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

This week at GK: new tutorial on the website and on YouTube

I am rather slow at work, because spring has finally arrived to this corner of the Earth, where I live, and we have loads of things to do in the garden. Fortunately there were some rainy days, too, when I could get to my computer and do the most necessary tasks.

One of which was to have an eye on the ongoing test knitting of my Pomona Sweater in my Ravelry Group. Projects are coming together nicely, I am very lucky to have such a great team again! I hope to share some of the test knit projects next time.

I created a short row tutorial for the pattern, both a written and a video version. I really hope they are helpful because this was my most challenging topic yet. The topic of short row shaping is complex enough by itself and my bumbling with my camera didn’t make it easier πŸ™‚ . When I sat down to edit the video I made a few weeks ago, I realized that the camera had been set up incorrectly and there was no way to make corrections with editing, so I had to film the whole thing again. I wasn’t too happy about it, but I could only blame myself, so…

I had been very quiet here on the blog in the past month, and I should be so for another few weeks. I would really love to finish Module 1 of the Knitwear Designer Course, before I create any new content. With all that being said, I am going to grab a cup of coffee and start editing my fiber report!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

New Test knitting opportunity: the Pomona Sweater

Tech editing of the Pomona Sweater is done, so it is time for test knitting now. There are only 2 sizes that are still available: 18-24 months and 4 years. If you are interested in any of them, please visit the Gynka Knitwear Q&A and Test Knit Group on Ravelry, you may find it by clicking here. All applications are welcome, from all skill levels (this pattern is using some advanced techniques but video tutorials are provided, so no prior experience is needed).

To learn more about test knitting for GK in general, please read this page. For applying to test knit Pomona, please comment in the RAV thread.

Now, a few words about Pomona.

The story behind the sweater

The Pomona Sweater was originally designed by me in 2017, and the first sample was made in the first half of 2018. But this design never made to publication ever since. After moving homes and settling down in another city, I found the sample in one of my boxes, and thought I should deal with it again. I extended the size range from baby to child (up to size 10 y.o.) and added short row shaping options to these sizes for the collar, raglan and hem. The pattern also offers a short and a long version for the sleeves.

This sweater is part of the Fine Lines Collection of 2022 which consists of designs that have various textured knit-purl stitch patterns, playing with geometrical shapes and lines.

The name

Pomona was the Roman Goddess of abundance, and particularly abundance of the cultivated countryside: fruit trees, gardens and orchards. Cultivations are represented by the diagonal lines of the stitch pattern used at the collar, hem and cuffs, and abundance is the plenty variations for short row shaping and sleeves.

The construction

The Pomona Sweater is a raglan sleeved baby/child sweater worked top down. The pattern is written in 7 sizes (6-12, 12-18, 18-24 months and 4, 6, 8, 10 years). All sizes can be done with long or short sleeves and the 4 biggest sizes have the option for short row shaping as well. The pattern includes both written instructions and charts. Video and photo tutorials for the trickiest parts (continental cast on method, grafting, short rows, buttons, buttonholes) are also included. As a bonus, you can watch me wet blocking the sample πŸ™‚ :

The pattern was tech edited by Heather Storta (link to her website: here), and it is being test knitted now (once again, for currently available sizes please visit my RAV thread). I hope you join us!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

Mindig szarik a kutya valamit…

This is a Hungarian saying that my grandmother used to say all the time. It means “the dog always sh*ts something”. She was a very pessimistic lady, she had a hard life, full of pain and struggles. Sadly she passed away 18 years ago but I still hear her voice saying this when I think of her.

The dog always sh*ts something… We thought 2020 was tough and then came 2021… but I was full of hope because I couldn’t imagine any worse than a pandemic and thought the only way is up from there. I lost all hopes 4 weeks ago. I have no words.

I decided to take a little break from the blog in the last few weeks because it just didn’t feel right to post anything here. After pushing through the first shock of what’s happening, I slowly gather myself back together again, and return to writing, too.

In this month I was mainly focusing on my knitwear design studies, read books, answered questions, examined other knitwear designers’ work and tried to observe my own from outside. It is very interesting to step outside and watch yourself, like you were someone else. I have had quite many revelations, I have found things out about myself that I had never noticed before. Some things that I like and some that I don’t. The good thing is, I can work on my weaknesses now that I am aware of them.

I have created some knitting help videos for the Pomona Sweater and uploaded them to YouTube. I organized them into a playlist, so you can watch them one after the other by clicking here. Pomona is coming together nicely. It is almost ready for tech editing and testing, I only need to write a tutorial for short rows but first I have to figure out a way it could be the most helpful tutorial as possible. Short rows are not hard to understand but it is a huge topic and it is easy to get lost in it. This is what I will work on next week.

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

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

The Week of the Broken Needles

I don’t have luck with my KnitPro Symfonie and Nova fixed circulars. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but the cables keep falling out from the needle tips. I am not a big fan of knitting with wooden needles (though I love Symfonie for their color, I think they are one the most beautiful ones on the market). But Nova… it would be such a perfect needle for me… I am such a looser for doing this…

The same thing happened once with a Zing but never with Karbonz or any other circular needles of a different make. I wish someone could tell me why this is happening and what should I do differently to avoid breaking all my KnitPro circulars. I have quite many and it will be a financial disaster if I had to replace them all…

Besides the broken needles there wasn’t too much happening behind the scenes of Gynka Knitwear in the past two weeks. We are still working on the test knit for Tyche Hoodie, projects are coming together nicely. All of the ladies are really helpful and we made quite a few corrections by far. I am really grateful for their kind assistance. I also included two new tutorials in the pattern, both of them can be found in my Knitting Help Library, too: The Applied I-cord around the hood, and Joining in Round with an overlap. Both of the articles include video tutorials on YouTube as well.

I have started studying my knitting chart editor software which is not new for me but I didn’t have the chance to go in depth of its functions before. I have already created simple charts for my hat designs with it two years ago but my knowledge didn’t seem to be enough for creating a more complex pattern so now I threw myself into experimentation with the help of articles and tutorial videos provided by the developer.

As to pattern updates, I promised there would be an update to my most popular pixie hat design, and so here it is: Fauna is updated and available for purchase again! I am sure some of you are glad to read this :).

I have also updated Moth with the links to my tutorial videos:

Those of you who kindly purchased any of these patterns on Ravelry, you have probably already received an email notification about the update by now, and you have nothing else to do but to follow the instructions in that email to download the updated version.

If you purchased through Etsy, and would like to get the links to the tutorials, please contact me via thisΒ 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.

These patterns are also available on Payhip and LoveCrafts as well from now on.

This is probably my last post this year, because as the holidays approach, I have less and less chance to get to my computer. I wish all of you a merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2022!

Happy Knitting,

Mici

Tyche test knitting has officially started!

After a long-long time of silence, the test knitting of my Tyche Hoodie finally went live πŸ™‚ ! I haven’t been running a test knit for 2 years now but I feel like it was yesterday when we finished the last one. I didn’t plan to spend such a long time away… But now that I am finally back to working, I continue where I left off, which is test knitting this hoodie with a kangaroo pocket at the front.

I have just sent the pattern out to testers, and I am really excited about doing this. As a designer I may think what I want about my own design but it is always the knitters who will tell if a pattern is a success or not. The first knitters of a pattern are the testers, so I always count on their opinion very much. As of today (December 8, 2021), Tyche has 5 sizes and 4 test knitters. Size 12-18 months is still open for testing, so if you like the design please feel free to join us, you should find everything you need to know about this test knit in my Ravelry thread. (*edit December 9, 2021 to update: this test knit is full but you may still apply for a future one!) If you are not able to join this now but you are interested in test knitting for future Gynka Knitwear designs, please read this page.

I will be knitting along with the test knitters, too, I am doing the biggest size with a heavier weight yarn and larger needles just to experiment in size differences (and also I have a 6.5 and a 5.5 year-old who need a new hoodie… :D).

Tyche is a seamless knit, you cast on at the neckline and bind off at the hem. You only have to use tapestry needles to bind off the top of the hood and to weave in yarn ends, so if you don’t like tapestry needles, this one is for you. Tyche has many details that makes it more special, for example the applied I-cord around the edge of the hood and the yoke, or the integrated I-cord edging of the pocket which merges into the hem:

It is not the easiest pattern on the world but it includes all the help I can possibly give you to finish this project successfully: there are written instructions, charts, photo tutorials and links to my tutorial videos on YouTube (and if these are not enough, you still have me at your back to help).

If we are already talking about videos, there are 2 new knitting tutorials on the GK YouTube Channel this week: one about The Kitchener Stitch an the other about the Provisional Cast on. You can find them in my Knitting Help Library, too.

This was a very busy week for me, I worked a lot to be able to perform the last touches on Tyche, so unfortunately there are no pattern updates this week. But next week I am going to continue with the one that is my most wanted pattern πŸ™‚ and of course I will write a blog post on that, too! See you in that one!

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