Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Our Rocky Mountain Trip - Part 2

It has been a year now since our trip to three national parks in the Rocky Mountains. (I have been told that it may not be correct to group all of these mountains together with my "Rocky Mountain" label, but it works for me.)

This first photo is my favorite shot from Glacier National Park on the Canadian border in Montana. I did not take it. Dave Kuharchick, a local TV personality who was touring with us, shot it with my iPhone 7 plus. He was sitting at the window during that part of our Red Bus tour. I learned a lot while watching him (quickly) set the focus and zoom.

We were sincerely told that our views on that rainy day were far better than those we would have seen on days (before or after) when the smoke of wildfires dominated.

We learned a lot about why natural, controlled, forest fires are both healthy and necessary for the ecosystem.

All of these shots were from the Going to the Sun Highway. (The roadway is the first to have been registered in all of the following categories: National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The length of the road is approximately 50 miles and spans the width of the park between the east and west entrance stations.) 

My Part 3 Rocky Mountain Post will be all about Yellowstone.

It is very possible that new knitting will come sooner...

Monday, March 12, 2018

(didn't know I was) Playing Yarn Chicken

One of my knitwear design highlights in 2017 was my No-Wrong-Side Hat which I created for The Fibre Co’s Fall 2017 Yarn Support Programme.

No-Wrong-Side Hat (for Mr K) Dec 2017 (with just one skein of Tundra)

Please see my design release post from November to read about the reversibilty of this hat (two hats in one).

The pattern has three sizes: 15½ (18¼, 20¾)” [39.5 (46.5, 52.5) cm] circumference. The two smaller sizes can easily be made with one skein of lovely, silky and lofty Tundra. The largest size will take a bit more...

Or so I calculated.

I did NOT make the largest size No-Wrong-Side Hat in Tundra before I published the pattern. (My test knitters did but with other yarns.) Shortly after publication I made one for Mr K, and...

It only took one skein!

With only one yard to spare!!! (as shown in photo)

I have been adding 5% to my yardage calculations for a long time now. This was originally suggested to me by the tech editor for my Socks That Rock Design, Sandy Rosner, and it only makes sense...

Using my swatches and design samples, I do my best to calculate yardage requirements, and then I add 5%. I strive to guarantee that others have success knitting my designs -- which means not having to play the game of yarn chicken (i.e., will I, or won't I, run out of yarn?).  

In the case of the largest No-Wrong-Side hat in Tundra, a 5% buffer means that you will need a second skein to be certain that you will not run out of yarn. But, of course, you may not need it...

Perhaps you can ask about the return policy where you purchase your yarn... Perhaps you can make a second hat... Perhaps you can wait a bit for the release of my next mitt design...

A pair of mitts will take far less than one skein of Tundra.
I will keep you posted. 😉

Friday, February 16, 2018

Revisiting: Equilibrium Cowl -- Now a kit!

This seems a very good time to revisit my Equilibrium Cowl design which was originally published in Knitscene Accessories, 2012. (My first magazine!)

This reversible cowl was designed to be a great learning project in stranded knitting. You can learn much more about the technique in my own Two-Handed Stranded Colorwork Tutorial. In fact, all of the photos in my tutorial are of me knitting the Equilibrium stitch patterns.

If you are a Knitting Daily email subscriber you might already know that Interweave is currently offering an Equilibrium Cowl Kit with 2 skeins of the very same yarn that I used for the original design sample... 
Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca (100% undyed alpaca; 220 yd 201 m/100 g) 
• #1520 black (MC), 1 skein 
• #1510 natural (CC), 1 skein
Included in the kit is a digital copy of Knitscene Accessories, 2012.
In addition, you will need a 16" circular needle to get gauge (US Size 8, 5mm recommended), a stitch marker and tapestry needle.

Knitscene editor Hannah Baker wrote a lovely article describing the cowl,
Irresistible Reversible Knits: One Cowl, Two Ways. Please check it out if you have the time.
There are currently 88 Equilibrium Cowl Projects on Ravelry in every color of the rainbow!  
Thanks for reading.❤❤❤
All photos ©Harper Point Photography and used courtesy Interweave.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Design: NO-WRONG-SIDE Hat

(right side when knitting)

I am very happy to introduce my bulky weight, reversible (2-hats-in-1), design in three sizes, NO-WRONG-SIDE Hat.

Earlier this year, I was thrilled to learn that I had been selected for The Fibre Co’s Fall 2017 Yarn Support Programme! The Fibre Co's Tundra is the the perfect blend of baby alpaca, merino and silk, worked into a 2-ply that gives it a pleasing, well-rounded appearance for great stitch definition. Though a bulky yarn, it is very light in weight, lofty and extremely warm. It is perfect for the deep texture / cable stitch pattern of the No-Wrong-Side Hat.

This design was originally sparked by the photo of the “Sunburst Check” stitch pattern on page 202 of A 2ND TREASURY OF KNITTING PATTERNS by Barbara G Walker. I was fascinated by the depth of texture in the photo. The poofs of stockinette push strongly forward leaving little pockets of reverse stockinette like pools beneath them. 
When I swatched this stitch pattern, I was quite surprised to find that the reverse side of the fabric was a stitch pattern in itself – a very fluid rib-cable. It did not look like the “wrong side” of a piece of knitting. I worked out a double brim that compliments both sides of the hat. I also created a decreasing crown that flows from the stitch pattern on both sides of the hat.

(reverse side when knitting)

The brim of the hat is folded on a purl ridge and knit together creating a double layer brim. This requires a provisional cast-on and a later “knitting two layers together round” (much like three-needle-bind-off, but with both knit and purl stitches). Next there is an increase round with specific purl increases. For the remainder of the hat, both charted and written directions are provided.

Hat swatch showing purl ridge and double layer brim,
(knit with Tundra in the Boreal colorway).

Finished Measurements
15½ (18¼, 20¾)” [39.5 (46.5, 52.5) cm] circumference and 8¼” [21 cm] high,
will stretch to fit heads up to approximately 19 (22, 24)” [48.5 (56, 61) cm].

Bulky weight yarn,
approximately 96 (112, 128) yd [88 (103, 117) m] for hat.

Shown in:
The Fibre Co.
Tundra (60% alpaca, 30% wool, 10% silk; 120 yd [110 m], 100 g)
 Tiaga colorway, 1 (1, 2) skein(s).

Size US 9 [5.5 mm] needles: 16” [40 cm] circular (cir).
- Size US 10.5 [6.5 mm] needles: 16” [40 cm] circular and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
- Spare US 9 [5.5 mm] or smaller 16” [40 cm] cir needle to hold hem stitches.

My No-Wrong-Side Hat pattern has been carefully written and tech-edited.

Three of my local knitting friends kindly and helpfully agreed to test the pattern in the Fibre Co Tundra. After which, I ran a successful second test knit on Ravelry. (I love all of my test knitters!)

This pattern is now available on Ravelry at an introductory reduced price of $3.75 until the end of the day (11:59 EST) December 4. After that, the pattern will be available at its regular price of $5.00.

My No-Wrong-Side Hat is a fun and quick-to-knit project... perfect for gift knitting. Because I am a participating designer in the Ravelry Indie Gift-A-Long, this hat is an eligible pattern for participation in the GAL2017 HATS & OTHER HEAD THINGS KAL/CAL, where you will find all the love and support you could wish for... as you finish your own gift knitting goals... along with fun games and many prizes.

Thanks for reading!
Thanks for your support of indie designers!!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

The 5th annual Gift-A-Long

The 5th annual Ravelry Indie Design Gift-A-Long is almost here! I am super excited to announce this multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gift projects made with patterns designed by an extensive list of (would you believe 312 in 2017?) independent designers. And, it all begins with an enormous pattern sale!!!
The Gift-A-Long:
From November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2017 at midnight US EST there will be fun games, contests, tons of prizes, and 8 KAL/CALs that will help you get your holiday knitting and crocheting done with companionship and fun! This party will be happening in the Ravelry Indie Design Gift-A-Long Group.
The Sale:
From November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to November 28th at 11:59pm US EST (312, including me) indie designers will be discounting between 10 to 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Use coupon code: giftalong2017.
Most of my Ravelry patterns are included in the sale.

Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, I encourage you to join a relevant KAL/CAL! (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the Cowls, Scarves, & Other Neck Things KAL/CAL.) To join, simply write a post in the KAL/CAL thread you want to join, including the pattern name you will be knitting and a link to your project page. KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes but you’ve got to post to win
 Please Note: all prize winners must be (indie design gift-a-long) group members! 
KAL/CALs will run from November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2017 at midnight US EST, plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting. We have tons of prizes, games, and great conversation, plus a lot of other fun, so pull up a chair and join us!
On your mark…get set…. GIFT!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Fibre Co Tundra

To sum up my last post:  I was selected as a designer for The Fibre Co’s Fall 2017 Yarn Support Programme. My new hat pattern will be released on Ravelry on November 28. It was July when I took this photo of the Tundra yarn that TFC sent for my hat.   

The Taiga colorway is a sort of rustic teal with subtle, tonal gray-brown fiber worked in. Its tones echo the color in my barn wood. Very lovely.

I want to tell you more about this fabulous yarn that is Tundra. The fiber content is 60% baby alpaca, 30% merino and 10% silk. A 100g skein measures 120 yards (110 meters).

In the words of The Fibre CO, "Tundra, began life as the search for the answer to a simple question, 'If The Fibre Co. were to create a bulky yarn, what would it be?' Our answer came from our passion for all natural fibre content that add depth and softness to hand mades. We took a much loved formula of baby alpaca, merino and silk and worked it into a 2 ply that gives a pleasing, well-rounded appearance."

As I told my first group of test knitters, "It is honestly the lightest and softest bulky weight yarn I have ever used." Its warmth and softness are irresistible. The silk adds drape and shine and a touch of luxury.

One skein of tundra will be enough to create a hat in either of the sizes to fit most children and women (15½ and 18¼" circumference). A second skein is needed for the larger (20¾") size to fit most men.

The round smoothness of the yarn adds great stitch definition, which you can see here in the swatch photos that were a part of my design proposal. The stitch pattern is named "Sunburst Check" in Barbara G Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The swatch was knit in the Boreal colorway.

A single swatch for a hat that has no wrong side. The top photo shows the right side when knitting... the lower photo shows the reverse side. Turn the hat inside-out... to find a new hat.

My No-Wrong-Side hat pattern is coming to Ravelry, with an introductory discount, in just two weeks.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

A very good place to start!

I do love this timeline, because it will climax almost exactly one year to the date that it all began.

On November 29, 2016, I sent a proposal to The Fibre Co (maker of many of the very best yarns on the planet). I hoped to be selected as one of their Autumn/Winter 2017/18 designers.

That did not happen. Yet I was placed on a TFC potential designer list to receive an email announcement for their "Yarn Support for Indie Designers - Request no. 1".  

The request came in March.

My proposal went back in April.

Early in May, the email to let me know that my (really cool, uniquely reversible) hat was selected.I was selected as a designer for The Fibre Co’s Fall 2017 Yarn Support Programme!

I proposed the hat be knit in the yarn I used for swatching, the amazing lofty and light, bulky weight, Tundra, and TFC sent two skeins in the Taiga colorway.

(Note: Both photos in this post were taken July 26. My love of flowers, and color, and hummingbirds, and summer, all distracted me and lead me to take that first photo.)

The Fibre Co requested a late fall date for the release of my hat pattern. I selected November 28. It will be my grandmother's 110th birthday. I hope she knows how much she gave to me and how often I think of her.

The hat pattern will be available on Ravelry, November 28, 2017.

More to follow.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Our Rocky Mountain Trip - Part 1

Been blogging for a number of years now. Mostly about knitting. Mostly not about the personal.

One day, in mid-September 2017, Mr K and I hit the thing called our 30th wedding anniversary. To pre-celebrate, just a couple of weeks earlier, we took a trip to the great American northwest and the Rocky Mountains.

Been Insta-gramming all of this... (somewhat slowly)...

First there were the Cascade Mountains.

Mr K shot this one (with my iPhone) from the plane to Seattle.

After a tour of the city,

we took an overnight trainride to whitefish Montana... barely sleeping... passing through the almost 8 mile long Cascade Mountain Tunnel, arriving at sunrise in Whitefish Montana.

Lovely place that was...

This long distance view shows the hazy smoke from distant forest fires. We learned that forest fires are not always a bad thing (if controlled), in our national forests.

We were in a national forest and on top of the continental divide. And in the Rocky's.

If not on top of the world, it was definitely on the top of the continent.

That is Montana. 

Part 2 coming before too long.

It is very possible that new knitting will come sooner...