Plans for 2023

This post is written already a bit too late but better late then never… So my resolutions for 2023 are:

Further reducing my stash and keep it at a minimum

I have already touched on this one in my last post. My aim this year is to clear all yarns that are heavier than sport weight out of my stash. I realized that I don’t enjoy knitting with needles above 4 mm /US 6. To accomplish this, I started using up yarns starting from the heaviest weight. Let’s see what I have accomplished in January. Clicking on the photos takes you to the Ravelry project page where I usually add more notes to the project.

1. Chunky/bulky

Last year I have already managed to dismiss (almost) all the super bulky yarns, so the heaviest in my current stash was Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky. I started a sweater for my son hoping that I have enough yarn but I soon realized that I won’t have enough for the cuffs, hem and neck ribbing, so I used a third color there:

The pullover is based on a free pattern from Catherine Seale featuring a very interesting shoulder method she worked out (her pattern on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/seal-line-shoulder-method-childs-sweater ). Since I worked with a heavier yarn and larger needles, I chose a size smaller than it was intended.

I still had enough yarn for a hat, so I knitted myself one:

The pattern is the Soft + Cushy Hat from Purl Soho (Ravelry link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/soft–cushy-hat ). I made a slight change, instead of the k1 under I used k1 stitches to use up less yarn.

2. Aran/worsted

The second heaviest were some leftover Drops Big Merinos Just enough for 2 smaller projects. The one below is an improvised hat pattern, with an octopus intarsia (pattern by Sarah Kelly, Ravelry link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/octopus-chart-2 )

Since I still had some leftovers, Daniel came up with the idea of a pair of octopus mittens and when we searched Ravelry, we found a cute one: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/childs-octopus-mittens . It wasn’t available online, it was only published in 60 Quick Knits, so I searched on WOB for it, and luckily they had a copy, so we immediately ordered it. Soon it arrived and the mittens were ready to be made:

After finishing these projects, my stash of super chunky, chunky and worsted yarns look like this:

I am pretty satisfied with this amount… πŸ™‚

3. DK

I managed to start reducing the DK weight stash too in January, my finished projects in January were:

A scarf for one of teachers in kindergarten (it looks a bit awkward on the photos as I only have a child size mannequin but the scarf is adult size… but is still beautiful):

The pattern is Spinning in Circles by Kim Lundvall (link to Ravelry pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spinning-in-circles ).

The second project is a Valentine’s Day gift to my son’s little girlfriend (they are 8 years old, the first love of their lives, they are so so so cute together and my son wanted to gift her something special, so I knitted a scarf with shadow knitting technique, there are two unicorns facing each other at the 2 ends:

It was a really fun project, I hope the new owner will like it, too… πŸ™‚

I still have a few balls of Rialto DK left and I also have some other DK yarns, clearing these yarns from stash will be a lot of work… but it is my aim for February and March (and probably April… I must be ready by May at the latest because by that time we have a ton to do in the garden and I won’t be able to knit anything but socks between May and October).

If I manage to knit a ball a day, which is not much with DK weight to be honest, I can be successful with this project but we’ll see…

Learn a new skill

Last year it was sock knitting, and it came unpurposed. I had to create a few gifts that were quick projects, and I needed quite a few pairs, so it was a perfect time to learn about sock knitting in depth (more about it here). It was such a delightful project that I decided I should do something like that every year. For this year I was struggling to decide between two topics. The first one was to search for traditional Hungarian knitting techniques and patterns. As I was diving deeper in the topic I had to realize that knitting wasn’t at all common in Hungarian history. Though we were quite an acknowledged people for our merino sheep back in the day, the tradition was to rather use the wool for weaving and not knitting. Which is very interesting. Anyway, it seemed that I wouldn’t have any tasks there to occupy myself for a whole year, so I moved on to my other skill-to-learn, which was spinning.

I have ordered some drop spindles and a roving, subscribed to YouTube channels and ordered a few books in the topic. In the meanwhile, I thought that I should buy a spinning wheel, too, but I was thinking of an antique one, as new ones are so expensive that it would be a very painful investment, especially if I decide I don’t like spinning that much by the end of the year. I found a beautiful one in an online antique shop but it was missing the flyer and the paddle so I quickly called my father if he could make a replacement for those. To my great surprise he told me that he actually had an old spinning wheel that he didn’t need… so he is working on reviving that old spinning wheel now. Until he is done, I keep on educating myself from books and videos.

Keep costs under the level of income

I think I am not giving away any top secrets here when I say handknit designers are earning just about nothing for their work. It may seem that 6-8 USD is too much for a pdf compared to the freebies of yarn companies but what no-one is thinking about: Etsy is taking away it’s 1/3 and another 1/3 is taken away by taxes and other payables. So I get ca. 2-2.5 USD per pdf by the end of the day. I am still a beginner designer so I often work for 2-3 months on a pattern, pay for the yarn for the sample and also for tech editing. Which means that about the first 80-100 sold patterns will cover my costs of publishing the pattern (and still not the months of work I have put into it). And from there I start earning anything. In the last 6 years I sold about 300 patterns on Etsy, so unfortunately I can not say this is a fruiting business… it is still a hobby that I keep investing in…

But! This year I decided I will spend less on knitting than I earn with designing. I don’t care if I still don’t get anything to pay myself a wage for my work, but I will definitely cut back buying new things. I will only buy yarn and tools if it is necessary. In the last couple of years I managed to pile up all the tools I need, so unless I break or loose some needles I should be fine. As to yarns, I think I still have enough to choose from if I want to design something this year. The only thing to spend on is education, really.

Finish the TKGA Knitwear Designer Course

I really want to do this one. I thought Module 2 would be easy-peasy but I am working on it since August and I am still not finished… I will take a deep breath and send all materials in by the end of March at the latest, so I can move on to Module 3 and finish it before the end of the year.

An that is all for 2023 :). What are your resolutions for this year?

Happy Knitting!

Mici

Summing up 2022

I know that there are many people who doesn’t like new year’s resolutions but as for me, they keep me focused on my goals, so I always do a year-in-review post in January. Here is the one to sum up this past year.

I have written about my resolutions for 2022 in details in this post, but here they are in bullet points:

  1. Clear yarn stash
  2. Buy new yarn thoughtfully
  3. Keep consistency in posting content
  4. Keep learning
  5. Publish designs that are half-ready

And this is how I managed:

Clear yarn stash

With this one I was quite successful. I have written a post about it when I started. Since then I progressed, and I even managed to select even more yarn that I would like to clear from my stash – these were all superwash merino yarns and anything heavier than sport weight (my true aim was to eliminate needles 3.75 mm / US 5 and above).

I started with the bulkiest yarn in my stash, which was the leftovers from Drops Andes. Originally I wanted to knit two sweaters for my two kids but then I realized that probably I don’t have enough yarn for two smaller sweaters so I knitted a third Autumn sweater (pattern by Nazilia Zemdikhanova) in my size:

I know that my color choices are not the best but I have had to work with what I had:

… and at least I have cleared every last bit of the leftovers. With this I managed to clear all super bulky yarn from my stash, so I am very happy. I still need to hide yarn ends and wet block this one.

Next ones on my list were the Drops Big Merino leftovers. I separated them by color: I made a group of mostly pinks and another of greens, blues and greys. I chose a free sweater pattern from the Garnstudio website (RAV link to pattern is Little Missy) for the first group in my daughter’s size. I had to make a few modifications to the pattern, but it turned out well:

This one needs the finishing touches, too. I still have to figure it out what to do with the other group of Big Merinos. They are not enough to knit a sweater so I will have to find a suitable hat and/or scarf pattern for them, but I am on it.

I had a ton of Drops Cotton Merinos too, which I wanted to clear, and I decided to knit sweaters for myself with them:

Both of these are La Maison Rililie’s patterns, the first one is La GeKka, the second one is Rhombing Around. I don’t have much to say about these, perfect patterns from Rililie as they usually are, I really enjoyed knitting. As to my own color choices: again, I have had to work with what I had, so if we take this into account, they are fine and I wear them at home really often because they are so comfy (they are too colorful for me to wear them outside of my home – but that is my only concern).

I also used up a bunch of leftovers for my Summer of Socks project, in which I knitted quite a few pairs of socks as farewell gifts for the teachers in my son’s kindergarten.

There was a yarn swap in November in Budapest, organized by Kis Kos MΕ±hely, and I also managed to sell/exchange a few unneeded skeins of yarn there, so that was a success, too.

Buy new yarn thoughtfully

This was a success, too. I have purchased a few skeins of yarns this year, but all of them with a special project in mind, most of them have already been used up:

I purchased sweater quantities of Holst Garn Coast for some Hyggestrik T-shirt patterns, one of them is already finished:

The name of the pattern is Hor11. The pattern and the yarn both are fantastic, but I was swearing quite a lot while knitting. I will never choose a black yarn for such a huge project again (I had to knit the 5XL size to get my size, since the yarn was much lighter than the one used in the pattern originally).

Later I purchased some Rosarios4 Balada for another version of La Maison Rililie’s La GeKka (actually this was the first one, but I liked it so much that I decided to knit another from the Cotton Merino leftovers…).

Then I had to order some Cumbria Fingering from The Fibre Co. to be able to finish my Congrats sweater by Ankestrick. The colorway I was knitting the body was discontinued (of course…) by the time I got to the sleeves, so i had to order a different color but I like it anyways…

I bought a sweater quantity of Retrosaria Mondim yarn, which I haven’t used up yet, but I will need them for my Design #2 project for the second Module of the TKGA Knitwear Designer Course. I should not knit a sample but I have never designed an adult size sweater and I am sure it would be fun to wear my own design, so I think I will knit one for myself as soon as I am ready with the pattern.

I also shouldn’t have knitted a sample for Design #1 -which is a pair of socks for me- but I had the same thoughts, so I ordered some skeins of Filcolana Arwetta and knitted a pair from my own sock pattern:

And at last but not least I have swapped a few skeins of sock and sweater yarns at the yarn swap, and I have already knitted up the sweater quantity yarn:

This one is Smoke by Ankestrick. Again, this was a project that took me a long time because of the black yarn… but it was worth every minute, because I love this sweater. By the way, the yarn is Barka Malom, which is already discontinued.

Now I am now down to 6 small boxes of yarn stash compared to 7 small boxes and 4 large boxes (which are double the size of the small ones – so it was about the size of 15 small boxes altogether) that I was at by the end of 2021. In a year, I managed to reduce my stash almost to its third, which is good, but I will continue stash busting in 2023 because I have further reducing plans – I will share them in the next post.

From the yarn that I exchanged for money at the yarn swap, I purchased a Chiaogoo Twist Interchangeable Small Set, and for Christmas I got a MUUD Stockholm case to hold the interchangeable needles, so all in all I am very proud of myself of not spending a fortune on knitting.

As to the other 3 resolutions (to keep consistency in posting, keep learning and to publish my half-ready designs), I was not at all successful, but that is because of personal reasons. A lot have happened in my personal life in 2022 that turned my life upside down again and again (I had to face that I have ADHD, we had to make a lot of work around the house that we hadn’t been planning on, I got married, I had my first and last name changed officially which is causing me a whole lot of troubles right now and we are in the process of finding a school for our daughter with ASD, which seems to be a much complicated job than I was hoping for…), so I had to put my study and work plans on hold for a while. Hopefully I can deal with them in 2023. Anyways, what I have learned in 2022 was that I shouldn’t be expecting too much of myself and I have to accept that I can’t do designing as a full time job. I am able to publish only 1-2 designs per year.

There is one more thing I would like to share with you in this post, and it is that I have finally earned the “Star Seller” badge on Etsy in December, so I couldn’t be more proud! I would like to thank all of you, who purchased a pattern from me because it is you who made it happen! You mean the world to me and I hope you stay with me here for my future knitwear design adventures as well!

I wish you a wonderful 2023 full of knitting and yarn!

Mici

The Pomona Sweater is out!

It has been a long 2 months since my last post and honestly, nothing turned out as I planned :D. I wanted to finish module 1 of the Knitwear Designer Course and release the Pomona Sweater in May and June but the summer vacation hit me too early and I seem to have forgotten that I just can’t get a sentence of work together with my kids at home. In addition we had some urgent projects around the house that we had to finish. So I managed to accomplish nearly nothing GK-wise…

BUT! My fantastic test knitters were working hard in the meantime and finished testing the Pomona Sweater for me a few weeks ago. I managed to get a few hours by myself today (while my husband is taking care of the children… he has taken a day off from his work for me to be able to do this, which is a rare thing, so I am very thankful for him, too). All in all, I could finally release the pattern today! Here are some of the finished projects of the test knitters, I really love their incredible works:

A few words about Pomona: it is a seamless raglan cardigan worked top down. It is knitted in stockinette stitch with diagonal rib stitch pattern at the collar, hem and cuffs. The pattern is written in 7 sizes from which the 4 child sizes come with optional short shaping at the collar, raglan and hem. The pattern offers a short and a long version too for the sleeves. Photo and video tutorials are included.

In case you like this sweater, you can read more about it (like where its name has come from or how long did it take for me to publish the pattern, yarn and needle recommendations, etc.) here, or purchase the pattern through Ravelry, Etsy, or Payhip – and it will be soon available on LoveCrafts, too.

Happy Knitting!

Mici

The procrastinating Mici

Before I forget, let me begin with a friendly reminder that my new pattern, the Tyche Hoodie is still available at a 20% discounted price on Ravelry and Etsy today and tomorrow! The discount is not working in my Payhip store and on LoveCrafts. Sale ends February 20, 2022. Midnight CET.

(I hope you notice my new child size mannequin, which my husband bought me after I was cracking up because we have children who are useless for knitwear photography… I am joking, of course πŸ˜€ … I love them more than anything. The problem is with my skills of taking good photos, obviously. But my children are useless for knitwear photography, too.)

All that being said, let’s jump onto what happened this week on GK. If I want to put it out there as shortly as I can, it would be one word: NOTHING.

It all happened because I got frustrated by a huge bucket of yarn under my desk (I keep my WIPs there, and they usually take up a space of the size of 2 boxes packed on top of each other, which is fine. I like it that way, because I can always grab one of the projects to work on while I watch a YouTube video on my computer or wait for something to load – oh, how I loooove Windows updates every week or so… – But I also had this bucket full of super bulky yarn there. – You may remember when I wrote about my new year’s resolutions for 2022 in a previous post, I have mentioned a raglan pullover that I knitted from the leftover yarns from a previous project knitted in Phildar Phil Alaska, which was a complete failure and had to be unraveled. Now this was the one), and I just couldn’t sit at my desk without my legs colliding with the bucket all the time. One day I got so annoyed with it that I could throw the whole thing out the window. I thought this is high time it disappeared. I had so many other – more important – things to do…. I should have left it… Now I wish I threw that bucket out the window instead…

First of all, I spent half a day finding a suitable sweater pattern. Soon I have realized that I don’t have the required amount of yarn for that one, so I thought I should be OK with some modification to the original pattern. Of course I ended up with a LOT of modification to the pattern…

Here is what I did:

  1. I used a 6mm/US10 size needle all over. This gave me a completely different gauge but I liked the final fabric that it produced more.
  2. I am usually a size S but cast on and started to knit according to size M/L.
  3. I left out the pockets because of the shortage of yarn. Therefore I knitted the fronts in all stockinette after the hem.
  4. Since my gauge was different, I knew that the fit/ease will be different from the original, too, so I cut the length of the sweater by around X cm.
  5. Point 4. meant that I had to re-calculate the position of decreases at the front necks.
  6. I used 3-needle bind off at the shoulder seams, and seamed the the sides with mattress stitch.
  7. I originally thought it will end up as a vest, since I wouldn’t have enough yarn for the sleeves, but after I got to this point, I still had about 7 balls (which I didn’t want to put back under the table…), so I thought I should give a try to sleeves of some kind.
  8. Instead of knitting the sleeves bottom-up, I knitted them top down. I picked up stitches around the armholes, because I was not sure if I had the right amount of yarn to finish both sleeves.
  9. I picked up 58 stitches around the armholes, and calculated the number and frequency of decreases like it was long-sleeved. Fortunately I could manage to finish both sleeves and I was left with a tiny bit of leftover (as seen on the photos below).
  10. I changed the stripes of color to random here, since I had to use what I got (When I knitted the fronts and the back, I was sparing the white yarn for the collar, but when I finished, I realized, maybe the dark grey will be enough, too, and it would be a better choice. So I used up all dark grey for the collars and I was left with a bunch of white… Anyway, it is not that bad this way…

It turned out like this:

I must admit that I quite like the result, but then I turned the sweater inside out and saw this:

I immediately knew that the rest of the week was busted…

So that is how a week went by and I managed to do absolutely nothing GK-wise or knitwear designer course-wise (though I really wanted to at least finish my fiber report this week…). Bummer.

I really should stop procrastinating. It is sooo unproductive. But at least now I have space for my legs under my desk and a cardigan to keep me warm as I am sitting there typing up the rest of my fiber report and the short row shaping of the hem of my newest design, the Pomona sweater

I would really love to read about your experiences about procrastinating. Do you procrastinate? If not, how do you avoid it???

I hope to see you next week! Until then…

Happy Knitting!

Mici

Tyche is out!

I am really excited to announce that Tyche is finally live! This is a big moment in my life, since this is the first complex garment that I am releasing (well, there was Aurora, but that was my very first design, written in only one size, since I knew nothing about grading at that time, and it is a free pattern, so I don’t count that one…).

I have to admit, writing this pattern was adventurous and really tough. When the design of this hoodie emerged in my mind back in 2017, I didn’t have a chart editor software. I was drawing all charts in MS Excel from cell to cell for each size and then writing everything from row to row in my editing app (it took me a whole month of work). I guess I don’t have to tell you how much room there is for errors this way. No surprise, all tech editors rejected to edit it then.

Finally, it went in my desk drawer and later in a box in a storage room because life had happened and our family moved to a new home (that was quite an adventure, too, you can read it here…). But as I was unboxing all my knitting stuff at the new place, I found my notes about Tyche, and thought I should give this design a second try… So I took a deep breath, rewrote the whole pattern, drew all charts again (this time in the chart editor software), created a few tutorial videos, searched for test knitters and boom… 3 months later we are here… πŸ™‚

Now that it is released, I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing… I put a tremendous amount of work in this pattern and I am really relieved that is finally over, so I can move on. On the other hand I am extremely nervous about the welcome of this design. Not about the financial side, because I know my sales will probably never cover my expenses (none of us is designing for the money, I think… I have just seen a report of Ravelry’s January sales from 2019 and 70% of the designers earned less than 200 USD – and 80% still under 250 USD – in that month, which is the busiest month of Ravelry…). My fear is the critics. What if it is not good enough? What if I am not good enough? What if all of us missed an error (…or more…)? I always try to shift my thoughts toward the “we are human, so we all make mistakes” mentality but it is really hard right now, that there is so much effort put into this pattern. And it is not only my hard work any more but the 5 incredible ladies’, who test knitted Tyche for me (and I can’t be thankful enough for their help on this)…

I really feel that Tyche is a huge milestone in my life. A part of GK is closing down with it forever (which I don’t mind at all, to be honest…) and something new begins. I just don’t know what πŸ™‚ …

Now that I have sufficiently scared you with my second thoughts about it, here is Tyche with all its glory, available on Payhip, Ravelry, Etsy and LoveCrafts πŸ™‚ (if not now, these last two should be available in a few hours… I will link them in here, too, as soon as their links are live):

Enjoy 20% off this pattern from now until the end of next week! No coupon codes needed. This sale only applies onΒ RavelryΒ andΒ Etsy, the discount will not work on Payhip and on LoveCrafts. Sale ends at midnight Sunday, February 20th CET, 2022.

You can find more info on this pattern and about the upcoming ones here.

Do not forget, if you need help with this project, you can find links in the pattern to my tutorials, which you can also find by clicking here, in my knitting help library. I also created a playlist on YouTube just for the tutorial videos for Tyche, you can watch the whole series by clicking here. I really do hope you will like this pattern!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

This week on GK: Tyche, Pomona, a surprise package and the fifth birthday

This week’s topic of the Knitting Help series for the Tyche Hoodie is the kangaroo pocket. You can read the tutorial here, or watch the video on YouTube here. I put all the previous videos into a playlist, so if you need all the video help for Tyche, you find it by clicking here.

As to my other design, the Pomona Sweater, there was a “tiny” setback at the beginning of the week as I realized there was an error in the pattern, so I had to frog the entire sample sweater and knit it again. The pattern (and the sample) is corrected now, everything is fine. Currently I am experimenting with short row shaping for the hem. I think I will include that in the pattern, too.

Short row shaping of the hem

I know mistakes and frogging are part of the design process but I can’t tell you that I wasn’t upset about it… and then my phone rang. It was the carrier, he told me has a package for me. I wasn’t expecting anything (yet) so I was quite surprised. It turned out to be a package from Holst Garn:

The package was shipped on January 22nd and arrived on the 26th. 4 days from Denmark to Hungary. How incredible…

It was a sweet surprise. And it is not only the speed that amazed me, but these guys at Holst Garn seem to know me quite well… πŸ˜€ I was busy admiring the yarns when it suddenly came to my mind that I had also ordered some stitch markers, but I couldn’t find them. I immediately thought that I had accidentally thrown them out with the packaging material so I was going after them into the waste bin, but they weren’t there… and then I found this:

So cute of them πŸ™‚

I was laughing so hard… πŸ˜€ to leave this message was such a clever thing to do πŸ™‚ I wish I had looked at the invoice before I freaked out, but you know, who cares about the invoice, when there is yarn in a package…? πŸ™‚ Anyway, this moment made my week, so I quickly forgot the setback with Pomona. I love the texture of this yarn (it is Coast by the way, 55% wool and 45% cotton) and I already started to knit swatches with it. It is perfect for a design that I have in mind for the summer.

I have one more thing to write about this week, and that is the 5th birthday of GK. I started this thing exactly 5 years ago, in January 2017… To be honest I was already blogging about knitting and crocheting for a few months by then but it was all rambling about my knits in Hungarian. The official start of GK is definitely January 2017.

This made me nostalgic and I realized that January is the month of the great starts and ends in my life. I started GK in January 2017, changed the language to English in January 2018. GK was temporarily shut down in January 2019, we sold our house in January 2020 and finished major construction works on the new house in January 2021 (though the last workers left only in March). I am really looking forward of what this year brings…

5 years… I still can’t believe it. Time flew by so fast. I was looking for ways we can celebrate these past 5 years and I couldn’t find a better one than giving you 50% off of every GK knitting pattern for 5 days, starting today. No coupon codes needed. This sale only applies on Ravelry and Etsy, the discount will not work on my website. Sale ends at midnight Wednesday, February 2nd CET, 2022.

Happy Knitting!

Mici

Stash busting (after-) holiday knits

In my last post I made a short list of my new year’s resolutions and the first resolution on that list was clearing chunky and bulky yarns from my stash. I have already started to accomplish this through the winter holidays, and now I have a considerably huge pile of knits waiting for weaving ends and blocking. Here is a summary about how I am progressing with this project.

I had a huge box of Garnstudio Drops Andes yarn which I didn’t need any more. I didn’t want to design something complicated because I didn’t want to spend time on calculations, so the easiest solution seemed to be a throw. I had a stitch pattern that I liked to work very much. Isabell Kraemer used it in her Lemmy K shawl design and I always knew I wanted to use that stitch pattern for something. So I knitted a throw for myself and I have to admit I love it so much that I put it in use before weaving ends and blocking… Unfortunately I can not show the throw to you here on the blog because some weeks later I realized that there is a really similar throw on Ravelry with the same stitch pattern made by a very popular designer… Though I see the differences too, they are indeed very similar and I wouldn’t like to get involved in any copyright issues, so I must keep the secret of that throw to myself…

When I was done with the throw, I still had plenty balls of Andes left. So I started searching for patterns on Ravelry and I found a very promising project: Autumn by Nazilia Zemdikhanova. I casted on one for myself in size S and I liked it so much I started a second one a few days later for my mother in size XXL.

It was a very mindless knit, I could sit and binge watch Netflix series while knitting, which is very rare for me (usually I knit according my calculation and taking notes, so following someone else’s pattern was really refreshing). Sizing is perfect, both for my mother and for me, I have a feeling that we will both love this pullover.

It seems Andes doesn’t want to leave me because I still have a smaller box full of it. Maybe I will do some calculations and do Autumn in the kids’ sizes as well…

The next yarn that took up many space was a box of Phildar Phil Alaska. My first thing was of course searching for projects in Ravelry but I didn’t find anything that I like, so I took measurements from my kids and cast on pullovers for them. These are really quick knits, I cast on in the morning and bind off in the evening.

The first one was for my daughter. It has a yoke with a simple colorwork. Before you watch the following picture, I have to mention that all my respect goes out to those designers who are designing circular yoke patterns with colorwork. It took me forever to draw a very simple pattern, and I was tearing my hair out all the way. I convinced myself that this was the first and the last time I’m doing this. And now here it is:

I know… it is not perfect. I have read many articles on circular yokes since then and I would make some modification on the pattern if I had the chance to start over (I would concentrate the increases in the upper half of the yoke around the neckline and take away increases from the bottom of the yoke), but I really don’t want to waste any more time on this. Neither knitting nor designing colorwork are really my thing plus I had to make this yarn disappear so I guess it will do for now. My daughter – who I knitted this for – likes it, it fits her fine and she will grow a size by next winter anyway so it will be worn for a few short months only…

The second project made with Phildar Phil Alaska was a raglan sleeve pullover for my son. When I finished it, I realized I still have a pullover worth of yarn and also I am not very satisfied with the raglan ratios so in the next few days I am going to frog that one back and knit it again. I will show the whole piece to you only then.

The third kind of yarn that I wanted to clear from my stash was Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky. It is a beautiful and smooth yarn that comes in beautiful colors but it is too heavy weight for me, so I knitted a pullover for my son.

And I saved the best one for last… if you are paying close attention to the cover photo of this post, you will see something that is not a stash busting knit… It is rather a sneak peak to a design that I have been working on for a while. I started to work on it in 2018 but it has never made it to publication. Now that I have finally finished knitting the sample, I am starting to write the pattern, so hopefully it is one of the designs that will be published in 2022. Here is a better sneak peak:

I guess it will be a fun project… I will share more information on this one later and update you when it is ready to test knit.

That is all I have to show you right now. It may seem a lot but they are very bulky knits and I knit quickly anyway so it wasn’t that much to accomplish…

Next week I plan to weave end and block everything so I will probably be able to show you the final results in my following post… Until then…

Happy Knitting!

Mici

Looking back on 2021

Although 2021 was not a full year of work for Gynka Knitwear, I would like to have a summary. Actually this will be a summary for the last 3 years, as I haven’t written one since.

After a looong (more than 2 years) break I returned to work at the end of October. When I stopped working in 2018, the situation was quite chaotic. First of all, a knitting/designing business needs some space, which we didn’t have much in our previous home. We lived in a 3 bedroom home, where all of the bedrooms were so small that there were barely enough space for a bed and and a small cabinet for clothes in each of them. I kept my stash yarn in one of the children’s closet and my needles in our bedroom. I didn’t even have a desk for a computer. I was basically writing and editing my blog and social media on my phone and sometimes I used a very-very old notebook on the kitchen table to write patterns. After a while yarns and needles were all over the place. I found myself dreaming about a workspace all the time where I can store my needles and yarn stash together, where I can sit down next to a desk with a newer/faster computer, a larger screen… and last but not least, a space that is only mine.

Little did I know in 2018 that our lives were about to take a huge turn really soon. In January 2020, after an incidental email exchange with a friend working in real estate, our dream home emerged out of nowhere. Well, it was not our dream home back then, it needed a huge transformation prior being livable, even… but it was cheap, so we could afford it, has 5 bedrooms (we use 3 as bedrooms and 2 as home offices – hubby uses the other one), a living room so big that we finally don’t kick the TV down while lying on the couch, and it is located in the suburb area with the downtown in a 10 minutes walking distance. So at the end of January we woke up one morning and put our small home on the market. The rest is history, and I have dedicated a long post to this before, so I don’t want to repeat myself. To make it real short and inappropriate, we went in even deeper sh*t for 2 years before we could finally came out.

Fast forward to spring 2021, when construction works were finished on the new home, I could finally took possession of my own workspace. Apart from some boxes of yarn and needles, and a very old cabinet I inherited from my grandmother, it was empty. But it was all mine. And if I closed the door, the world had stayed outside.

I wanted to start working immediately but I had to realize that in the meantime my very-very old notebook had completely died. So the restart of GK was delayed again with another few months, until I was able to buy a desk and a desktop computer with a larger screen. And this was in October, 2021.

As much as I hated these two years of being on hold with GK, I have to admit that it was for the benefit for my family and actually for my small business, too. We are living in a much comfortable space now, where every member of the family has their own private space and can keep the others out if they want to (let’s admit, in this new world we are living with the continuous lockdowns this is a must if we wanted to stay insane…). On the other hand, I had plenty of time to think about what I would like to do with GK.

When my workspace was ready, I started to accomplish many things right away. I made tutorial videos for my patterns, uploaded them to YouTube and updated all my already published patterns with them. I updated my website, my Etsy shop and opened a Payhip Store. I am writing a blog post every week to log everything that is happening to GK. I had overcome my concerns about Tyche and with 5 incredible ladies we started to test knit it.

All in all, I am really grateful for these things (GK-wise, of course… I am grateful for many things private, too but that is another list):

  • my workspace – because this is everything I could dream of
  • the fact that I was finally able to restart this small business after 2 really long years
  • that I feel I found my exact path and I am right there where I have to be
  • that I found new learning opportunities and I am looking forward to master my skills in design and pattern writing
  • my YouTube channel. This was also a dream coming true, I have been planning this for years.
  • last but not least I am very grateful for all of you, who are reading my blog, knitting my designs or watching my videos. Without you I wouldn’t be here.

These were probably the hardest years of my life in every way but I am really grateful that they are over and I hope they will be the foundation for much better years to come. I heard someone saying “if life gives you a lemon, make lemonade”. Let’s make that lemonade and drink it in 2022.

Happy Knitting,

Mici

This week on GK: test knitting a new-old design, new pattern updates and a new tutorial video!

This week I continued to update my patterns with the links to my tutorials: the next ones on my list were the GK Cowl and the Eryx Double Pompom Hat.

If you purchased any of the patterns mentioned above through Ravelry, you probably already have the email about the update in your mailbox by now. Please follow the instructions in it to download the new version.

Both updated patterns (and a third one: the GK Beanie which didn’t need an update) are available on Etsy, Payhip and LoveCrafts as well from now on.

There is a new video included in these patterns: how to join your work in the round. I show you 2 ways for joining: the easiest and the nicest (well, in my opinion, anyway πŸ™‚ ). You can read about it by clicking here.

I was really busy in the past week doing the pattern updates but in the meantime I also took some projects off the shelf that were left unfinished before GK was sentenced to a forced 2 years rest in 2019… I have a hoodie design that is really close to being published. You may remember the Tyche Hoodie, I wrote about it here.

When I wrote this post back in 2018, I had said I need a tech editor for this design but I struggled to find one eventually. After a while I got too tired of trying, I just neglected the topic and it slowly became forgotten.

Well, it is definitely not a beginner level design but I don’t think it is that impossible, so now I started dealing with it again. I am also thinking about extending the size range, because many of you asked for an adult version for this one. This may take me some time to figure out so please bear with me… I am trying my best to deliver.

I would like to be proactive on this design, so while I am working on updating my patterns that have been already published, I would like to start gathering test knitters for Tyche. I add some details for you below in case you happen to be interested πŸ™‚ :

Tyche has raglan sleeves and it is joined in the round after reaching the armhole. It has a kangaroo pocket and a hood both of which have an I-cord hem. The pattern is written in 5 sizes: 3-6 mos, 6-12 mos, 12-18 mos, 18-24 mos and 2-4 yrs and it includes both chart version and written instructions. It requires the following skills: knit, purl, increase, decrease, kitchener stitch, I-cord edging. Because of its complexity, it is a design for intermediate and experienced knitters. Application is open from now until Wednesday December 8. 2021. Deadline for the finished pieces: Monday January 31, 2022. Please only apply if you can meet deadline.

You find further information about this test knitting project by clicking here. If you are interested in test knitting GK designs in general, and would like to get ear-burned by me every time I have something available, please apply in my Ravelry Test Knit Ear-burn Group! I would be very happy to welcome you there as well πŸ™‚ !

Finally I would like to thank all of you, who are here and reading my blog – whether it is a one time read or every single week! I probably don’t say this enough but it really means a lot to me! I enjoy writing for myself, too, but it is definitely better if I have company πŸ™‚ ! I am really grateful for everyone of you ❀ ! Have a nice week!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

New video tutorial, pattern updates and the GK Payhip Store!

I have many things to share with you this week!

First of all, the next episode of the first GK Knitting Help series is live on YouTube! As usual I have written a few thoughts about it, which you can read here. It is about creating and joining an I-cord. If you are following me for some time, you have probably noticed that I-cord techniques are one of my favorites. They are the finishing touch of every garment that makes the whole thing perfect. This is why it became a bit longer video than usual, I guess… and it is probably not the last one on that topic since I use different I-cord techniques quite often as a selvedge for example.

You can find all of my tutorials in the GK Knitting Help library by clicking here. If you would like to be notified when I post a new video to YouTube, please subscribe to my Channel and click on the bell to set up notifications. I appreciate every subscription, like and comment.

The next thing I would like to tell you about is – as I promised before – I am updating all of my patterns with the tutorials, so beginner knitters can read and watch tutorials as they proceed with a pattern.

The following patterns have been updated with tutorial links so far this week: Cobweb, Fiona, Lysander, Titania and Puck.

If you purchased any GK pattern mentioned above through Ravelry, by now you have probably already received an email notification about the update (or you should in a few hours), and you have nothing else to do but to follow the instructions in that email.

If you purchased through Etsy, and would like to get the links to the tutorials, please contact me via this form, or send an email to gynkaknitwear@gmail.com (in this case I will ask for your Etsy user name and email address to be able to identify your purchase) and I will send you the updated pattern pdf ASAP.

The updated patterns mentioned are also available on LoveCrafts and Payhip from now on. Which brings us to our last topic for today, namely the GK Payhip Store is now up and running! I am very happy about this as it a huge milestone for me and I have been planning it for a long time. I just hadn’t have the time to set it up until now. I will upload all my patterns there as soon as I am done updating them which I hope to be done in a few weeks. I will keep you informed about it here and also on Instagram!

Thank you so much for being here and I hope to welcome you next time, too! πŸ™‚

Happy Knitting,

Mici