Year of Handmade: Dream craft products to use...

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March 27, 2015
This is the fourth installment of the "Year of Handmade" link up.  Rebecca of Rebecca Bee Designs asks us to blog about our dream craft product to use...

I am in love with Apple.  I was a PC girl for YEARS, but when I got this set up...
I was converted!  Mind you, mine does not run Windows, but you get the idea.  I adore my huge monitor.  It allows me to have several windows open at once while designing.  LOVE that.  My husband calls me a "power user."  Yes.  Yes I am. 

So if I have that, what more could I want?  Well...
A Macbook Pro with Retinal display.  2016 model of course, because we are dreaming here!  I'd love to take my ability to design where ever I go.  Yes, I do have my sketch book and my knitting graph paper book, but I love to chart my designs on a computer.  I truly missed my Mac when I was away at the IWK with Tress this past summer.  There was a few moments when she was sleeping or watching a movie that I had to myself and I literally ached for my Mac as I was plotting a design on paper.

And speaking of paper and charting...
I want this program soooo bad...  Right now, I'm using OpenOffice Draw to make my vector knitting charts.  It is really great, don't get me wrong.  I can resize a chart and it looks fantastic when dropped into my OpenOffice Writer knitting pattern template.  I was using OpenOffice Calc to chart in, but the charts had a "fuzziness" about them when I'd resize.  Not good.  In Draw, there is none of that.  BUT Draw has a very weird way of not aligning my charting blocks up even though they are on the same vector plains.  So very irritating!!!!  I tried InkScape, but it does not allow me to position blocks by typing in the coordinates.  I need that ability.  Plus, I'm really entertaining the idea of publishing a pattern book.  I think I really need the pro programs to do that effectively. 

Funny how my crafting dreams all revolve around computers.  Huh.  Hmm. 

I think of the two, it will be the program that I get first, IF a dream becomes reality. 

What are your crafty dream products?

New knitting pattern release: Niamh's Love... Cabled Knitting Hat Pattern

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March 19, 2015

Sorry for the blog silence, but this was what was gobbling up my time.   Niamh's Love

"In Irish mythology, Niamh was the daughter of the sea god and one of the queens of Tír na nÓg, the land of eternal youth. She was the lover of the poet-hero Oisín. He was a mortal from Ireland who came home with Niamh. When Oisín became homesick and returned to Ireland for a visit, he asked where he could find his family, only to find that they had been dead for hundreds of years. Whilst trying to help some Irish men, he fell from the magical horse he was riding and instantly became an old man when he touched the ground. Meanwhile, Niamh had given birth to his daughter, Plor na mBan. Niamh returned to Ireland to search for her love, but he had died.
I used cables because they remind me of ropes and the sea. The 2 cable panels of the hat symbolize Niamh’s Love. The large intricate panel describes how love starts, blossoms, and can create something new. As time passes, it changes and becomes more about the new cable until outer cable eventually passes away, leaving the new cable as its legacy. The narrow undulating cable panel symbolizes time itself. It continues on no matter what happens."
Ah, I just love a tragic romance, especially with handsome Irish men..... :)

It was a really challenging design, but so worth it!  With the help of some amazing testers over on the Free Testing Group on Ravelry, I was able to work out all the bumps and kinks.  This pattern has both completely written out instructions and charts included.  If you like cables and need a new warm worsted weight hat, come on over to my design library and check it out!