Learn to knit lace with the Loida shawl!

Posted on September 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Today I'm excited to introduce you to my new easy lace shawl design, Loida! You can purchase it here.

I designed this pattern with the beginning lace knitter in mind, and wrote it with plenty of commentary, descriptions, and notes.

When you buy the pattern, you actually get two files:

1 - A 3-page "Getting Started with Lace Knitting" guide
2 - The shawl pattern instructions, in two written forms (verbose and concise) and in charted form.

What's in "Getting Started with Lace Knitting"?

In this 3-page-long introduction, I cover basics of knitting lace. Everything from typical lace stitches, complete with the why of how they're used in constructing lace to the how of actually working them (with links to videos!). I also talk about reading lace patterns, keeping your place in the pattern, reading a chart, and more.

And the pattern?

As for the pattern itself, it's my most detailed pattern to date.

It's almost like 3 pattern versions for one design:

There's the "concise" instructions, which are what a typical lace pattern like this would look like. They're written out and charted.

Then there's the "verbose" instructions, which take the written part of the concise instructions and explain them. You'll see row instructions followed by notes, comments, hints, and tips.

And of course the pattern is fully charted, so if you want to skip all the words (and there sure are a lot of them in this one!), you can just go to the last page and start knitting immediately. (can you tell that's what myself I normally do with patterns? ha!)

The Shawl Itself

This shawl is like my perfect version of lace knitting: beautiful and elegant finished project that can be worn with anything without overwhelming your outfit (or you!), plus a fun-to-knit, easy pattern where every-other-row is purl only. I love patterns where the wrong-side rows are all the same, as it means you can totally zone out for about half the project!

That's especially great when you're near the end of the shawl and the rows are super long. Just as you feel like you can't work one. more. purl., you turn and start knitting and yarn-overing (no that's not a word) again! Such a wonderful pace for a project.

In case you can't tell, I'm rather enamored of this project and pattern!

Launch Special!


To celebrate the launch, I'm offering the pattern for only $3.00 until October 1st 2012, when it will go up to the regular $5.00 price.

Buy pattern here

Want to knit along?

I'm finalizing the details and will announce the KAL shortly, but you can go ahead and sign up for the discussion list now by clicking here.

And yes, there will be prizes . . .

Looking forward to hearing what you all think of Loida!

Posted in Chiagu, knitting, knitting patterns

New Pattern Announcement: Pixel!

Posted on August 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

Today I'm ecstatic to tell you that I have a new design out and it's in Twist Collective! Please meet Pixel, my new trapper hat and mittens pattern done in stranded colorwork. I've been on a total colorwork kick lately and this set is one of my absolute favorites so far!

Not only is it super exciting to have a pattern accepted into Twist, but this little baby made the cover. Such an honor! Here's the beautiful cover photo:

Lovely, isn't it? The amazing Carrie Bostick Hoge was the photographer for this section of the magazine, and she did a simply beautiful job.

Want to hear more about the pattern? Read on after the jump!

This pattern actually started its life as a completely different mitten-and-hat idea, inspired by some Spanish tile I had seen and wanted to translate into stranded colorwork. After many unahppy swatches, I gave up on translating that idea into reality and instead switched to my current obsession, which is playing with traditional patterns by blowing them way up and leaving them pixelated. I worked out this blown up argyle and decided to keep playing with traditional elements by combining them in unusual ways.

I came up with the mittens first, as they're one of my favorite items to design. Here's a picture I took of them before mailing them out:

As you can see from the picture, there are actually two colorwork patterns here, the offset argyle that makes up the hand and the checkerboard that is the cuff and thumb. While finishing those thumbs I got really obsessed with the elongated checkerboard and may have started a new design featuring that . . . but that's a post for another day.

Continuing the theme of playfully mixing up tradition, I added red accents that evoke super traditional netherlands-style colorwork, but I did it in an unusual fashion: a crochet edge and some duplicate stitch. I love that the red accents make the mittens playful and cheeky rather than serious (or even boring).

The mittens came together in no time and while I did end up knitting 3 of them (my stranding sucked on the first one and was simply not photography-worthy) they were a dream to work out. The hat, on the other hand . . . not so much.

Initially I had thought to do mittens and a scarf, but decided that this graphic pattern would be too overwhelming to wear both at the same time. So a hat seemed like the obvious choice, but what kind of hat? I didn't want anything too traditional but I also wanted to make something I would wear (because Twist does return the samples to the designers when they're done with them!) and I don't look good in many hats . . . and I also wanted the hat to be "interesting," not just a plain skullcap shape.

After going through the above process I thought I would maybe do a chullo-style hat, but I wasn't totally convinced. And what's worse, I didn't think it was unusual/original enough with the colorwork. I wanted something more fun and funky!

What I usually do in these situations is browse higher-fashion sites to see what the big designers are doing. In this case, I went to net-a-porter and looked at non-knitted hats and stumbled on a trapper hat. I never wear the real thing because I think they're too bulky for my already-huge head, but in a thin knitted fabric? That had promise, and I had never seen it done before in colorwork!

It took a lot of trial and error to figure out a simple construction that I could easily explain in words, but I'm very happy with the end result. I'm particularly proud of the fact that the argyle repeats so smoothly even as you start decreasing the crown! It's one of my pet peeves when the top of a hat doesn't look as good as the main section, so I knew I was going to work extra-hard to make that section work out well in this pattern.

And the best thing about the hat? It fits great!

But don't worry, I've included "normal people" head sizes in the pattern, too. The sample is the 21" size to fit my 22.5" head, but the pattern also has sizes for 17" and 19" finished hats, which will fit teens and regular-sized adults too. And the colorwork is pixel-perfect on those sizes too!

To purchase the pattern, click here to go to the Twist site where you can check out with PayPal or a credit card. The pattern includes the mittens (in 3 sizes) and the hat (also in 3 sizes), and is priced at $6.00.

So, do you like the Pixel set? Please let me know in the comments!

PS - In case you want to favorite or queue it on Ravelry, here's a link directly to the pattern page!



Posted in knitting, knitting patterns

Settling in and a new pattern is coming

Posted on June 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

As of a week ago, I'm all moved into my new place! Here's what my room looked like before the movers brought the furniture in:

As you can see it's pretty big (it's about the size of my entire old studio apartment!) and gets good light, although the view leaves a lot to be desired:

Yep, my window looks straight onto the Brooklyn Bridge. And as a bonus, it's under heavy construction right now. This wouldn't be that bad except for the fact that most of the construction is done at night, which means that around 9:30pm every night I start hearing CLANG CLANG CLANG as the workers load their stuff into the pickup to start the evening's work. Needless to say earplugs have quickly been procured and put to use.

As I've unpacked I've been working on getting stuff organized so that I can get some of my backlog of patterns released. If all goes according to plan (I know, ha ha right?), I should have a shawl pattern ready for you this week or next. Here's a sneak peek:

I've named her Loida and she's done in Sandra Singh Laceweight which is a really lovely yarn. The pattern is beginner-appropriate lace and I've written it out in a wordy, beginner-friendly style as well as a "standard" style, so you can pick which version of the instructions you want to work with.

Knitalong, anyone?

I'm thinking about hosting a knitalong for this pattern so that anyone who wants to learn to knit lace with it will have a place to chat and ask questions and stuff. Please let me know in the comments if you'd be interested in that!

Posted in knitting, knitting patterns

Getting things done

Posted on March 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

There's something about Spring that makes you want to get things off your to-do list, isn't there?? I've been more productive today than I have in a single day in quite some time!

The picture above was supposed to be of the shawl, but when I look at it I can't help but focusing on sweet Arnold who's making such a cute face! But really, the point of the picture is that I finished the lace shawl. And I'm very happy with how it came out! Now that the weather is warmer a light laceweight shawl is the perfect accessory. I always knit shawls in the summertime because they're season-less and aren't too warm to keep on your lap when you're working on them!

I don't know what I'm going to name this design yet . . . but I'm aiming to have that pattern done and ready for you guys by the end of next week, so I'll have to decide soon.

Also done today: a big kit order for Loop! That's right, I now have two brick-and-mortar retailers stocking Chiagu kits. It's so so exciting!

Want to see what my work table looks like when I'm making kits? Here you go:

It's actually less of a disaster than it was this morning before I cleaned up the apartment . . .

And speaking of apartment and getting things done, I'll be moving out of this tiny studio at the end of my lease, which is at the end of April. That means I'm already looking at all my stuff with a critical eye and trying to clear things out so they don't have to be lugged down 5 flights of stairs to get out of here. There may or may not be a stash sale coming soon . . .

Oh and speaking of sale, did you notice that I now have a sale section in the shop? Right now there are Freemans Alley Kits in there on clearance for only $12, because I'm discontinuing the old put-up and will be re-releasing the kits with more yarn in them (the ones that I've made for Loop are the new put up).

What's the difference, you ask? Well the ones on sale now only have enough yarn in them for a size Small or Medium pair of mitts. They have exactly 1 skein's worth of yarn in them. The new kits will have 1.5 skeins' worth, so there will be enough for even the Large size mitts.

So if you'd be making the Small or Medium anyway, you might want to snap up one (or more!) of the remaining clearance kits!

Posted in knitting, knitting kits, knitting patterns, Koigu

New Twist Collective's up!

Posted on June 02, 2009 | 3 Comments

Have you seen the Summer 2009 Twist Collective yet? My favorite pattern in this issue is this stuffie, it's called Niles & Cleo and I want one NOW! Do I have a need for a stuffed animal? Hell no. But they're just so cute! I love their little hoodies and their crazy-long noses. The designer is Jennie Eveleigh Lamond, whom I'd never heard of before, but when I looked her up on Ravelry I realized she'd previously designed those cute flower dolls for a previous issue of Twist! She apparently has several other stuffie patterns, too, check out her Ravelry patterns page.  Her designs are all really cute without being too cloyingly-sweet, I can't wait to see what other stuffed animal patterns she comes up with in the future!

The other designs in this Twist issue didn't really do it for me, which is really surprising given how much I've loved previous issues. I think this is probably the weakest issue to date for them, there wasn't a single garment I wanted to knit! That's really saying something. I did like one of the sock patterns and have put it in my check-it-out-later list, but for now I think that Niles & Cleo is the only pattern I'll be buying.

Besides, I have plenty of WIPs and patterns to work on already! What about you, what did you like in this Twist Collective?

Posted in knitting, Knitting Patterns, twist collective

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