March 21, 2012

Remixed pattern #8: Either/Or

Before I get to the pattern, I just want to give one last update/reminder about the ebook pattern collection (ravelry) – now that all 8 patterns are out, you’ll have until the end of the month to buy the entire collection (plus the future complete ebook) for $16 (that’s $2 per pattern).  On April 1st, the price of the collection will go up to $20, and each pattern will be released for sale individually, for $3-5 each (mostly $4).  I’ll also be doing a giveaway at the end of the month for everyone who has pre-ordered so far – more details about that will go up in the ravelry group (and I’ll email winners as well).

Now that that business is taken care of… Either/Or!

Either/Or pdf cover Either/Or

This final pattern is either fingerless mitts or full mittens, all constructed from the thumbs out.  Knit modularly – no seaming or sewing at all, also no short rows, and an extra bonus is very little casting-on and no bind-off at all.  This design is ideal for striping, as you can see!

Either/Or

There are 3 different versions of the pattern – short fingerless, which is the quickest, uses the least yardage, and is slightly easier than the rest, I think:

Either/Or Either/Or

Long fingerless, on which the hand and wrist sides are the same length so they can be worn in either direction; the tweed striped ones at the top are this style as well:

Either/Or

And full mittens:

Either/Or

All versions can be made in any weight yarn, and there are 2 different wrist pattern options as well – garter edged and all garter stitch.  Lots of variation possibility based on yarn choice as well, of course!  These were made from a bulky recycled spun (navajo plied) wool yarn that I made from a recycled striped sweater, made to have long, non-repeating stripes:

Either/Or

Below are a 2×2 row striped sample and a 2×4 row striped sample – all 4 yarns used were recycled.  2 different unraveled tweed sweater worsted weight yarns for the first one; a wooly aran weight yarn in the second one, with stripes of leftover yarn that was used for my striped mask.

Either/Or Either/Or

This one is also a recycled yarn, around a fingering weight wool, with a few stripes of some Black Trillium sock yarn stuck in the garter stitch stripe section:

Either/Or

And here’s a commercial self-striping yarn sample – Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool (you can see more photos and details about each of these samples on the projects pages on ravelry, by the way):

Either/Or

And then there are my handspun mittens, made with this bulky yarn I spun awhile back.  Not so obvious with the stripes here, but I sure do love them!!

Either/Or

Like my drum photos? Pete and I had fun with these!

Either/Or Either/Or

Rocking out!!

Either/Or Either/Or

Either/Or Either/Or

So… you wanna see my design process for these?  This pattern was a bit of a bitch at first, until I thought up what came to be my construction method… At first, my concept was just to design mitts and/or mittens worked from the thumbs out.  After that, I didn’t know what to do… so this was my first prototype:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

Lobster claw!  After that failed, I tried another mitten, this time with short rows.  Both of these ended along the other side, closing the whole thing up with a 3-needle bind-off down the whole side.  Totally different methods, similar lobster claw-esque shape result:

Either/Or design attempt

I started brainstorming about this design way back when I first started the ebook designs, and all the tries and failures were spread out over time, as it kept getting bumped until it became my last pattern and I had to focus and figure it out.  So, after releasing the 7th pattern, that’s just what I did – I spent a couple days straight doing nothing but problem solving on this concept, switching to fingerless attempts, completely re-thinking the whole construction.  No more working out to the other side and seaming it up; the idea finally came to me to divide the top and bottom into separate parts and work it all seamlessly… So my 3rd attempt turned out like this:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

Semi-success!  No more lobster claw!  This was finally on the way to my final design, though it was actually much more complex.  This generation of prototype was asymmetrical, so there was a separate pattern for left and right hands… The fourth try was similar to the third, but actual less successful:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

So after that failure, I rethought the increase pattern completely and came up with a much simpler design, which turned into my fifth prototype, and which was basically my final design!  Yay!!

Either/Or design prototype mitt prototype

When this was finished I was high-fiving the world like crazy, knowing all that work had paid off because this was exactly what I’d been working toward that whole time!  It was like I’d been circling around it, making it much more complicated than it needed to be, but it was the road I had to take to make it where I needed to go.  So there you go, my insane design process. To bring it back to my actual pattern, here are a few process shots of the design:

Either/Or Either/Or

It’s worked in the round until it fits around your hand, then the top of the hand is worked from there, and the wrist comes last. The mitten is grafted closed at the top.

Either/Or Either/Or Either/Or

The side sections (hand top and wrist) are joined together with some picked up stitches where they connect, preventing holes on the side:

Either/Or Either/Or

Either/Or Either/Or Either/Or

Now I’ll leave you with a photo of the mitts that I really like… happy knitting!

Either/Or

Filed under: knitting,Remixed,self-publishing — leethal @ 6:23 pm
  • Anonymous

    So brilliant!  Your knitting designs always blow me away. :)  Even more now that I know how to knit!  I often find myself doing the same thing … over complicating what I want to do, going through a process of stripping away the extraneous, and settling on the simplest, most direct path to what I was trying to achieve.  It’s like magic by subtraction. :)  Thanks for sharing your process!

  • http://knittersrumble.wordpress.com/ Julianna

    Such a cool pattern!  I love how innovative and unconventional your patterns are.  Knit mitts starting at the thumb – what an awesome idea!  My fave version is the turquoise sock yarn fingerless mitts – so cute!

  • http://www.studiostrategos.com/ April

    I love the striped tweed version of the mitts. Totally threw me over the fence about this pattern. Can’t wait to make a pair.

  • http://woolendiversions.blogspot.com/ Shoelaceswitcher

    This is one of the coolest designs I’ve seen in a long time! I love the multi-blue version of the mitts. Gorgeous.

  • http://www.spauley.etsy.com/ Spauley54

    Amazing. You have such great ideeas and lots of patience.

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