Sneak Peek!

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Well, it has taken the first three and a half months of this year to finally be better, but here I am. I had a horrible allergic reaction at the end of December, and am just getting to a point now where I can eat somewhat normally, and my voice is returning. I can never have nuts again, but I’m alive and feeling much better now. 😀 That means I’m back to work! Yay! I have been working on a few projects. I managed to knit a hat sample for a design back in January, but just last week managed to have enough brain power to write up the pattern. It is now in editing, so hopefully you’ll see that come across as a test knit in a week or two. 😀

This is my Diamond hat. It’s made with an aran weight yarn, so it’s nice and fluffy. The diamond pattern consists of slipped stitches, decreases and small cables. It’s actually a great introduction to cables if you were looking to carry on past my How To blog post about them. The cables involve two stitches at a time, and is a great way to practice cabling without a cable needle if you are feeling adventurous. (Honestly it sounds scarier than it really is.) Also, the decreases for the crown all happen in between the cables, so you can keep the pattern going to create a star effect on the top of the hat. It makes it a great hat for a pom pom. 😀

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Next up is a scarf I am working on. This is made using the acorn stitch and is called “Oak Island Scarf”. If anyone has watched the show The Curse of Oak Island, you will have heard the fans being called Acorns. I find the show quite interesting, but I am from Nova Scotia originally and have always been fascinated with the Oak Island mystery and what the story really is. So, this is an homage to the story and the fans.

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And the last project on the go right now is a pair of socks. These socks look complicated, but the pattern is very easily memorized. It will make them great for tv viewing! They are cuff down which make them a great beginner sock. I know how hard those toe up cast ons can be, and I have a lot of toe up socks, so I wanted to make another pair of cuff down, so as to include a variety of skill levels. They look very lacy, but honestly the pattern repeat only ever has knit stitches, a decrease and one yarn over. Again, these are another great way to get into the adventure of lace knitting, and you’ll get a comfy pair of socks out of them. 😀 Unfortunately, while these can be knit two at a time for the small and medium size, the large size is going to have a few rows that have yarn overs at the beginning or end of the row, which is going to make them a bit tricky.

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I am hoping to get the scarf and socks knit in the next few weeks to then get them through editing. Thankfully the scarf is short and simple and shouldn’t take much time by the editor. That will mean a much faster turn around. 🙂 I am also going to start working on my last batch of edits for the few remaining un-edited patterns. That should be heading out in a few weeks, and then everything I have in my store will be tech edited. That will really free up my mind, because I constantly worry that there is a mistake in those patterns that I or testers never found. I’m too much of a perfectionist to let mistakes slide, so I want to make sure everything has had yet another set of eyes on it, and that everything looks as good as we can possible get it.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!!

So You Want to Knit 9 – Cables

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Oh Cables. Those delightful details that look so scary and complicated. I remember as a kid when I was learning to knit that cables were far too complicated for me. It really put me off for a long time, because I really wanted to make those cables and felt very discouraged. When I started knitting again, I was determined to figure them out. I did some looking online for videos, found out that I needed a special needle, which I promptly bought, and set to work. You know what I realized? They really are not that complicated. Honestly. They look difficult, but you don’t even need that special cable needle. Although, for starting out it definitely helps, and I highly recommend having it. I do still use mine when doing larger or more complicated cables. However, if all you have a small double pointed needle, it will work just as well. I was so happy that I was able to conquer cables. I have been improving on them ever since, and for many of my cables, I don’t need a needle at all. What I would like to do in this post is to alleviate any fears you might have for cables, and make them as straight forward as I can make them.

So, before we get started on making cables, you are probably asking what a cable needle is. It’s simply a small double pointed needle, that typically has a little bend in the middle to hold your stitches a little better.

As you can see in this picture, I have a short little double pointed needle with a small bend in it. That allows me to slip the stitches off the left needle, position the cable needle and still have a pointed end to knit/purl the stitches off. If you find that it is a bit fiddly, or the stitches don’t hold, you can stick an end into your piece just to hold it in place.

Now for those cables. 😀 First, what are cables? Cables are created by simply rearranging the stitches on your needle. You will slip some stitches on to your cable needle, then work some stitches, and then work those stitches that are still on your cable needle. This gives you a twist in your work that is your cable. How it is formed changes only by whether those stitches you put on your cable needle are brought to the front or the back of your work. This creates the lean to your cable, which means the stitches that are in front of the other stitches are leaning to the left or the right. Cables create a very pronounced and visible lean.

I want to start out with some simple cables. I’m going to start with 1/1 cables. That means we will only have two stitches involved in the cable. Lets start with the 1/1 RC. This abbreviation means that you are going to make a Right Cross (right leaning). To accomplish this, we will use our cable needle and slip the first stitch of the left needle onto it as if to purl (which means you slip the cable needle into the next stitch in the same direction as you would purl, but just slipping it off the needle instead of working that stitch), and let that cable needle hang at the back of your work (away from you). The cable needle will keep this stitch from unravelling as you then knit the next stitch on your left needle. Once that is worked, pick up the cable needle, and knit the stitch that is on it, as if it were a regular needle. You now have a stitch in front that has moved from the left position on your needle to the right, which makes it lean to the right. Next is the 1/1 LC. This one means we will create a Left Cross (left leaning stitch). This time, slip that first stitch onto the cable needle as if to purl, and this time let the cable needle hang at the front of your work (towards you). Knit the stitch that is on your left needle, and then knit the stitch from your cable needle. You will now have a stitch in the front that has moved from the right to the left.

The other notations you will see that make variations on the cables is when you introduce purls into them. For example, the 1/1 RPC. This means it’s a Right Purl Cross. You will begin the same way as the RC above, but instead of knitting off the cable needle, you will purl the stitch. You will have a knit stitch that cross over to the right, in front, and then your cable stitch will be purled and will now be on the left. In the 1/1 LPC it’s similar. Your cable needle will be hanging in the front, and you will purl the next stitch from your left needle, and knit the cable needle stitch. As you can see, both of these variations keep the knit stitch as the one that is in front and visible. The purl is tucked in the back of your work and hidden just a little.

One of the things that will come with time is the is the tension you need when working cables. You will find that you can get a bit of a gap because of how the yarn is pulled when working those cables. A great way to work on tidying this up as you go, is that when you are on the next row, you can pull your stitches a little bit as you are working them to even them out just a little. Unfortunately, depending on the size yarn you are using, just pulling the yarn tight when you work the cables isn’t always enough to tighten up the cables, and can lead to puckering in other areas of your work. I find that giving the stitches a little pull with your needle as you are working them in the next row helps even them out just enough.

And that’s it for the explanations. Now it’s time for the demonstration. From here it is just variations on how many stitches you have on your cable needle and that you work from your left. To allow you to practice I have created a dish cloth pattern. This will help you learn some larger cables, and on larger needles, but also teach you the way this looks on a chart, not just written directions.

I will include the pattern at the end of this post for you to follow, but I want to give you some visuals on how these cables will look as you work them and when they are finished. I have chosen to use 3/3 LC and 3/3 RC. That means you will be crossing 3 stitches across the front of 3 other stitches, either going right or left. These are also all knit versions. Let’s start with the 3/3 RC.

Your first step is to work your pattern until you get to the symbol in the chart, or the notation of ‘3/3 RC’ in the written directions. Then you will work it as instructed. The 3/3 RC means you are going to slip the next 3 stitches on to your cable needle as if to purl, and hold it at the back of your work.

Next, you will knit 3 stitches from your left needle. Be sure to snug up that first stitch just a bit to close up the gap that is left where those stitches on your cable needle had been. Next, grab your cable needle, and use it like another knitting needle. You will knit 3 stitches off that cable needle as normal. You now have your 3/3 RC. As you can see your front 3 stitches lean to the right, giving you that right cross.

The next cable you will find in this pattern is a 3/3 LC. As with the RC cable, work until you reach this part of your instructions. Slip the next 3 stitches on to your cable needle as if to purl, and hold the cable needle at the front of your work.

Knit the next 3 stitches from your left needle as normal. As you can see from this next picture, you have knit the 3 from the left needle, but still have that cable hanging out in front. This will give you a good idea of what the cable looks like half way through, and how it closes up and twists.

Now we can finish up the cable, and knit 3 stitches from the cable needle. You will now have a completed 3/3 LC. As you can see, the stitches from the cable needle make up the front stitches, and have a visible lean to the left.

As an extra note on this pattern: I have included both written and charted directions. Take a look at the chart and look at the symbols used for the cables as you work them. The image used will actually look like the stitch you are working. So, for the 3/3 RC, you can see that the first 3 stitches of the image end up going behind the second 3 stitches, to create the cross. That gives you the indication that your cable needle will go to the back of your work, and the front stitches should have that right lean. The 3/3 LC has the first 3 stiches being in the front, so your cable needle goes to the front, and they will become your left leaning stitches. It’s a great extra notation of where your stitches are being held.

These are the only cables used in this pattern. You can now go ahead and work through your little dishcloth. It will give you little ripples for scrubbing texture, and give you some visual interest. This also means you can use these skills in any other project you encounter without fear! As I said above, all cables are derived from the same skills. I hope this post has helped! I know that cables can look complicated, but now you will be able to give them a go, and will be able to start making projects that wow your friends and family!

Pattern

Cabled Dishie
Needle: US 7 / 4.5 mm Straight needles.
Notions: Cable needle
Stitch Glossary:
3/3 RC: Slip the next three stitches purl wise on to a cable needle and hold it to the back of your work. Knit three stitches from the left needle. Knit three stitches from the cable needle.
3/3 LC: Slip the next three stitches purl wise on to a cable needle and hold it to the front of your work. Knit three stitches from the left needle. Knit three stitches from the cable needle.

Pattern:
Cast on 40 stitches.
Rows 1 – 4: Knit. (40 sts)
Row 5: K4, 3/3 RC, k7, 3/3 LC, k7, 3/3 RC, k4.
Row 6: K4, p32, k4.
Row 7: Knit.
Row 8: Repeat row 6.
Row 9: Repeat row 5.
Rows 10 – 37: Repeat rows 6 – 9.
Rows 38 – 41: Knit.

A Recap of 2020

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Well, I don’t think 2020 was what anyone expected. It seemed like a great way to reset and start over. We didn’t realize just how much that would ring true. Many of us had to adjust our way of living, the way we work, and how we interreacted with people. I am lucky that I work for myself, which meant I was already at home. But, what I didn’t anticipate was the mental struggle that would ensue. I did make some good use of my time though. I decided to continue with my plan of going through and editing all my patterns that were not already tech edited. That was going to mean a large expense on my part, but I felt it was important to make sure that the integrity of all my work was at the same level. So, onward I trudged. I manage to get all but 4 of my patterns edited. Those last 4 will be worked on over the next couple weeks, and then will go off to my editor. In addition to all that editing, I also did a complete redesign of my Winter Storm Socks, and my Diamonds at Sea Socks . Both of these patterns were redesigned, and made to look much better. I also made new samples for better pictures of those patterns. The Winter Storm Socks also had all three sizes reworked, because as I started to dive into edits, I realized that I had some very fatal flaws in that pattern. All has been fixed, and it is better than ever!

Over this year I have tried to keep up with my regular releases as well. I managed to release 9 patterns. That is less than I wanted, but I had a few months where I’m not even sure I could remember my own name if I were asked. So, 9 seems pretty good. Also, that did include a couple patterns. I have one more sweater that has been held up in editing, so it won’t get out by year end. Also, I have one more sweater that is about to go to editing, so I’ll already have 2 to start 2021. 😀 I was able to get out some cute sock patterns, which I was very happy about. As well as a shawl pattern that has been in my head for well over a year. The Ice Queen Wrap was in my head for a while, and I already knew what yarn I was going to use. Thankfully I was able to finish that this year and get it published as well. I think my Wave over Wave sweater is one of my favorites. I wear that all the time. It’s oversized and cozy, but has some holes for breathability. I am hot all the time, so that makes this sweater perfect!

For 2021, I have similar goals as I did for 2020. Mostly I want to try and release 12 patterns this year. I am hoping I can hit that number, but if I do only sweaters and shawls/wraps that will be hard to do. If I’m smart I will make sure to make time for socks and fingerless mittens. Although, I do have plans for a cowl already. lol! At least that won’t take me too long to do, and should only be about 4 pages for the pattern. That’s not horrible. In addition to the patterns, I want to increase my social media presence. I would like to do a blog post every week, maybe every other week. I would like to continue my “how to knit” series. I have already started the next post for that, on how to work cables. Perhaps I will start a new series on how to knit sweaters. I already have a series on socks, so that might be a good way to go. I just thought of what to add in that cable blog post. I think I will create a dish cloth that can be knit by anyone working along with the tutorial. I need to take pictures anyway, so that sounds perfect.

My other hope for 2021 is better health. My back freaked out, and we can’t get it fixed. I’ve been working with a chiropractor, but it’s still pretty bad. I have to limit the amount of time I sit, and if I’m not sitting, I’m mostly laying down. That makes knitting complicated. It’s going to be hard to meet my goals if I can’t knit. But, I’m putting one foot in front of the other and doing all my stretches and exercises with hopes of feeling better very soon!

Well, I think that is it for the recap of this past year. I hope you and yours are all safe and healthy!

Cyberweek Sale!

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Starting today, and running through to the end of the day December 2, 2020 (eastern time), I have 20% off everything in my shop. Along with that, the sale is also happening through my Payhip account, as well as in Etsy. To get the discount on my site and Payhip, you will need to use the code ‘Cyberweek’. Etsy should do it automatically. 😀 Each design and finished good will link you to the various locations where you can find the items. Note: This sale is not running through LoveCrafts or Ravelry. This particular sale is for both patterns and finished goods. 😀

Also, I am participating in the Ravelry Gift A Long 2020. These sales are not connected in any way. My Cyberweek sale is for those who cannot or do not go to Ravelry. If you are interested in the Gift A Long, head over to the Ravelry page. There are 250 designers participating in this sale, and there are prizes to be won for project completions and fun games to play. 🙂 Each designer has a bundle of up to 20 patterns that are included in the sale. The sale there runs from Nov 24, 8pm eastern, until the end of the day Nov 30, 2020. The festivities of the Knit/Crochet a long will run until December 31.

And for a fun picture, here is Daisy kitty inspecting the latest box of yarn to come into the house. This is from the big Knit Picks sale that has been going on, and has enough for 3 sweaters and 2 scarves…at least. haha!!

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