Archive for the ‘Popknits’ Category

Verde!

June 3, 2009

New pattern, available at PopknitsVerde is a green string bag knit out of recycled cotton.  This was my secret project for April, and it was a pretty relaxing knit, for the most part, save for the handle, which was reknit several times over.  I had a hard time settling on the perfect stitch pattern and needle size to create a really firm handle that wouldn’t stretch downward too much when worn and wouldn’t dig into the shoulder.  Many thanks to the Lady, who, during this period, looked at a proto-handle and suggested going down in needle size and using some kind of woven stitch.

When it came time to take the pictures for this project, I thought we might as well take them on an actual family outing, when we were putting the bag to use.  The photos were taken on our trip to Ardenwood Farm, which I mentioned previously.  Our picnic blanket and Nora’s Fleesa are shoved in there.  We’ve since used the bag for groceries and discovered that we can fit a whole heck of a lot of them in there!  The butterfly lace is super stretchy.

My husband has asked me to make a few more of these, so it’s a hit at our house!  I hope you can use it, too!

More soon, as I’m finally recovering!

Day’s Eye Hat again

March 4, 2009

Popknits‘ Spring issue went live today, so you can get the Day’s Eye pattern now!  I thought I’d tell you all a little more about that pattern today, and the process that went into designing it.  The pictures accompanying this post are the pictures I decided NOT to send to Popknits.  It was cold out when we did the shoot, and the original pictures had me in coat and scarf, which I decided was probably not the best idea for a Spring issue.

This is, to date, my best planned pattern.  I drew the cable some time in December on a piece of graph paper and liked how it looked, so I knit a swatch.  I had the cable in mind for a hat from the moment I drew it, so when I knit the swatch, I incorporated the decreases I planned to use in the crown of the hat.  The swatch in question was knit with leftover Cascade 220, and it came out bigger than I intended for the final hat, but it was a great roadmap for when I actually sat down and made the hat itself.  It was basically a matter of transcribing the swatch into a chart, and that was 90% of the process that usually bogs me down out of the way, there.

Now, a more experienced, more naturally organized designer would probably have been planning projects in this logical way all along.  I am not a naturally organized person, so this sort of planning is a major milestone for me.  I usually sit down with skein and needles in hand and have only the basic idea that I want to make a hat, or a scarf, or a sweater, or whatever, and then I go from there and have to go back and decipher what I did later.  Not truly the best way to manage things.

So, the planning out of the way, it was a matter of choosing yarn and making a hat.  I settled on Felted Tweed pretty early on.  I wanted to pick a yarn that had enough yardage to make the hat from a single skein, and I’ve been itching to work with Felted Tweed again for some time now.  I’d originally planned on a different color, but the colors I wanted weren’t in stock at my local yarn store, and the purple seemed to fit well with the daisy pattern on the top of the hat.

The pattern is called Day’s Eye because day’s eye is the Old English name for the daisy flower.  One assumes it refers to the way the blossoms open and shut in response to the sun – the day’s eye opens in daylight and shuts at night.  Chaucer referred to the flower in verse:

Men by reason well it calle may
The Daïsie, or else the Eye of Day,
The Empresse and the flowre of flowres all.

Daisies are one of my favorite flowers.  In general, the daisies I peer at on my walks are probably not the day’s eyes referred to by Chaucer or Ben Johnson.  The term is used for a wide variety of flowers, but they all have a basic shape in common – a simple center surrounded by elongated petals that rarely overlap.

I hope you enjoy the Day’s Eye pattern!  It was a great deal of fun to create.  I think I may make one for myself, actually.  The one shown here was given to my sister after she tried it on and it looked adorable on her.

Day’s Eye!

February 26, 2009

One of my secret projects is no longer a secret!  The Popknits Spring Preview is live, and you can get a sneak peek at the Day’s Eye Hat.

I’ll have more to say about the project when it goes live (March 4th), but for now, I just wanted to show off!