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Temporary Failures Drive Success

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As you may or may not know, I have been on one serious knit pattern submission kick. Most recently, I sent away my Dana Leigh Cardigan (DLC) for consideration. Unfortunately it was not one of the chosen ones for the collection up for jury but I won’t be letting that get me down. The plan is to work and re-work the pattern so it turns into something so perfectly fabulous it will have to be chosen somewhere! Great plan, right? I thought so, too.

So dotty!
DLC submission materials, plum with lime green dots!

Don’t worry, I know that my designs don’t suck just because they don’t fit into a collection for one reason or another, I’m not that silly. It’s a temporary failure that will lead to success down the road. As long as I learn from the feedback I get from publishers and collection curators, I can’t lose. In the meantime, I’ve got this gal telling me to knit, knit, knit!

Knit knit knit!
Knitmaster Freyja, on the look out for slackers

Check back this week, I’ll be posting a couple of free hat patterns to get your creative juices flowing. Free patterns will include a simple ribbed beanie with the sleekest decreases ever and a cute knit hat with simple stranded hearts. Adorable!

I’ve got to go for now, this little lady needs me to crochet her a sunhat for the warming weather!

Boop
My head is looking particularly hatless today, would you say?

A look into the life of a Jaunty Bear

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A Jaunty bear is something of a treasure. Something to be respected, held close to your heart and protected from unsavory influences. If you should meet a jaunty bear, do not play dead or run away, instead invite him to lunch and a walk in the park. You should count yourself lucky to befriend such a creature, don’t ruin the opportunity with fears or doubts.

happy happy joy joy
Jaunty bears like to knit, dance, and wear sweaters.

 

To help you in the process of fitting in with and befriending the bears, I present to you … Bear Ridge Scarf. Now I’ve never met a real jaunty bear in person (or a grumpy bear, for that matter) but from what I understand a lot of them live in places that can get pretty cold. I know they have fur and all that but some bears may be more sensitive to cold than others and need an extra layer or two. Humans differ, after all, so why not bears? Maybe grumpy bears are just uncomfortably cold bears. Besides, if a bear did want to wear a scarf, I’m pretty sure it would look something like this; simple, elegant, classy and cool. Ok, ok, without further hubbub, here is the Bear Ridge Scarf and pattern.

 

The Bear Ridge Scarf is a shallow, triangular scarf knit back and forth in garter stitch. It features a small picot edging along the two bottom edges. 
sooo cozy!
bear scarf is about 12″ deep and 52″ wide

 

 

Here’s what I used:
1 pair of size 9 circular knitting needles, 32″
1 darning needle or crochet hook for weaving in ends
2 skeins Noro Silk Garden (45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair, 10% Lambswool) in colorway #349

You can use 220 yards of any worsted weight yarn you’d like, sky’s the limit!

What’s my gauge again?

Gauge is not important with this project. If you don’t want to use a worsted yarn, just make sure you adjust your needle to a size appropriate for the yarn you end up choosing.

Here’s how I did it:

CO 3 sts

Row 1: knit

Row 2: Using the cabled cast on method CO3, BO1, knit until the end of the row.

Row 3-?: Repeat row 2 until your scarf is as large as you would like it or until you run out of yarn, leaving some yarn for BO (if you want to be a rebel, knit yourself out of yarn and BO using the crochet hook method) and weave in those nasty ends.

 

Block your scarf by pinning your picots out and steaming the hey out of it (trust me, blocking this project makes a world of difference).

 

Wear and enjoy! My favorite way to wear it is modeled below but feel free to be your own person and make your own decisions on the matter. Don’t worry, we’ll still be friends.

Rararararrr!
Blending in with bears

 

Grrraaararararrr
Obligatory bear pin (to indicate I am friend, not foe)

 

scarfs have ridges!
Bear Ridge namesake: garter stitch for days!

Thrifting for Gold

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I’ve always known I could reuse yarn from a garment at the Goodwill by unraveling and reconditioning the yarn but I haven’t tried it… Until now!

I found this hat… Slouch.. Beret.. Thing. It’s pinky and greeny and waaaay too big for any human I’ve ever met. Looked like this:

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I undid the bind off at the top and began the adventure of unraveling.

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I wound it onto my niddy noddy, soaked it, hung it to dry and ended up with about 150 yards of dk weight, seemingly hand dyed, super soft yarn! Now I just have to decide what to use it for…

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Gettin’ shit done!

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I like to write things down. I like to make sketches, lists, stories, notes. I like to use pencils. Sometimes I don’t know what to write or draw and I could use a little push. For this dilemma, I present to you: motivational pencils!

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When I get stuck I just look at what’s in my hand and I get shit done.

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I got these bad boys the other day and brought them to my BFF Chelsea’s house for a great night of crafting fun!

Check out what she’s working on over at Needles Thread and Love!

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Now I can do anything!

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Hey there friends! A goal of mine for this year (and beyond) is to become an officially published knit/crochet designer. I’ve decided to fill my calendar with as many magazine and collection deadlines I can find and stick to as many of them as I can. It’s only March but I’ve already met my goal! I’ll tell you that I have a mystery pattern in a mystery publication that will be available for purchase later this year. When I get my legal contract in the mail, I’ll update you with as many details as I’m allowed… I want to announce everything now but I don’t want to get in trouble 😉

To distract you from the exciting information I am actively withholding, Oh! Look over there! It’s a great book that just came in for me!

knit knit knit
My favorite new design tool

This book is brand new to me and to the world, just published! Where have you been all my life? Oh yeah, being written. Ok, ok, ok… Down to business. This book is amazing and I’m so excited to put it to use that I’m having trouble forming sentences. It is what it advertises: methods to adapt and draft original knitting pattern with a singular focus on sweaters. There is a complete chapter dedicated to each major design element of a sweater and you basically just flip to what is relevant to your design and get going. If you have a picture of what you want to make in your head but just need help figuring out the technical aspects of the pattern then this is the book for you. Math and equation heavy, it really gets to the knitty gritty of the nerdy part of pattern design. I love it!!! I know it will help me in my goals of pattern design.

Been a while…

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Ok, here for you all to read is my obligatory “long time, no see” post before I really start getting back into this thing. It’s already March but that’s alright, I’m starting a new year! Tons of things are new this year so far and it ain’t no joke! For you, a list:

  • New house (Alpaca Ranch!)
  • New car (Saab Waagon)
  • New (sort of) job
  • New Boyfriend (YEAH!!!)
  • Only two cats (down from four, lost two in the break up)

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about all of these changes, it’s almost overwhelming when I think about it all at once. Allow me to elaborate on the most relevant of points. My new house is a little itty bitty studio on a very large property that just so happens to be my local alpaca (sprinkled with llama and guanaco) ranch. It’s completely gorgeous on it’s own but it certainly doesn’t hurt seeing a few of my favorite camelid at every turn. This little treasure is about 15 minutes from town in any direction with is pretty cool and also not at times (like when I just need yogurt for my grapenuts) which brings me to my next piece of change: the car! I sold poor Betsy the Volvo and traded up (don’t tell her) to a Saab Wagon named Helga. She’s Scandinavian and she’s a beauty AND a beast, she hauls it up my 6 mile hill. She’s a delight and might I suggest to any of you who have not yet learned to drive a manual vehicle, get ye to a practice lot! Totally awesome and worth it.

Alpaca trio
These boys live across the driveway from my little cottage

Ok, we’re skipping the job thing cause I’m not sure about that one yet… I’ll keep you updated, don’t worry. Now for the cats, I’ve got boogers-for-brains Skadi and my baby girl Freyja. They were my favorite and I’m happy with the split (I got the cuter ones). Frey wants to go outside so I’ll have to work up the courage to trust she won’t get eaten by a mountain lion when I do let her outside. She’s a real panther herself so I really should just let her outside… Skadi on the other hand, will be staying with me for her entire life. She’s a little barnacle and I’m her whale. She won’t be moving out, going to college, having grown up experiences in the outside world; she just can’t handle the pressure. She’s a darling creature who needs special attention and I’m willing to give it to her.

Kittehs
Ultimate Photo Bomb: Skadi on my shoulder and Freyja front and center.

New Boyfriend!! He is seriously so awesome, I can’t even handle it. He’s a smarty pants dreamboat with a great sense of humor and a cute butt. What more can a girl ask for? He’s also, coincidentally, a hat model. He’s mine but feel free to oogle at those dreamy handmade hats on his head, I’ll be updating with a pattern for the hat on the top left, it has really awesome decreases.

Hats for heads
Garrett, my dreamy hat model

More to come, I’m really actually going to blog this year! So many crafts n things to talk about!

Where My Stitches At?

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In Santa Clara, Ca! A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to go to Stitches West with my good friend Dana. We were a little overwhelmed at first but only because there was so much to see! Armed with our matching mini notebooks and our love of fiber, we went in.

Dana loved the trims and buttons booths and I was instantly drawn to any booth that had spinning fibers. We found new patterns, fibers, yarns and books to order for the store and my goodness, it’s exciting! I ended up pinched between buying a enormous braid of merino wool hand dyed with red, purple and blue and a beautiful skein of sproingy wool yarn in dark blue and greeny grey. I went with the yarn… 420 yards of gorgeous aran weight deliciousness! How could I resist? That’s right, I couldn’t 😉

Dana laces it up
Dana looking at vintage trims
Knitting!
A Verb for Keeping Warm. This booth was beautiful!
Spin Spin
A Clemes & Clemes Spinning Wheel
Woolies
Hand Painted Woolies from Wonderland Dyeworks