Thursday, April 17, 2014

From Pines To Pacific

I'm pleased to announce that I've released two new patterns: Pacific Blues and Pacific Ripples. The Pacific Blues hat is knit from the brim up. It has a slipped stitch chevron pattern all over that resembles the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Ripples mitts are knit from the cuff up. They also are inspired by the Pacific Ocean. The gusset shaping is cleverly worked in with the chevron patterning.

I decided to bundle up Pacific Blues, Pacific Ripples, and Beyond The Pines all together into a collection called From Pines To Pacific. All three look good using variegated yarn. But a solid or long color repeat will look just as nice.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Poppycock? Nope, They're Poppy Socks!

Sometimes it feels like I have absolutely no upcoming designs, and sometimes the exact opposite happens. At the moment, I have four designs that are in various stages of completion. This past weekend I was able to complete a photo shoot for the hat/mitt combo. I'm hoping to have them out by next week, all going well. The Police Box Sox are being tested. And now I'm knitting like a crazy person to get a pair of California Poppy themed socks done. Why, you ask? Well, it looks like unlike last year when the Antelope Valley Poppy reserve looked like a desert, this year there are poppies. I'd been toying with the idea of poppy socks for a bit, but when I realized that not only are there poppies this year, but we will be going south at just the right time, I knew that I needed to make the socks a reality.

So far I've figured out 10 ways to not make poppy socks. In fact, yesterday, I'm pretty sure I knit an entire sock's worth of stitches. Unfortunately this did not result in a complete sock. One of those half-socks in the picture below is destined to be ripped.

I'm just hoping that all this effort is worth it. Poppies are notoriously picky about weather. So even if we get to the reserve and there are poppies, they might all be closed. Of course none of that matters if I don't manage to knit a pair of socks in time. No pain, no gain... right?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reading Is Key In Reading The Key

It's funny what a few days can do for a knitting basket. I finished knitting up all the blue yarns and now everything is going to be bright for a bit! The green and gold are the Anzula I bought two posts ago. All going well, I hope to have another sock design knitted up before the month is through.

The red is Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in Hertzblut that Rachael got me when she went to Germany. It's becoming a pair of Woodpile Socks. So far so good. 
Although, I did get to do a little ripping. It was a little my fault, a little not. I didn't read the pattern key, I just knitted the cables like you do. I noticed pretty quick that it didn't look like the picture. Silly me, I knit the cables opposite of what the key said. In my defense, the symbols are the opposite direction of what cable symbols typically are. That being said, I have learned that I need to read symbol keys BEFORE knitting. It'll save time in the long run.

Most of what was in my knitting basket in the last post are designs that I can't show off just yet. But I did finish the Watch Cap for me. It's out of Knitwhits Freia Handpaints Ombre Worsted in the Denim color way. I am pleased. The brim can be folded up and probably will be when I wear it, but I wanted to show off the gradient.

In case anyone was wondering, I still haven't located my other hats.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Knitter's Logic

Today is rainy and all my projects feel rainy too. I'm sure you've all been there: every project seems to have stalled or become difficult for one reason or another. I'm trying to be disciplined because I have a deadline for one of the designs. But I have a whole cubby of sock yarn that says, "Knit me, knit me!" And the only thing stopping me is that the needles I'd like to use for new socks are being used for this rather stubborn design. (The design is a pair of mitts which you can see in the upper left of my knitting basket. And now that I've fixed my very silly mistake that I made in the pattern, it should knit up much faster. Bonus: The mitts have a companion hat that has been finished and is just about ready to be tested.)

Anyways... as I went out to take the picture, I noticed that I'm knitting all blue projects! The mitts, a pair of Police Box Sox (I'm on the foot of the second one!), and a Watch Cap for me that I started last night. I heard the siren's call and I gave in. Also, I can't seem to find any of my other hats, so I used knitter's logic: make a new one.

What colors are you guys all knitting at the moment? Do you have a predominate color ruling your knitting life?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's So Squishy

I have a weakness, and that weakness is yarn. The other day Anzula was having a trunk show at Green Planet Yarn, so I thought I'd go over to "Just Look." I thought I'd be safe because of what I did to myself at Stitches West. No such luck.

I ended up with six skeins in the Squishy base. The colors are, starting at the top orange one and going clockwise: Arizona, Black, Boysenberry, Poppy, Charcoal, and Spruce.
Spruce is what started it. I've eyed it for quite some time, but just hadn't managed to get my hands on it. Once I chose one, it was all over.

Who else has fallen down recently? It can't have been just me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sock Report

I haven't had any finished project news in quite some time. I'm pleased to share that I have finished not one, but two pairs of socks! First up is the Haleakala. The pattern is by Cookie A and I found them quite enjoyable to knit. I chose to make mine out of Tosh Sock in Nebula. I will note that I had to make my heel flap longer than normal because the tops of the socks are a little tighter due to the pattern, but that was easy enough to do.

I also finished my Days Of Wine And Roses socks, named after the Canon Hand Dyes yarn. It's just a 64 stitch vanilla sock. I had hoped to finish them in time to wear for Valentine's Day. No such luck. I'll just be sure to wear them next Valentine's Day.
As always, Scooter decided to help out during the photo shoot.

At this point, I had run out of projects, so I've started up some new ones. This yarn is Alexandra's Crafts Diamond Lake in the colors Blue Pacific and Navy. They will become a matching hat and mitt set. After a few false starts, the hat is coming along nicely.

Then I decided that I needed a new pair of Tardis socks. The black and white are Koigu. The blue is Knitsch in the color way Tennant.

I've decided to write up my own pattern for these ones. So many of the patterns for Tardis socks have either really large sizes (72+ stitch socks) or are a chart with the instructions "plug into your favorite sock pattern." I don't have a problem with that kind of instruction now, but one of the first pairs of socks I ever wanted to make was Tardis socks and fixing a pattern was way beyond me. So I thought I'd try to make something that a beginner sock knitter might have a shot at. It will have a 60 stitch size and 72 stitch size. So far so good.

Has anyone else knit up Tardis socks?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Laughing In The Face Of Large Skeins

My poor ball winder has decided that it no longer cares to wind yarn. Halfway through a ball, it decides that it's too dizzy, resulting in yarn barf. So after some research (I asked everyone at knit night what winder they have) and seeing that Bethany had the same one that I was interested in, I committed. Look at this beast! It's a Stanwood 10oz ball winder and it laughs in the face of large skeins. Laughs.
After winding this yarn, I promptly worked on a project that didn't involve this yarn.

The day the winder came was a great mail day. My two box bags arrived. I've had this fabric sitting since Stitches West 2013 with the intention of sewing up bags myself. But after purchasing one of the box bags that Maria of A Needle Runs Through It made, I knew that she would do a far better job than I ever could. She said yes to the custom fabric (which I so handily had already washed, ironed, and brought with me) and a week later I got them.  

Check out the interior fabric. For the record, I specified which way I wanted the direction of the print to go, which I know is quite... ah... precise of me. Maria was happy to oblige. For those of you who don't sew (or, like me, do, but don't ever get around to it) I can't recommend these bags more highly.

So that was my happy mail day. I'm so excited to play with my new toys. Has anyone else had a great mail day recently?
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