New Pattern Release: Signal Hill

I love DK weight socks.  Love them.  They are warm and cozy in the winter, and as a product knitter, it pleases me that they are a fairly quick knit.  When looking for DK sock patterns to knit last year, I was surprised at the (relatively) small number of available patterns available…you know, when compared to fingering and sport weight sock patterns.

Earlier this year, Carla at Georgian Bay Fibre Company told me that she would be releasing a new DK yarn in the spring.  She then mentioned that this was a base with a difference: it had nylon, something that is lacking in so many DK weight yarns.  I could not help but jump at the chance to design some socks that would take advantage of her new Kilcoursie DK yarn.

So today, I am excited to introduce my cabled DK weight sock, Signal Hill. (Why yes, I am aware that my ex-pat is showing again!)

DSCF0749Lots of 1×1 cables mean that it’s intricate but that by cabling without a cable needle, it goes pretty darned quickly!  The pattern is for sale exclusively on Ravelry for now.  (Someday, I will figure out other pattern sites!)

Such an exciting start to my week!

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An Announcement, A Free Pattern and A Contest!!

For the past year or so, I have been steadily increasing my creative endeavours.  I have started dyeing my own yarn and fibre, albeit at this point in a mostly experimental fashion.  I have resumed spinning on my Lendrum wheel and produced some very happy-making results.  I have also started writing knitting patterns.  My first was a take on an ankle sock for (and named after) my friend Shireen, and my second is a simple textured sock for my husband, Chase.  My third, another sock pattern which is currently being test knit, is my first foray into designing with cables.  I have several more designs swimming about in my head, and those will come very soon, I hope.

While writing up the second pattern, Shireen and I talked about whether or not I wanted to stay with crystaldiva, (a name inadvertently given to me almost a decade ago by a client in Florida) or whether I wanted to rebrand to something that had a bit more meaning to me overall.

As most of you know, I am an ex-pat Newfoundlander, and if I am to be truthful, even after 14 years in the Toronto area, my heart still really belongs near the sea.  In fact, I grew up some 500 metres from the Atlantic in a tiny town near the capital city of St. John’s, where the town crest boasted “First To See The Sun”.

So today, I am excited to welcome you to First Light Handcrafts!

I am thrilled that the new name and the new look reflect my east coast heritage.  Even the iceberg that graces the top of my new blog is courtesy of my dad, Jerry, who is an amazing photographer of Newfoundland scenery.  (Go check out his artistry at his Pbase site!)

In honour of my rebranding, today I am releasing the sock pattern created for my husband.  It’s called “Petty Harbour”, after another of our favourite towns in the St. John’s area, and it looks great in solid, semi-solid or variegated yarns.

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It’s available for free here on Ravelry.

I am also holding a contest – a giveaway of a lovely skein of Sundara Sock yarn in a blue called “Wistful Longing” (anyone sensing a theme here?).

sundara

To enter, leave me a comment.  Tell me what you would do with the yarn, or what yarn you’d knit Petty Harbour from…or just say hi!  If you re-tweet or share this post, leave me a comment telling me that too, and I’ll enter your name more than once!  As my friend Carla says…stack the deck in your favour!  Contest closes on Friday the 19th.  Just make sure that I have some way of contacting you to get your mailing address.

I hope you’ll stick around; it’s shaping up to be a busy time!

Exciting Times!

These past few months, my creative brain has been in overdrive. I credit some of that to hanging out with the multi-talented Shireen.  Spend a few evenings creating new things with her, and you start dreaming of what else you can accomplish.

In the past twelve months, just from a fibre standpoint, I have dyed some of my own yarn and fibre.  We started off with just experimenting with fabric dye, but since then I have played with acid dyes and have created some spin-able and knit-able pieces.  And I sincerely doubt I am done yet.

I have picked up spinning again and gotten surprisingly good at it, if my spinning teacher, Leslie is to be believed (and I believe she is).  In fact, she even thinks a couple of my skeins from Tour de Fleece should be entered in competition. Took a while for my ego to come down off that one, let me tell you!

I have gotten a loom and done a limited amount of weaving.  That is the activity that logistically is hardest to do just anywhere due to the need for a prop for the loom, so it tends to get ignored when I am deciding what craft to pursue in the evenings.

I have also self-published my first sock pattern.  Admittedly, it started out as a tool to help Shireen knit her own socks, but it was still a fun exercise and it encouraged me to keep going and create more designs.

All this is in addition to the (obviously decreased) knitting that I have been doing.  Since both of my parents have jumped on the “we love hand knit socks” bandwagon, and my husband has also decided that hand knit socks are something he was missing out on, socks have been practically the only things I have actually been working on.  In fact, I just finished my first pair for hubby and he loves them!  (More on that and my second pattern release soon!)

I have had several other patterns floating around in my head, based on somewhat of a theme; two of those have made it onto needles and one of those two is a bit behind schedule, but picking up again now.  I am enthused about that one for a number of reasons, none of which I can really talk about at the moment.

All that being said, changes are coming, and I won’t lie; I am pretty excited about them!

 

The Quest to Finish…Something

A few weeks ago I looked at my list of projects that I have cast on in the last *mumblety-mumble* months and found the number to be more than a bit jarring.  I seem to have “knitting ADD” lately…the minute something new and pretty comes along, I am off and my lovely WIPs are left languishing.  Right now, OTN, I have a collection of three fingering weight scarves…one of which has the distinction (?) of being my oldest WIP…cast on in January of last year.  There is my Colour Affection, which for some reason I never really got into, and another shawlette I was super excited about (love the pattern, adore the OOAK Tanis Fiber Arts yarn) and just put it down last fall, never to resume.  On and on it goes.

Shockingly, I only have two pairs of socks on needles, one of which is on 2mm needles and I think it intimidates me somewhat….again, a pattern I adored (Margaritaville by Adrienne Fong) but it has a 72-stitch cast on, ergo the small needles.  (I have little-ish feet).

The second pair is a pair of No Purl Monkeys in indigodragonfly MCN Sock (since renamed to Mergoat Sock) in “Don’t You Have An Elsewhere To Be”.  I cast these on last fall for the wedding of the indigodragonfly couple, Kim and Ron.  (The invitation said knitting was encouraged…I HAD to bring something!)  I knit the cuff and a single repeat, then put them down to knit socks for my parents for Christmas, and that, as they say, was all she wrote.

Kim and Ron are hosting their Annual Highlands Fibre Fling this coming weekend and I figured I’d resurrect them to bring as my “sit about and chat” project.  I dug them out of my WIP tote yesterday morning and started them up again.

It seems my finish-itis is in better shape than I might have thought.  By dinner time last night…the leg was done.

cordeliaMonkey

And before I went to work this morning, the heel flap was done, the heel was turned and the gussets stitches were picked up.  By the end of the evening, I am hoping to have all the gusset decreases done and be on the foot.

I am suddenly glad this is the first sock so I can have a second one on needles for Saturday.

On a not unrelated note…I wonder if this is the reason why, of twelve WIPs, only two are socks.