Sep 14, 2020

The tools of a Knitwear Designer and #Why I Make


As a knitwear designer published by third parties I have to promote my designs on the social media I have a presence. I try to do that but sometimes Instagram gets left behind. In the past month or so I had several knitting patterns published and I was thinking about how to mention all of the knitting patterns without feeling like it's a promotion or an advertising. 

Yesterday, I took this picture and posted it on Instagram. I did not know what I will write at first, and then it started to be a list of tools a knitwear designer uses.

The list:

Knitting Needles 
Sketch Book and notebook 
Knitted Samples 
Computer Work (pattern writing, grading, editing) 
Responding to Submission calls 
Social Media visibility 
If and when patterns are accepted more of the above 
When patterns are published add pattern support

It's a lot to do for one person.

Even though it is a lot to do I continue to do that. Simply because I love what I do, knitting and creating.

Last week I have received an email from @Lovecrafts about another competition for Blogger of the Year 2020.
I have tried last year, and even though I did not win, my entry was interesting enough to be mentioned on their blog. I see that as a huge success. Links to the two are here:

I was thinking about what I would like to write for this year entry. I had so many ideas and I kept returning to the idea of dreams of our childhood and how we either pursue them or abandoned them. 
I had plenty of childhood dreams that I wanted to achieve. I would like to mention one particularly. Growing up behind the Iron curtain was very restrictive and we were not allowed to travel outside the Eastern Block. As a child I read a lot and I dreamed a lot about traveling all over the world. Under the circumstances it seemed impossible. We were not allowed to do so. Yet the Velvet Revolution in 1989 gave us the freedom to travel all over the world. I studied and become a tour guide, a profession that allowed me to pursue my childhood dream of traveling. At one point as a tour guide traveling with a group of tourists we were in the Monument Valley and my group of tourists went for a tour with a local  Navajo guide and I was left behind to wait for their return. At that moment I was approached by the owner of the company, a Navajo man and asked if I want to go for a horse ride while my group of tourists are exploring the beauty of the land. I went and it was magical. Unknown to him, he allowed me to fulfill my childhood dream of riding a horse with a Native American through their land. I cherished that memory and I have a picture of me on the horse in the Monument Valley to remind me that sometimes when we don't expect it our dreams can come true. 

 In the photo above you can see the image of me on a horse at the Monument Valley. You can also see a paw of my dog. Having a dog was another childhood dreams of mine, and I had to wait for it to happen for many years. 

Another of my childhood dreams was to become a writer. I earned BA  in Creative Writing, something I never expected to do when I was a child. I earned that degree in a non native language. I see that as an achievement  on its own. During my talks with my school advisor I mentioned that I have been creating knitting patterns and that some of them were published in a book collections, or on websites or in magazines. My adviser told me that this is what being a writer is. Have your work published. I guess I have in an unexpected ways achieved another childhood dream. 
Stana's Critters Etc is my personal adventure one stitch at the time. 

So if you have a dream, a passion, keep on dreaming, keep on being passionate about it, you never know when the dream comes true. 

Thank you for reading and visiting.
This is my entry into the Lovecrafts competition for The Blogger of the Year 2020. This is also my answer to the question Why I make. 
I love to create and share my creativity and passion with others so they can learn, create, craft and enjoy the process one stitch at time.

Sep 8, 2020

September 2020


September is one of my favorite times of the year. The heat of summer fades away, our garden continues to give us back and I can start thinking about what kind of knitwear I will wear in the upcoming seasons.

This September is a special in a way that I have several knitting patterns published by a variety of third parties.
In my last blog post I wrote about four of the patterns that were published by I Like Knitting; link to these patterns here:  New Knitting Patterns

I also published one independent pattern; which is a playful variation and addition to my previously published knitting pattern by Knitpicks, in one of their knitting patterns book collections;: link to the pattern here: Meg and School of Fish

In the next few weeks I have three other patterns coming out with a three different publishers. It is very exciting and I do feel like a real knitwear designer. 
Stay tune for those patterns as they are all so different in a way, yet they all are product of my imagination and creativity.

Sometimes I write about gardening. I have been gardening pretty much most of my life. And I had a different outlook on gardening throughout the years. I always loved the fresh taste of fruits and vegetables, and I have learned the hard work that comes with it to actually get that fresh fruits and vegetables on your table. 

We have a small size backyard garden in comparison to what my parents and grandparents had while I was growing up. In those years we practically did not need to buy any fruits or vegetables, except some of the exotic fruits that didn't grow in our Central Europe climate. We did a lot of preservations and canning, and pickling. All of this experience I had as a child have helped me when we started our backyard adventure when our kid was small. 
I hope that the lessons learned will stay with our child into the future and will allow our child to appreciate it as an adult. Pictured here are our backyard gardening adventures. We have planted the blackberry bush and this year it has given us plenty of fruits. In the second picture our dog watch the vegetables I picked this morning, some kohlrabi, parsnip, celeriac, carrots, and butternut squash. We grew everything from seeds, event the butternut squash. Though that was an accidental. We have a compost, and last year I put some seeds and peels from squash and other vegetables and fruits. Apparently it has survived the winter and it started to grow from the compost pile. See the last picture. These are our not seeded and planted pumpkin and squash vines. When it started to grow, we just let them grow and now we have butternut squash and some kind of pumpkin. 
I will use the vegetables to make our meal today. It is a wonderful to know where our food is coming from, and that it is healthy and fresh.  

Thank you for visiting, and don't forget to see the upcoming new patterns. 

Sep 5, 2020

New Knitting Patterns

Somehow this month I will have several knitting patterns published by a variety of third parties.

First I would like to mention that my  Bark Scarf, previously published by Knitpicks in their book collection titled Flaunt is now available as Ravelry download pattern, and will soon be available to purchase on Lovecraft website as well. I love the simplicity of the mistake rib pattern in one color and two colors and the possibility of colors that can be created. The pattern is written for bulky weight yarn and is fabulous for beginners. 

Four of my knitting patterns were published in the October Issue of I Like Knitting magazine. In this blog post from July I wrote about working on these four pattern and knitting the samples in two weeks.

First of the patterns that are part of the October Issue 2020 is the Paw-some Hat. It is a matching hat to the Paw-some Dog Cowl and Paw-some Human Infinity Scarf. First two images were taken by I Like Knitting. The last image is my favorite model T-Bone waiting for his daily walk in the fancy Paw-some Dog Cowl. 

Second and third pattern included in the October Issue are Spotted Around Scarf and Spotted Around Hat.  The Spotted Around Scarf is actually on the cover picture of the magazine issue. Both photos by I Like Knitting.

Fourth Pattern in the issue is Harvest Poncho.  A snuggly soft and reversible poncho  knit in wonderful Cascade Yarns Aereo. Photo by I Like Knitting.

 Thank you for visiting.

Sep 4, 2020

Knitting Pattern for Meg and School of Fish

 With a bit of unexpected delays Meg, the megalodon shark is in the hands of its recipient. For a privacy reason I will not post the picture of the recipient but let me tell you that Meg is bigger than its owner. 

Meg, the megalodon shark is about 56" (142 cm) long. 

In the picture above she is trying to snack on one of our wooden stools. But then she changed her mind and went after the school of fish.

The knitting pattern is a whimsical play on a food chain. Fish eats fish, eats another fish, and another and they all end up eaten by the ultimate predator Meg, the megalodon fish. 

The pattern is available to purchase in my Ravelry store:

Stana's Critters Etc

or you can purchase it by clicking on this button:

Soon the pattern will be also available on Lovecraft website in my Stana's Critters Etc, and in my Stana's Critters Etc PayHip store

In the meantime you can join our KAL in my Ravelry group and you can purchase the pattern for $1 until the end of Sunday, September 6th Eastern US Time Zone when using the coupon code Meg 
After that the  price will go up by $1 every 24 hours until it reach the full price. 

Thank you for visiting.

Aug 15, 2020

Work in progress

 In my last blog post I wrote about my current knitting project, which I named "Food Chain". The name is probably going to change when I create the final pattern, which I really hope will be rather sooner than later. But life tends to happen and plans get change.

Last week we lost power for 6 days. I tend to refer to those days as camping in our house, as it does remind me of the times when we would go on camping adventures with no running water, no electricity, no fridge and no cooked meals. I have to say I enjoyed camping as a child, but as an adult I got used to the idea of having a flushing toilet and ability to wash my hands or even have a hot shower at home. 

In the days without electricity I had more time to knit and I have made quite a progress on the final "fish" in my "Food Chain". I started with an idea and a sketch, and an older knitting pattern of mine for Shirley, the shark

Before we lost electricity I have made the inside of the mouth and teeth. I started to work on the body, not knowing how big it will be. 

The picture above is from the day of the storm, before we lost electricity.

As the days without electricity continued I made quite a progress.

Then at some point I realized that I have actually created a megalodon shark, in comparison with the other fish in the food chain. I am almost finished with the knitting, even though I had to frog and reknit the tail and dorsal fin as I didn't like the size and shaping of the first attempts. Since we have electricity I switched on my computer and started to write the pattern. The first part is much easier as the fish were previously published in two of my patterns (see the links bellow), but the megalodon shark has to be retyped from my hand written notebook, and edited. That part will take a bit longer. 

Odie, the sea otter (the smallest fish)

One fish, two fish, three fish (the other three fish)

This food chain is going to be our KAL for the next few weeks/months. I opened the thread in my group on Ravelry if you are there please join us. Otherwise you can always share pictures on Instagram  by adding the hashtag #stanascritters or #stanascrittersetc  

Just so you can see how big the megalodon shark is turning out to be, here is a picture of our 75 pounds (34 kilograms) T-Bone with the shark. The tail is still missing in this picture.

Thank you for visiting, 

Aug 1, 2020

Summer 2020

As the pandemic continues its rampage through the world I am trying to adjust to what is happening around me in the real world and online as well. 

Under a normal circumstances I would be visiting my mom and friends in Europe. I would be sitting on my mom's balcony and knit, while the two of us would be talking. I would call my friends from the time I lived in Europe. We would get together and sit on a sidewalk in one of those little caf├ęs, catching up on our lives. 
I miss that this year. 

But, whenever I am away I wonder what it would be like to spend the summer at home. This year is the year I can experience that. I am spending my summer at home. I have the time to watch my garden grow. I get to enjoy fresh berries and incorporate vegetables from our garden into our meals. It is exciting to sneak in a kale and create meatballs that turns green and cause raised eyebrows and musings about "What is wrong with those meatballs?", "Why are they green?". 
And a huge bonus is that I get to talk to my mom on daily basis on Skype. I love it. I know it is not as seeing her in person, but it is a joy to be able to talk to her. 

Aside from working on few knitting patterns that will be published in the future by a third party I also get to work on some fun knitting projects. 
Remember my pattern for One fish, two fish, three fish?

I am revisiting the pattern and have fun with creating more fish and play with the idea of a food chain and who gets to eat who. I will be posting an updated pattern for this fun food chain sometime next week or so and if you are on Ravelry and a member of my group you can join the Knit-a-long hosted in my group. Otherwise the pattern will be available on Lovecraft, Ravelry. 
Recently I have opened a store on Payhip where you can purchase some of my patterns. I am slowly adding more patterns to that store, so check it out. Payhip store

Thank you for visiting.

Jul 27, 2020

Knitting pattern for Rib Hat and few more patterns

Rib Hat

A while back I received a skein of yarn from Lovecraft. It was The Yarn Collective, DK weight Bloomsbury in a gorgeous Indigo color. I made a hat, and another from the same skein of yarn. I also had another color of the same yarn and made two more hats. The rhythm of 2x2 ribbing is fairly simple and looks great on anyone. The crown is shaped into a point and the hat is reversible. 

Rib Hat

You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry, Lovecraft, and also here by clicking on this button:


 Also the rights to some of my previously published patterns by a third party has returned to me and I can sell the patterns as an independent designer.

You can purchase these patterns on Ravelry and Lovecraft website. Link to the pattern stores are on the side of the blog.
First it is my favorite Golden Hour Fair Isle Scarf
A colorful exploration of fair isle knitting. The original sample is using 11 different colors, but the pattern invites you to play with your own favorite colors and create an original scarf. 

Golden Hour Fair Isle Scarf

Luna Infinity Scarf and Cowl is another pattern that has just recently been added to my own store on Ravelry and Lovecraft. 
A super quick textured infinity scarf or cowl worked in Cascade Magnum yarn is  done in a matter of hours.
photo by I Like Knitting

Cora clutch is a combination of knitting and sewing. The outer layer is knitted, while the inside layer is made of fabric. The two layers are attached to a zipper, which securely closes the bag, and a knitted flap is secured with two buttons. 
photo by I Like Knitting

Thank you for visiting.