November 20, 2015

In Triplicate 1-color pattern: Directrix

Quick unrelated note for if you’re reading this post when it’s new:  The Indie Design Gift-a-Long just started, and it runs through the end of the year; you can get 20 of my patterns for 25% off through November 27th.  See the GAL ravelry group for details (and to see patterns by all 335 participating designers!) and check out my gift-a-long bundle on my designer page to see my on-sale patterns; ALL my patterns are eligible for gift-a-long knitting!!

Directrix, by Lee

And now for the final of my 3 In Triplicate patterns: Directrix the 1-color hat.  (The first two were Transversal 2-color wrap, blogged here, and Incenter 3-color mittens, blogged here, and the full 9-pattern collaborative collection was blogged here.)  Directrix is a really fun modular knit, with a squishy garter stitch base.

Directrix, by Lee

It works well with a pom-pom, which you can use to add a pop of some other color(s) if you want to!

pom-poms!

We had fun putting different pom-poms on all the In Triplicate hats – we made a bunch and let all the hats try on different ones during the photoshoot.  (See Line Segment and Lemma hats to see all the poms!)

Directrix, by Lee

Directrix is sized to be able to pull it down for maximum ear/forehead warmth, or to wear more slouched back, which works great with a pom-pom.  The height is totally adjustable, if you want to add more slouch height, or subtract a bit of height so it wears more fitted to the head.  And the circumference has three sizes – my sample is a size medium.

Directrix, by Lee

Since the bottom chevron section is worked sideways, you can try it on around your head to know when you’ve reached your ideal size, stretching it more if you want a snug fit, or stretching less if you want a looser, slouchier kind of fit.

Directrix, by Lee

The chevron pattern is made with increases and decreases, to make the bias garter stitch base, and slipped stitches to make the raised chevron lines – no cables, just slips!  You’ll pull the yarn tightly across the back when slipping to make the stitches pop up off the base like that.  Using a semi-solid kind of colorway is ideal, so that the color shows the movement of the garter stitch lines, going the opposite way from the chevron lines.

Directrix, by Lee

The hat is made modularly with no picked up stitches or seaming!  Start with a provisional cast-on, work the sideways section with stitches left along the top edge for later; when you reach your size, close it up with a 3-needle bind-off, then work around those top edge stitches, and in the round from there up to the top.

Directrix in multi-colors

I had some extra leftovers of my In Triplicate yarns, so I decided to make another Directrix in multiple colors, as an experiment – I think it worked out very well!  I added pink and yellow stripes to the grey base in the first section: rows 29&4 in pink, rows 5&6 in yellow, and rows 7&8 in pink, on every repeat.  I weaved (wove?) in the ends as I knit, to prevent so much ends-weaving finishing work.

3-color Directrix

And then I switched every row between grey and pink throughout the body and crown sections – the all-knit rows in grey, and the rows with purls in pink.  (All these notes are in my ravelry project page, in case you want to use them later.)  I took a few quickie snapshots after blocking it:

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

This is the size large, so it’s comfortably loose on me, but not too big, since it’s nicely stretchy.  If you want a REALLY large size hat, I’d recommend going up to worsted/aran weight, since this large size in DK weight is not super large.  (Pattern includes sizing/measurement info.)

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

I love how the crown looks in the 2 colors.  As you can see, it can be worn more pulled down, or more slouched back, but I think it would really benefit from a pom-pom weighing it down a bit in the slouched back position.  I might need to add one!

Directrix, by Lee

So that’s Directrix, and that concludes my In Triplicate blog posts!  I also posted a mini-tumblr-post here about yarn trio choices; and you can see the Blue Moon Fiber Arts post about the collection here, and Shannon’s posts here (whole collection) and here (her patterns)!

Directrix, by Lee

Oh but wait, now that you’ve seen everything, a little more about yarn-usage.  With my 3 skeins of Blue Moon Gaea Sport, I made my 3 sample items + the extra Directrix (all below), plus those 3 big pom-poms pictured above, plus I had enough left of the pink for another hat, and a good chunk still left over (more pom-poms?).  That’s A LOT of items out of 3 skeins of yarn (they are large skeins!).

In Triplicate! Directrix in multi-colors

You get 10% off your order of 3 skeins of the yarn when you buy the collection, in your choice of any 3 colors (see lots of gorgeous options here – some of my favorites are shown below) through January; use the 3 skeins to make up to EIGHT of the In Triplicate patterns!  The collection includes some spreadsheets of different ways you can maximize your yarn if you want to nerd out with planning your projects.  You can also just start knitting, and keep making project after project after project until it runs out.  Be adventurous with adding stripes to things or using multiple colors in different ways in order to truly maximize every last bit!

BMFA Yarn Trios for In Triplicate

Our In Triplicate holiday knit-a-long (in the ravelry group) will begin in December, so get your yarn ready, share your color choices with the group, and post your projects to win prizes later on!  (You can totally make In Triplicate projects for the gift-a-long and cross-post them to the In Triplicate KAL!)  I can’t wait to see your color choices!!

Filed under: collaborations,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 1:29 pm

November 17, 2015

In Triplicate 3-color pattern: Incenter mittens

Incenter, by Lee

My In Triplicate pattern for the hands is Incenter (yesterday I showed you my neck thing: Transversal; a few days earlier I told you all about the In Triplicate collection).  These mittens have a really fun garter stitch construction, worked sideways across the hand, short rows making the triangular color blocks in the centers.

Incenter, by Lee

The hands are one size, which is one-size-fits-most-adults size, but the thumbs (and gussets) are placed and sized to fit your hand.  So, if you have long fingers, the thumb goes further down the hand; shorter fingers, higher up placement.  And the height of the gusset and circumference/length of the thumb is all sized for the best fit.

Incenter, by Lee

The pattern gives small/medium/large size stitch counts for all the thumb/gusset numbers; you can use stitch counts besides the numbers given to get a more precise fit as needed.  The stitch counts for the placement and gusset can be any numbers, as long as they match on the two sides where the mitten comes together, and the thumb circumference can be any number – you can try it on as you go to fit it to your hand, or just use the small/medium/large numbers if gift knitting.

Incenter, by Lee

Because of the garter stitch fabric, they are nice and stretchy and should fit most adult hands well, but you can make size adjustments by changing up the gauge / yarn weight.  You should be able to make kid size mittens by dropping down to a sport weight I’d guess.  They are designed in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Gaea Sport, which is DK weight (same as all the In Triplicate patterns), on size US 5 needles for a nice dense, squishy gauge.  Sizing/gauge details are in the pattern.  Size adjustment note: always work at a dense gauge for a nice mitten fabric (so if you want them larger, don’t just use the DK weight yarn on bigger needles, making a looser fabric; instead, go up in weight to a worsted/aran, and use small enough needles to get a dense gauge).

Incenter, by Lee

Incenter’s sideways construction starts opposite the thumb (beginning with Judy’s Magic Cast-on), with rows worked all the way around, from the bottom edge on one side, up to the top, then around the top and down the other side to the bottom edge.  But the design is made with short rows, so most rows do not actually go all the way from one edge to the other, rather from partway up one side to partway down the other side.  The triangles sections are worked on one side only, again with short rows to make the shapes – you’ll do the whole 2-color triangle design on one side, then the whole thing on the other side

Incenter mitten in progress

Then you’ll go back to working around both sides for the thumb side section, which is like a mirror image of the first section.  Once the main mitten body is complete, the side stitches above and below the thumb are grafted closed with kitchener stitch, and the thumb is worked in the round, decreases shaping the gusset.  There’s no seaming, except for closing up a couple of small holes with the yarn tails.  The pattern includes a page of process photos (like the one above) taking you through all the sections.

Incenter, by Lee

The left+right hand mittens are identical except for the triangle colors flipping sides – the contrasting colors are each used on the outside of the triangle on one side, and on the inside triangle on the other side.  Since they’re identical, you can wear them on either hand, so you can change up which is the top color.

Incenter, by Lee

And if you want to use this pattern as a leftover scrap-busting project, you can venture outside the pattern color instructions and do something like what I’m doing with the mitten below – that’s the 2 sides of one mitten.  So I started with the green for the first section, then basically every time the pattern switched colors, I switched to a different new color, to use all these little mini-ball leftovers of Infinite Twist Helix I had in my leftover stash (mostly from Krewe).  I’m planning on making the second mitten match the first.  You can see a bit more about this project in my ravelry projects.

6-color Incenter in Helix 6-color Incenter in Helix

In geometry, the incenter of a triangle is the triangle’s center point; the tip of the smaller inner triangle of this mitten hits the center of the larger triangle (also the center of the mitten itself).  I don’t think I actually mentioned this in the collection post, but all of our In Triplicate patterns are named after geometry terms.

Incenter, by Lee

So that’s Incenter!  This design took me awhile to figure out, a couple of failed attempts came before the final version, but it was all worth it because I LOVE this design, and the pattern, and I think they are really fun and satisfying to make, to watch come together.  I hope you love them too!

Filed under: collaborations,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 9:58 am

November 16, 2015

In Triplicate 2-color pattern: Transversal wrap/scarf

Transversal, by Lee

So, last post I told you all about the In Triplicate collection, generally; now here’s one of my patterns from it – Transversal is a big rectangle, which can be made wide as a wrap (like my sample), or narrow as a scarf if you prefer.

Transversal, by Lee

Like all the In Triplicate patterns, this is designed in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Gaea Sport yarn, which is DK weight – colors Ochroid and Mica.  It’s made on size US 5 needles for a pretty dense gauge, making a nice squishy, warm piece.  My sample is about 16 inches wide, 48 inches long, nice for wrapping around the neck and shoulders…

Transversal, by Lee

Could definitely be worn with a shawl pin if you like…

Transversal, by Lee

Or it can be folded in half for a double-thickness extra squishy scarf.

Transversal, by Lee

Here’s a closeup of the stitch patterns.  It features a nice looking curled slip-stitch edging, and a textured 2-color lace pattern panel running diagonally over a garter stitch striped base, starting at one corner, and then up along the edge once it hits the other side.  Once the panel is straight along the side, you can just keep on working until your yarn just about runs out, maximizing your yardage to make your piece as long as possible.

Transversal, by Lee

Here it is flat, my large size sample.  The pattern is written for small/medium/large, which are all the same length (for yardage estimation purposes – in reality, you can make any size any length) – the small size is half the width of the large (so about 8 inches) and the medium is between them (12 inches).  The panel width changes to be more narrow for the smaller sizes, proportionately.

Transversal, by Lee

You know how I love pattern flexibility, so I have to tell you, while this is written for this particular yarn, in this one gauge, it can totally be made in any weight, any gauge.  It’s just a big rectangle, after all, the most versatile of knitted things.  The pattern includes notes on how to make any size, with any weight (basically: cast on any number of stitches, and adjust panel stitches accordingly, but there are some more details in the pattern).

Transversal, by Lee

The whole pattern is written and charted.  It’s a pretty easy-to-remember repeat pattern – if you pay attention to what you’re doing for the first few repeats, you should be able to knit most of the piece without needing to look at the pattern.

Transversal, by Lee

I would LOVE to see this knit up in different kinds of colors – I am super happy with how it looks in these two kind of similar-tone colorways, but I imagine it looking awesome in really contrasting colors!

Transversal, by Lee

While this project is definitely on the large end of the scale of things I knit (780 yards total for this large size piece), the pattern is definitely on the short end of the scale of patterns I create – 5 pages total, including the cover page.  That’s so short for me!  The pattern written+charted and abbreviations takes up 3 pages, so that’s just 1 short page of notes (and photos), so short!  So yeah, simpler than most of my designs for sure, since the construction is just a flat rectangle.

Transversal, by Lee

That’s Transversal!  Can’t think of any more to say about it.  I really love the finished item, and will definitely be wearing it this winter.  Soft, squishy yarn, grellow garter stitch stripes, and a cool looking textured stitch pattern, can’t go wrong with that!

In Triplicate!

Next I’ll be posting about Incenter and Directrix!  See all 9 In Triplicate patterns here, and join the ravelry group to chat about color options and join the knit-a-long in December!

Filed under: collaborations,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 6:20 pm

November 12, 2015

In Triplicate!

New collection!  In Triplicate is a collaboration between me, Star Athena, Shannon Squire, and Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  There are 9 patterns, and they are all designed in the same yarn – Gaea Sport – in the same 3 colorways (Ochroid, Mica, and Lover’s Leap).

In Triplicate collection

I will be posting about each of my 3 patterns separately (left column above: Directrix, TransversalIncenter); today, I’ll just tell you the story of how our collection was built…

But first, I will say some basics: each of the 3 of us got 1 skein of each of the 3 colors – these skeins are LARGE (560 yards each).  We used our 3 skeins to design 3 things; we all ended up with leftovers after our initial 3 samples were done.  So, you can get 3 skeins of your own and use the collection to make MANY of the things!  We even included a page of spreadsheets that show you how to maximize your yarn – if you plan carefully, you can make up to EIGHT of the items with the 3 skeins!  Or, you can skip the careful planning, make a bunch of hats and mitts no problem, and then see about squeezing out a neck thing with whatever you have left; or make your favorite neck thing first, as big as you want, then use the rest to make some hats/mitts.  Point is, with the 3 skeins and 9 patterns, you can make lots of things… I have this vision of knitters making something for every member of their family with the same 3 colors, different items for each person, but all matching/coordinating, and it’s so cute in my head!  You should do it, and take a holiday photo with everyone wearing their things, and post a comment here to show me because I want to see how cute you are!

Okay I went off on a matching-knitwear fantasy there, sorry about that… So, yeah, maximize your yardage, make all the things.

In Triplicate!

The full 9-pattern collection is $20, and each individual pattern is available solo for $5.  They are all in the Gaea Sport, which is actually a DK weight yarn (according to ravelry – I think it even knits up like a light worsted, but I guess light worsted is basically the same as DK, right? Oh, yarn weight labels, so arbitrary!).

If you buy the collection before December 15th, it will include a 10% off coupon code for 3 skeins of Gaea Sport, in your choice of any 3 colors!  Aaaand, there will be a knit-a-long starting in December, with prizes to be won, in our new In Triplicate ravelry group!  (Side note: if you’re a Gift-a-Long knitter, the collection patterns will be eligible for that as well!)

In Triplicate!

Now, more about what In Triplicate is, and how it came to be!  Shannon, Star, and I each designed a head accessory, a hand accessory, and a neck accessory.  One of each of these is in 1 color, 1 is in 2 colors, and 1 is in 3 colors – that goes for both the 3 designs by one designer, and for the 3 designs of one accessory type.

THIS is the idea that Star, Vivian Aubrey (pictured below with me), and I came up with oh so many years ago (5 years? I think?) on a day trip to Black Sheep Fiber Festival in Eugene (I mentioned it very briefly here).  During lunch and in the car ride, we excitedly developed this idea – I think we even drew up a spreadsheet on a napkin over pizza.  Well, we might not have actually drawn it on a napkin (it was probably a notebook), but there was definitely pizza, I remember that!

Me + Vivian!

So, that was back when Vivian was designing more, and we three were planning to make this happen for several years, until finally one day this spring Star and I got talking about it, and we knew Vivian wouldn’t mind us rolling with it because she had really gone off and become an awesome knitwear photographer and hadn’t been focusing on designing in years… When we started building the collection this year, we had planned to have the photography done by Vivian, but due to jam-packed schedules and deadlines we sadly were not able to make that happen.  This was a bummer, but we so appreciate Vivian’s original part in the concept development!!

Vivian + Star!

After we got the okay from Vivian to go off and find a new third designer, we immediately knew our first choice was Shannon, local Portland designer and long-time knitting scene buddy of ours.  So we arranged a secret meeting (I think Star texted her something like, “we have a proposition for you”), and she was instantly on board!

In Triplicate!

Next was deciding on a yarn – a big decision since the entire collection would be in the same yarn!  We wanted to love it, we wanted it we be pretty versatile, have beautiful colorways, and we were really hoping it could be local… It just so happens that Shannon (Star too, actually) had worked a ton with Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which fit ALL the criteria!  So that decision ended up being super easy!  Tina was immediately on board as well, and she met up with us at Shannon’s house with an enormous box of colors.

color trios for In Triplicate collection

We had pretty much the BEST time ever playing with yarn colors for hours, trio-ing (like pairing, but with threes, right?) the colors up.  There were about 100 colors total, and we just started grouping them into sets of three:

color trios for In Triplicate collection

And then we twisted all the trios together:

color trios for In Triplicate collection

I really love colors.  This was an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I am not exaggerating at all, seriously, best time.  We made dozens of trio combos – these were our favorites:

yarn trio possibilities for In Triplicate

Update! A Blue Moon blog post just went up with much better photos of all our favorite color combos, and I put up a tumblr post of my personal favorites here!

The point was to make lots of fun combos that would work well, so we could show you ideas for your own color threesomes, and also to find our #1 favorite, to actually use for the whole collection.  Well, sometime near the beginning of the process, someone, Star? – that whole afternoon is really kind of a blur, I think I was high on color? – held up these three together, and they just POPPED.

color trios for In Triplicate collection

Like, magic.  All four of us were like, whoa, yes, I never would have thought “let’s do our collection in yellow, grey, and HOT pink” but dude, you guys, these three colors look AMAZING together.  I even documented when Shannon twisted them together for the first time, above, because we knew, these are our colors.

In Triplicate yarns!

So that was it.  None of our couple dozen other combos could beat it – of course, there were many that we REALLY loved, but we had our pick.  One of the best things about this collection’s release will be getting to see the patterns worked up in totally different colorways!  I’d love to see the designs in something like orange, aqua, and olive green… or black, white, and grey… or red, turquoise, and light grey… If you choose three colors with one being neutral-ish, one being really bright, and the third kind of a muted color, you have yourself a color trio!  So many possibilities!

In Triplicate yarns!

So next, we designed and knit the things!  We had tea meetings, brainstorming email chains, late-night texts, problems to be solved… the collaboration process was so cool!  I’m such a solo worker normally, it was great to have other people’s ideas bouncing around with mine, changing my design directions, giving me focus with my designs, so that the collection could really be cohesive and not just 9 random patterns.

In triplicate

When we first started, we were just like… 3 accessories, 3 colors, we’ll see where it goes… but then once we had some ideas sketched and swatched, we starting seeing common threads and rolling with that.  So we ended up with a few design themes: geometry-inspiration (bold lines and shapes, stuff like that), slipped stitches, garter stitch, texture.  Not all 9 patterns have all these elements, but they show up over and over throughout the collection.

In Triplicate!

Once we had our designs/samples done, or nearly done, it was time to figure out more collection specifics.  We decided not do a print version, and to release the collection as 9 individual pdfs (instead of an actual 1-file ebook) – we’re planning on having the collection be available as a collection through the end of 2016, and then we’ll just each have our own individual patterns available.  We divvied up the tasks, and I acted as graphic designer for the collection – here’s a glimpse at a pattern cover.  I made a custom In Triplicate font!

In Triplicate pdf preview

Star made drawings and doodles to use throughout all the patterns – both knitting and geometry themed.  They add so much awesomeness to the patterns!  LOVE them!

In Triplicate pdf peek

Early on, we grabbed the domain name intriplicatecollection.com on an impulse, but then kind of realized we didn’t really need it, since the collection would just exist on ravelry… but we had it, so, I took Star’s drawings and threw this webpage together just for fun!  It’ll just exist during the time that the collection is available; go check it out!

In Triplicate webpage screenshot

With everything almost ready for release, it was photoshoot time!  We gathered at Portland State University to get some good vaguely geometry-themed backgrounds, and with me as the main photographer and my husband as assistant, we modeled the heck out of our designs!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

Of course there was other boring stuff involved, like LOTS of editing – we all edited each others’ patterns first, then sent them off to a pro tech editor to make them as perfect as possible.  It was fun building the pdfs because I got to see how different we 3 designers are.  My patterns are the longest (but not CRAZY long like some of my older patterns – these range 5-8 pages total) even though I thought I was trying to design simple things, comparatively simple I guess.  It’s just how my designing mind works.  None of my patterns are hard though, really!  They just have multiple sections and stuff that takes up a bit of space… they are all really fun to make!  Anyway…

In Triplicate!

I’ll show you my designs in detail next week.  Do check out the others though!  I love all 9 patterns, but I really especially love Shannon’s Trisectrix shawl (big holes and asymmetry!), the texture of Shannon’s Point of Symmetry mitts and Star’s Lemma hat, and the smart+creative simplicity of Star’s Abscissa mitts.

In Triplicate!

I can’t wait to start seeing In Triplicate knits popping up – be sure to post photos in your ravelry projects so we can admire them!  Happy knitting, times three!

Filed under: collaborations,hats,knitting,self-publishing,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 1:25 pm
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