Friday Freebies: Persia Goes Green Shawl As Free Knitting Pattern

Every Wednesday, the upcoming free pattern of the week is posted on my Instagram (@jriedeknits) and Twitter (@jriedeknits) - feel free to follow me for previews!

Welcome to this week’s Friday Freebies here on jriede.com! We all love #fridayfreebies so I’ll not let you wait any longer.

Today’s free knitting pattern is Persia Goes Green, a shawl pattern featuring Shetland motifs and patterned on both sides.

free knitting pattern shawl Persia Goes Green

You can download the pattern here in the shop for free for the next 24 hours.

yarnhugs_mittel

Feel free to drop me a note if you knit your own version of this lovely shawl, I’d love to see yours. Enjoy your free knitting pattern!

Happy knitting! Feel free to share & spread the word :)

Julia Riede Signature

Knitting Pattern Generator: About Snippets

While working on the LaTeX templates of my knitting pattern templates, I thought about what snippets could be automatically generated and which not. Think about size of the finished item, depending on what you are making. A rectangular stole has width and height, for a Faroese type shawl it might be more appropiate to state width as wingspan, and for a square shawl you only need one measurement at all.

So one snippet would be the size of the finished item.

Another one would be the yarn used, then gauge, needles, and notions needed. A snippet for notes about the pattern, one about the author.

And then: pattern snippets, dependent on the item you’re making. Socks usually have got toes, foot, heel, leg and cuff sections. The order depends on whether you’re working toe-up or cuff down. Sweaters might have a sleeve snippet, one for the back and one for the front, besides the generic ones – oh.

Let’s just stop here for a moment: there are generic snippets, like material, common to all knitting patterns. And then there are specific snippets as you decide on the item you are about to write a pattern for.

I see a knitting pattern generator app coming. Speaking in RoR, here are the first models: snippet, itemtype, yarn, needle, gauge, notions. Notions should get checkboxes.

Note to myself: I’ll tag this kind of technical posts from now on with the tag kpgenerator (knitting pattern generator). It’s knitting pattern generator software in the making – a WIP, so to speak.

What features would you like a knitting pattern generator to have? Just tell me, I’m listening!

So long,

Julia Riede Signature

WIP Wednesday: Knitting Adjustable Shawls In Orange

WIP Wednesday knitting is all orange this week.

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I intended to stay at home and knit, but the weather was so gorgeous this morning I changed plans and went out for a run. Look at this running trail!

WIP Wednesday: running trail

This peninsula is a lovely place to live indeed. But as we are talking knitting here, let’s get back on track and talk about the orange thing on my needles right now.

I think I got this skein of yarn in a swap back in 2010, might even have been in 2011. It’s Chugiak Hand Dyed Sock Yarn by Pagewood Farm and it’s going to be … (insert drumroll here)

WIP Wednesday knitting

… a shawl. To be precise: a crescent shaped small adjustable lace shawlette. What you see above is the beginning of the edging, worked as a very simple 3 stitches, 6 rows lace eyelet chart.

This edging is worked as long as you want your inner crescent side want to be, then stitches are picked up along the straight edge to start the shawl body.

What’s on your needles this week? I’d love to hear from you!

Julia Riede Signature

 

Knitting Weekly: Is It Still February?

It’s Monday again, so welcome to knitting weekly here on jriede.com!

  On the needles: Green Adjustable Lace Thingie (see also my post on WIP Wednesday last week)
 Off the needles: none this week
 Stash Aquisitions: none this week
 On the Radar: Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails, Anne Elliot Spencer, Unsplash
 On the Stovetop: Cinnamon Rolls, Green Thai Curry, Donuts & Spaghetti Bolognese
 Listening to: Portishead, Pearl Jam, Fugazi, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden
 Watching: Grey’s Anatomy Season 11
 Off-Topic: The Chair Series

The perfect combination: lace knitting & TV series

As the yet unnamed green adjustable shawl is still on my needles, there’s time to be devoted to knitting – especially during the evenings when the kids are in bed already. Realizing I have missed that Grey’s Anatomy season 11 has already been aired I got the perfect excuse for knitting anyway: how could I dare watching TV series without being productive at the same time? You get the point.

Spring is just around the corner

Every year I realize around the beginning of March that my closet runs short of cardigans, especially cardigans suitable for spring wearing. Living by the coast implies chill and windy weather, after all – as a quick solution I’m planning for knitting my version of Anne Elliot Spencer soon. Besides that, I’m cooking and baking: big success stories about donuts and pizza bread to be shared soon here on the blog.

Music taste never changes, does it?  

My theory about your personal preferred music is the following: the music you are coined with during your adolescence and early adulthood stays with you forever in a way. For me, this has been all about 90s punk and Indie: Fugazi, Foo Fighters, Bad Religion, Portishead, Pearl Jam and many more. Lately, I have discovered melancholia about my uprising 40th birthday next year – 90s music seems to be The Cure, I mean the cure, recently.

Photography: The Chair & Unsplash

This chair has seen lots of the life of me, my husband and his flatmate in the 90s. It’s the type of furniture your kids have learned how to sit on, you smoked countless cigarettes on, had heated discussions over a cup of tea listening to Portishead and did unspeakable things with people on together. Recently I found out the chair is still with my husband’s flatmate in the living room of the house he now lives in.

Knitting Weekly: The Chair

It almost could be used as album cover artwork, especially the one above – strange facial expressions on both of us. (Yes, the girl is me – and no, this time I’m really not knitting.)

Knitting Weekly: The Chair

The shot has taken place in a small village near Braunschweig and has indeed been very funny. I barely could stay serious as you easily spot above.

Knitting Weekly: The Chair

The upper picture has been taken two weeks later, around February 15th, on a peninsula on the German North Sea coast, the place I’m currently living at. It’s been around zero degrees Celsius so yes, it was cold and yes, I’m only wearing short sleeves. Nevertheless I really enjoyed the photo shoot and just love the results.

Another lovely photography-related find last week has been Unsplash, which advertises itself as “Free high-resolution photos, 10 new photos every 10 days”. And it’s not only that, the pictures are gorgeous, too. Don’t you agree?

Unsplash.com

Unsplash.com

Unsplash.com

Have a nice week!

Julia Riede Signature

Knitting Pattern Design Templates: Evolution 2008 – 2015

Knitting Pattern Design Template Evolution

Creating knitting patterns is easy, creating good knitting patterns is not: there are numerous aspects of what makes a knitting pattern stand out. One of them definitely is the knitting pattern design template.

My first knitting pattern has been published in 2008 – it was the Pratchghan Awareness Ribbon Afghan Patch designed for the Afghan Blanket we created together as a group of people as an initiative of the Ankh Morpork Knitters Guild group on Ravelry.

Needless to say the pattern was just cheaply made up in MS Word, had no design at all and was rather on the ugly side:

knitting pattern template 2008_Pratchghan

Since then, lots has happened to my knitting pattern design templates. Created in 2008, the knitting pattern template for Anton (a pattern for men’s socks) used MS Word, had my back then “logo” and my URL in the header, proper page numbering and a copyright notice in the footer. The charts were made using MS Excel with simple normal text symbols – no knitting font. The pattern featured a single column text layout set in Times New Roman, 12pt font size for the body.

An example from 2010 is the Eliane shawl pattern: same as above, the first landscape oriented charts appear.

2012 has been the year of Shawl Design in Plain English. In introduced a little more color in the pattern. The biggest change was in the charts, though: I started to use Knit Visualizer for all my charts which looked much cleaner and prettier ever since. And I got my new logo, the little yarn hugging sheep created by the very talented Adriana Hernandez.

Starting in late 2013 (but not taking effect until 014, really – I got my PhD in October 2013 which sidetracked me lots from my knitting activities) I worked on a major redesign of my knitting pattern design templates.Shown below is the pattern for Himbeeren (a hybrid female socks/stockings knitting pattern).

The new template has been designed towards improvement of clarity, readability and easy access to key information like materials needed and gauge requirements. It features all relevant information you need before casting on on the first page, two columns and separated sections for the written instructions, abbreviations and charts to make printing easier. And it (finally!) includes information about the author.

Knitting Pattern Design Template Evolution

It’s been a long journey from 2008 to the knitting pattern design template above but I’m still not perfectly satified. At the moment I’m working on a major redesign using Adobe InDesign which is planned to become a set of LaTeX templates.

knitting pattern design template InDesign

The main goal behind using LaTeX in the end is the option to modularize my knitting patterns to enable reusage of snippets. Why reinvent the instructions for my common 32 stitches short row heel anytime I use it in one of my patterns, for example? It only increases the chance to introduce errors. And we all like error-free patterns, don’t we?

So long,

Julia Riede Signature

Weekend Inspiration: Knitwear Texture

My next book will be devoted to texture. Knitted texture. I’m still collecting inspiration on my Knitwear: Texture Pinterest board so far.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/476748310527784570/

Hopefully I can start soon. All the beauty is almost overwhelming.

Knitwear Texture: jriede on Pinterest
Source: Pinterest (476748310527715718)
Knitwear Texture: jriede on Pinterest
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/476748310527884635/

Knitwear texture is an endless topic. And a lovely one, for sure.

Automated Knitting Patterns: XML from Knit Visualizer

Since spring 2012 I use Knit Visualizer for generating all charts for my knitting patterns. It’s just been today that I realized this software saves its *.kvc files as XML, actually.

eris: jule$ file chart.kvc 
chart.kvc: XML  document text
eris: jule$

As I’ve always been struggling with errors caused by missing chart symbols in my patterns, I can see automated chart legend on the horizon waiting to be implemented here. Definitely good for less systematical errors in patterns.

Working on automated knitting patterns anyway at them moment, it goes straight to my todo list! What knitting software are you using? Is there anything you would like to see as feature you’re missing?

Happy knitting!

Julia Riede Signature

Friday Freebies: White Atlantic Shawl

Update Feb. 21, 2015: every Wednesday, the upcoming free pattern of the week is posted on my Instagram (@jriedeknits) and Twitter (@jriedeknits) - feel free to follow me for previews!

Welcome to this week’s Friday Freebies here on jriede.com! We all love #fridayfreebies so I’ll not let you wait any longer.

Today’s free pattern is White Atlantic, a shawl pattern featuring Shetland motifs and patterned on both sides.

White Atlantic shawl knitting pattern #fridayfreebie

You can download the pattern here in the shop for free for the next 24 hours.

Feel free to drop me a note if you knit your own version of this lovely shawl, I’d love to see yours. Happy knitting!

Julia Riede Signature

WIP Wednesday: Knitting Adjustable Shawls Using Ferner Wolle Lace

Welcome to WIP Wednesday knitting! Last Christmas I received, besides other lovely gifts, two skeins of hand dyed lace weight Merino yarn. The yarn company is Ferner Wolle, based in Austria.

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So far I only managed to wind the blue-green skein into a ball, the pink one is still in its original state.

IMG_1976

This green loveliness is going to be one of the prototypes for the upcoming book Adjustable Shawls which is due by the end of the month (well, yes. Don’t take away my illusions, okay? Thank you.)

WIP Wednesday jriede.com

It started into life from three small stitches into a little triangle, increased up to a width of approximately six inches and is continued straight now.

WIP Wednesday jriede.com

Not measured yet, but I guess it’s about 25 grams into the skein which means I have to knit another 25 grams before I can mark the center and mirror the pattern towards the other end with the 50 grams left over.

The chart is easy and makes good TV knitting – I have to admit I’ve been watching airplane catastrophe B-movies all of its knitting time so far. Yes, that’s me.

What is on your needles right now? And do you think I should knit another one of these, maybe in a slightly different size, with the other skein?

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Knitting Pattern Templates: What makes up a knitting pattern?

Knitting Pattern Elements - jriede.comWorking on my idea of the perfect knitting pattern template, it came to my mind it could be a good idea to deconstruct knitting patterns into their elements and find out what good patterns have in common. Besides properly written instructions, of course. What makes up a knitting pattern? Can there be an universal template for all knitted items? Is there fundamental differences in say, a template for socks and a sweater that counterpoints the possibility for such an all-in-one template?

My thoughts led to the idea of the existence of atoms, like pieces all of them have in common and ones that exist only for certain subtypes, say socks.

One atom could an Abbreviations Atom (all knitting patterns use them, so all should have a section explaining their usage) or a Materials Atom (every pattern should tell you what yarn & needles you should use to achieve the desired shape and size).

So what makes up a good knitting pattern template?

So what do have all knitting patterns in common?

An Introduction

serving as a place to tell about the construction methods, intended wear, personal history and finished size of the item described in the pattern.

Pictures

How will the finished item look like? We want to know in advance what we are knitting, except for mystery patterns.

Abbreviations

When we talk ktbl or p2tog, we would like to know what we are talking about at first hand.

Materials

What yarn whould we use, what needle size and do we need any additional materials like stitch markers?

Gauge

Oh yes, we like to work a swatch first.

Charts

Except for written instructions only patterns, there might be charts. In mine, there are always charts. I’m a chart type of person, I like the instant overview this provides – okay, different story!

Instructions**

Obviously, we are talking about knitting patterns, so there should be some sort of instructions at least.

** I use to divide mine up into sections that are typical for the item in question: all of my sock patterns have a section about heels, toes, the foot, …

About the author

Usually, there’s a little “About Me” section in patterns, too.

There’s more, I’m sure

Have I forgotten something? Yes? Feel free to leave a comment and tell me, I’d be happy to hear your suggestions!

Wrapping it all up: which elements a good knitting pattern template should include

Let’s sum up: all the elements we just talked about should be included in a pattern template. But there is more: a good pattern is not just written in a proper way, it also should be visually appealing. That’s when the second question is being asked: how to present this information?

Knitting pattern design: how to present your pattern

Even if your pattern is perfectly written and consists all necessary information, the presentation is still a factor that can make or break your design. The information you are presenting should be readable and visually appealing, if possible. It does not only just look nice and pretty, it also makes it easier for the reader to understand.

So if we come up with a template, it should be pretty, visually clear and – ideally – customizable.

Coming up next

Hopefully, I’ll have a usable knitting pattern template draft by Friday – I’d like to use my Friday Freebies series to redesign at least one pattern per week.

That’s what I’m working on right now. What do you think? Are templates a good idea or just wasted time? I’d love to hear from you!

Julia Riede Signature