Wednesday, 16 August 2017

WIP Wednesday: Convolution Hat, Take Two

**This Post Contains Affiliate Links**

I started work on the Convolution Hat last December, and . . . well, lets just say that it needed a second try.  While I love how the pattern's working out, what you can't tell from the previous photo is that it didn't turn out quite right. 

I tried fixing the flaring of the ribbing by hemming my prototype, which kind of worked.  But not enough that I was happy with it, so, it was clearly a time for as second prototype:


A worsted-weight hat knit in red yarn with spiralling cables and a flared ribbed brim.

I'm just working along the beginning of the crown decreases.  Even though I altered the ribbing, it's still flaring, but I think this time it will work better hemmed.  And, if not, I'll alter the ribbing again and try again with a third prototype! (Third time's the charm, if it comes to it!)


The yarn is Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash, in "Rose", and I'm not sure if the colour is still available or not.   The needles are my inherited Aero needles, with their thick circular cord (I love the Aero needles, but the cords on the Aero circulars are always a pain-in-the-behind).  And you can find the rose stitch marker I'm using in EfficientSense's Etsy Store. (and, as always, I have to say that I absolutely love her stitch markers.)

I originally planned to have this up for testing a while ago, but the ribbing is definitely refusing to cooperate.  If this prototype does what I want, I'm hoping to have it up for testing in September/October, so, stay tuned here!

My intent is to make WIP Wed a weekly feature here on the blog, so, stay tuned for more posts about what's on my needles and what I'm working on. Wish me luck, and thanks for tuning in!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Patreon Update: New Goals, New Rewards!

Well, here's an update to my Patreon Page!

Two updates, really, but they're related enough I figure they can be a single blog post.

Update Number One:

I've adjusted my rewards around, and I now have a new $10 reward tier! If you follow me on Patreon or other social media, you'll be seeing the details of this soon, if you haven't already.
A yellow box wrapped with silver ribbon and tied with a bow.

The simple version is: my $10 Pattern Muses get a say in some of patterns I'll be releasing. It's a 6 month production cycle, and I just posted the first poll (for a Jan 2018 release).  The next poll (for an April 2018 release) will go up in October 2017.

In addition, I might solicit more feedback, depending on the type and style of the pattern I end up working on.  And finally, the pattern will be free to the Pattern Muses, until the next pattern in the cycle is released.


Update Number Two:

I've posted a new goal -- I'd love to be able to have a Coworking Membership.

A notebook, pen and cup of coffee on a desk. As I think I've mentioned on the blog before, I work from home, which is great, until it's not.  It's hard to focus on work when I know the bathtub needs to be cleaned, or if my roommate is home or others are over. I don't have a private work space (I work in our living room/kitchen), so it can be a challenge to get things done if there's other stuff going on. Plus, despite my best efforts, the cats do get into my work.   It's not a problem for me, but it is a problem if I'm trying to keep cat hair off a sample knit.

Plus, I got the chance to try out a co-working space on International Co-working day (yes, that exists), and I loved it.  I got a lot done, far more then I thought I would (though I was overly optimistic about how much knitting I'd have to bring with me, but isn't that always the way?  Better to have too much knitting then not enough!)

Also, the co-working membership gets me access to health insurance (very important!), networking and advertising opportunities, teaching space, and more.  It'll be amazing, if I can make it work!

So, I figured, it deserved a goal on Patreon.

As always, thoughts, feedback, and comments are all welcome -- I'm still new to Patreon, so letting me know what you'd like to see (or not like to see) would be amazingly helpful!

Until next time!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

August Featured Pattern: Spiralling Star Fingerless Mitts

Well, here's the continuation of my featured patterns!

What does being a featured pattern mean?  Well, each time I feature a pattern, it will be half-off for that month!  It's a chance to bring forward patterns that might not get as much attention, or show off something that is super-popular.  

The featured patterns will be chosen from my self-published patterns, and if there's something you're just desperate to see be featured, drop me a line with a compelling reason!  I can't guarantee that I'll feature all requested patterns, but I'll definitely take a look!

For the month of August, my half-price featured pattern is my Spiralling Star Fingerless Mitts Pattern.
Someone wearing a pair of fingerless mittens. The mittens are knit in a dark green fingering-yarn and use a textured star stitch over the body of the mitten.
Photography: Stephanie Wallace

  http://www.ravelry.com/redeem/sarah-dawn-designs?sale=89625

You can buy the pattern through Ravelry or Etsy, the discount is available on both platforms.  The discount should be applied automatically on Ravelry, or already be visible on Etsy.   As always, let me know if something doesn't work!

And, for the month of August, any finished objects using the Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens linked in the comments of this blog post, have 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 Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens in the comments of this post by Aug 31, 2017.  Please note that the Mittens don't have to have been started in August, just finished in August.

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 per platform (three entries total). 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.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

I'm on Patreon!

A few of you have probably seen the "become a patron" button on the blog sidebar, or noticed that there's now a Pages Tab called "Patreon Sponsors"

Because, yep, I'm now on Patreon!

Patreon Logo

Ok, wait, what is Patreon?

Patreon is a simple way for my followers and fans to contribute to my work creating patterns, knitwear, and teaching content, by pledging their support once a month! And, you'll get great rewards in return. There's a list of (hopefully awesome) rewards; from your name and website mentioned in credits on my blog, sneak peeks of my work, access to a live-chat with me, up to free patterns from my collections! (Oh, and if you think of an awesome reward I'm not offering that you think I could, let me know!)

So why should anyone become my patron?

Ok.  I'll be honest and say that money is a consideration.  But it's not the primary one.  The primary reason is because this is a way for me to give away exclusive awesome content to people who are really willing to work with me on this amazing fiber stuff!   And, Patreon will help fund the resources what I do do for free within that community community, stuff like free patterns, and an upcoming Youtube Channel full of free tutorials! (More on that later!)

Also, as a business tool, Patreon allows for stability in funding.  Most small artists, myself included, don't have the luxury of being able to court any kind of larger investors or big financial backing to cover our expenses, so expenses vary wildly month-to-month.  And, I will say, it's hard to focus on knitting when I'm worried I won't be able to make rent.  Patreon is a form of stable crowdfunding that takes way those fears, and lets me focus on making awesome things.

But, that said, please don't feel like you're obligated to become a patron.  If you're not comfortable doing so, I completely understand.  Not everyone has the money; or is comfortable with crowdfunding, or any number of other reasons; why you might not become a patron.  Please, don't worry about it.

And, if you're looking for other ways to support my work (for which you are awesome, and thank you!) you can buy my patterns, purchase classes from me, follow me on Social Media,  or, use my affiliate links to purchase something -- I'll get a varying commission if you do.   Even knitting up a project and posting it to Ravelry, or tagging it with #SarahDawnsDesigns on Facebook or Instagram is a help!

Well, as always, any questions, comments, concerns or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below, or send me a quick e-mail.

Thanks for reading, folks!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Last Day: Can-Con Sock Along at The Purple Purl!

**This blog post contains Affiliate Links**

Well, as usual for me, my knitting goals were a bit too ambitious.

I was knitting up these socks for The Purple Purl's Can-Con Sock Along.  But, deadline is today (July 31, 2017), and, alas, I haven't even finished knitting one sock.   
A gradient sock running from brown at the cuffs to yellow along the heel.  The foot is incomplete and still live on the needle.  There are slipped stitches spiralling along the leg of the sock and the top of the foot.
WIP as of July 31, 2017
 I am, however, further along then I was the last time I talked about these, at least now the gradient colour change is clearly visible! 
[Image Description: The leg of a sock being worked on circular needles. There's a spiralling slipped-stitch cable going around the work.]
WIP as of July 11, 2017

I do have to say, The Blue Brick yarns have wonderful gradients, and I really want to design a shawl in this yarn to see how the colours play out that way!

For this sock, I'm actually working from a single ball, so I'm curious how this is going to turn out too, since the colour changes won't be identical for each sock.  They'll be a fraternal pair, rather then an identical pair, of socks. 

And,  you can see, I've gotten a new set of stitch markers since then too:

 A close up near the live stitches of the sock.  A silver stitch marker in the shape of a feather is locked into the knitting by a lobster clasp.
The previous marker I was using was a closed stitch marker you slipped along the needles, and it drove me batty, since the loop of it was wide enough I'd keep accidentally knitting it into my work!  So when I got these locking stitch markers from Efficient Sense, well, that package definitely qualified as happy mail!  Her Silver Feather Stitch Markers are light enough to not drag down my knitting, but big enough that I can't accidentally knit past them!  (No, seriously, if you're looking for locking stitch markers, her shop is amazing!)

Anyway,  even though I didn't finish these for the Sock-Along, I am going to try and finish them for the end of August.  So, stay tuned to this space for more on this pattern!


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Pattern Release: Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens!

**This Blog Post Contains Affiliate Links**

Well, my Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens pattern is now live on Ravelry and Etsy!
Someone wearing a pair of fingerless mittens.  The mittens are knit in a dark green fingering-yarn and use a textured star stitch over the body of the mitten.
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
The idea for these came from an online knit-along run by EatSleepKnit which challenged participants to create something using the Star Stitch pattern. While swatching, I found a particular version of the Star Stitch that created a spiral effect, and these mittens were born from that!

A pair of fingerless mittens laying flat and slightly overlapping.
Photography: Stephanie Wallace
These fingerless mittens in four sizes (Adult XS to Adult L) are worked from the cuff-up in the round, with the Star Stitch pattern continuing onto the thumb gusset. The top cuff, bottom cuff, and thumb are edged with 1 by 1 ribbing. The yarn used for the sample is MadelineTosh Eyre Light, shown in the colourway “Mill Pond”, but any fingering-weight yarn should work up fine.

To purchase the pattern, you can visit the Ravelry Download Page or my Etsy Shop Listing.

http://www.ravelry.com/purchase/sarah-dawn-designs/407557
CAD $5.50
On a brief closing note, I really want to express my huge thanks for the folks who helped me with this pattern, including all my awesome test-knitters.  For those who were unaware, there were some issues during the test knit, so again, thank you all, both for your help and your patience!

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. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Updates to my Etsy Shop -- Stretchy Knitted Bag!

Well, here's exciting news!

I've updated my Etsy shop with my first-ever knit goods! (Can you tell I'm still rather nervous?)

A knit ribbed drawstring bag, knit in pale blue yarn. There is a twisted cord drawstring at the top of the bag
$70 CAD -- Stretchy Drawstring Bag
It's a stretchy ribbed bag, perfect for storing dice, small headphones or other small objects.  It's made from 100% Peruvian Pima Cotton, and the drawstring at the top lets you tie it completely closed.  It measures 8 inches by 4.5 inches (measurements taken while flat), and has an approximate circumference of 13 inches, with a lot of stretch.

Shipping is a flat rate of CAD 15 to both US and Canada, with delivery confirmation, for any number of items purchased.

This bag was made from my Ribbed Bag of Many Things pattern.  The pattern is a free pattern, and can be downloaded from Ravelry, or by clicking here.


As always, any questions, please feel free to reach out -- you can comment below, find me on Facebook, Etsy, or e-mail me at sarahdawnsdesigns@gmail.com.