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.