Happy New Year!

A quick note and a very Happy New Year to all of you (and yours).

Many people take the new year as a time of reflection and a time to set goals for the next twelve months. I’m a big believer in doing now what can be done now, so I don’t really set myself big overarching life-goals for the next year. Instead, what I do is think about my past year in terms of creating knitting patterns, and create a yearly “to-do” list. It helps order my thoughts and lets me figure out what I want to accomplish in terms of creative crafting.

This year, one of my to-dos, is to spin for designing more. Late in 2016 is when I really got back into spinning after a very long break, and now that I have a healthy sized stash of handspun, and have gotten more comfortable spinning purposefully, this is something I really want to go at hard for 2018.

2018 for me will also be all about keeping to a schedule – a release schedule for patterns, specifically. When I started designing a few years ago and up until the end of 2017, I kind of released a pattern whenever. This resulted in radio silence for several months, followed by a flurry of releases. I’m not totally happy with that, so for 2018 expect a bit more of a regular occurrence with my pattern releases.

Which is an excellent segue (love a good segue!), for a little sneak peak of my newest pattern, Trochu, coming out this month.

I’ve had a really awesome round of testers for this knit, and I can’t wait to share this pattern with you. The name comes from a small town in Alberta, about two hours south of me. We have particularly cold, windy winters in the prairies of Alberta, and this knit is designed to help keep you warm.

Stay tuned, the pattern will be releasing in about a week!

The Calm Before The Storm

swatches Going through a burst of ideas is walking the razor’s edge. On the one hand, you get a bunch of ideas and you’re super excited to try them all right now. On the other hand, for me at least, I can get frustrated because my fingers can’t work as fast as the ideas come. Especially when one of those ideas doesn’t go as easily as I hoped, I spend a lot of time on it, and still it doesn’t work the exact way I want.

I think part of the reason that I’ve had a flurry of ideas lately (which I’m all really excited about) is because I’m in a bit of a lull. I have four patterns in varying states – two currently in testing, and two just waiting for the yarn to arrive so I can cast on. I have another that I’m still stubbornly trying to figure out the math on, and two more that are in the drafting stages (one’s going better than the other). That’s a lot of things up in the air, and quite a few patterns (for me anyway) in the drafting stage at one time. I have nothing to actually knit and work on, so my mind is freed up a bit to think more about possibilities than hard concrete projects that are in process.

So, it’s a double edged sword – lots of ideas, but nothing that I’m actually knitting, which makes me feel slightly antsy. Which is why I’ve been a swatching machine lately.

I actually quite enjoy swatching. I get to see how a yarn will react with a particular pattern before I cast on, and I can work out ideas beforehand and see if they need adjusting so I don’t have to do it while I’m making the finished piece (I hate ripping things out, and will avoid it at all costs). It’s nice to finish a swatch too and have a tiny finished piece that didn’t take a lot of time, but still gives me the satisfaction of doing something.

Some day I’ll make the most epic (and possibly ugly) blanket out of all these swatches I have lying around.

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival Special for Dappled Shade

Are you going to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend? Be sure to look up Hearthside Fibers, the yarn sponsor for Dappled Shade, and get a card with a special discount code for the pattern when it’s released!

This coupon code will give you 30% off the price of the pattern, and will only be available to those who visit Lael & Larry at their booth, so be sure to stop by, check them out, and get some of their gorgeous yarn for yourself (seriously, the Champagne Lace is to die for).

Coming Soon: Dappled Shade

Dappled Shade Preview

This upcoming pattern is the embodiment of my garden to me. This time of year is a little bittersweet, because while I’m looking forward to the things that fall bring (mostly warm knits and a house that isn’t sweltering), in my neck of the woods autumn is a relatively small part of the year, and it means the onslaught of winter is coming. Not to be all Game of Thrones about it, but winter can be pretty brutal around these parts.

I made Dappled Shade so I could keep something that reminded me of summer all year round. I’m a big gardener, have been for many years, and I love the play of light that falls through the foliage of my plants. It changes second to second, constantly creating new patterns and shapes, and I wanted something that translated that interplay of light into something wearable. So I came up with Dappled Shade.

It’s a stole/shawl/scarf (a common theme with me for something to be more than one use), and it’s equally lovely as an every day scarf, or a stole for special occasions. It’s knit on a bias, and features two different lace stitches with garter stitch highlights.

I’m planning on keeping it close through the coming winter months, so I can feel like I have a little bit of my garden with me. The count down to gardening season begins as soon as the first frost hits.

The pattern page is located here, and it’ll be updated as soon as the pattern goes live on September 22nd.

Side note: I now have a newsletter! It’ll be low-volume (once every two months, going up to potentially once a month at the most), and your email will be secure and never sold. I’ll have early upcoming previews, interesting tidbits, and special discounts on patterns for subscribers. Scroll to the bottom of any page, or sign up via the form to the right.

Coming Aug 20 – Inis Oírr!

Inis Oirr

I’m excited to announce that Inis Oírr will be available for free through Knotions on August 20th! I’m really pleased with this pattern, and hope you all will be too. Stay tuned, I’ll link to the actual pattern page on Knotions on August 20th, but until then you can head over to Ravelry and like and queue it there.

You can also go over to the Hot Right Now page on Ravelry, where Inis Oirr is sitting pretty at #2.