Friday, April 6, 2012


I am so sorry for my extended absence! I became completely overwhelmed by my self-imposed knitting goals and had to take a little break from it for my sanity and to indulge a bit in my other hobbies (nail art, anyone?!). At this point, knitting is definitely no longer a hobby, but a job.  While I still love it, it does no hold the relaxation or enjoyment that it did before it required deadlines, meticulous notes and hours of typing. Now, don't get me wrong....I am definitely not complaining that I get to sit home and knit, while many others head to work! It has just become like any job...without balance it can become overwhelming.

In addition to my little burn out, I was out of town for a couple weeks doing some more skiing and taking care of my nephew while my sister and brother-in-law welcomed my adorable niece to the world! And...I was sick for 2 weeks, plus the summer heat arrived incredibly early here, so all of that helped throw a wrench in my knitting schedule as well. I do have adorable pictures of S in the (too big - she's such a peanut!) hat that I knit for her, if that helps make up for it ;)

Since I have gotten my mojo back...I have decided to start working on another shawl eBook.  Currently I am planning to include 4 designs, but I may decide to add more! The other day, I got to see the final proof of the Fresh Designs: Sweaters book from Cooperative Press that has a pattern of mine in it! I can't wait until the book is published!

Also, I have promised to put together a little video on top-down pockets...there isn't much out there for top-down pockets. I found that quite surprising considering the popularity of top-down sweaters, though, maybe it isn't as popular as I think?! So if you know of any top-down pocket videos/tutorials, definitely let me know...I love finding more resources to point people towards if they want to add pockets to their Zephyr or Gamine and I want to make sure I am filling a gap in the currently available information!

I'll be back soon...I promise ♥

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FAIL, a sale and Cordate is out!

Oy...hey there, so I made no progress on my WIPs this week  >_<  At least I did finish up and release Cordate! Annnd....2/17 through 3/2 all patterns in my Rav shop will be 25% code needed!



Monday, February 13, 2012

Swatch It: Alluvion

This poor sweater has nearly been swatched to death! It is still a WIP, actually it has been languishing a bit. I am almost done with the body, but I have just been soooo easily distracted my niece is scheduled to enter the world at the beginning of March, so baby knitting has taken priority :)

Anyway here is a look at the ridiculous amount of swatches...


Alluvion swatch 2


So...what's with all the swatches, right?!? Well, this is what happens when I really want to work with a yarn that I have never used before! I was trying different patterns to check out the stitch definition, making large swatches to check the drape and mostly trying to find out what the yarn wanted to be.  By the way, the yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Techno and it is unlike anything I have used before. It is extremely light and fluffy and just different. It does not have any twist, as it is a silk net tube with baby alpaca and merino "blown" into it.

The winner ended up being the swatch in the third picture, I like how the simpler antler cable and garter rib compliment the yarn better.  Also I worried that the fuzziness of the yarn might end up obscuring the more detailed texture patterns over time. Don't worry, though...they will be making appearances in other designs at some point!

I am heading out of town again for a bit (more skiing!), but before I do, I hope to make some more progress both on Alluvion and some baby knits! So before the week is out I should hopefully have at least a WIP shot and a cute little FO or two :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

OPP's: Parisian Twist

Oh, I love quick, too! I kept seeing ads for this in my Rav notebook and I needed something to keep my ears warm while my hair was in a ponytail...serendipitous! I present to you, my Parisian Twist:




I really love working on other designers' patterns.  It is a nice break from the work of designing, I mean I am able to just sit down and get math, no pressure! I try to keep it to small accessories and the like, though, so I don't feel guilty that I am taking away too much time from my designing!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Swatch It: Gamine

Here's a look back at the beginnings of Gamine...if you look close you can even see the origins of Cordate in this swatch! This was actually the fourth or fifth swatch for Gamine.  As I said in a previous post, Gamine was the first garment design idea that I sketched out in my little design notebook.  I wanted to take a lot of time with it to make sure that it was right!


This was the first swatch that was done in the final color. I know a lot of you anti-swatchers might think I am crazy...but my original swatches were in another color, that didn't end up being quite right. The different colors felt a bit different weight and drape-wise, so I went ahead and did another swatch in the final color. Obsessive, maybe...but it ensures that my pattern will come out the correct size and so will your FO! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

How I Wore It: Coastal Hoodie

Can I just say I love my Hoodie!?! It really is the perfect weight for our mild Southern winters. I  wore this quite a bit apres ski with my awesome Teva snowboots, a couple days it was quite warm and I didn't need anything over it...though it is a nice weight for layering under jackets.


This is like my daily uniform, I just alternate between jeans and T's :) Also I am still crazy in love with RadLab, if you couldn't tell ;P

Friday, February 3, 2012

An Interview...

Hey there, just a quick little post for you today! I was interviewed by Robin Hunter on her blog, check it out.  It was really fun and the questions were quite interesting and thought provoking for me. Thanks, Robin!

Right now I am working on putting the finishing touches on Cordate, so hopefully it will be ready to go next week! I also have to edit all those photos I took so I can show you guys some more of my Swatch Its, How I Wore It and an O.P.P. (Other Person's Pattern) that kept me warm on the slopes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And...I am back!

Sorry for my absence, I was on vacation! I would have posted to let you guys know, but I had planned on scheduling posts while I was gone. Obviously that did not work out  >_< I did get all of the photos taken at least! To be honest, I am not sure why I thought I would have time to edit photos, write and schedule posts all while preparing for a week-long, multi-stop road trip!

I did enjoy my vacation...I still bear the bruises! First we stopped up at my sister's so I could have a joint birthday party with my nephew...he turned three and I turned...a lot more than that (like +29)! I am happy to report that he loved his little monster and promptly named him "Shark."

After our stop there we headed about 2.5 hours SW (well it actually took a lot longer than that because there was fog thicker than pea soup on winding mountain roads!) to Wintergreen, VA. There, Ken and I skied for the first time...of course he took to it like a duck to water and I took to it like a duck about to be flambeed!
Why yes, I do have video evidence:

This brilliant bit of skiing was after 2.5 days on the slopes, one group lesson and about an hour into a 3 hour private lesson. Even better, we are going to Utah in a few weeks, maybe by then I will progress to actually using poles ;P

Here are some shots on the mountain, Eagles' Swoop:

Eagles' Swoop

And The Plunge tubing park (I was really good at this, heh):


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OPP's...Other People's Patterns

Occasionally, I make the time to knit other designer's patterns.  It is very rare though, since I feel guilty that I am not working on my own designs.  But, sometimes...I just need a break, or I want to try something new or I just want to knit without all the preamble that designing requires.  

Yesterday I made a Monster Chunk, these guys are so cute and so quick! I do have Rebecca Danger's The Big Book of Knitted Monsters and I love the monsters in the book, but I wanted something the Chunks won out! This weekend I am heading up to VA to have a little joint birthday party with my adorable nephew and this a little present for him.

Monster chunk

Isn't he cute?! I used Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Apple Green and Blue Surf, the safety eyes are from 6060 on Etsy and I grabbed the felt at A.C. Moore.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How I Wore It: Ovate

Hey guys! Here's me, wearing my Ovate (large)...

Ovate Shawl

Black jeans (which is totally branching out for me!) and a white turtleneck, nothing exciting, but I love wearing the large version of Ovate like this.  I attach the toggles along one edge and the pull the end of the other side through the "loop" it makes. It is easy, looks great and won't slide off the shoulders!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sneak Peek: Cordate

Here is a better look at Cordate for you guys! I finished up the draft today, shot the pictures and got it out to my testers.  I do need to re-shoot the photos, because I didn't get the detail that I wanted, but there was a storm rolling in. Plus, I realized that the wrong side of the scarf was showing in about half of the pictures and I was making ridiculous faces in some of the others >_< Anyway, enough talking, here are the pics:





See...wrong side, at least it doesn't look that bad!  I did have a ton of fun editing these in photoshop (got it for Christmas, a nice upgrade from elements!) and RadLab, which really is quite rad! If you have photoshop and are looking for a way to make editing really simple and awesome you should check it out (no, they don't pay me, I just love it)!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Swatch It!

I am sure everyone knows the importance of swatching...but I admit that I am still amazed when I hear people say that they don't swatch.  It is such a small thing, that right off the bat, can determine the success or failure of a project.  It is a lovely "first date" with your yarn (without all that awkwardness and sweaty palms!), where you get to know each other and can determine if you two will work well together in the long term.  You get to learn what needles your yarn works well with and how well behaved it is after an introduction to water.  Sometimes it just doesn't work out, or you may find that yarn is better suited to another project down the road.

Me, I love swatching, if you can't tell from that lead in! It wasn't always this way, but after many hours and a couple of ill-fitting sweaters in my early knitting career, lesson learned.  Now, sometimes I am more excited about swatching than any other part of the project. I love trying new yarns and stitch patterns and also trying out different needles (bamboo, hardwood, stainless steel) to see which will be most comfortable and easiest to work with.

All of my designs are based off of the gauge on my swatch. Before I got into designing I didn't realize all the math involved and that the key numbers that rule everything are the stitches and rows per inch.  All of the stitch counts, finished measurements and grading starts with those numbers, so it really is important!   I can guarantee that in most instances, if you do not obtain pattern gauge, it will not come out the size stated in the pattern...size and gauge go hand in hand. By simply taking a little extra time before you start, you can ensure an awesome FO!

So after my little ode to swatching, I will try to offer a weekly piece wherein I feature a swatch that I am working on.  Heck I could probably feature a swatch a day with the number I have hanging around here ;)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Gamine is DONE!

Hello! Just a quick little post today to let you know that Gamine is now available for download!  I finally got my act together and finished it up this week, along with the help of my editor and a lovely group of test knitters. 

It has been a long process with this one...this was actually the first design I sketched out in my little notebook.  Hoping at the time, that one day I would have the ability to turn it into a wearable garment. Here it is, at long last, and I am pretty pleased with the results ;)



Thursday, January 5, 2012

How I Wore It...

Now, I am definitely not the most fashionable girl on the self-consciousness and need for comfort tend to get in the way. Plus, I don't really do a lot of exciting stuff.  I don't find myself out having cocktails multiple times a week at swanky venues, so my wardrobe doesn't extend far beyond casual.  I base my designs around my lifestyle and what I like to wear...which is how I came up with this idea.  I plan on showing how I wear my knits...there will be a lengthy hiatus once it heats up down here (in a couple of months), though! But I thought this might be a fun way to see the design beyond the "pattern page" photos.

Here I am in my large Belmondo, getting ready to go shopping:

I wear this shawl all the time, usually wrapped as a scarf or around my shoulders when it is a little chilly. Jeans and t-shirts are usually the order of the day for me, so hopefully this won't get too boring as the weeks go on ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a great 2012 so far! Right now I am bogged down in the editing of Gamine...or I could say avoiding editing Gamine >_<  At this point, where I need to do the final revisions with my editor, I always seem to hit this wall and don't even want to look at the pattern anymore.  Hopefully I will find more motivation after I take down the Christmas decorations...or that I will do some editing to avoid that! The house always looks so sad after the decorations come down...maybe that is a sign that I should work on redecorating my house ;)

I have been a bit scattered the past month. I haven't really been able to focus on anything, especially knitting.  This year (here comes the resolutions!) I want to make an actual work schedule for myself.  Since I design full time, I do it whenever I want...which usually alternates between days of nothing but knitting or writing and then a week of nothing. Plus, I feel guilty when I indulge in my other artistic endeavors, since I feel that it is taking away from my design time. As much as I have fought against it, I need to add a little structure to my designing so I don't burn myself out. 

Another good thing about the schedule...I will be setting aside time each week to dedicate to blogging.  Yeah, that means consistent posting! I hope I will have plenty to share, and if there are any questions or anything you want to know...definitely leave a note in the comments! Also, I just started a tumblog that I have been posting pictures of other stuff I make and do...from photography to nails and is just a mishmash of stuff that doesn't fit here, if you ever want to stop by.  So here's to sticking with resolutions in the wonderful year to come ♥