Monday, November 11, 2013

Rastita Design Challenge Part 3: Call for test knitters

Hi all! Just a quick reminder that my new blog is over at - you should go there to read all blog posts from now on, or subscribe to that RSS feed. But since this post is important and I don't want you to miss it, I'm posting it here as well.

Cory's call for test knitters here.

I mentioned in my previous Design Challenge post that test knitters are a really important part of getting a clear and correct pattern. Well, it's about that time!

I'm looking for a few test knitters for my as-yet-unnamed cowl. In fact, if you have any ideas for a name I'd love suggestions for that too.

Skills needed:

It's a relatively simple project, but you will need to know how to knit, purl, increase & decrease, and pick up stitches, as well as working with two colors of yarn.

Supplies needed:

size US 7 needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
buttons (3-5 depending on button size)
two colors of DK weight yarn (I used Malabrigo Rastita)

As far as yarn amount goes, if you don't mind a short cowl then 50g of each would probably be sufficient. I had 100g of each and was able to make a fairly long cowl with a bit of yarn left over.


I'll send the pattern to all test knitters by Friday 11/15, the test knit needs to be finished by Sunday 12/15.

In return, you'll get a copy of the final eBook with both my pattern and Cory's Folded Lotus pattern.

I don't have any awesome modeled pictures of my cowl yet, but you can get a pretty good idea from the sneak peeks in the previous posts. I'll try to update this post with a better picture soon.


If you're interested in test knitting my cowl pattern, please email me at starielknits at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rastita Design Challenge Part 1: Design Process

Check out Cory's post on her design process here!

I think my design process is much different than that of most other designers I know. First of all, I don't have a ton of ideas just waiting in the wings until I write the pattern. Mostly I have an idea and I either write the pattern right away, or I have to figure out a way to get my idea into a knitable and wearable item and that takes a while. My Diverged socks, for example, were an idea for quite a long time before they became a reality.

The other major difference is that I don't sketch my ideas. I'm not really a drawing kind of person. And, probably because I mainly design socks, I already have an idea of the shape of the item I'm going to end up with. I also don't usually swatch unless I'm coming up with a stitch pattern where I'm not sure how it will turn out. I did quite a bit of swatching for the Falling Up socks when I designed them because I really wanted strong vertical lines and wasn't sure what decrease would give me the look I wanted. Also, I originally wanted to work the pattern cuff down as I do with most my socks, and I couldn't find a way to make the stitch pattern look similar in that direction. I never did, which is why I ended up designing them as toe-up socks.

Since I don't sketch and don't usually swatch, where do I start? Well, first I chart. Charts do for me what sketches do for most others - help me plan where certain textures or stitch patterns will end up on the finished item and what the placement will be. If the pattern is one that doesn't need to be charted, I figure out the math and then get knitting. If it doesn't come out the way I like, well then I'll start over.


Often my designs start with an idea for a small feature or detail that I want in the finished project. In this case, buttons. There have been a few times when I found buttons that I just couldn't resist. The buttons had to be mine, because they were really pretty and had stars on them. But I don't usually knit things that require buttons. I have put them on socks once, but it's not something I really care for. So, in comes the idea for a cowl. A cowl, with really awesome star buttons.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Well, I've finally taken the next step with my blog after all these years, and it's moving over to! I'll still post here for the next little bit, but if you subscribe through a feed reader update that to the new site as well as your bookmarks, etc. I'm so excited to continue on my new pretty site, which also has a cool section with my designs and more interesting capabilities. Hope to see you all over there!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Design Challenge

A few weeks ago, Cory came into the yarn store where I work and was looking at the Malabrigo Rastita. I told her that I really wanted to knit something with it, but I wasn't sure what. She said that she also kept looking at it, but wasn't sure to knit. And so... we decided to do a design challenge.

We each have 2 colors of Rastita to work with, and we're each going to design a project with it. But the exciting part is that we're going to blog about our design process and pattern writing along the way.

You can read Cory's side of the story over at her blog, indie.knits, and of course you can read my part right here! I hope you'll join us in our journey as we design and knit our projects.

Saturday we met up to discuss our plans, and I snapped a quick picture of my yarns by Cory's swatch. (Already she has a sketch and a swatch, and is way ahead of me!)

IMG_1422 We'll be posting for the next few weeks about our designs, and at the end we'll each give away a kit for our design, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Big news - I have a podcast!

So, one of the many things that's been keeping me away from this poor neglected blog is....

My new podcast!

Yep, my awesome knitting BFF MJ and I have started a podcast, Starjay Knits! We've put out three episodes so far, and we're having a great time! (You should totally check out our website, because MJ made it really awesome. We also have a ravelry group for the podcast.)

Anyway, if you want to hear about what we're knitting and our opinions on knitting related stuff, give us a listen!

Our latest episode was about twin socks.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Mystery Socks and Vogue Knitting Live!

There has been a lot of secret knitting going on lately around here, so the blog has been very quiet. But there are a couple exciting things coming right up that I'd like to share. :D

First off, I'm hosting a Mystery Sock KAL with my friend Stephania of Three Fates Yarns! It will start on my birthday next week, April 11. The link will take you to the sign up post in the Three Fates Ravelry group. The KAL is free and you're not required to knit with Three Fates Yarns (though if you do you'll be eligible for extra prize entries.)

Please come and join us, it should be lots of fun!

The second exciting thing is that I'll be at Vogue Knitting Live Seattle this weekend, hanging out at the Cooperative Press and Three Fates Yarns booths. If you'll be there, come and say hi!
If not, I'll try my very best to actually remember to take some pictures so I can post about it next week.

Oh, and one more exciting thing... at the end of next week I'll be traveling to Wisconsin to visit my best online friend ever, MJ! It looks like she's abandoned knitting for cooking, but I'll try to remedy that situation. ;)

And last, but not least, here's one of the few non-secret things I've knit lately - a Wingspan shawlette out of some very old stash.


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Sock Parade!

I've been slacking a little on posting my No Repeat December socks, so here are several:

Day 3:

Day 3: Dye Dreams yarn I bought, Blackhearted knit by Cathy, felted so they fit me! #norepeatdec

I bought this yarn for my friend Cathy for her birthday when we were at SPA in Maine. She knit my (Black)hearted pattern, but after an unfortunate felting incident the socks didn't fit her... but they fit me, so they've come full circle.

Day 4:

Day 4: Swap socks! Probably Sockotta, not sure what pattern. #norepeatdec

I got these in a swap, the yarn is Sockotta and the pattern was designed by my swap partner, she called it Jersey Riptide.

Day 5:

#norepeatdec Day 5: plain socks in Mini Mochi - the stripes started out the same, but yarn weirdness means they don't match

Hey, socks I actually knit! Plain ones in Mini Mochi.

Day 6:

By request, red socks! #norepeatdec Day 6: the sample for my pattern Garnish in Yarntini.

Cara was making fun of all my blue-ish socks, and she requested red ones. These are the pattern sample for my free pattern, Garnish!

Day 7:

#norepeatdec Day 7: plain socks knit from my first skein of Trekking XXL, a gift from my mom

A plain pair in my very first skein of Trekking XXL, a gift from my mom. (I knit a pair in Trekking before this, but that was from someone else's yarn, and made for that person.)

Day 8:

#norepeatdec Day 8: Regia Nation Color rainbow socks!

And today, my Regia Nation Color rainbow socks. Yes, I should have broken these out Thursday for the first official day of marriage equality in WA, but they were drying after I did sock laundry. Oh well, I am all for rainbows (and marriage equality) every day!

Sunday, December 02, 2012


Today, I wore a pair of plain ol' stripey socks:

Day 2: plain socks in Vesper #norepeatdec

These Vesper socks were the project I worked on in 2008 while moving cross-country from Boston to Seattle in a UHaul, and were finished shortly after arriving. They've held up pretty well!

I also finally got around to a task I had been putting off - I finished my Zauberball shawl while at Rhinebeck - and even wore it in its unblocked unsightly state! Upon arriving home I planned to block it, but couldn't find my blocking pins, the consequences of moving. Eventually I gave up and bought some more.


I think it's going to look much better when it's nicely blocked. :)

Saturday, December 01, 2012

No Repeat December

This month, I'll be trying to wear and photograph a different pair of handknit socks each day. The idea is from my friend, and fellow Purlygirl, Jessica of Rose-Kim Knits.

Today we'll start off with a lovely pair of Conwy socks in J Knits yarn, knit for me by my lovely friend Cathy back in 2009! I thought this was part of the BFF sock swap, but now that I check the historical record (aka blog) I see that she just sent me these socks because she's really nice, I guess!

#norepeatdec Day 1: Conwy socks in Jknits yarn, knit for me by my friend Cathy

Nice socks, huh?

So, I'm thinking about posting these each day along with any sharable news about my knitting. With so much secret knitting going on I haven't had much to post lately. What do you think?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Knitting everywhere!

In the past few months while I've been neglecting my blog, I moved to a new apartment. I've also been knitting all over!

I went on vacation for just over 2 weeks - the longest since I started at my job nearly 4 years ago! - in Boston and NYC, and to Rhinebeck. It was great to see some of my Boston knitting friends, including attending the wedding of one of them. I got to visit Gather Here, a new knitting and sewing shop in Cambridge MA, and a bunch of NYC yarn stores. And, of course, there's Rhinebeck!

I was really bad at remembering to take pictures, but here are a few highlights:

I visited the Statue of Liberty!

This time from Liberty Island!

I went to Brooklyn General - my new favorite NYC yarn store - and La Casita, where I was advised to go to the Brooklyn Farmacy and try an egg cream, so I did.

At the Brooklyn Farmacy drinking an egg cream as instructed. :)

I finished the lovely Rikke hat in DIC Everlasting DK:



After a few days in NYC I headed to Rhinebeck, where I ate yummy creme brulee in a restaurant named Arielle!

Eating creme brûlée at a restaurant named after me!

I saw lots of yarn and sheep at Rhinebeck, though I didn't take pictures. I also watched the Leaping Llamas competition! And I managed to finish a shawl I've been working on (or not really working on) for a long time. But it still needs to be blocked, so you can see it next time.

Also next time, the story of how I went to Knit Fit here in Seattle and didn't take even one picture.

Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs