Thursday, August 23, 2007

A yarn about a yarn...

Several weeks back, I came across some delightful Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky in the Pecan colourway and it was love at first sight ;0) I had no idea what I would make with it but it was a deal and even though I dug deep and found the discipline to navigate away from it's page more than once, I kept coming back to admire it. Then one sleepless night, I couldn't resist it anymore and had to have it!

It was as gorgeous in person as I had hoped and I was really eager to knit it up, but what does one knit with 10 balls of chunky tweed anyway? I had it sitting on the top shelf of the yarn closet and my heart fluttered every time I went in there, but I just didn't know what to knit from it. A few weeks went by and I received an order of knitting design books and as I perused them for inspiration for a future annypurls original, I came across the most delightful Norwegian seamless yoked sweater in Ann Budd's The Knitters Handy Book of Sweaters.

Well I just had to knit the copycat version for Julian and couldn't believe my luck when I got to the requirements section and found that it required Rowan Yorkshire Chunky Tweed in the Pecan colourway! That's my yarn!!! That's my yarn ;0)

I needed a few more colours for the fair isle pattern though and really felt some kind of cosmic knitting intervention when I found "flaming" available as a single ball from Jannette's and both "olive oil" and "stout" available from Urban Yarns. And all happened to be on sale - 50% off! Can you say meant to be?

Julian eating corn pops off the sweater.
He poured them there while I was tending to Lolo.
Definately naughty. No eating off the handknits!

I cast on for it at once and was delighted by how quickly it was working up. The gauge was a whopping 3 stitches to the inch! I had the front and back done to the armpits in an evening! The next day it had a sleeve. And before I knew it...

It was all done! Now as soon as I can unknit the neckband, get rid of some decreases and reknit it large enough to fit over my toddlers huge noggin I'll give you a closer look.

Yay knitting karma!!!

PS - Since this whole sweater sized for a 2 year old only used up 3 balls in the main colour and not much of the fair isle colours, I have enough leftover to divvy up as one or two 'kits' if anyone out there is interested in getting the yarn for this sweater... e-mail me at annypurls {at} hotmail {dot} com if you are interested - ALL GONE!

PPS - About my Noro striped scarf from the last post. Debbie and Leslie asked about the yarn I used. It is Noro Kureyon in colours 172, 195 and 213 (2 balls). Jared used Silk Garden in his but I couldn't find any manly-man colours I liked in the Silk Garden (my hubby wouldn't wear anything with purple in it and they all seem to have some purple in them!) so went for the Kureyon instead. In retrospect, I should have looked harder for Silk Garden colours because the Kureyon is a little scratchy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stripey goodness

I finished my Noro Striped Scarf last week but hadn't gotten a chance to capture it gracing the neck of its intended warmee until now...

I have to admit that I really get a kick out of playing photographer and setting up photoshoots of sorts with my husband even though getting nice natural looking photos of him is a challenge. It's not that he isn't nice and natural looking, because he totally is! And charming too ;0) It's just that for some reason when there's a camera nearby, he has this weird compulsion to stand/sit up straight as a board with arms straight down by his sides and a facial expression that brings to mind an 8 year old who just got caught doing something naughty and is *trying* to look innocent. We call it his "er" pose.

The only way to defeat the "er" pose is to try to catch my honey off guard with my wittiest repartee ;0) Heehee! And while it is a lot of fun, it's actually not that effective as the result is many many really blurry laughing action shots that do nothing for the Noro. But such fun! It's what we did Saturday afternoon while both the kids were napping!

For the love of knitting, my goony-googoo put on a warm woolen sweater in 30 degree weather, wrapped himself in a seriously warm scarf and paraded around our backyard while I coaxed him to look pretty, not blink, try to make the scarf look nicer and try to look like there is't a tree growing out of his head! When we were all done, we took it inside probably for another 15 minutes looking for 'good' light! And he humoured me as always because that's the kind of loving man he is.

He sooo earned the Noro ;0)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Snug as a bug... a Trellis! Yup, that's right. It's a zillion degrees and I've got the air conditioning on full blast so that I can enjoy my little lemon drop in his trellis while it still fits!

I don't know why I haven't knit a trellis until now. It's a terrific pattern and is simply delicious knit from Rowan All Seasons Cotton. Bonus: it's a lot easier than it looks. Double bonus: it knits up surprisingly fast in aran weight yarn.

I knit the 6 month size with less than 4 balls from the stash and as soon as I finished it and ascertained that it was a little snug on my growing bundle of warmth, I did what any crazy obsessed knitter would do: I got online and ordered more of the same exact yarn so that I can knit another in the 12 month size because at this rate he'll certainly outgrow this one before the weather cools down enough to wear it ;0)

This little guy is growing way too fast. My knitting simply can't keep up. It's all 12 month plus sized knits for him from here on in. And it makes me really sad because there are so many cute little baby things that I wanted to knit for him. Then again, it's been so warm that even if I had knit all kinds of cute little baby things, they wouldn't have been practical to wear in the summer anyway so I really should give myself a break.

Ah, knitting guilt. Just like parenting guilt. With more fibre ;0)


And now for something completely different! Many of you have asked about the mechanics behind self-publishing a pattern. I'm a complete newbie of course, but have managed to learn a few tricks already with my Buddy Bags pattern. So here's how I did it:

  1. I took careful pattern notes as I knit, then took a zillion shots and made a rough copy using Microsoft Publisher 2007. Once it looked the way I wanted it to, I used Publisher's "convert to pdf" feature to make a pdf.

    If you don't have Publisher, I've heard great things about Primo. It's a free download that allows you to convert documents from any program into a pdf. You can read up on it and download it here.

  2. Once you have a pdf of your pattern, you'll need a place to host it and if you are going to charge for it, a way to accept payments. You can easily do both for a minimal cost using the e-junkie service (there are others like payloadz, but my hubby and I found that e-junkie's offering was much more reasonable fee-wise).

  3. If you choose e-junkie, the rest is really easy. You upload your pdf, set your price and give e-junkie your paypal email. E-junkie gives you code for a "buy now" button you can post on your blog (in a post like I did or a sidebar button - whatever). And that's it!

    Buddy Bags
    an annypurls original pattern available as an instant download for $6

    Buyers click on the button, pay through paypal, and then are taken directly to a page where they can download the file (it is also e-mailed to them). All this takes but a few seconds and is completely automated so that you don't have to do anything else. The money is deposited in your paypal account instantly.

  4. That's all there is to it!
Hope this helps and inspires you to make your original patterns available too ;0)