New pattern coming soon!

So, since the last one went so well, I’ve decided that maybe this sharing my patterns thing is something I’d like to keep trying! I’ve had a lot of weird and difficult things happening in my life lately, so I’ve been so grateful to have my kitting to keep me sane.

Anyway, as I’ve been knit-coping the last few days, I decided to explore these knit headbands everyone’s been going crazy over on Pinterest. I made one. Then another. Then another in a different colour. I finally got the buttons sewn on (they’re such quick knits, I just wanted to keep getting that satisfying “I’m binding off another one!” feeling) and was trying one on around the house, when my daughter spotted Mommy’s new accessory. She looked at it with those wide, blue eyes and ever so sweetly said, “Mommy! Is that your headband??”
“Yes, sweetie, it is. Would you like one?”
Her face broke into one of her precious bright smiles as she replied, “yes! I want one purple, like Mommy’s, but wi’h pink on it too!”

So, off I went to Ravelry in search of the perfect one…but my search turned up very few options for very little girls, and fewer still in Aran weight yarn (which I had used for my own headband).

Back to the drawing board. Literally.

To be honest, that’s usually where I start writing patterns: despite seemingly limitless options, I sometimes just can’t find “the one.” Given that I’m working mainly with yarn given to me by a very generous aunt and can’t afford to just hop out and buy more, this happens quite often, as I try to make the project I have envisioned with the yarn I have on hand. Usually my “patterns” look like chicken scratch in a journal, half-phrased notes written on the fly as I promise myself I’ll remember how to do it again later (I rarely do).  Which brings us back to sharing.

When I know I want to share a pattern I’m more motivated to write it well and I’m more excited about finishing the job. Win for me. It only becomes a win for other people, though, if I actually get around to sharing it…which is why I’m telling you all now, and giving myself a deadline: December 4th is it! If I’m not done by then, you can…comment with disparaging words…or something. Anyway, just knowing other people are expecting it should be enough…I hope…my one concern is actually that I will just plain forget, because I am telling you, I have the worst memory of all time, and my life is absolute madness right now!

Anyway, check back soon! The pattern is coming!

Lake Country Throw

Tonight I took a little leap of faith and published my Lake Country Throw pattern on Ravelry.
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This is a very simple pattern I dreamed up because I found Kertzer’s beautiful James C. Brett Marble Chunky in one of my favourite shades of purple. It just so happened I was also in need of a throw for my living room, and a pattern I could also easily use to knit a quick blanket for my family’s vacation home in BC’s Lake Country. Once I got the pattern worked out, this throw took me just a few short hours to knit up!

Anyhow, the pattern is up and available for download on Ravelry, right over here. It’s free, so help yourself! And if you decide you want to knit one for yourself (or a friend…or three…it’s simple and fast enough!), please put some pictures up on Ravelry and let me know how it went!

Swift Knits – Test Knitters Wanted

I’m gearing up to release my first pattern on Ravelry.com, but before I do I would like some people to test-knit it for me.

This throw is what you’d be making:

 

This one was knit in the Plum Mix colorway of James C. Brett Marble Chunky, which is 100% Acrylic (and 100% washable!). It uses a little less than 3 skeins and knits up very quickly and easily (great beginner pattern). I am also looking for a wool or wool blend that would work well in this pattern (stay tuned).

As a test-knitter you’ll get the pattern for free, and if you’re a Ravelry.com user I will also give you a discount of 50% on future patterns. If you’re not on Ravelry already, go check it out! It’s free to sign up and you can find plenty of help and resources for knitting and crocheting, including scores of free patterns and many beautiful ones for a bargain.

If you’re interested in becoming a test-knitter, e-mail me at swiftandwhimsy@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you with some more details.

Who has the Time?

The times I appreciated most growing up were spent with my family, building and creating. Though my family is fairly well-off, I found that the things that drew us together did not require as much money as they did time. Whether sewing up little birds for Christmas ornaments, knitting washcloths with my mom, baking treats for the household, or even building a cabin with salvaged materials, we were grafted together by the creative act. That’s why I came back to knitting when I had my own family. Most of what you can knit these days can be bought quickly and easily, so many question the logic behind knitting dishcloths and garments and other goods. The question seems to be, “who has the time?” As we all rush from one thing to the next in our quest to die with more toys than our neighbours, we’ve lost the joy of creating amidst all this consuming. So I’ll keep knitting my dishcloths, thank-you very much.

A while ago, in my quest to live out this create vs. consume ideal, I picked up the book “Weekend Knitting” by Melanie Falick. This was my first knitting book purchase, and in honesty I had no idea what to look for. While I did make sure I could understand the patterns (a potential obstacle I dodged frequently as a newbie knitter), it was one of those times when I did, in fact, judge a book by its cover image…and all the other pictures inside. Mainly I was drawn by this lovely, soft, ruched blanket (which I  knit for my daughter shortly after).

Standing there in Chapters turning the pages of this book, it never occurred to me to question the logic behind spending a weekend knitting miniature sweaters to keep soft-boiled eggs warm, or flower-shaped washcloths for the guest bathroom. I never doubted what a lovely time it would be to actually make your own checkerboard before playing on it. As I flipped through the book, a picture grew in my mind of whipping up baby cardis, pullovers and finger puppets for the kids while they napped, then making Adrienne’s Hot Chocolate and Sophie’s Butter Cookies (yes, your weekend of knitting comes complete with treats) when they woke up.

I’d been dreaming of the kind of life for my family that celebrates time together and simple pleasures, with a heaping measure of creativity thrown in. This book, it seemed, would be a perfect fit.

By now you’re all expecting this book to let me down, aren’t you? Well, the good news is, it has not. The bad news is that somewhere along the way, I lost that little dream for my family, and haven’t done much to grow it since I bought this book. Sure, I’ve been knitting, attempting simplicity…but always on a deadline. I’ve made cookies once since I quit work (not at all while I worked), but more to keep my kids content while I busied myself with cleaning or with hyper-analyzing our finances for the umpteenth time. I’ve been a porcupine with my family, bristling with too many things that won’t matter when I’m dead. My house has been cleaner sometimes, and our finances are looking much better…but none of that matters when compared to the fact that my husband and kids need a wife and mother who will just be present in their lives to create a home brimming with God’s love.

Well, today I looked at this book, fallen over on its shelf, and I remembered. So, here I am, vowing that this is going to be a better year. I’m not deluded, thinking that motherhood is all about the cookies and hot chocolate. I don’t even imagine I’ll be getting much done on my knitting right now (ah, potty training time…more on that another day). But I will pursue this dream, because what my children’s generation needs is time spent with their parents discovering simple pleasures, the love of God, and a good home.