Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What I bought

Today is the very last day of the 25%-off sale period for the 2016 Indie Design Gift-A-Long (ends at 11:59pm ET), so I thought I'd showcase the patterns I bought this year. My disposable income is very wee, so it's not a big list. But on the plus side, I really love every choice here.

First, of course, as I promised last post I would, there's Julie Yeager's "Roses and Ivy" blanket. It's an aspirational piece for me since I don't really crochet, but...someday...

After that I moved on to knitting patterns (y'know, stuff I can actually make). Triona Murphy's "Sweet Gemma" was a must-grab due to its gorgeousness in a classic, understated way:

I then kept going on the blanket pattern kick with something that had my mouth watering when the fingering-weight version of it first came out. The worsted-weight version is eligible for the Gift-A-Long 25% discount, so I nabbed it! It's the stunning "Persian Dreams" by Jenise Hope:

(This is the same designer, by the way, who created the equally-amazing "Friesland" from last spring/summer's Twist Collective, so she's got a terrific aesthetic.)

And lastly, we have something I haven't a hope of pronouncing (as my skills with Icelandic are non-existent), but am sure going to have a wonderful time knitting up at some point: Anna Dalvi's "Eyjafjallajökull" shawl:

And that's my haul for this year! What did you get? Or, what are you planning to get in the next fifteen hours?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It's gift-a-long time!

It's that time of year again - time for the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry! This is a knit-a-long/crochet-a-long which lasts for six weeks, and the idea is that you make holiday gifts from patterns created by participating independent designers.

There are a lot of fun components to this virtual event. Firstly, there's a sale period, when lots and lots and lots of patterns will be 25% off with the coupon code giftalong2016. And I do mean lots and lots and lots: each of the participating designers - and there are 335 of them! - will be offering this discount on between 5 and 20 of their patterns. So we're talking thousands of patterns eligible for this 25% sale.

And then there's the a-long itself, which runs even longer, and which includes games and contests (with prizes)! You can find out lots more at the FAQ for the event.

This year, for the second time, I will be one of the participating independent designers. Twenty of my patterns will be discounted during the sale period; all my paid patterns will be eligible to win prizes; and you can knit any of my patterns, free or paid, to participate in the craft-a-long in general.

But of course, there are 334 other designers besides me involved in this event and oooh, but there's loads of talent in that group! I'm certainly going to be taking advantage of the sale period to buy some patterns I've had my eye on for some time, and I'll blog about my haul later after I make my purchases.

But there's one pattern in particular that I just happened across this past weekend while taking a look at my fellow designers' work. It immediately caught my eye and, frankly, stunned the crap out of me. Check this out:

Right? Right?!? This is the Roses and Ivy throw blanket, by Julie Yeager, and OMFG if that isn't one of the most stunning things I've ever seen. I don't even care that it's crochet and that my crochet skills are laughably limited; IT MUST BE MINE.

Have you been hunting through the design offerings of this year's gift-a-long? What amazing patterns have you found?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

New free pattern

This autumn, my middle daughter, age 9, got re-interested in knitting. I mean, really re-interested. She practiced knitting and purling a whole lot, and concentrated on trying to ramp up her speed. Then she asked what else I could teach her, so I had her do a few cable crosses, which was fun.

I then decided to build on her skills by having her do an honest-to-goodness pattern. I was going for a project that required just basic skills, and small enough that it wouldn't wear out her enthusiasm. So I invented a wee dishcloth pattern for her.

I wrote the instructions in very natural language, so that she wouldn't have to worry about any abbreviations. I also refused to tell her what it was going to look like, so the heart motif in the middle emerged as a surprise. :)

I call it 'Elizabeth's First Pattern', and I made it free on Ravelry so others could enjoy it, too.