Monday, 31 October 2016

It came with me

I decided that Old Faithful (my very large ongoing blanket project) was indeed "portable enough" to take with me to the conference I was going to this weekend.  By that, I mean that I decided that I didn't care if sitting with a giant multicoloured blanket over me during a conference that wasn't at all related to knitting wasn't subtle.  It was a good decision, the room was cold and I was cozy, plus Old Faithful is quite a bit bigger.  My husband looked at it the other day and asked when I was going to stop, it's a reasonable question, at some point the blanket can't get much bigger and still be helpful but I don't know, not yet, I still have more little balls of yarn that I'm going to put in it to use them up.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Old faithful

I'm just at the end of a project and haven't properly swatched and done the math for the next one and I was trying to figure out what to bring to knit night tonight when I remembered Old Faithful.  Old Faithful is a blanket made of leftover sock yarn that sits in a bag at the end of my couch for times such as these.  I've started it maybe two years ago and work on it intermittently, it's about four feet square (it spirals from the inside out), and I'd like it to be about five by five.  Despite being mostly garter I love the thing more than I thought I ever would and it's lovely to see those scraps that were too beautiful to throw out have a home.  I don't work on it much in the summer, since it's a wool blanket that covers my lap as I knit and it's long since ceased to be portable which means taking it to a social thing is usually out of the question, but this is the kind of social thing where a large unwieldy project isn't going to cause a problem.  It's a grey rainy day here and an evening with friends, tea, and Old Faithful is the most charming way I can think to spend an evening.

Monday, 24 October 2016


I've been having some issues with the math involving sizing a sweater and it was driving me crazy.  It occured to me that if I could somehow know the math was right for one size then I could try and figure out where I was going wrong, clearly I was making some silly mistake likely related to order of operations or something equally simple but the longer I stared at the numbers the more they started to look like Cyrillic and things were going no where.

I remembered I used to have this program called Sweater Wizard that did math like that but it would have been at my parents' old place before the moved and who knew what became of it.  It was given to me over a decade ago on some CD.

I was potting a plant in the basement and looked over and it was on the floor beside me, I have no idea how or why but I was pretty happy about this.  I took it to my husband.  I explained that I wanted to use this 12 year old CD-ROM that only works on Windows.  We have a Mac, it doesn't have a CD drive because it's a new one, clearly this working wasn't likely but my husband's a software engineer who is particularly opposed to being told things are impossible.

I woke up the next day and the program was happily running.  I've found where I was making mistakes and have made more progress on this pattern in the last 5 days than in the previous 5 weeks.

It feels really good.

Also my husband is amazing.

Thursday, 20 October 2016


Sizing garments intimidates me.  I find thinking things through so they're said clearly and succinctly for multiple sizes at the same time difficult, and sometimes I wish that I could just write one pattern per size instead of combining them together the way patterns are.  It's a skill I want to have, though, because you have to be able to do it to publish garments in magazines, and I want to be able to do that.  I also want to be able to size garments without finding it so difficult and I know that working on this skill is the only way to get better.

I was reading a book a mother wrote about helping her children with their schoolwork.  When they complained that particular things were difficult she'd say, "Of course it's hard, you haven't learned it yet.  When you learn it it will be easy."  That is something I keep coming back to to encourage myself, there are many aspects of designing that once were very difficult for me, but now I think nothing of them, and one day this will be added to that list.

The only way out is through.

Monday, 17 October 2016


Photos aren't something that come naturally to me, some people just seem to have an eye for what works.  I've learnt some things that have definitely improved my photos but they're still something I feel I'm not super-strong in.  I am, however, quite pleased with some of the photos I took earlier to go with some submissions to magazines.  There are three magazines with calls for submissions out at the moment that I really want to apply to and I got the ones I wanted to send out to the mag with the first deadline out this afternoon which feels good.  It's been one of those days where I've been feeling really productive.  However I've just been joined by toddler #1 and toddler #2 is definitely making awake sounds.  So the knitting productivity is going to be at a standstill for the time being while I go hang out with little people.  They're pretty awesome, though.

Friday, 14 October 2016

That Man

Yesterday there was some event involving pizza at my husband's work.  He ended up talking to some colleague of his who at one point asked what I did.  My husband told him I design knitting patterns and that I'm really really good at it (I love him).  They ended up talking all about frogging knitting (the colleague's wife does that sometimes) and Ravelry.  He is so charming.

Monday, 10 October 2016

In Theory Vs Reality

In theory magazine design submissions are meant to go like this: they put out a call for submissions saying what they're looking for, we get an idea, swatch, and send in photos of the swatch and a description, if our design is chosen we get sent yarn and make the object.

For me it goes more like this: they put out a call, I get an idea, I made several of the objects because I get really excited, I send in my submissions while planning to release the idea myself anyways because I'm thrilled with it.

It's a bit of a quirk but it has the benefit of making rejection letters seem like no big deal because I'm just going to publish it myself anyways.

Thursday, 6 October 2016


I've decided I need a set of bootcuffs, the ones I made for the magazine haven't arrived back yet from their photos and they're really quick.  Plus, this way I can make a different pattern and get it published this year (I don't get the rights back for a few months for Lattice, I Like Knitting's terms are really good, but I still have to wait a bit).  I'm having fun making them.  They're so quick and they fit in my knitting bag really well, so much more portable that sweaters.  I wasn't sure about the concept the first time I saw bookcuffs but they're growing on me.

Monday, 3 October 2016

A perfect fall day

There's a lake nearby with a stunning trail my family likes to go to.  The roads to it close after Thanksgiving (here in Canada that's this coming weekend).  We used to go on a weekend in October but the parking is a nightmare, we are not the only ones with this tradition, so we've decided to go on a weekday from now on, and that's what we did this morning.  My husband took the day off work and we drove up.  The forecast called for rain earlier in the weekend, but the rain came yesterday instead and it was a beautiful fall day, perfect for hiking, not too warm and not too cold.  We looked down the old mine (it is well fences), saw fish and generally had a good time.  Afterwards we drove to a nearby lookout to have a picnic, the kids fell asleep on the way home and miraculously continued their naps after we carried them to their beds.  My husband did the driving and I knit.  I cannot think of a way today could have been nicer.