Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hearts Aflutter & Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It

Tugging My Heart Strings started with an sketch of a heart.  Now, why do I doodle hearts?  Because I’m in LOVE.  Puppy love, that is!  I found out that the uncle of my beloved Great Dane and inspiration behind my children’s series, Cheeky, had a litter of puppies and I am on the top of the potential adoptive parent list.  Being as I’ve been Dane-less and dog-less since her passing in ’09, I was quickly moved to love and doodling hearts, as well as, spontaneous singing, dancing, smiling, and glowing. 
Doodling hearts

1 Day Old Puppies with their Beautiful Momma
You know how I said earlier that I never swatch until the end of a project? Well I broke my own rule, again.  I determined I wanted to do another relaxed ruffle.  But since I wasn’t so sure how it would turn out, I swatched.  
After writing up what I had just done, I slid the work off the needles to see how it would ruffle and look.
Ruffle swatch

Hearts swatch
Then set to work.  A long cast on and several hours of work later, I was ½ way through the scarf!

LONG cast on

Knit, knit, knit - fingers flying through the ball of yarn
Testing length
Testing the ruffle, again

During this long process, I took two short films for you to enjoy since I’m using a new technique to edge each heart and I could not find it described on the web.  I merged the two films into one 48 second clip, as required by blogger.  The short film will demonstrate: T2R and T2L – slide 2 sts to a cable needle, turn the cable needle 180 degrees in the indicated direction (R: right or L: left) and then slide the 2 sts back on to the working needle.  The closest thing on the web is the twisted st, but this twists the sts using a cable needle rather than knitting out of order to control which way the twist goes.  I apologize for the quality – since I lack 3 hands, I propped up the video camera on the ball of yarn.

I was just about to start the beading, but something held me back.  Something just didn’t look right.  The size of the ball of yarn looked way TOO small to finish the project!  
Not Enough Yarn Left To Finish!
So much for swatching!  I’m back to my stance against knitting a swatch.  It is one thing to rip out when you are just guessing, but a completely different story if you took the time to do the math, whether improperly or not! 

The second time through, throwing all caution and mathematics to the wind, I just guessed.  I had an idea where I went wrong and took back several rows.  Each ruffle would not be as large as I had originally intended, but the length of the scarf was still good, so I did not have to rip it out completely.  
Cringe and cry, I almost did

The experience wasn’t all bad, as a family of deer came around to encourage me to continue, and of course there was the thought of Puppy.  I can’t stay mad for long when in the contemplation of Dane paws, puppy breath, and softness.  
4 deer - 3 on the grass, 1 in the woods

Pesticide-free grass tastes good

2 1/2 week old Puppies!
So why is this blog post also called “Don’t Knock It ‘Til You Try It”?  Well that has to do with the beading.  I’ve never liked stringing beads, but actually have never even tried it!  (Yes, I do have some preconceived notions, but as a philosopher – who believes in reality & the world outside myself - I try to keep them to a minimum).  I thought this pattern would be the perfect test case for my preconceived notion on the better way to bead.  Though I love how the beads look in the pattern – they separate each heart nicely – stringing is still my least favorite way to add beads to a project.  I much prefer the control and exactness crocheting the beads provides.  So my new determination on the matter is to bead in a way that accents the project in the best possible light.  Crochet when there is an exact position I want the bead and string when I want a lacey, “c’est la vie” attitude for the project.
A final note for those of you patient enough to read my blog.  I was surprised the other day by being named the winner of a pattern by another new designer!  (Check her out at: Since this was the first time I had ever won anything and imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I decided to borrow her idea.  From all you who choose to respond to this blog post, I will randomly select five people to win one free copy of one of my patterns – each winner get to choose which pattern he or she wants.


  1. I'm responding mostly cause you just blow my mind. How on earth are we related??? You apparently got 99% of the brains our parents passed on! PS - Don't choose me for a pattern cause, as you know, I don't know how to knit! And even if I did, I still wouldn't have the patience to use one of your ultra-complex patterns! Besides, it's much more fun convincing you to do all the work and knit something for me!

  2. This is some amazing work and I love it! Inspires me to relearn knitting. Oh, this is Carol from Dane Yard.

  3. Your work is simply the best! The fact that you make your own patterns is just an amazing mind at work!! Love them all! And that u R a Dnae lover makes out even more special!! Keep up the great work!

    1. Congratulations Jazz03 on winning one of my patterns. You don't have an email contact listed, so please contact me to select your prize! Which pattern would you like to select?

      Fibonacci Squared Men's Scarf

      Pillows of Comfort Scarf & Cowl
      Relaxed Petal Ruffle Scarf
      Tugging My Heart Strings

      Black Willow Cowl & Scarf


  4. Very Nice, This is Valerie & Domino from the dane yard :o)

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