It’s here! A custom fit, any-gauge, basic balaclava…
…which can fold up into a warm ribbed hat:
And you may be able to fold it up different ways for different styles of hats:
The other sample I made, my first prototype for figuring out the design specifics, had no negative ease, and I learned that negative ease is very important because this one is waaaay too big!
It sort of fits Pete, but still too baggy for good visibility. Anyway, this one shows a couple different ways of crocheting the hole edges with contrasting yarn for some extra freakiness!
I’d been planning on designing a ski mask pattern for about 5 years now, ever since I joined ravelry in 2007 and started designing. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may remember my old ravatar that I finally stopped using a couple years ago (the photo below on the left)…
Long ago, before I started writing patterns, I used to sell some things I knit, and I made a few of these stripy masks – the two below and a crazy crocheted one, too. All these masks were semi-inspired by the SUPER creepy masks from the 70’s that you’ve probably seen around the internet at some point… I did a balaclava round up on Threadbanger a few years back, and included a few of those vintage ones there.
So, when I started planning Remixed, and I wanted to include many different kinds of accessory designs, I finally came back around to my plan of turning those improvised masks into a pattern! Freak Out! is actually constructed totally differently than those old masks I made, but you know, same concept.
This mask is made from the top down, measuring your gauge as you go to calculate your stitch count number (same as Wild is the Wind and Buttonhead), with eye and mouth holes placed by trying it on as you go, to get the perfect fit. (If you’re gift knitting, the pattern includes sizing notes to get a good fit for the recipient.) The ribbed neck is made long enough to fold up into a hat, and the crochet edges are added last.
The crochet edging can be made contrasting and extreme for a major design feature, or subtle, like in the stripy mask below. The pattern is pretty beginner-friendly, as it’s mostly just stockinette, increases, and ribbing, and the simple crochet. There are photo tutorials for the crochet, instructions for all techniques, and process photos throughout.
The stripy one was knit in a recycled spun yarn – I unraveled a striped sweater, kept all the different colored yarn pieces tied together as they were in the sweater, then I spun the yarn, and plied it with thread:
As always, this Remixed pattern is currently available to ebook pre-orderers (on ravelry here), until the full book is finished and released, at which point it will be for sale alone. This is the sixth, of eight total patterns! But wait, there’s a new piece of Remixed news…
I’ve decided to raise the price of Remixed when it’s finished. Pre-orders will continue to be $16, but the price will go up to $20 when it’s done, or when all 8 patterns are released. This is my first big ebook project, and I kind of underestimated the bulk of the collection… $20 still makes for an average cost of $2.50 per pattern, and that’s not even taking into account the yarn-making tutorials, so I think this raise is more than fair. So, pre-order now while you can get it at the low price! ;)
As for “when it’s done”… that’s unknown for now… I’d hoped for by the end of February, but these last few patterns are eating up more time than expected. (I’m having some issues with Gentle on My Mind and am about to start knitting a sixth sample to work out the kinks!) So, at this point, that seventh pattern is scheduled to be released on February 14th, if all goes well, and the eighth pattern will hopefully be a couple weeks after that, though that pattern isn’t exactly coming along quickly either.
Quality is the most important thing, right? My biggest concern is my being completely happy with the final patterns that I release, even if that means more waiting time, I think it’s worth it. That’s the biggest benefit of staying independent – full control over the quality of my work. So then, I expect finishing the ebook, with the tutorials and layout design, plus tech editing and everything else, to take the release date to the end of March at the soonest. But, if you pre-order, then you’ll already have all 8 patterns while you wait for the complete book, so I hope waiting won’t be too hard… Thank you for your patience!