Friday, April 30, 2010

part two...

As I knit the shrug I took notes, which after finishing were written up in pattern form and graded for sizing.  OMG I must say the maths on this pattern nearly did my head in as there are a lot of increases and decreases to take into account and which means it's not as simple as an extra 8 stitches for each increase round.

From the first pattern draft I knit a second garment to test my pattern. This time I decided to try it in a full length garment. I also tried playing around with the needle sizes in an attempt to cater for wool versus bamboo. The thing with this stitch pattern is that it is quite hard to swatch to see what size it will end up as I discovered. Basically the second garment served as the swatch as it was only with a full size that I could see what the effect of the different needle sizes, and the stitch pattern had on the sizing.  I also discovered that I didn't need to change the needle size from bamboo/cotton to wool, which was great.  Because of that, his cardie ended up being a couple of sizes too big for Lily. At least she'll get good wear out of it.

I seriously nearly chucked this into the sin bin on a few occasions. It actually was sent to hibernate for awhile too, hence it taking me a month to finish.  Be warned, while knitting this in wool it really doesn't look quite as nice as it does finished and blocked.  It's sort of lumpy and bumpy;  see what I mean..

but anyway, the princess loving girl adores it and once I blocked it I nearly cried with delight as it came up exactly as I envisaged!! I love it when that happens!!

 So after testing my pattern and a little tinkering it was time for it to go off to the test knitters. I had a wonderful group of test knitters for this pattern, all very enthusiastic knitters who provided excellent feedback and have knit some gorgeous garments.  I'm very lucky to be able to call on the support of such wonderful testers.  All my testing happens on a special testing forum that I share with some other wonderful Australian and New Zealand designers.

The testing process took about one month, which is a pretty awesome effort for those who knit the bigger sizes.  During testing, the testers provide feedback on the pattern, its instructions, readability and clarity, layout, stitch counts, and finally the sizing. They really are an instrumental part of the process.

So with the testing underway, I knit another garment.  When I wrote this pattern I actually included a version that I hadn't actually knit.  I always knit along with my testers so this time I knit this version.  Going by feedback so far, I think this will be the most popular version of the pattern. Pretty funny really, as it was a bit of an afterthought.. well, maybe a natural progression.

I must say I think this is my favourite too.
I love the cuff details so very much!

During the testing, one of my testers, Shannon, who was knitting  this version asked if she could knit a more sleeveless or "vested" version.  I'm sure she'll claim it was genius, but I think she just couldn't be assed knitting the sleeves ;)  Anyway, it turned out so well I added a capped sleeve option to the pattern. Of course, I then had to knit that version.

I cast on in some bamboo/wool blend and sped through it in five days.  This one also included some final tinkering in the fit of this version.

The last week I've just been tinkering and playing with the pattern's layout, finalising yardage and deciding on photos.

Tonight I'll print a final copy, and double check it.

Tomorrow it gets released for sale, and that's another little baby out there!

Monday, April 26, 2010

the birth of a pattern...

it feels like I've dropped off the blogging space a little bit of late, and gosh, it's not like I don't have anything to share. In fact, I probably have too much. Soo very much seems to be happening at such a frantic pace, I am seriously still waiting for things to slow down and settle into place for the school term. It never happened in term one but here's hoping...

since last I wrote I have been frantically knitting, working out some sums and stuff, playing around with layout and tidying up my new pattern. Yep, another new one.  This one has been awhile in the making. Since the first heady days of Spring last year in August, in fact.  

I had an idea or two for a little cotton sundress, an idea totally fuelled by early Spring Weather.  And so I got knitting. A full sundress later and a bigger idea was forming. Unfortunately, for the sundress I decided the arm holes were too deep and so it got frogged. It's still being reknit but it did look a little like this.

What I loved most of all about this design was the ruching/gathering effect on the bodice of the dress.  I decided I really wanted to play more with that design element so I got a drawing, and came out with a number of incredibly rudimentary (ok pretty crap) design pictures. Thank goodness the finished products always look soo much better than my drawings!!!!  

Now some of those drawings are finally coming to fruition in the form of a pattern that will be released next week, May 1st. It's a pattern for a shrug and two cardigans, all based around a gathered bodice and raglan shaping.  So for those who aren't on Rav, here are some peaks at the new pattern. Tonight it's

the olearia shrug

I knit this way back in January, so I'm not really sure how it is I haven't got around to posting photos here. This is the same shrug pattern that I posted pics of in my last post but in a bigger size. 

It's knit from the yarn cafe's eco bamboo, which incidentally is being discontinued and is discounted.  I love how the bamboo drapes just perfectly for this garment. Bamboo is quite difficult to knit with and find the perfect project for, it does have a tendency to groooow with wear and has absolutely no memory or elasticity.  But for this little shrug it is absolutely perfect!  I had planned for this to be a short sleeved cardigan but was a bit worried that the bamboo would drop too much. 

I’m not sure the photos do it justice as my little model was being quite the silly little flippety gibbit. Lily insisted on the little bow button for the sleeve, unfortunately we only had one, but it is cute :) Buttons all from stash. I only had five for the front though, and needed six; so I sewed on the three for the time being until I can procure one more. Given that I finished this in January and still haven't got around to it, I can't see it happening anytime soon.

I have to say I adore this pattern, and am so totally stoked with the test knits from it :D I'm one very happy and excited gal ;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

creative space

eek!! I suspect this might be my first creative space for the year. How has that happened? Thursday is supposed to be an easier day for me with the Rainbow girl at kindy until two.  But it seems not...  Today I noticed Megsie's post i n my sidebar and decided it was about time I got back on board.

Today I had ACTUALLY planned a bit of a sewing afternoon, I've been busting to sew for awhile and had decided that today when Milo Boy went down for his sleep it would be the day. But noooo, alas. The Rainbow Girl is sick with a "heavy cold" and is thus home from kindy for the day; which she is none too pleased about I can tell you!! 

So instead of sewing, it's been paper dolls, making pikelets, barbies and some extra snuggles and cuddles.  I tried to sneak off to the craft room while she was preoccupied with some books but she soon found me and happily decided what  I would be sewing. Really should get started on it now, but there is that basket of washing that needs hanging out now it's lovely again outside. 

What I did pop in to mention, however, was a very special stocking over at Gossamer Dreams , the last one for awhile!!! I was pretty stoked to be invited to be a guest WAHM again, along with Megsie.  

Time was apressing with Lily's birthday party, Easter and Andy away filming for a week and a bit, but I did manage to get this done.

It's a little 12 month size shrug knit in the deliciously soft WOOLganics Organic Merino 8 ply. This is knit from my new pattern, Olearia, which is due out May 1st.

I wasn't going to mention that the little toddler in the photo was Toby, but .... it seems Megsie already did.

I didn't think he looked too much like a boy in these photos, personally. I thought I may have got away with it, seen as I'd gone to the effort of actually putting him in a pretty matching dress and all.  I tried to get some camera angles that were not of his face profile so he looked a bit girlier and thought no one would really notice.  But noooo...

Why is it that my little boy has always looked like such a toddler, he lost his baby looks so early *sob sob* but in this little girly outfit, he looks like such a baby?? What is that!?

more creative spaces over at kootoyoo

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a tale of two milos

Did you knit along with my pattern KAL over at Tangled Yarns ?

It was a heap of fun, and there were some awesome Rainbow Dresses and milos knit up. It was lovely to see them all appearing in some of the gorgeous yarns Kelly stocks. Did you see the cute little milo Kelly  knit up in the Jo Sharp for her little one? Or the gorgeous Rainbow Dress Kylie knit in the Biggan Designs yarn?

I have a little confession to make... 

The original milo boy, Toby, did not have a milo vest that fit him. The only one I've ever knit him was the one he appears in on the pattern, the original milo vest I knit 12 months ago and that I wasn't even sure I liked ... so it actually took me about a month before I tried it on him. Then I did change my mind ;)  Anyway, he didn't have one.  Both my gorgeous little nephews have one, but not my own son.  And Lily has three Rainbow dresses. 

So I decided I would join in the KAL and knit him one. Kelly has some a gorgeous array of yarn it took me a little while to decide which colour to choose.  Just as I chose the asparagus colour from the Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed DK range, something terribly disturbing happened.  I looked at the project count for milo on Ravelry. 

It was 666. *gulp* 

I immediately cast on to ward away any bad luck.

I cast on in some Jo Sharp classic in the oak colourway. I've knitted both myself a vest and my nephew Asher a milo in this yarn. It is perfect for the owl version of the milo. So I got knitting....

But you know what?

Waaah!!! This project was surely cursed!!! 
According to my stash data I had 2.2 skeins (110 grams) or 235 yards of this yarn left. That is enough to do a 12 month milo easily……. 
BUT I ran out of yarn!!! Just really had enough to finish the body and not do the garter hem. So I finished the body a couple of cm short and worked a cm garter hem, which will no doubt roll and made this too short by far. waaa waaaa waaa

and you know what? 
weighing it I only had 87g!!! 
I kept this yarn all together, so I’m not sure why the discrepancy. I can understand 5 or so grams, maybe 10 at a push lost to ends from the first garment but that’s over 20g??? 
Is it possible the balls weren’t all 50g to begin with?
I will frog it and knit a smaller size for gifting, it looks so cute in the owls in this colourway.

Thank goodness my beautiful yarn arrived so very quickly and I could cast on a new milo. And the two balls of the SIlkroad Tweed DK was absolutely plenty for a 12 month size with 18 month length.  I actually had half a ball leftover!

so now the milo boy has a wearable milo!!! YAY!! I might knit him another this winter yet.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Remember this little guy?
And my struggling and procrastination to find a name for the pattern?

guess what?

It's FINALLY up for sale!!! Yay!! I'm not sure why it takes me so long, perhaps all that name procrastination has something to do with it!!

but anyway, it is up for sale.

Wanna know some details:


the pattern is call eden
but it has two versions; eden's adam and eden's eve.

Eden's adam is a singlet/vest version.
Eden's eve is a dress version.
I love them both and am really happy with their development.

Both share the same starting point in the pattern and are knit on 3.25mm needles and 4mm needles.
The pattern is primarily written for cotton or cotton blend yarns and the beauty of this pattern (I think) is that you can actually knit the garment in either 4ply, 5ply, 8ply or 10 ply yarn for the same sizing.   It is also suitable for wool, but I would recommend the 4, 5 or 8ply for that for a suitable end fabric.

I've knit all weights and love them all, I must say.

The pattern also comes with a palette of ideas at the end on how you can individualise your own eden, think stripe ideas, pockets, embellishment, hemlines.

So first of all big thanks to all my wonderful test knitters who have been such a support throughout what has been an overly long process;  Shannon, Tanja, Julia, Kym, Sheryl, Ali, Kelly, Rachael, Kath, Donna, Kimley, Kate and Fiona.

Another big thanks to Bernie for coming up with the great name! Thank you Bernie!!!

Oh, of course if you wish to purchase the pattern and hang out on Ravelry you can find it over there;
eden  or here for $AUD 7

If you don't have paypal, and have an Australian bank account you can email me at for direct deposit details and I can email you out the pattern.

Now however, it's time for another  competition!!!!

As part of this competition, I'm inviting you to join me in a little Knit-A-Long of my new pattern, eden.

One of the ideas behind, eden was to supply a base garment for knitters to get creative with and individualise.  So the idea of this competition is to get creative with your eden knit.

You can enter by either emailing me a photo of your knit, (either dress, singlet or vest) or a link to a blog/flickr/photobucket post with your knit or by uploading your photos to your Rav project page and linking to the eden patterns and including the comment  tikki KAL knit 

Entries close: April 30

Prize: a parcel of yarny type goodies including a copy of my next pattern due for release on May 1
(more details of this to come this week) 

I'll be knitting along too, so if you have any questions drop into the Rav group where there will be a little discussion along with the KAL and I can answer any questions there about yarn choices, techniques, instructions, what my children ate for lunch, etc.

I'll be knitting along with some of the new Debbie Bliss eco baby which is a perfect yarn for this garment. My yarn comes compliments of tangled yarns

Monday, April 05, 2010

happy easter

Hope you're having a happy and safe easter.

We're all tired little bunnies here and shall be back to updating in a couple of days.

in case you're wondering about the pattern name, it's eden ;)