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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜€

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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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ™‚ 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!!

Open Test Knits!

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I have two patterns that are accepting test knitters. First up is my Scarf of Many Colors. I have a group started on Ravelry, but you can also work with me via email. This scarf uses fingering weight yarn, in a variety of colors that are completely up to your choosing. I’m not picky. I personally used Miss Babs Advent 2018 kit in the Midcentury colorway. I used all 25 colors, but did repeat a couple. You’ll want to be able to make 29 triangles, if you want to match the sample. Of course, you can always adjust the size up or down, but I recommend an odd number of colors to get a squared end scarf.

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This scarf is a pretty easy knit. The main stitches are simple knit and purl stitches. The only complication to it, are the wraps. I have included detailed instructions on how to work the wraps, but you can also search for ‘knitting wraps’ or ‘purling wraps’ and you will get some great videos on how to do these. This is done to create short rows and make the triangle shape.

The deadline for the scarf completion is September 20, 2019. And for testing for me, you will get the finalized pattern for the scarf as well as a coupon code for a free pattern of your choosing (not including kits or ebooks) that is valid for one full year.

The second test knit that is open is for my Middleton Pullover. There is also a group on Ravelry for this, but just like the scarf, we can work together via email if you prefer. This sweater uses sport weight yarn. I chose Miss Babs Killington in the Dahlia colorway. One of the requirements for this test is letting me know how much yarn you used to complete your size. The sizes available are 30 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52)β€œ Bust. I have built in 2″ of ease, so the finished measurements will be 32 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54)” Bust.

This pullover has lace at the bottom of the body as well as at the bottom of the sleeves. The construction is bottom up for the body. Then for the sleeves, the stitches are picked up and the sleeves are then knit down to the cuff.

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The deadline for the sweater completion is October 15, 2019, which means it should be finished in time for the cooler temperatures. For testing, you will get a copy of this finalized pattern, as well as a coupon code for one free pattern of your choosing (not including kits or ebooks) that will be valid for one full year.

If you are interested in testing either of these patterns, you can message me on Ravelry, or you can email me at tlcraftsanddesign at gmail dot com.

New Release! Harvey Wallbanger Scarf

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This scarf was inspired by a cake that my family makes. It’s called a Harvey Wallbanger cake. It’s an orange cake with a creamy icing that’s nicely boozed up. :slightly_smiling_face: I designed the scarf to have the nice orange color in the middle, just like the cake with the browned up exterior and the icing sitting on the outside.

The great thing with this scarf is you get this honeycomb effect that makes the scarf come alive, but it doesn’t take very long to memorize the pattern. It makes for great TV knitting, or perhaps when travelling. But, it will start to get long and cumbersome. hehe The texture also makes the scarf feel more full and fluffy, and will give it a nice warmth in the winter.

Having some fun

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One of the problems with trying to have your own business, is that sometimes it can get overwhelming and just not feel fun. You can feel like you are bogged down or stuck. That happened this past weekend. I started to feel very stuck. I was overwhelmed by everything going on. My sales have been in the tank, which can be very common during the summer, but it’s still really tough to deal with. So, as I usually do, I start thinking about plan B. That usually involves the thoughts of what I can do to make money via online sales. Perhaps I SHOULD look at getting into Lularoe (which I debate about every 3 months, even though I just don’t have the mental stuff to do it…just really not something I am good at), or perhaps focus more on the Young Living sales (which I might still push forward with), or search for something else. Then I remember that I’m just not the sales type. Which is funny, but I’m not. I need to work on this more, because obviously it would be beneficial for more things.

I ended up going back to the thoughts of my dormant Etsy shop. I thought, what can I put on there that could be good. I settled on keychains. A very specific thing, that I can make varieties of. Just keychains. Keychains with wood burned tags. Keychains with stuffed critters. Keychains with beaded creations. All keychains. I might add stuff later, but for now…keychains. haha

I started working on my prototypes this weekend, while I wait for some yarn to come in for these. Now, the stuffed critters will have safety eyes, but are still not for kids. They are specifically for keychains, and not for play, but are still super cute. πŸ™‚

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These are the three I have worked up so far. The kitty still needs whiskers, and his tail to be attached to his body. I don’t want to have a dangling tail that would get all tangled up. And the other two are getting some kind of mouth. I just need to dig out the embroidery floss to take care of that. πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for these little guys to be released. I have a bunch more options for critters as well (shark, bat, dolphin, a hug), but I need to get the right color of yarn first. πŸ˜€

Thanks to this helping to clear my head and give me some direction, I will have some designs coming down the pipe. I have a couple things that are finishing up testing, and will be released around the 15th. I also have my Scarf of Many Colors that is scheduled to go to the editor on the 12th. That should mean I can start testing of that the following week. Right now the scarf is blocking, and should be dry before too long, so I can get proper pictures. πŸ˜€

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Thanks for reading!!