Thursday, September 24, 2015

Last Minute Rhinebeck Sweater



Tuesday evening while making dinner, I had the brilliant idea that this would be the year I go to Rhinebeck, New York Sheep and Wool Festival. I checked that dates of the show and the family calendar and there are no conflicts. So, barring any last minute event, I could go. {fingers cross}

I have been wanting to go to this show for a very long time now. Though Rhinebeck is only a 2-3hrs drive for me, Autumn is a hard time to go away when you have kids and all the family obligations that goes along with running a household. There were always something that kept me away. When I had a corporate job, I was just too busy. Then I went back to school and was again too busy.

I feel now is my chance to go to the show. The show is now on the family calendar, which is pretty much writing it in stone. My son is older, he might want to go to the show or if not, he can go to his grandparents allowing hubby and I to make a weekend of it.

So, of course once the decision to go to Rhinebeck is made, the next thought that come to mind is, what to wear?! Everyone is talking about their Rhinebeck Sweater and for months now have been busily working on their show stopper. I have nothing started or even planned.

Of course as a crochet and knit designer, I can't just pick something on Ravelry. I have to design my own sweater. Brilliant, right? With less than a month for the festival, what a better idea than to not only knit a sweater, but to also design it as well. Well, I have a few deadlines, but they are all relative small allowing me the time to focus on knitting a full sweater in my size. I can do this.

The first thought was to crochet a sweater. That would be super fast. But there's a problem. All my sweater quantity of yarn are the perfect quantity for a knit sweater. Knowing that crochet uses more yarn, I would be pushing the yardage and my luck. I didn't want to play yarn chicken with so little margin for error.

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So, a knit sweater it will be. Though I am dying to make a fingering weight sweater, this was not the time to embark on that challenge. Now was the time for quick and simple, using worsted weight on US 8 needles. I needed a gauge of 4.5 sts to the inch in Stockinette Stitch. That is the perfect gauge to get the sweater done in time. The yarn decided on is Webs Valley Yarns Northampton in Light Grey.

The next problem, and biggest is, what pattern and what stitch? I had an idea of the silhouette I wanted and decided that the majority of the sweater worked in Stockinette Stitch would be perfect for speed.

As soon as dinner was over on Tuesday, I Cast-On for my #LastMinute #RhinebeckSweater and made a lot of progress on the back. It's the perfect tv knitting.

Watch this space and Twitter hashtag for progress on my #LastMinute #RhinebeckSweater adventure.

Tian



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{Sacony Creek Shawlette}

{SIMPLE DESIGNS, BEAUTIFUL RESULTS YOU WILL LOVE TO WEAR!}

 

Head over to my shop to see what you're in the mood for. Can't decide? Put 4 patterns from my shop into your cart and get 20% OFF (no coupon code needed)

 





{Automatically receive a 20% discount if you purchase 4 or more patterns that are available from my Ravelry Shop. You must purchase all 4 or more patterns AT THE SAME TIME in ONE transaction by placing all 4 or more patterns in your cart before you check out (no code needed). PLEASE NOTE ebooks and collections are not included in this offer.}

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Crochet and Knit Designs: What inspires and motivates?



What motivates and inspires a crochet and knit design? Each designer have their own way of designing. For some, it could be seeing the patterning on an old rod iron grate in California, it could be a picture in a magazine, or even a stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary. Inspiration can come from many different avenues and take many different forms.

For me, it can be any of those things, and much more.

 

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Sometimes, going for a walk in the woods and coming across a down tree and seeing the patterning of the bark can create magically imageries. Or the t-shirt worn by an actress, the way it is styled and accessorized can bring to mind a silhouette that drives the design of a knitted sweater.
Beyond the inspiration for the look and feel of the item I want to design, the pattern has to fit into my lifestyle. I create crochet and knit designs that I want to make. Items that fit into one of two categories:
  • 1. The knit or crochet item must be easy to put down and pick up for those 5-minutes in the grocery store lines, the 15-minutes waiting in the school's carpool line, and the 45-minutes on the sidelines at a swim practice or meet. These items have to be mindless enough with easily memorable patterning so I can stay focus on what's going on around me while at the same time keeping my hands busy.
  • 2. The second must-have is that the pattern needs to be mindful where I want to be engaged. I want to be challenged beyond my comfort zone to learn a new skill or technique. These are the pattern that I have the chart close by and everyone needs to stay quite. For me, these designs leave me with a sense of accomplishment for trying and completing something new and complex.
What types of patterns are you in the mood for? Whether you are in the mood for easy and mindless like the {Phoenix Sweater} or you just want to be challenged like the {Sacony Creek Shawlette}, you will find something to crochet and knit in my KNitDesigns by Tian Ravelry shop.

 

 

 

{SIMPLE DESIGNS, BEAUTIFUL RESULTS YOU WILL LOVE TO WEAR!}

 

Head over to my shop to see what you're in the mood for. Can't decide? Put 4 patterns from my shop into your cart and get 20% OFF (no coupon code needed)

{Automatically receive a 20% discount if you purchase 4 or more patterns that are available from my Ravelry Shop. You must purchase all 4 or more patterns AT THE SAME TIME in ONE transaction by placing all 4 or more patterns in your cart before you check out (no code needed). PLEASE NOTE ebooks and collections are not included in this offer.}

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fall 2015 Design-A-Long: Hat





For Fall 2015, I will be running a Design-A-Long EXCLUSIVELY with my newsletter subscribers. A Design-A-Long is something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I am so excited to finally being able to do this. Click here to join in the fun.

WHAT IT IS:

The concept for the Design-A-Long is similar to a "choose your own adventure" where for each section of the hat, you decide. For each section of the pattern, I will send out to newsletter subscribers 2 or 3 stitch patterns and you, the knitter, get to choose which option you want to make.

HOW WILL IT WORK:

Each Friday for 4-weeks, starting October 2nd, I will send out to subscribers-only instructions containing stitch options.

Week 1: Cast On stitch amount for multiple sizes along with brim stitch options.
Week 2: Body of the hat
Week 3: Crown decrease options
Week 4: Finishing and Project page update.

WHAT YOU GET:

At the end of the Designs-A-Long, you will have a completed hat, or 2, 3. Based on the number of stitch patterns, you will be able to easily make 3 different hats.

If you are interested in the designs and you are not a newsletter subscriber, the patterns will be available as an e-book on Ravelry for sale for $12 after the Design-A-Long ends.

If you would like to get the designs for free, join us during the Design-A-Long.

WHAT ELSE YOU GET: Bonus

Beyond getting 3 hat patterns for free, I want to encourage as many knitters to give this a try, so of course, there will be AWESOME yarn giveaway.

So far, here's what you can be chosen for:

<<-- 1-Skein Anzula Cricket in colorway Pesto (DK; 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere; 250 yards / 114 grams)



1-Skein Fiesta Boomerang in colorway Great Horned Owl (Aran; 100% Merino; 255 yards / 113 grams) -->>




My list is pretty small (but FABULOUS) at the moment, so I have 2 yarns picked out for the giveaway. If we get more than 20 participants, I will increase the number of winners.


YARN GIVEAWAY: How to Qualify

To be entered in the random number generator giveaway drawing, you must:

1) Create a project page in Ravelry

{AND}

2) Post finish photos of the hat in your project page.


On October 30th, I will pull all project pages created for the Design-A-Long that have finished object photos. Earn additional entries into the giveaway for each hat project page with finished object photos.

 Join my mailing list to take part in the Design-A-Long

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

We don't need ANOTHER Fiber Festival

http://www.ravelry.com/stores/knitdesigns-by-tian


During the Spring and Fall seasons, you can't get away from fiber festivals. It seems there are a million of them happening at every turn. Do we need them? Are fiber festivals relevant?
Stemming from a twitter conversation with Lindsey of Erin Lane Bags, it struck me how much the area {New England} is loosing out with the loss of Stitches East this year.

There are a lot of people who think there are already too many fiber shows in the area, so why we would need one more, particularly with big shops like Webs so close by. This conversation with Lindsey made me realize the extent of the loss of this show.
Gong to the yarn shop is GREAT! Especially having Webs in my backyard, who could ask for more?
{Raises hand} Me. All of us!

Fiber festivals are not just a place to buy more yarn and fiber supplies {Lord knows I don't need any more. I have so much yarn, I think even Webs might envy my stash, just a little bit}. The point of a fiber festival or at least in my mind is to make those connections with the makers. It's a way to talk in real-life to those makers who you have admired and supported for so long, to look them in the eye, talk with them and get an insight on their process and inspiration. Also, fiber festivals are great places to meet up and hang out with like-minded fiber enthusiasts and just have fun, in a safe, non-judgey space {yeah, I get the weird looks for muggles too}.

Sure we can read their blogs and follow them on social media to see what they are up to, but nothing beats that one-on-one, face-to-face, human contact where you can see and touch the work, experience new products, and get your fill of all the fiber fumes!

There is just something about real life that just makes the fiber festival experience so much richer.

Hopefully, Stitches East makes a return to the Northeast. Let this be a warning. If you like and enjoy a fiber festival, go out and SUPPORT them. Show them you want the show next year, no matter how small the show, because if we don't show them that we want it, it will go away. And then we'll have nothing!

Comment below and tell me which fiber festivals you plan to attend this Fall.

Tian




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