Stranded Magazine + New Patterns

The first issue of Stranded Magazine, the knitting magazine I co-founded, came out recently, and in it, I had two new patterns!

Rabbitbrush

Rabbitbrush

Rabbitbrush

The first is called Rabbitbrush. It’s a pretty classic, cropped cardigan with dropped shoulders. The construction is mostly seamless, with the exception of attaching the little patch pocket and stitching the sleeve cuffs in place. The sample was knit using Knit Picks CotLin, and I just adored working with the yarn. Cotton yarns tend to be unpleasant to knit with, but blended with the right fiber, it’s a different story! I even liked working with this better than a cotton/wool yarn. The linen just makes everything so smooth and nice. I’m really need my own version of Rabbitbrush to wear in the office in the summer.

Median

Median

Median

My other pattern is really different from the usual kind of thing I do. It’s called Median, and it’s a seamed, loose tank knit in Sincere Sheep Agleam, a wool and tencel blend. This one is knit in four pieces so the center back panel can be a contrasting color without having to fuss with intarsia. After the pieces are knit and seamed, the neckband and cuffs are picked up and knit from the whole piece. This project is a good opportunity to play with color, and it’s super portable.

If you want to learn more about the patterns, you can find a PDF lookbook on Stranded’s website. The issue is $16, comes with all of the patterns as well as articles and tutorials, and it available for only a year. We’ve been hearing great things so far from people who bought it, and I hope you love it just as much.

An Easy WIP for Busy Days

Oof! Between getting ready for Stranded Magazine‘s release, working on the Outfit Along pattern, and getting ready to move into a new apartment, it’s been kind of an intense month. I finished all of my work-related knitting and still had knitting time on the bus or out with friends, but what I didn’t have was time to write my next pattern that I was planning to knit. After trying to figure out how to fit that into my schedule without burning out, I finally accepted that it wasn’t going to happen, and I needed to come up with something else.

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So I took a look at my old WIPs, and I got back to work on this 1940s sweater vest that I started over a year ago. I only have one front, the button bands, and the neckband left to finish, but the project got pushed away when I had more work-related knitting to do. Now it’s its turn for some attention! Working on this has been really nice because it doesn’t require much thought. I did make some mods, but because I already knit one front, all I have to do is copy it!

Stranded Magazine

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I’m starting a magazine along with Erin Birnel and Monica Kirby! I spent forever trying to think of a snappy hook for this post, but sometimes it’s best to dive right in. Our new magazine is called Stranded Magazine, and the title is a little bit of a play on words because of the interconnectivity metaphor that represents what we’re hoping to do, the knitting term, and we also were seriously considering making our first issue beach themed. Haha! Here are the details on how we got started and what to expect.

Gang

After about a year of designing full-time, I started to miss some things about working with other people. My previous job had been an editor position at a cake decorating magazine, and I often found myself thinking about the great ideas I came up with when I talked things out with my coworkers, the fun of promoting other creative people’s wonderful work, and so much more. I love doing independent design work, but it’s very insular, and sometimes can feel very, “me, me me.” My long term goal became starting some kind of knitting magazine. It was the thing I talked about whenever someone asked me about what I wanted to do with my career. I came up with many different variations on the theme, and I eventually settles on a concept I liked best, but it wasn’t something I could do on my own.

Cut to sitting down with two of my good friends last March to try to work out if we could realistically do this. And what we found was that it was going to take a lot of hard work, but it looked like we could do it. So we did! Our first issue, the Warm Weather 2016 issue, comes out at the beginning of next month.

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Now that I’ve told you a piece of the origin story, let me tell you more about the magazine itself! Stranded Magazine is an exclusively digital magazine that combines everything I want as both a magazine reader and a magazine contributor. When you buy an issue, you get all of the patterns, plus tutorials, articles, and other craft projects, and designers get a percentage of every magazine sale along with a flat fee, so everybody wins. (Most magazines that include all of the patterns only pay designers a flat fee, and most publications that do pay designers a percentage of the sales require you to purchase the patterns individually.) We’ve managed to make this work by being digital only and having each issue be available for only a year. After the year is up, rights revert back to the designers who can do what they like with them. There will be three issues a year, one for Warm Weather, Mild Weather, and Cold Weather, and we’re packing them full of good stuff.

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So that’s my new big project! We’ve been working on it for a long time, and I hope you’ll support it as much as you’ve supported my self-published work. You can follow us on Instagram, join our Ravelry group, and/or visit our site and subscribe to our mailing list. I think you’ll love what we’ve got in store for you.

FAQ: What are twisted stitches?

There are two questions about twisted stitches that come up a lot from knitters who are working on Miette. What are they and why use them? Twisted stitches are exactly what they sound like. They’re stitches that have been twisted by being worked through the back loop so the legs cross instead of being open. You’ll most often run across twisted stitches in textured stitch patterns or ribbing patterns.

Twisted_Stitches_Rib

Ribbing can cause the legs of a normal stitch to spread farther apart than in stockinette, and many knitters don’t enjoy the appearance of that. On the left is normal, plain ribbing that was created using plain knits and purls. On the right is twisted ribbing. Twisted stitches twist the legs of a stitch which pulls the column of stitches in tight and prevents it from expanding like normal ribbing. Ribbing with twisted stitches tends to look neater than normal ribbing, but it also doesn’t stretch as much. This can be useful for a yarn that can stretch out of shape, like the cotton blends recommended for Miette.

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And I can’t write about twisted stitches without writing about accidental twisted stitches. They’re a common mistake for beginner and self-taught knitters, typically caused by wrapping yarn in the wrong direction while purling. Unintentionally twisted stitches can create a striped look and will spoil features like eyelets. If you’ve ever noticed that your eyelets aren’t as large or your stockinette isn’t as smooth as the sample, this could be the culprit.

Twisted_Stitches_Mistake_Stretched

The easiest way to spot accidental twisted stitches is to stretch your knitting. Regular stockinette stretches evenly with the columns opening up, but twisted stitches prevent the columns from opening, so you get tight, compact columns instead.

Vintage Pledge 2016 Plans

I’m participating in the Vintage Pledge again this year. Are you? If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a low-key event where everyone makes a pledge of their own choice related to working with their vintage and vintage-reproduction patterns. It’s a good way to motivate yourself to actually use those patterns instead of just hoarding them. Last year I pledged to sew with two of my repro or vintage patterns, but I only actually used one. I sewed that same pattern many times, but I didn’t meet my goal. This year I’m aiming for two patterns again, and hopefully I’ll really use more than one!

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I already have one project planned with all of the materials I need in my stash. I’m going to sew Butterick 6055 using this black and red stretch cotton, minus those ridiculous pockets. This was supposed to be my second project last year, and I got everything ready to go, including sewing a muslin of the bodice, but I never found the time to make the dress.

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My second project is less thoroughly planned. All I’ve really decided is that I’d like to make something with a fitted skirt, because it can be windy here, and I’m always short on windy-weather outfits. I’ll either make this 60s pencil skirt or this 50s sheath dress. I’m not sure if I have any fabric in my stash appropriate for either of these patterns, so I’ll have to do a bit of digging and maybe some shopping!

Vintage_pledge_2016_s1426

If I get the previous two projects done, and can squeeze in a third, I’d love to make this 50s crop top with a matching skirt. I might do a pair using the pencil skirt pattern above or just do a simple circle skirt. But this one is really low priority because I won’t be able to wear it as many often as the other projects.