April 29, 2013

New and improved Betiko shawl, plus upcoming collection!

The first shawl I designed, back in 2010, was Betiko (on rav), first released as a mystery knit-a-long, then as a long multi-part pattern, with the more simple garter stitch edged version…


…and the customizable pattern, with full instructions for the wavy version (below), detailed instructions for striping in any version, and for plugging in your own stitch patterns for the customizable pattern.  All versions of the pattern for any weight yarn, and all custom-sizable… the original pattern, in my old pdf format, was 27 pages long and kind of overwhelming.  So, I’ve given the pattern(s) an extreme makeover, re-formatted, lots of it re-written, new diagrams, fully re-edited and condensed into my new pdf format down to 14 pages (still a long pattern, but not as long!).

Betiko - mystery pattern version

If you aren’t already familiar with Betiko, I’ll tell you a little more about it.  It’s constructed in four modular sections, with no picked up stitches, no seaming, very few stitches cast on or bound off, everything connected with short rows.  You start across the top edge, working the sideways edge cast-on technique to leave stitches along the side.  Then you start working from those sideways stitches, down into the body of the shawl, working normal short rows to start forming the U shape.  Now your base is established, so you start working around all stitches (no short rows in section 3), with lots of yarn over increases, all the way from top edge to edge to fill out the body.  Lastly, you knit on a sideways edging around the whole outside, working short rows with decreases to bind off the stitches at the same time.  The shawl blocks out to a big crescent shape; the exact shape (wider across, taller, etc) can be adjusted with custom sizing specifics.

mystery pattern revealed!

If you’ve already made a Betiko, I’ll list some of the changes to the new pdf so you know what’s different now…  Small{medium, large} sizes now given instead of smaller{larger}, with measurements for them all (there are still custom sizing notes as well); the customized cabled example is removed from the pdf, since I felt like it just took up unnecessary space and made things seem extra complicated; the diagrams are completely new; a couple changes were made to the actual pattern – wraps are now worked in the short rows in section 2, and the kfb increases in section 3 were removed (they were kind of pointless), and some other minor things.  A short rows tutorial is now included as well.  There are no longer the separate pdfs for the basic versions, since the new pattern is more condensed.

Betiko - mystery pattern version

Now, I know that most knitters have no interest in the whole customizable thing, plugging in your own stitch patterns, planning it all out for all the sections… so, I’m using the Betiko construction as a base for a new collection of shawl designs!  You can pre-order the Betiko collection right now (rav link), getting the Betiko pattern itself right away, and the first new pattern, a cabled shawl, in a few weeks.  Then, later throughout the year, you’ll receive a slip-stitch colorwork shawl pattern, and a lace shawl pattern, all using the same modular construction.

cabled shawl preview

All three of the new designs will include two versions each, to fully take advantage of the customizable nature of the Betiko construction (but each with their own specific patterns).  For the cabled design, there is one fully cabled pattern (with cables worked throughout every section), which is for a set gauge (aran weight yarn) and less customizable with size (there’s a set number of stitches for sections 1 and 2, then you can work the full body section 3 for as big as you want, basically).  And then there’s also a simple version of the pattern, with cables only worked around the edges (different designs for top edge and outer edge), which is for any weight yarn, and fully custom sized/shaped as you like.  All the cable designs are charted, and then the edge cables are also written out, so if you make the simple version you’ll have a choice to work the cables from the charts or written.

cabled shawl preview

The colorwork and lace designs will have similar versions – each with one complex, set gauge pattern, and then one more simple, any-gauge version.  The colorwork shawl will be slip-stitch designs (no stranded colorwork)… I can’t really tell you any more about those future two since they aren’t yet designed ;)  Each pattern will be available individually for $6, or the four-pattern collection is $16.

peek at upcoming design

If you follow me on twitter/instagram, then you’ve already seen these couple of peeks at the cabled design – I’m currently finishing up knitting the second sample, and then it’ll go out for testing and be released in a few weeks, definitely by the end of May.  The other two patterns will be more spread out, so if you pre-order the collection, you can expect them further along into the year, a couple of exciting surprises in your inbox!

peek at upcoming design

If you have already bought Betiko at any point in the last few years since it was released (first in mystery knit-a-long form then normally), then you can use coupon code betikoknitter to get the $6 you already paid off the price of the collection (knocking it down to $10 for the three new patterns!)… if the code doesn’t work for any reason (maybe because you bought Betiko with a different email address or rav/paypal account, etc), then just send me a quick email at leemeredith at gmail dot com and let me know the rav username or email that you used to buy Betiko, and I’ll send you a working discount code.

I hope you’re as excited about this collection as I am – it’s been so much fun to revisit the Betiko construction and go crazy with the cable designs in all the different parts!  I’ve definitely gone further with cable design in this pattern than I ever have before, I can’t wait to reveal the whole thing!

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 11:59 am

April 10, 2013

Final Short Stripes Trio pattern: Robin the shawl!

The pattern was actually released a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until I completed the whole ebook to do the blog post, and now I have!  So, not only is the third Short Stripes Trio pattern out – Robin – but the whole set is also now all together in an ebook.  The 20 page ebook (which you’ll get when you purchase the whole trio, along with all three individual pdfs) is condensed, one techniques section for all three patterns, fewer pictures, so it’ll take up a lot less space than the three separate pdfs (for tablet/ebook reader storage, that kind of thing).  And to celebrate the completion of the Trio, how about a promotion?!

3 color Robin

Now through the end of next week (April 19th), you can essentially preview the trio by buying any one of the three patterns, checking it out, deciding if you’re into it, then if you decide you love it and you do indeed want the whole set, you can get that $6 spent taken off the price of the Trio!  And it’s valid for previously purchased trio patterns as well!  Meaning, for example, if you bought Maurice a couple months ago when it was first released, then you saw Barry and Robin and thought, ah crap I shoulda bought the whole trio, now here’s your chance!  You can use this preview sale to get the price of that Maurice pattern taken off the price of the trio.

peek at Barry long loop stripy cowl

So, here’s how it works… assuming you’re using your same ravelry account and/or email address to purchase the trio that you used for the first pattern, just add the trio to your shopping cart (through ravelry or my site), and enter the corresponding code into the coupon code box:  mauricegibb if you bought Maurice, barrygibb if you bought Barry, or robingibb if you bought Robin.  If for some reason this code doesn’t work (maybe you weren’t logged into ravelry when you bought the first pattern, or some other reason), simply send me a quick email at leemeredith at gmail dot com and tell me your rav username or email that you used to buy the first pattern, and I’ll send you a working coupon code for $6 off the trio.

Robin in worsted

So that’s that, now on to Robin the shawl!  I’m so happy with how this design turned out!

3 color Robin

It’s for any gauge, but it’s the same pattern regardless of your yarn weight, no swatching needed or math or anything complicated – you just start working at the bottom point, and go up and out and out and out until your shawl is the size you want, or until you run out of yarn!

Robin in worsted

You can make any size with any yarn weight, in either 2 or 3 colors, and you can get different shapes based on when you decide to finish and bind off, anywhere from a pretty much symmetrical curved triangle shape to a very asymmetrical curvy triangle.  The pattern goes into detail about how to get the shape you want, modifications you can make to use up every last bit of yarn, and different ways you can finish, etc…


But don’t let any of that scare you because it’s really a simple pattern once you get the hang of it!  Just lots of basic short rows in garter stitch, so you don’t even have to work the wraps together with the wrapped stitches.  And a simple yarn over increase pattern along the sides.

3 color Robin

There are some techniques used (with full photo tutorials included) for carrying your striping yarns along the back side of your shawl neatly, so you don’t have to weave in all those ends.  Once you learn the techniques you’ll want to use them in all your stripy projects!

Robin the shawl

The two samples I made are in:  Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool (which I have completely fallen in love with!!) worsted weight (MC is Lime Green, CC is Milk Chocolate) – it used up most of the 2 full skeins, about 457 yards/418 meters total (244 yards/223 meters green and 213 yards/195 meters brown)…

Robin in worsted

…and Sandnes Garn Alpakka, which is either sport or DK weight depending on where you look (MC is blue #6554, CC2 is pink #4611), and Brown Sheep Lanaloft sport weight (Celery).  It used approximately 550 yards/503 meters total – 357 yards/326 meters in the blue MC, 68 yards/62 meters in the green CC1, and 125 yards/114 meters in the pink CC2.  So that was 3 full skeins of the blue main color, right up to the last little bit, just barely over one full skein of the pink, and under one skein of the green.  And so you know, the only reason I used a different yarn for the green was that I bought the 2 colors in the alpaca yarn, planning to do another 2 color shawl, then I did some more work on the design and decided to have there be a 3 color version, and since i wanted to get started right away I found the coordinating green in the same weight in my stash – I know I should have waited to go back to the shop to buy another color in the same yarn, but alas, I was impatient.  I’m fine with how it looks, but I just wanted you to know there’s not some designer-y reason I used the other yarn, so there’s no need to copy me with that ;)

3 color Robin

As usual with my any-gauge designs, I had my fabulous testers make versions in all different weights and yarn types, so you can see lots more samples by checking out the ravelry projects – including Valérie’s bulky self-striping version, Kristin’s and Jenifer’s and Lacey’s versions with variegated yarns, Maria’s aran weight version with a self-striping handspun yarn, and Maiya’s gorgeous madelinetosh fingering weight version!  (That’s not all of them, just some which are significantly different from my samples – thank you to all my wonderful test knitters!!)

3 color Robin Robin in worsted

I think that’s all I have to say about Robin – if you are making one of your own, or any of the three Short Stripes Trio patterns, it would be great if you want to post it in the leethal knitters rav group knit-a-long thread!  I can’t wait to see more versions in all different yarns and colors and personalities, yay!

3 color Robin

Oh one last note… of course I had to name this design Robin, but it’s kind of a bummer name because there are so many Robins in the ravelry patterns database (in pattern names and designer names), so people are sometimes having issues linking up to my Robin, both in rav projects and in forum magic linking.  Rav seems to find it easily if you type in “robin leethal” instead of just robin, or “robin-13” since that’s the url name… okay that’s really all I have to say now :)  Happy knitting!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,pattern Trios,self-publishing — leethal @ 11:54 am
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