Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time for a giveaway!

Hi everyone, to celebrate the upcoming Outlander TV series and my recent appearance on episode 34 of the Outlander Podcast , I'm giving away some knitting patterns!  Listen to episode 34 of the podcast to hear me chat about Scottish wool history, and check out all the ways to enter below.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I've created a monster!

It seems people like free things, and they like knitting socks, because my toe-up hose have now been downloaded 1766 times.  I am now on the main ravelry pattern page in the number 1 spot of "Designs that Ravelers are looking at today."  I never expected this pattern to do any better than my others did.  None of my other free or purchase patterns have been made more than a few dozen times.  I've also sold about five of my for-pay patterns since offering the temporary freebie, so I guess that's a bit of spillover interest.  Time will tell if this giveaway helps my pattern sales in the long run (i.e. if it gets enough buzz while it's free to make people want it after it's not).

For now, here's another gratuitous screen shot with yours truly in that coveted spot...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wahoo, here's a first for me as a designer!

I made the "hot right now" list of patterns in Ravelry's pattern database, and as of 8:30 this morning my kilt hose pattern has been downloaded a massive 499 times! I guess people like free stuff, and it looks like it's been shared in lots of different groups around Ravelry. Thanks to everyone for getting the word out. This has also seemed to generate a lot of interest in my other patterns too. For a free copy, visit yesterday's blog post and click the "buy now" button.  Discount applies automatically at checkout through 10/31.

 Here's a screen shot, since this will probably never happen again...

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Pattern - Toe-Up Kilt Hose Calculator

I have another great pattern available now, and best of all it is FREE through 10/31/13!  I published my top-down kilt hose calculator pattern a little over a year ago, but I didn't have anything available for those who like to knit toe-up (as I often do).  

This pattern is all you need to make toe-up kilt hose from any yarn for any size body from baby to big-and-tall.

The pattern includes information on how to measure and fit kilt hose, choosing yarn and needle sizes, and how to plug in any cables, color work, stitch patterns, or intarsia your heart desires.

This is an intermediate pattern.  Basic knowledge of toe-up sock construction and working short row heels and toes is helpful.

Click the button below to get your free download any time until 10/31/13.  After that date it is available for $6.50  No Ravelry membership is required.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shekure's Spiral Socks

I have been intrigued by the free stashbuster spirals pattern by Janine Hempy for quite a while, and after looking at comments on the ravelry page I knew I wanted to use the technique I preferred (toe-up, gusset and heel flap, two at a time, magic loop) instead of the designer's choice of toe and heel.  As you can probably guess, this was a HUGE hassle.  The basic gist of the spirals pattern is that you split the round into thirds and knit a third with the first yarn, a third with a second, a third with the third.  If you do gusset increases, this kind of messes up your numbers, though you can't really tell.  The other issue is that two at a time means, in my case, SIX balls of yarn going at once.  I did it, but it involved a lot of untwisting.  I have yet to weave in all the ends on my (frankly, kind of fugly) first pair done this way, but I did eventually wrestle them into submission.

My second pair, is much simpler and easier for me to knit on autopilot.  After a request from a friend I decided to write it up and share it. ;)  Because my version is algebra-based it works with whatever size yarn or needles you have.

I picked garter stitch toes and heels because they're comfortable and easy.  You could do regular (stockinette) short row toes and heels if you want, but then you have to pick up your wraps.

Please note - the spiral pattern is all Janine Hempy's and this is only my take on her original idea.  Credit where credit is due and all that. :)

ETA: Here is a picture of the finished socks!

Your choice of yarn - at least four different colors (use up scraps!) and set of five double pointed needles to give a good firm gauge.

Here is a tutorial on weaving in ends while knitting.  Just make sure you don't make it too tight and interfere with the stretchiness of the sock.  When I do this technique I work the weaving in on the round following the introduction of the new yarn, and after doing the woven in stitches I stretch the work vigorously to loosen it all up.
If you run out of a color, simply add in a new one!  You can weigh each color and divide in half evenly for two perfectly matched socks, or let them be fraternal twins.  The choice is yours.

First, a bit of basic math.  You can do it.  I even left spaces so you can print this out and write in your own numbers.

Measure around the widest part of your foot (circumference).  A=__________
Subtract 10% for negative ease (20% if you use superwash yarn, which is stretchier and slightly saggier) B=__________

Knit a gauge swatch.
Measure stitches per inch. C=__________
Total stitches for each sock BxC=D__________ (round to nearest multiple of four)
Stitches to cast on D/2=E __________
Wrapped stitches per side of toe E/3=F__________ (round to the nearest whole number)
Desired foot length (subtract .25 inch for a snug fit) G=__________
Heel stitches (60% of D) 0.6xD=H__________ (round to nearest whole number)
Stitches to pick up for heel H-E=I__________
Wrapped stitches on each side of heel H/3=J__________(round to the nearest whole number)

Short row garter stitch toe:
Cast on E __________ stitches in yarn 1.
Decrease rows:
Knit across E-1 stitches.  Wrap and turn.
Knit across E-2 stitches.  Wrap and turn.
Knit to last stitch before wrapped stitch.  Wrap and turn.
Continue working until you have F__________ wrapped stitches on each side.
Increase rows:
Knit across to first wrapped stitch.  Knit this stitch (no need to pick up wraps in garter stitch). Wrap and turn.
Continue working until all wrapped stitches are worked.  You now have a garter stitch toe!

Round 1 - Pick up and knit across E stitches along the cast on edge of the toe so that your knitting is now joined in the round.  Divide evenly onto four double pointed needles, E/2 stitches on each needle.  Mark the beginning of your round.
Round 2 - Work k3, p1 ribbing across needle 1 in yarn 1.  Work k3, p1 ribbing across needle 2 in yarn 2.  Knit (or purl for princess feet) across needle 3 in yarn 3.  Knit (or purl) across needle 4 in yarn 4.  You now have worked one round, a different yarn on each needle.
Round 3 - Continuing with yarn 4, work across needle 1.  Drop yarn 4 and pick up yarn 1 (which should be at the end of needle 1 in the round below).  Pick up yarn 1 and work across needle 2.  Drop yarn 1 and pick up yarn 2.  Work across needle 3 in yarn 2.  Drop yarn 2, pick up yarn 3.  Work across needle 4 in yarn 3. Make sense?  Except at the beginning of the round, where you continue on with the yarn from needle 4, you are dropping your old yarn and picking up a new one at the end of each of your four needles.

Continue working in the spiral until foot measures approximately 2 inches less than G__________.  Garter stitch toes and heels are quite stretchy, so this will help with exact fit.

Rearrange your stitches, adding I/2 stitches from needle 3 to needle 2 and I/2 stitches from needle 4 to needle 1.  This will temporarily shift the beginning of your round.
Using yarn 2 (or whichever yarn you like, really) k across H-1 stitches.  Wrap and turn.
K across H-2 stitches.  Wrap and turn.
Knit to last stitch before wrapped stitch.  Wrap and turn.
Continue working until you have J__________ wrapped stitches on each side.
Increase rows:
Knit across to first wrapped stitch.  Knit this stitch.  Wrap and turn.  See how you're basically making a slightly bigger toe?
Continue working until all wrapped stitches are worked.
Shift I/2 stitches from needle 2 back to needle 3 and from needle 1 back to needle 4.  Return to working in the round in spiral pattern.  You may have to cut/rejoin yarns to keep the spiral pattern the way it ought to be.

Work in spiral to desired length.  Work 1-2 inches of k1 p1 or k2 p2 ribbing in yarn 3 (or whichever yarn you like).  Bind off loosely.  I like Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Et voila!

If you need help with math or have questions. please don't hesitate to email or comment.  Find me on Ravelry as Shekure (or click the link on the right).  I'll get pics up ASAP.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday #8

Just a quick post today, since I can't share most of my current works in progress because they're holiday gifts and test knits.  This is my current purse knitting project, a pair of toe-up socks in a 3x1 rib using David's Toe-Up Sock Cookbook.  The yarn is good old Red Heart Heart & Sole.  What can I say?  It was in my stash and it wears like iron.

What's on your needles this week?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

In honor of my birthday in two weeks I am giving away copies of my knitting patterns! Enter below for a chance to win your choice of any of my designs available at my designer page on ravelry a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 19, 2012

FO Friday

I don't have a lot of time to chatter today, but I do have pics of my latest finished socks.  I cobbled together pieces of various patterns I liked to come up with this.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Big Day - Announcing a Universal Kilt Hose Calculator!

I have to admit, today I am as pleased as the cat that got the cream.  For all the years I've been making custom kilt hose for sale I have had the idea rattling around to make a universal pattern calculator for kilt hose.  I am a knitter who loves the freedom of knitting without a pattern to make something unique and well-fitted.  There is something thrilling in sitting down with paper and pencil and working it out every step of the way.  That said, I know not everyone's mind has the degree of math geekery and OCD that mine does, and I wanted to find a relatively simple way to help people who don't daydream about becoming an engineer to create something fully customized.  I've avoided this project for a long time because, well, pattern design is complicated.  It requires a lot of time and thought, even when you're not doing algebra that includes nineteen different variables (yes, really).

I would first like to say a huge thank you to the kind folks over at the Free Pattern Testers Group on Ravelry.  What a great resource for people who like to help test and edit patterns, and for people like me who are just looking for some assistance in proofreading and making sure the math is correct.

This pattern is all you need to make top-down kilt hose from any yarn for any size body.  Really.  I have used it to make hose for someone with 12 inch feet and 19 inch calves (yes, really, see the photo above) as well as my hubby's much more reasonably-sized leg.  Really, it's the pattern I've used to make every pair of kilt hose I've ever made, it just never existed outside of my head. 

The pattern includes information on how to measure and fit kilt hose, choosing yarn and needle sizes, and how to plug in any cables, color work, stitch patterns, or intarsia your heart desires.

This is an advanced beginner pattern.  Basic knowledge of top-down sock construction is important.

Click the button below to purchase a copy of the pattern for $6.50.  No Ravelry membership is required.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WiP Wednesday #7

Boy have I got a mess o' projects to share with everyone!

First is a simple scarf I'm weaving in the pinwheel houndstooth pattern, also known as the friendship star.  This is 100% Peruvian Highland wool and will be heading to a dear friend in a cold place.

Remember that SPAKAL (spin and knit-along) I'm doing?  I've spun 9 out of 24 ounces of the wool for my sweater.  It's still possible I could do this in 2012, though I'll have to work hard.

I have just a few repeats of the last section on my Color Affection shawl before starting the solid border.  I should have yarn left over for hat/mitts too.

And heavens preserve us, I've started an English paper piecing project.  I'm not sure how I'll put these together yet, right now I'm happily making hexagons, then I can lay them out and see what speaks to me.

Come check out all the great projects at Idaho Etsy Team and please make sure to say hi and check out what everyone else is up to!

Idaho Etsy Team