Spun Yarn 46
June 11, 2012
Second time lucky!
Do you remember my daughter's dear cat Poseidon and his love of tiny Christmas gifts-in-the-making? Well, here is the good news: The poor eaten DK earrings are reborn and they are lovely! They are intricate little wonders, measuring only 1"x1" (2.54cm x 2.54cm). Can you believe they are double-knit? Holly has clearly inherited some of my knitting madness!
You may also recall our renovation nightmares with regards to the downstairs hallway floor. The second attempt was a success! John rehung the doors, we put all the carpets back and I had fun repainting every closet a different colour. What a relief to put everything back in its place; was I ever excited to have cleared out my living room and be able to use it again!
I am SO INCREDIBLY glad that the renos are winding down at last. It's been nearly a year of turmoil and I love having my life back. We are still missing a few tiles before starting the backsplash in the kitchen but they will certainly be worth the wait. The room's functionality isn't affected in any case. I've looked and looked for wallpaper for the kitchen, but with no luck. Years ago I saw some paper by Karen Comerford that I loved but she has moved on to other media. I'm now planning to try painting my own wallpaper, here is my prototype design. I'll keep you posted!
Changes at the Office
The business has undergone a huge sea-change over the last few years. The on-line ordering and digital patterns had greatly reduced Susan's personal contact with customers and produced a lot of dull data entry for her. So she, after weathering another tax season, has wisely decided to split her job and take back the things she enjoys!
For the Visual Learners Among Us
We have spent a long time working towards incorporating movie clips into patterns. A few already have accompanying YouTube tutorials (see the Sea Lettuce pattern description, for example). I also have a Youtube Channel that you can subscribe to, "like" and share on Facebook and Twitter. I find video tutorials so helpful for showing the intricacies of a new pattern.
However, the production process was rather hampered. When I am at a particular spot in my knitting that needs recording, I like to have it filmed while it is fresh in my mind. My husband had kindly offered to help me out and set up a lit filming area to which we could withdraw, but this required us both to be present and in the right frame of mind. These two conditions never seemed to occur and since the house renos began a year ago, things had became more disjointed than ever.
Enter Susan's changing role at Tradewinds and my new iPad
Susan proposed that she do some of the filming and we decided to give my new iPad a whirl. The first fruits of our labours are in the videos accompanying the Tentacular and the Zen Mountain Scarf patterns. I am thrilled. To be able to demonstrate the fun bits of new patterns spontaneously and whilst I'm still in the thick of writing them, is a joy to me. It's fun working with Susan again, and her feedback is invaluable. She spots things that I didn't deem worthy of filming and gets me to detail them, too. Please forgive us the occasional wiggle, holding the iPad in mid-air is hard work for Susan, she didn't realize that the weight training she's been doing would come in handy at work!
In the Works
We have started working with Sam at Yummy Yarn Studio in Calgary to create some Special Edition Kits featuring my designs in her wonderful hand-dyed yarns. I'm very excited to work with Indie Dyers to develop a new twist on our kits and explore the possibilities of pairing my patterns with new yarns. Different yarns can really change the look of a handknit!
What's in a name?
It can be a real challenge to stand out in the sea of pattern writing these days. When I write a new pattern, I want to empower knitters to gain skills and confidence. This is the main reason behind my desire to add the movie tutorials to as many of my patterns as I can. We contemplated christening those with movie clips as Patterns Plus, or Workshop Patterns but neither of those names feel right! We're still working on a good one. (For an excellent explanation of what a pattern is worth, please see this blog entry by Michelle Miller.)
Tentacular Scarf(#4106) by Lucy Neatby
I had a great time designing this scarf, and subsequently adding several extras to this
Joining and Neatening Yarn Tails in the Round and
Making an I-Cord Fringe Cast-On.
Yarn: Approximately 100g Fingering or 200g of Worsted. This scarf is well-suited to Variegated Yarns
Zen Mountain Scarf(#4112) by Lucy Neatby
A saw-toothed, frilly, short-row fantasy in two widths with curling picots and a modified bind-off method. The picots will be different colours on either edge. This scarf may be also be bent to twist and turn.Two supporting Youtube tutorials are available:
Working from the Right Needle to the Left and
Side of Row Picots and a Short Row.
Yarn: Approximately 100g Fingering or 200g of Worsted in two colours.
Examine it as before: now you have created a tube but in Reverse Stocking Stitch. It's not quite as tedious because you don't need
to keep moving the yarn out of the way of the other layer of stitches.
You can even speed it up: after purling the first stitch of the row, put your needle into the stitch to be slipped and the following stitch (the one to be purled) simultaneously and then throw the yarn as if to purl, but before you complete the purl, withdraw the left needle slowly until the stitch to be slipped falls onto the right hand needle, then complete the purl. I call this a Slippurl. It's slick (especially for right-hand yarn operators), but doesn't translate fluidly into words, which is why I started filming the DVDs! See my Double Knitting Delight DVD for many more fun DK tricks, moving pictures really help to explain this and so many other knitting techniques.
Featuring one of my Youtube Video Tutorials,
the Lighthouse Bag is a great summer knit.
This versatile pattern is suitable to any yarn you might have on-hand, from Fingering-Weight Kauni Effektgarn to
Aran. We've even knitted it triple-ply in Kauni for an extra-large version! Use 100% wool and felt your bag.
For this week only, get the Lighthouse Bag pattern for $3.50 instead of our usual $7.00 price. This offer ends on June 20, 2012.
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