Saturday, November 27, 2010

Deadline fast approaching!

I set a personal deadline to have something done by this Monday (November 29). The actual deadline really isn't too much further off... Let's say if I was going to cut it uncomfortably close and overnight the package it would only give me another 2 days. So basically I need to meet this deadline and there are no ifs, ands, or buts. I've never missed a deadline so I'm not sure why I'm worrying so much. I guess really it's not worrying so much as it's just omg overload! Ha! There's just sooooo much to get done and so little time to do it all in. I'd like to put in a request for longer days. 24 hours is simply pathetic. How exactly is anything supposed to get accomplished in such a puny amount of time? When you factor in daily chores like cooking and cleaning into the mix... Yeah right! And then forget about a social life. Social? What's that? No, I won't let it get that bad. I believe in hard work and dedication, but I also believe that life should be enjoyed. Andfor that reason I worked my butt off all day and stayed focused right through from 8 am to 6 pm. At that point I think I deserve a little time to enjoy my boyfriends company. My nose will go back to the grindstone bright and early tomorrow morning. And I WILL meet this deadline! ;-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

25% off Black Friday pattern sale!

It's Black Friday and your chance to save (without leaving home!) on Fiddle Knits pattern PDF downloads. All pattern PDFs qualify for a 25% discount.

No coupon necessary.
Price will be adjusted upon checkout.
Happy Holidays! :o)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blue Ice Beret

Blue Ice Beret

Design: Blue Ice Hat
Design Method: "by the seat of my pants"
Collection: Sweet Treats
Publish Date: November 19, 2010

Yarn: Yarn Love Charlotte Bronte aran in "cove blue"
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm & US 10/6mm

For more information visit the Blue Ice design page.

When I first planned this hat for the collection it looked completely different in my head. I was aiming for chunky lace. Something that utilized a repetitive pattern that I could manipulate to fit a classic beanie shape. When the time came to put needles to yarn I made the decision to drop that idea. The night before I had gone to bed dreaming of knitting designs (this is quite common) and from within my fog of sleepy ideas I came up with something on the order of what you see today as the Blue Ice Beret.

I did a quick swatch for the bottom ribbed band, multiplied for the circumference, and cast on. I had my dream concept in my head, but that was it. There was no writing out the pattern to make sure it would work. Instead I opted to fly by the seat of my pants. It's one of my favorite things to do with designing. As long as I'm not on a tight deadline or submitting or publishing the design with someone else then why not? It's my design that I'm putting out myself. If it doesn't work or I think it's ugly... Well, I try again. Most of the time I'm happy, although there have been a few instances when I was far less than pleased.

The Blue Ice Beret is the last pattern from Sweet Treats. It is bit more involved than the others in the collection, but is still intuitive once you pick up the rhythm of the stitches. And despite the many rounds of instruction, this beret will work up quite quickly thanks to the pairing of chunky yarn and large needles.

Blue Ice is worked from the bottom up to the crown. Knit stitches are twisted during the lower portion of the hat to give definition and make the design pop off the background. Large petals grow from the ribbing and stretch toward the center of the crown.

If you wish to add more length to your beret, try extending Bottom Ribbing or working a few rounds in established pattern between Ribs & Twists and Crown of Petals sections.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Deadlines and Hand Cramps

Looming deadlines! The nightmares have begun! Well, not really. I actually enjoy working under deadlines. I complain about them. A lot. But no matter how bad I make it out to be I always seem to manage (sometimes it seems by magic). I think I'm addicted to that happy feeling of relief that comes just after meeting a deadline. It's invigorating. There is nothing quite so satisfying as meeting a good challenge.

Right now I have a challenge to meet by November 28. That's 2 weeks from now. All I can say about it is that it is knitting related, but I'm not at liberty to discuss details because it's not a self publish design. It's really cool though. And it's giving me hand cramps. And it's big. And that's where I have to stop.

Besides the Super Secret Project I'm working on the finishing touches to the Sweet Treats Collection. This coming Friday (November 19) Blue Ice, the 9th and final pattern, will be released. After that I will be laying out all 9 patterns in e-booklet form. Hopefully I can do this without encountering too many layout snags because Super Secret Project takes up a lot of time.

Timbre: Hat 5 from Musical Minds
The Sweet Treats Collection was a total joy to work on. It was the most enjoyable set of pattern I had ever released... until Musical Minds made its debut. I really like the Musical Minds Collection. I've enjoyed designing for guys, most especially my guy. He is the proud owner of most of the hats from the collection. There were only a few that didn't quite fit his style. (For example, Monophonic he deemed good for guys, but not good for him because he doesn't like hats that have a distinct back and front.) And then I accidentally made two of the hats too small. Whoops. Bummer mistake. Why do I still do stuff like that? I should really know better.

The photo shows the Timbre hat, which is the fifth hat from Musical Minds. This one is not yet released (it comes out on Sunday, November 21), so you're getting a sneak peek of it here. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Paradiddle Skull Cap

Pattern four from the Musical Minds Collection

Paradiddle Skull Cap modeled by Chris
Paradiddles are one of the basic rudiments of drumming. They consist of four even strokes played in the order right-left-right-right and left-right-left-left.

Knit, purl, knit, knit, purl, knit, purl, purl…
Chris began rapping out a rhythm and then added words that at first sounded like a random assortment of knits and purls. “You should knit a paradiddle,” he said, “it’s simple, par-a-di-dle.”
A knitted rhythm. The idea appealed to me. Knitting, after all, is very rhythmic once you settle into your stitches.

Paradiddle is a classic fitting beanie hat worked in the round from the bottom up. The ribbed stitch pattern is perfect for guys and gals providing interesting texture without being overwhelming. For a turned up cuff work hat an additional 2 inches long before beginning crown decreases. (If you do this then you will need an additional skein of yarn for the larger two sizes.)

You can purchase the Paradiddle Skull Cap pattern on my Website

Monday, November 8, 2010


Polyphonic: Hat three from the Musical Minds Collection

Visit the Polyphonic pattern page for more details.

If you are careful when joining new yarn and working decreases at the crown shaping then this hat can be reversible! The choice is yours, of course. My man decided he preferred the look of the purl side with stockinette stitches spiraling because he thought the way the knits “sink into the rest of it” was pretty cool.

The Male Reaction
When I unveiled the original sample for this design to my man and the rest of his guy friends the reaction was a unanimous “nice” (imagine this being said in what can only be defined as the stereotypical surfer boy intonation). And then they each attempted to steal away one of the samples to try on.

Yardage Note
Important! You can easily finish the two smaller sizes with two skeins of yarn. The largest size can also be managed in two skeins, however, you will be cutting it extremely close. I finished my size large sample with just about 12” to spare. Because of this I feel more comfortable recommending 3 skeins for the larger size. Personally I would rather have a little extra than not quite enough. If you are comfortable risking it then two skeins will get you through.

Sizing Note
I made the largest size for my original (pumpkin colored) sample. I did this because I’d promised Chris most of the hats from this collection when I was done. (I figured since he was the inspiration and very graciously agreed to model the finished hats, it was a good thing to do.) The large size fits his 24” noggin’ comfortably and as intended. I also like the way it fits my 22” head (the hair adds a few inches) as a slouch style hat.

2(2, 3) skeins Karabella Aurora 8, [100% extrafine merino wool; 98 yd/90 m; 50 g; worsted weight]

Size Medium shown in color #48 (gray)
Size Large shown in color #6622 (pumpkin)

US size 6/4mm 16” circular.
US size 7/4.5mm 16” circular
US size 7/4.5mm dpns
Adjust needle sizes as necessary to obtain gauge.


18 sts & 24 rnds = 4” in stockinette stitch on size 7/4.5mm needles.

Finished Sizes
S/19.5 (M/21.25, L/23) inches

To Fit Sizes
21–22.5 (23–25, 24–26) inch head circumference

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pistachio Milkshake

Pattern seven from the Sweet Treats Collection

I’m normally not a pistachio person seeing as I’m not fond of nuts in general. However, there’s this burger joint that Chris and I visited quite frequently in the early dating days and they whip up an amazing milkshake. Oddly enough my favorite flavor they offered was pistachio. The shakes are too thick to sip through a straw when they are first delivered, so they serve them up with a spoon as well. I have to admit on more than one occasion I skipped the burger and just went with fries and a shake.

The Pistachio Milkshake Mitts are worked flat (in rows) and require no sewing other than attaching buttons.

This pattern is written with three options for length and three for width. Before you begin knitting, measure around the circumference of your palm and length between where you wish the finger and cuff edges of mitts to fall. Select the numbers closest to yours within the pattern. Note that even if you desire the widest palm size you may still make the shortest length. If you wish to mix and match begin by identifying the numbers within the instructions concerning each measurement. For example, choose your length and highlight corresponding numbers (cast on, bind off, and stitches on thumb hole rows). Next identify and mark circumference/width numbers (number of repeats before & after thumb). Once you have completed these steps you are good to go.

Visit the Pistachio Milkshake pattern page.