WIPs, wishes and knitting plans 7th August 2020

WIPs, wishes and knitting plans

As always, I have a ton of WIPs around the house waiting to be completed, or at the stage where I’m a) not sure I want to finish them or b) needed to finish another item first.

Vera Sweater WIP

I’m working on a few WIPs this week, the first being a test knit for Emma of Emma Sadler Designs. It’s her new Vera Sweater, knitted with 4ply/fingering weight sock yarn. Her sample knit used West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply for the main body in a light grey and she used oddments of sock yarns for the sleeves.

Yarn choices

I’m using some Lanas Stop Bambini in Antique Pink for my main colour and some odd balls of Drops Fabel in 911 Picnic and 904 Lavender Dreams.

Vera Sweater Test Knit WIP wips
Vera Sweater Test Knit

Campside KAL 2020 WIP

I cast on for the Campside Cardi, using some newly purchased Highland Heathers yarn from Stylecraft, in the colour Gorse. It’s a rich heather with greens, teal and yellow greens in the mix. Very pretty and 100g goes a long way. I bought two balls, I’ll probably need another three but will buy four, just in case. The yarn is DK weight acrylic and is very soft to touch. #campsidekal2020

Campside KAL2020 Campside Cardi wip
Campside KAL2020 Campside Cardi

In Stillness WIP

A few weeks ago, using a 50/50 blend of superwash merino and acrylic in a rich, chocolate brown, I cast on In Stillness by Alicia Plummer. I’m making the 41″ chest size and will add extra hip increases to suit my body shape. It’s knitted top down and I’m about an inch from separating the sleeves from the body. The yarn is buttery soft and so nice to knit with, it’s a joy.

I’m sorry, I haven’t taken a photo of this one as yet, but I promise I will soon and add it to this blog post.

Emma and I will be live on Facebook again on Sunday 9th August, assuming she’s not helping her brother in law to put up the new fence. Last Sunday rain stopped play and they only got the posts in.

See you soon, happy crafting and don’t forget to tag us in social media so we can see your projects @woollymadlydeeply or #woollymadlydeeply

Loraine

The value of test knitters and how they improve patterns

The value of test knitters and how they improve patterns

Test Knitters and their value

The value of test knitters to designers, Tech Editors and the end knitter of the pattern, how they help and what they add.

I’m running a couple of design tests at the moment for some baby knitting patterns. It’s always an anxious time as a designer as you’ve tried hard to make the pattern correct. You know that there will be some errors, however hard you try and avoid them and that some things might need to be explained more clearly or have a little note to make sure the knitter understands what you are trying to tell them.

Is it necessary to have test knitters?

I think it is an essential part of my design process. Everything goes to the TE before a test, but the Tech Editor is a human being like me and just as likely to miss an error as I am. They are amazing at condensing text and waffle into something readable, clear and concise. But, having that extra group of people to preview the pattern and test knit it, adds so much more.

Examples of how Test Knitters improve a pattern during the testing

Just because my TE understand the phrase “Then , dec 1 st at neck edge on foll 2 4th rows.” doesn’t mean that all knitters will instantly know what we mean. Not everyone spotted the 4th rows part of the instruction and the two numbers are very close together if you read it quickly.

The pattern was much improved by a test knitter who suggested Then, Dec 1 st at neck edge every 4 rows, two times (total of 2 sts decreased). which everyone found much easier to follow.

The TE didn’t pick up on that or make an alternative suggestion as the instruction was correct, but a couple of knitters found it confusing and they worked together to make it clearer for everyone.

That’s not a criticism of the TE, they are working to a style sheet or how I like to word my patterns, it fits within my style but it could be clearer and testers help to achieve that.

The changes made by the test knitters always help me, both to improve the pattern I’m working on, but also for future patterns as I have a library of comments, suggestions and questions I need to bear in mind with every new pattern.

Test knitters helped with the neckline of this little dress.

If you’re new to designing and can’t afford to work with a Tech Editor, then test knitting can help you improve your patterns quickly and at very little cost. Usually the cost to you is to gift them the final published version of the pattern and I always gift them one other pattern of their choice from my self published ranged by way of a thank you. They provide the yarn and the time and it’s the least I can do to show my appreciation.

I know some users have had issues with Ravelry.com after a redesign and the team there are working hard to resolve them all. I am adding our digital pdf patterns to this site and we also have a Payhip Store where you can purchase our patterns.

Vera Sweater V Neck for Emma

Vera Sweater V Neck for Emma

Emma showed me her Vera sweater months ago and I may have been pestering her to get on with finishing the pattern and starting the test knits. She launched the test knitting last night and I signed up to make the 42″ chest which will give me no ease at the bust. I may also, with permission as it’s a test knit, be adding a bit of hip shaping to accommodate my curves so the lower body will be a larger size. I’d tell you which size, but being a lady, it would be impolite to mention it 🙂

Vera Sweater V Neck using Lanas Stop Bambini
Vera Sweater – a basic, everyday V neck which will probably be my go-to for this Winter.

Emma made her sweater using West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn in a pale grey and with a patterned colourway for the sleeves, I think it works really well to add interest and you could use up a bag of sock yarn leftovers for the sleeves.

Emma's sample garment for the Vera Sweater in WYS sock yarn

Yarn choices for the Vera Sweater

I do have a vast stash of yarn, but we won’t talk about that right now … So, after a bit of stash diving, okay a lot of stash diving, I decided to use Lanas Stop Bambini in Antique Rose as my main colour.

Lanas Stop Bambini Antique Pink 320
Lanas Stop Bambini Antique Pink 320

I still need to choose a contrast colour for the sleeves and that may be either Araucania Ranco sock yarn or some Drops Fabel or Delight yarn. The Araucania may be put to one side as it’s handwish and the Lanas Stop is machine washable. I am not great at hand washing items, they lay in the basket forever waiting. Do you hand wash your knits?

Would you like to test knit the Vera Sweater?

I’m including a link to the Ravelry thread where Emma is running the test knit, you can sign up there if you’re interested.

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