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It's Indie Designer Month!

I find it hard to believe that it's already May. Where does the time go?

Loveknitting.com, a cool site which features both amazing patterns and the drool-worthy yarn needed to make them, is dedicating the month of May to Indie Designers. I'm proud to say that my designs are a part of this special promotion and celebration of all the amazing indie designs out there. You also can't beat the 10% discount on yarn. ;)

You can check out my patterns on loveknitting.com by clicking the image below. They also have a sister site at lovecrochet.com if you're looking exclusively for crochet patterns, even though both crochet and knitting patterns can be found over at loveknitting.com.

Enjoy! :)

LoveKnitting Independent Designers

Introducing: Crosstown Cowl

It's been a while since I've published a knitting pattern. I was actually going to hold off on this one until late Summer or early Fall but since the weather here in the Northeast US still seems to have one foot firmly planted in Winter, I figured why wait. Besides, it can certainly be made from a lighter yarn fiber such as cotton for when the weather truly warms up.

The Crosstown Cowl is a chunky striped, buttoned and textured cowl that can be worn in a variety of different ways. I made the one below from working two strands of Cascade 220 Worsted weight yarn together. I love the marbled effect that emerged. :) You can also of course just use one strand of a chunky or bulky weight yarn if you prefer.

It can be worn buttoned...

Or all swirled up

The pattern is available for purchase and download on Ravelry here. Happy knitting! :)

Just Checking In... It's Been Awhile

Well, time sure does fly. It's already practically April and it's been a while since I've posted anything new on the blog. My life lately has become a whirlwind of making finished accessories and other administrative duties, mainly Etsy shop tweaking (I now have two but more about that later) and pattern detail importing etc. So, perhaps unfortunately, writing any new patterns has sort of taken back seat for the time being. That's not to say I don't have a ton of ideas stewing around the old noggin though. I just need to put them down on paper and this will happen very soon. ;)

I will also be unveiling a couple of designs later on in the season worked in some amazing hand dyed yarns and reveal the incredible companies who make them and where they can be purchased in future posts.

The beginning of the year hasn't been a complete wall of non-stop work though and it's been frustrating since I can be a bit of a workaholic. "There's always something more to do" is my mantra and I'm often still up at 2 AM trying to do it. There have been times where I was sidelined by excruciating migraines for days on end and other wonderful Celiac related symptoms. To this day I still marvel at how one little protein can wreak so much havoc on the body and basically steal your quality of life. I just thank goodness I finally discovered the culprit. I'm happy to report that I'm doing much better though and am well on my way to recovery. :) I just can never, and I mean NEVER have even a crumb of gluten ever again without suffering the consequences. I can't even breathe it in because my throat will start to close up. Ick.

Why am I revealing this? I feel it's important to do so if it will help anyone out there experiencing similar problems thus saving them from years of discomfort. I had been feeling ill on and off for years until it finally reached critical mass. Apparently, gluten is often a trigger for certain autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which I have. I would constantly need to increase my dosage of Synthroid (thyroid hormone replacement) almost on a monthly basis due to the fact that my body was continuing to launch an attack on my thyroid. As soon as the gluten was elminated, the damage was halted. Amazing. While I wish I would have known about my gluten-related problem about a decade ago I'm grateful that I do at all and I'd be happy to help anyone out who needs advice etc. relating to Celiac and gluten sensitivity. If you notice, my Twitter account is a healthy mix of yarn industry related and gluten free companies anyway. The rest of my account deals with cats. :) And now back to some more uplifting fiber arts related news, not that kitties aren't of course...

As promised, here are the two Etsy shops I run:

ClocheCraze where I sell finished cloche hats and other retro-inspired accessories, and KnitteryDesigns where I sell Acts of Knittery patterns. The latter is still extremely new and I still have a bunch more patterns to add.

I'm also happy to report that our patterns can now be purchased through LoveKnitting.com. They can be found in the Independent Designers section if you do a search for either 'Acts of Knittery' or 'Melissa Martinez.'

Happy Spring & happy knitting and crocheting! :)