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.
(Nothing came up when I searched for a knit design called Blocky. So I published Blocky. When I went to add my own projects to Blocky, there was another Blocky, but it was very different to mine.)
Here is mine:
You can knit this project at least two ways: as a shawl, or as a cowl. Finishing for either one is pretty easy, and although I went with the cowl option, I felt that wet blocking took away a lot of the bouncy wool-yarn vitality of the thing, if that’s not too strange a thing to say. Garter stitch grows, but it also felt like it went kind of flat on me and I preferred the unblocked version pretty strongly.
For my second project, I’m doing the shawl (or trying to get close; I am having to kind of play fast and loose with yarn requirements and will probably end up with something a little different to what I had in mind color-wise) in a two-ply non-superwash wool, in hopes it kind of keeps more of the loft and bounce. The yarn I used in the cowl sample is one of my all-time favorites (Malabrigo Sock), but it’s just not quite as satisfying here as it is usually.
The photo above doesn’t show much—just yarn—but it’s probably the best yarn photo I’ve taken all year. There’s about five minutes of really nice light in this little alcove in the afternoon in January, apparently.
Anyway, there’s also Revenge of Pup Patch Hat and Cowl in this series. Please check them out if you’re interested or like mitered squares (these aren’t mitered squares, but they’re kind of mitered-square adjacent in some ways).
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.)
First business: there’s a new shawl in town, if by ”new shawl” you mean ”downloadable .PDF of the shawl design written as a pattern so you can make your own,” and by “town” you mean ”on my Ravelry page.”
It’s called Iteration. It ends up being a pretty rewarding project; I think the unique shape makes it very wearable. It can be folded in half to wear like a triangle-ish shawl, over the shoulders, but it expands into a hexagon.
Second order of business is increased cost of living and how it is starting to be felt, oh no!
I have revamped the website! It looks super cool, like a blog from 2008.
MEANWHILE, I’ve also been working on some sweater ideas. Sweater design feels like a bit of a luxury compared to cowls or hats, even though it’s often what I’d like to be doing—it takes so much more time, and so much more yarn, and that’s just to knit a sample to get the idea down. And you have to know how arms work. Like. How they usually attach to the body. Where they come out. Etc.
It’s about as slow as fashion can be, short of owning the sheep and starting from there.
ANYWAY, in the meantime, while I hope to have 2+ larger designs ready to finish out the year, there will be a few new smaller projects during the holidays! I’ll be wrapping up a cowl and a possible hat in the next few days. (I have finished the cowl, and you can knit your own (link goes to Ravelry design page). The hat is under review. I am not certain about it.)
I feel like I’ve been getting nothing done lately, but wait! Behold!
The thing on the left is done. It’s off the needles. It’s even been finished, completely—in this case, felted/fulled.* I’m pretty excited about the result. As I come back to this post in drafts, not only is the first sample finished—but there’s also a second sample done, and the pattern is available.
There’s also a new shawl pattern out! It’s a circle, and it ended up being pretty interesting. The stitches are simple, and showcase yarns with long color transitions. Good as a fairly big shawl; I think it would also work as a baby blanket. (I may end up sending off my latest shawl and blanket samples to babies in the extended family; I am not sure.)
So, I have two entire wether fleeces from my favorite Shetland farm, the year I completely overbought fleeces.* They were packed up in a box and the bags and tissue they shipped in. They are pristine. Despite my neglect, I’ve got pounds and pounds of usable wool to process this summer.
They are also disgusting. I cannot believe that I opened this up and felt huge relief there was no evident damage (we’re supposed to be out of range for moths, but there are carpet-beetles who eat stuff at the local museum to make a point about not storing animal fiber museum pieces properly I guess), and thought, “How beautiful,” because it’s gross and dirty and smells (although not as badly as I remembered).
*At the time, I really did buy slightly too many fleeces. Even so, I used all of it but these. Weirdly, happily, they’ll probably end up being what I had originally planned. I’ve been pretty lazy about spinning (it’s not really my thing, or rather it’s sometimes my thing but not really my thing reliably for more than a couple of months at a time), so I am not super looking forward to the washing/processing/spinning this time, but I am pretty excited about not having to spend $80 on eco-friendly low-processing-impact yarn. I like one-sheep sweaters.