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Introducing JessKnits Newsletter

JessKnits NewsLetter

Hi friends! I am so excited to share with you that I am starting a monthly newsletter about all things yarny and of course JessKnits news. Starting this month (July 2020) I will be send out monthly newsletters via email subscription at the end of each month. The newsletter will cover my knitting and designing efforts for that month and topics that have been on my mind. I’ll also send out update emails when I release new patterns to my Ravelry shop, which will contain a discount code exclusively for my subscribers.

I am really excited to get this newsletter up and running. Where do you go to subscribe to my news letter? I am so glad you asked! You can join by providing your email address below and clicking “Join My Email List”!

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I’m looking forward to sharing more of my knitting and my designs with you every month in your inbox! Keep an eye out for my inaugural newsletter due out July 31st.

Until then….

~Happy Knitting~

Jess

Posted in JessKnits Podcast

Episode 3: Must Have Knitting Resource Books – Show Notes

Another JessKnits Podcast episode is in the books……speaking of books, I talked about 8 different books in this episode. I looked through my entire knitting library and selected my top 8 books that I think every knitter and/or designer should have in their library. I’m going to go over all 8 books in the show notes here and also provide links so that you can purchase these books if you so desire.

First up is ‘The Knitter’s Companion Expanded and Updated’ by Vicki Square.

The Knitter’s Companion

This is a great little resource book, especially for beginner knitters. There is so much information in this little book. It basically covers everything you need to know in order to start knitting. My favorite part about this book is that it gives you pictures so you can see what your yarn and needles should look like at each step of a knit stitch, a purl stitch, increase stitches and decrease stitches. I used this little book a ton when I was first starting out. You can find a copy of this book on AMAZON.

This next book is also a must have for a new knitter. The book is called ‘Knit Fix Problem Solving for Knitters’ by Lisa Kartus.

Knit Fix

This is my go to book for fixing mistakes in my knitting. Have a dropped stitch four rows down……this book has got you covered! This book also provides pictures so you can see what your knitting should look like in your hands. Bonus….this book also covers fixes for when you have already finished your project but need to fix a mistake. You can find a copy of this book on Amazon HERE.

This next book is more for knitters who are starting to design their own patterns and are wanting to put their patterns out there for other knitters to knit. This book provides guidance on how to take your original design and write the instructions in a way that other knitters will be able to follow. This book has been like gold for me. The book is called ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns’ by Kate Atherley.

The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns

This book helped me so much with my pattern templates. I highly highly recommend this book, especially if you are just starting out in designing and writing your own patterns. I found this book on Amazon and you can find it HERE. This book is definitely worth the money! It talks about naming your pattern, writing the instructions, copyrighting, selling your patterns everything!

The next two books I put into the Technique category. These are really good books to have in your knitting library. The first one is titled ‘Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary’ by Wendy Bernard.

Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary

This book is amazing! I was so excited when I got it. This book gives you several stitch patterns, but the twist is that it tells you how to knit the pattern 1-top down, 2-bottom up, 3-side to side, and 4-in the round! The book includes charted and written instructions for each stitch pattern as well. It also walks you through taking other stitch patterns and converting them to suit your needs. Bonus – the book also has a few really cute patterns in it too. You can grab a copy of this book HERE.

The next technique book that every knitter needs to have is ‘Interweave’s Compendium of Finishing Techniques’ by Namoi McEneely.

Compendium of Finishing Techniques

This book contains information for finishing not just knitting, but weaving, crochet, embroidery. If you are looking for a variety of ways to finish your projects this is an excellent resource! You can find this book on Amazon HERE.

I know I said I had 8 books to talk about, but I lumped 3 books into 1 mention in this podcast. All three books were written by Barbara G. Walker (who is an amazing knitter!). They are as follows: ‘Mosaic Knitting’, ‘A Treasury of Knitting Patterns’, and ‘A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns’. These books are worth their weight in gold!

Barbara G. Walker books

I love these books! I get so many ideas for patterns from these books. The top book Mosaic Knitting is strictly mosaic motifs and only contains the charts. The red and blue books have the patterns written out and contain a variety of stitch patterns made up of knit/purl, cable, and lace patterns. I honestly feel if you are going to start designing your own patterns these books are an investment worth making. I’m including links to all three books, however I want to point out the Mosaic Knitting book in the photo is a first edition and is difficult to find, so I will have a link to the most recently published version.

This next book that I talked about has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing books to look through. ‘Knitted Cable Source Book: A Breakthrough Guide to Knitting with Cables and Designing Your Own’ by Norah Gaughan.

Knitted Cable Sourcebook

I am serious, the photography in the book is just beautiful! This book is an excellent cable stitch dictionary and is a must have if you love cables. Like most stitch dictionary books this one also contains some yummy cabled projects that you can knit. I highly recommend this book, and you can find a copy of it HERE.

The final book I talked about is ‘Alter Knit Stitch Dictionary’ by Andrea Rangel. This book is full of amazing two color knit stitch patterns.

Alter Knit Stitch Dictionary

Now, I do have to warn that this book, like the Mosaic Knitting book is all in charts. This book also has several beautiful projects to knit up as well. The patterns in this book are more contemporary and a little edgy I think. You can find a copy of this book HERE.

In this episode I also introduced my latest published design, Mountaineer Cowl. If you follow my blog you already know about this pattern, but here is another photo anyway!

Mountaineer Cowl
Close up of Mountaineer Cowl

This is a two color cowl knit stranded. The yarn for the diamond pattern is Malabrigo Mechita Yarn in the Anniversario colorway. The yarn for the background (Main Color) is Manos Del Uruguay Alegria yarn in the Pescador colorway. These two yarns are my all time favorite combo for knits. You can find my pattern in my Raverly shop HERE.

I also mentioned a sneak peek at my next cowl pattern that I am in the middle of working on. This is another 2 color mosaic knit pattern. I don’t have a name for it right now, but I will soon.

Sneak Peek

That pretty much is it for this third podcast episode. I’d love to know if there are any knitting topics you would like for me to talk about. Send me a message or leave a comment. Make sure to follow me on your favorite podcast listening app to be notified of future episodes when they are published. You can find all of my published episodes on Anchor at https://anchor.fm/jessknits .

Until next time; Happy Knitting!

Jess

You can find me in the following places:

  • Ravlery user name: JessieLynn
  • Ravelry Shop: JessKnits
  • Instagram
    • Podcast : jessknitspodcast
    • JessKnits: jess_knits
  • Facebook
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Posted in General, Pattern Store Updates, Promotions, Published Design

New Pattern: Mountaineer Cowl

Hello knitter friends! I am super excited to announce my new cowl design is now available for purchase in my Ravelry shop Jess Knits Designs! Allow me to introduce the Mountaineer Cowl:

Mountaineer Cowl

This pattern calls for 2 skeins of fingering weight (sock weight works well also) yarn in complementing colors and US 6 16 inch circular needles. I am so pleased with how the sample turned out. For the sample shown above I used 1 skein Manos Del Uruguay Alegria in the Pescador for the main/background color and 1 skein of Malabrigo Mechita in Aniversario for the contrast color. I am so pleased with how it turned out. I will always love the color combinations of purple and blues against teals and mint greens, they just go really well together. You can find my Mountaineer Cowl pattern HERE.

Mountaineer Cowl with Colorado Mountains in the background

Also, some really fun and exciting news to share. I’ve had 500 downloads of my Rhythm in the Needles Cowl!!! I am overwhelmed by the reception I’ve had for this pattern. Reminder: Rhythm in the Needles is a free pattern in my shop….and you can find it HERE.

Rhythm in the Needles Cowl

In honor of this huge milestone I am having a sale in my Ravlery shop. Starting today Saturday, June 20th through Saturday, June 27th all of my patterns will be on sale 50% off. You don’t need a coupon code for this special sale, the discount will automatically apply when you add any of my patterns to your Ravelry cart.

I’m also working on my next podcast episode. I’ll be talking about my favorite knitting resource books. If you are on the lookout to add helpful knitting books to your library you won’t want to miss this episode.

That’s all I have for this post. I hope you will check out my new pattern and take advantage of the sale this week! Stay tuned for my next podcast episode and new patterns to be released in my shop.

Until next time,

~Happy Knitting~

Jess

Posted in JessKnits Podcast

Episode 2: Diving into Designing – Show Notes

Hello friends! In this episode of the podcast I talk about diving into the designing world of knitting. I discuss how I started my designing journey and the art of pattern writing. I also talk a little about the new shawl pattern I am in the process of designing.

I can remember early on in my knitting being in awe of pattern designers. I could not wrap my brain around how someone could create a stitch pattern or take an existing stitch pattern and alter it to fit specific shapes. It literally blew my mind. Especially the super intricate lace shawls. I told myself that I would never be able to do anything like that.

But, several years into my knitting life, I found a stitch pattern that I got very comfortable with. Most stitch dictionaries call this slanted blocks or lazy blocks or tilted blocks. It alternate blocks of lace and blocks of garter stitch, depending on where you are at in the pattern repeat the blocks slant left or right. The original pattern was a scarf pattern. I knitted a few of the scarves and then I had a thought that I could knit a little shorter version of the scarf and graft the two ends together to make a shoulder shawl. I grabbed some pretty blue fingering weight yarn and did just that. I decreased the repeats to make it shorter, then I laid it out flat and took one end, twisted it one time and then grafted the ends together to make a mobius.

Then I had another thought…wouldn’t this stitch pattern be great on a cowl?! I had to do some experimenting with stitch counts, eventually I had my Lazy Blocks cowl which I published in my Ravelry shop in 2015.

Lazy Blocks Cowl

Then I had ANOTHER thought….wouldn’t it be great to have a pair of fingerless mitts that matched the cowl? Of course it would. Again I grabbed yarn and experimented with stitch counts and came up with my Lexie Mitts pattern, also published in my Ravelry shop.

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I completely proved myself wrong, I could design patterns! It felt so good, I felt accomplished. I ended up wanting to design more, to design variety of patterns that use all different techniques and different stitches. I have so many design ideas in my head and only two hands and a limited amount of time during the day that I can devote to pattern design.

One of the other big challenges in pattern design, that I have found, is the process of actually writing out the directions. My mom has always said the hardest part of knitting is reading and understanding the directions. I 100% agree with that. I have knitted some patterns where the instructions were very difficult to follow, and I have knitted some patterns where the instructions were so easy to follow (seriously, if you have not checked out Ambah’s knitting patterns you are missing out!). My goal as a pattern designer is to make sure that my instructions are logical and as easy to follow as possible. I will go over and edit and tweak patterns for weeks before I am ready to publish them. My mom has also been my trusty pattern reviewer to make sure they make sense.

As I move towards more challenging designing, like garments I am slowing myself down and taking my time to make sure that I have clear and complete instructions. Until I started designing my own patterns, I don’t think I really had a full appreciation of what all goes into designing a pattern and publishing it for other people to knit. Especially with cardigans and sweaters. There is so much to take into consideration for those types of patterns. Right now I am in the middle of learning pattern grading, which is the process of taking the stitch counts and measurements of your sample size that you have knitted, applying math to it in order to get stitch counts and measurements for multiple sizes bigger and smaller than your sample size. That is a daunting process, especially for someone who grew up disliking math. But it is a challenge, and I like challenges.

I again mention my pullover sweater design that is in the works. I have the sample size knitted and am taking an online pattern grading course to learn how to properly grade my pattern.

I’ve also been working on my first ever shawl pattern design. It is a triangle mosaic shawl knit from end to end. This pattern calls for 2 complementing fingering weight yarns. I’m still working on the name for this pattern, but I sure am enjoying knitting it right now. If you enjoy mosaic knitting and cannot get enough of slipped stitches then this will be a fun pattern for you!

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That pretty much wraps up Episode 2 of the JessKnits Podcast, I really hope you enjoyed this episode. Make sure to follow me on your favorite podcast listening app to be notified of future episodes when they are published. You can find all of my published episodes on Anchor at https://anchor.fm/jessknits .

Until next time; Happy Knitting!

Jess

You can find me in the following places:

  • Ravlery user name: JessieLynn
  • Ravelry Shop: JessKnits
  • Instagram
    • Podcast : jessknitspodcast
    • JessKnits: jess_knits
  • Facebook
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    • JessKnits: JessKnits
Posted in JessKnits Podcast

Episode 1: Hello World – Show Notes

Hello world! My name is Jess. I’m a wife, a mother, and an avid knitter. Welcome to the first episode of my new podcast for my JessKnits pattern designs. You can listen to this episode on the Anchor app or the Anchor website HERE. In this episode I talked about who I am and gave a little insight to my knitting background. I also talked about what I am currently knitting on and my new pattern I recently published in my JessKnits Ravelry shop.

I’ve been knitting for 20 plus years and now I am designing my own knitting patterns. My mom taught me how to knit when I was a freshman in college. I started out with dishcloths and moved to fuzzy scarves with the fun fur yarn. I started designing in 2015 and published my first pattern called Lazy Blocks Cowl. My shop mostly consists of accessories at this time. I’m working on expanding the patterns I offer in my shop. I have my first sweater pattern that I have been working on for a while now. I’ll go into more detail about it in another episode as I move closer to being ready to publish it.

Lazy Blocks Cowl

In this episode I announced my latest pattern that I published in my Ravelry Shop. It is a cowl pattern titled “Rhythm in the Needles” and I am offering it for free. It is knit in the round using sock or fingering weight yarn. It is knit entirely in the brioche stitch, which I know can be intimidating. I also used to be intimidated by brioche. Once I figured it out, with the help of YouTube, I fell in love with it. It is so much easier than it looks, I promise. I designed this cowl to be super beginner friendly, I included the YouTube tutorial video that really helped me and I know it will help you too. I really hope that you will give it a try.

The first brioche project I ever attempted was the Harlow Hat by Andrea Mowry. I found her YouTube tutorials on brioche to be extremely helpful in learning to knit brioche. I included a link to the tutorial in my cowl pattern. I want every to get to enjoy brioche knitting. It is so much fun and very relaxing once you get the rhythm down, which is why I titled the pattern Rhythm in the Needles. (Don’t forget it is a free pattern!)

In addition to designing my own patterns, I enjoy knitting designs from other designers. Right now I am working on a beautiful mosaic shawl from Ambah on Ravelry. The shawl pattern is called Kirra Shawl. It is so pretty! I love Ambah’s patterns and especially her shawls. Her patterns are so clean and easy to follow. They are easy to knit and always knit up so beautifully. I adore her patterns.

IMG_9624 (1)

In this episode I also gave a sneak peek into the next pattern I am working on to publish in my shop soon. It is another cowl pattern that calls for two complementing colors of fingering weight or sock weight yarn. It uses the stranded knitting technique. I am so proud of how the sample I knitted turned out. I love wearing this cowl. The pattern is called Mountaineer Cowl and will be published soon.

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I really enjoyed making this first episode of my JessKnits podcast and I hope you enjoyed listening to it. I’m looking forward to sharing my knitting and designing adventures with you. Follow me on your favorite podcast listening app to be notified of future episodes when they are published.

Until next time; Happy Knitting!

Jess

You can find me in the following places:

  • Ravlery user name: JessieLynn
  • Ravelry Shop: JessKnits
  • Instagram
    • Podcast : jessknitspodcast
    • JessKnits: jess_knits
  • Facebook
    • Podcast: jessknits podcast
    • JessKnits: JessKnits