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Game Knitting

ebook self-published in October 2009: $9

From the ebook:

If you love both knitting and playing games, maybe you've wished you could somehow do both at the same time. Sure, you can knit a few rows while waiting for a Scrabble player to figure out their move, but it's a bit trickier to work your needles and hold a hand of cards simultaneously. Well now here's a way you can not just play and knit, but turn your knitting itself into the game! And create a truly one-of-a-kind knit object in the process, defined by the randomness of its design.

Game knitting, as it was invented and played to make the items you see here, is based around TV shows, which means if you don't consider yourself a game lover, but you do have a weakness for television, you too will love game knitting! However, if you want to, some creative thinking can surely move the game away from the screen (and the book includes many ideas).

Game knitting is a concept as opposed to a pattern, which means it can be used to make anything you can knit, as long as it's a simple enough shape. The book features mostly hats, but there are also examples of scarves, mitts, headbands, and cuffs; knit whatever you love most, as it works out best to game knit an object you are familiar with knitting in the first place. As you can knit any shape, you can also game knit with any yarn/needles/gauge. You could even take it further and use the concept in non-knitting projects!

The book includes enough patterns to make over 150 different designs - but the whole point is that you can make up your own patterns and ideas, take it into other items, and your design options truly become infinite!

From the ebook:

The easiest way I've found to describe how game knitting works is this:
You make a list of reoccurring things that happen in a TV show, as if you are going to play a drinking game to the show (drink each time something on the list happens), and you want it to be a crazy night! Which means, if you really were to turn your list into a drinking game, you'd either want to take very small sips of light beer, or you'd be too drunk to play after a couple of episodes. So, once you have this game list, you design a knitting pattern around doing/changing something in your work every time something on the list happens. This may be as simple as switching from knit to purl stitches, or making an eyelet hole, or something a bit more complex, like cabling or turning your work for a short row. Just don't try actually playing a drinking game as you game knit!

Once you get the concept, you can see that it could be used in forms other than playing to TV. Make a list of things that your favorite podcaster is always saying, or things that keep happening in the audio book you're listening to, or things that happen every day on your train commute; anything that you know will happen at some random interval, and you can watch out for while you knit. Now that you know what game knitting is...

Why game knit?

1. It's fun! Especially if you're playing with others (they don't necessarily have to be knitting), so you can all shout out when something on the list happens. Your finished knit item will carry with it the memories of the game playing!

2. Randomness is cool looking! It's hard to make a pattern look random on purpose; game knitting is a way to create a look of chaos (in a good way!) because your pattern really is random.

3. Inspiration! If you are a designer, or want to try knit designing, seeing the way a certain game pattern works up can be great inspiration for new design concepts! It can also be a fun cure for creative block.

While it's perfectly fine (encouraged!) to talk about game knitting and how it works on your blog, etc, even if you don't purchase the ebook, please link to this page when doing so! Thanks! (Creative Commons copyright info at the bottom)

This pattern was posted about on:

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks



Craft Leftovers


Craft: blog


Nuts about Needlepoint

and talked about on the Electric Sheep podcast

The ebook is 65 pages - it was designed for optimal computer screen viewing (large, spaced out font for easy reading) and the pages you may want to print out have smaller pictures, which you can print in grayscale to save on ink. The pages you wouldn't have any reason to print are full of lots of large color photos. The thumbnails below can give you the illusion of flipping through it, and the first few are clickable for a better view...

Besides about 11 base patterns (hats, headbands, mitts, etc) and 18 different game patterns, with tons of variations and notes for how to design your own, the ebook also includes: game lists for 11 TV shows, a list of game list ideas beyond television, how-tos for 3 types of cabling, 2 with no cable needle, instructions for adding ear flaps to any hat, blocking tips, links to other technique tutorials...

find more details in the blog post!

and check it out on ravelry!