Monday, October 24, 2011

A New Start

As most of you who are reading this know, I've been working on my patterns for years, but recently I've started getting them together in earnest. I found a professional photographer who is fantastic: Thank you, Tamar London! And I have a wonderful editor, whom we shall call Anonymous Tina. Thank you, AT! I appreciate both of you more than I can say.

My blog has been quiet because I have had my head down, writing. I hate those blog entries where the writers say that they are working on "secret projects" that they can't show you. I wasn't working on anything that was a secret, but I like to go at my own pace when I write. I didn't want to feel pressure to finish the patterns before their time: "Isn't this cute! You can make it in 2 or 3 or 6 months from now--if I'm done by then!" (I was sure I'd have a bunch of my patterns ready by June. Notice that it's October.)

So I'm going to start by talking about my latest patterns that are available on Ravelry for sale, or through the local yarn/quilting shop that I co-own, Stitch Your Art Out. If you are a Local Yarn Shop owner and would like any of them to sell at your store, please feel free to contact me via Ravelry.

The first pattern I'll talk about is the Little Striped Neck Warmer. Maybe I feel like talking about it first because I'm teaching it tomorrow night. Or maybe it's just because I love this pattern. I was looking for something that would incorporate the stripes that are so popular in shawls at
the moment. And I wanted something fast, something that would make a great little gift. And I've been on kind of a cowl kick lately. So I came up with this:

As you can see, it's great for using up little scraps of worsted-weight yarn (about 75 yards per color, plus a few more yards for the front bands). The thing I love about it is that it hugs the neck. It will keep you warm in the winter but won't get in your way. I made one version that pulls over the neck and another that buttons. Take your pick.

You should know that when I write patterns, I never forget about the poor knitter at the other end. I spent 20 years in the classroom, and instructing runs deep. I always write patterns that have teaching in them, and I try my best to explain the skills.... well, really clearly. These neck warmers have several skills: picking up stitches, 3-needle bind-off (the neck warmer on the right), and buttonholes (the neck warmer on the left).

The pattern explains step-by-step how to do all of these things, with photos. It even explains how to sew on buttons. I'm always amazed at the number of good knitters who don't know how.

If you would like to purchase this pattern, feel free to stop by the store, or go to my page on Ravelry.

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