Interstices

Well, they’re done, and the pattern’s out!

pink knit mitts 1It’s been a long road for these mitts.  I first made them an alarmingly long time ago (they were one of the very first mitts I did).  I knit them, loved them, wrote up the pattern, folks made them, all was well.  Then, last year, I started to get an itch.  An itch to completely re-do many of my favorite early patterns.  I tried to ignore that itch for a very long time (it’s a huge undertaking), but I could not.  So I jumped in.  I started with these.

pink knit mitts 2First, I knit another pair in a more suitable yarn (Anzula’s Squishy, and wow is it yummy for these).  When they were done, The Boy and I tromped off to the conveniently located abandoned greenhouse to get some pictures.  Then, I lent the pattern to a friend for a marvelous project.  And now, now the exclusivity on that project has ended, so I can finally make the shiny new pattern available to you.

pink knit mitts 5So that’s just what I’m doing today.  The pattern for Interstices is now available on ravelry.  I’m delighted to have the new and improved pattern out there.  I love these mitts, and thrilled for the chance to show them off the way they deserve!

If they find their way onto your needles, I’d love to hear about it.  Come show them off in my rav group!  I can’t wait to see what you do with them.

Dream Big (Plus Giveaway)

So just to recap, way back in March I introduced you to the amazing Dreaming of Shetland project in support of Deb Robson’s work.  Then, in August, the first installment of the book came out and I talked a bit more about the project itself.  Now, I’m happy to say, the installment with my project in it is out!

shetland cover

I can’t tell you how delighted I am by this book.  It is a beautiful example of the fiber community coming together to support one of our own.  You know how you have that sneaking suspicion that knitters really are pretty much the nicest group of folks you’ll ever meet?  Yeah…projects like this are proof of that.  Everyone working on it (and wow are there a lot of folks who worked on this) volunteered their time and expertise to support Deb in doing her important work, and that work will make the fiber world a better place.  There are dozens of beautiful patterns, several charming essays, plus a heaping helping of good karma.  Every time I think about it I get a big goofy grin on my face.

So to help spread the love, I’ve got a copy of the book to give away to one of you.  If you think it should be you, just leave a comment either telling me which of the projects would find its way onto your needles first or (for extra credit) telling me your favorite story of knitters being awesome.  I’ll leave comments open till the end of the day Thursday, and announce a winner on Friday (oh, and be sure to use a real email address so I can notify you if you win…I won’t use them for anything other than notifying the winner, cross my heart.)

Dream a Little Dream

As some of you may recall, earlier this year The Boy and I headed out to our local picturesque abandoned greenhouse (every well equipped town has one).  We were hunting for photoshoot locations, and we snapped a few pics of some lovely pink mitts while we were there.  I let you know they were for a project, and I promised I’d come back and tell you all about it when it went live.

Well it’s out now, and I couldn’t be more delighted!  May I introduce Dreaming of Shetland: A Dream-Funder Project for Deborah Robson.

I first met Deb when I took her ‘how to publish knitting patterns’ class way back at the very first Sock Summit.  I got to know her better at this year’s Visionary Authors retreat (that’s her on the right in the front row).  While we were there, she talked about how hard it can be to do the sort of research she’s doing, especially without the shelter and support (read funding and access) of an academic institution.

Two of the folks at the retreat, Donna Druchunas and Anne Berk had a brilliant and hugely generous idea.  They offered to put together a collection of projects from a whole host of different designers into an ebook, the proceeds of which would go to support Deb in the important work she’s doing.  Watching this come together was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.  I knew knitters were a generous bunch, but this has just blown me away.  Deb has written a bit about the process over here.

And as marvelous as the idea was, now that I’ve seen the end result, I can say it’s even cooler than I expected (and I had awfully high expectations to start with).  This is a hell of  a book.  It includes dozens of patterns from some of the biggest names in the industry, just look at the list of designers and all the beautiful projects.  Whatever you like to knit (beads, lace, cables, colorwork), there’s sure to be something here to delight you.

The ebook will be released in seven sections.  The first of them is available now, and the others will be arriving over the next few months (and don’t worry, the copy in your ravelry library will update as the new sections come out, it’s all very automated and easy).  Do yourself a favor and add it to your library now.  I’m sure you’ll be as thrilled with it as I am!

(Images from the book and used with permission.)

Out of the Bag

I made mention, when I talked about the pink mitts, that they were going to be part of a collaborative project.  I was all circumspect and discreet and gave no details away.  For you see, it wasn’t my project so it wasn’t my place to spill the beans.  But the beans, the beans have now been spilt (which spell check tells me is the wrong way to put spill in the past tense, but I maintain is just fine), so I can blab away. I’m thrilled to announce that these mitts will be one of many projects in a collaborative ebook to help Deb Robson continue her research on Shetlands.  It should be out late this spring, and I suspect it will be fabulous.

More details when the project is available, but until then I can verify that the mitts are quite suitable for use when clinging, limpet-like, to the windows of locked buildings wondering if you can find a way in without getting hurt or arrested.  I’m sure they work in other situations too, but since I know that’s how most of you will be using them, I wanted to make sure they work for that.

Ah, the Glamor

As mentioned before, we went out on Sunday to scout for photo locations.  We took the pink mitts along with us because it’s much easier to judge how suitable a spot is for taking photos if you actually, say, take photos.  That, and I needed photos of the pink mitts.

Now, the process of taking photos, especially photos of hands, is a tricky one.  Trying to put your hands in some position that looks natural and comfortable and reasonable in the photo usually means contorting your hands, your body, and quite possibly your very soul into the most uncomfortable and unnatural arrangements imaginable.

Let’s have a little example.  We’ll use this photo (ignore the bright spot…that makes it unsuitable for a publication photo, but it will demonstrate the point just fine).

To take this, I’m standing outside the shattered window of an abandoned greenhouse (mind the broken glass), on a steep pile of slippery snow-covered vines, leaning over as far as I can to reach inside (which means I’m sticking my butt out in what can only be a truly alarming fashion), with my head tipped back to keep my hair out of the picture, while trying to hold my hands in a way that both shows the knitting and looks somewhat plausible.  I’ve also taken my coat off (because it clashed with the mitts), but I have my hat and scarf on (because it’s freaking cold).  So it turns out my head tilting is not quite enough to keep my scarf out of the picture.  So rather than take it off like a normal person, I grab the knot in it and fling it backwards.  At this moment, I hear the shutter click, as The Boy has decided to document the moment for posterity.

Oh yeah.  Super stylin’.  So for those of you who ask why I don’t have more pictures of me on the blog?  This.  This is the answer.  Because I look like Cousin It making a variety of questionable lifestyle choices.  Got some pretty pics of the mitts though.  More details about the project they’re destined for later this week!

Actual Knitting

Between the reading and rereading and rerereading of the proofs, there has only been a bit of time and energy for knitting.  But that little bit has been quite pleasant.  Here’s the first of the redone mitts finished and blocked.

I switched the thumb gusset out to the style I like better these days.  It fits well and is easy to knit.  I think it looks nifty too, but I could be biased.

The second one is on the needles and might even be finished this weekend.  Or maybe I’ll nap.  Depends on how cross-eyed I end up after the last round of double checking.

Interstices (and Giveaway)

The pattern for Interstices is now available.  There’s a wee giveaway, read on for details.

I probably shouldn’t say it, but I sort of love these.  They’re quick, can be made from leftover bits of sock yarn, and are super stretchy.  All of that makes them eminently suitable for gift/swap knitting.  They look far more complicated than they are (the main repeat is only 4 rows long), which always feels somehow both sneaky and deeply satisfying.  Add in their shamelessly frilly fluffy frivolous nature and their bargain price ($1.99 through Knit Picks Independent Designer program), and I’m not sure you could really ask for more.

And yet, I do have one more thing to offer.  I’ve got yarn to give away — two skeins this time.  The yarn is Knit Picks Imagination, one skein of Damsel (the color shown in the pictures) and another of Unicorn (another suitably pink bit of frippery).  Since I’ve got two skeins of yarn, I want to do two slightly different giveaways.  You’ve got a pretty decent chance of winning, so pay attention!

The first is super simple. Just leave a comment.  That’s it, that’s all.  Leave a comment, and use a real email address.  In a few days, I’ll randomly pick a comment, email the winner to ask for a mailing address, and send off the yarn.  I’ll also send this pattern and another of the winner’s choice.  Easy as pie, right?

The second is just a tiny bit more complicated, but I’m sure you can manage it.  I want to give those folks who’ve bought my patterns an extra chance to win.  So, if you’ve ever bought one of my patterns, leave a comment with the name of the pattern you’ve purchased.  Again, use a real email address.  In a few days, I’ll randomly pick one of these comments, email the winner with some sort of very easy question to make sure they really have the pattern, ask for a mailing address, and send off the yarn.  Again, I’ll include this pattern and another of the winner’s choice.  And yes, if you’ve bought more than one pattern you can leave more than one comment.

So just to recap, everyone who leaves a comment is entered in the first giveaway.  If you’ve ever bought any of my patterns, leave the name of the one you bought in another comment (or comments) to be entered in the second giveaway.  If you don’t use a real email address, you can’t win (no one but me will see your email addresses, and I won’t do anything with them other than contact the winners).  I’ll leave comments open for at least three days.

Liar!

Do you see that tree?  That tree with the leaves and the wee pink flowers?  Wouldn’t that tree make you think of spring, of warm sunny days and soft breezes and singing birds?  Yeah.  That tree is a filthy liar.  It started snowing about 20 minutes after we took that picture.  I’m cold.  The pattern should be out next week.  Perhaps by then the snow will have melted.

Dear Madam

To the person who wrote to me insisting I:

  1. hurry up with the pink mitts already
  2. be sure to release them as a free pattern
  3. explain how to use worsted weight instead of fingering weight
  4. describe how to work them back and forth instead of in the round

I’m afraid I must decline.

I generally try to be accommodating.  Really I do.  If someone has a question or a problem with one of my patterns (which happens very rarely) I will do what I can to help.  Alas, rushing to release a completely reworked version of a pattern for free is apparently something I will not do.  Somehow getting my first heartfelt if slightly unreasonable demand feels like a milestone of sorts.  I’m oddly amused.  Please note, this amusement is likely to be short lived.  You needn’t decide to bury me in further unreasonable demands.  I’m guessing the novelty wears off quickly.

However, to those of you who have been kind enough to say that you like the pink mitts and are looking forward to their release, I can say that they’re almost ready and should be out the first part of April.  I can also say that they’re not nearly this bright in person (my camera is giving me fits), and that I will be sorting out some sort of yarn giveaway to go with the pattern release.

mitts

Testing

shamelessIf you’re itching to make them, the pink frilly confections I posted about the other day are up for testing.  The thread with instructions is on Ravelry.  If you’d like to volunteer, head on over.  I’m picking testers Thursday morning.