Hats All

I recently realised that I tend to design in phases. I only realised this as I’m entering my third phase – two phases wasn’t enough for the penny to drop really, but three makes it definite.

When I first started designing knitting patterns, I was obsessed with designing fingerless mitts (or wrist warmers, muffatees, whatever you like to call them). I think I enjoyed these as I love to wear them and also there is the challenge of making something small but stylish that is also practical and there are so many different ways with cuffs, thumbs, gussets etc.

Lossie Mitts – my favourite fingerless mitt design

Then I discovered the joy of designing cowls (snoods, infinity scarves…) and I loved these as I could play around with stitch patterns without worrying about increasing/decreasing or thumbholes etc. This is the phase where I think I started to find my particular design style.

 

The Lightning Hills cowl

Now I have moved on to hats. And the move was pretty much by accident – I had an idea for a pair of fingerless mitts (because sometimes I move back and forward between phases…) with a particular stitch pattern. I submitted the idea to a publication but it was unsuccessful. Then a friend got in touch asking if I could knit her a hat, with a picture of a slouchy beanie as an example of the kind of thing she wanted. I realised that the stitch pattern I had in mind would be perfect for a hat like this and a new knitting phase was born!

IPJl+e8aQIiDbDbxdjorfw_thumb_62
Bookshelf Beanie

 

Although not deliberate, I feel like this is a progressive learning experience for me. I’m picking up new methods and gaining experience with every different phase.

 

Presumably the last phase is jumpers (although my very first design was a child’s jumper – exception to the rule!) but I’m wondering what will be next? I am still enjoying designing hats for now though and have just finished my second design, which I hope to have test knitted soon.

 

Does anyone else find they go through design phases like this? I would love to find out about it!

 

Happy knitting everyone!

 

the knitting moon x

Advertisements

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?”

 

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…

 

dsc_0033 dsc_0026

 

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

 

img_1023 img_1033

 

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

 

img_1345

 

(Sock pattern here)

 

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

 

img_1350

 

(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…

 

img_1377

 

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

DSC_0073 DSC_0074

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

DSC_0080

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!

 

IMG_7773-001_small2

 

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

 

b8d8dbc36aafce1f21a4c6f6fc44f5af

 

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

 

textured-laguna-wrap-knitted-pattern_1957_copy_small2

 

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!