A new path has emerged over the past few months. I am excited to finally share that I have branched into the field of technical editing!
I first started test knitting and “looking over” patterns for sock designer Josiah Bain almost two years ago. This evolved into actual tech editing rather than taking a casual-glance-for-errors. It is him that I have to thank for giving me the practice and opportunity to jump into this new field!
I am completing an online technical editing course to solidify my skills while working on growing my client base of knitting designers. To date, I have completed 15 pattern edits in 2016. The majority of them came to me in the past three months.
Check out more information on my tech editing page. My rate is reasonable (if I do say so myself!!), and I currently have a turnaround time of less than a week if needed.
I am so humbled that a knitting designer would seek my input for modifications and improvements to their patterns. The knitting community is amazing!
Time away from blogging has led me to discover new knitting challenges: knitting exclusively from stashed yarn AND knitting for others. Because challenges don’t happen very often, this called for a blog post on a calendar date that also doesn’t happen very often!
Reality finally sunk in, and I realized that I might be near SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy).
This, along with participating in a “Stash Down” Knit-A-Long, led me to become less selfish and to spread the knitting love to others. For the first two months of 2016, I finished 7 projects – with only three projects for myself! Four projects were surprise gifts, and one is waiting for the perfect recipient. I also have 2 WIPs that are surprises!
It has been extremely satisfying to find a “project / person match,” and then to give the finished item as a surprise. It was difficult at first to not hoard ALL THE YARN, but I am starting to get over that. (Except my Malabrigo yarn. No one touches that…..!)
So far, I made two hats for my nephew. One was a part of a KAL with the designer, and it was a great chance to use up leftovers.
The second hat included input from my nephew, specifically the colors and design. He LOVES it. 🙄
I also finished two cowls:
Finally, I knit my sister some slipper socks while on vacation.
I am almost done with a cardigan that I have owed my mom since last Mother’s Day (oops). I finished the knitting on February 28 and just have the seaming left!
It’s been difficult to get over my selfish knitting hump, but I think I have reached the point of realizing the fun of surprising others with a gift that took so much time and thought.
Blogging is hard. I don’t post regularly, and then when I come back after a few months, I feel like I have to write a novel about the knitting I have done since my last blog post. So, I have a new challenge for myself (maybe a new year’s resolution?). I am going to keep posts to 300 words or less, minus photo captions!
So I present my latest test-knit sweater: Winter Rain by Jenn Emerson. The title is quite apt for the weather we’ve had in Minnesota – lots of rain, no snow, and warmer-than-usual weather. But it’s still been great sweater weather, and I have been getting a lot of use out of this fantastic piece!
The idea for test knitting started way back in July – I first saw her post a photo of her sweater on Instagram, and I immediately knew I had to be a part of her test knit. I ordered Malabrigo Rastita from awesome Mr. Yarn and labeled the yarn as a self-chosen birthday present that my parents could give me in August. (Heheh, this is an excellent way to get more yarn in your stash.)
It was a relaxing knit, minus the meticulous pre-planning I did in order to alternate my skeins due to slightly different shadings of yarn dye.
I also thought I had the perfect buttons for the “cowl” neck – but then my buttonholes turned out too small, so I had to find new buttons. And guess what…I found some awesome wood buttons at no other place but Wal-Mart.
I LOVE the neck, the kangaroo pocket, and the subtle princess body shaping. It’s a new favorite! For you knitters, check out my VERY detailed notes on my Ravelry project page.
And just in case you’re wondering: word count 300! 😉
I definitely have a hard time keeping secrets/surprises, so this was a terribly difficult one to keep. And, I’ve been keeping it since spring 2014.
I HAVE A DESIGN PUBLISHED IN A BOOK!!! 🙄
101 Little One-Skein Wonders for Babies is a fantastic new book that is perfect for using up those one skeins of yarn we all have laying around (I think this book will be especially great for the acrylics that I have saved since I first started knitting, since I have graduated to using finer yarns!).
The funny thing is that: (1) I don’t have any photographed photos of this actually on a baby, and (2) I don’t HAVE a baby (or a child). And this is the design that gets published. 😉
However, this book is quite appealing to me because: (1) They are all quick, one-skein projects, (2) Good to use up “first acrylic” yarn as mentioned, and (3) The projects are perfect to have on hand for gifting – I’m thinking those baby showers and birthdays, etc, that always sneak up on me!
Now with two owl patterns on Ravelry, I am offering both for just $2.00 (USD)! All you have to do is buy either ONE of the patterns above, and you will get the second one for free. Past purchases do count, so if you have already bought the headband, make sure you download the hat!
I would love to see your version of the Hootenanny Hat of Owls, whether that’s through email, Instagram, Facebook, or Ravelry. I hope you (and your babies and children) enjoy it!
I have a hard time saying “no” to yarn and needles. Case in point: I was on a spending spree earlier this spring and summer, buying yarn left and right. It felt like I had a package arriving everyday in the mail! I vowed that I would slow down, and I marked July 27th as my last yarn purchase date (it was a Knit Picks order). I have actually been knitting from my stash, including accessories and even a couple sweaters. (My yarn diet worked up until Mr. Yarn‘s anniversary sale – more on that below.)
Even though I have been resisting new yarn, I have not been able to resist and say “no” to new patterns. Autumn is my favorite season, and I feel like I just HAVE to have like 10 more knit sweaters!
Currently, I have 5 sweaters in progress (6 if you count one that’s been hibernating for over a year). Three are tests, the fourth is part of a Knit-Along (KAL), and the fifth has been patiently waiting since March from Malabrigo March.
I do have to thank two very patient designers as part of the sweater tests; I am just a tad behind on the knitting! But, I think it will be worth the wait. Here’s a peek at the tests:
First up is a sweater that is way overdue. I’m stranded on the Island of Finishing! I just have the upper front and back to finish, some blocking, sewing, and I will be done.
Second is my Birthday Sweater, or also known as the Coat of Many Colors. This is Malabrigo Rastita yarn that I bought online from Mr. Yarn in July, and told my parents that I had taken care of their birthday present to me. Hee hee!
I am so close to getting this one done – I am further than the latest photo. I only have one more sleeve to go!
The third sweater test was started on September 1st and is due October 21st. It’s a worsted weight – cable – texture – cardigan! I am loving how it’s looking.
The last sweater that I want to share quick is part of the Joji Fall KAL on Ravelry. My track record with actually participating in KALs isn’t that great, but so far I am proud of my progress on her Recoleta sweater pattern:
Overall, I never thought I would get addicted to sweater knitting. But here I am, drowning in a pile of wooly goodness! I guess I’d rather drown in yarn than other things, though.
Finally, I have managed to keep myself busy by proofing a few patterns for Josiah Bain’s new sock pattern releases (check out his awesome new sock pattern!), being asked to knit a sample pair of socks with provided yarn (yes, that means yarn I did not pay for!), and also buying yarn (yes, I did pay for that).
And, presenting the yarn that I did pay for (which broke my yarn diet). I just couldn’t help myself with Mr. Yarn’s anniversary sale…
So, there you have it. Looks like a lot going on, but I prefer to think that Everything is going AWESOME-ly !
Speaking of Awesome, check back next Sunday for a post about my first book-published knitting pattern!!! EEEEEKK!!
It’s been much too long since I have updated my blog, and I thought that getting back into it with a “winning” story would do the trick!
Annd, cue the drum’s “ba-dum-tsh” for my poor pun.
I wish I could say that I spent this summer lounging about the patio, sipping lemonade, in between family actives and horseback riding. Alas, work and grad school did get in the way of that ideal dream. But somehow I still managed to have time for knitting. I entered 8 projects at the state fair this year!
If you have read my post from last year’s fair, I mentioned that the judges provide a scoresheet with comments for each project. This year’s comments were a little sparse and unimaginative. It must have been a long judging day…
I didn’t get a full run of 1st – 5th place ribbons like last year, but I scored awfully close to placing on most. And, I did get 3 ribbons total! My highest-placed project this year was my Monsoon Shawl. I first blogged about this in my series of posts about Malabrigo March – I started and finished this shawl during the month of March!
I received a 2nd out of 13 entries in the “Heavyweight Shawl” category. I was only docked because the judges thought the pattern was hard to see with the variegated yarn. I guess they don’t share the same affinity as I do with Malabrigo Rios…
The next project that did well was my Crosshatch Pullover, also knit within one month and also with Malabrigo Rios. This was a test knit, and I also knit it during Malabrigo Stockpile in the Malabrigo Junkies Ravelry group. It was also the first sweater I knit using Malabrigo!
This sweater was entered in the “Adult Plain Pullover”and received 4th out of 7 entries. All that was left on my scorecard was that this was an “attractive design” and I had “very nice work.”
(You might be getting a kick out of the different class names, so here’s a fun fact: There are 11 different Adult Sweater categories, depending on stitches and textures and single or multiple colors. So things are judged pretty well against other similar projects.)
Last but not least, I received a 5th place on my Vertizontal socks. This was one of my favorite projects to knit, as it drew a lot of attention from other knitters in my knitting group and when I knit in public (I really did get a lot of comments – even non-knitters asked what I was making!). I bought the yarn in April and was waiting for the perfect pattern for it. Although I was predicting a higher placing than 5th (I got 1st in this category last year), I am happy with how I did since there were a few secret, teeny tiny mistakes. 🙄 Oops!
These were entered in the “Plain Socks” class, and out of 21 entries total, I guess 5th isn’t too bad! The judges left “Wow!” on my comment sheet, as well as “very interesting construction.” If you are a knitter, go download this free pattern from Ravelry right now! (Or, after reading the rest of my post!)
The last 5 projects I entered were all pretty close, as I mentioned. My Whakamārie Top was a test knit I did this summer, and received a score of 94 in the “Sleeveless Sweater or Vest” class. That means I was ONE POINT away from placing 5th! There were 10 entries.
Another project that I scored a 94 on was my Happy Hat. I whipped this up as part of Malabrigo March, in just one day! I didn’t think I would do well, since the “Textured Hat” class is very tough and always full of beautiful, intricately cabled hats. However, a score of 94 also means here that I was ONE POINT away (again) from placing! I was pretty excited about this for a last minute project I decided to enter. 🙂 There were 27 entries!
(The hat I entered last year had actual cabling and placed lower, which I find interesting…I guess cabled hats aren’t my forte.)
The next project scored a 93, which I was also ecstatic about. This project was in the “Lightweight-Yarn” Shawl class, and is one of the hardest classes in my opinion. This score meant I was at 6th or 7th place – and there were 42 entries! The judges only judge the top 25 if there are that many projects, so it was great to even have a comment card on this one.
Coming in slightly lower, my Blanca Cable sweater was another test knit. It scored 93, and was in a class of 15 sweaters. This one DID get its own blog post (check it out here), and I wasn’t sure what to expect in the “Adult Texture Pullover” class for my first time. After looking at the winners in this class, I realized I need to step up my cabling game. They had cables going ALL OVER the place and in some crazy directions!
Last but not least was a pair of socks that scored 92 in the “Texture Sock” class out of 18 entries. These were also a test knit that I completed earlier this year. I thought they wouldn’t do as well as others because the cabling wasn’t too difficult, which I was correct on. But I thought they were just too pretty to not enter. 🙂
Overall, I was coming from high expectations with all of the ribbons I won last year. But, after seeing the tough competition and extremely beautiful projects that I was up against, I am very happy with how I did.
So, without further ado, let the 2016 project planning commence!! 😉 (Actually, it already has commenced. As soon as I drop off my projects, I plan for the next year!)
Hopefully the next blog post won’t be as slow as this one was. To keep you satisfied until then, here is a fat-, calorie-, and grease-free photo for you to savor:
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As always, thanks for reading!
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It’s May 28th. And I still have projects, and no recent blog posts, about Malabrigo March. Yes, MARCH.
Where does that mysterious thing called “time” go? …I think I am knitting in a Malabrigo-induced stupor.
Real Life has actually just been busy with grad school, work, and other things such as knitting and beautiful spring weather. Because of all of the above, this blog has been a little sparse! But, I thought I should give you an update on my original Mal March projects (find blog post 1 here and blog post 2 here) so I can move past those and blog about other knitting news!
I finished two projects in my last post, and since then, I have finished the shawl, second cowl, and pair of mittens.
Here was my progress on March 28:
And here is my progress as of today! (Skeins and balls of yarn have been removed, so I feel like I accomplished more and thus feel better about myself.) 🙄
Of course, March has already passed, so me finishing any more of these projects doesn’t count for any special prize, except that I am getting closer to finishing what I started!
Let’s start with the most striking project, or so I think. I actually did finish this on March 27, but didn’t get photos in time for my last blog post.
The Monsoon Shawl by Angela T. (or, my “Mal Hug” as I call it on Ravelry), was definitely an exercise in lace for me. I do not knit lace very often, and I think there is good reason for that. I thought this pattern would be easy; it calls for worsted weight yarn, and BIG needles (US 10.5, to be exact). On the other hand, regular lace would use lace or fingering weight yarn (a.k.a. “kite string,” as my Significant Other refers to it) and veeeery small needles (smaller than US 10.5, at least). No problems, right? WRONG. I had to rip back rows about 100 different times (or so it felt), because of all the silly mistakes I made. Plus, I felt like such a dummy when I couldn’t read the simple chart for the edging at the end, as I thought I was on my way to becoming a Master Chart Reader. Plus, when I finished it, the shawl looked teeny tiny compared to what the pattern showed (I ALMOST ripped it all out. Then I gave blocking a try, and it was magic.)
Oh, well; all of that mental sweat was worth it!
It used just over 2.5 skeins of Rios, which is not bad at all. Also, since Rios grows like crazy when blocked, this shawl turned out huge! (I should have known it would all work out okay.)
Actually, it was quite crazy to see just how much it grew before and after blocking.
For good measure, here’s one more finished photo:
If you are interested, check out my Mal Hug on Ravelry for more photos and detailed notes about my project!
The second project that I have not written about yet was my second Collina Cowl by Jenn E.. (And if knitting 2 of the same pattern wasn’t enough, I just technically finished my 4th Collina Cowl this past Tuesday. Yikes. Guess I like this pattern.)