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Archive for December 6th, 2008

Patterns (part 2): Road-Tested Legwarmers!!!

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

I am pleased as punch to announce a truly versatile pattern, my Road-Tested Legwarmers! Find them on my shopping cart Right Here!

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These fit all legs, tall or small; slight or ultra-curvy. As a legwarmer wearer, I guarantee these can work for you… walking the dog, waiting for the bus, dancing, or keeping warm in a frugally-heated house.

I include standard instructions for a specified gauge of 4.5 st/inch and small/medium/large sizing. However, there are knit-to-fit instructions for any size or shape leg, almost any yarn/gauge from 5.5 to 4.0st/inch.

I have been a dancer my whole life, and have always loved the look of legwarmers. I wear them whatever the style police say. I wore them in the ’70’s, the ’80’s, and never stopped all these years.

Lately, strangers of all ages come up to me to say how great I look while wearing my legwarmers. I get a kick out of that!

They are always a practical thing, I am surprised they have not remained a staple for generations. They just plain can make you warmer, whether over leggings/tights in dance class or the grocery store, scrunched under jeans or under a skirt to keep breezes at bay.

 Three Looks, All Sizes, One Pattern

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To tempt you more fully, there are three “views” or looks, all within the same pattern.

View A is shorter and shown in a solid yarn (above in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, Amethyst… at left, Persian Peacock on a curvier leg), with an almost fitted look except a little room at the ankle.

View B is mid-length, knit in self-striping yarn (shown in Noro Kureyon 40) and at the length I specify, it normally slouches a bit at the bottom. This gives you room for tugging them up over your knees for warmth if needed.

View C is longest of the three. It features Fibonacci stripes in two colors. Wear both with the same color top or bottom, or wear one up and one down if the mood strikes.

My 14-year-old knitter, A., is knitting a pair in View C right now, in the same colors pictured here. These are long enough on me to be thigh-high legwarmers if I get really cold, or just feel like being extra stylish. They also can be folded down at the top and slouched a bit at the bottom for a more standard look.

Literally for Every Leg! Goddesses Jump In!

Trust me, there are many legwarmer patterns out there written by people who never wear them. Many of these patterns are too big, thinking that “just in case” is better, but then they slide down all day, and you tug them up constantly. Many come in one size, or possibly two.

I am absolutely sure you can make a pair of legwarmers with this pattern, that will fit whatever size or shape leg you have. Goddess-curvy ladies, this is your pattern! They will be comfortable on anyone, and they will not fall down.

Come on in, the water’s fine! You know you would love to give it a try, right?

There is still time to knit a pair as a gift for the holidays, they do not take long to knit at all. I knit the purple pair in two days, and I taught on those days as well.

I hope some of you are as excited by these as I am!!! Let the fun begin.

Oh, Joy! Two New Patterns (part 1)

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

A Moment of Achievement

My current job (as a self-employed knitting instructor/designer) is the best work I’ve ever stripehatwithmusiclightened.jpghad. I’m most happy in front of a classroom, and almost equally pleased to pick up knitting needles and “make up” something knitted on them.

Less fun is writing down what I made up in such a way that others can knit it, too. Writing patterns is tedious, but part of the big picture.

It is very important that I not miss details, or the internet may vibrate with news of my inadequacy. That part of the picture makes me bite a few fingernails, so to speak.

I Cannot Do This Alone

I am topperdownhatarucaniaweb.jpglucky to have folks who test knit my patterns for me, or otherwise help out. There is no way I could do what I do as thoroughly as I do it, without that help.

For this set of patterns, workers included (in no particular order): Rachel B of the comments, Dorene, Diana, Rae, Marie, Anna, Rachel of Rae’s Yarn Boutique, and students in my Topper-Down Hat class at Rae’s. They test knit, took photos, gave input on wording, modeled, helped me rearrange paragraphs so that things read more easily, letopperdownhatbrian400.jpgt me know how curvy legs liked my prototype knit-to-fit instructions, and provided moral support.

Also, Tracy A. volunteered to model for me. In the end I did not need that help… thanks for the offer!

The Current Designs

This week I have finished/released two new patterns. One is my Topper-Down Hat. It starts at the top with a square (I have used this start in bags and socks as well, if you have knit my patterns before). You increase until it fits.

There are stitch counts if you want to use my specific gauge (4.5 st/inch) and follow my spelled-out numbers, but there is also a section on how to knit to fit using any yarn/gauge that blocks the wind. It is suitable for DK to Bulky weight yarn (one size smaller worsted to two sizes larger, usually 5.5 to 4.0 stitches an inch specified on the ball band).

Many top-down hats are pointy at the top. Often they have you cast on a few stitches and start with about as many Double-Pointed Needles as you have stitches, which is fiddly at best.

Topper-Down lets you work flat for a good number of rows and stitches, and later pick up stitches around the square when there is enough fabric to not be quite so clumsy. And it’s nice and flat on top, to boot! I am very happy with the end result.

Guys Welcome

I specifically wanted a hat that was guy-friendly. Last guild meeting, my knitting acquaintance, Moose, won the hat kit I donated… and liked it enough to knit it for himself. I was delighted. I knitted a prototype for Brian which he wears, too.

Yet in pink and turquoise it is lady-friendly, too. And, in self-striping Noro Kureyon as one student knit it, the hat is kid friendly on top of it all.

The Topper-Down hat is on my website for purchase as a paper pattern in page protector, through the US mail. It is also in the three shops where I teach most: Rae’s Yarn Boutique and Threadbear Fiberarts in Lansing, MI, and Yarn Garden of Charlotte, Michigan.

Soon it and the legwarmer pattern will be available at KnittingZone.com (as PDF downloads) as well. Please buy locally if you can, otherwise the web sources will make sure you do not miss out.

(My second pattern this week is a legwarmer pattern, I will wait to go into photos and details on that one until my next post.)

And yes, I will have prizes from the 6-Year ColorJoy Blogiversary to announce very soon as well!!!