Wednesday, 4 December 2013

WIP Wednesday #3 More Garter Stripes

Its been a busy week for the family and my Afloat has been neglected but I have been working on my Bermondsey Shawlette whenever I had the chance.

As you can see I still have quite a bit of yarn from the first skein of each colour and I have a second skein of each so I think I will make it larger than the pattern. Sorry about the poor light and the ipad pic, still need to get my camera fixed.

Its a really fun knit with little details that stop it being boring, here's a closeup of the centre detail:

I'm hoping to make more progress this coming week as I've finally decided the colour for the scallops on the edge - Shibui Sock in Cranberry is on its way from Eat Sleep Knit in the US, from their Black Friday Sale and I want to be ready to use it once it gets here.

That's all for this week but check out my interview over on the Midnight Sky Fibers blog!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

WIP Wednesday #2 - two shawl wips

My Afloat shawl from Wild Prairie Knits is progressing nicely and I'm starting to really get the hang of the lace pattern.

I worked the first repeat from the written instructions and then started following the chart, its a really nice clear large chart that looks great in Goodreader on my ipad mini. I have my usual issue in that my left-handed mirror knitting style means I'm knitting from left to right and reading the chart from right to left but that's OK, I'm used to it.

After a few repeats I have managed to keep knitting by following the lace itself as family members keep monopolising the ipad. I've not done a great amount of lace for a while, mostly yokes or panels on garment and never an edging like this but this one is quite geometric and easy to follow.

Here's a close-up of my lace edge so far:

Unfortunately the other evening I was having a few issues with painful finger and thumb joints, so I decided to give the lace a rest for a day or two and cast on something simpler. (Not knitting for while was considered and quickly discarded as an unacceptable option :0 )

I've been wanting to make Alex Tinsley's Bermondsey Shawlette for quite a while and had snapped the pattern up in the GAL sale, so decided to cast on with two shades of grey in Shibui Sock.

Its a great pattern, very nice little slipped stitch details along the centre line and edges. The colours are Graphite (darker) and Ash (lighter). There's just one problem, I have no idea what to use for the edging!

What colour/yarn would you suggest I use for the edge scallops?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Pairing Game - more fun in the Indie Designers Gift-a-long

Have you heard of the pairing game?

What, I hear you ask, is the pairing game? Sounds like some sleazy sort of matchmaking?!

Well, its matchmaking of the yarn-loving kind, as described in the first post of the competition thread by EchoChiKnits aka Lindsay Lewchuck:-

Your mission, should you choose to accept is to match a yarn (or prize) from the prize list here with a pattern from one of our 177 indie designers and tell us why it is a good fit.
This thread will be the only thread receiving the random select trivia questions for the next two weeks (‘til Nov. 30th). It is a chatter thread, because when it comes to yarn who can keep silent, but note, only posts with the following 3 criteria will be eligible for the random select trivia question and subsequent prize.
The post must:

  1. Link a yarn (or prize) from the prize list here
  2. Link a pattern from one of our 177 designers
  3. Tell us why it is a great pairing One more thing, to make it truly your own, you may not use a pattern where the specified yarn by the designer is the yarn you selected from the list!

The prizes are pattern downloads, and no, you don't win the pattern and yarn you suggested, although that would be uber-cool, but any of the donated pattern prizes would be fun to win.

Designers (like me) aren't eligible to enter but I'm still enjoying reading all the entries and chatting. And right at the start it solved a problem that I've had for some time.

A yarn problem, you say? Well yes, do you ever have yarns that just won't tell you what they want to be?

Some time ago I bought three skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino in Ravelry Red, only to discover that it is not quite the usual bright red of Raverly Red in sock or Rios or the other pure wools, because of the silk. Its a bit more pinky rather than true red. And I've been confused about what to do with it ever since.

And there it was, in Post 4, the greatest suggestion from another raveler, to pair the two skeins of Ravelry Red Malabrigo Silky Merino donated by Triona Murphy  with the pattern Inganess by Lucy Hague. Now Inganess has been in my queue before, on more than one occasion, but as I try to keep my queue short and only for the things that I will do soon, it had dropped off (I use my favourites for things I might do one day).

I can't wait to cast on an pretty red Inganess now, but I am going to stick to my Afloat at least until the end of the striped section before I let myself.

Have you found a serendipitous pairing of stash yarn and pattern?



Wednesday, 20 November 2013

WIP Wednesdays #1

I've just discovered WIP Wednesdays over at Tami's Amis!

That's Work in Progress Wednesdays for the uninitiated, no whips involved at all (although you can amiguri anything I'm sure).

Here's what I'm working on at the moment, an Afloat shawl by Cindy Garland of Wild Prairie Knits. I'm using Malabrigo Finito in Natural (cream), Azules (blues) and Cereza (dark red) for a colour combo much like the designers original sample.

My camera battery has died recently and I need to order a replacement so we're stuck with the fairly poor, badly lit, ipad shot, but you can see the stripes are coming along nicely.

Finito is wonderful to knit with, I asked in the Malabrigo Junkies group on ravelry if they thought I should prewash and they suggested that I do, and to use woolwash not just water. So all the skeins got a bath in Soak on Sunday night and dried very quickly looped around the drying rack. And its lovely, just like knitting a cloud. When I started it was like I could see the yarn but not really feel it!

What's on your needles this week?

Indie Designers Gift-a-long

I'm a bit tardy in posting this here but I've been helping out with a huge Ravelry event this month, the Indie Designers Gift-a-long!

Over 170 designers, tons of patterns and the biggest list of prizes I've ever seen!

You can check out the prizes, including yarn and equipment and pattern downloads, here.


Need some help in deciding what to knit? A team of dedicated designers pinned all the patterns on Pinterest, links to all the boards are on Ravelry here.

I'm helping with the moderating duties in the Garments and Baby and Child threads, drop in an say hello. I'm also knitting some things myself, more on that in another post.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

New pattern release - Corlette Point Shawl

Released in September, this is Corlette Point, a semi-circular / crescent shaped shawl in Malabrigo Sock.

Corlette Point is on introductory sale all through October 2013, 20% off.

Recent pattern releases - Merewether Vest or Tank Top

I've been a bit slack about this blog for a while, but I have been busy designing!

My first garment pattern was released a couple of months ago, Merewether is sleeveless vest or tank top (depending on your yarn choice), in DK to worsted weight, this sample in Madelinetosh DK Twist, with projects on ravelry in Malabrigo Rios, Wollmeise DK and many others.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Why WPI and ply?

Technically the ply of a yarn is about how its made, the number of plies (spun singles) that are plied (twisted or spun) together to make the yarn not how thick it is.

But here in Australia and in some other countries we are used to talking about ply as thickness. When I was a kid it wasn't problem as the available yarns were all made up of a certain number of similar strands and the 5 ply was made of 5 singles plied, the 8 ply was made of 8 plies and so on, and then thickness increased as the number of plies increased, making it easy for the two concepts to become one.

But in the US and more commonly now in Australia yarn thickness is specified by a category such as fingering or worsted and by a measure of thickness called WPI or Wraps Per Inch. You can buy little tools to measure the wraps per inch or you can just use a ruler or piece of dowel etc, (remembering that an inch is 2.5cm in metric), you can find more details on this page from

This can be quite confusing for people who are used to the 8ply 12ply etc system when they come across a 3 ply chunky weight like my favourite Malabrigo Chunky for example.

<photo to be added here>

Raverly has to translate yarn weights across all the different systems so they have put together a standard system as shown here.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Knit a Free pattern to earn Salvation Jane for free!

Sorry I've been missing, very busy with all my Malabrigo March KALs and CALS!

I'm offering a different type of special this month, if its successful I will offer more similar ones in the future, you can


The first pairing is Winglette Cowl (free) and Salvation Jane and the deadline for completed Winglette Cowls is 30 April 2013.

You will need a Raverly account to participate. You can download the Winglette Cowl pattern for free and if you knit one and fill out a ravelry project page for it, I will send you a Ravelry code for a free copy of Salvation Jane. Your project page must be linked to the pattern and must include at least one photo of your finished cowl, and be done by the end of 30 April 2013 in  your timezone. I will send codes via Ravelry personal message in the first week of May and you will have all of May 2013 to use your code to download Salvation Jane! Once you have Salvation Jane you will get any updates even after the end of May, just as you would if you had paid for it.

This is Winglette Cowl:-

and these are Salvation Jane:-

Salvation Jane is fast becoming my go-to pattern for quick one-skein gifts!

Friday, 8 March 2013

New Pattern Release Salvation Jane neckwarmer

Finally had a small photo shoot this week and now Salvation Jane is released:

Its joining Jelly Beanie and Affogato in my Malabrigo March sale, 50% off with code "malafy".

Monday, 4 March 2013

Malabrigo March begins

Sorry that I've been missing in action for a couple of weeks but I've been busy with life and planning for the wonderful month-long celebration that is Malabrigo March in the Malabrigo Junkies forum on ravelry.

As part of the Malabrigo March 2013 celebrations, Jelly Beanie and Affogato are both 50% off, you will need the discount code "malafy".

I'm still trying to find time to get good photos for my new pattern Salvation Jane, but at least I've started the "malafy" process by knitting it up in a mal base, here it is in Twist, uses three-quarters of a skein:-

I've also knitted up a lovely hat in one of the MM13 KALS, its called Piccola Dolce by the wonderful Nina Machlin Dayton. Its in Silky Merino (my first malabrigo love) in Velvet grapes, Plum Blossom and Arlene's Purples. Here's a quick pic:-

I'll post better pics as we move through the month.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

New pattern release - Affogato hat

I've released a new pattern today, its called Affogato after the coffee that's made from a scoop of ice-cream with a shot of expresso poured over it. The colours in the yarn I used really reminded me of the delicious coffee ice creams swirls.

My sample is made in Cleckheaton Perfect Day 8ply but its suitable for any worsted weight or heavy DK yarn. It uses three colours, small amounts of two colours for the striped band and approx 100-120 yards of the main colour.

I had a heap of great testers in the Free Pattern Testers group who found lots of my errors and all made lovely projects. I hope you enjoy Affogto too!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Getting ready for Mal March

A lot has been going on this week with some new etsy purchases and progress on my L1 shawl but I'm a bit pushed for time tonight so just a quick one.

The Malabrigo Junkies on raverly have started planning for the Malabrigo March celebrations and have opened a thread to propose KALs and CALs. I've been wanting to make this gorgeous lace shawl called rosebud from tincan knits:-

I have some malabrigo finito in the lovely reddish Cereza to make it with and it will be my first all-over lace project and only my second triangular shawl.

So I posted to the thread suggesting it and pointing out that so far there aren't any completed projects (at least none with pics) in any of the malabrigo yarns.

Surprise surprise, next morning my raverly messages included a free copy of the pattern!
Thanks so much tincanknits!!!

I really can't wait to get started but we're not allowed to cast on until 1st March.

I hope that lots of people will vote for this as one of the KALs, we have until 17th Feb to propose patterns and until 19th Feb to vote (by clicking love) in this raverlry thread. Please come and have a look, so many lovely patterns have been proposed.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Free pattern - drop stitch scarf in Noro Taiyo

When I knitted this scarf I added a comment to my raverly project page that I would write up the pattern "when I get time". Well its taken three-and-a-half years, but better late than never, right?

Sunlight Scarf by Sygneture Designs

Measurements: Approx 22cm (9 inches) wide and 170cm (5 feet 6 inches) long

Materials and equipment: 2 Balls of Noro Taiyo (actually uses about 1.5 balls), 40% Cotton 30% Silk 15% Nylon (Polyamide) 15% Wool. Pair of 5.5mm US 9 knitting needles.

Cast on 32 stitches.
Rows 1- 6: Knit.
Row 7: Knit, wrapping yarn around needle twice on each stitch.
Row 8: Knit, dropping extra loop of yarn.
Tip: you will now have elongated stitches under the needle. If you are new to this technique check that you still have 32 stitches.
Rows 9-12: Knit.
Repeat rows 7-12 until scarf measures the desired length. Cast off, run in ends and block gently.

There is enough length in two balls of Taiyo for a wider or longer scarf but Noro yarns are hand spun and are notorius for not keeping the colour sequence in order. I had to chop and rejoin a bit but didn't have too much trouble getting my colour sequence to repeat and making sure that I used all the pretty pink sections in my yarn.

Pattern links added

Just a quick one to say that I've started adding my patterns to the Sygneture Designs page, the links go back to but no raverly login is required to purchase.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Suzy KAL linen scarf - Part 1

In the last year or so I've started participating in knit-a-long's (KALs) on ravelry. One of them has me trying out, and enjoying, a new yarn with a fibre that I normally avoid.

I've always found that linen dresses and shirts have to be VERY carefully selected or they irritate my skin. But I really like chainette construction yarns, which are like little french knitted tubes, so when I saw the close-up of the Shibui Linen I decided to put aside my fibre prejudice and join in.

This KAL is being hosted by Canberra-based mostly online yarn shop Suzy Hausfrau, who have just started stocking the Shibiu yarns. The pattern is a free one, a large scarf with an unusual stripe pattern by Antonia Shankland, called simply L.1. I'm using navy, ivory and apple colours, the apple is a lovely acid green, not too strong or too yellow.

Here's what I've achieved so far

Have you put aside your fibre prejudices and ended up with a success?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

ipads need fashion too!

The summer break has brought a lot of new things into my knitting life, and a couple of them came together over this weekend. My husband and kids convinced me that I should get an ipad of some description, and after much thought and a few visits to the new Canberra Apple Store I finally chose an ipad mini. I've become quite attached to it (understatement) and use it everywhere.

I'm also in several design related groups on Ravelry and after some initial trepidation I put one of my new ideas up for testing in the Free Pattern Testers group. It was a great experience and I have been really enjoying interacting with my testers so I think I will keep doing putting my new designs up there.

While I was checking on my testing threads late last week, a call from another designer caught my eye, Danna Rachel had put up a call for testing of ipad sizes of her previously published Cozy Fire Kindle Cover. So given that "mini" has become such an important part of my life I thought I would put my hand up as a tester.

So here's my Outfit for Mini

Its a really fun project and a great chance to try a new cast-on and practice a cast-off that I had only used once before. I used Judy's Magic Cast-on and Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, refering to Cast On Bind Off 54 Step-by Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor. I highly recommend them and wish I had discovered them much earlier in my knitting career.

What technqies have you recently come across that you wish you'd found before?

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Swans and Cygnets

Behold, a banner!

Late last year were very fortunate to be able to watch the growth of a beautiful family of swans on our local pond network, with four beautiful cygnets.

Swans are very attentive parents and they reminded me of my own family, hubby and me always shepherding our four boys around. Now that they are getting older (eldest is 17 and the youngest 8) I also think its time that I have something for me, a larger slice of my life to be quintessentially Sharon. So this is where the name "Sygneture Designs" was born, from a combination of cygnets and signature.

I really must get a logo made, not sure that I have the skills to do that myself at this point.

Bargain buys and blog beginnings

Yesterday while I was eating lunch and hanging out on the raverly forums on my ipad mini I noticed a post from a fellow raveler in the Canberra Crew group, who had spotted copies of Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel at a local discount bookshop for only $5. Now I don't normally buy knitting books, because, well, money is really for YARN isn't it? But $5 is pretty cheap and I'd looked at this book in the past so I thought I would check it out.

On my way home from work I stopped in at the Canberra Centre and after quite a bit of looking I found the books right in front of me (if it was a snake it would have bitten me as my Mum used to say :-) ) picked one up and headed to the checkout. The assistant only asked for $2.50, apparently they were having a half price sale! I can hardly believe it could be so cheap.

Doyou have this book? Have you made anything from it? I think the Back to School U-neck Vest was the main reason I'd looked at this book before so I've added it to my raverly queue. Perhaps I should cast-on on Tuesday as my boys all go back to school after the summer holidays then?

After a late dinner I started working on the blog a bit more, found the raverly wiki with all the buttons etc but still need to learn a bit more to get them in. Technically I know html or at least I learnt it a long time ago but I haven't really done much with it, so bear with me whilst I get up to speed.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Diving into design

I've been an avid ravelry user for a long time and among the many things I've discovered is how wonderful malabrigo yarn is, sooooo soft against the skin. So I joined the Malabrigo Junkies group on the ravelry forums.

In October 2012 the Mal Junkies ran a Stockpile Designer Challenge, for designs made in one skein of one of the highly varigated colourways in any of the Malabrigo bases. And this finally stopped me procrastinating and have a go at designing. Luckily there were some highly varigated skeins in my stash (however did that happen) and I start on the idea of a hat, even though I haven't made many hats.

The puzzle of how to stop the short colour repeats pooling was soon solved by the notion that short rows should be incorporated, then I moved onto how do you arrange short rows around a head?

So I started to fiddle with the idea of going around the head and having the end of the row as the top of the crown. Except that when I started actually knitting it showed me that the edge with fewer rows was shorter but it wasn't very short, it would need gathering in to become a crown point. Hmmmm

And then I remembered one of the hats I'd made previously, to the Hannah pattern from Blake Erlich (free on raverly), which is a hat with an opening for your ponytail. I made mine in the bright purple Jacinto Malabrigo Chunky

and it turned out really well

So now I was thinking that I'd make it a ponytail hat and the short side would fit around my highish ponytail.

So after some fiddling about and a first version that only partly worked, I had this one

As part of the competition we could call for test knitters from the group and I am so grateful for their efforts and suggestions etc. Really felt like I could so this once I saw them actually wearing their hats made from my pattern. To keep with the pony theme and make it Australian I called it Brumby Jill (a Brumby is the Australian equivalent of Mustang, a wild horse).

Hello World

Hi I'm Sharon and I've started a great adventure, more than 40 years after making up my first improvised project (a peaked cap for my Snoopy plush dog) I've finally become a knitting and crochet designer.

Come and say "hello"and share the delights of swanning about with yarn...