Holothurian 2 is a convertible shrug/cowl/miniscarf with a simple lace-and-texture motif. Buttons create oddly charming short sleeves, or can be used in place of shawl pins to style Holothurian 2 as a scarf.
This pattern is on sale through October 6th, 2019, for 20% off its listed price. The discount is taken automatically at checkout, with no coupon code needed.
I’m also working on a couple of things which incorporate techniques (well, the main technique. The technique, maybe) from the Kemmerer Cowl (which may be my favorite cowl this year, so far, although the Trinity Lace and Columnar Jointing designs have been a lot more popular). At first, I was trying to work it from memory, and it turns out that you really cannot slip the last stitch, pick up the next stitch, and psso for the same effect; my weird convoluted special method is actually necessary to get the raised look I wanted. So, well, I’m reknitting that.
The last thing on the agenda is probably a one-two combination: I need to start using my actual official site that cost money, because at present, it is not covering its own costs, mostly because I got weird and retreated to this free, effectively-pretend-it’s-lower-stakes blog, and I need to figure out how to do some sort of sample sale, because I have slightly too many knitted samples. This is complicated somewhat by the fact that my audience here is entirely made up of people who can knit their own of anything I can knit, who basically are the last people who’d need or even want an existing knitted thing, but it’s still probably necessary to do something along those lines before winter. So that’s the “o no” part. O no!
Obligatory Trinity Lace cowl promotional post! It’s a cowl. I would knit it again, but maybe in a bulkier woolier yarn. The owlfeather look of this yarn always appeals to me, though, and I like the way it highlights the lace panel a bit.
(This is probably going to be Trinity Lace aka Trinity Stitch cowl, since it turns out there is another Trinity Stitch cowl. It’s a different trinity stitch, though, and the designs are very different. It just makes it easier to link up your projects with the pattern page if I change the name.)
The sample is made from a bulkier yarn (Lion Brand Scarfie), but it could be knit at the same looser gauge in the same worsted yarn you use for the Columnar Jointing hat, in order to get a better match. It would also look neat in a bulkier luxury yarn; I’m really anxious to knit it or one of its companion pieces in something like Malabrigo Mecha or Rastita. It’ll look amazing, but it will also increase the project costs by quite a bit.
While I like (obviously) how the cowl turned out, and generally like the I get results from the yarn, which I’ve purchased several times, I have some wild mixed feelings about buying synthetic yarns. My yarn-snob qualities are kind of all over the place—I like luxe yarns, and if I could, nearly all my yarn would be madtosh and malabrigo and other fancy things I’ve never even tried yet, but I have learned that there are good-quality acrylics! You cannot really knit a baby a sweater from your favorite sturdy sock yarn if you want the baby to like wool, because that yarn is not soft and wears like iron, and babies get the soft sock yarn! Most big-box craft stores carry at least one decent 100% wool, and stitch patterns really pop in that Patons Classic blue-green color.
And the main thing, lately, is expense: if I need to knit a prototype and can do it for $12 or $31, and the longterm goal is to make money and continue to make new designs so the project itself is sustainable for me, it can be very hard to justify that extra $19 (usually plus shipping). I have a lot of basic wool, so I’m mainly using that and not often buying anything new in the first place, but not very much that is soft enough to recommend for cowls.
But at the same time—dude, I won’t buy a fancy-camping performance fleece jacket anymore because of the microplastics I know it’s gonna shed; I wanted a couple of cheap sweaters (one was a tiny moss stitch in a dark green; it was nice) last spring, as they would have fit with the decent minimalist wardrobe goal, but I think they were mostly acrylic and I could, you know, knit one almost as fine, and at least 75% less plastic,* if not all-wool and completely biodegradable. My wardrobe incorporates a lot of wool, all year round; I darn small holes in my hiking socks—and while I’m doing all that, and feeling massive guilt because I bought two skeins of pretty plastic yarn that will suit someone with a wool sensitivity really well, someone else organized a yarn bombing in a local park, and basically probably outdid my lifetime footprint of throwing acrylic microbits out into the world specifically via yarn over the course of a weekend.
(I also feel bad for not wholeheartedly liking yarn bombing, but reader, it made me feel really odd and slightly embarrassed, like someone will see me walking the dog and looking stunned and be like AHA YOU DID THIS YOU ARE ONE OF THE YARN PEOPLE. Some of it—a lot of it—was really well-made, but I guess in the end I just do not like the medium; seeing a lot of acrylic yarn on a tree gives me Feelings, but probably not the right ones, probably not the intended sense of whimsy. After three weeks, once they’re gritty and a little melded together, do you pry those really good grannie squares off a tree and make a blanket? If it has to be on a tree to be art, is it still art when some kid rips it down? Those bench-leg socks are very cool, but dost thou even have a dog, bro? Because oh man. I didn’t let my dog, but when you take the installation down, please, please wear gloves.)
So I’m knitting about three acrylic or acrylic-blend cowls this year for sample purposes, and feeling very keenly aware of my own hypocrisy. The projects almost fit my sense of justification—there are people who don’t want or use wool, so this pretty acrylic would totally make sense for them! And I’ll do a sock blend for my own personal use because the socks will last better, for example. I’m not to the point of living in a cottage with 100% wool handmade sweaters and all-wool socks that I darn every season; I am definitely not pure or to the goal or even sure what the goal is, yet. And for those who don’t turn into a self-questioning mess and like acrylics, one treasured handmade acrylic cowl you’ve done yourself is so much better than buying six not-quite-right acrylic pieces over a season.
In the end, this allows me to finish my work now, when it needs to be done. If the designs go over well enough to allow for a winter yarn purchase for the next things, I’ll make some dramatically different yarn-choices. But for now, I’m pretty self-aware, and not too well-cushioned by how at least I’m making accessories; I was never really in the market to buy a bunch of mass-produced acrylic scarves this year anyway. This increases my tiny plastic particles responsibility; it doesn’t keep it neutral or reduce it.
In conclusion, that’s how you alienate Lion Brand! Hooray!
*My personal favorite sock yarn really is Patons Kroy, which is like 75% wool, 25% plastic, and not soft, but pretty durable. I have some socks I knit from it. I have personal sweater-ambitions, too, but basically no time to fulfill them.
But I haven’t been entirely letting the grass grow under my feet, and I have a series of patterns almost ready to release for Fall 2019.
They’re tangentially related in a way I like, and I’ve noticed, as I apply finishing touches (and entirely new schematics in one case, because the original seemed to state that the circumference and the flat-measured half-circumference of a hat were the same measurement), that several of them share a technique: picking up stitches.
Picking Up Stitches.
Picking up stitches is easy! After you’ve picked up a few, the points where you’re meant to pick up a stitch seem to stand out, and hooking a couple of new stitches from the bumps in a cable cast-on row feels—to me at least— repetitive and simple. To pick up a stitch on a right side (RS) row, just insert the needle-tip in the cast-on loop, pull yarn through, and leave this on the needle as a new stitch. It’s the same each time.
In fact, it’s the same always, at least for this handful of upcoming patterns. You always pick up stitches from the public side of the knitting, or the right side (RS).
The only thing that might be weird, the only thing that I think warrants an extra note and a whole post about it, is that these designs ask you to pick up stitches on alternating RS and wrong side (WS) rows—and you always pick up stitches from the right side, even when the row is a wrong side row.
To pick up stitches from the wrong side (WS), bring your needle tip through the cast-on bump (or the leg(s) of the selvedge stitch, depending on what the pattern asks; for a lot of these, you’ll be picking up stitches from selvedge loops) from the right side (RS). Pull the yarn through from back—the side of the fabric facing you, since this is a WS row—and leave the loop on the needle.
Do the same for the next stitch—or as many stitches as the pattern calls for. This is the same each time, too.
Picking up stitches from the public side of the work keeps the little faux-seam of the pickup edge hidden, and makes the join on the public-facing side look smoother!
This note applies to lots of new work from me for the coming weeks, so I’ll try to append a list of designs that use this as they’re available.