Leaving Portland

February 28, 2010

I am leaving Portland, Oregon…

Which also means that I am leaving Closeknit on Alberta Street in NE Portland.

My last days at the shop will be March 5 through March 7.

Please come on by to say goodbye to me! I would like to give you a big hug and thank you personally for all the sweet encounters we’ve had.

You have been so kind to me and so supportive of me and it breaks my heart to leave.

But as is my wandering spirit, I am embarking onto new adventures.

I will be heading to San Francisco and end of Summer, me and my husband will be traveling back to New York City.

You guys, this is a very short blogpost. As you may understand, I am packing up my stuff and it is keeping me quite occupied.

Again, please come see me at the shop before I leave. And let me give you a big goodbye hug.

It will be quiet around here for a bit… As soon as I am settled in San Francisco, which will be mid March,  I will post again.

Until then!

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Free Pattern: Basic Long Fingerless Glove (Sports weight)

February 16, 2010

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A very basic long fingerless glove, entirely knit in stockinette stitch and seamed up the sides.

Yarn: approx. 140 yards of  sports weight (or very light dk) yarn.

Needlesize: US5 or needlesize to obtain correct gauge.

Yarn suggestions: Alpaca Silk by Blue Sky Alpacas, Fresco by Classic Elite Yarns, Ultra Alpaca Light by Berocco, Road to China Light by the Fibre Company, Mongolian Cashmere by Jade Sapphire and Felted Tweed by Rowan.

To download the pattern click on link below:

Basicsports

Some more specifics

This pattern is a very basic fingerless glove, entirely knit in stockinette stitch. One can wear them all bunched up:

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Or completely stretched out over your arm like here:

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It is really all up to you how you want to wear this glove!

Blocking is optional

This glove is knitted flat, with decreases and increases occurring at the sides. After you finished your piece, it will curl but after blocking it will lay flat like this:

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Blocking is optional. You don’t have to. But in case you would like to, click here to see how.

Seaming using the mattress stitch (also referred to as invisible seam)

Fold your piece over, and use the mattress stitch for seaming. Seam while the right side is facing you.

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Seam down from the top and seam up from the bottom. Leave a hole for your thumb.

If you do not know how to do the mattress stitch, go to this wonderful video tutorial over at knittinghelp. It will be in the “finishing” section and it is called the “mattress stitch”. To get to it, click here.

No rights reserved

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I reserve no rights to this pattern. You are free to do with this pattern whatever you want to do with it.

If you want to knit a whole lot of them for charity, go for it.

If you want to knit this pattern and sell your gloves, be my guest.

If you want to teach how to knit this pattern, don’t hesitate.

If you want to use this basic pattern and give it some more flair by using a lace pattern or whatever other pattern, please enjoy.

If you want to use this pattern to improve, and to re-write, what are you waiting for?

Curious how this pattern came about?

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If you want to know how much work goes into developing/writing/putting out a pattern, please click on the links below:

Getting Technical With It, part I

Getting Technical With It, part II

Getting Technical With It, part III

Thanks for reading and until the next entry!


Getting Technical With It, part III

February 15, 2010

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Hi there! I am writing this blogpost from San Francisco. My wifi connection is super slow, and I am about to go crazy, but I simply have to get this blogpost out!

In this part, I am going to talk a bit about photography. When you put out a pattern, it is nice when you have an image to showcase the knitted end product. If I had a lot of money, I would hire a professional photographer.

However, I do not have a lot of money. So it is just me, my dslr Nikon D40 and any willing model!

Nikon D40

images

For the past 2 years I have been working with my Nikon D40, an entry level DSLR.

This dslr camera, was the cheapest I could find at the time, so I just went for it. I took a photography workshop, did not understand a what the teacher was talking about, and finally just played around with the camera.

It intimidated me at first, it still does a bit. Most of the time, I just click away and really don’t know what the hell I am doing. But when  an image works for me, it works for me. And step by step, I am starting to understand my dslr more and more.

So far so good, I have made some pretty good shots in the past with 3 different lenses. Here are a few examples of images I made over time and used for my patterns. Not bad for an amateur, eh?

Evaluating GPWI51 Sally Hat2 JK5 JK3

Willing models and choosing the right picture

I had hoped to work with a particular model this past weekend, but alas, she was not available. So instead, I attacked several knitters at the yarnshop Closeknit on Alberta Street in NE Portland.

So, here are several pictures I need to choose from… Will you help me out?

Here’s Adrienne, who is wearing the worsted weight gloves:

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This is Sally, the owner of the shop:

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And this is Michelle, showcasing red sportsweight gloves. It fits so well over her hand and arm!

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And this is Monica, showcasing purple sportsweight. She is wearing a beautiful white ring which depicts a rose but my camera did not take it well… rats! Oh well, just look how nice the glove fits her:

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And here is Sarah, I attacked her when she so innocently was working on a project at the shop:

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Yikes… which one to choose? Help me out here, will ya?

Nancy, for crying out loud, get on with publishing the pattern. Pretty please?

I know, I know! More than anything else, I want to publish the pattern asap! But I have got to go through all of these steps, see. And I wanted you to walk along with me.

So, since you have been so patient with me, I have a little gift for you.

In the next few days, I am going to issue several patterns for free. Yes, yes! For FREE.

I heart you so much, see. You are my favorite knitter!

So come back and get your goodies.

Thanks for reading and until the next entry!


Getting Technical With It, PartII

February 10, 2010

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Hi there, welcome back to my series “Getting Technical With It”!

Yesterday, I discussed the basic form of a fingerless glove design and how to build out from there.

I also discussed the several design options and thus questions that need to be addressed before going any further. Some of those questions were:

  1. How long do I want my glove to be? 12 inch or 14 inch for example?
  2. After I have determined how long it will be, how much yarn would I need?
  3. Oh hey, uhm… in what weight am I going to make this pattern? Chunky, worsted, sports, dk, fingering, sock or lace?

Let’s get on it and answers these three questions!

Playing around with the material and determining yardage

By now, I have determined that I want to offer this fingerless glove pattern in three different yarn weights: Worsted-, sports-, and fingering/sock weight yarn.

I already have determined my basic form and will work from there in my three different weights.

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I have not decided quite yet how long I want this fingerless glove will be but maybe I will offer it in 2 lengths: 12″ and 14″

Immediately, the question of how much yardage is needed arises! For each individual weight it will vary… Oi, how to handle this?

Only one way to find out! Playing around with the material…YAY!

Ultra Alpaca worsted by Berocco (100gr/215 yrds)

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Using my basic form, and needle size US7, I knitted a pair of gloves that are both 14″.

Plenty of yarn left so now it is known to me that for a 14″ long fingerless glove with worsted weight yarn, 215 yards will be plenty! This also means, that it will be plenty for a 12″ glove.

This Ultra Alpaca worsted is a beautiful Peruvian wool. At a retail price of about $8.75, you really cannot go wrong.

Fresco by Classic Elite Yarns(50 gr/164 yrds)

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With this sportsweight yarn and needle US5 I knitted a pair that is 14″ long. So now I know, with 164 yrds sportsweight, I will be fine!

The yarn itself is a luscious blend of wool, angora and baby alpaca. Delicious! Blooms so beautifully after washing!

Road to China Light by the Fibre Company (50 gr/159 yrds)

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With this sportsweight and needle US5 I was as well able to knit a 14″ long pair!

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This yarn with a blend of baby alpaca, cashmere, camel and silk is simply DELICIOUS! It is beautiful in simple stockinette stitch but let me tell ya, this yarn SCREAMS for a lace stitch!

Alpaca Silk by Blue Sky Alpacas (50 gr/146 yrds)

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This sportsweight yarn has only 146 yrds…would I be able to knit a 14″ long pair? Answer is NO.

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I did not have enough to make a 14″ pair so had to make a 12″ pair. Important information for when you put out a pattern, eh???

Writing down the pattern so that it makes sense

I could go on an on about the many other yarns I have tried to make this basic fingerless glove, but I think by now that you get how much work this requires. So let’s move on to the next step that is writing down the pattern!

If I would give you this piece of paper with my scribbles, you would all hate me. Because who can figure this out and follow these instructions? Only me.

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Because I will offer this basic pattern in 3 different weights, the instructions will slightly vary.

So this means I have to write down 3 individual patterns. And I have to make sure it is written clearly and without errors… Oi. Hardest part of all in this design process.

See how much work this is???

Choosing a stitch pattern

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Now that I have written down the basic pattern, I can make the next decision: what stitch pattern will I use? Shall I keep it plain or use a textured pattern? Or maybe a lace pattern?

Oi…decisions, decisions. Good think I have my stitch dictionaries close to me at any time!

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This post is getting too long again. Have to break it up and continue in a different post.

All I want is for you to understand what a handknitwear designer has to go through. How much work this requires. And how it at times can be so time consuming. See, a pattern just does not magically appear overnight.

There are many hours of hard work put into this! And this is only a fingerless glove. Can you imagine if this would be a sweater?

For the next part in this series, I need to finalize the gloves and find a model to showcase the gloves. Hopefully, I will find one over the weekend and am able to give you some images on Monday.

So hang on tight!

Thanks for reading and until the next entry.


Getting Technical With It, Part I

February 9, 2010

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Over the past 2 weeks, I have been working hard on a very simple and basic fingerless glove pattern. I scheduled to release the pattern about a week ago, but then changed my mind.

I did not have the feeling it was ready to be released yet and decided to go another route.

My initial plan was to release the pattern in sportsweight gauge. My new plan is to release the pattern in three different gauges: Worsted -, sports-, and sock weight.

Also, several people have been asking on how I go about designing and writing a pattern. And I would love to talk some more about that too.

So let’s get crackin’.

Starting with a basic form for a fingerless glove design

The easiest and simplest basic for a fingerless glove is a rectangular form. Simply knit a rectangular, fold it over, seam it up on the sides, and leave an opening for your thumb. Easy does it.

My fingerless glove patterns, Denaedin, Emanelle, Adrienne and Sally are all based on that construction.

That wasn't too hard, now was it YAY completely done! DSC_1612 JK5

However, the human body is not rectangular but curvaceous. And with simply applying decreases and increases, you can make a knitted piece curve. The trick is where exactly to place those increases and decreases.

In the following picture, you might not think  increases and decreases are applied to the glove, but they are. How else can it fit so perfectly over one’s hand and fore arm?

Striped Long Fingerless Gloves

The basic form for my fingerless glove with curves I have determined to look like this on paper:

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And it looks like this knitted up, before and after you seam it:

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Now that I have determined the basic form of my fingerless glove, I am ready to tackle several other design challenges. But before we are going to touch that topic, I would like to make a sidestep to stockinette stitch and its rolling character.

On how Stockinette rolls!

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To create the stockinette stitch, you knit a whole row on the right side, and purl a whole row on the wrong side. It creates a pattern in which you see those  “v” looking stitches on the right side.

The one thing that stockinette stitch does, is rolling. Don’t ask me why, it just is what it does. It rolls like crazy.

There is a way though, to somewhat tame this rolling character and to make it go flat.

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This is how you do it:

Step 1: Soak your piece in cold water, then gently squeeze the water out.

Step2: Lay your piece flat on a towel, then totally wrap it in the towel.

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Step 3: push with both your hand on the towel so it will soak up all the excess water. Then gently peel your piece of the towel and lay it flat to dry.

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This process is called “Wet Blocking”. Easy, yeah?

Now mind you that Stockinette has a pretty strong character. You may tame her, but after a while she will roll into her old ways. Luckily with our fingerless glove, she won’t because we are going to stitch her up at the sides!

Okay. End of sidestep. Let’s continue with designing.

Several designing options

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Now that we have determined the basic form and basic stitch for the pattern, we can think about many other design options. It is kind of like building layers, one step at a time.

Several questions need to be answered:

  1. How long do I want my glove to be? 12 inch or 14 inch for example?
  2. After I have determined how long it will be, how much yarn would I need?
  3. Oh hey, uhm… in what weight am I going to make this pattern? Chunky, worsted, sports, dk, fingering, sock or lace?
  4. Shall I put in a ribbing yes or no? Or shall I keep it minimalist?
  5. Will I throw in a stitch pattern? If so, which one? Lace? Brioche? Cable?

See how plentiful the options are? And it does not stop. Even more questions will surface.

But, always keep in mind: tackle one question at a time! And also, now begins the fun part. Playing around with several different yarns!

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Oh boy, this post is getting way to big. I think I have to break it up in several parts…

Okay, here’s what I am going to do: there is going to be a part II where I discus the many yarns I worked with in order to finalize my  pattern writing. Okay?

Don’t worry, I will not let you wait so long. Part II will be posted tomorrow. I PROMISE.

Thanks for reading and until tomorrow!