Getting Cocky on a Sweater

Remember how yesterday I said I had everything left but the seaming?  Well, dear stitchers, that’s what I get for being over-confident.

Yesterday, oh yesterday, the future was looking bright.  I had a sweater nearly done, a window in which to finish it, and a baby that would look adorable in said sweater.  Turns out, not so much.

You see, the problem starts with the sleeves.  I’d worked on the sleeves over the weekend, when I was teaching at Fibre Space.  I’d mentioned before how I was winging it, a little, on the sweater?  I mean, I’d worked out some rough numbers, and I knew basically how a sweater was supposed to look and fit.  I figured I could go from there.

Since I had a limited amount of yarn left (I was rather committed to only using one skein, since I’d technically “stolen” it out of my business inventory), I decided to knit the sleeves two at a time.  That way, I wouldn’t have to remember the shaping decisions I made when I went to work the second sleeve.  Also, that way if I ran out of yarn, and the sleeves ended up a little short, I could just claim they were meant to be three-quarter sleeves.  Not a big deal.IMG_20170128_195444[1]

My first downfall would have probably been leaving the rough numbers and calculations I made at home.  My second downfall was deciding I’d just eyeball things.

And my third downfall was ignoring my little niggling feeling in the back of my mind when I looked at the sleeves two-thirds of the way through, and wondered if they would be wide enough.  Instead, I allowed myself to feel smug when I finished the sleeves with only a few yards left to go.  “Just enough to seam,” I thought.

I think you know where this is going.  The sleeves?  They’re really, really small.  See those sleeves?  Yes, they’re curling up, but even when they’re spread out, they’re still small.

Still, I was in enough denial (it’s the yarn fumes, I swear), that I managed to seam one of the sleeves together, and pin it to the body of the sweater.  And then, just to verify, I shoved my child’s arm down the sleeve to truly see if there was any hope of salvaging things.IMG_20170130_094404459[1]

If you can’t tell, that’s my child, with her arm out, rather puzzled as to why she can’t bend it.  Hint: the reason is the stitches are so stretched out in order to get her arm thru the sleeve that she can’t bend her arm.

So the sweater, is in timeout where I decide if I want to unravel and re-knit the sleeves or raid the business for another skein to finish things off.

And to look at my numbers to see where I went wrong.  Wish me luck.

Little Turtle’s Sweater

Kimono SweaterA while back I made a sweater for Rebecca that fit for all of two minutes, and I’ve been wanting to make another since then.

A spare skein of Dragonfly Fiber’s Traveller in Flannel Pajamas and a size 6 needle, and I was on my way.  Stacey Trock had made her daughter a sweater using a kimono type sweater pattern, and I remember how she loved it because it only had two fastenings.  I looked around at a couple of different styles, decided I really didn’t like anything (mostly because a lot of them tie up, and Rebecca would untie things as quick as fastened them).  So I played around with the numbers and started knitting.

You know when everything in knitting goes well?  It’s a simple pattern, minimal shaping, and the yarn is a joy to work with?  Well, this is that sort of project.  I love Dragonfly Fiber’s Traveller base, I love the colors, and I like anticipating how cute this sweater is going to look on Rebecca.  I’ve got great needles to work on (nice a pointy, how I like them), and it’s nice to be working on something that well, isn’t for work.   A little bit of a break, you could say.  I’m going to have this done this week, and Rebecca will be able to wear it for the rest of the season, and it’s going to be wonderful.

I’ve got the body done, and I’ve got the sleeves done too.  All that remains is the final bit of seaming.  I can’t wait to have Little Turtle in the sweater, ready to wear.  As it is, it makes a cute vest.


I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

PPS: also, appreciate this photo, above.  It’s really hard to get a picture of my daughter when she wants to wiggle.

Last Pattern of the New Year; Sneak Peek at 2015 Suprpries

Lights Burn Blue

As the last days are rolling out of this year, I’ve got one last pattern to celebrate the New Year.  Lights Burn Blue is a mitten pattern with a buttoned cuff.  Wear the cuff up to keep out the cold, or wear it
down for a more fashionable statement.

Lights Burn Blue

Lights Burn Blue, and it’s sister pattern, Rosemary & Bay, are two patterns that are a collaboration between two of my favorite craft-related companies. (Also, both named after lines in Shakespeare, to keep with my naming scheme.)  Both patterns are worked with Dragonfly Fibers’ Traveller yarn, and both feature ceramic buttons from My Garage Art.  I’m a big believer in supporting other small businesses, and I believe very strongly in supporting businesses that have quality products.  Dragonfly Fibers makes beautiful yarn in stunning combinations, and My Garage Art makes gorgeous buttons.  Every time I go on their website, I find another set of buttons I just have to have.

Which brings me to an exciting thing I’ll be offering in the New Year: kits, featuring coordinating Dragonfly Fibers Yarns and My Garage Art buttons, to make Rosemary & Bay dresses or Lights Burn Blue patterns.

Now, the kits won’t be coming out on the very first day of New Year: I have a website that is also getting an overhaul.  But I will be offering them in a few different venues, which will be announced!

Rosemary & Bay

Keep tuned, as I’ll be posting some pictures of the gorgeous buttons in the upcoming days.

Packing: in which I try to balance clothes and yarn. Spoiler: Yarn Wins.

I’m getting ready to wrap things up before I leave tomorrow, again.  This time it isn’t for work – I’m going on a cruise, to the Mediterranean with my family.  Mr. Turtle, who has run out of vacation days, will not be coming along.  So if you get in touch with Tinking Turtle in the next 2-ish weeks or so, you’ll have to make do with him.

I, meanwhile, am in the middle of a very sort of contained chaos, a carefully crafted tornado of productivity.  I know this pace can’t be maintained for long (and I wouldn’t want it to be, frankly), but I wanted to get a few designs that are due the days after I get home off now, so I don’t have to worry about them on the cruise.  I also want room to bring home souvenirs, so the bag I’m working on for an issue of Annie’s that is due to be mailed off the day I get home is getting done before I leave, darnit.

As I mentioned before, my hands may very well fall off.

A separate matter, from the general packing, is how much yarn I need to bring and in what quantities.  Normally this is a source of much angst, but my options this time are rather naturally limited by the upcoming designs I need to work on: namely, a lot.  The yarn list reads as a sort of “yarn superstar” of the knitting world.

I have the Knitting Boutique’s new superwash yarn line in a couple of different weights, for two different designs due this fall.  I have a half-finished project in Dragonfly Fibers, for a collaboration I’ve also got due this fall.  I have two different sock weight yarns: one by Anzula (the blue and the gold) and the other by Hedgehog Fibers (the grey and the rust) – both yarns for Sockupied designs that are due the end of August-ish.  Also are some extra skeins, also from Anzula, for a design I’m working on in my (heh) spare time.  I also am considering one other quick project… which I know is just crazy because I already have more than enough to keep my occupied even if I was home and NOT on a cruise.

I think I might give The Yarn Harlot a run for her money when it comes to overpacking yarn.  And somehow, I still need to fit clothes.

I guess it’s the cost of being self employed: I’ll be bringing my work with me.  You can see how torn up about it I am.  *grins*

If you’ve got any burning questions for notes for before I leave, you’ve got until about 11 tomorrow (Saturday) to get them to me.  After that, I’ll be on a plane, and then a boat, happily taking a break before life becomes crazy again.

Got any advice for packing?  I’d love to know your strategies!

Post Mortem Part 1: Octopodes Socks

Back about a year and a half ago I had an idea for a pair of mittens – a cute little pair with an octopus on them.  So I printed out some knitting graph paper and sketched out a design.  I thought I wanted to either self-publish these or submit them to Knitty (because what other publication would want octopus mittens? – they seemed pretty niche), and then I wrote a proposal for yarn support and sent it to Dragonfly.  It went like this:

I could have fallen over when Kate, from Dragonfly, said yes.  Since Dragonfly is not even a 10 minute drive away, I went to them to pick the yarn up.  When talking to one of Kate’s employees (who were helping me with the color choices), she advised me toward the Silver Fox and Poseidon.  I’d been looking at Kelpie and an Orange that I liked – and she mentioned that it might not be such a good idea, as there was already a pair of blue and orange octopus mittens on Ravelry… which were also done in similar yarn.
I quickly settled on the Silver Fox and Poseidon after that.  And then I went home to Ravelry to look up the mittens – titled Octopus Mittens.  They were lovely.  Amazing.  And I couldn’t believe that Emily Peters had gotten to the idea first.
I was devastated.  I’d really loved my idea of Octopus Mittens, and I didn’t want to give it up… but I was so rattled by the similarities I didn’t know what to do.
That evening I told Michael (now Mr.Turtle) about my dilemma.  His response?  “Put them on a pair of socks.  Socks are the same as mittens, right?  I mean, one has thumbs, the other has heels.  Both only have one hole.”
That bit of common sense broke my panic.  Emily’s octopus was completely different from mine.  Mine was a little cutesy, and hers was definitely more tentacle-ly.  Hers had bubbles and the design moving onto the palm, mine did not.  And now we were even working in different colors.
And I had chosen sock yarn for the mitten pattern – so no problems there.  Socks they would be then!  So I began knitting on the socks – not realizing there’d be a lot more to this design.  Stay tuned tomorrow for Post Mortem – Part II!
Did you know that Dragonfly and I are running a KAL, starting on the 24th?  Pick out your yarn and get your needles ready (or even get a head start!) for an epic KAL.

It’s Official: Octopodes, my pattern in Knitty, is out!

I can finally share the exciting news!  Octopodes is my latest pattern, published in Knitty.  I am so excited to share the news – I’ve been holding onto it for what feels like forever!
As a thrilling addition, there will be an Octopodes KAL starting on March 24th, hosted in Dragonfly Fiber’s Ravelry Group (they’re the ones who provided the delicious yarn!).  There are going to be prizes!  I’ll be doing a series of blog posts and tutorials to go along with the KAL (and there may be some other exciting things in regards to the KAL coming up)!  Stay tuned for more information, or sign up for the newsletter and get the information delivered straight to your inbox.
If you love the design, please share it on Facebook, Ravelry or Twitter – spread the word!
The Details:
by Jennifer Raymond
Craft: Knitting
Category: Feet / Legs → Socks → Mid-calf
Published: March 2014
Yarn weight: Fingering / 4 ply (14 wpi) Information on yarn weights
Gauge: 36 stitches and 36.5 rows = 4 inches in In Stranded Colorwork
Needle size: US 1 – 2.25 mm
Yardage: 226 – 442 yards (207 – 404 m)
Sizes available: XS[S, M, L, XL]
 This pattern is available for free.