January 6, 2012
Working Out Kinks and Fingering Yarn is an online resource for visually impaired knitters. They’ve got a project underway to translate complex charted patterns into written instructions more easily read by those who find it difficult to follow charts. The sleeve cable chart for my Durrow sweater pattern is one of the ones they’ve kindly translated thus far. You can find it, along with a few other translated patterns, at this link.
Durrow cable written instructions (pdf link)
If you’re thinking about starting Durrow, please be aware that there are some problems with the yoke decreases resulting in a neck opening that is much too large (mostly due to my inexperience as a designer at the time). I am planning on knitting another Durrow myself and will work on rewriting that portion of the pattern so that it fits a little better, but in the meantime here are a few useful links to modifications that other knitters have made to the neckline:
1. Ken’s Durrow
3. mollita’s Durrow (rav link)
Posted by jodi on January 6, 2012 at 8.11am
November 7, 2011
Gatsby Girl in blue! Here I am trying it on in the studio right away after getting the buttons on:
First published in Interweave Knits Fall 2006, which is now out of print. In preparation for self publishing the pattern as a downloadable pdf, I’ve made myself a new sample sweater (one that fits me, AND I get to keep it). With the generous modeling help of the lovely Nicole, I managed to take the sweater out for a photoshoot during a brief spell of mild, sunny weather. The pattern should be ready in the next week or so: stay tuned!
Posted by jodi on November 7, 2011 at 8.27pm
February 17, 2011
This new design in progress, worked in my January handspun, uses a line of Vikkel Braid to set the main pattern off from the 1×1 ribbed hem. The braid creates a little line of knit stitches that seem to move sideways across the work. It’s normally used for small projects (such as mittens) knitted in the round, but there’s no reason it can’t be used to great effect in a larger project knitted flat as well.
There are a few descriptions of this technique around the web, but I learned it from a German video (link) Nancy Bush’s Folk Knitting in Estonia is probably the best print source on Vikkel Braid. As putting it into a design intended for publication means having to describe in writing how it’s done, I thought making a little photo tutorial would be good practice. The technique looks a little fiddly in the video linked above but it’s actually quite simple to execute.
While learning the stitch I took some photos; please excuse the quality, as I didn’t realize just how tricky it is to photograph closeups of your own hands, and the lack of adequate natural light only adds to the murkiness. I’m not apologizing for the dry skin, though: it’s February, y’all.
Start with a M1 increase (shown above) and slip that onto the left hand needle.
Knit a stitch through the back loop of the second stitch on the left hand needle:
and (without slipping that stitch off the needle) bring the right hand needle back to the front and knit into the first stitch.
Slip all of that (the first and second stitches from the left needle) off.
Now you have two stitches made, the tbl stitch and the regular one. In retrospect this is probably more images than are really necessary. Ah, well.
Slip the last stitch from the right hand needle back to the left.
Now, repeat steps 2 and 3 until you get to the end. You’ll wind up with one stitch more than you started with; when working in the round, you’ll slip that last stitch over the first stitch of the next round to get rid of it. Working flat, just make the first stitch of your next round a k2tog or p2tog decrease. And now you have a lovely line of sideways knitting that will impress your friends and instill bitter envy in your enemies.
Here’s what the finished braid looks like in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (unblocked):
Posted by jodi on February 17, 2011 at 4.34pm
August 25, 2010
A new sample of my Gatsby Girl pullover from the fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits, in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino. Since the magazine issue has sold out I’m planning to release the pattern myself, with a few optional modifications (such as, pictured above, no picot edge! plus, some options for a less Miss Manners-ish neckline).
The yarn is wonderfully squashy and lush, and doesn’t pill up in my hands while knitting like the Rowan Cashsoft of the original sample sweater did, undoubtedly a good sign as to its wear as a sweater. I think it’s about time I had one of these for myself.
Posted by jodi on August 25, 2010 at 7.32pm
January 22, 2010
I have not felt creative in a very long time. Did y’all know I got a grant last year? It was for a project. I bought a serger with the money, and a few other supplies, spoke to a couple of people about the project (as it’s collaborative) and then just sort of. . . didn’t. I lost my momentum and spent many, many months caught in the cycle of not working, beating myself up for not working and feeling so bad about it all that I couldn’t work. We shall not speak of it. I have a new, albeit temporary, job, teaching again. And a change of scenery and the energy of the studio classroom is doing me a world of good. Whether it’s going to do me a world of kicking my arse back into the studio and some sort of serious working routine is something I’ll have to get back to you on.
My knitwear design “career” pretty much fizzled out near the end of my first year of grad school, when I took on too many commissions at once and would up totally fucking off and wasting that year while at the same time barely pulling those design commissions out of my very overworked arse. I became that designer who’s a complete cockup, making costly mistakes, turning things in on time or late, and generally being the kind of person you don’t want to work with because they’re too much trouble to chase after all the time. I decided then that I would have to take a break from the design stuff until I was finished grad school if I wanted to succeed there. In the year and a half since receiving my degree, I completed one design that was promised to someone but I was so terribly unhappy with the result, which looked not-so-bad in photos but was not a project of which I felt proud, that I pulled out of publication in order to rework it (and I’m still trying to get that done, in a new yarn, with major changes). And I made another design that should have been so dead simple, but because of my total creative breakdown the project kicked my arse completely and once again I turned it in very, very late, the pattern full of mistakes, feeling like a total failure and no doubt disappointing people who were counting on me NOT being that flaky fuck-up. I do not want to be that person anymore. I want to be the person who considers each project with care and executes it flawlessly, and in a timely fashion. I want to be the person others can count on, not the person they write off as unreliable.
So. I think it’s time I approached my knit design process in the same way I do my studio practice. The project I’ve been dragging my heels on is all about making personalized uniforms for other people in a workplace. I’ve asked three people who are special to me to work with me on some new designs: I’ll give them all a set of interview questions, they’ll send me images, songs, books, whatever things move them. And I’ll stop worrying about what I like, and what sorts of designs I want to work on for myself, and what things knitters want to knit, and just design the ideal perfect sweater (or other knitted thing) for each of those people. Maybe this isn’t so revolutionary, and is in fact what a lot of other designers do. But part of what’s going to get me back in the game is not worrying about other designers and just getting on with working. My way.
En D’Autres Nouvelles
This house has more mirrors than Enter the Dragon but because I’m living with COLLEGE BOYS they are all kinda grody. Anyway. Here I am in the kitchen, a good ten metres at least from my laptop, listening to blip.fm on my expensive new wireless headset. I’m much, much more excited about this than I look. It means I can talk all I want on Skype with my beloved and still knit or draw without the constant worrying about getting my hands caught up in the wires and yanking the ‘phones painfully off my head. Now I can even take my laptop up to the Monastery (where the art department lives) and talk with Peter while I cut woodblocks! Except I won’t be able to tell funny stories about students then, in case any of them are listening. I’ll have to find some funny stories about the housemates. So far the housemate stories all have to do with inconsiderate midnight laundry (the machines are right outside my bedroom door) and dirty dishes and nobody wanting to be the one to replace the empty toilet roll. And that shit’s just not funny.
Posted by jodi on January 22, 2010 at 10.55pm