Tag: pattern

The Closest Thing I Know To Being Pregnant • The Cobbler Cowl Pattern Release

I feel like I’ve been pregnant these past few months. I was creating something special. There were days when I felt stressed and frustrated. Sometimes, I felt worried. But other days, a strange bout of confidence and euphoria would take over! These last few days felt like the final hours in the hospital bed. I wanted to scream and pull my hair out. I wanted those who were supporting me to be close, and yet I could feel myself squeezing their hands. Today, my baby is welcomed into the world. Today is The Cobbler Cowl pattern release day. Congratulations, it’s a…cowl?

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I began this concept back in January, out of the fed up-ness of trying to make things for other people. I wanted to make something for myself. Strangely enough, not a lot of planning went into the original version. I just started knitting. I liked it, and other people liked it too. While I do alright with likes on Instagram, I started noticing more people leaving comments. Strangers in public who normally minded their own business began asking questions. It felt like a winner, thus it was destined to be shared.

So, I drafted up the pattern. I edited, and I revised. I scrapped entire documents to start over multiple times. My yarn friend Kate was supportive enough to not only test knit the pattern in its early stages of being constructed (mostly through math and visualization), but chose a wonderful colour combination of her yarn and allowed me to use it as the sample for the official pattern. It has certainly been a dream to be collaborating on a project like this, as if releasing my own pattern wasn’t thrilling enough.

I managed to recruit a few more test knitters to test the math on the other sizes. Lucky me somehow drew the interest of another fairly popular yarn dyer. She was a fantastic tester. She chose amazing hand dyed yarns and posted well-crafted photos with captions and comments that generously promoted me. I later found out she won’t even get to wear the cowl because it’s not cold enough where she lives! Seems like she’s using it as a display piece to showcase her yarn however, which again works out in my favour.

Alas, I present to you, The Cobbler Cowl. Now available in the shop and on Ravelry at a discounted rate for the first week only! Furthermore, the first 25 buyers will receive a 20% off coupon code for Fidley Dyeworks yarn!

Get the pattern on Ravelry, or in the WWK Shop.

And, don’t forget your yarn!

Make sure to Instagram your projects with #wintersweatherknits and tag me @wintersweatherknits so I can see them!

 

“That’s the beauty of it. You’ve got the rest of your life to knit them all.” • Pay It Forward Shawl

The days are getting longer, and I’m beginning to wake up to sunshine. Looking out the window, you could assume Spring is here. Only the keen observer would notice that the trees are bare, and the dew on the grass was frost just a few hours earlier. What exactly does one do in this rather confusing situation? Well, you make a Spring-inspired shawl, of course!

A little while ago, I got my hands on a skein of merino sock yarn with this lovely pink and green speckle, and a skein of tonal army green to match. Looking at them in my stash gave me butterflies (and not just because of the Spring colours)! I browsed so many amazing patterns, but struggled to commit to just one. I sought reassurance from Kate and received an unexpectedly wise response: “That’s the beauty of it. You’ve got the rest of your life to knit them all.”

Alas, I settled on Pay It Forward, designed by one of my favourite local designers, Wolf and Faun Knits. While I had originally planned to knit a shawl with open lace and floral designs, this was the pattern I could imagine knit up with my yarn. The majority of the shawl is a simple garter stitch, with the occasional row of eyelets. The uniqueness comes from the asymmetrical drape and the picot edging.

Of course, I gave the shawl my own WWK twist. I used needles 2 sizes up from the recommended size in order to achieve more drape. Also, I wanted to maximize the use of my yarn, so about halfway through I went rogue on the pattern and made up some extra rows of striping. I believe my final product is a fair bit larger than the pattern intended. It turned out beautifully though, and I still get butterflies when I look at it. More so, it’s lovely to support local in the both yarn and pattern departments.

I’m going to be rocking this shawl everywhere while the weather is in this perfect Winter-Spring transition state!

((On a frustrated and grumpy sidenote, I’m so upset that the quality of the pictures I have been uploading for the blog is so terrible! They look beautiful when I export them, but the minute they get uploaded they turn blurry and gray. I have been trying so hard to figure out why and modify appropriately, but nothing is working so far. So, sorry. Even Instagram is maintaining the quality of my photos better, so most likely I’ll be uploading more photos there and reducing the number of photos included in the blogs. If anyone has suggestions, please share.))

Let’s Talk

Let’s talk honestly for a moment. (I know I missed Let’s Talk Day, but it’s always a good time to be open).

Since this year began, I haven’t felt quite right. I felt a lot of pressure trying to create unique items to have ready for the shop. It was like a race against Winter, which seemed to be passing by so quickly. I came up with idea upon idea that excited me initially, then seemed to lose its charm.

Last week, I finally decided that I had to stop thinking like a business woman and get back to who I am, a maker. This was never supposed to be a job. It’s a creative outlet for me, and a channel through which to fundraise for my community.

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I treated myself to a new set of Lykke Interchangeable Needles, and pulled a couple of baby alpaca skeins from my stash, ready to make something just for me. Immediately, I felt something switch in my brain that reignited a spark in me. The ideas kept flowing, and I felt myself envisioning designs that all serendipitously came together (like, seriously…do the multiples and stitch counts for different patterns ever all just match?!). Even though I had to frog numerous rows, numerous times, I didn’t feel discouraged at all. I powered through, and somehow ended up with something incredible!

All this to say I’m returning to designing knitting patterns, and I am anticipating releasing a pattern for this lovely textured cowl, fondly known as The Cobbler Cowl, in the near future! I also plan to make some slight modifications to turn it into a hat, and eventually, a cardigan. Currently looking for people willing to test the cowl pattern, if anyone is interested!

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I always share my creations with my mom (@onebearceramics), hoping for approval, but expecting a shrug or an eyebrow raise. She’s a pretty tough critic. This time however, I saw the same light behind my eyes flicker in hers. She ooh-ed and ahh-ed, and asked for a sweater version of my design.

I think I’m going to stick to designing for awhile, as I have ideas swimming around in my head, and I can feel a strong passion for this aspect of knitting. I’m also open to custom orders via DM, because I find these more fun to do. As always, send me a message with whatever’s on your mind! And stay tuned for a new WWK pattern!

Pattern: Yarnivores

Pattern: Yarnivores

My little monsters have an official pattern…and a name!

These creatures have been living in my head for some time now. I had made one a long time ago during a stressful exam period to try and de-stress, but I never really took the time to note down my procedure…until now!

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Each monster is based on some creature in the animal kingdom, with sharp-toothed underbites and a zombie-like gaze. While they don’t have arms, they have long dangly legs that are super cute when hanging off the edge of a shelf or similar piece of furniture. Mine also wear socks as a tiny homage to The Sidewalk Sock Project.

The official pattern is up on my Ravelry webstore if you are interested in purchasing it. The pattern includes step by step instructions for the basic features with lots of photos. Additional features are up to your creativity but I have found hearts, pockets, bows, and bellybuttons very cute.

A few little tips for my blog visitors:

  • Make a heavy bean bag!
    • The heavier, the easier it will be for the monster to sit without falling backwards because of his legs. I personally also prefer the heavier feel. It kind of reminds me of carrying around a little sack-of-flour-baby (a school project I never got to do)
  • Always consider if you will need to sew the piece you are working on before you fasten off.
    • It is way neater (and easier) to leave a long tail when fastening off than using a whole new piece of yarn to sew pieces together
  • When attaching limbs and other features, use your darning needle to pull the extra tails left over in through the body and trim on the other side, hiding the tail inside.
    • Not exactly a secret, but learning this technique was super helpful when I was a beginner!
  • If you can knit, I like to make the face panel in a simple stockinette stitch, and the teeth using the beginning row of entrelac.
    • It gives a nice contrast to the crochet body.
  • The socks I made are just shorter versions of the legs with an extra increase round so they are just a tiny bit bigger than the leg.

We had some guests in our photoshoot. (L) A little toothless baby version of my original. (R) Curious puppy.

Summer is the perfect time for amigurumi! I hope you enjoy the pattern. (:

Hooded Tweed Cardi (#wip pt. 2/4)

Hooded Tweed Cardi (#wip pt. 2/4)

59 rows of 610 sts in: -my god what in the world would possess me to start a project like this-

This cardigan is a bit of a gamble. By that I mean I’m putting a lot of time and effort into making it, yet I am not 100% sure what the final product will or should look like. It makes me wonder whether skilled knitting designers really know what they are doing before they create their patterns. Or is it really a ton of guesswork and revisions to create something worth selling? In any case, I have never done anything like this before, so I’m really just going based on a mental image and tiny versions I’ve made using scraps of fabric. I won’t be fully convinced of the structure until the life-sized piece is assembled.

While the herringbone stitch doesn’t require counting or inconsistent changes, it does lend itself to dropped stitches. With my lack of concentration, I’ve dropped quite a few without knowing it because this stitch pattern doesn’t run when a stitch is dropped. On the one hand, it’s great that it doesn’t completely ruin rows and rows of work, however, it results in me being a few stitches short a few rows later, asking myself if it’s worth undoing 5 rows of 610 after counting only 604 stitches. The answer is no. Since the yarn is fine, I’ve resorted to randomly increasing stitches in less noticeable areas in hopes that I can get away with it. Unless you look closely, you can’t really tell. For now my goal is just to maintain the integrity of the overall piece.

9 inches in: -I’m so close to being ready to start a pocket! Just keep knitting…

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The Inset Pocket:

After researching how inset pockets are knitted into projects and trying to translate this onto the herringbone stitch, I decided to invent my own method. This could be completely unorthodox, or already something someone somewhere has thought of–I don’t know. I more or less stopped where I wanted the pocket, knitted the width of the pocket until it was the depth I wanted it when folded in half, then brought my needle back and continued knitting the full length. Later on I will sew up the sides and tack this piece down to the inside of the cardigan.

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The Arm Hole:

I made the arm hole the same way you would knit a button hole. I knit up until one side of the hole, bound off the length of the hole, and casted the same number of stitches back on on my way back up the next row. The placement of the hole was around the halfway mark of the length, on the same half as the pocket (the other half will become the hood of the cardigan).

Now it’s just rows and rows of herringbone stitch til the next arm hole! I think I may have measured wrong and it’s ending up longer than I planned…oops.

Hooded Tweed Cardi (#wip pt. 1/4)

Hooded Tweed Cardi (#wip pt. 1/4)

I have this problem with falling in love with a stitch pattern and then using it for everything. In attempt to break out and continue to expand my skillset, I’m trying out a completely new project. New stitch pattern; New article of clothing; New construction method. I am designing my own hooded cardigan, and if the pattern comes out well, I may put it up for sale on Ravelry.

I’m also trying out a new category of blog posts– #wip (work in progress). Rather than posting the final product in one post, I figured I would post updates as I go along. This makes more sense to me for larger projects, that I may start today and not finish until next year! By the end of the project there will be approximately 4 posts that I will group for you to find easily (either through the #wip category in the sidebar or I will make a tab at the top specifically for these posts).

This is #wip Project #1: part 1 of 4.

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The Cast On

The body of this cardigan is one piece constructed as vertical columns from the base to the hood. My cast on length ended up being 610 stitches in my chosen yarn (*sobs*).

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The Stitch Pattern

I am using the horizontal herringbone stitch to create the tweed look which I think will look great for the concept I have in mind based on the color scheme and hooded shape. This is a new stitch for me and it does require a little bit more concentration, however after awhile it becomes a good brainless-knitting stitch–my favorite! I will add that I have already accidentally dropped a stitch many-a-times and had to backtrack entire rows to fix it (all 610 stitches *sobs again*). After all that frustration, I spent one evening testing with scrap yarn and figured out how to pick up the dropped stitch without having to unravel the piece! If this is something that interests you, comment below or shoot me a message from the contact tab and I will share a post about it. I really think there aren’t enough people doing tutorials on picking up dropped stitches on a variety of stitch patterns apart from the stockinette stitch. Perhaps if I have the time I may start a video series on this…but that’s another task for another time!

That’s all for now. Keep a lookout for part 2 where you’ll get to hear about my struggle with inset pockets and where exactly to create the sleeve holes.

Dad-Approved iPad Case

Dad-Approved iPad Case

In all the years I’ve been knitting, I have never made something for my dad. I’ve given a ton of gifts to other family members, friends, even some people I only ever worked with for a couple of years. It’s not that I didn’t want to give him something, it’s just that I never knew what I could make that he would actually like.

In one of our recent car chats, he mentioned that he was looking for an iPad case to use when he travels. Instantly, I thought there had to be patterns out there that I could easily whip up before his next trip. There were tons! Still, I decided to read through them and construct my own. I’ve never been one to follow other people’s patterns.

Here’s what I came up with:

Materials:
  • Yarn: King Cole Magnum Chunky (1 skein)
  • Needles: US 10 (6.0mm) DPNs
  • Button
Case Body:
  1. Cast on 55 sts spread across DPNs. CO an extra stitch for joining in the round (will be dropped). (55)
  2. Work linen stitch in the round until piece measures about 25 cm.
  3. Bind off loosely, leaving a long tail. Use this tail to sew the end shut flat and weave in ends.
Strap:
  1. On starting row end, pick up 8 stitches in the middle. (Or width needed based on button size.)
  2. Work 15 rows of linen stitch, ending on the WS.
  3. On RS row, make buttonhole the size of your button.
  4. Continue in linen stitch for 4 more rows.
  5. Bind off and weave in ends.
  6. Sew button in place on case.

I recommend testing the width after a few rows on an actual iPad and again later to make sure the length covers the whole thing (if you have access to one–I snuck in and out of my dad’s office many times to create this project and keep it a surprise).  It is meant to be tight-fitted and stretch like a sock to avoid having the iPad slip around inside it.

My dad was surprised on Christmas morning to see that I had actually followed through on what seemed to be a casual conversation. Will have to wait til his next trip to actually test it, but so far I think he’s a proud papa!

Zoh’s New Brother

Holiday gifts part 2! This is another project I worked on over the summer and had to keep a secret until now. I am experimenting with variations on my animal monsters, starting with a request from my cousin. She had seen Zoh and asked if she could have one in blue. I took that request an ran with it. I’ve been thinking about designing a whole range of variations on this basic concept, so this was a good opportunity to try it out again and get more details on my pattern since I didn’t keep note of it last time.

I went to Michaels in search of furry blue yarn. I was a little disappointed at the limited selection, though I suspect I may have had more luck shopping during the winter season rather than summer. As I was about to give up and leave, this pile of colorful fluff caught my eye in a sale bin. It was about 50% off of regular price and seemed to fit the bill, so I left the store with 4 balls of it (Loops & Threads Fashion Fur). I don’t usually research my yarn before I shop. Sometimes I touch all the sample swatches to check for softness and thickness, but that’s about it. I started stitching and had to stop due to exorbitant amounts of blue fluff that flew out of this yarn in all directions. I then decided to look this yarn up where I found many people complaining about the fluff. I also found out that this yarn had been discontinued, probably due to that reason. Nevertheless, I continued stitching (whilst using my lint roller and swiffer wand intermittently) and threw the pieces into the dryer for an air fluff to try and remove as much fur as possible before assembling him. At this point he’s not shedding nearly as much, though I’m not sure how much I would want to snuggle my face into him…he may bald over time.

In the future I will post a step by step pattern. For now, I have a general guideline that more experienced knitters/crocheters could draw from. Some additional details can be found on my previous monster post as well (link above).

His body is two pieces (front and back) with the box base shape and a flat top. On the front side, I switched over to an acrylic yarn for his face. I doubled up the yarn in order to match the needle gauge of the fur yarn (ie. 2 strands of yarn for one stitch of the fur yarn). When the pieces were done I sewed them together and stuffed him. Normally I would include a sack of rice for weight, but the fur yarn turned out to be quite heavy like carpet, so I skipped it this time. His final size after stuffing is about 11″ tall and 12″ wide.

His eyes are just black crochet magic loop circles stitched onto slightly bigger white crochet magic loop circles. His teeth are made using an adaptation of entrelac knitting whereby I casted stitches off each triangle of the base row as I went along. These can be placed anywhere you’d like.

To make the ears and legs, I crocheted in the round and increased where I felt necessary. Once flattened, the ears curled naturally and I simply left a tail long enough to stitch them to the head. The legs could be longer or shorter by modifying the number of rounds. Again, I left a tail long enough to attach them to the base. The socks are made the same way as the legs with an additional round of increases so they just fit over top his feet. The changes in color are optional.

I followed this video to make the heart, which I then stitched on to his left chest.

While this wasn’t my favorite project, I am excited to continue making modifications to this design. I plan on sampling different types of yarn for the body and maybe even just regular acrylic yarn so the stitches are visible. Definitely more to come.

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Crochet House Booties

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We recently renovated our floor by replacing all our downstairs carpets with hardwood. As Winter approaches, it has become very apparent that wood is not very insulating and the floors are now icy cold–not very fun to step on!

While I am partial to socks, I decided house booties might offer a little more protection and warmth. Searching up patterns for booties was frustrating because most of the solid (not-sock-like) boots were all in infant sizes. After some digging, I managed to combine instructions from a video and a child’s bootie pattern to create these!

I am a size 6, and this is what I did using a 6mm crochet hook and two strands of yarn (appropriate for a 5mm hook). For larger or smaller sizes, increase/decrease length of chain when making soles and adjust accordingly (refer to video linked above).

Soles: make 2

  1. Ch 17, HDC in each st across starting from the second chain away from hook (16)
  2. In same st, HDC 3 more times, HDC in the other side of the chains of the next 15 sts
  3. In same st, HDC 5 more times, HDC in next 16 sts
  4. HDC 2 in each of the next 3 sts, HDC in next 12 sts, DC in next 4 sts
  5. DC 2 in each of the next 5 sts, DC in next 4 sts, HDC in next 13 sts
  6. SC 2 in each of the next 4 sts, HDC in next 12 sts, DC in next 7 sts
  7. DC 2 in each of the next 2 sts, SC in next 4 sts
  8. SC all the way around TBL
  9. SS to join and FO (54)

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Lining: make 2

  1. Repeat steps 1-7 above
  2. SS to join and FO leaving a long tail
  3. With darning needle, use tail to stitch lining to the inside of each sole piece.

Foot:

  1. Attach yarn at heel of sole and ch 1, SC in same st and next 53 sts, SS to join to 1st SC, and ch 1 (54)
  2. Repeat for two more rows (54)
  3. SC in same st and next 16 sts, repeat [SC2tog, SC 1] 7 times, SC 16 sts, SS to join to 1st SC and ch 1 (47)
  4. SC into same st and next 15 sts, repeat [SC2tog, SC 1] 5 times, SC 16 sts, SS to join to 1st SC and ch 1 (42)
  5. SC into same st, SC2tog, SC 12, HDC2tog twice, DC2tog twice, HDC2tog twice, SC 12, SC2tog, SC 1, SS to join to 1st SC and ch 1 (34)
  6. SC 1 in same st, SC2tog, SC 10, DC2tog 4 times, SC 10, SC2tog, SC 1, SS to join to 1st SC and ch 1 (28)

Leg:

  1. SC in same st and next 27 sts, SS to join to 1st SC (28)
  2. Repeat til desired boot height (mine was 4 more rounds)
  3. SS all the way around, ch 6, and fasten to next st to make loop (optional)

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The end result is this lovely house bootie, great for lounging in the wintertime! I would recommend adding some sort of rubber non-slip soles to the bottom to keep from slipping. Also make sure stitches are tight and/or use thick yarn for added sturdiness–mine are a little bit squishy, though they still work great for indoor use.

I Made a Friend

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Meet Zoh. She’s a little monster bunny friend I made (pun intended). I was seeing a lot of cute toys and pillows online that I really wanted to buy, yet couldn’t justify the expense. Among these was the little creatures from the Monster Lab, which creates adorably creepy little monsters. I thought they were amazing and incredibly creative, yet not quite exactly what I would make. I was inspired to draw from this concept to design my own little monster, and thus Zoh, my brain child, was born.

My sister had gotten me these balls of spongy fur yarn from the dollar store that I kept in my storage forever because I never knew what to do with them. I started tossing around the idea of using fur yarns to create stuffed animals because the fur would hide the stitching and it would look essentially like it was sewn. Note that this type of yarn is incredibly difficult to work with, as you have to deal with all the little hairs and still maintain the tension to keep the stuffing in. I also gave myself the added difficulty of alternating colors in the rows because I only had two small balls of each color (neither was enough to complete her at the size I wanted–I actually started over partway through after this realization). I used a regular acrylic yarn for her face as well as her ears, legs, eyes, teeth, and socks. Those parts were much easier.

The base of her body was a box shape, which I had gotten from this pattern. Ambitiously, I made the two flaps at the bottom and joined in the round to continue knitting the body. I grafted the top shut (flat) instead, which actually wasn’t too noticeable. I then stuffed her from the bottom including a ziplock bag of rice for added weight, and hand-stitched the base shut. For future reference, the plastic of the bag does make a crinkling sound when you squish her, so I would suggest putting a little more effort into sewing the rice into fabric of some sort instead. She ended up being about 9″ tall sitting down with her legs dangling.

The eyes were just crochet magic circles, the white one just slightly bigger than the brown. I used the ends tucked in the middle to attach them to her face. I looked up how to knit a heart and did so using some scrap Loops & Threads Woollike yarn and stitched it on her left chest. Her legs and socks are just crochet tubes left flat, and her ears I 100% made up as I went along, increasing and decreasing where I felt appropriate to match my vision. In the future I will document my designs better and post complete patterns.

Finally, the concept for her teeth came from the first row of entrelac knitting. Rather than making individual triangles, I remembered that the first row looked like a connected set of triangles, and luckily when I looked it up, the pattern was done exactly how I needed it. I just casted off before starting the set of squares.

This was my first attempt at really sketching out and designing my own project. I love the basic concept and plan on making some variations. I have already received a request for one, which is currently in the works. After that I may create a whole family inspired by Zoh. Stay tuned!