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HeartStrings FAQs :: Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to frequently asked questions about HeartStrings patterns, HeartStrings customer service and technical support, and about Jackie E-S herself.
Elegantly Simple Baby Blanket
Q: I love your pattern for the Elegantly Simple Baby Blanket, based on the feather and fan pattern. The shaded pink/lavender/creamy yarn that you used in your pattern illustration is absolutely beautiful, and I'd love to use it when I make this blanket for my future granddaughter. Can you tell me what yarn you used?
A: That blanket was made over 20 years ago for charity and has long since been out of my hands. At the time, there was not the internet and I did not know how widely popular my little pattern for charity knitting support would be. The yarn used for the blanket in this picture was Phildar Tweed d'Ete, a cotton / acrylic blend (and therefore machine washable) and had been discontinued even by the time I had used it. I just suggest you look around for something with similar colors in appropriate yarn weight and that is machine washable. Also, you might get some ideas from projects that other people have documented on Ravelry.
Q: The directions say to cast on 240 stitches on size 7 needles. Does this require circular needles to hold all the stitches? (I have not yet used circular needles, so I'm unsure about this.)
A: I do prefer to use a circular knitting needle for this blanket, but some people use long straight needles. I think the circular needle helps keep the weight of the stitches in the middle of your lap rather than out on the ends of your needles, and therefore is less tiring. But some people prefer long knitting needle, e.g. hold the needle under the arm for support. That is why I don't specify what needle type to use. Just whatever works best for you.
Q: I am wondering why I need a ribbon band? Is it a must, or will it be okay without anything additional in the band?
A: It isn't a must. It just adds a nice finishing touch and can stabilize the opening to match the headsize (rather than stretching out after being worn a few times).
Customer Service/Technical Support
Q: I have downloaded the PDF files, but it has blank pages / or garbled characters / or is giving an error message.
What can I do?
A: Usually the problem is that one of 4 things could have occurred. To save time in contacting us and waiting for a response, you can first go through this checklist:
- Are you saving the pdf file to your hard disk first, and then opening to view or print from there? If you try to open the file directly from the website, some webs browsers do not always open the file properly using their pdf plug-in (Microsoft Internet Explorer is especially known to not show pdf files properly, especially large ones like these patterns).
- Have you tried re-downloadling? Sometimes the transmission of the file from the internet server to your computer can be incomplete, or have become garbled, because of a brief disruption in the internet communication signal.
- Are you using the latest version of Adobe Reader? If you are using an old version, this could be causing inconsistent results. Adobe Reader is free at …
(click the area that says "Get Adobe Reader" – the link at the site should then re-direct you to the appropriate link for the computer operating system you are running)
- Are you behind a firewall (e.g. using your computer at work) that is causing an encryption code error? Re-try your download on your personal computer at home.
Q: What are your fees for making and selling items using your patterns?
A: Please make a donation out of your proceeds in an amount with which you feel comfortable. There is a Donation link in the left sidebar on each page of my website here. Also, when listing or showing your for-sale item, please attribute the source of the pattern to HeartStrings FiberArts and give pattern link on my heartstringsfiberarts.com website. If you will be selling more than 6 items per year of a particular pattern, please contact me to make other arrangements.
Q: I ordered and downloaded onto my hard drive several of your wonderful patterns I purchased through Shopatron. Then, I had the unfortunate experience of losing the hard rive on my computer and as a result lost all the files on my computer. Can you re-send me the patterns once you have confirmed that I purchased them?
A: Sorry about your hard drive failure. Never fear, though. The HeartStrings patterns you purchased are still available anytime you want in your Shopatron account. I don't have access to your account, but you just need to login with your email address and the password you set there, and go to the Digital Content area of your account to re-download them anytime you want. HeartStrings Downloadable Patterns at Shopatron
Note: If you have lost a HeartStrings patterns you purchased at Ravelry, Patternfish, Craftsy or KnitHeartStrings. and can similarly re-download them anytime by accessing your account there and going to your pattern library for previous purchases.
About Jackie E-S Herself
Q: What was your first [knitting] project?
A: First knitting: I am 5 years old or so – always seeing my Mommy knitting socks for Daddy (intricate cabled and pattern stitch stuff with itty-bitty yarn on find knitting pins (i.e. double point needles). I want to knit, but Mommy says "no". I am required to take naps in the afternoon on my Mommy's bed. I hate naps. And so it happens on afternoon, there is a sock in-progress lying on the bed and I start knitting instead of sleeping. Needless to say, I make a mess, try to fix it, and finally lay it aside as though nothing happened. I am found out and knitting continues to elude me.
First (real, sort of) project: I am 8 years old or so and have the opportunity to learn basic knitting in Brownies (i.e. little people Girl Scouts). I get one ball of donated blue yarn and needles, and knit 2-needle mittens. Never finished though, because there was not enough yarn. But I unraveled that yarn many times over and re-knitted while learning new things about knitting. Just none of them turned into projects because I still only had that one small ball of yarn. Eventually things got better as I got older and Mommy now asked ME to knit for her and her friends. So now I was supplied with enough yarn and needles to complete real projects.
As to first (overall) lace project – I would attribute that to Emily Ocker's "Lace Garland" in Knitter's Issue 9, 1987. Although I'd done small lace-type panels on sweaters before, little did I know that knitting lace was to be a turning point in my life. I was captivated by the idea of taking a doily pattern and scaling up to shawl size. I'd always been intrigued by the shaping and structure of knitting stitches, and lace design is very satisfying in this regard.
Q: How did you get started designing sock patterns?
A: It was just a follow-on to designing for other items like sweaters, scarves and shawls. The introduction of sock patterns to the HeartStrings line was motivated in particular by spinners (and knitters who also weave), because socks don't take much hands-on, and spinners/weavers love to treadle their wheels/looms in stocking feet.