Archive for the 'Design Projects' Category

One-Skein Wonders Strikes Again!

Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders

And this time I’ve got three patterns included!

There’s Hera, which I actually designed years ago, fairly early in my knitting career. I saw this stitch in one of Barbara Walker’s collections and realized that I could trim and repeat it to create the lozenge shape of this headband .
Hera
The yarn is Curious Creek’s Wasonga; the sample was knit by my friend Chris. (Errata alert: If you decide to knit this one, compare Chart E to Chart A. E is missing a few purl dots. The needed stitches are easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for.)

The second design, Moss Landing, also goes back a bit—to my hat-designing phase. At that point, I’d been knitting nothing but scarves, working my way through various stitch dictionaries. When I finally wearied of scarves, I moved on to hats.
Moss Landing hat
I particularly enjoyed trying to fit stitches to the shape of the hat—which worked out nicely on this design.

The third design, Gambit, actually is something new. As with the other pieces I was playing with the idea of matching stitch pattern to garment shape.
Gambit
Like Hera, this beauty was knit up by my friend Chris.

Coming up with designs to submit for this book was a real pleasure. I started by brainstorming a list of potential projects, then had a lovely dig through my stash looking for yarn to use. I also placed a call to Kristine of Curious Creek, who generously donated several skeins for me to play with. I came up with nine designs, knit seven of them myself, while Cris volunteered to knit the other two, then decided that six of the final pieces were worth submitting (two came out too small, a third just didn’t work well, so I left those out). Since three were used in the book, I’ve got another three up my sleeve—I’ll be looking for homes for them as well.

This is my favorite of the one-skein books. Because sock yarn has great yardage, the designs have some complexity—which translates to interesting knitting. I cast on for a Wisteria Arbor Shawl last night. I’m delighted with the mix of cleverness and simplicity this piece offers. It’s knit point up, which means it can be adapted to use every single yard, and it gets its interesting shape from casting on twenty-six stitches at the start of each pattern repeat. One could use this technique with other stitches and vary the shape of the finished shawl depending on the stitches-to-rows ration of the stitch used.

If you knit up any of these patterns, I’d love to hear what you think—and to see pictures of the finished pieces.

December 28 2010 | Design Projects | 3 Comments »

Orion

Remember the Smooshy I was drooling over?

Here’s the hat I knit up with it for my LYS, The Golden Fleece.

The Orion hat

I’m calling the hat Orion, since the design looks like a belt of stars. The Golden Fleece will be giving the pattern away free with yarn purchase. (My friend Alice is graciously serving as hat model.)

Melissa did the pattern layout, and we included some shots of the stranding in action. My goal was to write it clearly enough that someone who’s never knit with two colors before would feel comfortable taking this hat on as a first stranded project. That’s also why I went with a single band of colorwork. I figured that stranding while decreasing and using double-points wouldn’t be beginner-friendly. (Leastways, that combination sure didn’t feel feel friendly to me when I was trying to do it all for the first time last spring!) I was also aiming for a unisex pattern, so that it could fill a variety of needs.

The skeins are very generous (450 yards each), so I have lots of yarn left over to play with, and I haven’t decided yet what I’ll make. Fingerless gloves? Something lacy? Another hat? Lace for edging pillow cases? (The yarn is superwash.)

December 23 2007 | Design Projects | 2 Comments »

Mmmmm… Yarn

Here are the yummy skeins I got from Curious Creek Fibers.

Bright and yarn-a-licious

Left to right you can see Arusha in Early Sunset (50% silk, 50% merino), Etosha in Sunrise on Daffodils (90% kid mohair, 10% nylon), Omo in Savanna Grasses (50% silk, 50% merino), Oban in Tilting the Gizmo (50% silk, 50% merino), and Isalo in Anemone (100% silk). Not surprisingly, the photo doesn’t do them justice—the colors just glow.

I don’t want to say too much about my projects until they’re done, but I definitely want to go back to the strategy I used on my Santa Cruz Hat and write at least one pattern that can be adapted easily to any gauge.

Meanwhile, here’s a recent FO…

A warm and cozy wrap

…my Cabled Capelet knit up in Malabrigo (Col China colorway). This pattern went quickly and easily (aside from a few problems with clarity regarding the decreases, which weren’t too hard to figure out). I ended the neck a bit early because it was already plently long enough without working all the rounds. I am definitely keeping this piece for myself, but I expect I’ll be knitting up another one soon for my niece. The malabrigo is wonderfully cozy under my chin.

December 22 2007 | Design Projects | 2 Comments »

Yarn-a-licious: Curious Creek Fibers

Check out Curious Creek Fibers. Look at the yarns (if only someone would develop an on-line fiber fondling tool!). Gaze longingly at the colors.

I had the pleasure of attending a Curious Creek yarn tasting at Article Pract several months ago and got to meet Kristine, the genius behind these yarns. She’d brought wonderful things with her: samples of new yarns, one-off colorways, all sorts of swatches arranged in relational pyramids to explain the process of choosing a final colorway. I learned why red is a hard color to get in a variegated yarn: it sets at a different temperature than most other dyes. I got to see how colorways react differently with different fibers (look at Rock Grotto for a good example of this: in some fibers it’s downright vivid; in others it takes on a earthy subtlety.).

These aren’t the sort of yarns one throws into one’s basket willy-nilly, the way one can with, say, discounted Soy Wool Stripes at Michaels. (Actually, it feels a bit like heresy to be mentioning Curious Creek and Michaels in the same blog entry.) These are yarns that you choose carefully for a project that you know will be treasured.

Of course, I wanted to buy five of everything, and, of course, I couldn’t. After much agonizing, I wound up selecting some Autumn in New England in several different fibers (I’m a sucker for autumn colors, and the electric blue paired with the copper just makes this colorway pop) and single skeins in Birches in Norway, Sunrise on Daffodils, and Rock Grotto. I was checking tags and calculating which skeins would give me enough yardage to knit what sorts of projects. Could I get a hat out of one skein of Nakuru? Could I get two fingerless gloves out of one skein of Serengeti? Would one skein of Etosha be enough for a pretty scarf or should I go for two?

In the middle of my decision-making I said to Kristine, “You need some single-skein patterns to go with your yarns.”

She looked right back at me and asked, “Do you want to design them?”

“Yes!”

So after some back-and-forth with the email, I now have a box of yarns from Kristine with which I’m going to be cooking up single-skein projects (and maybe a thing or two that require just a bit more yarn than that) that will be available on her web site. I will be having very happy holidays, indeed! The colors! The textures! Joy, joy, joy!

I know it’s a bit of a tease to write about all this and then not provide you with a photo, but I promise a photo will be coming soon. I’m off to my parents’ house tomorrow and will stop by Melissa’s on the way up for a quick shoot.

December 20 2007 | Design Projects | 5 Comments »

Clarification, a New Design, and My Ravelry Queue

In case any of you are thinking Melissa is a brute for denying me the opportunity to buy yarn, allow me to clarify. She did get me to promise to hold off on buying more (with my inserted list of exceptions), but only after I’d been both celebrating and bemoaning the fact that I’d purchased a nice lot of Soy Wool Stripes and other basic wools that I found on sale at Michaels (thanks Mrs. H!). The celebrating part needs no explanation, of course. The bemoaning has to do with not having sufficient funds in checking and deciding to put everything on the credit card. I will pay it all off at the start of the December, but I’ve worked long and hard to get myself to purchase yarn with cash (or the equivalent) only, so this was a slip-up for me.

Melissa is actually quite understanding about my sudden, desperate needs for new yarns, needles, etc.—just as I am understanding about her sudden, desperate needs for paints, canvases, gigantic rolls of watercolor paper, and the like. We’ll save money by buying cheaper food and fewer cleaning products, thank you.

At the The Golden Fleece‘s community knitting on Sunday, Carol showed me the new Smooshy Sock yarn, and I was instantly smitten. I am happy to report that she, Margaret, and I have worked out a deal: I’m designing a pattern for them in Smooshy in exchange for some of the yarn. So, if you’re local be on the lookout for the results. Here are two hints: I’m making a hat, and I’m using two colors, Cloud Jungle (370) and Gothic Rose (340).

Melissa will verify that I have been absolutely rapturous about Smooshy. The Cloud Jungle colorway, which is a warm, but unassuming grey grey at a distance, is marvelously rich close up—shot through with plums and greens and deep teals. It takes about thirty seconds of working with this yarn to relieve my nastiest post-work headaches. (Carol and Margaret were probably wise to work out this swap with me. They’ve created an addict, and I won’t be able to stop with the two skeins I currently have in hand.)

This has been a wretchedly busy time at work (see headache reference above), and to distract myself I’ve begun working on my queue on Ravelry. I try to knit from free patterns when I can, so my queue is essentially becoming my own customized on-line pattern book. I can click on the project, then go from there to fetch the pattern or to see what results others have had with it. I’m trying to be reasonable, so I’ve managed to keep my queue down to only fifty-eight projects thus far.

November 21 2007 | Design Projects | 4 Comments »

The Tamalpais Hats

Here are the four different versions of the Tamalpais Hat, named in honor of our local mountain.
All four Tamalpais Hats
Upper left: v. 1.0. Upper right: v. 3.0. Bottom right: v. 2.0. Bottom Left: v. 4.0. (I realize that the pattern is hard to see in 1.0, but look below for an additional shot of Melissa in the second hat I knit with this pattern.)

As you can see, they vary a bit in size and guage. Since I’m often knitting just to see “what if?,” rather than knitting for a particular person, I don’t worry too much about these when I start a project—just so long as the finished piece falls in a range so that it fits some sort of humanoid. Feel free to adjust yarn weights and needle size to achieve the results you want.

This hat has its genesis in a scarf I knit last fall for my mother that used a pattern from the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns, which alternated 10-row bands of moss stitch with small, interlocking stockingette “teeth.” Version 1.0 remained true to the stitch as written, using one full pattern repeat and then enough moss stitch to build a hat around it. I cast on with a thick-and-thin rib intended to echo and emphasize the “teeth.” Here you see individual shots of the two hats I knit using this pattern:
Multi Tamalpais Hat.
V. 1.0 worked in Louisa Harding Kimono Angora. (I slipped a bit of paper towel inside the hat, so the eyelets show up as white dots if you look closely.)

The Tamalpais Hat looks good in green!
V. 1.1 worked in Rowanspun Aran.

V. 2.0 came about as a result of some making-the-best-of-an-unfortunate-circumstance knitting.
Two-tone brown Tamalpais Hat.
V. 2.0 in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes and KnitPicks Merino Style.

I’d started this hat in Wool of the Andes, but the single skein I had in my chosen color wasn’t quite enough to work up the whole hat. So I frogged it back to the last row before the decreases and changed to Merino Style as I began the decreases. I figured that the best way to make the change look deliberate would be to emphasize it, so I switched to stockingette as well.

By the time I’d finished these hats, I’d decided I wanted to make three changes: first, I wanted to make the “teeth” bigger, so they’d really seem like “mountains”; because I was planning this change, I also wanted to rework the thick-and-thin rib to match the new mountains; finally, I wanted to work the mountains in moss, rather than leaving them in stockingette. And while I was at it, I decided to try reducing the number of moss stich rows I worked before beginning the mountains. This led to v. 3.0
Green Tamalpais Hat.
V. 3.0 worked in Debbie Bliss Merino DK.

Now, this new version pleased me in some ways, but I didn’t like how the mountains looked moved down so close to the ribbing, and, while I liked the moss stitch on the mountains, I started to think the “sky” above the mountains was looking a bit too bumpy. I wanted more contrast between “earth” and “air.” So, I came up with v. 4.0, which moved the mountains back up and switched to stockingette for the top half of the hat. Because Melissa had requested a shorter hat that wouldn’t completely cover her ears and would work for warm-weather wear, I also changed the dimensions to make this hat more of a beanie.
Blue Tamalpais Hat.
V. 4.0 worked in KnitPicks Shine Sport.

This last version of the hat pleased me enough that I was finally able to move on to other projects.

And now for the patterns. In my next post, I’ll include some remarks on the various yarns I used working these up. I’ll also include photos of these hats being modeled by actual human beings when I get the chance.

Abbreviations that Apply to All Patterns
**: Stitch sequences between two asterisks should be repeated until a full round is completed.
K2tog: Knit two stitches together, resulting in a one-stitch decrease.
K3tog: Knit three stitches together, resulting in a two-stitch decrease.
P3tog: Purl three stitches together, resulting in a two-stitch decrease.
Sl 1 K-wise, K2tog, PSSO: Slip one stitch as if knitting. Knit the next two stitches together, then pass the slipped stitch to the left over this stitch, dropping it from the right hand needle, resulting in a two-stitch decrease.
SSK: One at a time, slip two stitches knit-wise onto the right-hand needle. Leaving these stitches on the right-hand needle, insert the left-hand needle into them as well from the opposite side, then knit the two stitches together through the back, resulting in a one-stitch decrease. If you prefer, you can simply K2tog through the back, which will look slightly different, but will work equally well.
YO: Yarn over needle to form a new stitch.

Tamalpais Hat V. 1.0 Pattern
Yarn: One ball of either Louisa Harding Kimono Angora (70% angora, 25% wool, 5% nylon, 124 yards per 25 gram ball) or Rowanspun Aran (100% wool, 219 yards per 100 gram ball) or equivalent.
Needles: 16″ circular U.S. size 7 and five U.S. size 7 double points.
Finished Measurements: Approx. 19″ diameter flat, stretches comfortably to 24″; approx. 9″ from edge to crown following the curve.

Cast on 88 stitches, place marker and close circle.
Work 7 rounds of *P2, K3, P2, K1* rib.

Work ten rounds of moss stitch as follows:
Odds: *K1, P1*
Evens: *P1, K1*

Work one full set of the six-round pattern stitch as follows:
Round 1: *YO, ssk, K3, K2tog, YO, K1*
Rounds 2, 4, and 6: K around
Round 3: *K1, YO, SSK, K1, K2tog, YO, K2*
Round 5: *K2, YO, Sl1 K-wise, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K3*

Continue working in moss stitch, beginning with a *P1, K1* round until the piece measures approx. 6″. End with a *K1, P1* round.

Work decreases as follows, swtiching to double points and starting with 22 stitches each on 4 needles:
Round 1: *(P1, K1) 9 times, P1, K3 tog* (20 stitches remain on each needle)
All even rounds: *K1, P1*
Round 3: *(P1, K1) 4 tims, P3tog, (K1, P1) 4 times, K1* (18 stitches per needle)
Round 5: *(P1, K1) 7 times, P1, K3tog* (16 stitches per needle)
Round 7: *(P1, K1) 3 times, P3tog, (K1, P1) 3 times, K1* (14 stitches per needle)
Round 9: *(P1, K1) 5 times, P1, K3tog* (12 stitches per needle)
Round 11: *(P1, K1) 2 times, P3tog, (K1, P1) 2 times, K1* (10 stitches per needle)
Round 13: *(P1, K1) 3 times, P1, K3tog* (8 stitches per needle)
Round 15: *P1, K1, P3tog, K1, P1, K1* (6 stitches per needle)
Round 17: *P1, K1, P1, K3tog* (4 stitches per needle)
Round 19: *P3tog, K1* (2 stitches per needle)

Cut working end of yarn to 6″ and run counter-clockwise through remaining stitches on needles using yarn needle. Pull tight and draw yarn end to inside of hat. Weave in ends.

Tamalpais Hat v. 2.0 Pattern
Yarn: One ball each KnitPicks Wool of the Andes and KnitPicks Merino Style or equivalents.
Needles: 16″ circular U.S. size 7 and five U.S. size 7 double points.
Size: Approx. 16″ diameter flat, stretches comfortably to 25″ as this is a very elastic rib; approx.9.5″ edge to crown following the curve.

Follow directions for V. 1.0 using wool of the Andes until you are ready to work decreases, then work as follows, changing to Merino Style. Switch to double points when necessary.
Round 1 and all odd rounds through round 17: K around
Round 2: *K9, K2tog*
Round 4: *K8, K2tog*
Round 6: *K7, K2tog*
Round 8: *K6, K2tog*
Round 10: *K5, K2tog*
Round 12: *K4, K2tog*
Round 14: *K3, K2 tog*
Round 16: *K2, K2tog*
Round 18: *K1, K2tog*
Round 19: *K2tog*

Cut working end of yarn to 6″ and run counter-clockwise through remaining stitches on needles using yarn needle. Pull tight and draw yarn end to inside of hat. Weave in ends.

Tamalpais Hat V. 3.0 Pattern
Yarn: One ball Debbie Bliss Merino DK (100% merino wool, 110 meters per 50 gram ball) or equivalent.
Needles: U.S. #6 16″ circular and set of five U.S. size 6 double points.
Size: Approx. 19″ diameter flat, stetches comfortably to 26″ as this is a very elastic rib; approx. 10″ edge to crown following the curve.

Cast on 112 stitches, place marker and close circle.
Work 7 rounds of *P2, K1, P2, K3, P2, K1, P2, K1* rib.

Work six rounds of moss stitch as follows:
Odds: *P1, K1*
Evens: *K1, P1*

Work one full set of the eleven-round pattern stitch as follows:
Round 1: *YO, SSK, (P1, K1) 4 times), P1, K2tog, YO, K1*
Round 2: *K3, (P1, K1) 4 times, K2, P1*
Round 3: *K1, YO, SSK, (K1, P1) 3 times, K1, K2tog, YO, K2*
Round 4: as round 2
Round 5: *P1, K1, YO, (P1, K1) 2 times, P1, K2tog, YO, K1, P1, K1*
Round 6: *K1, P1, K3, P1, K1, P1, K3, P1, K1, P1*
Round 7: *P1, K2, YO, SSK, K1, P1, K1, K2tog, YO, K2, P1, K1*
Round 8: as round 6
Round 9: *(P1, K1) 2 times, YO, SSK, P1, K2tog, YO, (K1, P1) 2 times, P1*
Round 10: *K1, P1) 2 times, K5, (P1, K1) 2 times, P1*
Round 11: *P1, K1, P1, K2, YO, Sl 1 K-wise, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K2, (P1, K1) 2 times*

Work in moss stitch beginning with a *K1, P1* round, until piece measures approx. 6″. End with a *K1, P1* row.

Work decreases as follows, switching to double points when necessary and evenly dividing stitches among four double pointed needles:
Round 1: *(P1, K1) 12 times, P1, K3tog*
Round 2 and all even rounds: *K1, P1*
Round 3: *(P1, K1) 5 times), P1, K3tog, (P1, K1) 6 times*
Round 5: *(P1, K1) 10 times, P1, K3tog*
Round 7: *(P1, K1) 4 times, P1, K3tog, (P1, K1) 5 times*
Round 9: *(P1, K1) 8 times, P1, K3tog*
Round 11: *(P1, K1) 3 times, P1, K3tog, (P1, K1) 4 times*
Round 13: *(P1, K1) 6 times, P1, K3tog*
Round 15: *(P1, K1) 2 times, P1, K3tog, (P1, K1) 3 times*
Round 17: *(P1, K1) 4 times, P1, K3tog*
Round 19: *P1, K1, P1, K3tog, (P1, K1) 2 times*
Round 21: *(P1, K1) 2 times, P1, K3tog*
Round 23: *P1, K3tog, P1, K1*
Round 25: *P1, K3tog*

Cut working end of yarn to 6″ and run counter-clockwise through remaining stitches on needles using yarn needle. Pull tight and draw yarn end to inside of hat. Weave in ends.

Tamalpais Hat V. 4.0 Pattern
Yarn: One ball KnitPicks Shine Sport (60% pima cotton, 40% modal, 110 yards per 50 gram ball) or equivalent.
Needles: U.S. #6 16″ circular and set of five U.S. size 6 double points.
Size: Approx. 19″ diameter flat, stretches comfortable to 24″; approx. 8.5″ edge to crown following the curve.

Cast on 112 stitches, place marker and close circle.
Work 7 rounds of *P2, K1, P2, K3, P2, K1, P2, K1* rib.

Work ten rounds of moss stitch as follows:
Odds: *P1, K1*
Evens: *K1, P1*

Work one full set of the eleven-round pattern stitch as follows:
Round 1: *YO, SSK, (P1, K1) 4 times), P1, K2tog, YO, K1*
Round 2: *K3, (P1, K1) 4 times, K3*
Round 3: *K1, YO, SSK, (K1, P1) 3 times, K1, K2tog, YO, K2*
Round 4: as round 2
Round 5: *K2, YO, SSK, (P1, K1) 2 times, P1, K2tog, YO, K3*
Round 6: *K5, P1, K1, P1, K6*
Round 7: *K3, YO, SSK, K1, P1, K1, K2tog, YO, K4*
Round 8: as round 6
Round 9: *K4, YO, SSK, P1, K2tog, YO, K5*
Round 10: K around
Round 11: *K5, YO, Sl 1 K-wise, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K6*

Knit one round, stopping when seven stitches remain before the marker on the left-hand needle. Place a new marker here, then work decreases as follows, dropping original marker when you reach it. Switch to double points when necessary, dividing stitches evenly among four needles.
Round 1: *K12, K2tog*
Round 2 and all even rounds through round 22: K around
Round 3: *K11, K2tog*
Round 5: *K10, K2tog*
Round 7: *K9, K2tog*
Round 9: *K8, K2tog*
Round 11: *K7, K2tog*
Round 13: *K6, K2tog*
Round 15: *K5, K2tog*
Round 17: *K4, K2tog*
Round 19: *K3, K2tog*
Round 21: *K2, K2tog*
Round 23: *K1, K2tog*
Round 24: *K2tog*

Cut working end of yarn to 6″ and run counter-clockwise through remaining stitches on needles using yarn needle. Pull tight and draw yarn end to inside of hat. Weave in ends.

Shout Out: Props to Mimi for helping me take these pics, then reducing them and emailing them to Melissa, and to Mimi and Dana for long-term loaning me their spare digital camera! Props, too, to Melissa, who does all uploading of pics to this site and povides innumerable support services.

April 28 2007 | Basic Wrist Warmers and Design Projects and Patterns and Tamalpais Hat, v. 1.0-4.0 | 14 Comments »