Agate Cowl! I love this thing; it’s probably my favorite hex cowl so far. The idea and its execution are both fairly simple: agate in cross-section, paired with a just-slightly-more angular knit shape. The angles show off the multicolor handspun yarn, which is just a basic plied (2 ply) dyed wool.
(It’s very like the fractal ply idea, but I am pretty sure I didn’t do that; I am pretty sure I just tried—in a very casual way—to match two evenly-divided vertically-split portions of the wool top. I may have done a fractal ply, though. You can really try either, or just spin singles—anything that results in yarn with long color transitions will work.)
Handspinning is good for this project, but not essential; you can re-create the same striping effect with some commercial yarns like Noro, or use scraps to exercise more control over the color flow.
For me, though, working on this and other handspun projects has meant I’ve been feeling interested in spinning my own yarn again for the first time in a long time. It’s early to be sure where that’s going—embrace it as a full-on hobby that supports my work? Spin the fleeces I have so that I can have yarn or sweaters instead of fleeces and guilt, then bail and sell on my spinning-related gear? I seriously cannot even predict at this point—but for now, it’s not a bad way to feel productive without the same pressures to actually produce.
MEANWHILE, I’m also trying to reclaim & recycle yarn from older projects, which is vaguely fulfilling (I often make multiple samples for even a small design, and I do not need to keep every sample I make. But I always need yarn) but also weirdly opposite: I think most yarn is meant to hold up to reuse, because if it’s not, it won’t hold up to wear, and I also believe that being able to change up the things you make into something that suits you better is one of the most appealing aspects to the skill of being able to knit a garment—but I’m worried about future samples or projects looking shopworn for photos.
All right! That’s it for now. Take care til next time! (There may actually be a next post; I am working on it.)
So! I’ve only been on social media hiatus for about three days, but it seems, for now, to have been Enough.
(I’m not sure if you could tell there was a hiaturs; I’m not sure I’d expect you to be able to tell, even if you were following any of my media closely. My posting schedule overall is not the most consistent.)
Anyway, today we have Weird Fitted Cowl Thing, officially called Hex Key Cowl. It’s oddly shaped and, unusually for me, involves your choice of mattress seaming or a three-needle bindoff. (I went with the latter. I don’t love sewing knits, although I’m getting better at it, and it’s started to feel satisfying and pro; it doesn’t look like I couldn’t seam a potholder to save a life anymore. So that’s nice.)
I’m actually pretty well pleased with how it turned out! I’m working on a second sample, with hopes to explore some tentative ideas; I had a third finishing option that might be a nice potential addition to the pattern, and some things that are less directly related. (It’s anyone’s guess which are goin
Anyway, meanwhile, it’s spring! Holy crap! I’ve been dealing with subzero cold fronts for the past six weeks, up til recently. I am not used to this. These concepts. Sunlight. Plants growing. It’s weird.
I never actually made a Table Salt post, so here goes:
Table Salt is a cowl that uses a similar textured motif to the large one in the Salt Cowl & Hat. It takes the same idea, but makes it smaller, more fine-grained, for a different textured effect.
The pattern is meant to be done in light sockweight yarn, but I’ve also worked it up in sport/dk, partly to check my math and partly to see what happens. It’s all right at a bigger gauge, but this experiment did take every functional bit of an entire skein of Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo, and I haven’t blocked it yet, so I’m not sure if it’s just a roomier cowl or if it might be mini-cape material. It should open up at least a little bit, and it’s already considerably larger than the original.
By the end of the month, if all goes to plan, I’ll have published 10 indie patterns this year, so far—
but 6 of the 9 so far are hats;
two are shawls,
and two of the planned ten are cowls.
(One’s a connected triangle cowl. It could use some new photography. But that aside, it looks like I still classed it as a cowl, rather than as a bandanna or a headband. One is a balaclava, but you can wear a balaclava as a hat, so I counted it in the hat category.)
This seems unbalanced, with a considerable lean towards hats, and that bothers me a little—but it looks like I am/may still be in a hat phase for a little while. I’ve been playing with some structural ideas, which seem fairly compelling to me, and I guess on the up side, small projects like hats and socks are decent for spring and summer knitting—but I still feel a sort of low-level anxious desire to Get Ahead with those in a way that would free up some time to experiment with some spring and summer tops and light sweaters.
In other news, Igneous/Igneoramous is available now (link here or above), SALT cowl is coming soon (sneak preview in first photo—it’s really simple but still extremely satisfying), and everything that comes after that is too far out or too early in planning for me to talk about it without jinxing it.
Beach Bunny Yarns now offers a kit for Morpho! This is pretty exciting: I’m not super strong with variegated yarns, and the samples are gorgeous in a way that almost baffles me. The dyeways and the design work remarkably well with each other.
MEANWHILE, on the personal knitting/design front, I am having the entertaining experience of really really liking my current work, and kind of hating the fact that I do. The finished product is better than I’d hoped for—but that means I don’t get to go back to rip it back and redesign it, and in fact the part that I found kind of stressful and tediousmakes the design. It’s very possible that I found it stressful and tedious only because I had worked that part three times before I liked it and I was behind schedule because of it—it doesn’t seem as unpleasant now, on the second sample—but objective facts: it’s going to involve a moderate to long section of uninterrupted garter stitch. A moderate to long section of garter stitch is not everyone’s cup of tea.
I finally finished the .PDF pattern for the design that preceded the 14-square scarf! It’s called Window Greens, because the original used green yarn and I was thinking about arugula. But the final version had some substantial changes—it calls for soft DK yarn instead of fingering-weight, and the button configuration is less straightforward (but not too convoluted) and a lot more functional.
Liner Notes 1 is a hat—reversible, with a double knit fabric that isn’t double knit (technically). Knit it in a plain MC and a single CC (my contrast skein was a self-striping sock yarn), or use soft sock-weight scraps for something more unique.
The sample shown is knit watchcap-style—it’s just the right length to cover an average adult wearer’s ears—but there’s no reason why you couldn’t knit this longer. The light yarn keeps it from being bulky, and I frankly like the combined minimalism and potential stripédness.
Liner Notes 2 isn’t live yet, mainly because I need to check the gauge, but it should be soon, because virtually all I have left to do to check the gauge, and that shouldn’t be a source of procrastination, right? Right?
The Crevasse Cowl is a smallish neckwarmer design, available as an instant .PDF download. This design features weird buttons, which function as a style/shaping element, rather than legitimately connecting or closing the fabric.