Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lotus Legwarmers

 I told you all it was pattern season! Yep, this is number 4 in so many weeks. But this is the last of it for a while. Except for...well...just keep an eye to the soon to be live Knitty Deep Fall 2012. Whew! So here's my adaptation of Heart of the Lotus for the Legs. I call them Lotus Legwarmers (such a stretch). The pattern is written for S, M, L with sizing tips for long, short, and multiple tiers (see the rust colored one below). It's a fitted, shaped legwarmer that stays put if you want it to, or scrunches without getting sloppy. It would be a cinch to make it longer to come up over the knee, to knit it on larger needles for a slouchy style, you know...endless variations. The merlot colored ones here are knit in Madelinetosh Pashmina in Venetian. Scrunched rust colored variation is in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Sequoia. Just like Heart of the Lotus, this pattern is written for fingering and sport weight yarns. You can purchase this pattern here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Straight from the Muse:

Sandy's Original Calertne mitts
Calertne is NEW in Knitty: Deep Fall 2012 

We're at it again! Sandy Sitzman and I have shared the creative process since 1989. We have dyed, carded, spun and knit together (our most famous example is in America Knits as the handspun, handdyed version of the Tree of Life Jacket), sometimes in a frenzy of excitement, sometimes at a belly crawl. We’ve shared our skills with each other until these skills have become organic, indelible. If you have ever used the cold pour dyeing technique from Twisted Sisters' Sock Workbook, then you are connected to Sandy Sitzman, because she is the person that taught me that technique.

We both begin working on an intuitive level but Sandy stays intuitive throughout. That’s where she is happiest. I’m happier melding kinesthetic with analytical, figuring out puzzles of construction and translating them into patterns. Sandy feels her way along, admiring, smooshing, cajoling. When I ask her how she constructed a piece she says, “I don’t know.” It’s this kind of wandering that gives her work a style all its own.

seamed entrelacs
So when I asked her how she knit Calertne, all she could tell me is, “Well, I worked the entrelacs flat and seamed ‘em, kinda messy, then picked up on the edges and finished the glove.” How’d you make the mate? “Just made another one before I forgot what I did”. I especially love Sandy’s whimsical “teapot spout” thumbs. Her answer to that? “I always make my thumbs that way.” Though not sleek, they are roomy and tres practical and most importantly easy peasy. Kind of an “afterthought thumb”.

It’s no wonder I couldn’t replicate their bodacious uniqueness in my own pattern writing style. My inner perfectionist fought me all the way and there’s defnitely something lost in the translation. So I thought it would be fun to write her original pattern in “Sandy Speak” for those of you adventurous enough to try it. And, if you are that adventurous, you won’t balk at sizing it for your own particular needs. Sandy used my entrelac class handout and accompanying chart as her guide but you can find all kinds of entrelac tutorials online. 

Calertne, Sandy style: 
teapot spout thumbs
Her size: small. 
Her finished measurements: length 9”, width of entrelac cuff 4 3/4”, width of hand 3 1/2”.
Her gauge: 21 sts over 4 inches.
Her yarn: cushy aran weight 2 ply handspun from pretty roving in her stash
Her needles: US #5/ 3.75mm
Her number of beginning triangles: 6

Cast on 36 sts and work a rectangle of 6-stitch entrelacs that looks like it is long enough for a 3 inch cuff following your favorite recipe for back and forth entrelacs. Seam the narrow ends of the rectangle so it looks like a bracelet. 
Using your favorite needles for working in the round, pick up and knit around one edge of the bracelet stitch for stitch. Join round and work 3 rounds in 1x1 rib. Bind off. 
Pick up and knit around the other edge, stitch for stitch. Knit 6 rounds plain, knit 6 rnds in 2x2 rib (to fit snugly at the wrist), knit plain to where you want your thumb (1 1/2 inches). Bind off 9 sts. Continue around to where you bound off and cast on 9 sts. Join round. This makes a hole for the thumb. Knit plain for as long as you want your hand above the thumb (2 1/2 inches). Bind off. 
Pick up 20 sts around the thumb hole. Knit plain till your thumb is long enough (1 1/2 inches). Bind off. 
Make another. Maybe add a little 2x2 fair isle just above the thumb on the second one, just for fun. Not enuf yarn? Spin more.

Want more Sandy? Follow her blog here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Flip Side

 Another new pattern in two days. Can you believe it? This is Flip Side. These fingerless gloves are totally reversible. Knit it on the dot side (top left, bottom right) and flip to the nubbin side (bottom left). These are quick to knit...or at least I should say that they go fast. And they feel so good on. Of course that could be because I knit them from Madelinetosh Pashmina sportweight merino/cashmere/silk yarn. This color is called Curiosity...such a soft lavender. The pattern is available here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cloudland Socks

I have been a pattern writing fool this season. I started with Cloudland fingerless gloves, and loved them so much I had to knit socks in the same pattern. So here they are, released today. Just like the gloves, the cloud pattern, a nifty lacy faux cable, spirals in opposite directions on each foot. I've written it with an afterthought heel, though it should be called and "afterthefact" heel instead, cuz it is definitely well thought out ahead of time, tee hee. This is an easy to work, easy to understand, easy to size heel. You can find tips for heel sizing on Cloudland's ravelry pattern page. This pair is knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in "Denim".

This pattern is available for sale online in my Ravelry store. You can buy it here.