I find this strangely satisfying, even though the basic idea had me stuck for a while—I wanted to use shapes that don’t tesselate as well (and I still might for a future design! Stay tuned!) and I wanted to avoid finishing seams, but ultimately my (attempted and discarded) solutions for that felt a lot more fiddly and potentially frustrating than the technique I ended up with. The handspun yarn really lends itself well to this. I’d like to be able to use superwash commercial yarn here, but I think it might not hold up as well; it’s best to use soft wool with a little bit of natural texture.
I think my actual goal for the Son of Dog Days project is to create designs that work as little summery kerchief projects—but are also easily expandable, so that you could knit a full-size shawl from the same set of instructions.
Working a bias-knit triangle with some tweaks results in a kerchief with a lot more volume, and the combination of garter stitch and stockinette is a nice effect. This one’s also designed with easy customization in mind—there’s extra text explaining how the repeats differ, so that once you know the strategy, you can add as many repeats as you like.
SON OF DOG DAYS III: ???
SON OF DOG DAYS III is closely related to II, with the same basic concept and bias-knit structure. I both wanted to see what this looked like in a garter stitch version, and wanted something extra so I could have a little more promotional flexibility with it. This one follows the same rule of flexibility (add repeats if you feel like a whole shawl project, or knit the small size shown) as the prior two—
but it also struck me that if you attached ties to the sides, you could make an impromptu asymmetric haltertop sort of thing. The ties are a mod—and i-cord might work better—but the size of the kerchief is from the pattern as written, and it’s on a 34” bust dress form. If I were to formally write up a halter pattern, I have a few ideas for addressing that neckline—but for now, I’m trying to resist the temptation to get distracted from all the other things I have on my plate.
Anyway, that pretty much brings the blog up to date with the knitting pattern project for now! I missed updating in late May, but this gathers up most of the things outside the Summer Kitchen 2022 set. (It’s a set of one thing right now.)
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.)
There are going to two ways to work the finishing/border on the Stay-at-Home Auxiliary Scarf, because if you do all 14 squares and pick up stitches to knit the border the way I had planned it, you are going to have something like 902 sts crammed on a 48”-60” needle, and that is not the most fun knitting I have ever done. (I’m doing it, because it is wrong to tell people it could be done without trying it and finding out how potentially frustrating it really is, but I think the alternate method also looks nice, and you probably don’t have to be painstakingly careful about how you set the knitting down to keep 20+ sts from coming off the needle just because there is No Room.)
The first step for this project went out on April 2, so the official end date, if you’ve been doing a square a day, would be April 15th or 16th, depending on how you approach it (is the border part of Day 14, or something you do the day after?). The finishing step should be live within the next couple of days, so please watch this space. Take care!
Day ??? for me—but a good square, with some handspun merino/grey alpaca/sari silk, Malabrigo Yarn Rastita in Glitter, and Arroyo in some sort of blue. If you’re knitting along, and you’d like to share your squares, feel free to leave a link to your instagram, blog post(s), or link your project page on Ravelry.
So, there’s a pandemic going on, and it is so far beyond my pay grade that I essentially have very little ability to even acknowledge it here. It’s hard to be flippant about it, and there is no solemn official stance to take with knitting patterns. (We’re doing everything we can to reduce risk by changing nothing! Enjoy instant curbside e-delivery of all .PDFs! If you go and stand by a curb, I guess!) Personally, I am having a lot of angst and not focusing very well, but that only bears mentioning because it means I am pretty much entirely off doing the type of small domestic things that theoretically ought to alleviate some of the psychological pressure. It makes it ridiculously hard to knit a thing, and describe knitting a thing in an effective way.
I had the idea for this scarf a while ago, but have generally been succumbing to morale problems and not working fast, so I’ve decided to launch it early as a very casual knitalong with no accountability, before my sample is done. It could be worthwhile; it could be an amazing trainwreck. But I think I’m at a sort of now or never point with it.
It’s not done yet. I was working on a different design with similar elements, but there is no final photo. It’s a MysTeRy KnItAlOnG. (It isn’t. Those are usually well-planned from what I understand.)
It’s made up of little (well, big, for mitered squares) mitered squares.
It’s a scarf. It ends up being a pretty long scarf. I am working without a measuring tape, bro. But I did the math.
So with that being said, please join the Stay-at-Home Auxiliary‘s Campaign to Not Destroy All Humans, and enjoy this free pattern for a scarf!
The Stay-at-Home Auxiliary Mitered Square Scarf will consist primarily of 14 large mitered squares, knit together as you go, to minimize loose yarn-ends as much as possible. Gather up your DK scraps and partial skeins, don’t go out,* and knit a square a day to count off two weeks. Or knit the whole scarf, relentlessly, all in one or two sittings. I am not really here to tell you how to knit. I mean, I am here to tell you how to knit a scarf, but not how to knit while you knitit.
This pattern is offered as a free, serialized pattern to help pass the time while we’re all avoiding each other because of how we like each other.
(It won’t be a very complicated mystery knitalong. There are really only three parts.)
*You could also order in from your LYS, in order to support small yarn shops, while observing all precautions. But scraps are good, and that’s what I’ll be using for this very informal knitalong. I think they originally came from The Loopy Ewe in Colorado, which I kind of regard as my foster LYS, because they’re not really local to me, but they are kind of, if you feel like you have a pretty big range under ideal conditions.
Fun Horrible Fact: as mentioned above, I’ve also never done anything with mitered squares before, and I’m launching this as a knitalong, in stages, before my project is completely done—so this really does have an entertaining potential to really go badly wrong. (As of this writing, I’m working a few days ahead.)
Gauge is not too important for this project, but will affect total yardage and the dimensions of the project. Gauge shown is 20 sts and 44 rows in unblocked garter stitch, using light DK/sportweight yarn. A dense gauge gives the squares a nicer shape—in theory.
Yardage estimate: about 600+ yards of DK yarn. Please note that this is a very broad estimate! Scraps are fine; full skeins are fine if you’ve got them on hand. I’ll be knitting mostly DK, but worsted weight is also fine; it might result in a slightly bigger scarf.
(Estimated) Measurements: a pretty broad estimate, again. Ideally, the squares as shown, knit in light DK/sport, will end up being about 6.5” X 6.5”/16.5cm X 16.5cm. This results in a scarf that’s 91”/2.31m (oh no) long before working the border. Borders should/will be about 1-2”/2.5-5cm wide, so the totals should be around 93”/2.3m long by 8.5”/21.6cm wide. This is a pretty massive scarf, so feel free to cut a couple of squares, though obviously it won’t give you 14 days at a square a day if you do not knit 14.
For the sample shown:
600+ yds light DK/sportweight yarn
1 40-60” circular needle in US4-5/3.5.5-3.75mm, or size needed for gauge. (You can also work on a shorter needle—16” circular, straights, or even long DPNs, if you’re careful—and this may be a lot more comfortable in fact, but a long circular will be required for the last part of the pattern.)
tapestry needle, for weaving in ends
Please note: if this scarf is approached as an any-yarn project, then yardage and needle sizes required will vary; choose needles the work with your choice of yarn.
Terms: k—knit LH/RH—left hand, right hand p—purl RS/WS—right side, wrongside s2kpo—slip two, knit 1, pass slipped sts over, a centered 2-st decrease sl1–slip 1 st/s—stitch, stitches
So that’s Day 0: gauge, measurement estimates, yardage estimates, and materials. The next update should be on Wednesday or Thursday, with the first instructions. I will apparently be writing these with a 70-pound poodle trying to be on my lap because he’s upset by changed schedules. Not much of him fits.