If you'd like to learn more about this design, please see the Jocasta Pullover pattern page.
Have you ever fallen in love with a yarn? Months ago I happened to see a Ravelry banner for Intrepid Tulips Yarns and was instantly drawn to the bright saturated colors. I was planning a transitional sweater for spring/fall with a cabled pattern, and was delighted to see a bamboo/merino blend yarn. I wasn't sure how much *pop* a bamboo yarn would lend to cables, but other Bamboo Frost projects on Ravelry looked great. So I ordered my yarn and kept my fingers crossed. My box of yarn arrived and I hugged my skeins of heavenly blue yarn. Soft, squishy, and excellent stitch definition; exactly as promised!
I decided to create a vintage inspired sweater, but instead of my typical '40s and '50s, I went for mod '60s. Funnel neck will roll collar, elbow-length flared sleeves, and a simple top-down raglan construction. Mix in an interesting textured cable and lots of stockinette.
This sweater is SO. SOFT. Seriously. The yarn also has a very lovely sheen thanks to the bamboo. If it wasn't 100 degrees outside, I think I'd be living in this yarn.
There's something about flared sleeves that makes me want to float around like a ballerina in Swan Lake. Wheee! I'm flying!
If you'd like to learn more about this design, please see the Jocasta Pullover pattern page.
Like many women, I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. I struggle on and on every day, grumbling endlessly that ‘someday’ I’ll have enough time. I finally realized, what if time isn’t the problem but my priorities and organization? I also keep thinking, someday I’ll be more organized. Nope, if I am realistic with myself then I will declare that this is about as organized as I’ll ever get. So, what to do? Re-evaluate myself, my work, and my priorities. I thought I’d share the changes I’m implementing in case they can help you too.
Priorities. What tasks are most important for me to complete every day? What will make me satisfied? If I was smart, I’d do those things first and use the rest of the day to do less important things. But, apparently I’m not smart because I seem to start off my day doing the least important things. In fact, they are usually the time sucks: reading emails, looking at Ravelry and Pinterest, and reading blogs. Will any of those things really help me accomplish my goals? Probably not. So I made a list of the most important tasks, and the tasks I was complaining about at the end of my day.
Changing everything at once would be overwhelming, so I’m beginning with something simple. I felt that I didn’t spend enough time knitting samples for my designs, so after breakfast I will spend at least one hour knitting. Before emails, before Facebook, and before everything else computer related. I’ve been able to do that the last few days, and I’m feeling much more accomplished. Which moves me on to the next point...
What is ‘work’? I realized I had the wrong mindset when it came to what counted as ‘work’. I thought of my design business as my ‘work’, and all my household responsibilities as other chores I just wanted to rush through. But, when my house was messy and my meals were boring and quickly thrown together I felt frustrated. I remembered reading a book on the Amish, and one of the key things the writer noted was that Amish women placed equal importance on every chore. They didn’t rush through sweeping the floors because tending the garden was more important. It was all important and all essential to running the house efficiently. So, when someone asks me what I do for a living I will explain being a designer, but I am also keeper of the house, chef, baker, and gardener. All of these things are important and should get equal amounts of my time and focus. Which leads me to...
Stop comparing yourself to other people. We hear this all the time, yet we all still do it. We see photos on Facebook and Pinterest and imagine how perfect that person’s life must be. But what we don’t see are all the failures, messes and frustrations. Whenever I read a story about women who ‘do it all’ I remind myself that you can try to ‘do it all’, but that doesn’t mean you can do it all well. I had a friend who used to cook a gourmet dinner every night. She’d insist on sharing her recipes with me, but I found them far too complicated and frou-frou for my liking. I finally asked her, “Just how long do you spend cooking dinner every night?” She thought for a moment, then replied “Oh… about three hours.” Three hours??? Nope, not for me. It is important to me to make healthy food from scratch, but I am in no way interested in spending three hours in the kitchen every night. So I stopped comparing myself to her, and started to feel better about my turkey-meatloaf-and-salad dinners. But, in contrast to that, I learned to stop saying…
“I don’t have time for that!” I’m trying to cut a few phrases out of my vocabulary, and this is one of them. I have come to see it as an excuse, and it doesn’t allow me to be realistic about my priorites. Every person alive has the same 24 hour day. We like to pretend that some people have more time than others through magic or some other means, but we all have to same amount of time. We choose how to spend our days, whether we realize it is a choice or not. I’ve come across more than a few people who scoff at my hand-knitted sweaters and tell me sarcastically, “Well, I don’t have time to do stuff like that!” You could if you really wanted to, but it would mean giving something else up. A few months ago, my husband was complaining to me about how he didn’t have enough time to read or play guitar. But he did manage to have several hours every night to watch TV and play video games. I knew that being blunt and saying that to him wouldn’t be effective, so being a sneaky wife I tried to get him to see it on his own. During Lent I declared that we would turn off the TV at 8PM every night. At first he balked, but then decided to go with it. And you know what? It was like magic. Suddenly he had time to read and play guitar. So decide what is really important for you, because your time is precious.
Also remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as working, doing and making. If we aren't healthy physically, emotionally or spiritually, then we won't be energized for our work. Be sure to keep rest and relaxation on your list of priorities!
Today I am happy to share with you a new pattern, Bettina Headwrap.
Sometimes I create a design out of sheer necessity. I have a habit of going shopping first thing after breakfast, which means going out into the world with unwashed hair. I have short hair so a ponytail isn't possible, and some mornings my hair sticks out in all directions and refuses to be tamed. In cold weather I just toss on a hat and the problem is solved, but what to do in warm weather? My straw Panama hat usually gets a few odd stares, so I decided to create something a little more low key.
Enter the headwrap. A little more substantial than a headband, it covers the top of your head without keeping you as warm as a hat. So, my crazy hair is quickly contained and the stares are at a minimum. This headwrap will be handy for trips to the beach as well, since I usually end up with the awkward scalp sunburn where my hair naturally parts.
Now the pattern particulars:
Quick and simple to knit, the chic Bettina Headwrap will come to the rescue on bad hair days. Bettina is worked flat in sections of short rows and Garter stitch ridges. A hair elastic is encased in both ends to provide elasticity and comfort.
Bettina comes in two sizes and requires only 70-75 yards, making it perfect for using up leftover bits of worsted weight yarn.
Circumference: 18.5 (20)”
Width at center: 5.5”
To fit head sizes: 21-22 (22-23)”
Worsted weight yarn 70 (75) yards
US #6/4 mm needles
US #5/3.75 mm needles
tapestry needle to weave in ends
1 hair elastic about 2.5” wide
19 sts and 29 rows= 4” in Stockinette stitch on larger needles
I am happy to introduce a new pattern, Zohra Cowl.
I just love this stitch pattern. As a big fan of feather and fan stitch patterns, I am always on the lookout for new and interesting versions. This one mixes garter stitch with lace patterning and a centered double decrease.
Initially I used this same stitch pattern in my Karnak Vest. While knitting the vest I thought to myself that it would look really lovely in two colors and made a mental note to use it later on.
I also love creating stash-busting patterns, and decided to marry this stitch pattern with some of my leftover sock yarns. I was surprised how little yarn I ended up using; in total about 175 yards.
If you'd like more information, check out the pattern page. The Zohra Cowl is one of eight eligible patterns for my Stash-busting KAL in my group. Use coupon code **stashbustingKAL** to receive 25% off the KAL patterns.
I am very happy to announce that I will be hosting my first knit-along. From May 1-31st, I will be hosting a KAL for my stash-busting patterns. Time to clean out your yarn stash and create something colorful!
The eligible patterns will be:
Log Cabin Shawl
and the Zohra Cowl, which will be published on April 30th.
Use coupon code stashbustingKAL to receive 25% off any of the eligible patterns, until May 15th.
To join the KAL:
Each week there will be drawings to win a pattern of your choice from my pattern store. I will draw from all of the posters in the thread from that week.
Gather your yarns and patterns. We will cast on May 1st!
I am very happy to share with you my new pattern, Nadina Shawl.
I designed this shawl for my friend, Dina. She loves to wear netural colors with a bit of sparkly jewelry, so I knew this yarn would be perfect for her. I don't knit too many shawls with worsted weight yarn, so I didn't know how big of a shawl I'd be able to make. My solution was to design a shawl worked from the bottom up in a stitch pattern that would easily adapt to any size.
The Nadina Shawl combines a scalloped stitch pattern with stripes to create a versatile and elegant shawl. The scalloped stitch pattern, reminiscent of fish scales, is easy to memorize. Nadina is worked from the bottom up, so the size is easy to customize.
Any weight of yarn may be used; this pattern is a great opportunity to use up leftover balls of yarn. Sample shown uses about 270 yds of worsted weight yarn. Two methods of casting on are provided, and two options for binding off. Sample uses the loop cast-on method, and the pronounced scallops bind-off.
Before I begin, I will give fair warning that his post involves stuff about my faith and church. If you think that it might offend you, then I will invite you to look at funny pictures of my dog instead.
So... I've been feeling lately like I haven't had much knitting time. I have been in the process of joining the Roman Catholic Church, and during Lent more and more church obligations came up. Along with giving up a few things for Lent, I also added on a few things. I wanted to learn more about the Blessed Virgin Mary, so along with reading and praying the rosary, I was inspired to embroider a picture of her. I haven't picked up my embroidery hoop for about 20 years, so I expected that I my stitching would be terrible. But, in fact, it wasn't too bad. I suppose embroidery is like riding a bicycle.
I used a 'linen look' fabric from my sewing stash, and size 8 perle cotton. The image came off Pinterest, and I think it is from a coloring book.
Not bad, eh? Throughout the process I kept holding out my project at arms-length wondering if it looked ok. The hardest part was getting her hands to look right. Initially, one of them looked like a big alien blob so I ripped it all out and tried again. I was quite pleased with how my project turned out, so I framed it and gave it to the lady in charge of the RCIA program.
The other project I had to hurriedly make was a dress. The Sunday before Easter, after Mass we were practicing the ceremony for the Easter Vigil, and the RCIA lady told me "Oh, by the way, you should be wearing white." Huh? What? I've seen babies and small children in white when they received the sacraments, but I didn't realize that applied to adults too! I'm not a huge fan of wearing white (I'm already pale enough, thank you), so I had to either buy or make something fast. I wanted to wear a dress, and finding a dress that fits me properly and is an appropriate length is like trying to find the Holy Grail.
So, I ran to Joann and bought some white crepe. Usually a dress will take me several sewing sessions and I will cry at least once, usually from trying to sew in the zipper. I sewed this dress in two three-hour sewing sessions, and had only minor mishaps with zero tears. I think the key to my success was using a pattern I had sewn several times before and using a fabric that was easy to work with.
Once I started sewing, I realized a few things.
But, overall it turned out pretty well. As usual, I had trouble with the sleeve cap and zipper, but nothing that I wasn't willing to just accept and move on. I wore it proudly to the Easter vigil and received several nice comments.
I've got a shawl pattern in the works and need a few test knitters. My project is still a WIP, but since this shawl is worked from the bottom up I was able to write out the pattern before finishing the project.
Like so many others, I'm a fan of Downton Abbey. As a lover of vintage clothes, tea parties, and anything Victorian I suppose this isn't really surprising. I have a hard time keeping up with the storylines, mostly because I tend to pay more attention to the lovely costumes than the dialog.
So, inspired by the early '20s costumes in Seasons 4 & 5, I created a pullover with some vintage styling and details. I think my favorite detail is the cuff, a knitted version of a French cuff.
I've been saving these sparkly buttons for something special, and decided to turn them into 'cuff links' for this sweater.
Now until March 31st, you can receive 25% off when you use coupon code edythe during checkout.
Let the tea party commence!
Simple and elegant. These were my two goals when designing the Ripple Edge Cardigan for knit.purl. A project that would be relaxing to work with a few details to make it interesting, but also elegant and easy to wear. Feather and fan, one of my favorite stitch patterns, never seems to get old for me. There is something about it that gives a beautiful vintage quality to whatever it adorns. Here is edges an otherwise simple open front cardigan with set-in elbow length sleeves.
For more information, check out the full preview for knit.purl Spring/Summer 2015.
Cassie loves to knit, read and cook. She sometimes does all three at the same time.