I’m a designer and a maker

IN this post I will share with you my Coloring Stacking Cowl. It is a project that I did through the Patreon group for YarnHarlot.

While I design knitting and crochet items, I am also a maker and I enjoy working other people’s designs and patterns too. Because of that you will also see my interpretation of other designer’s work.

The Color Stacking Cowl was designed with a particular dye method of yarn in mind. Yarn that has longer color repeats, but not self striping.

I had a spare skein of 100% wool in worsted weight and I decided to dye my own. I use the microwave and 9 x 11″ glass baking dish. The yarn didn’t turn out as even as I had hoped. It’s been a while since I had dyed anything and this was my first time trying to dye yarn using this method of striping.

Hank of yarn laying open on the table ready for dyeing.
The yarn I over dyed with the acid dye.
Soaked gray yarn waiting in the glass dish waiting for the dye.
Yarn soaked and sitting in the glass pan waiting for the dye.
Yarn covered in dye and wrapped in plastic wrap.
I poured the dye on the yarn and wrapped it in plastic wrap.
Finished, dried yarn laying on a table waiting to be wound.
The finished, dried yarn laying on a table waiting to be wound.

I decided to press on and use the yarn for the project it was intended for. I followed Stephanie’s directions for swatching and doing the math to figure out how many stitches to cast on and all of that.

When I had completed my first few rounds, it wasn’t working. I ripped, examined my yarn and found that the colors were off set during the dyeing process. Nothing I could do about it now.

I re-cast on and this time just kept knitting. Either way I was going to have a cowl that was hand dyed and knit by me when I was finished, even if the colors didn’t stack.

The purple, pink and gray cowl worked in seed stitch sits on a mannequin showing the swirling colors.
Finished cowl from the front.
A side view of the finished cowl in purple, pink and gray using seed stitch on a mannequin.
Finished cowl from the side.

So my colors swirl, as they usually do. I’ve been told it is because my name starts with an “S” so when I use a multi-color yarn it will make stripes or swirls.

While it would have been fun to see the colors stack, and even before this exercise I understand how they could and the theory behind it, I am happy with the resulting cowl. Now to wait for cooler weather to wear it!

Show me what you’re working on this week. Tag me in your posts or email me, I’d love to see it!

Happy making!

Harder than I thought.

Sara's computer is open on a table outside.  She has her notes for this session of the Crochet Business Summit and her red lace knitting project is off to the right side.

If you read my last post here you know that I have decided to take my fiber arts and designing seriously as a business. I am now part of the Swatch Studio Circle and am loving the community there.

This past week Pam Grice, the Crochetpreneur offered a Crochet Business Summit. One level was free and then a couple of paid levels. Being new and green I decided to look into a few of the 30 sessions offered on the free level. I was particularly interested in the Tiktok session.

Well, I ended up watching and participating in the chat of 24 sessions! It was like drinking from a hydrant there was so much great info! From blogging to Youtube to TikTok and I want to do it all, and I can. I now have some tools and lots of ideas.

How does this fit in with Swatch Studio Circle? I am going to take things slowly because another thing I learned during the summit is that, doing all of this is harder for me than I thought. Swatch Studio Circle is my place to take the time I need to do this slowly so that things don’t snowball and get out of my control. I can learn the tech as I go. Grow with the platforms I choose and let go of what isn’t working for my style of creativity.

I will use my classes with swatch Studio Circle to grow my business in order using the tools and tech along the way. With the sessions from the Crochet Summit I will have another perspective on different areas and ways to do things to look back on.

While I am still a bit overwhelmed I am very excited to get started doing these ALL the things! I even opened a Canva account today.

Thank you for being on this journey with me!

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Happy Making!

Slacker…

I have had patterns self published to Ravelry since 2012. In that time I have sold a total of 18 patterns. Not much to show for 8 year of work.

Toward the end of last year I decided to get serious about my writing and publishing; I took a couple of classes on line, even got some test knitters for one of the designs. I planned to publish that design in December 2020. Then I took another class that would make that pattern even better, so I pushed the date out, then again and again and then…

It still isn’t published. Why? I didn’t really lose my drive to publish, I was feeling a mix of emotions and wasn’t sure of myself and what the Lord has for me right now. One feeling was “This is just fluff work, what’s the point?” Another of arrogant pride if I introduce myself as a designer and there are so many patterns already any way, why do we need more? So for the last 6 months there has been pretty much no forward motion on the publishing part. I’ve started tech editing and have been working on my own designs and recording some videos, but those aren’t published either…

Then a couple of weeks ago registration for SWATCH Studio Circle opened up again. I’ve been looking at it and praying about it since February. I asked a couple of questions and had my Mom look over it and then I joined! This is it. It’s not make it or break it, it’s just do it! I have been taking classes and learning how to make great patterns, what a style sheet is and other things from many different artists. SWATCH Studio Circle brings in, what I hope is the last missing piece, interaction with other designers and with that comes accountability. SWATCH Studio Circle offers more than the interaction. There are videos that break the design process down into smaller steps that are less overwhelming and feel doable. Downloadable files to customize to you. How to use social media… I think this is it. Not that I will be making a living from my designs, but that I will not only get them on Ravelry but follow through and share about them in other places that they might be more successful than in the past.

With that is going to come some work. I had taken all my patterns off of Ravelry and was going to re-release them all by the end of June. I completed one.

At this point they are all back up and available at the price they have been all this time. I am going to redo each pattern to look like my new style, be low vision and screen reader friendly, be both charted and written and if any tutorials are needed they will be both photo and video. Video will be available in 2 different formats talked through and then one with music and step by step captions.

As I redo each one and release it, the price may change, up or down. Pricing is still something that I’m working on and learning about. Patterns priced too low, don’t sell and that makes sense actually, but I had never thought about it.

I will release one old pattern each month starting July 2021 and going through December 2022. Yes I have planned out the next 18 months of designing. I have that much just sitting around here in various stages. I will also release a new design each month. I haven’t filled the calendar with new designs yet, but close. I am excited to work this way. Enough to keep busy, complete what is languishing and time to work on new inspirations and submissions that come along.

I will be more diligent about posting here on what I am working on so that you can get a behind the scenes look and be ready for the pattern when it drops.

Happy making!

I’ve been busy…

I have done a bit of dyeing, designing, finished the last animal for my Beginning Ami class, done some testing and tech editing as well as working on some of my own designs.

This was an experiment using the water that was left over after prepping black beans for canning. This is also the yarn that lead to my starting a TikTok account.
Here is the beginning of the yoke of a baby sweater that I am doing for a yarn subscription box from Southern Skeins. This pattern will be out for their June box.
This is the cuff of a test knit sock that I did for DanaRaeMakes. This is Dots and Lines from Texture Socks Three Ways. The yarn is from Deep Dyed Yarn in the Starry Night colorway on their sparkly sock base.

Some of the other testing I have been doing isn’t available to share yet. I will be sharing those when the designer says “Go.”

I don’t want to share the last animal of my Ami class just yet. I think that will get its own post next week.

I have as I said above started a TikTok account. I have posted the dyeing videos, some sewing videos and am now working up a couple of knitting videos. I had a warm welcome and am enjoying the community that I have found there.

Coming next week will be the first of my VLOG videos on YouTube. I have decided to share with you each month the items I finished the month before. I’ll post about there here when it goes live. Until then, happy making!

Crochet Dragon Part 1

I posted a new video on YouTube today.

In it I detail the yarn that Mom surprised me with this week and the pattern I will be using with that yarn.

Here is a random picture the camera took during filming; I’m still learning what to do when and how.

I am using a Nikon D5600 and am loving it! It is the second Nikon I’ve owned and the first video recorder from them. So far so good.

The light in this video isn’t great but I’m learning. The card I show is fuzzy, but I put in a still so the info is there.

As I go ahead, it’ll get better.

The mic my husband bought me a while back worked nicely with the camera.

So the yarn and pattern will be to crochet a dragon. The yarn is 50% camel and 50% mulberry silk. It is a very shinny and colorful yarn. I decided to crochet a dragon to use the shinny as a design element and to keep the colors mottled, like in a hank.

I will post a little about the project and some pictures here as I go along, but most of the sharing will be done in the videos.

Please like and subscribe my YouTube channel to keep up with this Dragon project. Or subscribe here on my site to know when a new blog post goes up. I do a blog post for any video post I do.

Luminous Ladybug Repair

One of the activities I really enjoy is repairing knit or crochet pieces. I have done this often for my personal items and for others as well. Items made from cotton, acrylic and wool. Acrylic is no longer an option for me as I’m allergic to it.

This particular repair is on a 6 foot by 6 foot Haapsalu shawl that I designed in 2012. It is not currently available, but will be re-released soon.

It is made of 100% alpaca. I wear it often and everywhere. When it gets too warm, I roll it up in a ball throw it in the back of the car. It has been snagged, repaired and re-blocked.

This hole was in the border. I took a few minutes one afternoon and repaired it.

A snagged hole near the nupps in the border.
Here is the repaired section. I wasn’t able to save all of the eyelets, but I saved the nupps.

When I complete most projects, I put a yarn band and a bit of each yarn used in a sandwich bag with some basic info. Project name, yarn, needle and recipient. Then from my Ravelry project page I can have a good idea which baggy I need when it comes time to make a repair.

I don’t do this for socks. I don’t repair my socks. I love making socks and I am the only one who wears them so I have lots and lots of them. Instead I have the worn out socks in a box and have plans to make the fabric of them into other items. The left over yarn from socks goes into a special box for amigurumi and other small projects.

If you need repair services, let me know.

Happy making!

Lace Knitting Scarf Re-release!

Here it is! I’m so excited to be re-releasing this design. This is the first of my re-releasing of my old patterns. I am doing this so that I can up date the pictures, make the text cleaner and clearer and hoping to reach some new audience members.

Please welcome the Lace Knitting Scarf! This scarf is a great way to get started in lace knitting. The “working” rows are only on one side, all the stitches are “knit” and you can make the piece as long or short as you like.

There is a special stitch in this piece called the Centered Eyelet Stitch. I have a picture tutorial at the end of the pattern and a video link to see how it is worked as well. You can find links to both of those tutorials here on the website. The picture tutorial is in the “Stitch Tutorials” section and the video is in the “Videos” section.

The pattern contains a tutorial for those who have never worked lace before. Info about chart reading, lifelines and blocking. The knitting directions are only charted, but I am open to making the written version available if desired. All my patterns come with full support, please feel free to contact me for questions or help.

The model is worked in a lace weight yarn with US size 4 needles. I have also seen it worked in heavier yarn with larger needles as well. Please choose a yarn and needle combination that you are comfortable working with. If you weigh the yarn before you begin, make the swatch, weigh the yarn again then you will know how far the yarn you have will go. If you want help with the math please ask, I love numbers!

Each design will have its own hashtag for Instagram, please use it if you share your projects there, I love to see them! #afalaceknittingscarf

Below are the links to buy the pattern in the 2 stores that I work with. If you like to support LYS and yours works with Ravelry, it is available that way as well. I’m not sure if the discount works though… To get the discount code sign up for my email list from the home page and the code will be on its way. The code is only good through April 20, 2021 so sign up soon!

Ravelry

Payhip

Lovecrafts

Beginnings of Beginning Ami Class

Exploded bunny “diagram”.

I am putting together what is going to a bit of an intensive beginner’s amigurumi class. At this point I am planning for it to be 6 hours, with a lunch break. Much of the time will be spent crocheting, with me there to offer help and guidance.

This class will include the directions for 3 different animals. One of these animals will be made during class and its materials are included in the class fee.

The 3 animals are a bear, a bunny and a dog. At this point I haven’t completed the dog, but I know that the other 2 can be chosen from for the first project. The dog might be next level.

The class will cover yarn and hook combination choices and how to choose correctly, working in continuous rounds, counting those rounds, stuffing, assembly and embroidery.

The materials will include 100% wool yarn in worsted weight, eyes, pins, stuffing and patterns.

I am hoping to offer this class in person at festivals and for private sessions. I haven’t yet decided if I will offer it for download from Payhip. I still need to finish a class and post it there. I’ll announce here as soon as that happens.

Finished Bunny
Finished Bunny and Bear