school days

Water Street Cap by Mandy Powers

School started last week. I’m only taking two classes, and thank goodness for that. Not using your brain in that schooly way for so long, then being in school, well I’m glad for the lite class load. The two classes I’m enrolled in are required for all students, Math and English. I will start the meaty fun photography classes when the Fall semester begins in August. It will be full time, and intense, and hopefully really fun.

In the meantime I’ve been working on some new patterns, YAY. Mallory is modeling the Water Street Cap up at the top. Maggie had the honor of modeling the new Girdwood Hat, that matches the mittens that I released last year.

Girdwood Hat by Mandy Powers

These patterns are almost ready to go. I’m really excited about both of them, and they just need some finishing touches!

I think I’m going to be doing some behind-the-scenes work on the blog in the coming weeks. The biggest change is that I am going to move all my pattern purchasing to my Ravelry store, since nearly all of the people who purchase my patterns do so through Ravelry anyway. It takes me half a day or more to update my pattern page with a new pattern, and then 95% of people buy it on Ravelry. I’ll still blog about the designs, of course, and put a “buy now” button in the blog posts, but the fancy pants Patterns Page is unnecessary and time consuming. If you have an opinion about this I’d love to hear about it (for example, if you prefer to buy a pattern through the blog, tell me about it!).

Later, gators!

P.S. Anyone remember the last time the Giants went to the Superbowl? I sure do hope they go again this year, but I don’t know if I can top that challenge! I’m ready to try. GO GIANTS!



the ritual

The Ritual

When I am finished knitting a project, it’s not really finished finished until I’ve blocked it. And as I blocked this hat today it got me thinking. With many of you perhaps knitting or crocheting things to give as gifts for Christmas (or whatever holidays you celebrate), I wanted to remind you of my Blocking Tutorial. It should be a PSA. Don’t Give Unblocked Knitting as Gifts!  If you’re one of the hopefully few people who haven’t tried blocking yet, or you think it’s too hard, or takes too long, then please check out that tutorial.

For the rest of you, I’m sure you know at least one last hold out, a knitter friend who thinks they don’t need to block their FOs. Here’s a little gift, then, from me to you. Print out this shiny new one page PDF blocking tutorial (reprinted from The Red Collection) and give it to your friend with a little bottle of your favorite wool wash. She or he will love you for it, I promise. (Yes, the file says “personal use only” and you may not print out one hundred and sell them or give them away at a yarn shop. Just be reasonable, people.)

Today I blocked Jerry’s new Girdwood hat (pattern soon!), with that unruly curled edge that was driving me nuts.


The Ritual

The Ritual

Ahhh. Curly edge tamed. I am the boss of my own knitting! Now we wait for it to dry.

**Don’t forget, the Asheboro Hat is still just $3, but tomorrow is the last day to get that deal! A HUGE thank you to everyone who has already purchased the pattern! There’s already a few other projects, YAY!**

The Hats

I joked on Twitter yesterday that I was going to get out all the things in my house that I’ve knitted, and it would be shocking and awesome. There are a lot of knitted things that live in my closet, and I don’t feel bad about it. I knit for pleasure, but I also knit as a business. I knit for my immediate family and a few other folks.  I just don’t give my knits away as gifts.

Today I did get all the knitting out, but it seems reasonable to just blog about hats today. The number of mittens is obscene and they deserve their own day to shine. Here are all the hats that live in my house that I could locate:

The Hats

From top left, clockwise.

My self-published designs: 9
Self-published in The Red Collection: 13
Elizabeth Zimmermann hats: 5
Hats for which designs should appear eventually: 5
My designs published elsewhere: 4
Hats under surveillance for moths (in the plastic bag): 1
Improvised hats with no patterns: 9
Hats I keep, but were not made by me: 2 (more about these below)
Knit from other people’s patterns: 16

If my math is correct, that’s 64 hats on the table.

According to what’s been recorded in Ravelry, there are 2 hats not pictured that should be (one is in Gerald’s work truck, one is missing). I have knit 15 hats that were given as gifts, donations or samples.

I have at least 3 hats that are currently on the needles.

There’s gotta be plenty more that I don’t have a record of that are hiding in the house, or given away pre-Ravelry, or who knows what.

I like knitting hats.

About the two pictured above that I didn’t knit: The pink one is the one Maggie wore home from the hospital when she was born. It is handknit and had the world’s saddest pompom. The brown and orange one is from J.Crew. I borrowed/stole it from a guy I once knew in college. I’ve lost touch with him, but he was one of the coolest and most fun guys I ever had the pleasure of knowing. I keep the hat to remember him, and because it looks really good on me.

Warning: Tomorrow is mittens, and there are a lot.