Friday, 16 March 2018

Book Giveaway: Windward Collection by Knit Picks!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

Cover Image of the Windward Collection, featuring a cabled pullover sweater.
Photo Credit: KnitPicks
Short post today, but I've got some exciting news, folks!

I'm giving away two free digital copies of the *Windward Collection,  published by KnitPicks, to two lucky winners on social media.  This beautiful pattern collection has sixteen patterns from some amazing designers, including my very own *MacAskill Scarf!

So, how do you enter? Well, I'm hosting two giveaways, once on Instagram, and one on Facebook!  And yes, you can enter on both platforms, so you've got two chances to win!

The contest will be open until 11:59 pm, March 31, so please, take a moment to go to either Facebook or Instagram (or both) and let me know which of the patterns from the Windward collection you'd like to make!

A woman wearing an intricately cabled knit hat.
Photo Credit: KnitPicks
A woman wearing a long cabled rectangular shawl.  The shawl is draped over her shoulder and falls to her feet.
Photo Credit: KnitPicks
I've already got a few favorites, with my personal choice being the beautiful *Carrick Shawl by Emily Dormier (even though I know it's a project I'd probably never finish, give it's size)! For a more manageable project, and something I'd have a hope of finishing in a year, I'd probably pick the
*Copan Hat by Joyce Fassbender.

Finally, do please note that comments left on this blog post, however much I love to hear your ideas, do not count as entries into the giveaway.   Please post your comments to Facebook or Instagram!

Well, I think that's it. All the technical stuff on the giveaways is over on
Facebook and Instagram, so you can find out everything else you need there!  I look forward to seeing people's thoughts and favorite patterns!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

WIP Wednesday: Last Colour on the Colours of Spring Shawl!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

And, I'm back with another WIP Wed!

Well, today's post is back to the Colours of Spring Shawl!  I want to get this done as soon as possible, so it can go out for testing as soon as possible, too.   And, I'm finally to the last colour in the *OceanWind Gradient Sets, so there's not that much further to go!   

A Garter stitch and lace shawl still live on the needles.  It is knit in gradient stripes from dark blue to teal green.  There are stitch markers visible in the work -- a small silver crab, and small silver shells.
Right now, according to my spreadsheet (I love spreadsheets, they do so much of the designing math for me!) I'm currently working at across 341 sts for the current row (eek!), so each row is taking about about 30 minutes in garter stitch.  The lace sections do likely take longer.  I don't have an exact time per row, since I usually just judge how much total time using a neat little program (and app) called Toggl. It tells me how long I've taken on something, but not how many rows I've knit unless I record that separately. (Hmm, now that I think of it, it might be a good idea to record time-per-row on a project like this!)

What I do know is that I've got about another 20 rows to go before the I-chord bind off.  While I did make my original swatch with a ruffle, I'm leaning towards the I-chord bind off, personally.  So, unless I hear any requests for a ruffled edge from the Pattern Muses on Patreon over the next few days, I'll be going with an I-chord bind off.  (Also, according to my spreadsheet, the I-chord bindoff takes a lot less yarn then the ruffles, which makes sense).

Since I keep getting asked about the stitch markers on this shawl; the stitch marker set is the absolutely adorable *Ocean Shells Stitch Marker Set, from *Winemakerssister on Etsy.  It comes with your choice of little sea mascot -- I got the crab, though a few people have wondered if it's a spider rather then a crab.   I love that the markers are customizable to different needle sizes -- I ordered the 'crochet' size, so that they're actually locking stitch markers (my personal preference for both knitting and crochet!)  And, apparently, they're worthy of commentary -- I've had a few comments on them both online and when I'm knitting in public!

Given that I'm pretty close to finishing this, maybe, maybe, I'll be able to finish it for this week's FO Friday.  I'm trying, here, folks, and I'm really hoping I can!  It all depends on how long that darn bind-off takes!

Anyway, thanks for reading, and stay tuned, since I hope to put this up for testing soon.  

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

WIP Wednesday: MacAskill Scarf

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

A knit scarf with a celtic-knot style main cable laying flat.  The scarf is knit in an aran or bulky yarn; and is still live on two wooden straight needles.Well, welcome back to WIP Wed, and this is something you folks haven't seen before -- my version of the MacAskill scarf!  I couldn't share it while the pattern was under wraps, and, somewhat shamefully, I haven't quite finished it yet!

But, here it is!  The yarn is *Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky in "Fjord Heather", and the pattern is my very own *MacAskill scarf, available as a digital download, or as part of the Windward Collection.  The needles are my wonderful 7mm Maple Wood needles from Turn of the Century -- they're one of the rare times you'll see me working on straight needles, but I love these needles!

I'm quite enjoying working on this scarf -- I loved it when I was designing it and that fun feeling hasn't gone away!  I'm four repeats in, so not that much more to go!  I'm trying to finish it for the March Meeting of the Toronto Knitter's Guild and the member Show and Tell.  I figure it will go well with the copy of the Windward Collection that's available as a prize in the Guild Raffle!  (And yes, it was originally slated as a prize in the Feb Guild Raffle, but things got shuffled around.  My apologies for the confusion!)

I have discovered one thing with this pattern, though.  While I'm now a convert to cabling without a cable needle, I've found that this pattern, because of the 5 stitch crosses, really does need the two cable needles as written, at least for those crosses.  Otherwise, though, it works amazingly well. 

Well, it's a shorter update today (things are busy here, plus I've got a photo shoot this afternoon), so it's a short WIP Wed update.  

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Friday, 2 March 2018

(Half)FO Friday: One (1) Gauntlet Sock!

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

Yes, I know, it's been quite a while since my last FO Friday post, and this one is a bit of a cheat.

It's only one sock.  Not two.   But, that one sock is, in fact, done, after try number . . . I forget. So, it's enough of a victory that I consider it a finished object. 
A gradient sock on someone's foot. The sock gradient runs from a deep royal blue at the cuff to a paler sky blue at the toe.

This is the first of the Gauntlet Socks, finally done!  I'm actually really thrilled to get this off the needles.  I was getting rather frustrated with knitting it, given the number of tries it took to get something that fit (that's my own fault for knitting a sock on the bias, I know!) But the knitting was becoming frustrating, which is never a good thing.  If something gets to the point of being too frustrating, my ADHD brain will stop working on it and throw it into the corner, regardless of the consequences of not working on it.  Not good, and definitely not constructive. 

Though, given the number of froggings this poor yarn has gone through, I can't say enough good things about the *Washtenaw Wool Leelenau base -- most sock yarns wouldn't have held up to what I put this poor yarn through! (I was given the yarn as yarn support for this design, and I`m absolutely impressed at how durable it is!)

So, with one sock done, I'm going to take a break from the knitting, and shift my brain to writing up the pattern for these.  Since the socks are identical between left foot and right foot (there's no mirroring), I can write the pattern based on my prototype; and get that out to my testers while I take a break from knitting these.  Then, my plan is that by the time the test-knit call finishes, I'll have the second sock knit up, and can do the photography.   Hopefully, that plan survives contact with real life -- my planning definitely didn't hold true for my poor Woodland Mittens, which have taken way longer then I thought to get to a point where I'm happy with the pattern. (They are coming, I promise!  I've gotten the pattern back from my tech-editor, and I'm working through the changes, plus I need to do another photo shoot, which, if the weather holds, will be this afternoon!)

And, on that note, if this looks like something you'd be interested in testing, you can sign up for the notification over on my Ravelry Test Knit thread. (I hold all my test-knits via Ravelry).  And, if you're not a Ravelry member, signup is fast, and free! Plus, Ravelry is an amazing resource for fiber people, so I strongly suggest it anyway!  Don't worry, though, if you're not interested in Ravelry, I will post the test-knit call for these to Social Media and my Newsletter as well, though the best place to stay informed is the Ravelry Thread.  

I don't know exactly when this pattern will go up for testing -- it depends on how quickly I'm able to translate my notes to a coherent pattern.  But I'm hoping it won't take too long, my first glance says it shouldn't, but I've been wrong before!  So, stay tuned here and on Ravelry for future updates!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

March Featured Pattern and Mini-KAL: Mitered Drawstring Project Bag

Hello everyone!  So, as we move into Spring, the March 2018  Featured Pattern is now live! (Is it March already? Eek!) The Mitered Drawstring Project Bag Pattern is 50% off at $2.50 CAD for the month of March!
A drawstring bag made primarily of joined mitered squares. The top has eyelets with a twisted cord threaded through them, and a skein of yarn is partially out of the open bag.
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
CAD $2.50
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 March, any finished Mitered Drawstring Project 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 Mitered Drawstring Project Bag in the comments of this post by March 31, 2018.  Please note that the bag doesn't have to have been started in March, just finished in March!

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, 28 February 2018

WIP Wednesday: Colours of Spring Shawl

**This post contains affiliate links.  Any link marked with an * may give me a reward or commission if you visit and/or purchase something using that link.  And, if you do purchase from my affiliate links, thank you for supporting my yarn habit!**

Welcome back to WIP Wed!, and thanks for reading along this far!  

So, this week, I'm revisiting the Colours of Spring Shawl.  I have been knitting on it since I last posted about it -- it's usually the project I take to Knit Night, among other things. And, for those wondering about the state of the Gauntlet Socks, well, I did finish one sock, yeay! (Pictures over on Instagram and Facebook), and I'm hoping to post the test-knit call soon!

A shawl on a circular needle, laying on top of a wooden yarn bowl. The shawl has alternating stripes of garter stitch and lace, and the yarn is a striping gradient yarn. The Colours of Spring Shawl is a crescent shawl, meaning it grows by 4 stitches on the right side and none on the wrong side. That means that it has quite a long wingspan compared to it's depth. . . so I'm honestly not quite sure how to photograph it as a WIP!  I tried here to show the lace and garter sections, plus the colour changes of the *Oceanwind Knits Gradient Kit I'm using. (I'm actually using two of the same gradient kits for 880 yards -- I like big shawls over small ones!)

I'm working it on my 3.5mm *32-inch Hiya-Hiya fixed circulars, without too many problems with bunching at the moment, but it's still got some growing to do.  I'm wondering if I should to to a *47-inch or even a *60-inch circular. (Though I'd have to buy either of those, so it would be nice if I could keep it on the needle it's on now!)  

It's tucked in my yarn bowl from *NaturalKnotWood.  The one downside to mini-skeins is that I find they tangle easily, so I only have out the mini-skein I'm currently working with, and the rest of the mini-skeins live tucked away in the project bag.  That means that this shawl has basically been living in my yarn bowl (but hey, there are a lot worse things, right!)

The only thing is, I haven't decided on the edging I want for this shawl yet.  When I first swatched for this shawl (mid-2017, if I remember right!) I made my swatch with a ruffled border, but I also think this might suit an i-chord bindoff.   

That said, since this is slated to be the April Release for my Pattern Muses over on Patreon, I've put the question out to my Patrons!  So, please, head over to Patreon and make your voice known as to how I should edge this sample!  (I'll include the instructions for both the ruffled edge and i-chord border in the actual written pattern, don't worry about that -- but I'm not sure which will look better for the edging in my sample!)

Well, I think that's just about it for this week's WIP Wed!  Stay tuned to the blog, especially for more on the Gauntlet socks, now that one sock is actually finished.   Until next time, and thanks for reading!

Edit: And since a couple of people have asked over on G+, the crab stitch marker is from *WineMakersSister's Etsy Store, and the set can be found *here!

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!