I had a very different blog planned for today.  Then a customer came in with a project, a blanket, that she is now ready to begin.  She came in for my best, most professional advice…not really.  She came in wanting me to say what she wanted to hear…and every time I said the word SWATCH, she screwed up her face like she was being forced to swallow the foulest of all medicines.  This swatch will take all of ten minutes and really decide for her what to do to make the blanket look the way SHE WANTS.  I could make sh@t up and say it, but the customer would then blame me and be unsatisfied.  So, I remain honest and stick to my guns.  I have lost customers over this.  It makes me sad, but I would rather you walked out with the best answer, than one that is half-assed and wrong.  EVERY PROJECT STARTS WITH A SWATCH.  WHEN YOU ARE DONE YOU CAN RIP IT OUT TO CONSERVE YARN AND MONEY — BUT PLEASE — DO THE SWATCH IN THE STITCH PATTERN THAT MATTERS MOST.  Got it?  Good.  Other than THE SWATCH, all knitting and fiber-crafting is your artwork.  EVEN SPINNERS DO SWATCHES.  Can you tell, I care about this subject?

Spending some time on Ravelry yesterday yielded some great results.  I found a blog:

http://shneckenstrick.blogspot.com/   (you may have to click on the translate key in the upper right hand corner for the language you need) — this designer focuses on children’s clothes and has great patterns both for free and for sale.  Make sure to check out her latest:  The Bluebell Cardigan, a free download.

Chris: There is a beautiful hat and since I know you love leaves, it is called “Shoots and Leaves Hat” by Jen Barley.  It is beautiful.  Clearly, however, I have been watching too much NCIS because that name could be read quite differently depending on your point of view.

Suzy has been knitting a sweater and wanting to make bust darts.  We have had several discussions, until I found a new pattern by Melissa Leapman and sent Suzy a photo of the boob dart.  The book is called:  Knitting the Perfect Fit and has more than one sweater I would want to wear.  In fact, Donna A. — this book must have been written for you because it has all the shaping you LOVE.

Go to the blog for Kelbourne Woolens and you will find directions for a small scarf  based on a previous pattern called the “Springtime Bandito” — requires about 100 yards of fingering weight yarn.  Follow the Set-up and Body Charts of the original pattern and then finish off with Rows 1-22 of the edge chart.  Bind off knit-wise.  It is adorable.  I would however, budget enough yarn for a few garter ridges because that edge looks like it will roll sooner than later to me.

The Classic Elite Blog is also a great place for error-free patterns by great designers.  Currently there is the Stripie Scarf by Amy Loberg of FiberWild!  If you go to her site, check out the Sugared Violet Shawlette — quite lovely.

I also downloaded a free hat pattern based on Old Shale lace — The Sea Waves Hat.  I love it.  Now I have to find just the perfect yarn to play with.  Wherever shall I find it?

LIVE LONG AND SWATCH,

Mary Ellen and Summit Yarn Studio

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