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My First Costume: SuperHero

Presenting my latest pattern, now available both through Knit Picks or Ravelry.

My First Costume: SuperHero

Some of you may remember the Superman costume I’d knit for Jakob when he was a baby.  This is my update of that pattern.

The pattern is knit toe-up, in (mostly) one piece.  The legs are knit first then joined for the briefs, then the sleeves are knit and finally the body, which is knit in one piece from the yoke up.  I included short-row shaping in the diaper area to give more room and a better fit.

There are photo instructions on how to make the optional cape.

The Power Princess chart is included…

as well as the chart for your little SuperStar.

Not only that, but I provided a blank chart and instructions on how to personalize the pattern, so you can put your own image, your child’s initial or anything you like!  (That’s how I made the original Superman version…I’m just saying…)

I was very lucky to have my friend’s daughter Maya model for me, and her father Avi take the photos.  (If you like his work, he is an amazing Montreal-area photographer.  You can see more of his work on his website).

I hope you like the pattern.  I have been having requests for it ever since Jakob’s version came out, but life got in the way and it wasn’t until now that I was able to get it out into the world.  I would have loved to have had it ready in time for Hallowe’en this year, but at least now it is out there and ready, early enough for next year.  (So you’ve got a whole year to knit!)

Enjoy!


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2010-11-11

Good news!  I’ve added my Felted Poker Coasters and the My First SuperHero patterns to my Ravelry store, so now you can purchase them as Ravelry downloads!

Felted Poker Coasters

My First SuperHero

You can still purchase the patterns through Knit Picks, but now you have the option of going through Ravelry too, if you prefer to keep all your PDFs together in your library.

And don’t forget, you don’t need to be a Ravelry member to purchase the pattern through them.

 


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2010-11-03

Today is photo day at the boys’ daycare.  I can’t wait to see how the pictures come out!  Lately Jakob’s “say cheese!” face has a big grin but tight, squinty eyes…I’m hoping for a photo that’s not too silly looking.

Speaking of daycare, I’ve been thinking about what to make for the teachers this year.  I enjoy making something for the teachers, and they’ve told me that they appreciate it too.  Now that Henri is there, that’s a second class with another set of teachers to craft for.  Plus I make something for the owner too…so this year I wanted to find something small but that would still be appreciated.

I think I’ve settled on making the teachers each a pair of wristwarmers.  It’s small, practical and even people who don’t get cold enough to wear mittens or gloves can wear them.  They’re stretchy enough to fit a variety of wrist/hand sizes, and hopefully something I can get done in a relatively short period of time.

I didn’t want to rely on stash yarn for this mainly because I figured that the only way to make it fair would be to make everyone the same pair in the same color.  I stopped at Wal-Mart today after dropping the boys off at daycare and on my way to work.  I don’t have anything against chain-store yarn; I think that every yarn has its place in the right project.  (Well…except maybe Phentex.)  All the cotton I use for dishcloths and bath sets is from either Wal-Mart or Zellers, and a lot of the yarn I use for baby projects too.

The selection was really low today.  Either they’re getting rid of the crafts department (I noticed the fabric cutting table was gone), or someone really bought them out.  I did, however, find 4 100g balls of Bernat Satin in black- exactly the color I’d been hoping to find.

I think everyone could use a pair of cute, soft, black wristwarmers.  Hopefully the teachers will think so too!  I’m going to take another look through Ravelry, but I think I’ve pretty much settled on using this pattern– the Ravenna Mitts by Meg White (probably NOT of the White Stripes).  It’s crochet- not knitting- but it looks fast while still being pretty and feminine.

While there I came across this bag of 3 “unknown fiber” balls.  1 lb of “unknown fiber”.  Some of the “unknown fiber” bags you can tell what they are, and I liked this one.  I think it is combined with rayon or nylon…the yarn looks like a woven core wrapped with a shinier strand.  I tried to get a close-up shot to show you:

I’m sure it’s 100% fake stuff, but I love yarn like this, with a silky drape and light weight, for Summer stuff.  I won’t know the exact yardage until I run it through my yardage meter, but I’m sure I have enough for a tank top or lacy shell.

So that’s today.  And lately?

I’ve been working like mad on one special project for the last 2 months.  I had a pattern approved by KnitPicks towards the end of August, and then received the yarn to get started literally the day before my tonsillectomy.  Needless to say…I didn’t get much knitting done for a few weeks.  The one time I tried I knit in the wrong color, and that was enough to teach me that if I was going to finally get this pattern published, I would have to do it right and wait until I was off pain killers.

The knitting has been finished for about a week now, and I had the pattern photos taken last Monday.  I have been spending every night since then working on typing up the pattern so I can send everything off to KnitPicks.

You’d think with this many hours of work behind it, I would feel closer to my goal.  I don’t.  I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the pattern out in time for Hallowe’en…though I know that my 2 surgeries and work and health stuff with the kids had a lot to do with that, so I’m not beating myself up over it.  Still, now that the knitting is done I’m itching to move onto the next accepted design, but I can’t call this one “complete” until the pattern is written up.

Luckily I’ve finished all the laundry, and have nothing else to do each night for the rest of the week other than to finish the pattern.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can have it in the mail by Friday.


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something old, something new

Now that it’s official, I’m excited to announce that I have 2 patterns available through Knit Picks’ Independent Designers Program!

The first pattern is an update of a pattern I’d published in 2008. The pattern was in a calendar, and since it isn’t easy to purchase old, outdated calendars, I have updated the pattern info and made it available again:

Felted Poker Coasters

Felted Poker Coasters

It’s time to go “all in” and knit up a set of felted coasters.

These playing-card-themed coasters knit up so fast that they would make a great hostess gift, and if you start now you can have a set ready in time for the next big game.

This pattern would work well for beginners to knitting in intarsia, as the felting would hide any uneven tension changes for those unfamiliar to color work. One ball of the Cloud (white) and two balls each of the Red and Coal (black) are enough yarn to make a full set of 12 coasters.

Ante up!

You can purchase the pattern for $1.99 US through Knit Picks’ website here.

The next pattern has is one that I’ve been knitting for a while and giving away as gifts.  Now you can make one too!

My First Superhero

My First Superhero

Knit in Comfy Worsted, My First SuperHero is a quick, cuddly knit sure to please kids of all ages!

This pattern is a great moneysaver as one ball of each of the four colors required make two complete toys as shown.

He’s a “super” introduction to intarsia too, making him a good project for beginners looking to expand their skills. There are no loose bits and the cape is knit directly from the back-neck, so My First SuperHero is safe for even the youngest children. I have included a full alphabet and number chart so that each toy can be personalized for the recipient.

Taking only a few nights to complete, you’ll be the hero with this last-minute gift!

You can purchase the pattern for $1.99 through Knit Picks’ web site here.


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screwball socks

screwball-sock-cover-image

Screwball Socks

To continue celebrating my new Ravelry store, here’s another one of my patterns.

A fun, playful sock that would work well for both women and men, the Screwball Socks are both stretchy and slouchy, and really comfortable. The reverse-stockinette raised ridge spirals evenly down from the garter stitch cuff to the garter stitch, short-row heel. The heel and stripe blend seamlessly with the reverse-stockinette sole, while on the instep the ridge keeps winding its way along, all the way down to the garter stitch wedge toe.

The Screwball Socks are the pattern I designed for the Robyn’s Nest November 2008 Ultimate Sock Club kit.  Now they are available for everyone!

$4.95 CAD


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Moss Block Baby Cardigan

Moss Block Baby Cardigan
Moss Block Baby Cardigan

I have added all of my patterns to Ravelry’s pattern store.  In celebration I am going to repost the patterns here over the next few weeks.  Some are free, some aren’t, but I hope you enjoy them all!

Moss Block Baby Cardigan – click HERE

Moss Block Baby Cardigan Details
Moss Block Baby Cardigan Details


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lullaby blanket

I’m so excited to tell you this news!  One of the reasons I was so absent from the blog last November was because I was busy knitting something I couldn’t share.  It has since been published, and now I get to share it with you!

photo by Veronik Avery

My Lullaby Blanket has been published in the Spring/Summer issue of St-Denis Magazine (issue #2)!

photo by Veronik Avery

I LOVE this project.  I had the idea a year or so ago, but it really only came together at the end of last year.  

My original sketch (above) shows the blanket almost as it turned out, except my plan for the center was to work feather and fan just like the outside.  (To be honest, I was afraid of charting the center as lace and having to deal with not only designing the middle from lesser to more sts while keeping a pattern, but also how to physically chart the design).  Luckily, I had 2 things in my corner:  Time, and Maaike.

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By the time this project was accepted for publication, a bit of time had passed from my sketch.  In that time I had knit a bunch of projects, including Kayla’s Lace Cardigan (Ravelry).  I was really enamored by the eyelets in the cardigan, and knew that, if only I could figure out how to chart it, I could make use of eyelets in the center of my blanket.  My eyelets wouldn’t be the same as those in the cardigan, but by incorporating them it would tie in the yarn overs that make up the text section, as well as the garter/eyelet borders.  That’s where Maaike came in.  I can’t count how many times I called her up after throwing my swatch across the room and every single time she talked me out of going back to plain stockinette stitch and pushed me to make the lace breakthrough.  She also pushed me to work out some kinks in the text, and the result is clear, legible and much better than my first swatch!

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The border isn’t your typical feather and fan design- there are broken garter ridges giving a slight outline and depth to the eyelet section, and the design is carried through into the border so it doesn’t flip or flare.

I hope you enjoy knitting it as much as I did!

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The Lullaby Blanket’s Ravelry page is here, and the page for my project is here.

I’ll be able to sell the pattern in a few months.  In the meantime, if you want to check it out (or any of the 15 other gorgeous designs in the issue)  you can pick up the latest St-Denis Magazine, and the Nordique yarn.  If you’re in Montreal you can find them at Robyn’s Nest, Ariadne or Effiloche, and there is a list of other Canadian retailers here.  Outside of Canada you can visit Classic Elite Yarns’ site here and view a list of retailers.


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guild sock contest winners!

How exciting!  We had a guild contest tonight- members were invited to submit socks into different categories, and then a special guest would be voting for the winners.  I decided to submit my Phlox Socks (Ravelry) and my Screwball Socks (Ravelry) but I didn’t get my hopes up because I don’t have sock blockers, and to be honest, both pairs look pretty crappy just laying flat on the table.  The lace from Phlox and the tread from Screwball both need a foot inside to show off properly, but I put them with my entry forms anyways, just for fun.

Our special guest judge was none other than Kate Gilbert.  Yes, the Kate Gilbert of Clapotis (Ravelry) and Twist Collective fame.  She comes to the meetings from time to time, and it was great to see her there tonight.

When they announced the winners they started with the Members’ Choice.  Anyone who wanted to was able to vote for socks into one of two categories- Members’ Choice – Classic, and Members’ Choice – Fun & Funky.  I actually voted for my cousin Robyn’s Mathematical Equation socks (Ravelry) for the Fun & Funky category.  I was SHOCKED when my Phlox Socks won for Members’ Choice – Fun & Funky!  (Especially because I wouldn’t have thought of the lace as “fun & funky”).  I got to pick from a small selection of wrapped prizes, and won 2 balls of sock yarn in soft blues and yellows.  It’s a new yarn for my stash, with 50% wool, 25% bamboo and 25% nylon, and really soft.

I almost wasn’t paying attention at the end, and was just so happy to have won something, when my other pair of socks was held up.  Kate had chosen my Screwball Socks as the winner of the Best Original Design Socks!  I got to pick another prize, and this time my gift bag had a set of point protectors, a really cute notion that I actually don’t own.

I’m really floored to have won a prize for both of my entries, and I honestly don’t know which one I value more- the Members’ Choice one because that means that my fellow knitters and guild members actually liked my socks (all the socks were labelled anonymously, by the way) or the Best Original Design one because Kate, a respected knitware designer, chose it (I hope) because it is actually an interesting and well thought out design. 

I’m really happy about both.  I don’t like to be singled out at guild because I think it is a place for everyone who knits, regardless of skill level or how many techniques you can do or whether you have published designs or not, and I think that everyone there should have fun, be included and be acknowledged.  So I did feel guilty getting up not once, but twice to go and pick prizes.  That being said, however, I do respect the other knitters there, and I’m honored that they liked my designs enough to vote for them.


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a finished- no, unfinished- no, FINISHED hat

Look- I made a hat!

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Jakob is officially in daycare.  Last Monday was his first day, and while there are still some kinks to be worked out as he gets used to them and they get used to him, all-in-all it has gone very well.  Some mornings he runs into the class before realizing he’s not with me and starting to cry, and other times he cries and clings and reaches out so pitifully when the teacher manages to pull him away, that my heart hurts for a few seconds.  When I pick him up he’s quick to adapt, crying at first as he runs to me, but the second he’s in my arms he turns on the charm, grinning and waving good-bye and blowing kisses to everyone around.  He’s also been more cuddly than usual but I would never complain about that!

At his “school” there are cubbies for each kid where the parents leave changes of clothes, outdoor shoes, sippy cups, etc.  I need to leave a hat for him.  It occurred to me that I didn’t have a hat for him!  Sure, he’s still got some baseball-style caps that fit him, plus that fisherman’s looking thing, but all his “Winter” hats he grew out of last year.  So last Monday I went to spend some knitting time at Maaike’s and swatched for a simple ribbed hat.

Note to self: listen to Ann Budd.  Ann Budd knows from what she speaks.

See, I’m a cocky knitter.  Wait-that came out wrong.  What I mean is, I’m adventurous.  I’m bold.  I’m daring.  I’m not afraid of trying new things.  I’m also not afraid of whipping up a pattern if it will be faster than trying to find what I want online or in print.  So when I decided to knit Jakob a hat I didn’t go looking in Ravelry or in my vast collection of patterns to see what I could find.  Instead I just swatched, made a plan, and cast on.

Let’s forget the fact that my first attempt had too many stitches cast on because I’d forgotten how rediculously stretchy a simple 2×2 rib is.  I remeasured, restarted, and fixed the problem.  I even tried the new version on him when it was about 2″ high, to make sure of the fit.  He kept pulling it off and making angry faces at me, but the width was good, so I settled down to concentrate on the length.

This is where I should have listened to Ann Budd.  A quick glance at the hat page in A Knitter’s Handy Pattern Guide (or whatever it is called) showed that for my gauge, and for a hat of approximately the same size, for a toddler of 18-24 months, I needed to knit until the hat was 7″ long, and then I could begin the crown shaping.  However, my kinda-careful measuring of Jakob’s head told me that from the ears I only needed 4″ to get to the top of his head.  So why would I knit an extra 3″?  Especially in worsted-weight, mindless 2×2 rib?

brhatfo4

Turns out, I should have.  My hat is waaaaay too short on Jakob.  I’d knit a 2″-ish ribbed cuff, then a double turning row, then knit until the hat was 4″ long.  I did some funky decreases for the crown then gathered the last 8 sts and secured.

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You can see here that the hat just doesn’t fit.  This photo was taken with the brim folded down, and it is still too short.  He also still hates it, and it took a lot of squirming, crying and trying to keep his hand away from pulling it off to even get this one crappy photo.

My original title for this post when I started typing up the draft last week was “an (un)finished hat”, because I had planned on cutting off the turning rows and brim, knitting downwards to get the extra 3″, then redoing the brim.  I’ve since decided not to.  Jakob really hates the hat.  He won’t tolerate it on his head, and I’m not going to subject myself to knitting any more navy rib if he won’t end up wearing it.  Instead it will go to the new baby, and if the baby is a girl then I’ll embroider some flowers on it or something.

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I’m pretty sure it will fit the baby.

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Pattern:  Baby’s Blue Ribbed Hat, my own design

Size:  Whatever you get with 108 sts.  Around 18 months, but the ribs pull it in to fit a smaller baby, and stretch out for a custom fit.

Yarn:  Patons Decor in Rich Country Blue, about 3/4 of a ball.

Needles: 3.5mm

Dates:  November 3 – 4 2008

Modifications:  Um…everything, since there was no pattern to begin with.  I did a double turning row to give the fold room to fit up around the thick ribbing.  I also did a custom arrangement of crown decreases to get a star-type shape on top.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.


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what i saw today

Today I saw a few things that made me smile.  I saw some old friends of Yannick’s who had moved away and have now returned, and they live only 10 minutes away.

I saw some new yarn: 

Berocco Comfort and Lana Gatto Cucciolo- both yarns for Jakob’s Hallowe’en costume (should I get around to designing and knitting it by October 31st).

And I saw this face.  A lot of this face.  All day.  Seriously, how could this NOT make you smile?