Livingstone Cardigan as it currently sits. The left front is about an hour away from complete. The fronts seem narrow but remember that this pattern has a wide shawl/portrait collar knit separately and then sewn on which will provide whatever width is necessary on the fronts. I've noticed several knitters on Ravelry have chosen to pick up stitches around the front rather than knit the ribbing separately and then sew it on. That idea appeals to me more than trying to mattress stitch all the way up around and down. So far the only modification is to the length of the body, where I've added 2", not because I'm so tall, but because I like sweaters to hit me at the hip, not above that line. It's more flattering to my curves.
Recently I was clicking around Ravelry and it occured to me to wonder what, if anything, was happening there that involved my patterns. As you can see on the sidebar, I have three free patterns available. They've all been there for quite a while. I made them all to suit my own purposes but having done so, thought I'd share them openly.
The first pattern I published was "Africa's Socks", it was also the first pattern I had ever written and I did it at a time when I was still a novice sock knitter. A couple of times a month I get an email from a knitter who has chosen Africa's Socks, often as their first pair, and who needs a little bit of help. I'm very happy to reply, and do my best to "talk" them through whatever their snag happens to be. I neglected to measure the gauge of the original socks in my hurry to give them to the recipient, so the pattern does not give guage. At the time, I really thought nothing of it. In my limited experience, all sock yarn was similar and to that point in time I had knit every single sock on the same set of 3mm dpns. I was a little taken aback by some criticism of my pattern that I read on Ravelry. The writer said that she would never consider using a pattern that didn't give gauge, and the tone of her posts left me feeling quite put in my place. Regardless of her apparent negative attitude towards the pattern (and therefore it's designer) she had a valid point. Gauge can and often does, have a profound effect on the finished product. In response, I am going to knit another pair of socks with this pattern, make some changes in response to the sorts of questions that people email me about, and measure the gauge for inclusion on the pattern. Look for an update after I finish Livingstone.
The third pattern available is called "Cider Moon Sockapalooza 4 Socks". It's not looking that popular on Ravelry, but I'm not going to take it down. I may change the name as Cider Moon is no longer in business and any sort of sport weight yarn will work just as well for this pattern. I think it's a pretty sock, and a quick knit and would love to see more people give it a try.
In between sock patterns, I wrote a little pattern for a winter hat. I used (with permission and credit given) the skull chart from Hello Yarn's "There Be Pirate's" hat, which is fantastic but had too much pattern for my liking. My "Skull Hat" has a double layer over the ears, which serves to cover the floats from the single band of skulls set off by two simple fair aisle bands. I was so thrilled to see that there are well over 600 projects on Ravelry using my hat pattern. People have been so creative with it as well - all sorts of different colour patterns, changes to the crown shaping, including a terrific "elf skull" modification. Thank you for your enthusiasm, and your kind words about that pattern. It's your positive response that makes me want to re-write Africa's socks.
I'm still knitting on my Livingstone cardigan, but progress is painfully slow. I've only done about half of the right front. It's not that it's hard (really quite easy actually, and the rows are short), but I just don't seem to sit and knit very much.
Some colleagues and I have been invited to present at a conference Feb 13 and 14. It's a significant invitation on several levels. The conference is a provincial one, which will attract people from all over Alberta. The invitation came from our area director. The Chief Superintendent of Schools for our school district will be introducing us (and we are the only presentation she is doing that for). There will be many eyes on us. It's a very exciting opportunity, but I'm starting to get nervous. We've all been working hard developing this presentation. I must have a couple of hundred hours into the development of an updated data collection system to collect and report on assessment results for the whole school (580 students, assessed with several tools, multiple times in the year). My partner has collected hours of video footage and still photos and used them to create 3 video clips. Another partner has collated all of our information, beliefs, videos, images and ideas into a themed and branded powerpoint presentation. And our fearless leader has had the unenviable task of keeping the enthusiasm and panic in balance, and of keeping us all moving forward with a coherent vision. The thing is, I could talk, by myself, for a half a day about this stuff. The four of us have a 50 minute hour.
Yikes, work life has been pretty intense. No wonder I haven't made much progress on my sweater. It's Sunday today though, so I'm going to stop typing, and start knitting, and we'll see if I can finish this front anyway.