Thursday, January 6, 2022

Scrapbook Cowl

Happy 2022! I'm am so glad it's a new year! 2021 was so emotionally hard and stressful and amazing and a pretty low bar to pass for 2022. I don't need a great year, I really just want it to be better than 2021. The year wasn't terrible but also wasn't great and the 'new year' is really just a mindset but I hope 2022 is calmer. 

Enough maudlin thoughts, I have a new design for you! Scrapbook Cowl is designed to use your leftovers and create a beautiful wearable 'scrapbook' of your previous projects. This design is knit using mitered squares, a decreasing technique that creates a spine down the middle and takes you from the full cast on down to 2 stitches. 

Each square only uses a few grams of yarn so you can use lots of leftovers or just a few colors and make different placement combinations. Scrapbook Cowl is knit flat and then seamed together using the mattress stitch. Why Scrapbook? Because this is a scrapbook of different yarns from different projects; a way to collect all your project memories together. 

I obviously went with a fall/pink vibe for my cowl, but I had test knitters use a variety of yarns and color combinations. The color combinations are endless! Some of my yarns were from different designs and projects, and some were purchased to try out and support different small dyers. 


As for the yarns used, these were all scraps so it's a combination of bases and fibers, but all are fingering weight. The cowl is designed starting at one corner and then made as long or tall as you want! My original sample is 6 squares high and 11 squares but I think I'd like to knit another that's even higher, they higher you make it the taller the cowl is. I can't wait to see your version! Come share it in the Knitting Joy Facebook group! 

--Sierra 



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Stripes on Stripes

As ya'll know, I love me a scrappy pattern/design/knit and Stripes on Stripes clearly shows that! 

Stripes on Stripes is actually a combination of a few of my different designs. The shaping and edging is from Drop the Fringe and the striped bind off is from Wishing. I just had this picture in my head of colors and striping and then connecting the edging with stripes going to other way!  

Most of my designs come as a visual in my head, I actually have a picture of what the shawl should look like before I even start knitting it. Stripes on Stripes came out exactly as it was supposed to and I'm in love. The shaping is an asymmetric triangle which makes it easy to wrap and then the bind off. 

The fringe is made from dropping stitches so you don't have to be too precise with the length of your ends because you'll be giving it a trim. 

Stripes on Stripes was developed to use up precious leftovers and tell your color story! To be a scrapbook of your knit projects. 

A lot of designs are made for knitters to purchase more yarn, myself included, Stripes on Stripes steps away from that call and asks you to use what you have. To create a color palette that is uniquely your own. 


I exclusively used fingering weight yarn but the shawl can be adjusted to a heavier weight yarn just by changing the needle size to fit the weight. I can't wait to see your color palette for Stripes on Stripes! 

-- Sierra 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Cascade Cowl

Are you ready for another single skein project?!? Cascade cowl is the perfect project for that luxury or single skein of sock yarn you've been holding on to. 

Cascade was inspired by gradients, the movement of the colors and the simple exchanges dyers make. Instead of transitioning color Cascade transitions stitches. The lace design is made from double wraps and they are super easy to make and knit. These double wraps are slightly larger than a traditional yarn over so they are a bit more bold. 

I love the 'cascading' stitches down the cowl, changing from quite often to very sporadic. I knit my cowl from a MCN blend (Merino/Cashmere/Nylon) which is lovely to wear around your neck but any fingering weight you are comfortable on sensitive skin will work.

The colorway I used is a solid/slightly tonal but my fabulous test knitters used a variety of dye styles so you can pretty much use anything. I do think that a self striping or self patterning will hide the stitches. 

Happy Knitting! 


Thursday, September 23, 2021

Bales

Are you ready for a fall sock pattern?!? This one was a fun one to design because I knit it in my own hand dyed yarn! Bales is a simple knit and purl pattern that is reminiscent in shape to a hay bale and the perfect reminder of fall and fall harvest. I wrote about dying the yarn in this blog post here

Bales is a cuff down sock pattern that is designed for stitch count 56, 64 & 72 and features an easy to memorize pattern. The simple repeats makes it a great pattern to highlight lots of different dye styles, I used a variegated yarn and the pattern still pops and plays well with the yarn. 

The sock base I used for the pattern is a Merino/Nylon/Stellina meanings that any base designed for sock yarn should work. I hope you knit this pattern with fall in mind and it helps get you in the mood for the changing season! 


Bump Along

I have a bit of an obsession with mini skeins and collecting my leftovers. The mini skeins are a great way to remember visiting a new yarn shop or trying out a new dyer. The leftovers, I just can't dump those precious little nuggets. 


Sock yarn, especially hand dyed, is pretty pricey so I know all the little balls of yarn cost a pretty penny. Because I have all the different odds and ends I design and knit quite a few scrappy projects. Bump Along is my newest design that works perfectly for leftovers and minis. 

This simple cowl design uses the same stitch pattern as featured in the Speed Bumps sock pattern. Instead of utilizing a self striping yarn I used mini skeins! The nature of the pattern means you can see any jogs when you change colors. 


I used ~3 grams of yarn per stripe, meaning that a 5 gram mini will work for a stripe but you won't be able to repeat the colors. I repeated my colors twice across the cowl but I think that a full scrappy version with a different color every stripe would be amazing. 


I had fabulous test knitters for this pattern, you can see the projects here. One tester knit with a single skein, another with a set of minis, and the third used a gradient single skein. They all look amazing! I would recommend any fingering weight yarn you are comfortable wearing next to sensitive skin. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Wallflower

Wallflower is a fun sock that looks like plain ribbing but when you put it on this fun pop of cable comes out! The name comes from the seemingly plane ribbing which transforms into gorgeous cables when you really take a look at it. 

Wallflower has a fun and new cable for me, it's a 1/1/1 LC meaning that you are actually moving stitches in 3 different directions. Seems confusing, I know, but the explanation is simple and once you knit it a few times it won't be difficult at all. 

This sock pattern uses an 80/20 fingering weight yarn which means that any yarn that is suitable for sock will work. I really like how the variegated colors show but don't overtake the cable. Which sock yarn are you going to turn into a Wallflower? 



Saturday, August 14, 2021

Pleats and Thank You

Pleats and Thank You is a fun asymmetric shawl that features a variegated main yarn and a fun contrast color. This was a fun design to come out of my head because I wasn't totally sure if the 3D stitches effect would work. 


I originally saw the welt used on Stephen Wests' Batad and decided to give it a try in my own design. I have tried a similar technique on a folded hem for a sock design that didn't happen. I LOVED adding this fun pop of color to the shawl! 


One of my favorite parts of designing is thinking up something that I'm not 100% sure will work and then figuring how to make it work. When it does work, it's a big fricken party! I also added in a two color bind off which I had not attempted before but it looks so cool. 


I used 800 yards of the main color and 100 yards of the contrast, the MC is a Merino/Nylon blend and the CC is 100% Merino, so have fun with different blends and fibers. I can't wait to see the different combos that will come out. I think that making the contrast color a handspun or thick and thin yarn would be a great way to add texture. 

Happy Knitting!!

Sierra