I took a bit of a baby interlude between book designs. Ok ok, the booties happened mid-design. But I swear it was just a weekend fling!
Tiny knits are fun, they go so fast! I knit (what I hope is) a newborn hat in about 4 hours flat.
It’s the Woodcutter’s Baby, a cute little free pattern with corners! I think they’re adorable. And knit out of Manos silk/merino blend it is soft enough for any baby’s skin.
And the booties? They’re moc-a-socks. Technically I followed that infant pattern, but I didn’t get gauge. Not even close. I figure baby will grow into them. In the mean time I might make another set because they’re just so adorable!
I absolutely love that they look like little shoes. But they have sock cuffs so a baby can’t kick them off. Babies don’t really need real shoes anyway.
I needed something really mindless to knit during a complicated class last week. It was the perfect excuse to cast on this crinkled (for now) little design that has been kicking around my brain for months.
Shhh, don’t tell the book that I’m designing something else! Seriously though, it’s simple enough that I wrote out the pattern in 30 minutes. And there’s no grading a stole! I should design more of them!!
It’s been great having something to knit while I fix math and typos and re-do charts on other book patterns as well. I may kick myself when I’m rushing through projects in May. But that’s future-Becky’s problem. Right now I’ll think I’ll go knit some more garter…
(ps, I’m going with the brown and blue buttons for that little baby sweater. It was a unanimous vote. You can’t all be wrong!)
I feel confident saying this space isn’t going to be turning into a parenting blog or anything. But you’ll probably get a dose of baby here, just like you get a dose of everything else in my life.*
Since there’s no baby yet, we’ll start with the first baby sweater!
Yes, this is Noro. Yes, Neil and I have already worked out a method for distinguishing hand-wash baby items from machine-wash baby items. Yes, I know at least a few things will probably get felted anyway. I’ve accepted that… I think.
Also yes, I did go through and divide each color chunk in half so the sleeves would be identical.
This started out as me following a free pattern from a yarn company. The details will go unshared because there were fatal math errors on the first page which forced me to just wing the rest of the sweater. (Let’s just say that if you cast on 32, inc 8 stitches in the first row, then inc 10 stitches every other row, you will NEVER get to 146…)
So I knit the body until it looked good. Then I consulted the CYC charts for babies and knit 8.5″ sleeves to go with the 20″ body. And they looked way too long. Then I asked twitter and Joeli pointed out these comprehensive kids charts.
Sleeves too long. Lesson learned. But for this sweater I’m just going to fold the cuffs back. Oh, and I still need to decide which buttons I like best. I’m leaning towards the purple swirly ones at the top. What do you think?
*knitting, chickens, dogs, gardening, food, the twice a year cleaning of the coop… you know the drill!
My newest pattern became available last friday. Iseult’s Dress is included in the book What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit? (favorite and queue on Ravelry, as always)
That’s right. It’s my first pattern in a BOOK! The e-book version of WeWMDFK is available for download right now through Cooperative Press. You can order the print version now, it’ll be shipped just as soon as it gets back from the printers.
I love working with Cooperative Press. Their model of publishing gives a percentage of sales to every author in this collection. This means we all have a real reason to hope you love our book. But I think we’d be hoping that anyway. This collection is a true labor of love. Along with designs inspired by classic literature the book includes essays, color photos, and the digital version includes live links and many other treats that just wouldn’t be possible with a standard print book.
The dress itself is one of my favorite designs. This pattern gave me my second opportunity to dress up as a princess for a photo shoot*.
But it doesn’t have to be worn with a chemise. It would be just a comfortable with leggings and tall boots. The shetland wool is springy and warm, but still breathable. And the springy factor means you can wear the knitted dress all day without developing saggy-butt.
If you love the design, but don’t want a dress that’s ok too. It’s worked from the top down, so you could simply knit it in sweater length. Likewise the sleeves could easily be made longer or shorter. Just keep trying it on until you’re happy!
*but not the last opportunity, there’s another one in the works
Phew, with everything going on around here I guess I needed a break from the blog. So let’s go to bullet format:
Thank you all for the outpouring of congrats! Neil and I are both excited and so far I’ve been feeling just great!
I’m almost caught up to where I should be on book work. I have just 2 very patient testers waiting for patterns at this point. If you haven’t heard back from me for something, please email me again.
I have an veritable maple weekend essay written, but it’s all in my head where it’s hard for you to read. Soon.
I love working with the fancy camera, but having to get blog photos out of raw camera files adds an extra layer of work.
I’ve finished my first baby sweater! More details on that to follow also. Yay for actual KNITTING content!
It’s still winter out here. We thought the snow yesterday might be an april fools joke. But it’s snowing again today.
I got the nicest email this morning from a knitter who just wanted to say how much she liked one of my sweater patterns. That moment of thoughtfulness has made my whole day better. So I decided to pass it along. I sent a quick email to a designer I admire to say thanks for her inspiring patterns. And that felt really good too!
That got me thinking about how easy it is to share the joy. So now I’m encouraging all of you to thank a designer. Whether you send a happy little email or a quick ravelry note it’ll only take a minute. Pick the designer who helped you create your favorite sweater. Or the person who offers that free pattern you’ve always liked. Maybe you can think of a designer who inspires you with something complex you hope to knit someday.
Whoever you think of first: I’m CERTAIN they’d appreciate a thank-you note, so don’t be shy!
These are my Doric mitts – these basic little mitts have been in the planning stages just about forever. The concept came to me when I was swatching with some really lovely, multicolored malabrigo. I wanted to make mitts (I always want to make mitts) but the multicolored yarn was not cooperating with any stitch patterns.
We’ve all been there, right? Hand painted yarn looks so pretty in the skein and it’s so hard to find the right project. My Doric mitts take advantage of how well reverse stockinette blends colors. The twisted stitch columns break up the fabric adding visual and knitterly interest. I especially like how one column runs right up the thumb.
When Malabrigo offered Doric a spot in their quickie program I decided to offer this pattern sized for the whole family! That gave me a chance to show samples in colorways for everyone. Because these mitts are designed for two reasons: to make the knitter feel clever, and to show off awesome yarn!
And the clever part? The whole mitt is knit stockinette side out. Because if you’re like me, you don’t want to purl in the round that much. See? Clever use of multi colored yarn combined with clever knitting techniques. Perfect AND pretty!
You can see more photos and pattern details on the pattern page here, or on ravelry.
We’re getting so close!! Close to what, you ask? Close to the big release for What (else) Would Madame DeFarge Knit!! The book is already available for pre-orders and it will be going to print soon!
Why am I so excited about this book? Well if you haven’t guessed yet, I have a pattern in it! I’m not going to tell you my story, or my character (yet). But I can say, it’s VERY me.
This is going to be an awesome book. We’ve got 25 designs from both new and established designers. There will be COLOR photos (this is new compared to the first in the series.) That gorgeous blue in the sneak peek? It’s Cornflower Highland, a 100% shetland wool from the incomparable folks at Harrisville Designs.
I hope this book is very you as well! If you’re looking for more information check out the book details over at Cooperative Press, or on the W(e)WMDFK website.
Do you want to know the moment the book is released? Do you want a chance to win FREE patterns and other goodies? (Of course you do.) Just sign up for the WWMDFK e-mail list. There are lots of exciting treats and announcements coming soon!
Since I’m not knitting a book design (this very second) I’ve decided to fill a hole in my current winter wardrobe. I only seem to own one pair of mittens. Apparently I loose mittens so fast that if I weren’t knitting them myself other knitters would refuse to make them for me saying I need to learn to take better care of what I have. Luckily I keep knitting mittens for myself out of self-defense. I need those hands frost bite free!
So I’m working up a pair in my favorite shade of green from Bartlett yarns. These mittens are speedy, dense, WARM, and cozy. I know because I made Neil a pair just like this last year. And he doesn’t lose his mittens, so I borrow them when I can’t find mine.
I liked his pair of tree mittens so much I’m not only making a pair for myself. I’ll also be releasing the pattern for them. Hopefully soon! I’m thinking if I don’t release this mitten pattern sometime in February I’ll have missed mitten season for most of the country…
I had a request from a family member* for some stripy mittens in specific colors. My family isn’t demanding and rarely asks for hand knits. And I’m such a softy there’s no way I could possibly say no.
Let’s hope they don’t all figure this out at once, because I have a LOT of family… But like all good hand knit requestors they knew exactly what they wanted: colors, size, even which of my patterns would be best!
It’s also convenient that no one has asked for large mens’ sweaters**.
These are the largest size of my Play Time mittens. Seriously, how can I resist family when they’re willing to look through my designs and pick a favorite? I can’t. Obviously.
I changed almost nothing about this pattern. I just didn’t make the strings to tie them together (because they’re going to an adult) I even used the same yarn the pattern called for! Valley DK from Webs, it’s superwash so that’s good for gifts. And it’s lovely soft merino, so they feel so nice on your hands. They’re a little too small for me, but that’s ok since they’re not meant for me anyway.
*I’m being obscure on purpose, these are a gift and I’ve given up keeping track of who reads this.
**All the men in my family are large. I don’t know if I will ever be able to bring myself to knit socks for any of them. I’d need about 300yds PER SOCK.