Mocárabe Cowl

Purchase the pdf file now through Ravelry (you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to purchase)
| add to cart | show cart

Mocarabe1

The beautiful tracery of honeycomb cables are accented by patches of eyelets in this gorgeous cowl. Turning the background of a traditional motif into negative space gives this cowl a wonderful juxtaposition of structure and drape.

Mocarabe2

Yarn: Approx 450 yds light worsted weight yarn. Shown in Mrs Crosby Carpet Bag (80% Superwash Merino Wool/20% Silk; Approx. 240 yards/100gm), 2 skeins ‘Sunset Regatta’.

Gauge: 22 sts and 48 rows = 4” in Garter st, after blocking. 32 sts and 34 rnds = 4” in Cable pattern, after blocking.

Needles: 4 mm (US 6) 24 inch (60 cm) circular neelde, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Notions: 4 stitch markers, plus a fth that looks different for the beginning of the round, cable needle if desired, tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Finished Size: 30 inches (76.25 cm) circumference, 10 inches (25.5 cm) tall, after blocking.

Techniques Used: knit, purl, k2tog, k3tog, sssk, yarnovers, double yarnovers, cables with instructions included: c2over2right, c2over2left, use of markers, knitting in the round.

Mocarabe3

Purchase the pdf file now through Ravelry (you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to purchase)
| add to cart | show cart

It’s also available on Craftsy :)

Peace in Our Time! or Can’t We All Just Yarn Along?

Carina Spencer recently posted a pic of the autofill on a google search….

Screenshot 2016-06-28 18.24.39

It was a totally strange thing to see “knitters are ruining this country” in the mix. So I googled it, and the first result is a self-admitted rant from a knitter who also crochets and has had a lot of bad feedback from other knitters about crochet.

 

So why did this even happen? What is the basis for this war? Does it go back to anti-imperialist sentiment and the conflict between Britain (which I assume is on the knitting side) and Irish Crochet (which was a serious industry for the Irish population during times of famine). If that’s the case, can’t we let that go already? Seriously….

 

Quinn1I love both crafts. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. And don’t doubt, you can make anything you want with either craft. While I prefer knitted socks, you can absolutely make crocheted socks. In fact, there’s a crochet sock CAL (crochet-a-long for those not in the know) going on right now. And if you want to make socks that are both knit AND crochet check out my free pattern for Quinn Socks (pictured right).

 

So back to the issue at hand. Why (WHY?!) is there such acrimony between the camps? We all use yarn. In fact, in some languages there isn’t even a difference in terminology for knitting and crochet. In Japanese stitch dictionaries you routinely find knitting and crochet patterns side by side.

 

I learned to crochet when I was quite young and I think it would be easier to manipulate one hook rather than two needles with my small and less-coordinated hands. I think knitting motions are easier to learn, but it’s harder to fix things when stuff goes wrong. Crochet is harder to learn the motions and stitches, but WAY easier to fix when you make a mistake.

 

You all know I’m CrossCraftual and I like doing all of the crafty things. Any way to use up this large stockpile of yarn, fabric, and supplies I’ve been collecting is a good thing. Also, it seems from the Survey Results that a lot of you are as well. And we don’t see the same conflict between sewing and yarn crafts. Is it because we use different materials? Is there a similar conflict between quilting and garment sewing?

 

Why do you think this division is still going on? Do you feel like it’s fading? Any thoughts would be welcome.

 

M

Promontory Point Cardi

Purchase the pdf file now through Ravelry (you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to purchase)
| add to cart | show cart

Promontory1

With clean lines and integrated details, this cardigan promises to be a wardrobe staple that you’ll reach for again and again. Featuring short rows for a proper shoulder fit, and ever-increasing fronts to wrap yourself up in or leave open for a flattering look, this cardi is feminine and easy-to-wear.

Promontory5

This cardigan is knit from the collar down, with increases at 4 points to shape the entire upper body. The Right Front is worked in Welt Stitch, and the rest in Stockinette Stitch. The stitches are then split and sleeve stitches are set aside. Underarm stitches are cast on to rejoin the body below the armholes. The body is knitted down, with both fronts increasing continuously to the bottom hem, where Welt Stitch is worked all the way around. Sleeve stitches are then picked back up (including from the underarm cast on) and the sleeves are knitted down to the cuff, also edged with the Welt Stitch.

Promontory4

Yarn: 1380[1540, 1710, 1870, 2030, 2190, 2350] yards of fingering weight yarn. Shown in Baah! La Jolla (100% Superwash Merino Wool, 400 yds/115 gm) in color ‘Thyme’.

Gauge: 26 sts & 36 rounds = 4 inches (10cm) square in Stockinette after blocking.

Needles: 3.25mm (US3) needles or size needed to obtain gauge. You will need a 32-40 inch (76-102cm) circular needle and your preferred method for small circumference knitting: i.e., double points, magic loop or two-circulars.

Notions: 4 markers, tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Finished Size: XS[S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X] corresponding to finished bust circumference of approximately 34[38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58] inches (86[97, 106, 117, 126, 137, 146]cm). Because the design has an open front, the back measurement (half of bust) is more important than full bust circumference. If you are particularly busty, you might want to knit a smaller size than your full bust circumference to better fit your back measurement. Design is meant to fit with about 2 inches (5 cm) of positive ease. See schematic for exact measurements.

Techniques Used: knit, purl, k2tog, ssk, Right-leaning Lifted Increase, Left-leaning Lifted Increase (see notes), m1L, m1R, m1P, short rows, use of markers, Stockinette stitch, reverse Stockinette stitch.

  • Shown in Size Small on 36 inch bust.
  • You can use any Short Row Method you want so I have abbreviated WSR for Work Short Row. For instance, if you are using the Wrap & Turn method, WSR is the stitch you would wrap. If you are using the Shadow Wrap method, WSR would be your doubled stitch. Just remember that on following rows you will need to treat your SRS (Short Row Stitch) according to your chosen short row method. For instance, with wrap & turn you would knit your wrap and your wrapped stitch together. For a tutorial on Shadow Wrap Short Rows, view tutorial here: http://youtu.be/KBFxyDNUraY
  • For Right and Left Lifted Increases, see tutorial video here: http://youtu.be/tYiHjO6CuR8

Promontory3

Purchase the pdf file now through Ravelry (you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to purchase)
| add to cart | show cart

It’s also available on Craftsy :)

Pattern Buying Survey Results

Hey all, sorry this has been so long in coming. I had been offered some analysis and was waiting for it. But it’s not coming any time soon, so here is the data and my thoughts about it. You can click on each question to see the visual breakdown of the responses.

 

Question #1: What is your primary craft (choose one)?

Knitting — 92.46%
Crochet — 4.22%
Sewing — 2.42%
Other — 0.90%  (responses included quilting, weaving, rug hooking, and spinning)

Despite my efforts to get some other crafts with a significant contribution, this survey leans very heavily toward people who are primarily knitters. So take all of this with a grain of salt for any other crafts.

 

Question #2: What are your secondary or other crafts? (Select as many as apply)

Knitting — 8.95%
Crochet — 50.04%
Sewing — 55.76%
Quilting — 22.37%
Other — 27.42% (responses included painting, weaving, spinning, drawing, embroidery, needlepoint-including cross stitch, rughooking, beadwork, collage, jewelry making, sculpture, tatting, lacemaking, papercrafts, felting, patternmaking, metalwork, digital painting, dyeing, glass working, kumihimo, calligraphy, scrapbooking, stained glass, screen printing, bear making, art journaling, pottery, woodworking, origami, leather crafting and photography)

Wow…. you all have a WIDE variety of crafts. I was pleased to find that so many knitters also crochet! I suppose it means that our efforts at hybrid knit/crochet patterns have a potential audience. If I can get some deeper analysis on this one I’d like to see if the respondents who sew as well as doing yarn crafts trend a particular way when it comes to question #12.

 

Question #3: Have you purchased any patterns (digitally or in print) in the last 6 months?

Yes — 96.82%
No — 3.18%

This question was basically to weed out whether I was on the right track with the questions I was asking. In a bunch of forums I’ve seen people say that they NEVER buy patterns. I wanted to see whether those people were just LOUDER in forums or if they really represented a large portion of the knitting population. I do realize that there is probably some bias in this, since I, as a seller of patterns, created and promoted this survey. But still accounting for that, it seems that the majority of you do buy patterns either digitally or in print.

 

Question #4: Do you prefer your patterns…..

Digitally — 50.62%
In Print — 5.95%
Both — 43.43%

This was interesting… I would interpret these results as that you all prefer digital patterns, but if you can get a print (so you don’t have to print them yourself, or have a hard copy to file and refer to) in addition to the digital you certainly wouldn’t turn it down. But it does appear that for the internet-based audience that this survey attracted, print patterns aren’t really what you’re buying.

 

Question #5: What would make you most likely to buy a pattern?

Q5 Screenshot

I thought the best way to see this one was with the screenshot. Take this as you will. I take it as “keep showing your work through as many channels as possible”, and that newsletters are more important than I gave them credit for. 😀

 

Question #6: Where do you look for patterns? Rank in order of preference

 
Ravelry
91.61%
1,310
5.66%
81
1.40%
20
0.63%
9
0.70%
10
1,430
Craftsy
0.78%
10
17.43%
224
25.29%
325
26.30%
338
30.19%
388
1,285
Local Yarn Store (this includes Ravelry In-Store Sales)
5.29%
73
51.92%
717
22.38%
309
13.90%
192
6.52%
90
1,381
Google Search
2.65%
35
21.08%
278
29.87%
394
25.85%
341
20.55%
271
1,319
Catalog
0.84%
11
6.54%
86
20.99%
276
31.48%
414
40.15%
528
1,315

Ravelry is far and away the first choice, and Local Yarn Stores are definitely second. After that it gets fuzzy between Craftsy and Google Searches, but catalogs are pretty clearly not your go-to to find patterns.

 

Question #7: In general, what order do you find a pattern/yarn?

I choose the yarn, then I find a pattern to make it. — 31.47%
I choose a pattern, then find the yarn to make it. — 68.53%

This is pretty self explanatory. But still interesting.

 

Question #8: In general, do you buy a pattern before you’re ready to use it?

Yes, if I like the pattern, I buy it. — 77.39%
No, I will buy the pattern when I’m ready to start the project. — 22.61%

I really wish I had the same survey done 3 years ago. I feel like there was more pattern impulse buying then, I wonder what it would be like if I did this survey 3 years from now….

 

Question #9: Would you buy a pattern because it’s designed by someone who’s (whose) patterns you’ve used before?

Yes, I know their pattern writing style, so I’m more comfortable. — 77.79%
No, this has no bearing on whether or not I buy a pattern. — 22.21%

With this question I was trying to see if there was any kind of brand loyalty when it comes to buying patterns. Looks like there is.

 

Question #10: Do sales or promotions influence whether you buy a pattern before you need it?

Yes — 72.27%
No — 27.73%

Again, I would love to see how these responses collate with the responses from question #8. I wonder if those who buy a pattern because they like it are more likely to buy stuff because it’s on sale or not.

 

Question #11: When looking for a pattern will you….

…pay for the pattern if it’s the RIGHT pattern. — 88.72%
…use a free pattern if it’s close enough to what you want/need. — 11.28%

Looks like you all are willing to put in the time to find the right pattern and again, that you all are not the people who NEVER buy patterns. It does make me think that tagging and describing a pattern might be very important if you all are trying to find the RIGHT pattern.

 

Question #12: What do you consider the TOP PRICE you’ll pay for each of the following types of patterns?

Free
Standard Accessory (hat, gloves, shawl, cowl, etc..)
4.94%
8.12%
33.12%
42.30%
8.33%
3.18%
1,416
Complex Accessory (lace shawl, a cape, etc..)
0.85%
1.49%
9.25%
38.51%
35.87%
14.02%
1,405
Socks
13.08%
8.18%
30.24%
37.69%
8.11%
2.70%
1,369
Garment (sweater, vest, skirt, etc..)
0.92%
0.99%
4.12%
24.93%
43.32%
25.71%
1,408
Home Decor (blankets, pillows, etc…)
18.25%
7.89%
25.49%
33.60%
10.86%
3.91%
1,381
Toy (amigurumi, stuffed animal, etc…)
22.50%
13.21%
31.28%
23.51%
6.75%
2.76%
1,378

OK, this was super interesting. So it breaks down to this:

For a standard accessory the high price range is $5-$6.99. Definitely not more than that.
For a complex accessory the high price range could be higher. Maybe more in the range of $6.99-$7.99. The ranges between $5 and $9 account for nearly 75% of responses.
For a pair of socks, the high price range is definitely lower. Somewhere around $5.
For a garment, the high range is definitely higher than accessories, which I’m glad to see, since they require a lot more work on the designing side.
In general it looks like people are more likely to use free patterns for home decor or toys than any other patterns (although socks are a close third).

 

Thanks again to everyone who took the survey. I just need to line up the drawing prizes (some of them are coming from other people), and I’ll notify the winners via email.

<3,

Miriam

 

 

Call to Action: Flat Stanley needs you!

Hey friends, you may remember way back when my nephew Tanis needed help with his Flat Stanley project. Knitters stepped up in a remarkable way. Can you help me again?

This is Nate…6102-NFunny1

Nate has colored in a Flat Stanley and could use your help getting some photos of Flat Stanley all over the world.

We’ve got a quick turnaround this time though. We need photos back by Friday, May 6.

Just print Nate’s Flat Stanley out (this link opens a pdf file), and take a photo of him somewhere. If you’re going somewhere awesome in that time, take him on vacation. But even if you’re just staying at home, a photo of him where you live would be awesome. Send the photos to me, miriam AT mimknits DOT com. Just put Flat Stanley in the subject line so I can make sure they don’t end up in spam.

Thank you!
Miriam & Nate

Bits and Bobs of News

I’ve got so many irons on the fire these days that I’m feeling a little frazzled trying to coming up with a coherent format for all the news I want to share. So we’ll go with a list. I LOVE lists!

  1. sockbook-542x600It’s been making me crazy happy since it arrived in the post yesterday, so I wanted to share with you all that the Footie Socks pattern has been translated into Japanese and has been published in a curated collection by Amirisu!

    If you, or someone you know needs some great sock patterns in Japanese, this collection is wonderful! They have a great variety of socks styles, heels, and constructions.

    And the photos are absolutely gorgeous! Plus they’ve got kits 😀

  2. One of my favorite fabrics, Essex Linen from Robert Kaufmann, has just been released in a metallic yarn-dyed line! It’s amazing! I saw it in person at the Craftsy Instructor Summit and the sheen is subtle and manages to perfectly skirt the line between casual and refined. I’m trying to figure out what I want to make with it so I can order some yardage.
  3. tarkhandress01From BRAND NEW linen, to SUPER OLD linen…. The Tarkan Dress has been identified as the oldest known garment. It’s a 5000 year old linen dress from Egypt. It’s pretty amazing to think about the hands that spun the flax, wove the fabric, and made the tiny pleats. It was discovered in a tomb in 1913, but not identified until 1977.

    The discovery of this piece started me on a dig that also yielded this fascinating page of other historical garments found in graves.

    And for us sewing geeks, here’s how to reconstruct the Tarkan Dress. Pretty amazing.

  4. I got back from Chicago and YarnCon this week. I had a great time with my good friend Amanda and got to explore some textile hotspots there. If you’re going to Chicago, aside from the great yarn stores, check out Textile Discount Outlet. It was like a treasure hunt for fabrics and sewing miscellany! I spent a couple hours wandering around, and bought some silk and lace to make a slip along with a new Craftsy class I signed up for before I left called “Sewing Lingerie” (affiliate link).

    I also stopped by Soutache, which is just such a cheerful and wonderful place. All the beautiful vintage and antique display pieces hold buckles or tiny embellishments, so you can wander and explore and find surprises. The best kind of store.

This week I need to start gearing up for some new classes I’m teaching at Vogueknitting Live in Pasadena next month, and hopefully release a new pattern that’s been tech edited and just needs a layout and a final review.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

M

p.s. the inimitable Stephen West has declared April to be International Shawl Month. Tag stuff with #shawlmonth. And if you want one of my shawls for it, use the code AllTheShawls2016 and you can get 20% off any of my shawl patterns.

SPRING!! Thank God!

IMG_20160315_131731The last week in Utah has seen a sleeveless day, a blizzard, and back to normal spring weather. All of this is normal for Spring in the high desert, but it’s made me start thinking about my garden and green growing things. I walked around downtown yesterday running some errands and the flowering trees are in bloom. I saw a bright yellow forsythia right next to a weeping cherry tree and it was so cheerful I stopped and looked at it for a minute.

 

The new beginning of the season always has be thinking about new projects too. I have a stack of sewing (a lawn/voile quilt top, and some new spring dresses) planned, and some hybrid crochet/sewing projects to work on during the weekends, but for now I’ve cast on a new sock project for an upcoming Dragonfly Fibers club shipment. I love the joy and excitement that comes with a new project, and I think you do too. So from now until the end of the month (31-March, Midnight Mountain Time), I’m offering 20% off all the patterns (and collections) in my Ravelry Store. I hope you start something new! If you’re looking for ideas, how about a Daelin Shawl, it works up quickly in a sport weight yarn, and would be a nice addition on a chilly morning walk. Or how about a Nesoi Tee if you’re planning ahead to your summer wardrobe.

Building a Handsewn Wardrobe

HandsewnTopWhile I was at the Craftsy Instructor Summit, I sewed a top. I had packed small (and at the last minute) and was presented with the choice of wearing a shirt a second day or making something new. I had bought a remnant of chambray from Fancy Tiger Crafts, Laura Nelkin found a needle in her travel sewing kit, and thus #SewAShirtToday was born. There were no sewing machines, but we had been given swag bags with thread and pre-cuts of quilting fabric (which turned into the log-cabiny pockets). I had a bunch of time sitting and listening to speakers, so I sewed.

I brought my hexagon Dress no. 1 and used that as a template to cut the upper body (which ensured that the armholes, neckline and bust would fit).

Some people expressed disbelief that I would hand-sew a garment. But this wasn’t new for me. I’ve made some beautiful Alabama Chanin style pieces. I sewed an Endless Summer Tunic by hand because I wanted to sew it, but also wanted to spend the weekend at the local coffee shop with The Dude instead of hunched over a sewing machine.
I’ve also been working (with long stretches of not working) on a medieval costume for my youngest brother. I’ve been drafting and handstitching the whole thing. From linen shirt, to bias-cut hose, to the astonishingly complicated cotehardee (which is done now except for the buttons and buttonholes).

I love the slowness. I love that I think about every stitch. I love that there is so much of myself put into it. So here’s some tips that I’ve been thinking about while I work on my newest garment, a pinafore inspired by this one I’ve had in my pinterest board for an eternity.

  1. IMAG0991Start with something simple. The great thing about the Alabama Chanin pieces is that they don’t actually REQUIRE a bunch of finishing. The cut edges of cotton jersey will roll in a fetching way all on their own. So you only have to sew the seams to get a workable garment.
  2. Sew internal seams first. If you’re new to hand-stitching it’s likely your stitches will be uneven, and not particularly straight. Don’t be afraid to mark the stitching line with a water soluble fabric pen. This is a little backward from how machine sewn garments are usually put together, but it will hide your somewhat wonky starter stitches inside so you don’t have to continually look at them. Also, if you’re winging it, it means you can try it on as you go and get a better idea of the fit.
  3. Love your thread. This is another thing I learned from Natalie Chanin’s class and books. Watch this video. It’s a technique that takes some of the extra twist out of your thread and preps it to slide more easily through your fabric. In fact, check out her other tips. They’re great.
  4. IMAG0992If you sew with the right fabric, you don’t need an iron. You just need a couple of tools. Personally, I love my hera marker (shown right) for creasing seams, but when I didn’t have it at the Summit, I used the flat end of a spool of thread. Worked a treat.
  5. Try a couple types of thread. For the non-obvious bits of this pinafore I use a standard polyester or polyester covered thread. But for the top-stitched bits I like to use a cordonette or other larger thread. I love the way it accentuates the hand-sewn nature of the garment. Especially with something as tightly woven as this chambray.
  6. Don’t be afraid to switch stuff up. I made a facing for the neck-edge of this pinafore, and while I was stitching it down I realized it would make a great neckline detail. So I turned the whole thing inside out.
  7. Add your own details. As I sew I think about wearing the garment. I think about stress points in the piecing. I put extra reinforcing whip stitches on those points. I use contrasting bias tape inside and I flat fell the seams. In less consumerist times people actually inherited items of handsewn clothing. Make it to last.

So go handsew something!

Daelin Shawl

Purchase the pdf file now through Ravelry (you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to purchase)
| add to cart | show cart

 

Daelin3Daelin is a soft crescent-shaped shawl, perfectly sized to be worn as either a scarf or a shoulder shawl.  With squishy garter stitch up top, and a progression of lute- like lace on the edge, it features a sweet stitch cluster and a subtle picot edge.

Daelin2

Yarn: 550 yards of sport weight yarn. Shown in Dragonfly Fibers Damsel (335 yds/115 gm, 100% Merino Wool) in ‘Mossy Bank’.

Gauge: 20 sts and 36 rows in 4 inches (10 cm) square in garter stitch after blocking.

Needles: 32 inch (80 cm) circular needle, 4mm (US6) or size needed to obtain gauge.

Notions: 4 markers (2 each in 2 colors for the center panel and for the edgings), safety pin style marker for marking RS of work.

Finished Size: 64 inches (162.5 cm) across wingspan, 18 inches (45.75 cm) from cast on to bind off.

Techniques Used: knit, purl, yarnover, k2tog, ssk, sl1 k2tog psso, Centered Double Decrease, p3tog, dropped k1-yo-k1, (k1, yo, k1) into the same stitch, use of markers.

 

Daelin1

Purchase the pdf file now through Ravelry (you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to purchase)
| add to cart | show cart

It’s also available on Craftsy :)

Spring 2016 Wardrobe Planning

I’ve been absolutely jam packed with work knitting and longing to take some time for some personal crafting. I’ve got giant piles of fabric and patterns, and with the weather changing (we slept with the window open last night!) I’m starting to think about swingy linen dresses and cotton voile.

And then my friend Eileen posted a denim wrap skirt from Anthropologie and I went down a rabbit hole.

Screenshot 2016-02-28 12.38.53

Screenshot 2016-02-28 12.32.58

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I instantly thought about Art Gallery Fabrics’ new denim line and went to look at what they had. I found this beautiful printed denim and went NUTS thinking about doing some over-stitching on the print around the bottom hem of the skirt. It’s gonna be AMAZING. I ordered the denim along with a fabric I need for a future quilt from Hawthorne Threads.

Screenshot 2016-02-29 10.06.39

Screenshot 2016-02-29 10.09.17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then I started thinking about swingy linen dresses. I have this Brussels Washer Linen to make Hawthorne from Colette Patterns. I can’t decide if I want the collar or not. What do you think?

Screenshot 2016-02-29 10.17.47

PaisleyBorderPrintVoile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got a beautiful paisley border print cotton voile from my local fabric shop, Tissú. I plan to make a drawstring waisted sundress, probably like this, but longer and maybe a fuller skirt. The fabric fades to just the indigo background color across the width. It’s lovely!

I think there’s gonna be a linen jersey version of Dress no. 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing, and maybe another Endless Summer Tunic in some of my stash of Essex Linen (one of my favorite fabrics for clothes!), or in one of the cotton voile cuts I’ve gathered. I feel a fabric dive coming on.

What does your wardrobe need to be ready for spring? I’d love to add a bunch of laceweight and fingering weight cardigans to this mix, but my knitting time is for work these days.

M