Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Quoth by Alexandra Tinsley - knitted hat pattern  

Last year, Woolgirl asked me to design a hat based on Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven" (one of my favorites, of course, because whose favorites isn't it one of?) for her Poet's Club. Now the resulting hat, Quoth, is available to one and all!

  Quoth by Alexandra Tinsley - knitted hat pattern  

I don't often design with variegated yarns so being tasked to show off this lovely custom-Poe-colored Biscotte & Cie Gobelin was a fun challenge. I chose to go with feathery panels of elongated stitches that make the most of the colors and also echo raven plumage and quill pens. (I do think that I'd like to make another version in a semi-solid black, for maximum ravenosity, though!)

  Quoth by Alexandra Tinsley - knitted hat pattern  

You can find Quoth on Ravelry here, or:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Adventures in Vigilante Censorship

I am in the process of cleaning out my Google Photos (which I did not know was a thing, but which is a thing, and which is almost full, thanks to blogs- as an aside, if you notice any posts missing photos now, please let me know!) and I found this series of photos that I posted on Google Plus back when we thought it might actually become a viable social network. These are from a copy of Maggie Righetti's "Sweater Design in Plain English" that I'd borrowed from the library, and are too amusing to languish in the G+ wastelands. The album was called "With a Sharpie in one hand and pearls clutched in the other." Presented with original commentary.

"Getting New Ideas"? What a queer suggestion! The old ones suit me just fine!

stitch and bitch, obviously

Buttonholes are Bastards


Our good fairy has also seen fit to write all her numbers right in the book! And question marks, where she doesn't know them. So that we know that she doesn't know them. Because that's important.

This one is my favorite. It said "Let the cleavage show." O! Thanke you, sweet fairie of Decency! Fore wit'out yore Goode influence, I would shorely be but a sailor-mouthed, goddess-worshipping harlot!

You know, it's a shame this person spent so much time trying to be righteous, only to burn in the circle of hell reserved for PEOPLE WHO WRITE IN LIBRARY BOOKS. 


The Loopy Ewe Interview

I'm excited and honored to say that I am the spot-lighted designer over on The Loopy Ewe blog today... and there's a coupon! Feel free to check it out if you have a moment you'd like to fill with my rambling :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


This is a March hat. Springy-colored and not too heavy, but still warm because spring is a lie and will apparently never arrive. (Hashtag Midwestern Bitterness.) Playful and cheery, to draw you out of that fourth month of gloom... and not out of place in those luckier locales that are starting to see a bit of sun. "Pisky", as you may suspect, is a very old relative of the word "pixie".... quite fitting, I think.

Bonus: Looks good on dogs. Does not stay on their heads very well, however. Consider ear holes.

You can get the full low-down on this positively elfin cap over on Ravelry
or, of course:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Malabrigo March!

(I realize March is about a third over, but what can I say, I'm a slow blogger.)

It's that wonderful time of year known as Malabrigo March once again! You can read more about the festivities here, but basically I just wanted to let you know that all my Malabrigo patterns are 20% on Ravelry with the code "youvegotmal" (yeah I went there.)

The full list of participating patterns is here in my group but I thought I'd feature a few of my faves:

A Most Bespeckled Hat by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

A Most Bespeckled Hat
A classic cutie, popular with those looking for low-stress colorwork and polkadot fans

Brimley by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

My personal favorite for winter because of the wide, double-layered brim - so cozy!

Chevzam by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

Zam Hat by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

Chevzam & Zam Hat
Easy and fun colorwork- these have been real crowd favorites!

Doublish by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

An oldie but a goodie- a simple sock yarn shawl from the first Go Go Malabrigo collection.

Kotiya by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

Quirky, pom-pom heavy, and oddly a little...sultry? Nah, it's probably just the matching lipstick and pompom. (A trend which is almost certainly in for 2014, right?)

Polaris by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

You're a star!! Or else, you're the band that sang the Pete & Pete theme song.

Varia by Alex Tinsley - 20% off Malabrigo Patterns for Malabrigo March!

Scallops are sweet & trendy, and look even better with gradient colors. Varia's sister P├ętoncle is a lot of fun too! Both are great for beginning colorwork-ers, since you only have to strand on a few rows.

There are many, many more eligible patterns than this (I, er, use Mal a LOT, especially the Worsted) but there's a smattering for ya!

In all honesty, Malabrigo is one of my very favorite yarn brands (and I'm not just saying that 'cause I work for them part time- it's the other way around!) and I'm glad to have a chance to parade my Mal knits around and spread the obsession. I urge you to check out the festivities in the Malabrigo Junkies group and, if you haven't already, get your hands on some Mal so you can fall in love too!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Studio Rehab

Much like Microsoft Silverlight, my performance degrades as I get closer and closer to needing an update. That is to say... my studio steadily slides down the slippery slope to chaos, and I get less and less productive and inspired as a result. It is an unfortunate burden to be someone who is both a total slob and completely unable to concentrate in a messy environment. I suck at maintaining, but I'm good at "ripping everything out and putting it all back again." Plus, I don't think I've ever posted pictures of my new studio space.

No before, but here's a progress shot. The before was like this, but with yarn shoved messily into the cubbies.

Mission #1 for this overhaul: stash the crafts I don't have time for elsewhere. Knitting takes up 90% of my efforts, but I did allow the drawing and painting supplies to stay since they're pretty self-contained in a little desk, and the ukulele (and it's brother, the cheap-child's-guitar-turned-bastard-baritone-uke) as well.

That bottom arrow should say "files, duh" but for some reason that caption didn't stick. Huh. Skitch is weird.

The spinning wheel is still up here at the moment because I have ONE (count 'em ONE) batch of top that I still need to spin up, but I spent the last two weeks spinning every other single thing in my fiber stash so that I could get that hobby off the map for awhile.

But paper crafts, glitters, glues, fancy tapes, etc? Down to the basement to live with my banished jewelry-making supplies. This room is just too dang small not to be focused. I moved from a fairly giant studio in our last place to an itsy bitsy one here, and I have to just keep trimming away more and more fat to keep the room from being overwhelmed. Someday, if I ever get more of my stash knit up without immediately replacing it (a gal can dream) I might be able to move some of those things back up into the Expedit. But not now.

Mission #2: Reorganize the yarn. I am forever torn about how to organize my stash. "By Color" is by far the prettiest, but when it comes time to do colorwork it can be hard to remember what yarns you have in multiple colorways... and what do you do with those dastardly multis? (I've pretty much banished heavily variegated skeins from my stash, with one or two exceptions, but I still have self-striping to contend with.) By weight or brand solves that problem, but just looks so blah. I like to rearrange every few months anyway just to keep everything aired-out and bug-free, so this time, it's color, and I kinda love it. I organized the books the same way, 'cause why not. I also took the time to re-wind the hand-wound balls into cakes so that they'd stack more nicely. A pain in the ass (and I hate to think of how much time I wasted winding them in the first place) but worth it from a sanity-saving perspective.

My biggest challenge is contending with WIPs and "FOs-waiting-to-be-blocked-and-photographed-and-published". Right now they sort of lounge about on all the flat surfaces but I would not mind finding a better solution. It'd be nice to mount some shelves in here, but I get a bit shy around projects that involve finding studs. (Insert "stud" joke here.) I also need to touch up the wall paint where the couch scuffed it up, and hang some art...but that probably also involves acquiring a drill, I haven't had much luck hammering into the plaster.

The astute among you might be wondering where that awesome green velvet couch that I posted on Instagram two months ago is - the answer is "sitting in the basement and thinking about what it's done." That is to say- offgassing the horrible reek of formaldehyde and death that comes part and parcel with new, cheapish furniture. I hope to be able to move it up here soon. I also need a new quilt for this room, to protect the new couch from dogs/keep my freezing tootsies warm while I work... which may explain my recent obsession. The pink one just doesn't.... go.

And finally, my poor sad dressforms who I treat like coatracks:

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