More MagCloud Prints

There are two more additions to my MagCloud arsenal:  Pearl Clutcher Magnum and Rutland!

ImageYou recently met Pearl Clutcher Magnum, but Rutland is from a few years ago.  I had high hopes for Rutland, because it knit up so beautifully.  When I first made it available, a lot of people jumped on it.  But as time progressed, knitters were finding horrendous errors in the pattern.  After helping a few people through the pattern, I sat down and start going through the numbers.  It was a nightmare.  

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I remember saving the pattern and coming back to it later, but the save didn’t take and half of the numbers reverted back to a previous save.  I didn’t catch that until it was too late.  While most people inquired politely, I did get a lot of hate mail about it.  I understand the frustration, but I don’t think “die in a fire” is an appropriate message over a knitting pattern.

Anyway.  I stepped away from designing for a while after that; making a few things here and there, but I lost my enthusiasm.  As you can see, I’m back in the saddle.  After Freyr and the two Pearl Clutchers, I decided that it was time to give Rutland an overhaul.

Yesterday, I sat in front of my computer with a pot of coffee and combed through the pattern and converted the entire thing into charts.  I love knitting from charts.  Not so in love with making them (especially when different sizes require their very own chart).  It’s worth it though.  All mistakes are stamped out, because it’s all right there in front of you.  

I’m confident that Rutland is now the pattern it should have been two years ago.  I hope people will give it another chance; it really is a lovely knit and I still wear mine daily.  I may even make another, soon.  Go check out the MagCloud pages and you can also find Pearl Clutcher Magnum and Rutland on Ravelry (click here for my designer page).

 

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Pearl Clutcher: Magnum

Bulker pattern for faster knitting; you can have your Pearl Clutcher in less than two weeks!

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Check out the pattern page on Ravelry right here:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pearl-clutcher-magnum

A little ditty on criticism

Indie designers, who are typically very casual and accessible, get a great deal of critiquing.  I wouldn’t go on to say that indie designers receive more criticism than your headlining, Vogue Knitting contributors, but they certainly receive a fair amount.  Criticism is inevitable, both good and bad, when you produce something made available to the general public.  These critiques reach far and wide with the enormous following on Ravelry.com as well as personal blogs.  So, how do designers handle dialogues amongst knitters and crocheters?  What’s the appropriate avenue to take with the positive and negative feedback on their work?

Let’s use the Ravelry.com forums for an example.  When a person or group praises your pattern work in a forum thread, would you enter the conversation to thank them for their support and kind words?  It’s a matter of opinion.  Personally, I do.  Establishing a presence is important to me for creating positive relationships with pattern patrons and letting them know that I am readily available. 

But what about the negative feedback?  Let’s use the same scenario as before, but now the person or group is negatively criticising your pattern work.  It appears that when there is negative critiquing involved, it is either ignored by the designer or perhaps handled through private messages.  Why is it different here?  What do you think makes it taboo for a designer to step up publicly and refute or remedy the situation? 

You can’t please everyone, that is true.  I believe in the 10% Rule, which means that 90% of a designer’s clients are generally good, well-mannered people with tact.  The other 10% are not as level-headed, emotional, and in some rare instances, combative.  Do you engage them?  I guess it depends on whether or not they engage you.  My take on it is that if they rage publicly without directly communicating with you, take it in stride.  Read their thoughts, determine whether or not it is a warranted criticism, and leave it be.  However, if they communicate with the designer about the grievance they have with the pattern and begin a public dialogue, it becomes a sticky situation.  Do you ignore it or call them on it?  The designer should put forth their best effort to help the person through the problem, privately or publicly – it’s their call.  If the negative review remains, at least you would know that you had done your best to make thing right. 

What’s your take on knitting and crochet designer criticism?

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2010. That’s about 18 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 20 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 128 posts. There were 21 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 28mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 5th with 182 views. The most popular post that day was Mrrrphmrrf Cowl.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were ravelry.com, homespunliving.blogspot.com, craftster.org, en.wordpress.com, and christhalinette.canalblog.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for cheap sex, guernsey knit, riothooping, slouchy cardigan pattern, and the yarn bearer.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Mrrrphmrrf Cowl January 2010
3 comments

2

New Babeh, Free Pattern! June 2010

3

A Finished Something April 2008
1 comment

4

Tuft Love Shrug March 2008
7 comments

5

Slouchy Cardigan September 2008
2 comments

Pattern Recommendations

I’ve been slogging through the Ravelry pattern library to find patterns suited for the yarns I carry in my Etsy shop.  When you have a colorful, one-of-a-kind skein, it’s best to work it up in a pattern that A) uses up a healthy portion of the yardage and B) has stitch work that doesn’t get lost in the color changes (or pools).  I’m going to share some of my finds (and feel free to suggests some of your own).

Uber Sock

Uber Sock now has even more yardage, going from 460 yards to 500 yards per skein now.  You’ve got even more options than before, but here’s just a few of my favorites:

Jaywalker Socks

Simple Yet Effective Shawl

Razor Cami 

Celestine Sox

Organic Merino and Extra Fine Merino (fingering weight yarns)

This yarn is relatively new at an amazing price.  With 400 yards per skein, you still have plenty of patterns to choose from.

Ribbon-tied Wool Vest

Nutkin socks

Francie socks

Bellatrix socks

Organic Merino and Extra Fine Merino (DK weight yarns)

Again, these are new and each has 400 yards per skein for quick socks, shawls, etc etc etc.

Forest Canopy Shawl

Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover

Oolong Socks

Bulky Alpaca

This yarn comes in 110 yards per skein.  I try to dye at least two identical skeins, but sometimes there are singles.  You can knit them alone or combine them together to make a vibrant, super smooshy project.

Meathead Hat

Trinity Stitch Hat

Aran Gauntlets

Plain or Flowery Slippers

Dolores Park Cowl

Rachael Neckwarmer

Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet

There’s plenty more where those came from and I’m tossing around a few design ideas for the bulky alpaca yarn.  I’ll  dedicate my next post to crochet projects.  You can find me at the Savannah Market Bazaar (at the Robinson parking garage on Montgomery and York Streets), again, this Saturday, May 9th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Come say hello!

Zombie-Vampire-A-Go-Go

I kind of feel like both right now.  I can’t sleep at night and I’ve been moaning like the undead for the past few days.  Hello, Strep Throat, I can’t say it’s nice to see you again, but here you are!

It’s not getting me down though!  My sock club started getting their February installments on Monday and seem pretty darn happy with this month’s theme (ahem, which is Zombies vs. Vampires, so ironic in many ways).  The Savannah Market Bazaar (see previous post) is less than two weeks away and the excitement is killing me.  My mantra lately has been “Please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold…” 

I’ve got so much roving for this market, if it does turn out to be cold, I may just make a cocoon out it all or maybe a furry igloo.

Plan on stopping by?  Please do!  Here’s a list of the inventory I’ll have with me (I’ll update if there are any changes):

  • Streetwalker Sock yarns (superwash merino, cashmere, nylon)
  • Uber Sock yarns (superwash wool, nylon)
  • Smooshy yarns (alpaca)
  • Assorted wool rovings (in many natural, undyed colors)
  • Merino rovings
  • Mohair rovings (solid whites and blacks)
  • Yak down (undyed, dark brown)
  • Bamboo roving
  • Soybean (aka Soysilk) roving
  • Hemp roving (this sells out fast, so if you want it, you had better come early)
  • Superwash wool
  • Alpaca roving

See you there!

Market

Still so very busy around here.  A friend told me about a local, monthly market so I’ll be vendor there on February 14th.  So if you’re local or just visiting, please stop by and say hello!  I’ve got tons of fiber, roving, and yarn for your petting pleasure (but if you drool on it, you have to pay for it). 

I got the sewing bug, again.  It bit me fierce this time and ended up designing thisone restless night.  Last night, I went to sleep with the views sitting at 100ish.  When I sat down with my cup of coffee this morning, the views were at 700+.  After a little research and with the help of some really friendly, awesome Etsy sellers, we discovered that my Wait Until Dark dress had made Etsy’s front page! 
I ran upstairs and started jumping on the bed (while Mr. Yarn Bearer was still trying to sleep in it) squealing at about 1000 mph about it.  I think he’s still recovering from it.
ETA:  Check it!  Etsy Admin snagged a screen shot of the treasury!  SQUEE!

And the winner is…

Wendymc (comment #70) from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada!  I’ll be emailing you for your address momentarily.  Underground Clothing, Co. and I thank everyone who commented, I loved reading about all of your projects.  I’m also glad that I’m not the only thinking about fall knits already (and it’s June, jeepers).

These contests are awesome because I usually go from the comments straight to Ravelry’s pattern pages, you ladies and gents (squee, guys fought for the bag, too!) have greatly increased my Ravelry Queue.  For those who really want the bag, but lucked out this round, you can buy one directly from Underground Clothing, Co. here (just scroll down about mid page), who put them on sale just for this occasion.  Thanks Underground (you should probably start a line of knitting bags, could be the new, hip thang)!

As for the new Little Nelson pattern, I’m still waiting to be activated as a Ravelry shopkeeper, hopefully it will be available soon!

Rock this Bag

It’s time for another give away, but not yarn this time.  We can never have too many knitting/crochet bags, right?  I can’t, I have four (or maybe there’s five…) and I do like to switch them out on occasion. 

We actually have a “sponsor” of sorts, this time around.  Underground Clothing, Co. has generously donated one of their awesome desert rose messenger bags (that happen to make really awesome knitting bags).  I like them because they don’t snag your knitting and are rather roomy, comfortably accommodating 14″ straight needles (that’s always a bonus).  They remind me of the mobile knit pouches, only larger, as you can pull out your knitting anywhere with the yarn ball safely tucked inside.

What do you need to do?  Tell me what kind of knitting you’ll be taking on your summer travels.  Not traveling?  Tell us what you’ve got planned for your summer knitting, just reply to this post and a winner will be selected on June 10th, 2008.  Good luck!

*I’m glad so many people like the bag and of course crocheters, spinners, and any other crafters out there are welcome to participate.

Jackie had asked what I’m knitting this summer and I’ve got a few things that, hopefully, will benefit my summer wardrobe.  At the moment, I’m designing a beach cover up and a child’s vest in Rowan Denim.  I also started the Featherweight Lingerie Dress and Never Wimpy Wimple from Lace Style and my fingers are itching to knit a pair of socks (maybe something from Folk Socks).  My Ravelry queue has been lurking in the back of my mind, including the Ballerina Tank and Rita Mae.  Savannah is so warm for most of the year, it would really be to my advantage to knit some lighter garments.