Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bertrand Louis

I came across this pattern (Bertrand Louis) during one of many pattern/yarn searching sessions on Ravelry.  Yes, I confess - I spend quite a bit of time on Ravelry.  I've even started to wonder how much more knitting I could get done if I turned my Ravelry time into knitting time.  My favorite thing to look up on Ravelry is different types of yarn.  I love looking up yarn and seeing what people have knit with it or reading comments about yarn.  Love it! But, I'm getting off track here.  

I had a lone skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted that was begging to get used up in a cowl, except I was having trouble finding a pattern.  Of course I found myself on Ravelry and after much searching decided on the Bertrand Louis.  The next thing I usually do when I decide on a pattern is to look through other people's project pages for that pattern and see if any red flags or helpful notes pop up.  Bertrand Louis was no exception and it became clear to me that this pattern was not without flaws.  

The major thing I came across in Ravelry is that the number of stitches to cast on was wrong.  The pattern calls for an odd number (49), but many people noted that the half brioche stitch needs an even number (of stitches).  The pattern does have 6 edge stitches (3 at each side), but 49 minus 6 equals 43, which is not an even number.  Now here is the kicker - after reading all of this I was convinced that these people had it wrong and they just hadn't figured out or understood the pattern correctly and instead punted by changing the number of stitches.  As I type this I realize how crazy it sounds because it is crazy!  How could I not believe all these other people who had knit this pattern before me? I'm still baffled by this.  Well you can guess what I did next.  I cast on 49 stitches and tried to figure it out and make it work.  The not so shocking conclusion (after a handful of cast on attempts) is that I could not get it to work.  Part of me still wonders if it's possible to work with 49 stitches, but I'm not sure I see how.  After this rocky start the pattern was pretty much straight forward. 

Oh! The other thing I wasn't quite understanding is the movement of the yarn for the edge stitches.  The pattern for the half brioche stitch and for the edge stitches used the terminology "wyif" which I know to mean to move the yarn to the front of the work.   For the edge stitch it literally meant "move the yarn to the front of work, slip the next stitch, then move the yarn to the back of work".  Essentially the purl stitch is "wrapped" by the yarn, if that makes sense.  It's a very nice technique that makes a pretty sturdy edge. 

Once I got the knitting going, it was a fun knit and pretty fast too.  I forgot how nice it was to knit with Malabrigo Worsted!  The skein was left over from a Clapotis that I made for my mom and I thought it only right that I give the cowl to her.  I mainly kept it as my group knitting project, but then had to move it along so that I could have it done in time for my her (my mom's) birthday. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good news!!

I'm having a really good day today because I found out that my En Fuego Shawl pattern was accepted into Knit Picks Independent Designer Program and I couldn't be happier!  It's been an interesting journey from the time I submitted the pattern to the time it was accepted including spending a lot of time on the pattern itself (lots & lots & lots of tinkering) and knitting the sample to send to Knit Picks.  During that time we also moved into a house and I spent some time in Fort Worth (which I often type as a combination of both words "Forth").  I think that all this activity at the end of September & beginning of October really wore me out.  The sad part being that I've only just realized the toll all of this took on me.  The good news is that I'm starting to feel recovered and as a result I'm back working on what I call my "panel shawl".  I've fixed the charts and only have a couple of more things to figure out on it before I finish knitting and write up the pattern.  Now if only those "couple of things" would work themselves out quickly.... 

My "home office" + Merlin
 I also have a vague idea of a cowl design I want to do, but I'm going to wait until I finish up this shawl.  Now, while I haven't been working on my "panel shawl", I have been working on my Entrelac scarf (which I'm totally loving).  I don't have any good pictures of it yet, but I anticipate a photo shoot in the near future.  I'm actually really thankful that I've had this scarf to work on because it's kept me knitting and it feels good to move a project forward.  Let me leave you with a photo of Arthur and the "panel shawl".  He loves a good knit, but they always seem to tucker him out :o)

P.S. My pattern isn't on Knit Picks site yet.  I'll let you know when it's officially for sale on their site!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fort Worth, TX

I'm spending a couple of days in Fort Worth, TX visiting my parents.  They are here because my dad has a conference at the convention center here for the week.  Today started out with a drive over to Dallas to visit my long time friend Carly, who had spent the weekend in Dallas.  I haven't seen Carly in what feels like forever (I think the last time was when I lived in RI and she lived in MA) and it was really nice to see her and her sister.  After meeting them for breakfast, I headed back to Fort Worth and my mom and I spent the rest of the day walking around and hanging out at Starbucks.  The highlight of our day was discovering that we could walk down into part of the Water Garden across from the hotel.  Very neat and very loud.  Later on we spent the night knitting and watching playoff baseball.  All in all a perfect day :o)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Goodbye 20s, Hello 30s

Happy Birthday to me!
That's right, today is my birthday and it marks the end of my twenties.  I could not be more excited to turn 30!  I feel like I'm betraying all those who turned 30 and tried to hide it or deny it, but I don't see what the big deal is; I guess I've always been fine with birthdays and getting older.  This year is particularly a good birthday because I get to spend it with Mr. SpiderKate!!!  We've spent many birthdays and special days apart that it really means a lot when we get to be together on those days.  Mr. SpiderKate already got me my birthday gift in the form of a trip to our local yarn store.  I picked up a pair of Addi needles, a pattern, and some Madelinetosh Pashmina yarn!

Fingering weight En Fuego Shawl
In other news, I've finally got my En Fuego pattern up for sale!!!  The pattern is $3.99, but I've set up a promotion in honor of my 30th birthday.  When you use the coupon code 30Birthday then you will get 30% off of the pattern.  That makes it only $2.79!!!  The promotion is going to run for a full week starting yesterday and ending on 10/10/11.   

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crazy weekend!

This past weekend has been absolutely crazy!  Between moving and knitting the fingering weight version of En Fuego Shawl, I am exhausted!  Oh and not to mention that I had to wind yarn in our guest bathroom since our desk hadn't yet been moved over to the house.  I am happy to report that we are now all moved in, but not completely unpacked AND that I finished up knitting the shawl.  Originally I really wanted to have the shawl done by Friday (9/30), but I just could not swing it.  When I wasn't moving or unpacking, then I was knitting and when I wasn't doing either of those things, then I was just vegging out.

Desperate times call for desperate measures
This next week is going to be donated to unpacking, photographing the shawl and updating the pattern (En Fuego Shawl) with the fingering weight photographs and measurements.  I am planning to have the pattern up on Ravelry for sale by Tuesday, which just so happens to also be my birthday!!!  I am ridiculous excited for my birthday - honestly I'm not sure someone should be this excited to turn 30, but I really am!  The pattern is going to cost $3.99, but I'm thinking since it's going to be released on my birthday that I'd do some sort of promotion/sale for the first week.  I'll post the promotion info on the Ravelry pattern page as well as here in the blog and on twitter.  Okay, now just to make sure I get it photographed and the pattern updated by Tuesday.  I can do it, right?

In progress fingering weight En Fuego Shawl