30 before 30




Little Grey Stormclouds is my 30th design, according to the Ravelry database. That's not a significant number, except for one thing: I have a birthday coming up next month.

29 felt so expectant. Unfinished. Ever since my knitting mojo returned last year, that big '29 designs' has been staring me in the face, mocking me. What kind of an awkward, incomplete number is 29?

I set myself a goal that was simultaneously modest and unthinkable: release a new pattern before turning 30. Just the one. Just one simple, tiny, insignificant little pattern...

...and hours of knitting and re-knitting...
...and scraps of paper filled with notes and math...
...and a camera refresher course...
...and months of photo editing practice...
...and learning a whole new layout program...
...and getting over my anxiety to coordinate with a tech editor and test knitters...
...and speaking of anxiety, what if no one likes it? What if I make a hundred mistakes? What if this is the moment that will finally reveal how much of a talentless fraud I am?

It was so long since I'd been through this process. And it's still an awful lot of work! But, it's enriching work. I feel very fortunate to have the energy and headspace now to devote to this creative work.



My day job is about 5% satisfying, fulfilling accomplishments, and 95% mindless drudgery. It pays the bills, and it doesn't make me actively miserable. But one week is much like the next week, which is much like the next, and I'll probably spend the next 4 decades caught in this cycle without anything to show for it. If I want to leave something behind, I have to do it on my own time.

I didn't create at all during my darkest mental-health times. I started doing better, and my knitting mojo started to return. And I was very happy to make things only for myself for a while, but the more I sunk into it and experimented, the more I wanted to do the design thing again. To create something I could share with others.

As soon as I committed to designing again, ideas came flooding in. Hell, there are a couple nearly-complete patterns from years ago sitting on my hard drive that I never released. So I'm working on a whole handful of other patterns, and we'll see how many actually see the light of day. I'm working slowly, but enthusiastically, and I'm excited to keep going.

So bring it on, 30, and let's see what you have in store for me.

~Joyuna

New pattern: Little Grey Stormclouds

These are my Little Grey Stormclouds.

These are my typing gloves, my reading gloves, my knitting gloves, my this-office-is-too-darn-cold gloves.

These were my mojo-rejuvenation project, my startitis project, my instant gratification project.

Easy, lazy knitting, and a well-loved FO. For me, they're the ideal combination of process knitting and product knitting. I loved knitting them and I love wearing them even more.

They're a straightforward knit, with practical touches:

1. Mock cables


I love the look of cables, but I do not like knitting cables. This mock cable is dead simple when you get the hang of it, and I include a photo tutorial in the pattern.

2. Open thumb


No waste yarn, no picking up stitches. Just bind off and leave your thumb free.

3. Short hand length


Again, it's all about keeping your fingers free. Nothing getting in your way, just a little extra warmth around your palm and wrist. And less length means less knitting, so they knit up super-quickly.

4. Tight gauge


Knitting these gloves at a dense gauge makes the stitches really pop, and gives them extra durability. I've been wearing mine since 2015, shoving them in pockets, tossing them in bags, and generally mistreating them - and there's still not a single pill. From a 100% merino yarn!

It's a simple but very effective pattern, and I've graded it for four sizes to fit a range of hands for all genders.

for $5.00

Sizes: 7 [7.75, 8.25, 9]" (18 [20, 21, 23]cm) measured around the hand at the base of the fingers

Yarn: Between 110-165 yards of fingering/4-ply weight yarn (Shown: Shibui Sock, 100% merino). That’s less than 50g of your typical sock yarn.

Needles: US 1.5 / 2.5mm DPNs or circs, or whichever size gives you 8.5 stitches per inch in stockinette in the round

Pattern is fully written (not charted), and includes a photo tutorial for working the mock cable stitch.




~Joyuna

Mending with needle-felting

When it comes to mending, I darn my handknit socks for a strong, secure, and nearly seamless (with duplicate stitch) finish. However, I've recently learned I could also needle-felt to mend my woollens, and it's been a revelation!

It has advantages and disadvantages:
  • Quick, easy, mindless. It's fun to stab things.
  • It can handle irregularly-shaped holes that might be annoying to darn.
  • It's easier to felt than to darn onto very thin yarns/fabrics, like store-bought knits
  • You could felt an attractive design over your mended area
  • I can use my fibre stash. I also bought a needle felting kits with a few grams of 30+ colours for a perfect colour match. You can even blend colours.
But...
  • The finished patch is fuzzy, which you can see on the right side.
  • Obviously, the mend doesn't match the surrounding stitches.
  • The felted patch is less elastic than knit fabric.
  • I already had some needlefelting supplies lying around, but maybe you don't, and then it's another craft rabbit hole to fall down.
I have darned several of my storebought jumpers in this way. It works great to close up small moth-holes in fine-gauge stockinette, and a snag in this ribbed jumper where I couldn't find a good colour match in my yarn stash.


You can see the fuzz in the mended area if you're looking for it, but it's barely noticeable.


When the original fibre has a bit of halo already, or if the garment has gone fuzzy over time, the mend blends into the fabrics texture. I find the action of the needle will fuzz up your existing yarn a bit, so I would not use this for an intricate stitch pattern or a really 'crisp' yarn.

Thin store-bought merino jumper, right side

Remember not to felt multiple layers of fabric together, and move your foam block periodically so you don't felt your knitting to the foam!


Thin store-bought merino jumper, wrong side

Sometimes I want a really clean finish, and I pull out my darning needle. But sometimes I just want to plug up the hole with some wool, and, (more and more often these days) I want to stab something over and over. So needle-felting is great for that!

~Joyuna

Pinstripes & Chains set - now for sale on Ravelry

Slipped stitch colorwork cabled fingerless gloves

The Pinstripes & Chains mitts and tam patterns, originally published in Knit Now Magazine, are now available as Ravelry downloads.

These quick accessories are easier than they look - the slipped stitches are a clever way to create vertical stripes while only working one colour per round. If you're up for more of a challenge, you can work the cabled "chains", but they're totally optional.
Mosaic slipped stitches fingerless mitts in Brown Sheep Lanaloft Sports Weight

Since you're using two colours, these are a great project for using up the odd balls and scraps that you might have accumulated - and there's lots of room to experiment with colour combinations.

If you make size Small or Medium, you can make both a hat and pair of mitts with one 50g ball of each colour.

Beret hat and mitts set matching knitwear for sale on Ravelry
If you buy both the hat and the mitts together, you'll get a $3 discount.

Buy the set:
$7.00

Buy the mitts pattern:
$5.00

Buy the hat pattern:
$5.00



~Joyuna