Oh Brother. The gauge swatch. How is it possible that such a tiny 4x4 inch square can give us such a headache.
I remember learning to knit and not understanding what a gauge swatch was, what was the purpose of a gauge swatch and why would I waste my time knitting a four inch square to only then start the project after? Fast forward a few years… oh if I could have bitch slapped my old self, I would have. So if your like 2014 Chantal, let’s break it down so you don’t make the same mistakes as I did.
I swear my new favourite thing about knitting is fuzzy knits. Mohair and alpaca have been popping up left right and center and that “halo” or super fluffy texture is just my jam. Seems like I’ve not alone either, as the world is on a craze of “Teddy Bear Coats” and I’m seeing them everywhere.
Back in January Frenchie of Aroha Knits put on a shawl challenge. 5 knit shawls in 5 days. Luckily they were little minis, not the full thing so I totally got behind it. So in 5 days you learnt the 5 traditional ways of how to hand knit a shawl. From triangles, to asymmetrical shawls, to square - the whole shebang, and it’s because of this course that I finally took my first dip into shawl designing and came up with the Forever Shawl. You can still sign up for that challenge and do it yourself: HERE.
After finishing up the Forever Shawl, I wanted to use up the yummy remnants of my Blue Sky Fibers. It’s so soft that I couldn’t let it go to waste, so I whipped up this cute little twin headband to be able to pair with it while walking the dogs, or just dealing with those bad hair days.
Pricing your items when it comes to handmade is so difficult. It essentially comes down to asking yourself "How much am I worth as a person?". Too many times I see people pricing their items so low that I know there is no possible way that they can be making a profit, and it drives me crazy. It hurts me that they aren't paying themselves what they deserve - as well as it enrages me that they are without a doubt undercutting Knitatude, myself, and the handmade community that I love.
If you’ve been following along for the past year or so, I have become head over heels in making seamless knits that are worked from the top down, and in doing so have wanted to design and knit my first top down yoke sweater ever since.
When I was designing this pattern I had Mr. Rogers in mind. Not just because of the bright red iconic sweater eh wore, but for what he stood for. Todd (my hubby - scroll down to see him!) and I had just finished watching the new Mister Rogers documentary on Netflix, and it really hit home.
You know when you see a sweater or knit at the mall or in person and you’re like “Hot damn, I could make that!”. Well for me, that was the crossback sweater.
If you know me, you'll know that I am terrible at buying yarn (crazy for a knitter I know). I look at it and hum and haw forever and then cave after a couple months. Well that's the exact case with Whitney's Angel Aura colorway. I have never fallen so madly in love with one before. It's tonal, it's soft, its neutral but not, and it matches every single hair colour I've ever done. So when I finally went to make my order I got as much as I could. We’re talking a whole sweaters worth of fingering, a shawls amount of single ply fingering weight, and then this scrumptious amazing single ply super bulky.
I started this dress actually back in February, but just knew Spring was peeking too closely around the corner. So I laid in wait, patiently (who am I kidding - impatiently) for the fall, and now, this baby can finally be set free. So I introduce you to: THE DIAMOND KNIT DRESS.
Hello friends! I figured that since I call for pattern testers pretty often - I would explain how I pick and choose and give some tips and do's and don'ts to help better your chances of getting to test. If you're a pattern designer, maybe you can take home some tips too.
I come at you today at a fragile point. I want to first tell you that I LOVE writing patterns. I really do. Getting to test new stitches, come up with ideas, swatch things out, send out to pattern testers and be as creative as you can be is like having my world burst into color. Plus, that moment where you finally get to put on the finished piece you've designed from top to bottom is unlike any other. It's the most exhilarating experience, but I also don't want to sugar coat it because I feel like pattern writing is the newest trend in our community. So many people are delving into the pattern world and I want to show you that it's not all light and bubbly. So let's take the plunge into the dark side of what pattern writing has brought out in me.
I'm tired of the game and the numbers. I'm tired of comparing myself to others. I am tired of scrolling through my social media to only feel bad about my work, my body, my wardrobe, my life. I am tired of self deprecating myself and thinking "I am not enough" when I know that I AM. I am tired of being glued to my phone and going to it every 3-7 minutes for validation and verification from other people. I am tired of seeing the fake, and the beautiful boxes with the mess covered up.
I am fucking tired of social media
TEST KNITTING HELP: 101
Whether you're looking for test knitters, or are applying to be one, here are some great tips to help you both out!
Imagine this: You’ve just learned to knit or crochet - or maybe you have been for a while - and can't stop pining to talk knits and purls, crochets and cables, patterns and fibers and yarn, etc. There's just one issue: Your partner or close friend doesn't really care. They listen and smile, but just don’t get it. Welcome to my life.
I started a weekly Stitch N’ Bitch in Calgary, Canada 2.5 years ago and it’s been the highlight night of my week since! It’s wonderful to get together to knit or crochet, chat, laugh and learn. So if you’ve been wanting some knit-friendly friends, here are my tips in starting a knit night!
Being in a community of so many crafters means that there's bound to be two people that have the same great idea at the same time. After all there's only a certain amount of "original ideas" out there. I think we have this tenancy to jump down each others throats right away instead of looking at things from a positive side. Or a neutral one. Competition makes us crazy but we shouldn't let it. Here's my "positive" way to think about some good ol' competition. I may get flack for this... but here goes.
You're ready to take the leap, start your own biz, or maybe you're scrolling through your social media feed and really like something that someone just posted. You want to know where they got that yarn, those pom poms, those materials, etc so you head to comment section, start typing and... LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE!
Let's hit the pause button and I'll let you in on a secret:
Ok! Since some of my upcoming patterns I'm releasing in the next few weeks include cables I thought it was time to tackle a blog post about them. JUST in case you have been wanting to do them but haven't yet because they freak you out. Cables. As a new knitter these are the dream, the life, the aspiration. They also look effing HARD! Turns out they are hella simple and they are nothing to be scared of.
It's that time of the year and now we are in the mad scramble for Christmas gifts. Shipping cut off dates are over and we turn to shopping local to find those last minute pressies. Here are a few of my favs right here in Calgary (AKA cowtown)