Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Summer Swatch Me Project has begun!

Well, at least the group is open and people are collecting their materials! A few weeks ago I showed you some hand dyed roving that I was spinning for the project. Here you can see the results. We have 10 skeins, each spun on a light weight drop spindle and made 2-ply. Each skein weights in at about 4 grams and has about 40 yards. The needles posing on the skeins are a US 1 and are 7 inches long, just for reference. Each skein will become a swatch (or bookmark) as we progress through the summer.

We have a great group of knitters already enrolled in the summer group, but there is still plenty of time. We won't be casting on until June 21st. Do you want to join the party? Check for all the details right here!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Summer Swatch Me!

A 2010 BadCatDesigns summer extravaganza! Starting right now you can join the party (see below.) We will be chatting and discussion materials from today until June 21st, at which point the games will begin in earnest.
This project will span the 12 weeks of summer. For each of the first 9 weeks, there will be a new lace chart presented. Each chart will be one stitch pattern in a 9 pattern lace sampler. But wait! Each chart will also come with a “one skein” pattern, so that each week you can add another stitch pattern to your sampler and also whip up a little something else. What else, you might ask…well, how about book marks, traditional socks, lovely fingerless mitts, scarves, cowls, and hats! Knit as little or as much as you like, because each of the nine stitch patterns can become any of the one skein pattern projects. But wait! At the end of 9 weeks, we will move on to a border for the sampler and some fun ways to vary the stitch patterns for different effects. At this point there will also be a few stole designs using variations and combinations of our stitch patterns and more than one skein of yarn. There will be optional beads everywhere (but of course!)

The process will be sprinkled with knitting tutorials, including some sock, mitt and hat construction tips and some designing tips. For those of you who are interested, there will be support to design your own stole. I will be posting a materials list in the next few weeks, but the materials discussion will begin right away at our project group. Project group?? Yup, and if you were part of The Summer Squares group in 2009 you know the deal. The group will be at YahooGroups, where my other groups live. All the project files will be available there for the duration of the project. All our discussions will be through group email. Photographs will be there too, along with some posted to my blog. The tutorials will all be available on my blog, along with project updates.

The project will begin enrolling now, really start the first day of summer and end the first day of fall. It is open to lace knitters of all abilities and there will be something for everyone. My patterns are well written and fully charted, but I do not provide line-by-line directions. There will be great support and friendly encouragement, so if you are just getting into charts you will get the support that you need to have fun.

Do you want in? The cost for 12 weeks of lace knitting joy and all the patterns discussed above is $16 US. You can join at any time, from now until the last day of summer. Once the group is over, all patterns will be available for individual sale. I am only able to accept payment via PayPal, sent to me at If you need help with that or have questions, feel free to email me at the same address. Once I get payment you will get directions to the group and more details. I am so excited and hope to see you there.

I would like to thank the following people for their generous yarn and fiber support: LandOLace, Jade Sapphire, ArtYarns, Crystal Palace, Lorna’s Laces, Mountain Colors and FiberOptics. I would also like to thank Mary Rose and BadKitten. You know why…
Without them this project would not have been possible!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spinning for the Summer!

Happy weekend! I didn't have time to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool this year. As a matter of fact, I hardly had time to post these pictures, that is just how busy I have been. Luckily, some of my busy has to do with spinning and knitting. I am so excited about my up-coming summer project that I decided to share just a little bit about it. The fish full of fiber (above) contains a lovely assortment of pencil roving from Kimber at Fiber Optics. She was kind enough to give me these assorted samples for my project. I love her sense of color and I really enjoy working with the pencil roving, where I can spin a two-ply lace weight yarn and manage to get the colors to stay separate in the finished yarn. You will see what I mean when I show you swatches from this fiber. That will be in June! The pencil roving comes as a "2-ply" so each "ply" of the roving has the same dye pattern. If you spin each from the same end and ply them together you can get a 2-ply yarn with long color repeats. I am spinning these fiber samples into small skeins of 2-ply, and I will make swatches for my summer project from that yarn. You can see one finished skein in the fish. The spindle is a Vixen from Greensleeves. Elizabeth makes really lovely, fast and well balanced spindles...
In case you are curious, the samples I am using are these two types of pencil roving and you can see more here!

I will be back in a week or so with more goodies. Until then, knit on!