Fish Moderne Hat

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Jan 302014

Fish Moderne Hat Last Look | The Knitting Vortex

Warm and cozy for winter, the Fish Moderne hat is knit in heavily textured Mistake Rib with a Twisted Rib brim. I wanted a classic wool ribbed hat that would have an updated look and be interesting to knit; this hat is for the modern fisherman or woman, whether they are out in the wilderness or at the urban coffee bar.

This scarf is a companion to the Fish Moderne Scarf; purchase either one and automatically save 50% on the other!

Techniques & Skills Used: Cable CO, knit/purl, twisted stitches, knitting in the round.

Size: one size; 19.5” circumference and 9” height, after gentle blocking. With its very stretchy stitch pattern, this hat will fit most adults, or see Designer’s Notes for easy instructions to adjust its size.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool (100% wool; 478 yards/250g), shown in 8010; 1 skein. Sample used about 135 yards of heavy aran weight yarn.

Other Materials: US 9 (5.5mm) and US 10 (6mm) 16” circular needles or 32” circular needles if using Magic Loop, or size to match gauge; Stitch marker (1); Yarn needle.

Gauge: 20 st and 18 rows/4” in Mistake Rib stitch pattern on larger needle, after gentle blocking. The ribbing compresses the fabric in width considerably;
a comparable gauge in stockinette stitch using larger needle is 15 st and 18 rows/4”.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern. 

Fish Moderne Hat front | The Knitting Vortex  Fish Moderne Hat  side view | The Knitting Vortex  Fish Moderne Hat | The Knitting Vortex

Fish Moderne Scarf

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Jan 302014

Fish Moderne Scarf tied | The Knitting Vortex

Modern fishermen and women need to look stylish and stay warm when trolling about in winter. The fully reversible Fish Moderne scarf is worked in heavily textured Mistake and Twisted Rib, framing a wide ribbed cable. The generous length can be wrapped easily, while the thick and cozy fabric keeps out wind and weather.

This scarf is a companion to the Fish Moderne Hat; purchase either one and automatically save 50% on the other!

Techniques & Skills Used: Cable CO, knit/purl, twisted stitches, cables; this pattern is both written and charted.

Size: one size; 8” wide and 68” long, after gentle blocking.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool (100% wool; 478 yards/250g), shown in 8010; 1 skein. Sample used about 460 yards of heavy aran weight yarn.

Other Materials: US 10 (6mm) needles, or size to match gauge; Stitch markers (2); Cable needle; Yarn needle.

Gauge: 21 st and 18 rows/4” in scarf pattern, after gentle blocking. One cable repeat is 3.5” tall and 3” wide. The ribbed cable and Mistake Rib compress the scarf fabric in width considerably; a comparable gauge in stockinette stitch is 15 st and 18 rows/4”. Gauge is not critical for this project; however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished scarf, and different yardage requirements.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.  

Fish Moderne Scarf cable closeup | The Knitting Vortex  Fish Moderne Scarf stance | The Knitting Vortex  Fish Moderne Scarf front view | The Knitting Vortex

Gathering Orchids

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Jan 242014

I mentioned how pleased I was with the color of the year, Radiant Orchid. The thought of plummy pinks and purples being all over the stores just fills me up with excitement and anticipation; I love purple – wearing it, being around it, soaking up the purpley vibe. This week has been busy with working on some new upcoming patterns, and I needed a morning off – so, why wait to seek out some purple inspiration?

I do consider shopping to be recreational, and by “shopping,” I certainly do not necessarily mean “buying.” For me, it’s all about going to look around, touch things, and find a little eye candy. If I actually need something specific, I’m more than likely to buy online – and that’s not quite “shopping” but more like “acquiring things I need.”  The really real shopping is all about going out of my everyday environment and seeing what sort of fabulous thing I might discover.

One of my favorite subsets of shopping is thrifting, because there’s no better way to find little gems that exist nowhere else. When it comes to shopping in thrift stores, consignment shops and resale boutiques, there’s no middle ground; you either love it or you’re horrified at the thought. Obviously, I’m on the love-it side of that dichotomy; it’s like a treasure hunt, only you dont know what you’re looking for. Cashmere? Perfectly fitting pants? Even shoes, although I personally am extra careful when it comes to those. If you’re familiar with what’s out there in the retail market, and you know your fibers and labels, and you can launder with the best of them (and have a good dry cleaner in your back pocket), the possibilities are endless.

As an aside, I’m completely aware that this attitude is appalling to some people. Three of my crafty friends and I get together for lunch periodically, and invariably there will be a resale shop around nearby wherever we’re going. One friend and I always stop – she’s an accessories and jewelry maven – and the other two wont even pause for breath before they’re off to the coffee place – “meet you there!” We cant all be Macklemore.

Anyway, when I’m truly just looking for a surprise, I go to Goodwill. Lots of stuff, small dollar commitment if it comes to that, and something for all occasions. This time, it was a nice start to gathering Orchid, in a rose-influenced sort of way.

Thrifty Radiant Orchid | The Knitting Vortex

Radiant Orchid

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Jan 162014

With the Spring 2014 palette forecast by Pantone comes the new reigning color: Radiant Orchid is the Color of the Year for 2014.

Color of the Year 2014 Radiant Orchid | The Knittting Vortex

Out with the regeneration and healing of Emerald, and onward with the innovation and creativity of Orchid. Pantone opines “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” I’m certainly beguiled by purples, which are more daring and unexpected than the red, green and blues. This one in particular is a bit off-beat, with the very pink undertones, and the creamy, strong white value. It’s a color that makes you think, hey, that would go with my favorite black outfit . . .  and in my living room . . .  and I need new nail polish.

Radiant Orchid dining | The Knitting VortexRadiant Orchid nailpolish | The Knitting VortexSomehow it goes with everything in the rest of the Spring palette, and it’s strong enough to stand up to what are sure to be the deeper, richer fall colors. I personally see it as a successful accent color, although I’m remembering that I painted the walls of my tiny dressing room in our old row house almost exactly this shade – and that room became my daughter’s nursery when she was born 15 years ago. And my Ikea dishes are also this color; maybe if I point out how on-trend we are, my husband will stop ignoring the purple bowls in favor of the black ones for his cereal. Anyway, I feel like I have a history with this color, which makes me like it even more.

For those wanting to adopt, Pantone has provided color value information in various systems. The Pantone color number is 18-3224; the RGB is R177 G99 B163 and the CMYK is C33 M72 Y0 K0, in the Pantone fashion & home color system. For web use, it’s hex#B163A3.

If you want to use it with other colors, Color Scheme Designer is a nifty tool; their suggestion for Radiant Orchid in a triad brings in greens and yellows triangulated across the color wheel, or with reddish and blueish analogous tones.

Radiant Orchid triad from Color Scheme Designer | The Knitting Vortex      Radiant Orchid analog from Color Scheme Designer | The Knitting Vortex

Of course I see it with my favorite grey and blue tones; slate, sky and black. While I might wear, say, an Orchid blouse, I really love the color as an accent. At the very least, I’ll be pulling out my mirrored shades and going from there.

Radiant Orchid street look on Polyvore | The Knitting Vortex


Pantone Color Forecast Spring 2014

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Jan 142014

It’s not quite spring yet, but I’m optimistic; once the winter holidays are over in my household, I only look forward. In the actual fashion schedule, of course spring was a long time ago; Spring 2014’s New York Fashion Week was back in September. And along with that came the color trend forecast from Pantone.

Pantone Color Forecast Spring 2014 | The Knitting Vortex

Pastels meet vivid brights, in what the Pantone Color Institute director describes as “a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium.” By which they are saying that the soft pastels over on one end can mix with all the others, but also serve as backgrounds, while the brights balance them out – often with the helpful use of the two bridging neutrals.

Speaking of those neutrals, the Paloma grey is pretty much my all-time favorite color, so I’ll be eagerly continuing to use it both alone and with everything else. The sand is a toasty camel that’s going to help me adopt something other than grey as a neutral; there’s a cardigan design using Apple Cinnamon in Malabrigo Worsted that I need to get back to.

What I love about the pastels Violet Tulip and Hemlock – and also the men’s versions in Purple Haze and Comfrey – is the way the saturation is greyed down a bit; sure, it’s spring, but that doesn’t mean we have to crackle and pop with eye-burning chroma. Those four colors in particular represent to me the “other neutrals” Pantone is talking about. Both blues can fill that role as well – there always have to be blues, which are perennial favorites – just not so much mine, unless it’s a real cobalt.

The warm pop colors of Freesia, Celosia Orange and Cayenne play well with the others, and if you take the middle of the range as I laid it out, it’s a real tequila sunrise – wait for early summer, then put those fiery colors together with the purple, and order up a tropical drink.

I might be most excited about the fact that purple is so heavily represented ; if you don’t count grey, that’s my favorite color. Of the purples, the color of the year Radiant Orchid is my least preferred; even though a recent tour through my closet made me realize that perhaps reddish purples actually hold more charm for me than blue purples. This one is a bit chalky, though (more on that next time when I spotlight it). But the men’s version Magenta Purple is amazing – yes, for women and for spring; picture it with the soft pastels. Magenta and mint, or sky . . . very striking! And the bluesy ones, the vintage-y Violet Tulip and the men’s version Purple Haze – love them with anything. Soon I’ll give a little sneak peek of my new violet-magenta-bluesy plaid that’s going to be a new sweater pattern.

As these colors trickle down through all levels of the market, it’s going to be a good shopping year.