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Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Blizzard Hat is back!!

The Inspiration Hat
Fans of the television show Bones will remember this little gem.  This is the hat that Temperance wore when she and Booth got stuck in an elevator, in The Blackout in the Blizzard episode.

Anyway, about a million years ago I designed a pattern based on this hat and put it up for free on Ravelry.  I was in the middle of finals and didn't really have time to knit a sample myself, so I didn't catch the shaping issues until I was scrolling though some of the projects on Ravelry and saw the comments of a few knitters.  One Raveler in particular made several beautiful versions of the hat, but had some rather critical comments for the design and quite frankly, they were valid.  So I took down the pattern (and a handful of others) to redesign and re-release later.  I had no idea how long it would take to get back to this one. 

Now I'm exited to say that I finally worked out the details and I reloaded the design into my Rav Shop yesterday.  The Blizzard Hat is once again available, and the timing couldn't be better because the new season starts on September 17th, lol.  Every time The Blackout in the Blizzard aired, I got a flurry of emails asking when the hat would be ready.  I sent out over 30 messages yesterday, letting people know that they could get their copy, and from looking at the downloads, I'd say that most of them got right on it.

So you probably want to know that took me so long.  Well, I changed the shaping and added an additional size to the pattern.  I knit two different samples in a new, readily available yarn (Cascade 128 Superwash), and changed the gauge to fit most chunky yarns.  I adjusted the decrease section to make sure that they lined up correctly regardless of the size you choose to work.  As you can probably tell from the photo, the decreases are carefully done so you can leave off the pompom if you'd rather not wear one.  (At 6 feet tall, I can't really pull off the whimsical look that a pompom conveys, lol.)  I also managed to get a few decent photos even though I had to use my old point and shoot camera to get it done.  And with all this additional work and expense, I've decided that this formerly free download will remain free until September 15th, after which it will sell for $2.99. 

Now, I know that it can be quite unpopular when a designer decides to take a free design and start charging for it, but sometimes it's a necessary thing.  Much more goes into a design than simply having an idea.  For example, I am taking a design course right now to help improve my ability to size a design (which means that I can increase the size range of existing patterns as well as future ones, making them more inclusive) and this course wasn't cheap.  Technical editing is quite costly as well, but it's just not possible (or advisable) to release a pattern without having it edited.  Good photography is expensive and finding a photographer that you click with is hard.  Programs to format designs and create schematics...well, you don't even want to know how much that stuff costs.  And then there's the yarn.  Not all designers get yarn support, and the ones who do don't get it consistently.  That means that I'm paying out of pocket for the yarn to knit the sample.  So, at the end of the day, designers sometimes need to charge for patterns that once were free in order to continue to bring you new designs and I find myself in that position.  I hope you understand, and I encourage you to take advantage of my limited-time offer and download a copy for free while you still can :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Guess what I found in my mailbox today?..

That's right...I'm official baby!
Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I've been waiting for my diploma to arrive from Kaplan (still no diploma..) so when a rather large package came for me, my husband thought that might be it.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that it came from Interweave!  They sent me a copy of the magazine, with three loose copies of my pattern for my portfolio!!  How cool is that?!

I kid you not folks.  I screamed and jumped up and down for a full minute.  Then I pointed to every single page on which pictures of my mittens appear (there are 4, lol).  Then my husband made the fateful mistake of asking where my name was, which led to lots more page flipping and pointing.  It was awesome.  At one point, my oldest expressed confusion in my behavior, and my 6-year old said to him "she's just excited", lol.  That boy really gets me.

more sweetness
I'm so glad that I took the time to make sure these mittens were perfect.  That ant killed me!

So, now I need to decide what to do with my prized magazine.  I don't think just putting it on the shelf with my others is good enough.  Maybe I'll have the entire magazine framed?..nah.  I'm going to knit some of the other patterns in here so I'll just try to be careful with it and keep it clean (for a little while, lol).

P.S.- Kendraja, I'm still hoping to hear from you so I can get you your book.  Please contact me by Friday or I'll need to draw another name.