So, I’ve got finished knitting, I’ve got finished patterns, all I need is photos. Luckily, I’ve also managed to flee my snowy, freezing home and come somewhere a bit warmer (not warm mind you, I’m still walking around bundled up in woolies, just warmer). Looks a bit like this.
Even luckier, I actually managed to bring the knitting in need of a photo shoot (on the theory that it might be easier to find a spot to take pictures here than at home). I intend to press my willing victim into service and get two patterns worth of pictures while I’m here. So now, all I have to do is decide which pattern should come out first (one will come out next week, the other the first week of March). What do you guys want next, socks?
Now full disclosure, if something goes wrong, or the pictures don’t cooperate (or if editing them is too much of a bear on the laptop), I reserve the right to be all contrary and ignore your sage advice. But if you’ve got a preference, I’d love to hear it!
Those of you who have the electronic version of Curls have already seen the little bonus in there. Many of the patterns sport a special little symbol that, when clicked, takes you over to a stitch map for that pattern.
Stitch maps (the latest creation by super genius JC Briar) are a new way to think about charts. They’re charts without the grids. But more than that, they’re charts that show you the relationship between stitches in a much more concrete way than traditional charts tend to. The easiest way to understand it is just to show you an example. Here’s what a feather and fan stitch looks like as a stitch map.
See how the stitches tip and lean back and forth and make lovely wavy lines? Very much like your fabric will if you knit this stitch pattern? Nifty isn’t it! And you can play with it a bit more. You can turn on row guides to help you follow each row all the way across the chart.
Or you can turn on column guides (very helpful if you want to trace out how columns of stitches behave, and a fabulous tool if you want to figure out where you can put a stitch marker or plan out where to place increases without disturbing your pattern).
Stitch maps are about as close as you can get to seeing the fabric before you put yarn on your needles. They let you visualize the finished result amazingly clearly. You can actually see that quite well in the stitch maps for Curls.
Anybody can play with stitch maps for free, and there are all sorts of bonus features if you subscribe. Go play around and see what speaks to you!
I’ve mentioned I like my job, right? Because I really do like my job. Part of that is because I get to spend all day in my pajamas by myself and only rarely have to talk to actual people face to face. But an even bigger part of it is because I get to work with awesome people on fun projects.
One of those awesome people is Anne Hanson (Knitspot mastermind). I mentioned to her that the next Curls book was going to use all gray yarns and asked if I might be able to use one of her Bare Naked Wools yarns in it. The next thing I know, a happy little package arrived in the mail.
Anne does good gray (which you may recall from last year’s adventure in slippers)! Now I have to do is make up my mind. I’m torn between the cabecou sport and chebris worsted, though really you can’t go wrong with any of them. I think there is some serious swatching in my future.
A while ago, I quietly took down all my earliest patterns. They were fine, but they just weren’t quite as polished as my current work, so down they came. I’ve been revamping them (new layouts, new charts, updated text, and often new pictures and more sizes) and rereleasing them as time allows. Louche is back out, as are lots of lovely cuffs. But it was about time for a hat pattern to get some love, so today I’m bringing Plicate back!
Plicate is, if you’ll forgive the shameful lack of modesty, awfully close to my idea of the perfect slouchy hat. The slouch is created by some clever gathering inside the hat, which means it all stays just how you’d like it, and you won’t be constantly fussing with it (or feeling it creep down your head) as you wear it. You can make it a bit taller if you like it super slouchy (like the one above), or keep it a bit shorter if you like a more understated crumple (like the one below).
And you can use pretty much any fingering, sport, or light DK yarn you can imagine. The pattern is written for three gauges (4, 4.5, and 5 stitches per inch in stockinette). If you can get a soft, drapey fabric with your yarn at one of those gauges, you can use it for this hat (there are five size too, so you can fit everyone from toddlers to large adults).
You can also use a surprising range of yarn textures. The first picture shows the hat in Gloss Fingering, a 70% merino 30% silk yarn by Knit Picks. It’s smooth and even and very consistent. The second shows the hat in a 100% alpaca, heavy fingering-weight yarn from a local independent producer (alas, no name, it came from a fiber festival years ago and had no info other than the fiber content). It’s super fuzzy and has quite a bit of variation in thickness. The hat works beautifully in either. And, since you can make it with 200 yards of yarn or less, I’m pretty sure you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect yarn.
But one of you is going to have an even easier time. The good folks at Knit Picks are going to send one of you a skein of Gloss Fingering in Robot (that’s the lovely light gray I used here, and one of the most perfect color names ever) to make your own hat. If you think it should be you, just leave a comment telling me how you feel about slouchy hats. Are they all you wear? Are you still looking for the perfect one? Have you decided they’re not your style? There aren’t any right or wrong answers, just tell me how you feel!
Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Saturday, January 24, 2015 will be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way. Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner). If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Sorry, but I can only send prizes to US addresses.
You know those websites that show pictures of what’s inside other people’s fridges or purses or closets? And you know how you’re always a tiny bit scandalized by something you see (how does anyone drink that much soda? Am I the only one with three chapsticks and no lipstick in my purse? Why am I not that tidy?). I think the knitter’s equivalent must be your work basket. Here’s mine.
What was that? Why yes, yes that is all yarn for the gray curls. And yes I do love them all. And no, even in mid January, the gray is still not getting to me. The real question is, what in there scandalizes you. Or better yet, what’s in your knitting basket right now?
P.S. The needle organizer is by Zig Zag Stitches (one of the sock roll ones I think). It’s awesome. I’ve had it since before I’ve been writing this blog, and it’s held up perfectly. The basket is a dvd basket from Target. It’s the perfect size (and it sits on a shelf on my end table and acts like a drawer…keeps the kittens totally out of it).