More Swatches

No really…swatches are all I’m knitting these days.

I’ve probably explained this before, but for me a book usually goes 1) have an idea, 2) source yarn, 3) swatch and write patterns, 4) send yarn and patterns off to magical stunt knitters to turn into projects, 5) get the patterns into proper book format and have them edited, 6) get projects back and take photos, 7) more editing, 8) printing.  Now there’s more to it than that (I left out the traditional ‘all my ideas are crap’ crisis that invariably happens somewhere in the middle), and there’s some overlap (for example, a few of the pieces for Curls 3 are actually already finished while the last few patterns haven’t yet been written).  But that’s the general process.  And now? Now I’m in that swatch swatch swatch and write patterns stage.

One of the swatches I’m totally happy with (meaning it’s ready to move onto being knit and formatted and edited and generally made official) is this giant cable in Bijou Basin Ranch’s Tibetan Dream.  I’m a sucker for a big cable, and this one goes together in a sort of unusual way that’s a lot of fun to do.

And I’m also loving this simple little bit of magic in Miss Babs Sojurn. The yarn is so amazing I didn’t want to mess around with it too much…just that simple little braided line is enough (plus you get to feel all clever for making your knitting turn and go sideways…I promise it’s not as tricky as it looks).

They either are or will soon be with knitters, and I’ll be working on cooking up schemes for more of the yarns.  If you want to check them out (or see the earlier swatches), you can find all the Curls 3 posts here.

Revivify (plus giveaway)

So I know your life is perfectly in order. You never need a plumber, or an electrician, or whoever it is you call to do something about that funny spot on the garage roof.  And I bet you have healthy dinners every night and your laundry is all put away and your yard looks just great right now.  But I? I sometimes have weeks where life gets the better of me…and when I have one of those weeks, I need my knitting to be simple.  That usually means I find myself knitting little flared cuffs.  They’re quick, they’re easy, I love wearing them, and they remind me that at least my knitting is under control (we all need small victories).

The last time I had one of those weeks, I knit these.  And now I’m bringing them out in case you ever find yourself in need of a bit of distraction as well.  The pattern is called Revivify.

These are pretty much everything I want in my knitting if I’m having a challenging day (or week…).  They’re pretty (I love a good spiky lace).  They’re quick (I knit each one in a few hours).  And they’re flexible about yarn (they took less than 100 yards for the pair, and you end at the bottom so you can just keep knitting until you’ve used up all your yarn without any worry about running out partway through).

And to stick with the theme, I tried to make the pattern everything you might need if life is being a bit frustrating.  It’s full of tips for using lace charts, fitting cuffs, and blocking something this shape.  And of course it’s written in three sizes and for three gauges (so you can use pretty much any fingering, sport, DK, or light worsted yarn and fit most anyone you might be knitting for).

And, to make it even easier to get this on your needles, I’ve set it up so you can get the pattern for free.  If you buy Revivify at the same time as any of the other books or patterns in my ravelry shop, Revivify will be free.  To get it, just put both Revivify and whatever else you’d like from my shop in your ravelry cart (the only even slightly tricky bit is that you have to use the cart, not the buy now button, but you can totally handle it), hit the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code DISTRACTION.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.  (Psst, if you’re on my mailing list, check your mail before you do this…you have a message from me you should see first!)

And to make somebody’s day even better, I’ve got two lovely little mini skeins of Miss Babs’ Yummy 2-ply to send to someone.  Now full disclosure, I used the 3-ply when I knit mine, and that’s just a shade thicker.  But the 2-ply is every bit as lovely and would work perfectly for the pattern (it’s written to work for 3 different gauges, so you can be pretty flexible with yarn).  And with 2 colors you could either make 2 pairs or do 1 long pair with awesome helix stripes on the wrist…how cool would that be!

If you think it should come live with you, just leave me a comment telling me what your go to knitting is when life is hard.  Do you like something with miles of plain stockinette?  Is a plain vanilla sock better?  Or maybe you want giant lace charts to distract you from your troubles.  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like knowing what makes you tick!

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, June 2, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winners).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.


Good Mail (really good!)

Don’t worry…there totally are more yarns for Curls 3…I’ve just been so busy swatching them that I’ve been remiss in showing them off to you.  Let’s fix that!

This set is Miss Babs’ Sojurn base in their German Waterways colorway.  It’s made of angel wings and clouds and unicorn eyelashes as far as I can tell (or, possibly the 65% cashmere, 30% silk they list on the tag…but I think unicorn eyelashes explains the softness better).  And yes, yes it is an indulgent yarn…but really you deserve a little indulgence.  I know you do.

And this is a lovely combo from Wonderland Yarns / Frabjous Fibers.  The base is Cheshire Cat, and the gray one is Goat’s Beard, and the colorful one is the Yellow to Fuchsia color morph.  Wonderland does really really really nifty mini skin packs.  They have both what I think of as sets (where there are different colors but someone with better color sense than me has put them together so you know they’ll work) and gradients (where you move from a lighter to a darker shade of the same color) and they’re all amazing (erm…plus they also have a So Fond of Rainbows 20 skein pack that one of these days I simply WILL succumb and own…because wow).

If you want to check back in on all the Curls 3 yarns to date, you can find them over here, and wow is this book going to be fun!


So you know I love flared cuffs.  Sort of a lot.  I tried to count, and it looks like there are at least four as individual patterns and some fairly alarming number in various books (I officially have enough patterns in enough places that it’s kind of hard to sort them all!).  And so it should be no surprise that I have another pair fresh off the needles.

These really are a tiny, quick project (I knit each one in a few hours while trying to distract myself from the horrible and expensive things a pipe in my basement was doing…the pair only used 100 yards of yarn).  And I’m bound and determined to get everyone else on the flared cuff bandwagon.  So just for fun, I’m going to send these out free to folks on my mailing list some time in the next week or so.

If you’re already on the mailing list, you’re golden, you’ll hear from me when they comes out.  If you want to join, you can do that over here.

And if you’re feeling very thorough and you want to double check and make sure you’re signed up (because the list will take you off if you never, ever, ever open messages from me…though really if you never open my messages I sort of doubt you’re hanging out on my blog reading this), you can do that right here.  If you are signed up, it will tell you so, if you’re not, it will let you sign up.

And done

And this lovely bit of business is what happens when you pull up all those pins and see what your blocking has done!

Now, the other fun thing about blocking is you can actually make some pretty big changes in how the finished piece looks.  So for example on this one, I could have pinned the whole edge out evenly (instead of pulling out points) and it would have been more of a circle.  But I’m a sucker for making points pop on things like this, so that’s the way I went.

I’m sort of suspecting I’m going to write this one up as a tiny little pattern (with some tips on working lace charts and on blocking flared cuffs) and send it out free to folks on my mailing list.  I’m not sure when exactly, but probably some time later this summer.  If you want a copy when it’s out, you can make that happen here.