Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall Knits

Ah, sweet fall.
(Which is not how I describe it most mornings.)
Full of opportunities to wear handknits.
(Looking at the bright side; but we deserved a longer summer after the incredibly long winter.)

A season for fingerless mitts - before we shift to full-on mittens.

Eldest needed her own pair.  I've not knit any for her since she was a toddler. (And where are those so I only need to knit one more pair for twins?)

Whipped up these ribbed lovelies that should grow with her for a few years. I was going to knit them longer as arm warmers, but she wanted them done and insisted they are long enough.

Started with a simple 2x2 ribbing with leftover fingering weight yarns and 52 sts. Worked them two at a time on 2.5mm circs.  Added a stockinette panel to duplicate stitch the heart on to and worked the ribbing on the opposite side with an alternating eyelet pattern for a bit of lace and texture. Thumb area is worked back and forth for about 18 rows. I deliberately worked the stockinette pattern to stop ribbing from pulling in the thumb area.  Another Koigu orphan all used up.

Friday, September 5, 2014

There May Be Dragons Here

I've been sitting on a couple of dragon-inspired designs waiting for the cooler weather.  Of course, I didn't want to wait too long, because folks need time to knit all the dragon-y goodness before the last installment of Smaug - I mean, The Hobbit.

First there is the Dragon of Fearn.

In this shawl, texture and unique shaping combine to create a ferociously-fantastic design.  It is designed in a tutorial style to accommodate a range of sizes. In its origins it was designed to use 4oz of handspun singles, which is what I have used for my shawls, but it can most certainly be knit with your favourite yarns ranging from fingering to a light DK weight.

The top shawl was made with two different fibre colours. I bought the fibre as single ounces at Ram Wools Yarn Co-op.  The bottom (first-made) shawl was made from a gradient fibre (lingering in my stash) that I split into two quarters and a half.

Dragon of Fearn starts at the tips (of the darker yarns shown) that are worked towards the center. Next the two sides are joined with the spine. Finally, the stitches along the long edge are picked up and the remainder of the shawl is worked from the bottom up.  The delightful benefit of all this is that there are very few stitches to cast on and very few to bind off at the end. It's all knitting!

Second is the simpler beaded Dragon's Tail scarf, which is a cousin of the Battle-Weary Dragon.

I had to modify the scales pattern, but it is based on the beaded Battle-Weary scales that I loved so much I knew they needed another project.  The scarf -weight yarn (DK-light worsted) requires larger beads. Actually, it was inspired by the size 2/0 silver-lined blue glass beads I had picked up years ago.  After spinning the lavender wool I could see that the yarn and beads belonged together.  I'd tried other projects, but in the end I realized I had the perfect yardage for a scarf.

These two designs bring the count of dragon-inspired designs up to four (five if you count the free fire scarf from many years ago).  I had considered combining them as an eBook, with the possibility of adding to it in the future (because there are still dragons in my head).  However, that would require a great deal of reformatting of the patterns, and I quite simply do not have the time for that - not while I'm busy formatting and teaching a new course at the university while looking after toddler twins and calming a 6 year-old.  Instead I'm using the new bundles feature on Ravelry to group them together.  All my dragon designs can be found at There May Be Dragons Here and because eBooks typically provide multiple patterns at a discounted price, I've set an ongoing sale.  With a minimum purchase of 3 patterns there is an automatic discount of 25%.  I've also set the promotion to include past purchases. That is, if folks already purchased Battle Weary and/or the Hatchling Dragon Shawl on Ravelry, those purchases will count towards the 3 minimum.