I finished my Unique Sheep Zodiac Club design a couple months ago, but am just writing about it now. It's been busy around here---children's activities as well as my own work (both knit design and music) and I haven't managed to sit down and write.
The design is for Taurus, and the shawl is in the shape of the Taurus symbol. The head is a Zodiac wheel with twelve sections. There's a pillar-and-post division between the solid center sections and the alternating mesh and solid outer sections. The edging is a leaf-and-bud lace I developed when I couldn't find anything that exactly suited my needs. The pillar-and-post pattern is repeated on the left "horn" of the bull, and the leaf-and-bud pattern winds down the right.
Kelly Eells evolved this colorway from the Cafe Bouquet colorway from another Unique Sheep club. I didn't capture the greenest portions of the shawl, but I think the orange is fairly accurate. I enjoyed watching to see what color the next bud would be as the knitting progressed.
Every time I wear this shawl, my husband comments on it. I think it's mostly the color, but the shape is very flattering on me and I know he gets a real kick out of the bobbles.
I'll have to post modeled photos of the shawl after we take some. The pattern will be available for sale to non-club members around December.
The Unique Sheep has accepted one of my designs for next year's installment of the Zodiac Club. I'm not allowed to say which sign I'll be depicting, but I think it's okay to tell you I'm very excited about this particular shawl. More about this closer to the time.
Holly and Lars from Suburban Knits wanted to do something to materially help those affected by the recent (and ongoing!) tornados in Oklahoma. To that end, they decided to sell an eBook of 20 donated knit designs and donate 100% of the profits to Other Options, Inc., an Oklahoma charity and food pantry.
The Meandros Scarf is included in this collection, along with patterns by designers such as Anne Podlesak, Stephannie Tallent, Annie Modesitt, and Ray Whiting. Suburban Knits plans to offer this eBook only until August 31st, so get yours while you can!
Having witnessed a handful of infamous hurricanes and their aftermath, I understand how important it is for neighbors to do what they can to assist those affected by natural disasters. Please support this eBook, k*tog. It's an admirable project for a good cause.
Here's my other recently published design: the Cherry Cheesecake Purse in Triple Dip stitch, which is basically a rib interrupted by giant garter stitch ice cream scoops.
It's unlined, so there's no sewing involved, but it holds its shape well and objects don't tend to poke through because of the density of the knitted fabric. A removable frame allows you to make several different designs of the same size and use the same frame for each. The rods of the frame slide through channels knitted onto the purse body, then the end caps are secured.
My daughter has already claimed this sample, but she'll have to wait a year for Clotheshorse to finish showing it off. Suri Merino by Blue Sky Alpacas was a dream to work with, and the Dawn colorway is yummy and fat free.
I doubled the yarn for a denser fabric, and the purse holds its shape well. I couldn't find a chain I liked with lobster claws at the ends, so I tried connecting it to the frame with beads, wire and pliers. It was fun, but I'll need more practice before turning to professional jewelry making!
You can get the pattern directly from Clotheshorse here.
The Spring/Summer 2013 Clotheshorse went live yesterday, and two of my patterns were included. I'll post about Cherry Cheesecake, a really cool textured purse, tomorrow. Today's feature, Transverse, is a reversible cowl/vest which you can wear many different ways.
Transverse is a super-simple construction---a long and wide tube and a short and narrow tube connected by two pieces of medium length and width.
The model wears it with the short end on top, and boy is it cute that way on her! I prefer to wear it with the long end on top (below, left). You could probably even wear it as a hoodie that way.
The stitch pattern is Lynne Barr's Twist Pattern from Reversible Knitting. The yarn is Party from Crystal Palace, a nylon ribbon that not only lends variety to the dropped wraps sections but looks wonderful in the garter stitch intervals as well.
I'm trying something new: trading test knits with another designer. I'm not sure I'll reliably have time to do this as a usual thing, but it's an interesting experiment.
The designer is Virginia Newman (nonconformknits on Ravelry), and I approached her because of one of her posts on a test knitters group. I've gotten a start on her Hurricane Tie-Back Tunic, and I think (hope) it will go much faster now that I'm past the seed stitch and into the lace.
I think it's important for me as a new designer to knit patterns written by other new designers as well as those more established in the industry. If any of you would like to trade test knits, just let me know. I'd love to work with some other designers in this way.
Moon Mirrors in Tide Pool and Fire Thorn
My most recent tapestry knit design, Moon Mirrors, received a little bit of attention when I first posted about it, but I wanted to point you to this tutorial detailing one method of tapestry knitting.
There are several things I like about this technique. First of all, I love the look of strands! Worked in a pattern as in the upper portion of the scarf at left with just little sprinkles of raspberry peeking through, they're simply delightful. The purl side is also pretty cute.
But it's the ability to make large shapes that really excites me. Those long horizontal lines in the moons are done by stranding the moon color in front of the work instead of catching it on the back side. Watch the video! I still have some refining to do, but I'm enjoying the construction of designs that read well on both sides.
I have to admit, I was one of those people who assumed that everybody's head is the same size. I mean, I'd actually heard that head size varies very little after the age of 6. So when I used to try a hat on in the store and it didn't fit, I always put it back with a disgusted, "What were they thinking? This won't fit anybody!" It was only later, when I realized how big my head is in comparison to most people's, that I understood.
I suspect what was meant by "varies very little" was "in comparison to height" (or something of the sort). Normal adults can have head circumferences from 21" - 27" (53.5 - 68.5 cm) while normal heights range from around 4'8" - 6'3" (1.4 - 1.9 m). (These figures were culled from multiple websites and were surprisingly difficult to locate. Average height is a much more common statistic.) That means head circumference has a 6" (15cm) variance compared to 19" (~.5 m) for height.
That's a much smaller difference, but it's not exactly nothing. Knitting is stretchy, but 6" (or even 3 or 4") is a lot to ask. Those of us with above-average head size know better than to try to knit a 20" (51 cm) hat for ourselves, even taking negative ease into account. (Most hats should have about 2", or 3 cm, negative ease.)
I recently read an article that said head size is increasing (albeit incrementally). Adding multiple sizes to a hat pattern doesn't usually require a huge amount of thought or space. (Of course, there are always exceptions. Still, a pattern or book that acknowledges the big-headed minority just may entice us into a purchase.
My newest tapestry knitting design just came out in Knit Edge magazine. It's a scarf featuring repeated offset motifs of a moon reflected in water. You can see that the colors are reversed on the flip side, but the piece is not double-knit. There's only a single layer of each color---the reversibility of tapestry knitting is due to there being a little "wrong side" on every "right side."
Moon Mirrors is done using the same technique as Hestia (also a reversible garment!) of stranding colors on both sides of the knitting to make a compelling tapestry-like fabric. Watch out, though---it's addictive!
I've been asked to contribute a design to The Unique Sheep's Zodiac Shawl Club. I can't give you any more details right now, but I'm thrilled to be working with Laura and Kelly. They were some of the first indie dyers to catch my eye, and I appreciate the evocative names they give their gorgeous colorways almost as much as the fabulous dye jobs themselves. I'll tell you more as soon as I can.
Hot Tip: After working a bobble or nupp, on the following row, slip the stitch you made the ornament on with the yarn held to the wrong side of the work. Bobbles will stay on the right side and not slip through the work to the wrong side. I recently discovered this trick and am using it now in one of my designs.
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