Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Knitter's Coloring Book

Here I am rambling about semi-retirement and what do I have for you the very next day? News about a knitterly project, obviously.

I recently teamed up with Cooperative Press to hop on the coloring book bandwagon a little!

 


We scrambled to get them done in time for MDSW, where I'm told this page was the deal-maker:



Any whoozits- it's now available on Amazon! Give your needles a rest and give yourself carpal tunnel a different way for a bit ;-) 


Monday, May 16, 2016

Slowing Down, Recalculating Route

I've had this draft, empty-but-titled, open in my browser for six months at this point, and of course the moment I feel like working on it is "ten minutes before I have to go into work."



A few weeks ago, I hit 30. I was dreading it, and spent a lot of 29 feeling old and washed-up and horrid.... but weirdly I feel like it came with a bit of peace and clarity. I'm actually feeling better about myself and my path in life than I have in quite some time. I feel like I've got a grip on my goals, my relationships- even my damn wardrobe seems to be coming into its own.

The last two years of my life have been all kinds of weird and transitional. As you might've noticed, I haven't been publishing many patterns lately. To be quite frank... I'm moving away from knitting design. As mentioned above, I now have a work that I "go into" - a part time job at a new yarn store in Ann Arbor.  Those of you who follow me on Instagram are likely aware of my new business venture. And most recently, I've started training to become a UI Designer... something I hope to mix with a healthy dose of illustration and surface design to make myself a nice little portable career that'll both allow me to be creative and, one hopes, financially solvent.

The reasons for this are two-fold. First, as you may have heard other designers complain, the pattern sales climate just ain't what it used to be. I'm not sure why this is - it seems, at least from working in the shop, that people are knitting just as much as ever. Maybe we've reached a critical mass of designers, or of patterns? Perhaps free patterns have finally outpaced the paid ones? Can't tell ya - all I know is that almost every designer I've talked to has reported pretty much the same thing - decreased overall sales, bigger seasonal slumps, less of a sales bump with new releases. Some of the biggest names I know are groping around for other income streams at this point, and well, frankly, it seems smart to start planning an escape.

The second reason? Honestly, I'm just a bit burnt out. When you make something you love into your job, it can eventually start seeping some of the joy from it. I've been writing patterns for almost ten years at this point, and while I still love knitting, it's been nice to take the pressure off and actually knit *for fun* a little, lately. Thanks to working at Spun, I've been knitting shop samples both from my own existing patterns and from other people's, and it's been soooo nice. I don't see myself quitting knitting anytime soon, and I'll probably still knock off a pattern here and there, but allowing it to be a hobby instead of my primary income has been such a relief.



Anyway, add to that a series of ongoing transitions in my personal life that I'm not going to get into, and it's been a pretty crazy and stressful few years. (No, I'm not pregnant. That's always what people jump to if I allude to anything going on in my life... or if I say I'm queasy... or tired... or hungry. To be a woman of childbearing age is to be constantly accused of incubating. One nice thing about turning 30: the "you'll want kids when your older" natter has finally stopped.)

I know there are people in my life (mostly those who I'm not very close to and who have no idea what it is I even *did* in the first place) who see my going back to a day job as an admission of defeat or failure. "Aw, poor girl, her cute little craft business didn't work out." I'll admit that rankles me a little - truth is, the knitting community has been very good to me and with my childless, low-cost-of-living life, I was just fine for quite awhile. But I've never felt comfortable unless I'm building towards something new and exciting..... recently I've turned down a smattering of perfectly good and potentially lucrative opportunities in order to make space for the things that excite me *now*.  Saying "no" to things is nerve-wracking, and change is slightly terrifying in general... but I find if you stick with it long enough, you get used to the discomfort.

In any case- I'll keep this blog on life support as a depository for my musings and fibery projects. I'm excited to have some freedom to work more on weaving and other fiber arts, as well as non-pattern knits. More frequently, these days, you can keep up with me on Instagram (and sometimes still Twitter too.) Which I very much hope you will - I love the community I've met through knitting, and I owe you all a huge amount of gratitude for your support and camaraderie- thank you, thank you. Keep in touch, eh?


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Knit it Black Kits at Kitterly!

I'm hella jazzed to announce that Kitterly is now providing kits for the Knit It Black patterns!


A portion of every sale will go to Little Black Dog Rescue :-) And don't worry- if you're all about the black dogs but like your knits a bit, er, paler... there are a few color options, hehe. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

New Pattern and Malabrigo Sale!


Two orders of business: First a hat! Meet Regina
My attentions have been split and my output slow, lately- something I've had a blog post semi-drafted about for awhile now, but I'm being slow about that too. But I'm darn pleased with this hat - it's a little more delicate than my usual fare, knit with cables and eyelets in gorgeous Crave Yarn Filigree, in a color called Coffee Savant (which I knew I had to have the moment I saw it on her website. So pretty.) If you're not familiar with Crave, you gotta check 'em out - the yarns are beautiful and the owner, Amor, is a delight (she was the one who dyed up those special Black Dog skeins for my Kickstarter! Another yarn in my "to design with" pile.) Anyway- you can find Regina on Ravelry as per usual!

Secondly! Malabrigo March is coming up! Which means my Malabrigo patterns (that's like, a lot of them) are on sale. Details here!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Short-Row Knits Giveaway Winner!



We have a winner! Clare please get in touch with me (keepittoadullroar - at - gmail) with your contact info and I'll get your prize on the way! Congrats!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Gift-A-Long Picks

I don't often buy other designer's patterns, because I just don't get that much time to focus on non-designer knitting - though I hoard them freely in my Ravelry faves in hopes that someday, I'll have the chance. When I do, I generally focus on patterns that I think will teach me something new - a new stitch pattern I've never seen before, a technique I don't have experience with - or else just something that I really want to own and know I will enjoy making (things like detailed lace shawls, while I love them when they're finished, tend to wear on my patience.) I thought it'd be fun to show you the handful of patterns I let myself splurge on this year (as well as a few that are hovering in my faves and may go home with me by the end of the sale.) All of these patterns are 25% off until Friday with the code "giftalong2015"!



Three-Way Stop by Brittany Wilson. Cool decreases that I've never experienced the likes of? Yes please!


Māia Tee by Francoise Denoy. Sprung for this one just because it's cute as heck and looks fun to make. 


Rainchaser by Jenny F. Can't wait to dig my needles into that weird stitch pattern!


Waverleaf by Faye Kennington. I need to learn that sweet faux-braid technique like, yesterday.



And here are a few of my very-nearly-almost-might-buy-but-am-definitely-saving-for-later-if-not picks:

Everyday Shawl by Jenny F. It's gray and it's ombre and I loooove it. 


Easy Cardigan by Meiju K-P. I feel like that name doesn't do justice to this fantastically weird and beautiful sweater.


Scorpion Flower by Annina Päivärinta. This is so me it hurts.

So far I've held off on all of these just because I know how rare it is for me to actually take on a large non-design project like a shawl or sweater. But.....want. 


In any case, I hope you'll check out the Gift-A-Long and find some lil treats of your own. Knit on, troops!


Indie Designer Gift-a-long is back!!

...and I'm a little slow with the blogging, so if you want to take advantage of **sooooper schweeeet deeeealls** you're going to want to get on it in the next couple days.

Here's what you need to know:

- Gift-a-long (or GAL) is a big giant knit-a-long that has been happening annually just before the holiday season, to help facilitate gift-knitting and promote independently published designs. There are games, prizes, progress and FO threads and photos to peruse, and tons of other gift knitters to cheer you on. (And yes, it's totally fine to make gifts for yourself. No judgies.)

- This week (ending Friday) all the participating designers have arranged for a smattering of their self-published designs to be discounted by 25% with the code "giftalong2015". (You don't have to participate in the GAL festivities to use the code, though of course, we encourage it!)

- ALL self-published, paid patterns by participating designers are eligible for the GAL activities, so if you miss the sale or want to use one of the non-discounted patterns, that's A-Okay!

- I, obviously-since-I'm-posting-this, am a participating designer!


Here are the relevant links

My designer page (Until Friday, you can click the "Giftalong" bundle to see the discounted patterns.)

- The Gift-a-long group (Come join in the fun! Wheee!)

- The participating designers thread (see what patterns are eligible for GALing, and see what else is on sale!) 

- Some of the prizes available to participants (...um...drool.)

I've already done my annual buying-a-bunch-of-patterns-I'll-never-get-around-to-making-but-I-love-them shopping and I'll share some of my picks later today. But for now, please do drop in!

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