WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-26-the-design-process_39960
As I’ve been spending more time on my own knitting designs lately, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the process that goes into creating a pattern. For me, that process is slightly different each time, so I’ll talk about both how wildly things can vary and about the steps that I always visit when I’m designing. The process is both invigorating (really gets the creative juices flowing!) and challenging (grading for different sizes is HARD).
The technique segment in this episode gives you some tips for joining into the round without twisting your stitches.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Texas Winter Fiber Fun Retreat: next year’s retreat will be February 11–14, 2016, in Denton, TX—come join us!
- What I’m knitting and spinning
- Upcoming KAL: Bloccare Cap (March 1–April 15, 2015)
- Our group on Ravelry—come join us for fun discussions about fiber crafts and to enter for giveaways.
- Receive the Dark Matter Knits monthly email newsletter: exclusive coupon codes, news about patterns and the podcast, and more!
- If you’d like to make a donation to the podcast (which helps immensely with hosting fees and prize mailing costs), you can do so using the button below:
Yesterday, the yarn company Knit Picks released its 2015 Spring Accessories Collection, and I’m proud to say that I have a hat design (pictured above) in this lovely, 26-pattern book.
The hat is called the Bloccare Cap (direct Knit Picks link / Ravelry link). The name comes from the Italian word for block, since the overall effect is of color blocking.
This is a really fun knit that involves a number of interesting but not complicated techniques. The main body of the hat starts with a provisional cast on and is worked flat and sideways, using short rows to shape the crown. You join the whole thing by using a three-needle bind off and then pick up stitches from the bottom edge to work the ribbed brim.
Does this look and sound like something you’d like to try? I’m getting quite an enthusiastic response to this pattern on the various social media, so I thought I’d schedule a knit-along (KAL) to begin March 1 (ending April 15).
Why join a KAL? You’ll be able to …
- show off photos of your hat-in-progress (and admire others’)
- ask questions if any step of the pattern confuses you
- get links to tutorials that can help you with any unfamiliar techniques
- enjoy the camaraderie of other knitters working on the same project you are
- potentially win a prize if you finish by the closing date and your name is drawn!
What will you need to participate? Gather these things by March 1, and you’ll be ready to go!
A copy of the pattern. It’s available as an individual download on the Knit Picks website and on Ravelry, or as part of the 2015 Spring Accessories Collection (available in PDF or print format).
- Sportweight wool yarn in 5 different colors. The photographed samples use 1 ball in each of five colors of Wool of the Andes Sport. For the largest size, I used about 110 yds of the main color (gray in the sample above); about 70 yds each of the 3 contrast colors that are used in both the hat body and brim (burgundy, blue, and yellow above); and about 50 yds of the last contrast color that is only used in the hat body, not the brim (white above). Knit Picks makes it easy to order kits if you order the pattern from them (and the entire project costs less than $25 including shipping).
- 16-inch circular needles in US 3 (3.25mm) and US 2 (2.75mm), or the size you need to get a gauge in garter stitch of 21 stitches and 45 rows = 4″/10cm in garter stitch worked flat, blocked.
- A Ravelry account and membership in the Dark Matter Knits group, both of which are free and fabulous. 🙂
I’ll leave you with a final photo of me wearing my own prototype of the hat. As you can see, there are near-infinite color possibilities. For more variation possibilities, I include instructions on how to make the hat fit more like a traditional beanie instead of as a slouchy hat as shown here. The sizing and styling make it possible to knit this for just about anyone, male or female, child or adult.
What colors will you choose? Come play with us!