adventures in knitting design (and other craftiness…)

Baking and re-making

I’m looking forward to spring so much this year, it’s been a tough winter of illness for my wee family. The wee man and I celebrated feeling on the mend this week by baking some bread. It’s the first time I’ve made it by hand rather than machine and it turned out really well. Bread We used this recipe by Paul Hollywood. The wee man was keen to do as much kneading as possible and he got the hang of it pretty quickly. It was rather scrummy.

Later in the week, I was having trouble with my leather watch strap falling apart…it was definitely past it’s best so I cut it off. Then I had to find something to replace it quick smart as I hate being without my watch. I think my solution may not last very long but I like it for now. I used a bit of ribbon and recycled the buckle and hoop from the original strap. I think I may just need to reinforce the hole I made in the ribbon and it’ll do me. Watchstrap I have also finished my latest knitting design this week – here is a sneeeeaaaky peek! DSC_0063 I think I may have got over my wrist warmer obsession at last… I’ve just got to write up the pattern and it’ll be done and dusted – my 11th pattern – I can’t believe I’m into double figures! So long until then…


Hi there, sorry I’ve been neglecting you guys…all in the cause of knitting…etc.

I have a friend at work who asked me to knit her a pair of my Dream Weaving mitts a little while ago. I usually laugh off these requests because if I didn’t I’d never get another pattern out or much else done. But – this person has been so generous to me and the wee man with gifts galore so I decided to repay her kindness and knit the damn things.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the pattern to work for her super skinny miniscule wrists – the weaving was too tight or the tension was wrong and when the cast off edge flared out like a giant ruffle because of the difference in tension between the woven part and the cast off part – I’d had enough.

So, I decided to start again and design a whole new pattern for her. Which is a better gift anyway really – if someone did that for me I’d be ecstatic!

I used the same yarn in the same two colours but changed the pattern to a two colour stocking stitch body and garter stitch cuff at the top with a thumb hole in between. I was really pleased with how they turned out – and so was the recipient. They are called Térag which is Scottish Gaelic for Teresa – my friend’s name.

Térag 1 Térag 2 Térag 3

I have posted the pattern for free in my Ravelry store if you fancy trying it – go on! it’s easy peasy!

I hope you all have a warm and woolly Christmas.

tkm x

Be more dog(ged)

As this is supposed to be a blog about the highs and lows of my attempts at knitting design I thought I should say a little something about one of the things I’ve learned and had to change about how I knit and/or design. So here is my confession…

One of the things I have always done, even while following someone else’s pattern, is just blithely carry on when I’ve made a mistake or something just hasn’t turned out right. My eagerness to get it finished tends to make my brain go “oh, that’ll do!” While this might be alright for something I’m knitting for myself, I’ve had to really fight against this attitude while designing. Never more so than in my latest design in which I was attempting to create a bit of overlapped knitting (or two bits of overlapped knitting going different ways on different gloves). I could NOT get the thing to work without making a wee hole at one of the joins. I knitted, frogged, knitted, frogged and knitted again I don’t know how many times. And there were moments when my brain kept saying to me “oh, that’ll do!” But…I fought it. Because I can’t design something good and expect someone else to pay for it when it has holes in it, really,,,can I? Unless it’s meant to have holes.

The best thing about this fight? I made something I think is really great and it works. In two colours. With no holes. Eventually. Phew.

Here it be.

ASW_0916 ASW_0921 ASW_0930 ASW_0934 ASW_0925

The pattern is called Caol and you can get it here.

tbk x

A new pattern – guess what it is?

Yep, I’m still on a roll with the fingerless mitts… This is an easy quick one, I really like the contrasting exposed seams…I’m thinking of putting this one on Etsy/Folksy to sell as a made to order item as it’s so quick and easy. I’ve put the pattern on Ravelry for free at the moment – you can find it here. ASW_0112 ASW_0111 ASW_0114_2 I do have a more complicated pattern which is almost done, but yes, it is another pair of fingerless mitts. I can’t get enough of them. And hey, I’m learning a lot from them as I go. Have a fantastic weekend everyone. tkm

Freaky words…

Hi again, I’m back super soon with another new pattern! It’s another pair of wrist warmers and came out of the stitch experimenting I talked about here. (I did start on a pattern for a jumper with this stitch and may get back to it some time…)

So, we went for a walk in the woods last weekend and I took my newest designs along to get some photos. We didn’t really have a proper plan for the photos (I will have to sort that out next time – if someone asks me what I did at the weekend I can say “Oh, I just did a photoshoot of my newest design…”). We found a mossy bench and decided to take some photos of the wrist warmers sitting on it with some heather as a prop. I did notice at the time that someone had carved “The Glovers” into the bench but didn’t pay much attention (who were The Glovers? Honeymooning couple? A family commemorating their holiday?)

Then we got home and uploaded the photos…




Anyway, these are called Dream Weaving and you can get the pattern in my Ravelry Shop

Here is another photo with no freakish subtitles this time…


That’s all for now folks, see you again soon.



Pattern ahoy!

If you haven’t heard from me in a while it’s because I’ve been on a bit of a designing binge. I have decided to concentrate on small projects until I get more experience under my designing belt and I have been really enjoying designing a few wrist warmers/muffatees/fingerless glove type things.

So far, I have three wrist warmer patterns almost done and one cowl. Here is the first of the wrist warmer patterns I have managed to finish this week.

ASW_4779 ASW_4764

This pattern is Moss Gathering and you can buy it in my Ravelry Store now.

I’ll be popping back soon with the next finished pattern!

tkm x

Whittling and weaving

Yet again ANOTHER CRAFT has crept up behind me and kidnapped me away from the knitting…

I’ve been interested in weaving for some time but always thought it would be too difficult/expensive equipment-wise until I saw this…

Hooray! Something else has yet again distracted me from the various knitting patterns I have in progress!

At least it’s a ‘quick project’ craft, even if you include stripping bark off a twiggy branch…(the entire time I was doing this I kept thinking about Agent Cooper whittling in Twin Peaks…).

And here is my first attempt!


Phew…weaving craving satisfied…now back to the knitting…



Winging it

All the advice on designing knitting patterns tells us to ALWAYS swatch swatch swatch, plan, plan, plan, you can’t make something fit otherwise etc etc etc. I do usually follow this advice but…

For some reason with my latest design I just started knitting it…and carried on knitting it until I was happy with the result. It DID take me three tries to get the size and shape right though, so maybe there’s a wee lesson in that!

I wanted to knit a fingerless mitt in thistle colours in a vaguely triangular pattern.

The first attempt didn’t involve any shaping and looked like this…


The second attempt involved too much shaping and would probably only fit a skeleton…



But, third time was lucky!


They fit perfectly. I may have saved myself some time if I’d swatched first but…I did learn a few things along the way. Like, the best way to decrease, and exactly how many purple stitches I needed to make the green yarn meet at the bottom of the triangle.

Winging it – sometimes it’s okay to just go for it!

Hot cross bun fun

If I’ve been quiet for a little while it’s because I’ve been beavering away at the knitting designs – I have a couple nearly finished and one more just started. I’m hoping to have them all written up and ready to release for autumn. (They’re autumn/winter type accessories so I think it’s better to keep them on the back burner until then.)


Meanwhile, I have a question: when you submit a design to a publisher is it better for your design sketch to be a simple schematic or a drawing of how the finished item might look? I did submit a couple of patterns to two different publishers for the first time – without success – and I’m not sure whether the designs weren’t right for them or my method of submission wasn’t what they are used to. (I submitted drawings rather than schematics but the drawings had measurements on them…) Maybe next time I should just include both! At least then I’ll know if they are rejected then it’s probably the design they don’t like…poor rejected things. Ah well, I just keep thinking of all those famous musicians/artists/writers who were rejected before someone saw their potential – I always feel better being able to compare myself to The Beatles!

Now for some pictures! Look what I found at the car boot sale recently for only £1.50 –

IMG_2042And I only have to get rid of one or two bumpy bits before it will be my favourite T-shirt…

More pictures!

The wee man and I have been baking again – we tried hot cross buns for the first time and they turned out quite well.

IMG_2047 I am stuffing my face with one as I type and it’s not half bad. Recipe here.

Have a lovely Easter everyone.



Hunting the perfect stitch pattern

I found some half price Rowan Pure Wool recently in my local woolly wonder emporium in some colours I like together so I bought 7 balls of the black and 7 of the clay and I already had 1 ball at home of the Cypress. So I now had to rack my brains for a suitable pattern for this bonanza. Here is some of the thinking and deciding process I went through before I found the stitch pattern I wanted to use.

I have recently really wanted to knit a check or tartan pattern to I tried that first. Here is a swatch of my first attempt…(I used the crochet slip stitch I used in my Haiku wrist warmers for these patterns.)

DSC_2164 I wanted to try to get a rougher line through the middle of the pattern so I used both the black and the clay colours held together for the two stripes in the middle of the lighter squares but it didn’t really come out as I had in mind – not enough of the black. So I tried a solid line with more  vertical stripes.

DSC_2167 I even started with the ribbing I wanted to use on this swatch which I’ve never done before! Yep, I’m trying to be more prepared these days… I definitely like this pattern better but it still wasn’t right. The light bits look too much like windows. So this one was out too.

I scrapped the check pattern idea at this point as I didn’t think it was working with these colours. (I might go back to it later though…) So I tried a stripey pattern I’d been thinking about where you change colours randomly in the middle of rows.

DSC_2161 I also added a wee vertical crochet slip stitch stripe in this one. (Can’t get enough!) I realised at this point that these colours are almost exactly the colours of the jumper The Big Man was wearing when I first met him. Maybe why I like them so much? But this still wasn’t right. Maybe it’s one to come back to for a Big Man jumper later…Oh, yes, I forgot to say – I want to design a lady jumper for the first time. I’ve been a bit scared to do it but told myself not to be a wimp and just get on with it – it can’t be that hard!

So, my head was whirling about with all the different things I could/couldn’t do with this wool in these colours when I suddenly remembered another technique I had tried on a swatch before but never made up into a pattern. Weaving in yarn! I really like this technique for some reason and when I knitted a swatch using it I knew it was the right one straight away.

DSC_2159 DSC_2155

I even did a circular swatch for the first time! (A tiny one, admittedly but it’s better than none.) As soon as I realised I wanted to use this stitch pattern, I realised it was going to have to be a circular jumper as I couldn’t face sewing all those ends in…and probably no-one else could either so no-one would want to knit it.

So I’m now designing my first circular jumper! I’m 11 rounds in and have only frogged it twice so far! That’s not bad right?

I’ll let you know how it goes…


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