Thursday, December 16, 2010

more holiday charts

I have a couple more charts for you today, both a little more involved than my previous designs. I haven't had a chance to knit either of them, as I've been busy with some holiday knitting of my own. However, if anyone knits them up in the next week, please send me a photo*, and I'll post it here! I may try them both as swatches, just to make sure they work out as I hope.

The first one has snowy trees, and is done with a dark blue main colour, with light blue and white. I think this would work equally well as a pullover front, or as a border on a dress. You could work the bottom hem in the light blue, like the trees, then work the top of the garment in the dark blue. Some white buttons as accents on the finished garment would look very sweet.

The second is a border with a cardinal-like bird, and some other fair-isle accents. I've drawn it with a striped background in white and grey, but I'm sure it would be fine with a plain background (I was just experimenting). With the design done in bright red and green, it's very Christmasy. However, you could use any 2 seasonal colours, as the design itself is not holiday-themed. I think this would be best as a border on a dress, but it might also work on a pullover front.

To incorporate these charts, first work your hem rows and a plain row or two, then either center the chart on your pullover front, or repeat it around a skirt. (please see this previous post for other garment ideas) Choosing either the main background colour, or one of the others, for the rest of the garment will give you different looks. I've really left lots of options open for you to be creative, so have fun!

*you can email me here: barbara at fuzzymitten dot com

Friday, December 3, 2010

holiday dress charts

I have two new designs for you today, as I was too busy last week to post about one of them. These are both stranded colour-work patterns and are shown worked into the Summer Dress from the Tiger pattern. You simply need to start the chart on row 6 of the skirt, then work the rest of the skirt in your main colour.

Although, if you don't mind doing colour-work back and forth (rather than in the round) you could probably manage to fit them into one of the other dresses knit from fingering weight yarn. The holly border would be especially easy to incorporate in other patterns, since it's only 5 stitches wide and 10 rows tall (I've drawn it 10 stitches wide, or 2 repeats, to make it easier to see).

 Green and Red Border

This could easily be used for a non-holiday dress by substituting other colours, but I think it will look best if you use highly contrasting colours.

Holly or Mistletoe Border

I turned the holly pattern into mistletoe by simply altering the colours (I also added stripes, to make it look a little more defined). I'd meant this dress for a tiger toy, and red berries would have clashed with orange stripes. I think the mistletoe version is lovely and subtle, though.

This time the charts are simply JPG images, so you should be able to right-click on each, and save it to your computer. Then just print them as you would any other image file.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

looking forward

Mr. Mitten and I had a long talk last night about what direction would be best for Fuzzy Mitten in the next year or two. While I still have time for things to continue as usual for a few months, we're expecting another baby in the Spring. As you can imagine, a newborn plus two-year old will make knitting and designing difficult for a while. Added to this is the knowledge that while I can continue to come up with cute new animals for you to knit, in truth most people seem to want just bunnies, teddies, and sometimes kitties.

As well, I feel like to need to stretch myself more as a knitter and designer. I took some time this past Autumn to try a couple different knitting techniques. But I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what is possible with a couple of sticks and string (to paraphrase from the Yarn Harlot). So while I have been trying to refine the toy patterns to make them turn out better with less effort, I think I can do more interesting things with the clothes.

So for the next year or so, we will most likely be revising and republishing a bunch of the toy and clothing patterns, especially those that are still in the old format from 3+ years ago. The toys themselves won't change much, as I will only knit new ones for better photos, and rewrite the pattern in the new format.

The clothing bundles are also in serious need of an overhaul. While I do sometimes have people asking for single clothing patterns, republishing them all separately would be a lot of work, and the number of toy plus clothing patterns would be unwieldy to keep track of (I already have about 50 published patterns). I would also like to design new and more interesting clothing patterns for more advanced knitters.

My thought at the moment is to reorganize them into bundles of 3, at a price comparable to my other patterns. However, there are two options for reorganizing them. One, I could make them into bundles of 3 similar patterns; for example, three variations on one pullover/cardigan. Or two, I could make them into bundles of 3 coordinating patterns; for example, a t-shirt, cardigan, and dress.

If you have a moment, please vote in the poll over on the side, so I can get a better idea of what you would like. Or leave a comment if you have more to say.

Of course, all this reorganization is still a lot of work, so it might happen slower than I would like. It's also going to play havoc with my Ravelry pages, but I'll find a way to deal with that. I hope you look forward to this direction we're headed in, as I think everyone will really benefit from all this house-cleaning. But I'm certain to come up with a new toy once in a while, as I can never stop my brain from coming up with great ideas (usually when I have no time to work on them)!

Well, that was a long post, and barely a sketch of the ideas floating around my head right now. I'll leave you will a cute photo for reading this far.
from Fuzzy Mitten's first Christmas