May 082013
 

So, so excited to have this new collection out!  Cryptozoology - the study of and search for animals whose existence is not substantiated by mainstream science – is an homage to all the weird mythical (or not?) creatures that roam this planet.  Six patterns span the gamut of desert dwellers to arctic wanderers.

The cover shows the Neck Kraken scarf in Knit Picks Gloss DK.  This entertaining scarf has tentacles in place of fringe, plus a hidden loop on the underside to draw one end through and keep it snug around your neck.

My absolute favorite of the bunch is Bigfoot + Yeti.  These felted slippers come in six different easily customizable sizes.  These are done in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted, then felted.  I can’t express to you enough how perfect fitting these things are.  There is shaping that makes these slip on your feet like buttah.

Sea Serpent Squish is a soft toy for the Nessie fans out there.  At a width of 19″, it would also make a super fun throw pillow!  This is worked up in Knit Picks Biggo.

Chupacabra Mittens feature the feared ‘Goat Sucker’ of Mexico and Central America.  El Chupacabra’s menacing face graces the backs of the hands while goats tile the palms.  Knit Picks Palette is used for these.

Knit Picks Stroll and Stroll Tonal blend for this easy colorwork Mermaid Cowl.  At a distance the image, like the mystical Mermaid, is hard to spot at first.  Upon closer inspection, you can see the tiled mermaid silhouettes.


Rounding out the Cryptid medley is the one closest to home for me, the Jackalope!  The Jackalope is a super cute jack rabbit with a twist.  This version is quite floppy and squishy.   This guy also uses Wool of the Andes Worsted.


Whew!  There you go!  These six are available on the Knit Picks website, as either individual downloads, an ebook, or as a physical book!  Check it out!

 May 8, 2013  contest, patterns Tagged with: , ,  2 Responses »
May 062013
 


Browns Crossing is the old name of the Colorado town of Nederland. The tiny 1.5 square mile town is rich in characteristic Rocky Mountain charm but still retains much of the grit of the original 1800s settlement, a combination that I adore.

Like its namesake, Browns Crossing is beautiful without being cutesy, utilitarian without being pedestrian. A scarf-like length and width allows for it to be worn quite a few different ways for added versatility.

The yarn for this, Cephalopod Traveller, is incredible.  It’s super soft and the colors are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.  When I was at Stitches West this February I was getting to the point of overload with all the yarns to look at and fondle, but when I came across their booth I was rejuvenated and excited, like I was seeing something entirely new.  I want one of every colorway they do!!

The Details:

Yarn: Cephalopod Traveller, 2 skeins in Gallifrey (how could I pass up yarn with that name??)

Yardage: Approximately 560yds

Gauge: 18sts and 24 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in Stockinette st

Suggested needle size: US size 10

Price: $5

Find this pattern on Ravelry!

 

 May 6, 2013  knitting, patterns Tagged with: , ,  5 Responses »
Feb 202013
 

Need some fancy adornment while trying to make a decision? Great for when flipping a coin or drawing straws just won’t do!

I am loving these new mitts.  I love making fingerless gloves that make me giggle and flash a huge grin.  This has turned out to be quite a conversation piece.  Take these babies on the bus and make instant friends!

The Details:

Yarn:  Two colors of fingering weight yarn.  The samples above are shown in Knit Picks Palette and Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock.

 

Yardage:  About 105yds of MC and 70yds of CC

 

Gauge:  30sts/ 34rows = 4″  for Small and 28sts/ 30 rows = 4″ for Large in stranded pattern

 

Suggested needle size:  US size 2 for the Small, US size 3 for the Large, plus one set of smaller needles for the ribbing

 

 February 20, 2013  patterns, Uncategorized 3 Responses »
Sep 252012
 

I swear the city of Prague glows at night.  Unlike many western cities with their neon and eerily green-blue nights, central Prague radiates this love with its warm lighting.  It’s so welcoming and cozy, like the illumination itself is wrapping you up and keeping you warm.  This sensation is what inspired this cowl.

I have two pet peeves with most cowls for winter-wear: 1) looseness in the neck makes them drafty and 2) my lower chest often feels unloved and naked unless I have my jacket zipped.  This cowl was my answer to both.

Praha is worked flat then seamed in the back. Ribbing creates a very elastic cowl, allowing no need for closures. Short rows give it a close fitting shaping.


The Details:

Yarn: DK weight yarn. The sample above is shown Tosh DK

Yardage: Approximately 150yds

Gauge: 26sts and 25 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in k3p2 ribbing, unstretched

Suggested needle size: US size 7 and 8

Price: $4

Find this pattern on Ravelry!

 September 25, 2012  patterns, Uncategorized, Year of Color Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 052012
 

To me, this is the best ever time of year.  Pumpkins, soups, sitting in the sun without sweating, but most importantly, the return of wool accessories!  Oh, such a relief to allow my hands to no longer be naked.  To celebrate, here is the first of the hand-related Wattsolak patterns of the fall.

This is my second pattern based on a drawing of my husband Daniel’s (the first of which was Bean Monster).  The original drawing was for a show poster for his band In Better Senses.

I love the early 20th century horror film feel to the poster.  You can almost hear Orson Welles’ voice in the background.  When I first saw his sketch I knew this had to be translated to colorwork!

I’m quite happy with the end result!  I know this is partially due to the Malabrigo Finito of the sample.  Drool.  I can’t wait to nest my hands inside these on snowy days.

There is also a special significance of the release date of this joint creative project: today is our 9th wedding anniversary!  Hooray for us!

The Details:

Yarn:  Two colors of
   fingering weight yarn.
   100% wool will work best.
   The sample above is
   shown in Malabrigo Finito.
Yardage:   180-225yds of
   the darker color, 75-95yds
   of the lighter
Suggested needle size:
   US size 1 for small
   US size 2 for large

Price: $5

Find this pattern on Ravelry

 September 5, 2012  Uncategorized 3 Responses »
Jul 102012
 

Warning: it is impossible to wear these gloves or mitts without feeling the need to wildly wiggle your fingers!

This is such an addictive pattern.  Seriously, I’ve knit three versions and I still want to make more.  It’s one of those where you finish one and immediately want to start another with new colors.  Oh, who am I kidding, I was already planning the next before I’d finish the first glove of a pair.  I never, ever take commissions to knit things but I have already accepted one for these since the person who suggested them came up with a really fun version that I was eager to attempt.

The background and palm-side consist of an easy to memorize four row repeat while the back shows off the kraken whose tentacles are your fingers!  The fingerless version works best when the kraken color is close to your skin color, allowing the two to blend together.  For this reason, I highly suggest Jamieson Shetland Spindrift or Knit Picks Palette, both of which come in an array of neutral tones.

The pattern includes four charts.  There are separate left and right charts for two versions, one for light colored kraken and one for dark.  There are also instructions for working a full glove or the fingerless version.  Two different sizes use the same charts, the sizing determined by the needles and gauge.  Lots of room for customization here!

And hello there, little baby cephalopod on the thumb gussets!  Try to hide but you are oh-so cute that you are hard to miss!

 

The Details:

Yarn:  Two colors of fingering weight yarn.  100% wool will work best.  The samples above
    are shown in Knit Picks Palette.
Yardage:  164-240yds, depending on size and version.
Gauge:  30sts/ 34rows = 4″  for Small and 28sts/ 30 rows = 4″ for Large in stranded pattern
Suggested needle size:  US size 2 for the Small, US size 3 for the Large, plus one set of
    smaller needles for the ribbing

Price: $6

Find this pattern on Ravelry!

 July 10, 2012  patterns Tagged with: , , , , , ,  2 Responses »
Jul 052012
 


I am just beaming here!  The recent issue of Mollie Makes has a feature about crafty designers and their singer/songwriter fans.  Well, the wonderful Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits, who is a beautiful singer when not creating the most amazing knitting patterns, was kind enough to pick me to be with her in this piece!  Our pal Katy took some great photos at her house which is just about the most adorable little place EVER.

Yes, that’s a TWO PAGE spread!

There were so, so many incredible photos from that day.  I wish you could see them all!  I might have to go through and share some more of the cute ones.  There was a lot of hula hooping and belly laughing that day!

I can’t wait for this issue to arrive stateside!!  If you can’t wait for the paper version, you can buy the iPad/iPhone version here and the digital download here.  Or if, unlike me, you are patient, Joanns and other local craft places will have these in stock in a few weeks!  Really, go out and buy it because there is some really cool stuff in this issue!!

Thanks, Mollie Makes, for including me in this fun set of designers!

 

 July 5, 2012  interview Tagged with: ,  5 Responses »
Jul 032012
 

As promised, here is an update of the paper piecing quilt!  Still a long way to go, but it’s getting there.  And it’s still fun!

I have already received fabric from three family members and three friends, and there is still a lot more fabric to collect.  I now understand the joy of being able to just buy quarter yards of amazing fabric, the small amount lessening the guilt of the cost.  I’ve also discovered a few select thrift stores where I can get cheap nice fabrics.  So fun!!

I’m only about 1/5th there, if that, but plugging away!

 July 3, 2012  quilting, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,  2 Responses »
Jun 292012
 

I have a real addiction to creating knitting charts. It’s an obsession really. I literally dream of little squares, stitches, and pixels.


I have so many other things I should be working on right now, but instead I’m drawing charts for a brand new pattern.  Those of you who like stranded knitting will have lots to look forward to this fall!

 June 29, 2012  knitting Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jun 222012
 


Jane is at the top of my list of internet friends who I’d love to meet in person.  It feels weird to me that we never have since we’ve known each other for over 6 years and shared a lot of ups and downs.  I adore her writing and dry sense of humor as well as her crazy creativity.  One main tether between us over the years has been knitting.  I love it when I find another knitter who constantly blows my mind.  Jane’s Womb With a View still has me shaking my head years later as to how this was ever dreamt up.  Amazing.  I wanted to probe her brain for my blog and share her work with the rest of you.  She was ever so kind to oblige.

Wattsolak:  Why knitting??

Jane:  Knitting has this “link to the past” feeling that I love. I’ve always been kind of obsessed with what has gone before and what people did “once upon a time”, and I feel like it connects me with a simpler time. My grandma is one of those super-speed knitters that can probably knit in her sleep, and since I’ve been knitting she and I have really connected through that. That connection is so precious to me. I’m also a perpetual motion machine, and if I didn’t have knitting needles in my hand I’d probably be chewing my hand off just for something to do.
Wattsolak:  What’s your favorite knitting project thus far?Jane:  I loved making my stranded yoke sweater. The EZ formula is so magical, so personal, so mathematical. It’s astounding that you can punch in a few numbers and do a little math, and as long as you trust those numbers, you have a perfectly fitted garment at the end. Every time I found myself doubting the “pithy instructions”, I would just ignore the doubt and keep going. When I was finally done, I was in awe of how perfect it was.

Wattsolak:  What is your favorite source of inspiration?

Jane:  Is it bad that my answer isn’t “my children”? It’s totally not my children. I like things that are dark and scary, so I’m always trying to find a way to make something darker and scarier. Like “Hmm, that yarn is the colour of zombie flesh” or “That colourway looks just like a placenta” – those are things I’ve actually thought and then gone on to start experimenting. I’m not really very good at designing things, but I do love to mess around with a pattern and change it to suit me, even if it’s just with colour.


Wattsolak: What other crafty things do you do besides knitting?

Jane:  Nothing. Knitting is it for me. I actually find myself hating other crafts because they don’t measure up. I think scrapbooking is for the weak, and I can’t sew to save my life. Sometimes I try to garden, and then things die. But it’s fun while my hands are in the mud, so I guess that counts for something.

Wattsolak:  What is your ultimate knitting project/goal?

Jane:  My ultimate goal is to finish the sweater I started for Dillon [Jane's husband] 2 years ago. At one point I was making some serious progress, and I finished the back panel and got so excited that I draped it over him to see if the sizing was way off. And he jumped up and screamed “IT ITCHES! IT ITCHES!”  Well obviously, Sherlock. It’s Lopi. Anyway, I haven’t had the heart to pick it up since then. And that was 9 months ago. Someday I’m going to overcome the trauma and pick it up again.  I also really wish I could design stuff, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I’ve improvised many times, but I go into a bit of a trance when I do that and can’t remember what I’ve done when it’s all over, so I can’t turn those things into patterns.

Wattsolak:  Exactly how much coffee do you drink in a day?

Jane:  Ha! Well… we make a 12 cup Bodum in the morning, and Dillon takes about 2 cups of that to work with him. I go through the rest during the course of the day, and sometimes make another pot. So A LOT. It doesn’t even affect me physically anymore. I need it to live but it doesn’t keep me up unless I forget to eat. But coffee and knitting go together so beautifully! How can I not drink it?

Wattoslak:  Seriously, those non-coffee-drinking knitters are ones to be suspicious of.

 


Thanks, Jane, you rock.  If anyone wants to see more of Jane’s amazingness, check her out on Ravelry!