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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
    • Podcast: jessknits podcast
    • 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.

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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
Posted in JessKnits Podcast

JessKnits Podcast

Hello friends! I am so excited to share with you my new podcast coming soon. I am creating a JessKnits podcast so that I can share with you my passion for knitting and pattern designing, and maybe spinning and weaving too. I’ll be sharing my success stories as well as lessons learned as I navigate the world of pattern design. My goal is to produce episodes that are easy to knit along while you listen.

JessKnits Podcast is hosted on the Anchor platform for podcasts. You can listen to me on the web at https://anchor.fm/jessknits . You can also listen on the Anchor and Spotify apps as well. We are working on expanding the where you can find the JessKnits Podcast I will be sure to provide updates as new listening opportunities are made available.

After each podcast episode you will be able to come visit here to find show notes for that episode along with any links mentioned and possibly some photos of items I talked about.

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Right now the trailer for the podcast is live on Anchor and Spotify. I encourage you to go give it a listen and a follow to be updated when new episodes are published. Also, a really neat feature of the Anchor platform is that you can record and leave me voice messages that I can respond to. Who knows maybe you might make it into one of my shows. Episode 1 is currently in the works so stayed tuned.

Until next time ~Happy Knitting~

Jess

Posted in General, Pattern Design, Pattern Store Updates, Published Design

New Pattern: Rhythm in the Needles Cowl

Hello Knitter Friends! It’s been a while I know. I’d be a liar if I said that 2020 has not been completely insane and upside down! So far this year I’ve gone from working in an Office at my place of employment, to working from home, to schools closing for the remainder of the school year, to navigating the distance learning for my 2nd grader, to not knowing what day it is or who I am. Ha ha ha!

On the upside of all the crazy in the world, because I have to look for a silver lining, I’ve been able to finish drafting and publishing a new pattern for my JessKnits Ravlery Shop. The pattern is Rhythm in the Needles, it is a brioche knit cowl that can be knit with one color or two contrasting colors of either sock or fingering weight yarn. It is suitable for both solid and variegated yarns. It knits up wonderfully squishy and cozy and perfect for fall and winter seasons. Here’s the super exciting part! This pattern is FREE! You read that right….FREE!!! You can’t beat that price! I really wanted to create a fun and free pattern for my knitters. 

Rhythm in the Needles Cowl

I know brioche seems hard and scary and just way to complicated to try. Trust me, it is not near as hard as it looks. I also use to feel this way. I admired brioche projects but was way too intimidated to actually try it. But, one I felt adventurous and gave it a try. I found an excellent YouTube tutorial (hint – I included a link in the pattern to this vary tutorial) that made everything click for me. I became obsessed with brioche!

I named this pattern Rhythm in the Needles because brioche knitting has a very soothing rhythm to each round that instantly transports me into a zen mode. I could knit brioche hats with matching cowls (Rhythm in the Needles cowls of course) all day long. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to add this pattern to your “mindless” knitting category for tv knitting, travel knitting, lunch break knitting, the possibilities are endless. You can go directly to the pattern page HERE. I really hope you will download this pattern and give it a go. It is so much fun to knit and wear.

Rhythm in the Needles 2

In other new and super exciting news. I am working on a new knitting podcast called JessKnits Podcast. Original right?! You can find the podcast and listen to the trailer HERE. Podcasting is very new to me so and I am getting used to hearing my own voice. I’m working on the first episode and hope to publish it soon. You can listen to the podcast on the Anchor app or website, or just about anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Right now I know it is available on Spotify for sure. I am working on getting it available on other podcast platforms like Apple podcast. Keep an eye out for a blog post all about the new podcast.

Until next time,

~Happy Knitting~

Jess

Posted in General, Pattern Store Updates, Promotions

Happy Fall Ya’ll!!

I’m not sure how we made it to October this fast! Out of all of the seasons Fall is my favorite. The temperatures start to come down, the change in the colors on the leaves, warm wooly knits, hot coco, I could go on and on. It also just so happens that my birthday is in October. I like to celebrate every year by offering a discount on my designs in my JessKnits Ravelry shop. This year is no exception. This year, in honor of my birth month I am offering all of my designs 50% off! No minimums, no maximums. Also, no code needed, the discount will automatically apply when you add one of my JessKnits Designs to your cart.

I really hope you will join me in celebrating October and visit my shop.

Again Happy Fall Ya’ll! And as always, Happy Knitting!

Jess