Tag Archives: design

New Pattern Release: Andrea – A Quick Gift Knit!

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Today I’ve released my latest pattern, Andrea – a smallish shawl/scarf knit in superbulky yarn.  For my prototype I used Patons Fab Big Colour – this is an 100% acrylic yarn, and I don’t usually use acrylics – but the colour of this yarn spoke to me when I spied it sitting proudly amongst the other yarns at John Lewis’, and I had to have it.  Originally it was going to be a cowl, but I suspected that the yarn would be just too stiff to be drapey in cowl form.

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For gift knitting in the run up to Christmas, this is the perfect pattern!  Although I’d knit most of my prototype, I had to rip it all out because I suspected I would run out of yarn (I was right!), but when I restarted, I actually knit the whole thing in a matter of hours – so this makes Andrea perfect for a last minute gift.  The yarn I used for my prototype was very budget-friendly, but the pattern would work really well in a yarn made of natural fibres, which although likely to be slightly more expensive, will also stretch more during blocking, making a slightly bigger shawl.

Although this is a bit too small to wear as a proper shawl, it makes a fantastic accessory indoors draped around your shoulders to ward off chills, or worn scarf-like.  I’m planning an order of Drops Andes to make several more in different colours!

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Here I am looking moody, wearing my Andrea in a more scarf-like fashion!

So, if you need a last minute gift idea, head over to my Ravelry store now!

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Ready? Get Set … Gift!

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There can’t be many Ravelry members who haven’t yet heard about the Indie Design Gift-A-Long (at least, I hope not!)

Here’s the perfect opportunity for knitters and crocheters everywhere to pick up some fantastic patterns with a 25% discount (from 8.00 pm US-EST today, 13th November 2014, until 23:59 US-EST on 21st November 2014) from no less than 293 independent designers. Each designer has between 4 and 20 patterns included in the Gift-A-Long promotion, and that’s a total of 3822 patterns overall.

How does it work? Well, get yourself signed up to participate in the group over on Ravelry, browse the Participating Designers thread to give you a taster of the designers and patterns on offer, treat yourself to some lovely new patterns and then sign up to the most relevant KAL/CALs for the category of pattern you’ve bought. So for example, if you buy a shawl pattern, you’d take part in the shawl KAL. Participate in the thread, engage with your fellow crafters, post pictures of your WIP (when I say WIP, I mean multiple WIPs, obviously!). There are 1866 electronic prizes up for grabs, not to mention a tremendously long list of physical prizes. Although the discount period for sedately buying a few patterns (by which I mean as many as you can get your hands on!) expires next week, the GAL continues on until 31st December, by which time hopefully you will have knitted or crocheted up a storm, and made squillions of gifts for lots of lovely people (or just make them for yourself – selfish knitting definitely gets my vote!).  And, even better, not only can you take part in the KAL/CALs using the patterns you’ve bought during the promotion, but all paid patterns by the participating designers are also eligible for prize winning.

Here’s some interesting stats for you, courtesy of the lovely 80skeins on Ravelry:

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As a relatively new designer, I’m delighted to be able to take part in the Gift-A-Long.  My entire collection of paid patterns is eligible for discount during the discount period (for all participating designers, the coupon code is giftalong2014).

Unfortunately, for some reason WordPress doesn’t seem to like my link to my Ravelry store, but you can find it here: www.ravelry.com/designers/kate-martin

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I’ve already got my eye on more than a few gorgeous patterns from my fellow designers, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find the time to take part in a few KALs myself. I hope to see you there too!

I’m Sorry, I’ll Say That Again …

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Do you ever get the feeling that you just spend far too much of your time knitting, thinking about knitting, or browsing the internet for knitterly goodness?  I’m sure it can’t be just me.

Earlier this week, after swatching the night before, dreaming about swatching all night and spending my journey to work mentally dissecting and reknitting my swatch, I found myself entering some data onto a spreadsheet for my manager, in relation to an exercise we’ve been doing whereby we’ve been doublechecking that patients who came to a preoperative assessment clinic did indeed get put on the waiting list and had their surgery.  I was updating the list I had with an outcome.  I got to the bottom of my list and scanned quickly upwards again to check that I’d entered something for each patient.

Oops …

Patient decreased?

I just knit a patient!

Unfortunately it was a patient who is no longer with us.  And yes, it could be considered slightly disrespectful, albeit totally unintentionally (and anyone who knows me personally will know that I have this whole huge thing going on about respecting other people), but it did make me giggle and it goes to show where my mind has been lately, doesn’t it!

Remember I mentioned a swatch that might be a scarf, or maybe a cowl but couldn’t make it’s mind up?  It decided it wanted to be a shawl, finally, in a totally different stitch pattern than it started off in.  My rather large swatch is currently relaxing on my blocking mat in my nice warm dining room, in preparation for a few photographs tomorrow.  Unfortunately I won’t be sharing it just yet, as I have decided to submit it to a popular knitting publication for consideration.  Well, you’ve got to speculate to accumulate, right?  I don’t for one minute have any expectation that it will be accepted for publication, but I’ll submit it anyway because I’ve always been one to aim high.

In the meantime, I’ve got an exciting test knit to crack on with for the lovely Madeleine at Yarn-Madness, and so I’m off to House of Fraser this weekend to see if they’ve got any aran weight bargains in their end of line box – I do have a particular yarn in mind that I know they had last time I was in there … but that was a good six weeks ago, so I’m hoping they’ve got some left still.  This test knit is going to be my ‘at home’ project.  I’m hopefully casting on another shawl design tomorrow that I swatched a couple of weeks ago, that I can have as my at work ‘go away, it’s my lunchbreak, can’t you see I’m knitting?’ project.  I was all set to go with the pattern I’d envisaged and swatched (and more or less written in its entirety), but in the last couple of weeks it’s hit me that there is an easier and potentially better way to get the look I’m after, so I’m just going to cast on and go for it (with my notebook at the ready to note down every detail as I knit it so that I can rewrite the pattern).  The beauty of this one is that it could potentially be knit in any weight yarn – though I think I’m going to stash bust and make a DK prototype, and then hopefully get it test knit in other weights.

Talking of test knits, I decided to have my Phyllis Shawlette test knit.  Yep, that’s right, after I’d released it.  What can I say … I’m contrary.  I’ve had three lovely Ravellers test knitting for me over the last couple of weeks, one of whom posted a picture earlier today – she knit hers in a beautiful variegated brown/rust/red colourway, and it looks fantastic.  When the others are finished and pictures posted I’ll be asking them for permission to link their projects here or post their photos.  I cannot tell you what a thrill it was today to see a photo of something someone made from a pattern that I wrote – I felt very designery, I can tell you.  I’ve also managed to find myself a tech editor, and the pattern for Phyllis will be going off to be tech edited next week.

I do love having a purpose in life, don’t you?!