25th Pattern Ahoy!

I’ve just released my 25th knitting pattern on Ravelry. For some reason this seems like a massive milestone to me. It may be because I’ve read about designers having great upturns in customers at 25, 50 and 100 patterns… but I don’t think this pattern is going to do that for me as it’s not a hugely popular category. I think it just feels like a good number of patterns to have. A quarter of a century of knitting patterns… It may also be because I’m so slow at finishing and releasing patterns, every round(ish) number feels like an accomplishment.

 

Anyway, to the pattern!

It’s a wee bag, I designed it for taking with me when I walk my dog…

Roary the dog

 

But it would work as a project bag or even for festivals (which was the original purpose of the bag I was replacing!)

 

It’s called the Highweek Bag after my favourite local dog-walking area.

 

Highweek Bag

I have been using it often since finishing it and it’s surprisingly sturdy (I wasn’t sure how well the pockets or drawstrings would hold out with heavy stuff in but they have been key, heavy purse and full juice bottle carrying heroes!)

 

As this is my 25th pattern, I decided to have a 25% off sale of all my patterns on Ravelry which goes on until the 25th of August. If you’re not keen on the bag, why not have a look a some of my other patterns while the sale is on…

Now, I’m already working on numbers 26 to 30…

 

For all you dog lovers, here’s one last doggy pic!

 

“What’s happening over this wall and why aren’t I invited?”

 

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Testing, testing

I’ve recently decided to try to be more of an all round, professional, efficient designer. So far I’ve begun streamlining my Etsy and Folksy shops (concentrating on uploading patterns rather than selling items to order) and trying to pay more attention to the social media side – I’ve been using  Instagram a lot more (it’s become my favourite social site…) and I’ve gotten round to creating a dedicated knitting facebook page at last.

The biggest change I’ve made though, is in having my designs test knitted through Ravelry. I’ve always either test knitted them myself or asked someone I know to do it offline. But I still always had those nagging doubts when I’d send the pattern out there… Is it good enough? Have I missed something? Will someone come back to me and complain? Having strangers test knit has definitely helped with this. I feel much more confident about releasing a pattern that has been thoroughly gone over by others!

This is my latest pattern which has been test knitted:

You can find the pattern on Ravelry or in my Etsy shop.

I’m having another design test knitted as I write. I thoroughly recommend the test knitting process to any new designers. I tried using the Free Pattern Testers thread on Ravelry for the cowl shown above. This is a heavily moderated thread which has quite strict guidelines on what and how you and your testers post. Great for a first try if you’re not sure exactly how to go about it. I am now trying out The Testing Pool which is much more relaxed – it’s basically up to you to set out your expectations and conduct your test as you see fit.

So, what’s the next step for the all-new professional Knitting Moon??? Well, right now, I have 22 patterns in my Ravelry store – I’m aiming for the magical 25 pattern milestone and trying to make myself release a pattern every month…Not sure if I’ll be able to keep that one up but I’m going to give it a try.

Anyone else have test knit tips or stories? I’d like to hear them.

Recently

Just a few random things I’ve been up to recently…

 

We went to Scotland for Christmas – the long way! But it was worth it to see views like this on the way…

 

 

 

Rainbow over Loch Linnhe
Rainbow over Loch Linnhe

 

We had a lovely time with friends and family…the Wee Man went ice skating for the first time on his birthday…

 

Getting the hand of it
Getting the hang of it

 

…and we enjoying a few good dog walks in Lossiemouth…

 

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I tried air-drying clay presents for a few friends and Dylan’s teachers this year…

 

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I knit the Big Man his first pair of socks by me…

 

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(Sock pattern here)

 

I knit something for myself using Noro for the first time…

 

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(It ended up as a long infinity scarf with the addition of some solid coloured merino wool)

 

And finally…I’ve begun a new design…

 

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Which I will probably go into more detail about once it’s finished!

 

Happy 2017 to you all!

Cosiest comfiest mitts

I’m eventually getting round to adding a free mitt pattern to go with this cowl. (The main problem was getting decent photos so forgive the ones I’ve managed to get!)

I also knit a pair for the Wee Man as he hates wearing gloves with fingers (he can never get his fingers into the right bit) but he can put these on easily and he loves them.

NB: these mitts are designed to be roomy and slouchy, this size fits my medium (7.5″ round the knuckles) hand with a bit of room but they don’t fall off. If you have smaller hands you may want to reduce the stitch count a bit.

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Cowl and mitt together
Cosy comfy mitt
Cosy comfy mitt
Other colours
Other colours
Wee man size
Wee man size

Here’s how to do it:

Materials

You’ll need 2 X 50g balls (one of each colour) of Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK or any DK yarn to get tension/gauge of 13sts and 29 rows to 10cm.

6mm (US 10) circular needle (if using magic loop method) or dpns.

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Pattern

(Child size in brackets – should fit children from around 5 to 10 years old)

Holding both colours of yarn together, cast on 36 (25) sts.

Join in the round.

Knit in garter st (knit one rnd, purl one rnd) for 40 (20) rnds.

Next rnd: K 27 (16) sts, cast/bind off 4 (3) sts, K to end of rnd.

Next rnd: P 27 (16) sts, cast on 4 (3) sts, P to end of rnd.

Work 6 more rnds (both sizes).

Cast/bind off. Sew in ends.

Enjoy!

A cowl or two

I’ve been busy finishing off a few designs recently – one is published as a pattern on ravelry and one is a very easy one which I would like to share with you for free.

 

It’s for a simple cowl, it’s knit in the round but it’s an easy first project in the round if you’ve never tried it before.

 

Here is the finished item…

 

multi cowl

 

You will need:

2 X 50g Sublime Extra Fine Merino Dk in each colour (4 X 50g in total) – I used shade 015 (Clipper) and shade 348 (Faye) in this version – see the Etsy link below for other colour versions.

6mm circular (up to 24″ length) or dpns if you prefer.

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

 

Pattern

 

Using both colours of yarn held together, cast on 112 sts

Join in the round

Work in garter st in the round (K one rnd, P one rnd) for 61 rounds.

Cast off.

Weave in ends.

Simple!

This makes a cowl which is 75cm/30″ in circumference and 22cm/8.5″ in height. If you would like it to be more fitted, cast on less stitches (Tension/gauge is 13sts and 29 rows to 10cm/4″). Or if you would like it to be longer so you can wind it around your neck a couple of times, add on more stitches. You will of course, need more yarn for the longer option. I used most of 2 skeins of each colour for the pictured size so work out how much longer you want it to be and multiply the amount of skeins accordingly!

 

Of course, if you don’t knit, (or would prefer me to do it!) you could always pop over to my Etsy shop and order a custom knit one…

If you fancy more of a challenging knit, you could try my Oran Mor cowl…

 

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The pattern is for sale on Ravelry here or there is also a custom knit version for sale in my Etsy shop here.

 

I am in the middle of another cowl at the moment – I seem to have caught the cowl bug. It may have taken over from wrist warmers as a favourite design…

x

 

 

 

So Long Mum

My brother was right when he quoted Justin Bieber at Mum’s funeral. “My Mama don’t like you and she likes everyone.” She did like everyone. And everyone liked her. You couldn’t help it.

 

Here she is in her heyday and beyond…

B & W Mum in dress

B & W Mum on bench

Mum at Pennan hr

Her name was Maggie and she is very much missed.

 

I started knitting her something at the beginning of this year but never got to finish it for her, so I’ve published the pattern and will donate all profits to Marie Curie Cancer Care who looked after Mum so well when she was ill. You can find the pattern here.

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I hope Mum would have like it and you do too!

 

Lots of love, Sarah xxx