Friday, August 19, 2011

A Little Bit of Catch-Up...

I'm ba-ack!  Did you miss me?  I missed you!

Life sometimes gets in the way of pursuing a passion.  And then, sometimes pursuing your passion puts other aspects of life on the back burner.

It's been over 6 months since my last post, and I'm SO ready to get back in the saddle!  Between kids, school and church events, family visits, illnesses, funerals, new babies, marriage, home repairs, starting a new business, laundry, and all-around nonstop one-thing-after-another, I've been fortunate to get ANY knitting done at all! 

The last couple of months have been a particularly creative time for me.  Friends' and family's life events have inspired me to design for them to comfort in times of loss and celebrate with them in times of joy.

A family member miscarried her baby this summer. Her loss hurt a lot. I felt the need to comfort her in some tangible way.  The following series of photos document the progress of my efforts.  Each and every time I picked up my knitting, I prayed that God would lend her peace and remind her that she would see her precious little boy again one day.  "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139)

Many friends had successful pregnancies, however.  I have a tradition of gifting hand-knit booties to new babies.  This time, I wanted to knit them seamlessly, so I set out to re-design an existing pattern.  The result looks a bit like this:

The pattern for these will be posted at Ravelry shortly.  Look for the Seamless Stay-Put Booties.

I will also be writing up the pattern for the prayer shawl and asking for test-knitters in the coming weeks.  If you'd like to test-knit for me, keep your eyes peeled at the Free Pattern Testers group, also at Ravelry.  My blog readers will get first notice of the test.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Friday, February 4, 2011

So, who am I?

My name is Regina Fulton, and I'm a knitter.  Well, slightly more than just a mere knitter.  I design.  When I get the urge to knit something, I roil it over and over in my mind until I get a clear image.  I picture the color, the texture, the feel, the fiber, the fit, the recipient -- every aspect I can think of.  Most times, I start with the yarn and wait for it to "tell" me what it wants to become.  In the end, once a clear image comes to mind, I pull out needles and start swatching.  And swatching.  And swatching!  I swatch until the drape and stitch pattern are exactly what I'm looking for.  Sometimes the swatching process lasts for weeks.  In knitwear design, swatching is an EXTREMELY crucial step.  Get this step right, and the rest of the project goes SO much more smoothly.

Eventually comes the pencil, ruler, calculator, and graph paper.  Figuring the numbers is sometimes annoying and painstaking, but in the end must be done.

Then I cast on.  I knit, I frog; I knit some more, and then I frog some more.  Rip-it, rip-it, rip-it!  Mistakes happen to me a lot.  Sometimes I figure numbers wrong in the calculation step, and I have to go back and re-figure them.  Sometimes I just get mindless and skip a step or accidentally drop a stitch.  I'm human, just like everybody else.  The difference is that I keep that clear final image of my project continually in mind and steadily struggle on toward it.

Sometimes my project ends up looking exactly how I pictured, but more often than not it offers surprises I hadn't planned for.  I learn something new with each and every design.  And I carry each lesson into every subsequent project, incorporating it as necessary to get a more desirable result the next time.
Knitwear design is thoroughly exhilarating and satisfying for me.  It feeds so many aspects of my being.  I do not know what kind of person I would be without it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome to the dawn of a new knitting age!

It is the beginning of a new era.

Knitting is a centuries-old craft practiced throughout the ages to warm the body and soothe the soul.  It has been used worldwide in innumerable fiber media and with unbound creativity and applied practicality.  And it continues to evolve to meet the needs of those who love it so.

Its popularity waxed and waned over the years.  For a time, knitting was viewed as "matronly" and "old-fashioned."  However, with the advent of the internet and online social networking, the masses are rediscovering the joys of this under-appreciated art.  "Old" patterns are dug up and shared; afghans, sweaters, and yarns buried in grandmothers' attics are dusted off and admired under the glow of computer monitors and digital flash photography.  And creative juices begin to flow as a new generation of crafters and designers apply the old to create something entirely new.

Welcome to the digital knitting age!  Join me on this journey of re-discovery as we plough new fields in this vast land of opportunity called Knitwear Design.  Help me plant some new seeds, that the next generation may continue to water it and reap the harvest.  Eat up, my friends!