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!

Hooray for clay!

 

I’ve been experimenting with making a few things with air drying clay recently. This started because I wanted a little dish for my bedside table to put little bits in like hair bands and jewellery. So I made a dish and a tea light holder and a little fox brooch.

 

They are a bit rough and ready (and cracked and wonky…) but I don’t mind that. They’re just for me and they make me happy.

 

Dish and fox brooch

Dish and fox brooch

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I rolled a piece of hessian over the clay to create the pattern
I rolled a piece of hessian over the clay to create the pattern

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Tea light holder
Tea light holder

 

 

Hopefully the cracks in the tea light holder will disappear once it has a lit tea light in it!

 

 

End of the shawl aversion?

There has always been something that’s puzzled me about knitters/Ravelry…the insane predilection they seem to have for knitting shawls.

 

I have never worn a shawl. I don’t know many people who do. I thought they were frumpy and about as useful as a chocolate teapot to be honest.

 

But in recent months I’ve found myself admiring certain shawls more and more…even adding them to my favourites (shock!). Here are some of my recent picks…

Drachenfels by Melanie Berg on Ravelry – I love the colours and stripes – I can even forgive it for being a triangle!

 

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Claire’s Shawl Wrap by Handsty on Etsy – This looks sooooo cosy and fabulous.

 

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And Textured Laguna Wrap by Chandi Agee on Ravelry – this is such a beautiful colour and texture.

 

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I’ve also realised that a shawl is a fine thing to sit and wrap yourself in when it’s not wintery anymore but there’s still a wee nip in the air.

 

I’m still not convinced by the floaty, lacy, triangular/crescent/scalloped edge things that a lot of ravellers seem to lap up…but I am officially coming out as a shawl fan.

 

Confession: I have actually knit a shawl/wrap type thing and am sitting cosily wrapped in it as I type…more of that another day!

 

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…

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THE GLOVE!

Spooky…

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…

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

tkm