February 21, 2015

Seed Stitch Lattice Hat

See, I told you I'd release another free pattern.

To get the actual pattern (pdf), please click here to download it from Ravelry

Seed Stitch Lattice Hat

A beret style hat that's way easier than it looks. The lattice effect is created using a contrasting color in a slightly lighter yarn than the main color and working seed stitch throughout.

Craft Type



Knitting and purling, decreasing, working in the round, basic stranded colorwork


17.5" (21") circumference at band, unstretched and blocked.  Fits around at 18 - 20" (21 - 23") head.


22st and 32 rows per 4" [10cm] in dual color seed stitch [the body pattern]

Yarn and Yardage

MC: 1 skein of Madelinetosh Tosh DK [225 yds/205 m]
or around 130 yds of a comparable yarn. Sample used
suggested yarn in colorway Dirty Panther.

CC: 1 skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Sport [270 yds/247 m]
or around 100 yds of a comparable yarn. Sample used
suggested yarn in colorway Baltic.

Needles and Hooks

US 5 [3.75mm] 16” circular
US 8 [5.00mm] 16” circular
US 8 [5.00mm] 40” circular for Magic Loop or equivalent
sized set of DPNs

Happy knitting!

February 9, 2015

For What it's Worth

While, given it's a week into February, that my hopes for getting a new pattern out around New Year's are dashed, I am working on one.  Here's a hint:

One of the reasons I have no pattern still is simply because I keep changing my mind.  I keep changing my mind partly because I keep trying things out and they don't work.  Or I don't like them.  Or it's too small, too big, wrong yarn, etc, etc. It isn't helping that I only did one swatch, and it was small.

This is what happens when you think you can knock out a 'simple' item of your own design without doing much pre-planning, out of scrap yarn.  I should have known it doesn't work that way. Now, it doesn't help that I haven't had much time for knitting recently, let alone calculating things officially in a spreadsheet.  Spreadsheets require hours in front of the computer working on them.  I can knit on the subway,  the bus, and wherever I may be at the moment. Might have contributed to my throw-it-to-the-wind half-ass planning, that did.

Anyway, it seems to be working now.  Hopefully.  Though I can't promise when it'll be written up and out, or if I'll be more than one size,  I can promise that I'll release it for free.

I actually thought about that for a bit, even though this pattern is pretty simple and in the end I decided that it'd only be worth between $0.50 and a dollar, which means it doesn't pay to get it tech edited.  And I won't sell a pattern that hasn't been tech edited, because that's not respectful of my users.  If it's free, well, I try to make sure there's no errors, but that's the trade off for getting a free pattern.

However, it does have a different aspect to it, which is why I paused at first.  Even something as simple as this takes a good amount of planning and some time investment.  This is something I have very little of at the moment.  And since my last pattern was put for sale, there's the aspect of going legit on top of it.  Where's the line between free and not?  Should I give my efforts away like that, after I've said they're worth something?

But then I realize, who am I kidding, I ain't a professional in this nor do I want to be.  So, free pattern. At some point.

I did also get this done:

Pattern is Flame Hat by Irina Dmitrieva.  I did the beret version.
Yay, shiny cable hat.  It's a little big, but it stays on my head, covers my ears, and is warm enough. Now what to do with the other skein of that yarn...

February 2, 2015

The VogueKnitting Live 2015 Debrief

Oh look, I did make it to VogueKnitting Live.  Barely.  Only because even though everything goes wrong the weekend you plan to do something fun (and by everything I mean a burst pipe flooding kitchen of the unoccupied house I'm responsible for), I had good relatives who stepped in and took care of the stuff someone had to be there for.  You know, so I wasn't out $100.  Instead, I spent more money.

Anyway, I'll make this shorter and sweeter than I usually do, in the interest of time (given I'm already late to this party).

In General
Two things worked in my favor this year: I noticed that they had the guide on their website (it was linked at the bottom of a copro-spam email from them. I was lucky I noticed it) and since Rhinebeck wasn't as awesome of a time as usually, for reasons completely unrelated to Rhinebeck, I said screw it and signed up for a class and went yarn-shopping.

So, since I saw the guide way ahead of time, I found out that yes, all the fashion shows were on Saturday again and I need to go early, which I did.  I actually went a bit too early; by the end of Saturday I was ready to leave and spent 30 minutes sitting on the floor waiting for my knit group. That didn't stop me from running around the marketplace on Sunday, of course.

The Class
This year I took my chances again and signed up for 'Knitting Bag of Tricks' taught by Patty Lyons.

It was way better than last year's class.  The instructor taught well, including taking into consideration what we wanted to learn, while keeping control of the class and not going off the rails.  While a couple of the tricks taught ended up not applying to me since the hack was 'knit combined' and I normally am a combination knitter, I learned several things I didn't even think of.  Like the fact that you can cast on purl-wise using long tail cast on.  Or twisting the back stitch of an standard k2tog or ssk makes it neater.  Also, it turns out that she's been teaching the whole Knitting by Structure concept I though I was clever in figuring out.  Guess I'm glad I didn't continue on with those posts (sorry).

I highly recommend this class, and I'm glad I just pony-ed up 90% of its cost instead of not bothering when the 50% coupon didn't show up.

Fashion Shows and the Panels
Having gone early for the fashion shows, I first was slightly disappointed. The first two shows I saw, Vogue Knitting and Classic Elite Yarns were pretty tame. Though Vogue Knitting did have these questionable items on display:

But anyway, as I got to the Rowan show, I looked at the pamphlet, realize it was full of standard boxy cut, cable laden sweaters, and skedaddled off to shop the marketplace.  While seeing patterns I either kind of like or or are so far in the box it's not funny modeled isn't bad, I really go for the WTF factor.  Which, when I came back in the middle of the Stephen & Steven fashion show I got it in spades:

This show made up for the last three.  All the knitwear in that show was an insane conglomerate of brightly-colored sacks and scarves that served more purpose as decoration for the strutting and dancing models than anything resembling an actual outfit. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun spectacle.  But it wasn't really a knitwear showcase, and I have no clue what patterns were modeled. Maybe it's was better because it didn't pretend to be one.

Which leads me to the last fashion show I saw, Koigu.  This was the standard fashion show I'm used to.  Some stuff that's ok, some stuff that's trying to pass itself off as a wearable item but you still wonder what went through the designers mind when she came up with that.  Like the target vest:

and the knitted yoga pants that don't even look flattering on the model, and the carpet sweater:

 and, to top it off, your granny's doilies turned into a dress:

Oh, VogueKnitting Live, never change.

On Sunday, I did go to see a specific panel called 'Design is a Process', which was a good look into how different designers approach designing.  It really got me thinking about the designs I want to do, which is bad because I currently have absolutely no time to do them. But I bought the yarn for a couple anyway. Mission accomplished, VogueKnitting?

So, yeah, I bought way too much yarn for myself.  And some yarn for my mother and the sister who got screwed dealing with the brunt of the burst pipe crisis while I frolicked here.  And some stitch markers. And a shawl pin.  Also, I have no pictures of any of it as I already packed it up (well, all but the skein I'm already using).

Let's just say that I'm set for awhile in yarn.  Which didn't stop me from ordering more two weekends later (one planned since I didn't find it at VogueKnitting, one because my original plan didn't work).

This year was a better year than last year as I got to see fashion shows and had a great class. And bought too much yarn, which is always fun.  Here's to next year, where hopefully I'm not ducking around making phone calls to the insurance company and relatives on top of everything.