. . . and I feel fine. Because I’ll have plenty of knitting, thanks to the crazy-good Doomsday Knits, conceived and curated by Alex Tinsley. Even when the kerosene runs out and I have to knit in the dark, inside a concrete pipe barricaded with glass shards at the end because the mutated dogs are coming . . . well, at least I’ll have this collection of 31 post-apocalyptic designs to get me through.
My contribution toward survival knitting is Oryx, a drapey tank in simple textured stripes that recall bondage tape, featuring deep cutout armholes and button detailing. It’s knit in the luxurious Blue Moon Fiber Arts Marine Silk Fingering, in Deep Unrelenting Grey.
Oryx is a mysterious female character who appears mostly as a haunting memory to the protagonist and survivor of biological pandemic in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake. Who was she in the past? Who were any of us – and does it matter, since much of humankind and all of human society no longer exists? The story inspired me to design a garment that would be useful regardless of the environment in which one might find oneself. Fitting snugly at the high hip, the tank increases in a semi-V shape to the bust, yet remains anchored close to the shoulders with sturdy buttoned straps. Choosing a size with plenty of ease at the bust ensures that there’s room for layering over that bralet into which you’ve tucked your essential tactical gear, or just over your underpinning of choice. The fitted hem wont flap or snag to distract your pursuer, throw off your aim or clutter your sleek silhouette. And the slight volume on top still fits easily beneath the outer layer you might need in the desertscape or the nuclear winter. I envisioned a few possible ways one might style such a useful piece after the apocalypse.
And Alex took the jodhpur concept and spun it right into the Sky Pirates chapter of the collection. Vivian Aubrey‘s evocative photography brought the aerodrome, as well as the rest of the book, to life.
Since you’ll inevitably be spending time foraging for food and evading your enemies, Oryx is a quick knit – cast on provisionally at the bottom, then the turned hem and body are knit in the round to the armholes, where front and back are continued flat separately to the ends of the shoulder straps. And to keep your mind off the horrors of annihilation, there’s lots of interest in the textured stripes, shaping, and of course picking out buttons. Maybe you can find some obsolete computer chips to use for those.
And so, I’m not fussed contemplating the end of the world as we know it – I’m ready with needles in hand. You can be, too; Doomsday Knits is available for pre-order right now from Cooperative Press, with digital delivery in December and print to follow thereafter. Follow the unveiling throughout Doomvember with the full blog tour schedule, including tomorrow’s feature, Wayfarer by Jen Lucas. And find Oryx on Ravelry, with the rest of the Doomsday Knits. Dystopia can be beautiful.
Just the right amount of slouchy style and comfort, the Slaunter Hat features smooth reverse stockinette with high relief knit rib accents, and a stretchy textured mistake-rib brim. Instructions are included for both the traditional and the modern split-brim versions, for double your style options!
Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, knitting in the round.
Size: one size, which easily fits women’s M or 21-23” head circumference; approximately 18” brim circumference and 9” depth, unstretched.
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK (100% Superwash Merino; 225 yards/110g); 1 skein. Traditional brim version shown in Ink, and split-brim version in Iris, and using 65 and 70 grams respectively.
Other Materials: US 7 (4.5mm) 16” circular needle and dpns, or 32” circular
needle if using Magic Loop, or size to match gauge; extra US 7 dpn for split brim facings; Stitch markers (8); Yarn needle.
Gauge: 20 st and 26 rows/4” in reverse stockinette stitch; 22 st and 28 rows/4” in Mistake Rib, after blocking.
Finally I can share with you a super-big, super-exciting event of which I am part, created by many of the independent designers on Ravelry! The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a knitting and crochet-along that is taking place from November 1 to December 31, 2013 in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry – with participation threads for all categories of items, and hundreds of prizes donated by designers and yarnies. To kick off the event, participating patterns are on sale for 25% discount with the Ravelry coupon code “giftalong” from November 1-15 (GMT).
From the description in the group:
Prepping for the holidays as only fiber folks can, with special deals from tons of indie designers! What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear! Put plainly, from November 1st until November 15th (GMT) any pattern listed in the “List of Participating Patterns” thread is 25% off when you use the code “giftalong”. Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, we encourage you to join a relevant KAL/CAL! (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the cowl KAL/CAL.) KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes (check out the Prizes thread for details) but you gotta post to win! KAL/CALs will run until December 31st, plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting. On your mark…get set…. GIFT!!
All of my individual, self-published patterns, as well as my Hail, Tartania!, Silt & Stone, and Crimp Hat & Crimpy Mitts ebooks, are included in the sale. Here’s a teaser sample of some included patterns; you can see them all in my Ravelry store The Knitting Vortex – Designs by Jennifer Dassau.
Plaid hands are glad hands, and these tartan mitts make the technique easy. The horizontal colors are knit as stripes using one color at a time per row in a wide rib, then the vertical stripes are added at the end with a crochet hook in the purl columns; no crochet skills are needed – it’s as simple as picking up dropped stitches. The mitts complete the plaid set, made to match or in complementary colors.
Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, knitting in the round; this pattern includes
written instructions, as well as a chart and table for the plaid; a video tutorial is provided for the non-stranded plaid technique.
Size: S (L): 6.75 (8)” circumference and 7 (8.75)” length; size S shown on 7” circumference hand.
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted (100% Merino; 210 yards/100g); 1 skein MC, 1 skein CC1, 1 skein CC2, shown in MC Tortuga, CC1 Hollyhock and CC2 Cadmium, and using approximately 35 (45), 5 and 5 grams respectively.
Other Materials: US 8 (5mm) 24” circular needle for Magic Loop, or dpns, or size to match gauge; Stitch markers (1); Size H/8 (5mm) crochet hook; Yarn needle.
Gauge: Gauge: 18 st and 26 rows/4” in stockinette stitch on larger needle; 18 st and 36 rows/4” in garter stitch, after blocking. Size S (L) plaid repeat of 10 (12) st and 12 (16) rows is 2.25 (2.5)” wide and 1.75 (2.25)” tall. Note that the mitts are worked at a tighter gauge than the matching cowl and hat.
See them on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.
I promised another indie re-release of a design initially published in a magazine, and since it’s getting chilly, what’s better than a soft and warm tucked wrap made with worsted merino? The individual pattern download features a link to my video tutorial for the tuck stitch, and expanded notes and photos, all presented in my user- and printer-friendly format.
Folderol means foolish nonsense, but this worsted crescent shawl is no trifle; the cozy wrap is made extra thick and warm with triple folds, curved gently with short rows, and finished neatly with applied I-cord. Knit from the bottom up and given texture and shape with tucks and decreases, Folderol is completely reversible and absolutely worthy.
Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, tucks/picking up stitches, short rows, decreasing, cable & provisional CO, applied I-cord.Size: one size, 58” from end to end, and 10” deep.
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted (100% Merino) 210 yards/100g; 3 skeins shown in Tuareg. The sample used approximately 525 yards.
Other Materials: US 9 (5.5mm) 47” circular needle; US 7 (4.5mm) 47” circular needle for picking up stitches; Stitch markers (2) optional, to mark SR turning points; Smooth scrap yarn for provisional CO and marking Tuck row; Yarn needle.
Gauge: 14 st and 24 rows/4” in stockinette stitch on larger needle. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished shawl, and different yardage requirements.
See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.
Exciting stuff is shaping up for holiday pattern sales, which I’ll talk about later this week. In the meantime, I’ve been motivated to re-release independently some of the designs I’ve had published in magazines, and for which the rights have reverted to me.
First up is the Roam Cowl, featuring the reversible Roman Stripe lace stitch pattern. Using a moebius cast on, this infinity scarf is knit outward from the cast on edge, which becomes the middle of the cowl, until the outside edge is reached and bound off. Long rounds are balanced by a simple 7 row repeat that looks beautiful from both sides and lends itself to the infinity structure. Roam around anywhere in this luxury infinity cowl!
Techniques & Skills Used: moebius CO, knitting in the round, lace.
Size: 46” circumference and 10” height.
Yarn: String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn & Fiber Caper Sock (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon; 400 yards/113g); 1 skein, shown in Oban.
Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 40” circular needle or size to match gauge; Stitch markers (1); Yarn needle.
Gauge: 14 st and 35 rows/4” in Roman Stripe stitch pattern. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished cowl, and different yardage requirements.
See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.
I usually go to fairs, and even stores, with the “look around and see what I find” sort of mentality. Several things are at play there; I design around stash that I have (those yarns I’ve “found”), I like the thrill of discovery, and if I really NEED something I go straight to sourcing it online and ordering. But this year at Rhinebeck it was different, because I was hunting the Tiger.
Tigers . . . quick, what do you think of? Orange and black, and fierce. I have a concept, and it requires orange and black yarn – which is alarming. Especially the orange part. Fortunately, I had my best orange-loving peeps with me. If anyone knows orange, it’s Amy and Jenny.
They know when it’s too rusty, not golden enough, or just plain pumpkin overload. We must’ve looked at every orange yarn at the festival, plus taken in the foliage inspiration, and visited the wool sources themselves.
And as if orange weren’t enough of a challenge, black is NOT a good color in which to design. Even a deep, rich, tonal black sucks the life out things, at least in photographs. We tried greys – I love grey! – but even dark charcoals did not read as Tiger. So many issues; not too black, not too Halloween orange, ideally both from the same source. I was prepared to leave empty-handed, and then we got to Cephalopod. On the Bugga wall, my orange friends located Red Eft, and even though it looked looked scarily pow! to me, even I could see its appeal. Fate was sealed when I found Copper Demoiselle, a purple-black that read Tiger and surprisingly, not Witch.
I’m feeling the feline.
A plaid hat is just the thing for fall, and this easy tartan method requires no stranding and produces a graphic result. The horizontal colors are knit as stripes using one color at a time per row in a wide rib, then the vertical stripes are added at the end with a crochet hook in the purl columns; no crochet skills are needed – it’s as simple as picking up dropped stitches. Mix and match your colors with the cowl and mitts for an eye-catching accessories set.
The Tartania Hatl is available as part of the Hail, Tartania! ebook collection, which includes the cowl, hat and fingerless mitts for $6.00. The mitts will be released at the end of October. If you are using Malabrigo Merino Worsted, you should be able to make all three accessories with a total of 3 skeins, one in each color, if you use a different MC for each as in the sample photographs.
Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, knitting in the round; this pattern includes written instructions, as well as a chart for the plaid; a video tutorial is provided for the non-stranded plaid technique.
Size S/M (M/L): 17.5 (20)” circumference, unstretched; knit in a soft and unstructured yarn, this hat will easily fit approximately 20-22 (22-24)” head circumference; size M/L shown on 22” head.
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted (100% Merino; 210 yards/100g); 1 skein MC, 1 skein CC1, 1 skein CC2. Shown in MC Cadmium, CC1 Hollyhock and CC2 Tortuga, and using approximately (50) 55, 10 and 10 grams respectively. A soft and lofty yarn is recommended for stretch and slouchiness.
Other Materials: US 9 (5.5mm) 16” circular needle and dpns, or 32”circular needle if using Magic Loop, or size to match gauge; Stitch markers (1); Size I/9 (5.5mm) crochet hook; Yarn needle.
Gauge: 16 st and 24 rows/4” in stockinette stitch; 16 st and 32 rows/4” in garter stitch, after blocking. One plaid repeat of 10 st and 12 rows is 2.5” wide and 2” tall.
See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.