Saturday 27 July 2019

Call for Testers: Without A Purl Dress / Top

Please refer to my Ravelry project for photos. There are only photos of the V-neck version at this time. I am currently sample knitting the square neck version.

Meterage is extremely variable based off the size you choose for yourself. You can get a pretty safe estimate by taking 1.75 times your usual sweater quantity for the dress, and you will definitely have plenty for the top with your usual sweater quantity, since there are no sleeves.

Design Notes 

Please note that the V-neck versions of both dress and top only go up to a finished bust size of 48"/120cm. The Square neck version goes to 60"/150cm.

I am especially looking for testers in sizes 46"/116cm and up, as well as people who have large differences in circumference between bust and waist, or waist and hips etc.

I cannot emphasize this enough: you will get extra support from me during this test, more than normal pattern support if you purchased the pattern. So if you have always wanted to knit a dress, but worried that it will not fit, please get in touch.

This is a modular design, and the pattern is written to help you choose your own size, based on your shoulder length, cross-back, full bust, waist, and back-neck-to-waist measurements.

General Notes 

I will run this test in Slack, without exceptions. All queries etc will be re-directed there.

All measurements etc will be in metric. (It will be published in imperial measurements, but I do not work with them while pattern writing.)

My target finishing dates are October 15th 2018 for the top and January 1st 2019 for the dress. The actual finishing date is negotiable, and I will negotiate that on a one-on-one basis, taking into account the size that you are knitting. For every 24 hours I'm late in sending the next instructions, you will get an extra 2 days added (to account for timezones) to your deadline.

Other than the standard knitting notions, you will also need a weighing scale that weighs in grams up to 1kg (a bit more than 2 pounds).


Nua is a true sport yarn, knit to a sturdy but flexible 24 stitch gauge.

If you do not have sport yarns in your stash to work with, I would recommend DK yarns (might be a little less drapey) or fingering yarns held with a strand of laceweight. I am very unlikely to accept a typical superwash fingering yarn, approximately 400m per 100g, for this test to be used by itself. 

The dress, in particular, is a large garment. You are welcome to use different yarns/colors, one each for the body panels and one for the garter panels, and to finish the neckline, armholes and hem in a third, if you would like to knit it from stash.  

I would highly recommend commercially dyed yarn over hand-dyed so you do not have to alternate skeins.

Your Deliverables

(Everything below is assuming that we negotiate an acceptable finish date, and you decide that you would like to proceed to test.) 

This is a public test, and I would love for you to post as many photos as you want online. Take it to knit night etc. 

I need you, or the person it is being knitted for, to be willing to model the dress. If there are issues, I would also like photos to help you diagnose it. I will never share these photos without your permission. 

The modular construction of this garment allows me to send you instructions in sections. The milestones for sending the next instructions will be:
  1. Stockinette swatch and body measurements
  2. 4 Stockinette body panels + Garter swatch
  3. Garter side panel instructions 
  4. Garter front and back garter instructions + Finishing instructions.
If you send me photos of the swatch, and for some reason, the project does not pan out, I will give you a USD3 discount code for the finished pattern.

Please sign up for the test here.


(Rewards below are as per the milestones in the previous section. They are not additive, meaning that if you finish the test on time, you will only get the 5th reward.)

  1. USD3 discount for the finished pattern.
  2. USD4 discount for the finished pattern. 
  3. USD5 discount for the finished pattern. 
  4. Entire Without A Purl pattern collection. (Everybody who finishes by their deadline gets the entire collection.) 
I will be dividing the testers into 2 groups, larger garments (plus-size and extra-tall) and regular. The first 2 finishers in each group will get reward 1 plus a choice of 2 or 3, and the next 2 will get reward 1.
  1. My summer 2020 top collection -- and you get them as I get them back from the TE, not when it is released. There will be at least 3, possibly 4. 
  2. Pick a garment pattern on Ravelry, and we will arrange a Skype/Zoom/something call, and I will walk you through how I would adjust that to fit your body. (I will buy my own copy of the pattern.) 
  3. 2 patterns up to a total cost of USD16 on Ravelry. 

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Hide and Hammer #03

I purchased 2 of these bags myself at EYF2019, and was not paid to write any of the following. 

Can I just say, I love love love love them!

I love them so much, I went back the next day to buy the second one. The most important thing for me to purchase at Woollinn (yes, I am going to another yarn festival) in June is more of these!

Here are some action shots with 12 skeins of Nua Worsted at various stages of being knitted up into a cardigan.

I can comfortably fit half a dozen 50g cakes of yarn at the bottom, and naturally, you can stack them.

This is how I fill my bag from the bottom up. First, the cakes, then finished pieces, and finally, the piece that is currently being worked at the top.

Due to my love of modular construction and recent discovery of Russian grafting, I especially love all the pockets. I needed a total of at least 6 cables, plus 3 needle sizes and a crochet hook, and a tiny pair of scissors for this cardigan. I could pack them all into 1 bag, and I only have to check the 1 bag for all the things I need.

As a designer, I also love that the other pocket is big enough for a notebook and a pen.

There is obviously room for more stuff, but I just love that the pockets are perfect for me.

Friday 5 April 2019

EYF2019 Yarn Update, or I Have Never Bought This Much Yarn In Such Little Time

A bit late, but I have been manically knitting away on my next design, which I hope to release in May. 

The truth is, I did not expect to buy this much at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

I bought way less last year, and with most of the vendors being the same again this year, I thought I would be fine.

I actually needed to purchase extra luggage for the flight home in the end. I am somewhat horrified at myself. I did also bring back the motor for my electric ball winder and some beer for the husbear, but still! I came home last year with 15kg suitcase.

I purchased 12 SQs: 10 for sweaters and 2 for shawls. It came to a total of 3.75kg yarn.

I will briefly talk about each yarn, going clock-wise from top left.

Wishbone Yarn Flax Flower

I purchased this because I love the color, and because it is 10% linen. I'm hoping to design a lightweight top for this yarn while I am in Australia next month.

Myak Cotton-Yak Laceweight

I bought 8 skeins because it is limited edition and I do not know what I want to do with it. My greatest fear is running out of yarn on a project, so I made sure this would not happen.

I am unlikely to design with it because it is a limited edition yarn.

Kettle Yarn Co Beyul Fingering 

Linda gave them to me in exchange for my sample of the Australian Under Wrap. I will be designing with the yarn, and I cannot wait to start working with it.

It is a merino-yak-silk blend, and if I had to choose an all-rounder yarn blend, this would be it.

Lotus Yarns Linen 100

I need a replacement sample piece of my wrap, and originally I was going to use this. I have decided against it, so I will probably destash this.

Stolen Stitches Nua Worsted

Words cannot begin to describe how much I love this yarn. I am already more than half way through this lovely, squishy pile of yarn, for a cardigan design that I hope to release in May.

It makes beautiful fabric, it smells so good and clean, and I literally cannot wait to be able to try on my cardigan.

I highly recommend this yarn, and its fingering weight little sister.

Hey Mama Wolf Sock Yarn

I bought 2 skeins last year that I have not used, but I could not resist buying some more.

There is 20% Ramie in it, which makes it suitable for socks, but I am thinking a lightweight top.

Ysolda Deimos

I purchased this for Anne Hanson's Chevi cardigan pattern. I have loved this design since I saw it the first time, but I never found the right yarn.

I squished this right before my class with Anne at the festival, and clearly it was meant to be.

At the Make Wool event, I dropped by to get @aleongtimetomake another skein, and I just had to grab an extra skein for a shawl for myself too.

Travelknitter Merino Silk 4ply

I decided that I would continue my 'tradition' of purchasing Larissa's EYF special color this year, so 2 skeins came home with me.

The Border Mill Alpaca Rose (see cone on left side of photo)

Honestly, the only reason why I bought this was because it is a blend of rose fibre and alpaca. I have no idea what I am planning to do with it either.

Myak Baby Yak Medium

I plan to design a sweater-coat to be released sometime towards the end of the year.

We travel a fair amount, and I need to replace my winter coat, so I thought this would be perfect.

Monday 1 April 2019

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2019: The Highlights

True to form, I did not take very many photos. There are a couple on my Instagram stories and a few more on my feed, many of them thanks to the lovely friends I have. 

I will be writing separate posts in the next few days about the classes I took as well. 

I started off the festival with the annual trip to up to Arthur's Seat, led by Grace (Babbles Travelling Yarns).

It is such a great way to deal with the jet lag: fresh air and sunshine and Story Time with Grace!

Darcey (@dmawunker) brought her version of my Australian Under Wrap design with her! And she even loaned it to me for the day even though she must have been a wee bit concerned that I would not return it to her. She chose Plucky Knitter cashmere for it, so it felt amazingly luxurious.

Many of you said really nice things to me about my first design, and while I cannot remember all of you by name, I am very grateful.

I arrived at EYF feeling kind of down about how little I had accomplished so far this year, and it means a lot to hear that you like the work I am doing. There will be more patterns coming!

Plus my sample now lives with Kettle Yarn Co., which I am very excited about.

I also bought piles and piles of yarn. Even prior to being medicated for ADHD, I have never bought this much yarn in this little time. I think I bought as much as triple what I bought last year.

With the exception of 2 of those piles, most of them will be for design work, however, and I have already cast on for a new design. In fact, the radio silence is partially due to my crazy plan to finish the pieces for an over-sized and long worsted weight cardigan in 2 weeks. For the record, I am actually doing pretty well, with half the body already complete.

I also talked to a bunch of different tech editors, and I am pretty sure I have found The One. So fingers crossed!

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Sample Knitters Wanted

I am looking to hire sample knitters on a project basis. I have a steady stream of patterns that I will be ready to start sending out from mid-April.

  • Have a Ravelry page or Instagram that shows your previous projects. 
  • Experience with sock knitting and general experience with projects that suffer a lot of wear and tear. (I generally design for a relatively tight gauge.) 
  • Experience with plant fibre yarns (blends and not). 
  • Experience with laceweight-to-sportweight yarns. (These are typically what I design for.) 
  • Experience with sample or test knitting preferred. 
  • Own a scale.
Common Themes in upcoming Mathemaknitter patterns: 
  • Lots of stockinette and garter stitch. 
  • No finishing work required. (If there is any, I prefer to do that myself.) 
  • Modular construction. (I am happy to split projects amongst multiple knitters.) 
  • Mostly garments. 
  • Mostly laceweight, light fingering, and fingering. 
  • Mostly larger projects. I rarely knit anything less than 800-900 metres and so far, have not designed any either. 
  • Minimum: SGD0.22 (approximately EUR0.143 or USD0.162) per meter. 
  • Meterage is calculated by weight of item in grams multiplied by the meters per gram as per yarn label. 
  • I will pay for swatches also, and expect that you show me a photo of your swatch before we proceed with the project. 
  • Rates go up based on weight of yarn (cobweb-to-sportweight will be more) and complexity of fabric. If I ask you for finishing work, such as seaming, I will pay you hourly, separate from knitting the fabric. 
  • Unless I tell you in advance, usually I will be happy for you to keep the remainders. 
  • Copy of pattern via Ravelry if self-published. 
  • If you are knitting multiple pieces of fabric for 1 project, I will pay you every 2 pieces. This means that if you are knitting 4 pieces for me, plus some finishing work, I will pay you for the first 2 pieces, next 2 pieces, then finishing work, and finally, shipping costs. 
  • If you are knitting a single, very large item, I will pay every 300m. 
Other Logistical Details:
  • Except under unusual circumstances, I will ship or drop-ship the yarn to you. 
  • I will pay for shipping back to me. 
If you are interested, please email me with the following things: 
  • Link to Instagram or Ravelry. Both is better. You are not required nor expected to have many followers, as this is simply for me to get an idea of your skill level. 
  • State your favorite kinds of fabric to knit, e.g. stockinette, lace, brioche, colorwork. 
  • State your favorite fibers to work with. (This is just for my reference, in case the right project comes up. It does not have an impact on whether I will ask you to knit for me.)
  • State how much time you generally get to knit each week. 
  • State your location. 
If selected, I will ask you to send me 2 swatches of stockinette in the same yarn but different gauge, before proceeding. I will pay for the swatches at the rate of SGD0.22 (approximately EUR0.143 or USD0.162) per meter and cover the cost of shipping. You are welcome to send me swatches from previous projects if you have 2 in the same yarn.

(I will be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival in 2 weeks, and I would be happy to meet you there for you to show me your swatches, if you like.) 

Saturday 9 February 2019

Why I Write My Patterns and Lay Them Out in LaTeX

Today's @yarnlovechallenge prompt is Draft, so I thought I would talk a little bit about my workflow here. If you are interested in any of the things I write about below, please get in touch via email

Separate Calculations from Text

Screenshot of pattern development workflow
I write my patterns and grade them at the same time.

But I keep them separate while working on them.

The numbers, including stitch counts, measurements, and yarn requirements are in a spreadsheet, and I have code that import the numbers into my pattern.

This means that I always have a one true source, and I never get them confused while changing stuff, and it saves me a great deal of time I would otherwise spend on checking.

Inspect Code, Not Output  

Screenshot of my editing workflow

I do not like visually inspecting things to see if it was done correctly, because my spatial skills are deficient. I cannot tell if the font size is correct by looking at it, but I can read my code and see if I formatted it correctly.

Program My Diagrams  

Screen grab from Australian Under Wrap

I am no artist, and struggling with spatial stuff means that I do not feel confident with drawing at all, whether with pen and paper or digitally.

In LaTeX, I use the TikZ library to develop my diagrams. I write some code, compile it, and I can reason about my code versus what was compiled, and iterate until it is perfect.

I can also reuse my code. It can be really awesome for modular designs, because you can perform shifts, flips, and rotations with math rather than drag and drop.

LaTeX Makes Sensible Decisions For Me 

I do not have any experience doing layouts or things like that, beyond being frustrated by Word or Powerpoint.

By using existing libraries, I can rely on decisions made by someone else who has thought long and hard about how to make documents look good, without giving up control of the document. I can still muck around and change stuff, but so far, most of the time the defaults look quite professional.

Reusing Text 

Screenshot from Australian Under Wrap

Even though I am just starting out, I find that there there are many chunks of text I would like to re-use across patterns, particularly in the Techniques and Abbreviations section that most patterns have.

I have put together a separate file that I use across patterns, so that my text for things like how to do different cast-offs remain the same. And, should I come up with a better way to write something, I can update all of them with a simple script to recompile all the patterns for me.

It was really useful when I was obsessing over my bio section too.

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Happy Year of the Pig! Here's to more content!

I aim to produce more knitting and crafting related content this year, and I am kicking this off as the other New Year begins. 

Nodding piggie in a Grab Car. Picture taken by Husbear

I have been thinking for some time that I should be able to write more about knitting. I knit a lot, I think about knitting a lot, and therefore, I should have content.

And I do, I just have not been writing it out.

I had forgotten that the only way to write more is to write more.

Now that I am writing this post, I feel that I have so much to write about. The knitting software I have been working on, the patterns that I have finished, and most of all, the knitting I have been doing.

It feels so good to say that. In 2018, I barely knit at all. It was the first extended dry spell from knitting I have had in my (admittedly short) knitting career.

I have finished a shawl already. I will most likely finish a skirt this month, and hopefully a cardigan before Edinburgh Yarn Festival. That will be as many items as I finished last year.

I will be back in a few days with more, but this is a start.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Japan Yarn Shops 2018

This is by no means an exhaustive list of places, just the ones I managed to get to.

Walnut Kyoto & Tokyo

I went to both, because, why not? But I have to say that you probably don't have to.

It's a good stop if you are a fan of Amirisu magazine because they have lots of Amirisu samples, and they're a flagship for Brooklyn Tweed and Quince & Co, I believe.

Avril Kichijoji (Tokyo)

I only went to the one in Tokyo. I decided against visiting the one in Kyoto because I did not buy anything in Tokyo. They have a lot of novelty yarn, which is so not the kind of thing I knit with.

Update: yarnoversteffi kindly gifted me the thing I most wanted from Avril in our Singapore knitters Christmas yarn swap, so that was awesome.

Ananda (Tokyo)

This is much more a shop for weavers and spinners.

They have a lot of hemp, lots of animal roving (the wool is from New Zealand though) and quite a selection of natural dyestuffs.

They do carry silk, but they were not able to tell me the yardage per 100g or anything like that, so I didn't get any. It's possible that I was unable to explain to them what I was asking, so maybe you will have better luck.

Moorit (Tokyo)

They have more rustic-type yarns than the other shops in Tokyo that I managed to get to. It was nice, but they did not have much stuff I was likely to use in the next 6-12 months. They stocked some Scottish yarns, but I am planning on attending Edinburgh Yarn Festival again, so I didn't get any of it either.

And-Ito (Tokyo)

I made it here because they have coned yarn, and that's something I keep an eye out for because I do have a knitting machine. They had a good selection of finer, lightweight yarns suitable for tropical weather, including Belgian linen.

And they also had DK weight cotton cashmere, which I am very fond off.

Hobbyra Hobbyre (Kobe)
I stumbled on this one by accident.

The shop is adorable, and I picked up some of their house brand yarn, including a lovely linen blend.

EYLUL (Osaka)

This was my favorite. They carry a good mix of hand-dyed European/American yarns as well a good selection of warm weather friendly ones. They are also a Zealana stockist.

They also carry Saredo recycled yarn, which was something I had been looking for.