Knitty Friday

Deep Fall 2014 Issue Projects

I’ve loved Opus The Octopus from the first moment I saw the pattern, and Spiral420’s project is exactly how mine would look if I’d had a chance to cast on… a Noro-underbelly!

The Brindled hat is a Woolly Wormhead classic – wearable and classic but with a nice stylistic twist. I love indigonightowl’s color choice for her project.


The Krydda sweater is a winner – elegant and beautiful and quick to knit. Nephele has chosen a wonderful color, and it’s coming along well. Can’t wait to see it grow!


Twist Again is a terrific shawl – super for handspun, but just as good in commercial yarn, too. A not-too-challenging but entirely beautiful project. Ando has chosen a perfect color of handspun alpaca for hers…


The Nachfalter fingerless mitts are exactly what you need as the seasons change – fast and fun and warming without feeling too wintery.

Katdriver‘s third pair are green, and she’s already working on a fourth… oh, to be on her holiday gift list!

And Gusto is another must-knit early fall accessory – not just because the result is beautiful… Look at Sonnydays‘ project

 but also because of the fun in making your own “magic ball” from sock yarn leftovers.

I adore how Sherinik’s Apiculturist crochet/knit combo scarf is coming along… the photo shows the difference in the motifs before and after blocking. (Yes, blocking *is* important!)

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On Nachtfalter: A Designer Guest Post

We loved them the minute we saw them…

Yvonne Feng, the designer of this issue’s Nachtfalter fingerless mitten pattern, is a first time Knitty contributor. Indeed, this is her first design published anywhere!

She tells us about her experience…

A Budding Designer’s First Submission

Submitting my first pattern to Knitty (and first knitting submission anywhere) was nerve wracking. Is the design too simple? Too complex? Are there many mistakes? Will others find the design worth knitting? Having these questions was a situation I had never expected just a couple of years after randomly buying needles, yarn, and a beginner’s knitting book while stuck for a few hours in Hamburg, Germany.

Yvonne’s designing desk…

I could never knit a pattern without adding alterations and flairs of my own – a section of cable, a stitch pattern, a concept for construction can inspire a project at any point of the day. When a good friend of mine, an experienced designer, suggested that I write some of my ideas up as proper patterns, I jumped at the challenge.

Although I have followed many patterns, I was unclear on basic terminology, formatting and charting. How do I write instructions so that another knitter can reproduce what I have done? How do I take decent photographs of a knitted work? What is tech-editing or testing? Over the past year, with the support of my knitting circle and the internet, I learned how to transform a concept from my needles into a pattern on paper. I loved sketching the designs and doing the arithmetic but was terrible at keeping track of abbreviations and explaining tricky parts of the construction.

Then it came time to send that pattern into the world. Hitting that final point-of-no-return submit button was the toughest part for me​.

Then Knitty emailed me – my pattern was accepted!

 The editor did the heavy lifting to get the pattern ready — they streamlined the text, fixed all of the mistakes and rendered the chart in professional software. It was so cool to watch the Word and Excel documents transform into the sleek online publication that I have seen for years.

In the last weeks, I have begun to see projects of my Knitty design pop up on Ravelry. Knitters are putting their own spins on the pattern and observing this has been thrilling. I am hooked!

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Stitch Maps Charts and Hugga: Guest Post from JC Briar

Knitter, designer and author JC Briar developed the Stitch Maps charting tool, and in this blog post she shows the difference between a conventional lace chart and one of her “grid-less” stitch maps charts.

We thought you might enjoy seeing this alternate view of the stitch pattern, and JC’s illuminating analysis.

Being a chart geek, one of the things I enjoy most about perusing each new issue of Knitty is scoping out the charts: What stitch patterns do they depict? Are the charts straightforward, or do they have intriguing quirks? And, of course: are there charts that I’d rather see in the form of stitch maps?

In the Deep Fall issue, Hugga caught my eye.


Its double-leaf stitch pattern seemed symmetrical. But its chart?

The chart as published.

The chart as published.

Not so much. The chart appeared jumbled to me: Where were the leaves? What was with the random sprinkling of purl symbols? And why did “no stitch” symbols sit along the chart’s left edge only, on rows 3 and 4? Looking at the symmetry in the Hugga photos, I would’ve expected matching “no stitch” symbols at the chart’s right edge, perhaps on rows 7 and 8.

A stitch map was definitely in order.


With two vertical repeats on display, and “column guides” highlighting the stitch columns, the leaves pop into view.


And the purl symbols resolve into focus: some line up along the center of each leaf; others form a vine running between the leaves.

Looking closely at the stitch map, I was able to figure out why “no stitch” symbols appear only on the left edge of the original chart. It’s because the stitch pattern isn’t actually symmetrical.

huggaSM-3The decreases that join the leaves to the vine aren’t evenly spaced. Sometimes they’re four rows apart; sometimes they’re six rows apart. As it turns out, this uneven spacing means row 3 has an extra decrease, and row 5 has an extra yarn over. So in the original chart, only rows 3 and 4 need “no stitch” symbols.

Gleaning these bits of understanding from the stitch map was fun for me. I’m sure other chart geeks would find it fun too. But using a stitch map to understand a stitch pattern is decidedly useful too. Yeah, I could knit from the original chart – but I’m sure the knitting would flow a lot more easily now that I know how the leaves are formed, how the purls line up into veins and a vine, and where the leaves connect with the vine.

To learn more about JC’s tool, visit the website.

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FO & WIP-spotting from the First Fall Issue

Looking at the Knitty issue  projects never fails to bring us happiness… and inspiration!

KnitMinion’s Hidden Gusset mitts.

Terrific yarn choice for this: the subtle variegation is really good in the ribbing.

gitagiri’s Indigo Cones sweater.

So great.

hgd11‘s Change of Heart cowl.

Just the sort of thing that makes you look forward to cooler weather…

brieri’s Grantangle crochet stole.

Wow… can’t wait to see how this one grows. Clever way to use a self-striping yarn.


Arkus’s Jasseron.

Inspired color choice.

Tamyboy’s Boutonniere is just fantastic, and I love how she’s styled it on her jean-jacket. I think I need one of these.

Exactly how it should be done.






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Surprise Projects

We released our issue Surprise about three weeks ago.

(Do you know about our Surprises? About six weeks after the issue goes live, we release a couple of “bonus” patterns. We sometimes save an extra fun or interesting pattern for the Surprise. Sometimes it’s a pattern that’s a little too seasonal, if you see what I mean.)

For our Spring & Summer issue, there were two Surprises, the Neldoreth Socks, and the Fifteen Love pullover.

Now that looks like summer!

Fifteen Love may well be the perfect summer knit. And I don’t know about you, but if I’d seen these pictures in early March I would have been seriously cranky. It’s mid-May and spring has only just arrived here in Toronto.

There are some great projects underway.

There’s Clellybobus’s terrific red Neldoreth socks.

I think the “foot in half-knit sock” is my favourite category of WIP picture. I do this all the time!

And WillyG’s version is showing lots of promise… love the colorway chosen.

Oooh yeah… Love the blue-green.

And as for Fifteen Love, I think Eirny‘s choice of color combo is just fantastic.

Reminds me of a popsicle!

And this is brilliant:

Helping choose a color combo!

Milanpink built herself an illustration to help her choose her favourite color combo.  Next time I’m doing a multi-color project I have to do this myself.

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On Regenerate

We loved it from the minute we first saw it.

Lots of knitters have been appreciating Mary-Anne Mace’s beautiful Regenerate Shawl in our Spring & Summer issue.

In the introduction to the pattern, Mary-Anne told a story about her experiences with the earthquake in her home town of Christchurch, New Zealand.

This beautiful design was inspired by the regeneration of nature in the fact of such terrible destruction. In a recent post on her blog, Mary-Anne shows us pictures of the city in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, and in later months as the regeneration began. The pictures are heartbreaking and beautiful.

Nature regenerates; hope amid the destruction.

In addition, because Mary-Anne is a helpful designer, she’s created some supplemental charts to help knitters with the project.  There are rows that have large numbers of knit stitches, and Mary-Anne has annotated the charts with stitch counts. The link is at the bottom of the post.




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Spring & Summer WIPs

I think this is one of my favourite parts about working with Knitty: getting to see all the WIPs and FOs. So beautiful! So inspiring! I love seeing how knitters interpret a design with their own color choices, their own styling.

A few lovely things from our recently-released Spring & Summer issue….

Our knitters love an interesting new way to knit socks, and String Theory fits the bill very nicely.

I love the yarn that Evee chose for her version. The variegation works brilliantly with the patterning.

And these, Kalliongimma‘s project… The self-striping Regia works just brilliantly! Go look at the project on Rav – there are even more great pictures.

There’s a number of Sweet Tantalate projects underway. This white silk one from MaryBethLogue is particularly lovely.

The color of Speck‘s Sunday Sunrise is fantastic. So very springy and cheerful.

And in the same color range, Marsdenmoocher‘s Kali vest is just the best.
And I can’t wait to see sophyting’s Anthi finished… she reports starting it the very day the issue came out.

And this is a very promising start at Octopodes from luarn. Perfect color choice.

And I love the color choice for JorunKnits’ Rosarian. Can’t wait to see this develop!

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On Wraptor: A Shorter History & A Yarn Giveaway!

So very clever, and so very beautiful.

As you know, we love an interesting sock construction, and designer Jeny Staiman has outdone herself with the Wraptor sock, as published in the most recent issue.

As Jeny describes it, Wraptor is the lovechild of two previously Knitty socks, Skew and Longitudinal.

She’s written about the inspiration and development of the design on her blog.  It’s a fascinating insight into how designs develop and change and grow and improve with every subsequent iteration – and a good reminder for all of us that if the first attempt doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. It began more than two years ago, with a project to yarnbomb a coworker’s headphones.

Where it all began. Sort of.

One of the things we love most about this design – in addition to it being one of the cleverest things we’ve yet seen, of course — is how it uses a self-striping yarn to great effect. We’ve all got skeins of self-striping sock yarn in our stashes, and after a while, a “plain” striped sock gets a bit boring.

Looooooong stripes.

As she developed the pattern, Jeny realized that to get the most impact, she had very specific requirements for a self-striping yarn: she needed a yarn with sufficient lengths of each color that even for sections with 200+ stitches, the integrity of the stripes had to be maintained. And in Twisted Fiber Arts’ most excellent long-repeat self-striping yarn, she found what she needed.

We’re giving away a kit of this wonderful yarn to make your own pair of Wraptor socks, courtesy of Anne at Twisted Fiber Arts. The prize, worth $46, includes a full skein and a mini skein. Leave a comment on this blog post to be eligible to win, by midnight EST Monday, December 23rd. The usual rules apply; if you’ve won in the past year, please let other readers have a go!

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It’s that time of year again…

If you’re looking for ideas for gift knitting, here’s a few suggestions…

For someone you’re seeing next week:
Nozky leg warmers – especially quick in littler sizes.

For your little dancer.

The Grey Gardens turban/headband – tres chic, and a single skein!

Bonus: actually practical, too!

Mr Popper’s Penguin hot water bottle cover

Would make a pretty great stuffed animal friend, too!

Spatterdash fingerless mitts.

Love these, and they’re particularly great if you’ve got a good button stash to dive into. Who says the buttons have to match?

A coffee cup cozy.

Works both ways – protects your hands, also keeps the coffee warm. Or hot cocoa, of course..

The Knotty But Nice Hat

Perfect for fussy men (Would work for the ladies, too!)

For a generous host:

Venezia beaded napkin rings.

Simply beautiful.

Wine cozy.

Again – practical! Stops the bottles banging around in a gift bag.

For someone who takes an off-kilter approach to the season:
Marley’s Ghost

To begin with.

The Nosewarmer

Also wonderfully quick and sure to generate laughs at a secret santa gift exchange.

The Vegan Fox

I made one of these ten years ago, and I love it still.

For someone you love very very much, and who doesn’t mind if the gift is a little late:

The Hibernate blanket. 

Because it’s perfect.

The Bauble Shawl

Simply stunning.

The Latvian Vest

A tour de force.

Need Other Ideas? Go visit the pattern archive!

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Plum Rondo… What about Green Rondo?

We’re all madly in love with Julia Farwell Clay’s new Knitty design, the colorwork circular yoke pullover, Plum Rondo a la Turk.

It’s great, but maybe those colors aren’t for everyone?

Julia has used very striking – and very non-traditional colors – for this fantastic piece. The purple, orange, hot pink and yellow are a lot of fun, but we know they aren’t colors that work for everyone.

Julia’s written a blog post about the color choices for the designs. In the post, she explains the inspiration for the original choices – when Lorna’s Laces has a colorway that’s your last name, you can’t not use it – and talks about the process of choosing colors for this sort of design.

And then she provides a number of alternate palettes, if the original colorway doesn’t work for you.

She’s even provided some suggestions for those of us who like to wear a lot of black…

Totally different yet equally wonderful.




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