Friday, March 25, 2011

Work in Progress: Daphnaie

Sometimes I am really lucky with my designs.  I mean everything comes perfectly together and my very first prototype/sample goes off without a hitch.  Other times it can be like trying to get a square peg in a round hole...and I am that kid that is too stubborn just to try the round peg and go with it.  I feel like almost anything can work, but who really wants a pattern that is 27 pages long in a 7 point font with 13 different charts?  I try to get my lace patterns down to a more concise form that doesn't send the average knitter running and screaming.

WIP: Daphnaie1

Daphnaie should have been easy enough, though while I was in the initial designing phase, I was blissfully ignorant of the nightmares that double sided lace repeats can cause.  Then trying to fit the repeats of the center panel in with the awkward repeats of the lace pattern just added to my frustration.  So I charted on paper and in Excel until I had filled pages of tiny grids with tiny little symbols that only knitters can understand and I added and multiplied and divided and subtracted. Next, I swatched and swatched and swatched.  Then I ripped out some swatches and swatched some more.

WIP: Daphnaie4

Finally there was a pattern I liked and, with some tweaking to it and my center panel, it all worked together wonderfully.  Like really wonderfully much so, I impressed myself.  Not so much because it is some monumental piece of knitting, but because I didn't opt to take the round peg and give up on my idea, I took a chainsaw and made it work...and it is almost exactly as I envisioned.  For a long time the vision was all I had too, it was just a sketch on a piece of paper for months and when I went back and looked at it with Daphnaie all charted out, it was so perfectly right. 

WIP: Daphnaie3

I just wanted to share my excitement with you guys and give you a little peek at what I have been up to.  Also, a big thanks to everyone that has purchased patterns so far.  There is one week left, then I will be tallying up the sales and making the donations!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A little help for Japan.

Now through the end of the month, I will be donating 50% of my pattern sales to the Red Cross and Shelter Box to help with relief efforts in Japan. Stop by my Ravelry Store or visit my patterns page and stock up or send one along to a knitter friend as a doubly good deed ♥

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Work in Progress: The Mermaid's Gift

Whew, I am in full panic mode, as I always seem to be when I am under a deadline.  Things are coming along...I just need to learn how to relax, but also not procrastinate so much!  Like last night, after I spent the day photographing, writing up and then sending off the test draft of Hesperides to my test knitters...I kept finding more things to do on the computer.  What I really needed to be doing was working on The Mermaid's Gift...which I did, around 10 pm.  This whole DST thing always does a number on me, especially when I am in this crazed state!

Anyway, that said I did finish almost an entire section on TMG, which I am really happy about.  Even if that does mean I was up past 1 am and slept in this morning!  I am super pleased with how it is coming along and I think my bead choice; while a bit, um, bright will work out well with the pale blue lace.  Also, I am wondering why I didn't get on the half circular shawl thing a lot sooner!  That is one of the things I love about working on this eBook, I wanted all 6 shawls to be constructed differently, so it is really making me step outside of that triangular shawl comfort zone!

mermaid WIP

The colors on this are rocking my world!  I am a powder blue lover from way back and I think the beads will do a wonderful job to give it the feeling of spray on top of ocean waves. Plus the yarn color is Malabrigo's "Blue Surf" and the beads are called "Miami Surf!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Official Announcement!

Well, after months of hinting...the official announcement has been made!  That's right...I am Miss May for the Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project!  I am so excited to be a part of it and so glad that it isn't hush-hush any more.  There are still a couple months of hard work ahead, but I can't wait for May ♥


Monday, March 7, 2011

Work in Progress: Hesperides

It took me a little longer than I had hoped to get pictures of my latest WIP, Hesperides.  These were taken with the new wireless remote I got for my camera, since I was the only one home today.  It was actually quite interesting to see what I look like when I knit!

knitting hesperides 1

Every "action" shot I got was a bit blurry...I don't really knit that fast!  I think I just had the bad luck of moving my hand every time the camera took a shot.  I set it for a 2 second delay so I could get the remote out of the shot ;)  Also, I've noticed I hold my right middle and ring fingers super awkward...funny.

knitting hesperides 2

Here is a little larger look at Hesperides.  It is a triangular shawl with alternating bands of stockinette and a striped lacy section.  The original striped lace I had swatched for this worked out horribly in action, but maybe someday it will live again as a scarf or stole.  Luckily the change didn't set me back too far and I managed to recover the design gracefully and still keep the general look I was going for.

When I came up with this design, I had wanted something that would work well with a variegated yarn and a complementary solid color.  Since I have an unhealthy obsession with variegated yarns, I am always trying to come up with good uses for them.  This way I can justify those skeins that inevitably find their way into my stash and it offers up a fun challenge for me to tackle.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Malabrigo March!

This month is a frenzy of activity for us Malabrigo Junkies on Ravelry. Basically it is an excuse to cast on as many projects as we can in one of our favorite brands of yarn!  I am working on Irving the Icebox Monster  from Rebecca Danger's adorable book, The Big Book of Knitted Monsters. He is looking great in Apple Green and Purple Mystery (here's a shot of the lovely skein):

purple mystery

He is just a bunch of parts right now, I am waiting for his safety eyes to arrive. As soon as they do I can begin assembly!

I am also busily knitting away on two more samples for the secret project.  Hopefully I'll be able to grab a picture or two for you guys in the next couple of days.  They are looking lovely, is in Violeta Africana and Archangel Malabrigo Sock, the other is in Blue Surf Malabrigo Lace.  And, with that little teaser I bid you adieu!