Posts Tagged ‘knitting patterns’

Winter Weather

It’s often cold in Southern Ontario, Canada in winter and it does snow here but this winter has been a winter to remember. We’ve had lots of days with record breaking low temperature and snowfalls, an ice storm with power outages to tell the grandchildren about and enough snow days to keep the kids really happy. Even though we spent our life savings on propane just to stay warm, and I didn’t really enjoy having my gall bladder removed, I really have enjoyed this winter overall. It’s so pretty to look outside at all that snow.  We’ve been feeding the birds and they’re just such a joy to watch and to get to know, especially exciting are the multitude of Cardinals we’ve welcomed in the last 2 years. As a knitter I didn’t have to feel guilty to just hunker down and knit and spin to my heart’s content. Nobody was going anywhere and it was nice and cosy warm in my home studio.

The Designs

I do have a few designs on the drawing board. The adult size “Top Down Hoodie” and another summer top called Wheat Fields as well as a couple of vests. “Frank’s Vest” is going to be a favorite, not to mention a few smaller things like the shrug I am doing for a customer, some socks that I am spinning and knitting for myself and the baby hat I just designed for my soon to be grandson :-))) Getting these written out and polished are a challenge for me because they involve a lot of thinking and computer time and, well, I’d rather be knitting…. so they get put on the back burner. I really need to give myself a big pat on the back for keeping track of all of my spinning and knitting project on Ravelry. At least, this way, I won’t forget – where’s my knitting at? I’ve had lots of custom work this winter too. I’ll post about that in February when I get them all photographed and shipped, or check out my progress on Ravelry.  The New Baby

One of the most exciting thing about this winter is the anticipation of the birth of our newest family member. As you can imagine this is always the most important and fun time to cast on and just be creative. I found this sweater and pants pattern at Drops Designs and improvise a hat to go with it. It was pure pleasure to knit this in Malabrigo Sock a luxurious pure merino wool yarn dyed to perfection. This yarn is a superwash (machine washable) which is very important for socks and new babies!

 

A new design in progress – I guess that would be a DIP, right?

Handspun Breed Specific Romney Wool, Hand Dyed for new pattern design Grace

Along with the Custom Fit Sweater for Amy Herzog and her team (beta testing) I’ve been working on a few custom orders and a new designs that I will call Grace after my Mom who just passed away last year at this time. Mom was my mentor, my soul mate, my best friend and the one who taught and inspired me to knit and be creative in so many way. She was also my biggest fan and alway gave me so much encouragement. Well, anyway, the new design is Grace. It will be an elegant but casual cardigan/jacket and will be spectacular for showing off hand dyed and handspun yarns. Super stylish and super easy to knit and fit, you will knit it all from the top down in one piece with no seaming or finishing. I’m including a few “sneak peak” pictures that will give you a feel for the design without giving it away. This sweater allowed me some freedom to play with my dyes, my spinning techniques and let my imagination run free. It is also part of my study in Breed Specific and Rare Breed Wools.

The wool in this garment is Romney.  The Romney breed evolved from medieval longwool types. The fibers are long, silky and strong without being prickly. A very good wool to use for durability where you need something sturdy  and not overly soft and delicate. My Romney is one of the Canturbury Prize Wool Group imported from New Zealand by Louet Sales. These wools are breed-specific fibers that are handled in such a way as to retain their unique qualities. “Working with Wadsworth Heap Ltd, a fiber supplier in New Zealand, each fleece in this line is grown with passion and great care; each is chosen with a critical eye, scoured in a modern scouring plant, and carded with pride on gentle machinery to maintain the fibre’s integrity and give spinners maximum enjoyment.” So far I have totally enjoyed working with them. If you are interested in having any of these wools custom handspun for a project please just email me. I will get them on the web site eventually, but in the mean time…  😉

One of the things I really enjoyed doing this summer was beta testing an awesome new online software for sweater design. Amy Herzog a Fit and Flatter expert and sweater designer “extraordinaire” has come up with something really new and wonderful for all knitters who want a custom fit sweater without all of the math that is usually involved in designing from scratch or even customizing the fit of a purchased pattern.

The software is called Custom Fit and its available online to a select few premier users right now but is expected to go live to the public some time in October.

Here’s what Amy says about Custom Fit:

“After the final preview group, with an estimated time of mid-October, CustomFit will go live to everyone.

CustomFit is a web application. This means that you log into our website to create custom sweater patterns. It is not software you install on your computer. Creating an account, and storing body measurements and swatches, is and always will be free. When you’re ready to knit the most fabulous sweater ever, each one is just $9.99. CustomFit has a vast amount of fit expertise built-in, so that you don’t need to think about any numbers – only style! But if you do want to adjust your own numbers, you have the option of doing so before you purchase your pattern. The first release of CustomFit produces an entirely new sweater pattern to your specifications, at a single gauge for the entire sweater. Future versions will give you more options, including modifying select existing sweater patterns. We plan to update CustomFit with great new features every few months.”

I had this lace pattern brewing in my imagination for a while and thought I’d try it out on my beta sweater. I loved adding the little birds randomly.  I will be designing a very similar sweater pattern from scratch and grading it for all women’s sizes this winter. Watch my pattern store here and on Ravelry and Craftsy.

 

I am just thrilled to be releasing the final edit of my latest knitting pattern for download.

“Atherton”  A Top Down No Sew Hoodie with Cable Trim for Kids

This is a design that is very close to my heart. One of my own personal favorites developed over years of refining the pattern to fit well, look good and be a joy to knit. Available now as an instant download Here

Also available at   Craftsy    Ravelry   Etsy

A versatile basic Hoodie Sweater Pattern to knit from the top-down all in one piece. For kids in 10 different sizes from 2T to size 16 or Adult small with about 4″ of ease for a comfy “sweatshirt like” fit. A Classic, timeless design with simple raglan cables and a new twist on construction carefully designed for smooth, uninterrupted nonstop knitting. One piece top-down construction helps you get the perfect fit every time. Knit it with or without the “Afterthought Wallaby Pouch” My kids actually love to wear this. It’s comfortable and looks great too.

This is a “Meditative” knit with easy repetitive shaping that flows without interruptions. Before you know it you’re finished and the only sewing to do is the top of the hood and minimal ends to weave in.

I find myself knitting this again and again with simple variations that make it new each time.  Make it a cardigan, lose the hood, add pockets or a stitch pattern for texture. Lots of ideas for variations included as well as a tutorial on an “Afterthought Pouch Pocket” that you can add to any knit.

You are unlikely to find an error now that this pattern has been thoroughly edited by “The TECHsorcist” – Technical Editing by Eleanor Dixon

Skills Required:

Working in the round on circular needles and double pointed needles; knitting, purling, increasing, decreasing; simple cable pattern

Sizes

Child Sizes: 2T (4T, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16) To fit chest:  21 (23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31.5, 32.5)”  [53.5 (58.5, 61, 63.5, 66, 68.5, 71, 76, 80, 82.5) cm] Shown in photo – size 6 with 4″ [10 cm] of ease. 

Finished Measurements

Chest at Underarm: 25.5 (27.5, 28.5, 29.5, 30.5, 31.5, 32.5, 34.5, 36, 37)” [65 (70, 72.5, 75, 77.5, 80, 82.5, 87.5, 91.5, 94) cm] Finished Length: 15 (16.75, 18, 19, 21, 22.5, 24.25, 26, 27, 28)” [38 (42.5, 45.5, 48.5, 53.5, 57, 61.5, 66, 68.5, 71)cm] Sleeve Length:  9 (10, 10.5, 11, 12, 12.5, 13.5, 15, 16, 17)” [23 (25.5, 26.5, 28, 30.5, 32, 34.5, 38, 40.5, 43) cm] Materials

Yarn Nancy Elizabeth Designs Custom Handspun Merino Wool and Silk  (1 oz/28g, 40-50 yds/36-46 m,  85% Merino Wool/15% Tussah Silk), 13 (15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 30) oz worsted weight yarn [CYCA 4]

Red sample shown in Grevillea colorway

OR 640 (760, 850, 920, 1035, 1105, 1265, 1420, 1536, 1625) yds [595 (705, 785, 850, 955, 1045, 1170, 1315, 1420, 1500) m] of any worsted weight natural fiber yarn in stated gauge

Blue sample shown in Berroco Pure Merino in #8581 Regatta colorway

Needles

US size 9 [5.5 mm] or size needed for correct gauge US size 8 [5.0 mm] or 1 size smaller than gauge needles

20-32″ [50-80 cm] circular needles – both sizes (choose needle length according to the size you are making, must be shorter than the finished chest measurement and long enough to accommodate all of the yoke sts) double-pointed needles (set of 4-5) for sleeve cuffs – both sizes

Notions 8-10 stitch markers 2 stitch holders or waste yarn for sleeves Toggle closure or button (optional)

Gauge

18 sts and 24 rows or rnds = 4″ [10 c] in St st with larger needles after blocking.

Notes: Simple raglan cables enhance this classic all-season hoodie which is  worked in the round with basic shaping, easy-to-memorize stitch patterns,  and no finishing. Allow a generous amount of ease for a comfy, sweatshirt-like fit. Detailed instructions provided for ten sizes with plenty of ideas for variations and customization – knit it again and again without ever making the same sweater twice.

When a customer requested a custom knit sweater vest with a round neck I quickly found out why it had to be custom-made as well as custom designed. It is surprisingly difficult to find a vest without a v neckline in ready-to-wear or even in a knitting pattern.

There were a few measurements that I felt were critical to fit. I had my customer email me the finished width (1/2 circumference) of the vest as well as the desired length and finished width at shoulders. I usually suggest that if they have a sweater that fits well this is the most reliable way to get out new one to feel good on. This left the depth at the underarms, the band widths and the neck width and depth up to me as the designer.

I started with a drawing and a swatch. We decided on a fairly unknown yarn from a very well-known shop. The Blarney Woollen Mill is in Ireland at the same location as the famous Blarney Stone. They have lots of wonderful knitwear but only one yarn for sale and that in only 3 colours. Fortunately one of them was exactly what we wanted for the vest so I ordered the yarn at a very good price and the shipping was free as a nice little bonus.

I did a bunch of swatches and I am very glad I washed them before I cast on because the knitting gauge before and after washing was significantly different and I had to rely on my post-wash swatch gauge for not only sts to cast on, increase and decrease but also for the length as I used row counts instead of inches. I got a little nervous a few times but I kept going, believing in my swatch and was rewarded with a finished vest that measured exactly what I was aiming for.

I have the knitting instructions all written out and sized in men’s sizes from 32″ to 60″ chest. I will probably knit it again in a more common yarn, at least a yarn with a more common gauge and tweak the numbers. It should be available to download as soon as I can get it finished and edited.

I’m making my Christmas presents and wanted to work with some cashmere so I thought this would be a nice little project that would work up fast and give the recipient some wonderful warmth and luxury this winter. It was really fast and such a treat to knit. This one’s for Bethy.

I love this cowl and it was so fast and easy, a perfect “knitting as meditation” project.

BLOCKING: I blocked it with wires and pins and Wow, what a difference. I really stretched it to it’s max when I blocked and probably wouldn’t have stretched it quite as wide now that I see it dry. I think I prefered the fabric with a little more bounce and a slightly tighter fit. But that is personal taste and it’s nice to have a choice. Different blocking choices can give you such different looks.

Pattern coming soon, check here to see if it’s out yet.

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 YarnTechs-owner@yahoogroups.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.

 

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.

I’ll put them on My Own Web Site – Nancy Elizabeth Designs , on and Etsy and Craftsy as well as  Ravelry.

I really love the Hoodie, in fact I’m going to do one for myself to test the adult sizes. I think I will add an afterthough front pouch.

This is going to be a big hit! I love this pattern. pssst You can get it at Craftsy or Ravelry.

The very simplicity in knitting and wearing it will quickly make it the go-to pattern or sweater for all of us. The pattern I am working on right now is for infant sizing but I am planning to develop this knitting pattern for children sizes as well as adults and plus sizes.

The elegant look and simple styling of this pattern is apparent at first glance but the true beauty from the knitter’s perspective is the method and simplicity of knitting it.

It begins at the top with a very simple but surprisingly well contured hood and goes directly into the neckband and so forth down the body. The sleeves are divided from the body stitches to be worked after the body is finished and the underarm sts are picked up, thus eliminating any sewing or finishing other than one simple seam at the top of the hood.

Bonus: 3 needle bind off illustrated tutorial

I’m doing it in an amazing 50/50 blend of Merino wool and angora rabbit. You can’t see the cable detail at the raglan “seams” quite as well but the wonder of the angora more than makes up for this missing detail.

Sneak Peek Size

Infant – Small [Med, Large] approximate age  – 0-6 months [9-12 months, 18-24 months] Finished Measurements

Finished Chest:  21 [23, 25] inches – 54 [58, 63] cm Body Length: 10.25 [12, 14] inches – 26 [30, 35] cm Sleeve Length from underarm:  6 [6.5, 7] inches – 15 [16, 18] cm

This garment is designed with an easy fit, similar to a sweatshirt. Your new go-to sweater

Recommended needle sizes 4.5mm (US 7) 16-20 inch long circular needle (16″ is a better length for smaller sizes) 5mm (US 8) 16-20 inch circular needle set of 4 double pointed needles (dpns) in size 5mm (US 8) stitch holders or lengths of yarn stitch markers or bits of yarn Notions Gauge

18 sts and 24 rows per 4 inches (10 cm) in stocking stitch  on the larger needles.

 

Yipee, 2 knitting patterns all ready to go. After an insane amount of spinning, knitting, math, photography and computer time I’ve got 2 patterns finished and I’ve aquired a whole new respect for those self published “Indie” pattern desginers out there. WOW.

One of the most fun parts, after the spinning and knitting, is the photography. Today I studied my “shoot it” course on Craftsy then I dressed up my dolls and did a shoot for the new Alpaca Baby Pattern and Kit.