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.

Striped vest for Axel

Baby #2 isn’t the only one who benefited from my knitting frenzy these past few months. Here’s a little vest that I improvised for Axel back in April. I had just a little bit of leftover Noro Silk Garden that I really wanted to put to good use.

The Silk Garden lends itself to gorgeous striping, I think. By itself, the colors are a bit much for me but put it next to a nice grey and it really shines.

Only problem: I really should I have made this a tad bigger… This will be pretty small by the time the weather gets colder. These pictures were taken back in the Spring, and he definitely grew a lot since then. But… there’s a certain chunky munchkin I know who might be able to wear this in a few months ;)

Clementina

Well, I’m still here!! Now the question is, are you still there too?? Lots going on, which explains my neglect of the old blog, I will definitely have to give you a few updates.

First things first, I recently released a new girl pattern, “Clementina”, (sizes 0-3 months to 5-6 years) which as of now is only available on Ravelry. It should be available in my Craftsy and Etsy stores very soon as well, so stay tuned!

My idea with this design was to keep exploring the Entrechat construction but try to turn it into a regular cardigan shape… My aunt’s words were still echo-ing in my ears: When I showed her the Entrechat prototype, she made a face and said, yes it’s very cute, but I like to knit more practical things… you know, where the baby’s tummy is actually covered!

Point well taken! So I thought long and hard about how to make this work while keeping it fun to knit, and a light-bulb went off! Short Rows! Garter stitch!

Short rows tend to scare people off but they are actually really easy, especially when worked in garter stitch. In general, I use a method called “German Short Rows” — google it! There are tons of tutorials online. It’s so easy and fun, and the results are in my opinion always very seamless and neat.

So here it is, a cute little kimono-style cardi, easy and fun to knit, AND practical as well. You can have buttons down the front instead of the I-cord if you prefer, too. I hope you like it!

P.S.:The yarn is just gorgeous, it’s Malabrigo Rios, which is machine-washable. The shade shown here is “Sunset”.

 

Défi 13: Entrechat

Ah les jolies petites choses toutes roses des petites filles… J’espère que mon fils me pardonnera quand il sera plus grand de lui avoir mis des trucs de fille sur le dos pour les besoins de la cause… Ceci dit… Il est pas mignonne??

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Je voulais essayer une nouvelle construction (enfin nouvelle pour moi!) et tricoter le corps de ce boléro d’une pièce en relevant les mailles des raglans pour former les pans du devant. Et je voulais aussi utiliser une bordure au point mousse verticalement pour former l’encolure parce que je trouve que ça change un peu. Pour bien marquer le mouvement, j’ai placé une bande contenant un joli point texturé — facile cette fois!! le point de vannerie utilisé dans mon Latte Baby Coat serait joli aussi, mais je voulais quelque chose vraiment simple pour les tricoteuses moins expérimentées.

Enfin, un petit effet volanté dans le dos, et zou! Tricoté en deux temps trois mouvements avec même pas un écheveau de Malabrigo Merino Worsted (pour la taille 12-18 mois). Le pattern est écrit et 8 tailles seront disponibles, du 0-3mois au 5-6 ans. Je l’envoie illico chez mon “tech editor” pour contrôle… Donc je pense qu’il sera publié (en Anglais pour le moment… promis la traduction de mes patterns c’est pour bientôt) pour la nouvelle année!

Pour voir les autres défis (thème du mois: techniques jamais utilisées en tricot et couture) c’est par ici!!

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The Défi’13 challenge is a monthly knitting or sewing project in the French blogosphere. The challenge’s theme this month was “new techniques in knitting and sewing”, so I thought I would introduce my latest prototype, whose construction is a bit different — I also used a new stitch in it, which I think is so neat (and VERY easy which never hurts!) ; the pattern will include 8 sizes and should be published around the New Year!

I hope you like it :)