Monthly Archives: March 2011

Monday morning again..

We’re back to Monday morning again, not sure how another week passed by so quickly.  I’m finding  myself in need every Monday of a blog post, it centers me for the week (perhaps I should just start it with Dear Diary…)

I just saw a blog post this morning from the Dublin crochet designer,Aoibhe Ní Shúilleabháin, that made me wish I could crochet.  This wonderful bouquet was for a great knitter I have met in Dublin who’s husband is very ill at the moment.  While I didn’t add to the bouquet my thoughts are with them and every finger is crossed that things will improve quickly for them.

The class schedule for Knit Nation has gone up here (long and short version).  I’ll be teaching for the 3 days, two full day classes on Friday and Saturday and two half day classes on Sunday.  All my classes have ended up being about shaping/fit and cables.  I think these are two areas close to my heart.  I know that when I started knitting garments for myself I never found either very well explained.  Many patterns had a series of numbers to pick your size from but absolutely no guidance as to which size you should choose!  I had never come across the concept of ease and knowing what the right amount of ease was for different styles of garment.  When you add patterns or cable panels into the mix it becomes even more fun – especially if you’ve only been given the gauge for the st st portion of the garment and not the size of the cable panel.

Friday – Seamless Knitting: Moving Beyond the Raglan

Often when you hear about ‘seamless knitting’ you think straight away about top down raglan.  While this is a very useful construction technique it is not the only seamless knitting method.  I’ll be talking in this class about different seamless construction methods, bottom up and top down with set-in sleeves (knit after the body or with the body), saddle shoulders and of course raglan!

After the basics of construction are covered everyone can get started on their own design with perfect fitting measurements and shaping.

I’d suggest not being afraid of a calculator to do the class but you don’t need to be a maths genius!  Barbara Walkers ‘Knitting from the Top’ and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s ‘Knitter’s Workshop’ (or most of her books) would be useful to have with you if you for the class if you own either of them.

Saturday – Shaping-up Traditional Knits

Many knitters love traditional cable patterns but aren’t quite as fond of the ‘boxy’ construction of traditional knits.  This class will help knitters take a favorite pattern and modify it to add waist shaping and rework shoulders from drop to set-in.  Gauge is critical for a well-fitted garment and the class will look at calculating this exactly for a project.

Sunday  Morning – Short Rows Demystified

This is always my favorite class!  I work through different methods of creating short rows and usually by the end of the swatch knitters have very definite favorites!  Once the short rows are perfected we then look at how you can use them; bust shaping, short row sleeve caps and heels to name but a few.

Sunday  Afternoon - Deconstructing Cables

Knitters are often confused by cables and cable charts.  This class will work through reading cable charts, and will show knitters how cables are constructed.  This will give you control over your cables, how they work and help you avoid mistakes.  Once you understand cable construction you can also learn how to correct cable mistakes.  The class will show knitters how to ‘undo’ just the cable stitches and reknit these stitches to avoid reknitting large areas of cable work.

Getting myself organised

I’m starting to feel very on top of things these days, last week I set up the testers group that I already posted about AND managed at long last to put a newsletter together.  If you want to be the first to hear about new patterns with a few sneak peeks then go sign up, you can find it at the top right corner of the page here or click directly here.

I’m trying to figure out the best stuff to put into the newsletter, any suggestions?  I’m planning on having a special offer in each one just for subscribers and I also had the great twitter suggestion of having a technique or tip in the newsletter as well.

I’ve finished up the stranded cowl for Crafty Alley class on the 2nd of April.  I knit it up using Donegal Yarns (also Studio Donegal/Kilcarra) yarn which is lovely for stranded work.  The flecks of different colour makes it look like there is much more colour work happening then there actually is!  A cowl is perfect as well for practicing stranded work for the first time, it’s in the round and there’s no decreases to worry about, you just need to focus on the two hands doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

For anyone looking closely at the site you might have noticed that we’ve completed a long overdue reorganization of the patterns.  This now means that different pattern types are actually grouped together now rather than just showing the full list of all patterns.  When I started the number of patterns was small enough that this wasn’t needed but over the last few months the number of patterns has become unwieldy without more structure.  Which is of course a good thing!

March Maddness Promotion

March Madness promotion

For March purchase my new pattern Akoya pattern with the coupon akoyalove and receive $3 off another pattern.
This code applies for anyone who has already purchased the Akoya pattern. (Let me know it you have a problem!).

I know I could have called this a Paddy’s day promotion but as it is for my new March pattern Akoya March madness seemed more appropriate!  There’s already several versions of Akoya speeding along on Ravelry, I just love to see everyone’s unique version and modifications.

Yahoo Test Knitter Group

I set up a Yahoo group yesterday for test knitters.  Up to this my search for test knitters has been fairly haphazard so having a group dedicated to this seemed like a good way to organize it.  Joining the group doesn’t oblige you to knit all (or any!) of the test knits, you see what I’m putting up for testing and then you decide if it’s a good fit for you and if you have the time to complete it.  Do be warned that some patterns are done 6-12 months before release so if you think you will burst waiting that long to show your finished piece then it’s probably not for you!

Some teaching again!

It has been quite a few months since I have done any teaching, life (and work!) has been so busy that it just hasn’t been possible to take on any more.  However last week (which was excellent timing) I was almost finished my author review for the book and Cathy from The Crafty Alley invited me to teach a colourwork class.

So if you want to come learn some colourwork with me get in contact Cathy and go book yourself a place in Killarney on the 2nd of April.  You can see some more details about it here.  Don’t be afraid of giving it a try if you’ve never worked with multiple colours before.  Once you can knit then you’ll be able for the class, I intend to start at the beginning with the basics.

If you follow the link through to my class page you might notice a little mention of Knit Nation at the bottom.  I’m very excited to be teaching at Knit Nation in London this July.  The class schedule is yet to be announced but you can sign up for their newsletter here and as soon as the details are you you’ll know about it.  There are so many people I know going to this weekend that it is sure to be an amazing few days, come join us!

Sick days and new patterns

I’m sitting at home this morning with a sick little one.  Nothing too bad, just a temperature right now and I’m waiting to see if it gets any worse from here.  I do however feel somewhat guilty as when he’s home sick I usually get tons of work done…no early school collection and he usually takes a huge sleep mid-morning.  Bad mommy me.

In between my never ending edits I have released my newest pattern Akoya.  If you click through on the name you’ll get full details of the pattern and lots more photos.  I’ll post my favorite below again though!

The version shown above is actually the second version of the cardigan.  It was knit by the talented Dixie using Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply/sportsweight.  This yarn makes a really floaty lightweight cardigan.  The lovely sheen and stitch definition really help the details to pop out as well.

The first version I knit was from Rowan Felted Tweed DK.  It doesn’t quite have all of the fine details worked out yet but the basic shape and idea is the same.  For me it is very wearable due to the dark color but it doesn’t really help for photography!

I started knitting this version for myself at Christmas.  Usually when I start knitting I have a fairly firm idea in my head of where a design is going but this was definitely more of a free form process with the details emerging as it was knit.  This meant that when it was finished there were several tweaks that needed to be made (mainly with cable and lace panels) to make it just perfect….hence the second Fyberspates version that is just right (I’m feeling like Goldilocks!).