Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A year "CHOCK-FULL" of Pattern Releases

When I stepped into my first retirement year I had hopes and dreams. My ambition was to create knitwear that knitters will find interesting enough to make.
I have self published some patterns on ravelry.com for a while now, but to reach more knitters and draw attention to my designs I had to learn a lot more.

First step:  I had to get the attention of some of today's most popular knitting publications.
Second step: Learn how and where to present my ideas
Third step: Learn about yarn. Oh there are so many possibilities
Fourth step: Knit a good sample
Fifth step: write the pattern and adapt it to the particular magazine's style
Sixth step: Don't show picture, keep it secret, don't talk about it.
Seventh step: FINALLY, a pattern is ready to release.

Take a look at Apple Cider Scarf. just released in Creative Knitting Magazine
Pretty Presents

Now I can talk about the project, show my own pictures and feel proud of being a published knitwear designer.

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Knitting Pattern Story

With my mother's passing, just a month ago, the circumstances of the last year of her life brought me and my Sister-in-Law Christiane closer together. I live far away from the sleepy little German town of Sulzbach-Rosenberg, where my mother spent most of her life and where the rest of our large Family can be found close by. The distance from Bavaria to California had to be bridged somehow, there was no doubt about that. With all the hospital visits my mother had to endure and numerous dramatic events happening without forewarning, it was hard being so far away.
My mother and I used to talk every week on Sunday. But that was no longer possible. She could no longer reach the phone or speak clearly, recognize the person on the other end or make cohesive sentences. It was time to find another way to stay connected. I was able to visit in September and see her. 

Christine stepped right up. She became the bridge and closed the gap of thousands of miles. She used a phone App to connect with me every time she visited my mother, no matter where and when that might be. I just had to get up early and receive the most amazing video calls.
Mensch aeregere Dich nicht ( Aggravation in English) was her favorite board game when she could not play card games any longer.

The knitting pattern that is forever linked with this life story is named HABILIMENTS.
It's a sock pattern that was created for Christiane. What was happening in her life was the focus of this pattern. She was important to me! She was the bridge I needed! She had monumental changes in her life that needed her full attention. Despite that, she came through for me. 

I have designed this pair of socks for her.

Chriatiane is a woman who has made it up the ladder in the men’s world. She even went as far as always keeping a very short hairstyle and wearing exclusively pant suits to work to achieve success. A few days before Christmas, she started her early retirement. In conversations leading up to the day I could sense her fear of the unknown. I could hear her usual assuredness fade. It was time to make her realize that this was the perfect opportunity, the right time, to re-make herself. It was not the end, but the beginning. To live without the corporate constraints, to break free and fully embrace the woman in her.
The word Habiliments when used in a sentence: “The women’s rich habiliments made one think she was someone important”, that’s the flair I wanted for her when wearing these socks. The rich red color, the bead work highlights, and the hint of cashmere luxury in the yarn does just that.
These socks include several knitting features that contribute to the impression of 19th century womanly richness. The toe-up pattern begins with a Turkish cast on, includes a reverse Dutch heel, and carries a small elegant mock-cable to separate the varying front and back designs. Highlighting a beaded star pattern on the front leg and topping off the design with Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.
You can download the pattern as it was released today for free on knitty.com

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Joycejubilair is finally released! Yahhhh

It was a long wait, but now it is real. Knit Picks has released a Book 'Everyday Wraps' made from fingering weight yarn. My pattern Joycejubilair is part of the collection. The book can also be purchased as instant download e-book, and all patterns are also available as singe pattern downloads.

Everyday Wraps 

Originally the shawl was designed for Joyce. I have never met Joyce but from my husbands description I was impressed by her resolve. She lives with illness that is ever present and un-diagnosed. The shawl has many strong columns and supporting arches that Joyce can wrap herself in.

The first edition of the shawl was made with Forbidden Woolery Superstition in Rosegarden and Knit Picks Stroll in Dogwood Heather.

Once Knit Picks decided to include the shawl in the collection I knitted Joycejubilair for a second time. I had chosen Stroll Hand Painted in Coffee Shop and Stroll Sock in Mint.

The version in the collection book is done with colors that are more blue. I can only say: "regardless of the colors you choose you will not be disappointed". The body of the shawl is knitted easily and quickly, and the lace section is rewarding. 

The body of the shawl is knitted easily and quickly, and the lace section is rewarding. 
It is not easy to accomplish but with just a little attention the repeats are not difficult and adding the beads make this a stunner.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Waiting for a pattern release

A few years back I found a sale of cotton yarn. It was a little 'minty' colored speckled yarn, just my color. I made a v-neck sweater for myself, named it Valace and produced a few photos. I like it and like to wear it.

In September last year Knitpicks introduced a new yarn named Color Mist. Its 75% cotton and 25% Acrylic, worsted weight, washable, and I could see it being ideal for Valace. Knitpicks agreed! Yaeh!

After knitting the sweater in Color Mist the photos looked amazing, don't you think?

Knitpicks wanted the chance to produce professional photos with their in-house photographer and I agreed to wait with the pattern release until then. WAITING IS HARD!!!!!!!
If you like this sweater and would like to look at the yarn and pick your favorite shade, here is a link to Color Mist

Some Details to help you decide:
Knitted Sweater Measurements: Bust 36 (39, 43, 46, 50)” with 2 (3, 4, 4, 5)” positive ease. Length 23½ (23½, 24½, 25, 25½). Upper arm 12 (12, 14, 15, 16)

Material: 4 (5, 5, 6, 6) skeins (each 219 yards/100grams) of Knit Picks Color Mist, 75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic, worsted weight, in Lilac Breeze color #27460
Needles: US #7 / 4.5mm circular 32 inches long, or a set of straight needles, or size to obtain Gauge. One additional needle to hold work temporarily, same size or smaller. 
Gauge: 19 sts and 25 rows = 4” / 10 cm over stockinette stitch. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Prize or Price

English is a hard language to learn, I know from experience. But then life (or is it live?) is not easy either.
I have learned that the price paid up front usually results in a prize. Not always right away and sometime not even recognized.
I am retired now, no longer working from 8 to 5. My prize for the price of working for 50 years. That was a big investment, something long-term. Now I can fill my day-time hours with all the things I like to do. Like knitting!
Let's face it, knitting is what I like to do.
My latest challenge: calls for submissions 
I want to find out if I can share more of the knitting I design. Besides self-publishing there are still the traditional 'knitting magazines' out there and I have found ways to submit some of my ideas.

This activity, while a challenge and a goal, must not retract from what I want to do though. While at first enthusiastic, I have to stay true to what it is that I like so much about knitting.
First must always be THE REASON for knitting a certain piece.
My passion comes from designing for someone, or using the new learned stitch, or discovering the properties of a new yarn color or fiber blend.
Check out that pose from Allison with her new AMALGAMATION ballerina leg warmers.

 The design is called Amalgamation and combines some of the softest independent dyer yarns to create this magic. The 2 strands of Candy Skein Delicious Series, one in colorway Foil Wrapper and one in colorway Watermelon create not only a stunning color combination, but the 70% alpaca/20% silk/10% cashmere feels extraordinarily soft and comfortable. Any little hopeful ballerina will appreciate the feel of these leg warmers. Her eyes will sparkle when she discovers her favorite little creature beaded into the leg body. The pattern includes dragonfly, butterfly, bird, and frog templates.
Just look at the detail that is hidden within:

The prize can't be purchased, is not for sale, can't be staged, is undeniable worth every moment spent knitting. Not only does Allison wear her leggings, she wears them ALL THE TIME!

The pattern can be purchased on ravelry.com   ravelry link to AMALGAMATION
or loveknitting.com  Loveknitting link to AMALGAMATION

The instructions are for knitting in the round or knitting flat and seaming. So easy that an experienced beginner can succeed! It is not hard at all the mount a bead, believe me. Just place a bead on a small (#14) crochet hook, insert the hook in the stitch, pull the bead over the stitch and place the stitch back onto the knitting needle. For the amalgamation pattern, since the yarn is always 2 strands, mount the bead only on the one, lighter colored strand.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wygoda Tips and Tricks to marking lace knitting

My new lace design Wygoda just went live on knitpicks and ravelry this month.

For knitters who are a little intimidated about lace knitting, like I was, there are clearly some tricks that can make this lace-intensive cape a truly enjoyable knitting project.

 This rectangular cape is constructed started with an Estonian cost on, and off-set Estonian water lillies.
Front, back, and side view are stunning and impressive.

 The knitpicks yarn Paragon is ideal for this type of accessory. Knitpicks describes the yarn on the website:

Bounce, luster, and luxurious sheen - Paragon is the epitome of fabulous! Our newest sport-weight yarn is fabulously squishy due to fine Merino wool. Combined with Baby Alpaca for amazing drape-ability and Mulberry silk for a gorgeous shine, Paragon is sure to become your favorite yarn for projects.

First is the Estonian cast on. It is ideal because of the elastic properties. I have practiced from watching this you-tube video:  Estionian Cast-on

Step 1: Measure your yarn by wrapping it around your needle 5 times. This will equate to about 5 stitches. You can also measure about 1″ per stitch.
Step 2: Create a “U” with your yarn and place is in your non-dominant hand. Hold both strands together with the bottom three fingers of your hand.
Step 3: Insert your index finger and thumb into the loop you created and spread your fingers apart.
Step 4: Take your knitting needle and place it on top of the bridge of the yarn. Then scoop up the yarn going over the top and twist around. You should now have a loop around your knitting needle.
Step 5: Hold your yarn like a slingshot and using your knitting needle, pick up the outside strand of yarn on your thumb, going under and up through the loop on your thumb.
Step 6: Bring your needle over the top of the inside strand that is around your index finger and pick up that strand.
Step 7: Pull the strand back through the loop on your thumb.
Step 8: Release the loop from your thumb and tighten the stitch down. (one stitch added)
Step 9: With your thumb, pick up the strand that was around your thumb previously, but with the yarn attached to your knitting needle on the outside of your thumb rather than the inside.
Step 10: Pick up the inside strand of yarn on your thumb, going through the loop on your thumb and under the inside strand.
Step 11: Bring your needle over the top of the inside strand that is around your index finger and pick up that strand.
Step 12: Pull the strand back through the loop on your thumb.
Step 13: Release the loop from your thumb and tighten the stitch down. (one stitch added)
Repeat steps 5 – 13 until you have cast on all the stitches required by your pattern.
When you are ready to proceed and begin the lace portion take a moment and mark the chart, or the row by row details with the placement of markers. Between stitch 13/14 and 18/19.

It took me 2 tries to get it right. For you, if you follow my advice, you can do it already the first time.

The main difference to regular markers setting: THE MARKERS ARE 2 DIFFERENT COLOR YARN STRANDS.
Cut 6 in long contrasting color strands. I have used pink to mark the beginning of a pattern repeat and blue for marking the middle section of each repeat. Between stitch 13/14 and 18/19.  The last yarn marker shows the end of the last pattern repeat.

The reason to use yarn markers instead of round metal or plastic marker is important. The pattern has ssk and k2tog stitches that move to the right and then again to the left, where standard markers would have to be removed and re-set all the time.
With the yarn markers this 'problem' does not happen. 
When you arrive at the stitch where the marker should be set, reach behind the knitting (if you are knitting a right side row, the marker yarn end would be on the wrong side; if you are knitting a wrong side row, the marker yarn end would be on the right side) and pull the marker yarn strand up and over the gap between your stitches.
Regardless if the 13th stitch is a ssk or a k2tog stitch, the marker can easily be placed. You do't have to remove a standard marker first in order to accomplish the knitting 2 stitches together. The yarn is not in the way and can be left where it is. You will always be able to mark with the hanging strand from the back of your knitting.

If this does not make any sense as you read it. Believe me, be adventurous, try it! If it still does not make any sense, please e-mail me at oberpfalzerin@hotmail.com, or contact me on ravelry.com/oberpfalzerin.
I am available and will make sure you will succeed.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It must be said

It must be said

Crafting is a wondrous business. First I have accumulated almost 60 years of experience to come to this point. The internet has allowed me to start sharing that experience. In the past I could only share the finished crafted items, but now I can also share the instructions and you can craft a gift and pass on the joy it brings.

My goal for 2017 is to let my imagination guide my crafting spirit.

Yes, I want to be published in a magazine.

Yes, I am continuing to publish all my knitting and crocheting adventure projects on http://www.ravelry.com/projects/oberpfalzerin

Yes, I will continue to offer some of my designs as they can be adapted to knitpicks yarn