technical editing

A new path has emerged over the past few months. I am excited to finally share that I have branched into the field of technical editing!

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I first started test knitting and “looking over” patterns for sock designer Josiah Bain almost two years ago. This evolved into actual tech editing rather than taking a casual-glance-for-errors. It is him that I have  to thank for giving me the practice and opportunity to jump into this new field!

I am completing an online technical editing course to solidify my skills while working on growing my client base of knitting designers. To date, I have completed 15 pattern edits in 2016. The majority of them came to me in the past three months.

Check out more information on my tech editing page. My rate is reasonable (if I do say so myself!!), and I currently have a turnaround time of less than a week if needed.

I am so humbled that a knitting designer would seek my input for modifications and improvements to their patterns. The knitting community is amazing!

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Special thanks to Caitlin Anderson, an awesome graphic designer that created my new logo from a sketch I sent to her!

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As always, thanks for reading!

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un/selfish knitting

 

Time away from blogging has led me to discover new knitting challenges: knitting exclusively from stashed yarn AND knitting for others. Because challenges don’t happen very often, this called for a blog post on a calendar date that also doesn’t happen very often!

Reality finally sunk in, and I realized that I might be near SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy).

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Yikes! 9 big totes plus 3 under-bed totes (and loose yarn on top of totes).

This, along with participating in a “Stash Down” Knit-A-Long, led me to become less selfish and to spread the knitting love to others. For the first two months of 2016, I finished 7 projects – with only three projects for myself! Four projects were surprise gifts, and one is waiting for the perfect recipient. I also have 2 WIPs that are surprises!

It has been extremely satisfying to find a “project / person match,” and then to give the finished item as a surprise. It was difficult at first to not hoard ALL THE YARN, but I am starting to get over that. (Except my Malabrigo yarn. No one touches that…..!)

So far, I made two hats for my nephew. One was a part of a KAL with the designer, and it was a great chance to use up leftovers.

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The Collina Hat pattern can be found on Ravelry. I used Knit Picks Swish Worsted.

The second hat included input from my nephew, specifically the colors and design. He LOVES it. 🙄

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This is his Dragons hat – he has been reading the Wings of Fire novel series, so this is a great match for his current interest. 🙂 Pattern is based on the free Red Dragon Chart!

I also finished two cowls:

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This is the 8th cowl I knit from the Collina Cowl pattern. I seriously love knitting it that much. This particular project ended up as a late Christmas gift.

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It probably looks like I live in a cave from my very poorly lit photos. Hey, I just call it real life. Also, this was the 10th Collina Cowl that I have knit….

Finally, I knit my sister some slipper socks while on vacation.

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This is an awesome free pattern, Simple House Slippers. I used two strands of different yarn held together.

I am almost done with a cardigan that I have owed my mom since last Mother’s Day (oops). I finished the knitting on February 28 and just have the seaming left!

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Hey! There is actually a sweater forming there! Pattern is Connie, available on Ravelry.

It’s been difficult to get over my selfish knitting hump, but I think I have reached the point of realizing the fun of surprising others with a gift that took so much time and thought.

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test knit: Winter Rain

Autumn Rain pocket
Can you tell the ribbed edges and pocket are differently shaded than the body? I did not alternate in those areas.

Blogging is hard. I don’t post regularly, and then when I come back after a few months, I feel like I have to write a novel about the knitting I have done since my last blog post. So, I have a new challenge for myself (maybe a new year’s resolution?). I am going to keep posts to 300 words or less, minus photo captions!

So I present my latest test-knit sweater: Winter Rain by Jenn Emerson. The title is quite apt for the weather we’ve had in Minnesota – lots of rain, no snow, and warmer-than-usual weather. But it’s still been great sweater weather, and I have been getting a lot of use out of this fantastic piece!

Beautiful fall foliage…except it’s December now.

Autumn Rain Close Up

Look at those colors…I chose Malabrigo Rastita in Piedras.

Autumn Rain backside

A slightly fuzzy photo of the backside. But my hair bun looked cool, so I HAD to include this photo.

The idea for test knitting started way back in July – I first saw her post a photo of her sweater on Instagram, and I immediately knew I had to be a part of her test knit. I ordered Malabrigo Rastita from awesome Mr. Yarn and labeled the yarn as a self-chosen birthday present that my parents could give me in August. (Heheh, this is an excellent way to get more yarn in your stash.)

Malabrigo Rastita

I’m drooling – look at that color!

It was a relaxing knit, minus the meticulous pre-planning I did in order to alternate my skeins due to slightly different shadings of yarn dye.

Autumn Rain pocket

Can you tell the ribbed edges and pocket are differently shaded than the body? I did not alternate in those areas.

I also thought I had the perfect buttons for the “cowl” neck – but then my buttonholes turned out too small, so I had to find new buttons. And guess what…I found some awesome wood buttons at no other place but Wal-Mart.

Autumn Rain neck

An obligatory square photo from my Instagram account. (Click the photo to see my Instagram account!)

I LOVE the neck, the kangaroo pocket, and the subtle princess body shaping. It’s a new favorite! For you knitters, check out my VERY detailed notes on my Ravelry project page.

And just in case you’re wondering: word count 300! 😉

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101 Little One-Skein Wonders for Babies (a.k.a, I’M PUBLISHED ! ! !)

Make sure you check it out on Ravelry!

So I have some exciting news.

I definitely have a hard time keeping secrets/surprises, so this was a terribly difficult one to keep. And, I’ve been keeping it since spring 2014.

I HAVE A DESIGN PUBLISHED IN A BOOK!!! 🙄

101 Little One-Skein Wonders for Babies is a fantastic new book that is perfect for using up those one skeins of yarn we all have laying around (I think this book will be especially great for the acrylics that I have saved since I first started knitting, since I have graduated to using finer yarns!).

Here it is!

Here’s the book !

My Hootenanny Hat of Owls design is a simple hat in sizes to fit babies and children from 0-3 months to 3-5 years. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed worsted weight yarn, and it took much less than one 50 gram skein.

IT'S A HAT OF OWLS!

Photo © Geneve Hoffman Photography. Used with permission.

The funny thing is that: (1) I don’t have any photographed photos of this actually on a baby, and (2) I don’t HAVE a baby (or a child). And this is the design that gets published. 😉

However, this book is quite appealing to me because: (1) They are all quick, one-skein projects, (2) Good to use up “first acrylic” yarn as mentioned, and (3) The projects are perfect to have on hand for gifting – I’m thinking those baby showers and birthdays, etc, that always sneak up on me!

I based this design on my Hootenanny Band [of owls] for teenagers and adults.

Owls owls owls!!

Now with two owl patterns on Ravelry, I am offering both for just $2.00 (USD)! All you have to do is buy either ONE of the patterns above, and you will get the second one for free. Past purchases do count, so if you have already bought the headband, make sure you download the hat!

I would love to see your version of the Hootenanny Hat of Owls, whether that’s through email, Instagram, Facebook, or Ravelry. I hope you (and your babies and children) enjoy it!

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everything is awesome

This sweater just might become my favorite!

I have a hard time saying “no” to yarn and needles. Case in point: I was on a spending spree earlier this spring and summer, buying yarn left and right. It felt like I had a package arriving everyday in the mail! I vowed that I would slow down, and I marked July 27th as my last yarn purchase date (it was a Knit Picks order). I have actually been knitting from my stash, including accessories and even a couple sweaters. (My yarn diet worked up until Mr. Yarn‘s anniversary sale – more on that below.)

Even though I have been resisting new yarn, I have not been able to resist and say “no” to new patterns. Autumn is my favorite season, and I feel like I just HAVE to have like 10 more knit sweaters!

This is very accurate right now. (Or maybe it always was.)

Currently, I have 5 sweaters in progress (6 if you count one that’s been hibernating for over a year). Three are tests, the fourth is part of a Knit-Along (KAL), and the fifth has been patiently waiting since March from Malabrigo March.

I do have to thank two very patient designers as part of the sweater tests; I am just a tad behind on the knitting! But, I think it will be worth the wait. Here’s a peek at the tests:

First up is a sweater that is way overdue. I’m stranded on the Island of Finishing! I just have the upper front and back to finish, some blocking, sewing, and I will be done.

So close…sleeves are already done!!

Second is my Birthday Sweater, or also known as the Coat of Many Colors. This is Malabrigo Rastita yarn that I bought online from Mr. Yarn in July, and told my parents that I had taken care of their birthday present to me. Hee hee!

I am so close to getting this one done – I am further than the latest photo. I only have one more sleeve to go!

This sweater just might become my favorite!

This sweater just might become my favorite! I hope to post about the final product next week! 🙂

The third sweater test was started on September 1st and is due October 21st. It’s a worsted weight – cable – texture – cardigan! I am loving how it’s looking.

Lower body portion = done. Now just two sleeves and the top of the sweater!

The last sweater that I want to share quick is part of the Joji Fall KAL on Ravelry. My track record with actually participating in KALs isn’t that great, but so far I am proud of my progress on her Recoleta sweater pattern:

LOL you can’t even tell what this is. I recommend checking out the link above to actually see what the sweater looks like…

Overall, I never thought I would get addicted to sweater knitting. But here I am, drowning in a pile of wooly goodness! I guess I’d rather drown in yarn than other things, though.

Finally, I have managed to keep myself busy by proofing a few patterns for Josiah Bain’s new sock pattern releases (check out his awesome new sock pattern!), being asked to knit a sample pair of socks with provided yarn (yes, that means yarn I did not pay for!), and also buying yarn (yes, I did pay for that).

This awesome, lovely, so-soft yarn was courtesy of Anne of Wooly Wonka Fibers. I’ll be knitting a sample of her latest socks!

And, presenting the yarn that I did pay for (which broke my yarn diet). I just couldn’t help myself with Mr. Yarn’s anniversary sale…

First order: 7 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in Polar Morn. And surprise, surprise – I am going to make a sweater!

Second order: As if the first wasn’t enough, I decided I needed more. This time, Malabrigo Rios in Liquid Ambar. And yes, this will grow up to be a sweater too! Shocking, I know.

So, there you have it. Looks like a lot going on, but I prefer to think that Everything is going AWESOME-ly !

Speaking of Awesome, check back next Sunday for a post about my first book-published knitting pattern!!! EEEEEKK!!

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2015 state fair results

Ribbons Ribbons Ribbons!
Ribbons Ribbons Ribbons!

Ribbons Ribbons Ribbons!

It’s been much too long since I have updated my blog, and I thought that getting back into it with a “winning” story would do the trick!

Annd, cue the drum’s “ba-dum-tsh” for my poor pun.

I wish I could say that I spent this summer lounging about the patio, sipping lemonade, in between family actives and horseback riding. Alas, work and grad school did get in the way of that ideal dream. But somehow I still managed to have time for knitting. I entered 8 projects at the state fair this year!

If you have read my post from last year’s fair, I mentioned that the judges provide a scoresheet with comments for each project. This year’s comments were a little sparse and unimaginative. It must have been a long judging day…

I didn’t get a full run of 1st – 5th place ribbons like last year, but I scored awfully close to placing on most. And, I did get 3 ribbons total! My highest-placed project this year was my Monsoon Shawl. I first blogged about this in my series of posts about Malabrigo March – I started and finished this shawl during the month of March!

There it is! Right in the middle (with the wrong side showing…).

I received a 2nd out of 13 entries in the “Heavyweight Shawl” category. I was only docked because the judges thought the pattern was hard to see with the variegated yarn. I guess they don’t share the same affinity as I do with Malabrigo Rios…

I think this photo shows it off a little better…too bad the judges couldn’t see this. 😉

The next project that did well was my Crosshatch Pullover, also knit within one month and also with Malabrigo Rios. This was a test knit, and I also knit it during Malabrigo Stockpile in the Malabrigo Junkies Ravelry group. It was also the first sweater I knit using Malabrigo!

You can actually see my sweater pretty well in the sweater pile! Haha.

And like the shawl, it looks much better when worn!

This sweater was entered in the “Adult Plain Pullover”and received 4th out of 7 entries. All that was left on my scorecard was that this was an “attractive design” and I had “very nice work.”

(You might be getting a kick out of the different class names, so here’s a fun fact: There are 11 different Adult Sweater categories, depending on stitches and textures and single or multiple colors. So things are judged pretty well against other similar projects.)

Last but not least, I received a 5th place on my Vertizontal socks. This was one of my favorite projects to knit, as it drew a lot of attention from other knitters in my knitting group and when I knit in public (I really did get a lot of comments – even non-knitters asked what I was making!). I bought the yarn in April and was waiting for the perfect pattern for it. Although I was predicting a higher placing than 5th (I got 1st in this category last year), I am happy with how I did since there were a few secret, teeny tiny mistakes. 🙄 Oops!

So bright! You couldn’t miss them in the case! (And that’s my cabled sweater on the pink hanger in the background.)

These were so fun to make. Seriously, they deserve their own blog post. 🙂

These were entered in the “Plain Socks” class, and out of 21 entries total, I guess 5th isn’t too bad! The judges left “Wow!” on my comment sheet, as well as “very interesting construction.” If you are a knitter, go download this free pattern from Ravelry right now! (Or, after reading the rest of my post!)

The last 5 projects I entered were all pretty close, as I mentioned. My Whakamārie Top was a test knit I did this summer, and received a score of 94 in the “Sleeveless Sweater or Vest” class. That means I was ONE POINT away from placing 5th! There were 10 entries.

I used Malabrigo Rios on this one too…surprise, surprise! I think I see a trend!

Another project that I scored a 94 on was my Happy Hat. I whipped this up as part of Malabrigo March, in just one day! I didn’t think I would do well, since the “Textured Hat” class is very tough and always full of beautiful, intricately cabled hats. However, a score of 94 also means here that I was ONE POINT away (again) from placing! I was pretty excited about this for a last minute project I decided to enter. 🙂 There were 27 entries!

(The hat I entered last year had actual cabling and placed lower, which I find interesting…I guess cabled hats aren’t my forte.)

Hee hee, this is how it was displayed – at the bottom of a case, on a bucket-type thingy.

The next project scored a 93, which I was also ecstatic about. This project was in the “Lightweight-Yarn” Shawl class, and is one of the hardest classes in my opinion. This score meant I was at 6th or 7th place – and there were 42 entries! The judges only judge the top 25 if there are that many projects, so it was great to even have a comment card on this one.

This project also deserves its own blog post…someday that will happen! For now, you can check out my Romantic TML project on Ravelry here.

Coming in slightly lower, my Blanca Cable sweater was another test knit. It scored 93, and was in a class of 15 sweaters. This one DID get its own blog post (check it out here), and I wasn’t sure what to expect in the “Adult Texture Pullover” class for my first time. After looking at the winners in this class, I realized I need to step up my cabling game. They had cables going ALL OVER the place and in some crazy directions!

It was winter when I finished this, but I have been waiting all year to wear it, as I wanted to keep it nice for the fair. 😉

Last but not least was a pair of socks that scored 92 in the “Texture Sock” class out of 18 entries. These were also a test knit that I completed earlier this year. I thought they wouldn’t do as well as others because the cabling wasn’t too difficult, which I was correct on. But I thought they were just too pretty to not enter. 🙂

Overall, I was coming from high expectations with all of the ribbons I won last year. But, after seeing the tough competition and extremely beautiful projects that I was up against, I am very happy with how I did.

So, without further ado, let the 2016 project planning commence!! 😉 (Actually, it already has commenced. As soon as I drop off my projects, I plan for the next year!)

Hopefully the next blog post won’t be as slow as this one was. To keep you satisfied until then, here is a fat-, calorie-, and grease-free photo for you to savor:

Ooooohhh yeahh, a double cheese burger. And Pepsi.

Ooooohhh yeahh, a double cheese burger. And Pepsi. I was at the fair this year for 5 WHOLE DAYS, out of the entire 12, so I had my fill of fair food!

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malabrigo march hangover

It’s May 28th. And I still have projects, and no recent blog posts, about Malabrigo March. Yes, MARCH. 

Where does that mysterious thing called “time” go? …I think I am knitting in a Malabrigo-induced stupor.

Real Life has actually just been busy with grad school, work, and other things such as knitting and beautiful spring weather. Because of all of the above, this blog has been a little sparse! But, I thought I should give you an update on my original Mal March projects (find blog post 1 here and blog post 2 here) so I can move past those and blog about other knitting news!

I finished two projects in my last post, and since then, I have finished the shawl, second cowl, and pair of mittens.

Here was my progress on March 28:

Look at that progress!

Sarcastic comments added at no extra charge.

And here is my progress as of today! (Skeins and balls of yarn have been removed, so I feel like I accomplished more and thus feel better about myself.) 🙄

Is it weird if I want to roll around in this pile of knit Malabrigo yarn?

Is it weird if I want to roll around in this pile of knit Malabrigo yarn?

Of course, March has already passed, so me finishing any more of these projects doesn’t count for any special prize, except that I am getting closer to finishing what I started!

Let’s start with the most striking project, or so I think. I actually did finish this on March 27, but didn’t get photos in time for my last blog post.

The Monsoon Shawl by Angela T. (or, my “Mal Hug” as I call it on Ravelry), was definitely an exercise in lace for me. I do not knit lace very often, and I think there is good reason for that. I thought this pattern would be easy; it calls for worsted weight yarn, and BIG needles (US 10.5, to be exact). On the other hand, regular lace would use lace or fingering weight yarn (a.k.a. “kite string,” as my Significant Other refers to it) and veeeery small needles (smaller than US 10.5, at least). No problems, right? WRONG. I had to rip back rows about 100 different times (or so it felt), because of all the silly mistakes I made. Plus, I felt like such a dummy when I couldn’t read the simple chart for the edging at the end, as I thought I was on my way to becoming a Master Chart Reader. Plus, when I finished it, the shawl looked teeny tiny compared to what the pattern showed (I ALMOST ripped it all out. Then I gave blocking a try, and it was magic.)

Oh, well; all of that mental sweat was worth it!

Do I hear collective “ooo-ing” and “ahhh-ing”? 😉

It used just over 2.5 skeins of Rios, which is not bad at all. Also, since Rios grows like crazy when blocked, this shawl turned out huge! (I should have known it would all work out okay.)

Look at that wingspan!

Actually, it was quite crazy to see just how much it grew before and after blocking.

Yes, dear readers, that is the same yard stick (36″) in both photos. Notice a difference in the shawl’s size…?

For good measure, here’s one more finished photo:

I am doing my best to project a “Little House on the Prairie” feeling in this shot, with the shawl-over-the-shoulders style.

If you are interested, check out my Mal Hug on Ravelry for more photos and detailed notes about my project!

The second project that I have not written about yet was my second Collina Cowl by Jenn E.. (And if knitting 2 of the same pattern wasn’t enough, I just technically finished my 4th Collina Cowl this past Tuesday. Yikes. Guess I like this pattern.)

LOOK AT THAT COLOR

I used leftover yarn from my Malabrigo Stockpile sweater I knit last October; it equaled exactly one skein of Rios.

Can you tell where I changed skeins? 😉 But that’s okay, since you can’t see that when I am wearing it:

I love it I love it I love it

Check out my project notes here on Ravelry for my Mal Cowl, take 2!

And finally, I finished the pair of mittens. While these mittens and the above cowl did not make the March deadline, it was still satisfying to finish them fairly quick!

Trestlewood Mittens by Heidi A.

I used Malabrigo Worsted in the color Garden Gate. These are a fantastic match with my new hot pink winter coat!

It’s always good to finish mittens in May, when it’s nice and warm out. NOT.

Here’s my project page for my Trestlewood Mittens, if you are interested in seeing my slight modifications!

Overall, I’d say it was a successful first Mal March. I may or may not be plotting already for next year!

If you’d like more day-by-day updates, rather than once or twice a month updates, check out my profiles below on Facebook, Instagram, or Ravelry!

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