Saturday, January 23, 2021

Esme McStrippit and other news

We've been busy indoors this winter.  First off, kids have been growing so I knit a new kid sweater.  He then posed, with great joy, and I had to pass it along to everyone else to enjoy.  He's sporting a one-of-a-kind handknit by Mommy striped sweater made of plotulopi (Icelandic, unspun yarn) and seems delighted by it. This twin is particular about his sweaters so I'm relieved that this seems to have been a home run!

The kids have been learning at home, doing remote school since the end of October.  This involves a lot of reading time, and we seem to have also trained Sadie the dog into enjoying reading time as well.
While I'm helping kids learn through a pandemic, I've had a slow down in terms of articles coming out... but this piece ran in the Jewish Independent on January 15th: 

During the first few days of January, I managed to make this wool tweed vest using a fabric remnant from Fabcycle in Vancouver.  I was thrilled to use up deadstock fabric and this has been a great additional winter layer so far.  (plus, it has a pocket, and I can never have enough of those!)

The kids added to their 'learn to sew' samplers with a 'here's how to do a running stitch' lesson.  I hadn't been pushing these lessons until one day, one of my boys started to cry because we weren't having enough sewing and art lessons.  Well, OK then!  Happy to oblige...!

Last, but certainly not least, I have finally (FINALLY!) released a new knitting pattern.  Hallelujah.  It took me long enough!
This is called Esme McStrippit and when I uploaded it onto Ravelry, I discovered it was my 80th pattern there.  In honour of this new pattern, I'm celebrating with a sale.  Get 20% off all my patterns!  This sale is happening on Ravelry  and on Payhip and ends on Tuesday, January 26th, at midnight, Central Time, US&Canada.
Use the coupon code:
Esme
For the 20% off discount!

Here are some of the shots of the sweater--the one shot with me in it was taken by a kid, too!
 




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Monday, December 21, 2020

Year's end




 It's been hard for me to find a moment to catch up on the blog. I've a little more time now that Hanukah is over and winter break is here...  I've mostly spent my days helping my kids learn at home.  We've also been staying home for a while now...the high virus rates are worrying.  It's a bit lonely, but we're definitely all introverts here. For us, there have been some advantages to having a break from regular life for a while, too.  I've made a lot of challah.  I've sewn Hanukah gifts: flannel pajama pants for little boys.  

I've had some articles come out:

This piece came out in the Winnipeg Free Press, I am a co-author (with my favourite professor):

Half-measures won't slow the pandemic

Here are some from the Jewish Independent, in Vancouver:

That glitter gets everywhere

Gift of doing nothing at all

The past helps decode the present

Also, I had a fun article come out about how to plan for handspun yarns and garments to keep warm in PLY magazine (I've yet to see a copy of that one in print).  Just today, I got my copy of the new Vogue Knitting.  I'm very proud to have an article on the value of having a yarn stash in that issue, too.

We're doing lots of playing in the snow, dog walks, and eating yummy foods.  We hope you're having a great winter break with lots of joy ahead.  Our sky is darkening now, on December 21st, and it's barely 4pm.  The great darkness is upon us....more time to read, knit, and stay cozy at home.  We're very lucky -and privileged-to be able to do so.

Stay safe, stay warm, and here's looking forward to happy and healthy 2021.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Fasten Off Yarn Along!


It's been a while since I participated in a knitting pattern event or sale of any kind.  I'm busy helping kids learn at home, fitting in work when I can, and dealing with the noise and disruption of an infill construction project near my house and well, all the pandemic stuff.  Heck, I haven't even published much in the way of new patterns this year, although I now have 65 patterns newly available on Payhip!

 -Like many, I haven't been a fan of Ravelry's revamp -- it has big accessibility issues.  So, when I heard that there was an event with many off-Ravelry, accessible options for knitters/crocheters/yarnies to enjoy, I decided to join in...so here's more information! 

Note: Even the coupon code alludes to this crazy year we've been having...let's open up that window and say goodbye to 2020!


I am honoured to be participating this year in the FastenOff YAL!

This is inclusive stitch-a-long event to showcase independent crochet and knitting designers.

It starts tomorrow and it comes with a big sale!

Get 25% off all my indie patterns from November 25 through December 5th! This sale includes all of my patterns and my ebook on both Ravelry and Payhip with the coupon code:

FO2020

You can learn more about participating in lots of ways!

Note: Even if you don’t feel like participating, please feel free to enjoy the sale and share the discount code!
Thanks for checking this out!!
On Twitter
On Instagram
On a discussion forum on Discord--information here on how to join

and on this super helpful website.

As always, thanks for checking out my designs.  Please enjoy the sale!

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Behind the scenes

A while back, my professor husband made a prediction about when things would be shutting down again in Manitoba, and well, he was right.  

I took it to heart and began to rush, and a few days ago, I got a lot more patterns up online on Payhip.  At this point, 57 of my designs are available via Payhip, as well as on Lovecrafts and Ravelry.  This isn't quite all of them, but it's the majority.

It was also a really nice opportunity for me to revisit some of my older designs.  This is the Scarf Cowl-ideal for any weight yarn from lace to DK, and perfect for a beginning knitter or someone who needs some mindless garter stitch.

These are the Knitted Napkins.   In a time when we're all staying home a bit more, it can be nice to make mealtimes look nicer....and cut down on disposable napkin waste.  I was surprised to see this download recently purchased by a knitter, it reminded me about the pattern, which I think may have been first published in 2009.

I also wrote a column for the Jewish Independent, and it went live on Friday here.  It's about the mortality 'wake up call' that the pandemic presents to us...it's both scary, and also a reminder to seize the day. 

We've been outside in the snow...more than once this October.

 

We've eaten more than our share of sweet potato pie, apple crumble with pomegranate seeds (and frozen yogurt!) and more...

We've also returned to remote learning at our house for a bit, so things have been busy.  However, we've had time to play in the snow, make and eat fancy desserts, and create special 'jet packs' for our stay-at-home Halloween superhero.  There's less time for work, but more time for everything else-which makes our pandemic experience much like everybody else's, I suppose.

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Mari Mitts- a new pattern!

I am so pleased to announce this new knitting pattern--finally! Yes, this is the first one released since January...there were some delays.  Many thanks to the tech editor and test knitter who pushed me onwards, and all those who encouraged me.

I am so proud of this design.  First, the Mari Mitts were a design collaboration between me and one of my twins this spring...we needed whimsy. We needed cheerful distraction.  AND, apparently, my kid needed a THUMB RING like Mommy or Aunt Jen wears sometimes.  On his mitts.  Of course!

Second, this this my first pattern that I published with a Low Vision Accessible pdf option from the first.  This means that it's accessible to those who are vision-impaired, too. It takes more time to do this but it's the right thing to do when I can...  It's worth it.

Here they are!  Just in time, as we had a dusting of snow last night in Winnipeg.
Here's an antidote to dark days ahead..

Inspired by a Marimekko fabric print, these mittens have polka dot whimsy with a thumb ring flourish. This unisex stranded pattern has two sizes, Child’s Large/Women’s Small and Women’s Medium/Large. This includes both a chart and a written instructions. This warm mitten works up quickly in three colors, with US size 3 (3.25mm) and 6 (4mm) double pointed needles at 5 stitches to the inch. Any worsted or aran weight yarn that works to gauge is a good match; yardage varies according to mitten size chosen. Ideal for an advanced beginner or intermediate knitter, this is simple stranded knitting, with only two colors per round. Mari Mitts are ideal for those new to stranded knitting or for the stranded knitting knitter who is new to mitten patterns. 

I used Aran weight yarns: Briggs & Little TuffyLett-Lopi and my own handspun gray Cotswold (from Manitoba sheep!), red medium wool, and naturally black Manitoba alpaca. 

The pattern costs $6 and is available on Lovecrafts.comin my Payhip store and on Ravelry.  Please check it out!

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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Low Vision Accessible...and more

 Big news!  There are now 24 of my patterns uploaded to payhip right over here:

https://payhip.com/joanneseiff

I did this so that all my Low Vision Accessible patterns would be available for sale on another platform...for those who cannot manage Ravelry's new look.  All of these have this note:

Accessibility Note: This pattern offers an additional Low Vision pdf option, with Arial 24 point font and photo captions, for those who need large print.

 I'm still learning this new platform, and I hope to get my other designs up there in the future, as time allows. 


Deir Hart
(yes, I'm the model) is one of the patterns that's already live. 

In other news, The Jewish Independent ran this piece-about the value of fences, neighbours, and community- on Friday:

Fences, and walls, can be good

Disclaimer: I'm not for border walls between countries, or anything big-scale. No!  This is strictly about why a fence around my yard keeps my kids and dog from falling into a construction site...or by extension, how a carefully constructed boundary, like an eruv or, say, a mask or social distancing, can offer us, as individuals, both protection and community as we navigate challenging times.

Last but not least:  Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!  I hope all is well, wherever you live, and even if you don't celebrate this- and that we all continue to find things for which to be thankful and grateful, given our current difficult (pandemic) circumstances.  Take care and eat a lot!

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Monday, October 05, 2020

Infill, apples, and a new platform

 This is a quick post...about a recent CBC article that went up this past weekend on Winnipeg's Infill Guidelines:

Winnipeg infill guidelines need improvement to protect neighbours


I also had another article go live on the Vancouver Jewish Independent's website, about apple picking, and how to value what we've got--when so many are struggling with poverty and illness.

Need to value what we have

And, last but not least, I am launching my knitting designs on another platform called Payhip, for those who choose not to use Ravelry, because of its accessibility issues. I only work part time and this process has been slow, so I've only launched the first design, with an accompanying low vision accessible pdf (for those with vision impairment)...but I'm proud to say that Rosie McStrippit is now available in three places: Payhip, Ravelry, and on Lovecrafts.comIt's getting cooler here in Manitoba, and I actually wore this sweater just a couple days ago...no snow yet,although my kids are asking when it will start. (I hope we have another month yet?!)

Take care and stay well!


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