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!

Friday, 10 November 2017

FO Friday: Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens!

**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 all!

I know it's been a while since the last FO Friday, but, I finally finished something -- I finished the Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens for Barter!

A pair of textured fingerless mittens knit in blue-grey yarn, with a single wooden button on each of the top cuffs.

It took a bit to finish these off, but they're definitely going to be worth it!  (Literally -- these are a barter with a friend of mine to help with video work for my upcoming Youtube Channel!)

Pattern is my own Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens design, and I worked it on 2.25 and 2.75 *HiyaHiya circular needles
Yarn is *Crooked Kitchen Yarns 80/20 Fingering, in "Work Jeans."
The wooden buttons came from the Etsy Shop of *Iceberg Emipre, and are actually up-cycled from an old broom handle!

Also, in a stroke of good timing, like I mentioned last post, these are eligible for the KAL Fanatics 2017 Challenge on Ravelry, and I have, in fact put them up in the Finished Object thread!    Excitingly enough, all of my designs (including any test-knits that haven't been published yet), are eligible, so long as they're finished before December 31.  And, on top of that, I'm
 also giving away prizes in the Challenge, as well!  So finishing any eligible design (WIPs are allowed so long as there's 150 yards or more of work still to be done), gives you a chance to win some awesome designs, both my designs and many other talented designers!

Well, that's about it for this particular update. These should go to their new owner this weekend.  He's already seen the WIP, so I hope the finished object lives up to his liking!

Stay tuned for more finished objects (hopefully soon, since I've got to get stuck into the giant pile of Christmas knitting!), and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

WIP Wednesday: Spiralling Star Mittens are Almost Done!

**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 another WIP Wednesday

Well, if you remember the Spiralling Star Mittens from earlier in October -- they're almost done!

A pair of blue-grey mittens with dark wood buttons at the top cuff.  There are wool ends hanging off both mittens.
I just put the buttons on them this afternoon.  Now all that's left to do is weave in the ends and they should be finished! (And that means I might actually have something for FO Friday for once!)

As requested by my recipient, I did modify them to have the buttons and a strap between fingers.  The strap is a loop of crochet chain stitch.  The buttons are from the Etsy shop of *Iceberg Empire, and they're upcycled from a broom handle!

Excitingly enough, they're also an entry into the KAL Fanatics 2017 Challenge on Ravelry.  Any of my designs (that includes test-knits!) are eligible to enter, provided they use more then 150 yards of yarn, or you have more the 150 yards of work remaining on a WIP since October 3, 2017, and is finished by December 31, 2017  Exact rules and how to enter are in the Ravelry Thread (you do have to be a Ravelry.com member, but sign-up is free, and Ravelry's pretty amazing!

Well, I think that's it for this week -- I should stop typing and get back to sewing in ends, since I'm hoping to finish these tonight.  Until next post!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

November Featured Pattern and Mini-KAL: Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens

The November 2017 Featured Pattern is here: The Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens are 50% off at $2.50 CAD for the month of November!   
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
Buy Now

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 November, any finished pair of Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens 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 Spiralling Star Fingerless Mittens in the comments of this post by November 30 2017.  Please note that the mittens don't have to have been started in November, just finished in November!

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.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Sneak Peek from the Designer's Challenge -- Lorien Cowl

**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, all, and welcome back to another (admittedly, sadly belated) installment of WIP Wednesday!

I'm sorry this wasn't posted sooner, but my computer decided to have a fit of anger and not boot properly.  I think my much-loved 8 year old laptop is in danger of finally dying a final death. Anyway, I did get it working, (and have ordered a new external HD to assist with backups and eventual file transfers), so onto WIP Wed proper!

This particular new WIP is my entry into the October/November Ravelry Designer's Challenge, assuming I can get it finished in time.  I've got the working title of "Lorien Cowl" -- me being a complete Lord of the Rings fan, it just made sense to call a cowl of falling leaves the "Lorien Cowl."

A lace leaf stitch pattern on circular needles. Yarn is a deep turquoise/teal with a cabled texture.  Knitting and yarn are both in a wooden yarn bowl
Yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Fingering, in "Neptune."   It's a bit of a sticky yarn, so frogging back when I make mistakes has proven interesting,  It's on my 4mm circular needle; and tucked inside the gorgeous yarn bowl I got from *NaturalKnotWood. 

Also, my additional apologies to those who follow my Patreon Behind the Scenes -- you won't see that much more progress, I'm afraid.  I got maybe another ten rows done between pictures.  As mentioned above, I spent most of Wed morning arguing with my laptop and hoping it would boot properly.  So, less time for knitting, sadly.

Well, that's it for this installment.  I've got some more work on the Spiralling Star Mittens for Barter that I plan to show next week, but otherwise, that's about it for now.  Until next time!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Ravelry Designer's Challenge, August/September Voting

Shwmae a chroseo! 

It's a short post today, but hello all the same, and welcome to my third successful attempt at completing the Ravelry Designer's Challenge!

A top-down view of a stranded colourwork hat.  The background colour is a blue gradient, and the foreground mandala pattern is a navy blue.
I suspect (and hope!) many readers remember my Winter Mandala Tam.  Well, even though it didn't turn out quite the way I had wanted, it is still in the running for the Designer's Challenge Voting!

As always with the designer's challenge, the entries are all absolutely gorgeous.   So, I'd very much encourage people to go check out the entries in the Ravelry Thread, and cast their vote. There's some gorgeous stuff there!  Voting runs until November 2nd, so you've got just under two weeks.  You will need to be a Ravelry member to cast your vote, but, sign up is free (all you need is an e-mail).

Thanks for taking a look, and stay tuned for the results!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Spiralling Star Mittens for Barter!

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

Prynhawn da! (Good afternoon!) And welcome to this week's WIP Wednesday!

And yes, it's now afternoon by the time I got around to writing this, but, it's still Wednesday, so that counts, right?

A textured mitten in progress on circular needles.  The yarn is fingering weight, and grey with specks of other colours. The yarn and mitten are in a purple ceramic yarn bowl, along with a small wooden ruler.This weeks WIP is something I started just yesterday -- a pair of Spiralling Star Mittens.  They're actually to barter with one of my friends who does video work.  The deal is, I make him mittens, he helps with the filming and setup for my upcoming Youtube channel.  (I'm finding I really do need a camera-person to make sure my hands stay in frame while I'm filming tutorials!)

So I've got the mittens in my new yarn bowl that I got from Patina Studios at the Woodstock Fleece Festival (there is a post forthcoming about my adventures there), 

Yarn is an *80/20 BFL/Nylon blend in the colourway "Work Jeans" from Crooked Kitchen Yarn's *Etsy Store.   This yarn is lovely!  I have a particular weakness for BFL/Nylon blends, since they wear so well, and this yarn, so far, is keeping with that promise!  My friend is the one who picked the colourway (since they're for him, he does, of course, get veto power).  
Two cats on either side of a a yarn bow with knitting in it.
The cat on the left is Jessie, the cat on the right is Tika.

And it also seems that this particular yarn (or maybe it's the yarn bowl) is cat-approved, as well!  While I was trying to take a photo, this happened first!  Our two cats were quite content there!  They did of course, refuse to look at the camera despite my attempts (because they're cats and enjoy being contrary, I think!)  But, no mittens (or yarn) was harmed; they're usually pretty good yarn cats.  They've only ever really made a tangle of my skeins once. Though they do sometimes hunt skeins of yarn, if the yarn isn't put away.  But they don't untangle it, just hunt it. 

Well, that's it for today in this corner of the internet! Stay tuned for more WIP's (and hopefully even a few FO's soon!)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: More on the Geometric Mittens

Hello again, and welcome to another installment of WIP Wednesday!

It's a short update this time around.  Things were quiet over the weekend, since I went up to my aunt's cottage for Thanksgiving.  But, I did get some knitting time then, plus more time since I got back -- I also took them to Knit Night -- so here's an update on the Geometric Mittens!

A mitten on the needles.  The cuff is stranded colourwork and ribbing, while the back of the hand shows an intarsia geometric diamond.
As you can see, they're coming along pretty well for a prototype, though they will definitely need to be blocked when I'm done.  For some reason the second diamond has something weird going on with the tension at one edge -- I'll have to play around with it and see what's going on there.


I'm actually relatively happy with how these are turning out.  I'm pretty close to where I'll have to start decreasing for the top of the mitten (I'm wondering if I can fit a third diamond repeat between the decreases for a larger size, so I'll have to experiment a little and do some math).  Once I finish this mitten, I'm planning to take these needles and do the ribbing to finish off the third Spiralling Star Fingerless Mitten I've been working on. Well, yes, I could just buy new needles, but I'm trying to actually finish things, not just leave WIP's live on the needles!

That's it for this week's post (it is a shorter post folks, since I wasn't knitting as much)!  Thanks for tuning in and I'll be back next week with more WIPs!

P.S.  I will be going to Woodstock Fleece Festival, since the Toronto Knitter's Guild has chartered a bus!  If you're interested in catching a ride with the guild, there are still seats available.  And, if you're planning to drive there, then hopefully I'll see some familiar faces at the festival this weekend!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

WIP Wednesday: Geometric Mittens and Intarsia in the Round

**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 another installment of WIP Wednesday!

This time around, it's a long-neglected project, partially because it took me forever to actually figure out how to do what I wanted to do!

Theses are the tentatively-titled Geometric Mittens, and so far, I'm pretty happy with how they're coming along!
The cuff of a mitten done in green and white colourwork.  The knitting is on top of both yarn balls resting in a yarn bowl.  The front of the work is facing, and you can see a set of live stitches in the contast colour where the intarsia has begun.

I actually started these almost a year ago, as part of the Ravelry Designer's Challenge, but I put them on hold.  Between other commitments at the time, and figuring out the best way to do (and write down) the technique idea I had in my head, they didn't get very far at the time.

While the ribbing is stranded colourwork, the main motif will be done as a type of intarsia in the round (and yes, these mittens will have a full tutorial!).  It's taken a lot of experimentation to find a technique that did what I wanted it to do, but, so far, so good!  I've just started the intarsia section, so here's hoping it does work out the way I think it should!

The yarn for these comes from two different sources.  The green (MC) is Briggs and Little Durasport.  It's rougher on the skin then most merino sock yarns, but it wears like iron.   The CC is handspun from Fibersden Studio, which I got last year at the Haliburton Studio Tour!  According to my notes, it's a merino/nylon blend.

Needles are *2.5mm HiyaHiya circulars, which are working out well for this pattern.  For mittens it's always a trick to figure out how to best handle the thumb gusset, I find. While my personal preference so far has to put all the thumb gusset stitches on one double-pointed needle, it's always a bit fiddly for the first few rounds, plus, you then have to rearrange the stitches when you've finished the thumb.  With the circulars and magic loop, plus some *locking stitch markers to mark the thumb, it seems to actually be easier to do them this way!

I'm hoping to finish at least one of these up so I can free up my needles for another project (I'm trying to not take the easy route and just buy even more knitting needles!), so these are still going to take a while to finish up.  Plus, I know I'll want to do a complete photo tutorial (and hopefully video tutorial) as well.  With all that said, I'm not sure when this pattern will actually be ready for testing.  But, it's an ongoing project, and one I'm enjoying, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

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

The September 2017 Featured Pattern is here: The Mitered Drawstring Project Bag is 50% off at $2.50 CAD for the month of September!  
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
 "Buy Now"
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 October, 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 Bags in the comments of this post by October 31, 2017.  Please note that the bag(s) don't have to have been started in October, just finished in October!

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.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

WIP Wednesday: Progress on the Sterling Cables Birthday Sweater

Once again, welcome back to WIP Wednesday!

 So, this Wednesday post is more on the Sterling Cables Sweater.  Pattern is from Bernat, (so it's not one of my own designs), and it's their Sterling Cables Sweater.

A peice of knitting laying flat, still live on a circular needle.  The are decreases visible to shape the underarms. There's a large central cable motif and two smaller cables on either side.  The knitting is done in a tonal yarn that varies between emerald green and almost black.
I've been knitting away on this (it's now officially another belated birthday gift, but my giftee is ok with that), and have gotten to the underarms, and past the underarm shaping on the back.

It's a good thing I chose to do this in pieces, even though I hate seaming.  Toronto's been having a heat wave over the last few days, and I don't think I could have stood to have an entire sweater on my lap -- this is bad enough!  I am, however, going to knit the sleeves in the round, since it's always has seemed odd to me to seam sleeves (and I realize that I just wrote a bit of a tongue-twister there!)

Anyway, it's only a few more inches to the shoulder, now, and I'm going to use TechKnitter's show-row stepped shoulder trick rather simply casting off stitches at the edge of each shoulder, as the pattern says.  It will make a neater seam, and I'll leave the stitches live so I can 3-needle bind off them to the front.  Hopefully, I can even get to the shoulder shaping tonight, if I'm productive.

If you want to see where I was on the sweater last week (and my admittedly less-then-flattering thoughts on the pattern), check out my previous post.  As for the sweater itself, well, progress is slow, but the sweater is definitely growing!

And that's it for this time around on WIP Wed.  I doubt I'll get this done for Friday, but the heat is supposed to dissipate tonight, so maybe I'll be more in love with my knitting tomorrow!

Monday, 25 September 2017

New Knitting Needles -- my thoughts on Knitter's Pride 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.**

Well, so I got some new knitting needles.  That, in and of itself, is not an oddity.  But the fact that I was at a different yarn store, and thusly ended up with a different brand of needle, well, that's the novelty.

I hadn't been to Romni Wools in ages, partially because they used to have a step up to the front of their shop.  Well, I found out at the Toronto Knitter's Guild meeting that they now have a StopGap ramp, so, over I went!  It worked out almost perfectly (I did have a moment of awkwardness with their door), but otherwise, yeah, the StopGap ramp did exactly what it's supposed to do! (P.S.  I also found out that The Toronto Knitter's Guild Discount applies to needles at Romni Wools, too!)

A sock in green yarn on a pair of double-pointed needles.  The sock and yarn are in a wooden yarn bowl, and there is a progress keeper with a rose charm showing in the work.Anyway, I picked up some double-pointed needles while there, but, of course, they were a different brand the ones I'm used to getting.  I've never tried the Knitters Pride needles before, and I'm fascinated by the results of my experiment, so, here goes!

The first set of needles was a pair of 2.25mm Nova Platinas, and I put them to work in the Bricks Birthday Socks.  I prefer dpns over magic loop for sock knitting, so I was glad to make the switch.  (If you're curious, I talked about the yarn bowl in the photo in my last post, and you can find the Rose Progress Keeper I'm using *here.)

The shaft of a metal dpn held against a green background.  Text on the dpn reads US 1 2.25 mmFirst, wow, the KP Platinas are much longer then my usual HiyaHiya needles, and I like it!  I'm also surprised and impressed that the needles have the size, and the name of the store, imprinted on the side.  The text on these needles is also much easier to read then the teeny-tiny text on the HiyaHiya dpns (and my newer HiyaHiya dpns don't have the size written on them at all).  Two points strongly in their favour there!
The shaft of a metal dpn held against a green background.  Text on the dpn reads Romni Wools They also seem a tiny bit sharper at the tip then my HiyaHiya's do -- I've put a tiny hole through the callus on my index finger!  And, the Regia Sock yarn isn't splitting nearly as much with the Platinas, either.  So, another point for the Platinas as well.

My biggest worry about switching needles was that there would be a noticeable tension difference where I made the switch. But the answer seems to be that no, that's not a concern, so I'm quite happy with that!

 So, overall, I quite like the Knitter's Pride Platina Needles, and if I need another set, I'll definitely look into these again.

Now, onto the second set of needles I got!

The second set of needles was also my very first set of square needles, and I have to say, I thought it would be more different to work with them!

I put them to work in my version of the Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits.  I started the blanket ages ago, as part of Eat.Sleep.Knit's *Booster Club challenge, which is still continuing this year!  (You don't have to finish the entire blanket for the challenge, you only have to do 15 hexagons for this year, so if you're interested, I suggest you check it out -- it's a great way to use up yarn scraps!)

The yarn I'm working with for this hexagon is a thinner yarn, it's leftovers from a *MadelineTosh Unicorn Tail I got for another project, in the colour "Cousteau" (I really like this colour!).  I wanted to test these with a fingering-weight yarn, since that's most of what's going to be on these needles, so that's what I pulled out. 

Honestly, I expected more of difference when working with the cubics needles.  There really wasn't too much of a difference in the knitting!  I didn't have to alter my grip or change anything in my knitting process.   It does, however, seem that my stocking stitch is coming out a little crisper on the cubics, so there's a point in their favour as well!

End conclusion:  both of these are needles that I'm happy I bought, and I'll probably slowly add both of these brands to my ever-growing stash of needles. 



Thursday, 21 September 2017

Toronto Knitter's Guild: 2017-2018 Membership thanks to my Awesome Patrons!

Well, it's official!  I picked up my TKG (Toronto Knitter's Guild) Membership at the meeting yesterday (September 20, 2017). 

Image of the 2017-2018 Toronto Knitter's Guild Membership.  It has the TKG website (www.torontoknittersguild.ca) across the top of the card.  TThe centre of the card has the TKG Logo.  The bottom of the card has a Name and Signature Space.  Name reads: Sarah Dawn Adams.  Signature has been blacked out.
And, I couldn't have done so without the help of my Patrons!  Those who follow me on Patreon know that this was my first goal, which, with the awesomeness of my patrons, has been fulfilled! And, over on Patreon, I promised to show off my membership when I picked it up, so here it is!

It's nothing too fancy in terms of the actual card.  The back of the card has the various guild meeting dates and some contact info.  But, this little card does so much for Toronto and GTA area knitters!  It gets you into all the guild meetings (guests pay $10 at the door), and discounts at a bunch of GTA yarn stores!  In addition, through the guild you'll often connect with a whole bunch of other awesome groups, including the TTC Knit-Along, Knitted Knockers, and more!

I'm really looking forward to the guild year, and the September meeting was -so- much fun (there was a lot of laughter at some of the more. . . interesting. . .  fashion choices to come from the Fall/Winter 2017-2018 runways)!  There's more interesting things to come, and, as always in April 2018, there will be the Toronto Knitter's Frolic once again.