mlemmonsdesigns

Beautiful designs for adventurous knitters

Oxygenate November 9, 2013

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(Movie announcer voice)

In a world covered by water, humans fight for survival. The polar ice caps have melted, leaving little dry land. Bio-engineered humans have adapted by incorporating gills into their anatomy. But what will they wear?

(resume normal voice)

GW11

When I saw Alex Tinsley’s call for patterns for a book of post-apocalypse patterns, I knew I had to be a part of it. I love doomsday movies and tv shows (Day after Tomorrow is one of my favorites) so I knew that the first step to creating a design for the book was to choose my end of the world scenario. I thought through the different possibilities and finally decided on global warming leading to a globe covered in water. I’d recently seen the movie Waterworld for the first time and while the story is weird and a bit thin, the costuming is great. I wanted to design something that would fit in that movie.

GW12

And thus was born Oxygenate. This laceweight tank is cool in the wasteland of water and sun, and stylishly accents the gills while allowing ease of movement, while the lace pattern mimics the scales of the fish these aquatic beings swim with. The gills are created with short rows and pleats in an alpaca yarn to give that frilly gill texture across the chest.

GW21

Oxygenate has plenty of positive ease, which, paired with the drapey fabric, makes this style flattering for a wide range of sizes and shapes. I can’t wait to make one of these for myself. Obviously, I will be a little less daring than the lovely model and will be wearing a camisole under mine.

For those who are interested, here are my original sketch and swatch. For those who don’t have a pair of leather pants or booty shorts just hanging out in the closet (this includes me), Oxygenate would also look great with a knee length A-line skirt or a pair of jeans.

sketch

oxygenate swatch 2

Oxygenate is knit with The Unique Sheep Chasca and Marici, both of which are AMAZING yarns. If I could only knit with Marici for the rest of my life, I’d be a very happy woman.

Doomsday Knits is available for pre-order now here, with digital delivery in December and print shortly after that. This book is an essential for all of the doomsday preppers, knitters, or fashionistas in your life. The next stop on the blog tour is back on Alex’s blog, Dull Roar.

(I apologize for how late my post is today. I have been working like a crazy woman for a craft fair that was today and had completely forgotten about writing my post after remembering multiple times that I needed to do it when I finally decided to go to bed at 2am)

 

Hi Again April 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 6:45 am

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I really should get better at blogging.

So what’s happened since last August?

I haven’t published any new designs, but I have been busy designing and knitting. I spent a lot of time working on designs for a magazine (should be out this Spring) and a book by Cooperative Press as well as a few self published designs that will hopefully be released really soon. Keep an eye out for a new shawlette pattern from me this weekend.

Here are some sneak peeks of the shawlette that’s coming out in a few days.

IMAG1020 IMAG1026

In addition to design work, I’ve been busy chasing after my two toddlers and preparing for a new baby boy who’s coming at the end of July. A new baby means that both boys needed to graduate to bigger beds. So I spent a lot of time turning my husband’s “office” that was in reality a junk room into a bedroom for the 3 yo. He is so excited to have his own room and to get to help Daddy put his big boy bed together.

IMAG1109

 

One year of designing! July 31, 2012

Filed under: Knitting,new pattern,Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 11:00 am
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July 15th, 2011 I uploaded my first pattern to Ravelry, Nouveau Beaded Capelet. While that was my first published design, it was not my first completed design. I had already finished knitting and writing Ramona Cowl for Knitscene and Flight of the Bugga socks for Sanguine Gryphon, but they wouldn’t be published until later in the year.

Thus, I have now been designing for over a year. This calls for celebration.

Of course, I didn’t realize that the one year anniversary was coming up until the very end of June. Then I asked on Twitter and in my Ravelry group how we should celebrate. Karen suggested that I design a special pattern. At first I scoffed at the idea of designing, knitting, and releasing a shawl pattern in two weeks. But then the crazy side of my brain took over and started making suggestions.

Crazy Brain (CB): You know, it would be pretty cool to have a special anniversary pattern.

Logical Brain (LB): Yes, but two weeks isn’t much time and I need to still take care of the house and kids. How do I make something that fits with my design aesthetic that I can finish in two weeks? Remember, I’m a slow knitter.

CB: Aww, who needs sleep? Do you remember those purple and green beads that you’ve had for a year now that you’ve been wanting to use? Oh, and that gorgeous dark brown Baruffa Cashwool? They would all look so pretty together.

LB: But I don’t have time. I have other patterns that I’m working on.

CB: You can do it! Beads. Lace. You know you want to…

LB: Well, maybe if I make it a stole… Shaping is the trickiest part.

CB: Now you’re talking! It should have a party theme! Streamers!

LB: Fine, you win. Where’s my graph paper and needles?

And that folks is how I ended up not sleeping for two weeks while I cranked out Merrymaking.

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Merrymaking is a stole with pointed ends. Each half is worked from the point to the center, then they are grafted together.

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The beaded streamers allow for a lot of customization based on your bead color choices. You can do all the streamers in the same color, use two colors like I did, or even go all out and use four different colors.

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I don’t know if you can tell, but we had a lot of fun setting up this photoshoot. Do you know what the best part of having a party themed photoshoot that has a cake as a prop? You get to eat cake afterwards. And if you’ve set up a tea party with crystal and china you should eat the cake on the crystal and china. Yes, these things do come to mind when planning photoshoots. I have to make it worthwhile to my lovely family members who model for me and take the pictures.

I hope you choose Merrymaking to help you celebrate your life soon. Merrymaking is 25% off until August 18th when purchased from Ravelry or my website, no coupon code needed. It is also available on Craftsy.

 

Shawl shapes June 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 5:24 am

There are lots of shapes of shawls out there. The most common are triangles and rectangles, partly I suspect because they are the easiest to design. But those may not be knitters favorites to wear.

Obviously, different knitters want different shape shawls. This is because they want different things from their shawls. Some want warmth, some want frothy lace, some just want a colorful neck accessory like a scarf. For me, I want a lightweight shawl to cover my arms to keep cold air from fans and A/C from hitting my skin. Thus, I’m going to be looking for different shaped shawls than other knitters.

A lot of knitters say that they don’t like triangular shawls because they don’t want an arrow pointing at their rear end. Others don’t like them because the straight upper edge makes it hard to keep on. I personally don’t like them because I want a shawl to cover my arms and they have to be HUGE before that will happen.

Rectangular shawls or stoles don’t cover very much unless they are very wide and they don’t stay on easily. I’ve never been able to wear one where it actually stayed where I wanted it. It either rode up and looked like a scarf or rode down and was just a ribbon draped between my elbows.

My favorite shapes are crescents (also called heart shaped or triangles with wings). This is the shape of my Silver Bells and Cockle Shells. The wings at the front edge help keep it situated on your shoulders and provide more depth at the sides over your arms. Close contenders are the 3/4 square made of three triangles instead of two and the more than half circle. These also stay on well because they don’t have a straight upper edge  and cover my arms. Additional plus is that these shapes don’t have a point above the rear end.

There have been a number of discussions about shawl shapes on Ravelry. In one of the recent discussions, I added a poll so readers could vote for their favorite shawl shapes. The results so far have been surprising. Triangles have very few votes. The shape with the most votes by a landslide has been shallow crescent. Reading all the reasons given has been interesting. If you haven’t voted in that poll yet, please do.

 

Don’t overwork it June 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 6:02 pm

I’ve been working on designs using the yarn support I was given while I was at DFW Fiber Fest. The socks using the Budding sock  yarn by Knitting Rose progressed nicely and are now in testing. The variegated lace shawl made from Chiku by The Fiber Lady is also coming along well.

Designing a lace shawl from variegated yarn has been tricky. I tend to do complicated lace and stay away from stockinette. But intricate lace and variegated yarn just fight each other so I knew I needed to try something else. I read a lot of threads on Ravelry about what types of patterns work well with variegated yarn. The consensus has been that large leaf shapes and other simple lace patterns do well. So I found a diamond/leaf shape that I liked and found a way to tile it in an interesting way. My sketch left large blank areas that I kept trying to fill with another lace motif, but it really wanted to be left plain. I really wanted it to have something else. Eventually I realized that I was trying to make it complicated just for the sake of being complicated. I really needed to let the yarn and pattern do what they wanted to do. It’s hard because I really hate stockinette. But that is what this design needs.

I kept hearing Tim Gunn and Nina in my head telling me to take my editing eye to it and make it work.

 

Frogging with beads June 3, 2012

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Frogging is never fun. 

Worse is when it’s lace.

Even worse is lace with beads because as you pull out the yarn, the beads pop off and fly all over the room. Some will never be seen again and others will show up for the next five years in the cracks of the floor, edges of the sofa, your drink, etc. 

I am currently frogging about 20 rows of beaded lace with nupps. In order to control the spray of beads, I have put the lace into a large Ziploc bag and have mostly sealed the top. 

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Now, I can frog with impunity and all the beads will be nicely contained to be retrieved later and used again.

Speaking of beaded knitting, Fleegle just wrote a blog post about 4 different methods of attaching beads to knitting, including one that was new to me; guitar wire. Check it out!

If you are looking to make a beaded shawl, please consider Nouveau Beaded Capelet or Silver Bells and Cockle Shells. They are both beautiful shawls and fun knits. 

 

Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a Winner! May 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 3:04 pm

It is now 7:00 pm which means the contest to win a copy of Silver Bells and Cockle Shells is now over.

There were 19 entries and the result of the Random Number Generator is:

The first comment was from Christine aka Kallieen.

Her comment: I have a gorgeous skein of Mocha’s Fiber Designs Phoebe (Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere) in a soft pink that would look stunning in this. For beads…hmm…either a metallic pink, or clear lined with silver.

She will be receiving a copy of Silver Bells and Cockle Shells as soon as I’m done writing this post.

Congratulations Christine! I look forward to seeing your finished shawl.