ready for warm weather?

Dream with me for a moment. It’s warm outside, multiple layers are not required to be comfortable, and there’s a refreshing beverage somewhere nearby.

Band Collar Tank Top for Middie Blythe

It’s a perfect time for a halter top! This one features a band collar that fastens with a snap at the back of the neck. The collar and hem of the top use a moss stitch for a nice texture and for sturdiness in the construction.

Band Collar Tank Top for Middie Blythe

This pattern was inspired by a request from an awesome Blythe enthusiast and knitter. She suggested a tank top with this type of collar. As soon as she asked me about it, I was super excited to figure out the construction and set about prototyping. I worked on a few different ways of constructing it before I hit on a way that works shape-wise, makes sense construction-wise, and is easy to knit up. I haven’t designed much for Middie yet and this was a really fun way to gain experience in that area, as well as in making a tank top, which I also haven’t done before.

Band Collar Tank Top for Middie Blythe

I’m so pleased with how this turned out! I am also excited to work on a similar pattern for Neo Blythe, now that I have more knowledge about designing a halter top. What other patterns might you like to see? I’m always happy to hear your ideas!

Get your Middie pattern at Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, or LoveKnitting.

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winter bobbles for everyone

I posted last week about my love of bobbles, and my mom shared this adorbs photo of my sister and I wearing bobble hats as kids.

Anne and Susan in bobble hats photo anne and susan bobble hats

How adorbs is Susan’s expression?! I love it. I also remember these hats quite distinctly! Mine was, I think, two shades of pink. Fittingly, I recently finished this bulky yarn bobble hat for Blythe in pink yarn!

Bulky Bobble Hat for Blythe

This hat is so quick to knit up, it feels almost ridiculous. You barely get started and voila! You have a finished item ready to be worn! Of course you can play with the size of bobble like always. Bulky yarn can make up some truly luscious bobbles!

Bulky Bobble Hat for Blythe

Find this pattern on Etsy, Craftsy, LoveKnitting, and Ravelry.

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bobble-ing along

At the moment, I am super enamored of hats with bobbles. They are so cute and add a feeling of fun to a practical piece of clothing.

Meg Hat for Blythe

This is true for humans and for Blythe, of course. I especially love the look of a relatively giant bobble on a Blythe hat.

Meg Hat for Blythe

Of course there is no reason you can’t use a more medium-sized bobble.

Meg Hat for Blythe

Or a to-scale bobble that is more in line with traditional hats.

Blythe hat

This hat is designed to have a generous fit, so it will easily fit even Blythes with big hair. I think it also gives the hat a luxurious feel, as does a large bobble. No skimping here!

You can find this pattern on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

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fit to be sweatered

Last week I posted about a new sweater design for Blythe that uses fingering weight yarn. I was so inspired by how well it works and how quickly it knit up that I made a second design with a more fitted shape.

Fitted Fingering Weight Sweater for Blythe

I’m so pleased with the look of this one! It’s sleek and streamlined and fits Blythe really well. The shaping works out just perfectly for her body. The sleeves are exactly perfect for her arms – there’s no room to spare, though, so this one works well as the underneath layer if you’re layering.

Fitted Fingering Weight Sweater for Blythe

As you can imagine, it also knits up super quickly and is done almost before you know it! You can download the pattern on Craftsy, LoveKnitting, Etsy, and Ravelry.

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more cozy, easy knitting

I love the look of Blythe-scale knitting. Usually I like to use lace weight yarn and size 0 needles, as that gives a really tiny stitch that looks accurate for Blythe-scale. However, knitting with lace weight yarn and such small needles means that those projects take a little more time. Sometimes, I want to knit a Blythe sweater and be done quickly, which is when I reach for a slightly thicker yarn and larger needle – in this case fingering weight yarn and size 2 needles.

Fingering Weight Sweater for Blythe

This size yarn still makes quite a small stitch, which I think keeps in Blythe-scale nicely. The stitches aren’t that much larger than in lace weight yarn, but the time required to knit this sweater is much less than one made with lace weight!

Fingering Weight Sweater for Blythe

I tend to like a roomy fit for Blythe sweaters. I feel like it’s comfy and cozy and allows for layering or wearing the sweater cardigan-style when desired (I love layers! both for me and for Blythe).

Fingering Weight Sweater for Blythe

I’m so pleased with how well this brown sweater goes with this skirt I made last year. 🙂

The pattern for this Fingering Weight Sweater for Blythe can be found on Etsy, Ravelry, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

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wrapping up 2015 and embracing 2016

It’s hard to believe another year has passed. I mean, calendar years are kind of arbitrary, but it does feel a little useful to think about the bigger picture periodically. And it’s a great excuse to crack open some spreadsheets and do a little analysis! (Spreadsheets are my raindrops on roses.) Some of the web services I use also provided me with some fun year-end wrap up, so let’s take a look.

First off, Goodreads. I love this site as a tool for tracking which books I’ve read. As a lover of mystery series and of non-fiction books on specific topics that often have very similar titles, there’s no way I’d be able to remember which ones I’ve read or not without some kind of tool.

Goodreads 2015 summary photo Goodreads_Annersquos_Year_in_Books_-_2016-01-01_09.48.04_zpsc2jx3jxf.png

Wow, almost 10000 pages read (according to this metric)! That is a nice number. Funny that the longest book I read was a YA novel, which sometimes have a rep for being fluffy.

Goodreads 2015 stats comparison photo Goodreads_My_Review_Stats_-_2016-01-01_09.51.31_zps26wyboi5.png

This 29 seems low! Looking at the actual books Goodreads says I’ve read, that only includes the fiction. I read a ton of non-fiction but that doesn’t seem to show up in these metrics (I believe this is because I usually add fiction books to my to-read list first, and then move them to my currently reading list when I start them. NF books I tend to just add after I’ve completed them so they don’t have a span of time covered on the site). I counted up and, to some extent, I read 186 non-fiction books in addition to the 29 fiction. To some extent because that does include some I didn’t read cover to cover, of course, especially cookbooks. Either way, I’m not feeling bad about the 29 being down from last year’s 40.

2015 was a pretty good year for me in terms of blogging consistently – 132 posts throughout the year!

2015 LibrariAnne posting patterns photo posting patterns 2015_zpswaumqmyl.png

My most popular post was eff the shave-triarchy. Eff yeah! Update while I’m at it: I feel like I have saved SO MUCH time since quitting shaving. My showers are super quick and I’m probably saving a bunch of water, too. Feminism wins again!

As ever, I made a whole lot of stuff in 2015. Thanks to the magical tool that is Ravelry, I know that I completed 94 knitting projects this year!

2015 knitting projects pie chart photo 2015 knitting projects pie chart_zpsqqitgrie.png

I kept five of these knitting projects for myself (not including Blythe stuff) and gifted 26 of them to others. The Blythe stuff was a mix of samples and things that have made their way into my Blythe wardrobe.

I also spent a lot of time sewing this year. I sort of slacked on Blythe sewing until the last quarter of the year, but I made up for it by making a bunch of bags and several quilts earlier on. Once we moved into Firefly Cottage, it was a lot easier for me to spend time sewing since I have so much more room now.

Here’s a sample of the Blythe sewing I did:

2015 Blythe sewing sampler photo Blythe Sewing 2015 collage_zps3vose6lc.jpg

I made 11 projects from Dog Under My Desk patterns (actually I did a few more! But I haven’t gotten around to taking photos yet, so I’m only counting these).

2015 DUMD projects photo DUMD 2015 projects collage_zpsulzmibhb.jpg

These patterns, for anyone who is considering making a bag, are THE BEST EVER. Seriously, I never felt like I could accomplish a professional look or a durable-enough-for-actual-use bag until I found Erin’s patterns. They are amazingly detailed and you really feel confident that your project is going to turn out to meet or even exceed your expectations. I use my Take-Off Tote every time I travel, as well as many of the Essential Wristlets. I also use my enlarged Date Night as my everyday purse and it’s still going strong after months of daily use.

Quilts were also a big part of my sewing this year.

To start things off, I made a challenge quilt for the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show. The theme was Spring Fling and my quilt won a gold star for Best Portrayal of Theme.

Best portrayal of Spring Fling theme:gold

SO EXCITING!! I won some maple syrup, which was of course amazing, but the feeling of having my work recognized was mega amazing.

The Figure and Flock quilt I made in 2014 was featured in that same show, as well as in the window of Grey’s Furniture during Art Walk Central in the summer.

Check it out! My piece, "Figure and Flock" is in #artwalkcentral15 at Gray's Furniture! Vote AWC24!

These were some of my first public showings of my art quilts, so it was really exciting for me. I hope to have more opportunities to share with the public in 2016! I haven’t started the challenge quilt for the Maple Syrup Festival yet, but I am mulling ideas already. The theme will be Fall Frolic, so it’ll be interesting to make it during a different season than it is focused on. As autumn is my favorite season, I’m sure it won’t be too challenging.

I’m still working on the very large art quilt I started in 2014. The length of time it’s taking is a lot more than I anticipated, but I did have to put it on hold for much of 2015 until I got a larger workspace, and it is a much larger art piece than I’ve done before. It’s in the home stretch, though, so I hope to have it finished soon!

I also made a couple of quilts for two Skatey-Eight babies who were born in 2015.

First off, this Back to the Future inspired quilt, made for Dan’s new daughter:

Back to the Future Quilt

And second, this Star Wars inspired quilt, made for Michael’s son:

Star Wars Quilt

I also had a pretty productive year in terms of AnneArchy biz!

2015 AnneArchy wrapup photo 2015 annearchy wrapup_zpspuxpn1wq.png

Wow, 31 patterns feels like a lot to have published in one year! I’m also thrilled to have had so many of my patterns faved on Ravelry. That is huge! I appreciate SO MUCH that folks are interested in knitting the patterns I write.

My most popular items this year were half Blythe, half Firefly.

2015 most popular AnneArchy patterns photo most popular annearchy patterns 2015 collage_zpsojgtb7vd.jpg

Last year at the beginning of January, I set a few goals:

  • Blog regularly (keeping this one)
  • Participate as a swapper in the Blythe Swap Group at least a few times (keeping this one again)
  • Find ways to be excellent to others on a regular basis
  • Write up and publish the remainder of the Blythe knitting patterns I have started working on
  • Complete my current art quilt project
  • Spend time with near- and far-flung friends more often

  • How did I do?

  • Blogging – did well (see above)
  • Swapping – did well! I participated in several swaps and am currently signed up for the next one
  • Being excellent – I would like to hope I did this
  • Writing up Blythe knitting patterns – I probably got about half of these done, which leaves me with more to do in 2016!
  • Complete art quilt – NOT DONE YET, but in the home stretch
  • Spend time with friends – somewhat? I am going to continue to strive for this one


    Sooooo, now that I’ve thought about all of these things from 2015, what am I looking forward to in 2016? I’m looking forward to a lot of things!

    Things I want to do and work on include:

    • complete the big WIP art quilt
    • complete the Fall Frolic challenge quilt by the April 23, 2016 deadline
    • learn how to do silk ribbon embroidery (I have the supplies and books in hand!)
    • compose a plan for Firefly Cottage gardens, and get a start on implementing it
    • continue writing and publishing knitting patterns
    • do whatever else strikes my fancy

    All in all, I’m excited for 2016! There are so many things to be made and plants to cultivate and people to enjoy life with. Here’s to kindness, happiness, productivity, and fulfillment in the new year!

    Sources-
    www.babyidesign.com

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  • prototyping a hat for Middie Blythe

    I haven’t made any hats in Middie Blythe size yet, so on xmas eve I decided to grab a bit of spare yarn and give it a shot.

    prototype bulky cable hat for Middie Blythe

    The size is right on – woop! (It’s always nice when gauge works out precisely as you expected.) I do think the cable is too wide, though, so I’ll make it smaller then next go. I’m also not 100% convinced that bulky yarn works on a Middie scale, but I’m on the fence. Maybe it works in the way that people are knitting accessories with huge yarn recently? What do you think?

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    New pattern: Rib Stripe Bulky Hat

    It’s maybe a little bit late for starting holiday gift projects (or maybe not! Could be a New Year’s gift, in which case there’s plenty of time!), but this pattern is a quick hat anytime you want to knit one!

    Rib Stripe Bulky Hat

    This hat is warm and cozy and in three sizes for adults (the small might work for some older kids, too).

    Rib Stripe Bulky Hat

    It has a fun, angular decrease on the crown that makes it so much more interesting than any ol’ hat.

    Rib Stripe Bulky Hat

    The monochrome stripes formed by the alternating purl and knit sections give the hat an elegant look that will suit just about anyone!

    Rib Stripe Bulky Hat

    This pattern (including three sizes and permission to sell finished objects) is available for you at Etsy, Ravelry, Craftsy, and LoveKnitting.

    Guess what! I have a brand new newsletter for AnneArchy-related stuff! We’ll have coupon codes, new product previews, and who knows what other fun things.

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    new pattern! Long Cable Cardigan for Blythe

    Perfect for the colder months or just for those who like to layer, here’s a new pattern for a long cable cardigan for Blythe.

    long cable cardigan for Blythe

    This cardi has cables down the front, sleeves, and back, and is just super cozy. The ribbed collar adds to that warm feeling.

    Dahlia in a long cable cardigan for Blythe

    If you’re unsure about doing cables, these are very simple and easy to do! You can even do them without using a cable needle if you prefer that technique (shout out to Joeli’s Kitchen for this excellent tutorial!).

    long cable cardigan for Blythe

    This is yet another sweater I’d totally knit for myself if I had more patience for longer projects. As it is, though, this Blythe sized cardigan knits up quite quickly and suits us short-attention-span folks very well.

    long cable cardigan for Blythe

    Find this pattern on the usual sites: Etsy, Ravelry, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

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    Blythe freebie! Ripple Afghan pattern

    It’s afghan season and I decided that my Blythes needed to be included.

    Ripple Afghan for Blythe

    Presenting the Ripple Afghan for Blythe! It’s a free pattern! Happy afghan season!

    Willow under a Ripple Afghan for Blythe

    I wanted this blanket to be a lap blanket size, though of course you could make it larger if you wanted to. I like a lap blanket for sitting around and I figure Blythes might also like the same.

    Willow under a Ripple Afghan for Blythe

    Isn’t it cozy? I kind of want to make a human sized one for myself, too, except I have too much holiday gift-knitting on my to-do list right now.

    Ripple Afghan for Blythe

    You can download this pattern TOTALLY FREE on Ravelry and Craftsy.

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