P B K | Pink Brutus Knits

Pink Brutus Knits Blog

Pattern drudgery & a sneak peek!

It probably seems like I've fallen off, but there is much happening; the untold, secret life of design.  I decided to work up a small collection of patterns and self-publish - my goal was to have all pieces ready to roll out at the end of August, but mid-August seems to have come upon us and I'm still knitting one sample and finishing three patterns.  Sigh.  Such is life when life is being lived.  However, I'm excited to share these little darlings and so I've included some sneaky peeks at one of them here.

Knit in Zealana Air Lace using just 3 balls and large needles, this is a quickie.  

The #realtimesweaterproject sweater on the other hand is not a quickie.  And yes, it's going to be included in this collection also! If I can ever get it finished.  I'm on to the sleeves - and mostly done with the first one ta-boot, but you know... sleeves. Even though there is still much to do to get these patterns out, I'm already mulling over what I want to be knitting next.  Why not?  No matter how tedious a knit, as soon as its on the blocking mat I despair.  I'm a full-blown introvert and without busy hands and a busy mind, I might have to talk to people and we can't have that.

pattern release catch-up!

It's almost stupid to say (or think, or feel), but sometimes getting back into the world where my feet are planted and I can feel gravity pull is an enrichment.  Online life is big; sometimes too big.  Living without sharing the living has a catch, because I love looking back to remember the smells and feelings of days past... and so I seek balance in this as I do with all things.

I took a few months off from submitting design work because, again, I needed to feel gravity pulling me.  I needed to slow down and really feel it.  I'm one that can't have idle hands, so it was a challenge - but also because I knew how much potential income I was letting go of.  BUT, you see, that time off filled me up.  I'm ready to start moving again and reacquaint myself with a manageable pace. 

During my brief retreat, a few really lovely patterns were released.  First, my Cruz shawl in Interweave Knits Summer.

Next, I was so fortunate to have a design included in Berroco Portfolio Vol 2 - the Hoehne Vest.  I love this & Berroco is hosting a KAL, but they're asking for knitters to vote for the piece that will be worked!  HERE is a link to voting (closes Jul 19th)

Finally, I managed to have two hats in the new Interweave book, The Knitted Hat Book. The first is a simple lace beanie with a latvian braid band (Thistle Lace Beret); the other a delicate lace kerchief hat worked in a scrumptious silk (Sunshine Lace Kerchief).

There are still a few patterns queued up for release, but my next post will be completely knitting-free and full of obnoxious photos from our summer trip.  You've been warned ;)

Dorchester Pullover

Interweave Knits SPRING 2016 issue.  This pullover was such a departure from my usual design style/aesthetic, but I loved the process and the end product.  I'm not really one for knitting modular-style garments; it makes me think of the 90's vests worked up in variegated yarns and pieced together mitered squares... you know what I'm talking about.  However, we modern knitters have been knitting modular garments and accessories that are far from those "classics"!  I started with nailing down a shape to focus on as my small modular piece that would be my building block.  I wasn't too keen on the idea of a simple scallop, so I just threw in some simple stockinette triangles.  Bam. A new layer of texture and dimension was born.

The real departure for me though was the construction.  This pullover is actually SEAMED.  I know, shocking. The front panel of modular scallops is worked in once piece, then the body is worked flat in once piece from the bottom up, and the sleeves are worked in the round from the cuff up before continuing flat for the raglan shaping.  I wrote the pattern with a slipped stitch selvedge on the body and raglan sections and had initially included seaming instructions for the crochet join.  Somehow these instructions didn't make the final cut in editing.  Sigh.

So, why the crochet join?  It's fast.  It's sturdy.  It allows stretch and flexibility.  If you've never worked up a crochet join or if the word "crochet" makes your knitterly bones shudder, here is a link to a great tutorial.  The instructions for the crochet join are the very last post in the article, so scroll on down.  

Now, the sweater sample for the magazine is obviously worked in a single color - however, the way the piece is constructed leaves a lot of room for color creativity.  The first and easiest way to add a pop of color is to knit the modular pieces in one color and the remaining pieces in another.  What about using an ombre yarn for the modular pieces?  I doodled a little Dorchester Pullover and considered a 3 color version.  If you were so inclined to knit this sweater, and to use this 3 color concept, this is how it would be done:

First, use color A (in the sketch I used a gold color) for the modular pieces.  Then, use color B (peachy color) to cast on and knit the bottom hem of the sweater, and the cuffs of the sleeves.  Change to color C (poppy color) to knit the body and raglan sections of sweater and the sleeves.  Finally, after seaming, pick up and knit the neckline using color B (peachy color).

I look forward to seeing all of the Dorchesters that have yet to be imagined!


Feel Good Yarn Co Designer of the month

Because life seems crazy right now, and I'm easing into a new, generally slower, and more thoughtful pace, I haven't found a moment to speak about a lovely new project that I was so honored to be a part of this year.  In case you haven't heard, Feel Good Yarn Co is taking on 2016 with a Designer of the Month program.  Each month will feature an interview with a designer, then follow it up with a pattern by said designer written specifically for SilverSpun yarn.

When Laurie first reached out to me about designing a pattern with one of her lovely yarns, I was pretty pumped to say the least.  I had written a review of the SilverSpun sock yarn a while back and was looking forward to another opportunity to not only get my hands on that stuff again, but to push the limits of the yarn further than I had before.  It was no surprise that the sample flew off the needles at a record pace - and now, I'm at the cusp of being able to share it with you.

Laurie has posted a brief designer interview (find it HERE) and tomorrow, the pattern will be available for purchase on Ravelry, and to FGYCo subscribers.  I'm so happy to be a part of her Designer of the Month program this year, but my joy is partly eclipsed by my excitement to see what is to come.  I've seen the designer line-up and.... it's going to be amazing.

Imperial Yarn Kit | Deb Newton KAL

If you've been following along on Instagram, you've seen me post the Chain Stitch Slouchy Hat (KIT, PATTERN).  I really enjoyed knitting up this pattern - and the yarn is perfectly light, soft, and warm.  The Deb Newton KAL will continue through the month of January so there's still time to join!! Check out my review HERE, and I hope to see your KAL contribution soon!

the ends and beginnings

Year's end is always chaotic despite our desperation to hold onto and savor each and every quiet, sweet, and joyful moment.  This past holiday, my oldest was with her dad on Christmas morning, and Mae couldn't be held back from her gifts by things like Daddy being present!  By the time he made it down the stairs, nearly every package was stripped bare.  I want to dig in my heels and stop time.  How many more years will she leave notes like this for her favorite guy?  How much more magic is lingering in the world for her?

It's the burden of growing older for both of us.

Welcoming the new year means another mantra and I've known what it was going to be for weeks.  December was especially hard for me on the work front, and mustering motivation to buckle down... HA!  It was non-existent.   I've always had a strong work ethic - I felt like the lack of motivation (or maybe even downright disinterest) was a sign that my creative energy was jammed up and I needed a break.  I didn't let my eyes fall on an email or pattern.  I cleaned - man, I cleaned a lot.  I spent time with the girls.  I spent time with myself.  However, I can't live with my head in the sand.  Today was the first Monday of the year and I set the new mantra into action.  

"Practice diligence as if it is an art form."

Diligence is as broad as any of my other mantras, yet it seems slippery.  I will have to come at it from different angles.

Wishing everyone luck and love in 2016 xo

Family-Friendly Tour!

The task of self-promotion was a daunting one and so the mere concept of approaching anyone for this itty-bitty tour of mine had my stomach in knots.  It's a funny thing considering I'd formed some sort of connection with each of these lovely women in various forms over the past few years.  The introduction of blogging and social media has brought "us" together in surprising ways that I'm  grateful for.  I've said before that I'm better on the page and the online domain has made it possible for me to share more or less about who I really am when face-to-face interactions often cause me to become an observer rather than a participant.

The women I approached were ones that truly embodied the spirit I had envisioned when I started out on this journey.  They are passionate mothers and craftswomen that wear their knits and value utilitarian pieces for their families.  I was honored that each and every one of them was willing to take the time to be a part of this tour.

These ladies will introduce readers to the book in their own way on each of their blogs, then direct folks to Instagram for a chance to win a signed copy of the book using hashtag #FFKGiveaway.

I invite you to follow along and visit every stop for a chance to win each day:

Tuesday, Dec 8

Andrea Mowry - dreareneeknits (IG) - Deadline for entries: Fri, Dec 18 @ 11:59pm EST

Wednesday, Dec 9

Julie Letowski  - homesweethomestead (IG) - Deadline for entries: Wed, Dec 16 @ 11:59pm EST

Thursday, Dec 10

Annie Claire - byannieclaire (IG) - Deadline for entries: Thur, Dec 17 @ 11:59pm EST

Friday, Dec 11

Lori Graham  - loritimesfive (IG) - Deadline for entries: Tues, Dec 15 @ 11:59pm EST

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Planet Purl Live!?

Okay, you guys.  You know I'm a total nerd when it comes to interviews and I get nice and weird (and I know you saw that rat get stuck in my hair on that YarnTalk episode!)... however, because I am totally devoted to promoting my book, I'm going to subject myself to a Planet Purl party line interview for your pleasure (and possibly amusement).

The event will take place on November, 18 at Noon EST.  You can subscribe to the party line and join in on the cast - head on over to Planet Purl for all the information you need to get involved!