Needled

Needled is out, it’s 10% off with the code EVERGREEN for the next few days, and you’ve totally got time to knit a whole forest before the holidays.

Because I suspect that once you’ve knit one, you’ll want to knit more.  I know I certainly did.

I made some with trunks (those lend themselves to hanging from your christmas tree) and some without (those stand up beautifully all on their own).

I made some with beads (you can place them in tidy, regimented lines like I did or go for something a bit more free form) and some with a bit of fluffy mohair held alongside to give it a snowy vibe.

And I made them in all different weights of yarn so they came out all different sizes.

Basically I gave my inner eight year old free reign, and she demanded a whole bunch of tiny trees for reasons known only to her.  If you are suddenly hearing from your inner eight year old (or the actual kiddos who share your life) that you might need a similar thing, you can totally make that happen too!

Pinterest (and the incompetent scoundrels it attracts)

Last week a few folks reached out out to me to let me know that someone on pinterest was using my photos.  Not just using my photos, but using my photos to promote a totally different pattern.  I did a bit of investigating, and yes, yes indeed someone was doing that.  Check this out.

That’s screenshots of four different pins all from one very shady account.  And the thing that gets me is that they didn’t just steal my photos.  They stole photos from two different blog posts (this one and this one).  They combined those stolen photos into a new image.  In one case they added text, in two cases, they color shifted one of the photos to make the blue stars look red and green.  It’s pretty clear they didn’t do it by accident.

And what is this free pattern they link to?  Is it my pattern?  Why no, no it is not.  It’s a totally different pattern.  Don’t get me wrong, the one they link to is a lovely pattern.  If you want to make that pattern, you totally should!  But it’s not my pattern, and it doesn’t make stars that look like the ones in my pictures.

The stars it makes are put together in a completely different way and look totally different.  The pattern they link to has you knit two individual stars, seam them together, and then deal with the twenty (twenty!) ends you’ve created along the way.  My stars are seamless, and you only have two ends to deal with.  The pattern they link to is one page long, includes one picture, and makes one size of star.  My pattern is 22 pages long and has more than a dozen photos.  It includes pages and pages of step by step photos plus printable blocking templates so you can easily block your stars.  It comes in three sizes and two textures.  And it includes instructions on how to make four, five, and six pointed stars.

Both patterns will both help you knit adorable stars…but they really are quite different.

And the really weird part is that the folks behind the sad, shady, thieving account don’t seem to have actually even made the pattern they link to.  It’s a seven year old pattern from a yarn company.  As far as I can tell, the only thing the brigands get is clicks through to their website (where they direct you on to the yarn company’s website to get to the other pattern).  The only thing I can think is that they make money from ads on their site and want the clicks?  But stealing my photos is a pretty crummy way to get them.

I’ve reported the posts to pinterest.  I suspect they’ll take them down.  There’s even the faintest chance they’ll take the whole account down (vanishingly unlikely, but just possible).  In the meantime, if you ever come across one of my photos being used like this and you have the time to let me know, I totally appreciate it.  Just drop me an email with a link to where you saw it.

And if you’re looking for my actual stars (because they are rather cute if I do say so myself), they’re right over here.

All shaping up rather nicely

So you block it (yes, even the tiny things, yes, every time, yes, it matters).

Then you stuff it.

And stuffing it feels rather like wrestling with a drunk octopus.  But with sufficient time and fiddling, it starts to take shape.

And a bit later its actually starts to look like a tree.

Well…a knitted tree. I realize it’s not going to fool anyone into thinking it’s a real tree (especially with the whole purple thing).  But as far as knitted trees go, I’m rather smitten!

Pattern coming soon (think next week)…do the mailing list thing if you want to hear when it drops.  Meanwhile, I need to work on my forest management plan…I definitely need some more acres under cultivation.

In the deep dark woods

Tiny things always look weird when you first start knitting.  Always.  Every single time.

The trick is to not freak out and just keep going.  Since they’re tiny, if you put in even a few more minutes of work, things will start to make a bit more sense.

Not that they won’t still look weird…this one looks a bit like a space ship in the middle there!  But they will start to make sense.

Plus, if you play your cards just right, you can distract yourself from the weird by admiring how nice your yarn and needles look together.⁠  This yarn is Mecha in Lotus from Malabrigo, and needles are Signature Needle Arts in US size 1.5/2.5mm.⁠  And that, that dear lovely knitters, is why I almost never tell you what needle size I’m using. Because what needle size I use has almost no bearing on what needle size you will use. ⁠

This is a bulky weight yarn. I’m knitting it on tiny needles. That’s because I knit very loosely, and I want a very tight fabric, and teeny tiny needles are what works for me. But I suspect it is not what would work for most of you. ⁠For these tiny things, it’s easy because you really don’t have to hit a specific gauge (no one will throw your mushroom or acorn or star in the trash because it’s a quarter inch bigger or smaller). You just need a tight fabric that hides the stuffing. ⁠But for things where gauge does matter (say anything you want to fit on a human body), the only safe way is to check your gauge.

Now I mean you could make an argument that this is one of the many reasons tiny things are so very very excellent. But you should probably also just convince yourself that swatching is an awfully good idea in general.  It saves a lot of swearing and hurling about of yarn in the long run.