Sunday, September 29, 2013

Under A Harvest Moon

The harvest moon occurred a week and a half ago. (The harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.) So Mum and I went on a hike to watch the moon rise. The lighting was amazing that evening.

I brought along my two newest FOs. Here is the Prairie Shawl. I ran out of yarn after the 5th chart. (There are 6 charts total) Luckily for me, a friend had bought the same yarn as me and she didn't need all of it for her project. So I've named the shawl "Saint Christine" in her honor.

When we got to the top of the hill, I photographed my other FO while we waited for the moon to rise. I give you Strathcona. It was for Mum's birthday this year. I was only 4 months late.
And now that this scarf is done, I have knit all of the knits out of Jane Richmond's book ISLAND.

The moon rose right as the sun set. And as always, it was magical.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lit Knits Blog Tour Thanks

Now that the Lit Knits preorder has ended, I'm looking forward to blogging about new knitting things. But before we get to that, I just wanted to thank all the bloggers who joined me on the Lit Knits blog tour. You guys did such a wonderful job. Here are the links for posterity:

Sept 4th - Kiwiyarns Knits
Sept 6th - Bits And Pieces
Sept 8th - My Sister's Knitter
Sept 10th - Pans & Needles
Sept 12th - Pretty Little Fiber Co
Sept 14th - The Yarniad
Sept 16th - Woolen Diversions
Sept 18th - Savannah Chik Knits 
Sept 20th - Dona Knits
Sept 22nd - Jane Richmond

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Deep Sea Wanderer KAL

Hey everyone! It's been a busy month here at Bear Ears, which means I'm woefully behind on blog reading and other important things. Regardless of how much is going on, there is always time for knitting! Now that I'm not knitting for the book, I have time to knit for myself... from the book.
I'm hosting a Deep Sea Wanderer KAL over on the Bear Ears ravelry group, and I'd love for you all to join me. I'll be casting on mine on October 4th. And I've already bought my yarn: Tosh DK in Cousteau. (The same as in the book.)

In other news, the preorder for Lit Knits is coming to a close. After September 25th, the book and ebook will only be available separately. Once the preorder closes, the printed copy of the book will be unavailable to order until mid-November. (Unless the printer is super fast, then it could be as early as late October.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Behind The Garden Wall

Behind The Garden Wall is the 10th and final knit to appear in Lit Knits. It is based on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which was published in 1911.

These socks are knit top-down and have a dutch heel. The legs of the socks both feature the ivy that hides the door to the secret garden. And just as Mary Lennox finds a key hidden in the earth, these socks have a key hidden on the bottom of one of the feet.

Getting a model proved to be challenge. It took me quite some time to find a model who looked young without being too childish. I was actually getting a little worried about finding someone. But one day, while talking to a friend, I looked down and noticed that her feet looked close to my size. (I typically make all sock samples my size so that if it comes down to it, I can model the socks.) Actually, I stared at her feet. It doesn't matter if you are good friends with someone. No one thinks it is normal if you stare at their feet.  I explained that I was looking for a sock model. She let me know that she was available the following Tuesday.
One of my favorite shots that didn't make it into the book

Where we were shooting was by a busy road, which I mentioned in a previous post. To get some of the shots I needed, I had to stand in the road. So I would run into the road, focus, take a picture, and run back. Mum and my model held their positions all though this. Everyone was so sore by the end. Don't believe me? Try holding the pose below for 15 minutes. Feel the burn.

Luckily for my model, I left the easy "sitting" pictures for the end. Here is what the set up looked like.

And here is the resulting picture.

All in all, it was a great day.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Motoring Madness

Motoring Madness is the 9th pattern to appear in Lit Knits. The fingerless mitts are based on Kenneth Grahame's book Wind In The Willows, which was published in 1908.

After reading the book, I knew that the pattern just had to be based on Mr. Toad. There are many characters that appear in the book, but in my opinion, Mr. Toad is the most memorable. I decided that Toad would need driving gloves, which is why the project is fingerless mitts.

Mr. Toad is known to be a reckless driver, so the pattern is meant to look like Mr. Toad has erratically driven over the mitts. Twisted stitches help give the car tracks strong definition. There is a missing rib in the top and bottom ribbing on the mitts so that the tracks remain uninterrupted.

I actually knit this pattern twice. After finishing the first pair and putting them on, I noticed despite the pattern being centered on the mitt, once the mitts were on, the pattern curved towards the thumb. To correct the look of the pattern when the mitts are worn, the pattern is knit slightly off-center on the top of the mitt.

The neatest thing about this shoot was that about 10 minutes before the we started taking pictures, the model and I went to the thrift store and found the brown shirt and jacket that he is wearing. I kid you not. We couldn't have found a better outfit to match the gloves, book, and suitcase.

This shoot was done a few hours after the Tomfoolery shoot and it remained a blistering 108°F/ 42°C. My model deserves an award. Even though he was sweating it out for an hour as we took pictures, you'd never know it. It's hard to believe it was as hot as it was because in the pictures, the model made the day look enjoyable. (It wasn't. It really, really wasn't.)

In the book, whenever Mr. Toad doesn't have a car, he just pretends that he is driving. I knew that one of the shots I had to get was to have my model pretending to drive, just like Mr. Toad. The first few shots looked too posed, so I said, "Mr. Toad committed grand theft auto. You need to pretend like you are stealing a car!"
Here's Mr. Toad gunning it

The next shot was exactly what I had envisioned.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Avonlea is the 8th pattern to appear in Lit Knits. The shawl is inspired by L.M. Montgomery's book, Anne of Green Gables which was published in 1908. This was the first pattern I designed for the book, and also ended up being the first one I took pictures of.

Avonlea is meant to be a knitted picture of what Anne saw as she first saw Green Gables. Along the edge of the shawl are ripples of The Lake of Shining Waters. Past the lake is a field of flowers. The flowers go from large to small to create an illusion of distance. After the smallest, and most distant flowers is a picket fence that surrounds the final part of the shawl: Green Gables. There are little windows within each of the gables. The top of the roof is bordered by a stockinette sky.

I was so nervous leading up to the Avonlea shoot. Up until this shoot, I had only used family members or been the model myself for my patterns. I didn't want to seem foolish or inexperienced, despite being friends with the model and lighting assistant. I'd also never done a shoot for a shawl, so I was also pretty worried that all the photos would come out horribly. There were more imagined scenarios of possible failure which I can't remember anymore. But then I took the first picture and all was right in the world.
This is the first picture from the first shoot for Lit Knits

We started out by a tree I had spotted during one of my bike rides. It had a perfect crook for "Anne" to sit and read her book. Thanks to my lighting assistant, there are some behind the scenes photos. First the picture of me taking the picture.
Photo credit to Alina Sayre

Here's one of the resulting photos.

We continued walking along and passed by a nearby lake. At this point we all realized that this could be our "Lake of Shining Waters" since the sun was starting to reflect upon it.

The last photos we got were of the project and the book. Although I knew that this was a shot I wanted to take, I didn't realize how much this shot would influence the rest of the photo shoots. I had thought that some of the "book shots" would also have a model holding the book. This shot proved that I needed to take a picture of just the book and knit (and sometimes prop) all on its own.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Robin Hoodie

The Robin Hoodie is the 7th design to appear in Lit Knits. While there are many books on Robin Hood to choose from, I read Howard Pyle's version, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood which was published in 1883.

The pullover is a raglan, knit from the hood down. Special care was taken to make the cables at the top of the hood match up when grafted together. And the instructions have detailed diagrams explaining how to graft stockinette, reverse stockinette, and how to switch between the two. The cabling that starts in the hood goes down the arms, front, and back of the sweater without interruption.
Bonus: all the sweater sizes reference the different characters in Robin Hood. I wear the Allan A Dale size. The model is wearing the Will Scarlet size.

Although it wasn't as hot as the day of the Tomfoolery shoot, it still wasn't close to being sweater weather. My model sweated it out all the while avoiding ants. There were so many ants.
We were in a pretty secluded area, but some person came by, sat down, and started smoking something that was plainly not just a cigarette. At some point they noticed us, a bunch of people taking pictures of "Robin Hood" complete with bow and arrow. I'd like to think that they thought they had really good stuff that day.
This is my favorite picture from all of the shoots. I couldn't help but put it on the cover of the book.

Showing how the cables ran down the entire sweater was a challenge. It was difficult to take pictures that showed off parts of the sweater without looking unnatural. We tried a bunch of poses. Some of them were good, despite not making it in the book.

We did an Errol Flynn styled pose too, just for fun. It didn't quite show off the sweater the way I wanted it to, but hey, we had to give it a try. Not pictured is me battling a branch and contorting myself around a nearby cement wall in order to get this shot.

After this shoot, we immediately continued on to where the Down The Rabbit Hole shoot would happen. (The shoots were done back-to-back.) The model switched to being the lighting assistant. The flowers were on a sloping hill, so we were all in uncomfortable positions to keep from falling over. At some point he looked over his shoulder and asked, "Do I look like a pin-up?"

I'll let you all be the judge of that.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sail To Treasure Island

Sail To Treasure Island is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's book Treasure Island which was published in 1883. This is the 6th pattern to appear in Lit Knits. The blanket is knit from the center out with an option to knit a larger border. Although this pattern could easily become a shawl or lap blanket if it were knit with a different weight yarn.

The idea behind the blanket is that it is actually the map to Treasure Island. The outer edge is the ocean. The ocean waves give way to the beach. Past the beach is the forest that covers a good part of the island. And near the center is the texture of the mountains. The increases that give the blanket its square shape also represents the most important part of any treasure map: the X marks the spot.
A slightly more subtle detail of the blanket is that the mountain texture and sand texture are the same cable pattern, but the cabling is offset on the sandy shore. Since mountains crumble to form silt and sand, I thought it would be neat for the cable patterns to be related.

The props I got for this shoot are some of my favorite. Both the compass and coin were my Opa's. The coin in particular is a real piece of eight. Minted in 1744, it is a Spanish 8 Reales. 
Although my Opa didn't live to see this book completed, I was able to tell him that both his coin and compass would be in the book. He was unable to talk at that point due to the effects of Alzheimer's, but he understood. He teared up when I told him. 

The photo shoot for Sail To Treasure Island took place on New Years Day of this year (2013). I blogged about some of the amusing things that happened in an earlier blog post. But I'll let you all in on a few other things. My brother declared himself a diva. This was his excuse for not helping to carry the big black sea chest across the beach. He didn't really want to model that day, but Mum "convinced" him that it was a good idea. (i.e. He didn't have a choice in the matter.) Of course this meant that he messed around a bit. After this picture was taken, Mum yelled out, "Stop messing around! You are still in the shot." To which he said, "Oh."

After we joked about him being a diva, he gave me his best Fabio look.

A picture of the black sea chest almost didn't make it into the book. But we made such an effort dragging it out that I shuffled around charts to make it fit. And what is a map of Treasure Island without a chest full of treasure? (Or potential treasure. You'll have to read the book to find out.)

Getting pictures of such a large item was pretty tough. But I'm quite happy with how all the images turned out in the end.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blog Tour

I'm pleased to announce that Lit Knits is going on a blog tour. Over the coming weeks, these blogs will be talking about the book and hosting ebook giveaways. The tour will be as follows:

Sept 4th - Kiwiyarns Knits
Sept 6th - Bits And Pieces
Sept 8th - My Sister's Knitter
Sept 10th - Pans & Needles
Sept 12th - Pretty Little Fiber Co
Sept 14th - The Yarniad
Sept 16th - Woolen Diversions
Sept 18th - Savannah Chik Knits
Sept 20th - Dona Knits
Sept 22nd - Jane Richmond

Of course it is already the 4th over in New Zealand, so the first bit of the tour has already begun. So have a peek over at Kiwiyarns Knits post.

And if you cant' wait to get your hands on a copy of the book, it can be found over on

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