My current work in progress:

Veronika Cardigan, designed by Shannon Cook, knit from YOTH Daughter in the Black Truffle colorway, using U.S. size 8 needles.

Stained Glass Cowl and Other Things

Loki thank you for the birthday wishes and he is delighted that so many of you have downloaded the Catnip Mouse pattern (free through the end of April with the code LOKI). He would also like all the kitties out there to know how much he loves his new Cat Ball. He highly recommends this: two paws up.

Stained Glass Cowl

In other news, my Stained Glass Cowl is done!

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I knit this from 2 colorways of Wollmeise Pure: Schwarz and Tiefer See, and used two skeins of each color. Actual yardage: 1000 yards Schwarz and 800 yards Tiefer See. The resulting cowl is just under 80″ in circumference and approximately 9″ deep. The inside is worked in a simpler pattern than the outside.

InsideCowl042016 240x210 Stained Glass Cowl and Other Things

The pattern is now available for sale in my Ravelry shop, and for a limited time, it is $3.00. It will go back up to the regular price of $5.00 at the end of the month.

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You could knit one that is half the circumference and there are many many color combinations you could use. I think it would be lovely in a pink variegated with a brown solid. Or how about a gradient set with black? Or black and white? The possibilities are almost endless.

InsideCowlLong042016 240x63 Stained Glass Cowl and Other Things

Books, Books, Books

The winner of my review copy of Highland Knits, Knitwear Inspired by the Outlander Series by Interweave is Melanie J., who has been emailed.

And, I have another book to review:

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This is The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns by Kate Atherley, new this month from Interweave. Not a book of patterns, but a book to teach you how to write patterns. Note only is Kate a knitting designer, but she is Knitty’s technical editor, so I firmly believe that she knows what she is talking about when it comes to writing good patterns.

I’ve been told by many who knit them that my patterns are well-written and easy to follow. I firmly believe that this is because I spent a number of years working as a technical writer, documenting complex software systems. I think there is no better preparation for writing knitting patterns — you don’t leave out a step in a user guide for an online acquisition system without disastrous consequences!

So I was pleased to read in the introduction of this book that before becoming a knit-design professional, Kate spent 15 years in the technology industry as a tech writer, documentation specialist, and marketing communications expert.

I feel vindicated.

This book covers pretty much everything you need to know and think about when writing patterns: what needs to be included in a pattern, sizing, schematics, charts, abbreviations, etc. It’s a lot to cover in 300 pages, but after reading through it, I think that anyone who has created an original knitted item and has copious notes could take the advice in this book and turn those notes into a clear pattern that others can follow.

Throughout the book there are snippets of information and advice from other knitting designers, and there are also many callouts from knitters Kate has interviewed titled “Don’t Just Take It From Me” — these are knitting pattern likes and dislikes from real knitters. One of my favorites was from a knitter who said not to describe your pattern as beautiful or exquisite — let her be the judge of that! But seriously, there is a lot of great information in those little callouts — knitters’ pet peeves and things they like to see and things they wish designers would include in patterns.

I’ll tell you right now — I’m keeping this book. While I pride myself on being a good pattern writer, there is always room for improvement, and this book will be a great resource to use for future pattern writing.

If you are a designer or a designer wannabe, you need this book!

Loki Sez:

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I lead such a tough life!

Comments

  1. I have the digital version of the first edition and while I’ve not fully delved into it, I have read a bit and it’s already helped. I may get the physical copy, however, just to have on the shelf. I like actual books for some things…I think this is one of those “some things” where I need a physical book to hold 🙂
    Renee Anne´s last blog post ..WIP Wednesday

  2. The cowl pattern is yummy! I just bought my copy. Thank you for the limited time offer!

    That book looks like an excellent reference. I was a technical writer too. I never considered the parallel before.

  3. Just ordered the book. Sounds like a great addition to my library. Thanks.

  4. That cowl is stunning.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Home Improvement

  5. The stained glass cowl is amazing. Happy belated birthday to Loki!
    Kristen´s last blog post ..A few projects

  6. Sophy0075 says:

    Another beautiful cowl!

    I agree about having a background as a tech editor is a plus when writing knitting patterns. I recall programming in FORTRAN (and typing Hollerith cards!) Plugging in an infinite loop, skipping a sequence, or just putting a card in the wrong order in the deck = a big mess. One definitely has to be organised. ROFL, I was not – so I switched to a different career!

  7. Lovely, lovely cowl! Thanks, too, for sharing your insights on this book, sounds like a good investment.
    Barbara´s last blog post ..Why Knit? 10 Simple Reasons

  8. Catherine S. says:

    Wendy! You killed it: murder in the first degree! BEST cowl pattern on earth. Brava, lovely. <3

  9. The Stained Glass Cowl turned out so beautiful. Pat-pat to Loki.

  10. Cowl is gorgeous! Also, thanks for the review – will have to explore this one :).

  11. GeniaKnitz says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous cowl; thank you for making it available. I think I’m going to have to buy it even though I’m not at all sure I have the skills to knit it, or will have them in this lifetime. But I trust your patterns, and I hate to not at least try new challenges…
    Kiss on the fluffy head of the beautiful Loki.

  12. The cowl is stunning! I love those colors. And, thanks for the review of the book – I went out to amazon and bought it. I don’t know if I’ll be writing any knitting patterns, but you never know.

  13. this really is a beautiful piece of art.

    Patty

  14. Gorgeous! I’ve purchased my copy & I think I have almost every one of your cowl patterns now. I love all of the designs & I’d love to incorporate this motif into a sweater some time.

  15. I have knit eight of your lovely shawls and can attest to how well they are written. Just ordered the Stained Glass cowl pattern. Kate’s book is fabulous and also very well written.

  16. Soxy Jane says:

    Your cowl is beautiful! The colors really glow like a stained glass window.

  17. I love the cowl, such pretty colours!

    I was reading a book last night ‘Knit,Purl,Die’ and was excited to see a nod to your Sprucey Lucy socks pattern!
    Jenny´s last blog post ..Knitting: Spin me a yarn…in public!

  18. The cowl is gorgeous! And thanks for the reduced price on the pattern, Wendy.

  19. I’m haven’t made the leap to multi-color knitting, but your designs always make me consider it. When I take the plunge, I’ll know just where to look for shopping and inspiration!

  20. Your Stained Glass Cowl design is stunning. I don’t knit, so I will stare at knitted items and try to understand how it works, but honestly, it is easier for me to comprehend the bovine digestion process than knotted up yarns! Say hello to Loki for me!

  21. Wow! Your cowl just may be my all time favorite knitted thing. I absolutely LOVE your color choices. I’ve bought the pattern but I may never knit it – I’d be afraid mine wouldn’t begin to live up to yours. 🙂
    Jeannie Gray´s last blog post ..What’s on the knitting needles?

  22. Just ordered the mouse pattern and I didn’t have a place to put the code LOKI and so I was charged for this pattern even though it is April 29 and your post said it would be free through April 30, Just wanted to let you know.