I must admit, one of the hardest parts of being a knitwear designer is trying to figure out other people.
Why, for instance, does one pattern get showered with love, while another gets barely a nod? I poured my heart into them equally. They're both equally beautiful (in my eyes, at least). So why 50 "likes" for one, and 500 for another? What are my fellow knitters thinking???
I know, I know...what is anyone ever thinking, right?
But, seriously, it can be really hard to understand the dismal response to some patterns. For example, the two hats below--Blossomy and Delicata--favourited just 24 and 48 times respectively. (Ravelry). Whaaaat?
Now, don't get me wrong, I certainly didn't expect Blossomy to hit the Hot Right Now Top 20--it takes a certain kind of confidence to rock that much hat--but 24 likes? I never would have predicted such a sad performance.
As for Delicata, the (lack of) response continues to baffle me...a year after publication! Personally, I love this hat so much I've knit it in three colours...and the ivory one remains one of my most loved, most worn hand-knit hats. How can others feel so "?" about it?
Patterns? They're easy to figure out. People? Not so much.
A few weeks ago, I posted a "teaser" picture to introduce my first-ever shawl pattern, The Ineffable Shawl. Well, I'm happy to report that I was able to publish the pattern on schedule and, despite a meagre 59 "hearts" on Raverly, people are indeed purchasing this pattern to knit for themselves, and I'm definitely grateful for that!
This shawl was pure joy to knit. In fact, that's how it got its name. From the Cambridge English Dictionary...
“Ineffable” (adjective): Causing so much emotion, especially pleasure, that it cannot be described.
I honestly couldn't think of a better way to capture the unique knitting--and wearing--experience of this particular shawl. It provides such a rich visual and tactile experience.
I also love the cheeky double-entendre. This shawl is so incredibly easy to knit it is almost “in-F-able” (wink wink).
The Ineffable Shawl is worked with two strands of yarn held together throughout, so it works up far more quickly than a traditional shawl knit with fingering and/or lace weight yarn.
Yarn #1 is (obviously) a solid-colour mohair-silk blend. Yarn #2 may surprise you--it's "Zauberball Crazy", a self-striping sock yarn!! By using a 4.5 mm needle (and that second strand of mohair) the stripes become softened and elongated--you'd never guess this was sock yarn, yet the yarn does all the hard work!
Plus, the pattern can be quickly and easily committed to memory, allowing the knitter to relax into the process and enjoy every bright, fluffy stitch.
I knit a lot, that's no secret, but it may surprise you to know that The Ineffable Shawl is one of my favourite designs to date. The knitting experience was a unique pleasure. And wearing it? Oh my. The fluidity of the drape, the warmth of the wool, and the fluffiness of the mohair...it's like wrapping myself in a warm, fluffy hug every time I put it on.
I'll definitely be making this shawl again...the colour possibilities are mind-boggling. Plus, I have a good friend who I'm sure could use a hand-knit hug--I think this will make an excellent gift. Any baa baa blog readers out there? What do you think? What colours would you use?
I'm absolutely beside myself in this moment. Tears streaming down my face...right onto my alpaca/mohair WIP...and every knitter knows that tears aren't good for mohair.
What happened? A ridiculously senseless violation of copyright, that's what. Actually two senseless violations, if I'm really going to get into it...and it appears that I am.
Someone posted one of my patterns in the "notes" section of their Raverly project page. Not the link to my pattern, but the actual pattern...every last detail. All four lines of the main stitch repeat, and the decrease sequence for the crown! She altered maybe two lines, but other than that, she essentially re-published my pattern in her project notes.
I mean, seriously. WTF? This is my livelihood. Designing hand-knits and writing patterns is how I make ends meet. How could any knitter do this to another knitter?
And this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Just a few weeks ago, the PDF file for one of my free patterns was lifted from this very website, then used by a yarn store to provide direct downloads from their own site (with the purchase of their yarn)!
The copyright statement on my patterns isn't hidden...it's easy to see and to read (but apparently impossible to comply with). It says that cold comfort patterns are for personal, non-commercial, use. What's not clear about that? Just because something is free, doesn't mean the rights don't belong to someone.
When I provide a pattern for free, it certainly doesn't mean that I didn't spend a great deal of time, money, and effort creating it. When I share my work for free, it's because I'm trying to share the joy of knitting with others. It's because I want to spread the knitty love, and help others find peace and healing through this amazing thing we do with two sticks and some string.
So when people take advantage of that, or don't use their heads and re-print paid pattern details, it makes me cry. And it makes me want to give up designing...just go back to knitting for my own pleasure. For every little triumph, there's just SO much B.S. that it's sucking all the joy out of it.
Excuse me now...I have to go blow-dry my shawl.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
It's the Thanksgiving long weekend here in Canada, which of course makes it the perfect time to get down to knitty business! By my calculations, a whole extra day added to the weekend equals 33.3% more knitting time!
Speaking of percentages, here's another one you might like...50%. If you've had your eye on some of my patterns, this weekend would be an excellent time to save--when you purchase any pattern from my Ravelry store, the second one is free! For the math-phobic among us, that means they're each 50% off! Simply enter promo code Thankful2017.
This year, more than ever, I'm giving thanks for the gifts knitting brings to my life every day---therapy, community, work, and a chance to give back. Although I never planned for my life to revolve around string, the fact that is does is cold comfort, indeed. ; )
From my heart, to yours...Happy Thanksgiving!
To celebrate the Grand Opening of the cold comfort knits online shop, and today's arrival of Fall, I think a special sale is in order!
Now, just let me make one thing clear: I always strive to offer my patterns & products at fair, reasonable prices. So, no matter when you choose to make a difference by supporting handmade, you can rest assured that not only are you creating positive change in the world, but you're also getting excellent value for your money in the process.
cold comfort knits is not a big box store or faceless corporation; there's no CEO here, just a "Chief Sheep". You won't see flashy sales happening here constantly, and you won't see cheap, mass-produced, synthetic knitwear, either. There are no deplorable labour practices at cold comfort, nor are there inflated prices that allow for "huge markdowns" later on. Bottom line? cold comfort is kind. And we think that's pretty special any day of the week!
Wearable. Ethical. Giftable. Squishable. Squeezable. Natural. Beautiful.
warm head, warm heart: save on hats!
cold comfort by alexis adrienne: save 25% on all knitting patterns
09/22/17 9:00 a.m. (EST) to 09/24/17 9:00 p.m. (EST)
After months and months and designing, knitting, and planning, I'm so very pleased to announce that the cold comfort online shop is open for wooly business!
And not a moment too soon--during the few day we were in "test mode", 2000+ visitors stopped by to browse. Holy sheep!
handmade matters: shop small this season
In search of a little cold comfort? Six styles of hats are now in the online shop, with almost twenty different colours to choose from. Every single hat was hand-knit (by me) from 100% natural, luxury fibres. Did someone say baby alpaca?
handmade matters: knit yourself some cold comfort
If you'd rather support the handmade movement by making something warm and wooly for yourself this season, may I suggest a pdf pattern by Alexis Adrienne--that's me!
Together, these patterns have been "favourited" well over a thousand times on Ravelry, some have been on the Hot Right Now Top 20, and one very special scarf (Isn't She Lovely) was even featured in Community Eye Candy.
The best part? When you purchase a pattern directly from me via the cold comfort online shop, you pay less. My shop is set up in Canadian dollars--good old loonie!
Whether you support an independent artisan, or knit something lovely for yourself, you really do make a difference when you choose handmade. Happy shopping! Happy knitting!
Alexis Adrienne, Chief Sheep
Okay, I admit it. I'm teasing you with this shot. But I'm hoping it's the good, anticipation-building, kind of teasing--the kind that gets your creative juices flowing.
So, prepare yourself for some fabulously fluffy Fall knitting...my first ever shawl pattern will be available on Ravelry in less than a week!
Much to my knitty delight, fall has come early to southern Ontario! And now there are just twelve sleeps left until the opening of the cold comfort online store, woot woot! I'm so excited to begin sharing with you the collection of hand-knit hats I've spent the last several months creating.
At least half a dozen different styles will be available when the store opens on September 20th, and half a dozen more will be added before the end of the year. My fingers have been flying across the needles, delighting in the feel of exquisite natural fibres. My eyes have been feasting on a palette of natural colours ranging from soft, muted pastels to richly saturated jewel tones. What a joy it is to create these wonderful woolies!
But why should I have all the fun? Fibres this squishable, shapes this wearable, colours this inviting, they just beg to be shared (and worn, and gifted). Okay, okay, I'll share. Just give me twelve more sleeps to get used to the idea. Then, they're all yours!
Fall craft supplies are on display at Michael's, school supplies are on display practically everywhere, and the C.N.E. is in full swing.
You know what that means...September is almost here!!!
I'm going to let you in on a little secret; I can't stand summer. And, although I know it's practically tantamount to sacrilege for a Canadian to admit such a thing, it's the God's honest truth. Too much heat, too much light, too much noise. For a "delicate flower" like me, summer can feel pretty overwhelming.
How do I cope? By churning out hand-knits like a machine, as if to say "Screw you summer! You might be all hot and sunny now, but that won't last! Winter is coming...and I'll be ready, mwahaha!".
Spring is rainy. Summer is sticky. Winter is slushy. Fall? Fall is perfect. No more frizzy hair. No more running around half-naked just to avoid heat stoke. The leaves start to change colour, the temperature starts to drop, and the days start to get shorter. Autumn bliss.
Not convinced of Fall's seasonal superiority? Did I mention that Fall kicks off both pumpkin pie season AND knitted hat season. Bam! I rest my case.
BTW: These supremely soft and squishy slouch hats were hand-knit from a dreamy blend of un-dyed Merino and Alpaca...just a few of the wooly wonders that will be available in the cold comfort online shop...it opens September 20th, 2017.
In just a little over a month, the cold comfort online store will be open for business!
If you need a squishable, squeeazble, natural, beautiful hat (or two), look no further...we're ready to meet all your cozy-hat needs this season. Hey, it's what we do!
With so many styles and colour options coming your way, we kind of feel bad for our customers...it's going to be really hard to choose!
Gotta go now...
Must. Knit. Faster.