Archive for June, 2013

Freebie Friday rules are a little different to Ravelry Monday rules, and are as follows:

  • The pattern needs to be free.
  • The pattern does not HAVE to be a Ravelry download, but must be listed on Ravelry.
  • The pattern must have a photo clearly showing the item.
  • The pattern still needs to produce a professional looking item and have the necessary information for potential makers.
  • Clothing for adults must still be available in plus sizes.
  • An item showcased on Freebie Friday may still be showcased on Ravelry Monday, if it fits the brief for that day.

I found myself a little torn this time around.  Drops Design added a whole bunch of patterns to Ravelry this week, and I had a hard time deciding whether or not to share them.  Drops have a lot going for them – the patterns might not always be to my personal taste, but they produce a variety of patterns for clothes in generous size ranges; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a clothing pattern from them that didn’t go up to a 50″ chest.  They also tend to provide clear pictures of the clothes and, crucially, diagrams showing item construction – a rare inclusion that I really appreciate.  But they are also notorious for providing very vague instructions that often require knitters to work together to figure out what was “really meant”.  The patterns are often relatively simple in construction, but the instructions can make it hard to follow if you’re a beginner, and definitely make it more difficult to figure out where and how to make adjustments for a perfect fit.

So I’m sharing a few Drops designs today, but I’m also going to make sure to include a bunch of designs from others, as well, to balance things out.

 

Tanja

First up from Drops is Tanja, a beautifully constructed jacket knit in DK weight yarn.   love the shape of this, the collar and neckline, the length, the patterned front and back panels and the unusual shape to the hemline.  It’s a very unique jacket that still has some very classic design elements, and I can really see myself wearing it.  Available up to a 54″ bust, the pattern instructions are written on the Drops website, along with diagrams indicating construction, and the link can be accessed from this Ravelry page.

 

Slip Stitch Dishtowels

Here’s a nice non-Drops pattern.  Knitted dishtowels can make lovely gifts, and I particularly like the look of these, with the traditional dishtowel patterns and colours.  Thes pattern instructions for these towels are written on the designer’s website, and a link to this can be found on this Ravelry page.

 

Wrist Warmers With Lace Pattern

Another pretty Drops pattern, this time in fingering weight.  The wrist-warmers have a nice, simply but striking lace pattern and, as you can probably guess from the picture, can be knit to match a set of hat-and-cowl/capelet available as a separate pattern.  The wrist-warmer pattern can be found via this Ravelry page, while the hat and cowl set can be found here.  A combination of all three would make a lovely Christmas gift, and there’s plenty of time to get knitting!

 

House Colours Scarf

This is a very simple, minimalistic pattern, and you could probably knit a fair approximation of it on your own.  But I like the fact that the designer has done something different with an often-clichéd concept.  Too often, “house colours”, or colour combinations to celebrate sports teams, schools or groups, are knit in the most basic even-width horizontal stripe.  But here, the designer has worked with a very simple but pleasing combination of different stripe widths, along with a contrasting textured border to keep the finished product neat.  This would be a great knitting pattern for a beginner, and is available as a free Ravelry download.

 

Bird Cherry Hegg

I’ll admit, I’m sharing this one not because I think it makes a great washcloth design, but because I think the pattern – both the centre stripes and the pretty border – would make a gorgeous centre-panel for a knit vest!  The pattern is really pretty and unusual, and I’d love to see it worked up into something to wear.  The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

 

 

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Excuse the face, my other half spent most of the shoot trying to make me laugh!

Excuse the face, my other half spent most of the shoot trying to make me laugh!

I love this shawl.  It’s like a celebration of Loki, Odin, Freya and Frigga all at once.  Odin, for the raven-coloured yarn and winged shape, Freya, for her cloak of feathers, that she lends to Loki for so many of his adventures, and Frigga for the celebration of spinning and home crafts.  I’m also proud of it because it represents my most handmade item to date.  I wanted to look back on the process of creating the shawl, so here’s some photos and a few reminders of how it came to be.  Not much in the way of words, this is a celebration in pictures.  But, for those of you who want to make your own…

It started with my custom blend from World of Wools.  25% raven merino, 12.5% raven tussah silk, 12.5% each of midnight and aubergine merino, royal blue and amethyst tussah silk and rainbow trilobal nylon, blended the maximum five times.  I love the rainbow colours, but the next time I make the fibre I think I’ll skip the trilobal, add a little more raven silk and blend it a little less, to show off the colours in the fibre better – the trilobal does overwhelm the blend some.  I’d probably also add beading, now I know how the pattern comes together, I could add beads quite easily to really show off the shape.

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“How about you do one of those poncey fashion magazine poses?” “Okay, but no trout pout.” “No you have to trout pout!” “Fine!”

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Obligatory look-at-how-mysterious-and-artsy-I-am pose

This is Ravelry Mondays, a weekly event where I pick three-five patterns seen on Ravelry that week, and share them on this blog.  Some weeks will be themed, and there are some rules.

In order for a pattern to qualify it must:

  • Be on Ravelry
  • Be available for download either on Ravelry or from another website – no patterns only available in print or magazines, but it doesn’t have to be free
  • Have at least one photo clearly showing the item as a whole
  • Have at least one photo where the item is not being manipulated, so we can see accurately how it hangs and fits
  • Must have the necessary minimum information on the ravelry page – sizing info where applicable, yardage, yarn weight, etc
  • Clothing items will only qualify if they are available in plus sizes*
  • Only one pattern per designer per week

*And the plus sizes given must have MEASUREMENTS.  Calling the sizes XS-XXXL means nothing if you never tell us what XXXL is.  I’ve seen a 40″ bust called that, before!

Since I missed last week’s Ravelry Monday, due in large part to spending every second of my spare time knitting furiously to finish my gorgeous, luvverly shawl, I’m presenting some extra bits and pieces this time around.  The focus this week is on socks – although I found a few other things that were just too pretty not to share.

I hope I haven’t given the impression, through lack of attention, that I’m not a sock lover.  I do like them.  I just have a history of being bad with socks.  My house is the place where socks go to die.  I don’t think I’ve managed to keep a pair of socks intact for more than a week before one goes missing, and for the last three months I’ve been borrowing my other half’s three remaining pairs when he’s not wearing them.  Because of my terrible sock habits, I’ve been loathe to knit any for myself in spite of the gorgeous patterns out there, simply because I feel they’d be wasted on me.  And I feel bad about spending money on good yarn to make something I know will just disappear before I’ve had a chance to wear it more than twice.

But I do love socks, and have a rather large list of queued sock patterns waiting for me to get better at this stuff.  Maybe I just need to charge in and make some.  Maybe having a pair of socks I made myself, from fancy yarn, will motivate me to take better care of them.

Time Traveller

This is a very cute pair of socks.  I love sock patterns with very thin cables, and the heel looks interesting as well.  These are knit in fingering weight yarn, and have a lovely shape to them.  I’d love it if there was a knee-length option, simply because I love knee-length socks, but the mid-calf length is a good, standard length that’s easy to wear.  As an aside, one thing I love to see in photos of knitting patterns is a range of different sized people wearing them.  I know I talk about that with knit sweaters and the like, but I think it’s especially important for items like socks.  Shop-bought socks can be very uncomfortable if you’ve got chunky calves like I have, but I can see here that the cuff stretches beautifully, so these would no doubt be very comfortable for me.  The pattern is available for download at Ravelry for under £4.

Tiril

Here’s another pretty pattern, where a cabled design is knit wide to create a gorgeous pattern of ferny, leafy things along the sock.  This is another fingering weight pattern but is knit top-down, which is a great way to ensure the cuff is nice and stretchy – binding off can often tighten stitches, which results in a more uncomfortable sock.  The Tiril pattern is also under £4, and is available for download at Ravelry.

Gatlingburg

Now this is a great, gender-neutral sock pattern.  It’s a fingering weight again, with a slightly longer shape to it that would make it great for longer-legged people, and an interesting design of cables.  The pattern is available for under £4 and can be downloaded at Ravelry.

Charlotte

This is something a little dfferent.  A very nice top in DJ weight yarn with a thin striped pattern, and a really attractive shape at the shoulders and neckline.  It’s also available up to a 60″ bust, making it one of the more generous patterns available, and at under £3 is a real bargain.  I really like this one, and it is available for download at Ravelry.]

Aquae Tank

This is another pretty DK-weight top, this time featuring wider stripes knit using a gently variegated yarn that leaves the finished top with a pretty, painted look.  The pattern is simple and easy to modify, and is available up to 60″ again, so is another great pattern.  I especially like the length of it, which sits nice and low on the hips and would look great layered over a thin shirt.  The Aquae top is available for under £4 and can be downloaded at Ravelry.

Sheherezade

It’s possible I have a weakness for beautiful beading on shawls that’s making me biased, but I think this is simply stunning.  A gorgeous, large, lace-weight shawl with a distinct lace pattern and a second, independent pattern worked in the beading itself, and that rough, frilly edge that makes it look so light and cobwebby.  The Sheherezade pattern costs £4, and is available for download at Ravelry.

DSCN0225It’s done, it’s done!  My Ravenwing shawl is done!

Okay, that’s not quite true.  I still need to block it, and weave in the many ends of yarn, but the spinning and knitting is done!  And I am so pleased.  This is the most handmade thing I’ve made to date.  The fibre blend was custom designed by me and blended to order by the wonderful World of Wool, handspun and plyed by me, and then knit by me. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I’m so sorry the early-morning light couldn’t capture how gorgeous this is, with the glittery rainbow fibre, glossy silk and deep, complex merino.

DSCN0219I’m not going to have a chance to block it until Monday, probably.  I’m off today to watch my little sister row at her last ever Women’s Henley before she leaves for exciting university adventures, so will be spending most of the weekend gushing with pride and feeling emotional.  I plan to at least get the ends weaved in so I can wear the shawl at Henley, though, and will endeavour to get some photos of me wearing it, for you.

DSCN0215It turned out exactly like I wanted – the fringe just reaches my hips now, so once it’s blocked it should hang a little lower, and the arms are long and wide enough to drape across my bust very comfortably.  It did take up rather more fibre than I expected, though – I have a single hank about the length of my arm left from the fibre, so we could very easily have had a bit of a panic moment, if spinning had produced just a little more waste!  In the end I was so excited to get it done that I was knitting straight off the spindle without even bothering to hang the yarn, not that it’s done any harm to the end result.

 

That’s it for now, and I’m very sorry I didn’t give you any Ravelry posts this week.  I’ve been knitting flat-out to get this finished, and simply didn’t have the time.  I’ll have to make it up to you with an extra-large one next week!

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While browsing for new Ravelry patterns to share on Monday, I came upon this lovely knit tee.  It’s DK weight, available up to a 60″ chest and looks perfect for the Summer!  What’s even better is, the pattern is on sale reduced from $4 down to just $2!  It’s an introductory price, so snap the pattern up quickly if you want it!

This one is still a possible contender for Ravelry Monday, simply because it’s such a treat to find a pattern with a decent size range, but I wanted to share it with all of you while it was on offer!