Sunday, July 31, 2011

a pattern release

Meet Girl's Best Cardigan, my latest pattern.

I actually knit this little baby last year; not just say at the end of last year, but June last year. For a whole lot of reasons, many including life itself, it sort of never really got written up into a pattern. The scribbly notes for this just sat there in my little kikki k notebook unattended.  It wasn't that I didn't like this cardie, I loved it but winter came to an end and it just got passed over.

Luckily for me, some knitters have long memories. And the infrequent requests for this pattern became a bit more regular and frequent. I was getting a kick up the bum and hurry along to get on with this one! A good thing too, I reckon!

I learnt a lot when it came to writing this pattern, a lot about my style of note taking and pattern writing. I 
think, I hope, I've learnt not to take so long between the prototype and the pattern again. What can seem obvious to me at the time of knitting, may not seem so obvious later on... particularly in this case, a year later! In fact, since writing this pattern, each prototype I've knit has been immediately written into first draft pattern form awaiting grading. So not only am I taking much better notes but also transferring those notes into pattern form much quicker.  All a good thing, and will hopefully make my job a lot easier in the long run. Not that anything disastrous happened with this pattern, mind you. I just had a couple of moments where I had to "read" the garment to make a little more sense of what I'd written in my notes; or hadn't written.

So now that this little baby has been through testing and tech editing, it's ready to purchase. I have to say that this is probably one of Lily's favourite knitted garments. It's really got all the design features she likes rolled into the one pattern.

So here's a bit of the pattern spiel:

Every little girl needs a special cardigan, one for best. One that’s pretty and special and girly and makes her feel oh so lovely!
This is that cardigan.
Perfect for parties and dancing and afternoon tea parties; even if they’re just with her dollies!
This is a sweet little seamless cardigan, knit top-down. It features sweet lace panels and eye-catching little gathers at the cuff and hemline. A dainty picot edging finishes off the cardigan.
Sure to become every little girl’s best!
Pattern contains both chart and written instructions for lace panels. Photo tutorial is provided for completing the sleeve and hemline gathers.

6m to 12 years (17 " - 30 " chest)
All colour-coded for ease of following.

Recommended yarns:
WOOLganics Organic Merino Knitters Yarn (what else!)
This garment is knit at a tension of 22 stitches per inch/4cm over 28 rows, so subbing with a similar dk/8ply weight yarn will work equally well.

Special techniques used: 
Provisional cast on 
Picking up stitches 
Simple lace work 
Circular knitting
6m-3y: 380/350 (420/385, 460/420, 500/460, 550/505, 600/550) 
4y-12y: 650/595 (700/640, 780/715, 850/780, 950/870, 1050/960, 1220/1120) 

You can purchase here via paypal for a teeny tiny $6AUD

or on my Rav page!

Happy knitting!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Spotlight: Never Ending Obsessions

Last weekend I finally had the opportunity to go to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show; yarnie mecca.

I say finally because every year I get all excited about finally getting to go, and then the date of the show dawns on me about the time I think about booking accommodation. It's the weekend closest to my niece's birthday, every year. This niece is not just any niece though, she's my Lily's best friend. So the idea of missing Lily's best friends birthday for anything is not something we even go into. It's just a no go zone. So every year we head off to said niece's birthday and have the most fabulous time, and to be honest I don't even give the Show a second thought.

This year, however, things changed. My niece and her family moved house the weekend of her birthday, which meant all celebrations that weekend were out. So off we headed for a bit of little jaunt to Bendigo; stopping for two nights in Daylesford first.  Then Castlemaine on Friday night, and headed down to Warrnambool for nephew's 21st! phew!!! And of course, back to school on the Monday.

One of my favourite stands at the Show was definitely Never Ending Obsessions, so I've decided to chat a bit about NEO in this Sunday Spotlight.

The colourway above is Hungry Caterpillar, and I think it must be considered Tammy's signature colourway. I remember when she first started doing this colourway it would be snatched up very quickly so I was very pleased to be able to grab one at the show.  I love the deep colour saturation in this skein, the brightness of it, the rainbow colours and the fact that it's dyed on my favourite yarn base, WOOLganics, makes it a big winner all round.

I also picked up three skeins of this glorious yellow from Tammy. Yellow perfection! Totally!!!
Again, the colours are so bright and rich and despite it being a worsted weight, I couldn't resist it. I even have plans for what I'm going to knit with it.

Now apart from this wonderful eye candy I have also knit with some of Tammy's yarns before.  I've knit some lovely socks for Lily from Tammy's organic merino sock yarn. It was an absolute pleasure to knit with and they have worn soo well! I mean to say we're talking kids' socks here, and some pretty constant wear.

I also used Tammy's yarns for the prototype of my Darwinia baby doll pattern, this time some of her BFL DK. I love BFL DK as a yarn base, it is beautifully hard wearing and has astonishing just seems to go on and on and on. It's a beautiful yarn and in this colourway it just becomes sensational.

You can check out Tammy's gorgeous yarns at minicuteture
She's on a little break at the moment but I'm sure she'll be back soon.  You can also find her on Facebook

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

AN EZ Almanac Update

Oh my goodness! My poor neglected blog, it has been almost a month since I last blogged.

I have an embarrassing admission to make.  It's been so long since I last blogged that I couldn't remember my password when I logged in tonight to write this!  eek!

So very very much has happened in the last month craftwise and knittylike, but I'm not going to try and squeeze it in to the one blog post. No, that would be horrendously long! I'm going to try and blog nearly every day until I catch up. You know it's been a long time since last blog when you can write a list of the different blog posts that you NEED to write. I have quite a few, including one I've been planning for a good couple of weeks about the design construction and process of one of my patterns currently in testing.

I thought to get back into the swing of things I'd start with something easy-ish; an EZ KAL update. So here's my month-by-month run down for the first 6 months:

January: done.
Cheated  and did the BSJ instead of the big-ass aran sweater.  I did cast on the aran beanie for part of March though.

February: done
Top marks for this month, I actually completed two February Baby Jackets. woot! I've share the pics of the one I made for Lily already, but not the one I made for Sage.

March: done.
Ignored the idea of the difficult sweater, even though it's not really difficult and knit the double knit pot holder from February instead. Technically, that means March isn't complete, but let's not squibble about such small details. Also cast on Aran beanie from January... not finished though because the yarn I chose is crap!

April: done!
The Mystery Blanket.
ahem, yep I knit a whole flippin' blanket!  And..I..actually..finished..the..damn..thing!
Yep, finished. It's not languishing in the WIP basket like I fully expected it to be for the next six months or so; it's actually finished. This is pretty amazing stuff!

Here she is:

All 20 squares of her, weaved together!

It took 10 balls of Noro Koreyun exactly. No, please don't work out how much that cost!! eek!!!  it was well worth it, a fun enjoyable way to pass the time, the little boy loves it, it's used daily and really, it's heaps cheaper than a crack addiction. Truly.

See, it's getting used every where!

May: fail
I cast on the mittens for Lily, did some extremely rough calcumations to downsize them to child size. Flew through most of the first one in a night, tried it on Lily ~ too small. It fit Toby but he doesn't want pink and purple mittens.  Lost faith in the mittens so hid them.

June: fail
June is hats, three different options in fact. I shall blame the fact that I couldn't go to the KAL night on the fact that I have knit none of these hats.
I did knit three hats in June...just not the ones for the KAL.

four out of six months sort of done; well that's not too bad really. And I suspect I will get to those mittens shortly and perhaps even a hat.

July is a shawl, a big round mother of a shawl. We already have two beautiful circular shawls though... I guess I'm not really feeling the love for the shawl to be honest!