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I love argyle!

It’s true, I do. So when my husbeast asked me to make him a vest and he chose a pattern with intarsia argyle I was very pleased. I may have prompted him in that direction, but it was totally his choice. Really.

Fast forward through some very frustrating knitting (mostly because of my hatred/lack of skill with purling) and I knitted his vest in the round and duplicate-stitched the argyle on. Of course I couldn’t leave it with just plain argyle. I rewrote the entire argyle chart to suit my own tastes and added a dragon in just for fun. Husbeast loves it!

Fast forward a little further and the lovely Julia Stanfield asked me it I’d create an argyle chart for her newest design, Greyson. Of course! I ended up creating a set of large and small argyles, with charts to help you place them vertically and horizontally, and even a little heart feature to girly it up a notch. Here are some awesome examples from Julia’s testers and mine:

Julia’s Greyson is a lovely raglan v-neck sweater, shown above in the white, blue and lower grey photos. Greyson is written in 14 sizes and three yarn weights! My Argyle is a perfect classic accompaniment to this classic sweater.

The Watermellish Argyle is a set of diamonds with a heart which can also be included anywhere in a sequence. Unusually for me, there is no chain-stitch edging in this design. The diagonal lines are created with a couched stitch and a photo-tutorial for this technique is included with the charts. With the small and large designs, single or triple (or more), horizontal or vertical layout, there is an Argyle which will fit any knitted garment.

There are two ways to get your hands on a copy of an Argyle chart:

Julia sells her Greyson pattern on Ravelry and it includes a copy of the large Argyle set.

I have the small and large Argyle sets for sale together here on my Classic page.

Thank you so much to my delightful testers: Shannon, Shelley, Sam, Nikki and Julie. Thanks also to Julia for the opportunity to work with you on another fun project.

Happy embellishing,

Tanja.

Dragons and Unicorns

If you’ve been reading my posts on Rav you’ll know that I’ve been without internet since some time in November when we moved here. Yep, we’re finally in the new house. It’s bliss! Regardless of the lack of bathroom or laundry, although I do now have a shower, it is fabulous to live rurally.

I have put the Dragons and Unicorns up for sale now! Enjoy!

These are two of the designs, kindly tested by Miss Shelley and Skyflame.

More squirrels!

Not real squirrels, of course, the supersecret type of squirrel.

I’m very excited to show you the collaboration I’ve been working on with Julia Stanfield (j-j on Rav). Julia is the talented designing mind behind the Little Rascals e-book. When she approached me to add some embellishment charts to her re-vamped e-book, how could I resist?

I haven’t knitted these patterns often since my sons have decided that knitted tops shall not be worn by them, but I’ve really enjoyed knitting those that I have and it’s very popular on Rav. Some folk have knitted it a dozen or more times.

Julia and I worked together to create some pretty fun designs for her e-book: a versatile caterpillar, a small and large bulldozer, and a daisy with ladybugs. These designs are exclusive to this pattern and will only ever be accessible by owning a copy of the Little Rascals e-book.

Julia worked with another Raveller, Christine (Prairiedog) to create this mini-hotshot pattern which is also a new extra in the e-book. I had lots of fun test knitting it so I could test my own charts. Other extras include a cabled raglan design, a number of pocket options and various other alternatives to personalise your FO.

And just for the sake of completeness, I need to show you the very first Little Rascal I knitted more than one year ago. At the start of this year I added the embellishment in the hopes that it would entice one of my sons to wear it since they’re both steam-train-mad. No such luck, but I’ll keep hoping.

This pattern is just a perfect canvas for embellishing, isn’t it.

Many special thanks to Julia for inviting me to be a part of this. And a giant heartfelt thanks to my supersecretsquirrels who keep me sane and give me a kick when I’m running out of puff. I really appreciate the time you give to test my rusty charts.

Cottage Licences

I posted this to my Rav group 6 months ago, and just realised I haven’t posted it here yet. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I thought it would be useful to do a general FAQ-type post about cottage licences here.

I have received numerous requests from knitters asking about my cottage licence terms and costs, but have never had a reasonable reply to give. It was my intention to arrange licences at the start, but after almost a year of considered internal debate about the numerous pros and cons of such arrangements I have decided to offer all my charts licence-free.

Licence-free! Why?
I have a number of reasons for this, so if you’re interested do PM me or post a question here, but I’m already running the risk of this post becoming a teal dear, so I won’t bore you all with my inner ramblings.

How will this work?
Well, you can purchase my designs, or use the free ones, and put them on your garments for sale, to donate, or whatever you like. Simple.

As a courtesy it would be appreciated for sellers to have a brief line in their sale listing (or swing tag, if not sold online) describing the embelishment as being a Watermellish design or including a link to the website.

Are there any restrictions?
My designs are my own work. Please do not sell copies of my designs or pass off my work as your own.

What about the restriction written on the charts?
All charts in future will say:

Watermellish charts are offered licence-free. This means you are free to sell items made with Watermellish embellishments on them. As a courtesy it would be appreciated for you to credit Watermellish with the design in your sale listing. Please do not sell the charts or claim the designs to be your own. Please support independent designers by respecting their work and their rights.

And this will also apply to charts already sold/downloaded.

Why the post?
I am hoping to get through the numerous PM and emails I have accumulated asking me about cottage licences, so I will point folks to this and hope that others who are interested will find this information useful also.

Well, I hope that has answered some questions. :)
Happy embellishing!

I really need to get around to  changing all the wording on my charts…

Supersecretsquirrels

All seems quiet, but things are not always as they seem.

I have been busily working on a few major projects while things have been drifting along at snail’s pace on the surface. Two of the projects are still in the supersecretsquirrel stages of testing, while the other has been released.


I had the pleasure of working with the delightful Hannah of Red Riding Hood Yarns in NZ to design some charts for the August installment of her Winter Yarn Club. The theme she set me was ‘Unicorns and Dragons’. I had a great deal of fun designing some yarny creatures for her club, the dragons being some of the most complex charts I’ve done for others to use.

This is my favourite one of the set. You can see the rest of the set on my Rav project page.

Hannah dyed hanks of her lovely NZ wool for each month, and it was a pleasure to recieve the ‘boy’ parcels each month, complete with little happy extras like lollies, stitch markers and buttons (by Benji!). There are rumours abounding that there will be another RRHY club coming soon. I hope it’s not until next year. I really need to knit down some stash to make room for more of these generous portions of woolley goodness. Thank you Hannah, for inviting me to be part of this fun adventure!

These mythical creatures will be available for sale here in March 2012, as Hannah is kindly only holding onto her exclusivity for 6 months.

More supersecretsquirrel releases coming soon…


I have updated the Tutorials page with links to all the current tutes. The latest tutorial is called Smooth Edges.


A little note about comments on this blog.

My return from blogging hiatus was celebrated by spending a week deleting 4,500 comments from moderation. I don’t know if any legitimate comments were left because I simply couldn’t read through that many comments. Instead I wiped them all, 20 at a time, with 675 clicks of my mouse. Yes, I did the maths. According to the purveyors of these dodgy products my blog is of incredible quality, I write like a professional, and my blog is being shared as a fabulous resource. I’m not convinced any of them have any idea what I write about though, so they had to go. ;)

I have set my comments to only allowing logged in wordpress users to submit comments. If I manage to figure out how to make it more open without a repeat of this time-wasting exercise of deleting mammoth amounts of spam I will. Until then you can contact me via email or on Rav. Sorry for the inconvenience. And if you have written a legitimate comment in the last few months, I’m sorry, I haven’t seen it. Please email me or PM me on Rav.

Fester the Glog

After such a long hiatus, this is not the post I was expecting to write first up. But time is of the essence! So here we are…

For those who know the story of Fester the Glog, you’ll understand my hesitation in writing the story. For those who don’t know the story… where have you been? I’ll try to summarise the epicness of Fester’s tale. Make sure you read to the end (or skip to it) to find out why this tale is being retold. It’s a brilliant reason!

Eight years ago a goat came to his tragic demise in the bottom of a well (really, it’s a big, 100 year old underground brick water tank). We don’t know how he fell in, except that there was no lid on the well, and goats like to climb. 2 + 2 = tragedy.

More recently, this well came into the ownership of a certain nameless knitter. This knitter’s husband looked into the well and saw the body of the goat lying in the bottom of the empty well. The knitter called on her wonderful Ravelry community and asked the complicated question: “How to get a goat carcass out of my well?” Pandemonium and hilarity ensued as many useful suggestions were followed to no avail. Many completely useless suggestions (think coke and mentos, explosives, and piranhas) were also put forward in the name of entertainment. Photos of the carcass were demanded and supplied. Poetry, artwork, musicals and a tea cosy (!!!) were created in memory of the goat who took on the name Fester(ina) Tutengoatmen the Bloated. The tale took on a life of its own as the story drew crowds of morbid onlookers. Fester even got his own hashtag so that the twits of the group could try to coerce such brains as Mythbusters to come to the problem-solving party.

In the end the husband of the aforementioned nameless knitter used one of the sensible suggestions to drag Fester to the surface for proper decompostion via grappling hooks. Shorty thereafter, the knitter had the embarrassing task of informing the group that Fester was actually a . . . log! Oh, the shame!

Henceforth, Fester has been known as a Glog.

In amongst all this craziness one lone knitter saw potential good in all this silliness. She began an Oxfam fundraiser in Fester’s memory, noting that while a goat in a well is amusing for us, for others in less fortunate circumstances a goat in a well is a life-threatening problem. The Oxfam fundraiser is for a Watsan water quality testing kit. The kit is priced at $3000. Thus far, the generosity of Ravellers has seen just over $2000 raised in memory of Fester. I’ve seen that another awesome Raveller plans to spend up big and take out the remainder of the fundraiser’s target in approximately one week. The challenge has been set to limit her spending!

With this in mind, my injury-enforced hiatus comes to an end with the release of my Fester the Glog embellishment design (available on the Free page) and a call out to all and sundry to contribute a little to this worthy cause. The chart is free and comes with a request to consider a donation to Oxfam even after this fundraiser is completed.

And if anyone is concerned – the well now has a locked, reinforced, very safe lid securely attached. No more goats will be that adventurous again.

Please donate!

Delay

Sadly, I need to beg forgiveness for the impending tardiness of the promised February release of the Gnome Garden chart set.

I have a back injury and the pain is making it impossible for me to knit to gauge, let alone think creatively or embellish freely. I was hoping it would be better by now but it is getting worse.

I hope it won’t be delayed too long, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s up.
Thanks for understanding.

What a month!

The embellish-a-long has now finished. It was brilliant! I had a wonderful time watching embellishments turning up each day, created by crafters who were trying it for the first time or who were having fun playing with some new charts.

Speaking of new charts, the EAL special charts are now available in the Free section. There is a little biplane, a sweet set of strawberries, and a butterfly. Enjoy!

Here is a little selection of the amazing embellishments created by the particiapnts:

Aren’t they stunning! The little goat you see there is a chart called ‘Fester the Glog’ which has a hilarious (but mortifying) backstory and is currently finishing up its testing rounds. He’ll soon be added to the free charts also.

You can see all of the images and read all the chatter in the Rav thread. The winners received a choice between a Watermellish gift voucher or an advance copy of the Gnome Garden set being released this month.

In other news, the Nappycino Blank Canvas competition has been extended until the 11th of February, so if you’re an NC member there is still time to submit an entry.

Photo credits:

Schmetterling by Miss-Shelley

Fester by Skyflame

Blue baby outfit by Woolly-de-Rosie

Strawberry neborn set by Apillips911

Zoomy jumpsuit by Ssummerer

Happy New Year!

The new year has started in top gear for me.

I am hosting an EAL – embellish-a-long – for the Budding Designers Downunder group on Ravelry. Each month a designer or two are chosen to host an “a-long” for the rest of us to have a month of daily help and support from the designer herself. This month I am one of those designers. So far there are almost 40 enthusiastic knitters with darning needles at the ready. Some are experienced, and others are using the opportunity to learn the technique for the first time. They have all sorts of embellishments planned, and some are also knitting up little newborn garments to use as canvases. There are two prizes on offer in this EAL!

I am about to release a set of strawberries for the EAL participants only for January. The set will be available in February on this website.

I am also one of the sponsors of Nappycino’s Blank Canvas Competition. It is open to any NC member with any craft or skill to transform a “blank canvas” into something wonderful. If you’re an NC member do go and join in the fun, whether your “blank canvas” is a knitted garment or a scrapbook page or anything else which draws your interest. I am offering a gift voucher as one of the prizes.

I’m pleased to tell you about another tutorial I have finally completed. The Little Details Tutorials demonstrates the creation of a star embellishment from start to finish. In that process it explains how to embellish “leggy” shapes, how to weave in ends, and how to create nice sharp corners on pointy shapes. I trust it will be helpful to you.

Happy embellishing!

Tea for One - a new free set

Things have been slow around here. Very busy and very slow. And it’s about to get a whole lot slower, due to the Watermellish family purchasing a little piece of bliss – a few acres of land in the middle of nowhere with a creek running behind it and nothing but sheep and cows and pretty eucalypts as far as the eye can see. It will take a while to turn the run-down house into a home, but once we’re done we’ll be a contented family living our dream.

The man and the big boy exploring the creek behind our new home.

And of course, when life slows down, it is best to pick up some knitting and a cuppa and slow right down with it. So here is a new free set for you to enjoy – Tea for One.

It combines the lovely teapot and mug, which Shannon embellished onto the dress above, with a teabag I embellished onto a teabag cozy for a swap.

Enjoy!

(Shannon’s dress above – the red pretty below the logo – is one of her recent patterns, Versa).

Thanks Kathryn, Julie and Shannon for your testing prowess. xx