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What Knitting or Crocheting Can Teach Us

 

Hipstershawlraverly
Hipster Shawl 

As a designer, I spend many hour escaping into the Ravelry world, an amazing knitting and crocheting community (website) where people come and stay. For hours sometimes.

I click through 10, 15, 100 versions of the same shawl pattern (or dishcloth, sock, scarf, hat pattern), looking intently at the yarns used, the projects created from it, the way it looks in a worsted weight yarn vs. a fingering weight yarn. Which then starts down another rabbit hole of the actual yarn and what people created with that yarn–hats, baby blankets, socks, to name a few.

It soothes my soul, relaxes my over-stimulated-creative mind. But, even as a designer I have to wonder why people would knit a lace shawl that takes months to create such a complicated pattern. I guess because there’s something for everyone.

Here’s the thing about our online knitting or crochet community: we compare our projects, shaking our heads sometimes as to why someone would use that yarn or needle size, when clearly, in my own mind, I wouldn’t.

But that’s not for me to judge. Or even mention.

There’s a clear understanding that when someone posts a photo of their finished object, a lot of love, care and time has gone into producing that completed project. We should cheer her or him on and not make comments as to the clashing colors or think, I wouldn’t have done it in that yarn.

I ran across this the other day and shuddered. I did. Because it made me feel angry that someone would be so unkind to comment like that. I’m sure they didn’t realize it actually came across the way it did. But…It did!

So, I guess the moral of this story is, be kind when commenting on others photos. If you already do, which I’m sure you all do, good on you!

One Kind Word can Change Someones Entire Day

I know I’m not going to please everyone, but I’m ok with that. We all have different tastes in yarns, patterns, the way we photograph our finished objects. That’s what makes each and every one of us knitters or crocheters unique!And, I love that! And YOU!

The shawl at the top of the page is in my favorites. On Raverly.  I plan to knit this. I love the texture, the worsted weight yarn. I’m going to find a soft cotton worsted and knit it for summer evenings. 

Feel free to visit my Ravelry store if you’re interested. 

Hugs,

~DEB

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Olympic Knit Pattern Inspiration

Hello friends!

Are you watching and enjoying the Olympics? I’m sure there are many of you (like me), that don’t have a lot of time to sit and enjoy them.

I did see Chloe Kim in the snowboarding competition, though. Wasn’t she amazing? And, did you see her hat? Cute, huh?!

Designers have taken it upon themselves to create their own version of this cute winter hat.

Me included!

I’m calling mine Winter Games Chunky Hat.

 

wintergames1wintergames3

wintergames4

The details for this cute, cozy and comfy hat are below. I hope you enjoy this fast and fun ONE skein knit. Gather your supplies, your favorite beverage and a great Netflix show. Cast On!

Materials

1 skein Super Bulky Yarn – I used Lion Brand Thick and Quick

US Size 15 Knitting Needle

Notions

Tapestry Needle, Stitch Marker, Scissors, Tape Measure (if you’re analytical like me), Pom Pom Maker

Directions

CO 44 stitches, place marker and join for working in the round.

Round 1: *K1, p1; repeat from * around.

Repeat round 1 until hat measure 10.5″ or desired length. This length includes a 2.5″ rolled up brim.

Next Round: *k2tog; repeat from * around. 22 sts

Next Round: *k2tog; repeat from * around. 11 sts

Finishing

Using a tapestry needle, thread remaining 11 stitches through, pull tight and secure inside the hat. Weave in all ends.

Pom Poms can be made various ways. I chose to use the largest Pom Pom maker. Attach, wear and gets lots of compliments.

Knit On!

~ Deb

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s in a Name?

Good Morning Knitters!

I have so much on my mind this morning, I thought I’d just chat with you all a bit.

Let’s start with, What’s in a Name? What does that mean? Well…

When you hear the name Martina Behm, what designs do you think of? Shawls

Heidi May of the Velvet Acrorn? Cute animal hoodie/cowls and kid accessory patterns.
Hannah Fettig? Sweaters
Stephen West? Shawls, specifically Rockefeller.
Tiny Owl Knits? BeeKeepers Quilt.
Mason-Dixon? Ballband Dishcloth
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee? Socks
Susan B Anderson? Her Plain Vanilla Socks & Animals.

Now, for the big question, What do you think of when you hear, Deb Buckingham?

I’m curious.

Branding is so important to anyone who has a business of any kind. It tell you, the consumer, what you can expect from (me) as far as products and service go. It differentiates (us) from each other.

My brand is derived from who I am, who I want to be, and who you, my customer, perceive me to be.

With all this said, a new business plan is in the making. Yes, I will be designing. Yes, I will stay true to my audience. Yes, I will continue to offer fun, easy to follow patterns. And Yes, I will stay true to me, and the same quality patterns you’ve always received from me.

Things I will be considering are: A new logo, integrating my brand through that logo, creating a “voice” for my company that reflects my brand, creating templates, (using same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel for my patterns and marketing materials) and most important, to YOU and ME, is being consistent.

By the way, did you notice the butterfly theme? Hmm…that may be part of my branding.

I hope you’ll follow along on Facebook, if you don’t already. Check out my Etsy shop where new patterns will be listed. My Ravelry shop where hundreds of knitters shop everyday.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb

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Am I Missing Something?

Hi Knitters!

Haven’t we often heard that question, whether someone truly didn’t understand your intentions or they just missed something. Seriously, there’s a way in which it is interpreted.

Right?

I need to explain to you all what exactly I do, and who exactly my audience is, at this time.

I began designing in the year 2008. My focus was myself at that time, as I was somewhat of a beginner knitter. After I watched countless videos, read 100’s of books, and watched my friends as they made their way through a beautiful project, I realized what kind of designer I should be.

A designer that focuses on the simple. Simple Detailing. Simple stitches. Just. Simple. From that time till now, my audience has been beginners. I’ve taught beginners. I’ve walked beginners through issues. I’ve designed for beginners.

So, when someone questions my intentions from said project, I get a bit defensive. Though, after reading back the posts she and I wrote, I quickly deleted it. Why? Because it goes back to what I just wrote, I’m a simple designer with the beginning knitter in mind. They don’t know how to stripe the yarn or how many stitches to cast on or even do the math to figure them out. I love to be the one to do that for them. I often receive emails asking me, if I used your dishcloth pattern and wanted to make it bigger, how would I do that. Simply put…know your gauge, stitches per inch, with said yarn and needle, and multiply that number by how many inches you want the finished object to be.

Simple for the more advanced knitter, but not for the beginner.

This design is adorable, right? I’m just attempting to show you all what kind of designs you will continue to see. If you’re following me on Facebook or this blog, you quickly realize, the patterns you see are easy. Step by step instructions. No charts.
I love doing these. For me, it’s a pleasure to help the novice knitter get their bearings. It’s tough. We all were beginners at one time. We all had to take baby steps. So, there has to be patterns out there that address the beginner. Though, with that said, there are many knitters, myself included, who love a change of pace, a break from the sweater or shawl we’re working on. THIS type of project is perfect.
*stepping down (carefully) off my soap box*
Let me introduce my newest design.
I adore this pattern. And the texture it creates is thick and perfect for your kitchen. And did I mention it has the coolest, most simple, unique Icord? It does!
So, stick with me as I show you new patterns that will keep you sane or help you learn.
Hugs to you all!! You know my heart and how much I appreciate you ALL.
Knit On!!
Deb

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Re-vising, Re-writing, and Re-photographing

Hi Knitters!

There comes a time when one must update the earliest of patterns. The styling is all wrong. The format of the pattern looked oddly “off”. 

It was time for a makeover. This pattern was written so long ago, I had forgotten about it. But, after listing all my designs for their much needed re-do, I was quickly reminded how much I loved it.

You will too!

An Admire Cowl
by Deb Buckingham

I’m thrilled with this cowl design. Super fast. Fun. Addicting.

Fashionable, simple, yet sophisticated. Ideal for the guy or gal ready for work or play. A great throw on to compliment your outfit, or take your furry friend for a walk. This cowl is rich in texture, yet simple enough to work as an instant gratification project.

Made with worsted weight yarn and a US #8 circular needle.

The color I chose works for my personality, I’m sure the color you choose will be just right for yours. It’s warm and cozy on a cool day, though keeps you toasty on a wintry day.
This piece is versatile and great for male or female who love a simple cowl design.

Make it as wide as you like. Just add more repeats. It’s that easy. Thick or thin is in.
An Admired Cowl is one that will definitely be admired every time you wear it. Wrap it twice for added warmth, or let it hang long to dress up or down your outfit.
To check out the necklace and other fun accessories to go with your cowl, please visit my Origami Owl Website

Knit On!
Deb
being a designer, deb buckingham, dishcloth diva, etsy, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, jewelry design, knitting patterns, origami owl

Change is a good thing — Butterflies do it

butterfly pics | The color PURPLE — butterflies | Gardening With Confidence with ...

Butterflies have such a symbolic meaning, that we all (including me), take for granted.

Imagine the “whole of your life changing”, the metamorphosis the butterfly goes through. The amount of transformation that happens from the egg, to the caterpillar, to the cocoon. And from the cocoon, the butterfly emerges.

Why this lesson on Butterflies? Let me explain…

Change is good. Spring brings change. Some embrace it, some leave it to chance, and others ignore it. Whatever the situation is, it’s okay. 

For me, I chose to embrace it. 

So agree. But not sure I'll be leaving here anytime soon.

As you know, I’m a designer. A knitting designer. Yesterday I chose to be an Independent Designer with Origami Owl. I found this to be quite refreshing. A way to showcase my designs. A place I can find inspiration in the everyday-kind-of-loves. 

It compliments my business model…design with the customer in mind. 

Knitted design accessories which compliment your jewelry, your personal likes, and what makes you feel good. 

I’ve had consistent thoughts about designing jewelry that would compliment my knitted accessories. But, after purchasing and playing, or purchasing and just letting it sit in the drawer, I began my search for that perfect company. One that would compliment what I was doing as a knitting designer. 

After researching many wonderful companies, I settled on Origami Owl. It all began by a young woman, Bella, who had a big dream to have her very own car by the age of 16. “We are deeply committed to being a force for good and making a difference in the lives of others. We strive to help others achieve their dreams, just like I achieved mine.” Oh, and she did get her car. A white Jeep named Alice. 

I’m 100% convinced this company will go hand in hand with my knitted designs. My hope is that I can create a special locket/bracelet/wrap/necklace for YOU that will compliment your favorite hand knit accessory, your personal likes, and what makes YOU feel good, as well as tell your own story, or tell the story of someone special in your life. 

Y=Your
O=Own
U=Uniqueness

If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t BIG enough. 

What are your dreams? 

Diva Cowl Pattern

Luminous Scarf Pattern


So, my friends, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb

blogging, crocheting, deb buckingham, dishcloth diva, etsy, goal setting, goals, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, knitting patterns, new years resolution, Writing

Ringing in the New Year and Thoughts for 2015

Can you believe it’s almost 2015? Well, by the time you read this, it just may be.

I’m sitting here working on some business “stuff” as my husband watches a movie. Big partyers, huh? Must be that age thing.

Which quickly reminds me, tomorrow is my birthday, yes, New Years Day. 51 years old. I remember growing up, every birthday on my day, we all (2 sisters, mom and dad) would pile into our station wagon, and drive 15 minutes down the road to “Granny’s Kitchen”. Right? What a great name. I wanted pancakes. Every year was the same.

Living in Michigan it snowed. A lot. Especially in January. So the roads were always snow packed and icy, but we never thought twice about going.

So, now that you know what we did on the 1st of January every year as I was growing up, I want to share with you my thoughts for 2015, and what that means for Dishcloth Diva.

~ 2014 had a great year of growth. For my Etsy shop, Ravelry Shop, yet not a lot for Craftsy.
What does that mean? Not quite sure yet.
~ I will be opening a new Etsy shop for hand knit accessories only. You’ve asked, I deliver. I will still continue to have DishclothDivaKnitsOn for patterns ONLY. The second shop, (I will announce the name soon) will be things for EWE. ☺️ Accessories that are practical, yet stylish. Photography that will be fun, and pricing that is just right. Many brick & mortar shops often find themselves wanting to expand and open another shop to market to a different geographical area. Well, for me, I want to market to a new group of Knitting loving, non-knitters. You know, those that love the look, but don’t want to knit themselves. That’s exactly where I’m at.
~ Another book? Yes. What is it? *smiling*

I need to step it up a notch. Create more success with my current 2, still going strong, Dishcloth Diva Books. You don’t have one yet? oh my! You can click on the links in the upper right side. It will take you to Amazon. And if you’re a Prime member! Free shipping. Score!

I’ve had a couple new released patterns lately. Come have a peek.

One of my newest designs. Boot Cuffs

Another New design. Hooded Cowl

2015 looks promising. I always look forward to waking up on January 1 and beginning the new 365 page book. What will your book look like?

I hope you’ll continue to hang with me here on my blog, visit my stores often as I release new patterns and new accessories. Head over to my Facebook page and join in on all the stashbusting2015 that will be going on. I also hope you’ll reach for your goals. Goals that were supposed to have been met last year because you set them in 2013. I get it! I’m right there with you.

So, as I always say,
Knit On! and have an amazing 2015, knitters and crocheters.

Hugs!
Deb

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Book Review: Brioche Chic 22 FRESH KNITS for women & men

How many of us have always wanted to learn the Brioche stitch, but was too intimidated to try?

*raising hand*

Well, let me tell you, this book leaves you fearless when it comes to the ever-so-intimating Brioche stitch.

Author(s): Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Paperback: Brioche Chic: 22 Fresh Knits for women & men
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 152 Pages
Retail Price: $26.99

Let me give you a virtual “tour” through the book:

The book opens with Brioche Basics. Ok, here you go…non intimidating step-by-step instructions that will leave you feeling as though you have worried for nothing. I, recently decided to break out my yarn and needles (shocking, huh?) and get to work on this stitch.

Magic!

It IS a bit of extra effort, but the minute you see the texture appear and your piece come to life, it will seem quite obvious.

Helpful tips along the way to ease the “pain” a bit. Go slowly! That’s what they suggest and that’s what I suggest.

Next appears the beautiful 22 patterns. The photography is awesome, with colorful yarns and simple textures. Everything from a basic Brioche scarf, to an Arrow Yoke Cardigan. 


Arrow Yoke Cardigan

Other projects in this book are pullover sweaters for both women & men…
A beautiful pair of mittens. It has a matching hat. So love this.
And this Star-Crown Beret is a definite in my que.
My love for knitting cowls is endless. I adore this project. It’s a Reversible Scarf, loop, circle. Wear long or wrap twice to create YOUR favorite look. 
What do you think. I’ve only given you a hint of what’s in this book, so you’ll run right out to your LBS (Local Book Store), LYS (Local Yarn Shop) or Interweaves website to get your hands on it. 
I give this book a *thumbs up* for photography, original design, creativity, and choice of projects. I feel it’s worth the buy and a chance to try a stitch you may or may not have tried. 
So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won’t be sorry. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.
Knit On!
Deb


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Your Knitting Gauge

Hey Knitters,

I can’t tell you how many emails I get, shout outs on Facebook, and just general, hey Deb, I have a question, kind of thing.

Sometime you may feel gauge should be a 4-letter word, am I right?

As Knitty States,From time to time, advice is offered to a knitter who wants to tweak the sizing of a pattern: “just knit it at a tighter/looser gauge to make it smaller/bigger.” While it’s true that altering the gauge of a knitted fabric will alter the size of the finished piece, it doesn’t always mean that you’ll get a finished garment that will fit — or feel — as expected. Some people get the relationship between “tighter” and “looser” and increased or decreased stitches per inch mixed up. Others assume that gauge is the answer to all yarn substitutions: if it matches, it must be all right. And a bigger gauge (fewer stitches per inch) doesn’t always mean easier to knit. Gauge might be a frustrating concept, but it’s also misunderstood.”

It’s super easy, once you have the basic skills to figure it out. I promise. 

I hope this is helpful…

Yarn A-Recommended yarn for pattern

Scenario: Your pattern calls for THIS worsted weight yarn, and a size 8 needle, and you want to use a different worsted weight yarn. 

Yarn label (ballband) for your intended pattern states just that. Notice the knitting needles? Under that is the US 8 needle size. The BIG number “4” indicates the weight, which is a worsted weight.

Now, looking up at the picture, we will figure out the gauge…stitches per inch for your finished object using a different yarn. To the left of the needles in the picture, you see the 4 x 4? that tells us their swatch was 4 inches by 4 inches. The 17S tells us it’s 17 stitches per that 4 inch swatch. 


Clear as mud so far? Good!

The way in which you calculate stitches/inch is by dividing the 4 into 17. 4 divided by 17 = 4.25 sts/inch. I personally would round to the nearest whole number. 4. Though, you could easily make the case to round to the 18, which would be 4.5. I would make this decision based on how tight/loose you knit. If you knit tighter, go up, if you knit looser/to gauge, go down.

Let that sink in a bit before you continue reading.  *tick-tock tick-tock*

So, for this worsted weight yarn you will get 4.25 sts/inch on a size 8 needle. Again, I round to the nearest whole number, which in this case is 4 stitches/inch. 

Now for the fun part…I’ll help you see a clear picture (my hope anyway) of what a substitution looks like.

Step 1: You will substitute with a worsted weight yarn for the best results. Now, that’s not saying you can’t use a different weight, but honestly, in MY opinion, I wouldn’t do it. You will have an entirely different finished object just by that, and besides, you would have to do a WHOLE LOTTA math to get the same gauge.

Step 2. Look at the yarn label (ballband) of YOUR chosen WORSTED weight yarn, Yarn B. This is where you will figure out how to match the gauge of the recommended yarn to the yarn you want to use.

Ok?

This is your new yarn label.
Yarn B-Your Yarn
Step 3. Notice the needle size is 7. The stitches/inch is 5. (remember, you divide the 4 inch into 20 this time.)

Step 4. You then look at the pattern recommended label and compare, Yarn A. You have 2 stitches/inch difference, right? (more to come on that) That can make or break your finished outcome of your project. Making it too small in this case.

*Go up a needle size when you want to make your garment bigger and get LESS stitches/inch, go down a needle size when you want to make it smaller and get MORE stitches/inch.* 

You need to go from 5 stitches/inch to 4 stitches/inch. That 2 jumps down, right? 5 sts/in to 4.5 sts/in to 4 sts/in.

You still with me?

We’re close.

Step 5. In remembering your pattern wants 4 stitches/inch on an 8, to get the recommended size it states, you must go DOWN 2 needle sizes with the new yarn to get the same 4 stitches/inch.  For new yarn: 20 sts on a 7 (5 sts/inch), 18 sts on a 6 (4.5 sts/inch), 16 sts on a 5 (4 sts/inch) Each jump is 2 sts. 

*refer to blue asterisk again

SummarySo, in order for you to get gauge for your pattern by substituting your worsted weight yarn of choice (in this case), you will need to use a size 5 needle. That seems like a huge jump, but all worsted weight yarns aren’t the same. This yarn will appear a tighter gauge as it’s on a smaller needle, though your stitches per inch will be exactly the same, therefore have a garment/scarf/cowl/mitts/gloves, etc that fits as you had intended per the pattern details.

I have a passion for teaching others the basics of the nitty-gritty “stuff”. I’m always happy to answer questions. So, if you feel this was helpful, I’d love a comment below or a shout out on my Facebook fan page that I did a good job. That tells me, you understood and I can continue to give my reader/knitters what they need.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb


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Book Review: New American Knits – classic sportswear patterns

Interweave has asked me to do another great review. You are going to love this one. 

It’s all about applying traditional knitting skills and motifs to contemporary wearable pieces. It’s textures and colorwork will create a modern wardrobe you will absolutely love.

Author: Amy Christoffers
Paperback: New American Knits
Publisher: Interweave
128 Pages
It sells for $24.99.

If I could sum up in one word, okay, maybe several, I would say, This book represents what knitters want to knit. Me included. It contains wearable pieces that are classic in style, yet simply sophisticated, with a modern flare . 

Amy has obviously taken her inspiration from what’s hot right now and functional, and projects that have that nostalgic feel and perfect for the modern lifestyle. With everyday sweaters and useful knitted accessories, Amy has created patterns that knitters will LOVE to knit, as well as the finished products. 

Amy states: “I’ve named each of the pieces after an American artist that I find particularly inspiring. I hope you are intrigued enough to investigate them!”

Let’s take a peek…

There are 20 patterns that include: sweaters, hats, shawls, cowls, mitts, tunic, pullovers, turtleneck, hoodie and more. 

This van der zee cloche is the perfect quick knit gift, a simple beanie for a man or a woman. Leave on/off the embellishment to suit your taste. 



This cowl is my favorite of all the pieces. Many of you know me well enough to know this information. This Tanner Cowl is the perfect introduction to knitted lace, eyelets and working in the round. I’m super excited to knit this up for my fall wardrobe. I even LOVE the color in the Manos Silk Blend yarn she chose. 



Okay, knitters, you know you love these as much as me. These Parrish Mitts are adorable. The colorwork creates a painted look, and the floral motif adds an image that adds dimension. Yummy!

You all know accessories are my things. But, I love this sweater. The Remington Cardigan has a feather motif with a V-neck, dart shaping, traditional decreases at the neck edge. It’s incorporated into a lace motif adding a big  of embellishment. I’ll be casting this one on really soon. Who’s going to join me?

 

As you can (clearly) see, I’m in trouble, yet again. 

I totally recommend this book. I mean, I seriously do! It’s full of great photography, well written patterns, a plethora of additional knowledge that will give you the confidence you need, if in fact, you need it. Amy has included abbreviations and techniques in the back for reference. 

Again, It’s published by Interweave, the name of the book is New American Knits, and all the sorted details can be found HERE. Please click over and see for yourself how beautiful this book is. I wouldn’t steer you wrong, I promise! You will find many reviews that will convince you it’s a good value for the money. 

Also, check with your LYS, I’m sure they ALL have it. 

So, with much love knitters,

I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even see some finished work.

Knit On!

Deb