I'd planned to have a more finished and polished reveal at this point, but when summer evenings beckon in a land where winter seems to last 9 months of the year, you roll with it. That being said, I do have a little something to share!
About two weeks ago, I shared this even smaller sneak peek:
It hasn't always been a full fledged intention, but I'm dipping a toe into pattern design. I suppose, it was only a matter of time - I design in my day job, I've been knitting and crocheting for long enough now that it doesn't feel false, and I've got a head for details. Plus I took an even smaller step in several months ago with my free pattern for an infinity cowl that has been fairly well received. I started out with the sketch you see in the photo above. I was inspired by a couple of things. The shape of the hat, or "hoodie," as is a popular term around the cozy cape cottage these days, is reminiscent of the twin baby bonnets I made a few months back. I modified it to be a bit larger as I wanted it to attach to a scarf or cape of some sort, and I love the rolled brim detail on a small sweater we were given a few years back. For this winter, the attached scarf detail has definitely been something I've been percolating for awhile. My sister has really gotten into snowboarding the past few years, and she brought her balaclava with her last time. I really enjoyed teasing her about it because it looked so silly, but it's actually really smart because it doesn't let in any of that cold air or snow, so I'd put it in the back of my mind that a cuter version of that would be GREAT for kids. It would keep them warm, and you wouldn't have to worry about them getting tangled up or choked by a separate scarf. Plus there's the added benefit that you can't lose it if it's attached! I went back and forth about some kind of infinity scarf, maybe it looped once or twice, but eventually I settled on something that looks more like a cape and buttons at the neck - off to the side so it shouldn't annoy little chins or cheeks! I'm a fan of a little intentional asymmetry.
I think there's definitely an alternate design in here where the whole thing is worked in garter stitch. It would have the benefit of almost no purling (I'd still keep the stockinette in the front for that little rolled brim), and garter is a bit warmer in my opinion. For this self striping yarn though, I swatched a garter version and I just didn't like the way the colors fell as much as in stockinette. You can see in the photos above the outside pattern versus the inside - garter stitch would have made both sides look more like the bottom photo, which I just didn't like. I think it could be great in a solid though, so I'll probably write up that option as well.
I finished up the sample last night, and immediately decided I wanted to change it. I think the second set of increases is a little too much, so I think I'll go back and re-do those. While I love a ruffle, I don't like it in this context - the bottom needs to lay a bit flatter under a coat. I know how I want to change it though, so I should be able to have the pattern written in legible, not chicken scratched out notes to myself in the next day or two. I have one tester all excited to cast this on, so let me know if anyone else out there might be interested in test knitting this as well! As far as details, this took a single skein of Universal Worsted Tapestry which is just under 200 yards, and fits a 2-3 year old. I'm planning to work up sizes for 6 and 12 months as well, and maybe 4-5 year olds, though that might take more than a single skein. A contrast color edging would also work if you didn't want to buy two skeins and do a little stash diving instead. So there you have it - a sneak peek of my new design, the Howard Hoodie! Let me know what you think!