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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

BLOGcast – Episode 1

I’m so excited to announce that I will be joining the ranks of the (many fabulous) podcasters, but, as a BLOGcaster. For me, it’s about the writing. 

I want to start out by saying THANK YOU for viewing my first (ever) BLOGcast. I think I may have made up this word, but it really does fit. This episode will give you an idea what to expect from me. I have lots of fun things to share with you. My hope is that you will come back time and time again.

So, let’s get started…grab your favorite beverage, your knitting or current WIP, and hang out with me for as long as you’d like, or as long as it takes you to devour every last word.

This BLOGcast will post every two weeks. I will have various other posts along the way, though, who knows…I could change my mind at any moment. That happens often. 🙂

WELCOME
The one thing that will be front and center every time is a {warm welcome, virtual hug} from the Diva. Because, without my readers, I wouldn’t be spending time writing this, showing you that, and chatting it up about whatever.

Let me start by says a BIG Thank You for joining me on this fun adventure into the world of Dishcloth Diva, or better yet, Deb. 

LIFE IS GOOD
This is where I’ll be sharing my WIP’s and FO’s with you. I can have anywhere from 1 project on the needles to, oh, who knows how many projects on the needles. As far as Finished Objects, well, that depends on the WIP’s. I may even throw in a book review every now and then. Those are always fun! Don’t you agree? Though, this could also fall under Enabling. Sigh…

Life happens right? I’ll keep it knitting related. But, I have to say, I’m a quilter, reader of good fiction, love a fresh new recipe, and yes, I crochet. I love a good photo-op moment. So, if the wind shifts and it snows, or the sun shines through my window, I will probably snap a picture and share. Music finds itself in constant ear shot of me most days. My favorites will be shared, and hopefully they can become yours as well. If not, that’s ok. 

So, as life happens, I may change up my craft. Nothing wrong with that, right? Life is (absolutely) Good! 


                                                                                     

DIVA ENABLES
Oh yes, I can! I find myself picking up the yummiest hand painted, hand dyed yarns around. Not to mention the fun favorites I always seem to grab every chance I get. Sock Yarn. A huge addiction of mine. Needles that I find glide well, you’ll hear about those too.

Fiber related enabling will be shared. Guaranteed!

 

FAVORITE PATTERNS I’M STALKING
We all know we love to sink deep in the trenches of Ravelry, for hours sometimes. We grab our laptop or iPad and sit for hours and put pattern after pattern into our library or que. You don’t have me fooled, you know you do it. 🙂

Sometime the emails I receive from various companies have patterns that take me off in another direction… 

TECHNIQUES
Occasionally, I’ll share a technique of two that has fascinated me. Maybe a stitch that I found, or…well, maybe you’d like to see something specific?


GIVEAWAY
I’d like to do giveaways. That will mean one thing…to win, you will be required to leave a comment below or in my Ravelry Group in a specified thread. Sound good?  Yarny stuff goodness!

Well that ends Episode 1. I’m, once again, excited to be a part of this world. Thought, I’ve chose to do my way, I think it will still be fun and a time for you to sit comfortably in your favorite chair, sip on your favorite beverage, and devour my content.

So, until next time… 

_____________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested, I can be found on Facebook, Ravelry, and Etsy
Please come like my fan page. I give free stuff away there too. Mary just won my latest book! Go Mary! 

How does all this sound? Today is Tuesday March 11, 2014. So, two weeks from today, you will find our 2nd BLOGcast. This one was to let you know what to expect and how often to expect it. 

I’d love to hear your comments. Is there something else you’d like me to cover? I’m open to suggestions…I’m flexible. I’ll open a thread in my Ravelry Group where you can also leave your ideas.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb

 
 


Finish-It Friday

I have had too much time on my hands this week. Not because I’m “out of work”, but because I’ve simply been lazy. Sigh…

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. We all have “one of those weeks.” 

However, with so much time, I’ve been able to finish many things. My Etsy shop is looking fantastic. (If I don’t say so myself) My shop now contains crochet cowls, which I love. Look for more crochet items soon…


My Honey Cowl (linked under the Patterns I endorse tab) is coming along as well. I hope to have that finished over the weekend.

I have some fun quilting and sewing projects waiting patiently in my craft room. I’m participating in a Block of the Month Club with Amy Gibson. Her blog, Stitchery Dickory Dock is one of the coolest blogs. She’s an excellent blogger. I hope you’ll pop over and check it out.  

I went to Joann Fabrics yesterday and bought my fabric for the Sugar Block Club. Black, grey, white, and a touch of pink.  Can you pick out the houndstooth? Love me some houndstooth…


Then…last but not least, what will this fabric be when it grows up? Any thoughts?



So, as I always say,

Knit On! Or Sew On!

Deb