6 Bits, collaborations

You have a story. Meet others that do too!

6 Bits Storybooks

You deserve to be inspired and enriched by stories and patterns as incredible as your own

{written in words, photos, yarns and friendships}

It has been quite the long journey putting all the pieces together, and now I am excited to offer you something to encourage, teach and delight you!

6 Bits Storybooks

Each themed collection is a collaborative endeavor with 6 unique knitting patterns crafted with your love of knitting and community in mind.

These quarterly publications from 6 Bits are opportunities for you to see beautiful places, discover interesting yarns, create among open-hearted teachers while you develop your talents.

You will feel the collaborative spirit of ohana on every page. In every possible way 6 Bits strives to bring you a publication that is as unique as you are!  Contributors are invited to share, create, develop; something I feel you will sincerely appreciate. Together we vision cast and laugh, we question and re-work, we cultivate friendships in the background of each and every collection.

And then we share everything with you!

Each 6 Bits Storybook will be available as limited time collections. Beautiful knits, educational and enriching articles, helpful substitution suggestions and ideas are included in every issue and delivered to your inbox so you can easily rewrite your knitting narrative!  You can subscribe right now for great savings!

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Not sure what to expect?

Your subscription includes:

      • 4 storybook issues: Unearth in October, Dwell in January, Reflect in April and Return in July each with 6 assorted patterns
      •  4 collection exclusive patterns that will not release as individual patterns
      • Articles, stories and encouragement from inspirational artisans
      • Sourcing suggestions featured in every issue for yarns in the USA/North America as well as abroad. You will learn what can work for you in your corner of the world!
      • Storybook delivered to your inbox with a Ravelry code to add to your library
      • $46  for the year of 4 storybooks–less than $2 per pattern and $27 less than buying each collection as they release!

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Discover intentionally. Recapture moments of importance. Learn more than just stitches.

You and your knitting are worth deeper connections.

In days ahead I look forward to introducing you to key members of the team!

For now I am just so stoked to share this with you! It has been a long time coming and lots of work, but if you have enjoyed the style and vibe of 6 Bits: Wander you are going to love what lies ahead!

Aloha,

Mel

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collaborations, patterns

Me, just somewhere else

When the president of Quince and Co. emailed me with an invitation to share on their blog I was excited, and humbled, then super stoked and filled with all sorts of ideas!

I would be delighted to have you read what I thought was most important.

Once you give it a read, share your thoughts on the Quince and Co. blog! Your thoughts are valuable and make a difference to those who read them! (and if you share a comment before 10 pm EST on Wednesday 17 June you may want to check back here on Thursday the 18th…just saying’)

Much Aloha,

Mel

Now pop over to their blog via any of those highlighted links above!

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collaborations, patterns, video

My Joy!

Today Quince & Co. released their Scarves, etc 4 book.

I have a pattern in it.

P O M A I K A ‘ I

There is so much happiness and joy in this moment.

Kauai inspired. Kauai represented. Kauai stitched in Quince & Co. yarn.

My joy is so wonderful.

May this start your morning off with a joy that nature gives best.

En-joy the Aloha!

{And after you watch, visit the Quince & Co shoppe here to see more!}

My best Aloha will always be towards you,

Mel

PS. See something you NEED to knit? HEAD HERE and enjoy!

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collaborations, fun, Uncategorized

Halfway In…And just blooming!

If you are anything like me, you had a moment today where you said: TODAY IS THE 14th?!

WHAAAAT?

<<And for those of you I just caught off guard with that big reveal: I am so sorry for not breaking the news more gently!>>

The New Year is a couple of weeks old! Now is generally the time I…ahem…re-adjust certain “life ideas”– I just can’t bring myself to “resolution”….I prefer to look at life as brainstorming, doodling, attempting…re-attempting… I am just like this Christmas Cactus that finally bloomed today, a few weeks after the holidays wrapped up!

But You Dear Reader are probably all squared away! And that is why I am glad we are friends…we are different! Thank goodness we have our love of knitting and fiber in common!

On that note I wanted to share a wee collection of some spinning I did over the holidays…and one I did earlier as a gift (which I was able to keep a surprise for the recipient!)

 

I delightedly received a breathtaking artistic skein in a swap! It is pictured below with art created by my eldest daughter for me as a Christmas gift.

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Notice the handspun had flowers, sequins, GREY all swirled together in this skein to make life brighter! I love it!

L O V E  L O V E  L O V E it!

I knit a lot of big projects; sweaters usually occupy a lot of my time. I have found that spinning and small quick knits keep me happy in the short-term so that I do not feel pressured to just blast through the bigger knit simply for the sake of having something done. I have frequently been guilty of that “I need to finish this, so I am just going to pretend that purl stitch isn’t really in the wrong spot…”  OR “I just want something ANYTHING done, so I am going to turn these knee socks in to ankle skimmers!” <<<—-That last statement is an honest to goodness confession and explains why my legs are cold right now!

So I like spinning the singles! I feel productive. I don’t rush to ply them straightaway because some wise spinners told me those singles need time to chill out, and I am cool with that.

Don’t spin? Smaller projects are so satisfying! It seems like you just start them and BOOM! you have a bit of satisfying knitted pizzaz to wear, share or turn heads 😉

And boy oh boy! do I have some fun planned with small kine knitting!

Yes, yes I do!

I will be sharing all about that Friday right here!

{Want a small kine peek? Use the hashtag #SmallKineKnitsWithMel on Instagram to see little bits and hopefully include your own!!}

Peace ∞ Love ∞ Happiknits,

Mel

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collaborations, Uncategorized

Dinna Fash…

If you read the title and thought “What in the world Mel?!” Don’t worry…or dinna fash! 

Somehow, probably because I live under a rock, or maybe because I am simply un-hip, I missed this book that just came out— and by “just came out” I mean like 1991.

O U T L A N D E R .

For those of you in the “You are just NOW discovering this?!” eye rolling camp… in my defense, I generally read books that are older than the country in which I live.

Either that or they are children’s books or non-fiction.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is neither of those things.

So it took time before I found it. But then I found it.

Those of you in the “Not THAT book!” eye rolling camp…hang on!

I am not going to give you a book report right this moment, but I am going to share a quick word about the tv series BECAUSE OF THE KNITWEAR!

Holy JAMMF*! THE KNITWEAR!

These images are swiped right off the intewebz when you google Outlander Series Knitwear:

Chunky yarn. Garter stitch. Jamie. Deep dark brrrrroooooowwwwnnnns! Jamie. Wool. Texture. Jamie. Kilts. Plaid. Berets. And then there is Jamie… I did mention him, right?

77688952c5f9df1c6496426cb97dd6b5.jpg^^^^JAMMF. Right there^^^^

(you are welcome)

So, where were we?

Ahh yes!

We were wrapping ourselves in beautiful kilts from Scotland!

Or dreaming about men in kilts anyway…

All kidding aside, there is an entire collection of Outlander fans who tweet, blog and gather together to discuss and enjoy their love for the Outlander series! Sounds a little like the knitting community to me.

I dug deeper and discovered some really interesting things: Outlander fans have loads in common with knitters!

  1. I know not a soul reading this blog will find point number one that odd at all: PODCASTS! One that has a solid foundation of devoted viewers is My Outlander Purgatory, MOP for short.
  2. A variety of bloggers love to share all about the books series, the tv actors and the author. Musings of a Blithe Spirit is one I enjoy. And hey ya’ll, she is interested in knitting!
  3. Just like Ryan Gosling and the Hey Girl knitting fun,Outlander fans have awesome memes!
  4. The fans love all the knitwear in the tv series!
  5. They have An Outlandish Clan Kit for Knitters (kinda like a 3 month club that you don’t have to wait each month for) with a project bag made in Scotland from the Ancient Weathered Fraser Tartan, 2 speciality yarn colourways inspired by this tartan, another yarn colour inspired by the story’s heroine, 3 awesome patterns for these specialty yarns, a kilt pin…. Oh wait! That club hasn’t released yet…

It is open for pre-orders on 21 November at 9 pm Scottish Highland time…

And if you are too excited to wait for more details have a listen to the Caithness Craft Collective podcast  and see if you hear any hints! Or look for the Outlandish Clan Kit info page to go live! You will see it on the main page here when it does!

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Now, be a lovely lass (or laddie!) and share this post with others anywhere you find yourself! Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…feel free to reblog it too! It’ll make me as happy as an Outlander fan in April 2015! Ya ken?

 

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collaborations, helps, patterns

Changing Yarn for A Cardigan

Do you love changing yarns? Do you sometimes nail it and other times grumble? Let’s chat for a minute! Give me 10 minutes and your full attention and I may be able to help! 

Changing yarn happens for lots of reasons. The original yarn may no longer be available. Perhaps it is difficult to source. The fiber content may not suit you. You may have a stash that rivals the Local Yarn Shoppe’s inventory!

Whatever the reason substituting yarn happens all the time! I want to share how I swap yarn successfully. To frame that last statement in the best way, Boy! Have I learned LOADS from my mistakes! I want to share swapping yarns specifically with Ikaika, my newest pattern to release. It is available now as a single pattern purchase as well as for free when you purchase the kit from Infinite Twist.

  1. Understand the Original Yarn
    • What properties does the intended yarn showcase? Fiber content? Drape? Incredible stitch definition?
    • Are there things that make this specific yarn requirement unique? New on trend colour? New yarn components for easy care or climate control? Yarns are always changing and companies striving to improve them, so dig a bit and see if this yarn has something interesting to unearth!

Below is an excerpt from Cate’s quick post on virtues of holding the yarn double, which hit on some great points I considered with Ikaika and the heart of point number one. Start reading and then click the link to finish the rest of the post.

“If you’re wondering why a sane knitter would choose to double the amount of yardage they’re using on a project, there are a number of good reasons. Holding the yarns this way changes the resulting knitted fabric (for the better, in my opinion), blends colors, and speeds up your project. It’s also a great way to test-drive a fine yarn with reduced commitment.”  HEAD HERE FOR THE REST OF CATE’S INSIGHT!

So now you can see a few reasons Helix held double for me worked. I did try it held single…smaller needles, more knitting, longer time commitment…The overall feel of this sweater was supposed to be a satisfying fun knit that you could start one week and hopefully wear the following weekend!

So for this experiment I asked one of my test knitters to knit Ikaika for you, You the knitter who may want to substitute yarn from stash! I really dug in to my available stash and found some of my coveted ByAnnieClaire yarn in the colour that suited Michelle and we worked together on the substitution.

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Here is a bit about the yarn straight from ByAnnieClaire’s site :

Farm : Full Belly Farm, CA.
Fiber : 100% organic wool, 2ply
Yarn : Fully Belly Feel Good : Worsted weight : 250 yds : 4 oz
Naturally dyed using : Scotch Broom

“A mix of organically raised Rambouillet, Lincoln, Suffolk, and Merino sheep wander the pastures of Full Belly Farm. Whilst they are known more so for their wonderful array of fruits and vegetables, Full Belly Farm raise their sheep to help maintain the pastures and grasses as well as providing the fleeces which produce an amazingly real yarn. The yarn is washed and spun at Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont where care is taken that all processes are done organically.

I do not use plant extracts, I harvest the plant and steep it, and so each dye lot can be quite different. Please make sure that you purchase enough for your project!
I came to my organic, naturally dyed yarns out of the desire to become more connected with the yarn I take so much time knitting with, and hope to make this connection available for others too.”

I had LOVED working with Helix and have used it enough to know its properties. This yarn was a great match based on what interaction I had with both before…which brings me to step two.

2. If possible, substitute a yarn you have some knowledge of already.

I had been a vegan for quite some time but embraced a vegetarian lifestyle when marrying. (I promise this has EVERYTHING to do with the last point!) Our first Thanksgiving Dinner about 20 years ago was material for a sitcom. I was in charge of the turkey…My Man had 86ed the idea of a Tofurkey…so off I went.

This was my first Thanksgiving dinner as hostess (Yup! Over the river and through the subdivision to Mel’s house), my first as a wife, my first cooking meat! There were a few other dishes I was going to try out as firsts for this dinner. Rutabaga was the only unaltered, unadjusted dish I was making. It turned out perfect and was such a source of calm in a crazy storm!

To wrap up my disastrous dinner in a short take away nugget: When cooking a turkey, do not add citrus and apples and onions in to the cavity of the poor bird unless you remove whatever stupid things the manufactures placed in first. Take away nugget two: If you usually eat turkey, don’t put the girl who never will in charge of the centerpiece of the meal unsupervised. Yeah, I will tell you the whole story another time…

But the BIG PICTURE from that: Don’t do everything new all at once. Unfamiliar pattern knit in unfamiliar yarn that you want to substituting more unfamiliar yarn for may just add to confusion!

So, I give you a possible solution and bullet number 3:

3. Learn from someone who has done it before.

In this example, Michelle and I worked together. Here are her take away thoughts:



 

Aloha Mel,

Here are my thoughts on the Ikaika.
This was such an enjoyable knit from the moment I cast on to the moment I was finished. The way the pattern is written, from the lace portions to the decrease sections, it kept me wanting more of this sweater. It definitely was a fun knit. The pattern makes you want to knit one more row to see how the lace portion moves across the back panel.
The pattern, even though it has lace portions in it, it becomes a comfort knit; one does not have to look at the pattern the whole time to complete certain sections.
 Mel was very generous enough to gift me by Annie Claire yarn, which the colourway is Horsetail, which I thought was very fitting to this design, because the inspiration for Mel was from a horse back home in Hawaii.
I knit it with size US 9 knitting needles, circulars, even for the sleeves. The yarn created a dense fabric, and yet the drape is very nice, not too stiff. The cardigan is very cosy against my skin and I actually plan on wearing it for Thanksgiving. I also think this sweater could be dressed up or down. Wear it with a dress, or jeans and a t-shirt.
The Ikaika was very enjoyable that I definitely would like to knit it again.
All the best,
Michelle


Behind that summary were loads of messages, texts, chats where I checked in to make sure it was all going well.
It was! Which makes me feel awesome!
I designed a sweater in the best yarn for the design as I see it. I of course strongly encourage you to knit it in that (especially since the kit has so many free treats in them! One knitter tweeted me that she couldn’t believe all the awesome things included!)
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But now I feel confident to encourage you to knit it anyway! Grab some stash yarn that seems to be a great match for Helix or the ByAnnieClaire yarn (which is why I put the specs to her yarn above).
I wish you success in knitting new things in new ways!
Much Aloha,
Mel

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collaborations, Uncategorized, words

Permission Granted!

On the first Friday Night’s Free Pattern post I said something that I did not think would be a big deal, with either Hoorah! or Whhhaaatt? Crowds.

It was such a little phrase and when I typed it I thought not much of it, aside from the fact perhaps someone at home might like the opportunity to know I had considered it.

What I said was: “Knitters can make this for their own use, as gifts, or to sell…you read that right: put them in your etsy shoppe if you want.” And my how the emails came!

“What I said was: knitters can make this for their own use, as gifts, or to sell…you read that right: put them in your etsy shoppe if you want.”

And my how the emails came! Everything from: “Really? Awesome!” to “Isn’t that illegal?”  There were other questions: “Is this an ok practice with your other patterns?” “Is it only ok to do as long as it is for charity?” “If I do, will I have to pay a fee for each item sold…”

 

Well let’s talk through some of these as they pertain to Lehua, the pattern pictured below.Lehua

First, to those of you in the Awesome! Camp, I am glad you are stoked about knitting Lehua for anyone and everyone wether it be for pleasure or profit!

For the Legal Eagle Camp: ex gratia would be the Latin legal reply (the permission to knit it is out of grace or goodwill, without legal obligation…) Nope, no fee for you to pay. It is a free pattern from me to you and given to do what you like with it.

And then the next question… Is this an ok practice with your other patterns?

Here I had to pause for a lengthy think….

Yeah…more thinking…

There were lots of things to consider, and I came up with something I thought was good for me and good for you!

If you want to knit any of my personal designs to sell, go ahead, provided you do these very simple, very ethical, things:

  • Email me (connectingwithmel {at} gmail {dot} com) and request a Cottage License. For what you may spend on a good cup of coffee, you will get the legal permission to knit that pattern, a form to keep handy that verifies that permission and the peace of mind knowing you are legit! This permission is only available to request on patterns I have self published.
  • Give credit where credit is due. If you post a finished sweater for custom orders in your Etsy shoppe, be sure to say it is an MSkiKnits Design. Please provide the link to my website.
  • Do not use any of my images for advertising purposes. I pay a professional great wages for those pictures. Respect my work, respect my ownership rights of images.
  • Don’t sell the pattern, only what you create from the pattern.

 

I have all sorts of patterns that would make fast knits to sell, especially helpful this time of year for those looking to add custom order specialty gifts to sell their handmade sites. Things like Hapa, Menehune, Lehua are  simple, fast wraps. Drizzle and Intersections Break work up easily in a variety of yarns.

Not every designer feels this way, so be respectful of everyone’s right to ownership! If a designer says: “For personal use only,” they aren’t being stingy, they are completely entitled to retaining what is theirs. They have worked super hard to create their pattern and should be honored and respected in their choices.

For me, I gave this matter a lot of thought, a lot of thought. I feel comfortable with this decision. If you choose to knit something from one of my patterns to share with the world for a profit then… Go ahead you little knitting entrepreneur! I wish you loads of success!

 

 

 

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