Friday, September 28, 2007

Here's what else I've been doing.

It's called Woven and it's my second design project.
Here it is off a head (on the fish's bowl) and on a head (below, in the bathroom mirror).

A little fuzzy here, but you get the picture.

The idea behind this design is that you can make it a bunch of ways. With or without the band, and with 2 buttons, one button, or no buttons. I think I'm going to go with one, since I love this little beaded one.

I'm finishing up the pattern and will post it in a few days.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Because I managed to use two more! (what's that, about 2,000 to go?) Don't know how well they photograph, but they're navy blue leather ones, and the color in the center of the buttons has faded, in little circles - not completely unlike the giant redwoods - but much smaller.

The finished Drops Cardigan (couldn't they have given this a real name?) came out pretty well. I only changed one thing - I left out the button hole at the top of the neck. The whole neckline closed up was a little too bulky and funky looking. But with two, I like it alot.
Below you can see the fit - also not so bad. I was concerned about the wing-y ness of the A line, but it isn't too pronounced when you see it all together. Of course, in this particular photo, it's pretty wingy, but that's got something to do with the camera arm.

Not sure what's with all the diagonal photos. Hmm.
Above is the obligatory shot in Maya's mirror, although I really should have a mirror of my own. To get these lovely shots, I take her mirror, prop it up on her stool under her window, and try not to trip on the Groovy Girls. Squatting down a little, so I fit in the mirror I take the shots. Then I go downstairs and assure her I've put everything back where I found it, although she never believes me and goes upstairs to check, always managing to find the one wrapper or broken ponytail holder among the piles of crap on her dresser that I chucked in the trashcan.

What's a new mirror cost, like $10? Let's see if I ever get around to it.

And lastly, a little teaser for you. Here's a corner of Woven, my next design project.
Stay tuned! I see Babycables has made it onto a few queues on Ravelry (thanks, thanks, thanks) and just wanted to add that if anyone wants the PDF, I finally took 10 minutes and found a free PDF host so the pattern is linked on my sidebar. (Old dog = new tricks! yay me)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

it's just my coffee. Today's Yom Kippur - and although I'm not exactly a model Jew, fasting or templing at all, I figure I'll stay away from the sauce. Besides, this was taken at around 9am this morning. when - trust me - the coffee is way more appreciated than even a perfect gin and tonic.

I figured I'd be wallowing in all the media attention by now, having written up the next Big Hot Pattern, up there with Clapotis and Monkey on the Ravelry board. But since that apparently isn't about to happen, here's my Drops Cardigan.
I'm still telling myself that I'm working on the PDF posting for Babycables and Buttons, but mostly that's given way to distraction, because I really don't have a quick easy answer - and it's soooo much easier to do the quick and easy stuff when you live your life in 10 minute increments. (After that, I'm always called away for something unbelievably important to someone else - and really quite ignorable to me)

Besides, I'm thinking it's not a huuuuge priority, given the demand. But,for the 2 of you who've asked, I'm still working on hat pattern #2 - it'll be a more involved pattern for an adult head, but since no one has even seen it, I'm guessing your lives won't change if I don't post it this week as I'd planned.

Because, people, Drops IS quick and easy and totally moving along, even in 10 minute increments. Must knit more fat yarn. Must.

And just look how it matches my favorite clogs! The Moms on the playground won't even know what to do with me when I get over there in this thing.

Thanks to the Central Square Goodwill and my NEW LUCKY JEANS I GOT FOR $4 (yes $4!! I almost broke a leg grabbing them off the rack) my ass won't even be showing. Seems the makers of the Good Jeans know something Old Navy doesn't. Amazing. I squatted, I bent over, and I touched my toes. Nothin. Fully worth the $4 - and you know, for this kind of dependable coverage, they might even be worth the $100 they charge in the mall.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My first pattern.

Introducing Babycables and Buttons.

Something easy, yet impressive enough that the non-knitting Moms on the playground might just be wowed at your knitting prowess. It's a combo of my favorite things - variegated yarn, cables without the cable needle and buttons. I dropped the sample hat and patterns off this morning at the Knitting Room.

I'm working on getting the pattern up here so anyone who doesn't live here and wants to can make one too. However, even though I've managed to download a new program and saved the file as a PDF, I'm still a little lost on getting said PDF linked on Blogger, so bear with me and check back over the next few days!
(Text version below)

And hey, it's free!

I went back and forth on the decision, since I had a knitting store already willing to pay me per copy, but in the end, I decided to just put it out there for the taking. First off, it's my debut pattern, and who am I to go asking all of you for cash, right? And second, I really couldn't resist the urge to throw it out on the web and hope it gets knit up by as many of you as might want to (so I can see the pictures!). Much as I love my LYS, I know the foot traffic can't hold a candle to the blog, the knitsmiths, knitty and ravelry combined. I'll get rich later on maybe.

So, I hope you like it - check back soon and the PDF pattern will appear, I promise! In the meantime, see what buttons are floating around your house that you've been waiting to use....
or use the not so fancy text version of pattern below

Babycables & Buttons

This hat was a way for me to use up some of my giant collection of buttons and knit up something cute and fast for my daughter. I wanted a pattern simple enough to work on while the kids were playing, but interesting so the finished hat would be funky and impressive enough to stand out on the playground!
Hope you enjoy it.

Yarn - Hacho Merino (Sapphire Jade pictured above) One skein (137 yds)

Needles - US 6s – one pair of 16” circs and one set of DPNs

Notions – two buttons, darning needle, marker, needle & thread for sewing on the buttons
Large (16” head) - 2-3yr old
Medium (14” head) - 1-2 yr old
Small (12” head) – baby

Gauge - 6sts per inch in 2x2 ribbing, unblocked and lying flat

Using your circular needle cast on 92 (84, 76) stitches.
Work one row of K2, P2 ribbing and join, being careful not to twist. Continue in K2, P2 ribbing for 1”.
On the next row, begin the babycables pattern below.

Row 1 – * P2, K2tog, leave on left needle and knit into the first stitch again, then slip both sts off, P2* repeat
Rows 2 & 3 - K2, P2, K2, P2

Continue until you are 5 1/2” (5, 5) from cast on edge and end with Row 1 of the cable pattern. If you’d like a longer hat, keep going a little bit more. The remainder of the hat will be decreases in simple ribbing for a few rows, followed by decreases in stocking stitch. Switch to DPNs when you need to.

Top Shaping
Row 1 –* K2, P2, K2, P2tog*, repeat
Row 2 – *K2, P2tog, K2, p1*, repeat
Row 3 – *K2, p1, K2tog, p1*, repeat
Row 4 – *K2tog, p1, k1, p1*, repeat
Row 5 –* k1, p1, k1, p1*, repeat
Row 6 –*K2tog, k1, p1*, repeat
Row 7 – *K2tog, k1*, repeat
Repeat row 7 until you have less than 10 stitches.
Break yarn, leaving a tail. Using darning needle, thread tail through the remaining loops on your needles and pull gently to close the hole. Weave in end.

Button Band
Using 2 DPNs, create a flat i-cord, between 4 and 7 stitches wide. The sample hat has a 7 stitch i-cord, as the flower buttons are 1”. You may want to do a few sample rows of i-cord and place your button on it to check what width works.

I-cord - Cast on desired number of stitches. Leave a tail for sewing onto the hat. Knit one row. Do not flip work, but take working yarn from left and move back to the beginning behind the work. Knit next row (with working yarn you’ve moved) beginning with the farthest right stitch. Repeat.

Continue until you have a 6” (5, 5) band. Cast off, leaving a tail for sewing onto the hat.

The cords are intended to go across the forehead, ending and beginning at the hairline. They will stretch when the hat is worn, and will hang when the hat is not on. Stretch the hat or put it on the intended “wearer” when positioning the cord, so you can mark where the ends need to be. Position the band 1.5” up from the cast on edge. (or where you like it!) Sew each end onto hat.

Sew buttons onto band, a quarter inch from the ends. (If they are heavy, you’ll need a couple reinforcement stitches straight to the hat as well)

Weave in ends. You’re done!

Thanks for making my pattern! If you’re online, email me a photo of your finished hat – I’d love to see it! If you have any questions or problems with the pattern, send me a comment on my blog:

Pattern and images: copyright 2007 Thea Colman. For personal use only. Not for resale.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Like this!

My LYS asked me to write up Zoe's button band hat pattern so they can sell it! I'm knitting up another hat and writing as I go. It's a great way to do the pattern writing exercise, since I can change the few things that bugged me on the first go-round and I have two hats to compare gauge and sizing and stuff with.

I was planning to post the pattern on here, but since I stand a chance of at least recouping the cost of the yarn, I'll wait till it's no longer available at The Knitting Room . I should have it done next week and there for sale. (I love this variegated Hacho merino. Soooo soft. I'll be glad when it's done being on display and I get it to keep! )

Next, I can get back to my design project #2 - the Kohl's inspired adult hat. Jackie said she may be interested in that one too, if it comes out OK, so again, I don't see that I'll be paying the rent but, if I can do it, why not? I bailed on the discontinued Debbie Bliss Merino for some Sublime she has for sale and am ready to get into that next.

And....remember this? It's about done and it's gorgeous. Many kudos to Grumperina for a really simple but amazing pattern. No photo, but that's because the photo cord is two floors below me and I'm not walking down there again. You know the drill. I've gotten barbies, I've gotten pretzels, I've answered the phone, and I've done a few loads of laundry. But did I once grab anything useful to me? Nope. So take a look at this photo and imagine it much bigger.

And lastly on the pattern front, I'm plugging along on one more thing. I submitted something to somewhere (for the first time ever!) and I know chances it'll be published are slim to none, but i actually took the time to write it up and submit, so I'm glad to have accomplished a few real solid things - one week into my free/school time. If they turn it down, you'll see it here soon enough! Must figure out how to work that sidebar....

For some real self indulgent excitement, as soon as I'm done with those things,

I can't wait.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm working on writing down some actual knittable design directions. Its taking a bit, especially since it's the first week back at school for one daughter, not so much for the other. I figure I should do something a little more productive than just straight knitting this year, so designing I will try....

Cruising around on Ravelry and looking at what's out there, I realize I've come up with a few things from scratch myself - problem is I never wrote things down in complete re-knittable form. I'm apparently big on notes, not so much full commentary.

For those of you who know me, that's probably surprising. (Why yes, I CAN edit myself...)

So anyways, I've been going back and playing with my stuff and I've also been working on some new items, while painstakingly taking down gauge, needle size and directions. Soon, I hope to post some free patterns on the blog for you guys to use .

These pics aren't the only ones I'm going back to, but they are the ones whose photos were most easily posted. (Would you want directions to make them, though?) I'm thinking a few adult items as well. My current socks, a cool funky hat, and my Summer Soho sweater if I can reconstruct those directions.... Anyways, stay tuned!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ever since I used these little cables on a project about a year back, I just keep adding them to new things. They're so easy! These will be socks for a friend, whose birthday was this week. To celebrate, she threw a party in one of the luxury boxes at Fenway, and we all got to go to a game. I thought about making these Red Sox, but she's a blue girl, so below, blue socks in the making. I'm alternating ribs and every 4th row, baby cables.

Also in the works, Grumperina's Shifting Sands scarf pattern. I found this on Ravelry and love it. The scarf is for Craig, and the yarn is an amazing alpaca we got at New Hampshire Sheep and Wool. He picked it up and told me, "you know... I don't have any scarves that match my black coat." (Really, what doesn't match a black coat?) It's a deep bluish gray, with lots of heathering in it. Guess it'll match black. Either way, I took it as an excuse to knit with the amazing alpaca and score some points...

Better get going. It's September.