Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spring 2014 Update

Lots of things have been happening here this spring, but unfortunately, I just can't show you very much of it yet! Suffice to say that I'll have lots of things to show off this fall. I have had a record number of submissions in the last few months, and I have been working hard to meet all my deadlines.

I have managed to sneak in a little personal knitting here and there. I finished the plain blue socks that I showed in the last post (which are now happily living in my son's sock drawer), and progress continues on the orange modified St. Brigid. I've also started another plain pair of socks, because I always like to have at least one pair on the go.

After the last project went off in the mail this month, I organized my yarn stash. For far too long, I have been pulling out the odd ball of yarn or two, then stuffing it back into the most convenient bag or box. Needless to say, it's been getting gradually more difficult to find anything in there. I recently took a couple of hours and took everything out.  I dusted out the yarn closet, put matching yarns together, and sorted the odds and ends by fiber. I took out some things that didn't belong there (wine corks? A curtain tie?) and gave a bunch of yarn scraps to my 4-year old to snip, tie, and tape to her heart's content.

My next project is another submission, followed by some work on a couple of patterns that I want to self-publish. I'm trying not to over-book myself though, since there are only a few days left in the school year before the kids are home with me for the summer. They will be the priority for the next couple of months!

Monday, March 3, 2014

January-February Update

January and February were fairly quiet for me knit-wise. Winter with two kids in school took a lot more of my energy than I was expecting, especially considering that we got (no kidding) 5 feet of snow in the last 2 months. The kids were getting some excellent use out of their knitwear during all the shovelling and car clearing time outside. My son even took his favourite knit hat on his first-ever ski trip last week!

The view from my back deck during a snowstorm. The lump on the right is the BBQ.

I did work on a bunch of designs to submit to various publications. I got a "no" this week, but it was only a day after getting a "yes" from another magazine, which helped to keep it in perspective.

For personal knitting, I've  been picking away at a very plain pair of socks, and a very complicated sweater.

In January, a small yarn and fabric shop opened up one block from my house. I found a small selection of decent sock yarn, but almost all of it was shockingly vibrant. This is the most subdued colorway I could find. I'm keeping the notes for this sock on the ball band. I don't know why I have never thought of this before. I know the format for my plain toe-up socks quite well and only need to record how many stitches to cast on, how many rows to make the foot, how many rows of ribbing I did at the cuff, etc. and this information doesn't really take up much room at all. The first sock is finished and the second is past the heel.

This orange sweater is a tweaked version of Alice Starmore's gorgeous St. Brigid pattern from her classic book "Aran Knitting". This was the first "real" knitting book I ever got, and I never grew out of it the way I did with some other books that I acquired during my early knitting years.

I am modifying the pattern to use thinner yarn, add waist shaping, change the neckband, add ribbing to the hems and cuffs, omit the fringe, and turn it into a cardigan. But other than that, it's exactly as written ;) Here's the back up to the end of the waist decreases.
I made a trip to a larger, out-of-town yarn shop just last week and bought some gorgeous yarn that I can't find here in town. I only bought one ball of each, as I just plan to use it for swatching. I can't wait to try out the fantastically soft and fuzzy pale blue angora!