Blog Posts tagged Stranded Colorwork

Mar 23, 2015

I'm so excited to announce the release of my newest pattern, The Mitsy Mittens. Originally I was only going to use this pattern in a new class that I am teaching, but I had so much fun making all the samples that I just couldn't resist releasing the pattern publicly as well. The mittens are for toddlers, but the pattern also includes modification instructions to make them in adult sizes or for a miniature ornament.

The class I've been developing is really more of a workshop on the Mitsy Mitten pattern. I wanted to teach a class that combines the Magic Loop method for circular knitting and an intro to stranded colorwork knitting skills like shaped chart reading and handling multiple colors of yarn. I also wanted the workshop to be under 3 hours so I could teach it all in one session. After designing the curriculum, I realized that I needed the class to focus on a very small project that used all these skills, and idea for Mitsy was born!

The pattern is really fun to knit because each section is so short, and not too challenging. I can complete a mitten in about 2 hours. Over the past few weeks, I've been completely obsessed and have made at least a dozen mittens! There's something super addictive about this colorwork pattern, but also the third season of House of Cards came out, sooooo yeaaah

After I designed the mittens to fit a toddler (2T-3T), I thought if these were just a little smaller, they would make a really adorable ornament. So I dug through my stash and found some beautiful fingering weight Cascade 220 yarn and got to work with my size 1 needles.

So cute, right?! I'm absolutely in love with this teeny-tiny version! I thought you might be too, so I added instructions for the mini mittens to the end of the pattern. Wouldn't it be cute to alter the motif to say the year? Or maybe add a new baby's initials and give it as a gift?

Then, I taught the class for the first time, which was probably more of a learning experience for me than for my students. The students were friends from my knitting club, so they knew what they were getting into. For the class, I prepared some in-progress examples worked on large needles with chunky yarn so everyone could easily see my demonstrations. The large-scale mittens were actually kind of awesome, which inspired me to write even more mods to make Mitsy for an adult.

I made these adult sized mittens out of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky yarn, and they are just so soft and delicious! You may recognize the yarn from my Finch Cardigan pattern.

My next workshop for the Mitsy Mittens will be at a wonderful little shop in Austin, TX called Guage on Saturday April 11, 2015 from 12-3pm ($40; pre-registration is required). Guage is also hosting a trunk show for my book, Graphic Knits, and I'll be there signing books immediately after the class from 3-4:30. If you're in the area, I hope you'll come by to say hello. Call Guage for more details (512) 371-9300.

Dec 16, 2017

Can an ordinary knitting project possibly be considered conceptual art? Well, maybe—meet the Hilla Hat from Homage: Knit Darling Book 2.

Time for some art history, yay! All the patterns from my new book, Homage, honor a different pioneering female artist from history. This design honors Hilla Becher (1934-2015), conceptual artist and photographer. The Hilla Hat design reflects Becher's most famous works—a series of gelatin silver printed photographs depicting industrial architecture arranged into a grid. Becher's work has influenced generations of photographers, and has impacted Minimalism and Conceptual Art since the 1970's.

Almost like collage, Becher arranged her photographs depicting similar objects to create motifs of repeating structures. The arrangements make her otherwise straightforward photos quite visually interesting. However, as a conceptual artist, Becher's work is rife with meaning and should not be considered merely decorative. Becher's presentation of her work pits objectivity against subjectivity, depicting a pattern of sequential experiences that is connected in a network.

Though her message was more about the human experience and the evolving/decaying characteristics of nature, I rather liked this idea as it relates to a knitting pattern, repeated endlessly with slight variations, and also more specifically as it relates to the process of creating knitted fabric that is composed of a single strand of yarn. Also, in the broader context of my book, which is all about gratitude for my predecessors and my followers, I love the idea that I am forever connected to the knitters who make my designs through our shared experience of creating the same object.

On a less conceptual level, this adorable hat is my new favorite accessory! I've already knitted it 3 times, and I might go for a fourth soon. The hat features an easy geometric Fair Isle motif and a wide brim that can be folded up for extra warmth, or left down for a slouchy look. The pattern is part of my book, Homage, but I'm also offering it as an individual pdf.

If you want to learn more about Hilla Becher, check out the links below:

Did all this talk of conceptual art inspire your inner critic? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.