Showing posts with label Knit Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knit Design. Show all posts

26 April 2018

Pattern: The Blossom or the Bole

The Blossom or the Bole $US6 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
— William Butler Yeats, “Among School Children”

Inspired by the Yeats poem "Among School Children", this asymmetrical triangle shawl begins with Garter Stripes then alternates stripes with Leaf Lace before bursting into a large section of Birds Eye Mesh. A few more Garter Stripes and a Picot Bindoff finish everything off.

Choose three skeins of your favorite sock yarn and enjoy a fun (but not too challenging) knit. Stitch patterns are provided in both written and charted formats.

Finished Measurements
Wingspan: 87 inches/221 cm
Depth: 42 inches/107 cm


  • Color A (black): Backyard Fiberworks Prairie (fingering weight: 100% superwash merino, 400 yds/366 m per 3.53 oz/100 g), color: Cast Iron, 1 skein or approx. 300 yds/274 m
  • Color B (green): Backyard Fiberworks Prairie (fingering weight: 100% superwash merino, 400 yds/366 m per 3.53 oz/100 g), color: Arbol, 1 skein or approx. 400 yds/366 m
  • Color C (purple): Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles (fingering weight: 100% superwash merino, 400yds/366 m per 3.53 oz/100 g), color: Daydream, 1 skein or approx. 300 yds/274 m
  • US6/4.0 mm 24-inch/60-cm or longer circular needle (long circular needle is used to accommodate large number of stitches)
  • Stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle

24 sts x 48 rows = 4 inches/10 cm in Garter Stitch after blocking

  • Casting on
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Binding off

Test knitting: IsabelleBleu, Minimoebius, SarahinHouston, Strickgut
Technical editing: Catherine Clark

The Blossom or the Bole $US6 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

Happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

03 December 2015

Designer resources

In yesterday morning's Periscope broadcast I mentioned some resources I turn to when writing and grading patterns. As I mentioned, I usually follow Knitty standards, as I like how wide-ranging they are (seven sizes from XS to 3X in 4-inch increments). Most magazines I've worked with publish patterns in five sizes, but I do prefer seven -- it's not too much more work while giving more knitters the opportunity to knit a pattern from the instructions.

When grading my patterns I often refer to:
I love all the measurements included in Ysolda's chart -- it's very thorough, although it does not contain a key number for my pattern writing: sleeve length from wrist to underarm. Since I write patterns from cuff and hem upwards to join body and sleeves together and work yokes seamlessly, this number is of more use to me than the given sleeve length measurement (from wrist to shoulder). Happily I can find that number in the CYCA standards.

As for the books I mention above, Ann Budd's book is a great starting point, even if I find the amount of ease included to be much larger than I generally design for. The proportions are helpful, though, as are the impressive spectrum of pattern grading from baby to large adult man. And EZ's books are so helpful in thinking about the body in a three-dimensional way, as well as the interconnectedness of our parts thanks to her EPS (Elizabeth's Percentage System). I couldn't do without Knitting Workshop and re-read Knitter's Almanac on a regular basis.

I hope you find these helpful/interesting. Let me know in the comments if you have any other knitting design resources you turn to regularly.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

16 June 2015

Kellynch Cardigan update

Before "the teachers let the monkeys out", I finished up my Kellynch Cardigan. Whoohoo!

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen these pics over the past few months, but I wanted to do a little review here on the ol' blog.

As you may recall, I had a little bit of an adventure with the yarn (madelinetosh tosh merino light in Envy). When doing a little yarn crawl with my fantastic cousin back in March, we could only find two skeins, but I HAD to have them. Then I was back at Knitty City the following week for something completely different, and we ended up looking through a bag of madtosh (oh, heaven!) and found a third skein of Envy where it should not have been (bags are grouped by dominant color).

A photo posted by Kathleen Dames (@kathleendames) on

So, I knit away on the stockinette portions, knowing that the lace yoke was going to be so. much. fun. And it was! Definitely expect this structure to show up in another pattern some time.

A photo posted by Kathleen Dames (@kathleendames) on

A photo posted by Kathleen Dames (@kathleendames) on

To make the whole thing even better, I found the most perfect buttons at M&J Trimming while shopping for buttons for the forthcoming Jane Austen Knits (publication month: November 2015).

A photo posted by Kathleen Dames (@kathleendames) on

The thing about the buttons is that, while they are shanked (my general preference), the holes for sewing them on were too small for any needles I have, or the eye of the needle was way too small for the yarn. I know I could have used sewing thread, but I didn't want to (I know some knitters prefer to sew their buttons on with thread, but I always worry the thread will cut through the yarn of the button band). And then I realized I had a wee crochet hook from a beaded knitting project that might work...

Et voila! Here's a Kellynch Cardigan just for me :)

While I won't be able to publish the pattern in my Ravelry store until October, you can create your own from Jane Austen Knits 2014* (Interweave digital edition) or purchase the Interweave version of the pattern here*.

Thanks for stopping by and happy knitting!

*Those are Interweave affiliate links. If you purchase through one of those links, I receive a tiny commission. If you would rather buy the pattern from me directly, please sign up for my newsletter, and you'll be the first to know when it is available. If you would rather get to the pattern on your own, just type "kellynch cardigan interweave" into your favorite search engine :)

12 June 2015

Pattern upgrades coming, well, all summer!

It's time for all my patterns to be upgraded to the same attractive, easy-to-use layout, don't you think?

Since there are 26 backlist patterns in various layouts, I plan to work my way through upgrading the pattern PDFs this summer. I would love to hear from you which patterns you'd like to see all spruced up first. 

Do you have a favorite? Should I just go in alphabetical order (as seen below)? Oldest? Newest? Most hearts? Too many options!

row 1: An Aran for Anne, An Aran for Frederick, Aphros, Babe in the Mist, Bloc Pulli, Captain Austen's Scarf
row 2: Castaway Shawlette, Deckhand - Women's, Deckhand, Dennis, Hap-py, In the Shallows
row 3: Infinite, JOY garland, Matryoshka Japonais, Mermaid's Cardigan, Mermaid's Mitts, Night Watch Cap
row 4: On the High Seas, Sailor's Valentine, Upon the Spanish Main, Vines, Walk the Plank
row 5: Wavelette, Wench

This is something I can work on now that the kids are out of school (eep!).

If you already purchased one of these patterns, thank you! After the new version is loaded into Ravelry, you will receive a notification that your upgrade is waiting for you. Don't miss the special customer coupon code in the email!

So, let me know in the comments below which pattern you would like to see first.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

P.S. Don't worry, there are new patterns in the pipeline, too! A small shawl is in testing, and I'm in the middle of writing up a pullover and cardigan, as well as designing a sweater for my sister for her wedding (yay!).

01 June 2015

Re-released pattern: Thistle Leaf Shawl

In all the excitement of the Trunk Show, I forgot to (re)share the Thistle Leaf Shawl with you. It's a lovely pattern (and project) that warranted new photographs and a layout tweak, when I realized that it was a member of the Unicorn Tapestries, vol. one*.

Thistle Leaf Shawl $7 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

Don't you love this kind of project? One skein of a lovely fingering weight yarn and one lace chart that has enough going on to keep your attention. Thistle Leaf Shawl is a top-down shawl, which means you begin by making a little garter-stitch tab (it tops the center line of yarnover increases so that there is a lovely straight line of 2-stitch garter stitch along the entire top edge of the shawl). While this little tab may feel a tiny bit fiddly when you begin, it's over in a snap and makes the shawl a bit more perfect. I thoroughly explain the wee tab, and then you're off to the races!

There are plenty of rows of "mindless" stockinette stitch to begin, while you're still head-over-heels in love with your yarn (Julie Asselin's Milis in the Confiture colorway shown here). Then, just when you might consider straying to another project, the fun of the lace begins! Clearly, I am quite fond of this lace (Thistle Leaf Pullover, anyone?), and you should be, too :) Thistle Leaf is a Victorian variant on your basic leaf lace, but with more ... frills. Isn't it pretty? And don't worry - I've provided the lace pattern in both charted and written formats, so anyone can create their own Thistle Leaf Shawl.

Because this is an extra-wide triangle, you will increase four times on the front (knit) rows - left, right, and twice at the center line - and twice more on the back (purl) - left and right again. This produces what some call a "heart-shaped" shawl, and I will have to find the proper time/place to lay this shawl out for you to see that effect. The ends, with all those increases on the left and right sides tend to curl back in on themselves (just a little) as you come to the end of the Thistle Leaf edging. I love those extra-long ends when I wear this shawl bandit-style (triangle point in front, ends wrapped around the neck to come back to the front).

Size/Finished Measurements 
Width: 52 inches/132.08cm
Depth: 19 inches/48.26cm

Julie Asselin Milis {100% Merino; 475 yds/434m per 115 gram skein}; color: Confiture; 1 skein
US6/4.0mm 29-inch circular needle
Stitch markers
Tapestry needle

20 stitches x 32 rows = 4 inches/10cm in Stockinette Stitch

Skills Needed 
Casting on
Binding off
Reading charts (written instructions also provided)

Test knitting: knittygal, sallen2849, sanita60, knitterloreen, seshetsuten, Katinka
Technical editing: choochooknits

Pattern is professionally formatted (by me!) with charts and written-out versions of the lace pattern to ensure you have everything you need to create your own beautiful Thistle Leaf Shawl. Those of you lovely knitters who purchased this pattern when it was originally released should have received a message from Ravelry that the updated version of the pattern is now in your library.

This pattern is part of a bundle of four inspired by The Unicorn Tapestries* at The Cloisters in New York City. Thistle Leaf Shawl was inspired by the magnificent tapestry known as The Unicorn in Captivity, where the Unicorn lounges amidst mille-fleurs, including a single white thistle just in front of the right side of his fence.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! I have worn mine a lot, usually bandit-style, to keep my neck warm, add a bit of color to my outfit, and spice up my black v-neck winter coat. Now that Spring/Summer is upon us, I plan to wear it more as a shawl when nights are cooler - it fits easily into my purse.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

*Use code unicornone to purchase all four patterns in the Unicorn Tapestries, vol. one bundle for the price of three!

27 May 2015

Father's Day ideas: Knits for Men

Is there a fella in your life in need of a handknit? I put my patterns for men into a bundle on Ravelry, so you can find them all in one place:

  • An Aran for Frederick This one is loaded with cables telling the story of our hero Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion
  • A Vest for Charles* All in one piece, this vest has stitch patterns inspired by the sweater Charles II wore yet is quick to knit in worsted weight yarn (and no sleeves!)
  • Captain Austen's Scarf The seaweed knit-purl pattern is handsome and reversible, while the fringe is optional (some guys dig it, others not so much)
  • Dennis tie Time and again this fully-fashioned tie makes a great gift and can also be worked out of less than one skein of fingering weight yarn
  • Kind Woodsman** This handsome pullover is simple enough for most men to wear but has an intriguing all-over cable pattern that makes it fun for you to knit
  • Sailor's Valentine Another handsome cabled story-telling sweater; I recommend working double seed stitch rather than 2x2 ribbing at the sides for a more masculine silhouette
*Currently available from Jane Austen Knits/Interweave. Available in my Ravelry store this June!
**Currently available from Enchanted Knits/Interweave. Available in my Ravelry store this July!

To be among the first to know about my pattern releases, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

06 May 2015

New pattern: Sly Maid Stole

Today I have a lovely versatile accessory pattern to share with you.

Sly Maid Stole $7 on Ravelry (no account required)

At first glance, this stole is seems simple, yet the more you look at it, the more you find going on. Two different textures of Stockinette make this reversible, while the eyelet rows lighten things up. All you need is one skein of your favorite laceweight yarn (or perhaps fingering weight? ooh, that would make a lovely and more substantial version) for this beauty.

Sly maids always peek at you out of the corner of their eyes, never straight-on. This stole begins as a straight-up rectangle, but it ends up being all about bias and winking eyelets and never knowing which side is right. Once you get to know a sly maid, you won’t want to be without her – light, cozy, adaptable, never boring yet not difficult.

What you'll love about knitting Sly Maid Stole:

  • 2tLTCO means you will have just the right amount of yarn for your cast-on
  • working on the bias - it's just more fun that way
  • when the rows of stockinette start to feel monotonous, it's time for some eyelet action!
What you'll love about wearing Sly Maid Stole:
  • madelinetosh Prairie in all its glory (or your fave laceweight yarn - I adore Prairie)
  • the bias fabric makes for a rhombus that is more interesting to wear than the usual rectangle
  • it's totes reversible
  • the fabric is just open enough to be wonderfully squishy - not too warm, but it will ward off any chills

Size/Finished Measurements
61”/155 cm (long edge) x 28”/71.1 cm (short edge), 16”/40.6 cm wide

Materials madlinetosh prairie (100% Merino; 840 yds/768 m per 4 oz/114 g); color: Tart; 1 skein {approx. 775 yds}
US6/4.0 mm 29-inch circular needle
Tapestry needle

20 sts x 32 rows = 4”/10 cm in Stockinette Stitch Note: I am a loose knitter. While gauge is not critical in a stole, you may run out of yarn if your gauge is different from the gauge given.

Skills Needed Casting on
Binding off

Thanks! Technical Editing: Rachel Brown
Test Knitting: dezignmama, pinhappy, pretz2005

Pattern is professionally formatted (by me!) to ensure you have everything you need to create your own beautiful Sly Maid Stole.

This pattern is part of a bundle of four inspired by The Unicorn Tapestries at The Cloisters in New York City. Sly Maid Stole comes from the tapestry fragment known as The Mystic Capture of the Unicorn, where we can see a “sly” maid signaling to the hunters that the Unicorn has been lured into an enclosed garden by the fair maiden.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! It is one of my favorite things to wear (and having written that bit above about knitting it in fingering weight, I am seriously considering another one).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

04 May 2015

New pattern: Pomegranate Cardi

Apologies for the delay in posting today! I am finishing up a couple of special projects for Jane Austen Knits this week, so things are a little busy. But here is another one of my new patterns for you:

Pomegranate Cardi

Pomegranate Cardi $7 on Ravelry (no account required)

Here is another lightweight project: sock yarn worked at a comfortable gauge with lovely split pomegranate cables ringing the hem and cuffs, as well as traveling up the cardigan fronts. To keep things tidy, Seed Stitch shows up on the hem, collar, and cuffs, as well as recalling the seeds of those cut pomegranates. By the way, can you see the sparkles in the yarn? Oh, sparkly yarn, how fantastic you are!

What you will love about knitting this sweater:

  • Body worked in one piece to the underarms, as well as sleeves - working everything flat ensures the gauge matches on all pieces
  • Seed stitch along the edges prevents them from curling
  • Raglan lines created using centered double decreases have a crisp, delicate line
  • Pomegranate Cables are a fun mashup of cable maneuvers and Seed stitch - written and charted versions of the cable pattern are both included
  • Integrated buttonbands mean no fussing around with where to sew on your beautiful buttons - right over the buttonholes!
What you will love about wearing this sweater:
  • 3/4 sleeves are versatile and perfect for all seasons
  • Drape of the fabric is lovely and means you can skip waist shaping yet still have a flattering garment
  • Square neckline draws all eyes up to your pretty face
  • Telling people about the pomegranates in the Unicorn Tapestries is always fun!

Sizes/Finished Measurements Women’s XS {S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X} (shown in size M with 0 inches ease)
Chest circumference: 28 {33, 36¼, 39¾, 44¾, 48, 53} inches/71.1 {83.8, 92.1, 101, 113.7, 121.9, 134.6} cm

Materials Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock (75% Merino, 20% Silk, 5% Metallic; 435yds/398m per 3.53oz/100g); color: Byzantine; 2 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4 skeins {approx. 750 (875, 1000, 1200, 1300, 1500, 1600) yds}
US4/3.5mm 29-inch circular needle
Cable needle
Waste yarn
Stitch markers
Removable stitch markers
Tapestry needle

24 sts x 32 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch

Skills Needed Casting on
Binding off
Working from charted or written instructions

Thanks! Technical Editing: Rachel Brown
Test Knitting: Malinda, chau7, galzanne, strickgut

Pattern is provided in both charted and written formats professionally formatted (by me!) to ensure you have everything you need to create your own beautiful Pomegranate Cardi.

Pomegranate Cardi is part of a bundle of four patterns inspired by The Unicorn Tapestries at The Cloisters in New York City. Inspiration for this design came from the magnificent tapestry known as The Unicorn in Captivity, where the Unicorn lounges beneath a pomegranate tree with pomegranate seeds and juice dripping down it's flank. Pomegranates were a fertility symbol, thanks to their abundant seeds.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! There are two more new patterns and one re-release to share with you this week, so stay tuned :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

18 March 2015

Springtime for Mermaids

I think of Mermaid's Cardigan as a Springtime project: worsted-weight yarn (it's not warm yet), but with a little ventilation in those lacy sleeves and a little waist-shaping to show off your curves.

You don't feel like you have a waist after this Winter's hibernation? Don't worry - the princess seams that create this cardigan's waist shaping give you the illusion of a waist. Seriously! I am a short-waisted, apple-shaped lady. Those princess-seam lines lure the eye upward, and the fabric curves along your body, enhancing whatever shapeliness you DO have.

The lace sleeves begin with a bit of i-cord for a blouson effect, which means no increasing in the lace (I love lace, but sometimes I want it to be not hard, you know?). And the i-cord edging ties in to the i-cord cuffs, creates the buttonholes, and keeps the stockinette edges from rolling. All that from something called "idiot cord" - maybe we should start calling it "smart cord"!

So, need a flattering cardigan for Spring? Try a Mermaid's Cardigan.

Mermaid's Cardigan by Kathleen Dames

buy now

Happy knitting (and almost-Springtime)!

P.S. Want a little lace but no time for a garment? Try Mermaid's Mitts!

11 March 2015

Add a Jane Austen Knits bundle to your Ravelry library

Jane Austen Knits bundle from Kathleen Dames

As you may know, I will have two new patterns in the next issue of Jane Austen Knits, but I can't share them with you until this Fall (and the way this Winter is going, it feels like that day will never come).

To tide you over, now you can add three of my most popular Jane Austen Knits designs to your Ravelry library for $15 ($21 value).
  • An Aran for Anne - figure-flattering with delicate botanical cables 
  • An Aran for Frederick - a modern take on classic cables for men and women 
  • Sotherton - feminine shape thanks to twisted stitches 
Already purchased one of these patterns on Ravelry? Thank you! You will be credited that amount at checkout. Use coupon code jakbundle at checkout or click the link above to add all three patterns to your cart and apply the code (and any credits).

Would you like to join a KAL for my Jane Austen Knits designs? I need to knit new Benwick and Kellynch Cardigan samples and would love some company. Let me know what you think in the forums.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

25 February 2015

Putting together a pattern

As I'm preparing a few patterns for testing/editing, I thought you might be interested to see the elements that go into a pattern. Every designer has a different skill set, but with my former life as an Art Director and Graphic Designer, I am able to do the layout, photo editing (sometimes photography, too), and chart creation, in addition to the writing and grading. There are a couple of areas where I'm mulling over changes, and I'd love your feedback. I've included the Thistle Leaf Shawl pattern pages for reference :)


  • title - preferably memorable and evocative of the design, not numeric (Cardigan #987, anyone?) or generic (Long Sleeve Pullover), and as a general rule not tied to the color of the sample, since I never want a knitter to feel left out because they don't like the way they look in blue, or red reminds them of their ex
  • description - also known as "romance" copy - interesting and explanatory, since I want to set the scene and highlight what makes it special, with correct grammar and spelling, of course (I was an English major, and my mother was a language arts teacher back in the day)
  • photos - a "hero" shot (one that shows the item and conveys the mood and doesn't have me looking too doofy) plus a close-up (usually of the stitch pattern) and an image that gives an idea of overall size/shape and/or the back of the item (and if there is room on the following pages, I will include additional images for illustration)

info page

  • sizing - I'm currently considering doing away with "letter" sizing completely on my graded patterns and just providing finished measurements with ease information
    What do you think about letter sizing vs. finished measurements?
  • materials list - yarn, tools, notions - I want to make sure knitters have everything they need to successfully create their version of my pattern, and I've started to include yardage approximations for each size, not just number of skeins, for easy yarn substitution
  • gauge information - usually given in Stockinette Stitch to help knitters in their yarn choice
  • skills needed - a list of which techniques are used so that knitters aren't surprised
  • notes - specifics about techniques used in the pattern and other helpful tidbits
  • abbreviation list and stitch guide - I always cross check these against the written pattern to make sure I cover every abbreviation used and provide instructions for any stitches not charted/written out
  • schematic - these are kind of my bete noire, but hopefully you can't tell that from looking at them! Generally, they are in imperial measurements, but I'm mulling over including metric (ditto for sizing)
    Would the inclusion of metric help you?
  • thanks and my blurb - I don't do any of this on my own, so I like to tip my hat to my testers, tech editor, photographer, etc., and then share a little bit about me

pattern page(s)

  • charts (if applicable) - I create all my charts in InDesign with the knitsymbols typeface - it's a very satisfying, detail-oriented part of the process for me
  • chart key - a chart isn't much help if a knitter can't understand it!
  • written version of charts - another challenging area sometimes since I'm a visual person (the written version of Upon the Spanish Main was quite complicated but turned out really well) - every time I think of going chart-only I am reminded of all the different learning paths there are in the world and the knitters whose brains cannot process the information in a chart
  • pattern - the actual written instructions, which need to be clear, efficient, and address every size for all portions of the knitted item, including finishing 

Lots of different pieces go into a pattern! And as a former Art Director I'm always trying to fit things together as snugly as possible (must. save. paper.). But that's the basic formula for how I present a pattern. Now, how I write it? That's a story for another day.

I'd love to hear what you think about those two questions. If you're a designer, I'd love to hear what elements you include in your patterns.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

13 January 2015

Meet me at Vogue Knitting Live! 12-1pm 1/18/15 booth #710

I'll be chatting and selling patterns in the Knitty City booth (#710) Sunday 1/18/15 from 12-1pm in at Vogue Knitting Live NYC. The rest of the day I'll be wandering the Marketplace in a wool-fume-induced haze with my dear friend Annie. So much fun - I hope to see you there!

Now, to get ready for VKL, I have to decide what to wear. This is especially fraught when I won't have any other samples with me (the booth is just too busy for me to bring (and have to keep track of) a bunch of samples. So, I'm thinking one sweater and one accessory (shawl).

I wore Sailor's Valentine to Knitty City last week, when it was very cold (it's a super-warm sweater and the wool is a little crispy to wear without a long-sleeve t-shirt underneath). Since the weather is supposed to be more amenable on Sunday, I'm thinking Sotherton (I wore it for the first time this winter about ten days ago and was pleasantly reminded of just how flattering a piece it is) or Wavelette (lightweight lace is so easy to wear in the over-heated wilds of NYC) with Upon the Spanish Main (the MCN yarn is such a pleasure) or In the Shallows (such a great go-with-anything piece)/Thistle Leaf Shawl (there's always something extra-special about the latest design, isn't there?), respectively.

Any favorites for which you'd like to put in a good word?

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

12 January 2015

Trip report: Knitty City talk 1/8/15

I had such a lovely time last Thursday! As you may know, the lovely folks at Knitty City invited me to meet their knitters at the monthly Young Designer Meet & Greet for January. I brought a couple of carry-ons filled with wool and took over every hanger in the place to share my knitwear designs.

Holding Benwick at Knitty City

Wearing Sailor's Valentine next to my rack o' wool
The knitters I met were a lovely and dedicated bunch (it was frigid that night - enough so that a pound of Bartlettyarns' Fisherman 2-ply on my upper half seemed just about right). As supportive and lovely as my family is, most of them (my darling sister excepted) don't necessarily understand the finer points of my work like an avid knitter does. So, it was fun to be able to discuss the finer points of various patterns:

  • the hood on Sailor's Valentine is basically a big turned heel that allows the Heartstrings cable to travel uninterrupted up the back and over the head, and if you eliminate the ribbing (which pulls the fabric in and gives your figure a bit of flattery without waist shaping), you would have a project suitable for any man
  • the bindoff for In the Shallows is a k1p1 rib so the edge stands up rather than turning to one side or the other - there is truly no right or wrong side, and it's a great way to knit up a special skein of sock yarn
  • Benwick has integrated epaulets in the saddle shoulders and a heart on the sleeve (individual Ravelry download coming soon)
  • only three stitches are cast on and off for the Ozark Wrap - the rest is created as you go - we also decided that with slight modifications, this would make a great blanket (Interweave Knits, Winter 2015 should be at your LYS any minute now, if it isn't already - my Quadrille Pullover is in there, too!)
All in all, a lovely wooly time! If you'd ever like me to bring my woolies to your LYS, drop me a line (greater New York, New England, and Chicagoland are places I get to on a regular basis).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

16 November 2014

Livestream recording. A digital age oxymoron.

Final prep for my talk

Talking as captured by Penelope

You can hear my talk in the livestream recording here:

I'm on from about the 8:30 mark to 15:30. The easiest thing to do is to hold down the fast forward button and advance to my talk (at least that was easiest for me - when I tried to drag the progress bar to the right spot it jumped all over). But don't just click the fast forward thing, as it will just skip to the end that way. Ah, technology. 

They have to slice the livestream recording into all the different presentations before it goes up on YouTube, but I'll be sure to send out that link when I get it. 

It was a great day. All the speakers were so interesting, and I was particularly impressed with how well the students spoke. And the workshop was fun. It's always neat to see what other people come up with. 

Penelope got to spend a little time at AJ Jacobs's workshop on the Global Family Reunion and learned that we are related to Ringo and Paul (she's a Beatles fan), as well as George Washington.  She wants there to be TED talks at school every day :)

This talk was also a good warmup for me for my designer talk in January at Knitty City. More on that as we get closer. 

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen 

15 November 2014

Livestream of TEDxYouth@TheSchool

You can catch the whole event today from 11-2. My talk will be some time before noon. And the talks will be archived on YouTube afterwards. 

The sweaters that are coming with me to the talk. They look very excited, don't they ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen 

13 November 2014

Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2014!

It’s that time of year, folks! This year I’ve joined the Indie Design Gift-A-Long, since it sounded like such fun last year. I hope you’ll join me.
What is the Indie Design Gift-A-Long?
It’s prepping for the holidays as only fiber folks can, with special deals from tons of indie designers!
The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 2 month long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by 293 independent designers. From November 13 at 8pm US EST through - November 21, 2014 at 11:59pm US EST these 293 indie designers will be discounting between 4 - 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. There are eight KAL/CALs to participate in, prizes of all sorts given out, games, and generally a lot of fun! The Gift-A-Long KAL/CALs will run from November 13 at 8pm US EST through - December 31, 2014 at 11:59pm US EST
This year the Gift-A-Long is run on US EST so here is a link to a world clock time converter so you can all keep track of how that related to the time where you are: click here
Which Designers are participating?
We have a list of participating designers with photos here
We have a page just listing all the participating designers here.
Which patterns are discounted?
All the participating designers have posted in this thread including a link to the bundle of patterns they are discounting, and showing a photo so that you can get a sense of their style, if you aren’t already familiar with them. In addition, some of our industrious indie design elves have put together an amazing group of Pinterest boards that will allow you to browse through lots of designs at the same time. You can find all the links to the different boards here.
How do I get the discount?
It’s easy peasy! Just purchase the patterns you want directly from the designers’ Ravelry shops between 8 pm US EST on Thursday, November 13th and 11:59 pm on Friday, November 21st, and enter the coupon code giftalong2014 at checkout and 25% will be automatically taken off the total price.
And here are the patterns I’ve discounted for the Gift-A-Long:

07 November 2014

New pattern: Strawberry-Picking Shrug

Hop on over to Jane Austen Knits for my next design.

Strawberry-Picking Shrug, Jane Austen Knits 2014

Perfect for Emma to wear on a visit to Donwell Abbey, the Strawberry-Picking Shrug is pretty enough for Emma, while warm enough to satisfy Mr. Woodhouse's fears of catching a chill. Knit in Malabrigo's Lace yarn in the Cactus Flower colorway, this project is a manageable introduction to lace knitting on both sides of the work. 

Strawberry-Picking Shrug, Jane Austen Knits 2014

Since the shrug is worked as a rectangle, you won't have to fuss with shaping within this pattern, which will give you the freedom to concentrate on the two-sided lace. Can you see the delicate single strands radiating out from each strawberry? That's thanks to the decreases and yarnovers being worked on both sides. When you create lace with a stockinette stitch base, you usually purl back or knit alternate rounds, which creates two-strand lines in your lace. While that kind of lace is lovely (and the kind I usually play around with because, let's be honest, who doesn't love a soothing purl-back row or alternate round of knit stitches?), there is a delicacy to lace worked on both sides.

Two tiny seams and a few ends to weave in are all you'll have to do to finish this project. If you're ready to take your knitting skills to the next level, this pretty little shrug should be your next project.

Order your own copy of Jane Austen Knits 2014. Or grab one at your LYS - Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 29th!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

06 November 2014

Pattern: Ozark Wrap

So, I haven't been particularly busy, knitting-wise of late, but my Springtime busy-ness has finally borne fruit! First up:

Ozark Wrap, Interweave Knits, Winter 2015
The cozy, bulky Ozark Wrap is knit in sheepy Takhi Yarns Montana (a minimally processed, roving-style yarn available in natural sheep colors), shown here in the #001 Natural colorway. This one begins with a stretch of i-cord and ends with an i-cord bindoff. In between you work a textural knit-purl chevron pattern (reversible!) and some i-cord cleverness for a beautifully edged piece. The only finishing you'll have to do is weave in some ends. This one is a perfect winter project, as it can almost double as a blankie, while you're working on it. If we're in for another polar vortex this Winter, you'll be psyched to wrap yourself up in all this sheepy goodness.

Check out Ozark Wrap's pattern page on Ravelry.
Order your own copy of Interweave Knits, Winter 2015. Or better yet: visit your LYS to pick up your own copy. Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 29th - be sure to support your favorite!

Ozark Wrap, Interweave Knits, Winter 2015
Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

11 September 2014

New pattern: Thistle Leaf Shawl

I've got a new one for you! Thistle Leaf Shawl is now available on Ravelry for your knitting pleasure.

Thistle Leaf Shawl by Kathleen Dames

One skein of fingering weight yarn (approx. 400yds) - I used Julie Asselin's lovely Milis in the Confiture colorway - will give you this lovely small shawl with a deep Thistle Leaf edging. Worked in one piece from the neck down with a simple bindoff that highlights the scallop-y beauty of the thistle leaves. As you can see, I often wear mine "bandit style" around my neck to keep me warm and bring a pop of color to whatever I'm wearing.

The pattern is in my new layout. What do you think? The cover has the lovely photos, the second page has all the information you'll need to get ready (specs, notes, abbreviations), and the pattern itself (charted and written) is on the third page. So, if you want to save ink/paper, page three is the one to print.

And, since I have my patterns printed for distribution (ask your LYS to contact me), there is a fourth page with a catalog of my other designs. You don't need to print that one, either, but you might find another pattern you like :)

Now that my summer travels have come to an end (sob), I'm over the flu thing that had me in bed with a fever for two days (can't remember the last time I was that sick), and the kids are back in school (finally), I plan to write up a bunch of patterns for you. Stay tuned :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

30 July 2014

New pattern: Honest Woodsman Pullover

Exciting news! Pattern number two (of six) from my crazy spring of knitting has been released! Honest Woodsman is one of 27 knitting patterns in Interweave's newest specialty publication Enchanted Knits. You can find the Ravelry pattern page (size info, etc.) here:

Have you got a man on your hands who needs a new pullover (the holidays are closer than you think, especially if you're thinking of knitting a man's sweater by then!)? The soon-to-be-released Enchanted Knits contains my latest design: Honest Woodsman Pullover. 

Worked from the bottom up in the round, this pullover is finished off with a shirt-yoke pullover a la EZ while the body is covered with the easy to work (and remember) Woodgrain cable stitch. A rolled neck and turned hems finish things off. 

The shirt yoke is worked with short rows joining front to back body and closed up with a bit of Kitchener stitch at the side of the neck. 

My sample was worked in Madeline Tosh Vintage (7, 8, 8, 10, 11, 13 skeins) in Bark, and I think the handdyed yarn makes this sweater a knockout. Little flimmers of different tones add  depth to the cable stitch, as well as making the stockinette portions a little bit special. 

Enchanted Knits should appear in your LYS any day now and is available for immediate download from Interweave here:

For those of you only interested in Honest Woodsman, Interweave's policy is to make the pattern available for individual download once the print edition has sold out. My downloadable version will be available from Ravelry/Craftsy/Etsy one year after the magazine publication date. And for those of you kind enough to be concerned, I do receive a royalty for those Interweave downloads :)

Hope you like this one. I'm looking forward to wearing it this winter in unisex slouchy style :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen