2015, Baby, cable projects, Cables, Cardigan, Flat knitting, Gifts, Knitting for Boys, seamless, Sweaters

New Beginnings

Change is the only constant thing, said a wise man once. Some are welcome changes, some not so much. One change which always is welcome is the addition to a family, i.e. arrival of a baby. Don’t try to read something between the lines which doesn’t exist because I am talking about a friend. I have known him for over a decade now. I met him at my very first job, as part of a cultural event. We both are book lovers, so we naturally went onto become friends. Long after I quit that job and hopped onto a few more, we kept in touch, even if it is just for talking about books. He would buy gifts and books for my son, which was very heartwarming. Our friendship strengthened when he went on to marry a friend of mine. Two strong, independent persons coming together to start a new relationship, of which I was somehow part of. My joy knew no bounds. And when the couple called to tell me they are expecting, the first thing that came to my mind (even before I yelled Congratulations!) was what am I going to knit for the baby. I wanted to translate the warm relationship I share with the couple to the knitted items. I didn’t know how, but the knitted items needed to represent the relationships.

A quick dive through my stash turned up this yarn. The softest yarn in the most pleasant colors. I had picked this up on my visit to Singapore and was saving it for a baby to come by and claim it. I wanted this to be a relaxed knit, so my own design was out of the question. Sunnyside pattern seemed like a good choice. I see the twisting cables as the way our lives are twisted together, not in a messy, knotty kind of way, but in a way that looks beautiful and feels warm.

The stockinette part of Sunnyside is easy, and the cables keep it from becoming boring. Top-down, raglan construction with cozy, garter bands on the neckline, sleeve cuffs and the buttonbands.

As much as I love this yarn and can’t get enough of its softness, I did not like it for this pattern. The yarn is loosely plied, to an extent that it is splitty and the cables don’t stand out enough. I still like the end result. It may not be dense and sharp as I like my sweaters to be, but it is soft and warm, which I think babies will prefer.

I still have about half the ball of yarn left, so there will be a hat and may be booties in the near future.

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Sunnyside
Yarn: Patons Australia Big Baby 4 Ply

 

 

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2015, Cables, Child, Knitting, Knitting for Boys, New Design, New Pattern, seamless, Sweaters

New Pattern: Felber

Just in time before the spring arrives, here is another pattern release from my side. Felber is a circular yoke sweater with asymmetric cable on the yoke. The name Felber means bent, twisted to indicate the suppleness and I find it apt for the cables used in this sweater. It is worked top-down in the round, so no pesky seams to stitch up.

I used a new yarn (new to me) Jill Drape Makes Stuff Hudson – Made in USA. The yarn is soft and yummy and oh the colors are so rich and vibrant. I requested for a brown color which will suit a boy’s sweater. Jill picked out this one and I must say, I couldn’t have picked anything better. The yarn is so well plied, the cables just pop.

Felber is available at a promotional price of $3 until Mar 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.

Ravelry Pattern: Felber by Anjali M.
Yarn SuggestedJill Draper Makes Stuff; Hudson – Made in USA
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm for the body

2015, Child, Knitting, Knitting for Boys, New Design, New Pattern, seamless, Sweaters

New Pattern: Warrior Sweater

Every boy goes through a phase where he admires soldiers and warriors and aspires to be one. My son is in one such phase and naturally, he requested me to make a chest armor for him. I play with yarn, not metal, so I convinced him to settle for a “sweater chest armor”.

The dense, textured body of the sweater protects your little one from cold and wind. Sleeves are plain stockinette and the elbow patch using the same textured stitch adds a bit of style and interest. The sweater is worked from the top down, using raglan sleeves. Body and sleeves are worked in the round. The texture stitch is a easy to memorize and knit. The aran weight yarn makes the sweater cozy and quick to knit.

Warrior Sweater is available at a promotional price of $3 until Feb 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.

Ravelry Pattern: Warrior Sweater by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Cascade Eco+
Needle Size: US #9 5.5 mm for the body

2015, Finished Object, Knitting, seamless, Sweaters

Done and Dusted

Remember The Husband’s Sweater Project I started way back in Feb last year? I gave myself 8-9 months to finish his sweater before his birthday in November. I worked on it on and off, in between other projects and pattern releases. It even came with me on a vacation where the needle snapped and I was stuck with no other knitting project. Even with all these expeditions, it still had a long way to go before I could call it done.

My husband had to travel for work for about 6 weeks. Even though I was acting as a single parent while he was away, I also got a lot of quiet nights and lazy weekends. I caught up on some long pending shows and movies and… you guessed it, lot of knitting. I decided to finish his sweater before he came back, else it would never get done. So, this was my only knitting project for a whole month.

Once I bound off the body, sleeves went relatively faster, despite hubby’s long, lanky hands. After both the sleeves were done, I gave it a good soak and man, what a difference it made. This is my first time working with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and I must say, the yarn bloomed after a wash.

The pullover fits well, albeit a bit too tight for my taste, but the wearer likes it. I will try to block it more aggressively next time to give it some positive ease. Sleeves were an inch too short (read the note about long hands) and I had to work on them again. The above photo was before I elongated the sleeves. The husband approves of it and has been putting the sweater to good use, now that there is a nip in the air.

Pattern: My own. Basic raglan, worked top down
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Needle: 4mm, circular

 

DIY

DIY: Calm Down Jar

We recently transitioned my 6 yo to sleep alone in his bed. We told him about it well in advance so he is prepared. We even bought a shiny bunk bed of his choice to make this transition as much fun for him as possible. To our surprise, the transition was quite easy. Looks like he was ready for this even before we were! But then, there are days (or nights) when he would be lying in his bed and unable to fall asleep. Cue the many calls to mom for water and “I need to pee” et al. Reading in his bed is not possible as the reading light is on the table and his bed is much higher. I wanted something that would keep him engaged as well as calm him down. I went looking on the internet and I saw this wonderful little thing called Calm Down Jars. There are more versions than you can count on your fingers, but I settled on this one.

A quick trip to Itsy Bitsy was arranged over the weekend. I let my kid pick the colors and boy, was he excited! He made this calming down jar (with our help, of course) and he is might proud of it.

1. Glitter Glue from Itsy Bitsy. I love that iridescent blue. Kid has an eye for colors, eh?

2. Glitter. The white is a fine powder whereas the blue one is coarse.

3. Assorted shapes to go in the jar. Kid picked stars. I picked the butterfly ones, because butterflies!

4. Add boiling/very hot water to the jar. I didn’t fill the jar to the brim so that I can adjust the water-glue ratio later. If your water is not hot enough, glue will sit like a blob, so make sure your water is hot, hot, hot.

5. Add 3/4th of glitter glue into it. We eventually added the entire bottle, but add just 3/4th to begin with.

6. Add the glitter. We added half of the blue one and 1/4th of the white one.

7. Give it a good stirring to break up the glue.

8. Add the shapes, howmuchever you please. We added I think 15 of each. Put the lid on and shake, shake, shake it baby.

9. Give it swirl. And see the oh-so-pretty glitter tornado (kid’s words, not mine).

10. And this is how it looks settled. Glitter takes around 3-4 minutes to completely settle, but the shapes dive to the bottom very fast. I wish we had something lighter which would take a little longer, but I didn’t have any choice.

This now sits in the kid’s room and we end up shaking it whenever one of us passes by. Can’t resist the pretty sight.

PS: I wish I had used a plastic jar/bottle, but didn’t have a good one. We will be making another one with plastic bottle for sure.

2015

A new year and some changes

A very happy new year to you all. Hope the new year brings happiness and cratfty goodness.

You all must have heard about the new EU VAT law. Even though I don’t reside in any EU member state, this affects me as my patterns are available for sale for EU customers. Without going into details, I need to pay VAT for the patterns purchased by EU customers. I can either take care of this myself (yeah, right) or have someone else take care of this for me. And I went with the latter.

If you are not in any EU member state, nothing changes for you. If you are, then please read on.

Patterns

All my patterns are still available on Ravelry, but if you are in EU member state and if you try to buy my pattern on Ravelry, you will be redirected to LoveKnitting.com, which will add on the VAT to the pattern price and show you the final price. They then deduct the VAT and give me the actual pattern price. They will also handle the transferring of VAT to the local government. This glue between Ravelry and LoveKnitting should work seamlessly, i.e. pattern which you purchased after being redirected to LoveKnitting, should show up in your Ravelry library.

While it may seem like the price has gone up, that is not the case. As a designer, I am still getting the pattern price that I have set on Ravelry. The “add-on” is the VAT which is deducted by LoveKnitting.

Ebooks

Kudos to Ravelry and LoveKnitting to get this working before the new year rolled in, but there are still some things to iron out. Ravelry ebooks are not directly supported in LoveKnitting, so EU customers will not be able to buy ebooks from Ravelry. If you would like to buy, please contact me and we can work something out. I hope this is temporary and the wonderful teams can get this working soon.

Promotion

Any promotion I might have on Ravelry will be limited to Ravelry. I cannot make this work for LoveKnitting. Apologies for this. I hope this too is resolved so that I can have a sale for my EU customers also.

So, yeah, not a great way to start the new year, but here we are. I continue to be amazed by Casey and his team. They worked through the holidays to make this happen for us. Where would we be without Ravelry? Seriously.

2014

Interview with Kristen Fanning (and a giveaway)

I am back with another interview as part of Gift-Along 2014. And this time, we have Kristen Fanning aka texotexere on Ravelry to share her designs and thoughts with us. She designs under the label ‘Knits Who Say Needle’.

 

What inspired you to become a designer?

I was working at my university during a summer break and didn’t have a lot to do, so I ended up knitting a lot of hats. After the first dozen or so, I was having a hard time finding free patterns that I wanted to knit and I made so many hats that summer that buying that many patterns would have put a serious dent in my budget. So I started to design my own patterns, and eventually decided to publish them.

Mr. Blanket by Kristen Fanning

What aspect/phase of knit design do you enjoy the most? And which one do you enjoy the least?

I like the planning phase the best. I can spend hours playing with charts and choosing the best yarn/gauge.

My least favorite part is photographing the finished piece. No one in my immediate family is photogenic, and we would all rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

Do you find time to knit from other designers’ patterns? Who are your favorite designers?

Lately, I usually only use other people’s patterns for toys. I make them when I need a break. Lately, I’ve been on a Stacey Trock kick. I’ve used her owl pattern about half a dozen times. Of course, I couldn’t resist modifying it and ended up making them all a different Peter Pan character.

Fairy Glen by Kristen Fanning

Which patterns in your store can be made as quick holiday gifts?

All of my accessory patterns are pretty quick knits and most use less than 200 g of yarn. Fairy Glen and Blackberry Leaves are both the result of last year’s Christmas panic knitting. I did did both in less than 2 weeks.

Blackberry Leaves by Kristen Fanning

What gifts are you making/knitting for this holiday season?

Right now I’m making some thrummed mittens for my brother and sister-in-law. Other gifts depend on whom I get requests from.

To celebrate the Gift-A-Long, Krsiten would like to offer you the opportunity to win one of her patterns. To enter, have a look through Kristen’s designs and leave a comment about your favorite design of hers. Giveaway ends 5 PM IST Friday, November 28. A random winner will be chosen from the comments.

Photo credit: All photos are copyright “Knits Who Say Needle” and used with permission.