Seriously Cool Star Wars

Here’s a little something you probably don’t know about me. I don’t think I’ve posted anything that would have made anyone guess, but I really LOVE Star Wars. I blame this on my brother. I hadn’t seen the movies or paid much attention to it until he became a fanatic. He begged me for weeks to just watch one movie, and of course, once I did, I binge-watched them all.

I am not as geeked out over it as he is – I never bought and traded thousands of the collector cards like he did, but I did go see the re-releases plus all the new ones in the theaters. And every summer or Christmas break, I get in the mood to have a Star Wars marathon, and enjoy them each time. I think this is one of THE coolest things I’ve ever seen, so I am excited to share it! I have no problem admitting that I am definitely enough of a fan to make and wear this! And any fellow fans should seriously send this person a thank you, because I doubt George Lucas would be giving it away for free! :)


Chunky Polka Dots

elizabeth kay booth polka dot scarf

Polka Dot Scarf

Not too long ago, I posted a holiday gift guide of sorts. Please allow me to respectfully add one more item of my own design to the list. This scarf, which was claimed by my daughter about 5 minutes after I started working on it, is super fast, even though it involves intarsia, and is the perfect gift for a young girl. My daughter is 9, and it is hard to find patterns for kids that age. Most of the books only take kids’ sizes up through 6 or 7, and even stores seem to skip age 9. Style-wise, kids, especially girls, that age are at a difficult stage. They’re done with the Disney princesses, but not quite ready for all the stuff targeted at teenagers.

My daughter went to a birthday party a few months back and came home with a polka-dotted gift bag. The bag sat around our house staring at me for a few weeks before I finally threw it out. But when our shop got a shipment of Zumie, I had a jolt of inspiration. Polka dots and chunky knit seem to fit the bill for 9 year-old girliness crossed with a move toward growing up. You can have your own fun picking out the colors, as I did, or you can ask your little lady what her favorite colors are.

Aside from my new free pattern, I offer one more little goodie. I have, up until now, been posting all my patterns on Ravelry, as it is the only place I’m able to process transactions on patterns for purchase. Other freebies, such as the Doubles Remix cowl have simply been blog posts. I thought it would be helpful for everyone if all my patterns were in one place. Starting with this new pattern, plus all others, you may now visit the newly created Patterns page. For now, all of my for-sale patterns are on the main page, and the free patterns are separated into the dropdown. As I continue to design and add patterns, I will do my best to keep it easy for you to find what you want. For instance, once I add a few more crochet patterns, there will be another dropdown for those. In the meantime, I hope this new page makes it easier to find things. Enjoy browsing my little portfolio of designs, and I hope, enjoy crafting them! Many thanks to all of you who read my blog, make my designs, and support me as a designer! Please share your photos of finished objects on Ravelry with me, because I would love to see!


The Details

I have always thought that the edge stitches on charts were optional. In fact, most of the time, this is true. For those of you not familiar with charts, here is a quick summary of how they work. They should tell you the number of stitches in the pattern, plus the number of stitches in the borders. So for instance, if you have a chart that tells you it is a multiple of 10 plus 4, this means that if you want to repeat the pattern twice, you cast on a total of 24 stitches. (10 for each repeat, plus 4 for the edges.) The chart will usually enclose the repeat section between two bold lines, with the edge stitches on either side. In most cases, you can choose to simply cast on the number of multiples you wish, and then shorten or lengthen the number of edge stitches depending on what you need to meet your finished measurements.

The Barbara Walker pattern below is an exception to this rule. It has taken me hours of knitting, ripping out, reknitting, and finally, a trip to my LYS to confer with one of my coworkers, to realize why I ran into problems. For my design, I want a finished measurement of 24″ wide. The pattern repeat is a multiple of 18 stitches, and so I determined that if I did 5 repeats (90 stitches), I would be as close to my goal as I could get using complete repeats.

However, as you can see from the chart, the repeat shifts about halfway through. (The bold lines show where this shift takes place.) In this case, the edge stitches are necessary to make the pattern work, because without them, there is nowhere for the pattern to shift.

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I hope these little details will help my fellow knitters. Because making garments fit has everything to do with gauge and stitch count, is helps to know where you can have freedom to alter a pattern, and where you MUST follow the chart exactly as it is written.

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This shows where the ribbing was interrupted in the piece without the extra edge stitches.

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And here is the partially finished swatch with the edge stitches. The shift is now working without interruption of the stitch pattern.


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