Saturday, March 5, 2016

The latest Knit Picks collection

Finally another opportunity to share some finished projects! The latest Knit Picks collection that I was able to design for was released recently. It is called Petite Presents and features 30 projects that use small amounts of yarn.

I have two patterns in this collection. The first pattern is the ZigZag Mittens. They are knit in superwash wool, so they are soft and washable. There are lots of options for color customization with this project. You could knit them in dark, rich colors or neutrals for a completely different look. They come in three sizes to fit children through adults. I gave a pair of the smallest size to my niece for Christmas.

zigzag, mittens, yarn, pattern, knitting, pink, blue, white, gray, colorwork

zigzag, mittens, yarn, pattern, knitting, pink, blue, white, gray, colorwork

zigzag, mittens, yarn, pattern, knitting, pink, blue, white, gray, colorwork

zigzag, mittens, yarn, pattern, knitting, pink, blue, white, gray, colorwork

zigzag, mittens, yarn, pattern, knitting, pink, blue, white, gray, colorwork

The second pattern is for Weather Mug Cozies. They are super simple to knit and use duplicate stitch to add the designs. There is also room for customization with this project. You could make a cozy with sun on one side and rain on the other. It would also be fun to use a deep red or green for the snowflake cozy to make them holiday themed.

mug cozies, weather, yarn, knitting, blue, rainbow

mug cozies, weather, yarn, knitting, blue, sunshine

mug cozies, weather, yarn, knitting, blue, snowflake

mug cozies, weather, yarn, knitting, blue, raincloud

mug cozies, weather, yarn, knitting, blue, rainbow, sunshine, snowflake, raincloud

mug cozies, weather, yarn, knitting, blue, rainbow, sunshine, snowflake, raincloud

mug cozies, weather, yarn, knitting, blue, rainbow, sunshine, snowflake, raincloud

I've been super busy designing and writing several different patterns, so it's nice to take a quick break and share some finished products! I can't wait to share some of the patterns that I'm working on now.

Friday, January 8, 2016

New pattern! Lattice hat

I just released a new pattern! It is a gorgeous hat called Lattice. Being knit with chunky baby alpaca yarn makes it a wonderfully soft and squishy hat. The main part of the hat has a lovely lattice pattern made with cables which continues around the entire hat without interruption. It also has a brim that folds up for extra warmth. We've had a few cold days here lately and this hat has been amazing!

The pattern is available here

hat, lattice, baby alpaca, yarn, purple, beanie, knit, knitting, cables

hat, lattice, baby alpaca, yarn, purple, beanie, knit, knitting, cables

hat, lattice, baby alpaca, yarn, purple, beanie, knit, knitting, cables

hat, lattice, baby alpaca, yarn, purple, beanie, knit, knitting, cables

hat, lattice, baby alpaca, yarn, purple, beanie, knit, knitting, cables

hat, lattice, baby alpaca, yarn, purple, beanie, knit, knitting, cables

hat, lattice, baby alpaca, yarn, purple, beanie, knit, knitting, cables

Here's some more helpful information about the pattern:

Finished Measurements: 
Circumference: 18 inches unstretched, stretches to fit head circumferences up to 24 inches. 
Height: 8 inches with brim rolled up.
Materials: 
Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky 100% baby alpaca, 100g/108 yds; Color: Color 612 Mystic Purple; 2 skeins 
16-inch US #7/4.5mm circular needle 
16-inch US #10/6mm circular needle 
1 set US #10/6mm double-point needles 
Cable needle 
Removable stitch marker 
Yarn needle

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My design process: Part 4- Embellishment and finishing

Once all the pieces are finished, they must be put together. This a very important step, though not my favorite. I often put off the sewing together which is why I have a studio full of mostly finished projects. Once I force myself to finish though, the project is transformed into a stunning finished item.

With this purse, I decided to add a fabric lining. I measured the fabric, cut it so that there was a fold on the bottom, then used my sewing machine to sew up the sides and hem the top.

fabric, flowers, lining, sewing, measurefabric, flowers, lining, sewing, cut

fabric, flowers, lining, sewing, machine

Next, I did some finishing on the knitted part of the purse. I sewed the beginning and end of the I-Cord bind off together so that it looked nice and neat.

finishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, design

I sewed up the bottom of the purse along the cast on edge.



finishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, designfinishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, design

The zippered pocket took a bit of work. To make the zipper the correct length, I reinforced it with my sewing machine where I wanted the end of the zipper to be.  I then cut the zipper a bit past the new end. After that, I sewed the two pieces of the pocket to either side of the zipper and then sewed the pocket in place on the fabric lining.

finishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, design, zipper, pocket, pouch
finishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, design, zipper, pocket, pouch



The fabric lining was then ready to be sewn into the knitted purse.

finishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, design, lining, fabric

Next I sewed on the handles.

finishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, design, lining, fabric, handles

 Lastly, I added some crochet flowers to the front of the bag.

finishing, knitting, purse, sew, yarn, pink, design, crochet, flowers



Finally the bag was finished! This particular project had a lot more finishing than I usually do, but the end result was really nice. I completed it just in time to snap a few pictures and wrap it to give to my niece for her birthday.

The next step will be to edit the pattern for publication.

Check out the rest of the posts in this series:



Monday, August 31, 2015

My design process: Part 3- Knit it! (and write it down)

Now I will knit out my new pattern to see if it turns out the way I've imagined it. With my calculations, I have a starting point and I can cast on and start knitting away!

knitting, purse, pink, work in progress, yarn

Sometimes I have to make pieces over again because they don't turn out how I think they will. When designing my Lacy Baseball Tee pattern, I had to rip out and redo the shoulders and neck several times before I was satisfied with the way it looked. Fortunately, this purse is pretty simple, so it has turned out exactly as I thought it would.

Whenever I'm working out a pattern, I keep track of what I'm doing. I don't want to have to rework a pattern just because I didn't write down what I was doing along the way. Sometimes it's as simple as notes in a sketch book or on the back of a yarn wrapper, but I've been trying to use my computer as much as possible. It saves so much time later! The more details that I am able to add as I go along, the better. When I'm ready to edit the pattern I will already have a rough draft started. It is also much easier to make adjustments to a Word document than hand written notes if things don't work out the first time. 


After I have all of the pieces knit, I will need to do the finishing work. For this project, that will include sewing some fabric with a machine in addition to the sewing up with yarn that is normally involved in finishing a project.



Check out the rest of the posts in this series:


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Summer Sale!

I'm having sales in both my Etsy shop and my Ravelry store!


If you need some adorable knitted animals or accessories, check out my Etsy shop. All items are 20% off this week! Do some back to school shopping, or get a jump on some Christmas shopping. I currently have lots of items to choose from including several colors of T-Rex toys, lots of block set options, lace covered vases, hair clips and more! There are also a few items already marked down for even better savings!

etsy, sale, shop, coupon, discount


If you are a knitter and want to try out some of my lovely patterns, everything in my Ravelry store is on sale for 25% off! There are several toy patterns available including the T-Rex, Football and Puppy Dog Playset as well as my Classic Christmas Stocking pattern. It's time to start thinking about Christmas knitting and many of my patterns make great gifts. No coupon code needed, simply place the patterns you want in your cart and check out!


ravelry, pattern, knitting, sale, discount


I hope that you are all having a wonderful summer! Happy shopping!



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My design process: Part 2- Swatch, Gauge and Calculation

After I have a plan for my design, it is time to knit a swatch. I try to make it at least 3" wide by 3" tall to give plenty of room for checking the gauge.

yarn, winding, swift, ball, pink, hank,
Winding the yarn.

There are a few reasons for making a gauge swatch. When knitting from a pattern, it helps ensure that you will get a finished product with the same measurements listed in the pattern. If you don't knit a gauge swatch and you knit tighter or looser than the designer of the pattern, you may be in for a surprise (and frustration) when your sweater is finished and it doesn't fit. Gauge is especially important for things like garments, but isn't as vital when making things like toys or purses. However, skipping this step may give you a finished product with a different look and size than the one in the pattern.

When designing, knitting a swatch is necessary for figuring out how many stitches you will need at different points in the project. With this purse it is much simpler than with a garment. I will only need to figure out how many stitches to cast on. I won't need to worry about increasing or decreasing because there is no shaping. Also the row count doesn't matter since I will simply work until it is the desired height.

The swatch also provides me with a sample fabric before I commit to a certain stitch pattern or needle size for the whole project. Sometimes the fabric might feel too stiff and I will need to go up a needle size or two. Other times, the stitches are too open and smaller needles are necessary. I also may not like how the stitch pattern looks and will try different ones until I find one that works.


gauge, swatch, stitch, pattern, knitting, needle, yarn, pink


My swatch fabric is a bit firm, but that is exactly what I want for this project. If I were making a sweater with this yarn and stitch pattern, I would probably use slightly bigger needles.


measuring, gauge, swatch, yarn, knitting, tool, pink


I use a Susan Bates "Knit Chek" or a tape measure to see how many stitches per inch there are. There are about 4 stitches per inch on my swatch. I want the purse to be about 20 inches around (10 inches wide.) I simply multiply 4 stitches per inch by 20 inches to figure out that I need to cast on 80 stitches. This works perfectly for my stitch pattern, since working it requires a stitch count that is a multiple of two. 

Next, I will cast on and start knitting!




Check out the rest of the posts in this series:



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My design process: Part 1- Planning

I thought it would be fun to give you a little peek into how I go about designing something. With my niece's birthday coming up, I was provided with the perfect opportunity. In this case, the original idea for the project came from her. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday this year. The answer? A hot pink purse with hot pink flowers that she can carry her library card in. Perfect! I can do that.

After I have the initial idea, I ruminate on it a bit. Sometimes I do internet searches to see what already exists. I want to make something original. I consider things like construction, shape, size, what yarn I want to use, etc. Should the purse have one handle or two? Does it need a flap? What about pockets? Sometimes I do sketches at this point to help me visualize different ideas. I decided with this purse to make it more of a book tote bag (she can still call it a purse if she wants) with a zipper pouch on the inside for her library card. I imagine it being the perfect bag for a trip to the library. She can bring books with her to return and take new ones home, all with her library card safe in the little pocket. Once I had the idea, I made a sketch with all of the things that I would like to incorporate into the design.


sketch, planning, knitting, pattern, writing, drawing, purse, bag

Before making the sketch, I went through my stash and found a yarn that I thought would work well for this project. It is, of course, hot pink. It is also washable, one of my requirements for children's items. This particular yarn is Swish Bulky from Knit Picks (still available in white only.) I had a couple of skeins that I got on sale when they were discontinuing the colors, which should be plenty for this project. I like the idea of using bulky yarn because of how quickly it will knit up, especially since I'm on a deadline. For the flowers I will probably use various shades of pink in other yarns.

I also looked through my fabric and found some to line the bag with that I think my niece will like. To help me choose a stitch for the main body of the bag, I flipped through my Harmony Guides. I decided on Double Moss Stitch. It is simple, but will add texture and a little bit more interest and hopefully a bit of thickness to the bag. I will probably use a needle size smaller than recommended to make a more solid fabric that will be more durable.

yarn, fabric, pink, flowers, stitch, pattern, book

The next step is swatching. If I like the way this stitch looks with this yarn, I will move forward with the project. Sometimes I have to try a few stitch patterns before deciding. This can be because the stitch I chose looks different with the yarn I'm using compared to the yarn pictured in the book or because I want to see some options before committing. After I swatch, I will do a bit of math and cast on! Now I will see how my ideas translate into yarn and make adjustments to my design if needed.