Posts tagged pattern
New Release: Twist It Cabled Cardigan

Despite their importance to my work, republishing old patterns from magazines does tend to be last on my todo list.  Have a huge backlog to republish and despite my best efforts, I just never manage to get to them.

However, when I knew one of my favourite models was back from uni for the summer, I made a point to scheduling a shoot so I could get some of the garments out into the world.  So, last night we headed down to the gorgeous Cardross House for a quick sunset photoshoot of this cardigan plus a couple other garments I have scheduled for re-release. 

Originally published in Simply Crochet Issue 26, Twist It is a super chunky-weight cabled cardigan.  Sized from bust 34-48, its generously sized and is the perfect chunky, curl up by the fire cardi.

The construction is a basic raglan, worked in one piece from the bottom up and then joined with the sleeves which are worked separately.  The yoke is a pretty straight forward and quick decrease to the neck. 

If you need help with the cable, I wrote this cabled crochet tutorial with this pattern in mind. 

The pattern is available on ravelry and lovecrochet.com.

 

The photos were part of a gorgeous photoshoot at Cardross House last night in beautiful autumn sunshine.  I can't wait to show you the rest of the photos, so here is a wee sneak peek of what else is coming. 

How to Read a Crochet Pattern

One of the things I hear most often from students and customers is "I know the basic stitches, but have no idea how to read a crochet pattern".  In fact, it wasn't so long ago that I was in the same boat, struggling to understand what all of the letters, numbers and abbreviations meant!  Most searches on the internet throw up only a list of abbreviations for the terms used in crochet in either US or UK crochet.  Of course this is crucial information, but it isn't the whole story. When you get to the basic instructions of a crochet pattern, there are a number of things you need to know in addition to the common abbreviations.  In many ways, its like a code or another language that tells you how and where to make stitches. Unfortunately, each designer and publication will do things a little differently, which can add to the confusion. While I don't believe that there should be any sort of dogma in pattern writing, people do need to understand what you are telling them to do.  And while testers and tech editors can really help with pattern clarity, the reader still needs some basic pattern information.

Let's look at an imaginary line of pattern:

round
round

At the beginning of the line, you should have some indication whether you are working in rounds or in rows.

round numbers
round numbers

Immediately following this, you will have an indication of what row/round you are currently on.  Numbers in brackets (parentheses) refer to the corresponding instructions for different sizes, working from left to right, smallest to largest. If there is a "-" in the instruction, this means that this particular instruction doesn't apply to that size.

beg chain copy copy
beg chain copy copy

Next up, you should have some indication of what the beginning chain will be.  You should also have an instruction, either in the pattern or in the beginning instructions of the pattern, of how this stitch will be counted in your stitch count.  This is done because the first stitch at the beginning of a row or round in crochet needs to be raised up to the correct height of the rest of the following stitches, otherwise the work will be sloped. A designer needs to make a decision whether or not this is counted as a stitch and what works best with the pattern.

hdc in dc
hdc in dc

In this example, the next section of instruction means to make 2 half double crochet stitches into the next stitch of the previous round (the pattern tells us the previous round was a double crochet) and then make 1 half double crochet in each of the next 2 stitches.  This is often when there variation occurs in crochet patterns.  When I first started writing patterns, I would have written "HDC2, 2HDC" for the same line...not terribly clear.  If you do come across problems in any designers patterns - ASK!  Don't get in a muddle.  Its not worth the frustration.

number after brackets
number after brackets

In this case, that line of pattern is in square brackets (some designers may use normal parenthesis/brackets) .  This tells us that bit of pattern is repeated the number of times directly after the second bracket.  In this case, 4 times.  There may be variation in relation to sizes, following the same left to right, smallest to largest order.

astrix
astrix

When instructions are preceded by a *, this means to repeat that sequence of stitches as many times as indicated, usually to the end of the round or row.

join
join

'Join' means to join the round with a slip stitch. This is usually used at the end when working in rounds.

turn
turn

'Turn' means to turn your work. This may not be in the line if there is a general instruction at the beginning of the pattern for how to deal with turning.

stitch count
stitch count

The stitch counts at the end of the row tell you how many stitches you should have worked in that row or round. This may be followed with the specific stitch that is used in the round/row, the word "stitches" or nothing.

Does that help anyone? I certainly hope so!! Experienced crocheters, have I forgotten anything?

(I could not have ever written this post without the stellar tech editing skillz of Ms Joanne Scrace, she taught me most everything I know.)

New Pattern: Goldenrod

IMG_9957.jpg The moment I saw the mustart yellow/brown Flump Aran from Babylonglegs that was supposed to be a gift to myself for finishing the book, I knew 2 things:

1. I wasn't going to wait until September to play with it

2. It would be a hat

3. It would end up being a gift for Kerstin, aka Tantie.

 

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And so here it is, called Goldenrod after the yellowy brown orange flowers that grew in every ditch in Iowa.  The hat's tall posts echo the plant's tall stems.

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The crown of the hat is made out of clusters of double crochet (UK trebles) and chain spaces, copying the way goldenrod flowers shoot off of tall stems in long clusters.

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Its a semi-slouchy design, perfect as is for pulling up your hair into it on a bad hair day.  There are also instructions for adding in extra length for a more slouchy design.

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And, before you adjust your computer screens, it really is this green here.  It is the remarkable upside to the rain. It is like living in a rain forest, but without the heat or sun...so I guess its really like living in Scotland.

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Its model is its intended recipient, Kerstin - who did not have to be bribed with chocolate or cake or TV or toys to take these pictures.  She was also much more compliant than my usual models and she didn't scream and cry after I dragged her out for a second time to get one more shot.  These are all excellent qualities in models...*looks accusingly at her 3 live-in models*.

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Materials: 5mm/H8 Hook 4mm/ G6 Hook 1 100g skein of Babylonglegs Flump Aran - 182 yds/166 m (pictured in “MooTard”)

Gauge: 15 sts and 12 rows in 4 inches in HDC with the 5mm hook.

Final Measurements: Hat height: 8 inches Diameter: 21 inches

Stitches: HDC = Half Double Crochet (UK Half Treble) DC = Double Crochet (UK Treble) FPTC = Front Post Treble Crochet (UK Raised Double Treble Front) FPDC = Front Post Double Crochet (UK Raised Treble Front) BPDC = Back Post Double Crochet (UK Raised Treble Back) Ch = Chain

Tech edited by Joanne Scrace.

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Self Publishing: Thoughts and Process

 

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When I started my business in October, it never occured to me that I would do anything but self-publish my patterns. Obviously every type of publishing has its benefits and drawbacks, but the control freak in me LOVES being totally in charge of every aspect of my pattern - from the design to the layout to the photography. I can pretty much do what I want.  From a monetary standpoint as well, for every pattern I sell I get the profit, minus only the minimal paypal and Etsy or Ravelry fees.

However, one of the major drawbacks is that the entirety of the time and money outlay is mine. In particular, I find the marketing elements of design hard.  I have been lucky with publicity, but I know I need to do more and lack the motivation and skills. And as much as I love developing patterns, it is not as easy as throwing down a few bits of instruction on a piece of paper. Everything from the yarn choice to the writing up to the sizing is quite a time consuming process that often involves swearing.

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I start the whole process with a very clear image in my head of what I want - often this is the photo I want to capture of the finished item. Being VERY impatient, I usually have to start on the new idea RIGHT NOW, before I lose the motivation.  I try to work with the yarns I have on hand and do tend to favour Cascade 220, patially because I love this yarn but also because with Americans being my biggest auidence, I want to work in something that will be readily available to them.

As a designer, I am particularly a fan of designing "on the hook/needles".  I know that this is sneered at a bit, with many designers working from swatches and laying out the pattern first.  For complicated stitch patterns and larger pieces (none of which you have seen yet...hint hint), I do some of this, but ultimately I am not good at crocheting in my head and need to see the physical piece develop to decide on design elemets. Often, this does result in more work.  The Spartacus hat did go through a couple of incarnations before I got it right, which meant making aproximately 6 versions...not complete restarts, but certain elements happening a couple of times to get the package right.

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Rather than sitting at the computer, I usually design by putting pen to paper for the sample size, then transfering the gauge into a sizing spreadsheet to get the range of sizes I want without having to make it over and over.  I save all of the information for all of the yarns and stitch patterns I use so that I don't have to duplicate effort in the same spreadsheet. This was a hard learned lesson, after being a bit more casual and losing a lot of time by having to remake items.

One of the first things we did when publishing the Woolly Owl Hat was to develop a stylesheet for my patterns.  At the time, we didn't know what it was called and I thought it was an (annoying) step Kevin was adding.  However, its proved invaluable as it enables me to quickly move from a rough draft pattern scribbled on a sheet of paper and its accompanying spreadsheet to a more final draft, ensuring I remember all of the key elements patterns need, such as stitch abbreviations and sizing.

Up until recently, all of my patterns were tested by at least 2 people to ensure the pattern works and is readable.  I am now working with Joanne from Not So Granny who is tech editing my patterns. Now, I only learned about tech editors (basically a super smart individual who checks the math and techniques in the pattern to ensure they are all technically correct) a few weeks ago and the moment I realised what they are, I knew I needed one. I still plan on using testers and if you are interested, I will ask in my Ravlery group for volunteers.

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Throughout the whole process, I will often be trying to get photos of the finished object.  I tend to do this 1:1 with the subject in question - naptime and the nursery run are often good opportunities to do this, without too much of this happening. 

Even when the pattern itself is finished and ready to go, I still have a number of steps to go through before it is live.  Friday's pattern is being published in partnership with Red Ted Art, with one size free and the rest for purchase on Etsy and Ravelry.  To get from the point of finished pattern to publish, I still need to:

- Create a listing on Etsy which will need a special thumbnail with PDF on it to differentiate it from a listing for a finished object. It will also need the basic pattern information so people know what they are buying. 

- Create an entry on Ravelry and upload the pattern to the pro section of its website for download.

- Email off the version of the pattern to Maggy, including photos with all of the links to the purchase information live.  In this case, the Etsy and the Ravelry listings will be live much earlier than usual, but normally they go live just after I publish the blog post announcing the pattern, particularly if the PDF is being downloaded from here.

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And the most important part of the process? The celebratory glass of wine after its all done!!

 

Big, Thick, Warm and Quick {Cowl}

A grim determination has gripped me.  Jaw set, needles and hooks in hand, I have decided to knit and crochet my way out of this funk.

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And while there are a lot of things going on around here knit and crochet-wise, there isn't much I can show you, bar this.  The easy of easiest, knit in the car and in front of the TV, don't have to think about cowls.

I think the combination of garter stitch and super bulky yarn is really the equivilant of cinnamon sugar toast.  Simple. Comforting. Unrefined. 

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A pop of contrast makes this a bit more interesting and its wide enough to make a small wrap.

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It seemed a bit silly to write up the pattern, but then sometimes its nice to not to have to think.  Like when one is in a funk.

Download Big Thick Warm and Quick

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Big, Thick, Warm and Quick Cowl

a design for knitting by Kat Goldin

 

Big enough for a chunky cowl or a small wrap.

 

This pattern can be completed in a super bulky/super chunky yarn.

(Pictured: Wendy Serenity Super Chunky in Teal and Tarmac)

 

 

© Kat Goldin 2012: While you have permission to sell finished items from this pattern, I ask that all items sold credit me, Kathryn Goldin, as the designer with a link back to my website http://www.slugsontherefrigerator.com . Under all circumstances rewriting, reselling, distributing, or copying the pattern itself is prohibited. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Basic Construction

Big and easy. This garter stitch cowl is a simple rectangle with buttonholes at the contrast end.

 

Supplies

Any Super Chunky Yarn in colours suitable for the:

  • The Main Colour (80m/87y)

  • Contrast Edge (24m/26y)

  • 3 large buttons, measuring at least 3cm/1.5 inches

  • Tapestry needle

    Needle

  • 8mm/ size 11 needles

Gauge

9 stitches and 17 rows = 4”/10cm square

 

Stitches and Abbreviations

CO = Cast on

K = Knit

BO = Bind Off

 

 

CO 27

Knit Every row for 70 rows or until the piece measures 16.5 inches (43cm).

Join the contrast colour.

Knit for 14 rows (3in/ 7.5cm)

On next row K 4, BO1, K8, BO1, K8, BO1, K4

Knit 2 rows

Bind off.

 

Line up buttons on opposite side of cowl to button holes and sew on using tapestry needle. (Hint: you can always separate the plied strands of yarn to make a thin enough strand to use to sew on the buttons!!)

 

Weave in ends.

 

Red Friday

The day after Thanksgiving only means one thing...Christmas can begin.

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It was the day of the year we traditionally spent decorating the house.  Out would come the tree, the garland, the decorations, the strings upon strings on lights that were always missing just one bulb, the Christmas dishes and the hundreds of Nutcrackers.  

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Christmas music would play merrily in the background and leftover Turkey sandwhiches as we would fill our bellies as we transformed our house into a Winter Wonderland. It was soooo exciting...for the first half hour, then it just became hard work.  We always had 2 trees.  One enormous fancy one in the front of the house (my favourite was an all white one she did) and then one in the basement with all of our old ornaments - the clothespeg raindeers, the salt dough snowmen, the paper mache snowballs. 

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I love carrying over traditions from my childhood.  And so today, out will come the Ella Fitzgerald Christmas album and we will *start* on our Christmas preparations.  It would be a massive understatement to say that I am beyond excited to decorate my house this year!!  My head  is just full of the possibilites. So, let the Christmas spirit spread and lets kick off this holiday season with a bit of celebration.

First of all, I am so happy to announce the release of the "Quixie" Hat pattern on etsy and ravelry.  Its a little "quick pixie"/elf/ gnome hat with a chin strap and a button.  I has actually become my favourite hat for when Theo is in the sling - its nice and snug and its cute little point makes him even more adorable.  It *would* be my favourite hat for Georgia, but she threw hers out of the pushchair along with her left welly and her sweatshirt and I can not find them. This is the "Christmas Edition" - only in that the pictures for the pattern are Christmassy.  ( I am picturing a gnome- themed revamp in the spring with WILL involve the purchase of a garden gnome).

Thank you so much to all of my testers! Especially, Riotflower who sorted out the adult sizing. And special thanks to Laura for the name (she also named the Snugosaurus)!!  

But that's not all...

As a thank you for all of the awesome support in this new venture, I am offering a 10% discount on everything in my etsy shop.  All you have to do is 'like' my facebook page to get the code (it seemed like a good way of rewarding fans and readers). Oh and you can totally unlike it later. If you already like it, go to the 'Welcome' page on the left hand column. And if you hate Facebook and think that Mark Zuckerberg is public enemy number 1 - leave a comment and I'll email you the code.

 

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But wait, there's more!  All of my patterns on ravelry are also 10% off this weekend!  Discount applied at checkout, so go forth and download!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!!

Snugosaurus

Picnik collage

 

The hat was designed last year as a dare on facebook.  The first few ones I made were good, but had problems.  The spines flopped.  The yarn hung out the underside. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't.

 

I hated this hat.  But it is so eye catching (it is the one that was featured on etsy's facebook page), I felt I couldn't let it go.  However, there have been a lot of tears shed over this pattern. I would get a sinking feeling whenever it was ordered and its been ordered a lot. 

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But then it was the making of hats over and over and over where I found improvements...ways to structure the spines, a new pentagon pattern, a way of hiding the stray threads and it came together. Man, I used to hate making that hat because it always went wrong.  But making it over and over has ironed out the kinks and now its pretty straightforward, dare I say, almost fool proof. 

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I think that is why I don't really see myself moving into only designing in the longer term.  I like the making things.  Maybe its too many years in the public sector that means I crave having something concrete to show for my efforts, not only just words on paper. I also like seeing how patterns evolve and making things that really work, both for the 'look' of them, but also as a maker myself.

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But words on paper are precisely what I have here...with the testers having tested and having made a fair few myself, I am proud to release the pattern for sale on etsy here and on ravelry here.

 

Edited to say: the name idea was not mine, but a fantastic suggestion from an onlne friend who also named the hat being released on Friday.