Saturday, April 27, 2013

Aslan has defeated Jadis again!

Spring is here!

I have been feeling recently like I live in the place where winter never ends(Jadis-era Narnia perhaps?). It started in October, and has lasted until earlier this week. That's right; seven months of winter. But the past three days have finally started to look like spring. I have the windows open, and I'm wearing shorts. In fact, I'm wearing shorts that were too tight the past two summers, and my belt is fastened on the tightest hole. ☻ But that's neither here nor there. The point is: it's spring! I would plant my garden now, but I'm leaving tomorrow to go visit my family in Kansas! Kansas, where it's almost summer already. Maybe when I get home in a couple weeks, there'll be some leaves on the trees... ☻

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blankets for Baby

I've been working on a little project recently. If you've followed my blog for a while, you know that I have quite a few patterns published on Knit Picks. I decided to combine all five of my baby blanket patterns into an e-book. And then I designed another baby blanket, which I self-published on Nimblestix. And I decided to include it in the book as well.
Harmony is not pictured on the cover, but is inside.

Blankets for Baby is available for purchase on Nimblestix, for $12. If you were to purchase each pattern separately, you'd pay just under $14, so it's a savings of about $2. The e-book is 22 pages long, and includes: 
Posy Patch 
Sydney Claire
Evellyn Anne
Willow Carroldine

I believe you don't have to be a member of Nimblestix to download the e-book, but I'm not certain. And anyway, you should become a member if you're not. Nimblestix is a great site! It's like Facebook for fiber artists, but better. :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Knitting in a certain yarn...

I got an email from Knit Picks recently, asking if I'd be interested in coming up with a design for a new yarn colorway. Free yarn is free yarn, so naturally, I said yes. The yarn arrived, and it was beautiful. I've converted all my photos to black and white, since the colorway has to stay secret until it's released. I immediately dived in; I had already come up with a design that I thought would work... but it didn't.

The tiny-cables stitch pattern I wanted to use was completely obscured by the color variations. So I frogged it and started over. And frogged it and started over. And frogged it and started over. Finally, I came up with a design I liked; the cables and lace showed up well enough. But when it was about halfway done, it was clear that it was going to be enormous and not fit anyone with a normal-sized head (did I mention it was a hat?)... so I frogged it and started over. Again. I made some more adjustments to the cable pattern, to make it fit into a smaller stitch count, but I forgot to take into consideration that eight-stitch cables pull in much more than four-stitch cables do. Long story short, the hat I was designing to fit me ended up fitting my six-month-old niece almost perfectly.
 She's adorable, and she knows it.
 I like how it turned out, and may make another one, with the intention of having her model for me. But for now, I've abandoned that hat design. A friend of mine suggested that the stitch pattern would look nice in a cowl, which I thought was a great idea. Since a cowl wouldn't have any decreases or increases to worry about, I wouldn't have to figure out how to fit them into the design, as I had with the hat.
Three days later, I had a finished cowl, and almost no leftovers. My friends suggested 10 inches for the width. I was running out of yarn, so I only did 8 inches, which is fine for me, because I have a really short neck.

So I went through all that stress and ripping, to come up with a super-simple cable-and-lace cowl(and a hat idea for another day). And next time I'm asked to "come up with something" for a new yarn, I'll only agree if it's a solid color.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Harmony Preemie Blanket

My Harmony Preemie Blanket pattern is available for purchase! This little blanket is great for using up washable sock yarn leftovers. It's knit in the round, from the center out. It could easily be customized; you could use any weight of yarn, and you could add more repeats of the lace pattern to make it bigger.

The pattern is available on Nimblestix, for $2.00. Feel free to make as many as you like, for gifts or donations, but please do not sell the pattern, or the finished product of it.
Malabrigo Sock Yarn "Velvet Grapes"

Knit Picks Stroll Tonal "Pearlescent"

Miss Babs Yummy Sock Yarn "Chocolate Roses"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Exercise and knitting

Just for fun, I did this yesterday:
I put on the shirt I'd worn in my January 1 "before" photo, and took a new picture and put them side by side. Nice change for only three months of work!

And my friends and I started a new exercise challenge. We're doing the Hundred Pushups Challenge. The goal is to be able to do one hundred consecutive pushups six weeks from now. When I did the initial test, I was able to do 12, so I have a long way to go. Yesterday was day 1...and my chest and ab muscles are incredibly sore today. Today is a rest day, and I'm hoping the soreness wears off by tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to the benefits of this program; it should make a big difference in my arm strength, and I'm hoping it'll firm up the saggy "girls" as I continue losing weight.

In other news...
I've finally settled on a design for the hat I'm making for Knit Picks. The colorway is still a secret, so I've converted the photo to black-and-white. But you can get an idea of how the hat will look. I'm knitting it top-down, and instead of columns of purls between the cables, I'm using columns of lace. The way it kind of swirls out from the center reminds me of a spiral galaxy. So I'm thinking of giving it a name that has something to do with the stars...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Progress picture time!

 Well, March is over, so it's time for progress pics! Without further ado, here are this morning's photos!

I'm down 24 pounds! Getting close to my halfway mark. I can hardly wait to visit my family in Kansas and let them see the new me! I'm still keeping all this a secret from them. I'm planning on going to see them in May sometime, so I've got time to lose another ten-ish pounds before then. They're not going to believe their eyes!