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, 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:

img_0567

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!

Posted in colorwork, knitting, photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

This week, share an image of partners. A pair, a trio, a sextet; people, buildings, plants — whatever you choose to shoot, give us subjects that are in tune with one another.

Also with Daisy on porch (4)


Daisy decided to hang out with us on a recent photo shoot for the Willamette Valley Tee. The pictures of these two together are some of my favorites from that afternoon. The special bond that they share is palpable and unmistakable, and it is one of those simple things in life that brings joy in seeing it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

Posted in colorwork, knitting, knitting patterns, Oregon

Willamette Valley Tee – Finished!

I’m doing a happy dance because I recently finished up the Willamette Valley Tee. After many months of design, redesign, knitting, ripping out and knitting again, it was a huge relief to have finished this sweater design! Whew! See postscripts at the bottom of this page for details about sizes, availability, and test-knitting.

We had a great time at the photo shoot. The countryside was breathtaking, and it was a sparklingly beautiful day. You can see the expanse of the Willamette Valley, the inspiration for the colors in this tee, in some of these photos.

It’s great to now have space freed up in my brain for new designs.  I’ve just finished designing a little spa cloth for the upcoming mini summer spa swap in my Ravelry group.  Come check out the group here. We will be having swap sign-ups soon!

I’ll leave you with some of the photos from the photo shoot. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

open view red barn (3) (1024x673)

DSC_0079 (683x1024)

In grasses, shading eyes (683x1024)

back of sweater 2 (862x1024)

another with old tractor (1024x683)

with old steam machinery (682x1024)

Grasses, with Valley behind (2) (683x1024)

Many thanks to Marianne for modeling the sweater and to her sister and family for allowing us to traipse all over their beautiful property. And for sending me home with homemade sushi! It is a gift to know such generous people!

knit equals joy

P.S. If you are interested in making this sweater, it is currently being tech edited and tested, and I anticipate that the pattern will be released in late summer or early fall. It is available in sizes 35, 38, and 41.

P.P.S. I am always on the lookout for good pattern testers. We’ve just started the test for this sweater, here, in my Ravelry group.  If you’re interested, let me know. Thanks!!!