Sunday, July 30, 2017

How the Addiction Began...

Madly Addicted Two Ewe... Casting on!
If you've been following my podcast (or stalking me on Raverly or Instagram) you know about my Addicted Two Ewe series, but I haven't really written about it, so here's an introduction.

Earlier this summer I was playing around with some design ideas inspired by someone who doesn't purl. We all have limitations in our lives. For some people it's public speaking, others just never get the hang of baking, and for crafters, often it boils down to a technique that we simply can't get wrapped around or straight up detest. I know someone who doesn't purl. And, initially, I was really vexed by the idea that this seemingly simply technique wasn't going to be mastered and felt really sorry for the knitter because without purling, patterns can be incredibly limited. And so, ever out to heal the world, I set out to create patterns with this limitation in mind.

What I didn't expect to discover was how inspiring limitations can be. At the onset, I expected garter was going to be the ruling force, and indeed, it is the primary basis. But the truth of the matter is, it is only the primary fabric texture and not the end of the story. That fabric can be manipulated in every way stockinette can. And with that understanding... design freedom prevails.

But that isn't the whole story behind this series. There was another driving force: Stash that exceeds life expectancy.

I track my knitted yardage using KnitMeter.com (free - go check it out!). I think it's fun to look back at my mileage; it gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. Since 2010, when I started tracking my knitted yarn mileage, I've knit 31.1 miles of yarn in completed projects. WOW!  I also use Ravelry's stash inventory feature to keep track of my yarns on hand. (also free - check it out!) This tool is fantastic! I can quickly go in, see what yarns I have, sort by color, weight, yardage and quickly determine if I have what I need/want for a project or if I HAVE to buy more yarn (OH NO!).

Ravelry's stash inventory feature also has a fantastic tool that allows you to download your stash to a spreadsheet. For giggles one day, I did. And then I auto-summed my yardage totals column. And then I converted yards to miles. And then I divided that number by my average annual knitted mileage. And then I earnestly studied Google Maps for the fountain of youth, as I will need to knit at my current pace until I'm 700 in order to enjoy all of my yarns.

As much as I love my stash (rolling in it is fun!) I found myself actually kind of disappointed that I wasn't likely to get to enjoy it all (but for the rolling). As a yarn dyer/seller, I was further disappointed to think this condition is likely to be widespread and eating into my sales potential. And so, ever out to heal the world, I set out to create patterns with not only technique limitations in mind, but that would effortlessly help us all make the most of our (excessive) stashes and enjoy our yarns.

Addicted Two Ewe was born.
Addicted Two Ewe

Each of the patterns in this series uses two fingering weights held together. This is, of course, fully adaptable. Every pattern converts to use of a single strand of DK weight yarn without even blinking (two fingering = one DK), and with a little adjustment to needle size, every other weight in the world can be worked. Gauge on these patterns is not crucial, but mileage and size may vary.  It is ultimately about drape and your taste/style/preference. Each pattern is designed to offer a fun, easy to follow, and addictive experience, allowing you to zoom through a colorful, stash busting project. Make it your own by incorporating different combinations of yarn colors and textures. Have fun!
Still Addicted Two Ewe

Two of the designs, Addicted Two Ewe and Still Addicted Two Ewe, are currently out for test knitting and scheduled to release August 22nd. The third design, Wildly Addicted Two Ewe, is being tech edited now and I expect to get that out to test knitters very soon. The fourth design, Madly Addicted Two Ewe, is on my needles going through my initial work up. Where will this stop? I can't honestly say. I'm quite addicted to creating these, and I have an awful lot of fingering weight in my stash. I guess it ends when I cannot come up with anymore corny names.
Wildly Addicted Two Ewe

With all these new patterns and designs comes another hurdle: finding without any personal adaptations. (Yup, sorry folks. This is the one constraint.) Simply follow the instructions, line for line, and report back any issues you are having. Benefits include the thrill of being among first to knit it, the free pattern, and the opportunity to help the "expert". And I'm always looking for test knitters. I don't believe you can ever have too many people helping you.
people interested in test knitting. Test knitting is easy and fun. You receive a pattern that has been written, photographed, tech edited... is basically ready for public consumption, FREE. You knit it,

If test knitting sounds like your jam, contact me. I'd love to have you on board!