Tag Archives: pattern

Inspiration: Comfort Socks

I don’t know about you, but I know that I’ve needed a little extra comfort these days.  Frankly, the only time I’ve been able to leave the house in the last 4 (5? 6? 10,000?) weeks has been to take my kid on a walk around the neighborhood.  He insists on walking, refusing the stroller or the wagon, but he’s (almost) 2, so we don’t go far.  I couldn’t tell you what Seattle is like outside of our neighborhood, but I can tell you where all the points of interest for a 2-year-old are, including:

  • The Cow Mailbox
  • The house with an owl decoy in the middle of the yard for some reason
  • All the good puddles
  • The house with the plastic dinosaurs in the yard
  • Two chicken coops
  • The “Unicorn Car” (It’s a mustang, but the kid is really into unicorns right now, and he insists on finding all the “unicorns” whenever we walk by the car.)
  • All the “Train Tracks” (The cement retaining walls that he likes to walk along.)
  • Where the mail-carrier parks his truck every morning

We have fun.

But, while I’m wandering the neighborhood with the kiddo, looking for kitty-cats to try to pet/harass, I always wish I had a little something extra comforting (and comfortable).

And, for me, that’s new knit socks.

A good pair of knit socks, fresh off the needles is one of the best things I could imagine right now.  I’ve already worn the ones I finished last week at least 3 days in a row (gross? Maybe.  Comfy? Definitely.), and I think I’m going to go to town on another pair as soon as I get myself together enough to start a new project.

I might make myself a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder.  They’re classic- a subtle knit-purl pattern, sturdy, cozy, and utterly practical (in a good way!).  A great way to use special yarn that you really want to show off.

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Or I could use up some scraps with my old favorite, the Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna Leväniemi.  Super cute, and way more complicated-looking than they actually are to work up.  If you can knit, purl, and manage 1-row stripes in the round, you’re golden!

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Or, I could really go back to the classics, and knit one of the first pairs of socks that I ever successfully finished .  Monkey Socks by Cookie A!  These were the first really nice, non-frustrating pair of socks I ever knit.  (I wore them into the ground, then made several more pairs with the same pattern.)  They’re just lacy enough to be fun, without making them delicate or more prone to wearing out.  Perfect socks, in my opinion.

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I’m not sure yet which one I want to knit, but I do know that I’d wear the heck out of any of these socks right now!

What’s your favorite comfort-knitting pattern?

New Pattern: U-District Pullover

It’s the perfect day for a new pattern- especially this one!

It’s cold, gross, and I’ve just about had it up to here* with this February weather.

(*My eyebrows)

It’s the perfect time for my most ridiculous sweater yet!

Introducing, the U-District Pullover!52774220_08

Why is it ridiculous, you ask?

Well, it’s super oversized- meant to be worn with at least 6 inches of positive ease, but, really just about as much as you want.  It’s made from super-soft, bulky merino and beautiful laceweight alpaca held double (color blocking!), so it knits up in about fifteen minutes (give or take) and is super cozy.

And, the sleeves!  The sleeves might be the most ridiculous part.  There’s zero shaping on the sleeves until you get to the cuffs, when you decrease all the way down, which leaves you with big, poofy, ridiculous (and ridiculously cozy) 80’s-style sleeves.

The pattern is beyond simple (perfect Movie Knitting), but the finished effect is super fun, if I say so myself.

52774220_02Don’t get me wrong, this might be a ridiculous sweater, but dang if I don’t love it.  It’s one of my more out-there designs and I gotta say I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Oh! And by the way, it’s part of the “Better Together” collection from Knit Picks!  I’m currently considering making myself a Riant Pullover or maybe a Continuation Blanket with some of my stash yarn.33761

Head on over to Knit Picks to pick up a copy of my U-District Pullover!

New Pattern: Radish Pullover

It’s almost Christmas, and I have a present for you!

It’s the pattern for my Radish Pullover!  It turned out so well, that I just had to write it up.  And I hope you like it, too.

IMG_2276It’s a fairly simple bottom up, seamless pullover with a V-neck and 2×2 ribbing around the cuffs, hem and collar.  There is a fully-charted stranded Radish motif that runs across the sleeves and belly, and the pattern is sized from 0-6 months up to 8-10 years.

This sweater is a great way to use up those partial skeins of sock yarn that I’m sure you have laying around your stash.  The brown doesn’t use more than a half skein, and the radish colors (green, red and white) are only used for a handful of rows each.

And the best part? Since the inspiration for this sweater came from my kid’s favorite book, Sheep in a Jeep, I’m donating all proceeds from this pattern to the Children’s Literacy Initiative, a fantastic organization that supports teachers and their students to help every kid learn how to read.   I’m trying a “Pay what you can” model this time, so you can get the pattern for free, or donate up to $15 (or whatever feels right to you).IMG_2257

So, head on over to Ravelry and pick up a copy of the Radish Pullover so you can make a sweater for your favorite little reader!

Pattern: Piper’s Creek Pullover

Woo hoo!  It’s a pattern day!

And this one’s a little out of my usual wheelhouse, because:

  1. It’s a fingering-weight sweater worked on US3’s.  Why? Because I’m a crazy person.
  2. It’s colorwork!  I love how colorwork looks, but all things being equal, I think I’m more of a cables person.  I love a big squishy sweater. (OK, I love making a big cabled sweater.  I’d wear either in a heartbeat.)

Anyway, without further ado, let me introduce the Piper’s Creek Pullover!52724220_09It’s a long-sleeved yoked pullover, made with Palette yarn from Knit Picks (though you could use really any fingering-weight wool).  It uses at least 7 (count em) different colors (great for using up leftover scraps!), but could be easily modified to use as many colors as you have on hand.  I made mine for my husband with a gray background and blue, red and yellow details.  It’s a great unisex sweater, and a fun, simple knit (assuming you don’t mind miles of US3 stockinette).

52724220_13.jpgI will say one thing though- the neck on the sample in these pictures ended up kind of funny, so if you want to make a Piper’s Creek Pullover (which I highly recommend), here’s what I would do to avoid the weird neck.  First, make sure that you’re only doing the number of short rows called for in the pattern, or maybe even reduce the number by one or two, just in case.  Second, make sure to work the colorwork nice and loosely (tight shoulders will make the neck funnel up, like it is in the pictures).  And third, make sure to block the sweater so the neck goes nice and smoothly into the shoulders.  Worst case scenario, if the neck ends up terrible even with all those precautions, you can always rip it out from the top down (or cut it out), pick up your neck stitches and work the neck and collar that you prefer after the sweater’s done.  (Though, that seems like a lot of work…)52724220_14

Want to pick up a copy? Grab the Piper’s Creek Pullover pattern here!  Or get the whole Palette collection here!

Pattern: Truly Everyday Socks

Time for another new pattern!  It’s one that’s dear to my heart (or feet). And it’s in Knit Picks’ newest collection: Simply Socks, which is all about those socks you want to knit again and again and wear every day.75339D

These are my Truly Everyday Socks.  If you’re related to me, they’re probably really familiar to you, because I’ve been making them for years and have been given out on more than one Christmas morning.YPxPiMmk
They’re a super-simple top-down sock with 2×2 ribbing at the top, a turned, reinforced heel and nice, neat toe.  I’ve covered the leg and instep with a really simple knit/purl basket-weave pattern that you’ll be able to memorize before you’re even an inch into the first sock. RG62pByRI love these socks.  I’ve made probably a dozen pairs using this basic pattern over the years.  They’re unisex and utilitarian, but not boring (to wear or knit), and could easily be sized up or down.  Plus, they’re a great way to show off that special skein of hand-dyed yarn you’ve got squirreled away.

Head over to Knit Picks and pick up a copy of my Truly Everyday Socks, and make yourself a pair (or twelve).

Pattern: Parkside Throw

I know you’re probably tired of hearing about this gosh dang blanket, but I am so stinking proud of how it turned out that you’re going to have to hear me out once more.  But this time, I promise I’ll make it worth your time.

Because I wrote up the pattern, and here it is for free!

IMG_1902This blanket was so fun to work on (sure it took forever, but It wasn’t the bad kind of forever)!  It’s a simple 2-row repeat (and one of those rows is just knitting), so it’s perfect tv knitting. It’s a great way to really indulge in your favorite worsted/dk yarn (though I highly recommend trying the madelinetosh Farm Twist– it was an absolute delight). IMG_1895 The simple pattern of the blanket lends itself to all manner of interesting stripe combinations.  I like the simple asymmetric scheme I’ve got here, but you could do even stripes all the way up, random stripes with scrap yarn, or maybe a big old rainbow!  How fun would that be?IMG_1848_adjustedAs written, the Parkside Throw is a generously-sized throw blanket, big enough for two to snuggle up with on the couch (or big enough for a single blanket-hog), but the pattern could easily be modified.  Add more pattern repeats for a larger bed-sized blanket, or reduce the number for a baby blanket or lap warmer.

And, if you start now, it’ll be big enough to snuggle up under by the time the weather starts to cool down.

Get the free pattern here!

Parkside Throw Pattern

Best Laid Plans

I don’t usually show you my “in progress” designs.  Usually, that’s because either: 1. I’m under contract to keep them under wraps.  Or 2. I’m so excited with how the pattern is turning out that I want to keep it a surprise and unveil it when it’s all shiny and finished.

Which means that you guys only ever see it when projects are finished and I’m happy with them.  (To be fair, most projects that I’m unhappy with never even get finished.  I usually bail halfway through and rip out the yarn to use in some other project.)

But this time you guys get to see a pattern from the Island of Misfit Sweaters!

I was so excited about this design- I was even excited enough that I decided to go ahead and knit it up and write up a pattern, even though my original design wasn’t picked up by publishers.  I was sure I knew better!  It was so cute in my mind!  It was an interesting knit!  It was small enough that it wouldn’t take much time!

Well, maybe I was in a haze of baby-brain/sleep-deprivation when I decided to go on with writing the pattern, but man was I wrong.

This pattern was doomed from the outset.

  1. The colors I picked were not good- two shades of green and a weird yellow-brown? What was I thinking? Was this 1972?IMG_0498.JPG
  2. The design that I thought was so clever was actually just overly complicated and a pain in the neck.  (Why make a sweater the time-tested, easy, simple way I’m familiar with, when I can break out the provisional cast-ons, short rows, and three-needle bind-offs?)IMG_0502.JPG
  3. I had intended the sweater to fit my kid (he’s already grown out of all the sweaters I made him before he was born- he’s a Robust German Baby).  I did the math wonky, and I think this sweater will fit him when he’s about 4 years old.  Look how long it is! And those sleeves!!!IMG_0504.JPG
  4. And, speaking of math, all that math I did to write this pattern… I lost it somewhere along the way.  Maybe I did the math in a fever dream… Maybe I got some sort of virus that only deletes bad patterns… Maybe I just forgot to save.  We’ll never know.

So, in summary.  Here’s a picture of the sweater that is not to be.  You won’t be seeing a pattern for this bad boy.  You might see my kid wearing it in a few years, or you might see me unravel it and knit it into something else (but probably not).  IMG_0506.JPGIt was a good idea, but some ideas aren’t really meant for this world.  Sigh…

Have you ever had a great idea that ended up going really, really sideways?  What happened?

Pattern: Herring Cove Wrap

Hey! Guys!

Have you seen the new issue of Interweave Knits?It’s all about cables!  And you know how I feel about cables. (I’m pro-cable, if that was ever in question.)

Look at this wrap!  That’s an impressive amount of cables.Definitely something I’d make- I mean, come on!  It’s a massive wrap covered all over with intricate, squooshy cables.  Yes please.

Oh, wait just a second… look!That’s right! I’ve got a pattern in Interweave Knits!

I’d say it was a dream come true, except that I never really believed that I’d be able to do it.  I remember buying back-orders of Interweave in high school because I couldn’t afford to get an actual subscription.  It always seemed so fancy, so professional.  I always though “Man, those Interweave designers must really be experts.”

And now I’m one of them!  Hot dog!

Harper Point Photography and Interweave

I’m almost as excited about the pattern as I am about just getting it published-  The Herring Cove Wrap is a massive wrap- a gorgeous tangle of multi-strand cables.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but the results are totally worth it.  The example in the magazine is worked in delicious Shibui Knits Drift– an insane blend of cashmere and merino that shines like silk but feels like a cross between a kitten and a puffy white cloud.  (But if you don’t have hundreds of bucks laying around to blow on yarn, any soft, squishy worsted should work well.)

Harper Point Photography and Interweave

 

You can order a copy of the magazine (online or paper) here.  Or, take a trip to wherever magazines are sold!

Pattern: Modernist Dishcloth

New pattern day!  And even better, it’s a free pattern!

Introducing, the Modernist Dishcloth!It’s a simple square of seed stitch, with lovely blocks/stripes of color based on my favorite painting at the Seattle Art Museum.It’s a Mark Rothko and is named (creatively) “#10, 1952.” It’s a beautiful painting, and even more gorgeous in person.  I love the way the contrasting colors play against one another, and the subtle textures in each color block.  I mean- that cornflower blue in the bottom half of the painting… come on!

If you ever get a chance to visit the SAM, definitely check out the Rothko.  But, if you can’t make it, maybe try your hand at working up a little Rothko-inspired dishcloth.Grab the pattern here!

ProcrastiKNITion

OK,  I’m “supposed to” be working on my Provincial Tweed sweater.  Or at least “supposed to” be coming up with a plan for that sweater.

Instead, my mind is a blank, and all I want to do is use up more of my sock yarn.  I want to follow a pattern (no math for me today, thank you very much).  And I want to do something quick, easy and familiar.

Well.  I guess there’s just one thing for it.

I’ve gotta break out my Elisabeth Zimmermann and make another Baby Surprise Jacket.I love this pattern.  It’s super simple, with almost zero finishing (unless you put in a bunch of stripes, which I plan on doing… oops).  It’s absolutely ingenious, to the point where I have no idea how EZ figured out how to design and write the dang thing in the first place.  It’s a great way to use up whatever bits and bobs of leftover yarn and salvaged buttons you have laying around.  And, the pattern’s style is absolutely charming.

It’s not a standardized, modern pattern, that’s for sure.  The copy that I use is a reproduced version of the original by-mail newsletter from 1968.  It’s been written on a typewriter, and amended with little drawings, diagrams and notes from Ms. Zimmermann herself.  She has includes little chivvying remarks and jokes in with her pattern instructions, and lets her personality shine through the text of her pattern.  I feel like we would have gotten along swimmingly.Anyway, all that’s to say that I’m making a Baby Surprise Jacket for the little one, using all the leftover bits of blue and gray yarn I have left in my stash after finishing off his baby blanket.  I’m really excited!

Do you have a favorite pattern you go back to time and again when you’re waiting for inspiration to strike?