Follow along as I set up Business, Quilt, Knit, Spin, Dye or Design a new pattern. I might take an Art Class or do a Photoshoot
Behind the scenes at Nancy Elizabeth Designs.
Before I start today, let me say that if you are interested in pattern writing you really need to click on over to Craftsy.com right now and sign up for 2 classes on writting patterns that are Amazing!
The one I’m going to refer to in this post is How to Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters by Edie Eckman
Description Learn the keys to communicating your one-of-a-kind knit designs in How to Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters. Author, teacher and technical editor Edie Eckman presents an insider’s guide to clearly communicating knitting patterns to editors, publishers and fellow knitters.
It was in this class that I learned that, as a professional designer I am going to need a technical editor. A technical editor is someone that you should never be without when considering publishing a pattern for sale. No matters how many times you check for errors yourself there will be more that sneak in unexpectedly. Your tech editor is there to pick them up before the pattern goes out to the public.
My search began right inside the craftsy class platform as the instructor and a few of my fellow students are offering their services as tech editors.
Next I did a google search for “technical editor knitting” and got some good hits but one in particular stood out as I’ve seen this group referred to as a good place to find more info on the subject of technical editing for knitting. YarnTechs · Knit and Crochet Technical Editors
Here is what they say they’re about “We are technical editors that review and/or revise knit and crochet patterns to ensure they are clear, consistent, complete, concise, and correct. Some of us also draw technical illustrations for knit and crochet patterns, such as schematics and charts. This group allows us to discuss the challenges we face, the tools we use, and opportunities in the industry. If you are a tech editor, please consider joining this group! If you need the services of a tech editor, email a “help wanted” ad to the group owner at YarnTechsemail@example.com, and your message will be posted to the group on your behalf.”
My Next Site to search was Ravelry. Usually the best place to find anything knitting is Ravelry.They have at least 2 groups that will probably prove useful in my pursuit of a technical editor for my own patterns. I spent a great deal of time inside these groups and will likey spend a lot more in the future. I found them very helpful. Budding designers and Indy Pattern Designers Resources
There are probably more but these are the ones I’ve found so far.
After doing the research, reading these groups etc I have sent off a few emails. I’ll ask some questions, get some references and dive in with a test pattern and follow up with what I discover.
I’ll let you know how it plays out.
For a limited time I am offering one of my original design patterns “Top Down Baby Jacket” as a free download pdf on Ravelry or Craftsy. I think you may have to be a member for the Ravelry one but you really should sign up, its the very best knitting site ever.
Link to free knitting pattern Top Down Baby Jacket on Ravelry
Link to free knitting pattern Top Down Baby Jacket on Craftsy
A little update on what for sale in my Etsy shop. These items are also available at
Yesterday while watching football I knit this little earflap cap to match the Alpaca Pullover .
Ill be writting it up as a pattern soon. let me know if you want to try the untested version and Ill email it to you if you ask before the retail version is ready. Pattern for the Sweater is here
Fun and Fast to knit
Just wanted to let you know I’ve finished the big Cashmere Cowl. I really like it and it’s just the right length and width to go around 3 times but looks great at twice around also.The Pattern Materials: Cashmere 12 ply Bulky / Chunky weight. buy it at Handknitting.com or (email nancy@nancyelizabethdesigns for more info or to custom order the hand painted yarn) OR I can custom handspin some of this luscious yarn for you. Same email. 5-6 skeins of 50 grams each (approx. 300 grams) based on desired width (and budget 🙂 6.5mm circular needle. Gauge: 10 sts and 28 rows = 4″ or 10 cm over Garter Stitch Pattern Finished Dimensions: It will be 60-70 inches long approx. 8 inches wide.
The idea is to have it long enough to wrap around the neck x 3 with a little extra for styling. Very luscious and exotic in thick cashmere.Directions:
I’ve decided on a couple of designs for Cowls. I’m going to do a simple one, just once around the neck with a little drape and simple elegant lace design. I have a couple of traditional all-over lace patterns in mind. I handspun some of my Mongolian cashmere fiber for this one in a fingering weight. I was really happy with the way it knit up. it’s so soft and the drape is perfect for what I want. I’m thinking I will write out the pattern for this one and another one with the “old Shale” pattern on it. I think the same yarn would be perfect. Put them both in the same pattern and just have choice of stitch patterns with everything else being the same.
The Big Cozy Cowl will be very different. I am using the China Cashmere from my old business Handknitting.com. I have dyed it myself simply by sprinkling the dye powder randomly and baking it in the oven at 350 for 1 hour in a glass covered dish. The dye bath did exhaust itself and the colours look fantastic. this one is the bulky weight with 6.5mm needle. It will be 60 inches long and about 14 inches wide. The idea is to have it long enough to wrap around the neck x 3 with a little extra for styling. Very luscious and exotic in thick cashmere. Cast on 180 sts and join. work in garter st for 14 inches or desired width.
This is all I have so far because Ive tried so many patterns and different size needles etc. and had to rip it out about 5 times. I have settled on the pattern written above. Just the right melding of cozy, thickness, drape and attractive but simple allover pattern.
All thought of building a web site and products for sale are slipping into the background as I contemplate what I’m going to knit for my family for Christmas.
The socks are always a big hit and I will certainly be doing them this year but what else. Everyone has a couple of scarves, mitts or gloves and the kids all have hats scarves and mitts but I’m sure anyone could use more. I will perhaps do the big cowl for the ladies. I saw a couple on Ravelry. This is the free Burberry Inspired Cowl that I thought would be nice in Cashmere or in Merino and Silk bulky.
I also thought about bags. Felted bags but I don’t think I have time to make them now. Why do I always wait until October to do this?
I did spin some Merino and Nylon from Knit Picks last week. I put it into a glass dish and sprinkled 2 colours of gaywool dye on to the soaked skeins. I covered with a glass lid and baked at 325 – 350 for about 1 hour. the water was pretty clear and I didn’t get much bleeding into the rinse at all. the effect was pretty and I will definitely try this again and refine. I knit them into a pair of men’s socks but it took 150 grams instead of the usual 100 that I need of the commercially spun yarns. I think my yarns must be more compact.
Still working on the patterns. I`ve got a bit knit on the Adult Hoodie and it`s going to be amazing.
The thing I`ve been really working hard at this week is getting a chart made for the handspun yarns. I`m going to try something different. I want to spin the yarn to order Custom Made Handspun Yarn. I need to know, first, what all of the specs are for each yarn weight like yards per oz or pound as well as WPI or wraps per inch and suggested gauge and needle size according the the Craft Yarn Council and Ravelry which I consider the 2 greatest authorities on Yarn and knitting worldwide. I have come up with this chart as the standard for my yarns.
I have also developed formulas for the handspinning so that I can come up with the correct weights and measures for the requested yarn. However, I do plan to be in close contact with my customers so that I can truely make this a custom experience and spin the yarn for each individuals needs. This is very exciting. Here is my philosophy for why I am offering the yarns that I choose to spin.Back to Basics – Simple and Elegant
I love clean and simple lines in a design and a classic traditional look. I believe it adds an elegance that cannot be acheived otherwise. Although I adore colour and use it often I can also see great value in using the colours of our natural fibers as they appear in nature. I find this to be expecially true with handspun yarn. If the design is right the handspun yarn will really “sing” in your project as it will be the focus itself with it’s lovely subtle variations and textures.The eye will not be distracted and confused by the multitude of colours often found in handspun yarns.
I’ve been trying to decide what to offer in handspun yarn. I notice an abundance of stunning multicolored handspun yarns that honestly look good enough to eat and I want them all. However, there are time when I also want something other than colour from a yarn. I decided to offer some natual colour, and hand dyed solid coloured yarns. Even though a photo of an individual skein may not be as eye catching as one of a delighful multicolored yarn, there are certainly times when they are preferable in my knitting projects. I use my natural or hand dyed solids when I want my design to show. When I want to showcase the style, the line, the drape of the design as well as the lovely organic texture of the handspun yarn. If the stitch pattern or shaping of your beautiful knitting is the focus of the piece then you may not want all of the confusion of colour to interfere.
I reached a goal today with the completion of the Hoddie with Cable Trim pattern in Infant sizes. I now have 3 patterns finished but they still need to be posted with pictures and stories.
Just in the nick of time. I can’t believe I just got this email and Craftsy is now offering a fantastic course on grading for pattern writting. It’s precisely what I need as it’s the complicated math and keeping track of the miriad of calculations that is boggling my mind as I work out these patterns.
I absolutely love it. Sizing Knitwear Patterns