Two more leafy patterns

To complete my mini-collection on the leaf theme, I recently released two more patterns: most recently, the Petites Feuilles Vest, and a couple of weeks ago, the Petites Feuilles Boots.

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The idea behind the vest was that it had to be truly unisex, with a simple yet well-thought-out design. There are a couple of techniques in there that even more experienced knitters might enjoy. I thought the addition of an optional secret pocket would allow knitters to have fun with color pairings as well as use up small amounts of leftover yarn. I like that the pocket bind-off hints at the color of the hidden lining. Also, little kids are usually enthusiastic about pockets, and I’m always thinking about what they’d like, too :)

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When it comes to the boots, the main idea was to make booties that would stay on little wriggly feet, so that meant that ties were a must. In my experience that’s really the only way a bootie will stay on a tiny foot.

I chose garter stitch for the bootie because picking up stitches is so easy and clean with garter stitch (you need to pick up stitches around the sole to work these booties seamlessly), and also, garter is very stretchy, which means that the booties should get a maximum amount of use.

Finally, I wanted the booties to be tall, not only for my leaf motif to fit, but also to make them extra warm and easy to put over pant legs. I also had a vision of my daughter wearing her boots with striped stockings underneath and a short skirt :)

I have to say I am not 100% satisfied with the photos I took for the pattern page, my daughter is constantly on the go and it was very difficult to get a decent shot that would show off the boots properly. Some of my testers, however, made some adorable versions and I made a little montage because they are just too cute (photos used with permission, clockwise from top left, boots by marthajane73, serendipitystitch, sweetbasil and t-a-n-y-a):

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These two patterns, as well as the Petites Feuilles cardigan and the Petites Feuilles bonnet, are available individually and also as part of a 4-pattern bundle with a discounted price.

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All patterns are available in my Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy stores.

 

Petites Feuilles Bonnet

Check out this little cutie — well, the bonnet isn’t too bad either ;)

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This is another riff on the leaf pattern, and I’m pretty pleased with it. I like bonnets because they stay on when the baby moves his head in the stroller, and provide nice head coverage (thanks to the garter stitch portion this one is especially warm around the ears).

This bonnet is completely seamless, knit flat for the garter portion and then in the round for the crown. Stitches are picked up for the ties.

I used some delicious Mellifera Yarns cash dk (Capri colorway) and this yarn is so wonderfully soft. The color is really vibrant, too.

This little bonnet comes in sizes Newborn to 12-18 months, and it’s now available in my Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy stores.

New pattern: Petites Feuilles cardigan

I’m a bit late to the party here, since my latest design, Petites Feuilles cardigan, went live a little while ago.

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I knew I wanted to do a spring-themed cardigan with some leaf motifs (“petites feuilles” means “little leaves” in French). Then when Mellifera Yarn‘s beautiful merino dk showed up in my mailbox (Mel came up with the gorgeous “Lawn” colorway when I asked whether if she could come up with a fresh, crisp light green colorway), I felt really inspired and went to work.

And boy this one turned out to be quite a bit of work! But I’m thrilled with the result. My test-knitters were so great in helping me work out kinks [Thanks guys!]

One of the cool things about this cardi (I think) is that the leaf motif is the right side up (stem towards the bottom) AND the body is knit top-down (which I think is a pleasant and practical construction for long-sleeve sweaters). There are quite a few leaf-themed garments that are knit top-down but all of them seem to have the leaf pointing down. Also, I wanted a garter stitch background for those leaves, not reverse stockinette, because I think garter stitch is just more fun to knit and super squishy. Finally, I wanted the leaf motif to be embossed, not flat.

Well, with all of these pre-requisites, it turns out that I had to come up with my own design for the leaf motif, which involved a LOT of trial and error. I also thought I should offer charts in addition to written instructions for this pattern, and there was a bit of a [ahem] learning curve there too!

So, in summary, I pushed myself with this one, and I’m excited about the result. In addition to the cool way it’s constructed, there are also cute details (elbow patches, optional pockets…) that make it a super fun knit.

I am planning on coming up with 3 more designs based on the leaf theme, so it will be a mini-collection if you will! Stay tuned for more leaf-y knits very soon!

A bouquet of daisies

Now that my latest design, Miss Daisy, is available in my Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy stores, I thought I’d share a few of my test-knitters’ versions. This round of test-knitting was a real treat, and I’m so pleased with how the pattern works out in all different sizes! (all photos are used with permission. Clicking on photographs will take you to each project page on Ravelry).

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Photo courtesy of ViolettaIvanova. Yarn used: Spud & Chloe Sweater.

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Photo courtesy of MelliferaMel. Yarn used: Mellifera Yarns Merino Aran.

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Photo courtesy of Madamour. Yarn used: Malabrigo Merino Worsted.

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Photo courtesy of deepgreenandblue. Yarn used: Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran.

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Photo courtesy of Emma-Saru. Yarn used: Malabrigo Merino Worsted.

Name that shrug contest!

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EDIT: Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I have selected MISS DAISY to be the name of this new pattern, after a suggestion I got on my Facebook page. Congratulations to the winner!

Ta-da!! Look what just fell off my needles. Do you want to help me find a name for it?
If I select your suggestion, you win a copy of this pattern AND any other one of my patterns!!

Here’s how to participate: either follow this blog, “Like” my Facebook page, join my group on Ravelry, or follow me on Instagram, and leave me your suggestion in any of these places.
If I select your idea, you win a copy of this pattern AND any other one of my patterns!!

Contest closes on Friday, Feb.7th.

(Please allow until the end of the month for this pattern to be written up, edited and tested)

Shrugging along!

I’ve come to love shrugs. Shrugs are pretty great. Especially when they are teeny-tiny!

1) They take no time at all to knit.

2) They are perfect to use up that lone skein of luxurious yarn laying in the corner (you know the one, you impulse-buyer you).

3) They are versatile: They dress up a simple shirt and jeans look, and they bring out the colors of a pretty dress.

4) They are the perfect present for little ladies, who seem to have a fondness for them.

Have I mentioned that I have a little lady of my own now? She is still itty-bitty and doesn’t have much say when it comes to the contents her wardrobe yet. I wish I could spend hours sewing and knitting intricate, time-consuming things for her, but since that isn’t possible anymore, I want to maximize the bang for my buck so to speak.

All this to say: I am so excited about this little shrug I’m working on! The design isn’t quite finished yet, but everything is falling into place I think, and here’s a little preview/teaser just for you.

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New pattern: Kyoto crossover cardigan

I so love this one!

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Next on my designing to-do list was coming up with a pretty yet practical unisex crossover cardigan. I think they are so great for babies. As always, I wanted the design to be seamless and fun to knit.

I’ve been obsessing over this pretty stitch for a long time now, but before I actually gave it a try, I had the impression that it would be a bit fiddly to knit. As it turns out, it’s really quite easy and fun to work, and the result is just so gorgeous. It looks especially interesting in slightly variegated yarn.

I used the beautiful Madelinetosh tosh dk (colorway: Curiosity) for the sample seen here. It’s a gorgeous yarn and machine washable too! (I have to admit though that I always handwash my handknits. I’m just paranoid that way, ha!)

Kyoto is available for sale in my Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy stores. Sizes range from 3mo to 6yo.

A look back on 2013

After feeling for a long time that I should just give a final send-off to this old blog, I’m realizing that I still get a lot of visits (hey, I’ve been around for 6 YEARS, which is pretty unbelievable). It’s also nice to have a record of what I’ve made and where I’ve been. I’ve lived in 4 different states/countries since starting the blog!

I’ve also been inspired to start blogging again by Lauren and Rae, who are both very cool and driven ladies (not that I know them IRL, but I feel like I do! You know how that goes). They also have managed to get their ducks in a row with 2 young children at home, so I feel like I should get more organized and give this a try. Here’s a good resolution for 2014! More blogging, more regularly.

Rae just had a great Top 5 for 2013 post, and boy, she’s been busy! Things haven’t been exactly quiet around here either, but since I haven’t documented much of the behind-the-scenes stuff, I though this post would be a good way to catch you up!

#1 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I had a second child! She is my little knitting assistant from the previous post. She was born in late September after a pretty exhausting but uneventful pregnancy and a lightning-quick labor — although she was technically born inside the hospital, I didn’t make it to the delivery room, ha!

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I have to admit that I am still a little traumatized by my new mom-of-two rhythm (or should I say total chaos) but I vow to do all I can to get it somewhat under control.

#2 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I’m more than a little bit proud to say that the money I earn from my knitting pattern sales can now be considered an actual income, and things really took off in 2013 for me, with a few patterns that became “hits” and a serious increase in sales overall. My Entrechat, Latte Baby Coat and Tiered Baby Coat patterns have been especially popular.

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I no longer feel a bit embarrassed/stumped for an answer when people ask me what I do besides take care of my kids (which is of course a very respectable and busy-making occupation in and of itself).

It’s so rewarding to make real money from something you absolutely love and I’m so grateful for every person who supports this little enterprise by buying my patterns.

#3 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I started treating my knitting pattern business like an actual business. Much progress could still be done here, but I’ve started doing things I had previously neglected:

- I’ve started selling my patterns in places other than Ravelry, I now have an Etsy and Craftsy stores and this has been a great experience for me so far. Craftsy especially has worked out great.

-I’ve started paying more attention to social media to get more connected to my customers and people who appreciate my patterns in general. So I now have a Facebook page, a Pinterest and an Instagram. I don’t think I’ll do the Twitter thing for now though, but I will definitely emphasize blogging more.

- I’ve gotten a couple of my patterns professionally translated, to test the waters, and it has been a positive thing, so I think I will get a few more translated at least in French over the course of the next few months.

-I’ve started thinking of knitting-related purchases as business expenses, and I’m so happy I don’t have a nagging sense of guilt when I buy yarn anymore :)

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Lovely lovely yarn

#4 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I now put a lot more thinking into which designs I publish. I have notebooks full of ideas and it would be nice to have the time to turn a lot of them into patterns. But the truth is that I still have precious few hours every week to devote to knitting and pattern writing, so I have to be ruthless. I have a few strict conditions that a design has to satisfy in order to be selected, but this will be the subject of another blog post :)

What about you? What is your roundup for 2013?

My latest design: Framboise!

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Something fresh for the summer! As usual this is fun and quick to knit and completely seamless.

I wanted a scalloped hem of some kind and a motif that was easy to work and could be made to be either lacy or not. The motif is also used to add interest to the cap sleeves:

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There are buttons along the raglan to make it easy to put on and off:

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This top could easily be turned into a tunic or a dress by simply adding some length to the body. I think it would look great in a more winter-y type of yarn, maybe something a bit tweedy, to wear as a layering piece.

The sizes go from 0 to 6yo, and it’s available on Ravelry here.