Wednesday, 21 February 2018

WIP Wednesday: Past the heel of the Gauntlet Socks

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week's WIP Wednesday, where I'm thrilled to announce that it looks like the short-row heel worked out!  I've been knitting pretty much exclusively on these, trying to get them done since, I admit it,  I'm already behind schedule with them. (Ugh).  I did, however, cheat and take the Colours of Spring Shawl to Knit Night, just to have something different, but otherwise, this is it. 

A knit sock laying flat.  The heel is tucked behind, and the colour is transitioning from a royal blue at the cuff to a sky blue past the heel. The foot is not complete, the stitches are live on dpns. I'm actually really excited about this, it's the first time I've been able to knit past the heel on these socks and have them fit!

So, I'm onto the foot proper, and the gradient is starting to show! I always love it when colour changes in colour changing yarn (gradients, self-striping, etc) start to happen, and the *Washtenaw Wool Leelanau sock is no exception! I think I enjoy it because I can clearly see my progress and that I'm getting somewhere.  

Random Tangent: This is why I'm one of the folks who love *Noro Yarns, with all their wonky colour changes!  I actually do want to (eventually) see how this looks in something like *Noro Silk Garden Sock -- I'm curious how shorter-run colour changes would look with this pattern. 

Anyway, I'm actually hoping I can take these to the Knitter's Guild Meeting tonight and finish them up there.  Once I have one sock done, I have something I can take some preliminary photographs with and set up a test-knit call.  Since the left and right socks will be identical, I don't have to make sure the pattern mirrors (unlike the Woodland Mitts, ugh), so one sock is enough to have a functional prototype.  I just have to make sure the toe works out ok. I think it should, but I'll have to figure out the best way to close the toe since the top of the foot is still knit on the bias.  

My one other concern still is the fit along the foot.  I didn't decrease any stitches for the sole of the sock, (which isn't knit in the bias), and I'm a bit worried it might be too big further along the foot.  But, if it ends up being an issue, I can always frog back and add in some decreases. 

Well, there you are, some progress for WIP Wed! Thanks for reading, and if all goes well, the test-knit call will be live soon!

P.S.  For those in the Toronto Area, if you're free tonight (Wed, Feb 21)  I've donated a print copy of *Knit Picks Windward Collection (including the MacAskill Scarf)  to the Toronto Knitter's Guild Raffle! So you could have a chance to win your own copy of the Windward Collection.  Plus, this month's guest is Kim McBrien Evans of IndigoDragonfly (who is absolutely wonderful, and very good at what she does).  I have a few of her yarns in stash -- I think they'll become shawls -- and her work is beautiful stuff!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

WIP Wednesday: Gauntlet Socks with a Garter-Stitch Heel!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Welcome back to this week's WIP Wednesday, where, after taking a break and working things out, I'm back to working on the Gauntlet Socks, with what should be (hopefully) a functional heel short-row, garter-stitch heel!

A sock in blue yarn on double-pointed needles.  The cuff of the leg is done, and there are a few rows of garter stitch short-rows at the beginning of the heel.   The sock, along with the ball of working yarn, is in a wooden yarn bowl.
Those who are following my Patreon Behind-the-Scenes are aware that there have been several tries to get the heel right, and even the lifeline I mentioned in my previous post didn't actually save me.  I ended up frogging back (more then once!) adding in some ribbing between the bias-knit panels, and going up a needle size to 2.5 mm needles.   I unraveled several tries, in fact, which is why I started working from the other end of yarn!  The white end of the *'Orion' gradent was finally getting a little fuzzed up from so much knitting and unraveling! (But the fact that it's still held out well is one of the things that's really impressive about the *Washtenaw Wool Leelanau base!)

But, now it finally seems to be working out, and I've finally got a sock that fits properly over my heel.  So, I'm hoping to finish one sock over the next little while, draft the pattern, and get this out to my amazing test-knitters!  Stay tuned here, on Social Media, and to my e-mail newsletter, for the test-knit call!

I've still got other things on the needles (those who know me in real life know that I have -lots- of WIP's around the apartment), but now that I've (really hopefully!) got these socks figured out, I'm really hopeful I can get them finished.   But don't worry, I'm not neglecting my other WIP's either, I promise.

Well, thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoy my WIP Wed, and don't worry, I'll be back with another (or the same) WIP next week!

P.S.  I was given the yarn as yarn support for this design, but all opinions about the yarn are my own!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

WIP Wednesday: Crochet Scarf and Hood

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Well,  'must-cast-on-all-the-things' happened, and I decided to start a new project.  That said, it's not 'cast on' so much as 'chain'. 

A rectangular piece of crochet lace, pooling with black, purple, and smaller patches of pale blue and white.  There is a live stitch on a wooden hook at the top of the rectangle, with a row still in progress.Yep folks, that's right, I've finally got the nerve to work on my first crochet design!  (Eeep!)  My crochet skills are not nearly as strong as my knitting skills, so please, don't expect miracles, but, here we go!

So, this is the start of what will be a hooded scarf!  I'm actually really excited about how this is turning out.  I was terrified my crochet skills wouldn't be up to the task. 

The yarn is the *EatSleepKnit January Exclusive colourway "Sea Witch" from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, dyed up on the *Single Silky Targhee Base.  At the time of writing, there's still a few skeins of this colour left on the *BMFA Featherlight base, for anyone who wants some of this colourway. 

I was absolutely terrified that this would crochet up and be ugly, given the variegation in the yarn.  But, I'm thrilled at how this is pooling -- I probably couldn't have planned it better if i tried!

Hook is a 3.75mm (Size F) wooden hook from Turn of the Century.  I was introduced to Turn of the Century through one of the Ravelry groups I frequent, and I'm very glad I was.  It's a bit of a different ordering process then the usual online cart(orders are done by e-mail), but it's not hard, and absolutely worth it.   I'm absolutely in love with my Turn of the Century hooks (I've got a few knitting needles from him, as well!)

Anyway, I'm actually really happy to say that the crochet designs that have been in my head are now finally coming to life.  I've had several people comment to me that they crochet but don't knit, so I've always felt bad about not having anything available for crocheters! Well, now I will!

So, that's the update for this week's WIP Wed, folks!  Thanks for reading, and there's more to come!


Thursday, 1 February 2018

February Featured Pattern and Mini-KAL: Spring Leaves Market Bag

So, in honour of Groundhog Day (and to hope for a shorter winter!) the February 2018  Featured Pattern is now live.  The Spring Leaves Market Bag are 50% off at $2.75 CAD for the month of February!
A cream-coloured mesh bag with a drawstring. The drawstring is pulled closed and has been tied into a bow
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
CAD $2.75
You can buy the pattern through Ravelry or Etsy, the discount is available on both platforms.  The discount should be applied automatically on Ravelry, and be visible on Etsy.   As always, let me know if something doesn't work!

Now as usual, onto the Mini-KAL!

For the month of February, any finished Spring Leaves Market Bag has a chance to win a pattern from any of my self-published patterns!  To enter on the blog, simply post a link to your completed Spring Leaves Market Bag in the comments of this post by Feb 28, 2018.  Please note that the bag doesn't have to have been started in February, just finished in February!

You can also win by posting to the giveaway on Facebook, my Ravelry Group, and on Instagram, giving 4 chances to win in total!*

I always look forward to seeing your Finished Objects! Please post them to various social media with #SarahDawnsDesigns, and/or to my Ravelry Group if you're on Ravelry.  That way, I can see the awesome that you folks make!

*One entry per person for each project per platform (four possible entries total for each completed project). Winners will be drawn at random using random number generation. Winners must have a valid e-mail address to receive the patterns. Participants may enter the same project on more then one platform, but may only enter each project once per platform.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

WIP Wednesday: Colours of Spring Shawl On the Needles!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

As always, welcome to WIP Wed here on the Sarah Dawn's Designs blog!


Well, it seems like my title for this was quite appropriate, as Toronto is getting snow as I type, and the weather is forecast to drop to a high of -8 C by Friday.  I'm now very grateful this is my job -- I can sit here snuggled in a sweater, and knitting on a shawl where the colours remind me very much of Spring!  (Well, that and work on the final pattern draft of the much-delayed Woodland Mittens, I do need to get those done, too!)
A gradient garter-stitch and lace shawl laid out with live stitches sill on a circular needle.
Some of my Patrons have already seen the preview of the Colours of Spring Shawl, but I got a bunch more done on it at Knit Night since those photos, so, here we go!

I'm really quite loving the *gradients from *OceanWindKnits!  They knit up quite well, and there's enough in each skein to get a decent stripe of colour (I'm actually using two gradient sets, so 2 skeins in each colour). 

And then there are the stitch markers from *WineMakersSister's Etsy Shop!  These arrived in my mail on Monday Night, and I think they're absolutely adorable, and immediately put them to use. They're designed to *match the various mascots of the *2018 Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon, though I got a *different set and then added my team's Eat.Sleep.Knit Mascot. (I do think that the little crab charm is adorable!)

A close up view of a locking stitch marker with a silver crab charm.
And, to top it off, WineMakersSister is very kindly offering a discount to those who are on Ravelry and following along in the *Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon!  If you're a Ravelry member, you can see the relevant Ravelry Post here.  That said, the discount is only valid until Jan 31, so you'll have to hurry!

A close up of two locking stitch markers.  Each stitch marker charm is a half-shell with a purl inside.  One is a teal blue, the other a pale pink.It's funny.  While writing this I realized just how much my attitude towards stitch markers has changed.  If you'd asked me two years ago, I didn't really care, and was using scrap yarn and odds and ends.  Now, I quite enjoy all the pretty stitch markers I've gotten (both as gifts and ones I've bought), and I really think it adds just a touch of something that's lacking when it's random scrap yarn. 

Don't worry, though, I still save my yarn scraps -- long ones become spare yarn for provisional cast ons and such, and short ones are saved -- I use yarn scraps in the place of fiberfill when I need to stuff something! 


Well, as always, thanks for reading along! And, I'd love to hear your thoughts on stitch markers -- do you use them?  If you do, which style of markers do you like?  Please, feel free to sound off in the comments!

Until next week, folks!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

WIP Wednesday: Colours of Spring

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**

Hello, and welcome back!  My utter and sincere apologies for missing last week's WIP Wed, I had a doctor's appointment, and just didn't get the chance to post.

That said, I've started a new project!  I was stumped on what to call this one for a while, but the colours of this *gradient set from *OceanWindKnits remind me so much of Spring. . . and that became the name of the shawl!
A clear plastic bag containing 5 small skeins of yarn, ranging from dark blue to green in a gradient.

So, this will be the 'Colours of Spring' shawl, or, in Welsh, Lliwiau'r Gwanwyn. I'm not sure if I like the Welsh or English title better yet, so I'm making notes for both, haha!  I plan for it to be alternating sections of garter stitch and lace, with the sections (roughly) matching up to the gradient.

And, I know, with the blues in the set, it doesn't look completely like spring, but now the name's nicely stuck in my head, it seems!

This is slated to be the April pattern release thanks to my Patreon Pattern Muses, so I'd better get to it, yes?   The garter stitch sections should go quickly, provided I don't mess up the increases, and the lace pattern isn't superbly difficult.   My intent with this pattern is to create something that's easy enough for 'television knitting' while still being interesting, while still taking advantage of all the gorgeous fade-style gradient kits that are out there.

The yarn is a beautiful *Gradient Set from *OceanWind Knits on Etsy, and I'm working it on my *3.5 mm fixed HiyaHiya circular, though I'm working flat, and so far, it's coming together nicely.  Hopefully I'll be able to put some pictures up for you folks for next WIP Wed!

And, for those wondering about the status of the Gauntlet Socks, I'm currently on try number six (ugh), but, I realized I might be well served at this point by going up a needle size.  So, try number 6 is on the needles, and I'll keep you updated on those, as well!

I think that's about it for this week! Hope you enjoyed, and, as always, thanks for reading!


Monday, 15 January 2018

Pattern Release in KnitPicks Windward Collection -- MacAskill Scarf!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * will give me a reward or commission if you purchase something using that link.**  

Well, I'm superbly excited to announce that I have a pattern available in Knit Pick's Windward Collection, the MacAskill Scarf!

A woman sitting on a log, wearing a wide cabled scarf draped over her shoulders. The scarf comes down to just above her lap, and has fringe on the ends
Photography: Knit Picks
This scarf came about because I have a love of big scarves that can double as hoods (which are amazing given the recent cold weather)!

It's written for one size; 13.5 inches by 55 inches (34.25 cm by 140 cm), and that doesn't include the length of the fringe.  But, it's very easy to lengthen, and the pattern does include notes on how to make the scarf longer.  

To Purchase both the print book and/or the digital pattern, you can do so from the Knit Picks Website, *here

If you're looking for the Ravelry Database Page, you can find it here.

In terms of construction and techniques, most of the pattern is pretty straightforward.  It's knit flat with cable stitches worked on the Right Side only. I worked my sample using 7mm  (US 10.75) 14 inch straight needles from Turn of the Century,  so this pattern is eminently suited to working on straight needles if you prefer them.  The main cable motif does have one cable stitch that uses two cable needles, so I do strongly suggest that you do use cable needles for the cable motif! 

The pattern has written instruction, but the entire cable motif is both charted and fully written, so this pattern is accessible to those who cannot read knitting charts. 

For yarn, the sample shown used four skeins  (548 yards/534 meters) *Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky in "Marble Heather", but could also be worked up easily in any wool blend bulky or aran yarn!  If you are thinking of yarn substitutions, I'd suggest sticking with a mostly-wool blend of yarn.  The scarf is a reasonably quick knit, because of the larger needles and bulky yarn, though it still requires some time and attention, because of the cable pattern. 

This is the first pattern collection I've ever had a design in, and it's actually quite thrilling (if a little terrifying to actually see my name in print)! But I very much enjoyed designing this, and I'm excited about the possibility of working with Knit Picks for future designs in one form or another!

Well, as usual, I always look forward to seeing what you make, so please, link me on social media, or tag your  projects with #SarahDawnsDesigns, so I can find your awesome things! If you've got feedback, comments, or  questions about the pattern, you can comment here, send me a PM on Ravelry, or e-mail me at sarahdawnsdesigns@gmail.com.