Let’s go on an Expedition!

Last August, I started design my first asymetrical shawl on our expedition to Stitches Midwest 2016. It’s a fairly large shape sized about 59 by 42 inches. It has very easy garter stitch sections alternating with a lace section based on the Elfin lace stitch in Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries. 


The pattern has been test knit and is available for purchase here on Ravelry.  The colors, Sugar Plum and Gray, used are my own dyed yarn available in my Etsy store

The pattern is named Expedition for a few reasons.  First, I was in a car riding to a great destitute and second, when it was done and blocked,  the stripes looked like roads or highways.  The pattern is easy to customize by stopping short or continuing on.  Solids or tonal yarns work best to let the lace design show through. 

I can’t wait to see what colorways folks use in their shawls. 

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Fenceline Cowl

It’s been a busy few months as I have been dyeing yarn for my Etsy shop as well as preparing for last week’s Fiber Expo in Ann Arbor, MI.  It was my first fiber fest, which I shared with my friend Jean, the brains and creator behind MidMittenDesigns.  She makes wonderful project bags and her attention to detail is amazing.  She’s updated her shop inventory this week so go check it out!

I’ve just launched my latest design, Fenceline Cowl, on Ravelry.com.  It was created using a single skein of my fingering weight yarn that 463 yds per 100 grams.  It’s a smooth yarn base that is 75% super wash merino yarn and 25% nylon.

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The pattern is perfect for what I call “social knitting”.  It’s very simple and produces a cowl that has a lot of drape and is easy to customize.  I can’t wait to see what people make with the pattern!

To celebrate spring here in the northern hemisphere and the launch of my cowl, I’m offering a 20% discount on the pattern with the coupon code of HAPPYSPRING now through April 17th, 23:59pm EDT.  Click here to buy the pattern.

Sneak Peak at my new shawl

Over the past few years, I’ve designed socks, cowls and fair isle hats.  One thing that has been on my “bucket” list of things to do someday was to design an asymmetrical shawl. I started this in August 2016, when I was traveling to and from the Stitches Midwest conference and I finally finished it last week.  It uses two skeins of sock yarn in contrasting colors.

I was very good to take notes and a stitch count every row.  Yes, it was somewhat tedious but I’m really glad that I did because it’s making the actual writing of the pattern much easier.

Here are some photos.

I am in the process of actually writing the pattern and hope to be able to have it ready to post for test knitters on Ravelry’s Free Pattern Testers forum.  If you’re interested and are a Ravelry member, then contact me at the top of this site or private message me on Ravelry (username is mom2bsa) and I’ll contact you when it’s ready for test knitting.

 

 

A Day at the Pond Cowl

I’ve been busy starting my hand-dyed yarn business the last couple of months.  I love dyeing yarn and one of my favorite techniques is to create variegated yarns.  Of course, then that leaves one with a beautiful hank of dyed yarn and wondering what to make with it.

The end result is that I designed this new cowl pattern, A Day at the Pond, which is free on Ravelry.  It’s basically a ribbed cowl with ribs made of Estonian 3-into-3 clusters.  I knit this with a size 5 needle so it’s a drape-y type fabric but has elasticity and stretch due to the ribbed effect.

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The pattern is a simple three row repeat and is easily customized to be worked into a longer loop but the height won’t be as high.  Another option would be to cast on fewer stitches and you’ll have enough yarn out of a standard hank of sock yarn to make the cowl taller. What I love about it is that there’s enough texture in the cowl that “shows” through the variegated yarn.

If you’d like to see what yarns I’ve dyed so far, visit my other site, https://splashofcoloryarns.com.  I’m working on getting my logo updated and working on setting up an Etsy shop for selling my yarns.

I’m finished!

After ten months of designing and getting my latest sock pattern test knitted on Ravelry, I’m pleased to announce my “Finish Line” socks are available on Ravelry.  These are ones that I had kept secret for so long in hopes of sending them to Knitty.com as a design submission but I’m not very happy with the yarn, which I can explain below.  Let’s get to the pictures!

red twisted stitch socks

Pair of Finish Line Socks

Top view of sock

Top view of sock

I used Plymouth’s Happy Feet yarn.  I love the color but the yarn had a light twist and after getting done with one of the socks, it had already started to “fuzz” up, which I didn’t like and didn’t feel it would be the best yarn to showcase the socks.

I continued on with the second sock and had to play yarn chicken as I wound up with a very tiny ball of yarn leftover.  Image the size of a U.S. quarter.  Or a ball slightly smaller than a ping pong ball.  I don’t like the yarn chicken game but I won!

These twisted rib socks are based on the drag racing venue at Summit Motorsports Dragway in Norwalk, OH. Various features of the drag strip are included in the stitch pattern.

Starting at the base (ankle) of the sock, you’ll see diamonds representing the starting lights. Traveling up the side of the sock, in between the “lights”, you’ll see the staging lanes where the cars line up to race. On the outermost sides of the sock, you have the service drive down to the end of the dragstrip and the middle cable design and columns form the actual racing surface. At the top of the sock, you have the finish line. I’ve utilized beads to signify the timing tower, which lights up with the winner and their elapsed time.

The sock can be modified for larger feet by simply adding some stitches at the sides of the sock. Placing the stitches on the sides will leave the main design undisturbed.

Note that the twisted stitches the fabric is less stretchy, so this sock was designed with more stitches and worked with a US1/2.5mm needle. However, this made the foot of the sock too big for me given that only half the sock at that point has twisted stitches. Therefore, you may want to drop down a needle size to 2.25mm for the heel turn, gusset and foot. This was confirmed by some of my testers.

I published this last night and see that it’s made it into the Top 20 favorited patterns this morning on Ravelry!  It’s rank is #10 right now.  I was very proud of this design as it definitely stretched my skills.

Can’t show you….

I am working on a twisted stitch design for top down socks. I started one sock and got half-way done using my standard needle size of 2.25mm. Since the design has a lot of stitches, I increased my stitch count from 64 to 72. HOWEVER….silly me, it “looked” like enough stitches to fit my foot. I bet you can guess what I am going to write next huh?  

Well, the sock doesn’t fit. Since my design is pretty set to use the entire front half of the sock, there really wasn’t any logical way to modify the pattern for additional stitches. Plus, I really liked the design as it was.  So, I started another sock using 2.5mm DPNs. The fabric that is created is less stiff and I’m pleased with it. 

I would show you, but my goal for this year is to submit the design to a magazine and I can’t have any pictures posted online so for now, you will have to wait to see!

Latest sock pattern – Split Butterflies

It’s been a busy month at home with a son having tonsil surgery, him and I having respiratory infections, work, regular home stuff and me designing this latest sock pattern. Whew…..

These socks make me think of spring, which is on it’s way, but not getting here soon enough! I’m eager for fresh air, walks in the warm sun and time outside.

This sock pattern features a non-standard heel flap pattern. It’s basically a ribbing with the center stitches from the design carried down into the heel flap. I love the k2tog and ssk lines that form the “wings” and carefully placed yo’s make the body of the butterfly.

This pattern was test knit by fellow Ravelers and is free on Ravelry for all to enjoy!

Split Butterflies - top view

Split Butterflies – top view

Split Butterflies - side

Split Butterflies – side

Are you frozen yet?

I wanted to share with you my newest design, called Frozen Flakes, to celebrate winter. Hmmm.. there are a lot of us lately who’ve been dealing with sub-zero temperatures lately. Brrrrr……

Use coupon code FROZEN for 50% off until midnight on Sunday, Feb 22nd EST.

Frozen Flakes - side view

Frozen Flakes – side view

Frozen Flakes - top view of crown

Frozen Flakes – top view of crown

Thanks to my Ravelry test knitters for testing this pattern.  You can see their projects here.

Video Resources:

Old Norwegian Cast on from Joan Laws

Latvian Braid

I made it!

I’ve been working on a new design since the fall. I’m proud of it and it’s recently gone through a pattern test on Ravelry so I’m very confident in the pattern’s technical details. I published it last night and it’s free until February 1st. The pattern is called Hexylic Socks because there are six columns of cables on the leg of the sock. It was neat to watch the number of downloads increase through the night and I was secretly hoping to make it into the Top 20 Hot Designs in Ravelry.

When I woke up this morning, my pattern had been “favorited” by 106 people and made the Top 20 list! Happy dancing ensued and I’m smiling! It’s not the first pattern I’ve released, but it’s the first sock pattern so there were many more details in the pattern to get accurate. I included two different sizes as well.

Lace design on top

Lace design on top

Side view of sock

Side view of sock

There is a Ravelry thread about designer moments, which I can’t find right now, but seeing my pattern in the Top 20 is such a good feeling.

Hexylic sock pattern listed in Top 20

Hexylic sock pattern listed in Top 20

Not really a gift but I’m pushing!

I’m working on a new fair isle hat design since my husband asked for another hat. I figured I could accomplish two things at once! Even though it is not a gift, I’m still pushing to get it done. It’s easier for me to do fair isle when it’s not noisy so over the course of the next few days, I envision family and noise.

Here is a sneak peek. My design includes a Latvian braid of sorts. I hear it’s also called the Herringbone stitch.

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Well, Merry Christmas to my blog readers and I hope you enjoy the holiday and remember the REAL reason for the season.