Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I said I was Going to


Today I published the first pattern and launched the ebook I first dreamed up two years ago.

The Light Reel Cowl went live on Ravelry this morning. And after getting things situated, I added All the Jigs and Reels as a source/ebook. So now I can give an approximate timeline of the patterns:

Light Reel Cowl today (Sept 26, 2018)
Light Jig Tam  Oct 2018 (10th-ish; it's in test knitting currently)
Single Jig Mittens  Dec 2018
Slip Jig Shawl Feb 2019
Treble Reel Toque March 2019
Treble Jig Legwarmers April 2019
Hornpipe Bag May 2019

These are approximate release times; it will depend on my tech editor's workload and how test knits go.

In addition to the patterns listed, which will be sold both in the ebook and singly for those who only want one or two, there are 2 additional patterns that will be exclusive to the ebook. As they are sister designs to two of the above, they'll be released with those patterns. Tentatively that'll make Dec and Feb bonus months ;)

Here's the link to the Light Reel Cowl and to All the Jigs and Reels

That's all my excitement!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Big Things in 2018?

I'm nearing the finish line with my fabulous Yarn Quest 2017 "Heroes of Yarnia" scarf. I was keeping up with the MKAL but then something went awry with my knitting brain and I set it aside, and then I jumped back to my design ideas, and now I'm back at the double knitting.

One of the reasons I'm back on the double knitting bandwagon is Ravelry's newish (it came out a few weeks ago) challenge feature. Have you checked it out? There's a tab in your projects and you can set it to however many projects you want and you can adjust it anytime. The cool thing is it pulls your queued projects and WIPs that have deadlines entered for this year so you can see your plans in one spot. That's new too, being able to add deadlines to WIPs or projects that you don't have queued. And it's not just items in your plan that count in your finished tally, anything finished with a finished date in 2018 counts.

So this handy tool has lead to me cleaning up the old WIPs list and setting real goals for my projects. I hibernated a couple things that I'm tempted to frog, but would probably regret doing so. I gave HoY a deadline of Feb 1; more than year since I cast-on. I want to wear it! And I need to stop procrastinating about it. I can happily say I'm 36 charted rows away from finishing :) That feels good.

My reason for the Feb 1 deadline is twofold: A) I want it done and I'm darn close, and B) the Ravellenic Games are just around the corner!

Yes, it's that time and an even numbered year! Ravellenics time! And I've set myself two tasks. The first is to frog, Aerial Unwind ;) , my Find Your Fade shawl. Love the pattern, love the wool (Sock it to Me Dankai) but together they're not doing anything for me. I know there are better pattern fits for the yarn so I'm reclaiming it! Power to the Frog Pond!

And seeing as how I haven't done anything overly insane lately, (and yes, I'm including the whole ebook idea; hang on I have an update on that too!) I went looking for a pattern I bought ages ago. Like 1999-2001. Seriously, ages ago. It was for an Irish dance dress to fit an 18 inch doll. It was in the style of that time too; no drop waist, flouncy skirt for this one. Gorgeous single panel front on the skirt with full skirt behind, an embroidered/Swiss darned border around the edge and cuffs. Very similar to what I'd wear when we got our dresses done when I was dancing with ICoR. So I googled. I went through all 173 pages of knitted doll clothes in the Ravelry database. The pattern and website are nowhere to be found. And seeing as how I'd stayed up all night (it was around 4:30am at this point), I decided I'd design one and use it as my Ravellenics major project. I even have some sparkly yarn just right for the task (Bernat Satin Sparkle, btw; really nice to work with and it's acrylic so sold at Walmart and other easily accesible places). I've even swatched* a few types of pleats to get the shape I want. (*swatching is considered training, as long as you don't cast-on the actual project). As a brief aside, if you're in need of an excellent video tutorial on box pleats, I highly recommend this one from Purls Soho.

I'm going off what I recall the other pattern looking like and what my ICoR dress was shaped like. And I have had a couple requests, so if all goes well the pattern will be made available through Knit-Dance-Repeat Designs on Ravelry. Another appropriate design for my little endeavor :)

Ok, speaking of my little endeavor and goals and planning and all that good and sometimes not so fun stuff! The ebook of designs based on the seven basic solo dances in Irish dance (aka "All the Jigs and Reels") is progressing. I have set myself a goal of having the final 4 prototypes done by June 1st. Then it's tech editing everything and some testknitting and hopefully it'll be released in time for some late summer/early fall knitting time so there are warm woolies ready before the cold hits again. That's the plan at this point in time. And everything is going really well with all the designs except one. No shocker it's a hardshoe dance giving me trouble but it's the treble jig not the reel, unlike dance class! Ha!

The collection consists of a cowl, a tam, mittens (bonus fingerless mitts with this too), a cloak (options for 1 or 2 colors and hood or collar), a toque, and a scarf. All the designs involve cables; the cloak can be done with intarsia (2 color version), the toque has short-rows in the ribbing, and the scarf incorporates double knitting. I just need to find what the treble jig wants to be represented as. At this point, it may be legwarmers. Does anyone besides dancers wear them anymore? The pondering continues as I forge through the swath of knitting that is the body of the cloak. It makes a nice blanket on the lap on these cooler days (-9°C, feels like -17°C with the wind here today) and that with a cuppa tea and my feline supervisors makes it quite cozy :)

Well, dear readers, that's all my news!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy New Year, yeah, I know I'm late

Hope 2017 is treating everyone well so far.

I'll start with a roundup of 2016 in knitting:
I completed 27 projects!! That's a personal best that I don't see happening again too soon. Needless to say my stash is more than a little busted after that lol

2016 saw the publishing of three new patterns via my Ravelry shop. And the designing of three more that I hope to release this year (also the seeds of 4 others are currently germinating; stay tuned).

And what's on the go for 2017, you might be asking.

First and foremost, I have those three as yet unpublished patterns and their four friends to introduce to the world. I'm trying to find a charting system that will play nice with Google Docs, which is where I type up my written instructions and all the important information (gauge, size, yarn, etc). I'm trying to cut down the number of files a person needs to download for one of my patterns. Currently my patterns have a file of the written stuff and another for the charts. I'd love to combine them as I think that'll make my ebook easier for knitters rather having to find which chart they need for which design. That's my goal anyway. Once I have that figured out, I'll be putting out a call for test knitters via the Ravelry Test Pool group. Hoping to have the first three patterns up and running before June.

What else am I up to? In my personal knitting, I've decided to focus on color this year. My stranded colorwork is abysmal at best. With that in mind I went looking for something to ease my way into the twisted strands of multicolored projects. Then someone, I'm not remembering who, tweeted the link to an MKAL (mystery knit along). A different kind of an MKAL as it's a "quest" format. And it's being done in double-knitting.

Are you familiar with the technique of double-knitting?  I had learned it some time ago but hadn't thought about it in ages. It's a twist on ribbing or possibly brioche where you're knitting a two sided fabric that mirrors itself. Let me insert a picture to show what I mean:

As you can see, the colors and designs are reversed in both color and facing.  This is done at the same time while knitting in rows. Isn't that neat? I had forgotten about the technique completely until I started reading the thread for the MKAL. This also resulted in me searching for the designer (Tania Richter) and adding a "few" more projects to my queue ;) Do take a look at her designs on Ravelry. She's also on Instagram as @aetherfang

So I've gone down a bit of a rabbit-hole with the Yarn Quest and double-knitting. In my defense, I had to wait for more wool to arrive to start on the next patterns for the series.

So that catches me up on what's going on with my knitting :)

On to health news! And happily there is news to report: I finally got into physio!!! 19 months after injury, 12.5 months after the referral, I finally got in!

I've had two sessions so far and I have a short list of exercises to do at home as well as a list of things not to be doing (looking at you bending forward and sitting longer than 15 minutes at a go). I'm just happy to be moving forward and hopefully getting back to myself sooner rather than never.

And on that happy note, I'm gonna call this post complete :)


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Not Quite Fall Catch Up and a Sneak Peek

Sorry, it's been a bit since I posted. There's been knitting afoot (not an actual foot, don't worry) and many pieces of graph paper have found their way to the recycle pile after being scribbled upon (Not to self: buy more graph paper).

It's back to school day here on my lovely island. I saw on Facebook that the kids back on the prairies went back the usual 2-3 days before the Long Weekend; still strikes me as nonsensical. I digress. It's the unofficial end of Summer now that they're back to their books and most adults are done with their vacations. Even traffic was quieter this morning when I popped over to the PO before making my way here. Still 16 days before Fall officially gets here but we all know it's creeping ever closer...

Which, of course, brings me to knitting. Because knitting keeps us warm as temperatures dwindle. And knitting is what I do regardless of season/ weather lol.

I'm up to 19 Finished Objects so far this year!!

This year's Ravellenic Games kicked off Aug 5th. The mass cast-on took place at 7:15pm Rio time, which was 7:45pm here; the first time I can recall actually being able to participate in the Mass Cast-on! Although I wasn't online during it; oh well. Maybe in 2 years I can have both. Anywho, I cast on my "Inamorata" and set to work aiming to be finished before Aug 21 and earn medal glory for Team Mine.

Things didn't quite go as planned. First, I completed the bodice on Aug 11, which was excellent. I was well ahead of where I needed to be to finish in time. And then I couldn't find the 4.0mm circular needle I needed to continue the pattern. I went through my needles in the lead up to the Games. I swatched and earmarked the needed needles for the pattern; a 3.75mm for the bodice (twisted sts) and a 4.0mm for the lower part (eyelets). But I could not find the 4.0mm!! It was MIA. My Ravellenics project had to be set aside until the 16th when I could get to Wally World and buy another. (As an aside, after the sweater was done, I was sorting through my circulars and I found 2 24" 4.0mm circulars in the box; Grrrrrrr!) I finished the sweater with 1 day to spare, on Aug 20th. And here it is:

I used Diamond Luxury Collection Fine Merino DK in color 8974, a bluer aqua shade. So I was awarded my medal in the Sweater Triathalon by Bobicus :) I also earned the coveted laurels for cables (the bodice), lace (the eyelets and bottom edging), stash (over 6 months? pooh, this yarn was in my stash more like 5 years!!) and mine (this beauty is mine! all mine! mwahahahah!!). I think I did alright by my team.

My last post, I mentioned a series of patterns my little mind has come up with. The first of the seven is done! And by done, I mean knitting is finished, the picture has been snapped and I have both written and chart forms finished! It's not released yet as I want to have at least half the designs ready so i can have the ebook set up at the same time. Drum-roll, please...

Here it is, the "Light Reel Cowl"!

Moss st and rope cables, in a worsted weight wool (shown in Knit Picks "Wool of the Andes Worsted" color: currant), the Light Reel Cowl is a fairly simple piece to knit. I started knitting it on Aug 20 and cast off on Aug 24; hence FO #19 for 2016!!

I'm calling the series/ ebook "All the Jigs and Reels".  My inspiration is the 7 basic solo dances I learned in Irish dance. I'm going more or less in order of learning, so my first piece is the Light Reel Cowl, the light reel being the first dance learned after, more or less, mastering your 3s and 7s. In the introduction paragraph, I compare 3s and 7s to knit and purls for a dancer; I can be almost poetic at times! The cables are 4sts wide and have a 4rnd repeat; reels are in 4/4 time. And I used 7 repeats of my basic layout to form the cowl circumference; 7s move the dancer from side to side across the practice floor or stage. I might have been stretching with that last one lol.

The second pattern is in the works; I have the knitting roughly half done, as I've been tweaking the rough chart as I knit and making adjustments here and there. It's called the "Light Jig Tam" and features a braid cable (6sts) centered in each of 8 wedges of Moss st; light jigs are in 6/8 time ;) I'm knitting this one top-down in a worsted weight wool and am absolutely in love with both yarn and color (Patons Classic Wool in "royal blue"; very me, very yummy). Unfortunately no pics yet. As soon as I can, I will get a few and share.

Next up will be a project, as yet undecided, inspired by the Single Jig and following that (and rounding out the soft-shoes dances) will be the "Slip Jig Shawl". I'm looking forward to that one!! I love shawls and the slip jig has always been my favorite dance :) I'll round out the series with the three hardshoe basics: treble reel, treble jig and hornpipe. I'm introducing each pattern with a short bit about the dance it gets its name from. I'm hoping to have both functional, knittable designs and educate people on my second love: Irish dance. I think it's a perfect pairing for Knit, Dance, Repeat Designs.

And that, my friends, is all the knitterly (and dancerly) news I have to share with you :) Hope you have lots of wonderful knits ready for the cooler weather!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Can You Be Over-Inspired?

I have a feeling I might be. I had an idea that I thought would result in a new pattern. But after looking at how complicated that would be with all I want to do, I split that into 3 design ideas... which then became four...

Long story short: I'm in the midst of 7 new patterns!! One is all ready to be knit and photographed. The others are at various stages.

This is the first time I've had such a cohesive idea and I've decided that besides being available individually, they will also be available as my first e-book, all through my shop on Ravelry; Knit, Dance, Repeat Designs.

I'm kind of hyped up about this, to be honest. It's one of those things that just came together and blasted all the cobwebs out of my head.

I can tell you that the first pattern is for a cabled cowl, knit in worsted weight wool. That's all I'm saying for now.

In other knitting news, the Ravellenic Games are off and running, and I'm hard at work on my "Inamorata" (Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark; for Team Mine (team of the Selfish Knitters and Crocheters group). I lost 5 days waiting to be able to buy a 4.0mm/US6 circular needle; I swore I had one before the Games started! But, of course, when I come to the point when the knitting moves from the 3.75 to the 4.0, I can't find one! I digress. A new 4.0mm is happily knitting away with some of the lovely Diamond Luxury Collection Fine Merino Superwash DK that's been in my stash since... well it was already deep stash when I moved here almost 4 1/2 years ago, lol. It's color 8974, a greener shade of aqua. Here's my progress pic from Aug 12. Sorry; it's the only one I have so far.

And that, my friends, is where I'm at in everything yarn and knitting :)


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Off Topic, Sort of. A Dance-y Look at my Health

Off topic in that this post isn't about knitting. On topic because it is about me and my life and that's kind of what this blog's about too, sometimes.

I'm still waiting to get into physio. I think I've mentioned that as an aside a couple times. Thing is, I've been waiting to get in since December *sigh* I'm beyond frustrated with the system at this point.

But I have something behind me that a lot of people don't. I have dance training.

That might not sound like a big thing, but if not for it, I don't know if I'd be walking at all right now. Because my dance training (13 and a half years of actual instruction) gave me the knowledge of the benefits of stretching.

So, I'm putting myself through a slowed down (roughly half an hour to 45 mins) and no bounce version of what we used to do before class. I'm really focusing on sitting up and keeping my posture straight. And I take some of the sideways moves a bit easier on my right side. I'm not trying to make my existing injury any worse!

I was doing some stretching now and then. I wasn't really committed to it though. Now, I'm more driven to do it. I'm starting to believe I'll never get into the physio program at the hospital here and if I don't take care of myself, who will? So, I've stepped it up and I'm making it part of my day. Right up there with my little daily walks.

I'm only into day 2 of my new routine but I already feel better. Like I'm doing something instead of sitting around waiting for something that might never come. Focusing on the positive has never been one of my strong suits (I've often said I'm a realist with pessimistic tendencies) but doing this has me feeling positive :)

From the time I got hurt (last June) until December-ish, I gained roughly 25lbs. I know it was because of going from being active to being a lump. When everything you do, including breathing, hurts you, you tend to not want to do anything. That doesn't mean I was happy about it. In February I started paying better attention to my situation. I determined to start walking a bit every day. That's paid off; I'm down roughly 16lbs!! That has me feeling better too :)

So, that's where I'm at: down about 2/3 of what I absolutely want gone weight-wise, and working on improving my muscle flexibility and a bit of stamina too. I confess, I was trying to do some toe-stands this morning. Which I realize might not be the wisest thing to do in barefeet with one foot having no feeling from the ball up through the toes lol But if I don't try things, how will I know how far I can do? And this is why I'm back to taking my full compliment of meds. I hadn't been taking one of them on a regular basis. But stepping up my activity level and the humidity lately has me back on everything. Better that than pain I could scream from, I say.

So that's it from me today. The sun is shining on my corner of my Island and I'm feeling better than I have in quite awhile.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Woot! FOs 16 & 17 Plus News

This post puts me back in "regularily" scheduled posting. Well, maybe not scheduled but the subject matter is back on point. Today I'm updating my knitting news.

I can't remember if I told you that I finished my Zephyr Cove. I did and it turned out really nicely; have a peek:

It took 646 yds and was FO 16 :) I'm on a roll this year!! Also, because I finished this in June, it made me eligible for the draw in the monthly KAL in the Romi group :) And I was one of 2 winners for the month!! I chose the Simee Dimeh pattern as my prize; now I just need to find enough colors to make one!

And there's another FO too! I finished the bag I was designing :) Here is Watch the Clock:
And the special thing about Watch the Clock is, you can knit one too :) I have the pattern for sale on Ravelry as of Tuesday (the 19th of this month). Check out the pattern page on Rav for more details.

Something to add about Watch the Clock: this is the first design I've ever included charts with. I used the incredibly easy and clear Stitch Fiddle to make my charts. I'm so pleased with their site!!  If you need to do any charting, I highly recommend them.

I'm currently working on Vertices (Rosmary (Romi) Hill; Ravelry download) in two colorways of KnitPick Stroll Fingering. For Color 1 I chose "Spectrum Handpainted"; color 2 is "Train Station tonal". It looks like rainbows and storm clouds; hence my project name lol :) This one is a fairly quick knit and the garter st sections are great for tv/ movie watching. It's also an adaptable pattern: it's written for different weights of yarn and you can do options for doing all one color or following the striping. Here's my latest progress pic:

And about sums it up for today :)