Category Archives: Design work

Spring KAL!

It’s been a few months since I’ve released a new self-published pattern so I’m very excited to have my spring KAL, Spritz Stripes, ready to launch!

Spritz Stripes
I think we’re all really, really sick of this long miserable winter so a lightweight spring sweater seems like the perfect antidote. The sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up in a lightweight 4ply (fingering) yarn. The fabric is worked as a series of lace stripes that are blocked aggressively to open up the fabric and create the light, airy effect. Basically with this sweater you’ll be blocking as aggressively as you would for a shawl. This of course means that while you’re knitting it you work will look squished up and rather unimpressive….

BUT when you pin it out you can actually see the pattern!

To add to the light effect, this sweater is knit with a generous helping of positive ease so that it floats over your tank top/dress/shirt. For a 33-35″ bust I’d suggest the 40″ size which give 5-7″ positive ease.

Once the body is finished the upper body is knit separately at the front and the back and joined at the shoulders. There are a few short rows worked here but I’m going to put a tutorial together showing you how to do that with the lace pattern.

Finally the sleeves are worked from the top down in the round.

There are a few techniques I’ll be writing tutorials on for this pattern; first up is a stretchy cast-on. If you want your lace to stretch and flow it’s really important that the cast-on can move with it.  This leads me on to the second tutorial, a stretchy bind-off, for the very same reason, to allow the lace to stretch without being confined.

The third technique will be short rows with the lace, sounds complicated but the lace pattern is simple so it is easier than it sounds!

So come knit with us and learn lots of new skills….plus you’ll get a great sweater at the end!
Eden Cottage Yarns have kindly provided a free postage code for the Milburn yarn that is available until March 31st. When you purchase the pattern the discount code is given in the information pdf.

The second sample I’m knitting which is shown above in red is in Madelintosh Tosh Light in Tart.

KAL Timing
Clues will be released every 2 weeks on the following schedule:
Clue 1: April 14th, 2015.
Clue 2: April 28th, 2015.
Clue 3: May 12th, 2015.
Clue 4: May 26th, 2015.

If you want to work along with other knitters on this project, come join us at the dedicated Ravelry group -
http://www.ravelry.com/groups/carol-fellers-kal

spritz stripes

 

spritz stripes spritz stripes

Essential Short Row Techniques

Some of you very observant people may have spotted that my new Craftsy class, Essential Short Row Techniques, is now live! (This link will give you $5 off the class).

Essential Short Row TechniquesNow as the name hints, this is a technique class. It works through different situations that you will use short rows in and how you can make them your own.

There is a huge lack of information out there about working short rows in anything but stockinette stitch. What happens in reverse stockinette, garter, ribbing or in the round? What about if you’ve got a cable or lace pattern?

I hope to give enough information in this class that you’ll feel comfortable substituting different types of short rows in a pattern, changing the slope created by short rows and maybe even use short rows in your own design!

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Once you’ve mastered Short Rows you’ll want to use them in everything!

Here are a few of my favourite patterns that use short rows. Until March 15th there will be 25% off all of them with code “SHORTROWS“. Just ‘add to cart’ and when you’ve got the cart open click ‘use a coupon code’ to add the code.

Finally, I frequently get questions about the knitted pieces shown in my classes so here is a rundown of everything you’ll see:

Lesson 1: Basanite Hat (in Among Stones, digital only), Sandy Cove, Taupo, Ravi.

Lesson 2: Striped shawl (Tempisque) from new book, Carpino.

Lesson 3: Cabled Cowl sweater from new book (Orosi).

Lesson 4: Capall Dubh, new cardigan from book (Toro).

Lesson 5: Gilligan, Orosi (from new book), Penrose Tile.

Lesson 6: Sandy Cove

Lesson 7: Ravi, Maenad, Dunderry, Taupo.

Lesson 8: Basanite Hat (in Among Stones, digital only), Talium socks, socks from new book (Arenal), Maenad.

 

A little peek into the future..

I’ll admit that the title sounds like I could give more away than I actually can :-)

I’m sitting here with the final round of edits for my Short Row Knits book…

book dummy

I can’t quite believe that it’s almost done. Plus I’m just bursting to show you all the book. At the start of next month my newest Craftsy class will be out though and you’ll even get to have a sneak peek at a few of the new knits in the class!

One thing I can show you though is a little look at a new spring KAL I’m working on. It’s in a lightweight yarn, and will be a sweater with lace stripes. I’m very excited at how this is working up, won’t be too long before I can share the finished product with you.

lace stripe

One of the downsides to working on so many big projects at once is that there is a lot less to share with you here. Not only is there this new book, I’m also finishing a big collection for a brand new yarn (you’re going to love it!!), many magazine patterns, Irish Yarn Club patterns and a few more little surprises. I’m not quite sure how I managed to take on so much work at once, but hopefully once I get through the next couple of months without collapsing I’ll have some rocking work to show you all :-) So bear with me while I go into a pattern writing coma.

Exciting week!

Last week I was one of 4 finalists for the Craftsy Blogger awards and I’m delighted to tell you all that I won runner up :-) Thank you everyone that voted for me, I was very, very pleased – this was a first for me!

Craftsy Blogger Awards - Runner Up Best Instructor's Blog Badge

I had another exciting announcement last week as well – the book I’ve been working on for the last 18 months is now up for pre-sale – Short Row Knits.

short row knits coverThis book was such a pleasure to write. I use short rows for so many of my knits it made complete sense to write a book on the subject! The book starts with the basics, describing different ways of working short rows in stockinette stitch. From there I also look at using short rows with different stitch patterns, in reverse stockinette and in garter stitch. However learning how to work short rows is only the first step, the more interesting part is figuring out where and how to use them! I’ve worked through different ways of varying slopes, how you can use those slopes to shape shawls, socks, balls, hoods, bust shaping, shoulder slopes and hips (to name a few!). Every pattern in the book uses short rows in some way and it details which short row method I’ve suggested.  So if you want to know more about the workings of short rows this is a good book for you (or even if you just want to knit the short row patterns!).

For anyone who likes to learn in-person with some hands on knitting I’ll be teaching a short row class at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. There are a few spots left and I’ll be working through some of the short row techniques from the book (plus sneak peaks of the book patterns!).

Dragonfly Fibers Giveaway Winner!

Anna C with her Pixie yarn color choice of That Ol’ Chestnut is the winner of the Dragonfly Fibers giveaway, congratulations!

New Year, new pattern!

I want to wish you all a very (early!) Happy New Year. I love this time of year so much, in Ireland everything shuts down for a full 2 weeks; there is much food, drinking and of course sleep! I’ve just said goodbye to my sister and her family at the airport and a handful of 17-18 year olds have filled our house. The next few nights will be filled with more games, drinks and late nights :-)
I’ll be traveling for work early on Monday morning, I’m excited and nervous about it so I hope that the anticipation doesn’t impede the holiday too much.

To thank you all for the most amazing year I’m have a New Year sale starting early (like right now) that will run until the end of the 7th of January. With code ‘NEWYEAR’ you can get 30% off your purchase as a big thank you.

This code will also apply to a redesign of an old favorite (Adrift), that has reworked in a fingering weight yarn as Titus Adrift. Titus yarn is really perfect for this, a lofty blend of wool and alpaca that’s happy being blocked more aggressively. In fingering weight it knits up a little bit faster and it’s slightly heavier for extra warmth.

Any observant knitters out there will see that my prices have changed from dollars to euros. This shouldn’t cause you any problems as all payments are processed through paypal. If you want to check the value in your currency you can take a look on my ravelry store where they do a price conversion for comparison. My standard pattern price was $6.00 and at the currency exchange on the day I made the switch this translated to just over €5.00 so there is no change in price.

This change to euro is to help me with the new EU VAT legislation which uses the place of consumption of the service (pdf) as the VAT rate that must be charged. About 30% of my customers are from the EU but I don’t want to increase EU prices so I’m going to absorbing the VAT cost with no price change to you.

Titus Adrift

I need your help!

Hi Everyone out there, this post is more relevant to non-euro countries but I need some help. Up to this point I’ve priced my patterns in dollars. A large bulk of my customers are in the US or Canada so it made sense to me to do it that way. However as accounting and finances are become more complex it would simplify my life greatly to price my patterns in euro.

Can you honestly tell me, would this stop you buying? Or maybe even make you hesitate? You can still purchase in exactly the same way and paypal would still charge you in your own currency.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’ll even throw in a $12 gift voucher for my patterns for one lucky commenter :-)

EDITED TO ADD: Thank you so much everyone, your support and encouragement means so much and makes all of these growing pains feel worth while :-)

Christmas knitting & Price changes

Is everyone out there as busy knitting for Christmas gifts as I am? I’ve got a secret one going for a Knitmas gift exchange I’m on. It’s fun and nerve wrecking doing a secret knit for someone you only know virtually! Obviously I can’t use one of my own patterns, that would be a dead giveaway so it gives me a chance to look around at some other small pattern items I’ve been looking at through the year. As a designer I don’t often get a chance to knit other designers patterns so it’s quite a treat to get a chance to do it. That’s all I’m going to give away for now…

On an unrelated note, I will need to restructure my business by the end of the year. For the most part this won’t have a significant impact on you as the end user except it will involve a slight price increase. From January 1st my pattern prices will increase from $6 to $6.50. It’s not a huge jump but I just wanted to give you all warning! Also, from a few weeks ago I have changed the checkout on the ravelry shopping cart so that it asks you for your address. I won’t use this in any way but it’s now become a legal requirement within the EU as they are changing the way VAT works. Previously the country I ran my business from determined the VAT (value added tax) rate that I charged. From 1st of January, 2015 new regulations will come into effect which changes this to the country of purchase. This means that I’ve got to know where the patterns are going and charge the correct rate of VAT accordingly.

If you want to stock up on some patterns before the price increase comes into effect watch out for a newsletter discount sale I’ll be running very shortly. Make sure you’re on my newsletter list so you’ll hear about it on time!

New Blue Moon pattern

Some of you out there may have spotted a new pattern from me this week – Landscape Waves.

You may have figured out by now that I really do love Blue Moon yarns. This particular yarn was fantastic to work with, it’s a brand new yarn they’re stocking called Targhee Worsted. I have not come across this breed of sheep before, but the yarn it produces is wonderful. The yarn is firm and fairly rustic but yet is soft enough to be comfortable next to the skin and it’s spun with a tight twist to make a plump firm yarn that is fantastic for knitting cables. The color I chose was ‘Spawn of Scum’ which is a vibrant green with wonderful rich undertones. In fact I kept these skeins on the corner of my desk for ages before I knit them as the color made me so happy :-)

Now to the cardigan itself. It was knit from the top down starting with the cabled collar. There is raglan shoulder shaping but you may notice that the front is a little different. The front edges are picked up and worked using short rows after the yoke is finished. The remainder of the cardigan is worked as an a-line with big chunky cables running down the sides. The version shown is the shorter version (I ran out of yarn!) but I’ve given the option in the pattern for a longer version that is the same width at the bottom but the increases are more gradual.

The cardigan itself has no fastenings as it can be worn either open or folded across. The shawl pin I’ve shown is from This Is Knit and works really well to fasten the cardigan.

In case you were wondering about the creepy backdrop to the photos, there’s a currently abandoned nursing home close to us that we took the photos outside of. So there was a great array of random debris around!

 

Irish Yarn Club

IrishYarnClub2015Have you seen that the 2015 installment for the Irish Yarn Club is up for sale?

This is the second year that I’m doing this collaboration with This Is Knit. It’s a match made in heaven really; I get to design and knit with delicious yarn from Irish hand dyers and at the same time work with a yarn store that has superb customer service that has supported me right from the start.

This club works in 2 ways, full club or pattern only. If you opt for the full club you will get 3 installments of yarn (every 2 months, starting in February) and a link to a pattern pdf that uses that yarn. For the pattern only club, pretty much as it says on the tin, you get a link to the pattern pdf when the pattern is released, every 2 months with 3 patterns in total.

Last year there were 3 fingering weight yarns from Hedgehog Fibres, Coolree and Dublin Dye Company. This year it’s slightly different, we’ll have 3 different yarn weights; sports weight, fingering and lace from Dublin Dye Company, Townhouse Yarns and Hedgehog Fibres. Every one of the colors used are custom dyed especially for the club so they’re extra special. I’m currently working on some pattern ideas for the yarn, I’m still experimenting as I want to make sure that each pattern complements the yarn perfectly. There will be a variety of projects, last year (you can see the patterns here) there was a hat, shawl and socks.

So come and join us this year! What small project will you be hoping to see in the club?

PS: First clue from the Capall Dubh KAL was released today!

 

Running a creative business

Running a creative business is almost a misnomer; the act of creating isn’t easily controlled by the logical business side. But yet that what’s I attempt to do on a daily basis. It might explain why I frequently feel conflicted, there is a constant sense of give and take.

When I’m creating my most interesting (to me at least!) work I need to be in my own head space. That means that I can’t have deadlines that give me no freedom, if it isn’t working I need to be able to sit back and think about it. What does work? Is there a different way to look at the problem so that it makes sense? Can I pull out or even re orientate a section so that it changes from just ok to amazing? I need to be able to start a morning feeling that all I need to think about is creation and allow myself the artistic frustration that produces the best work. If you’re under time pressure you will ‘settle’ for good enough rather than reworking. Or if there are so many outside pressures that you just can’t find the right frame of mind. If this happens for several months running it creates such a huge feeling of frustration, like you’re almost getting it right but just not hitting the high notes.

Then you need to flip over to the other side, the business side. The decisions you make are money ones for the most part. How is your time best spent so that you get well paid for your work? What new avenues should you pursue and what old ones should be closed down? It’s very easy to keep walking down the same comfortable paths with blinkers on, denying that anything is changing. It’s sometimes hard to be honest with yourself that you need to change!

Life with 4 boys seems to be getting busier and busier. My work time is being squeezed down very tightly and it would appear that these days I’m the one that suffers most. The business end is being done, the patterns are being posted, newsletters are sent out and future plans are being made. However I’m having such a hard time finding free head space, so much of my mental effort right now is to make sure life runs smoothly, lunches made, children dropped (3 DIFFERENT SCHOOLS!), Suzuki violin class attended, stock pot loaded, dishes washed, kitchen swept, dog walked, and then if I’m lucky 2-3 hours work before…. afternoon bags packed, snacks made, children collected, homework done, dropped to gymnastics/drama/piano then home to cook next dinner, clean more dishes, chase violin/piano practice, homework, bedtime and FINALLY knitting time. It’s both wonderful and terrifying being the mother to so many. With so much to remember it’s not really too surprising that mental space is a rare commodity for me. I think I may be overdoing it these days, constant colds with coughs that I can’t shake :-(

So while life is so good, it is perhaps just a little too hectic these days. My little house of cards would appear to be stacked a little too high I think!