Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Speedline!

Holy poop, it's pattern time!!

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(I'm a maaaawwwdel, you know what I mean, and I do my little turn on the catwalk....)

Speedline! You know, like those whooshy lines they draw in comics that mean "Hey, you! I'm going fast! You don't need to watch tv for motion and excitement! I got your motion and excitement right here!" (Is that even what those are called?)


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I don't really know why, it just makes me feel whooshy.

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Gray: Malabrigo Silky Merino, Smoke, 3 skeins
Yellow: Malabrigo Lace, Frank Ochre, 1 skein
Needles: US size 7

Speedline is knit from the bottom up, so each row gets shorter (though let's not kid ourselves, they are long rows- but there's relatively few of them!) It uses neato techniques like this one and maybe also this one, if you choose to use lace for the contrast stripes like I did. Though I'll be honest- it'd be easier to just use another color of Silky Merino, but I wanted Frank Ochre, haha.

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Looks pretty good on cranky farmers who are tired of taking your picture all the time!


You can find Speedline on Ravelry, or:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Video Tutorial- Triple-stranding-as-you-go!


One more for the upcoming pattern ;-) This is a great way to turn a lightweight yarn into a heavier weight one, without winding a bunch of strands up together or using multiple balls.

Sorry if I sound less enthused than usual (yes, Alex, because you're usually downright bubbly on camera.) Something in my studio has decided to give off a wretched perfumey aroma that is making my sinuses explode (I think it's one of the built-in drawers that I organized yesterday- must've been used to store colognes or had potpourri in it or something. Seriously, wtf is with potpourri? It never smells good.) Ugh ugh! But the good news is that the pattern should be ready today or tomorrow ;-) If my brain doesn't melt out of my nose first.

Survey says...

So the winners have been drawn for the survey, and contacted by email (congrats!) But what did we learn from this experience?

- You guys are fast!
- You are primarily between the ages of 20 and 40, distributed fairly evenly.
- Most of you don't have children, though a goodly number do.
- Lots of students, homemakers, and knitting/crafting professionals

We dress like students, we dress like housewives...

- You guys read a lot of really cool blogs, which I intend to peruse fully (as if my Google Reader needed more stuff on it.)
- Discovery of the century: 100% of you are interested in knitting!
- 16.2% of you describe your aesthetic as "robots", and at least one person describes theirs as "Unicorns."

The jury was sort of out as to whether or not the expanding topic base would be enjoyed- pretty evenly split between people who would be cool with it and people who would prefer it stayed craft or knitting oriented. So... I'll have to have a think. I'm not going to lie, I really like the layout I did for the potential other blog, so that is weighing in, haha.

Thank you, everyone who participated!!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Help me blog better!

EDIT: The contest is now closed! You're welcome to take the survey if you want but the prizes have been assigned :-)

Hello friends! I have a teensy request for you.

Could you perhaps find it in your heart to take this relatively short survey?

I am trying to figure out where to go, blog-wise- I'm considering starting another one to cover more general craftiness, but I could also expand this one. I also just want to get to know you guys a little better so I can make my posts more interesting for you :-)

To sweeten the pot, since I know surveys are boring as heck, I will be randomly selecting one respondent to receive these two balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed (seriously nice stuff! Most tweeds are scratchy, but not this- it's got silk and cashmere!) and a Dull Roar pattern of their choice.


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To be eligible for the drawing, you do need to leave your email address in the survey, but I promise I won't sign you up for my mailing list or anything shady like that- it's just to pick a winner. (Though if you want to sign up for the mailing list... there's a box in the sidebar ---> )

Thank you all so much! If you have any other comments or suggestions, please feel free to put them in the comments section- I was limited to 10 questions for the survey so I know I didn't cover everything in detail.


Friday, August 19, 2011

A Hat for Eudora

....Eudora Welty, that is. 'Cause it's got welts. Man, I gotta stop naming things with puns.

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This hat has a seamless, contrast hem, several welt stitch sections (also called "tuck stitch"), and staggered decreases. It's knit in deeelicious Madelinetosh Vintage (color "Tern") with Malabrigo Rios in Lettuce on the hem. If you didn't catch them before, there are some videos demonstrating the welt and hem techniques here: Video Tutorials: Seamless Hem and Welt Stitch

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It is the first in a series exploring welts, alternative decrease schemes, and peeks of contrasting colors. The rest will follow shortly ;-)


Find it on Ravelry here

or:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Video Tutorials: Seamless Hem and Welt Stitch

So I made these two tutorials to go along with a pattern that I've got in testing at the moment (should be out soon!) But of course they can be applied to other projects as well.

(Sneak peek of the project in the videos ;-) )





Hooray!

On a related note: I've received the sad news that a pattern extremely similar to the hat you see in those videos was released a few days ago. This sort of thing is a nightmare for designers- we don't know if it's a coincidence or not, we CAN'T know, and indeed even if we did know, there would be nothing we could do about it. But I did want you guys to know that this pattern has been in the pipeline for months- photos of the finished hat were submitted to a shop-hop that was looking for a "signature design" several months ago, and the call for testers went up July 31st (which is also when I made the videos.) I have, perhaps, been unwise to be so public about my designs-in-progress, and I think I'll probably have to change the way I go through this process. Coincidences happen all the time, but at least if you've kept the project under wraps, you'll know that that's what it is. I like doing sneak peeks, and would be sad not to, but it's worse to end up releasing a pattern that's already been released by someone else while you were finishing up.

My biggest concern is that people might mistakenly believe that I am copying the other designer, which would be absolutely awful. So, I just wanted you to know :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Free Pattern- Worry Hat

So, I'm kind of a webcomic nerd. (It's funny, since I barely ever read REAL comics, but there you have it.) I've been a long time fan of Questionable Content. So as soon as the Worry Hat made an appearance, I knew I was going to need to knit one, one of these days. And I finally did!!

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For giggles, I wrote up the pattern for other QC fans. Please note that this pattern has not been professionally tech edited or test knit (unlike my srs-biznus for-sale patterns) so it's possible it's not perfect- let me know if you have any trouble and I'll fix it right up :-)


Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky in 17025 (light blue), two skeins, and 17002 (white), one skein
Needles: US size 8, 16" circular needle and DPNs
Gauge: 17 stitches and 26 rows in 4"
Tools: stitch marker, darning needle, pom pom maker
Skills: knitting in the round, decreasing, picking up stitches

Co 88 stitches, place marker, join in the round
Work 1 round 1x1 rib (k1, p1 all the way around)
Work in stockinette (knit all stitches) until the piece is 5 inches long (or slightly longer if you want it slouchier)

Decreases:
1. (k9, k2tog) repeat around
2 and all even rows up to 12. k all
3. (k8, k2tog) repeat around
5. (k7, k2tog) repeat around
7. (k6, k2tog) repeat around
9. (k5, k2tog) repeat around
11. (k4, k2tog) repeat around
13. (k3, k2tog) repeat around
14. (k2, k2tog) repeat around
15. (k1, k2tog) repeat around
16. k2tog around

Cut yarn and draw through remaining stitches on needle. Pull tight and weave in ends.

Earflaps:
(By the way: I chose to do these as afterthought earflaps in order to maintain the seam line that you see in the original comic. There are more seamless ways to do earflaps. And yes, the plain stockinette does curl- though with some heat, you can "kill" the microfiber content in the Cashmerino, which will help flatten it out. In the picture, I've just wet blocked. In order to do an earflap that wouldn't curl, I would've had to make it look less true to the original, or make it double-thick and very heavy, so I didn't. Feel free to improvise if you'd prefer a less curly flap!)

Put the hat on your head with the join in the back and figure out about where you want the first ear flap (hint: over your ear.) Take the hat off. Pick up 16 stitches in the earflap area. Work in stockinette for 23 rows (note that you're now working flat, so that means you'll be alternating knit and purl rows to work stockinette. You'll want to start with a purl row after picking up the stitches.)
On the next row (a right-side, knit row):
1. k2, ssk, knit to the last 3 stitches, k2tog, k2
2. p all
3. k2, ssk, knit to the last 3 stitches, k2tog, k2
Bind off.

Repeat for second earflap- make sure to try the hat on to determine where you want the second earflap, since it's usually not a good idea to make it on the direct opposite side from the first. Earflaps will sit better if they're towards the back of the head a bit. Weave in all the ends and make a white pom pom for the top. Now put it on and shout "WORRY HAT ENGAGE!" Feel better?


Abbreviations:
CO- cast on
k- knit
p - purl
k2tog- knit two stitches together
ssk - slip one stitch knitwise, slip another knitwise, move them both back to the left needle and then knit them together through the back loop


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(It's a good thing I'm not an actor... my "worry face" looks a lot like my "abject horror" face. Which isn't as bad as my dog eating face. )


Fine print:
This pattern and all photographs are copyright Alexandra Tinsley, 2011. Please don't reproduce or distribute this pattern in any way, besides printing out a copy for personal use. If you wish to share this pattern on your blog, feel free to use a photo with credit and link back to the pattern here- please don't copy and paste the whole thing :-) This pattern is intended for non-commercial use only.

The Questionable Content comic, website, and the Worry Hat concept all belong to Jeph Jacques.

Mail Call!

Don't you love exciting mail days?

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This is a new Malabrigo test yarn that Imagiknit has in stock (I really can't believe I've been to SF twice and haven't gone there.) I believe it's the same as the stuff I knit Darla with. It is ggggooorrgeous. This color is "Glitter", one of the newer colorways, and I LOVESIT. It's a little more accurate in this poorly-focused picture:

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And in a surprisingly similar color, here's some roving I traded a fellow Raveler some sock yarn for:

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It's Funky Carolina Mixed BFL in "Toby". I really kinda love mixed BFL- it's white and brown wool mixed together and over-dyed, so it comes out all lovely and streaky.


And finally.....

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Booklets! It's hard to tell here, but they're a lovely half-page size, perfect for knitting bags, and distributed to LYS's via Deep South (who also handles wholesaling my patterns.) So hopefully, you'll see these little suckers in an LYS near you someday soon! Hoorah!

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