Why helloooo, Knit Picks fall catalog. I received you two days ago, but now I finally have time to flip through…
And look whose Hipster Stripe Cardigan is featured on page 8!
Isn’t the model adorable? She totally looks like she’s thinking hipster thoughts, heh.
Another design milestone!
Today’s topic: Improving Your Skillset. How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base?
I would consider myself an advanced intermediate knitter. I can (obviously) design patterns, but there are still many skills I don’t know, or don’t know well.
There are a few skills I’m pretty confident about. Like complex cables:
Socks (including stockings and slippers, which I prefer because they’re so much quicker!):
Which wraps up the list of skills I’m confident in… and brings me to the skills I’m not!
Here are a few that could be better:
1. Short rows. I’m okay at these, but they never turn out quite as I’d like them to–always a little messy or misplaced. I’ve been bookmarking alternative short-row methods for a while (shadow wraps, German short rows, Japanese short rows), and sometime when I’ve got a lot of knitting dead time (ha!) I’m going to do some mega-swatches and try them out.
2. Intarsia. I’ve done it, but it was fiddly and awful and I hated it. Here, for posterity, are the only two intarsia projects I’ve ever done:
And here’s a list of things I haven’t tried at all (but want to!):
1. Steeking. Scares the crap out of me. I don’t have a sewing machine (or access to one), so I know I’ll have to figure out how to REALLY reinforce those center stitches before I dive in.
2. Complex lace. I’ve never done nupps or bobbles, never knit with beads, and never done lace patterning on both right and wrong side rows. This is more a case of not finding a pattern I’d like to knit than anything else, honestly…. I don’t wear or knit shawls (although I’m working on a design for one right now, oddly enough!), and I’m not a big fan of how most of the froofy lace stuff looks. But I’d still like to try it!
3. Crochet. I know how to single-crochet around the edges of things, but that’s about it. I would love to actually make a whole crochet project someday.
That was a fun list to create. Makes me want to go work on my shawl design, actually :-)
The prompt for today asks whether local seasonal weather affects my crafting.
Well, let’s look at an average temperature graph for my Los Angeles-adjacent town:
And let’s compare that to, say, Rhinebeck, New York:
Do I wish I lived somewhere that got a little colder? Yes. Do I let it affect my crafting? Definitely not. I love woolly sweaters, jackets, hats, scarves, and mittens. I will continue knitting any and all of those no matter what the temperature is. I have family in the Midwest, for one thing–they can always use warm handknits.
There’s also an odd phenomenon that I’ve observed in Southern California. As I’m sure we all know, handknits can be very fashionable accessories. SoCal may not do cold, but it does do fashion. So anytime the temperatures dip below 60F, out come the wool hats, gloves, scarves, puffy parkas, and UGG boots.
I’ve fallen victim to it too, but for a different reason. Since I started designing, I have a closet stuffed with cute knit accessories. If it’s anywhere near a cold temperature outside, I seize the opportunity to wear one or more. I know it’s ridiculous and that my Midwestern friends would laugh, but there you go.
As far as knitting goes, I don’t let the seasons affect what I work on at all. When you’re submitting designs for possible publication, the timeframe is usually at least 6 months in advance anyway–so I’m knitting with light cotton in the dead of winter and heavy wool in summer anyway.
Here’s what I knit last summer, from June to September:
That’s a whole lotta wool.
And last December I was working on Bevin and Hipster Stripe:
Which are both about as summery as I ever get.
So I think I can safely conclude seasons have no effect on my knitting whatsoever :-)
Today’s topic asks bloggers to talk about their love or confusion of color. It’s funny–only a few years ago, I would have said that I always, always gravitated toward rich jewel tones, especially blue, purple, and green, and rarely knit with anything else. A quick look through my Ravelry projects proves it:
I figured this trend would continue when I started designing last year. After all, I’m the one who gets to pick the colors I want to knit with, right? Oddly enough, though, I’ve found myself using more neutrals and dark, muted tones than before. Having to think about the styling and wearability of the piece changes things.
Here’s a snapshot of some of my designs that proves it:
Of course, I also have these, so maybe I haven’t gone as far from blue and green jewel tones as I could have, heh:
A look through my yarn cabinet also shows a weakness for impulse yarn purchases in blue, green, and purple:
I’m going to continue attempting to branch out, color-wise, but I’m not sure how much luck I’ll have with all this yumminess calling to me. I think if I could only knit from Madelinetosh jewel-tones for the rest of my life, I’d be perfectly happy.
Here’s the “official” announcement of my newest sweater pattern, Hipster Stripe!
The pattern went live on Knit Picks’ website a few days ago, and now it’s up on this website and on Ravelry.
All the specs can be found here: Hipster Stripe Cardigan.
Really excited about this one!
My FO for today is the prototype for my newest sweater pattern: Hipster Stripe!
This design is actually a re-working of a sweater I designed a few months ago, Anyone for Rugby? (link goes to Ravelry project page).
I really, really liked that sweater… but I didn’t think it through. To maintain the wide stripe pattern for different sizes without changing the look, I had to increase or decrease the number of rows for each stripe. This meant that the extra-small size would be substantially shorter than the medium sample… and the plus sizes would have been down to the knees.
I made a promise to myself when I started designing that I would offer my garment patterns in a wide range of sizes. So when I figured out the workable range of this sweater would only be up to extra-large, it didn’t sit right. I went ahead and had the pattern test knitted, got it all ready to self-publish, and then couldn’t do it.
So this is the sweater reborn! Thinner stripes make it much easier to upsize and downsize, which is what I’m working on now.
Pattern: My own! I’m thinking this one will be ready in about a month. It will be published through Knit Picks Independent Designer Program.
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Black and White. This yarn is oddly, eerily similar to the Malabrigo Rios I used for the wider-stripe version. It feels very similar, looks almost the same, and blocked identically. I thought it would make a good substitute, and I was obviously right!
Notes: This is a fast, easy sweater. It’s top-down and each section (sleeve increases, neck increases, body) are done one after the other, which hopefully will make it suitable for less-experienced sweater knitters. For the original, several of the test-knitters made this as their first sweater–and their FOs look gorgeous!