Thursday, 29 January 2009

Baby V pdf.

The Baby V Booklet has been loaded onto the Patternfish website. Yay. Now you can pdf. download the entire booklet. PatternFish downloadable patterns. This is a miracle of the computer age and I have no idea how it was done but Lynda has been working for 2 weeks to format everything so it would work. Here are some in-progress photos of the sweaters I took during the making of the booklet.The finished garments on the babies are much, much cuter. Patternfish has a slide show of all the photos from the booklet for you to see. If you're new here, the Baby V has Top Down cardigans for babies, preemie to 18 months old. No-sewing and lots of fun. There are hats and socks to match the sweaters too.

And now onto the new project which is the Hat booklet. I have sent 9 patterns off to my pattern checker. This is most exciting for me. It's progress. And I hope to get some good feedback and some corrections of course.
This pink one knit in gray or brown could definitely be a boys hat, don't you think? I'm knitting these hats in different colours on the test knit so that a change of colour shows the same hat for a boy or girl. What a huge difference it makes.
P.S. Samm (from the comments) has a great name for my new socks - pine cones. I think they do look like that. Thanks.
Valerie (new sock knitter from the comments) is in trouble. She can't stop knitting!

Monday, 26 January 2009

the frog has landed

I was moving along very nicely on my sock.I kept trying it on and it was a little tight but ... I kept telling myself it will stretch a little after it's off the needles. I turned the heel and tried it on again - more than a little tight, a lot tight. So ... frogging here I come. I kept a bit just to look at it and see what I liked and what I didn't like.I like the ripple affect a lot. Just on the left there you can see that there is a little hole made just above where the 2 twists come together (the sock is stretched over a glass and really tight, maybe that was a clue). I really liked the little hole so I thought I would try to exaggerate it and make it a feature.I didn't like this at all. That's a ladder between the stitches because you are ending one needle and beginning the next with purl stitches. Sometimes the pattern requires this and because I really like the pattern I let it pass but I thought I could do something about this one.I exaggerated the hole by picking up a stitch in the hole that is naturally there, making it bigger. This of course added a stitch which just happened to be right next to the change of needles. So to get rid of the ladder I twisted that stitch. Now I have added 6 more stitches to the pattern and I also went up a needle size too - a bit of overkill on the tight sock thing. I'm going down to my normal sized needle now but this will sit nicely on my calves and I want these to be a bit longer than my usual 6" leg. I made one more little change part way down but I'm not going back to change the rest. The frog can just go help someone else for a bit.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

knit every minute

Valerie (from the comments) wants to knit every minute she can and ignore her housework. Hey, why not? She should be worried, she's starting socks and you know what that means. It could be years before she recovers from that one. I'm still in thrall with the sock. But I did vacuum today. That's the first time in ... I can't remember. Guess what I've been doing instead?
One more experiment with changing where the Top Down increases are situated. This time I placed the raglan shapelines (the lines with the paired increases) equadistant around the neck.
I like this one a lot. It means that the sleeve at the shoulder is 4" wide. And that makes a great neck line but it also means that I'll get to the total number of stitches for the sleeve way earlier than I will for the Fronts and Back. So I stopped adding the increases to the sleeves when I hit my sleeve number of stitches and started making increases on the Fronts and Back every row (instead of the earlier rate of working the increases every 2 rows).
To make the holes look the same as before I worked a YO on the right side row and on the purl row I worked a knit & purl into the YO loop. That adds a stitch on the right side and another stitch on the wrong side. I think it came out pretty well. It has definite possibilities.Can you see the curve at the bottom of the shapeline? It slopes into the underarm quite naturally. I like it!

I'm running a class on this very subject on January 31 through the . After the class I'm going to knit on some of the samples some more, join up the Fronts and Back and knit down the body a bit. Then I'll really be able to see which ones I like the look of. Good thing the class is coming up quick because I keep thinking of more possibilities. It's endless I tell you!


Friday, 23 January 2009


You gotta love the hat. It's so quick. One evening and I have a warm head.

This one starts with 8 sts at the top. I worked the swirled crown at home because I had to count and pay attention and then knit the rest at a meeting. Not a formal meeting. This one had munchies and lots of general chat and I wasn't the one who's fingers were dancing on the computer keys.
This is Lanaloft from Brown Sheep, colour Magic Spell. A singles and very nice to knit with. Gotta go,


P.S. Good Luck with your first pair of socks Valerie (from the comments). You know they are addictive right? You know you could fall hard.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

unexpected hats

I don't have any new knitting to show you. I'm a little further along on my Kroy sock but it still looks the same, just longer. But I have edited several more hat patterns and plan to send a bunch of them to my pattern checker by the end of the week. I started with the easier hats. And now I'm into the more complex hats. There are a couple of things which have come up that I didn't quite expect. At least I expected things to crop up that I hadn't thought out, I just didn't know which things they would be.
Alana knit a lovely hat knit in chunky wool which starts at the top with the I-cord tail. That's fine and it works really well. But ... here it is, all the hats in this booklet are written so you can use any yarn, from sock yarn to chunky weight yarn. The cable is worked by casting on 12 sts, 3 in blue, 6 in yellow, 3 more stitches in blue and working the cable sideways to the hat, attaching this border to the hat using a K2tog. That's terrific and it makes a wonderful hat. But then we compared it to the same hat knit in DK weight yarn and realized that 12 stitches for the cable border knit in chunky measures about 2" wide but in DK wool the same cabled border measures just over an inch wide.
So now we have to work out the length of the body of the hat not only for the size of hat (a Newborn hat being much shallower than an Adult Large size) but we also must compensate for the weight of yarn chosen. Your newborn hat could be in chunky wool and you could knit a large adult hat in DK. We could have played with the number of stitches for the border but that makes the pattern more complicated and still requires compensation for yarn used. Interesting! On a larger hat in sock wool the cable will look like rope around the bottom edge, a pretty cool look I think.
I'm moving onward to a lace hat, a fairisle hat and then, ta da, hats with flaps. That's when it gets really interesting. Yay! Lots of fun to come.

Monday, 19 January 2009

music everywhere

It was one terrific weekend.
It was snowy and blowy outside and we were snug and warm inside making lots of music.
Singing along,banging on drums (that was me), going to workshops, talking to old friends and making some new ones. I went to an improvisation workshop and now have lots of practicing to do before next year. Went cross country skiing (which I do once a year) and do not recommend the butt brake technique of going down hills although I have it down to a science with a large bruise to show for it. Also took an art workshop where we were to draw without lifting our pencils off of the paper, pretty interesting stuff.
Those are my hands, ha, ha. I did get some knitting done but was too hazy after the first late night to do anything fancy.
And there's our fearless leader clapping for all he's worth at the Sunday morning song circle.It's not an especially clear photo but he said he was feeling a little blurry by then.

Friday, 16 January 2009

I'm going to a music retreat for the weekend. I'm not a musician but I'm going to knit and take a yoga class and maybe go cross-country skiing if it warms up enough to show your face outside for more than 15 minutes. But what I have spent all morning doing is deciding what knitting to take. I have settled on knitting up 'the second sock' (in Kroy wool, standard pattern), but is one plain sock enough?
I need to take something a little more complicated so I can work quietly in a corner for a bit. A new sock with the Dream in Color wool.

This pattern is easy to read as you knit it so if I finish the plain sock I can work on this one. What I want to know is why the panic?! There will be lots of interesting people there to talk to and activities to join in and a concert on Saturday evening too. But there I am, scrambling around this morning wishing I had prepared about 17 projects so that I could take them all with me. Have I figured out what I'm taking to wear? Have I found my sleeping bag?


P.S. Hi Samm (of the comments) I'm glad you got the cat hair out of your computer. Now can we figure out how to get the lint from felting out of my washing machine. And no you can never have enough patterns.

Hi Jed, I hope you find your (sock) mate.

Leslie, I do have a pretty good job. I have lots of yarn and lots of knitting books and I get to knit for hours every day. The only drawback I can think of is that I don't have much time to knit other designers patterns and sometimes that's a tough one when I see a sweater I would love to make for myself or someone in my family. So I do it vicariously by reading blogs. And that's lots of fun too.

Monday, 12 January 2009


Although last week I didn't feel like I got a lot accomplished I realized that I actually had. On Saturday I woke up with a whole plan for a class I'm teaching on Jan.31 (see called Top Down Scatter. I'm doing a workshop on moving the increases around to see what we can make happen between the neck and the Divide Row at the underarm. Within a couple of minutes I had a page of ideas. This is a standard raglan configuration. Pairs of increases worked at 4 points (on either side of the sleeves) for an increase of 8 stitches per Increase Round.
The diagonal shapelines give you a divide line between the sleeve and the Body sections. So what would happen if we moved them around. I've jumped ahead here to some more interesting set-ups.
What if we moved one set of paired increases to sit on the top of each shoulder and left one line of single increases along the sleeve/body raglan divide line. Two stitches are increased on each shoulder (4 sts) and 1 increase on the outside edge of each Front (2 more sts) and 1 increase worked at the outsides of the Back (2 sts). All that adds up to 8 sts added on each Increase Round. It has a different look although the diagonal raglan line is still there.
Let's turn it 90 degrees again.
This time the shapelines with the paired increases are running down the centre of the Front and Back (the front increases straddle the buttonband). I also separated the pair of increases running along the shoulder so it looks like a saddle (think of it with closed increases instead of the YO used here). This is similar to the pair of increases along the shoulder in the blue sample but I separated the pair of increases with 10 sts.This makes a wonderful V in the Front and also in the Back as you can see. The Back V could be filled in when working the collar.

All of these samples start with the same number of stitches and end with the same number at the underarm. With a standard raglan Top Down pattern you can play with where you set up the increases and as long as you increase 8 sts every Increase Round you're golden. Is this fun or what?!


Friday, 9 January 2009

missing week

Where has the week gone? I've lost it somewhere. I am slowly going over each day to see if I accomplished anything. I was busy, I did computer work, I knit, I caught up with some friends, I started to arrange a curling clinic for the Day Ladies League, I took photos ... Yes I do have something to show you.I finished the second Squiggly sock.The pattern does a lovely wiggle in between the columns.

I got a nice picture of the Cables Galore sock and this photo is now being printed at the photo store so I can make up some patterns next week. I'll let you know when it's available on too. That may be a little later.
And now my new rental neighbours don't know what to make of me out on the driveway with one sock on and my son crouched down trying to get a good photo of my foot. Then I got out my wooden mannikin and dressed her up in a T-shirt and sweater. She looked kind of naked so I went back in to get a skirt for her. Then she didn't quite look dressed up enough so I search for a necklace and started taking photos. "Oh hi. How's it going? Did you have a good Christmas? Are you off to work? Yeah me too, be seeing ya". It's OK, it's only the weird lady next door.
This is a photo of the Guenevere pattern ( which I knit in Briggs and Little Soft Spun ( We're going to put this new photo on the cover of the pattern - it's a huge improvement don't you think?

Otherwise we are basking in more snow and lots of beautiful sun shine this week.

- Deb

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy New Year

It's officially the new year. Back to work today - edited 2 more hat patterns today and started on a third (which needs test knitting to get the pattern sorted out), anwered several emails with knitting questions, returned the hats to the shop which were left in the basket from a Christmas craft show I was in, accepted a date for speaking at the Peterborough Guild on September 24th and tonight I'll finish a test knit of a sock. Plans were made for scheduling some sock photos, talked about the patterns we need to finish up for release this month, the Stitches West show is in February with a to-do list attached to it that begins now. Enough already. This year I'm going to try not to get too far ahead of myself. I'm looking forward to sitting and finishing my sock (that's the stonewashed denim wool I put in the oven - worked perfectly).
Oh and guess what showed up, the missing ball of sock wool. I knew it would turn up but I was losing faith since it was taking so very long. I lost this ball of sock wool several months back with part of a first sock knit but no incentive to finish it since the ball of wool for the second sock took a hike. It hiked through a doorway and around a corner into the next room for a little time out sitting in a dusty corner behind a cabinet. It popped out, literally, when I was reaching behind said cabinet to unplug the extension to the tree lights. A new year's gift. Now where is that partial sock. Note to self - never clean up again until you move from this house!