Monday, December 2, 2019

"Free", But Not a Free-for-All

About a year ago I decided to make all my Ravelry designs free. Today, I spent all morning and afternoon adding this little blurb at the bottom of the first page of each pattern (previously I had merely put a copyright warning on the last page):

Copyright Elizabeth McCarten (fill in year)
This pattern is for personal use only. Patterns and items made from this pattern cannot be sold for profit.

Especially at this time of the year, when craft shows abound, I feel a need to remind knitters, and shop owners too, that just because a particular pattern is free does not mean there are no legal rules regarding what can be done with it. A huge amount of work goes into producing quality patterns. All designs are governed by the rules of "intellectual property". Please respect the hard work that designers do. Even when a pattern is free, remember that you are not allowed to make a profit from its use, whether by kitting it up with yarn to sell in your shop, or selling finished pieces at your local craft fair. If you plan to use one of my patterns as part of a kit to sell yarn, write to me first for permission. Even if you plan to use a pattern for charity sales, please have the courtesy to do the same. Many of you have already done this, and I thank you.

With that out of the way, here's where I'm at in the knitting of Isabel's "Hedgewood".

I am reminded of EZ's statement that all aran knitting is really just fancy ribbing. It's why this looks like nothing much pre-blocking. I'll probably go for another inch before I wet block to check for size. It'll look more impressive then.

And finally, there's nothing like the first major snowfall to put you into a holiday mood. I passed this mountain ash loaded with berries while walking home from the grocery shop.

At least we can enjoy the first week of winter (while we dread the long months to come -- sigh!)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

On Its Way

"Hedgewood", my slightly cropped aran pullover, is finally on its way. If you think you might like to be a test knitter of the pattern, please write to me on Ravelry, username, emccarten. The pattern probably won't be ready for testing for a few weeks, possibly just after Xmas, so don't worry that it will interfere with your holiday gift plans. The construction is bottom-up and seamless. Testers need to be experienced and reasonably quick knitters able to provide useful criticism of technical details.

Sleeve detail.

Happy American Thanksgiving to U.S. readers!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

New Gloves

Every now and then I brace myself for the knitting of a new pair of gloves. It's not my favourite thing to do, but they are a favourite to wear, especially as liners for mitts, so when it's time to say good-bye to an old pair, I wait until I'm in the mood and go for it (them?)

So here is the first new glove in progress, with one of five digits more or less done. It's my go-to glove pattern, Robin Melanson's "Strata". Wool is Quince's Chickadee in "Gilded". I don't bother to taper the fingers, but for this pair I'm dealing with the gap between fingers in the same way as I would for picking up the thumb stitches. See this tutorial for details. So, this time around there won't be any little gaps to fill anywhere; I'll be able to just weave in the ends and be done. I made a pencil diagram in the pattern the first time I made these as a reminder of how many rows are needed for each digit so no further fussing with each one. Yay for customized glove fingers!

Friday, November 15, 2019

A Picot Pembroke

Yesterday I cast off this little beauty.

It's simply a Pembroke Scarf made with Regia 4-ply Design Line sock wool. I stopped before the end of the ball because I wanted the scarf to be shorter than my earlier one -- just one twist around the neck instead of two. Also, I used the picot bind off that I "unvented" when I designed the Fusion cardigan. You can find the details for how to do it in this tutorial here. Note, though, that I didn't go down a needle size as recommended in the tutorial. For the cardigan I wanted a firm border. For the scarf I wanted the edge to stretch during wet blocking, so I used the same size needle as I used for the rest.
What comes next? Well, I might tackle this,

or I might take the yarn shown above, Hillesvag "Tinde", and go in my own direction. I'm pondering. In the meantime, if you want what I think is the best video tutorial of the Italian cast on (a form of tubular cast on) here is the link.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


A perfect Thanksgiving weekend was had by all here. Instead of the usual turkey routine, I asked my butcher around the corner for some turkey legs, which I turned into turkey pot pie for the main feast. This is what everyone here really wants more than sliced turkey with gravy, etc., so I obliged, especially since Isabel had travelled across the entire continent to be here. Here she is on the Glenora ferry last Tuesday, as we took advantage of the spectacular fall weather.

Along with her luggage came an old tam (this one) which had had an unfortunate encounter in a backpack with burrito sauce. The accident had occurred some time ago, so we both were concerned that it might mean the end of the hat. Clearly, the customary soak in Eucalan would not be enough. Instead, I soaked the tam for about half an hour in Sunlight dish soap and water, then gently rubbed some bar Sunlight into the stain and even more gently massaged it around. The cream background colour is the old (good) version of Patons Classic Wool, so the possibility of a felting accident was top of mind. Luckily, that was avoided, and we learned that burrito sauce is no match for the magic of good old Sunlight. I generally don't like scented products, but for some reason can't seem to get enough of that lemon bar soap smell! Here is the tam, clean and fresh, along with Isabel's Yule tam blocking over dinner plates on top of our radiators.

 My knitting over Thanksgiving consisted of this.

Instead of using a bulky yarn, I'm using a chunky (Cascade Eco in #8014, the not-quite-palest of the natural, undyed shades). I've gone up two sizes to produce the desired finished measurements at a slightly different gauge. I hardly ever knit other designers' patterns, but this one has been calling to me for a while, and so far the instructions are very well written.
While browsing Ursa's project page on Ravelry, I happened across Espace Tricot's version in a beautiful Norwegian yarn that they carry, and lo and behold, five skeins of it arrived at my front door this morning.

The colour is actually a bright olive green, but the rainy skies and low light this morning aren't showing off the gorgeousness of the wool. Not sure what this is destined for yet, but I can hardly keep my hands off it. All of this activity, including an avoidance of social media for the next week or so, is part of my plan to deal with Rhinebeck envy. Hope it works!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Every Colour

Time for a new Fibonacci Neckerchief. The old one finally died at the end of last winter and I put off doing anything to replace it until now.

The yarn is Riverside Studio's merino singles in "Dryad". I think it contains some of just about every colour, but the shades are muted, the effect being as if natural dyes had been used. It ought to go with everything. This won't take long, and that's a good thing since our delightful weather is about to turn colder in time for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

KnitEast 2019: Scenes

Back from KnitEast, getting ready for Thanksgiving (making cranberry sauce, ordering local bread and pickles, etc.) Too busy for an extended post, so here are simply "scenes" from last weekend.

View from my room.
The front lawn.
Wool at the local supermarket. By Sunday night they were cleaned out.
View of the Baptist church at dusk.
Stephanie and Lucy (both knitting on Steph's sweaters) during the fashion show.
Pencil illustration by one of my students to help another student. Thank you, whoever came up with this.