IT’S HERE! MY FIRST PATTERN! I DESIGNED IT ALL BY MYSELF!
Ahem, and now back to your regularly scheduled programming. No seriously, I am very excited about my pattern. People have been favoriting and queuing for a couple days now, and I was getting anxious because after I wrote it up, it occurred tom e that I needed test knitters to check my work and make sure I didn’t make a mistake! So I dawdled, people found my errors, and now it is finally ready to go, a day late. I’ve been having so much fun watching people favorite and queue the pattern – I’m up to almost 80 hearts! – and cast on and knit it as well.
This was so freeing – I feel like I can design anything now! Now go check out my work, and knit it up if you so desire!
I reknit the mask and it’s gorgeous. It took a bit more yarn than the last one (26 yards), but every design flaw has been mended. I immediately laid it on the table that I use for photographing my yarns and moved everything else away from it so that it didn’t get rumpled. I finally got a chance to photograph it and edit the images yesterday, and I think everything came out pretty well. It was kinda dark outside (ok, raining and miserable), so I decided to go for a moody, spa-like look. I nabbed a crappy candle that I’d never used from one shelf and a shell that was filled with stylish toothpicks from another and shoved them together. Then I prayed that I didn’t set the curtain on fire, since I create my “lightbox” effect by wrapping the white sheers around the table. Oy! Everything went well. I found a wee little mistake in my seed stitch border on the mask (oops!) but it’s tiny and hopefully no will notice or care. Oh, and I used the pink ribbon for color and to mimic the effect of ties (if you are into that sort of thing, which I am not). Here’s some photo p0rn for you:
Oh! And I’ve been working on getting submitted as a pattern designer on Ravelry! It’s harder than it looks, so I’m actually glad I started before my official “release” date, which I randomly decided would be Oct. 1. I got OK’d today, so here’s a link to the page, even though the pattern isn’t up yet. People are already favoriting it!
Hester made me a shawl in 2008, and along with it she gave me the remnants of the Alchemy Silk Purse she used, about 40 yards. I’ve not known what to do with it until now. The first ruched sleep mask I made was out of cotton, and I like the idea of a fanciful silk one as well. Based on how much worsted yarn it took to make my other prototypes, I wanted to attempt a DK weight and see what the difference would be. I knit this yesterday, and, as usual, it worked up quite fast. This yarn seems more like a heavy fingering or sport weight than a DK weight yarn, so I had to knit it on size 4 needles! Shoot me now. I cast on 23 stitches, and surprised myself by only using 22 yards! However, this yarn proved to me that the mask really does have to be knit with worsted weight yarn. I had hoped that a DK weight yarn would make for an even lighter, fluffier mask, but the DK is just too thin for filling in all of those holes between the stitches and its limp as well. It’s meshy even when knit tightly. Since I had the extra yardage, I decided to make up a backing. I cast on 19 stitches, knitting it flat, and used up about 17 yards of yarn. I’m going to alter this backing and add it to my final design as an “extra” element. It’s gorgeous, but not really as useful as my last eye mask. It’ll be a nice eye pillow.
Yey! I am shocked at how fast my masks knit up! It was much harder to actually come up with the design than it was to actually knit them. I did two – one which I am calling my “prototype” and my second one which was perfect. It took me a couple hours to knit them, and I was watching TV and taking notes while I did it, so I think it went pretty well. The hardest part was making sure I got the ruching to look correct – I had to knit and then tink and then scratch out my notes and then reknit and then frog and then recount and reknit multiple times.
I made a seed stitch border, and had to do that a couple different times to make sure I was hiding the cast-on edge and the bind-off as well. I feel like I am teaching myself a lot as I knit this. The first one was a little too large for my head and doesn’t really have great “lift.” I used size US 8s, as your average worsted weight yarn calls for, and after examining it, decided the mask would work much better on smaller needles. I cast on 13 stitches and only used 27 grams yarn, or 24 yards.
For the second prototype I cast on 17 stitches using size US 6 needles, and I could tell right from the beginning that it was working much better. The seed stitch pattern was more even (I had to make sure everything was symmetrical) and instead of a seed stitch band across the nose bridge, which lets in too much light, I just continued the stockinette stitch pattern. Tomorrow I’m going to make a third mask for photographing purposes because this poor mask is so beat up from my ripping back multiple times to get the pattern written correctly.
So I’ve gotten this idea in my head to make a sleep mask. I really dislike all of the sleep mask patterns that are free on Ravelry, for various reasons. Some are wonky-looking, others are padded, and still more are just plain ugly. The problem is that I’m very picky about my eye masks. My uncle bought me an eye mask for Christmas one year when I was in college. It was made of silk and stuffed with lavender, a scent which I absolutely detest, and always lay really heavily on my eyes. Sometimes I actually had trouble falling to sleep because it pressed down on my eyes so much. Luckily, I eventually lost it, and no longer had to suffer with the damn thing anymore.
But a couple nights recently the neighbors have left the lights on, making my bedroom fill will light and giving me a frustrating night’s sleep. So I started contemplating a lightweight mask that wouldn’t lay flat against my eyes. It needed to be gathered, to give it a little lift, and made out of something super-soft, like Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton.
I found a cool, little-used design element – ruching – and then scavenged through patterns on Ravelry for how to do it. I think I know now, but there aren’t really any properly designed free patterns that use this technique, so I’m kind of winging it based on my knowledge of increasing and decreasing and from looking at photos. I’m going to use this very nice cotton/rayon/acrylic blend yarn that I got from my friend Crystal (bradymom29), and I’m hopeful this will work!