Posted in colorwork, colorwork knitting, inspiration, Knit Equals Joy Designs, knitting pattern, sweater pattern, The Creative Process, The Design Process

Finally. The Willamette Valley Tee.

It’s quite interesting to me, designing knitting patterns. Not only in the ways you might expect: the conception of an idea, the swatching and trying out the different possibilities, even working out the most logical way to lay out the instructions. But also in this unexpected way: my sense of responsibility to my audience – the knitters who will be following my instructions and expecting beautiful results.

This sense of responsibility can and does cause anxiety.  It is the reason that it’s taken more than 3 years to go from conception to publication for the Willamette Valley Tee.

The very first post about this sweater was published on August 9, 2015 (What I Learned from the Swatch).

Then followed Colorwork Tee Progress (Aug 23, 2015), Yes, I am still working on the Colorwork Tee! (Oct 23, 2015), …and we have color! (Jan 20, 2016), Colorwork Tee Update  (Feb 4, 2016), Winter Ramblings  (Feb 19, 2016), and Sweater Surgery, or How I Cut Into my Sweater and Lived to Tell About It (May 5, 2016).

Finally, I threw in the towel with The Creative Project from H-E-Double Toothpicks (Sept 26, 2016). Well, maybe I didn’t throw in the towel, but I put the sweater away for a bit (a year plus!), hoping that the ideas might ruminate for a while and finally coalesce into a pleasing organic whole.

You just don’t know which events will give you the confidence to give something a try. Last year, our local yarn shop, Tangled Purls, hosted a series of customer trunk shows. It was a lovely way to create community and to allow us to appreciate the talent of our fellow local knitters. Toward the end of the series, they graciously invited me to participate. I included the old version of the Colorwork Tee in the tubs with my other knits, not really thinking it would be displayed since I didn’t use a yarn that the shop carries. However, they did display it, and people responded very positively (thanks, guys!), causing me to reconsider and to think that it might be time to give it the old college try once again.

During this year’s February week of vacation, I reconstructed the neck, shoulders, and sleeves, changed the palette slightly, and loved the result. Finally, I had the sweater I had dreamed of.  In the writing of it, though, I was not able to make it work in many sizes, as I had the Color Bliss Sweater.  So, this pattern is currently available for Ladies Small (32-34 in.) and Medium (36-38 in.) at bust.  If there is interest, I will continue to work to come up with a different construction that will work for more sizes.

Here are the pattern deets:

This wearable piece of art is a delight to make and wear. Using ten colors to create a beautiful interplay of pattern and light, this sweater would also look lovely in just two or three colors. Or experiment with stashbusting to create your own unique work of art.

This sweater is designed to be worn with 1 1/2 to 5 3/4 inches positive ease at the bust. It is knit top-down, with no seaming necessary.

In_front_of_tree_medium

Yarn:
The sweater shown was knit using Sunday Knits Yarn in 3-ply (light sport weight) (50 grams/approx. 246 yards), (20 grams/approx. 98 yards), in three interchangeable bases, Angelic, Eden, and Nirvana in the following colorways:
A. Bronze (Eden) 2 50g skeins.
B. Teal (Angelic) 2 50g skeins.
C. Lagoon (Eden) 1 50g skein.
D. Aqua (Angelic) 2 50g skeins.
E. Rain (Nirvana) 1 20g skein.
F. Ocean (Nirvana) 2 50g skeins.
G. Espresso (Nirvana) 1 20g skein.
H. Pickle (Nirvana) 1 50g skein.
I. Celery (Eden) 1 50 g skein.
J. Khaki (Angelic) 1 20g skein.

Back_Detail__2__medium2

Needles:
Body: US size 4 (3.5 mm) 24 in. (60 cm) and 36 in. (90 cm) circular needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Sleeve: US size 4 (3.5 mm) DPNs (set of 5) or appropriate needles for small-circumference knitting.
Neckband: US size 3 (3.25 mm) 24 in. (60 cm) circular needles.
Optional, for single-color sections: US size 3 (3.25 mm) 36 in. (90 cm) circular needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Discount:

Introductory Special: Use the coupon code WVT25 for 25% off through September 30, 2018 (Pacific Time).

Akimbo_medium2

NOW, finally, I am so thrilled to be able to offer this pattern to you.  It truly was a labor of love, and I am grateful and pleased that it has, at last, become the design it was meant to be.

Knit Equals Joy

xoxox

Posted in colorwork, colorwork knitting, Knit-a-Long, knitters, knitting, knitting pattern, Pumpkin-a-Long

First Annual Pumpkin-a-Long (PAL) and a New Pattern!

Pumpkin-a-Long (PAL)

Hello, dear knitters!  I am so thrilled to announce our first annual Pumpkin-a-Long !  Fall is my favorite time of the year, and apparently I am also pumpkin-obsessed, so the idea of the PAL was hatched.

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I’ve released a pumpkin pattern annually, starting in 2015, so there are four pumpkin patterns to choose from: Mini Colorwork Pumpkins, Colorwork Pumpkins, Large Colorwork Pumpkins, and Autumn Spice Pumpkin.

The PAL runs through October 31, 2018, so there is plenty of time to knit a pumpkin (or three).  There are two ways to win prizes:

1. Winners of a coupon code good for one of my Knit Equals Joy patterns will be chosen randomly and at random times from among comments in the PAL thread.

2. Winners of yarn and other prizes will be chosen after the PAL ends from among posts in the Finished Objects thread.

Questions? Just come on over to the PAL thread and we will be happy to explain how it all works.

New Pattern:

by_water_resized_medium2

Autumn Spice Pumpkin. This jumbo pumpkin is a joy to knit. Cables that twine over the surface are reminiscent of garden vines. Knit in the super-bulky yarn called for, your pumpkin will be a statement piece (39 inches around!), but it will be amazing knit in any weight yarn.  Use the coupon code pumpkins for 25% off through September 22.

Close up

Check out these beautiful Autumn Spice Pumpkins (photos used by permission).  Each one is uniquely beautiful and I love them all:

Heathers' (2)
by heatherg7, knit in sock yarn on size 0’s!
cascott's
by cascott
Missy's
by MsMEdge (using a button I had given her; how cool is that?!?)
Paula's
by PLC1
Vals
by vmquint
Joyce's
by jastarck
jen's
by jenb69; knit on size 15’s – it’s ginormous!

We would love it if you joined us in our pumpkin madness in the Knit Equals Joy group on Ravelry. Questions? Send me a message here or on Ravelry. Follow the links in the sidebar or find me there as CarolEHerman.

Knit Equals Joy
xoxoxo

Posted in colorwork, knitting patterns

Easter Memories, A Friend’s Cute Easter Pattern, and the Willamette Valley Tee

Hello, dear friends!  Easter is nearly upon us, and Holy Week is here.  This means choir rehearsals and much singing for me over the next six days.  It also means many happy memories of coloring Easter eggs, egg hunts, dresses made by Mom…

Every year Mom made me an Easter dress. I always loved the pretty fabrics and the pretty dress designs.  Looking at the fabrics she chose – maybe she influenced me in my love of color.  Did anyone else have this Easter tradition in your family?  What other Easter traditions did you or do you have?


Speaking of Easter, my friend Torunn designed this adorable Easter egg hat pattern.

Here’s a link to the free pattern on Ravelry: Knit Egg Hat with Pompom.


Good news, the Willamette Valley Tee is in testing!

After much thinking and problem-solving – and practically throwing in the towel – I realized that the pattern was already nearly written for size 38 – and I was confident that it would work in this size.  So why not move forward and write the pattern for sizes 35 and 38?

Therefore, this design is available for sizes 35 and 38.  The actual measurement of the sweater is 37 ¾ in. (39 ½ in.) at the bust, and could also work for those in the 32-34 in. range, if  a looser fit is acceptable.  The pattern uses fingering weight yarn on size 4 needles.  It is written to use 10 colors, but fewer colors may be used.  It also could be a stash buster.

A couple of people are testing the pattern, but I could use a couple more experienced colorwork testers.  If you would like to test this sweater in one of these two sizes please let me know.  I expect the test knit to run about 2 months.

Here’s the pre-blocking photo:

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful Easter!

xoxo
Knit Equals Joy

Posted in colorwork, Knit Equals Joy Designs, knitters, knitting, knitting patterns, pattern, Ravelry

New Pattern – Large Colorwork Pumpkins

I’m thrilled to announce my newest pattern, Large Colorwork Pumpkins!  Inspired by a love of all things Fall and an enduring love of colorwork, this softee pattern is just pure fun to knit and creates a lovely work of art. One pattern, four motifs. There is also an optional top that makes more of an oblong pumpkin.

DSC_0031 (1024x683)

This pumpkin is pretty much life-sized, about 12 by 12 inches, depending on which motif you choose and how much stuffing you use.

pumpkin

Knit using worsted weight yarn on size 5 needles, you will need about 200 yds each of two contrasting colors and some scrap yarn for the tendrils. You will also need fiberfill – my favorite after making three of these is Cluster Stuff by Morning Glory.

And the button! While the button is optional, I think it really adds personality to each pumpkin. This button came straight out of Mom’s button tin, and I think it was perfect!

DSC_0028 (1024x672)

This button is a ceramic button from One of a Kind Buttons.  Her buttons are fabulous!

Button Detail (1024x668)

Within the pattern are instructions for the various increases, decreases and i-cord. However, the pattern does presume that you have a working knowledge of colorwork and working in the round.

Here is Ravelry user cascott’s Haunted Village pumpkin. Isn’t it adorable? I love how she staged it with her homegrown real pumpkins! I have added more detail to the Haunted Village motif since this pumpkin was knitted.

Carla's

For even more options, you can knit this pattern using sock yarn and smaller needles – I would suggest US Size 1 or 2. This pumpkin ended up being about 6 or 7 inches in diameter.

My pumpkin pic by Wanda

Here’s the pumpkin with the oblong top, knit by Ravelry user PLC1. Her button was perfect, too!

Paula

The pattern is available in my Ravelry store for $5.00.  This button will take you right to checkout:

Thank you also to Ravelry user greenhorngirl for the use of her photo of her jack-o-lantern pumpkin at the top of the page.

Thanks for your support.  It means so very much to me!

xoxo

Knit Equals Joy

Posted in colorwork, knitting, knitting patterns, pattern, PepperMitts

PepperMitts

Dear Knitters,

I’m thrilled to share my latest pattern with you: PepperMitts.

peppermitt-2-682x1024

PepperMitts are knit in worsted weight yarn on size 5 and 6 needles, so they work up very quickly. The colorwork repeat over four stitches and four rows is easy to memorize.

The pattern is written for three sizes with the following circumference at widest part of hand (above thumb gusset) for each size:
Small: 6 3/4 in.
Medium: 7 1/4 in.
Large: 8 in.

Length measures about 8 1/4 in. for Small and Medium, and about 9 in. for Large.

Pattern includes both written and charted instructions, and both are used together.

peppermitt3-683x1024

I’m so looking forward to wearing mine during the Christmas season. I am also going to make a pair in a wintry, pale blue and white. I can’t wait until the yarn arrives!

Here you can see the mitt made with all the ribbed sections in red:

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The pattern will be on special for the entire month of November. Follow this link for 25% off the usual price of $4.00.  No coupon code is necessary.

Thank you to Main Street Designs in Jackson, California, for letting me use their beautiful shop to stage the mitts. It’s a lovely shop and definitely worth a stop if you are ever in the California Gold Country!

Many thanks also to amazing tech editor Tabitha (Tabitha’s Heart ), who always makes my patterns better!

I also am very grateful for test knitters who are willing to work through my patterns to find errors and to find places where I can clarify my instructions. I’m sending out a huge thank you to my friends Meg, Jen and Heather who tested this pattern – they did a bang-up job! Jen came up with the pattern name, too, and I think it’s perfect!!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and spend a few minutes with me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

xoxox

knit equals joy

Posted in colorwork, knitting, knitting patterns, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkins

October has me in a pumpkin state of mind ~

Pumpkins (375x500)
by cascott
leelas-mini-pumpkin
by leelaswann
kims-boo
by kimmery
colorwork-grouping-2-jens-465x360
by jenb69
jens-colorwork-pumpkins-360x534
by jenb69
paulas-1024x751
by PLC1
jens-colorwork-pumpkin-4
by jenb69
torunns-large-527x640
photo, pumpkin, and hand-carved wooden apple core by torunnb
torunns-516x626
by torunnb
Colorwork Mini Pumpkin with Fall Leaves
by me
DSCN5379
by me
Jen's Patch and Candy (281x378)
jenb69’s Patch and Candy (I’m not sure which pattern it is)
paulas-pumpkins
by PLC1, as is featured photo
all photos used with permission

knit equals joy

Posted in colorwork, design, The Creative Process, The Design Process

The Creative Project from H-E-Double Toothpicks

Over a year ago, I was struck – “hit up ‘side the head” one might say – with the inspiration and desire to design a colorwork sweater. Nevermind that I had never designed a sweater. I was confident about the colorwork; not as confident about the construction of the sweater – but I had my reference books, so I was ready to go.

I started by building a secret Pinterest board – a mood board, so to speak. It is now a public board, if you want to check it out, here: Tee Inspiration. Using it as a springboard, I began choosing colors for the tee, charted out a flower, and began swatching.

Sand, Espresso, Pickle, Black, Lagoon, Melon, Earth, Carrot, Moss, Bronze, Rose, Mist
Sand, Espresso, Pickle, Black, Lagoon, Melon, Earth, Carrot, Moss, Bronze, Rose, Mist

I know that many of you have followed me through the process of working on this design.  I’ve written about it often over the past year:  What I Learned from the SwatchWhat’s in the Hopper2016 – Possibilities…and we have color!Winter RamblingsSweater Surgery, or How I Cut Into my Sweater and Lived to Tell About ItJust a Little SketchYes, I am still working on the Colorwork Tee!, and Colorwork Tee Update.


This blog examines the design process. When I am designing, I’m not only designing and coming up with something that is (hopefully) pretty, but I am also thinking about how my mind is processing information in order to come up with that design. Basically, I’m thinking about how I think while I’m thinking. I believe this caused me some anxiety when the design wasn’t coming together like I thought it should. I was experiencing roadblocks, and I didn’t know why. I do know enough from experience to know that when this happens, I should stop whatever I am doing and let my thoughts go work on some other problem for awhile.

However, at this point, probably 9 months after the initial inspiration, I had too much invested in the design. I felt driven to finish it. Even if it didn’t come out exactly as I had hoped, I just wanted it DONE.

So, I finished it. I finished the knitting, I finished the writing, and sent the pattern for tech editing. Whew, such a relief!

I think it’s telling that what I love most about the pattern are the photos. That photo shoot was great fun and practically all of the pictures turned out well. I also loved being able to use the Kitchener Stitch with this sweater and working with the fabulous yarn.

In grasses, shading eyes (683x1024)
Love this photo from the photo shoot

Still, I don’t feel confident in this pattern. I don’t think it is ready to go out into the world yet. A friend is testing it, and I worry that it’s not going to fit correctly. I know that sometimes those worries are completely unfounded; yet, there it is.

What this tells me is that the pattern needs to go into time-out for awhile. Perhaps I won’t ever publish it. Perhaps more time needs to go by and I need to work on other projects. Then suddenly one day, something will click, and I will know what this pattern needs. In the meantime, I may make my sweater into a dress (with a feather and fan skirt) and add long sleeves in teal. –Perhaps that’s what the pattern needs. Maybe I stopped too soon by making it a tee instead of a dress.

I’ll conclude by saying that now that I have finished writing the pattern, I feel incredible lightness. My brain cells are freed to think in other directions and about other designs. I had felt as if the life had been sucked out of me – and now it is back.

…more to think about in the design process…when something takes over like that and becomes nearly an obsession, perhaps that is the time to drop it and turn in another direction. Or perhaps one must pursue it to its conclusion to learn whatever lessons there are to be learned.


Note: This post was written a couple of months ago, in July. The pattern is still in time-out. Other patterns have been written. Is it time to move on? We’ll see…I’m still considering other methods of construction and other variations for the colorwork sections – kicking those ideas around to see if they will coalesce into something new.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and to read about my experience with the project from H-E-Double Toothpicks!