You may or may not know about Adventure Knitting 2: The Mysterious Trunk (here on ravelry) from last year’s Adventure Knit-a-long (the second annual Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-inspired leethal KAL); the full collection is now available digitally as an ebook, and as a print book, which you can buy directly here, or yarn shops can order it wholesale from Deep South here. (If you live in Portland, you can buy a copy at Twisted!)
Yes, the knit-a-long for this collection happened about 5 months ago, I know… there are reasons I waited so long to blog about it after it was over. The main reason was that once the KAL ended and the ebook was released digitally, it took awhile for me to make the print book version… and then I finished it and was so happy with it, but then I had second thoughts about how my Adventure Knitting collections were listed in the ravelry database (they had each been listed as a single pattern instead of as an ebook), so I went through a lengthy process to change that… And it was the holidays, blah blah blah, so now here I am, finally showing and telling you all about it!
Above left is the DIY book version that you can print & bind yourself if you have the ebook, and to the right is the print book, if you want it on your bookshelf but don’t want to DIY it. So, I said some things about this collection when first announcing the KAL, and then when I posted sometime in the middle of the KAL, so I’ll keep some things kind of basic here to not repeat too much.
The story is that you find a mysterious trunk. And you look inside…
Yeah, I made a video to go with the book, and my husband composed custom music for it. We are nerds; it was fun!
So, as you just saw in the video, inside the trunk you find yarn and needles…
…and a bunch of knitted items…
…and handwritten/drawn design notebooks and scraps of paper…
…and a bunch of cool fortune telling stuff!
That’s the trunk story – what you actually get in the ebook is the full story and patterns in ebook format (easy to read on a computer/tablet screen), plus the DIY book of the whole story and patterns, which you can print out and bind if you want to:
And you get printable pages of all the fortune telling stuff – everything you get is pictured below. So you can print everything out, then read the story and follow along when the story talks about the different items found. These all relate to the knitting patterns, by the way.
I talked in my last Adventure KAL post about the board, the fortune teller, and the divination cards, so you can see/read more about those there. The fourth item found was a numerology sheet.
And along with that, a second, smaller set of divination cards was found at the end, so that all the stitch patterns are represented on cards, as well as a blank fortune teller so you can fill in your favorite stitch patterns. So, in the end, there are 4 different fortune telling methods you can use to choose between all the stitch patterns.
The stitch patterns can be picked at random (or by asking the spirits!) using these items, or using just your favorite item out of the options. Or you can forget the whole randomizing aspect and choose your favorite stitch patterns to use.
The divination cards are all printed on the back cover of the print book, as you can see below (there are 2 stitch patterns per card, on top and bottom, for 12 cards total). Because all these things can’t be included physically with the print book, they are all downloadable on my website (at the bottom) – so if you buy the print book, you can download and print out some or all of the fortune telling items, as you like, to use with the pattern. If you want to print nothing, you can use the cards on the back cover by tossing a small object (like a loop of yarn) up over it and seeing where it lands.
So, that’s what you get, now onto the knitting! You can knit countless items with this pattern collection, as everything is mix&match-able, all any gauge, any size, 1 or more colors, etc…
The 24 stitch patterns are all designed to be used together, in any order. Many of them blend seamlessly from one to the next; some are more like stripes, cutting across the piece; several can be made with or without a contrasting color. All the patterns are both written and charted, and they use a variety of techniques, for different experience levels.
You can pick and choose what kinds you want to use and which ones you want to skip. There’s a page which groups the patterns into different categories, to help you choose if you don’t want total randomness. If you choose all lacy patterns, they will blend together in any random order, like you see below. And a lot of the not-lace patterns also blend like this.
Below is an example of a few blending-together type patterns in a solid color, with one of the 2-color patterns cutting through as a stripe, but it still all kind of connects together from each pattern to the next:
And here is a piece that used lots of the 2-color patterns, switching between a few different contrasting colors (all the same main color throughout) for a more colorful item:
And then there are the shapes – 6 different shape options, which make 10+ different item options.
First, the rectangle. A small rectangle in cotton makes a dishcloth; a long, narrow rectangle can make a scarf or cowl…
…and 2 rectangles sewn together can make a top. Instructions are included in the pattern for the top:
This one was made in a merino/linen blend, sport weight knit at a very loose gauge, as a layer garment.
There’s also an option called the “swatch-style basic rectangle” which is not on the bias, just a plain rectangle with no shaping. You can use this shape to try out some stitch pattern combos in a small dishcloth, or to make a more basic scarf or cowl.
The white piece above / at the right below (click to see it big) was my swatch of all 24 stitch patterns, in a row, making a short scarf.
Next shape is the triangle – this can be made small as a kerchief, or large as a shawl. The i-cords are optional, depending on what kind of item you’re making.
This is a small head kerchief in sock yarn (Anzula Squishy).
There are some ways you can make other kinds of triangles using other shape patterns – there’s a modifications section in the ebook which didn’t fit into the print book, so it’s available on my website.
The strip or loop shape can be used to make a scarf or a cowl, any size (width/length) you like.
This big, squooshy cowl was made with aran weight Quince & co Osprey (left over from my main Biratu sample).
The cowl gets seamed to join in a loop, on the bias. This sample used the purple as the main/only color for the first section, and then switched to grey as the main color, with purple contrasting stripes, through sections 2 and 3, giving it that purple triangle.
I made this experimental cowl below, trying out the idea of switching colors for every stitch pattern. I was not happy with the effect, it hides how the patterns work together and makes everything too busy, so I didn’t use this cowl as an official pattern sample. But, I still love it as an accessory to wear!
It’s a smaller cowl than the purple+grey one, perfect around the house size that doesn’t flop in my way a lot. It’s in Cascade Soft Spun, which is labeled as aran weight (I think it’s more on the light side of bulky).
Next is the bent strip shape. This one can be made more long and narrow as you see here, for a bent scarf, or it can be made super wide as a shawl.
This was made in sport weight yarn – Brown Sheet Lanaloft Sport.
Again, the i-cords are optional, so you can tie it into a cowl if you want to:
And then there are two shawl shapes – first the crescent:
It’s asymmetrical, worked from the top center outwards, so you can stop whenever you want, or when your yarn runs out. I used three colors as you see here, with no 2-color patterns, but it’s just like any other shape – you can use all 1 color, or 1 main color and contrasting color(s), or a self-striping yarn, etc.
Mine is in worsted weight, and I used three full skeins (down to the last inch! oh not quite though – I actually had to use a different yarn for the last inch), in all lacy patterns, and it’s HUGE and I LOVE it! The gold-green shade is Dream in Color Classy, the light grey is Fly Dyed 5 ply TLC english wool, and the blue is an unknown wool (from a craft swap or something years ago).
It wraps around twice and ties really nicely – that’s how I wear it most of the time:
The last shape is the polygon, which is like a giant blanket-style-shawl shape:
Mine is in bulky yarns – Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky and Patons Classic Wool Roving, and then Malabrigo Chunky for the one single 2-color pattern contrasting color.
Some knitters have made this shape in lighter yarns, and some have skipped the third section, for different looks – you can check them out on ravelry. Lots of options for all kinds of different items!
And you can check out tons of other knitters’ versions of all the shapes in the rav projects, or in the KAL forum thread. A few of my personal favorites are this giant loop, this crescent shawl (fourth photo down), this polygon, and this wide bent strip (there are lots more great ones, but I’m keeping the list quick).
So that’s that! I took a ton of photos, having much fun with the mysterious trunk photoshoot – you can see them all on flickr here. And the book is filled with silly little drawings like these:
I am SO happy with this collection, and all the details, but honestly, I spent way too much time on it. 2015′s Adventure KAL will be simpler, fewer items, I just can’t afford that much time spent ;) I tell you this because I know it was a bit TOO much for some, too many options/items/etc, overwhelming for a lot of knitters… so this year’s (coming in the summer) will be not as crazy. More like the first Adventure Knitting collection, which had 4 items and 20 stitch patterns (still a lot, but not SO much).