Wednesday, 6 December 2017

WIP Wednesday: Back to the Birthday Sweater

**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 again, and welcome back to the first WIP Wed in December!

So, the Birthday Sweater is still on the needles (and even more belated, but it's taking longer then I thought it would.)  Pattern isn't mine, it a free pattern from Bernat, and while it's free and not a bad pattern, I have some issues with how it's written.

That said, I've been quiet about this one for a bit, so I'm happy to show where I'm at.  Admittedly, I haven't done as much as I'd like -- I've got other deadline knitting on the needles, plus I've been knitting less and pattern-writing more, since I've re-organized my schedule.  Add to that the inevitable viruses that tend to go around when the weather gets cold, and I've not been as productive with my knitting as I would like.

An image of a green cabled sweater-in-progress laying flat.  There is a tabby cat on the top edge of the sweater
(Also, my apologies for the photo.  The sun comes in at such an angle now with the winter it's hard to get things in good light.  And yes, the cat decided to photobomb!)

I'm done to past the armhole cast-offs, and, as mentioned I did  TechKnitter's show-row stepped shoulder trick for the armholes (and I'll do that again for the shoulders, too).

Yarn is the now-discontinued Dream in Color Groovy, in "Emerald Darkness."  It's a bulky-weight 100% Superwash Merino. Needles are still the  Hiya  Hiya 4.5 mm needles, with the *24-inch cord, I believe.   The cuffs, top and bottom ribbing are knit on smaller needles (4mm for me) but otherwise, it's quite consistent.

I'm quite happy with how it's coming together (it seems the cat is fond of it too!) and I'm hoping to get to the sleeves soon.  It's over 2 months belated, and while my giftee is awesome,  I don't want her waiting any more then necessary.  


Well, that's the update for this week.  Stay tuned for more WIP Wed, and thanks for reading!

Friday, 1 December 2017

December Featured Pattern and Mini-KAL: Snowdrop Lace Cowl

The December 2017 Featured Pattern is here: The Snowdrop Lace Cowl is 50% off at $2.75 CAD for the month of December!  This is a quick-knit pattern, so it's perfect for holiday crafting or as a gift for an unexpected guest!

Photography: Douvlak Photography
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snowdrop-lace-cowl
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, onto the Mini-KAL!

For the month of December, any finished Snowdrop Lace Cowl 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 Snowdrop Lace Cowl(s) in the comments of this post by December 31, 2017.  Please note that the Cowl doesn't have to have been started in December, just finished in December!

You can also win by posting to the giveaway on Facebook, and in my Ravelry Group, giving 3 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 (three 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.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Woodstock Fleece Festival 2017!

**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 again, everyone, and welcome to my thoughts on Woodstock Fleece Festival 2017!

First, a huge, huge,  'thank you' to the Toronto Knitter's Guild for setting up an accessible bus charter!  Without that, I could not have gone -- I don't (and can't drive), so going by bus was the only way that really would have worked.   While (theoretically) I could have taken the VIA rail there, the timing for that would have been horrible, and I still would have had to wrangle an accessible cab from the Train Station to the Festival Grounds.

That said, it was amazing!  There was only one hiccup, which was that not all of the individual vendors were accessible, there were a few lips in the main barn of the festival grounds that I couldn't really get over.   But 95% of the festival was accessible without incident (including the bathrooms, which are often a stumbling block for accessibility), which for a decent-size festival is nothing sort of amazing!  Plus, staff and volunteers were superbly helpful when things did come up!

So, what did I get?  Actually, a good amount of awesomeness!

And for those that have followed me on Facebook or G+, I apologize for the repeat pictures -- hopefully you don't mind looking at pictures of awesome yarn and yarny things again!
A wide pottery bowl with a "j" cut into one side. The bowl is glazed in a deep purple glaze.
So, lets start with something a few of you have already seen, the new yarn bowl from Patina Studios:

I know, I know, I already have one yarn bowl. and I went and got another!   But this one is quite a bit wider at the top, plus it's bigger, too.   In addition, it offers the option to thread the yarn right through using the hole at the top rather then the J-cut, (though I don't know how much I'm going to do that, given that I usually like to switch out projects).  It's nice to have that option!

A skein of lace-weight yarn in a deep blue colour.Since it's pottery, it's heavier, but a little less durable, then my yarn bowl from *Natural Knot Wood.  But, I'll have to be careful to tuck this one all the way under the couch when I'm not knitting, so that I don't accidentally kick it!


Next up, is a skein of gorgeous lace weight from Canadian Alpaca Products!

Isn't this colour absolutely gorgeous?  I'm thinking this will be a lace shawl of some kind -- considering it's 850 yards, it's more then enough for a good size shawl.  And alpaca has a tendencay to grow, especially when wet and blocked, so this should turn out amazing. . . once I figure out exactly what I want to do with it!

My next purchase should be no surprise to those who know me -- you have probably figured out that I'm a huge fan of Dye-Version Yarns!  So when I found out that they were at the Woodstock Fleece Festival, I knew I had to stop by the booth.

2 skeins of a dark blue/dark green fingering-weight yarn
Their yarn put me a bit over budget, but I did get two skeins of Silver, dyed up in the colourway "Midnight". I'm glad I went over-budget for these, because this base is (sadly) no longer being manufactured!

The beauty of this particular base is that there's honest sterling silver spun right into the yarn (that's what gives it the shimmer!).  Now for some of the yarns spun with silver, it means that they're actually conductive, and you can use a touchscreen with gloves made from the yarn!  I haven't tried it with Dye-Version's Silver, so I don't know if it's true for this particular blend.  So the first step with this yarn is definitely going to be some swatching.

 a twisted skein of sky blue yarn, a yarn cake of purple yarn, and a yarn cake of dark green yarnOther finds include these silk/merino odds and ends from The Black Lamb.  They're a set of random partial skeins, but my estimates give about 600 yards between the 3 colours.  That would be perfect for a striped shawl I have in mind, so that would seem to be the best way to go!

The silk means that they've got a gorgeous sheen, plus, if I make a shawl of these, it will be nice and warm for winter!

A cake of yarn ranging from dark blue to dark red.Next was some gradient yarn from Dragon Strings!  She's another dyer that I tend to go find at festivals, and once again, I was far from disappointing!  I really wish I had a bigger budget for the festival (but, if that were the case
, not everything would have fit in my bag, haha!)

The colourway is as a one-of-a-kind called "Dark Crystal" and, once again, I'm not entirely sure what I want to make with it. I've got a rough plan for a gradient shawl that I think would suit, but there's always the chance for other awesome designs, as well.

Two skeins of Navy Blue yarnAnd, last but not least (no, seriously, sadly, I almost forgot about these), were two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (70% Merino, 30% Silk), bought from the booth of Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs!  I haven't yet had a chance to visit their shop in Toronto, but they've also come to the Toronto Knitter's Guild, so I've had a chance to look through their awesome yarns there, as well!  As for the yarn, it's a deeper, darker blue in real life, but, no matter how I tried to photograph it, it didn't come out right.  So, this was the best I could get, annoyingly.  But the yarn itself is soft, squishy, and warm.  I think it's going to be a crochet hood of some kind, probably in the new year when the flood of holiday knitting is done.

Well, I think that's all my haul from the festival!  I had an absolute blast, and I'm really hoping I get the chance to go again next year!  My apologies that this post took so long to post up -- things have been quite busy around here, especially with the holidays, but, I did get this post up, which, I figure is the important part!

Until next time, and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

WIP Wednesday: Gauntlet Socks (72sts)

**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 once again to WIP Wednesday!

Well, this time is the second try of my Gauntlet Socks, this time with the 72 stitch cuff:

A cuff-down sock on the needles with a gradient cake of yarn next to it.  There are two stitch markers visible on the sock.  The yarn cake is a gradient of white to deep blue.
It was at this time in my experimentation process that I realized, it's not just the tension that the bias knitting will change -- it's also going to be the construction of the heel flap!  So, now I get to do some experimentation with short rows.  It's all about how the back of the sock skews down towards the heel, while the front of the sock skews up towards the cuff.  This is going to be a bit more challenging to figure out -- but I think I can make it work. Though it is a good thing this yarn frogs back well, if I need it!

Speaking of yarn: as mentioned in my last post, yarn is from the  *Washtenaw Wool Company, and it's *"Orion" on their Leelanau Sock base.   It's been amazing to work with so far, and has survived several froggings and restarts without any problem.  Sometimes, merino/nylon yarns start to pill up after several unravellings -- but their base is US wool and nylon and it hasn't done that, which is wonderful!

Stitch markers are another find on Etsy, once again from the wonderful *EfficientSense.  And, the needles  haven't changed since last time, and are my usual circular sock yarn needles for magic loop,  the *HiyaHiya 2.25 mm circulars

Well, that's about it for this WIP Wed update!  As always, stay tuned for more on what's on my needles, and thanks for reading!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Pattern Release: Spring Leaves Market Bag

It may be almost December now, but, I'm still proud and excited to announce a new pattern release: My Spring Leaves Market Bag pattern is now live on Ravelry and Etsy!


A cream-coloured mesh bag with a drawstring.  The drawstring is pulled closed and has been tied into a bow.
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
This bag was originally created as part of the Ravelry Desginer's Challenge March/April Challenge, with the theme of "Spring Awakening."  And thanks to you awesome folks, it took second place in the voting!

This bag made as a slouchy drawstring market bag, with a lace leaf mesh at the base that transitions into an open lace mesh at the top.  A drawstring lets you pull the back closed so that nothing can escape!  Sample was knit in

It's written for one size: 36 inch (91.5 cm) circumference, and an 18 inch (45.75 cm) depth.  But, it's very customizable, and the pattern does include notes on how to make the bag larger or smaller.

To purchase the pattern, you can visit the Ravelry Download Page or my Etsy Shop Listing. 
Buy Now
CAD $5.50
A drawstring bag mesh bag left partially open.  The bag has apples inside.
This bag has been 'in the works' for some time, so thank you all for your patience in waiting for the final pattern!  Given the theme of the bag, I had been debating waiting until Spring 2018 to release it, but I decided that no, it's better to have an image of Spring Leaves in these last few days of November!

So, I hope you enjoy!

As always, I look forward to seeing what you make, and please, tag your creations on Social Media 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.  

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

WIP Wednesday: Lorien Cowl Preview!

Well, once again, welcome back to WIP Wednesday!

This time around, I'm happy to present my Lorien Cowl once again.  Honestly, I don't think it looks that different from the last time I worked on it, but here it is!  I did get quite a bit done on it at Knit Night last night, so I'm hoping to still have it finished for the October/November Designer's Challenge.

A cowl in the round knit in a lace leaf pattern, and dark turquoise fingering-weight yarn.
As suggested in the comments of my previous post, I really do want to make another one of these in silver and gold, since the pattern is named after the JRR Tolkien's Lothorien with it's gold and silver trees.  I also have a skein of Sweaterknits Silk Jewel Twist in a blue/purple that I also think would look amazing with this pattern!

. . . but I guess I should finish this particular cowl before I start dreaming, right!

Somewhat annoyingly, exact yardage is still in question. I'm working this "until I run out of yarn".   I'm not sure how much of this yarn (Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Fingering in "Neptune") I've got left since it was  salvaged from a previous project that was, well, kind of a disaster.  But the yarn was too pretty to waste, so, it sat until I found something I thought suited well!

That said, I know how much the skein weighed, (thank you, Ravelry!) so I can weigh my finished object to learn how much yarn it actually used.  Always good to know how much yarn you need to make the object, right?

Well, I think that's it for this WIP Wed. As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

WIP Wednesday: 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 again, and welcome back to another WIP Wednesday!  This time, I've got a new design on the needles -- my Gauntlet Socks!


A gradient yarn cake of blue-to-white fingering-weight yarn.  The ribbed cuff of a sock is on top of the cake of yarn, the knitting is on a circular needle.
Those who follow my Patreon behind-the-scenes are aware that it took a while for this yarn to get to me (but, the folks at Washtenaw Wool were really good about getting things sorted), but it's finally here, so off we go!

The yarn will eventually become a pair of socks!  Like my Slipped Stitch Gradient Socks, these socks won't match, but the colour difference is less elaborate then the yarn I used for those socks, so it should be less of an issue. 

Yarn is, as mentioned above, from the *Washtenaw Wool Company, and is the colourway is  *"Orion" on their Leelanau sock yarn base.  It's 80% Superwash US wool, and 20% nylon, and it knits up well so far!  I quite like the feel while knitting, I do have to say!  It's not as soft and squishy as some of the merino sock yarns I've worked with, but I personally like that -- it seems to me that the super-soft socks yarns don't wear as well, while this feels like it will wear really well. 

And, the needles are my usual circular sock yarn needles for magic loop,  the *HiyaHiya 2.25 mm circulars

I will admit to being foolish -- when I was first swatching for the idea for these socks,  I tested out a 60-stitch circumference for the stitch pattern. They were -way- too small.   So, what did I do when I cast on again?  Yep, I ignored my notes, and cast on 60 stitches for socks, completely on auto-pilot!  Arg!  So yes, I will have to rip back and cast on more stitches.  But that's not a huge loss, I didn't get too far before I realized what I'd done.  And yep, sometimes part of my job is ripping back.  At least it goes faster then the knitting goes!

Well, all that written, and that's that for an update folks!  Stay tuned for more WIP Wednesday, and, as always, thanks for reading!