Saturday, 18 February 2012

Update: Test Knitting

(cross-posted from my Ravelry group)

In the coming weeks, I’ll be ready to start testing a few new patterns, and I’m going to have a go at something a little different. I have been testing in the Free Pattern Testers group, which has been great, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I’m ready to start tests in my own Ravelry group.

So I’m going to give pattern testing a go in this group. If it doesn’t work out, I won’t hesitate to move it back over to Free Pattern Testers, but I thought it might be worth a try! The same basic structure and rules will apply, most importantly: please don’t sign up for a test if you don’t have time for it. If you’re unable to finish by the deadline (without good reason), I will not be able to accept you for further tests. If many people are finding it hard to finish on time, I will extend the deadline.


I will post a new thread in this group titled “TEST KNIT: Pattern Name (Project Type)” with pictures, pattern details (sizes, gauge, required materials) and testing requirements (number of testers needed, deadline date, etc). I'll announce on Twitter, blog, etc. when a new test knit is ready to sign up to.

Please post in the thread that you’re interested (this is for other members’ reference), and pm me your e-mail address to get started. I will only have limited places, so once I have everyone I need, I will close the thread to further sign-ups.

Once enough people have expressed interest, I will send out the pattern (for free, of course!) to everyone who I have accepted to test (note: almost everyone will be accepted; the only reasons I would decline are if there is a history of not finishing tests or I don’t feel your skill level is quite there yet). You can always use whatever yarn you would like, depending on whether or not it’s appropriate for the pattern.

I’ll earburn anyone who hasn’t posted in a while (say every week or two), just to check up on how you’re doing. I encourage everyone to post progress reports/pics/comments/or just chat in the thread.

Please let me know when you’re done and I’ll mark you as finished, and let me have a link to the project in your notebook. And I love to see pictures!

I think that’s it. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Darlington, Revisited

This time of year always makes me thankful for my wellies (also called, depending on where you're from, rain boots, gumboots, galoshes, and, I'm sure, a host of other names!). I live in the countryside in the south of England, where wellington boots are worn with the same devotion with which Pacific Northwesterners wear socks with sandals year round. And as any Briton knows, wellies don't fit correctly without the proper knitwear.

So Darlington was born, partly out of necessity, partly out of my love of cables. Inspired by welly socks with their long, fold-over cuffs (the sample is even knit in a colour similar to Hunter red) and over-the-trouser fit, I wanted a sock that would stretch to fit over my jeans (they stay up better that way) and make wellies warmer and more comfortable. And I just thought that I had to share these with the world.

Kate at Twist Collective loved the idea, too, and worked with  me to create an ornate pair of stockings that look even better outside the boot. Ribbing ensures a good, close fit around the foot and keeps them from sliding down, while a pretty cable winds up to the cuff, with a matching medallion at the calf. Toe-up construction makes it easy to customise the fit and sport-weight yarn makes them knit up very fast. I loved the sample, which meant that right after I made it (sadly, what with my monstrous calves, they don't fit me), I knew I had to make my own pair.

My own handspun pair have been my constant companions during this long, cold and damp English winter, and have found their own place, nestled inside my wellington boots by the doorway. I'm sure they will keep me company right into English summertime.

You can find Darlington in the Winter 2011 issue of Twist Collective, and for sale in their shop.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New Pattern: Old Bones

I'm starting a new part-time job (um, making sweets) in a little while, so I'm full steam ahead in getting more new patterns out while I can! And while my samples still fit me...

Say hello to my new aran-weight small shawl pattern, Old Bones:

Old Bones is super cozy, warm, enveloping, and quick to knit. I've been living in it since blocking. The pattern is available both fully charted and with full written instructions. Go check it out and buy from Ravelry!