24 October 2012

Giveaway delay (Sorry!)

I will figure out the giveaway soon, but I'm bogged down in some school stuff, kind of ever since I made the last post about Teresa's book. So, so tired. I can't even think straight.

In addition to the Giveaway, I've got a brief Rhinebeck report and finishing work on a few patterns. I was so close! And now it's going to take me at least a day, once I get past the stuff I'm working on, to get my head back in that zone. Sigh.

Plus, today is Nick's and my anniversary.

I will be back. Soon. And I will share my (benign) ghost story. Promise!

17 October 2012


In case you haven't seen Teresa Gregorio's new pattern collection on the internets or Rav, Ms. CanaryKnits herself has created a really lovely collection of eleven patterns plus interesting and scholarly pieces on ghosts, titled Ghosts: historiographies, cultural manifestations, and the knits they've inspired. It is, of course, the perfect time of year for releasing such patterns and writing. My favorites include:
Athenodorus by Teresa Gregorio
Ribbon always gets me! This skirt "wanes" from bulky weight to fingering yarn, just as the Greeks believed the spirit waned in forgetting its identity. I've started to consider knitted skirts and am always happy to see thoughtful patterns for them. Teresa graded this pattern from XS to XXL.

Feathers by Teresa Gregorio
This pretty little scarf in angora (I'm thinking that Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Alpaca might work nicely, too) has an interesting construction, and Teresa looks adorable and ethereal :)

There are also colorwork mittens, twisted stitch socks, and a flower-trimmed hat worked up in luscious tosh Vintage in Tart:

Calavera Catrina by Teresa Gregorio
I'm very happy to be a part of Teresa's blog tour and really excited for her latest publication. If you would like a chance to win your very own copy, leave a comment on this post by Monday, 22 October,  telling me which pattern you like best or a ghost story. For an additional entry, join my Ravelry group :)

Tomorrow I'll tell one of my ghost stories, but now I have to go pick up the kids.

14 October 2012

stash sale

Rowan CalmerCrystal Palace Splash PrintPlymouth Yarn Oh My!Handpaintedyarn.com Novelty BoucleMisti Alpaca Lace SolidsAlchemy Haiku
Madil Yarns Super Due Merino100purewool.com Merino LaceLane Cervinia Le Fibre Nobili ImperialeMisti Alpaca Lace SolidKnit One Crochet Too MeringueLion Brand Fun Fur Solid
Araucania AtacamaRowan Kidsilk Haze DewberryAraucania Nature Wool SolidsCherry Tree Hill Suri Lace AlpacaRegia Silk 4-ply sock yarnRowan Kidsilk Haze Toffee
South West Trading Company BambooMystery novelty yarnBerocco PlushAlpaca with a Twist Baby TwistFiltes King Australian MerinosBMFA sock yarn keychains
stash sale, a set on Flickr.
Last weekend in anticipation of the NYC Yarn Crawl, I spent a day airing/organizing/tossing the stash and found some goodies that I know I am not going to get around to knitting any time soon. So, they should go to a good home, where they will be appreciated. You may notice that there is quite a bit of Alpaca. Sadly, I've discovered that it irritates my annoyingly sensitive skin - my itchiness is your gain!

Check out the goodies and feel free to make me an offer.

On Ravelry, too!

12 October 2012

FO: Sotherton (P.S. Rhinebeck!)

Can't you see how excited I am?
Yay! I finished my Sotherton. Despite my bemused expression, I am really happy with this knit (self-portraiture with my D80's remote is, as yet, unperfected). There were a few modifications (I can't even knit my own pattern "straight"!), since I chose this beautiful tosh vintage, instead of the tosh dk called for in the pattern. My gauge was a little different, but since I was happy with the fabric I was creating I used the numbers for the 2nd size (I'm really a Medium/third size) for the body and ended up using the smallest size for the sleeves but knitting them much longer thanks to my lanky arms. And I raised the back of the neck about an inch by working a repeat of the twist pattern back-and-forth across the back stitches and then picking up a few stitches at each edge before working the collar ribbing.

Don't forget: There's an ongoing Sotherton KAL in my Ravelry group - join us!

And the back
Isn't that Byzantine colorway lovely? And aren't you proud of me for not knitting a blue sweater for once? After a skein disaster I had on an upcoming pattern, where one sleeve ended up looking more washed out than the rest of the sweater, I alternated skeins on the body of this one and chose the matching-est skeins for the sleeves. In case you're wondering, I ended up ripping out both sleeves on the other pattern, reknitting them alternating skeins, and then reknitting the yoke, also alternating skeins. That was a major bummer, but worth it. Hopefully, you'll see the final product of that agony next week. I'm sending the pattern off to my new tech editor today and hope to have good photos in the next few days, weather and "personnel" (Nick and the girls) permitting.

And there are three other patterns with the tech editor. I've been dying to share them, but I've decided that "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" and I love when I release a pattern on Ravelry once it's all ready to go. That way you don't have to wait to buy it, and I don't have to create additional documents like a pre-sell version with specs and swatch information. I like it all in one place, tidy and ready to knit. I hope you agree.

OK. Off to work on the other photographed pattern so I can get it to the tech editor ASAP. It's in Bartlett Yarns, who will be at Rhinebeck next weekend, so I'd love to release the pattern before I head upstate. But it's a cable doozy, so there are a lot of i's to dot and t's to cross, plus it's the first pattern I've written with a hood. You're going to love it!

Will I see you at New York Sheep & Wool on Sunday (10/21)? I'll be there just for the day and have to decide which sweater to wear, since there is an embarassment of riches this year :)

05 October 2012

Test knitting?

So, I spent my summer knitting up shawls and sweaters, and right now they are sitting in a pretty stack in my bedroom. Some have been photographed already, and there are more to do once I find a good location and figure out when we can do it (Nick is my photographer, usually, and we either have to bring the kids or find a time when they are all at school and he's not trapped in endless meetings). I've been busy writing up the patterns between the volunteer work I do at Penelope's preschool and at Isobel and Stephen's school, which has taken up a lot of time and mental space for the past month. Plus, doing Penelope's application to go to the big kids' school (can you believe she'll be in Kindergarten next fall?), which has been stressful. Now that the two shawls are written up (love them! they turned out just the way I wanted and only one required reknitting :) , along with one of the sweaters (stripey goodness graded for seven sizes), while the other three sweaters (cables and interesting hood construction, a little lace, alternative construction) are in various stages of notes, instructions, and spreadsheets (ah, grading for seven sizes - I love spreadsheets!), I'm looking for a new tech editor, which takes up more time.

The question for me is do I also add test knitters into the process? I know a lot of self-publishing designers do, but if I'm waiting until a pattern has been tech edited, what do test knitters add to the proposition? By the time I've knit a sample, usually from a bare-bones pattern, refined then graded it, photographed it, and sent it to a tech editor, I'm ready to release it to the world! I'm excited and dying to share what I've been working on. When I create patterns for publications, there aren't any test knitters, just me. But the reach of a publication provides its own publicity, right? So, test knitters are not just helping a designer figure out if the pattern is clearly written and correctly sized/graded/proportioned, especially since that is the tech editor's job, but they are also part of your publicity team.

Plus, I like the big reveal. It's sort of frustrating to see a great new pattern on Ravelry only to discover that you won't be able to buy it immediately. Some designers offer a specs page in that case that gives yarn and gauge information so knitters can get started. But I'm into that instant gratification.

What do you think?