knit

January Pattern: Cranbrook

Keeping with my goal of publishing one pattern a month, Cranbrook went live a few days ago. 

It's a quick and easy hat that is knit in the round from the bottom up. I've been working on a few larger projects recently and just wanted something that would fly off the needles! And show off this yarn - Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Hayloft. I got it while on a trip to Philadelphia to visit my mom and I've been itching to use it.

From now until Friday, January 27, 2017 it is 25% on Ravelry. You don't need a coupon code, the discount is automatically applied when you check out. 

Also last week I got something that will, hopefully, help me stick to my goals and better balance life in general. It's a Passion Planner and I'm kind of in love. It is a day planner (which to be honest, it could have stopped there. I love stationary) but it is set up for, and teaches you how to, set goals. Life goals, Yearly goals, Daily goals - it's all in there. Plus some quotes and lots of blank space so everything can all be in one place. I've really only had it a week so I can't tell you how effective it actually is, but I've heard lots of great reviews and am excited to really start using it more. I hope it will help me better manage my time, and to keep better balance between work, family, friends, and keeping the house a non-disaster and everyone relatively well-fed. This totally sounds like an advertisement, but it's not! I just get jazzed about day planners. 

Speaking of goals, I actually wrote about some of my knitting goals back in August 2015. I hadn't really thought about them, but looking back I've completed almost all of them, and am on the way with some of the others. You can read the full post here, but here's the cliff notes:
1. Get yarn support - still haven't done this one, but I am planning to and it doesn't scare me anymore
2. Get published - That has happened. Quite a few times now, actually! 
3. Write a book - this one hasn't happened either but, again, there are plans brewing
4. Design a sweater - This one has also happened, and this was, I thought, my least attainable goal!

It's really awesome to be able to look back and say, "hey! I did those things that I thought I never would!" and to be able to actually see the steps that have been taken. I hope that this can continue and, as much as I said I didn't like them, maybe there's something to New Years Resolutions after all. 

Knitting and Camping

Last weekend the Pip & Pin team (plus men and babies) packed up and went camping! 

Though, according to some, we were not "real" camping, as we stayed in a little cabin and were not entirely exposed to the wild wilderness. But I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed having running water, a clean, dry bed, a wood-burning fireplace, a toilet, a fridge and a roof. (The roof really came in handy while it poured rain all of Saturday night.)

While we were enjoying our trip Katie and I did what we always do when we are out and about some place pretty, we took pictures. Lots of pictures. Lots of pictures for new Pip & Pin patterns. Unfortunately for you, they are mostly all on Katie's camera and I don't have them yet so you will have to be satisfied with a tiny teaser of some squishy knits to come.

And of course, our favourite backdrop of the day was the white wall of the camp site bathrooms... 

 

All the little ladies, all the little ladies

So I've got to say, when it comes to garment knitting, you petite ladies have it made! 

I just started a design commission and the sample needs to fit a 34" bust. Now I'm not used to that at all! (First off, I'm a little more voluptuous than that and I also like a bit more room). I feel like I took on a little more than I could handle in the coming months with three patterns and samples due by July, but after the way this first one is just  flying off the needles I feel much better about everything! 

And look at this amazing yarn I get to use! It's  The Fibre Co.'s Acadia  in Sand and it the softest, most luxe alpaca/merino/silk I've ever gotten to work with. 

And look at this amazing yarn I get to use! It's The Fibre Co.'s Acadia in Sand and it the softest, most luxe alpaca/merino/silk I've ever gotten to work with. 

Also, today is the LAST DAY to enter our Courtship Instagram Giveaway, so head to our instagram page to enter! 

Courtship Giveaway!

Hello all! 

For the release of Courtship I've decided to run a super easy contest through instagram! yay! 

What you'll win: 
- a PDF copy of the pattern Courtship
- three skeins of Knit Picks Comfy Fingering in Seafoam (that's enough for a baby, toddler or child size!) 

How to Enter: 
- like @pipandpin on Instagram
- find this post and tag a friend in the comments
- that's it! 

A photo posted by Megan (@pipandpin) on

Deadline:
Contest ends May 27. Winner will be randomly drawn and contacted the next day

Good Luck! 

New Pattern Release: Courtship

Courtship was released earlier this week and I must say, this is the best pattern Katie and I have released to date. Not only because of the super sweet design, but I feel like we've stepped up our game in every aspect! It's been tested out the wazoo, the photography is a whole lot better, and the layout is easy to read and follow. 

Courtship is an oversized, lightweight top made with an easy to care for blend of cotton and acrylic, with sizes ranging from baby to 2XL. The top section is knit flat back and forth, then joined together and knit in the round until the hem. 

See the Courtship Pattern Page for more info, check it out on Ravelry, or buy the kit from Knit Picks

 

Things From the Mailman

Today I received some FUN sock yarn in the mail. Awhile back when I got my big order from Knit Picks, I mean, that was exciting too, but that was all full of neutrals and pretty basic stuff, this one was my FUN package.

I received one skein of The Lemonade Shop's Toxic Oreo.

I think speckled yarn is one of my favourites right now. I've never been a big fan of the way variegated yarn looks but I love how exciting it is to knit with, with all those colour changes and what not. With this, you get colour changes (LOTS of colour changes) without the pooling issues I usually seem to run into.  

The issue that I'm having with this is that the yarn is so busy that I don't want to anything complicated because it will just get lost and everything I'm thinking of just doesn't seem like it's going to look good. Should I just stick with a plain stockinette sock or something with a wide rib? Any other ideas?

 

They also carry a colourway Mega Stuffed Toxic Oreo, but I may have to work my way up to that one. 

Sock Project III: Blackbird

I know, I'm missing the second pair of socks, but the yarn and pattern and needles were just not doing what I wanted them to so I had to put them away until I feel better about the whole thing.

In the meantime my giant order of "boring" (neutral) sock yarn came in the mail along with my book from Knit Picks. I figure since I'm kind of a beginner sock knitter Socktacular: Mix and Match Socks for Fancy Feet would be a pretty good place to start. It shows you a few different ways to do everything and tells you how to put it all together either toe up or cuff down, so I think it will be a nice place to start figuring out what is my way of knitting socks.  

As soon as I posted this picture I got a message from my mom in Phillidelphia, "Hey, I just got this book too!"

As soon as I posted this picture I got a message from my mom in Phillidelphia, "Hey, I just got this book too!"

For this pair I did a rolled cuff (something I've never tried before) with an eyelet cable pattern, a mitered heel (also new) and standard toe. 

If you want info on the yarn, needles, techniques and/or my random notes, you can find my Ravelry Project Page here.

Sock Project I: The First of a Thousand Socks

Awhile ago, for some strange reason, I decided that it would be a fabulous idea to knit my own socks instead of buying new ones. Huh.

I guess it makes sense for me since I don't actually wear socks most of the time anyway. I know it's summer and my thinking may be skewed but I can't remember the last time I wore socks other than when I was hiking. And those were knit socks that my mom had made me.

So instead of spending a little bit of money every once in awhile to buy some new socks, I thought it would be a better idea to spend a ton of money on yarn, once. (Once. Hah, I'm funny.)

I bought all of it online so while I am waiting impatiently for it to arrive I used some Paton's Kroy I had bought on impulse at Michaels because it was on sale this one time. I used a pretty basic pattern (you can find all the nitty gritty details on my Ravely Project Page) and they turned out pretty okay for my first pair of socks in a million years. A little bit looser in fit than I would like and the fabric could have been tighter knit, too, but you live and learn.

So, here they are in all their ridiculously stripped glory - the first of many

And please disregard the terrible indoor cell phone picture, I will maybe one day get a good shot of these super stripy socks

And please disregard the terrible indoor cell phone picture, I will maybe one day get a good shot of these super stripy socks



Free Pattern Testers

I am still quite new to pattern designing.  Even though I've been "designing" patterns pretty much since I started knitting, it's only been in the past year or so that I've started selling them on Ravelry and Etsy. The start, well...., didn't go so well.

We launched our patterns while we were at Knit City and we sold quite a few of a particular one on the first day.  That night, before we even got home from the show the emails started coming in.  One woman told me that she had been knitting for a million years and just can't get the pattern right, the stitch count keeps being off.  Another, more novice knitter, had a question about whether she was doing it right because it was just. not. working.  There were 2-3 more along those lines as well.  Now, if you've ever seen any of our work, these are not intricate patterns we're talking about here.  These are fairly beginner, knit-in-a-night things, so I knew right away it was me.

It took me awhile to find it.  I had to really read my own pattern, which is a pretty difficult thing to do because it's mine, I had knit a thousand of these things and I could probably make one in my sleep, so to sit down and have to go through every step, one by one, just pretending I didn't know anything was really tough.  Eventually though I found it.

There it was.  Row 2.  A missing Yarn Forward.

That's it.  Two little letters, YF, that made me feel like a jerk for selling a pattern that wasn't even right.  And it's not like I was selling it online so I could just email the people and give them the corrected version.  These were out there, hard copy.  Even this year I found two or three people just by talking to them at my booth who had bought that pattern the first day and never could get it to work.  Of course, they got a free copy of the new pattern and my sincerest apologies.

Super long story short:  I found a group on Ravelry the other day who does free pattern testing.  You just post your pattern, people tell you they want to test it for you, you send them a free pattern and they in turn let you know if there's anything they find wrong with it.  Win-win.

I've decided, before releasing any of my new patterns, to get all of my old pattern tested just to be sure.  (There's only six so it shouldn't take too long)  And then, of course, test any new patterns in the future.  How did I not know about this?  Absolutely brilliant.

 

(And if there's anyone on Ravelry who wants me to let them know when my patterns are being tested, just send me a PM!)

Whoops...

I got an early Christmas present in the mail, a set of Addi needles!  Yay! The yarn I ordered for N's sweater came in the mail!  Yay!

I only had to make 3 gauge swatches to get the right size needles!  Yay!

I finished the collar, shoulder saddles, and a bunch of the yoke of said sweater!  Yay!

I realized I have been purling wrong my entire life.  Uhmm... how did I not know this before?  How have a been doing something soooo basic completely wrong for over 10 years?!  Somewhere along the way I learned how to compensate for it so my stitches didn't get twisted, but I honestly thought that's just how you did it.

Unfortunately, for the pattern I'm doing my compensating skills just weren't cutting it and I knew something was wrong but I had no idea it was my purling!  Boy did my face go red when I realized what it was.  Basically instead of pulling the yarn up and over my right needle, I have been bringing it up between the needles from below and you could really notice it on the tops of the shoulders and shoulder increases.

I thought I would be able to live with the way the sweater was turning out and just continue on while doing it correctly, but then I decided I would be super unhappy with the finished project so I frogged it and am restarting.  3 days, down the drain.

Seriously, purling?!  Ughhf.