Doing a 180 (or, WIP Wednesday)

You've probably never wondered why I started designing my own knitting patterns, but I'm here to tell you anyway. The answer, you see, is quite simple: I'm a picky knitter. No, wait, I'm a very picky knitter. Obnoxiously so.

What that means is that I will sit down with some yarn, and know exactly what I want to make with it.

Down to every last detail.

And then, because I am also lazy and would rather pay someone else to do the work for me, I will spend hours on Ravelry looking for exactly what I want in pattern form. This often leads to light swearing, especially when my browser crashes while I have fifty Ravelry tabs open. 

Eventually, I get frustrated, give up, and start knitting. A new pattern is born. 

All because I'm just so dang picky.


Now, what you have to understand is, after I wrote my last blog post, what I thought was hot weather in Atlanta (70s-80s) became HOT weather in Atlanta (80s-90s). And every time I opened my mouth to complain about it, someone told me, "oh, just you wait." So I started getting a little worried.

I mean, come on guys, I'm from Ohio! It's only June! If this is June, what about August?

And then I started rethinking my statements about seasonally-appropriate knitting. And then my lovely housemate brought me home four skeins of vintage-y (early 1990's, maybe?) thick & thin cotton fingering-weight from the thrift store where she works. So I caved. 


I started looking for the perfect pattern, and never quite found it. 

But the WIP (oh, hey, I'm actually doing a Work-In-Progress Wednesday! yes!) is currently on my needles. Trucking along happily. And, if I'm lucky, may actually become my first published garment pattern. But first I have to finish knitting it -- without getting too much sweat on the needles.


In the meantime, here's my mini inspiration board of what I've got going through my head for this sassy little design...

What are you working on this week??? 


Alamardi Shawl released!

I am not good at knitting seasonally-appropriate things. Not good at all. Maybe it's just my stubborn streak telling the world, "you can't tell me what to knit or when to knit it!" and flipping everyone the bird before starting a pair of wool mittens in Atlanta in June. This may have actually happened. I may actually have a mostly-finished mitten in my WIP bag right now. Mostly finished because I hate doing thumbs, at any time of year. That's also why my mitten is a mitten and not a glove--even though I'd rather wear a glove--since knitting a glove is like knitting five thumbs right after the other. And then you have your second glove to do. But I digress.

All that to say that my latest pattern may or may not be seasonally appropriate. 

It just depends on where you live, what your definition of appropriate is, and when you like to knit things. For me, already feeling the sticky Atlanta heat (although I'm told we're not at 100% intensity just yet, wait until July) the minute I step out my door, this is probably not a seasonally appropriate shawl. It's big, it's got a cozy weight to it, and it's not knit out of fingering-weight or linen or anything else about it that screams wear me in the summer I beg you.

But. This shawl was really damn fun to knit. So I knit it. And then I wrote a pattern for it. And then I published it, even though you really shouldn't publish knitting patterns this time of year because seasonal appropriateness. 

So, let's talk about reasons why I think this shawl is fun enough to knit anyway:

-It's fast. Size 9 needles--big but not big enough to hurt people like me who have wimpy wrists--and worsted weight yarn. That baby's gonna knit up like you would not believe. Summertime makes you sluggish, and this will help fix that.

-Tons of texture. Four different stitch patterns, with short sections so you switch gears before you get bored. See above. Your fingers, they will fly. 

-It's knit side to side, which is my favorite way to knit shawls even though not many people use it. See those cute diagonal patterns in the first photo? They're not actually knit diagonally--it just turns out that way thanks to the shawl shaping. BAM.

-Fringe. Fringe is fun.

-Every good knitter knows that fall will sneak up on you. And then Christmas comes right after fall, and you will be so behind on everything you want to knit that you won't even believe it. Start now. 


Crave This! Spring 2014 Edition

This edition of Crave This! is inspired by what I dream of as my ideal spring: Breezy, sunny afternoons with cool, cozy nights. Walks in the park and snuggling in with a good book. Celebrating the bright and the chilly. The liminal space of changing seasons. 

♥ The Patterns
This sunny chevron shawlette.

This pair of squashy house socks.

This romantic wrap.

♥ The Projects
This set of sweet socks.

This shawl, especially the edging.

This cowl and this adorable styling.

♥ The Makeables
This tutorial for crafty knit & leather cuffs.

This recipe for Peach & Rosemary Blossom lemonade.

This DIY spa treat -- Lavender & Chamomile bath melts.

And that's all for now, folks! May your springtime season be full of light & love!

♥ PS. To help me pay for an upcoming professional dance workshop, I'm having a very special pattern sale on Ravelry from now until May 26th! You can grab ALL my paid patterns for just $10. Just head over to my pattern store, add all six of my paid patterns to your cart, and enter the code "STAYINSCHOOL" to get the discount! Thanks for supporting my art in all shapes & forms. 


Styling Cowls for Spring!

What happens when my favorite season (Spring!) and my favorite knit accessory (cowls!) collide? Let's find out! We're already experiencing warm weather here in the ATL, so I've got Spring on my mind! I decided to find outfit inspiration starring two of my cowl patterns. 
♥ Check it out:

The cheerful floral top makes this light layering combo perfect for spring. I love the flats and the vintage-y earrings. Knit Jaymie in a light-weight wool in the same espresso color as the sassy bag for a balanced look.
Get pattern here.
Suggested yarn: Quince & Co Chickadee in Sedum.

I love the trend of pairing neon brights with neutrals. This outfit would look great with the addition of a camel-colored version of Kingsley to keep your neck or shoulders warm on a cool spring evening -- date night, anyone? And check out that clutch!
Get pattern here.
Suggested yarn: Brown Sheep Burly Spun in Oatmeal.

Be ready for April showers with a sweetly preppy raincoat. This outfit is pared-down and classic, so a Kingsley in pearl grey would be the perfect finishing touch to dress up the simple tee.
Get pattern here.
Suggested yarn: Malabrigo Rasta in Plomo.

I have a weakness for artfully swingy harem pants, especially when adorned with gorgeous colors & prints. Let your personality shine on the bottom, but keep it simple up top. A solid pastel shift blouse would go perfectly, topped with a breezy cotton version of Jaymie. 
Get pattern here.
Suggested yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Cotton in Pear.

Hope this leaves you feeling inspired to dress for spring! 
I know I can't wait to update my own wardrobe...


New Pattern: Meet Kingsley

Introducing my latest pattern -- the Kingsley cowl! ♥

I am a world-class procrastinator, and this pattern is a pretty classic example of my procrastination skills, since I finished the sample (and photos!) in November of 2011.

Yes, you heard me, 2011. Ai-yi-yi!

I'm still pretty proud of this one, regardless.
Kingsley features uber-cozy wool roving yarn, sweet cables, and bobbled accents.
It's big enough to wear wrapped single, double, or as a sexy little shoulder wrap over a winter dress.
Chunky yarn and size 13 needles equal breezy fast knitting. 
Perfect for knitting on a deadline, whether that's a Valentine's gift for a treasured friend, 
or competing in the 2014 Ravellenic Games.

Plus, for the next week, you can get a 25% discount when you buy multiple patterns from my Ravelry store using the coupon code "kingsleyishere"! 

Love it? Pop over to Ravelry and grab the pattern now!