. I added some items to my shop, in hopes to attract more people, but in the end, I was not happy. One thing I have decided, is that I will be limiting, if not stopping my hand dyed yarns and focus on my handmade items and designing. It is so hard to make money from hand dyed yarn. As dyers, we put a lot of time and thought into each skein that we dye. People do not appreciate the cost and time that it takes to create them. I am going to dye yarn, but what I sell will be very limited, I will actually sell some of my hand spun yarn this year as well. This gives me more time to focus on my designing, which I am very excited about! I have so many design ideas drawn out, it will take me years of designing to finish them all. My goal is publish one design per month. I am not sure I will reach that, it all depends on how smoothly the ideas go from paper to my needles. It is an exciting goal for me though, challenge accepted!
I will pause now, and hope I have not bored you all too much. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section, if you have any. I hope you have a wonderful week. Be creative, be you!
Below is a rough picture of my newest hat design that is scheduled to be published by the first week of February.
I have been enjoying a visit with my youngest daughter and her family, which means grandchildren! I had been working on a sock design for my granddaughter Adalyn(Addy), and got the socks finished up with her by my side. She has been wearing them every day, not letting us wash them yet. Of course I had to start on the next design for her big sister. This next design has butterflies and lovely, lacy vines. Sorry, no photos yet, still getting charts created for all sizes. My Addy Sock pattern will be released on Ravelry next week, it is in the testing stage right now. I will be working on a third cuff down sock pattern after This current sock design is finished. I have many plans for some autumn knits as well……so more to come. So many ideas that I am so excited about sharing with you. Until then, I am going to enjoy my beautiful, busy granddaughters that I am with right now.
Until our next chance to catch up…..Be creative, be YOU!
Ooops, sorry. I have been a bit busy, lost track of time! We went on a cruise over spring break, which was very distracting! It was our first cruise, and what fun it was! I actually did knit a bit while waiting to reach our destinations. I will share some pictures below of the trip.
I have been so busy with design ideas, pattern writing, knitting, and learning new techniques, so the cruise was a wonderful way to distract me. The perfect getaway!
I am currently blocking another shawl design that will be ready for testing next week(last week of April). It is a fun quick shawl to knit, perfect for summer nights. I will share pictures soon. You can apply to test knit it by going to my Ravelry group and asking to be put on my test knit call list. I am excited to announce that I am going to be collaborating with a very talented Indie Dyer for my next 3 designs! I have a half-pi shawl in the works, and two more fingerless mitts patterns using her yarns. Jenece of Glen Heaven Knits
As the weather warms up, I am wanting to knit smaller projects, so I may have a sock pattern coming up soon as well!
I hope you all have been well, and enjoying holidays. I will try to blog again soon! Until then, be creative, be YOU!!