Posted in knitting, knitting pattern, poncho, sweater pattern

Willow, Bold, and the next thing

This weekend, our weather app predicts 100% chance of rain.  Usually they’re not so certain and like to hedge their bets a bit, but rain must be a pretty sure thing around these parts today and tomorrow.  (And, actually, it’s pretty much been raining non-stop since I started the first draft of this post earlier this morning).

This changes my plans somewhat, but it’s always a pretty safe bet that my weekend forecast includes chance of knitting: 100%.


You may have seen that I recently published Willow.

The name Willow evokes all things graceful: willows are strong and elegant, and, well, willowy.  I find myself wearing my Willow often.  It’s great to throw on when I get home from work in the evenings; I often get chilled, but if I can get my shoulders warm, the rest of me is warm, and Willow does that for me.

Willow is worked flat using bulky/chunky weight yarn, then seamed together with two quick seams.  There’s even a tutorial for the seaming, here: Cabled Poncho Seam. This would be a great pattern for someone just starting out with cables.

Beth made this beautiful purple Willow.

I love what she says about her Willow:

I finished my Cabled Poncho test knit for @knitequalsjoy and I LOVE it! I thought I wasn’t a poncho person…turns out I just hadn’t found the right one. I knit mine in @blueskyfibers Extra, (alpaca and merino blend) which has beautiful drape and will keep me warm! And of course, it’s purple.

Such beautiful knitting!  Thank you, Beth!


Currently in testing is Bold…with undertones of chocolate.  Now, whether you interpret that as referring to coffee or to beer is up to you!

Bold is an oversized sweater knit top down, seamless, and stockinette-side-out. It took a bit of engineering to get the sweater to be reversible and to include a giant cable, so I was thrilled when I was able to make it work.  If the ends are worked in carefully, the sweater truly is reversible, and can be worn with either the stockinette or the reverse stockinette side out, depending on your whim.

The pattern will be available for 5 sizes ranging from 32-50 in. (bust measurement).  If in between sizes, one can choose from the actual finished sizes for the best fit. It’s worked on size 8 and 9 needles, so it’s a pretty quick knit.

I’ve worn my Bold to work a couple of times and have felt like a million bucks in it each time.

The pattern should be released sometime in the summer or early fall.


Finally, I’m working on a new sweater design.  I recently found this yarn by Yama Fibre Arts and was smitten by its colors and textures. This is the YAMA Merino Linen Singles in Grey Sage and Nomad B3.

I’m using the two colors together.  It’s a subtle contrast, and I love it, but I can see this sweater in so many different color combinations.

 

A few designs seem to write themselves (like last year’s Autumn Spice Pumpkin ) – and this one seems to be doing that as well. I think the color, fiber content, and spin of the yarn must suggest what will work for the yarn.  It doesn’t always happen; sometimes the yarn puts up a stubborn and dogged fight against my ideas for it, but that’s another story…

This is worked in fingering weight and small(ish) needles, so it will be in the works for awhile before it’s ready for testing.  I’ll probably be posting lots of progress pictures on Instagram, so you can catch those in either the Instagram feed or the Knit Equals Joy Facebook page.


I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend and that the chance of rain wherever you are isn’t 100%!  Maybe your chance of knitting is.

xoxo

Carol

Posted in colorwork, design, The Creative Process, The Design Process

The Creative Project from H-E-Double Toothpicks

Over a year ago, I was struck – “hit up ‘side the head” one might say – with the inspiration and desire to design a colorwork sweater. Nevermind that I had never designed a sweater. I was confident about the colorwork; not as confident about the construction of the sweater – but I had my reference books, so I was ready to go.

I started by building a secret Pinterest board – a mood board, so to speak. It is now a public board, if you want to check it out, here: Tee Inspiration. Using it as a springboard, I began choosing colors for the tee, charted out a flower, and began swatching.

Sand, Espresso, Pickle, Black, Lagoon, Melon, Earth, Carrot, Moss, Bronze, Rose, Mist
Sand, Espresso, Pickle, Black, Lagoon, Melon, Earth, Carrot, Moss, Bronze, Rose, Mist

I know that many of you have followed me through the process of working on this design.  I’ve written about it often over the past year:  What I Learned from the SwatchWhat’s in the Hopper2016 – Possibilities…and we have color!Winter RamblingsSweater Surgery, or How I Cut Into my Sweater and Lived to Tell About ItJust a Little SketchYes, I am still working on the Colorwork Tee!, and Colorwork Tee Update.


This blog examines the design process. When I am designing, I’m not only designing and coming up with something that is (hopefully) pretty, but I am also thinking about how my mind is processing information in order to come up with that design. Basically, I’m thinking about how I think while I’m thinking. I believe this caused me some anxiety when the design wasn’t coming together like I thought it should. I was experiencing roadblocks, and I didn’t know why. I do know enough from experience to know that when this happens, I should stop whatever I am doing and let my thoughts go work on some other problem for awhile.

However, at this point, probably 9 months after the initial inspiration, I had too much invested in the design. I felt driven to finish it. Even if it didn’t come out exactly as I had hoped, I just wanted it DONE.

So, I finished it. I finished the knitting, I finished the writing, and sent the pattern for tech editing. Whew, such a relief!

I think it’s telling that what I love most about the pattern are the photos. That photo shoot was great fun and practically all of the pictures turned out well. I also loved being able to use the Kitchener Stitch with this sweater and working with the fabulous yarn.

In grasses, shading eyes (683x1024)
Love this photo from the photo shoot

Still, I don’t feel confident in this pattern. I don’t think it is ready to go out into the world yet. A friend is testing it, and I worry that it’s not going to fit correctly. I know that sometimes those worries are completely unfounded; yet, there it is.

What this tells me is that the pattern needs to go into time-out for awhile. Perhaps I won’t ever publish it. Perhaps more time needs to go by and I need to work on other projects. Then suddenly one day, something will click, and I will know what this pattern needs. In the meantime, I may make my sweater into a dress (with a feather and fan skirt) and add long sleeves in teal. –Perhaps that’s what the pattern needs. Maybe I stopped too soon by making it a tee instead of a dress.

I’ll conclude by saying that now that I have finished writing the pattern, I feel incredible lightness. My brain cells are freed to think in other directions and about other designs. I had felt as if the life had been sucked out of me – and now it is back.

…more to think about in the design process…when something takes over like that and becomes nearly an obsession, perhaps that is the time to drop it and turn in another direction. Or perhaps one must pursue it to its conclusion to learn whatever lessons there are to be learned.


Note: This post was written a couple of months ago, in July. The pattern is still in time-out. Other patterns have been written. Is it time to move on? We’ll see…I’m still considering other methods of construction and other variations for the colorwork sections – kicking those ideas around to see if they will coalesce into something new.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and to read about my experience with the project from H-E-Double Toothpicks!

Posted in Uncategorized

About knit=joy

Hi everyone! I have just given my “about” page a pretty serious rewrite. It’s a little more descriptive about the “why” for knit equals joy. I hope you will enjoy it!

About knit=joy

Welcome to my about page!  In this blog, you will find not only an exploration of all that is good in our knitterly lives, but also a variety of posts tying together my passions for writing, photography, and my home state of Oregon.  Stop on by and take a look!

As you may have surmised, I love knitting!  My sister taught me to knit in 2007, and it fit all of my previous creative inclinations perfectly.  It brings together a love for color, texture, and pattern.  Little did I know when we sat down for that first lesson that I would find a passion!

Tools of the Trade

I also love yarn – so many wonderful, delectable fibers are now available – and with such amazing colorways! One of my friends says that I’m passionate about color.  She may just be right.

Passionate about Color

I also love to write. This is a passion that has long lain dormant and which I have accidentally rediscovered in the process of publishing this blog.  In Winter Ramblings, I muse a bit about the love of writing and its renewed appearance in my life. I love thinking about and writing about both the creative process and the design process.

Two other passions merge in this blog, photography and a love for my beautiful home state, Oregon, particularly the Oregon Coast. Wordless Wednesday posts are stories told almost exclusively through photography, and many of those photos feature the beautiful and varied Oregon landscape.  I hope you’ll take some time to look through and see the beauty of Oregon.

Newport, Oregon
Newport, Oregon

And finally, all of these passions came together and led me to knitting design.  You will find pages for each pattern in the menu, as well as a link in the sidebar to my Ravelry store.  Come check out my group on Ravelry where we have a great time chatting and have knit-a-longs, swaps and the occasional test knit.

Wuv Tru Wuv Collage
Wuv, Tru Wuv Swap, February 2016

Please contact me if you ever have questions about my designs or if there are topics you would like to see addressed on the blog.  Thank you for reading knit = joy!

Posted in art, design, knitting, knitting patterns, The Creative Process, The Design Process, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Sketches

Sketches.  Used to capture and make more concrete the wispy impressions of design ideas.  Or used to convey them to others in a third-party submission.  Some of these morphed into something else, perhaps recognizable to you.  Others, well, they were just thoughts.  A look into a sketchbook.Colorwork Cowl Sketch (2)

 

A sweater sketch

 

Route 66 Mitts (3)

Route 66 Mitts Blue (3)

 

Hat prototype

Timberline Scarf - p

Posted in design, inspiration, Oregon, photography, Salishan, The Coast, The Creative Process, The Design Process, Wordless Wednesday

Beach. Texture. Love.

If you have followed my blog for long – or read my “about me” page – you know that I LOVE the beach. Part of what draws me to the beach is the endless variety of texture to be found there.  Especially here on the rugged Oregon Coast, the objects to be found on the beach are richly varied, always interesting.  I’m always looking for something unusual, something new, something lovely or striking.

barnacles

Texture strikes me.  It draws my attention.  It is beautiful in its order and in its variety. Visually, as light moves over the surface of an object or vista and the eye detects changes in line and shape, this is texture.  As light plays over differences in density within an object, and we see these differences, we see texture.  And when the eye travels over a surface and, along the way, discovers changes in the nature of that surface, we recognize this as texture.

Ebb pattern by Susan B. Anderson

The pictures in this post were originally published in a Wordless Wednesday in August 2015. There were reasons for choosing these specific photos, so I wanted to revisit them  – and to think about the nature of texture.

During a ridiculously long walk along this section of the beach in Newport, which I paid for later with complaining, swollen ankles and aching muscles (note to self: no more beach hikes wearing flip flops!) I was the winner in finding amazing textures, such as those in the barnacles and driftwood above.

And what about these wind shadows?  I found them enchanting – sand protected from the wind by small items on the sand blocking the movement of air.  This interesting textural phenomenon was all around that day.sand shadows

Fascinating: an object masquerading as something quite different in nature from its own nature.  shell as leaf

And finally, when I was heading back on that Newport hike, I came upon this impromptu sand and driftwood sculpture.  Well worth the price of admission!

Squirrels

I finally explored the Salishan Spit in August 2014, after having been curious about it for years.  It can be seen across the Siletz Bay from the highway, but I had never been there – I couldn’t even figure out how to get there! Finally I did my research, took the eight mile hike, and was mesmerized the entire time. There was something new to discover every bit of the way, from the dark sand (called “tar sand” by some locals) to a desolate “tree graveyard” filled with sunbleached, craggy remnants of an ancient forest.

DSCN5820

Lovely, delicious, intriguing, ubiquitous texture:
DSCN4822

DSCN5053

DSCN5795

When I returned to Gleneden Beach the following February to photograph the Salishan Cowl for the completed pattern, I was reminded again why this place had inspired this design.  The organic, curved shapes were everywhere, from the clouds in the sky to the patterns in the sand.

Salishan Cowl

DSCN5050

As my eye finds textured nuances like these, they are filed away in my brain under “inspiration.”  And some day, hopefully, bits and pieces of them will reconnect and reemerge – as a new and pleasing design.

Posted in The Design Process

An Online Advent Calendar – Creative, Uplifting

Holly and Snow (2)
unsplash.com, used by permission.

I’m getting into the holiday spirit – and being helped by a lovely, fun and unique advent calendar, the 2015 Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar.  A dear friend gifted it to me, and I’m loving it!  It is a downloadable app for PC or iPad, and each day there is something new to unlock.  The theme is Victoriana; the scene, a Victorian village. A Christmas playlist, designing your own snowflakes, decorating Christmas trees, and a game in which you break ornaments are a few of the features I have found so far.  I love the design element of this application – the artistic and creative ways that someone applied her gifts to create something new.  This is designed by a team, actually, but that makes it no less creative, to my view.

I hope you will go check out the demo video.  This is a great Christmas gift idea – very reasonably priced, unique, and uplifting!