Friday, May 29, 2009


Although I hate blog posts about not blogging, I feel compelled to say that most of my writing energy is going into my sustainable food and water blog these days.

I finally have finished the pattern for the lace-backed mitts that my South Bay Knitters friends had encouraged me to write up. Two of them brought their test-knitted pieces to the meeting last night, and I was very pleased at how they looked. I hope I've found all of the errors in the pattern, but please let me know if you find any more.

Jocelyn has a shaped thumb gusset and a lace panel down the back of the hand. You can customize the mitts with your own favorite lace panel. With the forgiving stretch of 2x2 ribbing, exact gauge is not critical for this pattern, and you can use any yarn from fingering to light worsted weight, as long as it has some elasticity.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

There's a place for everything

Proof that every yarn has a way to shine, I made my mom a Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf from the one ball of the Mondial Bamboo that I'd already tried using. She was very happy with it.

And it was a good fit for the yarn. But if anyone is interested in nine other balls of this yarn, then please let me know.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Caveat Emptor

I've been wanting to make a summery Gallivant for a while now, and, when my Rav friend cajunbatchick told me about Mondial Bamboo, I thought I'd found the right yarn. The Rav database said it was fingering weight, and, from the projects listed with it, it was clearly self-striping. So I ordered a bag from Green Planet Yarns, my LYS, and picked it up yesterday.

This morning, I got out my crochet hook and started my foundation row. The colors were a little more cartoony than the springy I had hoped from the photo on teh interwebs, but I was happy enough. But when I got to the end of the orange, I was not happy to see the yellow come in briefly, then return to orange, then go back and forth before settling on yellow. The further color changes were even more variegated.

Plus, it's much heavier than fingering. That's not actually that big a deal, since it's bamboo, and it's going to drape and grow, anyway. But it was certainly an object lesson about rushing out to buy unknown yarn.

So what did I do? I found another yarn, Happy 4 ply from Wendy. It's a sock yarn, 25% nylon and 75% bamboo, and there were many projects on Ravelry to show that the stripes in the color I chose are clean, clean, clean.

I've also finished a new sample of the lacy mitts, which pattern I will write up as soon as I get a good photo. It will be called Jocelyn, for the person who wanted it most.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Picture 1

It's hard to say this without sounding as though I'm tooting my own horn, but I can't believe the response to my new pattern. I actually posted about it in the Designers forum, asking whether lowering the price had increased sales for other people. The answers I got were that the pattern's wonderfulness itself was the reason it's so popular, and that I should increase the price.

I'm not ready to do that. Since I think all of my patterns are pretty clever (the un-clever designs are never worth the trouble of writing them up) I'm wondering what makes these little mitts such a hit, when no one has ever bought a copy of Balai at all.

Not that I'm complaining, not at all. I'm just gobsmacked, I guess.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Green Thumb

So I spent this past month working on yet another new design, and then waiting until it was all done until I decided to blog about it. It's called Green Thumb, and it's a pair of fingerless gloves.

Now I know that fingerless gloves are so 2006, but it took me a while to get a cellphone, too. I made the gloves for my mom last month, and then I started thinking about thumb gussets. Instead of increasing at the sides of the gusset, I thought, why not increase in the middle? And, instead of increasing in plain stockinette, why not increase in rib? So I made a pair of lacy gloves that I thought would be the pair I'd keep for myself.

(OK, it's the kind of photo you take at night when you don't want to disturb the cat in your lap.)

It turns out that another docent at Año Nuevo (where I was working on them) liked them so much that I've decided to give them away. But it got me thinking about other ways to shape a gusset. And once I'd thought of the leaf, it seemed so obvious. I made the first pair out of black Wool-Ease, to give to a friend who's going to spend the next six (winter) months in Peru. No photo of those, but I made another pair of Rowan Cashsoft 4-ply.

(The cat jumped off my lap after that second flash.) Of course, I thought of a further refinement of the pattern after I'd made the green ones, and I just finished the grey ones today.

I'm pretty chuffed at the pattern, but even more so at the reception. I fussed over the thing all afternoon, finding fiddly typo after typo, then uploaded it to Ravelry and posted about it in the Designers forum just before I went out to dinner. And came back to find six sales! I set the price at $2.50, instead of the $5.00 I'm charging for the other patterns, and maybe that's below some magic threshold. Anyway, it was a big thrill to come home and see that.