Showing posts with label pattern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pattern. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pattern Release: The Howard Hoodie!

It's official, I've released my first pattern! I did a sneak peek a couple of weeks ago, sent it off to a couple of test knitters (thanks so much for offering ladies!!), tweaked some of the language, and here it is - the Howard Hoodie!

Here's the "official" blurb about the pattern:

The Howard Hoodie is a hat and scarf all put together into one cute little package. The attached cowl keeps little necks warm, and lays nicely under a coat without adding extra bulk, and can't be easily lost like a separate neckwarmer! The hood is fastened with a button closure, so there are no ties or strings to get tangled. A rolled brim frames cute little faces, and the hat comes to an adorable elfin point.

Pattern is written for sizes 6 months, 1 year, 2-3 years, 4-5 years. Smaller sizes can be knit up in just one skein of worsted weight yarn (about 200 yards), while the 4-5 year old size will either need an additional skein or the addition of a contrasting color. Hat is worked flat and seamed with a 3-needle bind off, and the bottom scarf/cowl is picked up and knit down. Uses US size 8 circular needles (length not critical as hat is not done in the round, 16" is comfortable minimum) with additional US size 8 straight or double point for 3-needle bind off.
 I know it's terrible to think about...but it's officially September now. For those of us in the north, that's back to school time, and the official - unofficial start of fall. And for those of us in the far north, it means (snow) (....that's a whisper, not a suggestion nature!!) could theoretically fall pretty much any second now. Luckily this is a pretty fast knit. It could realistically be done in a week or so, even a weekend if one were so inclined. And IF one WERE so inclined, well, one could find this pattern in my Etsy or Ravelry shops (those with eagle eyes may have noticed that it actually went live yesterday)! Just click on one of those links, and you'll be taken to a page where you can purchase the digital download. I'd love to hear from any of you who decide to knit this what you think of it!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Howard Hoodie sneak peek

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!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hooded Toddler Towel

You know those adorable hooded towels you get for a new baby? You wrap them up all snuggly out of the bath, and it keeps their little heads warm while you tend to the rest of the dressing and diapering done. They're great....for about 8 months. Then you've got suddenly super long legs sticking out the bottom and it won't quite close around the middle, and a grown up towel just isn't as cute. So to solve that problem, I made a super big hooded towel.

On a whim when I was mindlessly filling up a cart or two at Ikea, I saw cute towel and washcloth sets. I grabbed one washcloth, and one of those enormous bath sheets. Then a few months later, when I was finally nearing the bottom of that pile of Swedish goods, I took that towel, washcloth, and about 20 minutes to make a toddler towel.

First, I folded the washcloth on a diagonal and trimmed one edge so that it was symmetrical.

Then, I pinned the washcloth onto one side of the towel, patterned sides together, like so:

I did a couple of seams along the edges, and then flipped it right side out.

And ta-dah! Giant hooded towel.

The enormous bath sheet might seem like a mistake at first, but then you realize that you can swaddle a two year old with this thing, and it makes more sense. (I contemplated cutting off that center hanging loop that bath sheets have, but I'm glad I didn't. If you hang this up by the hood, it's likely to drag on the floor!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Garter stitch cowl pattern (sort of)

*scroll down to end if you're more interested in the pattern than the rambling*

I've mentioned before, it's cold out this winter. Colder than usual, and it's only mid-February. Here in the midwest, we know that it will be many, many weeks before it's actually spring out there, despite what lies the calendar may tell. So because I was cold, and on a little break from Etsy orders while I wait for a yarn shipment to arrive, I found myself in the lately unusual position of having a little time on my hands with which I could knit something....for myself!!?!

I saw a simple shawlette/short poncho sort of thing at a friend's house, and knew I wanted something similar, but a little different. Like a cowl, but something I could pull over my shoulders. Like an infinity scarf, but not quite. I also knew that I didn't really want to buy anything new, so it would be cool to use up what I already had. I'd purchased a few different colors of Lion Brand Homespun for a custom order of a newborn cocoon for a photography prop. I like a lot of the Lion Brand yarns, but homespun isn't my favorite. While it's quite soft, it's not plied very tightly so it can get fuzzy and splitty. It's acrylic and polyester, which in addition to the softness makes it quite nice for a baby prop because it's machine washable - for when babies inevitably do what they do - it's just not what I gravitate toward. But anyway, I bought a few different colors because I wasn't sure what the buyer wanted. She chose the lovely gray/white color, and I was too lazy to return the rest. So in a cold daze, I grabbed the unused cream/off-white skein and blindly cast on.

I had poked around on Ravelry, but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. Which is funny, because it's so simple that it's not even really a pattern. Maybe that's why no one has written it yet? Because it's just THAT simple? I wasn't going to either, but the ladies at knitting group said that I should, so here we are. :)

I decided that I'd rather cast on the width and join up the ends to make the loop for the infinity scarf because I didn't actually know how long I'd like it to be. That told me that this might be the time to experiment with a provisional cast on and grafting rather than just doing a mattress stitch. I knew from experimenting on the newborn cocoon that a very simple stitch pattern works best with homespun. I used stockinette for that, but since this was 2 sided, I decided garter would be the way to go. So in the end, I basically mashed these 3 patterns together (1, 2, 3), and made some executive decisions along the way when it became clear that a single skein wasn't going to be long enough.

When I started running out of the cream color, I noticed that the nature of the homespun dying made these wide color bands. I chose to grab the leftover 2/3(ish) skein of the gray colorway and alternate 2 stripes of each color for several rows before switching over to all gray. Initially, I determined this number by guessing about how much of the cream to leave so that I could do the 2x2 striping at the other end of the gray. Then I would have cream section, striped section, gray section, striped section, and it would all look like it was done intentionally. Even though it wasn't and was based on laziness and not really wanting to buy more yarn, since it isn't my favorite and I was using up what I had. Shhhhh. Then I knit the gray section until I had about the same amount left as I had of cream, at which point I started striping again. I ended on a cream stripe, because then I would use the gray to join between the last cream stripe and the beginning cream section. I could have done the grafting with cream as well, but my visual judgement of "equal" amounts left leaned slightly heavy toward gray, so that's what I used. Very scientific.

My initial thought was to put a twist in the scarf before joining to give it a little more interest than a long string of garter stitch. I ended up testing it both twisted and straight as a friend said that it could get a little tight if I chose to double up the scarf with the twist in it. If I was working this from 2 complete skeins, I think I would have done a straight join and worn it doubled. However since I had one partial skein, it's juuuust slightly tight when doubled even when straight, so I opted to twist it and will mainly wear it either looped just once or pulled down to warm my shoulders. And there you have it. A super simple striped cowl, so simple it's a little embarrassing to write a "pattern" for.

Garter Stitch Infinity Cowl

One size
Materials - 2 skeins Lion Brand Homespun, 1 of each color
size 8 needles (I used a circular, knit flat)

Using provisional cast on, cast on 40 stitches in color A

Knit every row in color A until work measures about 24"

Knit 2 rows in color B, then knit 2 rows in color A. Carry strands up one side. Repeat for about 4-5", ending with color A. Cut color A at this point, leaving a long tail to weave in end.

Using color B, knit every row until color B section is about 24"

Knit 2 rows in color A, then knit 2 rows in color B. Carry strands up one side. Repeat for about 4-5", ending with color A. (This is the point where I knit until I was just about out of yarn, while being mindful that I had enough left over to graft the ends together)

You can choose to either twist the scarf once at this point, or simply line the ends up straight. Use kitchener stitch to join the working end back to your provisional cast-on end using color B.

Weave in ends.

Wear. Be warm!