I was so excited to see that my pattern, the Mini Mania Scarf, was featured in Brownie Knits video podcast on YouTube in December. She’s got a great “vodcast” as they sometimes call them, and it was great seeing someone’s finished Mini Mania Scarf live and in action. Enjoy watch her show:
Often in the wee hours of the night when I’m shipping out a large group of orders for the morning mail run, I try to imagine who the people are that these goodies are going to. While I’ve gotten to know my repeat customers over the years, everyone starts out as a stranger. So I enjoy writing thank you notes and gathering context clues from nicknames and addresses – is Kathy from Menlo Park a fun grandmother knitting for a passel of family members or is Bea from Berlin a young, urban knitter adding to her stitch marker collection? Who knows!
But the truth is, while my products are winging their way around the world, I don’t always know where they are going or how they will be used. So it’s fun to occasionally find a blog, tweet or Ravelry post about my shop, and boy was I surprised to find Exchanging Fire featured in a whole video podcast last week! Check out this clip of Kristi reviewing my digital row counters and mini french macaron holders below at the 30 minute mark:
It was so much fun watching them getting just as excited about my stuff as I do. Hee. In a Sknit is a video podcast run by two women in Illinois who are really cute and manage to simultaneously run a podcast and knit at the same time. This is not the same thing as just running your mouth and knitting at the same time, which I still often fail at doing. So go back to the beginning of the video and watch the whole thing – Sarah and Kristi are super relaxing and fun to “hang” out with virtually.
So, I am working on a Bigger on the inside shawl, to coincide with my watching of Doctor Who. It’s actually been going swimmingly, considering my propensity to get bored with what I’m knitting and walk away from a project for years on end. A lace shawl finished in less than two months?! Inconceivable!
However, I’ve hit the first cables that make up the roofline of the Tardis and the instructions are so freaking unclear. Mainly this is because the designer doesn’t want you to knit these like regular cables, where you slide one stitch off, either to the back or front, and then come back to that stitch later. I can do that no problem. But her instructions call for keeping the stitches all on the same needle, and when I attempt that it comes out totally verkakte. This would all be made clear with a simple video somewhere, but does anyone on the internet have one? No. The best I can find use four stitches instead of two, or call it C2F instead of C2L, but a stitch dictionary I found online made it clear that these aren’t really interchangeable stitch terms, they are slightly different. Also, shouldn’t it be C4F if you are working four stitches, not 2? There is absolutely no standard for this term and so many “teachers” and “designers” online are using the terminology incorrectly I want to scream. Shoot me now. Also, I have a miserable cold so my patience is really low right now.
Ok, upon rereading the stitch dictionary I found online I discovered that the different between C2F and C2L appears to be that one version slips stitches and the other works them on the same needle, as this pattern calls for. Strangely enough, though, the term that calls for the stitches to be worked on one needle is C2F, while this pattern uses that definition for C2L. Do you see what I mean about no freaking standards? Makes me want to tear my hair out.
Thankfully, I did find an online tutorial that was a.) using two stitches for C2F, and was b.) knitting them the way that the designer for this pattern asks that they be knit, even if she’s using the wrong term according to others out there on the web. I’m sharing this video with all of you so that others don’t go through my personal torture. Now I’m going to go take another antihistamine.
UPDATE: Ok, so I tried to start the purl side of C2R and C2L and totally got confused. It was clearly way too late at night and I was too sick because I missed the directions entirely. Though the words didn’t really help at all. However, I found an obscure video about knitting 2-stitch Bavarian twists on the wrong side. At the end of the video, the teacher explains that these “twists can be turned into crosses” (aka C2L or C2R) by turning one knit stitch into a purl stitch. Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. Though I did stop for a minute and think, “Wait, so does ‘C’ stands for ‘cross’ or ‘cable’? I’m so confused!” I personally followed Method A from the video and after doing it about three times along with the video I could remember it enough to do the two mock cables by myself. Just ignore her when she says to knit the first stitch – it’s always a purl stitch.
So the moral of this story? Sometimes in patterns, less is not more, more is more. After seeing those videos I could do the cables or twists all on one needle, no problem, but not being able to understand what I was doing was very difficult at first. Since these are pretty obscure techniques, in my opinion, more explanations upfront would have made this less of a hair-tearing experience.
So I promised all of you a sneak peek of my Africa-themed stitch markers, and now that it’s August and these have been sent in, I’m thrilled to reveal them to you! If you remember, my inspiration this month was the song Africa, by the 80s hair band Toto. It’s got a catchy chorus with just one line that everyone remembers and sings overandoverandoverandover again until they’ve gone mad. Fortunately for me, I listened to this song long enough while I was making these stitch markers that I now know all of the words. And yes, I even watched the Lion King version of this song.
These African-themed markers are inspired by that single line in the song we all know – “I bless the rains down in Africa.” I thought there was something very poetic about the concept of Africa’s heat and suffering juxtaposed with the cool blessing of rain, which during the wet season washes it all away. Refreshing and beautiful, like a terrific storm occurring when a cold front meets the hot, unforgiving August weather we experience here in the Northern Hemisphere.
These stitch markers feature gorgeous vintage garnets and fire topaz Czech glass drops. I love the garnets because they look like a dusky reddish brown when they are lying in your hand but the moment you put them up to the sunlight they gleam with this inner purple light. The topaz glass beads are shaped like raindrops, and the iridescent fire polish to them creates a subtle rainbow effect in the light.
I Bless The Rains Down in Africa
I have several of these limited edition sock-sized stitch marker sets available in the shop. They are there for the month of August in conjunction with the Phat Fiber box. I thought it would be nice that if someone received a sample in their box they could then pick up a full set.