Thursday, February 4, 2016

This Blog is on the Move!

In an effort to try to use some new tools to let people know about my design process, this blog has been moved to Word Press.

Come check it out!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Patterns available at the Independent Creative Group

I'm happy to announce that three of my patterns are now available on the Independent Creative Group so that shop owners can purchase printed patterns for their shops.  If you know of any local shop owners who wish to carry my patterns, please direct them to this site.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Introducing the Lumi Capelet

Today I released my newest pattern, the Lumi Capelet.

Lumi is a quick to knit design that is perfect to wear when you need something around your shoulders to keep you a bit warmer in the fall weather.  You can purchase the pattern and see more information about it on Ravelry.

Lumi is a greatly revised version of the curly cowl I wrote about last year.  Although the texture of the fabric never worked out as a cowl, a wide garter border and capelet construction makes a beautiful around the shoulders wrap.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Podcasts for Designers

This weekend at the Knit and Crochet Show, I got to meet Marly Bird from The Yarn Thing podcast.  She is one of my favorite podcasters because of her positive and curious nature with her guests.  It turns out she's just as wonderful in person!

I've been listening to podcasts to learn more about being a designer and here are a few of my favorite:

The Yarn Thing Podcast by Marly Bird-- Marly interviews a different designer or other players in the yarn industry every Tuesday and Thursday.  The conversation often drifts to professional aspects of the work, not just the things a consumer would want to know.  I really appreciate Marly for "keeping it real" and showing what hard work the designer business can be and what problems can occur.

The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show by Marie Segares-- Marie's show is for all people trying to get started in the yarn industry.  Each episode is packed with great ideas and information about a different aspect of the business.  She recently completed a series just for self published designers.

Explore Your Enthusiasm by Tara Swiger-- Tara also sells classes and other kinds of support to creatives of all types who want to make money from their passions.  Her shows are short but usually have some great advice tucked in.  You'll find that she always lets you know what classes or workshops she has coming up for a fee, but there's plenty in her podcasts to get you thinking about your work as a business. by Pam Allen and Hannah Fettig-- This podcast is no longer going, but the back episodes are worth listening to because the two hosts often talk about working in the yarn industry in between really great information about gauge, yarn, etc.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I'm in San Diego this week at The Knit and Crochet show.  I barely finished my latest shawl design in time to have it be part of the informal fashion show at last night's Yarn Tasting event.  Here's a sneak peek at the finished design.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Working the Charts on the Vefr Shawl

My first few designs used the charting style I learned from Mirriam Felton in her Craftsy class for lace shawl design.  For a triangular shawl, it incorporates the center and edge stitches into the chart and indicates a repeat for the two sides of the shawl.  I've found it's confusing for many people so more recently I've been using a format for triangular shawls in which the center and side stitches are only in the written directions and the chart is only the side panel.

Recently, I had an email conversation with someone who was having trouble with the Vefr charts.  I made this video to help the knitter to read the existing charts.  Here it is for others who might find it useful as well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Shawl That Would Not be Designed

I talked about the interesting construction technique that I am trying to incorporate into a shawl in another post.  I've had a slow month knitting because of many trips and other obligations, but I'm hoping to get more knitting time soon.  However, I've had two setbacks recently.  One is when I started to knit the body of the shawl and found I had miscalculated the number of stitches that I needed.  I spent about an hour working out where exactly the missing stitches should go and revising the first set of charts.

But now that I am into those charts by several rows, I'm finding a part of the design that really bugs me.

Two yarnovers that I put between each of the point in the border don't really blend properly with the rest of the yarnovers that outline the points.  (Interestingly, they are also the cause of my miscount in stitches from the border to the body of the shawl.)  If they were gone, then the outline would blend almost seamlessly from one point to the next.  I didn't notice this on my swatch, possibly because the yarn was lighter and possibly because I didn't work up the body of the shawl in the swatch other than a row or two to cast off.  It is one of those examples of something that looks right on the charts, however, because of the way the yarnovers interact with other knit stitches and the decreases, it looks wrong in real yarn.

My best choice for making a sample that looks right is to frog the whole thing and start over.  The change affects even the amount of stitches in the cast on, so I really would have to start from scratch.  I could keep going and revise the final pattern for the test knitters only, but then I wouldn't have a good sample to photograph.

It's a painful thought, but I have worked with the philosophy with my handwork lately that it's better to stop and fix things when they are wrong rather than assume they will work out later.  The latter seems to leave me with projects that I don't enjoy and won't use.  This shawl has been in process since September when I first tried to use part of the design and found it didn't work out as I expected.

While I'm at it, I may even change yarns.  The color of this one hasn't thrilled me as much as I hoped.  Of course, that would mean more swatching....