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Pink Brutus Knits
indianapolis, in


Pattern drudgery & a sneak peek!

courtney spainhower

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!

courtney spainhower

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

courtney spainhower

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!