First, real quick, it’s American Thanksgiving week, which means I have some sales to tell you about! The gift-a-long discount continues on through Friday (black friday) so you can still use that code to get 25% off 20 of my patterns (see the Gift-a-Long bundle here for details).
And then I’ll be having an ebook sale on Cyber Monday! On Monday ONLY (midnight to midnight US west coast time), use coupon code cyber2015 to get 25% off Coloring Bookand all 3 of my Adventure Knitting ebooks! That’ll work on ravelry or on my website (I’ll be adding the coupon code info to those places on Monday). It’s kind of an insane deal since the ebooks are already great deals to begin with… but eh, I just impulsively decided to do it for one day only, so there it is! Happy holiday season!
Lastly for sale stuff – I’m about to show you a bunch of new things that are available through other websites (not directly through me), and those websites will be having sales throughout this sale-holiday weekend. So I will be tweeting about sales Friday-Monday as I learn about them, and the sites’ homepages will probably say sale info. Right now, Society6 is already doing sitewide free shipping through December 14th!
Brand new leethal thing! You can now get some of the stitch patterns I’ve designed printed onto stuff! So far there are 6 patterns that I’ve converted into seamless tiling designs; you can get all the patterns printed onto a ton of different things.
I’ve made a page on leethal.net (you can also get to it from the top of the blog, under “shop”) where you can see what’s available on which sites, and see all the patterns. You can get fabric (also wallpaper and giftwrap) on Spoonflower, and fun stuff on Redbubble and Society6.
I put all the tiling patterns up on my wallpapers page so you can download them to use as desktop/phone wallpaper backgrounds. The tiling jpgs have credit text on them, but they are pretty large so they won’t repeat many times, and if you use them as a phone wallpaper that text shouldn’t show at all. They look cool as home screen backgrounds – I have the Siskiyou trees as mine right now!
Redbubble and Society6 have lots of the same stuff (greeting cards, mugs, phone cases, pillow cases, tote bags…) but sometimes I made it so things are printed differently on the 2 sites, like the pillows and tote bags are all printed so the stitches are bigger on Redbubble, smaller on Society6, and sometimes the mugs and other things are different too.
Some other stuff is available only on one site or the other – notebooks, postcards, leggings, t-shirts, scarfs, and more only on Redbubble; clocks, art prints, shower curtains only on Society6.
I did a bunch of research to make sure the quality of everything seems good. A couple of things that got not-great feedback from multiple people (or that I didn’t like the look of) I did not make available, so everything that is available should hopefully be good quality. Everything pictured here is what I ordered for myself to check it out – it’s all great! A couple of patterns printed a bit dark on some items, so I’ve lightened them up a little. I got the large (15oz) mug from Society6, so that’s why it looks extra big, it is!
The pillow was especially pleasing – it’s a really nice, thick, canvas-y kind of fabric and the printed pattern looks fantastic on it! I got the Society6 pillow, but I think the Redbubble pillows are basically the same, and I believe the tote bags are printed on the same kind of fabric, so they will be equally good-looking. (I got the smallest size, just the case; I got a cheapo pillow at Ikea and it fits perfectly.)
The spiral notebook is cool – I got lined pages, but you can also choose graph paper if you want (awesome!) and there’s a pocket in the back; the cover is card stock (not hardcover) but it seems pretty nice, and the price is relatively low on the spiral notebooks, so yay for that! There are hardcover journals too, for a fancier option.
And then I got all 6 patterns printed onto Redbubble cards – some greeting cards, some postcards. Good quality, prints look excellent, greeting cards include brown paper envelopes, and they all have my name as the artist on the back, so that was a neat surprise. Redbubble has these 4×6″ cards, plus 5×7.5″ greeting cards, all available individually; Society6 only offers 5×7″ stationery cards in sets of 3, 5, or 10, not individually, but a better deal if you want 5 or 10 cards. The Siskiyou trees would make a great holiday card!
And then, Spoonflower! They have a ton of different fabric types – I got these test swatches on the Cotton Poplin and it looks great. A couple of the patterns (Haka cables and Flying V’s) printed too dark, so I’ve lightened them up a bit.
I sewed the 8×8″ swatches into little mini project bags – they don’t fit much, but they are so cute!
If you use a fabric of one of my patterns to sew something, I would LOVE to see it! Please comment here, or tag me on instagram or twitter :) And if you REALLY love any of these patterns, you can cover a wall with them – I love looking that the wallpaper previews, they look so cool!
I had so much fun making all this stuff – I’m really hoping it sells a bit just so I’ll get to make more designs in the future! I have lots of ideas for more, including other design ideas besides tiling patterns, and if there are any of my patterns that you would love to have printed on stuff, let me know and maybe I’ll include them in the next batch! I want to do a batch of handspun/hand-dyed fabrics, and I want to do some bigger, non-repeating knit design images, and there are more ideas rolling around in my head that can be a surprise…
Quick unrelated note for if you’re reading this post when it’s new: The Indie Design Gift-a-Long just started, and it runs through the end of the year; you can get 20 of my patterns for 25% off through November 27th. See the GAL ravelry group for details (and to see patterns by all 335 participating designers!) and check out my gift-a-long bundle on my designer page to see my on-sale patterns; ALL my patterns are eligible for gift-a-long knitting!!
It works well with a pom-pom, which you can use to add a pop of some other color(s) if you want to!
We had fun putting different pom-poms on all the In Triplicate hats – we made a bunch and let all the hats try on different ones during the photoshoot. (See Line Segment and Lemma hats to see all the poms!)
Directrix is sized to be able to pull it down for maximum ear/forehead warmth, or to wear more slouched back, which works great with a pom-pom. The height is totally adjustable, if you want to add more slouch height, or subtract a bit of height so it wears more fitted to the head. And the circumference has three sizes – my sample is a size medium.
Since the bottom chevron section is worked sideways, you can try it on around your head to know when you’ve reached your ideal size, stretching it more if you want a snug fit, or stretching less if you want a looser, slouchier kind of fit.
The chevron pattern is made with increases and decreases, to make the bias garter stitch base, and slipped stitches to make the raised chevron lines – no cables, just slips! You’ll pull the yarn tightly across the back when slipping to make the stitches pop up off the base like that. Using a semi-solid kind of colorway is ideal, so that the color shows the movement of the garter stitch lines, going the opposite way from the chevron lines.
The hat is made modularly with no picked up stitches or seaming! Start with a provisional cast-on, work the sideways section with stitches left along the top edge for later; when you reach your size, close it up with a 3-needle bind-off, then work around those top edge stitches, and in the round from there up to the top.
I had some extra leftovers of my In Triplicate yarns, so I decided to make another Directrix in multiple colors, as an experiment – I think it worked out very well! I added pink and yellow stripes to the grey base in the first section: rows 29&4 in pink, rows 5&6 in yellow, and rows 7&8 in pink, on every repeat. I weaved (wove?) in the ends as I knit, to prevent so much ends-weaving finishing work.
And then I switched every row between grey and pink throughout the body and crown sections – the all-knit rows in grey, and the rows with purls in pink. (All these notes are in my ravelry project page, in case you want to use them later.) I took a few quickie snapshots after blocking it:
This is the size large, so it’s comfortably loose on me, but not too big, since it’s nicely stretchy. If you want a REALLY large size hat, I’d recommend going up to worsted/aran weight, since this large size in DK weight is not super large. (Pattern includes sizing/measurement info.)
I love how the crown looks in the 2 colors. As you can see, it can be worn more pulled down, or more slouched back, but I think it would really benefit from a pom-pom weighing it down a bit in the slouched back position. I might need to add one!
Oh but wait, now that you’ve seen everything, a little more about yarn-usage. With my 3 skeins of Blue Moon Gaea Sport, I made my 3 sample items + the extra Directrix (all below), plus those 3 big pom-poms pictured above, plus I had enough left of the pink for another hat, and a good chunk still left over (more pom-poms?). That’s A LOT of items out of 3 skeins of yarn (they are large skeins!).
You get 10% off your order of 3 skeins of the yarn when you buy the collection, in your choice of any 3 colors (see lots of gorgeous options here – some of my favorites are shown below) through January; use the 3 skeins to make up to EIGHT of the In Triplicate patterns! The collection includes some spreadsheets of different ways you can maximize your yarn if you want to nerd out with planning your projects. You can also just start knitting, and keep making project after project after project until it runs out. Be adventurous with adding stripes to things or using multiple colors in different ways in order to truly maximize every last bit!
Our In Triplicate holiday knit-a-long (in the ravelry group) will begin in December, so get your yarn ready, share your color choices with the group, and post your projects to win prizes later on! (You can totally make In Triplicate projects for the gift-a-long and cross-post them to the In Triplicate KAL!) I can’t wait to see your color choices!!
The hands are one size, which is one-size-fits-most-adults size, but the thumbs (and gussets) are placed and sized to fit your hand. So, if you have long fingers, the thumb goes further down the hand; shorter fingers, higher up placement. And the height of the gusset and circumference/length of the thumb is all sized for the best fit.
The pattern gives small/medium/large size stitch counts for all the thumb/gusset numbers; you can use stitch counts besides the numbers given to get a more precise fit as needed. The stitch counts for the placement and gusset can be any numbers, as long as they match on the two sides where the mitten comes together, and the thumb circumference can be any number – you can try it on as you go to fit it to your hand, or just use the small/medium/large numbers if gift knitting.
Because of the garter stitch fabric, they are nice and stretchy and should fit most adult hands well, but you can make size adjustments by changing up the gauge / yarn weight. You should be able to make kid size mittens by dropping down to a sport weight I’d guess. They are designed in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Gaea Sport, which is DK weight (same as all the In Triplicate patterns), on size US 5 needles for a nice dense, squishy gauge. Sizing/gauge details are in the pattern. Size adjustment note: always work at a dense gauge for a nice mitten fabric (so if you want them larger, don’t just use the DK weight yarn on bigger needles, making a looser fabric; instead, go up in weight to a worsted/aran, and use small enough needles to get a dense gauge).
Incenter’s sideways construction starts opposite the thumb (beginning with Judy’s Magic Cast-on), with rows worked all the way around, from the bottom edge on one side, up to the top, then around the top and down the other side to the bottom edge. But the design is made with short rows, so most rows do not actually go all the way from one edge to the other, rather from partway up one side to partway down the other side. The triangles sections are worked on one side only, again with short rows to make the shapes – you’ll do the whole 2-color triangle design on one side, then the whole thing on the other side
Then you’ll go back to working around both sides for the thumb side section, which is like a mirror image of the first section. Once the main mitten body is complete, the side stitches above and below the thumb are grafted closed with kitchener stitch, and the thumb is worked in the round, decreases shaping the gusset. There’s no seaming, except for closing up a couple of small holes with the yarn tails. The pattern includes a page of process photos (like the one above) taking you through all the sections.
The left+right hand mittens are identical except for the triangle colors flipping sides – the contrasting colors are each used on the outside of the triangle on one side, and on the inside triangle on the other side. Since they’re identical, you can wear them on either hand, so you can change up which is the top color.
And if you want to use this pattern as a leftover scrap-busting project, you can venture outside the pattern color instructions and do something like what I’m doing with the mitten below – that’s the 2 sides of one mitten. So I started with the green for the first section, then basically every time the pattern switched colors, I switched to a different new color, to use all these little mini-ball leftovers of Infinite Twist Helix I had in my leftover stash (mostly from Krewe). I’m planning on making the second mitten match the first. You can see a bit more about this project in my ravelry projects.
In geometry, the incenter of a triangle is the triangle’s center point; the tip of the smaller inner triangle of this mitten hits the center of the larger triangle (also the center of the mitten itself). I don’t think I actually mentioned this in the collection post, but all of our In Triplicate patterns are named after geometry terms.
So that’s Incenter! This design took me awhile to figure out, a couple of failed attempts came before the final version, but it was all worth it because I LOVE this design, and the pattern, and I think they are really fun and satisfying to make, to watch come together. I hope you love them too!
Like all the In Triplicate patterns, this is designed in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Gaea Sport yarn, which is DK weight – colors Ochroid and Mica. It’s made on size US 5 needles for a pretty dense gauge, making a nice squishy, warm piece. My sample is about 16 inches wide, 48 inches long, nice for wrapping around the neck and shoulders…
Could definitely be worn with a shawl pin if you like…
Or it can be folded in half for a double-thickness extra squishy scarf.
Here’s a closeup of the stitch patterns. It features a nice looking curled slip-stitch edging, and a textured 2-color lace pattern panel running diagonally over a garter stitch striped base, starting at one corner, and then up along the edge once it hits the other side. Once the panel is straight along the side, you can just keep on working until your yarn just about runs out, maximizing your yardage to make your piece as long as possible.
Here it is flat, my large size sample. The pattern is written for small/medium/large, which are all the same length (for yardage estimation purposes – in reality, you can make any size any length) – the small size is half the width of the large (so about 8 inches) and the medium is between them (12 inches). The panel width changes to be more narrow for the smaller sizes, proportionately.
You know how I love pattern flexibility, so I have to tell you, while this is written for this particular yarn, in this one gauge, it can totally be made in any weight, any gauge. It’s just a big rectangle, after all, the most versatile of knitted things. The pattern includes notes on how to make any size, with any weight (basically: cast on any number of stitches, and adjust panel stitches accordingly, but there are some more details in the pattern).
The whole pattern is written and charted. It’s a pretty easy-to-remember repeat pattern – if you pay attention to what you’re doing for the first few repeats, you should be able to knit most of the piece without needing to look at the pattern.
I would LOVE to see this knit up in different kinds of colors – I am super happy with how it looks in these two kind of similar-tone colorways, but I imagine it looking awesome in really contrasting colors!
While this project is definitely on the large end of the scale of things I knit (780 yards total for this large size piece), the pattern is definitely on the short end of the scale of patterns I create – 5 pages total, including the cover page. That’s so short for me! The pattern written+charted and abbreviations takes up 3 pages, so that’s just 1 short page of notes (and photos), so short! So yeah, simpler than most of my designs for sure, since the construction is just a flat rectangle.
That’s Transversal! Can’t think of any more to say about it. I really love the finished item, and will definitely be wearing it this winter. Soft, squishy yarn, grellow garter stitch stripes, and a cool looking textured stitch pattern, can’t go wrong with that!
I will be posting about each of my 3 patterns separately (left column above: Directrix, Transversal, Incenter); today, I’ll just tell you the story of how our collection was built…
But first, I will say some basics: each of the 3 of us got 1 skein of each of the 3 colors – these skeins are LARGE (560 yards each). We used our 3 skeins to design 3 things; we all ended up with leftovers after our initial 3 samples were done. So, you can get 3 skeins of your own and use the collection to make MANY of the things! We even included a page of spreadsheets that show you how to maximize your yarn – if you plan carefully, you can make up to EIGHT of the items with the 3 skeins! Or, you can skip the careful planning, make a bunch of hats and mitts no problem, and then see about squeezing out a neck thing with whatever you have left; or make your favorite neck thing first, as big as you want, then use the rest to make some hats/mitts. Point is, with the 3 skeins and 9 patterns, you can make lots of things… I have this vision of knitters making something for every member of their family with the same 3 colors, different items for each person, but all matching/coordinating, and it’s so cute in my head! You should do it, and take a holiday photo with everyone wearing their things, and post a comment here to show me because I want to see how cute you are!
Okay I went off on a matching-knitwear fantasy there, sorry about that… So, yeah, maximize your yardage, make all the things.
The full 9-pattern collection is $20, and each individual pattern is available solo for $5. They are all in the Gaea Sport, which is actually a DK weight yarn (according to ravelry – I think it even knits up like a light worsted, but I guess light worsted is basically the same as DK, right? Oh, yarn weight labels, so arbitrary!).
If you buy the collection before December 15th, it will include a 10% off coupon code for 3 skeins of Gaea Sport, in your choice of any 3 colors! Aaaand, there will be a knit-a-long starting in December, with prizes to be won, in our new In Triplicate ravelry group! (Side note: if you’re a Gift-a-Long knitter, the collection patterns will be eligible for that as well!)
Now, more about what In Triplicate is, and how it came to be! Shannon, Star, and I each designed a head accessory, a hand accessory, and a neck accessory. One of each of these is in 1 color, 1 is in 2 colors, and 1 is in 3 colors – that goes for both the 3 designs by one designer, and for the 3 designs of one accessory type.
THIS is the idea that Star, Vivian Aubrey (pictured below with me), and I came up with oh so many years ago (5 years? I think?) on a day trip to Black Sheep Fiber Festival in Eugene (I mentioned it very briefly here). During lunch and in the car ride, we excitedly developed this idea – I think we even drew up a spreadsheet on a napkin over pizza. Well, we might not have actually drawn it on a napkin (it was probably a notebook), but there was definitely pizza, I remember that!
So, that was back when Vivian was designing more, and we three were planning to make this happen for several years, until finally one day this spring Star and I got talking about it, and we knew Vivian wouldn’t mind us rolling with it because she had really gone off and become an awesome knitwear photographer and hadn’t been focusing on designing in years… When we started building the collection this year, we had planned to have the photography done by Vivian, but due to jam-packed schedules and deadlines we sadly were not able to make that happen. This was a bummer, but we so appreciate Vivian’s original part in the concept development!!
After we got the okay from Vivian to go off and find a new third designer, we immediately knew our first choice was Shannon, local Portland designer and long-time knitting scene buddy of ours. So we arranged a secret meeting (I think Star texted her something like, “we have a proposition for you”), and she was instantly on board!
Next was deciding on a yarn – a big decision since the entire collection would be in the same yarn! We wanted to love it, we wanted it we be pretty versatile, have beautiful colorways, and we were really hoping it could be local… It just so happens that Shannon (Star too, actually) had worked a ton with Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which fit ALL the criteria! So that decision ended up being super easy! Tina was immediately on board as well, and she met up with us at Shannon’s house with an enormous box of colors.
We had pretty much the BEST time ever playing with yarn colors for hours, trio-ing (like pairing, but with threes, right?) the colors up. There were about 100 colors total, and we just started grouping them into sets of three:
And then we twisted all the trios together:
I really love colors. This was an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I am not exaggerating at all, seriously, best time. We made dozens of trio combos – these were our favorites:
The point was to make lots of fun combos that would work well, so we could show you ideas for your own color threesomes, and also to find our #1 favorite, to actually use for the whole collection. Well, sometime near the beginning of the process, someone, Star? – that whole afternoon is really kind of a blur, I think I was high on color? – held up these three together, and they just POPPED.
Like, magic. All four of us were like, whoa, yes, I never would have thought “let’s do our collection in yellow, grey, and HOT pink” but dude, you guys, these three colors look AMAZING together. I even documented when Shannon twisted them together for the first time, above, because we knew, these are our colors.
So that was it. None of our couple dozen other combos could beat it – of course, there were many that we REALLY loved, but we had our pick. One of the best things about this collection’s release will be getting to see the patterns worked up in totally different colorways! I’d love to see the designs in something like orange, aqua, and olive green… or black, white, and grey… or red, turquoise, and light grey… If you choose three colors with one being neutral-ish, one being really bright, and the third kind of a muted color, you have yourself a color trio! So many possibilities!
So next, we designed and knit the things! We had tea meetings, brainstorming email chains, late-night texts, problems to be solved… the collaboration process was so cool! I’m such a solo worker normally, it was great to have other people’s ideas bouncing around with mine, changing my design directions, giving me focus with my designs, so that the collection could really be cohesive and not just 9 random patterns.
When we first started, we were just like… 3 accessories, 3 colors, we’ll see where it goes… but then once we had some ideas sketched and swatched, we starting seeing common threads and rolling with that. So we ended up with a few design themes: geometry-inspiration (bold lines and shapes, stuff like that), slipped stitches, garter stitch, texture. Not all 9 patterns have all these elements, but they show up over and over throughout the collection.
Once we had our designs/samples done, or nearly done, it was time to figure out more collection specifics. We decided not do a print version, and to release the collection as 9 individual pdfs (instead of an actual 1-file ebook) – we’re planning on having the collection be available as a collection through the end of 2016, and then we’ll just each have our own individual patterns available. We divvied up the tasks, and I acted as graphic designer for the collection – here’s a glimpse at a pattern cover. I made a custom In Triplicate font!
Star made drawings and doodles to use throughout all the patterns – both knitting and geometry themed. They add so much awesomeness to the patterns! LOVE them!
Early on, we grabbed the domain name intriplicatecollection.com on an impulse, but then kind of realized we didn’t really need it, since the collection would just exist on ravelry… but we had it, so, I took Star’s drawings and threw this webpage together just for fun! It’ll just exist during the time that the collection is available; go check it out!
With everything almost ready for release, it was photoshoot time! We gathered at Portland State University to get some good vaguely geometry-themed backgrounds, and with me as the main photographer and my husband as assistant, we modeled the heck out of our designs!
Of course there was other boring stuff involved, like LOTS of editing – we all edited each others’ patterns first, then sent them off to a pro tech editor to make them as perfect as possible. It was fun building the pdfs because I got to see how different we 3 designers are. My patterns are the longest (but not CRAZY long like some of my older patterns – these range 5-8 pages total) even though I thought I was trying to design simple things, comparatively simple I guess. It’s just how my designing mind works. None of my patterns are hard though, really! They just have multiple sections and stuff that takes up a bit of space… they are all really fun to make! Anyway…
I’ll show you my designs in detail next week. Do check out the others though! I love all 9 patterns, but I really especially love Shannon’s Trisectrix shawl (big holes and asymmetry!), the texture of Shannon’s Point of Symmetry mitts and Star’s Lemma hat, and the smart+creative simplicity of Star’s Abscissa mitts.
I can’t wait to start seeing In Triplicate knits popping up – be sure to post photos in your ravelry projects so we can admire them! Happy knitting, times three!
Hey I’m today’s stop on the blog tour for this beautiful new book! I have been excited about The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar since I first heard about it – Kristine is the founder of A Verb for Keeping Warm, the naturally dyed yarn company and shop in Oakland.
Like the shop (I had the opportunity to visit several years ago – excellent place!) and AVFKW yarn, this new book is absolutely gorgeous! The photos of all the dye materials and hand-dyed fibers and fabrics make for a book I just want to keep flipping through for the visuals, and then it’s of course packed with all the info you need to know to start natural dyeing.
Every type of dye material gets a photo spread showing what it looks like, and what colors you’ll get on different kinds of fibers – so many awesome colors you can get out of nature, especially in the yellow-orange range, which you know I love!!
I took a natural dyeing class with Kristine a few years back – a short lecture intro class – and basically came away feeling overwhelmed and like I probably wouldn’t find the time or motivation to take the next step and actually try anything I learned about. But this book gives me new inspiration, and a new feeling that I CAN manage to take that step, now that it’s all broken down in so much detail for me here.
Not only did I receive a review copy of the book, Kristine was super generous and sent me a dye kit as well! I chose the indigo kit because I am totally in love with all the indigo projects in the book – the A Verb For Keeping Warm website has this kit and three others: dye with flowers, madder, weld, logwood, or cochineal. All the kits are for specific projects in the book, so they include not just the dye materials but also the items to dye, and anything else you need, like thread, to complete the project.
The indigo kit I got is for the Waves Bandana project, so it includes two white bandanas for me to dye – a perfect way to try out indigo dyeing for the first time before I use it on something bigger. The bandana project is an introduction to bound resist dyeing – the fabric is wrapped, or bound, so the dye doesn’t touch certain places. I love how the bound fabric looks as it’s being dyed!
Pretty much everything I need is there in the jar. The kit should be enough for me to dye several medium sized items, so I’ll be pulling a few things from my closet to dip in there after the bandanas!
Indigo can be used on both cellulose-based and protein-based fibers, but they react differently, and it seems fabrics like cotton and linen are an especially good fit. I have a plain cotton dress that might be the perfect thing!
The book includes many different kinds of indigo projects – it teaches using indigo with different types of fabrics/fibers, dyeing with other natural dyes along with the indigo to get different colors, creating variegated yarn, bound resist dyeing, pole wrapping (that is a COOL looking technique!), stitch resist dyeing, and folding & clamping.
One of my favorite projects is this Fishbone Dress, made with the stitch resist technique. You sew the fabric in bunched up lines, then dye it, to create those fishbone looking stripes – so cool! Plus, I love the idea of dyeing already-existing clothes to make them special, like this basic linen dress:
Okay so here’s the best part of this blog post: giveaway! One very lucky reader will receive the book and one of the kits of your choice!!
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here saying what item you’d love to natural dye (it could be an item of clothing you already own, a skein of yarn to knit into a shawl, some linen fabric to sew into a shirt, etc). I’ll do a random drawing a week from today, Wednesday November 4th, and I’ll reply to the winner’s comment. Make sure you receive replies to blog comments in your email inbox, or check back here next week to see if you won!
It’s now officially October, and I have a fresh new pattern for you, for the chilly season! Siskiyou is a hat inspired by the Douglas Fir trees of Oregon. (On ravelry here!)
It features a twisted stitch trees design (3 different trees), which happens to be reversible!
I was given this Snowy colorway yarn by Knitted Wit, a worsted weight white base with speckles of forest green, and of course my mind went straight to the fir tree filled forests of this beautiful state where I live.
But wait, there’s more! 5 other Portland designers were also given these yarns in the new Snowy colorways, a different color for each designer, to use for new hat designs. The result is the Snowy Hat Collection!
Through December 31, 2015, you can get the 6-pattern eBook for $15 (on ravelry here), and Knitted Wit has kits on her website, while supplies last only! The kits include: a skein of the yarn in Targhee Shimmer Worsted or Worsted Super Wash Merino, your choice of base and Snowy colorway, the ebook, plus a custom JaMpdxSnowy mug and tea tasting from Happy Rock Coffee.
AND, 10% of all proceeds from the kits, the ebook, and all the individual patterns, will be donated to Raphael House of Portland, a domestic violence agency committed to engaging our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.
So now, my design… there are the trees on the body, and the crown is a big starburst kind of design. The hat can be more fitted to the head, or more loose – there are 4 sizes, and height can easily be added if you want it taller/slouchier. Pictured above is the medium size, which fits perfectly on my 22 inch head, and below is the extra large size, for a loose fit on me.
The extra large sample is in the Targhee Shimmer Worsted yarn, which is 80% superwash Targhee wool, 20% silk (I LOVE it), and the medium sample is in the Worsted Super Wash Merino (medium is below).
And then my third sample, pictured below, is the small size, which does fit me but it’s a bit tighter than I’d like, best fit to a head around 20-21 inches – this one is also in the Targhee Shimmer. Many thanks to my sample knitter friend Revi for knitting up this sample!!
The reverse side is a cool swirly design, reminiscent of leaves, on a stockinette stitch background:
The recommended method for the twisted stitches, the way I show on my tutorial page here, which makes twists over 2 back stitches by twisting all 3 stitches around each other, is what creates that pattern on the reverse. If you instead work the over-2 twists like cables (the back 2 stitches staying oriented the same way, as a normal cable twist), then the reverse side will look how you see below, which you may like better! So that gives you another modification option – one of my test knitters made her hat this way because she preferred it. Looks good!
And then the crown when reversed is a more subtle design, but still looks very nice, I think:
Above is the medium size, and below is the extra large, for a more loose-fitting reverse side crown:
Hey are you liking my photos?! We went a bit crazy with photos for this pattern, because we went on a few end-of-summer day trips and brought the hats and camera along! Good timing! When I say “we” I mean my husband and I – so many thanks to Pete for being my patient photographer!!
A few weeks ago, we took a trip to central Oregon, driving through Mount Hood on the way out, with a stop at Timberline Lodge (aka the Overlook Hotel!) – the above shot was inside Timberline.
It was crazy foggy that morning, like we were inside a cloud! And the misty air made some of the photos almost look like it was snowing, which is great! Also, I was FREEZING during this outdoor shoot – it was going to be a super warm day, and the layers I had with me were not adequate for the mountaintop inside a cloud. But we still got some great shots up there!
Different angles outside the lodge – the above and below shots were like 30 feet away from each other, facing different directions.
And I tried to shoot some non-modeled shots with Timberline backgrounds, but the lighting inside was no good and they didn’t turn out well. This one looks okay, up against a lodge wall:
Then we headed out to central Oregon, to the Painted Hills! We’d never been before, it was pretty incredible!
These Painted Hills shots don’t really fit the forest theme of the hat, so I didn’t use any in the pattern pdf, but I like how all the photos represent a variety of Oregon nature, and the hat was inspired by Oregon nature.
Unfortunately, it was a bad time of year (and a bad year, I think) for waterfalls – the above shot is in front of where there should be a waterfall, and the blurry fall in the background below is the biggest one on the hike we took, which sometimes looks like this. That wasn’t a surprise though, we knew the waterfalls wouldn’t be major at the very beginning of fall.
So we searched for good lighting (this hat was especially hard to light!) and snapped some shots, and hiked through the forest… and then I was stung by bees! Twice! I’d never been stung before and it was shocking and painful, and kind of threw off our whole hike and photoshoot game. I was a little worried and not feeling super smiley anymore… so we cut the hike short for the day.
So to fill in the gaps and get all the shots I needed, we went for a walk at Mt Tabor last weekend. Lots of Douglas Fir tree backgrounds there!
Of course, I wore my Oregon t-shirt as a uniform for all these shoots, and the same glasses, so they’d all look cohesive, but now you know the truth that there were 3 different days of photoshoots!
Lots of great shots at Mt Tabor! Thanks Oregon, and Douglas Fir trees, for the hat design inspiration!
Many thanks to my excellent test knitters for whipping up hats in different sizes and kinds of yarn and stuff – check out their projects on ravelry!
Hey a random note, since this was designed to look like Douglas Firs, and those are the trees featured heavily in Twin Peaks (they are “really something!”) – if you are into knitting + Twin Peaks, you should back the Kickstarter for this Twin Peaks pattern collection! I am REALLY excited about it, not just because I love Twin Peaks, but because the patterns look fabulous!! (I have no connection to it except that I donated some rewards for the kickstarter, I’m just telling you because it’s awesome.)
So that’s Siskiyou! It’s fun to knit, worsted weight makes it fairly quick, and it’s cozy to wear! Happy fall weather knitting, all!
My latest pattern can be found in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015, in your local bookstore or yarn shop, or online here. Galax Shawl is a worsted weight, lacy, modular piece, which is almost more like a scarf than a shawl in shape:
It’s a long, narrow shawl/wrap, or a wide, lacy, curved scarf, however you want to think of it! The worsted weight lace makes it nice and cozy but not too heavy, and it can be styled lots of different ways.
Here it is in the magazine!
I mentioned in my big rambling recent post that this design was coming, and that it started out as a submission idea for a different publication and then got tweaked for this one. It went through a few different iterations before finding its best version… The body has always been the same (except for changes to gauge/ stitch counts), but the edging got changed a few times throughout the design process. I’m really happy with the end results!
I’m also really happy with how it looks in the magazine! Yay!
The design is in HiKoo Kenzie yarn (same yarn I used for my Tionne sweater, one of my all time favorite yarns!) and it looks excellent in a tweedy, slightly halo-y kind of yarn blend like this one (which is 50% New Zealand merino, 25% nylon, 10% angora, 10% alpaca, 5% silk noils). It uses about 660 yards / 600 meters of worsted weight yarn, so it requires 5 balls of the Kenzie.
The finished measurements are approx 110 inches / 280 cm along outer edge, 70 inches / 178 cm along inner edge, and 11 inches / 28 cm wide. It’s plenty long to wrap around your neck several times!
Or it can be draped more loosely and shawl-like:
It’s made modularly, with no picked up stitches – the edging is first, sideways, with a sideways edge cast-on technique to leave live stitches along the top for later, then the body is worked across those body stitches, up to the top.
The lace patterns are charted. It’s a pretty easy knit, in terms of complexity/techniques… just follow the charts and it’ll all work out. But, do keep track of your rows well – don’t do what I did and accidentally skip 1 row two thirds of the way through the edging and then don’t notice it until your stitch count is 1 off at the end. Actually, if you do that, it’s really not a big deal – just add an extra stitch and it’ll be fine, no one will ever notice. Me, on the other hand, I was too worried the tiny mistake would show up in a photo so I frogged the whole chunk and fixed it :-p Can you see the mistake below there? I can! I’m glad I fixed it so it doesn’t drive me crazy forever! (It wouldn’t drive me crazy at all for the mistake to exist in the knit item, but if it showed in a photo in the magazine, that would have been a bummer.)
Anyway, as long as you keep track of your rows, pretty simple pattern. Well, compared to a lot of my designs, basic-ish. Just the 2 sections, each with a repeating chart pattern, worked flat, no finishing steps. And I love knitting chunky lace in worsted, so I think it’s a pretty fun knit!
If you want to think variations/mods, I think it would look pretty cool with different colors used for the edging and body. As for more advanced mods, it wouldn’t be difficult to adjust the size – well, of course you could use a different weight to make it either smaller or larger by just making it in a different gauge. But, you could do a more extreme size mod by giving it fewer or more repeats across the length, by working this mod: Stop the first section (the edging) when the body stitches on the long side of the marker total any multiple of 35, plus 4 (fewer than 284 for a shorter length, or more than 284 for a longer length); work the body section normally (you’ll just have a different number of pattern repeats). If you have only 4 balls of Kenzie instead of 5, work this mod to make it 1 repeat shorter – stop the edging when you have 249 body stitches; or if you have 5 balls, that’s enough to make it longer if you want to, stopping at 319 body stitches. For yardage planning purposes, the edging uses approx 45% of the total yardage.
If you try a modification (or just if you make a Galax at all), be sure to post a photo on ravelry so I can see it! :)
A couple other things real quick… I happened to notice this morning that my instagram account had 999 posts and 1990 followers, coincidentally, so I made this graphic to be my 1000th post:
The deal is, when 2000 followers is reached (as I’m writing this it’s at 1992), I’ll pick 5 winners at random from ALL followers (new and old) to each win a $6 off coupon code for my patterns!
And lastly, I was interviewed for episode #3 of the new Stash podcast! Stash, in Corvallis, Oregon, is one of my favorite ever yarn shops so of course I was thrilled to be one of their first designer interviewees! Listen to hear me talk about designing, collaborating, binge watching, working at home alone, Portland, and more! (iTunes link)
News for Oregonians! For the first time this year, I’ll be teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby – and registration deadline is very soon! Register online by this Saturday (Sept 5th) to ensure your spot. If you miss that deadline, you can still come and sign up in person at the event, but you risk there not being space left.
I’m teaching No-Pattern Hat Knitting; I’ll teach you how to make 3 different kinds of hats with constructions that allow you to size it to your head as you knit, in any weight/gauge. I taught this class at Knit Fit! in Seattle last year and it was great! I’m excited to teach it again! My class is Friday September 25th in the afternoon slot.
And another thing for more northern Pacific Northwest knitters – I won’t actually be at Knit Fit! this year, but my Game Knitting night will be! This year’s movie is Clueless so I’m bummed to be missing it, but you should go and have tons of fun without me!!
So, I don’t use this blog a ton anymore these days… I figure it kind of exists for followers of my work who want to keep up with what I’m up to, and as a place to talk in more detail about new designs and stuff. It’s been quite a busy year, and is continuing to be, so how about I use this space to tell you all about what’s up with me, and you can read it all the way to the bottom if you’re interested… and I’ll tell you a few more newsy things up front. I don’t have a big vision for this blog in the long term, but for now, right now, I feel like rambling on a bit about my year and design work, so I’m going to do that, and I’ll continue to announce new patterns as they come, and if there’s some random tutorial or project here and there that I find the time to post, I will, but yeah, mostly just the rambling and the announcements.
I want to address some things you may have pre-ordered from me, to let you know they are not forgotten and give you a general timeline.
Full Body Trio. Tionne, the first pattern, was released last fall, Lopes came in the spring, and the final pattern (Chilli) was originally meant for the end of this year. My original design idea was for a piece that was a warm layer for winter/fall, so that was my plan… but I did some rethinking on the design this year, a new idea popped into my head, and the concept evolved into a springy (possibly summery) kind of garment. So, that is staying on hold for awhile longer – planned release is now early spring of next year.
Triyang collection. Nothing new to say about that, but I’ll just repeat here that I plan/hope to get the other 3 patterns out by the end of this year.
Adventure Knitting 3. The ebook is complete, has been for awhile, so if you buy it digitally you’re all set. But the print book (like the first 2 have) is on hold for a little awhile because I just flat out ran out of time; I needed to get caught up on deadline projects first, then I’ll get that book together and hopefully have it released in time to make a good holiday gift possibility :)
Remixed. This is my big guilty weight on my shoulders. The pattern collection was complete several years ago, and the recycled-yarn-making ebook is still in progress. I feel terrible about this, and I learned big lessons about how to plan long-term projects going forward… I keep planning/trying to squeeze it in between other things, but there ends up not being time enough to complete it. It really is getting there, and my plan as of right now is to basically spend January on this ebook, like top priority for that entire month (unfortunately, there is no sooner month with time available). As for the patterns, I have a huge update in the works, which I almost finished last spring and then wasn’t able to do the final steps, and I really hope to find the 2-3 days needed to focus on that and get it done and released – this will be all 8 pattern pdfs in a modified format to take up WAY fewer pages, more in line with my current pdf style, and edited/updated to just be better patterns generally. Also, when the patterns are updated and the ebook is finally released, the price of the whole collection will be going up a bit, so ordering now will save a few bucks.
Okay, that’s that. Now I’ll tell you all about what I’ve been up to, design-wise, for the last almost-year…
Last fall, there was a submission call for a publication that spoke to me – I immediately started brainstorming and came up with 2 different design ideas I loved, which I thought fit the call really well. I put a ton of work into designing both patterns pretty thoroughly, and sent in my submission. Unfortunately, the call got an overwhelming number of submissions (it’s a popular publication) and mine didn’t make the cut.
Which was totally okay with me, because during the proposal-making process, I’d thought and brainstormed, and ended up realizing, hey, this one design, the construction is awesome and super versatile, it would actually make for a perfect collection! That design ended up becoming Twou – the lace design in the Triyang collection. The big gold swatch in that photo was the design swatch for that proposal. Twou will be a bit different (heavier weight yarn for one thing) but that was the beginning of the Triyang collection design process. As soon as it didn’t get in there, I started planning the collection around the construction, deciding to do it similarly to the Betiko collection, a garter stitch, any-gauge pattern, and then lace, cabled, and colorwork designs in the same construction. But unlike the patterns in the Betiko collection, I decided to just do one version per pattern, just a single gauge pattern for each of the non-garter designs. I was super excited to get the ball rolling on this… but needed to work on other things first that were already rolling. So, I’d get back to that collection plan in 2015 (this planning ahead after the proposal was still happening in late fall of last year).
So then, there was that other submission – remember how I said I proposed 2 different pattern ideas? Shortly after that proposal didn’t work out, I saw another call for submissions for another publication, for which the second design idea fit perfectly! The first proposal was for fingering weight, and this one was for worsted (or, based on the call, I wanted to change the design to worsted), so I made a new swatch and sent in that proposal… and didn’t hear back… and pretty much forgot about it… until earlier this year, I found out they’d held onto the design for a later issue from the one I’d submitted to, and it was picked up for that one, yay!
And, even though it’s not out yet, I can actually tell you what it’s going to be in, and show you a photo of it, because it was revealed in the fall issue of Interweave Knits! (And online too.) So yeah, this pattern will be in the Gifts issue of Interweave, coming out pretty soon!
So, that was designed and knit and everything in early spring of this year, around the same time I was designing and knitting Lopes. And around the same time I’d originally been hoping to be designing the entire Triyang collection… I had this whole plan at the beginning of the year, which involved the then-unnamed triangle shawl collection being released in the spring, before the Adventure Knit-a-long launched. Well, the theme of my life pretty much is things always take SO MUCH more time than I expect/want them to… Zulo took a ton of extra time, throwing off my early spring, and then Lopes did as well, and since that new Interweave pattern was thrown into the timeline, by the time I actually got going designing Triyang, it was already getting really close to the time of year I wanted to release the whole collection.
And then, like I mentioned in my Triyang post, I ended up spending WAY more time than expected swatching out versions of the shawl shape, trying to get it just right and figure out how to write the pattern, etc, etc. So by the time I was actually ready to knit the samples, and figure out stitch patterns for the other collection patterns and stuff, it was late April, and I had to make some choices. I could really try to get the whole collection out as planned, as quickly as possible, before the Adventure KAL, and then the KAL would have to happen in late summer, possibly like really late summer. I didn’t want to do that – I wanted the KAL to happen in early-mid summer, and I knew trying to get the collection out pre KAL (which still needed to be designed at this point!) would risk things taking longer than expected and the KAL getting bumped even more… it just wasn’t going to work.
Oh, and then, kind of a tangent, there were a couple of other designs thrown into the mix right around this time of the year. I worked really hard (spending way too much time, once again) on a publication proposal in May, cutting into that Triyang designing time. And I did a design for a third party in June (a secret one, pixelated below, which will be revealed probably in a few weeks), which again lengthened my timeline on self-publishing plans. Of course, I take on all these projects because I want to, and I love doing them, I just kind of am terrible at planning realistic timelines for myself.
I made my decision, got Triyang and the collection in general (especially Twou, which already had a lot of work put into it) into a state where I’d kind of worked through everything that was in-process in my brain and in notes, wrote up the whole pattern in as complete a format as possible, so that I could put the whole thing on hold for a few months, and I’d be able to pick it back up where I left off no problem. (Putting a design on hold and coming back to it later is normally pretty risky, since you might not remember little things that you hadn’t thought were worth writing down at the time, or you might not be able to decipher your own notes, or just not being in the same headspace as before can hurt the design…) During this first run of Triyang collection designing, I made alllll the swatches I mentioned last week, figuring out ratios and everything, all the design details, for the Triyang pattern, which would relate to the whole collection… lots of notes were taken.
Since Twou had been semi-designed for that submission, I did more swatching in the new heavier weight gauge, made some stitch pattern decisions, and got that pattern basically done, to come back and knit the sample later. Twou will be in Infinite TwistHelix DK weight yarn (in Spooky Purple):
I also made yarn decisions about the other two designs, so that I’d be ready to dive right in when the time came to focus on them, getting these skeins of Black TrilliumPebble Worsted (in Phoenix Rising and Saltwater) for the colorwork pattern:
So that collection was all planned out for later, and I set it aside, the first Triyang sample in-progress and the other yarns all ready to go, so I could pick them up as soon as possible.
I started work on designing this year’s Adventure Knitting collection then, in May. With the plan to get that done, like completely totally done, by the time the actual KAL started, in July, so while the KAL itself was happening I could be knitting the Triyang samples and designing the other collection patterns. And then, like a month or so after the KAL, I’d release the entire 4-pattern collection all at once.
Well, of course, Adventure Knitting got totally out of hand and took SO MUCH more time than I wanted it to. I had this plan that I’d make this year’s much simpler and shorter than last year’s, which was ridiculously long and complex and just too much. Well, this year’s was different, and there were some things that were shorter/faster, but other things that kind of spiraled away from my plans and got bigger and bigger… and in the end, this year’s pattern book was even LONGER than last year’s. Blech, why do I let these things get so overwhelming? One idea leads to another and I can’t stop myself. Great for you (SO MANY pattern options to choose from!), not so good for me and my timeline. So, I was still finishing up samples and doing work on the pattern all the way through the KAL, and wasn’t able to even pick up Triyang until the KAL was over.
Which leads me to other factors… My plan to release the Triyang collection asap after the KAL was part of the greater plan/timeline for the year. Because I’m doing the big awesome exciting collaboration project this fall! (Mentioned back here.) And then, three other opportunities happened to come up for the fall which I couldn’t pass up, because they are all so great and exciting and I’m wanting to branch out and do more third party stuff and diversify my income and all that self-employment stuff… so… I have deadlines now for 6 (SIX) different patterns within the next couple of months. Which is insane, for me. I usually design pretty complex patterns, and I usually average around 1 per month. So yeah.
This is why my Triyang collection plans got further bumped. I really loved the idea of releasing all 4 patterns at once, and I even had a head start – Twou was almost completely designed in like April – but once the KAL was over, and these other deadlines had appeared, there was no way. The Triyang pattern was almost done already, so I powered through that and got it out as quickly as I could, and now I’m focused on all this new excited stuff through early November. And then, I really hope I’ll be able to get those 3 Triyang collection patterns designed and finished extra quickly, since they are all started. Of course, there’s that theme of everything always taking longer than expected, but I’ll just do my best and see how it goes.
One thing I did to speed up the Triyang release was a new system that I think turned out really well, and will hopefully speed up future pattern releases as well. I skipped the entire test-knitting process! The pattern got knit by me (in the case of Triyang, knit over and over and over by me, like 20 times!), and then when it was in its as-finished-as-possible-by-me state, it went to an excellent tech editor who gave extremely thorough notes, found a couple of typos, checked that all my numbers were correct, etc, and now the pattern is all set for public use! (Thanks Chris for the great edit!) The only thing missing is project pages on ravelry when the pattern is brand new, which my patterns usually have from the test knitters; so if some of you fabulous knitters out there make a Triyang and post your projects on ravelry, I will be so happy! There are already a few, which is awesome, including this finished one by Sarah! Love it!!
So that’s a bunch of assorted behind the scenes leethal stuff that’s been going on in my year. As for what you can look forward to for the rest of the year, besides those Triyang patterns around the end of it, more details about that collaboration will be revealed in a couple of months, and I’ll be instagramming peeks at those patterns as I work on them.
And then a couple of other things I’m working on won’t be revealed until next year. And speaking of next year, I have some big plans for 2016! A couple of months ago, I brainstormed up an idea that I am SUPER excited about, but now I have to patiently wait until the end of the year to launch it. At least I’ll have plenty of fun work to keep me busy till then!!
Triyang (ravelry link) is a garter stitch shawl, made any size with any weight yarn, with a fun modular construction – 3 narrow triangles are joined with short rows, increases, and decreases, no picked up stitches, to form a long, slightly asymmetrical triangle shape. Only 2 stitches are cast on, and there’s no bind off at all.
It can be made with or without stripes for different kinds of looks. The pattern includes detailed notes on striping.
The pattern also includes instructions for maximizing your yardage – weigh your yarn before you start, and then make your shawl to use up as much yarn as possible without running out.
The pattern gives small, medium, large sizes – my blue-green gradient sample is the small, and my grey+white striped sample is the large – but you can make any size. The edge of the first section ends up being almost exactly half the length of the top edge of the final piece, so it’s super easy to make exactly the size you want! Or do the yarn weighing thing and make it whatever size you can get with the yarn you have.
My large sample is big enough to wrap around twice for mega coziness, or drape more loosely around once, keeping the shoulders comfy, or make weirdo poses like this:
The pattern also includes a breakdown of the construction, with schematics, customization options – like adding ties…
…or making it small for a kerchief…
…or using 3 equal skeins for 3 color blocks without running out of yarn (this sample is using 3 mini-skeins – the same style made with 3 full size skeins would make an awesome big shawl!)…
…and detailed instructions for the differing stripes pattern, which is what’s used in my large striped sample. There’s also a photo tutorial for German short rows (there’s also one of those on my website here), which is the recommended method.
The pdf is 8 pages total, but the pattern itself is on just 1 page! (A sentence which does actually warrant an exclamation point, which you know if you’re familiar with a lot of my patterns, usually much longer than 1 page!)
My large striped sample is in fabulous AnzulaCole aran weight silk/camel blend yarn – 2 skeins each color Au Natural and Pewter. This yarn was excellent to work with, and this shawl is absolutely luxurious and I love it so much!!
My small sample is in a Canon Hand DyesWilliam Merino Gradient yarn cake, fingering weight; I used approximately 430 yards out of the 460 yard cake, maximizing it the best I could without risking running out at the end. I love how this gradient worked out!
If you love the gradient look, but you like a larger shawl, I have some ideas for you! I think it would look awesome to use 2 of these gradient cakes – 1 cake from the center out, then start a second of the same colorway from the outside in, so the colors shift blue to green and back to blue, or whatever the colorway is. It would also look fantastic to stripe between a gradient yarn and a solid yarn throughout, doubling your yardage. Or, you could use 2 gradient cakes of the same colorway and hold them together, doubling the weight, for a larger + thicker shawl, since the pattern is written for any weight.
And then, my little cowl kind of sample with the ties – that’s in Knitted WitTarghee Shimmer Worsted, which is 80% Targhee wool and 20% silk. Love this yarn! And these aren’t 3 colors I’d normally have chosen, if I had a full palette to choose from, but I got these from the dyer’s extras and I thought, hmmmm, maybe this would be cool, and then I ended up loving it!! Yay for stepping outside your color comfort zone!
Speaking of stepping outside your color comfort zone… what you do all think of my striped sample, modeled over grey clothes?! That was a difficult photoshoot for me ;)
Anyway, there are 2 more little samples – a kerchief version, in orange Knitted WitWelterweight Rambouillet (which happens to be one of my all time favorite yarns ever, by the way), with a button closure:
And then the first actual sample I made, to test everything out and figure out the yardage percentage per section, so I could better plan my main samples (I instagrammed it many months ago)… this one is handspun alpaca striped with hand-dyed yarn scraps from my stash, all around worsted-aran weight. It’s just a little bit smaller than the official small size:
Other pattern things! This is the start of a new collection! The Triyang collection is similar to the Betiko collection – this first main pattern is a basic version, any-weight/any-gauge/any-size, with customization possibility. (Not to the extent of Betiko, but same kind of concept.) The 3 upcoming patterns will use the same construction as Triyang, same shape, with stitch patterns plugged in.
I am releasing this collection for pre-order in a new way – there are ravelry pattern pages up already for the nonexistent patterns, with preview photos! The preview for Twou, the lace pattern, with swatches, a sketch, some chart bits, the yarn being used for the sample (Infinite Twist Helix), and the beginning of the sample knit on the needle:
Then Liy, the colorwork pattern, with all slip-stitch striped colorwork, no stranded knitting (only 1 color used per row), directly below (in Black Trillium Pebble Worsted). And the cabled pattern, Vire, is down below that (in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted). These will all be released around the end of the year, probably/hopefully in or around December. If you pre-order the collection now, you’ll get Triyang immediately, and then each of these delivered to your inbox as soon as they’re out. (On ravelry here. Each individual pattern will be $6, the 4-pattern collection is $16.)
The design details in these photos may change significantly in the final designs – these are sketches and swatches from the planning process, to give you an idea of vaguely what the shawls might look like. I am at varying levels in the design process for these designs; I’ll be posting further previews as I work on them, but that won’t be for a few months. I’ll be posting another blog post in the near future more about this collection, about the design process more, and I’ll talk about why the other 3 patterns are delayed a bit (other exciting things happening this fall! too much excitement!).
Other things… For this collection, I created a new custom font for pattern headings and stuff, and I made a new pattern template, so the Triyang pdf has a bit of a different look to it from my other patterns. I had fun thinking outside the box for the cover page!
Oh, something else I had fun messing around with – I wanted to show you a visual of how the construction works, very basically, so I made an animated gif! Not to scale, kind of a wonky shape, but just to give you an idea:
So there’s the order of how things are worked – you start at the left point, across the bottom section 1, then the middle section 2 gets worked up from there, and the final section 3 starts again at the left point, out all the way to the other point. Here are 4 samples’ left points, where the 3 sections meet up:
The design process was pretty extreme for figuring out exactly the best ways to make the shape and stuff… I’d originally planned to have different options for things like increase ratios and short row stitch counts, to make differently shaped triangles (like, more or less deep, more or less asymmetrical). But after a couple weeks of swatching (there are 8 of my large swatches pictured below), I came to the conclusion that the best pattern would be made by sticking to the best combinations of these elements instead of giving options and making it too complex for no good reason.
Okay I’ll stop typing now and just show you a few more photos. I’ll be back to the blog soon for kind of a more behind the scenes process post about this collection, plus more general leethal news kinds of things… For now, enjoy Triyang, and I hope wherever in the world you are you’re getting some good knitting weather!
Edited to add a couple notes:
There’s a casual knit-a-long for Triyang in the leethal knitters! ravelry group, which basically means, if you make a Triyang you’re encouraged to share it there in the group, and if you have any questions, you can ask them in there.
It’s currently Monday, July 27th, which gives you almost a week to get a finished project up on ravelry and qualify for the HUGE GIVEAWAY, which will happen next Monday, August 3rd. All finished project pages with at least 1 photo of the finished item are eligible to win, so the more you make, the better chance you have. Even if you haven’t started yet, there are some very small, quick-knit items, so you can totally whip one up in time!
So now, the pattern! Warning to mystery KALers who are still in mystery-land with their knitting, there will be spoilers below, of individual parts of the whole, stitch patterns and some close-ups of items. Nothing that hasn’t already been included in the spoilers sections of the pdfs.
For now, I will reveal what is included in the collection, and how it all works, and I’ll show you all the stitch patterns, and some peeks of items… After the complete ebook and print book are released, I’ll put up another post with all my samples and details about them. That will probably be in about 2 weeks, but it depends on how long the print book takes to finish and ship and stuff. The ebook will automatically be sent out to everyone who bought the knit-a-long, as soon as it’s finished, in about a week, after the KAL is over.
There are 5 items to choose from in this collection: smooth hat (aka normal hat), pointed hat, standard cowl (which can be a scarf or stole if you don’t join it around), rounded cowl, or mitts (which can be made as hole-less wrist-warmers, or with plain holes for thumbs, or with knitted thumbs).
Any item can be made in any yarn weight, all custom fitted to the size you want. The smooth hat can be fitted or slouchy; the pointed hat can be made more or less pointed; the cowls can be wide or narrow, long or short; the rounded cowl can be more or less rounded; the mitts are fitted to your hand, as long as you like.
For all items, you can choose how you want to join around: sewn seam, 3-needle bind-off, grafting, or buttoning closure. (Some KALers are mixing and matching, like sewn seam with buttons sewn over it to hide the seam and look neat, or buttons only at the bottom.)
There are 5 “habitat” background stitch patterns, all patterns working with all items. This is what they look like in color coded swatches – arctic, forest, grassland, lake, and ocean. They each have one “embellishment” option, which is shown in the top half of each swatch. (You can click any of the photos to see them bigger on flickr.)
There are 5 motif patterns for each of the 5 background patterns – these are called “animal” patterns, because the animals live within the habitats. Here are swatches of the 25 different motifs (26 actually, because Lake has a bonus extra pattern) – they are meant to be placed within the background pattern base, so they look a bit wonky standing alone in the swatches, but it gives you the idea of what they look like…
You can add any of the animals onto the matching habitat that you’re using (if you have enough stitches), worked within the habitat stitches. Use just one animal in an item, or a few, or all 5; work them once, or repeat them, or work in scattered clusters. Check out the KALers’ projects on ravelry to see tons of different ways the animal patterns can be used! Here are peeks at a few of my sample items, animals placed in different ways:
Above are the Ocean habitat in fingering weight yarn (by Schmutzerella), and the Lake habitat in worsted weight yarn (by Anzula). Below are both the Forest habitat, but made really differently – aran weight yarn (by Jill Draper Makes Stuff), and sport-DK weight with changing contrasting colors (the changing colors are by Infinite Twist, with the blue main color by Louet):
I had lots of fun naming the patterns and drawing the animals to go with them! They are very much not designed to look like the animals, it’s just a naming theme; I chose animals I like and wanted to draw, and picked a variety of different kinds of animals for each habitat. With a cryptozoology twist!! Each of the 5 habitats feature one crypto-animal!
Each habitat has the 5 animals (except Lake has the bonus one) – they each have 2 independent patterns, which are mostly pretty large and complex (ish), and then 3 patterns which are kind of smaller/medium/larger versions of each other.
These are named as baby, teen, and grownup versions of the animal (eg, one of the patterns is Bison, so there is a Baby bison, a Teen bison, and a Grownup bison). One of the animals is a Wolf, so I had to draw this to hide it tiny in the pdf/booklet. I just couldn’t not do it. Below is the print booklet page. (I think this is just for the KAL, I won’t include it in the final book, too silly.)
So what else? I’ve made 9 samples so far, but I’m working on a couple last-minute extras this week to round things out and show as many combos as possible. Oh, I forgot to mention another option – you can choose to go on your adventure either on flat ground or walking uphill. Walking uphill means making your piece on the bias, or diagonally – it makes the item more complex to make, but it looks extra cool.
I’ll start showing peeks of my samples on instagram and ravelry soon – I’ve made all the different item types, some uphill, some flat, in all the habitats. Below is my stack so far – from top to bottom, there are: an aran weight smooth hat in the arctic uphill, a worsted weight smooth hat in the grassland flat, a sock weight smooth hat at the lake uphill, a sport-DK weight pointed hat in the forest flat, worsted weight mitts with thumbs at the lake flat, aran-bulky weight mitts with plain holes in the arctic flat, an aran weight standard cowl in the forest uphill, a sock weight rounded cowl at the ocean flat, a bulky weight rounded cowl in the arctic uphill. I will be adding one more pointed hat, and a pair of wrist-warmers (mitts with no holes).
Oh and, this year’s Adventure Knitting is the same as the last two, with the printable folding booklet (see 1 here and 2 here). The KAL version of the booklet is kind of crazy long, because written and charted patterns are separated; the final booklet (included in the ebook, released next week to everyone who bought the KAL) won’t be quite so many pages. You can find folding and binding instructions on my website here.
Speaking of tutorials on my website, there are lots of new tutorials which have recently been added, or updated, to go with the stitch patterns in this collection (shadow wraps, some complextwists, and new videos on the cables and twisted stitches pages). My tutorials page is updated to be better organized, too – check it out!
It’s coming! This year’s leethal Adventure Knit-a-long starts in July! It’s released for pre-order now, on my site and on ravelry, and you can start chatting about adventure plans in the leethal rav forum. If you sign up, you’ll automatically receive each pattern section on the release dates, and the complete collection ebook when it’s all over.
There’s an early-signup discount right now – $8 until Monday, when it will raise to $9 for the rest of the pre-order time, then it will go up each time a section is released. (Note: If you are in an EU country, your country’s VAT will be added to the price.)
Here’s the calendar:
(Monday, June 8th: pre-order price raises to $9)
Thursday, July 2nd: setup section released (price raises to $10)
Thursday, July 9th: pattern section 1 released (price raises to $11)
Thursday, July 16th: pattern section 2 released (price raises to $12)
Thursday, July 23rd: pattern section 3 released (price raises to $14, the final price)
ebook will be released shortly after the KAL ends
A leethal Adventure KAL is like a mystery KAL with tons of choices, Choose Your Own Adventure style, so you end up with a custom item. So, KALers’ projects all look totally different from each other, which makes the sharing part really fun, and then when the KAL is over you have the whole collection and can make more different items in the future. (To show you Adventure Knitting variety – first year’s collection; second year’s collection.)
If you join the KAL, you’ll be choosing from several different accessory items to make, selecting design details for your item, and picking from a wide variety of different stitch patterns to use. Techniques used and experience level required depend on the choices made, so if you want to make a really simple, mindless kind of piece, that will be possible; if you want to make a crazy complex piece with lace, twisted stitches, cables, short rows, and more, that will be possible too!
The way the sections will work this year will be a bit different… I won’t reveal much now, but because of the structure, and the fact that there are several small-ish kinds of items, this KAL will be very inviting to making multiple items if you want to.
As for the theme, some of that is part of the mystery, but I’ll tell you this: there will be animals. The pre-order pdf gives you a bit more theme info (not much), and these drawings show a glimpse of where the adventure will take place. There won’t be so much of a story like there was last year – I’m focusing on the knitting itself this year – but there should be some fun drawings and stuff, and I might throw in an extra non-knitting item for fun, still planning these extra details out.
This year there will be prizes given out at random to KALers with ravelry project pages! Details about that will be announced in the ravelry group as things progress, but basically, make sure you put up your ravelry project page(s) once you get started knitting, as prize drawings will be based on those.
The pre-order pdf gives some info about yarn needed, so you can start planning – I’ll paste some of that in here for you:
All items and stitch patterns will be for any gauge / yarn weight, but if you use a heavy weight yarn, you may have fewer options for stitch patterns.
Most patterns this year are for one single yarn, but that yarn can be multicolored – stitch patterns may be obscured by very contrasty variegated yarns, but more subtle variegation, or gradient style colorways with blending stripes, may be a very nice fit. There will be an option for a two-color design as well, so if you have two solid colors you want to use together, that’ll work too!
Most items will use one or two skeins worth of yardage, so if you have one good single skein, you will definitely be able to use it!
Above is the DIY bound book from the first year’s collection – KAL pattern sections come to you both as normal pdf pages, and as printable, foldable book pages, which you can bind together when the collection is complete and make yourself a book like that! And all complete Adventure Knitting collections (post-KAL) are available as ebooks, which include these printable pages, so you can make the books of each collection for your bookshelf. Also, post-KAL, the collections are turned into print books, for those who prefer normal books over KALs and DIY books – something for everyone! Below are the first two Adventure Knitting collections on my shelf – A Day in the Woods and The Mysterious Trunk – and last year’s in the print book format.
This year’s will be the same – a collection of items, with tons of options; right now, the KAL is listed as an ebook on ravelry, with just one “mystery item” as a placeholder. When the setup section pdf is released to KALers, the items will be revealed and pattern listings will go up for each item type. Of course, projects of the same item type will all look different, depending on stitch patterns used, and also yarn weight, etc.
I’ve been designing all the stitch patterns over the last few weeks – pictured below is one of my swatches, over 20 different stitch patterns tested out in a row, many of them successes (many not!). The structure of how the stitch patterns will work within the pieces is different from the last two years, and I’m really loving how it’s all coming together!
Things haven’t been plugged into pattern pages yet (mostly working from charts for now, while I plan it all out), but I’m really hoping it all comes together a bit more compactly than last year’s collection, which got kind of overwhelming and huge (112-page DIY book pictured below). I LOVE last year’s collection – the knit items, the stitch patterns, the theme, the fortune telling objects – but it did get a bit out of control with the amount of time I spent on it, and getting the collection to fit into the print book format was quite the challenge.
But, even with this year’s pattern collection planned to be a bit more compact, the quantity of samples made will probably end up being pretty similar to last year’s stack (below), since there are just SO MANY options and I want to show them all! (Well, not ALL, then I’d have to make like a thousand samples!) Luckily, this year there aren’t any really big projects like there were last year – there are a couple items which can be made extra large if you want, and would look awesome in large sizes, but I can choose to stick to smaller sizes for my samples due to time constraints. Anyway, I’m rambling a bit here, giving you a glimpse into my process, or something :-p
So, come adventure with us – the group is already chatting about yarn choices and stuff. Also, there’s a casual KAL thread for making projects from the first two Adventure Knitting collections, for those who want some adventurous knitting fun this month before the official KAL starts! This can be for if you’ve just now discovered Adventure Knitting and want to try out one of the previous collections, or for if you are already an owner of a previous collection and want to maybe make another item from it while you await this year’s KAL.
While we eagerly wait till July, I may post some very vague peeks on instagram during this month, glimpses at what kinds of accessories this year will have to offer, maybe some new drawings…
Oh! Speaking of instagram – use #AdventureKAL on whatever social media you’re into, when posting about your KAL projects. Of course, ravelry will be the main place for sharing projects (both project pages, and leethal group forum), but we can also check in with the hashtag for sharing beyond rav!
I think that’s all for now. Any questions? Ask them in the rav group and I’ll answer what I can… Yay Adventure KAL! I’m so excited!
Hi readers! I am excited to tell you that I have a new page on my website: print patterns! An assortment of my most popular patterns (kind of a random selection actually, based on things like formatting, not just on popularity) are now available in high-quality printed format; you can see them all on that page, where you can link to the pattern info pages to learn more about the patterns, and click over to buy them through MagCloud.
When you buy a print pattern there, you’ll also receive a digital copy of the pattern (not the ravelry digital version in your rav library, just a pdf of the print pattern, but that way you can get started right away!). The pricing of the print patterns there is the same as my print patterns sold in yarn shops; if you want to save on shipping, you can always ask your local yarn shop if they carry my patterns ;)
And speaking of yarn shops, if you happen to own or work at a yarn shop, the other big website update I just completed is my wholesale page. It’s now all up to date, with a current downloadable line sheet, and previews of all available patterns.
So those are my announcements of what’s new right now… as for more exciting new pattern type news, I have been working hard on many things, including this year’s Adventure Knit-a-long!! But you’ll learn more about that very soon (like, next week!) so I won’t say anything else for now. Lots of other things I’ve been working on lately are supersecret, so I don’t have much to show you for now.
I just got this Ikea cart thing (way discounted, woo!) and filled it with my in-progress / soon-to-be-in-progress projects, meaning yarn which has a planned purpose and needs to be knit up asap. I have A LOT of knitting to get done in the next few months! Ah, who am I kidding, the next few months, I have A LOT of knitting to get done like always and forever. So many exciting project ideas, so little time!
So, I’m hard at work on Adventure Knitting. I have a collection in the works, which includes that stripy project in the corner up there, which is not supersecret – I’ve posted some insta peeks at that one (below). That collection was originally meant for a spring release actually, but due to timing issues, and more thinking on it, I decided it’s actually a better fall collection anyway, and I don’t want the Adventure KAL to be so late in the summer like it was last year (when it happened in August). I’d rather push the KAL to earlier in the summer, then release the collection after that, when we’re thinking ahead to cooler weather, so yeah, that collection is something to look forward to a bit later in the year…
And then I’ve been working on several secret things, one in the so-not-leethal yarns pictured below! And another in a secret yarn I can’t show you, but it is fabulous and I can’t wait to show you eventually.
And then there’s a collaboration project in the works which is VERY exciting – I’m working with awesome Portland designers Star Athena and Shannon Squire, local yarn dyer Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and our photographer friend (and sometimes designer) Vivian Aubrey. This is actually the idea for which the seed was planted several year ago between Star, Vivian, and I – I blogged about it briefly here back in 2012 – but it got put on hold for years, and then evolved. We’re really excited to have brought Shannon and Tina of Blue Moon on board, and the ball is officially rolling!! Here is an epic pile of Blue Moon yarns:
As for more personal life update stuff – I was down with a horrid flu for the last few weeks, so things have been slowed down a bit. There were a few days, two weeks ago, when I felt like my body was trying to kill me and I couldn’t even knit, and then I was well enough to knit simple things but not really do anything else, for like a week… and I’ve been kind of slow and blah for about the last week. Yesterday and today I’m finally feeling just about normal, so yay for normal! (I think my furry buddy was a bit worried about me when I was really sick.)
Here in Portland, the weather is turning, the weeds are going crazy, and I’m trying to enjoy the nice bits and not think of the uncomfortably hot days ahead… I got this beautiful poppy plant for the front yard which makes me happy to look at everyday, and I’m growing tomatoes, strawberries, and blueberries in the back yard (and the wild blackberries, which involves mostly cutting them back, and keeping a small-ish patch to harvest). I made granola yesterday for the first time, and it went really well – had my first warm weather season breakfast this morning: yogurt, blueberries (store bought for now), banana slices, and granola, yum! (I’m a very seasonal breakfast eater – oatmeal everyday October-ish, through May-ish, and then cold cereal/yogurt topped with granola, berries, and other yummy things in the warm/hot months, one thing I love about summer!) Anyway, to sum things up, the weather is super nice right now, the yard work needing to be done is overwhelming and awful, but berries are good, and flowers are pretty.
So that’s all for now… you can look forward to Adventure KAL news very soon! Happy springtime!
Lopes, the second garment pattern in my Full Body Trio mini-collection (after Tionne), has been released! (On ravelry here!) If you follow me on social media at all, you saw plenty of peeks a couple months back when I was making the first sample – I was posting all kinds of close-ups on instagram, revealing things like the sleeves (and the fact that it was an item that had sleeves), the seed stitch edge, the drop-stitch wedges…
But the BIG REVEAL when the pattern was released last Thursday night was that it’s a cardigan that can also be worn as a skirt!! TAH DAH!
It’s a springy/summery, drapey, flared, airy, swingy wrap cardigan, with short sleeves which can be turned in and laced closed, turning them into the functional pockets of the wraparound skirt!
I made a video showing you how it works and some different ways it can be worn:
That was fun! (Many thanks to Pete for whipping up that background music for me!)
So, here are things about the pattern… It’s written for any yarn weight/gauge, though nothing heavier than worsted is recommended, and working at a loose gauge for maximum drape is ideal. (I made a prototype to figure out shaping/construction/size stuff, in bulky weight, and it is totally ridiculous and unwearable. Part of it is that the sizing is all wrong, so that all got fixed in the pattern, but the bulky weight is really not a good fit for this item.)
The samples were made with Hazel KnitsLively DK, the beautiful Sedge colorway (which very much shifts colors depending on light!), knit at a very loose gauge (size US 8 needles on the shorter sample, US 7’s for the longer sample), and it was a fantastic yarn fit. Hazel Knits is an awesome yarn company, local-ish to me in the Pacific Northwest (based in Seattle), and they do dye-to-order if they don’t have the color you love in stock – turn around is two weeks (or less!) on custom dyed orders – there are so many gorgeous colorways, it was really hard for me to choose just one, but I really love the Sedge so I made a good choice!
Lopes is custom sized to your body, using your own measurements, and you can make it shorter or longer, as you prefer. You’ll need to make a good gauge swatch, take a few measurements on yourself, then fill out a worksheet with some math (very easy with a calculator app) to find your custom pattern numbers. (This is the same as how Tionne works, except Lopes is much simpler than Tionne, fewer sections and fewer numbers to find.)
The measurements of the piece are based on the measurements of your upper body, so the cardigan fits nicely around the back/shoulders, and around your waist, so the skirt fits. The fronts of the cardigan are therefore usually wide, overlapping quite a bit, for a double-breasted kind of wrap style sweater.
The cardigan flares out a lot, which makes it nice and swingy and fun to wear…
…but, as you saw in the video above, you also have the option of using ribbons/laces to cinch it around your body for a more form-fitting look.
The piece flares out with short row wedges, worked with a drop-stitch pattern – the fabric is already meant to be light and airy, so the dropped stitches make it more so, and the garter stitch borders add some texture. Of course, the skirt is designed to be worn over another skirt layer, or opaque leggings, or as a beach coverup, etc. Even if the fabric wasn’t see-through, it would still be scandalous to wear it without something under, since it’s open in the back!
That wraparound, open-back design makes for a very comfy, moveable skirt, as you can see in the shot below where I guess I’m being a dinosaur? Photoshoots are silly.
The sleeves/pockets are in garter stitch, giving them nice stretch while functioning both ways, and they have braided cables running down the centers, matching the braided cables along the bottom edge. And eyelet holes around the bottoms, for lacing up the pockets.
They are worked last, out from live stitches left in the body, in the round with short row shaping. Here’s a closeup of the sleeve cable joining the body:
(Side note: I had originally designed this with plain garter stitch sleeves; the idea to add the cables came to me as I was knitting up the sample, and I’m SO glad it did! Test knitters agreed that the sleeves are one of the best parts of the pattern. Love them!)
The short sample has very short sleeves, which makes the pockets not very functional, only meant for putting my hands in; the longer sample has sleeves about an inch longer, making the pockets more functional, but they still can’t hold very much. If you want really functional pockets for holding stuff, it’s recommended that you go about another inch or so longer than these sleeves.
As you see, the sleeves can be worked in a contrasting color for a nice effect, especially when worn as pockets (I think). These sleeves are Hazel Knits Lively DK in Low Tide (the leftover yarn from my Warren hat – those skeins are big!) – I love the subtle variegation just on the sleeves. I think the whole piece is best in a solid/semi-solid, but that contrast works very well to my eye!
And you can play around with some other color pop ideas like I did in my longer sample – the beginning and ending edges are in a contrasting dark grey color (AnzulaCricket in Elephant), and the last panel is in a contrasting lighter green yarn (Anzula Cricket in Key Lime).
As for yardage, my shorter sample used just under 3 skeins of the Lively DK – approx 730 yards / 670 meters total, and my longer sample used 3 full skeins plus all the contrasting bits, totaling up to approx 1100 yards / 1000 meters used. I normally wear a size large; you can see my very approximate yardage estimates for all yarn weight and sizes here.
Let’s see, what else about the pattern? Oh, buttons! Buttons are always fun, of course. Let me show you mine! My yellow button came from an amazing little button shop in York, England. I’d been saving it for just the right project, and I think it’s a perfect fit here!
And the second button there was found in my stash – I don’t know where it came from but I’m assuming a bag of old buttons from a thrift store, or from Knittn’ Kitten, since that’s where most of my random stash buttons came from. There’s a deer on it!
The back side buttons on this sample are yellow as well, also random stash finds.
The other sample features antler buttons, bought at Paxton Gate in North Portland. Love them!!
This sample is special, by the way, a first for me as a designer – I hired a sample knitter to make it! Local knitter Chantal knit the whole body of the piece, and I just added the sleeves and did the finishing. It was so weird and cool to have an almost finished pattern sample handed to me! Hours upon hours of work that I didn’t have to do myself. Not that I didn’t love knitting Lopes, because I really do love this pattern and I (mostly) enjoyed making the first sample, but, two in a row? With tons of other deadlines and work projects on my mind? The pattern would have been delayed a month probably if I’d done it myself, not because that’s how long it took, but because I’d have had to wait till I finished other deadline projects first before finishing it… Anyway, that made me feel like I took a new step as a professional designer, and Chantal did a great job, so hooray! Thanks Chantal!!
And many thanks to my test knitters as well, but super especially to Megan, of the Stockinette Zombies video podcast! (She shows her Lopes test knit in this episode, keeping the fact that it’s a skirt a secret since the pattern wasn’t released yet – thanks for that, Megan!) I had a too-tight deadline for testers on this project, since I was eager to release it asap, and Megan is the only one who actually finished it 100% so she’s awesome. (Don’t worry, other testers tested all the parts of the pattern, and the pattern was also tech edited – thanks Ashwini! – so it’s been fully checked and is up to my quality standards!)
Okay now I’m going to get into a lot of detail about the design process for Lopes, so if that doesn’t interest you, just check out the pattern on ravelry and thanks for reading this far! ;) Here we go…
For my first garment pattern, Tionne, I blogged all about how I first got the design idea, and my design process… once I had that design concept in my head, I decided I wanted to do a trio of garment patterns, so I started casually thinking about other garment ideas, and the idea for Lopes just came to me. I don’t have any kind of story about it; I don’t even remember how I first thought of it. I just had a thought one day, something like, what if I made a really simply shaped, flared piece, in three panels, and there are sleeves which can fold in and become pockets, so it can be worn as a cardigan and a skirt? Hmmmmm… and then eventually Lopes was born!
Oh but, my original design concept was for the three parts (the two sides and the center, between the sleeves/pockets) to all be the same width across, and I stuck to that all the way through completing the first sample, which is why this happened. When it was done and blocked, it was WAY too big. Horrible fit. I was in denial the whole way though until it was completely finished, partly because the gauge stretched A LOT with blocking, and I’d measured my swatch without stretching it so much, so that was my fault and it really did get much larger than I expected it to… and part of my denial was just not wanting to frog and re-knit because I was in a big hurry to get it done and out to test knitters. So, when it was almost done, only partially blocked, with the needles still in one half-done sleeve, I took some quickie photos to send out with my call for testers, and I really did think the fit was going to be okay at this point:
Looking back at these shots now, blech, it’s so obvious to now-me that the fit isn’t okay. The sleeves are so droopy, for one thing. Anyway, then I finished it, wove in all the ends and everything, and blocked it completely. And then I did another quickie placeholder-photos shoot. It was during this shoot that I reluctantly came to the conclusion that it was NOT OKAY and something needed to be done. As you can see, I tried playing around with making it look cool as it was, but it just wasn’t working.
At that time was when I re-did my original math based on the actual post-blocked gauge, and posted this panic-y instagram, when I was still thinking the pattern was okay as it was, but that the whole thing should have been smaller. After lots more measuring, calculating, etc, I realized that actually that wasn’t true, and most of my sample was actually okay as it was (yay!) but the pattern needed to be re-written. It just wouldn’t work for all three sections to be the same width. So I re-did all the worksheet/numbers stuff, re-wrote parts of the pattern, and figured out how to go about fixing this sample.
I decided I could make the whole thing sized correctly by significantly shrinking the two center panels, and the sleeves; I tweeted about this and Kirsten suggested the excellent idea of grafting first, cutting second, so I could make sure the new sizing was good before doing anything permanent. That turned out to be a REALLY helpful idea, because I did indeed need to unravel and re-graft the first panel!
So I grafted, un-grafted those stitches, re-grafted, it was good the second time, so I cut and unraveled. Unfortunately, even though I was trying to be super careful, I cut the wrong strand (I thought it was the right strand! It was hard to tell what was happening!) and made a new hole next to the grafted stitches, so I had to graft that closed too.
For the second panel, I cut first, grafted second. So then the center section was the correct size, fit to my body.
The other major re-do was to completely frog both sleeves, graft up the armpits several stitches to make smaller holes, and re-knit them. Here it is after the first was finished, for comparison; of course, the bigger one is post-blocking, and the smaller one is pre-blocking, knit with kinky frogged yarn. But I made the sleeves MUCH smaller, which really gave the entire sweater a much better fit!
So that was that – I re-blocked the center and the sleeves, and it fit perfectly! Phew! I was so relieved when I tried it on and it actually fit right, unlike the first time when I tried it on and kind of convinced myself that it was okay before finally admitting that it was not. And the pattern got all fixed up and written to work for all sizes, and to fit right for everyone! Hooray!
So, overall, even though it was an annoying process, I learned a lot, I ended up with the best possible pattern/sample, and it all turned out for the best!
Okay I think that’s everything I have to say about Lopes. The third garment pattern in the Full Body Trio (Chilli) will probably be coming near the end of the year; I’ve got to spread out these garment patterns, they are exhausting for an accessory designer! There will be some exciting non-garment things coming soon, though! Happy knitting, everyone!