Friday, June 18, 2010


For everything I already do I have to do more. More designing, more advertising, more selling (and in my nondesigning life: more exercising, more practicing music, more socializing, and one thing less (unfortunately) and that's less eating). So how in the heck am I supposed to do all that exactly? That's got me stumped. More designing — that's easy. I obviously need to apply for having longer days and it's problem solved. More advertising... well, I'm not really sure where I can advertise my patterns other than Ravelry. This one is actually the more-thing that I should fix soonest. More advertising should lead to more selling and thus kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. (and on a side note, I really don't like that saying. I like birds, why kill two at once?) So if anyone has any ideas on this advertising thing..... let me know! I await your answers eagerly!

More Designs
September an October should be good months for Fiddle Knit Designs patterns. (It seems so far away now.) This is when both the Musical Minds Collection and the Sweet Treats Collection will be released. (Assuming, of course, that I'm running on time, which I would very much like to be.) I had almost begun to give up on the Sweet Treats Collection. Anyone that listens to my podcast knows I went on a frogging spree and several designs intended for this collection were tossed. However, my faith in the project has been renewed with the the completion of the Sugared Berries Shawlette (which may receive a name change if I can think of anything better). I blocked the design yesterday and was oh-so-happy with the outcome. It's simple, but pretty and dainty. Since that design worked out so well I embarked on another shawlette design, I'm calling this one Frosting.

More Information
I have decided that during the designing of every Fiddle Knits project I will attempt to make semi-detailed notes that include a behind the scenes look at what I thought while designing, any snags I ran into, the intended feel of the project, where the name came from, and other things of that nature. Once the design has been published I will post the notes in their entirety here, and probably on the design page on my website as well. I'm sure I won't really be able to do this on every design, but I will aim for doing it on most. It'll be a good time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pretty Polly

Pretty Polly has arrived!
You can download this design here and now, or you can find it through the usual places: my website, Ravelry, Patternfish, and Etsy.

$5.00 USD
This listing is for the pattern pdf download only.

Behind the Scenes: Pretty Polly
First came the yarn as is fairly typical for me. (knit picks simply cotton sport in "magenta".) next came the idea. I was happy the idea followed yarn acquisition relatively quickly, like within the day. I selected the perfect lace stitch for the bottom edging, drew myself a [very bad] sketch, and wrote some [highly undetailed] notes in my design book. I [thought I] had all the math worked out and cast on. I made it through approximately 18 rows of the pattern before I had to put the project aside due to impending deadlines for other samples and submissions. The Pretty Polly top sat languishing on my desk taunting me with the brightness of it's yarn. Eventually I completed the other designs and was able to begin courting Pretty Polly again. I checked my sketch. What was I thinking? I read my notes. Huh? I started recalculating numbers. It seemed the original numbers were off. I'd noted the design as having an a-line shape, but I forgot to take that into account for the cast on. Oops. The 18 finished rows got ripped out. I started over... With 30 stitches more than I originally had. Oh bother.

This time around I decided to graph the lace before I began since following a chart is my preference over written instructions. I was very glad I decided to do this because in "seeing" the lace I realized there were some changes to be made, rows to discard and some to add. After the lace was worked I realized there was something else I needed to change from my original sketch. Thankfully this change didn't involve ripping out everything I'd already knit. (I might not have had the courage to begin again if it did.) It was here that I decided to apply buttons to the lower portion of the shirt.

I am pleased to say that from this point forward the design gave me little trouble. I had some miscounts of buttons, but that was easily sorted out. The boatneck (which is a style I'd never played with before) was super easy, especially since I didn't want any more detail than a simple rolled edge. No extra fussing or finishing, just casual and pretty.

I have been asked why I didn't use a 3-needle bind off for the shoulder seams. No reason. My personal preference was to sew the very short shoulder seams, however, if you would rather leave the end bits live and work a 3-needle bind off then I say go for it! As I have said numerous times before, I tend to approach my knitting with much the same frame of mind as I do music, and that is that a tune or pattern is simply a guideline. Never feel obligated to follow either exactly. If you would like to follow every detail that's fine too, but a design is not set in stone, so go ahead and make it yours. :o)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sneak Peek: Pretty Polly

Want to catch a glimpse of the next Fiddle Knits Design?
I introduce you now to Pretty Polly!

Pretty Polly from Fiddle Knits Designs modeled by the lovely Annalee.

Pretty Polly is knit from Knit Picks Simply Cotton in sport weight. Pattern ranges in size to fit a 28" bust to a 50" bust. I had always planned on having the buttons down the front, however, one test knitter suggested that the buttons could potentially be worn on the back as well. The choice is yours! There's no really drastic difference in shaping between the front and back, so do feel free to turn it around.

This design is currently visiting my wonderful team of test knitters and will be available [with luck] very shortly. Once I release the pattern there will be an announcement here, and pretty much everywhere I can think of (Ravelry, Facebook, Plurk, Twitter....) because I'm absolutely thrilled with how this little design came out. I'm very pleased with the photos as well and must say that I probably enjoyed this photo shoot more than any other in the past. Annalee was great and I think she looks stunning in the top. We also re-shot some photos for Scotch Mary, which was also a success.
Stay tuned!