New Yarn, New Project

Last week I was debating between yarns and asked Twitter to help me choose between Shibui Pebble and Mrs. Crosby Hat Box.  The recipient (my Dearest Aunteeeeee J) of the coming project helped me make the final decision and we went with the Hat Box!IMG_5448

The yarns have arrived, been wound, swatched and one of the pieces cast on.  I can tell you this right now – we’re not disappointed about the yarn. Trying new-to-me yarn is always exciting but for such a big project (a sweater), it can be a risk!IMG_5450

I’ve never used Mrs. Crosby yarn before but I’m really enjoying this base and I love the tonal variations of the Squid Ink colorway!IMG_5462

Have you ever worked with this yarn?  What did you make out of it?IMG_5473

FO Friday: Minion Covers

I like to alternate long-term projects with quick knits.  The sweaters are usually long-term projects (but man, do I love those!) and quick knits can vary from accessories for people and pets to cars. This time around, we chose cars.  These cute little minion shift knob covers were finished a bit ago, very rapidly, and shipped to their new home!  IMG_5346

Loosely following my shift knob cover pattern, these little guys were fun and relatively quick to make.  I hope they get a lot of use and love!IMG_5348

I didn’t even know there was a purple minion until the request came in, I guess I didn’t see the sequel!IMG_5347

What have you been making lately?

WIP Wednesday: Something New and a Something Green

Phew, it’s been a busy week!  I’ve pretty much been moving and not sitting at my computer for the past …… quite a few days. An unfortunate side effect of being so busy is that I’ve also had next to no time to knit!IMG_5440

I do have a few things going right now – something new that I can’t share too much of yet but let me sing this yarn’s praises for a second!  This is Imperial Yarn’s Tracie Too and I’m in love!  I love the creamy white color, the soft but durable texture (I know its durable because I’ve ripped out this project and swatches for it numerous times and it has yet to show any wear) and, get this, it still smells of its wonderful, sheepy origins! (Those super cute stitch markers are from Wool n Wire)IMG_5442

I’m also still chugging along on the Pintuck Cardigan, it’s my purse-knitting right now so it’s seen the most action during lunch breaks and things. Only a sleeve and a half to go before I can wear this sucker!

What are you working on this week?

New Patterns: Beer Swagger

The latest issue of Interweave Knits Gifts is full of really great patterns for, well, Gift knitting!  You know how many things gift knitting is good for?

  • stash busting
  • trying out new techniques on small projects
  • showing how much you love the recipient (even if you’re the recipient – we all need more self-love, don’t you think?)
  • instant gratification

    (c) Interweave Knits

We all know that I do enjoy a delicious, boozey beverage and for years I’ve been dressing up these treats in their own little wardrobes.  Knits Gifts now has patterns for two different sweater sizes – for all the beer, soda and wine drinkers out there, along with hats that will fit all of the above and a coozie pattern for bottled beverages.  All of those patterns can be found bundled together.

(c) Interweave Knits

You can crank out all of these projects with just 1 skein of yarn from each color!  Knit Picks Swish DK comes in a wide range of pretty colors and the yarn itself is very soft, non-splitty and great for colorwork.

Tech Editing vs. Test Knitting

Working with designers and knitters of all skill levels, I’ve come to find that there seems to be a lot of confusion about what exactly a Tech Editor does, what test knitters are expected to do, why they can be helpful and who to choose. Sometimes even the differences between the two can seem blurred. Tech Editors and Test Knitters are expected to do completely different jobs and, although not all designs need both, the input from each can be invaluable.IMG_7700

In the process of designing a knitting pattern, it is highly suggested that designers seek out the help of a qualified Technical Editor (TE). This person will not only copy edit and seek out spelling mistakes, but a TE should always double check every single number – stitch counts, row counts, measurements – and verify that the pattern will, in fact, make the thing it says it’ll make. This includes checking the math on every stitch calculation, confirming the gauge and that the stated stitch counts correlate with the measurements given in the schematic. Tech Editors should compare the pattern draft to a style sheet or previously published patterns to maintain consistency between wording and format and should also have a grasp on industry standards. Tech Editors can sometimes assist with schematic and chart creation, perhaps even grading for pieces that come in multiple sizes.

Test knitters, on the other hand, will knit up a sample of the garment or accessory using the pattern. Good test knitters will knit the thing exactly as written and not make their own alterations so that the designer can get good feedback on the clarity and construction of the piece. Test knitters can help a designer with confusing wording or to check that all sizes meet the expected measurements, yarn quantities, etc. One of the major benefits of having test knitters for a design is that once it’s uploaded to Ravelry, testers can link their projects to it and this will give future knitters an even better grasp of what the garment or accessory looks like in various colors, sizes and yarn choices.

Both Tech Editors and Test Knitters can be valuable to designers for entirely different reasons.  In order to get the most accurate pattern, I recommend using a Tech Editor first, then a few test knitters to use that tech edited pattern to create the thing.  If they come across any issues, the TE can revisit the pattern and get everything corrected before it’s published for the masses.

(Are you looking for a Tech Editor for upcoming patterns?  Feel free to send me an email (sillylittlelady(at)gmail(dot)com and we can pencil you in!)

FO Friday: Another Viking

Luckily, I was able to turn around that latest Viking Helmet really quickly. Unluckily, the only shot I got of the final project was this crappy cellphone picture (before even the ends got woven in!).

Again, I followed my pattern and used quite a bit of stash yarn, not all of it labeled.

I really like knitting these (even if sewing the pieces together seems to take longer than any of the actual knitting) and I’m thrilled that folks are still loving the design!

What are you knitting these days?

WIP Wednesday: Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

We’re back to the sweater this week folks, the projects from last week have been wrapped up (literally) and shipped off.

Now that the preview is live, I can actually show you what sweater I’m making instead of having to be all sneaky about it!  The Pintuck Cardigan by Bristol Ivy is in the knit.purl fall issue (formerly knit.wear).IMG_5425

Hannah has already finished her sweater and it looks so fantastic on her!  She did a great job and now I just want to finish mine that much more (not to mention the weather is starting to get a little cooler and this will be the best throw-on-over-everything cardigan I’ve made yet).

What are you working on this week?

Sometimes Plans Need A’Changin’

From the top of Gray's Peak at sunrise
From the top of Gray’s Peak at sunrise

Plans and expectations. Everyone’s got ’em. For the day, the week, the meeting, life in general.  It’s nearly impossible not to have them. And, they’re a good thing to have! They can keep you on track for your goals and keep you moving forward.

The problem comes when plans and expectations aren’t met.

That job that was your “Dream Job” turns out not to be your lifelong career. The person you thought was “The One” is actually just another ex. Your “Forever Home” is just a place you stayed for a bit.

These plans can change for a number of reasons, not all of which you can control. What you can control is how you react to them. Do you fight the truth and struggle to keep your plans the way they were? Do you make excuses so that your situation fits into the box you’ve imagined for it?

Or do you accept the facts, realign your compass and move onto the next phase of the plan that you might not’ve seen coming your way?

Having an idea of where you want your life to go is a GOOD thing. Being able to overcome the obstacles – whether that means going over them, through them, around them or turning the other way entirely – is even better.

If you keep holding onto the first dream you made for yourself, you’ll be exhausted trying to keep it afloat. It’s better for your well-being if you can adjust your sails and move in a previously unexpected direction, than cling to a sinking ideal that wasn’t meant for you in the long run.


Backpacking in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

4 days and 3 nights spent in the mountains with family is easily one of the best ways to spend a long weekend. (even if the first half of that weekend is filled with snow and rain and wind and super cold temperatures that you weren’t quite prepared for)IMG_4840

Saturday we began our trip and had planned to summit Yale that day but as we reached the top, the weather turned and wind and snow picked up and forced us back down the mountain.  We spent that night by Hartenstein Lake and the view in the morning, after the storms had cleared, was incredible.IMG_4874


Sunday saw a bit more of the cold and grey weather with wind gusts up to 50 mph as we were heading over Browns Pass. We were lucky enough to find some time to visit Browns Cabin and the nearby mines before grey skies appeared again.IMG_4935

Monday we hiked Mount Harvard and let me tell you, that was absolutely gorgeous and a great hike – I highly recommend it.  A bit windy in parts, as mountains can be, but not nearly as bad as the previous day.IMG_5130

Tuesday we hiked out over another pass whose name I can’t recall and followed up our exhausting weekend with pizza and beer before I made the gorgeous drive back to Fort Collins.IMG_5086

Oh, and you know I brought my knitting!  It still smells like campfire and for that, I cannot complain.