Tag Archives: 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?

New Pattern: Mukilteo Shawl

What’s that? You thought Friday‘s new pattern pattern was the only one I had for you guys? Ha!  You should know me better than that!

I’ve got a brand-new, super simple (and super fast) shawl pattern for you!  It’s the Mukilteo Shawl!

It’s a garter-stitch shawl featuring a triangular shape, contrasting pinstripes and a cute fringe edging.  Literally, it’s just knitting and increasing.  That’s it!  It’s worked from the center point, and increased on either edge, so if you end up enjoying your Mukilteo Shawl, you could just keep knitting until you get bored (or run out of yarn)- I’d love to see a really massive one!But here’s the cleverest part (if I can toot my own horn for a second).  No ends to weave in!  At all! None! Zero! I know!  You see the cute tassels along the edges?  They’re actually cleverly disguised ends.  I kind of want to put secret-end-tassels on all my knitting from now on.  (I really hate weaving in ends.)And there’s another surprise!  This pattern is in another new collection from Knit Picks, Beginner Bulky Knits.  And would you look at who’s on the cover of that book?

It’s me!  (OK, not me, it’s a very lovely model, but she’s wearing my design!)This is a really cute book, perfect for beginner knitters, people who love working with extra-bulky yarn, or people with short attention spans who want to get through their knitting super quickly.It’s  full of adorable shawls, super-cute hats, mitten and scarves.  What great designs for great, bulky yarn!Get a copy of the Mukilteo Shawl here!

Get the whole book here!

New Pattern: Snohomish Pullover

It’s New Pattern Day!

This is a pattern that I’ve been dying to share with you guys for what feels like a whole year!  It might be my favorite sweater I’ve ever designed.

Introducing, the Snohomish Pullover!It’s a bottom-up, seamless, fully cabled-and-textured pullover.  I absolutely love this design (if I say so myself).  It features a wide panel of all-over cabling on the front and back, bordered with double-twist cables on either side and a cozy knit/purl background.  Plus, there are matching cables down the sleeves, too!  No getting bored here!It looks complicated and maybe a little scary if you’re not familiar with cables, but I promise it’s not!  Every stitch pattern repeats every 4th or 8th row, so once you get all set up, working the cables is a breeze (I bet you’ll even be able to memorize the pattern once you’ve been through the repeat once or twice!).But the Snohomish Pullover doesn’t exist in a vacuum!  It’s part of a gorgeous new collection from Knit Picks, Windward!It’s full of pullovers, cardigans, shawls, wraps, hats, and tunics, all covered in lush, gorgeous cables.  This collection is a winner for sure!If you want a copy of the Snohomish Pullover, click here!

If you want a copy of the whole Windward collection (and why wouldn’t you?), click here!

Pattern: Bubbles Pullover

Hey guys!  I made a new sweater!

Introducing, the Bubbles Pullover!

It’s a totally cute (if I say so myself), comfy, every-day yoked pullover featuring some pretty adorable polka-dots around the shoulders.  It’s a simple top-down, seamless sweater.  A few short-rows at the back of the neck and a couple inches of colorwork is about as difficult as this sweater gets.  But, the overall finished effect is pretty great, if I say so myself.I wear my Bubbles all the time- it’s super cozy and comfy.  Mine is worked in greens and browns, but I love the navy-and-pastel palette that Knit Picks chose to showcase in their book.  I think this sweater would be a great way to play with color without a lot of commitment!  (Rainbow dots on a white background?  A purple/lavender gradient with pale cream?  Deep blues and sea greens on a sky-blue background?  The possibilities are endless!)

Oh!  Speaking of “Book”!  This pattern is featured in Knit Picks’ newest collection, Encircled, which is all about yoked sweaters. (It features 10 gorgeous patterns in every style of yoked you could think of- it’s delightful!)Grab your copy of Encircled here!  Or, if you just want to knit up a Bubbles Pullover, get the pattern here!

A Treasury of Awesome

When I’m coming up with a new design, sometimes an idea pops wholesale into my brain. Sometimes I get a small idea that grows slowly over time.  And sometimes… it’s like pulling teeth.

When I get stuck like that, there’s nothing better than pulling out my stitch treasuries for a little dose of inspiration.

I’ve got two books that are my particular favorites, and I’d like to share them with you.

First, I love Barbara Walker’s classic “Treasury of Knitting Patterns” collection.  I got the first three books for Christmas  couple years ago, and I use them all the time.  Sometimes I’m looking for an idea for a nice all-over pattern, sometimes I need a particularly complex cable that I can’t figure out on my own.  And sometime I just want to look at all the pretty knitting.

Unfortunately, these books are fairly old (the first one was originally published in the 60s), so some of the designs aren’t explained as clearly as I would like.  And, almost all the designs are written out (except book 3, which is all about charted patterns), which drive me up the wall!

But, despite these small problems, I can’t recommend these books highly enough.  If you haven’t taken a look at them already, swing by your library and pick one (or four) up.  You’re sure to be inspired.

A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara WalkerMy other favorite knitting pattern treasury is a little different.  Most noticibly, it doesn’t contain any English!

I found this treasury in the book section of my local Asian grocery store (Uwajimaya… If you ever visit Seattle, stop by, because it’s absolutely amazing).  I was looking at Japanese craft books, because there’s something crazy soothing about the Japanese Craft Book aesthetic (when I look at them, I suddenly think that wearing beige smocks and headbands decorated with pompom critters seems like a really good idea).

Anyway, I found this book, and it’s densely packed from front to back with thickly-patterned knitting designs, some I’d never seen before. Crazy slipped stitches, wrapped stitches, and pompoms.  Delicate lace, thick squishy cables, and gorgeous patterns that defy categorization.

Of course, since it’s not written in English, it’s a little tough to parse the patterns at first, but if you go slowly, there are plenty of diagrams explaining each symbol.  And, since the book was published in the 80s, the color palette leans a little hard on the mauves and mustards.

But other than that, it’s the best! If you can find a copy at an Asian book store, definitely buy it (or just order it from Amazon).

Knitting Patterns 500 by Nihon Vogue ShaDo you have a favorite knitting reference book?

Another new pattern! Milestones and Memories

I’ve got another pretty cool collection for you guys!

This one is another collaboration with Knit Picks- but this one is a little more of a “choose your own adventure” than the usual patterns I make for you.

Introducing, Milestones and Memories!This book is a collection of colorwork charts (all the same size, and all super cute) that you can use to make memory blankets and cute themed pillows for everyone in your life.

Does your grandma love working in the kitchen?  There’s a pillow for that!Does your cousin love the great outdoors? There are squares for that!Did someone you love just get married?  Why not celebrate with a blanket?

I love the open-ended nature of this book.  There are squares that would be perfect for anyone in your life!  And, the blankets and pillows end up looking just adorable!

Grab a copy of Milestones and Memories here!

Happy Easter!

Did you just see the Easter Bunny hop by?  Because, I think I did!

And what’s that over there?  Is that a special Easter present just for you?

I think it might be!

(Full disclosure: I don’t really celebrate Easter, but any holiday that involves candy, baby animals, and deviled eggs is all right with me!)

It’s my patterns, the Little Knit Doll, and her Easter Set! These are some of my favorite patterns I’ve made- I mean, look at her!  She’s totally cute! The doll is fully knit, and about 8 inches tall.  In the basic pattern, the Little Knit Doll comes with a simple sun dress and a lot of hair.  And the Easter set includes a cute puffed-sleeve dress, bunny ears, and an adorable little Easter basket.

Usually these patterns are $5 each, but this weekend only, head over to Ravelry and use the coupon code “BUNNY” to get both patterns for free!

Happy Easter!

(Also, this is the first time I’ve tried using coupon codes on Ravelry, so let me know if you’re having trouble!)