not patterns


October has been one of those busy months when all editing work piles up while I’m doing the practical part of my work. Knitting, that is. Winter is coming and apart from sample knitting for patterns I am also filling up orders. There has been design work as well, since I couldn’t resist designing for chunky yarns when my LYS (local yarn shop) had a sale on some lovely solid and printed Eskimo yarn from Garnstudio/Drops.

The pattern for this and some other designs will be published in November as a line of quick knitted chunky patterns.

Today I sent in the first comments on the proof read for my pattern that will be published in Twist Collective’s Winter Issue. I am so proud over the fact that I will have a pattern in the magazine where all my favourite designers have been published! It’s the best company a knitting designer can have. I won’t give away any clues about the pattern itself so you’ll have to wait for it until the actual publishing.

Speaking of collective: I have just formed Garnkollektivet (the Yarn Collective) a knitting collective with Ewa, a very productive knitting friend of mine. You can find us at Facebook where we will publish photos of finished knitted items available to buy as well as information on how to order personalised knitwear from our designs. To start it off and to emphasize the fact that October is breast cancer awareness month here in Sweden we have created a lottery where you can win a knitted items, jewellery and hand coloured yarn. All the money from the lottery tickets will go to Rosa bandet, the Swedish collection of funds for cancer research. You can buy a lottery ticket by using the button in the side bar.

Back to editing and knitting for me. Until next time, Merry knitting!

The most beautiful part of the autumn is here and I have even had the pleasure of seeing some leaves in their new splendid colours. Autumn has always been my knitting season above all others and this year is no exception. I am currently doing the last knitting for my exhibition, that will open October 2, and in two weeks I’m leaving home for a week of building and hanging of all the knitted objects. I will also translate many of my pattern so you Swedish knitters out there can look forward to patterns in your native language. Apart from actually visiting the exhibition, that is.

For the rest of you it is time to accessorize. Today I will publish a pattern for a men’s hat, the Pentacle Cap, which shows a discreetly cabled pentacle on top of a ribbed hat. This might be the one for those of you not brave enough to carry the full pentagram on the top of your head.

Colder days mean colder floors so the feet will have get warm too, and they will through the Little Luxuries pattern, giving three different variations of a mohair and wool blended slipper, including bows and beads. I was taking the pictures this week, together with my excellent photographer Patrik Petroff (who has taken all the pattern pictures with me in them) so it won’t be a long wait for that pattern now. For those of you who aren’t frilly enough for that sort of embellishment the Sneaker Slipper is also coming up with its recognisable three stripes decoration which brings outdoors sport to indoors floors.

A scarf pattern is also coming up, after all what is autumn without scarves? This one will use those pretty art yarns, that you so often bring home without knowing what to do with them. Having done that myself so many times I had to design something for them. I’m using Napoli for my scarf but you could easily use Noro Silk Garden or any other of those beautiful, but expensive, colour variegated yarns. So start going through those bins of left over skeins and I’ll promise you there will be a pattern for them before the end of September.

I must off course design a shawl pattern for autumn, as well, so when a knitting friend of mine recently celebrated her birthday I took the chance of designing something for her as  gift. I had wanted to make a sea shawl for a long time and her love of the sea matched my shawl idea perfectly. It is knitted in domino knitting, or modular knitting, as you might call it, and has a sea shell/waves of the sea motif that uses the colour variations of a blue-grey-white yarn that will bring out thoughts of a stormy sea with foamy waves in various shades of blue and grey. I’m waiting for the sample – I will not knit this one myself – but once that is done it will be published.

As usual I have also taken part in a challenge in Project Yarnway on Ravelry. The theme for August was “back to school” which made me think of hauling around a laptop and that I needed to have a knitted cover for mine. So here is my laptop cover with i-cord edgings; the i-case. It is felted and the pattern will include instructions for both felting and keeping it to the correct size.

There you have seven patterns to look forward too, and above that there will be a pattern of mine in the upcoming Winter issue of Twist Collective Magazine. It was one of those secret submissions I have been working on this summer and I hope you’ll like it once it is published. It is very much in line what I usually design but that is all I can tell you for now. The rest is still a secret…

In case you think I cannot count: the seventh pattern will be a surprise!

Happy accessorizing!

We are half way through august all ready and autumn is just around the corner with its colour changes, crispy clear days and the return of wool knitting. I really love knitting in the autumn, and when ever I have in years past slipped away from the web of knitting it is always the coming of autumn that has brought me back again. This year I am working on patterns with lots of colours that will pick up both leaves and sky and join them together in this best of knitting seasons. I promise you that there will be wool and bright colours in patterns to come.

But before that we still have the last days of summer knitting and, as promised, I am now publishing my travel shawl the Carry on, Cover up shawl, scarf and shrug all-in-one in time for the last days of summer and the first needs of scarves and shrugs. It is an easy knit so it is also a perfect travel knitting for these last vacation days. The pattern was my entry in the Project Yarnway challenge for the month of June and I seem to be doing well because I won with that pattern, my second win in a row!

Speaking of Project Yarnway, I can give you a sneak peek at an upcoming pattern, that was last month’s entry for me: the Little Luxuries slippers. They are meant to both cover the need for slippers when the floors starts to get cold as well as add a little bit of luxury when curling up in the colder months to come. They are also a perfect last minute gift since the pattern will have individual sizes, so no need to try them on the unknowing gift receiver, and they are a really quick knit. I timed my last pair to four hours, from cast on to the tying of the bow, so when in need you can always knit a pair of slippers this winter.

Apart from that I have the great pleasure to tell you that in a month and a half there will be an exhibition of my knitted design at Tändsticksmusseet (the Match Museum) in Jönköping, Sweden, where I grew up. It will open on October 2, and last until the end of the year. So apart from the pattern workings I am now knitting day and night to get all the special pieces ready for the exhibition. If you are close by I hope you will come and see my things! Look for updates on times and links to the museums web page ahead.

Until next time I wish you all very wooly autumn.

Does nothing really fit your large bust, narrow waist and wide hips? Do you have the constant need to change all patterns to suit your curves?

Apart from being one of those knitters myself, I’m also surrounded by other knitters with the same sort of problems. After having added just one dart to many, where there weren’t a good place for it to begin with, I asked the knitters around me what they would think of patterns made exclusively with their body type in mind. Needless to say, they were thrilled over the idea of patterns that would fit them without any need for changes, together with styles that would actually show off their curves rather than hiding them.

But to be able to make those patterns I would need your help. Not to plan for changes, but to send me your measures so I can see what numbers you actually have compared to the standard patterns. I know that there are many differences within the curvy range itself so the more measures I get, the easier it is for me to get the sizes right for just your figure.

If you think that sizes aren’t for you, this is your chance to influence the sizes rather than having them imposed on you. Go to the Google docs form, fill it in and I’ll promise to keep all your numbers in mind when I design my line of curvy knitters. The measures needed is on the document form, together with all instructions you need to take them propery. The links below guides you to the right form, for measuring in inches or cm, where you can fill in your answers. Please feel free to spread the information about it.

I’m very much looking forward to hearing from you!

~

Measures in inches
Measures in centimeters

In an hour or so June is over and if you’re following my pattern publishing you might think by now that I have taken an early summer vacation from knitting and designing. Believe me when I’m saying that you couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have done very little but planned, swatched, designed and knitted this month. The only thing I haven’t been able to fit in is doing the final pattern editing for publication. But that will change very soon and here’s a heads up on what to expect in the near future.

I am currently taking part in a design competition on Ravelry, called Project Yarnway. It is based on the Project Runway format and has monthly challenges on different themes. The theme for May was Learning Curve and for that we needed to learn a technique that we hadn’t mastered before and design an object that would be appropriate for someone new to the technique. With a lifetime of knitting and crocheting behind me I had a hard time finding anything that I hadn’t done many times before but eventually settled for double knitting which I had never tried. I designed a jewel bag to use while travelling and used the particular properties of the technique to create a padded bag with two pockets. To my great happiness I won the professional category with it! So now I have decided to publish the pattern together with other knitted travel cases in the same technique.

This month challenge was Escape to Nowhere. For that we had to create a design for a fabulous getaway. I made a versatile shawl, thin enough to double as a scarf, and with the extra option of buttoning up the edges to create a long sleeved shrug. At least one shawl is always in my bag (and another one is probably on me) when I travel so this was the perfect object for me.

A line of yarn overs at each edge creates the buttonholes. This, together with the loose pairs of buttons makes for a very flexible choice in the buttoning up of the shawl. It is knitted in a colour variegated yarn that brings out the waves in the pattern.

I had all ready planned to publish the pattern so when a girl in my knitting group asked for it I decided to move it up in the queue. Since it is a shrug as well as a shawl it will be written in three sizes and as soon as I have worked out the numbers it will be published.

June is also a popular month for weddings and this year my family joined in the tradition. My stepsister got married and I took that as a great excuse to design and knit a wedding shawl appropriate both for the bride, who might need a bit more cover up in the church, as well as for bridesmaids and guests.

I made it in a soft white colour laced through with a golden thread which added a bit of sparkle. The white kid mohair yarn makes it perfect for a bride but I can also easily imagine it in a colour matching the colour of the dress one is wearing since the colour choices in kidsilk yarns is almost endless.

More pictures as well as the pattern itself will be here soon!

Last but not least I have also, after a request, started working through a design I made last winter. At the time I was obsessed with slippers since every where I went the floors seemed too cold to wear nothing but socks. I wasn’t the only one in the family that was suffering and to be able to help the male parts of the family I designed a Sneaker Slipper that took its look from the famous design with the side stripes.

A friend spotted them on Ravelry and asked me to publish the pattern. It takes some counting, since I want them to have individual sizes rather than just stretch like a sock, but I will eventually get around to that as well.

I have since the long winter months discovered that slippers are a great summer wear when the windows are open and there’s a breeze on the floor boards that chills your feet even in warmer weather. And before we know it autumn knitting will be here so what better to do than to gear up with a couple of balls of yarn and a slipper pattern so that your feet will be warm in the colder months to come?

Apart from all this I have also sent in submissions to pattern publishing – of which I can’t tell you anything until it’s published but count on some nice winter patterns to come! – and there’s another deadline for that coming up in the midst of July so bear with me if I’m a bit slow in producing the actual patterns right now. I promise to make it up to you with plenty of knitting to do once the fall season is in sight.

Until then, happy summer knitting!

Knitting greenery

The harshness of this year’s winter brought out the longing for spring in me. So every time I visited a yarn store I came home with yarns in all shades of green. To emphasize the greens I started planning for patterns with leaves in them and while waiting for spring I was knitting the greenery I was hoping soon would follow on the trees outside my window.

Spring has come and even though there are still just buds and not that much leaves my knitted greenery has sprung out into two patterns that soon will be available here. If spring needs a little extra push I’m sure that your leaf knitting can give it some help in the right direction so join me in knitting in the new season!

The first pattern is a shawl inspired by the Arthurian queen Guinevere. I’ve always seen her as the May Queen and my shawl for her incorporates both leaves and flowers which are said to grow where she walks. The second pattern is a skirt with a leaf border that I hope will bring out some spring flirting when worn. Both of them uses yarns with varied green colours that will make it’s best to remind you of the greenery in nature that soon will surround us.

Some of the green yarns I've been playing with this winter

Green knitting

Knitting greenery also made me think of green knitting. Being environmentally friendly is always important to me but with Earth Day tomorrow I’m thinking about what effect our favourite pastime has on the world around us.

When it comes to consumer goods there are three important keywords for me: reuse, remake, recycle. They are all targeting the production of new things. If we reuse as much as possible then we don’t have to produce new things, thus saving both the materials and energy of new production as well as avoiding adding to landfills and other garbage disposal systems. When reusing isn’t an option then we can remake. Many things can fill their purpose, old or new one, if we change them into what we need them to be. Taking in, shortening or changing buttons in clothing is an excellent example of remaking. Finally, when we can no longer remake, then we can recycle the materials. In that way we can make sure that the materials once produced will not end up as rubbish but will instead be back in production thus reducing the needs for taking resources out of the earth.

Reuse knitting

So how do we reuse in knitting? First of all we can reuse our finished objects. It simply feels wrong to throw away something that you have put a lot of work into. If you get tired of them have a look around and see if someone else wants it. In my circle of friends we organise a clothing exchange day a couple of times per year so that we can find new and happy owners for that which we are no longer using.

Slippers made from left over yarn. Saves on heating and looks pretty!

In a circle of knitters this could easily be adapted to suit knitted objects, making sure that every one appreciate the work that has gone into all the things swapped, and include left over yarns as well. With the clothing we leave what ever haven’t found new owners to a charity store. Left over yarns could be collected to charity projects, given away either as skeins or as finished objects. Finding a way to use them up could be a fun gathering in its own.

Remake

Remaking knitted objects doesn’t have to be complicated. A classic remaking is knitting new feet for worn out socks. The leg of the sock is often not as worn as the foot and if it has elaborate work then it is worth saving. Cut of the foot and rip up the yarn to where the leg ends. Pick up the stitches and knit a new foot. Worn or uninteresting edges could be changed in the same way. Cut and rip it up and knit new ones. There’s no need for matching the old one, unless you really loved it. Knit a swatch to check your tension and count out the number of stitches needed. If it won’t match what you have to begin with, make increases or decreases to match or cast off the old stitches and pick up new ones with your desired yarn.

Woollen knits can be remade through felting. Either felt first then cut and sew together into something different or just felt and reuse (although in a new size) for a new look. This is also an excellent way to remake knitted objects that has had washing accidents. Rather than seeing it as something to be thrown away you could look at it as a new opportunity.

Recycle

Recycling usually makes us think of putting used containers in the recycling bin but in knitting you can be your own recycler. Salvaging yarn from knitted pieces that won’t be used in any other way is a great way of not only keeping down consumer production but also keeping down yarn costs and getting some yarns that are no longer available. The yarn usually needs to be reconditioned, that is having all the crinkles from being knitted taken out of it. Start by carefully take up the seams and separate the knitted pieces. Unravel from the cast off edge just as you would do if you would unravel something you were knitting. Wind up the yarn into hanks and tie them loosely together with contrasting yarn that won’t stain. Wash the hanks gently and leave them dripping wet. Hang them up to dry on a stick or similar rounded object so as not to leave kinks in the yarn. The wait of the wet yarn will uncrinkle it without taking out all the elasticity of the yarn. Let it dry, wind into balls and knit again!

Other ways of recycling is making yarn out of non-knitted textiles. Designer Mags Kandis is showing a technique with which to use textiles for knitting on Knitting Daily. Basically you cut long strips of the fabric and use them for knitting. Knitting daily is also challenging it’s viewers to create their own objects in this way and to share them with other viewers.

My favourite recycling of yarn is to rip out old frogged projects and start all over with the yarn. Since it is already frogged, and probably has been untouched in your project bag for a long time, it feels like your getting new yarn for nothing. Depending on the yarn, it might need some reconditioning but quite often the yarn will relax without washing when it has had time to rest. Remember that unknitted skeins might look different to those salvaged from frogged items when knitted, due to kinks and washings of the previously used yarn. Knit swatches and compare and plan for smaller objects than the original if need be.

My Unravel Day-challenge

My personal challenge for Earth Day is to unravel old frogged projects and knit something new from at least one of them. I hope that many of you will join me and Make Earth Day into Unravel Day! Add to your stash while being green and recycling. Make a get together with some knitting friends and help each other out if it’s too painful to unravel your own stitches. If you don’t want to see that yarn again make it a gift to whomever unravels it.  In return you will find yourself the owner of some new skeins that hopefully will be much more inspiring.

Other green sides of knitting

Hand knitting is slow work even for the fastest knitters among us. This helps by keeping down new production since we just can’t knit up all that yarn that fast. This slow, and sometimes painstaking, labour also means that we usually treasure what we’ve knitted a lot more than bought objects and will use it until there’s possibly no more uses left in it. Less is more when it comes to production and environmental friendliness.

Finally knitting is a great energy saver. Rather than turning up the heat when the autumn comes with colder days we use it as an excuse to knit new things to keep us warm both indoors and out. Knitting an afghan from leftover yarn must be one of the great ways to be environmental friendly on so many levels at once. And remember, if you need an excuse to come home with more yarn from your local yarn store; your stash brings excellent insulation for your home while waiting to be turned into new fantastic knitted treasures that will be used and reused for years to come.

The spring is just around the corner and I am knitting cabled accessories that will keep me warm for those last chilly days and nights. With enough wool on my head and hands I know I will be able to take off the winter coat a bit earlier and with spring equinox tomorrow I just can’t wait to shed the outer layers of winter and start with the lighter garments of spring.

With that in mind I have a pattern for a pair of hand warmers that will keep the hands and wrists warm and cosy while keeping the fingers free. The Harper’s Handwarmers was originally designed for winter indoors use but will be very handy now that the winter mittens will have to come off. They are knitted in Garnstudio’s Alpaca, a fine 100 % alpaca yarn, and are thin enough to be used even for chilly summer nights or a little too cold wedding day for a spring bride.

The hand warmers are available for free here on the blog but only in one size and with written instructions only. It should be easy enough to follow but if you want to be on the safe side you can buy a pdf-file for $2 that has a chart as well as full written instructions for both hands in three sizes.

My other pattern for March is a cabled tam that unites my love for cables, hats and knitting patterns with a pagan flare. The Pentagram Tam is a tam with a cabled pentacle on the top since I just couldn’t resist the temptation of transferring the interweaving lines of the pentacle into interweaving cables.  The pattern comes in two versions with either a cabled edge or a vintage style ribbed edge. It is a challenged for the intermediate knitter since there are some complicated angels on the cables but that shouldn’t be to hard for an experienced knitter. It is knitted in Garnstudio’s Alaska, a 100 % worsted wool yarn, that comes in a wide rang of colours and shows off the cables very well.

The Pentagram Tam is available as a pdf-file for $5. It has instructions for both cabled and ribbed edge in three sizes. The pattern has written instructions a well as a chart for the cables.

Merry spring and merry knitting to you all!

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