I’m still trucking along on my Bevin re-knit. The back and front are done and sewn together:
Actually, the sleeves are done too since that picture was taken. Now it’s sewing up time (urgh), which means there’s a lot of this action happening:
Sigh. So anyway, I’m taking breaks between sewing up sessions to knit other things. I decided to re-knit the sample for my Europos Scarf as well, using the gorgeous Malabrigo Rios in Vaa I showed off in my last post. It’s coming along nicely!
Seeing a color theme yet? If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed I gravitate toward blues and greens (preferably both at once!) above all other colors. I kept trying to make myself branch out, but the truth is that the colors are flattering on me, photograph beautifully, and are fun to knit. I think maybe I should just embrace it.
And just as I was thinking this, the yarn arrived for a secret design for a yarn company.
I’m in love. :-)
I’m still plugging away on my Bevin sweater. I’ve made real progress this week, though. Here’s last week’s shot:
As you can see, I’ve finished the front and just completed the twisted-stitch motif on the back. I’ve been feeling like it’s going really slowly, but hey–nothing like pictures to show you the objective view of things.
I’ve also been working on the pattern writing for the white hat I showed you on Friday.
I went back and forth on a name several times. Molly of deepbluerenegade suggested Dandelion, which I really liked, but a quick Ravelry search turned up pages and pages of patterns with this name. So in the interest of making the pattern easier to find, I decided to go with… drumroll please…
If you’re wondering what timekeeping has to do with anything, Dandelion Clock is actually a common name for these things, from a kids’ game where the number of puffs it takes to blow off the seeds is supposed to tell the time:
Well, I guess Knitting & Crochet Blog Week must have taken a bit more out of me than I thought, because it’s been over a week since I last posted. Oops.
Anyway, during that time I’ve finished a prototype for a new hat design (more on that Friday!) and started this:
I’m knitting another sample for my own Bevin Pullover pattern, in the called-for Knit Picks CotLin yarn. The first sample was shipped back to me just as I moved across the country, and between a wonky forwarding order and the not-very-conscientious tenants who moved into our apartment after us, the sweater went missing.
I was never totally thrilled with the original pattern pictures anyway, so I’m not too upset. They were taken on a beach in the middle of summer, so I was trying my very best not to sweat profusely the whole time. This is my chance to knit a new version and do a new photoshoot. I’m just lucky Knit Picks got some nice ones, which they graciously allow me to use as I see fit:
Their model looks gorgeous in the white color, but I think the teal is better for me!
It’s pretty bizarre to be knitting from my own pattern. It’s been long enough since I wrote it that I don’t really remember much of the process, so it’s like reading something someone else put together! So far, so good. We’ll see if I manage to get through it without getting frustrated with myself…
Today’s topic: Improving Your Skillset. How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base?
I would consider myself an advanced intermediate knitter. I can (obviously) design patterns, but there are still many skills I don’t know, or don’t know well.
There are a few skills I’m pretty confident about. Like complex cables:
Socks (including stockings and slippers, which I prefer because they’re so much quicker!):
Which wraps up the list of skills I’m confident in… and brings me to the skills I’m not!
Here are a few that could be better:
1. Short rows. I’m okay at these, but they never turn out quite as I’d like them to–always a little messy or misplaced. I’ve been bookmarking alternative short-row methods for a while (shadow wraps, German short rows, Japanese short rows), and sometime when I’ve got a lot of knitting dead time (ha!) I’m going to do some mega-swatches and try them out.
2. Intarsia. I’ve done it, but it was fiddly and awful and I hated it. Here, for posterity, are the only two intarsia projects I’ve ever done:
And here’s a list of things I haven’t tried at all (but want to!):
1. Steeking. Scares the crap out of me. I don’t have a sewing machine (or access to one), so I know I’ll have to figure out how to REALLY reinforce those center stitches before I dive in.
2. Complex lace. I’ve never done nupps or bobbles, never knit with beads, and never done lace patterning on both right and wrong side rows. This is more a case of not finding a pattern I’d like to knit than anything else, honestly…. I don’t wear or knit shawls (although I’m working on a design for one right now, oddly enough!), and I’m not a big fan of how most of the froofy lace stuff looks. But I’d still like to try it!
3. Crochet. I know how to single-crochet around the edges of things, but that’s about it. I would love to actually make a whole crochet project someday.
That was a fun list to create. Makes me want to go work on my shawl design, actually :-)
The prompt for today asks whether local seasonal weather affects my crafting.
Well, let’s look at an average temperature graph for my Los Angeles-adjacent town:
And let’s compare that to, say, Rhinebeck, New York:
Do I wish I lived somewhere that got a little colder? Yes. Do I let it affect my crafting? Definitely not. I love woolly sweaters, jackets, hats, scarves, and mittens. I will continue knitting any and all of those no matter what the temperature is. I have family in the Midwest, for one thing–they can always use warm handknits.
There’s also an odd phenomenon that I’ve observed in Southern California. As I’m sure we all know, handknits can be very fashionable accessories. SoCal may not do cold, but it does do fashion. So anytime the temperatures dip below 60F, out come the wool hats, gloves, scarves, puffy parkas, and UGG boots.
I’ve fallen victim to it too, but for a different reason. Since I started designing, I have a closet stuffed with cute knit accessories. If it’s anywhere near a cold temperature outside, I seize the opportunity to wear one or more. I know it’s ridiculous and that my Midwestern friends would laugh, but there you go.
As far as knitting goes, I don’t let the seasons affect what I work on at all. When you’re submitting designs for possible publication, the timeframe is usually at least 6 months in advance anyway–so I’m knitting with light cotton in the dead of winter and heavy wool in summer anyway.
Here’s what I knit last summer, from June to September:
That’s a whole lotta wool.
And last December I was working on Bevin and Hipster Stripe:
Which are both about as summery as I ever get.
So I think I can safely conclude seasons have no effect on my knitting whatsoever :-)
Today’s topic asks bloggers to talk about their love or confusion of color. It’s funny–only a few years ago, I would have said that I always, always gravitated toward rich jewel tones, especially blue, purple, and green, and rarely knit with anything else. A quick look through my Ravelry projects proves it:
I figured this trend would continue when I started designing last year. After all, I’m the one who gets to pick the colors I want to knit with, right? Oddly enough, though, I’ve found myself using more neutrals and dark, muted tones than before. Having to think about the styling and wearability of the piece changes things.
Here’s a snapshot of some of my designs that proves it:
Of course, I also have these, so maybe I haven’t gone as far from blue and green jewel tones as I could have, heh:
A look through my yarn cabinet also shows a weakness for impulse yarn purchases in blue, green, and purple:
I’m going to continue attempting to branch out, color-wise, but I’m not sure how much luck I’ll have with all this yumminess calling to me. I think if I could only knit from Madelinetosh jewel-tones for the rest of my life, I’d be perfectly happy.
My first Knit Picks Independent Designer Program pattern went live this morning!
And my other Knit Picks IDP sweater, Hipster Stripe, went live today too (a total surprise to me–I thought it was going to take a while!). You can see it here on their website. Look for the official release post here soon :-)
In what seems like a former life, I spent some time teaching algebra to pre-teens and teenagers. The number one question anyone who spends time in this particular pursuit hears is, of course, “When am I ever gonna have to use this?” (sometimes accompanied by a curse word, depending on the teenager).
I usually had to go with “well, you need it for college,” or “it’s helpful for logical thinking practice”, or a cooking or construction example that 95% of the students wouldn’t be able to relate to at all.
But I was thinking yesterday… geez, I wish I had been designing then. Because I use algebra ALL THE TIME now. I have a whole notebook full of algebra equations. It’s a thick notebook, even. I use algebra to figure out sweater dimensions, to upsize and downsize a sample so it’ll fit people of many shapes and sizes, and to calculate the exact ratio a sleeve cap should have to its corresponding armhole.
Here’s what I was doing yesterday when I started thinking about this: working out yarn requirements for the different sizes of my Bevin Pullover.
First I split the pieces of the sweater up into geometric shapes:
Then I wrote out algebraic formulas for the area of each shape, in order to figure out the square inches of knitting in each size:
It might look a little complicated, but it’s actually very basic. I just took my numbers for each size, plugged them into the formula, and it spit out the total square inches for each size. Then I figured out how much yarn per square inch my swatch used, divided by that number, and voila – fairly accurate yardage amounts!
If only those kids could see me now….