Spectacular Summer Top Ideas 2021

Spectacular Summer Top Ideas 2021

Summer Top Ideas

I’ve been looking through my Ravelry favourites and have a huge bundle of Summer Top Ideas which I love. Do you prefer knit or crochet summer tops? I knit more than I crochet but I do love crochet too, so there are plenty of ideas to go at.

Dingley Dell – Summer Top Ideas

Spectacular Summer Top Ideas 2021 1

Dingley Dell is a favourite of mine, I love the stripes, that you could knit it plain, bust some stash or do crazy with the striping. Knitted with 4ply / fingering weight yarn, it’ll be lightweight and would work in cotton, linen or wool blend yarns.

Tidewater Tee – Summer Top Ideas

Tidewater Tee  - Summer Top Ideas

The Tidewater Tee by Alexandria Wenninger is a yoked top, worked top down and in the round. The yoke pattern is pretty and interesting for the knitter.

Flowing Waves Top – Summer Top Ideas

  Flowing Waves Top - Summer Top Ideas

The flowing waves top makes great use of a beautiful yarn, Scheephes Whirl and it’s gradient colour changes. I’m not sure I’d want an open back, being a girl who needs a decent bra, but it’s very pretty and would be an easy project to crochet.

Lola Pullover – Summer Top Ideas

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The Lola Pullover is a light, lacy and very pretty summer top or sweater, with it’s cropped length it’s perfect for teens, tweens and young women.

LILLY halter top

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I love the colours of the LILLY halter top, it’s crochet and great for using up stash and oddments to give a unique colour combination. You do need to measure yourself or the recipient and follow the instructions on how to get the best fit, but it’s worth a little bit of effort to have such a stunning piece in your wardrobe.

Sakura Summer Top

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The Sakura summer top is a pretty, top down yoke pattern. Knitted in 4ply/fingering weight hemp, it’ll be cool, comfortable and wear well.

Emma and I look at some of them in our recent YouTube videos, links below

Cowlabunga 2021 starts April 4th

Cowlabunga 2021 starts April 4th

What is Cowlabunga?

Cowlabunga 2021 is a 6 week long KAL/CAL (Knit along or crochet along) of cowls hosted by Loraine from Woolly Madly Deeply and myself. All our cowl patterns are eligible to be entered.

You can find Loraine’s patterns in her Ravelry store or her Payhip.

You can find my patterns in my Ravelry Store or my Payhip.

You can join in the chat in our Ravelry group – Knitting (and Crochet) Across the Pennines or in our Facebook Group of the same name.

Cowlabunga 2021

Tell Me About Cowlabunga 2020

We had such fun with our cowl knitting and crocheting last year, didn’t we? It was initially kicked off to coincide with the release of Loraine’s pattern Find My Way cowl. We had some amazing entries and some worthy winners of the prizes.

Jadzeea made a version of Ziga Zig Ahh!

Stringnbeans made a beautiful Find My Way

You can find more projects in the Cowlabunga FO Thread on Ravelry.

Cowlabunga 2021 starts April 4th 5

When is Cowlabunga 2021?

From Sunday 4th April 2021 at 15:30 UK time through Sunday 18th April 2021 at 23:59pm we will be discounting all the cowl patterns we have available by 25% using the unique code Cowlabunga2021. The KAL itself will then continue to run until Sunday 2nd May 2021 at 16:00 UK time.

We will have a cast on party live in our Facebook group on the Sunday afternoon. You will be able to join us in the chat to tell us which patterns you have chosen and which yarns you will be using. We love to see your WIPs and FOs so don’t forget to post in the FB or Ravelry groups with pictures. And tag us when you are posting on social media!

Is there a Cowlabunga Discount?

There most certainly is! This year we will be using the discount code cowlabunga2021 and you can use it as many times as you want! Just put the patterns you want into your Ravelry shopping cart, enter and apply the code between Sunday 4th April 2021 at 15:30 UK time through Sunday 18th April 2021 at 23:59 pm and 25% will be taken off the price. You will be able to buy more than one pattern but if you choose to buy from both of us you will have to check each shop out separately.

What Prizes Can I win?

This year we will be offering pattern codes and e-books as prizes. Last year I don’t think we realised how much the Covid pandemic was going to affect life, the post included! And I must admit that I was absolutely terrible at getting to the post office to send off my physical prizes. So this year we have decided to keep everything digital. Both Loraine and I will be offering codes for our single self published patterns and some e-books of our collections.

Show Me Some Eligible Patterns!

Both Loraine and I have released new cowl patterns since last year, so even if you entered before there will be something new to tempt you. However, if you already own one of our cowl patterns you could make it again. Test knits are also eligible if the pattern releases before the event finishes on Sunday 2nd May 2021 23:59. As long as you don’t cast on before 4th April 15:30 you can enter your project for a prize!

You will find a bundle of all our eligible patterns on Ravelry – Cowlabunga Cowls

Emma and Loraine

Thoughts on Pattern Pricing, Knit and Crochet

Thoughts on Pattern Pricing, Knit and Crochet

Following on from an excellent blog post about Pattern Pricing by my friend Ruth Brasch, it got me thinking about pattern pricing and the way the industry is moving. I’ll add links for Ruth’s post and also a post she references which goes through survey results of how long it takes to carry out each part of the pattern development and it’s a scary number. (links to all sources below on this page).

Like Ruth, I’m against the pay what you can model. Why? Because it appears in many cases to be a stealth method to up the lowest price (which is higher than the norm) and then add more expensive options. I like that it gives people choice, but 𝗢𝗳 π˜†π—Όπ˜‚’𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗢𝗻𝗴 π˜π—Ό π—½π˜‚π˜ π˜‚π—½ π˜†π—Όπ˜‚π—Ώ π—½π—Ώπ—Άπ—°π—²π˜€, π—·π˜‚π˜€π˜ 𝗱𝗼 π—Άπ˜. I’ve put my prices up and I’m happy to have made that choice. My work has value, I have value and if you want the pattern, then buy it. If you don’t, that’s cool too. I’m not out to please everyone, it’s not possible.

I’m all for being flexible, but I did have someone give me a sob story about not being able to afford the pattern, gifted it to them and saw photos of them knitting it while on holiday in Barbados. I sat at home in Cumbria with no holiday. Did I get some exposure? I suppose I did, but not from anyone who buys patterns.

Looking at the figures in the article by Thread and Ladle, the minimum number of hours involved in creating a good quality knitting pattern for a sweater is 53.1 hrs, the maximum in her survey being 113.65 hrs. That’s NOT including yarn, the cost of Tech Editing, needles, notions, tools, website, email service, marketing the pattern, graphics, Ravelry fees, Paypal fees, models, schematics, time spent testing and answering testers questions.

To cover all that, and have some actual income for me, that means a minimum number of pattern sales of 350 to 760 per sweater pattern.

Sari Nordlund has an interesting chat about pattern pricing on her YouTube channel, what income she makes and what patterns are worth designing for her.

She’s very open and honest about it, so give it a look. Link below.

I appreciate money is tight for many people, but designers also need to make a living and cover their actual costs. There are lots of free patterns, sales and other promotions and we always discount a pattern on it’s launch with a bigger discount for email subscribers.

The amount of work is considerably more than most people think and to market your pattern effectively, you should spend double the time it took to create it. Adding more time to the calculations.

As someone who loves to knit garments, to wear and for pattern designing, it’s a sobering thought.

It’s not like I take the easy route out, I always go up to the larger plus sizes and add tips on how to upsize even more. It doubles the Tech Editing costs because there are more numbers, measurements and stitch counts to be checked. As a curvy woman, it’s important to me that I produce patterns that a woman of any size can wear, but it comes at a price.

Do I stick to accessories for a quicker win, or plod on with garments and hope that at some point, more of them will reach that magic number of sales?

What do you think?

Thread and Ladle article http://www.threadandladle.com/blog/2018/4/23/the-true-cost-of-a-knitting-pattern

Ruth’s Blog Post https://ruthbrasch.com/2021/02/20/knitting-and-crochet-pattern-pricing/

Ruth’s pattern portfolio on Ravelry https://www.ravelry.com/designers/ruth-brasch

Sari Nordlund’s YouTube on pattern income https://youtu.be/s5q-djBq0bM

#knitting #knitweardesigner #knittersofinstagram #crochetersofinstagram #indiessupportingindies #entrepreneurlife #woollymadlydeeply

Around the World Stitch Along Crochet Favourites

Around the World Stitch Along Crochet Favourites

Around the World Stitch Along Crochet Favourites

Emma and I had a look at our favourite Crochet patterns from the Around The World Stitch Along Bundle of ALL Patterns.

We look at the Cranky Shawl Patterns by Michele DuNaier

We then look at designs by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk

Approximately ten minutes in, we start looking at the Around the World Stitch Along bundle and focus on Crochet patterns ONLY.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns and designs I’d love to knit/crochet.

Foxy Stripes Cowl

by Janelle Martin

I love the rich, autumnal green yarn for this one and the strong design lines, very clever.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns- foxy stripes cowl in green by Janelle Martin

Double Wrap Fair Isle Cowl

by Michael Harrigan

I love this in two contrasting colours but it would be a fun way to use a solid with a self striping or variegated yarn too.

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Cathedral Cowl

by Loraine Birchall

This is one of my own designs but I do love this cable, it’s fun to knit and evokes gothic arches and strong lines.

Cathedral Cowl, photo used with permission by Amanda of http://www.gratefulkneadsandknits.com
Cathedral Cowl, photo by Amanda of http://www.gratefulkneadsandknits.com

Whitethorn Cowl

by Megan Nodecker

I love Megan’s designs and this cowl caught my eye. I love the tassel, a nice finishing touch.

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Chevroche Cowl

by Sarah Jordan

A fun project to get you started on brioche knitting with two colours.

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Faileas

by Sierra Morningstar

A bit of two colour stranded knitting, worked in the round and joined with a graft, really effective and a lovely design.

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Β© Abby Lank

Leafy Origami Cowl

by Michele Bernstein

Beautiful use of brioche knitting and a very pretty result.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 10

Diamonds and Lace Cowl

by Loraine Birchall

Easy cables and a bit of lace, worked in the round in either Aran or DK weight yarn.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 11

Avenoir

by Hanna Maciejewska

I’m knitting her CareAway shawl using this same stitch pattern, it has lots of twisted stitches but is really addictive.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 12

Dogwalker’s Cowl

by Raven Knits Design

Two colour stranded knitting, simple but stunning. I love the use of a variegated yarn and a great way to use those pesky skeins with lots of pattern or colour.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 13

Ripples on the River

by Stacey Lewis

A bit more stranded colourwork with a simple pattern repeat, easy to make wider or taller to suit the recipient and great to bust some stash.

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Kruska

by Elena Fedotova

A bit of crochet and such an interesting looking texture, in three sizes of loop to suit your yarn stash.

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Cobblestone Cowl

by Rachy Newin

Wonderful use of colour, as is always the case with Rachy. Beautiful crochet.

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Simpson Cowl

by Amy van de Laar

Lovely pattern, undulating travelling stitches, no need for a cable needle.

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Evergreen Cowl

by Loraine Birchall

One of my new cowls, I just love the cables and knots.

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Shine On

by CJ Brady

A speedy crochet cowl and brilliant for those highly variegated skeins you want to use but have no idea what to make with them.

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Finding Your Way Cowl

by Lilinette Crochet

Mosaic crochet used with different colours work really well in this cowl designed to represent a garden maze.

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Tuberose Cowl

by Kavitha Raman

Lovely use of vertical columns and lace, all simple stitches but very stylish.

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Symbiosis Cowl

by bunnymuff – Mona Zillah

Amazing colourwork and look at the motifs, love, love, love it.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 22

Stormfront

by handmade by SMINΓ‰

Evokes the stormy clouds in Cumbria where it’s either raining or about to rain.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 23

Stornes Cowl

by Cheryl Chow

Lovely way to use up mini skeins or self striping yarns, simple crochet but really stylish.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 24

Orchids For Eve

by Kirsten McTeer

Very pretty lace and love the picot edging.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 25

Laketown Cowl

by Raven Knits Design

This could be my first proper foray into double knitting for an actual finished item, it’ll be super warm and so stylish.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 26

Strawberry Fluff Cowl

by Denise Balvanz

This cowl is definitely on my knit list, I made the hat and boot cuffs a few years ago and love them.

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Crocheted Harmony, hat and cowl set

by Darleen Hopkins

Great use of simple shape and granny stitches to make a warm but chic set.

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Twisted Textures Braided Cowl

by AlyseCrochet

Very clever construction and great use of both texture and colour. Wow!

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Lille Loop

by Frauke Neubauer

It’s green, two greens which is bonus points for me, lace and garter used to create a super stylish cowl.

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Cove Neck Cowl

by Michele DuNaier

i crocheted this a couple of times, enjoyable and a really effective cowl, the recipients love them.

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Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans for December knitting and crochet.

I cast on the Ronan Cardigan by Tiona Murphy for the Gift Along, it’s going to my friends Ben and Kelly for their new baby boy who was born a few weeks ago. I used Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in the Denim colourway and it works well with the cables. It’s also machine wash for a new and busy Mum of two.

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans - Ronan Cardigan in denim blue on a teal wash background
Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans - Ronan Cardigan back view  in denim blue on a teal wash background

I’m also sending them a couple of cotton burp cloths from a pattern by my good friend Emma Sadler, it’s called Muzies.

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans - Muzies cloth in natural craft cotton shown laid on a teal plank background

I have wanted to knit Alameda by Clarice Gomes since I saw her knitting the sample in a beautiful green colour when we met on a Saturday night Zoom knit and natter which we both go to. It’s absolutely stunning and I love it so much. I’m using Lanas Stop Bambini in the Linen colourway. You can buy that yarn here. I’ve knitted a bit more since then and will add another photo to the project page, click the image below to see more info.

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This is Clarice’s sample

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I did another crochet test of a pattern for Lillinette Crochet of her Ilsan pattern, you can make two of the squares and join them to make a Biscornu which is a clever construction and makes a very pretty pin cushion. I used scraps of DK sparkly yarn in silver grey, purple and magenta.

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I cast on for the CareAway Shawl, I’m not sure I made the best yarn choice, but I do absolutely love the colours, it’s a creamy white, a light grey and a mustard yellow and is called Skittles. The yarn is Stylecraft Bambino DK.

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CareAway Shawl by Hanna Maciejewska

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Next up to knit is a non-gal project, the Christmas Robin by Jacqui Turner which is fun and super cute.

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