I got the pattern for my Concord Vest up for sale yesterday!
It’s my first independent pattern release in months, actually. This is thanks to two secret sweaters for a yarn company, and the hibernating gray sweater. So I’m really pleased to release this pattern out into the wild, just in time for summer knitting. It’s designed in DK weight yarn (Cephalopod Yarns Traveller, to be specific) and is available in bust sizes 27 (30.5, 33.5, 36.25, 39.25 / 42.25, 45, 49.5, 53)”, or 68.5 (77.5, 85, 92, 99.5 / 107.5, 114.5, 125.5, 134.5) cm.
My favorite part about this vest is the interesting construction. Because I wanted a pick-up free sweater–that is, one in which there would be no picking up of stitches–I designed it with the armhole and neck edging knit along with the main piece.
But this created a problem: how would I do the typical underarm shaping without being able to bind off stitches at the beginning of rows? The answer was creative decreasing. By working double and single decreases on both sides of the fabric, I was able to mimic the slope of “traditional” bind-off underarm shaping, while leaving the side pattern intact.
Concord is available for purchase for $5.00 through Ravelry via this link (you do not have to have a Ravelry account to purchase). I hope you all like it as much as I do!
I finished a new hat this week!
Pattern: My own (probably will be released this month, depending if I decide the pattern needs testing)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in Natural. While the yarn was as squishy and delicious to knit with as ever, it was sort of bizarre to have colorless Madelinetosh. I really love the dyeing, so I think I’ll probably stay away from this shade in the future. I do like the color with my reddish hair, however!
Notes: The lace and cable pattern I decided to use seemed very straightforward… until I tried to convert it to knitting in the round rather than flat. Many swatches later, I figured out that the end of round marker needs to be moved forward one stitch at the end of each pattern repeat. That also gives the hat a neat spiral effect.
I decided to do a cable-cast on instead of my usual long-tail, because it plays more nicely with the garter stitch brim. The cable-cast on hurts my hands, and I find it much more fiddly than the long-tail, but I think the results were worth it. You can see the cast-on edge pretty well in this work-in-progress pic:
Well, I guess Knitting & Crochet Blog Week must have taken a bit more out of me than I thought, because it’s been over a week since I last posted. Oops.
Anyway, during that time I’ve finished a prototype for a new hat design (more on that Friday!) and started this:
I’m knitting another sample for my own Bevin Pullover pattern, in the called-for Knit Picks CotLin yarn. The first sample was shipped back to me just as I moved across the country, and between a wonky forwarding order and the not-very-conscientious tenants who moved into our apartment after us, the sweater went missing.
I was never totally thrilled with the original pattern pictures anyway, so I’m not too upset. They were taken on a beach in the middle of summer, so I was trying my very best not to sweat profusely the whole time. This is my chance to knit a new version and do a new photoshoot. I’m just lucky Knit Picks got some nice ones, which they graciously allow me to use as I see fit:
Their model looks gorgeous in the white color, but I think the teal is better for me!
It’s pretty bizarre to be knitting from my own pattern. It’s been long enough since I wrote it that I don’t really remember much of the process, so it’s like reading something someone else put together! So far, so good. We’ll see if I manage to get through it without getting frustrated with myself…
I thought it might be fun to compare this year’s post to one I did for last year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, which was on a similar topic. Last year, I said I usually gravitated toward saturated, jewel-toned colors. I did, however, notice that I had started branching out a bit into neutrals and darks–something I hadn’t done much before I began designing.
Here are the projects I’ve finished since then (I excluded designs where I didn’t get to choose the yarn):
Not much has changed! Still a big preference for jewel-toned, saturated colors. My favorites, blue and green, are well-represented, although I think there might be more purple in there than anything else.
Just for fun, how about an infographic to see if my theories hold true? I’ll stick to projects completed since I started designing in 2011, just for simplicity’s sake, and also exclude projects where I didn’t get to choose the yarn color:
Looks like my assessment was pretty accurate. More than half of my projects have been in green, blue, blue-green, or purple. Gray makes a surprisingly strong showing, but other than that, the other colors get pushed by the wayside to some degree.
Maybe I’ll branch out a little more in the coming year. I do have some delicious yellow yarn in my stash right now that would make a lovely sweater….
Today’s prompt calls for an infographic, which is something new for me! (Luckily I’m a Monkey and this doesn’t faze me much.)
I found a neat site where you can make your own timelines, Dipity.com, and decided to do a walkthrough of a sweater design from inspiration to publication.
Below is the result. You can click on the timeline entries to see the details, or for a different and very neat effect, click on “flipbook” in the top corner and you can scroll through them that way!
Note: if for some reason the timeline won’t load on your computer, you can click “Sweater Design Timeline” at the bottom of the image to view it on Dipity.com.
The purple vest is almost ready for public viewing! We did a very successful photoshoot in our new backyard. It has this great wooden fence, which makes an excellent photo backdrop. Here’s a sneak peek from the photoshoot:
I’m done with the Excel sizing (XXS to 4X for this pattern), so the next steps are to lay out the pattern, finalize the chart, and proofread. Then I’ll put the pattern up for testing on Ravelry (likely in the Testing Pool group–if you think you might be interested in testing, drop me a line!).
I also need to think up a name for the pattern. Since it reminds me so much of grapes, I’m thinking maybe Concord Vest? Like these concord grapes:
And I’ve started another project! While looking through my Madelinetosh stash to get ideas for Madelinetosh May projects, I was struck with a colorwork hat idea. I tried to be good and wait for May so I could do the knitalong with everyone else, but I couldn’t stand waiting, so…
The main colorwork pattern is in Tosh Sock in French Gray and Norway Spruce. The lining (to be tacked up when the rest of the hat is complete) is Tosh too, but laceweight so it’ll tuck under without much bulk. I love how the design is going so far!
I don’t know what my deal is, though: usually I’m strictly a DK and up gal, but my last three projects have been on size 2-5 needles. Guess I’m branching out a little…
Thanks for all the commiseration on my gray sweater debacle! Kirstin asked if Photoshop would be helpful in editing out the pooling spots. I’ve gotten pretty good at editing out the stray hair or tree branch, but I’m afraid making the middle part of the sweater look like the top would be well beyond my abilities. See all the light bits on the top?
Yeah, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Plus, I like to keep my samples in photo-ready condition, since there’s always the possibility of trunk shows, the need for photo reshoots, etc.–and wouldn’t it be a cheat if I managed to fix the photo so it looked good and then showed up with the pooling monstrosity?
Anyway, I’m moving on! Due to a sudden and all-consuming love affair with this purple Cephalopod yarn (and, okay, a desire for some damn color and texture after all that endless gray stockinette!), I have the purple vest blocking already:
Yum. It really looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it? Its working title is the Grape Vest, because it reminds me of the luscious spectrum of purple grapes you get at the beginning of the fall season. I’ll probably change the name, but it’ll always be Grape Vest to me….
The sweater is done! I had plenty of the BFL sport left when I finished the last sleeve, so I couldn’t resist adding a cozy pocket on the front. I kept it small-scale to (hopefully) avoid the young teenager/sweatshirt look:
Next up in the design process is blocking. When I’m knitting someone else’s pattern, I sometimes skip blocking–especially if it’s an item that’s going to get wet anyway, like a woolly hat–but I always, always block designs intended for publication.
This pre-blocking picture illustrates why. See the wrinkles and uneven stitches?
The sweater fit me perfectly before blocking, which is good, since my swatch didn’t change in length or width when I blocked it. I took detailed pre-blocking measurements anyway, since the fabric usually gets stretched out and needs to be patted back into shape.
And here it is in all its pinned-out glory. Esme is guarding the sleeve (and was summarily ejected from the room after the picture was taken):
Next step in my design process: schedule a haircut/color. No, seriously. I’ll be the model for this design (obviously, since I knit it to my measurements), and I’m waaaayy overdue for a trip to the salon. While I’m waiting for my appointment, I’ll start in on the pattern writing–my least favorite part of the whole process, but necessary!
I missed WIP Wednesday this week (probably just as well, since I keep showing the same sweater–I imagine people might get sick of it eventually!), but I thought I’d do a little progress report anyway.
The gray sweater is moving right along. I made a design decision when I reached the sleeves to knit them twice as long as I originally intended, so they can be cuffed or flipped over to cover the hands if it’s especially cold. I thought this worked well with the cozy vibe of the sweater.
Of course, that means I have to knit 2×2 ribbing on little needles for twice as long. Ugh. But since that picture was taken, I’ve knit the second sleeve up to the ribbing. I’m hoping to grit my teeth and power through the rest tonight.
But when that’s done, I’ll have to make another design decision–front pocket or no? Hmm.
In other news, I’ve gone kind of nutty with yarn buying this week. I swear I didn’t mean to! One of my favorite online retailers, Doodlebug Yarn, sent me an email announcing a sale on Imperial Yarn Columbia. I’ve been dying to knit a sweater out of this yarn since my husband used it to knit his first hat, so I snapped up a sweater’s worth:
And then I spotted a single skein of Mint Julep Sundara Yarn Merino Worsted in someone’s Ravelry destash. Yum.
And just to make me look really hedonistic, I realized I forgot to show off the skein of Malabrigo Rastita I bought a few weeks ago (my mom suggested a visit to a yarn store! Really, was I going to say no??):
I better finish the gray sweater soon, because I’ve got a lot of yarn calling my name….