Featured Indie Designer of the Day: Annie Watts

Okay, I have a confession to make: I have a designer crush on Annie Watts (aka Wattsolak). It’s not even a little crush, it’s pretty big.

And it’s understandable really. Check out some of her patterns:

Medusa Mittens by Annie Watts, as seen on Ravelry
Rock, Paper, Scissors… SHOOT! by Annie Watts, as seen on Ravelry
Neck Kraken by Annie Watts, as seen on Ravelry

A scarf that’s a Kraken! Clearly she’s got a vivid imagination and can think outside the box. And then she turns those ideas into beautiful reality. She’s pretty awesome!

And just to solidify my not-so-secret love for Ms. Watts, I recently discovered that she also has a son named Atticus.  Enough said.

Anyway… you should totally go check her out. And join in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long!

Why’d You Lie, Swatch?

I’ve read about other designers experiencing swatches that lie, but had not yet had the pleasure myself… until now. I just finished up the new sample of my next pattern using the Stroll Sport yarn Knit Picks had sent me. I had already finished another sample using another yarn and everything came out fine. The pattern had already been written, edited and tested so it should have been really straight forward. I should have known something was wrong, and stopped what I was doing immediately, when I blocked the piece and was unable to get the garment to comply to the schematic measurements. But I pressed on and even sewed on all 15 buttons. Then I decided that it might be a good idea to re-check my gauge. I measured it in 6 different places and then averaged it out… and the result was not pretty. The row gauge is actually 7 stitches per inch rather than the 8 stitches per inch that I used for all my calculations.

Do you know what this means? If I was just knitting this piece for myself then I could just say, “Meh, close enough, it’ll still fit.” But since this is my design it really needs to be right. So, the only solution I can see is to redo the math, change the numbers in the pattern, and… wait for it… rip the sample back to the end of the yoke and start again.

I’ve heard the advice to check the gauge after you begin knitting, but it hadn’t quite sunken in until just now. Off I go to rip and rewrite!

Well, Poop

I have officially received my first rejection letter from a submission call. I had submitted two design ideas for the Knit Now Fall 2013 call but they didn’t make the cut unfortunately. I was disappointed, but surprised that I wasn’t more upset. I’m still feeling my way around this industry and trying to figure out where I fit in. I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to take these ideas in a different direction and go the independent publication route that I’ve taken thus far. It can be much more lucrative if the pattern catches on. I think it’s time to make a business plan and start getting myself organized!  And, hey, I still have a couple of other ideas submitted to another publication to hear back from. Fingers are still crossed.


Longest Project Ever Giveaway

I just finished a project I started 8 (yes, EIGHT) years ago. I’m not sure exactly when I started it, but I know where I was living when I was blocking it originally, and I haven’t lived there in a very long time. I also know I got the yarn from a store that doesn’t exist anymore.wholething

The project is the Perfect Turtleneck, from Patons Design Series. It’s a chunky cabled sweater with lots of ribbing and a giant turtleneck. The cables are quite pretty, and I recall it being a very straight-forward pattern. I’ve been looking for mistakes, but apparently my knitting was better back then than I thought it was.closeup

The reason it had hibernated for so long is that when I tried seaming all the pieces together the yarn would untwist and pull apart. I got so frustrated with it that I put it away and forgot about it. I mentioned this to someone in passing recently and they suggested using a different yarn in a matching colour.

After finishing all my Christmas knitting and not knowing what to start next, I resurrected this beast and got down to business. It took 3 evenings of work, but it’s finally done. Unfortunately, I have aged 8 years and gestated 2 children since I began this sweater and it just doesn’t work for me anymore.full shot

So, if you’d like to receive this sweater for free, leave a comment telling me about your Longest Project Ever (knitting or otherwise) and I’ll do a draw on January 11th (my birthday!). The sweater is a size small (fits a 34″ bust).

Sunday Confessions Vol. 2

I don’t like cleaning.  I don’t know very many people that do. But most people, when faced with the choice between cleaning or letting their house fall into disarray and filth, would choose to clean. Not me. Until a few months ago I would just let it get really nasty and then do the bare minimum to keep the place from being a health and safety hazard. Now I just don’t clean at all, I pay someone else to do it for me. So there’s my confession, I am so lazy that I’m willing to spend good money to not have to clean my own home.