Hooray! The pattern for my Ariel pullover is now available on Ravelry!
I am nearly bursting with excitement to get this design released. I’ve had such a great response for this sweater and now, finally, I can share it with all of you! (It really took a lot of will during the test knitting phase not to release the pattern as soon as my tester’s amazing finished items started appearing on Ravelry… but I’ll show off more of those later this week.)
This design was born from my frustration finding a suitable pattern for this beautiful colorway of Madelinetosh tosh merino light. I wasn’t happy with anything I tried. The yarn just seemed lost in the design. Until I stumbled upon smocking stitch – it worked up beautifully in the variegated colors without being overwhelmed by it. It became a perfect match, resulting in a sweater I wear all. the. time. (I’m not fibbing here, it’s at least once a week.)
The sweater is knit seamlessly from the bottom up. The body features the smocking motif (which is no where near as complicated to knit as it looks) which reminded me a bit of fish scales, but on a more romantic, feminine level. So, of course, almost immediately my over-active imagination thought of Ariel the Little Mermaid. The pullover is intended to be worn with slight positive ease (I’m wearing mine with about 2 inches of ease at the bust) and there isn’t any shaping through the body, but the smocking stitch works to flatter the body in all the right places.
This pattern is also my first to use seamless set in sleeves. The sleeves are worked from the top down using short rows to shape the sleeve cap. I have to say, I don’t think I will ever work set in sleeves in another way again. I absolutely love this method because it works so well to produce a great-fitting sleeve, and once you get the hang of things, it seems to just whiz by.
It’s definitely sweater knitting (and wearing) weather around these parts, so what are you waiting for? To celebrate Ariel’s release, I am offering 15% off the pattern on Ravelry until Sunday (Oct. 25th) at midnight (Toronto time).
And, I need to send a giant thank you to my amazing test knitters! You all really helped this project come together perfectly, dedicating your time (and patience) to knitting up some very beautiful sweaters of your own. Thank you!
Some (fun) business to take care of today! The pattern for my Ariel pullover will go live next Tuesday and I’m pretty darn excited about it. So excited that I am giving away three copies of the pattern to three lucky knitters! You can enter here on the blog, on Instagram, or on my Facebook page – three super fun ways to win your very own copy of Ariel!
To enter here on the blog, it’s easy! Simply comment below with the color(s) you would knit your Ariel pullover in and your Ravelry ID. I will draw a winner from all the entries here on the blog on Tuesday morning when the pattern goes live.
In other news, I finally got around to setting up a newsletter (thank you to everyone who has already signed up!). You can easily subscribe over on the sidebar or by filling out this simple form. The newsletter is the best way to stay up to date on new pattern releases and other fun happenings over at Brandy Velten Designs. Plus, subscribers will receive very special, newsletter specific coupon codes. And as a thank you for signing up, you will automatically receive a coupon for 10% off any pattern in the Ravelry shop.
Lots of fun, exciting things happen as I continue to grow! I hope you all have a great weekend and good luck if you enter the giveaways!
Lace and Stripes Cowl on Ravelry
I hope everyone had a great long weekend. It really doesn’t feel like fall is upon us today in Toronto, but I have a sneaking feeling it will be here before I know it. My mind has been lost in fall for awhile now – dreaming of wearing snuggly sweaters and cozy cowls. I’ve really been loving the big, oversized cowls that I’ve seen popping up on Ravelry. They just seem so perfect to snuggle into while still looking chic and stylish.
So today I’m tossing my own design into the mix with the release of my Lace and Stripes Cowl on Ravelry. Knit with fingering weight yarn, it is great for transitioning into fall without being too bulky. And it is also pretty perfect for using up those left over bits of sock yarn – mix lots of them up to produce a fun and funky cowl, or keep it cool and classy with two contrasting colors.
I’m also offering a special introductory sale – purchase the pattern before midnight EST, Sunday, Sept. 13th and you’ll save 20%! So now you have no excuse to not get started on some fall knitting.
I finally got my act together and wrote up the pattern for my Ariel sweater, so I am no in need of test knitters. I’m opening up the opportunity for my loyal followers before I make the general open call on the tester groups of Ravelry (because you guys always end up being awesome testers for me!).
Ariel is knit seamlessly from the bottom up until the armholes, when the front and back are separated and knit flat. Only the shoulders are seamed together. This is my first pattern that uses seamless set-in sleeves, knit from the top down with sleeve caps that are shaped with short rows. The body of the sweater features a simple smocking stitch pattern with reverse stockinette (you better love to purl!).
If you are interested in testing this sweater for me check out my Ravelry group for more information and to sign up.
To coincide with the release of my new City Lights Beanie pattern, I wanted to show off a couple of the great projects from the test knit.
First, Emily’s hat came out wonderfully! As her base color, she used a splatter-dyed yarn, which are so popular right now and I absolutely love. She then used the pink and blue flecks in her base yarn to pick her contrast colors for the colorwork arrows. And it looks great! I also really love her ginormous pompom on the top there. The finished hat is bright, cheery, and makes me happy to look at.
Then there is Keiran’s brillant take on the hat. With the dark grey background, the neon colorwork just pops. This cap totally embodies the spirit and name of the pattern. Why didn’t I think about doing this pattern on a dark background?! Now that I see it, I totally want to knit one just like this for myself. Because who doesn’t need three versions of the same hat for every possible outfit. 😉
Inspired? Pick up a free copy of the pattern for yourself! And thank you to all my awesome test knitters – you guys are always so inspiring!
My latest design, the City Lights Beanie is now live on Ravelry. This fitted cap features arrow colorwork patterns that are worked with stranded knitting. Not only is the stranded knitting fun (it’s a favorite of mine), but also helps provide a bit more warmth. With bright colors, fun graphic design, and warmth, this is a fun project for any dreary winter day (I know I’m not looking forward to the many we have ahead of us here in Toronto…). The pattern includes instructions and charts to working the design in two colors or, if you like things extra fun, three total colors.
And the best thing about this pattern — it’s free! So if you’ve been looking for a chance to try out colorwork and stranded knitting, this is the perfect chance.
I always have fun time designing and knitting my samples for a pattern, but this time around it was that the test knitting has been the best thing about this design. A little later this week I will share a couple of the finished tests for this design because I think they came out even better than I could have imagined for this design – I had some lovely creative testers this time around.
I’ve been chugging away on my new sweater design. Lots and lots of smocking. As I kept working, the design reminded me a bit of scales. Not icky, fishy scales (sorry fishes, I don’t actually think you are icky at all), but more like the feminine, alluring scales like you would find on a mermaid, you know, if mermaids were an actual thing. And because I’m grew up as young child of the early 90’s, there’s one Disney-inspired mermaid that is very near and dear to my heart. So I think I will call this sweater Ariel and just keep the fairy tale theme that started with my Rapunzel cardigan going.
(When I was growing up I had a pool in my yard. And I have very vivid memories of pretending to be Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and being captured and hoping to be rescued – the whole bit. I also had an Ariel doll who’s hair met its match swimming in that pool constantly. So there’s a
not so tiny part of me that is quite fond of wearing an Ariel-inspired sweater around the halls and pretending to be a mermaid again, secretly. Shh. Don’t tell.)
I’ve finished the smocking of the body of the sweater, which ends at the armhole. Now I’ve just got to finish up the back and front and get started on the sleeves. I am going to try seamless set-in sleeves worked from the armhole down. I have convinced myself that grading it will be easier than a sleeve cap, but I haven’t actually done any math yet, so that idea may quickly go out the window.
I have also finished Shadow Scale. I’ve moved on to Prince of Thorns, which I picked up at the used book store. I’m not sure on it right now. I iffy on the writing style and I’m also not entirely sure what is going on. Maybe that is the way it is meant to be… I don’t know. I’ll give it a little more time before I really formulate my opinion.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.
(Guys, I totally thought today was Wednesday, when I do my usual link ups. I didn’t realize I put this up a day late until I was riding the bus home. I blame the Canadian long weekend.)
A new finished design means I need a few more test knitters! My Lace and Stripes Cowl is extra tall and wide, so it drapes just beautifully. It can also be worn over the shoulders, like a shawl or wrap, for a little bit of extra warmth. Plus, the interchanging lace and stripes make for a fun knit.
If you are interested in test knitting for me, you can find more information in my Ravelry group.
I’m not a big fan of swatching. This statement should really not be a big surprise to anyone. I have gotten pretty good at winging it on patterns and haven’t had too much of a sizing issue (read as: I’ve gotten pretty lucky and have not yet come to fully regret not doing a proper swatch). But it’s pretty impossible to skip the gauge swatch when you are starting from scratch. And since I’ve started working on my own designs, my little pile of swatches has increased greatly (my prior two swatches aren’t quite so lonely anymore). I have taken to keeping my little swatches in a little tin on my knitting shelf. Every time I toss a new one in, I peek in at the old ones just to make sure they aren’t getting into too much mischief without me. I am actually kind of enjoying watching these little squares multiply.
With my own designs there really is no way for me to cheat. Without the swatch, I can’t even do the simple math to get me to my cast on number. The gauge swatch has become part of the actual process of knitting a project for me, making them much more exciting to complete. Although I have to admit that my swatch-phobia is not completely cured because still really hate waiting for them to dry. I’ve been known to sneak in a damp measurement or two, just to get the ball rolling so I know what ballpark the gauge is falling into. Don’t fret, though, I remeasure to make sure the math checks out when the swatch is dry.
This week I’ve started on a new sweater design from a swatch I’m rather enamored with. I had originally purchased this yarn for another design that crashed and burned. It was just sitting in my knitting basket looking rather sad. But I could not come up with a design that I felt was worthy of it. It’s slightly variegated, and I wanted something that would take advantage of the modest color change. Something that would show it off and not be overwhelmed by it. But my brain was just not cooperating and I was actually stressing out about it way more than should be allowed.
And once I stopped fretting about it, I came across smocking stitch, which just seemed so perfect. And it really is. And it’s fun to knit, too. I’m pretty excited about watching this design work up.
Knitting: The past couple of weeks have been full of knitting up swatches and samples for a couple secret-for-now projects that I am submitting to a couple knitting publications. It’s been pretty hard not to share any photos of what I’m working on, but I’ve finished those up and now just have to wait to hear back. So this week, I started working on a new cowl design – something that fun to knit and soft and cozy to wear. I’ve really been loving the tall, almost shawl-like cowls that squish up when you wear them, trapping warm air around you to keep you warm while also looking quite stylish. I took my cue from them and went off to have fun playing with color and stitches – whatever struck my fancy at the time.
Reading: I’m still stuck on Shadow Scale, the sequel to Seraphina. I haven’t had a lot of reading time, lately, but I try to get a few pages in before bed. I’m just not loving this book as much as I enjoyed Seraphina. Even though the world is expanding in this story, it doesn’t have the same charm as the first installment. My lack of enthusiasm is making it very easy for me to doze off instead of turn the next page…
Watching: I’ve been enjoying the summer movie season, watching a lot of movies at the theater. Last weekend, we saw Trainwreck with Amy Schumer, which was, as expected, pretty hilarious, but I also thought it was a sweet movie that had it’s dramatic moments, too. This past weekend, I also powered through the BBC series Poldark. A British period piece set in the English countryside – hello! I’m there. I’m looking forward to the second season.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.