New pattern - Lanterns!

Friday, 27 November 2015
So I've been working on a set of 4 shawls out of Plucky Knitter yarns. I've already published Grateful Moments out of the amazing Oxford yarn. And this pattern is out of their amazing Primo Fingering.

It's called Lanterns and I have been working on it for ages and ages. These new patterns that I have upcoming are different than a lot of my older patterns. They're delicate in a way that I hadn't ever played around with before. The fingering weight yarn makes them light but very warm still, and they're just a real pleasure to wear.

I'm sure I'll be back to my normal after this collection is finished. But for now I'm just basking in the glow of all these fingering weight beauties. It's really been a pleasure working with them!

So here it is!


As always come take a look at what I'm doing on Instagram! @softsweater
If you're interested in keeping up with projects people have knit of this shawl check out the #lanternsshawl hashtag.

Lots of love! Happy knitting!

The Teach-Your-Friend-To-Knit-A-Hat Hat!

Friday, 6 November 2015
New pattern and it's FREE! 

Alright, well that was a lazy little blog update! I'm going to go back to lying in bed watching Bob Ross paint happy trees! No lying that's my plan for this lovely evening.

The Lonely Tree in German! And also an update for Small Bones

Thursday, 5 November 2015
Hey everyone!

Thomas has finally finished translating the Lonely Tree into German! It's awesome and up and available on!

What does it all mean? I don't actually know. 

I've also updated Small Bones to include more easy-to-read instructions, written instructions as well as a new shiny chart! 

She's excited it's updated! 

You're all awesome! Thanks for reading!

Porteau Cove! A Pattern By Tiny Island Textiles

Sunday, 1 November 2015
The lovely Nicola Hodges from Tiny Island Textiles has put up her gorgeous stole pattern Porteau Cove out into the world! It's downloadable on! Here's the link.

Porteau Cove

I'm so happy about this pattern coming out! It's sort of a proof of concept for me! Because it's the first pattern to be helped along with the Graph Paper Cooperative in mind. 

Me and Nicola have been friends for ages and ages and she's always helped me really heavily with my designs. She has test-knitted the Lonely Tree, she has knitted samples for me, she has modelled for 6 of my patterns, she has read through my patterns and my god she has blocked almost every lace thing I've ever knit. I can honestly say that her help has made my designing process one that is manageable for me and I credit a lot of my success to her! So in a sense the two of us have been doing this sort of Graph-Paper-Coop-y thing for a while now, unofficially. 

What is this Graph Paper Coop-y thing? Well, The Graph Paper Cooperative is a thing that me and Nicola thought up over a series of conversations about supporting local knitwear designers. Nicola's been a designer since I met her, but she had never published on Ravelry. And I've always struggled with a couple of aspects of knitwear design, and have needed her support. 

The Graph Paper Cooperative was based on the idea that you need a whole pile of skills to publish patterns on Ravelry. You need to know how to design a pattern, write out the instructions so other people can knit them, you need to knit good samples out of nice yarn and have the pattern photographed beautifully and beautifully layed out and then you need to send it to testers who can give you feedback on all of those aspects of your pattern so you can tweak it further. 

It's a big process and if you're missing any of those skills it can make it really hard to self publish your own patterns. Or you may publish them but have them met with a "meh" because one or more of those pieces is missing. 

The Graph Paper Cooperative fills in the blanks so that people don't need to have absolutely every skill involved in publishing. and if you want the skills you can mentor and develop them with us. Or, if you're part of the cooperative, you can just ask for help from the other members. 

In the way that I've been asking for help from Nicola for ages, with blocking and modelling and pattern testing and sampling. And she was able to get some assistance from me with publishing Porteau Cove! 

It's Cooperative magic. 

We sat down a couple of weeks ago at my favourite coffee shop and I pulled up InDesign and we built a Tiny Island Textiles Knitwear Pattern template for her, and then we started putting the pattern together (with some photos I took from 2012 when she first designed this beautiful thing!). And now it's published and I'm just plain stoked! I hope you'll pop over and buy a copy. It's been made with love and it really is the best thing to just have a huge pile of lace knitting wrapped around your body. Also it helps support Nicola on her adventures being an awesome person who lives on a Tiny Island, raising sheep and building a textile studio cabin with her own two hands. Lovely! 

M1W - Make 1 Weird and the Elder Tree Shawl

Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Hey knitters -

So I realized that when I wrote the Elder Tree shawl I talk about a Make 1 without specifying what kind of make 1 I was talking about. This is because I thought Make 1 meant just grabbing the bar underneath and knitting into it without twisting it. It makes this nice little lace hole as if you'd done a yarn over on the other side. I swear someone taught me that but I can't remember who and I can't seem to find anything on the internet about it.

So I've made my own little tutorial video to explain it to folks who are asking.

I'm calling it a Make 1 Weird because I'm weird and I use this to make 1.

Honestly all the hundreds of projects out there that have been using twisted make 1s in the Elder Tree all look absolutely beautiful. A twisted make 1 is great for this pattern too - but I just wanted to let folks know what I was talking about when I was saying Make 1 and here it is!

I'm designing another shawl which uses this increase as well. It's a really good increase for increasing along a lacy spine because it doesn't stop the yarn over looks. I'm a bit in love with it. It also helps with fitting leafy shapes into a triangle shape. It's really been a lovely invention of sorts. Here's a picture of the side of the Elder Tree chart so you can see what I'm talking about. It's the M nestled next to the two yarn overs.

So let's just pretend I made it up so I can have a very own stitch! I feel a bit like Elizabeth Zimmerman right now.

Oh speaking of Elizabeth Zimmerman...

Whoa what!? Knitter Punks, the front page of iTunes, and 100,000 blog pageviews!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Hey everyone! This week has been pretty great, lots of fun stuff has been happening in my life and I'm feeling like making a little blog post about it might be a good idea!

The Knitter Punks Podcast (of which I am half of) made it on to the front page of iTunes under the New and Noteworthy heading! We were up there alongside Lena Dunham's new podcast! Which personally was kind of mind blowing.

Here's a screen cap of the big event:

Front page! You didn't even need to hit the "See All" tab to see it!

And then I realized that I hit 100,000 pageviews on this humble little blog! Wow guys! You all seem to like what I have to say!

I want to thank all of your for listening, reading, knitting along and just being awesome supporters of my little knitwear business! 

Tutorial - How to use Instagram to edit your photos!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Me and my friend Tarot Card the crow are going to help show you three-and-a-bit tips to using Instagram to edit your awesome photographs! This ended up not being specifically about editing knitwear photographs - but it will all apply. Imagine Tarot Card's lovely feather patterns as a beautiful black beaded shawl.

My tips go as follows: 

1a. Ignore the filters -

As tempting as they might be, the filters are a trend which will likely pass (has already passed?). Things are popular and then fall out of fashion, just like clothes. Instagram filters did that really quickly. The filters which were SO COOL when they first came out are now dated and our eyes gloss over them. They’ve been overdone (for now). Of course they keep updating with new filters and I’m sure there are lots that are sweet and might fit perfectly with your image. Just use your discretion, if everyone uses the same filter all the time, they will get boring. 

Dear Mayfair. I love you but we can't be together. Signed, Sylvia.

1b. Oh wait don’t ignore all the filters -

This of course doesn’t apply to the few black and white filters - Those are functional filters that will turn your images black and white.

Moon filter
Inkwell filter

There are many forms of black and white filters, ones that turn red to black, ones that turn blue to black, etc etc.

You can imagine how different those would look.

Especially with people’s faces. Red lips turn black or white depending on the filter. It can be an interesting thing to see. 

Just keep that all in mind when you're using B&W filters!

1c. Nevermind. Don’t ignore the filters -

There’s an option for choosing how intense the filter is on your image. Just click on the filter and then click on the filter again and a slider will show up. This was such a cool feature. If you have a filter you love but that’s just too intense for your taste you can bring the levels of the filter down so that’s it’s more normal and less intense! 

Rise filter at it's full capacity

Rise at a much subtler and more attractive (to my eyes) level!
Have fun play around. Remember photography rules are absolutely for breaking! I have to remind myself that all the time. 

2. Play around with exposure

If you read my last post on photo editing the next two points are going to be the exact same. A higher exposure level is going to give you a brighter, clearer, more optimistic looking image (if that’s what you’re looking for). It’s great for just increasing the natural light aspect of photos you’ve shot outdoors or by the window. It’s going to just bring to life your images.

Instagram’s exposure slider is great. Play around with it! Depending on the images you have you might want to have them all cloud-like and very lightly exposed or maybe you want them moody and you can pull the exposure down as well. 

Here's Tarot Card trying to eat my keys with no exposure editing at all.

To get to the exposure slider click on the little wrench icon on the right. It will show you all the non-filter editing tools under that icon. Very clearly marked!

Click on the "Brightness" button to get the slider to pop up. Now slide and play around! Here's the image of Tarot Card brightened up to my liking about about +60.

3. Play with the warmth slider.

The warmth slider is a lovely little invention. Because most images are shot looking kind of dull this slider will warm them all up to closer to what-the-eye-can-see levels of colour. Plus they just look so much livelier! 

Most shots only need a little bit of warmth added, this shot with Tarot Card did a 360 with the warmth slider all the way up to 100pts! Even if it feels like it's going to be a lot, try it out! Because of the brown of the leather and the ground and the green of the grass it really looks fantastic warmed up this much. 

Play around! Get a feel for it!

Here are the unedited version and the finished product for you to see!

 Thanks for reading my tutorial on how to use Instagram to edit your photos!

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