Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

In which I write up a pattern after a very long time

March 13, 2012

So, it’s been a while since I updated which means it’s time for a brief flurry of activity.

First things first.  I finally got around to putting the animal face charts from the blanket squares into a single PDF.  They look like this.


There’s a Panda, a Bear, a jaunty Jack Russell puppy and a Monkey.  The pattern has been added to my Ravelry downloads here.

BTW – what the hell has happened to WordPress since I last used it?


Multiple Sclerosis: The Big Knit

April 21, 2011

Last year, I designed a pattern for a knitted version of human chromosome number one.  The two chromosomes made from that pattern are now sitting in the Who Am I gallery in the Science Museum, demonstrating the degradation of the telomeres which protect the end of the chromosome.  Here they are  on the opening night of the gallery.

Then I released the pattern on Ravelry and didn’t think much more about it for a while.

I was recently asked by Hannah from the British Society for Immunology whether they could use the pattern for their Big Knit project, which was very exciting, so of course I said yes.  The chromosome is one of the patterns used for the MS and DNA tableau which will be on display throughout the Cheltenham Science Festival and it’s been reproduced on the BSI website, alongside other contributed patterns and quite a few created by Hannah herself (including some knitted sunshine, in case the weather doesn’t hold up).

Read more about the Big Knit and see all of the different patterns (listed under tableaux) here.  The BSI are accepting contributions made from the patterns for the tableaux – all details are on their website.

If you want a picture of how the chromosome goes together, there’s one in the pattern PDF, available here.  Or you can go to the pattern loaded onto Ravelry.

More pleats (with added maths joy)

February 23, 2011

So, I thought I wanted to make the Geodesic cardigan.  After a couple of false starts, it turns out I didn’t want to make it at all.  I wanted to make something similar – I love those slightly sheer laceweight cardigans.  Lots and lots of sheer stocking stitch.  And I like structural details with plain knitted fabrics.  Especially pleats.  So, I had this mental image of a fanned pleated yoke on a v-neckline for my cardigan.  And it worked.  The maths worked out perfectly.  I have gently sweeping pleats fanning out from the point of the v-neck up to the collar.

Consider me well chuffed.

Getting the basics right

January 16, 2011

A little while ago, I found out that a knitting friend is expecting her first baby.  So, an idea for some new bootees came to my mind.  I’m not going to reveal any precise details yet but they are ones which will have a very specific requirement for the basic bootee – in that they need a longish flat front on them.  And it’s worth getting the basics right if the rest of the design is going to hold up on them.  So, I’ve been playing with some prototypes.

We have a knit flat base with short row shaping on the front

We have a second variation on this with a more defined sole and a different method for the short rows

We have one worked using sock type methods

I shall do a bit of decorating and ponder which works best.  I think the first two will probably stay on best, but the last one may be the better one for working the idea up into an adult slipper.

Toy soldiers

November 18, 2010

Is it too early for Christmas decorations?

Last year, I was part of Knit The City and took part in the Nutcracker Knitmare Before Christmas piece. As the Nutcracker features Christmas presents which come to life, I wanted to make something which echoed traditional toys. I decided that the Nutcracker Prince’s soldiers should be brightly coloured toy wooden soldiers. But a bit more textile based.

I loved how they came out and realised that they’d make a brilliant decoration, so I made some more for a Secret Santa. And now, as Christmas approaches again, I’m making a few more and sharing the way that you do it – both in the original crochet and knitted.

The pattern is available on Ravelry – go here for crochet and here for knitting

Free pattern: Burberrish Cowl (aka how to reverse engineer a cable pattern)

October 18, 2010

I can’t take full credit for the pattern here.  Someone else designed the original cable pattern and the lovely garment you shall see at the end of this post was made by the friend who initially started off the experiment in reverse engineering. The fabulous choice of yarn and colour is all his.

Some weeks ago, over some knitting and fine cake, a friend showed me a picture of a cowl he loved and wanted to be able to make.  The original cowl also costs a few hundred pounds from a designer store.   It also had a fairly intricate cable pattern built into it, so was not something that you could get from a traditional pattern library to adapt.  Some reverse engineering was required.  The internet handily provided a nice flat image of the cowl so I could see what was going on.

Now, I don’t know how anyone else goes about reverse engineering a cable pattern, but I used coloured pencils.  A cable is basically sets of stitches which are entwined.  It’s like plaiting.  In this picture, I could see that there were four strands in the cable, and that each strand was three stitches wide. So, I set to work with my pencils, one colour for each strand, to trace where they crossed each other.  Sometimes a strand crossed two other strands, which meant that there were 9 stitches in the cable crossover. As the crossing strand went to the front, this meant it was documented as C9F.  Sometimes the travelling strand crossed all of the other strands, making a C12F.  From there on in, it was a simple matter of counting the vs in each column to get the row count.

The full pattern is available as a Ravelry download and from here for those of you who haven’t found Ravelry yet. And here is the end result. Doesn’t he look marvellous in it?

Pattern procrastination

September 23, 2010

Many knitters have a tendency towards startitis. For me, it seems ingrained.  I have an entire canvas shelf unit full of WIPs.  And it has now extended towards the patterns I’ve been writing.  So, here and now, I am outlining the patterns that I have half written up, or which need extra sizes making, or which need more test knitting to improve them to shame myself into finishing them.  If I look like I’m experimenting with anything else new and shiny before I write up at least one of these, I will need shouting at.

The patterns are –

DM Bootees – these were waiting around until I could find some resource to make different sizes. I don’t have access to any baby feet to measure on a day to day basis.  I have since found this and this so I have to get going on them again to make the different sizes.  I also want to do something different with the back since I’ve seen the original pair  modelled.

Convertible mittens – these are the mittens with the flip-top hands and thumbs. I made elbow length ones as part of the Ravelympics, but now I want to make a shorter, simpler version in a heavier weight wool. I have bought some lovely Malabrigo worsted for this very purpose this evening.

Hourglass cable hat – the cable motif is the same as on the original convertible mittens, but at a much larger scale, due to the thickness of the yarn.  I’ve made one. I need to finish off the refined version and hand the pattern over to the test knitter.

Simple cable rib hat – see this swatch?

It did actually turn into a complete hat shortly after I made it.  Not entirely happy with the working of the crown, so it needs some refinements. But it’s very nearly there.

Pleated wrap top – this is my current project.  And it’s going quite well.  All the notes are in the notebook.  I must make the commitment to write it up properly this time.

Pleats please me

September 5, 2010

I’ve been a bit fixated of late with sheer knits. You know the sort – they take the lace principle of a skinny yarn knit on slightly too fat needles but are done in a plain stocking stitch to just produce a fine lightweight fabric.  Hannah Fettig is one designer who springs to mind for this (I’ve just completed her Featherweight Cardigan pattern), but Connie Chang Chinchio’s Geodesic Cardigan from last Winter’s Knitscene is another favourite.

I’m not entirely happy with what I did with my Featherweight Cardi – I think I could have improved the mods that I made to it. I think the moss stitch borders I added to make it all match up may have made the welt a bit boxy so that it doesn’t come in at the waist at all, due to the lack of help from ribbing.  But it got me thinking about making something  of my own, something light and fluid and drapey.  It’s a wrap cardigan. I’ve managed to knit across half the back and one front (these sheer knits are so quick!) and am constructing a pleated waistline to echo the pleats that give the front its drape. Here’s a little sneak preview of the pleats.

But this has led me to a new fixation. I’m now contemplating what I can do with the structure of pleats in the sheer knitted fabric.  What will different increases do? What could I do with short rows on horizontal pleats? I can picture it all in my head, but I need to write the ideas down and then get playing once I’ve finished this cardigan.

Turning Saartjes Bootees into Strawberries.

August 15, 2010

This is an old project (made for my nephew who is now 2 1/2 years old), but one which people keep asking about.  I had found the popular Saartjes Bootees pattern on the free knitting and crochet patterns group in Flickr some time before (in the time before Ravelry became my main source of searching for patterns) and wanted to do something with them.  So, I decided to turn them into strawberries.

These are the modifications that I made.

1 – The bootees are made in red to row 23 (small size) or 25 (larger size) and then cast off.

2 – Seeds are sewn on using yellow embroidery cotton.

3 – Leaf straps are made using the pattern below and sewn onto the bootees. The leaf straps are fastened using press studs.

Pattern for leaf strap

Leaf 1

Cast on 2 stitches

Row 1: purl

Row 2: k1, m1, k1 (3 stitches)

Row 3: purl across

Row 4: k1, m1r, k1, m1l, k1 (5 stitches)

Row 5: purl

Row 6: knit

Row 7: purl

Row 8: ssk, k1, k2tog (3 stitches)

Row 9: purl


knit in stocking stitch until strap is long enough to be able to go around the back of the bootee and cross over in front, as shown in the picture.

Leaf 2

Row 1: k1, m1r, k1, m1l, k1 (5 stitches)

Row 2: purl

Row 3: knit

Row 4: purl

Row 5: ssk, k1, k2tog (3 stitches)

Row 6: purl

Row 7: k3tog

In which I go to Loop and fall for some absurdly thick yarn.

June 23, 2010

I went to the opening day of the new Loop store at the Angel.  It has been marvellously documented by others already – for some excellent coverage see here (the crowds, the madness!) and also here (evidence that even being a late arrival did not mean I escaped photos). No photos here – I was in yarn seeking missile mode.  It took two attempts to buy anything – I’m not a great queuer so the first visit (at lunchtime) just involved the free Pimms and looking longingly at the shelves of yarn from behind taller people. On my second visit of the day, it was quieter, I bumped into Louise and I got sneakily photographed.

What I was after was something slightly chunky (for me). Those who know me well are aware that I mostly seek out very fine yarns and look nervous when confronted with anything bigger than a 4mm needle.  Now, my exception is hats. I like a bit of a slouchy hat.  And I like a little more heft to my slouchy hats.

So, the choice of worstedy/aranny weights in Loop is pretty damn impressive.  I came away with some Malabrigo Worsted in Bobby Blue (turquoise to those more prosaically inclined – I’m having a bit of a turquoise fixation right now).  And as displacement activity to distract me from stuff going on at the moment, I’m working up some hat ideas which have been floating around lately.

So, initial sample swatch done, gauge measured, pattern coming up on hat number one.

%d bloggers like this: