A Busy Week

Goodness Me!!  Where has this week gone?!?!

I have been so busy that the days have just flown by without me noticing and suddenly it is Sunday again.  So what has kept me occupied over the last 7 days?    I had a very exciting email early in the week (more about that later) and I have been busy knitting swatches for some designs that have been spinning around in my head and keeping me awake.  These have now been written into submissions and sent off to magazines.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that I may just get a yes!

I also released a free pattern on Craftsy and Ravelry.  It is for 3 different cup coasters and two different mug hugs.  All of them are very quick and easy to knit up.  Great for beginners or as a little project to keep you going before you start your next marathon with the needles or hook.  They also use such small amounts of yarn that you will be stash busting your heart out!  Find the pattern here on Ravelry or here on Craftsy.

I have also been trying very hard to spend more time without yarn and needles constantly glued to my hands.  I have taken up Pilates again.  So I can usually be seen walking a little funny until my muscles get used to all the stretching again.  I do need to get into shape.  It is the Christmas pre-tox apparently.  Lots of people are currently trying to be good in the run up to the festivities in order that they can enjoy them a little more guilt free!  That’s me.

Tomorrow I shall be swatching and working out the maths for a design that is to be included in a collection for Autumn 2015 (the email I mentioned earlier).  I am more than a little excited but cannot give you any details until the collection goes live in August.  So this is the one and only time I shall mention it until then.  But believe me, it will be worth the wait!

But for now, the kids and I are going to be cooking our Christmas cake!  Until next week….

My Favourite Method of Seaming

Whilst working on a pattern for one of my headbands, a tester asked me about which method of seaming I use.  She had found that when sewing her ear warmer together that the seam had tended to flare and she wasn’t happy with the result.  I think I use quite an unusual method, one which prevents the flaring and so thought I would share it with you.

I have been working on some boot cuffs.  With many traditional methods of seaming these were very likely to flare at the join, but my method means you can pull your seam tight together.

Begin with your work right side out, this is really helpful if you have a pattern that you need to match.  If you are working inside out you will have to constantly check your work which is very time consuming.  I work with the seam in the middle.

IMG_0235

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working from the right to the left insert the needle into the first hole on the bottom half of your work and then in the same place on the top half of your work.

IMG_0236

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you will be inserting the needle underneath the stitches before the last stitch at the edge of your work.  For this reason, in my patterns I always add a selvedge stitch to each end which is usually always knitted.

IMG_0237

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will continue to zig zag across the seam, working first one stitch on the bottom half and then the top half.

IMG_0238

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave the yarn you are using to seam nice and loose.  You will use a matching yarn, but I have used a different one so you can clearly see what is happening.

IMG_0239

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep working in this way until you have worked across the whole seam.  If you need to,  you can work one stitch on one side or two on the other in order to make sure you pattern or your edges match.  When you get to the end you will have a nice long tail at the beginning and end of your seam.  You are now going to pull on both of these together.  It will pull your seam nice and tight.  This part is a little bit like magic!

IMG_0240

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you have pulled your seam to the tightness that you want you will no longer be able to see the yarn that you used.  This is now the seam from the front.

IMG_0241

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the seam from the back.  I believe it is called a California Locker.

IMG_0243

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the finished pair of boot toppers.  Perfect for the winter weather.

IMG_0242

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have now released the pattern for sale on Craftsy and Ravelry.

IMG_0253

Click here for the pattern on Craftsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please let me know if this method is useful to you.

 

 

Designing Knitting Patterns for Sale

Over the last few weeks I have been enjoying writing and publishing a few of my own knitting patterns for sale.  It started with thinking about the kinds of things my 11 year old daughter would like to wear and possibly even knit herself.  She is not the most confident of knitters, so if she was to follow a pattern it would have to be something simple.  But not boring.  Most people start out their knitting or crochet careers with endless and boring scarves or dishcloths.  Nice and easy for practising those basic skills, but not guaranteed to keep you wanting to pick up the needles or hook.

IMG_4312

Ritorto Rib, twisted turban style headband

 

So I decided to design some basic patterns for headbands, or ear warmers.  I started by making this Twisted Turban.  It needs stitches to be popped onto a holder and then knitted separately.  But it isn’t too taxing.  Just enough of a challenge without being so complicated you just don’t want to carry on.  Once I had written the pattern I was then able to use some measurements and some maths to work out smaller sizes.  The pattern has a size for all ages!

My next step was to then put the pattern in the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry.  Some lovely people offered to knit the pattern in the various sizes for me to check that it was easy to follow, actually produced the item I said it would and, most importantly, actually fitted at the end.  I was so pleased and overwhelmed by the wonderful photos I received at the end.

IMG_20141013_203146_medium2

Ritorto Rib 6-18 months size

20141014_122510_medium

Ritorto Rib Headband 2-6 yearsHere are some photos from my testers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During this testing time I was busy designing my next headbands.  The second one was the Gentle Wave, named because the single cable to the front reminded me of a wave in the sea.  Then came Waves Encore, using the basic Gentle Wave pattern but adding in extra cables.

IMG_0012

Gentle Wave Headband

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waves Encore Headband

Waves Encore Headband

As these were getting written and then tested, a fellow Etsy seller asked me if I would make a headband for her to wear when she was playing golf during this colder weather.  She wanted something slightly different to my other designs so together we came up with the Corn Rows Cable Headband.  It is tapered at the ends to be narrower than at the front.  The cable running down the middle is very eye-catching.  When she received the finished item she was over the moon with it and was given some lovely compliments when she wore it to play golf next.

Corn Rows Cable Headband

Corn Rows Cable Headband

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My testers have been wonderful with all their help.  If you are on Ravelry why not check out their profiles.  http://www.ravelry.com/people/wooliebird, http://www.ravelry.com/people/GiddyCrafter, http://www.ravelry.com/people/Tinkyblink, http://www.ravelry.com/people/katipletcher, http://www.ravelry.com/people/thekgal, http://www.ravelry.com/people/rosalynk, http://www.ravelry.com/people/SnookiesOz, http://www.ravelry.com/people/wesben, http://www.ravelry.com/people/trix14, http://www.ravelry.com/people/Kiwa, http://www.ravelry.com/people/Tattie, http://www.ravelry.com/people/alwaysalice, http://www.ravelry.com/people/Murvie, http://www.ravelry.com/people/stacylovesyarn and http://www.ravelry.com/people/smokybunny.

All of my patterns are available in my Etsy shop, on Ravelry and Craftsy.  Pop along to see them!  And remember, if you like them but cannot knit yourself then I can make one for you.  They will make fabulous Christmas gifts this year.

I am currently designing some cowls, with ideas for a poncho and cabled skirt keeping me awake at night.  All will be coming soon, but there are only so many hours in the day!