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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
I lead such a tough life!