Monday, September 29, 2014

Vacations and Baby Blankets

Last week I went on a much-needed vacation to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. One whole week of relaxation and reading and knitting and recharging and spending time with family and friends. I even got in some yarn shopping, of course, at Knitting Addiction in Kitty Hawk (I've been shopping there once a year for a long time!) and Blue Pelican Gallery in Hatteras. I think yarn is new to Blue Pelican because I'd been there before but don't remember seeing much yarn. Now there are two rooms full of yarn and notions and books in addition to artsy gifts and collectibles.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. Totally cool thing for me: at Books To Be Read in Ocracoke I found a copy of the book my first published pattern is in! I snapped a picture, of course.

I didn't really get too much knitting done -- it's difficult for me to focus on knitting when there's the ocean and napping -- but when I did knit, I worked on a new scarf pattern. I'm super excited by it and I hope you will love it as much as I do.

I did take the baby blanket with me but didn't pull it out once. I know I want to keep blogging about it and it's just too complicated for me to blog from my iPad or phone. Let's get back to the baby blanket now.

When we last talked about it, I showed you the basic plan and the yarn and colors I had chosen. So far, I'm about 1/4 of the way through knitting the blanket.

Let's get started with the border.

I'm using size US 6 (4.5mm) 24" circular needles, Knitter's Pride Karbonz. I love these needles. (Frankly, right now I won't start a project without the Karbonz, that's how much I love them.)

Since I'm knitting the whole blanket in one piece, the cast on is fairly big, but not unmanageable - 164 stitches. You can't see it in the pictures - I should learn to take better pictures - I used a crochet cast on so that all edges of the blanket will be cohesive. (I did a video of crochet cast on here. Don't worry that it's for provisional, use your working yarn and it's the same thing.)

A couple notes about the border:
  • Every row ends with slipping the last stitch with the yarn in front. This is a very neat and tidy selvedge edge.
  • The border pattern I chose is an interesting two-row knit/purl rib pattern from one of Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries that is completely reversible even though the two rows are worked differently.
After you work the beginning border, you'll continue to work the border on the right and left side, though they are different. Once you get into it, though, you'll be able to easily see the pattern and you shouldn't get too confused.

Let's say you don't want to knit and purl and you want an even easier border? Knit every stitch, knit every row! Change it to garter stitch. I would recommend doubling the number of rows knitted so it stays more square with the side borders and so you'll want to adjust the amount of yarn you buy for the border.

My pattern for the blanket is a work in process. I'd love to get feedback from you if you're knitting along with me. I've uploaded the draft pattern to Dropbox and made it available to anyone that wants to download it. Please note that I may be uploading revised versions of the pattern as I go along but I'll be sure to post to the blog if I change anything. The link to the pattern is:Roxanna's Baby Blanket (Draft)

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Pay If You Want" -- Revised

An upcoming pattern: Inclination
Just a quick note about Rodeo Knits: I've decided to discontinue the "pay if you want" experiment I started about 15 months ago. In those 15 months, I only had 14 requests for free patterns. I'm a little surprised by those numbers; I suspected they would be higher.

I see quite a few downloads of my free patterns on Ravelry, but not so many requests for paid patterns for free. I wonder if the mechanism I put in place to request a free pattern was just too much for knitters that would impulse download free patterns and then never knit them. There was still a cost and the cost (name, email, pattern requested, some information in exchange for the pattern) was just too high.

I'm tempted to try an experiment where I put a coupon code on Ravelry for any pattern for free and see what happens. Last autumn, I offered two cowls to one group on Ravelry and, wow, did they get used a lot. I loved it. The coupon was used 348 times!

Thanks for stopping by for this short post. Stay tuned for the baby blanket I'll work on while you follow along.