mlemmonsdesigns

Beautiful designs for adventurous knitters

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.

 

Silver Bells and Cockle Shells Contest May 19, 2012

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

With Silver Bells and Cockle Shells and merry maids in a row!

Silver Bells and Cockle Shells is my latest shawl pattern. The deep border on this crescent shaped shawl is adapted from an antique edging pattern. I love the complex flowers and fans which remind me of the nursery rhyme. An additional row of flowers are added for each size.

   

It comes with written and charted instructions for three sizes. This pattern is perfect for using with long striping yarns or Gradiance sets from The Unique Sheep. Instructions are provided for using a Gradiance set as well as for beading the fans of the border.

 

I am going to give away one copy of the pattern to a lucky winner. In order to enter, comment below with the yarn and beads you would use if you knit this pattern. You can get an additional entry by tweeting about the contest with a link to this page and then commenting to tell me that you tweeted it. Deadline is Wednesday May 23 at 7pm CST. At that time I will use a random number generator and pick the winner. The winner will receive the pattern either via Ravelry or e-mail as they prefer.

 

I look forward to seeing everyone’s finished shawls.

 

The photography shoot that almost didn’t happen May 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 3:22 am

It has been a series of unfortunate events trying to get the photos for my latest pattern.

First, since the name of the pattern is Silver Bells and Cockle Shells, I really wanted the photos to be taken in a garden. But Abilene is not exactly known for it’s gardens. I couldn’t find anything. Was seriously considering asking the gardening centers if we could shoot there. I kept my eyes open as I drove around town. Then, I finally found the right place. Would you believe that it was the underpass? One of the underpasses has really pretty stone terraces with crepe myrtle, salvia, and lantana. It seems a weird place to take pictures, right next to traffic. But it ended up being perfect. Great lighting, and since it’s on an embankment, it made a great backdrop.

Second, trying to schedule a photoshoot around 5 different schedules is always crazy. We needed a time that me, my sister in law who does my photography, and 3 other friends and relatives who were going to model for me. We had to find a time that everyone was available when there would be good light and we all had someone to watch the kids. We finally found a time that would work for everyone but we would be on a tight timetable.

Then it started raining. So we cancelled. Then we tried to reschedule. It kept raining. And kept raining. This is West Texas. Having to schedule around rain is not usually a consideration.

We finally decided that I would do the modeling to simplify the scheduling. As soon as we made this decision and set a new time based on the weather forecast, I broke out in hives. I was completely covered in hives. I still have no idea what I reacted to. Head-to-toe, red, itchy welts is not exactly the most flattering look. I was still in really bad shape at noon on Thursday, but finally hit on the right medication to take to control the hives. Thankfully, my skin cleared up in time.

Emerald and I spent last night taking pictures. Then we went to a coffee house to edit pictures and pattern files without kids. On the way between the shoot and the coffee house though the kids decided to gang up on us. Lily had a meltdown due to a non-existant nap and Kelton needed to be fed.

So all that is left to do is put the pictures into the pattern and finish up the formatting. The formatting is being stubborn, but as soon as I whip it into shape, I will release the pattern.

There will be a contest here after the pattern is released so keep an eye out!

 

What I’ve Been Up To May 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 2:35 pm

I’ve been busy lately.

I organized my dpns and labeled them this time. Hopefully, this will mean that they won’t get so mixed up.

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The next time I make a needle roll, I’m going to have white or other light fabric along the pocket edges so that I can write the sizes on each pocket. I’ll also make sure that there is a pocket big enough for my needle gauge. Because I like small needles and there just isn’t much discernible difference between a 2.0 and 2.25mm needle and it’s easy to get them mixed up.

Taevin wanted to help with the stickers. I’m not sure how productive his help was. What do you think?

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I’ve also been working on incorporating traditional embroidery techniques into knitting. I had played around with drawn thread and huck embroidery when I was a kid, but hadn’t done much else with it since then. Then Math4knitters tweeted that Principals of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt mentions that drawn thread embroidery can be done on knitting. That set the wheels turning. How could I make this work? What type of designs would work best? Wouldn’t this be a perfect way to use up scraps of yarn? Then I saw a piece of huck embroidery aka Swedish weaving as the header on someone’s blog. So now I had to make that work with knitting too.

Here are some swatches of the drawn thread and huck embroidery. What do you think?

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I’ve also finished up and blocked the Silver Bells and Cockle Shells shawls. The pattern is written and has been tested and tech edited. I need to finish my edits and get the photography done. Trying to juggle the schedules of three models, the photographer, myself, and the respective spouses so that they can watch the kids is hard. We were going to do it yesterday evening, but then it rained for two days straight and some of the kids were sick. I’m not sure when we’ll be able to reschedule. But the pattern will be up as soon as the photos are done. Until then, here is a sneak peek of the large knit in Marici by The Unique Sheep. Yes, I like big shawls.

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I’ve also been working on some super secret stuff that I’m really excited about. Stay tuned to see what it is…

 

Birthday Sale! April 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 7:18 pm

Today is my birthday and tomorrow is my son Taevin’s 2nd birthday! In celebration, I am offering 25% off all patterns in my Ravelry store today and tomorrow, April 25th and 26th. Use coupon code HappyBirthday  when checking out.

And here’s a picture of the birthday boy.

 

 

DFW Fiber Fest April 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 11:31 am

This last weekend was the DFW Fiber Fest. I was there for part of all three days and had a wonderful time.

I took the Design Inspiration and Pinstripe Knitting classes by Lily Chin. They were both fantastic. I loved getting to see all of her pictures of her original inspiration and the finished designs. During the design class, she had me show off my Nouveau Beaded Capelet, not realizing at first that it was my own design. Then as one of my classmates put it, “Lilly Chin complemented your shawl up one side and down the other and then wanted to buy the pattern on the spot?!” Yes, Lily Chin bought my pattern from me in the middle of class!

I learned some interesting techniques in the pinstripe knitting class. I really like the look of pinstriped cables. Be on the lookout for pinstripes in upcoming designs.

I loved all the vendors. It truly took me all three days to see all the booths completely. Of course, I was wrangling Kelton and Taevin half the time (my mom had them the rest of the time) so that took up some of my time.

I was on the lookout for shawl pins to use while photographing my shawl patterns. I needed lightweight pins that would hold the shawls securely, without falling out. With two little boys, my pins tend to “disappear” as one of them grabs at it while I’m carrying them. First I bought these two pins from MsPurdy at PurdyThangz.com. These pins are really small and oh so pretty. Bonus, they have a sharp pin, so I can pin it through my top underneath the shawl, and they have stopper so I don’t stab myself or one of the boys.

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Then I found the lovely twisted wire pins by Misty from Knitting Lagniappe. She hasn’t put pictures of her pins and jewelry on the site yet, but believe me, they’re gorgeous and fun. But I didn’t find one that was quite what I wanted. Just as I was walking away, I saw a beautiful coiled wire necklace with hanging pearls that I later learned were stitch markers. I commented to Misty that I wanted a shawl pin that looked just like that pendant. She immediately pulled it off it’s chain and stole the pin from another piece. Now I can use it either with the pin shaft or twist it into the lace. And since the stitch markers are removable, I can wear it with and without the pearls.

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Here are all of the pins together with a dime for scale.

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I got to meet Mary-Heather and Sarah at the Ravelry Meet-up on Saturday. Sarah’s baby is sooo adorable. He has the cutest smile! Then, Mary-Heather tried on my capelet and I got a picture with her. (yes, another fan-girl moment from me…) Doesn’t that color look gorgeous on her?

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I also brought home these beautiful skeins of yarn that I’ve been commissioned to use in new designs. First is a skein of Budding in Iroquois by Lise of KnittingRose.net. Budding is a 10% Bison, 90% Superwash Merino sockyarn. It is so squishy. The Iroquois is one of my favorite color combinations, teal and brown. Look out for a sock pattern featuring this soon.

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While talking with Michelle the Fiber Lady, we discovered that people switch up the names Melissa and Michelle in both directions. I constantly have people calling me Michelle and she says that people call her Melissa. Neither of us knew the names get switched the other direction and we don’t understand it. The names don’t seem related to us.

Anyway, I’ve admired her bamboo spinning fibers and yarns for a few years now at Kid n Ewe Fiber Festival. Now I have a beautiful skein of Chiku bamboo lace yarn with 1000 yds in a lovely spring colorway called After Dinner Mints.

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I’ll be making a new shawl pattern with it using these beautiful beads from The Artful Bead.

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Each tube contains about 500 beads. I don’t know how many I am going to need, so I played it safe and bought all 6 tubes that were left. 😉 Can you truly tell me that you wouldn’t have done the same.

All in all, I had a lot of fun and met a lot of wonderful people. I can’t wait for next year. It will be great!