Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cowls and Comics



Catching up...it feels like the Olympics were just yesterday, and I'm not sure where March went!

This cowl was my Ravellenics design challenge for myself, gathering a medal for Team Hazelknuts. It's knit in Hazel Knits DK Lively, in Portobello and Frost. It's currently in testing, please join us in the RocketBoy Knits Ravelry group if you'd like to hear when the pattern is ready: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/rocketboy-knits-mission-control  Part of what made this cowl satisfying was the way it brought together two different phases of my life. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a serious student of Russian with plans to be either a translator or high-school Russian teacher. Ironically, it was one of my Russian professors who helped put me on the path I'm on now. She was a former physicist, who admitted to having knit through all of her university lectures. After teaching me a way to cast on that finally stuck with me, she happily allowed me to knit my way through all of her classes. The pattern is still looking for a name - maybe it should be named for her. Eventually, I figured out that I was on the wrong career path, which conveniently coincided with the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of high-school Russian language programs. One thing that really has stuck with me from all those years, however, is an abiding love of Russian folk art, especially in textiles. The stitch pattern here is based on a Russian embroidery pattern that caught my eye. The geometry of it produces a pleasantly rhythmic knitting experience, and the lining gives it enough warmth to keep the Polar Vortex or the legendary Russian winter at bay.

On a totally different note, I saw something fantastic at Emerald City ComiCon! A knitting superhero! Check her out at http://www.theknittrix.com/index.html  A second issue is to be released soon...

Monday, January 6, 2014

So this is the New Year...

I hope everyone's 2014 is off to a good start, and that we all get a little selfish knitting done this month. Now that the RocketBoys have gone back to school and Mission Control is quiet, I'm starting to organize for the early part of the year. In addition to another secret project, there are some mittens on deck for test-knitting, some neckwear in early development, and maybe even a summer top... And, of course, I'll do my best to keep it all updated here and in my group on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/rocketboy-knits-mission-control

In the last few weeks of 2013, I was so busy releasing a new pattern that I entirely forgot to write about it here. My technical and social media advisor (RocketBoy 1) has scolded me about this repeatedly, so I guess I'd better get on with it! After being just a bit obsessed with the idea of boot cuffs or toppers for a while now, I finally settled on the stitch patterns I wanted and the range of sizing that I thought was needed to make this a truly accessible pattern. The Trio of Boot Cuffs pattern includes all three styles shown below, in a wide range of sizes and advice for how to really make them your own. I enjoyed wearing the leaf one so much for the photos that I now have to make a set just for me... My next blog post will be more suggestions for how the pattern can be used as a stashbuster - stay tuned!






A final thought on the turning of the year: of all the advice, exhortations and pondering of the new year, the image below is my favorite by far. The only thing missing is "Happy Knitting!"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Winter is Coming OR What you know about rockin' a wolf on your noggin?




...or around your neck, anyway? Halloween seems like an appropriate day to launch Huntress Shawl on Ravelry... the pattern is now available directly through Ravelry, including LYS sales, and can be ordered wholesale in print. A spec sheet is available by e-mail for shops to place in a pattern binder. This is a quick project, perfect for gift knitting or a KAL for the next season of Game of Thrones...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Krista Cowl comes to Ravelry and Print!


Krista Cowl is now available through the Ravelry pattern store, including LYS in-store sales, and wholesale in print. The pattern now contains some notes about how to adjust the size, which I will include here for those who purchased the magazine or downloads through Interweave. In related news, I am working on a pair of mittens to match this cowl. The pattern will have both fingerless and closed in options. Stay tuned, or feel free to e-mail or Ravelry pm me if you would like to be notified when this pattern is available.
As written, the cowl measures 17.5" x 6.25" when unbuttoned which provides a close but not tight fit for many people. I have noticed that some knitters have said that they would like it to fit a little snugger, and I can imagine that some might need a little more room. Luckily, this is an easy pattern to alter. If you would like to make the cowl either tighter or looser, the size is easy to adjust. The main section of the cowl contains two reverse stockinette panels (i.e. the purls are on the Right Side). The easiest step for smaller adjustments is to add or subtract stitches evenly in these sections according to the gauge. For example, if you want to change the size by about an inch, add or subtract 3 stitches to each section. For larger adjustments, additional repeats of the cable pattern in the buttonband may be worked to add additional length while keeping the patterns in proportion to each other.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mission Control East

Rocket Boy #1 (aka Chief Technology and Social Media Officer) reminds me that I am way overdue for a post here... RocketBoy Knits is currently at Mission Control East, enjoying some New England sun and salt water and working on some new patterns. I wanted to post a photo, but Blogger and my iPad are not playing nicely right now, so it will have to wait... It's always inspiring for me to be here, so there will be plenty to share in the future. - stay tuned! In the meantime, hope you are having a great summer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Queen Anne Mitts Ravelry purchase link...

Queen Anne Mitts

A couple of years ago, I introduced the Queen Anne Cowl pattern (details here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/queen-anne-cowl--fingering-sock-weight-version)I loved the combination of the beaded rib pattern with a leafy panel that looks much harder to do than it really is. The Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle had been an important part of my daily orbit for the previous few years, home to both my job at Hilltop Yarn and the Rocket Boys' time at pre-school. About the time I was creating the pattern, all that changed - Rocket Boys aged out of pre-school, and Hilltop closed. I found that one of the little things I missed was the drive along a winding stretch of road near cemetery, where huge old trees arched over the road creating the nicest sort of tunnel. So, when it came time to name the cowl, I chose "Queen Anne" to keep that memory alive. After that, I got caught up in other projects, but always knew that I was not done with that stitch combination. This winter, I finally returned to create the mitts that I felt the cowl needed to go with it. When I designed the Rose Hill Mitts pattern, I realized that there was a lot of demand among women for fingerless mitts in multiple sizes, particular larger ones, so this mitt comes in three sizes. All take less than 200 yards, so that the cowl and mitts can be knit from one 400 yard skein of fingering weight sock yarn. Of course, there are many of those to choose from, but the models are knit in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock.