Huge week-long sale on Ravelry!

Who doesn’t love a bargain, am I right?

Starting today and lasting through the 21st (i.e. about a week), a huge number of indie designers are coming together on Ravelry and are offering a 25% discount of selected patterns. Just use the code “giftalong2014″ at checkout to claim your discount. The list of participating designers can be seen here.

Once you have collected your goodies, feel free to join us in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry and knit-a-long your holiday gifts. Chat with designers and other crafters, play games, win tons of prizes (patterns, yarn etc), and more importantly finish all the things!!!

Want to know which ones of my patterns are on sale? Click on the image below — note: I have 12 patterns on sale, so the ones on the image are just a little preview ;)

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Curious about the Gift-A-Long event? Here’s a nifty infographic, put together by Kimberly Golynkskiy.

I will be interviewing some fellow designers in the next few weeks, so stay tuned and discover new favorites!

Catch Up post: Madame Entrechat

Since I released my Entrechat pattern almost two years ago, I can’t count the number of requests I’ve received to come up with an adult version. At first, I wasn’t quite sure the style would translate well into a “grown-up” garment: something about the cap sleeves, the ruffly peplum and cropped back really screams “little girl:”

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So I thought about it a lot and, with a few adjustments and the help of some well-placed short rows, I think I achieved a more grown-up look, without taking away from the original design too much, and of course keeping the same fun and unique construction:

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There is an elbow-length sleeve option included in the pattern as well.

Madame Entrechat calls for worsted weight yarn and comes in sizes XS to XXXL. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

Catch Up post: Summer Into Fall

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This design has been in my head, pretty much exactly as you see it above, for years. The ruffles on the straps, the V-shape of the straps at the back (cute but also ensuring the straps do not fall off of the shoulder!), the side tabs and A-line shape…

I am not sure why it took me so long to knit it and write it up. It’s the perfect instant-gratification project: a very easy knit, it also includes a few “tricks” to make it look polished and practical. It calls for aran-weight yarn, so it knits up extremely quickly, and uses very little yarn. It’s a versatile garment, which could be a worn as a back-to-school jumper/pinafore dress over a shirt and tights, or as a simple summer dress.

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I was so impressed with the versions that my test-knitters made that I made a little collage (the photos were used with permission): doesn’t it look completely adorable on all these sweet little girls?

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Credit (Ravelry user ID) from top left clockwise: cbahler, buttons29, Cellybelle, Serendipitystitch, LauraPNW, JuneK, blogiete

Summer Into Fall calls for aran weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 6 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

Catching Up post: Silverfox cardigan

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I don’t usually knit cables very much, let alone use them in designs, I’m not sure why, I think I might carry this impression from my beginner-knitter days that they are an expert skill (like fair-isle, steeking etc).

But I do love the look of cables, especially when they don’t overwhelm a garment (well, sometime, cablepaloozas are fun!). I’m particularly fond of garter stitch and cables together, which you don’t see much of for some reason. I think there is a nice contrast between the squishy garter stitch and the disciplined cables imbedded in it, particularly for children’s clothing.

The cable here is very simple and repeated everywhere, so the charts/written instructions aren’t really needed after the first repeat (I really dislike having to constantly refer to a chart, it takes me out of my knitting groove!). I also wanted to do a variation on the raglan yoke, something that looked a bit like a saddle shoulder, featuring that pretty, tight cable. I also used this same cable along the button band and used its natural properties to my advantage: since it pulls the fabric a bit, it naturally lowered the front neckline, meaning no shaping was needed. It stiffness also made the front bands lay very nice and flat.

Finally, I wanted to pay extra attention to the finishing details, including some more intermediate techniques that I haven’t used very much in my patterns: I-cord edgings, I-cord bind-off, grafting (a tiny amount of that only, I promise!!).  The cardigan is worked from the bottom up, completely seamlessly, which I also don’t tend to do, but it was the best option for this design.

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So here’s the result, which I am so proud and happy with. This is another one where my tech-editor and amazing test-knitters were beyond helpful. It’s also one of the handmade things that my daughter has worn the most. For those who are curious, I’m working now on a matching bonnet as well as a beanie. Coming very soon, stay tuned!

Silverfox calls for dk weight yarn and comes in sizes 6 months to 6 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

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Month in the Life of @frogginette: Day 1: Workspace

This month I’m taking part in Create and Thrive’s Instagram challenge (#ctmonthinthelife).

The idea is to provide a sneak peek inside the lives of “creative types” by posting a photo a day on Instagram. Each day will have a different theme (the list of themes is listed above).

Today’s theme is Workspace, and this is the photo I posted:

The nice thing about doing knitwear design is that it’s a very portable thing, as long as you have a laptop, your knitting and something to scribble on, you can do this anywhere, anytime basically.

More often and not, this is how I do work: on a corner of the couch, trying to eat lunch while writing up a pattern, answering emails, posting in Ravelry or doing some knitting. I try to take advantage of my kids’ nap time, though my eldest doesn’t really nap anymore, so if he decides to get up and come hang out with me, I just knit or do some easy stuff on the computer. In general I keep activities requiring concentration (i.e. grading, making charts etc) for the early morning or after the kids’ bedtime.

In a perfect world I’d have my own little studio space, or even just a few consecutive hours every day to get things accomplished. One day maybe…

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.