New Pattern: In a Fog

In a Fog mitten pattern by Allison O'Mahony @kniterations.ca

Clever and thoughtful design elements make these basic mittens special. The simple Salt and Pepper colourwork pattern is not only dense enough to help block out the wind, but it’s worked over an odd number of stitches in a way that eliminates the jog that usually occurs when knitting stranded colourwork in the round. A thumb gusset provides a great fit, and unique decreases allow the pattern to continue uninterrupted from cuff to tip.

Pair a light solid with a speckled yarn for a subtle, foggy colour contrast, or use two highly contrasting colours for a completely different look. Including instructions for both mittens and fingerless mitts, this is a staple pattern you’ll knit again and again.

MATERIALS

Worsted weight yarn in the following approximate amounts:

Fingerless Mitts

58 [68, 78] m/64 [75, 86] yd Main Colour (MC)
34 [40, 46] m/38 [44, 51]  yd Contrast Colour (CC)

Shown in madelinetosh Tosh Vintage (100% Merino; 183 m/200 yd per skein) in colour Penumbra (MC), and The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze Fynn (100% Merino; 160 m/175 yd per 84 g/2.96 oz skein) in colour Wilder Shores (CC)

Mittens

82 [95, 108] m/90 [104, 119] yd Main Colour (MC)
58 [67, 76] m/64 [74, 84] yd Contrast Colour (CC)

Shown in The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze Fynn (100% Merino;160 m/175 yd per 84 g/2.96 oz skein) in color Wilder Shores (MC), and Cascade 220 (100% Wool; 201 m/220 yd per 100 g/3.53 oz skein) in colour Natural (CC)

GAUGE

23 stitches & 26 rounds = 10 cm/4″ in Salt and Pepper pattern, using larger needles, after blocking

NEEDLES

One set 4.0 mm/US 6 needles* (or size needed to obtain gauge)

One set 3.5 mm/US 4 needles* (or two sizes smaller than needed for gauge)

*Either one set of double-pointed needles (DPNs), two circular needles, or one long circular needle, as you prefer for small circumference knitting in the round.

SIZE

Adult sizes S [M, L] to fit 17.5 [19.5, 21] cm/7 [7.75, 8.5]” hand circumference, measured at the knuckles, with 0.5 cm/0.25” negative ease

FINISHED DIMENSIONS

Hand circumference at knuckles 17 [19, 20.5] cm/6.75 [7.5, 8.25]”, after light blocking

ADDITIONAL TOOLS

Two stitch markers (including one unique marker to mark the BOR), smooth waste yarn or stitch holder, tapestry needle

SKILL LEVEL

✦✦✧✧✧

In a Fog mitten pattern by Allison O'Mahony @kniterations.ca

Price: $5 USD

Available through my Ravelry store, my Etsy shop, or directly via PayPal by clicking the “buy now” button below.

New Pattern: Happy Accident

Happy Accident pullover pattern by Allison O'Mahony @kniterations.ca

This oversized, boxy pullover is knit in a super bulky weight yarn, but the gauge produces a relaxed, drapey fabric. A quick knit, it makes a great layering piece for spring or fall. The slipped stitch and reverse stockinette stitch pattern was inspired by a poncho seen on a television commercial (and frantically captured via cell phone camera). Upon execution, however, the piece wanted to be a pullover, so the designer obliged!

MATERIALS

Approximately 537 [597, 656, 721, 785, 848, 900] m/586 [653, 717, 788, 858, 926, 983] yd super bulky weight yarn

Shown in Berroco Peruvia Quick (100% Wool; 94 m/103 yd per 100 g/3.53 oz skein) in colour Charcoal (9117)

GAUGE

11.5 stitches & 14 rows = 10 cm/4″ in stockinette stitch with larger needles

NEEDLES

One set 9 mm/US 13 needles* (or size needed to obtain gauge)
One set 8 mm/US 11 needles* (or one size smaller than needed for gauge)

*Either one long circular needle or one set of straight needles, as you prefer.

SIZE

Women’s sizes XS [S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL] to fit 71-76 [81-86, 91.5-96.5, 101.5-106.5, 111.5-117, 122-127, 132-137] cm/28-30 [32-34, 36-38, 40-42, 44-46, 48-50, 52-54]” bust circumference

Shown in size M on a 91.5 cm/36” bust with 26.5 cm/10.5” positive ease.

FINISHED DIMENSIONS

Bust circumference 98 [108, 118, 128, 138, 149, 159] cm/38.5 [42.5, 46.5, 50.5, 54.5, 58.5, 62.5]” and back length 66.5 [68, 69, 70.5, 72, 72, 72] cm/26.25 [26.75, 27.25, 27.75, 28.5, 28.5, 28.5]”, after seaming

ADDITIONAL TOOLS

Tapestry needle (required), blocking tools – mats, wires, and pins (optional but strongly suggested)

SKILL LEVEL

✦✦✧✧✧

Happy Accident pullover pattern by Allison O'Mahony @kniterations.ca

Price: $5 USD

Available through my Ravelry store, my Etsy shop, or directly via PayPal by clicking the “buy now” button below.

Test Knit: In a Fog

Now looking for test knitters for my new mitten pattern, In a Fog:

IMG_5381

Clever and thoughtful design elements make these basic mittens special. The simple Salt and Pepper colourwork pattern is not only dense enough to help block out the wind, but it’s worked over an odd number of stitches in a way that eliminates the jog that usually occurs when knitting stranded colourwork in the round. A thumb gusset provides a great fit, and unique decreases allow the pattern to continue uninterrupted from cuff to tip.

Pair a light solid with a speckled yarn for a subtle, foggy colour contrast, or use two highly contrasting colours for a completely different look. Including instructions for both mittens and fingerless mitts, this is a staple pattern you’ll knit again and again.

Available in adult sizes S, M, and L!

As always, come join my Ravelry group to participate in this test knit.

Like the design but not interested in test knitting? Leave a comment here or in the test thread and I’ll let you know when the pattern is released.

IMG_5402

Technical Editing FAQ

In light of my recent move into technical editing of knitting patterns, I thought I’d compile a short FAQ based on my experiences in the various designer communities I’m a part of. I see lots of questions and opinions about technical editing, especially from newer designers. While the following are my own personal opinions, they come from the point of view of someone who is both a designer AND a technical editor.

Technical Editing for Knitting Patterns FAQ - Allison O'Mahony @ kniterations.ca

What is technical editing? What do tech editors do?

Technical editing is the process of editing a knitting pattern for correctness, clarity, and consistency. It involves not only proofreading for grammar and spelling, but also checking all mathematical calculations, ensuring the style is consistent throughout, and making sure the pattern itself is complete and contains no errors.

Are all abbreviations defined? Are all required tools and materials listed? Will the stitch counts yield the given measurements based on the listed gauge (and do they match what’s shown in the photos/schematic)?  Do the charts and written instructions match? These are just a few of the many things a technical editor will look for.

In addition to finding errors, tech editors can help tweak the way instructions are worded so that they are clearer to the knitter. They can make suggestions about layout to help make the pattern easier to read and follow. They do not, however, knit the pattern.

Specific services offered will vary from editor to editor (for a list of my services, click here).

I have test knitters. Do I need a technical editor too? If so, which one comes first?

In my opinion, yes. And this comes from my experience as a designer who has worked with both tech editors and test knitters.

Tech editors and test knitters provide different services.

Test knitters actually knit your pattern, providing physical proof that following your instructions will produce the expected finished object, as shown in your photos. Good test knitters will also point out pattern errors and inconsistencies. But no matter how good your test knitters are, it’s unlikely they’ll be as motivated to help perfect your pattern as a paid professional would be (even if they are capable of it). Your tech editor will want your pattern to be the best it can be because it affects not only your reputation, but theirs. Your success is their success. This simply isn’t true for your test knitters, who have no vested interest.

In addition, an experienced knitter might unintentionally read between the lines, not realizing that a particular instruction is unclear, or that an abbreviation for a technique they’re familiar with isn’t defined. They might also hold back unsolicited opinions about issues they noticed that don’t directly affect the correctness of the pattern (style and consistency issues, for example).

Test knitters are also usually working for free, using their free time and their own yarn. This is why I have my patterns tech edited BEFORE I have them test knit. I want to make sure my pattern is in the best shape possible before asking someone to spend their own time and yarn on it.

Also, while I try to have my patterns tested in every size, it’s not always possible to find enough test knitters to do this. I feel much more confident in my patterns knowing that my tech editor has checked the math for ALL sizes.

What if I’m just starting out as a designer and I can’t afford to hire a tech editor until I start making money?

In my opinion, you can’t afford NOT to hire a tech editor.

Regardless of what you plan on charging for a pattern once it’s published, every pattern you release affects your reputation, and first impressions are forever. You wouldn’t publish a book or an article without an editor, so why would you publish a pattern without one?

This doesn’t mean that patterns that haven’t been tech edited won’t succeed, or that they are bad patterns, but a tech editor can help you maximize your pattern’s potential (not just determine whether or not it’s knittable).
Plus, tech editing is actually quite affordable. If your pattern is good, and you promote it well, it should be fairly easy to recoup your tech editing costs. I obviously can’t guarantee this, but it has certainly been my experience as a designer. You’ve already invested so much time (and yarn) into developing your pattern, and tech editing is another crucial investment in its success.

I worked with a tech editor once but I didn’t like it. She was too picky/not picky enough/gave too much feedback/didn’t give enough feedback/emailed me too much/didn’t email me enough/etc…

Ok, so this one isn’t a question, but it’s something I’ve seen discussed that is definitely worth mentioning.

The relationship between a designer and a tech editor is a very personal one. It might take a couple of tries before you find someone you really gel with. Just because you haven’t found the right tech editor yet doesn’t mean you can’t, or that you should give up on tech editing! And if you’re worried about compatibility, you can always ask the tech editor about their style, or check out their services on their website, before hiring them. If you design patterns for beginners, for example, you might find value in a tech editor who gives lots of suggestions on how to word things to improve clarity. If you design complex patterns with complicated shaping, a tech editor with a strong math background might be of more value to you.

Also, and this is not always easy… check your ego at the door when working with an editor. If you want to make your pattern the best it can be, you can’t take corrections and suggestions personally. It’s hard sometimes, after you’ve worked on something for so long, to give it to someone to critique. But a good editor will not try to change your style or your voice. A good editor will want to help make your patterns better and more successful.


I hope this was helpful! Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions you may have about tech editing. And if you’re a new designer who thinks hiring a tech editor might be for you, check out my services here to get an idea of what I offer and what my rates are.

Now Accepting Tech Editing Clients!

Now Accepting Tech Editing Clients - Allison O'Mahony http://kniterations.ca

I am pleased to announce that I am now accepting technical editing clients!

As a designer, I feel very strongly that tech editing is a crucial step in the knitting pattern design process. Having a skilled editor look at my patterns helps me feel confident that they are the best they can be.

I look forward to the opportunity to help new and independent designers make sure their patterns are clear, consistent, error-free, and ready to be published.

For a complete description of my philosophy, services, workflow, and how to get started making sure your patterns are perfect, click here.

New Pattern: Little Heart’s Ease

LITTLE HEART'S EASE mitten pattern by Allison O'Mahony at http://kniterations.ca

A simple colourwork pattern adds interest, density, and warmth to this basic mitten silhouette. The contrast colour looks like little hearts, which reminded me of the tiny community of Little Heart’s Ease in Trinity Bay; Newfoundland is known for its quirky place names. Columns of slipped stitches add polish, forming faux side seams to hide the jog that naturally occurs when knitting stranded colourwork in the round. Requiring little yarn for the contrast colour, this quick knit is a great project for using up leftovers of your favourite yarns and colours.

Materials
Aran weight yarn in the following approximate amounts:

  • 102 [123, 148] m/111 [135, 162] yd Main Colour (MC)
  • 26 [31, 37] m/28 [34, 41] yd Contrast Colour (CC)

Shown in Briggs & Little Heritage (100% Wool; 197 m/215 yd per 113 g/4 oz skein) in colours Light Grey (MC) and Light Maroon (CC)

Gauge
20 stitches & 26 rounds = 10 cm/4″ in colourwork pattern

Needles
One set 4.0 mm needles* (or size needed to obtain gauge)

*Either one set of double-pointed needles (DPNs), two circular needles, or one long circular needle, as you prefer for small circumference knitting in the round.

Size
Women’s sizes S [M, L] to fit 19 [21, 23] cm/7.5 [8.25, 9]” hand circumferences, measured at the widest part of the hand (i.e. around the base of the thumb)

Shown in size M on a 21 cm/8.25” hand circumference with 1 cm/0.5” negative ease.

Finished Dimensions
Hand circumference 18 [20, 22] cm/7 [7.75, 8.5]”, after blocking

Additional Tools
Stitch marker, smooth waste yarn or stitch holder, tapestry needle

Skill Level
2 out of 5

LITTLE HEART'S EASE mitten pattern by Allison O'Mahony at http://kniterations.ca

Price: $5 USD

Available through my Ravelry store, my Etsy shop, or directly via PayPal by clicking the “buy now” button below.

buy now

Test Knit: Happy Accident

EDIT: I’ve updated the due date for this to be 30 May 2016. There’s still room to sign up!

Now looking for test knitters for my new pullover pattern, Happy Accident:

HAPPY ACCIDENT pullover pattern by Allison O'Mahony at http://kniterations.ca

This oversized, boxy pullover is knit in a super bulky weight yarn, but it’s worked at a gauge that produces a relaxed, drapey fabric. It’s a quick knit that is worked side to side with a reverse garter and slipped stitch pattern on the body. Available in 7 sizes from XS to 3XL!

As always, come join my Ravelry group to participate in this test knit.

Like the design but not interested in test knitting? Leave a comment here or in the test thread and I’ll let you know when the pattern is released.

Tutorial: Working Jogless Stripes in the Round

Knitting Tutorial: Working Jogless Stripes in the Round by http://kniterations.ca

When knitting stripes and other colourwork in the round, an unsightly “jog” occurs at the beginning of the round when you change colours.

Here’s a quick tutorial I filmed explaining why this occurs and demonstrating one method for avoiding it (or at least for making it less noticeable).

There are a number of techniques for working jogless stripes in the round. This is the technique I use when working the stripes in my Avalon sock pattern because it works great for stripes that are more than two rows high.

New Pattern: Avalon

AVALON sock pattern by Allison O'Mahony at http://kniterations.ca

The Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland is a place where rugged terrain meets unforgiving weather, making wool socks a wardrobe staple year round. Classic colours and a generous cuff add interest to these ribbed boot socks which are fine enough to fit into lightweight hiking boots, but also warm enough for winter.

Materials
Fingering weight yarn* in the following approximate amounts:

  • 85 [107, 129, 155] m/93 [117, 141, 169] yd Color 1 (C1)
  • 10 [12, 14, 17] m/10 [13, 16, 19] yd Color 2 (C2)
  • 185 [232, 280, 337] m/202 [254, 306, 368] yd Color 3 (C3)

Shown in Patons Kroy Socks 4 Ply (75% Wool, 25% Nylon; 175 m/191 yd per 50 g/1.76 oz skein) in colours Muslin (C1), Red (C2), and Flax (C3)

*For more durable socks, choose a dedicated sock yarn.

Gauge
32 stitches & 48 rounds = 10 cm/4″ in stockinette stitch with smaller needles

Needles
One set 2.25 mm/US 1 needles* (or size needed to obtain gauge)
One set 2.5 mm/US 1.5 needles* (or one size larger than needed for gauge)

*Either one set of double-pointed needles (DPNs), two circular needles, or one long circular needle, as you prefer for small circumference knitting in the round.

Size
Adult sizes S [M, L, XL] to fit 17.5 [20.5, 23, 25.5] cm/7 [8, 9, 10]” foot circumferences

Shown in size M on a U.S. women’s shoe size 7.5 (21.5 cm/8.5” foot circumference) with 4.5 cm/1.75” (20%) negative ease around the widest part of the foot. The ribbed fabric of these socks allows for a snug yet comfortable fit and they are intended to be worn with more negative ease than most handknitted socks.

Finished Dimensions
Leg circumference 13 [15, 17, 19] cm/5 [6, 6.75, 7.5]” and foot circumference 14.5 [17, 19, 21.5] cm/5.75 [6.75, 7.5, 8.5]”, unstretched

Additional Tools
Stitch markers, smooth waste yarn (optional), tapestry needle

Skill Level
2 out of 5

AVALON sock pattern by Allison O'Mahony at http://kniterations.ca

Price: $5 USD

Available through my Ravelry store, my Etsy shop, or directly via PayPal by clicking the “buy now” button below.

buy now

Tutorial: German Twisted Cast On

Knitting Tutorial: German Twisted Cast On by http://kniterations.ca

I recently discovered the German Twisted Cast On, and I can’t believe it took me so long! It is a variation of the Long Tail Cast On that is the perfect combination of stretchy and firm. It’s become my go-to cast on for cuff-down socks and I use it in my Avalon sock pattern which will be released very soon.

Here’s a quick tutorial on the German Twisted Cast On: