Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And now time for something completely different


So, in the new Skein Theory (see my previous notes on Petiole), I had two patterns. The second of which is Mary Sue, a skirt pattern. This is my first time designing a garment to fit with multiple sizes (excluding hats and mitts, which are easy to size).

This was a fun pattern to do, and a skirt was a good into to sizing as there are fewer dimensions to size (but, hips, waist and length - no sleeves!). Now, I have developed a love for pleats in my sewing life. I love the look of pleats, be they knife pleats, box pleats, cartridge pleats, rolled pleats, stacked box pleats... you name it. And my favorite type of skirt are the knee length skirts with little kick pleats at the bottom. So I went into this design wanting to knit a skirt with box pleats.

This means casting on a gazillion stitches. Sigh. Several times of course. And then twisting your cast on, and only discovering 2 inches in. Sigh. There is a reason I ended up writing the pleat section flat... This is in the hopes that I will save others from my fits of ripping. One thing I was really happy on this pattern was that it didn't end up sucking up a ton of yarn, despite the pleats. This sample only took 5 skeins of this yarn. And it would be the same in something like Silk Wool from Elspeth Lavold. The pleat takes basically the same amount of yarn per size, so the yardage doesn't change drastically for the sizes, which is also nice.

by Miriam Pike

Sizes: XS (S, M, L)
Gauge: 5.5 stitches and 9 rows/rounds per inch / 2.5 cm in stockinette stitch using larger needle
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)
Yarn: DK weight yarn, approximately 750 - 975 yds / 709 - 892 m
Yarn pictured: Sample shown in medium in Harrisville Designs Silk & Wool in “Sea Mist” # 207
Sample shown in size M

But I really enjoyed making this skirt, and hope other people will too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Customizing Petiole

As I was desiging Petiole, I was struck by how many options there were for the shawl. How easy each section was to lengthen (or shorten) and all the fun things to do. With writing up the pattern, however, I ended up being limited by having to chart the edging and write it for people to follow. I have a couple of notes in the pattern on customizing, but there just isn't room in a pattern for talking at length about that sort of thing.

Reading through posts from several people working on Petiole (and wondering about extending this section or that to make a bigger shawl) I thought, "I have a blog! I can talk about these things!"

Petiole, as I mentioned, is an easy shawl to modify. One of the reasons is the motif. Each motif ends up separate from the other (no interconnectedness) so stitch counts can be played with and tweaked. Also, there are garter wings on the sides between the last motif and the edging motif, so if you have a different number of stitches than specified in the pattern, you can account for that in these plain areas at the sides. Here are some of my ideas on how to customize.

1. You want the solid body of your shawl bigger: This is easy, instead of going straight into the stem section, work another body section by doing another yo increase row (yo every 4 stitches this time) and work another section of the plain garter like before. You will have extra stitches when you go into your stem section, but just account for them in the garter bits as I said earlier.

2. I mentioned this in the pattern, but if you like the striped stem section, go ahead and lengthen it! Just make sure your leaves in the next section line up with your stems, and you are good to go!

3. Another option (one I am working on in a handspun Petiole) is to leave off the leaf on the outside edges of the shawl. I like how the leaf looks when I wrap the shawl around me, but I wanted an easy version of this shawl to work on when I was stressed out, so I decided to go without. If you do, don't work the stem on the edge or the leaf motif, just keep increases on the outside edges as you have for the rest of the shawl.

 4. Beads, did someone say beads? Again on the Petiole I am working on, I decided to add beads for fun (cause I am a sucker for pretty beaded things). The beads are going on the slip stitch stems (only on the rightside row as you are knitting them in B (so on row 5, place a bead on the stem), and then continue to do so through the leaf.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Belated Design Notes

I have two new published designs! (published last Month in Skein Theory, if you haven't gone to see it yet, do so, there are lots of wonderful patterns besides mine). I'm sorry for the lateness of the post, but the past month has been so busy and I am horrible at posting (as previously noted).

Just so I can pretend like I blog, I will do a separate post for the two patterns. The first of the two patterns is my new shawl pattern: Petiole.
This design was inspired by all the slip stitch patterns out there. I love making shawls like Daybreak, but I wanted to experiment with the different textures you can achieve with slipped stitches; a way to do colorwork without carrying two colors along a row.

My first version of this shawl was more of a shaped scarf and smaller leaves:
But I decided to go ahead and make the leaves bigger by adding a center vein and make this more into a full shawl. Extremem increasing creates a shape like a short row shawl.

I don't have a picture of it all spread out (I need to remember to take photos of this) but it is shaped to stay on your shoulders with nice long sides that wrap perfectly. With the large size I can wrap it all the way around and tie it in back.

The name of this shawl was originally "Falling Leaves," the perfect name for the shawl, until a Ravelry search revealed a billion patterns already by that name. So I left the name up to Janel, and she chose Petiole, for the stems of the leaves. It took me a bit, but I really like the name; it is descriptive and also sounds a little girly and elegant.

The pattern is available individually though Skein Theory ($6.50) or as part of the collection ($16 for 16 patterns).

You can go on Ravelry and see other projects of Petiole

Name: Petiole
Yarn: Yarn: Fingering weight yarn, approximately 250 (450) yds / 274 (366) m of main color and 230 (400) yds / 83 (229) m of contrasting color
Shown in Wollemeise Twin
Needles: US 5

I am working on another Petiole right now in homespun with beads, and I will have to show the finished one of that! (For anyone curious, I am putting the beads on the "stems" of the leaves)