Tag Archives: designing

Lace Crescents v2: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

Here’s the sequel to last week’s Lace Crescents post. I found myself looking at the edges of the vertical repeats and thinking that I could reduce two columns to one – after all, the decreases were on alternate rows.

Indeed, I like the final result even better. I like the braided effect where the repeats come together.

(This isn’t one of my encoded word patterns.)

Follow this link for a chart and written instructions

Lace Crescents v1: a free lace knitting stitch pattern

It’s pretty common for one of my ideas to lead to another. Trying variations of stitch patterns is pretty educational in terms of stitch pattern design! I’ve never had a knitting design block —playing with one idea usually leads to all sorts of other ideas. If I don’t have time to use all the things the first idea makes me think of, I write down enough of a note that I can come back to it later.

Important note about writing down ideas for later: I’ve learned the very hard way that I can’t just scribble down a couple of words that make sense at the time. I need to write things out, or sketch a diagram or chart with an explanation for myself, with enough words that I would have understood what I meant before I had the original idea. Otherwise I come back months later to something like “overlapping braids”, and what the heck does that mean? (I’ve never used that particular phrase in my notes, but it’s the kind of thing that would make sense in the heat of the moment. It would have seemed so obvious to me at the time that I would have thought that it would be enough to jog my memory.)

Anyway! After making Lace Crescent Rib, I wondered what would happen if I shifted every other rib up halfway, removing the purl columns as well. What kind of allover pattern would be the result? Here is the answer. It’s still somewhat rib-like, and I like it. This stitch pattern inevitably led to a further question, and you’ll see what happened with that experiment next week.

Follow this link for a chart and written instructions

How the crescent got its hump

Occasionally I read forum posts or blog posts or project pages on Ravelry complaining about the “hump” in the center of the top edge of a certain kind of crescent shawl. Some people speculate that it has to do with what kind of cast-on is used, but I think it’s inherent to the structure of the shawl itself (though sometimes it appears and other times it doesn’t).

Here’s why I think that.

Continue reading How the crescent got its hump

Yarn wrappings

Somehow, the more I hang around other knitters, the more I end up with bags of random skeins from yarn swaps (very casual affairs: bring yarn you don’t want any more, take yarn you like, anything left goes to the reuse shop that sells lots of craft supplies). I’ve also had two people randomly thrust bags of yarn stash at me and ask me to find a home for it. Well, all right, I suppose. Until I run out of room and start to feel mentally blocked because of too much yarn.

Lately, I’ve been in stash buster mode. I just finished knitting one shawl design from discontinued yarn and am considering (though I had other plans) working on another with this yarn:

Continue reading Yarn wrappings

Design ideas looking for a good home, No.2

Last March, I posted some ideas for shawl layouts to clear out my mental clutter. I have no idea if they sparked inspiration for anyone else, but that’s okay. It’s time to do it again!

I’ve been thinking about different ways of making shawls that have a curved shape to fit nicely on the shoulders. I have a pattern in the works for one, in fact. But here’s two more that I don’t think I’ll have time for any time soon.

Continue reading Design ideas looking for a good home, No.2

crescent shawls: tiling flattened diamonds.

When I posted Galaxite on Saturday, I wrote in passing about using a tiled flattened diamond to create the stitch pattern. This post goes into more detail about how this structure was created.

Crescent-shaped shawls have been popular among knitter and crocheters for several years now. The first such shawl I remember seeing was Annis, which caught a lot of people’s attention. A lot of other crescents used the same basic method (the body done with short rows, and the fancy edge knit straight), but designers started branching out very quickly, finding a variety of ways to make a crescent shape.

Last winter I knit Sacre Coeur (Ravelry link), which uses a very different method, which I found fascinating and unexpected. Its designer, Nim Teasdale (Ravelry link), will be the first to tell you that she didn’t invent it (at least, that’s what she said when I asked), though I think she does an excellent job of working with it. I don’t know an exact name for the style (if you do, please comment!), but it seems to be popular at the moment: one advantage to it aside from its beauty is that the shape can be worked until the knitter runs out of yarn or decides they’re done.

The method starts with casting on a small number of stitches, then increasing three stitches at each edge over two rows, while putting whatever stitches one likes between the edges. When blocking, the bound-off edge is curved around, while the two selvedges are blocked out as straight as possible.

Continue reading crescent shawls: tiling flattened diamonds.

Design ideas looking for a good home.

I’ve been talking with my friend Sarah Sipe about designing for a while, and now I’m also having design conversations with other designers as well. Top that off with reading books about design and browsing through patterns on Ravelry, and my brain is awash with ideas. All the ideas bump against each other and spark still more ideas.

I’ve heard of stash-acquisition-beyond-life-expectancy (that is, the acquisition of more yarn than one can use in a lifetime). Right now I feel as if I’ve got design-ideas-beyond-life-expectancy and it’s gumming up the works. I’ve got a list of things I’ve planned for the year or two ahead of me, and I just can’t deal with all these other things.

So I’m going to put some of them here for anyone who wants to use them. Take them! Be inspired by them and modify them. I’ll be happy if someone runs with them – I just need to get them out of my head. Continue reading Design ideas looking for a good home.

A Knitting Library: Lace design

I’ve come a long way in lace design over the last few years, but I feel I still have a long way to go. There are three major things I’ve learned from:

  1. Knitting lots of lace swatches out of stitch dictionaries. Stitch dictionaries will be a separate post, I think.
  2. Being persistent with my own lace designing, and being willing to swatch multiple times to get a single stitch pattern to look good. (I don’t always, and I have to do this less and less often as time goes by, but still.) Also, using a mistake in one design as a design feature in another.
  3. Reading what I can find about how lace works. And that’s what this post is about.

Here are the two books I’ve used the most to learn about designing lace stitch patterns so far:

Continue reading A Knitting Library: Lace design

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane

To celebrate the Giftalong, I’m going to be blogging four interviews with other designers who have patterns in the sale. Because the sale is only a week long, I’ve decided to give you all a chance to get their discounted patterns – the interviews will all be published this week!

First up is Sarah Jane, a really creative crochet designer, whose work I’ve admired for quite a while now. If I could still crochet, I’d be making one of her patterns for the giftalong in a snap!

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane's lingonberry tam

Lingonberry Tam (Ravelry link), perhaps.

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane's frostberry hat

Or Frostberry Hat (Ravelry link), though that’s not on sale.

Or… well, I’d have trouble making up my mind! Maybe some of her Steampunk collection? (Ravelry link)

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Well I don’t really know what to say…I am a 47 year old mother of 8…..7 live at home ☺ I like to say that it’s organised chaos but truth is there is probably not so much of the organised about it.
Crochet was the first craft I ever learned and even though I’ve dabbled in lots of other crafts I always seemed to come back to crochet….with so many kids crochet is portable and leaves less mess than most other crafts (if you don’t count the stash and the UFO’s). Also it’s more difficult for babies to poke holes in themselves or others with hooks than it is with needles.

Aside from crochet I love to read and occasionally knit. Housework seems to have become an optional extra around here!

2. Somehow you manage to combine crochet stitch patterns in ways that are really fresh and different. Can you name any particular influences that inspired this, or is it the stitches themselves that catch your eye?

Thank you, I really appreciate you saying this. The stitches themselves always catch my eye, I love the textures and seeing how they work together. Colour and yarn is a big influence too…certain yarns and colours seem to call for different types of textures and stitches. I love certain styles, like steampunk and a romantic gothic type style and I think you can see this influence in some of my designs……reality is it doesn’t really take much to inspire me, it can be anything from the shape of a leaf to a combination of colours I notice somewhere.

3. What attracted you to joining in with the Giftalong?

I participated in the giftalong last year after noticing it mentioned on the Designers board and I had a ball. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with both designers and crocheters/knitters. I didn’t expect it to become so big but this year it looks like it’s going to be even bigger. I have been really excited about it this year, for me it is all about the interaction. Here in Australia there aren’t too many opportunities to meet other designers so this is great fun.

4. What are a few patterns from the Giftalong that you’d really like to make?

Goodness there are so many…I wish I had unlimited time and cooler weather ☺…..I love a lot of Darleen Hopkins crochet patterns but I just adore her Patchwork baby kitty throw (Ravelry link). If I could I would make anything by Julia Trice (Mind of Winter on Ravelry) especially Loden. I love this shawl Leventry (Ravelry link) and I think this Minimissimi (Ravelry link) coat is truly spectacular even though I’d never be able to wear it over here. I could go on and on…..

5. Is there anything about crochet that you wish more people knew?

That it’s easy…you can make anything if you work through it a stitch at a time and also that it doesn’t have to look like something from the 60’s or 70’s, crochet can be fashionable and modern as well as a bit different.

Here are some of the places you can find Sarah Jane online!
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SarahjaneDesignscrochet
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/sjack44/
Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-jane

(All photographs used by permission.)

Linkety-link, part 8

This week’s regularly scheduled post isn’t going to happen (due to a confluence of personal events), so it’s a good thing I have a bunch of links saved up!




Until next week!