Category Archives: Design work

In Search of Creativity

(c) Nadia Seaver

(c) Nadia Seaver

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with creativity. When all is going well and ideas are flowing it is the most wonderful feeling in the the world. You come up with an idea, work it through to the end and if you’re lucky it’ll turn out even better than you imagine. It’s a feels great, you don’t need anyone to tell you it’s turned out well; you just ‘know’.

Inspiration

Obviously this isn’t always the way it works. It’s an illusive thing and the more you search for it the harder it is to pin down. Frequently in interviews I’m asked where I’ve found my inspiration. I find this a really hard question to answer because the truth is that it’s different every time. Sometimes I might pick up a yarn and stitch pattern book and start experimenting. This is great if you’ve got a particular yarn you need to design for as you can see what kind of stitch patterns work best for the yarn.  For me often inspiration comes from clothes. I might have seen a detail on a sweater in a shop but hated the rest of the sweater or I’ve got a mental image of something I want to wear and as I can’t find it anywhere so I’ll knit it instead.

Mental Blocks

The times creativity get difficult are when the ideas just won’t flow. You sit down to swatch and every single swatch turns out wrong. Or maybe you’ve got a lot of ‘busy work; answering emails, sending out bills, writing blog posts and updating social media. These make it impossible. In my head to create I’ve got to feel like I have all the time in the world. Creativity is slow but the rest of the world moves quickly. So then the question is, how do you slow down enough to create?

New Ravi sample in progress.

New Ravi sample in progress.

Finding Head Space

To create I need to feel that no one is waiting for me and there are no deadlines. Swatching is slow and I’ve got to allow myself to make mistakes and learn. I think that’s often why I do my initial idea blitzing on weekend mornings. If I’m up before everyone or if they all go out for a few hours my head thinks of it as free time. I don’t need to do the busy work, so my mind is relaxed and it feels like the day is open ended just for me to explore. I think that’s also why working in time blocks helps. If you’ve got a creative morning or two blocked off you don’t feel like you should be doing something else so it allows you space.

Getting Over the Block

The times I find most difficult to deal with are when you just have a creative slump. It doesn’t matter what you touch, design or finish the end result just feels ok to you rather than magical. It usually means for me that I’ve taken on too much work and I”m tired and burnt out. I use that as an indication that I need to say ‘no’ for a while until I find my balance again.

For any creatives out there, what do you find kicks starts your creativity again when you’re overworked and feeling a little burnt out?

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Luwan KAL, Clue 1 overview

So, clue 1 (the yoke) of the Luwan KAL is now complete. There has been just wonderful support for all knitters and almost everyone finished clue 1 within the 2 weeks! You really can’t underestimate the power of working together.

So what was clue 1 about?

It started off at the shoulders working short rows in garter stitch (using German Short Rows) for each side of the front. From there it moved on to increases for the neck and then increases for the armholes. Once the front was finished you picked up stitches along the top of the shoulders and did the same for the back.
The biggest problem knitters encountered was maintaining the Dot Stitch pattern, especially when increases were being worked. With this stitch pattern it’s a little trickier than it looks as the patterning is happening on the wrong side rows so it’s really easy to get tripped up! This is where the KAL was the biggest help, you can face ripping out your work and redoing it more easily when you’ve got a cheering gallery :-)

So here’s a little view of the work that different knitters have been doing on the ravelry boards with a few quotes from the clue 1 discussions:

Clue 1: kikukat

Luwan Clue 1: kikukat

Luwan Clue 1: knitterings

Luwan Clue 1: knitterings

Luwan Clue 1: janeeknits

Luwan Clue 1: janeeknits

Luwan Clue 1: Golden2knit

Luwan Clue 1: Golden2knit

SnoozinB:

Settling in this Saturday morning with my coffee and my pattern. We woke up to the first frost of the season–perfect for starting this sweater! I’m going to study it well and make my plans before casting on.

This really is an enjoyable knit, isn’t it?

Thank you for this and for the link! Always learning from you.

I learn soooo much knitting Carol’s patterns! In particular, the short rows used to slope the shoulders are really interesting.

Knitsnpurls:

I woke up to a dark and gloomy rainy day, perfect for knitting! The first thing I did was put the kettle on for tea, the second was to check for Clue 1. Now it’s all printed off and ready to go. I think it’s going to be a good day. :o)

DebbyKnits2:

I’m really enjoying knitting this pattern. It’s been awhile since I’ve knitted a sweater, and this is my first ‘top down’ sweater! My thanks to everyone who has posted pictures and asked questions. It makes this entire process a lot easier :)


HazelS:

I love the encouragement.

txtaurus:

So even though I was quiet this week, I was reading this thread when I could….thank you all for the tips and questions. I just love seeing everyone’s color choices! Carol, littlefellers all kals might need to be from blue moon fibers so we can work through all their colors ;)

Konaknits

Thank you; I was able to go to bed feeling better after reading your post!

filidhruadh:

Thanks to all of you! I’ve got to the joining point, and will pick up again at the weekend when I go home. I’m LOVING this pattern, and learning loads already, as always! Thanks Carol Littlefellers for a great KAL!

So now that clue 1 is finished it’s on to clue 2! Discussions are already well underway and there are some new techniques to learn, like working German Short Rows in the round.
Are you enjoying your Luwan KAL? (Remember you can jump in at any time as well!)
For anyone who’s working away on Luwan you can share your images on social media using the tag #LuwanKAL. This makes it easy to find them!

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New pattern: Bespin

Last year I got some yarn. But it wasn’t just any yarn, it was a really, really huge single skein of Empire yarn from Jill Makes Stuff.

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My winder wasn’t big enough to hold it all so it was broken down into several smaller cakes.

Every autumn Jill releases several batches of this yarn. Each year I look at it longingly and resist. But last year I eventually went ahead and got myself one of the mighty skeins! The yarn has got a nice high twist and feels very firm when you knit it. As the yarn has such a dense feel to it I wanted to use a more open stitch pattern to lighten it up a little. After some experimenting this is what I settled on, a broken rib pattern with yarnover rows that was dense enough to be warm but still open enough to make the sweater a little lighter.

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If you’re thinking about yarn substitution, Kerry Woollen Mills Aran yarn has a similar weight although Empire is a softer yarn.

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Bespin is knit from the bottom up; it starts with both the front and back hem knit separately (you can see that the back hem is a little longer). These increases in the pattern are shown in both charted and written format so it makes the start easier. Once the hem is finished it’s joined in the round and worked straight to the armhole opening. In the sample shown I’ve got just over 1″ / 2.5 cm of positive ease however I think this is a sweater that would work really well with a generous amount of positive ease, going for 3-4″ / 7.5-10 cm bigger than you bust size should make a great oversized winter sweater.

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Once the body is finished the sleeves are knit in the round also. As they are in stockinette stitch they just fly off the needles!

Finally the body and sleeves are joined in the round. This is a tricky maneuver for the first few rounds as you’re squeezing small sleeves into a bigger yoke circumference. I usually use a much bigger circular needle than necessary and pull a ‘loop’ similar to magic loop out at the middle of the sleeve. I find that this gives enough extra movement to really ease the difficulty of joining the sleeves to the body.

The yoke of this sweater uses raglan shoulder shaping; you can see that the pattern stitch is ‘eaten away’ as you begin working the decreases. By now you will know the pattern stitch very well so it’s easy to see how to maintain the pattern, and for any extra stitches you’ve got you can just work them as knit or purl. The raglan shaping goes through a few different sections (with different decrease rates) so that the yoke is deep enough and each part of the neck fits just right. Each of these sections is detailed with a full stitch count chart for the entire yoke given so you can easily track your work and stitch counts.

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Finally the neck is bound off at the front with decreases worked to shape it. For a deeper neck it’s possible to start the decreases sooner. I opted to use bound-off stitches and decreases at the front rather than short rows as I found it easier to maintain the pattern stitch. If you want to experiment though you could try doing it with short rows also!

I hope you have fun knitting Bespin; do you have any Empire (or another heavy aran) yarn waiting for the perfect project?

From Ideas to Submissions

When I started designing the idea of self-publishing seemed very intimidating. Not only did I have to come up the design idea and knit it, I also then had to write the pattern, figure out how to get the pattern checked, put it into an acceptable format for people to download and then promote it. It seems very daunting, as all I knew how to do starting out was how to knit and think up ideas! Each of the other skills was slowly learned. Pattern writing, photography, working with an editor and testers are all learned skills. They don’t come instantly and there are many learning curves to climb all at the same time!

The very first pattern I had accepted was Doddy, for Knitty Winter 2007 (I’ve just realised that will be 10 years December next year!!). I was so proud of my first acceptance, just bursting with pride. That didn’t last too long however once I started working with the tech editor. She was very kind and patient but she effectively completely rewrote my pattern. I did not have a clue how to write a pattern! That was a very swift, sharp reality shock for me. This was a job I had to learn.

After that I thought I’d try my hand at self-publishing. The first pattern that I got tested was also a hard lesson. I had testers for every size and I discovered how careful you had to be with pattern directions. When you’ve got a dozen people all busy spotting your mistakes (especially when they’re basic and fairly silly mistakes) it’s hard to not take it personally. But it taught me to take my time and check the pattern several times in different ways so that the end product was as clean as possible and to swallow my pride and accept mistakes. This is always hard but really, really important if you want to keep improving.

At this point I really wanted the experience of publishing in magazines. This involves a different workflow but I think the lessons that you learn from working with a professional magazine are invaluable and really help to perfect pattern writing skills and spot mistakes.

Submission Calls

When working with magazines you start by signing up to their mailing lists or watching out for submission calls on ravelry’s designer board. These submission calls take a lot of different formats; some are just inspiration photos and sketches with minimal words, others do the reverse with descriptive paragraphs, and sometimes there are both. I love reading through submission calls even if I don’t have the time to submit, they can be very inspirational and spark off ideas.

Swatching

The next stage is to put the submission together. This is the stage that I have a hard time getting to at the moment as it takes several days. I start by thinking over the call; what kind of ideas would work? What yarns do I have that would suit? What stitch patterns could fit into it? Next I will start swatching – occasionally an idea works from the start but this is rare!! Usually there are several days of knitting and ripping until something works. It equal parts frustrating and exhilarating; and sometimes it just doesn’t come together and has to be abandoned.

Last year I pulled the idea for Nouri together for Pom-Pom magazine. I was so excited as it was one of those times that the swatch just worked from the start! You can see that when you swatch for a design you try to put all the details in the swatch, how the side pattern works and how the neckline shaping will be done. It can make for funny shaped swatches but nothing beats knitting the details.

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Sketching

For the submission, once I’ve got a swatch that works the next stage is sketching. I use a croquis outline that I draw my garment onto. I’m not a fantastic artist so this means that it looks enough like a human body to convey the idea. I’ll then put notes and details of the garment on the sketch to show how it’s going to be knit.

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I’ve recently got an Ipad Pro with an apple pencil and I find that this is very helpful for this stage. It means that I can sketch directly in an electronic format and add colour easily if I want to.

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Putting it all Together

The final step is text description. I’ll put a pdf together, which has the sketch, photo of the swatch and a description of the yarn, gauge, swatch and construction details. At this stage you should pay close attention to the details for the submission you’re making. Do they also want a schematic? Do they want suggested sizing? Do they want a single page submission? Attention to detail is important at every stage of the design process but if it’s your first impression when you’re doing a submission. It doesn’t have to be complicated just answer any questions that need answering.

Now for a full submission you go back and do this a couple of more times. Most submissions I make are 2-4 suggested items. As my time is getting tighter these days it’s more often 2 now! The beauty of putting this much work into submissions is that now you’ve got a full design idea ready to go. If the magazine rejects the idea you have the option of either submitting it to another magazine or creating a self-published pattern. Other times I find that I’m not completely in love with an idea but there’s a detail that I want to keep and I end up building a new design around that. As I design more and more I find that I like to take the same starting point for a design but then just bounce off in a new direction.

If you’re new to designing have you tried submitting to magazines? Don’t let the idea of rejection daunt you – just think of it as another great idea that you can go and use yourself – their loss!!

Are you thinking about designing? Let me know your own experiences!

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Behind the Scenes with the Yarn Club

For the last 3 years I’ve been running the Irish Yarn Club with This Is Knit. I had always wanted to do a club and one that featured Irish hand dyers seemed perfect! A lot of my design work tends to be garments so a club with very focused, smaller pieces seemed like a fun project to work on.
When we are putting the clubs together I try to keep a mix at every level; with yarn type, colours dyed and project types. This keeps it interesting for me designing and makes it more likely for knitters to have a project they can fall in love with.
In last year’s club we decided on 3 different yarn weights; lace weight (Hedgehog Fibres ‘Merino Lace‘), fingering weight (Townhouse Yarns ‘Spire Singles‘) and worsted (Donegal Wool Spinning Company dyed by Dublin Dye Company).

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Each of these yarn had very different properties that would create very different dye effects. To start with Yvonne from Dublin Dye Company did some experimenting with the Donegal yarn. Hand dyers primarily use superwash yarn, which behaves very well with hand dyeing. When a colour is applied it stays pretty much where it is put which allows them to create semi-solid colours and even speckles. However the Donegal yarn was a woollen spun (very hairy!) yarn and obviously not superwash. This means that when dye is applied it immediately gets sucked up into the fibre and spreads quickly. Due to this a semi-solid to solid colour was the best option. The colour that Yvonne created was a wonderful rich green. The base yarn starts off as a darker colour, closer to a beige brown, and when it was dyed even a small amount created a rich, deep colour. In fact the amount of dye needed was closer to what she would generally use to create a pastel shade on a white yarn base!
As this yarn was a worsted weight with less than 200m I wanted a smaller project. I ended up settling on a cabled hat (Sheephaven) with a folded brim that used the complete skein and created a cosy hat that really showed off the colour. I did get caught with yarn amount though – the medium size used the single skein exactly but several knitters were running a little short. Even a slight difference in either the yardage of the skein or in knitting tension is enough to push it over the edge of a single skein.


The next yarn was the lace yarn with Hedgehog Fibres. Working with Beata I knew that she was creating some fantastic speckled yarn at the moment so that seemed like a great dyeing technique to have in the club. I used pinterest to throw out a few colour ideas to her and let her do her magic :-)
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When designing with the laceweight yarn there was a huge amount of yardage, 1200 m! This really opens up the possibilities for different project types. I started experimenting with stitch patterns that enhanced speckled yarn and eventually settled on a drop stitch pattern that showed off the colours and also broke it up a bit.

1 Not everyone likes doing garment type projects so Kompeito had both the option of a sleeveless vest or just a side-to-side shawl.


The final yarn for last years club was a fingering weight gradient yarn dyed by Townhouse Yarns. I was particularly excited about this yarn as I was also starting on my Knitting With Rainbows book! I put a pinterst board together with some colour ideas.
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As you can see we were talking about a big range of colours in the gradient. Because of this I decided to use a slip stitch pattern in the project. Slip stitches are a great way of combining different colours together and work best when there is an obvious difference between each colour. This project comes with 5 little skeins (20g each) of each colour. Before you start knitting you divide each of them in 2 again so you have enough yarn for each of your arm warmers. Proby’s Armwarmers were knit nice and long to take full advantage of the range of colours, I wanted to make sure that as much yarn as possible was used! This project actually ended up in Knitting With Rainbows as it fit right in :-)
So there you have a brief overview of the yarn colour and design process. It’s all about variety and creating the best match of yarn, colour and project.

What kind of projects and yarn will you be hoping for in the 2017 club?

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A day in my design life

I’m frequently asked how I get everything done and the answer is that I don’t!
There are so many things that drop off my to-do list due to lack of hours in the day, or if I’m honest lack of desire. Some things I’m getting better at getting help with; I now have a cleaner every few weeks so we don’t get swallowed up in mountains of dog hair and the wonderful Nadia has started helping me out with some social media promotions and general organisation.

Every day is short and I want to make sure I get what’s most important and what I enjoy done every day. I love answering knitters’ questions, whether it’s on my boards, in a KAL or in my Craftsy classes. This means that a good chunk of my time is spent just chatting online. This does mean that it can be a bit more difficult to find time for bigger jobs like writing blog post, patterns and newsletters. I won’t even mention my inability to do longer term planning!

One thing that almost never drops off my daily to-do list is knitting. That might seem obvious but running a knitting business actually makes it very difficult to find knitting time. While knitting is still obviously a big part of my job it easily gets side-lined for computer based work. However if I’ve reached the evening without having picked up my needles I start to get a bit twitchy. After all these years I still find knitting relaxing and comforting.

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When I grab my knitting and sit on my sofa spot (we’ve all got our special spot…mine has a stack of cushions, a standing lamp, table and of course Lizzie) its instant relaxation. When the boys were younger I knit more on the go, I had bigger stretches of time in the car waiting for people. Now with 3 different schools I only get a few minutes knitting time between each collection.

So how does my design and knitting day look?
My youngest is already 10 and we’re on our last 2 years of primary school. This ends earlier so it keeps my workday short. In the morning after drop offs and dog walking I have computer time. This is what allows me to relax with my knitting later on. I plan as much as I can on paper; first from the swatch I measure my gauge and put it into my spread sheet. From there I calculate the stitches and rows I need for each section of the pattern that I’m working on for every size. Next I write a bare bones pattern to work from including all charts I’ll need. This means that as I’m knitting I can effectively test the pattern out as I go, rewriting as I work so that the knitting flows more smoothly.
Obviously there are only so many hours in the day and knitting is a relatively slow process. Over the last few years I’ve started working with a few sample knitters here in Ireland that are just worth their weight in gold. They are all fantastic knitters and always watch out for anything that doesn’t work in the knitting. This means that even for the samples I’m not knitting it’s as close as I can get :-)

As a designer I follow a process with each design. In case you were curious this is the basic process that I try to follow:
Step 1: Swatch
Step 2: Put numbers in spreadsheet
Step 3: Write the basic pattern
Step 4: Draw up any chart necessary
Step 5: Knit
Step 6: Rewrite pattern as necessary
Step 7: Block and re-measure finished piece
Step 8: Draw up schematic
Step 9: Print pattern and do full number check
Step 10: Final pattern revision
Step 11: Send pattern to tech editor
Step 12: Photo shoot
Step 13: Complex patterns sent to test knitters
Step 14: Give pattern to husband to do layout
Step 15: For book or collection repeat from step 1!
Step 16: For stand alone pattern enter onto ravelry
Step 17: Create page on website
Step 18: Blog, instagram, tweet, facebook, newsletter to the world

There are probably more steps then you had imagined but they’re all needed to get a pattern professionally ready. Obviously this becomes much more complex if you’re working on a book as there is also a lot of non-pattern writing, illustrations and photos.

So here are a few of the computer tools I use when I work:

ILLUSTRATOR


In terms of software I use, for drawing schematics I use adobe Illustrator. It took a little while to figure it out but now I’m able to use enough of the basics to do what I need to do. I know it’s got a lot more functionality that I use but it does the job I need.

STITCH MASTERY
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For charts I usually use Stitch Mastery. If the charts use standard symbols then this program works really well. If I’m doing something a bit more complex I’ll do the chart in Illustrator. My son put a set of symbols together for me so I’m not drawing everything from scratch. It takes a bit longer but the charts it produces are beautifully crisp and sharp.

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I’ve been talking about my knitting and designing for quite a while but if you want to do some relaxing pre-holiday knitting of your own come join our Wrap Up Winter KAL. Have fun knitting and finish some wonderful winter accessories for friends and family! Until the 1st of November I’m offering 20% off all the patterns in this bundle with the code WRAPUP2016. Come get some KAL encouragement on the board here and when you’re finished post your FO here to be in with a chance of winning a prize on the 31st of December.

Which accessory is your favourite? Come tell me in the comments!

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Iced Iced Baby

Hello everyone, I’m Nadia and you will see a little bit of me here on Carol’s blog in the future. Some of you may know me from putting very nice yarn in your hands in This Is Knit or from gushing about gardening and crafts on Ravelry as Bunnyt. I’m more than a little excited to be here and this week I have an autumnal inspired post for you.  

I was having a look through the Stolen Stitches patterns on Ravelry and I really wasn’t surprised that Iced has the highest number of projects of Carol’s on Ravelry. This time of year with the cold air seeping in, this is exactly the type of garment that I would choose to knit, just like the 1,749 of you that also reached for it!

Iced

Iced in Garnstudio Drops Ice

So I asked myself, why is this cardigan popular?

Is it the relaxed ease of knitting a garment on chunky needles for a satisfying quick knit? Or the ease of a top down knit with raglan increases? Or the flattering waist shaping that gives a bulky garment a touch of feminine class? I fear, I may never know what all of you were thinking! But it was appealing and approachable enough to become some knitters first or second try at a knitted garment – I bet Carol is so pleased! Just have a look at this Iced by HHorncastle on Ravelry. It was her first raglan and I happen to know she’s over the moon with it and it matches her car too. Double win! 

HHorncastle's Iced

HHorncastle’s Iced

Iced is also a good introduction to short rows and top down knitting.

Never knitted a short row? Well we have you covered!

The tutorial section explains how to do these garter stitch short rows and you can access it whenever you are ready to approach them!

Wait, you say you have tried short rows but you want to take it to the next level? Then the Craftsy class on Essential Short Row Techniques is the place to be. The best thing about these classes is you can take them at your leisure and referencing back to them is easy and you have access forever. If you want to check it out, you can see the free short row class here.

I hear you, it’s a popular pattern but I only knit for the smaller humans among us. The Iced pattern was so popular, there is even a teeny tiny sized Iceling, this time in Aran weight for the smaller bodies. A perfect quick knit for those little arrivals this time of year and topped off with a toasty little hat, I mean just look at these happy faces:

carols iceling

TheaPurls' Iceling

TheaPurls’ Iceling

Tricoternana's Iceling

Tricoternana’s Iceling

I hope I’ve inspired you to pick up your knitting in the way that Autumn has inspired me to knit all the things! Wondering what’s going on here in the land of Stolen Stitches? The Luwan KAL has just been released for pre-sale and you can check that out over on Ravelry. There is also a dedicated group for the KAL and now is the perfect time to pop in and make some introductions.

The Knitting with Rainbows is just finishing up on October 10th, so those of you with wips on the needles, I foresee a busy weekend ahead! You can check the current FO’s out here. If you just want to hangout and have a chat with us, you can do that over in the Ravelry group or drop a comment on the blog. We really do love chatting to all of you, in fact stop what your doing right now and head on over there and drop in and say hi!

See you next week!

Nadia
Psst – Are you hosting a KAL with one of Carol’s patterns? She would love to see them, so try and tag all your wips, FO’s, Instagram posts with #stolenstitches so we can all see too and you never know what might happen!

 

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Luwan KAL coming soon

It’s almost time for our next KAL! Luwan sweater KAL will be on pre-sale October 5th and the first clue will be released on the 5th of November. This gives lots of time to order yarn, swatch and pick you size.
I really enjoy running sweater KAL’s (knitalongs) as there is always a few knitters working on their first garment. The KAL process is perfect for new garment knitters; you walk slowly through each step of the process and the encouragement of other knitters is very helpful. You also get to see that everyone makes mistakes; new knitters, experienced knitters and me the designer. As you become more experienced these mistakes don’t go away but they do become less. What’s most important is how you deal with them. Rather than tearing your hair out with support you can approach the problem thoughtfully and figure out a solution that you’re happy with. It really is true that you learn more from your mistakes if you acknowledge them and learn!

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So then the question is – what will you learn in this KAL?

Luwan is a top down sweater with set-in short row sleeves. I love this type of construction as it makes it really easy for knitters to modify. To start with you cast-on your shoulder stitches, then you use German Short Rows to shape the shoulders and work down from there.

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This sweater has got a very subtle textured pattern stitch that is fast to knit but really allows the soft single ply yarn to bloom. Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee is lightly felted which is important for durability in a singles yarn. I’ve used a semi-solid colour but the texture would look great with a bit more colour variation as well.

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Once you’ve finished the upper body the next step is the lower body. In the sample I’ve worked it straight down with no increases or decreases allowing the short row back hem shaping to take centre stage.

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Finally the sweater is finished with top down short row sleeve caps and sleeves worked in the round. I worked 3/4 length sleeves but as they are top down it would be easy to modify them to be longer.

So in this KAL what kind of modifications can you try?
In the pattern tips I’ll give suggestions to adjust the shoulder width for your size, give some tips to add or reduce length and some pointers to make the body a-line. I’ll also have some sleeve modification suggestions to change the size and length. Most importantly you’ll have support and help from other knitter (and me also!) in the ravelry group to give you the best chance of finishing your sweater!

More Manos Pretties!

Well I’ve had a busy week adding new patterns! Until the end of September all of these 3 patterns (whether you purchase on my site or ravelry) have an automatic 15% discount.

Earlier this week I shared the first of my Manos Del Uruguay patterns, Clypea which is a striped hat using a slip stitch pattern between the stripes.
The next day I released a fun shawl, Mylio.


This shawl is knit from the top down and uses extra increases along the edges to create a wide wing effect. The central increases work along each side of the lace panel, stepping out a full repeat every time you’ve completed a lace repeat for an interesting stepped effect. Outside the lace panel this shawl is worked in garter stitch and has a delicate, fun ruffle at the bottom edge.

The final one of this pattern trio is Strombus.



This is a top down cardigan that uses short row set in sleeves and has a double-breasted front panel that buttons across itself. This cardigan is knit more loosely to allow it to flow and swing, the side panels are in garter stitch and widen as you go down the body to create a swinging a-line. I’ve show this cardigan with several inches of positive ease but it will also work well a little more closely fitted if that’s how you like to wear your cardigans!

Back to school

For everyone with children we’re in the back to school mode here. I had children starting school last week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and on Saturday my oldest went up to college in Dublin. Add to that an envelope packing marathon to get all the Knitting With Rainbows pre-sale orders out last week and it seems strangely calm this morning.

The 2 dogs are snoring on the sofa near me, birds are tweeting outside and there is no one in the house but me. It feels very strange after a summer filled with people. Normally in August I’m counting down the days until I get peace again. But this year feels different. Instead of quiet the house actually feels empty. Perhaps this is because the boys aren’t very young any more so instead of constant demands for my attention they go about their own business a lot of the time. I’m also increasingly aware of how fast time goes – within 8 years my youngest will be finished school so I have to be careful not to wish that time away.

So now that my house is quiet again – what will I get up to?
You may have noticed that Knitting With Rainbows is now available digitally as well as in print (which comes with a download code).

KWR COVER

I’m so happy that this book has been well received. It was a very different book from my usual self-published ones. Instead of just patterns this book has a lot of information on gradient yarn, stitch patterns and suggestions for how to use gradient yarns to full advantage. The print book turned out amazing, the colours are bright and vivid and it’s a pleasure to flick though!
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If you want to see any of the samples in person, get a book signed or chat about yarn options come along from 3 to 5 this Saturday 10th September at This Is Knit.

Over the next few weeks I’ve got a few more big projects that I’m working on that I can’t reveal yet. Keep checking back though as I’ll let you know about them as soon as I can :-)