Friday, June 12, 2009

This past Thursday the 4th I went out to lunch with a new found knitting friend for my birthday. We were chit chatting and somehow the subject of wedding rings came up.

My husband and I were married in January of 2000. He bought me this beautiful white gold band surrounded by leaves with diamonds set into the leaves. Absolutely beautiful and the apple of my eye. I'm not really into jewelery but this one was very special. About 5 yrs ago I took my ring off to sleep. In the morning I looked for it and couldn't find it. I tore up the house and looked all over but it was no where to be found. I was very sad. My finger always felt naked.

So, I told my friend this story then we parted after lunch and I ran some errands. At dinner that night (which my children prepared with my mom...yum!) My 5 yr old was all figety. My oldest was practically sitting on him to keep him quiet until the presents were given to me.

The dinner alone was wonderful but when I opened up my one singe solitary gift my heart just melted......

They've been squirreling away allowance for this...

yeah, my kids are great!

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Patterns in the Works......

There are new patterns in the works....oh, yeah, that's what the title said...

the first one I am working on and it will be a FREE pattern....yes....I said FREE pattern is the Mamma Wolf Tee Shirt. I am just waiting for a couple of my wonderful test knitters to send in their final notes. The pattern should be ready by June 10th or so...

The next pattern that I am working is a scarf pattern for a wonderful line of handpainted yarn called Abstract Fiber. The yarn is beautiful!!! It has a beautiful sheen and the colors work up so pretty. Go check her out and see for yourself!

I'll be checking in soon with progress and pictures after this weekend. I will be in Wildwood NJ celebrating my birthday with my family. I am looking forward to it. I'm not a big beach goer since I can't stand seeing people in their bathing suits. But I plan to early enough to enjoy the beach and by the time it starts to get crowded the kids will be tired and we'll be on our way to an early lunch and naps. After that we hit the boardwalk and get on some rides. I can't wait. It's very pretty down there and the beaches are clean (I know it's NJ but we do have some clean beaches).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Design's Journey From Concept to Publish.... Jacob's Ladder

Lots of good things have been happening! (some not-so-good things have happened too but such is the way of life!)

First of all, my Jacob's Ladder Sweater for Yarn Forward Magazine has been published in issue number 14. Take a peek...what do you think?Each design that I work on teaches me something new. I really love this sweater!!!! It's something my son has asked me to knit for him.
Long before I ever dreamed of ever designing for publication we were looking at the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 2 with all the cables in it on day. Of course I was boring the poor child out of his mind but he really like the name of this stitch pattern...."Jacob's Ladder"
So I started swatching and this is what I started out with:

It's a 3 over 3 cable with a bunch of garter stitches in between. I purchased the wool in my son's favorite color (the bright red you see above) and just when I was starting it he decided he didn't like the color any more. I put the swatch away and pretty much forgot about it.

One day in January (this year) I started going through some old swatches and started sketching out a design idea for this particular swatch. It was just begging to be a boy's/men's sweater! I wrote down my notes and put that to the side to work on some other patterns.

Then in the middle of February I found out about a call for submissions for men's sweaters to be published in Yarn Forward.....
well, well, well! I was ready! It felt really good to have something ready.....especially something I've been wanting to knit!
I sent over this and another idea (which will be revealed at a later date....I promise). I was just so excited and giddy when Shannon Okey(YF's editor) said she liked the Jacob's Ladder!!!!! SQUEEEE!
(Why, yes.......I am that famous international knitwear designer. Thank you for asking....Autograph your pattern....of course my dear) Yes, I have a rich fantasy life....moving on

We decided on a summery yarn and I was quite excited to work with Rowan Denim which is a yarn I've wanted to try. I swatched:Now...I encountered a knitting challenge. (I don't call it a's depressing)
Knitting challenge number one:
The cables were looking a little skinny and my husband said he would never wear's too "funny looking"
Solution: Changed the cables to 4over4
Knitting challenge number two:
I have a history with making mistakes and miscrossing cables and I was on a tight deadline to have this sweater ready.
Keep all the cables crossing the same way.
Knitting challenge number two:
There wasn't enough "crispness" between the cable and ladder
Change the knit stitch into a twisted stitch

All that from just one little swatch!!!!

So now it was time to start writing the pattern.

I blocked the swatch. Let it dry and turned the math involved in pattern writing into a homeschool lesson. (I homeschool my 4 case you didn't know;-)

First we took stitch and row gauge. I taught them how to do it then had each of them measure the swatch and give me stitches/rows per pattern repeat. Since they were all extrememly close we took an average.

Then we decided what size we were going to knit the sample and how many repeats were going to fit into the sample size. It was a fun and practicle homeschool lesson. The kids were happy to help as long as I promised them pizza for lunch.

From there I used to help me figure out the rest of the measurements.

I went ahead and started writing up the pattern and knitting up the sweater.

Now there is something that I learned the hard way with my knitting...... My Gauge Changes As I Knit!!!!

It really wasn't until I was knitting on the first sleeve that I realized this. Remember the saying "to save time take time to check gauge"? Well, I should have done just that....
By the time I realized the mistake the deadline was looming so close I knew I didn't have time to re-knit it.

Between all the great advice between Shannon and Alexandra (the fabulous tech editor for Yarn Forward) and all the self-discoveries I've made I learned many things that has helped me develop as a designer.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with this magazine and I really liked the photography.

Well, this is my story on the journey of the Jacob's Ladder sweater. I hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Patterns and New Happenings!

The first time I saw Yarn Forward Magazine I was at my local mega Barnes and Noble hanging out with my kids. One feature that really stuck out (beside the beautiful patterns) was the options they offer as to what yarns you can use for a project. They give you ideas of what you can use if your a bit tight on the budget or are wanting to splurge.
Since I became part of Ravelry a whole new world of knitting has opened up for me! Ravelry has many groups one of them being a designer's group where some magazines, yarn companies, or other publications send out a call for designs. When I saw that Yarn Forward was looking for some things I jumped at the chance!
In an issue coming soon look for a men's sweater made of Rowan Denim....that would probably be (guess who?) ...ME! It's really exciting and I am almost done with knitting it. When the issue publishes I am going to give a nice little photo graphic bio of the sweater. It's fun, simple and quite nice. You might just want to knit one for yourself!
In other news I have a new pattern for sale. It's called the Little Wolf Baby Sweater. I named it because my friend (whose last name happens to be Wolfe) just had her first son. Apparently the first boy in a long time in the whole family. She's such a fan of my knitting that I just had to make her something special.

So I came up with this pattern.
It's really simple to knit. Right now it's available in size 3months but I'll be adding more sizes really soon. By April I'll have them ready to go. Any one who purchases the pattern now will get the other sizes for free as soon as they are available.

It's available for purchase for $5.00.

I'll be posting more as time permits. I have so much on my mind that I've been wanting to share!
Happy knitting to all and to all a good night.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Pattern in Knitscene Has Come Out!!!!

Yay! The pattern I sold to Knitscene was published for the Winter/Spring 2009 issue!!!! I am so excited. I can't believe that it's working out the way it is!
There are some things that I would do differently next time I knit this, though.
I had a serious gauge crisis when I knit up the sample. Once I blocked the finished garment the look changed alot.
That just goes to show you that blocking a small swatch is quite different than blocking a full garment.
Anywho, Here are some pics.....what do you think?
This is pattern number 2 that I have been able to sell. This is exciting.

I also just finished working on another pattern but it will be sold individually.

It's called Spiral Mitts.

Here's a pic of the mittens fingerless and otherwise.