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“Hello Spoonflower World”

Spoonflower Giftwrap from Spatial H

Hello World” is a short hand term for projects techies create while working on a new platform. My new platform? Spoonflower.

The “Hello World” idea is similar to the Minimum Viable Product, “MVP“, for people that know something about marketing, where the learning process involved in getting the first item/program/project/design out into the world takes most of the work. Theory being that once you get this first one done, the rest will follow much easier. I mean, think of all the learning involved with any new thing you’ve tried to do. Procrastination can get the best of you, but giving yourself the one goal to push toward, the “Hello World”, the first product, the first class, etc, you have something achievable and worthwhile.

I started by drawing up a design in Adobe Illustrator. Spoonflower has a nice writeup to learn about loading their available colors into Adobe Illustrator so you know your image will print with colors you can have confidence in.

Getting the repeat right is the crux of the design process. A lot of good information is available on surface design repeats on YouTube.

Once I had my MVP design ready to go I uploaded it, ordered my proof, and waited by my mailbox.

When it arrived I opened up the package and inspected my new fabric, and oh no, a subtle problem: there was a light “aliased” outline on the right and bottom edges of the repeat. It may have been mistaken for wayward white thread if I had left it as it was, but it would bother me not to fix it.

Spoonflower support was very helpful, told me I could edit my file to remove the white outline, re-upload, and release it for publication.

A little Pixelmator, and boom, done.

"Plum Regal" Preview
“Plum Regal” Preview, available at Spoonflower

So now I’m literally in business.

Fixed and uploaded, my first #spoonflower design "plum regal" 🙂

A post shared by spatialh (@spatialh) on

Wish me luck in my new venture.

“Plum Regal” Spoonflower Giftwrap Preview. Their automated illustrations are wonderful.

Please leave a comment if you have any experience with Spoonflower, either sewing or designing with it. And please watch this space for more upcoming designs.

Nerd On,

Heather

 

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Initiate Mitts, a free knitting pattern for beginners

Buy some pretty yarn, wind it into a ball, buy some size 8 knitting needles, and maybe a darning needle for finishing

Then make your first knitting project.

The Initiate Mitts

A free knitting pattern.

>>> Click here to download <<<

Learn how to make these mitts at Craftwork Somerville’s Knitting 101.

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Craftwork, the Octopus. Free Knitting Pattern.

Hey, so my friend, Amy Lou, is opening an awesome DIY/Maker/Classroom/Art space in Somerville, MA called CRAFTWORK SOMERVILLE; and she asked me to teach Knitting 101!

Since new knitters like a project they can show off with their brand new skills, I created a new beginner pattern for you to try.

I would like to introduce you to Craftwork The Octopus.

Craftwork The Octopus

It’s a sweet little octopus to help people learn how to Cast On and Bind Off fearlessly. Knitters are always worried that they are working their stitches too tightly or loosely, and this project lets you do either and the results are that the tentacles simply curve and sway making your octopus look unique.

Practice, practice, practice.

And it’s a free knitting pattern for you to try.

>>> Click here to download <<<

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Introducing Shuffle

  a fun new pattern
♣   each row is decided by the draw of the cards
   every project is unique

Shuffle

The idea came from knitting the “Nuvem” shawl by Martina Behm. I wrote a blog post about it. I had two lovely skeins of yarn, one with twice as much yardage as the other. I racked my brain for a way to distribute the colors evenly without doing regularly spaced boring stripes, but I also didn’t want to run out of the pretty multi-colored yarn before I got to the ruffle edge. Pacing around my home (yes, I truly paced while thinking about this), I spotted two decks of cards on my shelves and, voila, perfect: an easy to carry, easy to randomize, easy to count way of controlling which colorway to knit the next row with.

I have a list of design ideas I am getting out into the world. My first labor of love was the police box shawl, but Hoo*bert is NOT necessarily an easy knit. So I really wanted to get a fun accessible pattern out there next. I used the two to one idea that I knit my Nuvem with, but I wanted to add different stitch patterns depending on the face value of the card. The test knitters all said they had fun knitting it wondering which card would come up next and how it would look next to the previous row. Shuffle can be done with solid colors, or you could knit it with a solid and variagated, similar shades or bright contrasts, it all works. My first shuffle was done with solid worsted weight from Harrisville Designs (they liked it).  My second Shuffle was knit from the two ends of my slowly changing color Loop handspun, and I kinda love it.

What will your Shuffle look like? 😊
Keeping knitting fun,

Heather

P.S. Join my email list to get a $2 discount code. Link is above.

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Hoo*bert

My mother told me that when I was a little kid, like 3 or 4 years old, my grandmother crocheted a hat for me.

This is a photo of my grandmother and me, maybe a bit before the incident, I don’t have a photo with the hat.

my grandmother and I

 

While looking through a magazine she saw a little kid wearing a granny square hat, so she made me one. She knit three granny squares, connected them in a row, added ties, and gave me the hat. The thing is, my mother says I wouldn’t wear the hat because my grandmother wasn’t finished with it yet. Evidently I recognized that there needed to be a forth square in the back, stitched to the first three to make a hat shape. My grandmother didn’t realize this, she just knew she had to crochet the ones she saw, she wasn’t thinking about the structure in the back. So, the poor woman went off and made the forth granny square, added it to the back of the hat, and then I wore it. I remember the hat, I remember I liked wearing it. I do not remember sending my granmother back to finish it.

Little kids are cute as a life saving device, I suspect.

This is the grandmother who taught me how to knit, btw. She taught me when I was about 5, having me knit a purple headband (it was the 70s) – 7 stitches across. It bored the bejeezus out of me, so much so that I never finished it. I’d pick it up every few years, having to add a few more rows since my head was bigger (figuratively and physically) every time.

It took until a Boston Ski and Sports Club trip to Italy in 2004 to get me into knitting. I understood it differently at that point. Instead of a headband shaped hole in space, it was the process of knitting that made the hobby interesting. Maybe by then I had lived a life of deadlines at my day job, and sitting down to quiet time to work with beautiful yarn was a reward in itself. (Italy had some gorgeous yarn.)

Since 2004 I have been knitting. And while spending my days working on a team designing computer chips, I would doodle knitwear designs and patterns in my notebook.

About three years ago I had an idea for a shawl design that I couldn’t believe no one had come up with before. The universe needed this, so I have been trying to make it happen ever since.

The idea? Police boxes in a tiled rhombus pattern (I, also, had to look up the name even though I’ve seen a tiled rhombus pattern a thousand times.)

photo and work done by Christina Creevy

I tried and tried to make this concept a reality when I was working, I just couldn’t get it done.

Fortunately, I lost my job last September.

Seriously, I had been planning, nesting, saving, and preparing for a lay off in my office since we were bought by the last company. So when the day came, I was the happiest person in the room. As I walked out I realized other people weren’t happy – at all, so I told them “Don’t worry, I’ll be sad later.” They laughed. They were happy for a minute, anyways; laughing at or with me? I wasn’t sure.

Turns out I lied. It didn’t happen, I wasn’t sad.

I was thrilled. I could finally get this idea on a .pdf and up on Ravelry.

I thrashed around a little bit. I was always driven by adrenalin at the day job, and now I was living with no time restrictions, no place restrictions. Possibility was my restriction. The hardest thing, I found, about leaving corporate America was time management and direction.

Three things helped me get this pattern done.

1. A craftsy class from Miriam Felton.

2. A time tracking tool for my smart phone to make sure I was managing my time wisely.

3. Kate Atherley’s ebook, Pattern Writing for Knit Designers

And, well, here it is. Published.

Hoo*bert, the shawl. Photo by Aram Comjean.

My mother told me the story about the hat when she knew I was publishing my pattern. I think she is proud of me for finally getting these ideas out there in the world now.

I do wish my grandmother knew.

-H

P.S. Special thanks to my test knitters, Christina and Wendy, for invaluable feedback.

P.P.S. I think everyone else on my chip design team got jobs, and I hope everyone is happy in their new situations.

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2014 May 31 Appalachian Spring

For the last masterworks concert of the 2013 – 2014 season the CSO is playing the lovely peaceful Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copeland.

Mountains. Forest. Quiet.

Maybe I have a photo that would suffice. Like something I took at Rockywold Deephaven Camps while attending the Squam Art Workshops.

2014May31AppSpring2

Yep, it was just like that. Peaceful.

2014May31AppSpr5.75x2jpg

This mini one for the newspaper.

Concert tonight! Please come.

 

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Sledding Cowl

March 2016: Free cowl pattern updated to include both worsted weight and bulky yarn!

 

The Sledding Cowl modeled in worsted weight by Amy Lou of Craftwork Somerville
The Sledding Cowl modeled in worsted weight by Amy Lou of Craftwork Somerville

 

 

2014:

My first design from 2010 made it to my new website at last. I created this pattern to wear while dog sledding on a winter trip to Quebec. My experience with winter sports has taught me not to wear scarves skiing or sledding, cuz you never know what might grab an end and a) make you lose your scarf or b) strangle you.

Trust me, a cowl is the way to go.

Sledding Cowl

Click here for the free Sledding Cowl PDF

 

 

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2013 CSO Pops on the Lawn

The last poster of the season. I’m always looking for a simple Americana vibe to this poster since we are creeping up on the 4th of July, …  some red, white, and blue. The music we play is good Pops schlock: show tunes, tv shows, a legit but short classical piece. This concert is about connecting with Cambridge, MA and giving back by having a grand old time out in Sennott Park with people that just happened to be walking by as much as making an effort to come out and support us.

2013 Pops Concert with the CSO
2013 Pops Concert with the CSO

Red, white, and blue, baby… summer of love. Come by Sunday June 23, 2013 at 3pm to hear us play. Let’s give Norfolk Street some love.

And don’t forget to bring a little kid, the conductor might just let them conduct.  (seriously, tho, she might) 😉

 

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CSO 2013 March and May Concert Posters

Still upcoming as of the date of this post, come see the CSO play our May concert, “Love on the Run“.
2013May18LoveRun
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 8:00 PM
Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge
 
 
Featuring Pianist Sergey Schepkin
Overture to La forza del destino – Giuseppe Verdi
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor – Sergei Rachmaninoff
Suites No. 1 and 2 from Romeo and Juliet – Sergei Prokofiev
 

After looking into the content of this music I needed to portray the idea of “star-crossed lovers”, while still leaving room for all the business these orchestra posters need. I didn’t want to go as specific as a classic painting of Romeo and Juliet or the standard dark images that go along with the Verdi. Nor did I want to draw a cartoon heart with feet trying to get away with something. In my adventure of learning how to do graphic design I like looking back at the older posters I’ve done to objectively decide which ones were most successful, specifically the March and June concerts of the 2010-2011 season. The plain white background, though the work is done on a computer, suggests, I think, that the poster was printed old skool, with limited layered colors. This is what I tried for here.

My rule is to fill the page with color and something intriguing to catch the eye. This previous poster was a bit more of a struggle to get to look appropriate with the amount of content I needed to portray. Not entirely unsuccessful as a poster.
CSO 2013 March 30 "A Bump in the Night"
CSO 2013 March 30 “A Bump in the Night”

Now if I can get that Shostokovich riff out of my head. A challenging piece to learn, very rewarding to play.

– H

 

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2013 January 20 CSO Family Concert

2013 January 20 CSO Family Concert

Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
Family Concert, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

program includes:

The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten

Violin Concerto in D major by Piotr Tchaikovsky

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas