I am not participating in this year’s Knit/Crochet Blog Week, but reading all my friends’ posts has lead me to realize a few things about myself:
1. My favorite overall crafting tool is boring – it’s my spreadsheet program. It really does save me SO much time when designing though. Also, does yarn count as a tool? Because then I’m significantly less boring.
I mean seriously. Yum.
2. I am probably going to break down and by a spinning wheel soon. Thanks a lot, All She Wants to Do is Knit.
3. My stash listing on Rav is seriously out of date.
4. I knit a whole lot of different colors, but almost all of the garments I knit are either blue or green.
5. My projects list is shockingly lacking in colorwork.
Last summer I got a new camera, and posted about how much better it is than my old camera. I’ve slowly been using it to take improved, updated photos of some of my patterns, while I also update the format of my old patterns to be more consistent. It has been very slow going because I’m only doing it in my very limited spare time between current designs and the day job. I channeled by typical springtime craving for all things green, and have completed my update of Flourishing Fields!
Flourishing Fields, by Christina Loman
If you are a previous buyer, you’ve received an updated copy already, free of charge, via Ravelry or an email sent by Ravelry. Whether you are a previous buyer or not, know that the content of this pattern has not changed. These are still fairly simple cuff-down socks with the exact same cables as before. All that has changed is the format, plus a few new photos. Enjoy!
I know it’s only been a couple weeks since I released Misty Morning, but I am too excited by the return of Spring to hold off on this one! So, I am very happy to introduce Leonardtown!
Leonardtown, by Christina Loman
The rectangular lace shawl is absolutely perfect for this time of year, when it can be so sunny and gorgeous out you can’t even think of staying inside, but there’s still just enough chill in the air that bare shoulders just won’t work.
A bit of cozy merino is just what the doctor (Mother Nature?) called for. The size of the repeat on the Vine Lace may look intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite memorizable and surprisingly intuitive. It becomes almost meditative after a while. I’m sure it’ll impress the idle viewer though!
The simple garter edging and picot cast-on and bind-off also add interest and stability to the shawl. No monotony here! So be sure to check out Leonardtown, and join in the fun! I’ve chosen to knit the sample in green because, well, Spring. In my mind, there is no greater color than green this time of year. What color will you choose?
So I’ve been slacking. Not on the knitting front, or designing, or spinning. I’ve done a lot of each of those lately. Can’t share most of it with you (see: designing), but there’s been a lot of it. No, I’ve been slacking because one of the wonderful women I share my classroom with is pregnant. Like, due in April pregnant. Like, I’ve had a lot of time to plan for this pregnant. And what have I knit for her? Not a stitch.
I have this:
She’s expecting a girl.
but no idea what to do with it. It’s Berroco Comfort DK, and while it looks awfully thin for DK to me, Ravelers don’t seem to have had any trouble getting gauge. I have 356 yards (326 meters) of it and no inspiration. Every time I go to browse Rav I get annoyed and frustrated by the number of non-babies that come up when I search “newborn”, and then I conveniently find something better to do. Help?
Happy Sunday and thanks to all the people who joined my new Rav group this week! As promised, I have used the Random Number Generator to pick winners for the contest announced in this post. Without further ado, congrats to:
Our 3rd prize winners cats, may-g, and Craftylady1956, who will be receiving the pattern of their choice from my store,
Our 2nd prize winner, t28girl, who has a shiny new copy of my e-book Private Reserve in her library,
And of course our grand prize winner, littlebirdy, who will be receiving this mysterious box o’ Feel Good as soon as she PMs me her address.
Yay! I love spreading the love like this! Even if you didn’t win, I hope you’ll still drop by and join in the fun some time. We’re good people, I promise!
Yay, this is post #100! Not bad for 9 months of writing! I’ve decided to do a couple of fun things to celebrate. First, I finally put together a group on Ravelry. It’s called Feel Good Knitting, the same as this blog, and you should most definitely check it out! We’d love to have you.
Second, I’m having a giveaway! To be entered, join my new group by January 12. I will use the Random Number Generator to select 5 winners on January 13. Winners will be contacted via PM and also ear-burned in the Promotions thread. Prizes include:
1st prize: a “Feel Good” care package containing both yarn and non-yarn goodies
2nd prize: A free copy of the e-book Private Reserve
3rd-5th prize: A free copy of the Feel Good pattern of your choice.
I generally plug gauge info and desired final measurements into an Excel file with sweater formula stuff (to use the technical term) in it to save myself from having to do the same tedious calculations over and over when grading patterns. In the one I’m doing for KnitPicks right now, I mis-typed one. tiny. digit. early in the pattern. Of course, it threw off every subsequent calculation, because I mis-typed in just about the worst cell possible. It took me this long to notice that my sample seemed “off”:
I made Hubby frog it for me. Then I went to have some chocolate.
P.S. It’s my birthday! Did you get one of the birthday gifts I sent out? If you’ve got one or more of my patterns in your Ravelryqueue, log on to find out! If you didn’t get one, don’t worry. I’ll be sending out more presents throughout the day!
This was a busy weekend for us, as Hubby and I both had our office holiday parties this weekend. Unfortunately, particularly for mine, Friday’s events in Connecticut threw a bit of a damper on the festivities.
Regular readers know that when I’m not writing blog posts and knitting patterns, I teach elementary school. On Friday, December 14, a mentally ill 20 year old killed his kindergarten-teaching mother, and then proceeded to her school and massacred most of her students, as well as several other staff members and children. While Sandy Hook, CT is nowhere near Virginia, and a school shooting is always an unthinkable tragedy, this one is hitting particularly close to home. In all, 20 children under the age of 8 were killed, as well as 7 innocent adults, one of whom was exactly my age and literally took a bullet protecting her students.
What do you do in the face of horrors like this? What can you do? The answer is not much, and frankly, that sucks. So I’m going to do what little I can. For the next week, all profits from my Ravelry store will go to the Sandy Hook Elementary PTSA, via Crowdrise and the Network for Good, in order to help pay for things like funerals, and counseling for the survivors. I will also be making a donation from my personal funds to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in the hopes that we can fix our broken healthcare system and a tragedy like this will never happen again.
Is it enough? No. But it’s something.
Welcome, December! What a perfect time for a new sweater! I am thrilled to introduce you to Esmeralda, my latest release on Ravelry. This super-warm pullover comes in sizes from 32-44 inches and has just a bit of openwork at the cowl, hem, and cuffs, and traveling up the sleeves.
The wool-alpaca blend recommended is practically the definition of warm and cozy, and the jewel-shaped lace panels add a bit of sparkle to your wardrobe during a dark, dreary part of the year. The name “Esmeralda“ comes from the sample color and the shape of the lace panels - esmeralda is Spanish for emerald. However, this sweater would look just as lovely as a rubí, amatista, topacio, or perla. So pick a color and have some fun with it!
Additionally, there are princess seams (Princess? Jewels? You’re practically royalty in this!) to add femininity and help create the most flattering fit. This pullover is ideal for the intermediate knitter, but has more than enough interest to keep an advanced knitter happy as well, and plenty of opportunity for customization if you are that advanced knitter. I hope you’ll enjoy Esmeralda as much as I did!
I try to keep my Rav groups to a manageable level, although my definition of “manageable” is fairly fluid. I like to be able to read all the interesting looking threads before I get bored, but I also get antsy if I have to scroll too far. Mostly I leave groups that grow inactive, but I keep a few (like the ones for my old schools) out of nostalgia. What are your self-imposed rules for Ravlery groups? Do your groups reveal as much about your life as mine do?
Bonus points if your groups make a nice, even rectangle!
Also, for the designers who read this blog, do you have a group for your designs? Is it active? What do you do with it? (I’m just full of questions today!) More than one person has suggested lately that I should have a group for my designs, but I’m afraid it’ll be boring and inactive and no one will join it. Having a Rav group with 3 members and no posts might just make me cry. So what do you do? Is it worth it, or do you wish you’d never bothered?