On Breaks & Fresh Perspectives

What a crazy past few weeks!

Although much late, I do wish to say I hope everybody had a lovely holiday season. Mine was busy (but good), and the past few weeks I’ve been down for the count with various minor ailments that have been taking up far too much of my time an energy – capped off by a wicked head cold that completely thwarted all my attempts to knit (damnit).

I am very happy, however, that in December (and a bit into January) I decided to take a few weeks off from designing and instead, focused on knitting some other designer’s patterns.

The first, and my official entry into the 2016 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long was the Stranger Things Cowl by Mary Annarella. I love this thing! It’s so lovely and warm, and the design is incredibly fun. I knit it with Drops Alpaca, which is a little fuzzy for a stranded pattern, but the feel of it is heavenly. It’s so much fun to wear, and fans of the show immediately get it.

I ended up using 225 yds of the light grey and 206 yds of the dark grey. Why 20 yards less when both sides are exactly the same? Who knows, it’s one of those mysteries.

The second project I made up was Ella Austin’s Leighton House Handwarmers. Again, I used a slightly fuzzier alpaca – I really have to stop doing that for extremely fine stranded patterns. But the siren call of soft warm alpaca is something I can’t beat. However, when I knit this pattern again (which I will), I will go with a yarn that affords a bit more stitch definition, so I can really do this design its justice.

What I loved most about this pattern (besides just how plain beautiful it is), is although it’s extremely finely detailed, the repeats are very easy to remember. For the yarn I used Scheepjes Alpaca Rhythm in three colours: the light blue (cuff and Latvian braids) I used approximately 26 yards, for the dark blue on the hand I used about 61 yards, and for the whitish main colour I used 96 yards – leaving more than half the balls. I could easily knit up another pair without purchasing any more yarn!

So as you can see, I’ve been on a bit of a stranded kick lately.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on my own patterns. After a few weeks break I came back looking at a few projects fresh, which is exactly what they needed, and jotted down ideas for a few more. I even came up with a long-form multi-release project, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but couldn’t quite nail down exactly what I wanted to do.

Sometimes mini-breaks are all you need to clear the cobwebs out. Gives you a fresh perspective on something that otherwise you’re starting to run circles around.

Indie Design GAL: Socks Part 2

This is part of my on-going Indie Designer Gift-A-Long 2016 series, where from November 23rd – December 31st I highlight some patterns from my fellow designers also participating in the event! Each post will highlight at minimum 5 different designers and their patterns.

Don’t forget to join in the fun, we’re all over here chatting up a storm (when our fingers aren’t flying that is).


Fright Night by Lara Smoot

From the pattern description
What do you do when your next door neighbor is a Vampire? Well in the case of a knitting pattern designer, you design socks with a Vampire theme and hope for the best! These socks were inspired by one of my all time favorite Halloween movies, Fright Night and my love for Vampire horror movies in general.

Available in M and L, uses approximately 530 – 570 yds fingering weight yarn.

Gertrude Bell by Virginia Sattler-Reimer

From the pattern description
Inspired by the fantastic book: Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations. I used the gorgeous color Glazed Pecan for these socks, thinking of desert sands and camels and the adventures of Gertrude Bell!

Available in one size, uses approximately 350 – 420 yds fingering weight yarn

No Parking by Alison Ziegler Designs

From the pattern description
No Parking! is an easy stranded sock pattern with an all over, mirror-image graphic design and a no-wrap short row heel. The all over diagonal patterning on these cuff down socks allows for lots of creativity on your part.

Available in S, M, L, uses approximately 250 – 400 yds of fingering weight yarn

Short Circuit by Jo Torr

From the pattern description
This is a fun, toe-up pattern in a stranded design, suitable for both men and women. The instructions for the construction of the socks are all written, the colourwork pattern is only charted.

Available in S, M, L, uses approximately 450 yds of fingering weight yarn

Paths Crossing Socks by Karen Buhr

From the pattern description
This is a fun top-down cabled sock pattern. It is good for adventurous beginners and advanced knitters who are familiar with sock construction and knitting in the round.

Available in S and L, uses approximately 380 – 500 yds of fingering weight yarn

Indie Design GAL: Socks Part 1

This is part of my on-going Indie Designer Gift-A-Long 2016 series, where from November 23rd – December 31st I highlight some patterns from my fellow designers also participating in the event! Each post will highlight at minimum 5 different designers and their patterns.

Don’t forget to join in the fun, we’re all over here chatting up a storm (when our fingers aren’t flying that is).


Couplet by Bonnie Sennott

From the pattern description
Couplet is a top down, “his and hers” sock pattern, with instructions for two sizes and two options: one with lace at the calf and one without lace. Stitch patterns are provided in both written form and charts.

Available in medium and large, uses approximately 365 – 400 yds of fingering weight yarn

Changeful by Hunter Hammersen

From the pattern description
Sometimes something is too much fun to just do once! That was the case for the lovely stitch on these socks. It looks smashing worked as an all over pattern, but it also lends itself to both a more sedate rib and to something a bit fancier.

Available in four sizes, uses approximately 300 – 425 yds of fingering weight yarn

Byerly Socks by Mary E Rose

From the pattern description
The Byerly Sock was designed to be a tasteful entry into stranded colorwork. Using less than 10 yards per band of contrast colors,this cuff down sock can be customized to use those oddments of yarn you have left over from other projects. Use one, two or more contrasting colors to make the sock uniquely your own.

Available in S/M and M/L, uses approximately 380 – 420 yds of fingering weight yarn

Avalon by Allison O’Mahony

From the pattern description
The Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland is a place where rugged terrain meets unforgiving weather, making wool socks a wardrobe staple year round. Classic colours and a generous cuff add interest to these ribbed boot socks which are fine enough to fit into lightweight hiking boots, but also warm enough for winter.

Available in four sizes, uses approximately 306 – 557 yds of fingering weight yarn

Drunken Sailor Socks by Emily Wood

From the pattern description
The cabled socks are knit from the top down with a heel flap and gusset. Right and left socks are mirror images of each other. Both written instructions and charts are included for the detailed sections of the pattern.

Available in four sizes, uses approximately 350 – 425 yds of fingering weight yarn

Indie Design GAL: Everything Else

This is part of my on-going Indie Designer Gift-A-Long 2016 series, where from November 23rd – December 31st I highlight some patterns from my fellow designers also participating in the event! Each post will highlight at minimum 5 different designers and their patterns.

Don’t forget to join in the fun, we’re all over here chatting up a storm (when our fingers aren’t flying that is).


There is a really great selection of patterns that don’t quite fit into any of the other categories that I set up for this little series. From toys, to home, to accessories, there’s some really cool creative things people are designing from two sticks and some yarn!

vattenVatten by Talitha Kuomi

From the pattern description
‘Vatten’ is knit in the round as one long, narrow tube.
A little clever folding and you end up with a charming clutch with both an inner and outer layer of knitting built in.

Uses 200 – 220 yds of DK weight yarn.

Felicity Flamingo by Browneyedbabs

From the pattern description
This cuddly flamingo is knit in the round from the tail up to the beak using short rows for shaping. An interesting knit this makes an unusual toy the kids seem to love playing with.

Uses 219 – 273 yds of DK weight yarn.

fleurFleur de Noel Christmas Stockings by Karen Fletcher

From the pattern description
Several years ago a friend asked me to make Christmas stockings for his family. He wanted simple striped ones but as I made them I couldn’t help but think what an amazing canvas Christmas stockings would be for colorwourk, these were the eventual result.

Uses 450 – 600 yds of worsted weight yarn.

gardenslugGarden Slug by Cheezombie

From the pattern description:
The body is knit in one piece, and the lips are knit separately. There is only 1 seam to sew in the entire pattern! Basic increases and decreases, as well as short rows, are used in the shaping. Photos and stitch descriptions are included.

They are approximately 6 inches long and 6 inches tall. Size will change depending on choice of yarn and needle size.

burridgeBurridge Lake Afghan by Anna Dalvi

From the pattern description:
The Burridge Lake Aran Afghan is designed to be a classic Aran afghan, and is perfectly symmetrical. The center panel is symmetrical within itself, and the two side panels are mirror images of each other. The entire afghan is covered in braids and twists, and exposes the knitter to a number of different braids, bobbles and stitches, and minimizes the use of the (boring) stockinette/ reverse stockinette stitch.

Uses 3700 yds of aran weight yarn.

Indie Design GAL: Shawls Part 2

This is part of my on-going Indie Designer Gift-A-Long 2016 series, where from November 23rd – December 31st I highlight some patterns from my fellow designers also participating in the event! Each post will highlight at minimum 5 different designers and their patterns.

Don’t forget to join in the fun, we’re all over here chatting up a storm (when our fingers aren’t flying that is).


heliosHelios by Marnie MacLean

From the pattern description
The shawl’s construction is based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Pi Shawl concept, wherein the number of stitches approximately doubles at a point that is twice as far as the last doubling of stitches. The shawl begins at the top-center point and is knit out to the border.

Uses 700 yds of lace weight yarn

Eldwick by Mitenae

From the pattern description
Eldwick features an interrupted rib stitch pattern that is worked in three panels (2 showing the RS & 1 the WS) across the width of the shawl and separated by eyelet columns, which also feature around the edge. At the centre point, the panel textures reverse, creating a versatile accessory which can be worn as a wrap, or scrunched up and worn as a scarf.

Uses 1722 yds of lace weight yarn

bluemoonBlue Moon Shawl by Catherine Knutsson

From the pattern description
There are songs about it. There are sayings about it, too, but astronomically and astrologically speaking, the blue moon isn’t all that special. It only became special when cultures converted from a lunar-based calendar to our modern solar-based calendar. And yet, the blue moon somehow captures our imagination.

Uses 450 – 900 yds of fingering weight yarn

seafogSea Fog by Mary-Anne Mace

From the pattern description
Like its oceanic namesake, Sea Fog is delicate and airy: a mist-like shroud for your shoulders when the weather turns cool. Sea Fog is an elongated triangle that transitions to a crescent, giving it extra depth than a traditional crescent, but still retains the eye-catching curve that gives a crescent shawl its visual appeal.

Uses 766 – 820 yds of lace weight yarn

amberleAmberle by Shannon Cooke

From the pattern description
Meet a triangular shawl that’s as addictive to knit as it is snuggly to wear. Amberle’s squishy textural stitches bring worsted yarns to life and the repetitive pattern is easily memorized—making it much less complicated than it looks. The wide border creates a gorgeous way to showcase contrasting colors.

Uses 780 – 910 yds of worsted weight yarn

pteroPtero by Gege à la Gomme

From the pattern description
With his generous crescent shape and his ribbed chevron texture, Ptero has a prehistorical feel.
The construction involves doubling the increase axis a few times. The result is a shawl that sits comfortably on the shoulders.

Uses 840 – 930 yds of DK weight yarn