Oct 082015
 
Not Quite Plaid

Colorblocks, stripes and vertical dropped stitches – it’s Not Quite Plaid, but looks vaguely tartan. An asymmetric bias shape and an atypical approach to creating a stitch pattern result in a fabric on which to combine colors for a nontraditional and modern shawl that is infinitely customizable. Choose colors and yarns that speak to you from your stash for your own perfect, (not quite) plaid. Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing; instructions are both fully written and charted. Size: 84” length and 32” depth, customizable to any size. Yarn: Baah! La Jolla (100% merino wool; 400 yards/366m/100g); 1 skein each of color A/Night Sky, color B/Obsidian, color C/Grey Onyx and color D/La Perla. A plied sock yarn with a somewhat tight twist helps maintain the integrity of the dropped stitches. The sample used approximately 275/100/205/215 yards of colors A/B/C/D but any amount of yarn in any combination may be used; see Designer’s Notes. Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 32” circular needle or size to match gauge; marker (1); removable markers (optional); Yarn needle; . . .

Truly Plaidly Deeply

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Apr 062015
 
Truly Plaidly Deeply

The best way to love? Truly, Plaidly, Deeply! Three colors and a non-stranded afterthought plaid technique make a fun and distinctive graphic plaid sweater. Construction: The sweater body begins with the shoulder saddles, then stitches for the back and fronts are picked up and worked back and forth to the bottom of the armhole, where they are joined and worked in the round to the hem. Contrasting seamless sleeves are picked up from the armhole, with the caps shaped using short rows then knit in the round to the cuffs. The contrast ribbed collar is picked up and knit to match the sleeves and hem. The plaid is simple to make, as it involves only knitting stripes, in a rib pattern – the vertical plaid lines are added later with a crochet hook in the purl ditches of the rib. Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, backwards loop CO, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, picking up stitches. Instructions are written, with additional charts for the plaid repeat and setup; a video tutorial is provided for the non-stranded plaid . . .

Tartania Mitts

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Oct 292013
 
Tartania Mitts

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 . . .

Tartania Hat

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Oct 172013
 
Tartania Hat

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 . . .

Tartania Cowl

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Oct 022013
 
Tartania Cowl

Hail, Tartania! Who isn’t mad for plaid? This tartan cowl uses an easy non-stranded method to produce a graphic plaid. 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. Worked in the round in your choice of three colors, the possibilities are endless for this colorful and stylish accessory. The Tartania Cowl is part of Hail, Tartania! an ebook collection which will also include matching hat and fingerless mitts, to be released throughout October 2013. Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, knitting in the round; this pattern includes written instructions, and a chart for the plaid; a video tutorial is provided for the non-stranded plaid technique. Size: 27” circumference and 10” height. Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted (100% Merino; 210 yards/100g); 1 skein MC, 1 skein CC1, 1 skein CC2. Shown in MC Hollyhock, CC1 Cadmium . . .

It’s a Plaid, Plaid World

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Sep 252013
 
It's a Plaid, Plaid World

Plaid is everywhere for fall, and I’m officially obsessed. Americans use the words “plaid” and “tartan” interchangeably, but a tartan is a woven textile pattern historically identifying Scottish Highland clans and military or political allegiances, while a plaid (“pledd”) is a length of this woven wool thrown about the body, for example to stay warm on the moors. Tartan in fact has a long history; the earliest examples of this sort of woven textile were found on mummies dating from around 2000 B.C. in the central Asian Tarim desert basin. In The Mummies of Urumchi, archeologist and textile historian Elizabeth Wayland Barber investigates the link between these Indo-Europeans and the Celts. A branch of the Celts gave rise to the Scots, and to the practice of local clans adopting certain woven color patterns, which became identified with their wearers. The materials and aesthetics of the weavers first determined what patterns were available, and where. The system of colors and patterns coalesced throughout the 17th century, sometimes becoming associated with military regiments. In a political move, . . .

Sep 182013
 
Mad for Plaid . . . and a Giveaway!

    Several months ago, the lovely Allyson of Holla Knits pinned a technique on Pinterest called Easy Knitted Plaid, from the WEBS blog. I spend as much mindless time trolling the Pinterest eye candy as any other procrastinator, and like to take note of interesting knitterly techniques, among other things. This plaid concept really intrigued me, and I immediately thought about designing an overscaled plaid something. What could it be? Accessory? Nope, too small. Gigantic squooshy wrap? Maybe, but too much exposure of the wrong side. Sweater? Getting closer, but anything with much shaping at all would interfere with the unbroken drama of the plaid. Then poking around runway photos and fall fashion forecasts, I noticed the unapologetic presence of capes as an emerging trend. Now, I had thought my involvement with this sort of thing ended with the rectangular poncho I knit as a new knitter a long time ago – but, no! Cape, poncho, cloak, pelisse, mantle, tabard . . . exactly the silhouette for a big, bold plaid. I thought about . . .

Sep 162013
 
Plaidscape

Capes are the new coats for fall, and Plaidscape features a topography of colors knit seamlessly from the top down in bulky weight wool. Choose classic colors, or indulge your rainbow fantasies, and learn a new skill for making plaid without stranding. 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. Plaidscape is worked seamlessly from the top down in a horizontal plaid pattern to the end of the wide elbow-length sleeves. The sleeves are then divided from the body, which continues to grow in an A-line shape to a curved hem. Full written instructions are included, as well as charts for the raglan increases. Applied I-cord neatly finishes the front edges, and the double-breasted front closes with I-cord frogs and knots. Interesting to knit and fun to wear, Plaidscape is a coat with . . .