I’m sensing a theme

So yeah…things have been a tiny bit busy (finalizing patterns for Curls 3…getting ready for Silk Road Socks launch…oh yeah and another slightly terrifying project I’ll tell you about some time later this summer if it doesn’t do me in first).  And that means I am not doing nearly enough knitting.  We were away for more than a week and I knit about 4 rows of that silly face cloth.  And we’ve been home for more than a week and well…I’ve knit about 4 more rows.  I don’t think I’ve ever knit this little (and I’m quite sure I don’t like it one bit).

So for now, that will have to do.  And if one of you could get me about three extra hours in the day, I promise to knit more and show it off.  But for now…it’s knitting or sleeping, and the sleeping is winning!

Super duper bonus fun

So I know on the first and third Tuesdays I usually release a pattern, but today I wanted to do something a tiny bit different.  Today I’ve updated the version of Curls 2 to include links to the Stitch Maps for each of the patterns.

So at this point, I’m guessing you’re having one of two reactions.  Either you’re thinking ‘yay, it’s about time, I loved them in the first Curls and have been wondering where the heck they were for Curls 2‘ (in which case, if you already have Curls 2 in your rav library, head over there right now and download the updated version), or you’re wondering ‘what the heck is a Stitch Map’ (in which case, read on)!

So, stitch maps are charts without the grids.  But more than that, they’re charts that show you the relationship between stitches in a much more concrete way than traditional charts tend to.  The easiest way to understand it is just to show you an example.  Here’s what a feather and fan stitch looks like as a Stitch Map.

cbbed20a7e97172fSee how the stitches tip and lean back and forth and make lovely wavy lines?  Very much like your fabric will if you knit this stitch pattern?  Nifty isn’t it! stitch maps are about as close as you can get to seeing the fabric before you put yarn on your needles.  They let you visualize the finished result amazingly clearly.  You can actually see that quite well in the stitch maps for Curls.

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See how the shape of the fabric really shines through?  That’s what makes stitch maps so awesome!  You can see how your fabric will behave in a way that a traditional, gridded chart just doesn’t allow.  You should totally go over to StitchMaps.com and read all about them…they are really quite amazing and you’ll have a lot of fun playing with them.

To celebrate adding stitch maps in, I’ve got both Curls and Curls 2 10% off on ravelry with the code MAPPED through the end of the day (eastern time) on Friday.  This works on both the electronic version and the paper + electronic combo (while supplies last…ravelry is running low on the paper ones and there won’t be any more until the new print run arrives).  Just put whichever versions of the book or books you’re looking for in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code MAPPED.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Someone will ask, so just as a preemptive measure… Yes, the first Curls already has stitch maps included in the electronic version available on ravelry!  And yes, if you already have the electronic version Curls 2 in your ravelry library, you’ll get the update automatically (ravelry’s got a great article on how to find your updates if you hit any snags).  And yes, Stitch Maps really is super cool, it’s free to play with (and there are fancier versions if you want to subscribe), and you should totally go experiment!

So how about you guys, have you played with any of the chart visualization stuff that’s out there these days?  I know we’ve talked about Stitch Maps both today and in the past.  And then there’s Knit Companion that I know lots of folks love.  And now there’s Knitmastery (from the folks who make the charting software I use…so I expect it’s absolutely glorious).  Anybody have any favorites?  Any others I should know about?  I suspect there are other grand things out there I don’t know about yet!

One more time…

Yeah, so the last facecloth turned out handy enough that this sort of happened.

I promise I’m more surprised than you are.

And yet, here we are…

Now, if one of you could keep me from ending up with a dozen of these, that would be great.

So many swatches

You’re probably getting sick of seeing these, but they’re really all I’m knitting these days, so you’ll just have to make do.  I promise I’ll get something else on the needles as soon as a few more of these are safely off in the hands of knitters!  But for now, it’s all Curls 3 swatches all the time.

At least they’re pretty though, right?  Because really, there’s nothing at all wrong with that!

It’s one of Indigo Dragonfly’s Tornadoz sets on Chameleon Sock in the color Cahoots.  And, just for the record, this is another example of ‘see how much prettier it looks after you block it’ (which might very well be my theme song these days)!

All the Curls 3 goodness hangs out over here if you’re looking for it all in one place.  All I can say is that this book is seriously pushing my color boundaries (in the very nicest ways possible)!