Gift A Long 2021

Posted on Leave a comment

Every year at this time there is a large sale called the Gift A Long. This year over 240 designers have signed up to participate. That means that we are all offering you 25% off select patterns through Ravelry until the 11:59pm EST November 30, 2021. There is a Ravelry group where you can get access to all the discounted patterns (with code giftalong2021) and be able to join in all the chatting and excitement. There is currently a large bundle listed with all the discounted patterns. In the coming days a bundle will be listed with all the designs from all the designers. This will include full price patterns, but all purchased patterns whether discounted or full price will be eligible for prizes being offered in the group. In addition to the sale, there is a Knit A Long/ Crochet A Long (KAL/CAL) going on in this same group. This will go until the end of December, 2021. There are games and prizes and a lot of fun! Come on over and join us. 😀

New Releases!

Posted on Leave a comment

Now that the studio is complete I am playing catch up on all the projects I have on the go. This week alone I published 2 new patterns. My brain has decided that it needs to do everything right this second, which has resulted in complete overload. lol I’m slowly reeling myself back in to actually have a bit of focus. So, to start things off I wanted to let everyone know what is new right now.

First off, I published a new pair of fingerless mittens. These are called Caterpillar Mittens. They are made with fingering weight yarn, and have a very simple lace pattern that will resemble fluffy little caterpillars going across them. They are thick enough to keep your hands warm on a cool fall day, but have a little breathability so you don’t overheat as much as full mittens. 😀

Mitts 2

I have also released a sock pattern called Flying South Socks. These socks have ‘V’s’ on them to resemble geese flying south for the winter, which is perfect for this time of year. We’re seeing a lot of birds flying south right now. Can’t say as I blame them, since we’re now getting frost and freeze warnings overnight. The lace pattern is pretty simple, with just yarn overs and some decreases, but it gives a bit of movement to the socks which is fun. 🙂

IMG_3041

And lastly I released a scarf pattern. This is my Abstract Scarf. It’s a very gender neutral design that can be blinged up with your yarn choice. You can go all in with a sparkle, or do a dark neutral. It’s very easy to customize this for your special someone. 😀 I do love how the pattern pops with a light color or neutral, but the world is your oyster with this one.

IMG_3065

That is everything that is new. I hope you all love what I have come up with this year. I have a sock pattern on the go right now, and a cowl that is about to go to an editor, so there is more coming down the pipeline before the end of the year, I hope. Keep an eye out for those. As always, if you want any sneak peeks, be sure to follow my Facebook page. That’s where I usually post my quick little snippets. I am also trying to be more active on Instagram with all that as well.

So You Want to Knit 12 – Yarn and Substitutions

Posted on Leave a comment

I talked about yarn in the first part of this How To in the Materials section. However, there will come a time when you will not have or be able to get the yarn that is called for in a pattern. Not to fear! There are substitutions that can be made. Thankfully yarn substitutions are much easier than baking substitutions. hehe

So, where to start. When you get your pattern you will find that there is a section of important details such as gauge, needles, and a yarn section. Those yarn details is what you need. It will likely list the name, weight, fiber details and amount you need of that particular yarn. The first step to take is to do a search for that yarn. You can do this through a site like Ravelry, which I mentioned in the last post, or you can just do a general search online to find it. The important thing to look for is the Knitting Gauge. This will give you all the important information on exactly what that yarn weighs. You see, the problem with yarn designations like Fingering or Worsted is that all of these are ranges. That means they will vary in actually weight (the width of the yarn) by potentially a lot, which will make your project not work as you would have hoped.

Screenshot (2)_LI

As you can see from the above photo from the Knit Picks website, I have circled the yarn weight. This happens to be their Wool of the Andes Tweed, which is a worsted weight. They give you the details on how many stitches you should get per inch if you on a particular range of needles. So, in this yarn you should get 4.5 stitches per inch if you knit on size US 6 needles. This range is the important detail that you want. You can now go through your options for worsted weight yarns to find something with a similar range listed.

Another important detail is the fiber content that is listed. This yarn has a high wool content, which will mean that when you block it (which I will cover in a later post) it will grow. That means the yarn will expand in size. Your pattern will tell you what gauge is needed to get the desired look they have listed, and that is almost always after blocking. If you chose a yarn that is not the same fiber content, which is most likely to be the case, you will want to knit a swatch and then wet block it. You can take your measurements of how many stitches and rows per 4 inches you have to make sure you match the pattern.

The next detail to look at is the number of yards/meters. The yarn listed on your pattern will tell you how many skeins you need of the yarn they suggest. Simply multiply the number of skeins for your size by the yards/meters listed for the suggested yarn. Then you can divide that by the number of yarns in your chosen yarn to get the number of skeins you need of that yarn.

As you work through a few things, you will begin to notice the differences that come up with the different yarns. Some yarns just don’t bounce back like other yarns. Wools definitely bounce back nicely after washing. Yarns like cotton will tend to stretch and won’t really shrink back up when you wash it (making sure to wash it based on the directions the yarn gives you). That is why fibers like cotton, silk and linen are not recommended for socks. They will just end up droopy and saggy.

I really hope that this helps you with coming up with yarn substitutions. It does require a bit of research as you are looking for a yarn you like, but it’s very worth it. I skipped this when I was starting out and just went by the weight, thinking all worsted weights were the same. I was very wrong. It wasn’t the end of the world, but trying to figure out gauge does get more complicated. If you do find a yarn you just love, that doesn’t match the yarn gauge, you do have the option of doing swatches to get to the gauge your pattern calls for. It could mean you go up or down a few needle sizes, but you can still achieve the desired look. The next post in this series will be all about gauge, so you’ll be able to do those calculations for yourself. 😀

Thanks for reading!!

So You Want to Knit 11 – How to Find a Pattern that Meets Your Wants/Needs

Posted on Leave a comment

Now that you know a lot of stitches and techniques, you will want to figure out how to find a pattern. There are many many places to purchase patterns. My number one recommendation to new knitters is always Ravelry. This is a knitting community that has forums with groups you can join and chat with other knitters. But, you don’t have to use that at all if you don’t want to. The great thing about Ravelry is its search feature. You can search for anything and everything. You can choose to look at knitting or crochet patterns. You can choose to search for only free patterns. You can search by item type like a sweater or scarf. You can search by yarn weight or amount. And you can combine any number of things to really refine your search. There are so many amazing pattern there and it’s a great resource.

Buying individual patterns usually means that you will be downloading a PDF file. You will need something that will allow you to see and print that pattern. If you prefer to have it on a handheld device of some sort, you can consider a program like Knit Companion, which is an app that allows you to save, see and mark your downloaded patterns. It also has counters to help you track where you are. Downloading patterns means you always want to make sure that your source is reputable. Just doing a search for some kind of pattern doesn’t always work out well. It’s tough to find what you want, and you don’t want to download something that isn’t what it says it is.

Another location for patterns is LoveCrafts. They have lots of patterns, but also sell yarn, which can be handy if you can buy what the pattern tells you to all in one place. Knit Picks is another place the sells yarn and supplies, but also has patterns on their website that is usually made with yarn they stock. I recently bought a pattern from them for a lovely sweater, and was able to choose which size I was planning to make and built my own kit. It was super helpful. Now, of course you don’t have to buy the yarn from them, and can absolutely just buy the pattern and be done.

You will notice that I usually say ‘buy’ the pattern. This is because the majority of patterns are not free. And you might be asking why not. Well, when a design gets to the point of publishing a pattern they have spent weeks if not months on developing this pattern. It’s not fair to expect them to give their work to you for free, regardless of how simple you might think it is. For example, I just finished a cowl pattern that I’m about to send to an editor. First off, the editor charges me for their time, which can run me anywhere from $30 to $300 or more depending on the complexity of the pattern. At this point though I have about 80 hours invested into this pattern. If I was lucky to make $15 an hour, that’s $1,200 already. I would need to sell about 72 copies of this pattern just to break even on my time, and I’m not done yet. I don’t just write up a pattern and go. I also knit the item to make sure the pattern works and that I get the look I envisioned. I also have to spend a month or two supervising a test knit. That is where others knit the pattern to make sure it works. Most patterns are in development for a good 6 months for even simple projects. One of the sweaters I am working on has been on the go for 2 years now. So, as you can see it really is a steal to get a pattern for even $15, but most are somewhere around the $5-10 range. Now that being said, places like Ravelry and LoveCrafts do have a lot of free patterns available.

Now that you have some resources on where to find patterns, feel free to go and browse. Oh, and you do need to sign up for Ravelry, but it’s absolutely free to do so. Happy searching!!