Yesterday I published the Jagged Stripes pattern – a pattern for both a shawl and a blanket, which can be made as a temperature registration piece. Never heard of temperature registration? Well, in this case it is a knitting (or crochet) project where one row is done for each day, using a yarn color designated to that day’s temperature. After 365 days you can get something like this:
These are the temperatures I registered for Copenhagen (Denmark) during 2017 – the highest temperature of the day (left), the lowest temperature (center), and the average values (right). See how different it comes out depending on which range you choose?
For illustrating the Jagged Stripes blanket, I used the highest temperatures range (rainbows are so pretty):
A bit of background to mention here: When you search on Ravelry for “temperature”, you get all kinds of patterns (and projects!) for temperature items. However, most of them are plain, straight garter stitch items, nothing fancy. That might be great for some, but for me… I wanted something else! So I designed this one, garter stitch with a little twist.
I added a “neutral” color at the beginning and end of the item, as I do want the edges to be straight. This means there is a bit of short row shaping going on at the beginning and the end of the year – but don’t fret, it can also easily be made without those edges! You’ll then just have the raw zig-zag edge.
I have added an Excel spreadsheet where you can track your local temperatures, see what the blanket looks like after a while, and even customize the size you want based on your own gauge. I have based it on the values I would use myself, using degrees Celsius to record temperatures and using the colors I want to use. I have added a cheat sheet for looking up the degrees Celsius if you’re usually working with Fahrenheit though!
If you’re familiar with Excel and want to change colors or temperature ranges, see below for a tutorial.
There is a lot more information on the Ravelry pattern page, which can be found here: Jagged Stripes Note that this pattern is free – and I hope to keep it so indefinitely.
How can I modify the Excel spreadsheet for my Temperature Blanket/Shawl?
If you want to change either the colors used or the temperature ranges used in the spreadsheet, AND you more or less know your way around in Excel, here is a video tutorial on how to do so. I would however only recommend it if you’re an Excel user already – it can be easy to accidentally mess it up completely!
Please note that I’m using Microsoft Office 2013 on a Windows computer.
Today is a really dreary, rainy day in Copenhagen, Denmark. It makes me want to knit with brightly colored yarns in order to get a bit of brightness in my day – and what is better than a summer sun yellow?
Today I published the pattern for Classic Plaits, a simple pair of socks that are worked toe-up, featuring instructions for two types of heel: Short row or afterthought. The detail on these socks is a simple cabled braid along the outside of the foot, making them interesting but still very quiet to look at. I can imagine them quite well in a sophisticated grey, or any other semisolid yarn out there!
At the end of May, I published a new shawl pattern: At An Angle.
As so often before, my love for garter stitch overcame me, and the different colors of this naturally dyed lambswool from (G)uld beckoned to become something fun.
Worked sideways from tip to tip, increases and decreases shape this triangular shawl. The angled stripe in the middle is placed using short rows, which is easy and almost invisible in the squishy garter stitch.
The color choice makes all the difference here! The simplicity of the shawl makes it easy to work and makes it fit for your casual every-day outfit, but can also accent a more dressed-up you.
The pattern is currently available in English as well as in Danish (the Danish name: “På Kanten”). I used a Danish yarn (the Scottish Lambswool from (G)uld, naturally dyed with indigo and madder), which is available in a number of OOAK shades, depending on what the dyers find in nature.
See more photos and projects from other knitters on Ravelry!
I know I’m not very good at keeping the blog updated lately. But I’ve been busy – designing stuff for you guys!
Today I published a sweater/pullover pattern: Roland. This sweater I made for my brother (Roland), and after quite a few false starts it ended up more or less perfect.
Simple stockinette, followed by a basketweave pattern on the body and sleeves. A fun an interesting knit, as well as soothing and relaxing. It’s great TV-knitting!
Even though it’s originally intended to be a men’s pattern, it can be worn by women as well. I included instructions for waist shaping in the pattern, if you want that – or use it with the straight body as a nice comfy sweater with a bit of ease!
The truly remarkable part of this pattern is that the sweater is truly reversible. The textured basketweave pattern looks good from both sides, and reverse stockinette stitch instead of ordinary stockinette also looks good. Just make sure to pick up those neck edging stitches carefully, and you’re good to go!
In September, I released a shawl pattern in collaboration with Rainbow Heirloom: The Road I Took. It is a pattern show casing the Nostalgia Club September colorway – and this month, I’ve been so lucky to get the chance to design something with the January colorway called ‘Auld Lang Syne’. See the blog post on the Rainbow Heirloom blog here!
Emily sent me 3 skeins of yarn: two skeins in the club base, Rainbow Heirloom Lush Light, and one skein in the Sweater base. Being different fiber blends, the colorway came out slightly different on the two bases. I decided to mix the different yarn weights, just to see if I could make it work!
The New Start cardigan is worked up in a fun construction. First, the back panel is worked in the worsted weight Sweater yarn, then stitches are picked up for the fronts worked in Lush Light. The collar is worked, and at the end the sleeves, using a raglan construction worked with short rows.
The process kept me interested all the way through. It was so much fun to see it shape up, add different stitch patterns for the ribbing, and get a final result I love!
This cardigan, being cropped, works really well with dresses. Most of my dresses flare from the waist, and I have always been a bit sad about the usual full length cardigans interfering with that cut. This is my solution – and it’s a much used one already! I even made a second version in my own handspun yarn, slightly different, but I’m very happy with it.
Step 4 of designing in this series is just knitting. Knitting, adjusting my draft pattern, adjusting numbers if necessary. Trying the sweater on now and again to make sure it is all as it should be.
Most of the adjusting and trying on happens when working the yoke. I’m trying it on several times to see if it works. Once I’ve divided for sleeves, the process is smooth sailing from here – the rest of the body is just knitting and knitting, spruced up with some waist shaping and the color changes. I take meticulous notes on the yarn usage for each color, to check if the calculations I made on color use actually work out or not.
In this particular case, it looks like the calculations were on the generous side, which is good. I might need to adjust it a little bit for the final pattern, as the calculations were very generous, but I’m happy that I indeed have enough yarn and did the calculations right so I am sure not to run out. Phew! If it turns out I don’t have enough yarn, it’s a huge turn off and the project risks being thrown in a corner to think about what it has done ;)
Some decisions have to be made at this point as well. And, actually, one of the inklings I had regarding the yarn, which I had ignored for the sake of ease, proves right. I will in no way have enough of the last, dark blue, to make the sleeves the full length I wanted them to be. As the sleeves are around 10 cm longer than the body, I would need double the amount of the darkest yarn for the sleeves to make that length. And I don’t have that, as I worked the required stripe length + the ribbing in that color.
What to do? The project gets to hibernate a little bit while I contemplate whether I should do something fun with the yarn left overs in other colors, or just stop the sleeves after the second to last color and work a ribbing for 3/4 or bracelet length sleeves. Tough decision here.
Next up: Step 5: Taking a final decision, blocking, and sending the pattern off for tech editing.
Swatch and calculations done, I’m finally ready to start knitting. This is my favorite part!
I usually write the pattern alongside the knitting of my sample, as I want to remember exactly what I did. With all those calculations done, sometimes I can actually already write a draft for most of the pattern at this point. As the calculations are based on the pattern process/flow, it’s more or less a matter of writing down each step and plotting in the numbers.
While I knit, I adjust the pattern instructions I wrote to start with. Sometimes it looks better when done slightly different, or the plan I had simply doesn’t work out.
There is also quite often some ripping out happening at this point. As I knit, it might suddenly turn out that the numbers I calculated are wrong, make it look odd, or just should be adjusted a little bit. In this particular case, casting on and knitting for a while happened 3 times, as I didn’t like the look of the yoke to start with. Working this sweater top down (my favorite method – you can try it on while working on it, it’s so handy!), the cast on and yoke is the most complicated part of the pattern, so I can just as well get it right straight away.
After a lot of requests and comments on my Sowa top from the Impulsive Knits collection, I decided to make a kids’ version of the pattern as well. I had a perfect little model in mind, my darling niece, who is just as jumpy and crazy as I am at times!
Little Sowa is available in the sizes 2-12 years, with the biggest sizes overlapping the grown up Sowa top sizes a bit, with some slight mods like waist shaping removed. Also, there are instructions for working it in a fingering weight yarn only, so you’re not limited to using a lace weight yarn. The use of fingering weight yarn will however make the ruffles a little heavier. This isn’t a big issue for the kids’ sizes, as the ruffles are smaller, but it would make the grown up top look less light.
I made the size 6 years for Frida, as I hope it will fit her for a while. She’s only 4 years now, but big for her age – despite that, I was surprised by the perfect fit!
If you want to make a matching kid & grown up set, purchasing Sowa as well as Little Sowa will make you eligible for a $2 discount on Ravelry – which counts towards previous purchase as well, should you have already bought Sowa. Discount is applied automatically upon check out.
And, just because I loved my little model’s own ideas for how to model stuff, here is a bit of picture spam:
For the calculating, I use Excel spreadsheets. I could of course calculate everything by hand with a pen and a piece of paper, and that would also work fine – but knowing the right formulas and notations in Excel, that just goes a lot quicker. An additional plus is that it will be a lot easier to do the grading (= calculating other sizes) later on, as it will be a matter of copying the same formulas used into the same places in another column, using different numbers for the size only.
Now I’m usually doing the grading simultaneously with my calculations for the sample I’m working on. There’s a very specific reason for that: This way, I can find out straight away if the plan I have will also work out for other sizes. It’s pretty handy, as it will make it possible to make sure I don’t need to do all kinds of things specific for one size or the other.
Step 2B: Calculating yarn use per color
Apart from calculating the stitch counts needed for the sizes, I also needed to calculate how much of each color I could use in order to have enough for both body and sleeves. This includes calculating the area of the fabric (cm2, square cm), and multiplying it with the amount of yarn used per cm2 (calculated on grounds of the size and weight of my gauge swatch). A little simple math later, I could see that I could make stretches of around 11-12 cm per color, and only use the 5 skeins I have in the gradient. Hurray! Now I just hope my calculations actually are right (which isn’t always the case at this point in time) :)