Yes, 100!!!

For yarn companies, books, knitting magazines both in the US and UK, and of course, Paper Moon Knits, this week I hit the mark of 100 published patterns with Bellecolline, a lace and cable tank.

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Yes, there’s history. We could do a retrospective and I could tell stories of how I started designing, how exciting it was to see my name in [fill in the name of the magazine here] or when I received a copy of a book in the mail, but this week I just want to smile and take a deep breath and think about the road ahead and where it will take me.

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Tomorrow I publish my 101st pattern and start the second 100. Here’s to the future!

Fraternal sisters

If you’re “born” on the same day to the same parent, that makes you twins. These two shawls were released today on Ravelry. I’m the mama.

 

First born is Scrivener, a wide, shallow garter crescent in two sizes. There’s lace knitting in there, but also knitted lace. The difference, you ask? Lace knitting has patterning on one side with rest rows in between (for this one, it’s just knit the WS rows). Knitted lace has patterning on both the right and wrong sides of the work. It makes it a bit trickier, but much more ethereal.

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I’ve done this one in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, a lovely “big wheel” that I bought at the sadly, now defunct Gauge & Tension shop in Brooklyn.

Scriveners younger sister is Hither Hills. This one has garter stripes in (mostly) 2 colors, with a third-color stripe thrown in there strategically. The stripes alternate in sections with lace, followed by a little picot edging.

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Hither Hills is made in the lovely Quince & Co. Tern, a new silk/wool favorite for me. The three colors, Driftwood, Barnacle and Rose Quartz, make a beautiful brown/green-tinged brown/pink combination.

As with all parents, I love them both equally. You can purchase them both on Ravelry. And if you put both in your cart at the same time, one will be yours free until 7/10/17.

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A long time coming

Today, I’m re-releasing a cardigan that I’ve had many requests for over the years, Norfolk. It had been unavailable since 2012.

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The story?

Back in the fall of 2011, two of my designs were published by The Sanguine Gryphon. Less than a month later, Gryphon and Sarah decided to dissolve the company and form two new companies, The Verdant Gryphon and Cephalopod Yarns. The summer before the announcement was made, I had designed a cardigan for them, Norfolk.

Norfolk 2.pngThe company was very generous in returning all the design rights to me, however, I couldn’t use their (tech-edited) version of the pattern, nor did I want to use their photography. I let these designs languish in no-man’s land for awhile, then re-released the gloves, Brigid’s Lie.

Norfolk was released earlier today. You can purchase it for 50% off until the end of the month, no coupon code needed.

 

Norfolk 9.jpgAnd perhaps, someday soon, Effie will rejoin her sisters.

The consolation was that I could still get my hands on two of my favorite yarns, Bugga and Skinny Bugga. Now, that is no longer even true. Cephalopod closed their doors three years ago, and although Verdant was selling their yarns sporadically, it appears that they really don’t exist as a viable company anymore either.

Sometimes, it’s just too complicated

Do you ever feel like your brain needs a vacation? I have a lot of ideas running around in my head. I say, keep the knitting ones coming, but the ones about life…not always.

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Anyway, I had this idea for a summer beanie – lace, my favorite. Everything worked out fine, and I love the finished product. I especially love the way the crown worked out. But it’s a bit complicated when the s2kpsso comes at the beginning of some of the rounds. I can do it, no problem. And I’m sure most of you could do it, too. But the issue is writing it out and explaining what to do. That’s complicated. So I’m debating about whether or not to publish this.

I could do a video. I could put the link to the video in the pattern. But do you even think it’s worth it?

Tell me what do you think I should do?

Summer coming

DSC_1054BI just finished a new design – a pullover to wear to the beach. I’m debating about whether to call it West Egg (the fictional site of Gatsby’s house) or Sands Point (the real West Egg). The pattern’s still with the tech editor, but the shoot happened on Sunday, with my youngest, Peter, acting as the stylist and my oldest, Con, as the model. They’re collaborating here on doing a Snapchat while I’m trying to get the pictures right.

Specs? Bottom up raglan. Body starts off as front and back to form the side vents, then it’s knit in one piece to the armholes. Sleeves are knit in the round. The only seaming is along the raglan lines. Garter details along those lines and running up each side. Twisted cord  laces up the front.

Yarn? A dream to work with…Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Audra Mix…silk and linen. The gauge was a little looser here so that it would appear more open.

And the detail I love…the sleeve cuffs. Organized dropped stitches are “run” down to the cuff to create a slightly deconstructed look.

The pattern should be out the first week in June ~ just in time for the beach.

Linen for April

Launched a new cardi on Ravelry today, Spring Leaf. This came together very quickly with this idea… I wondered if I could use a bit of shawl shaping to construct the back of a cardigan?

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The answer was yes. Briefly, there’s a bit of bottom-up shawl construction with  simultaneous short rows. (It’s much easier than it sounds!) The 3/4-sleeves and raw edges in a linen-cotton blend that blocks out beautifully, is going to be one I’ll be making again.

From now until the end of day (EDT), Sunday, April 30th, it’s 25% off – no coupon code necessary.

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When my daughter and I shot this (she’s the model), a flock of seagulls took off just as she turned toward them. I love when the unexpected happens!

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Photoshoot

 

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Anselm (cardigan), shown with distraction

For me, one of the hardest parts of getting a pattern published is the photoshoot. I’m lucky that my go-to model is my daughter, Connie — 23, very pretty with a great figure.  Although she’s generous with her time, now that she’s out of school and working full-time, its harder for us to schedule. Often, we’re not available at the same time. With daylight in short supply during non-working hour, getting the latest patterns photographed has been difficult. But scheduling is only a small part of the whole process.

Before the shoot, there are so many things to consider and manage  — weather, wardrobe, lighting, and location.

During the shoot, location can be tricky.  Today, for example, we encountered people in our shoot location, as well as tricky terrain after last night’s sleet-y snow.

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Frigid winds and chattering teeth shooting Frost Field.

After the shoot, the biggest issue is the time involved in editing — the best pictures need to be chosen, showing the knitted piece and the model to the best advantage, then cropping and adjusting lighting and color. As a non-professional photographer with just a digital camera and no photoshop experience, it’s hours of work.

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Photos of Echo Song were among my favorite of the day.

 

 

Today we shot 5 pieces in 3 locations.  Toward the end, Connie and I were a little punch drunk. She wanted to call this one Pretty Little Liars and I thought Signed “A” might be a good one. (If you watch the show, you’ll get the references — red coat and “sssshhhhh.”) But in the end, it’ll be Twine & Warp.

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We found “A” wearing Twine & Warp.

 

 

 

 

In addition, to T&W, I’ll also be releasing Frost Field, Echo Song and Anselm by the end of the month, with Simplicity coming in early February.