Design Files: Evolution of a Cable Pattern

I thought it would be fun to try something new here, a little idea I'm calling Design Files, where we examine a design or finished project and discuss the process, inspiration, and thinking behind the piece.

For my first Design Files, I wanted to take a closer look at the cable I was obsessed with all summer and show you how the stitch pattern evolved and changed over time.

Top: L / TallinR / Nico.
Bottom: L / Baby Jane. R / modified Birch Bay for Summer of Basics.

I first used this cable pattern on the Tallin scarf I designed for our inaugural Tundra Collection, published when the The Fibre Co. Tundra was released in 2012. Over four years later, when brainstorming ideas for The Fibre Co. Arranmore Light, I knew I wanted to work cables with the yarn, as I love the look of the woolen spun tweed with the dimensionality of cables.

I first began with a more traditional aran-style swatch, using the Tallin cable as a starting point, adding panels to either side and filling in with moss stitch. It was too reminiscent of other Aran designs, so I wanted to see what it would look like if I used the main cable in an all-over pattern. I copied and pasted the pattern into a half drop repeat, offsetting the motifs so there was very little space between them. I kept the size of the diamond the same - 17 stitches wide - but lengthened it by 2 rows to 20 so it would fit better into the half drop. The final change was to make the inside of the diamond seed instead of moss stitch. In order to make the all over repeat fit on the flat ground of the scarf, I divided the first and last repeat in half down the middle and ran a 4 stitch cable up the sides. It makes for a really lovely clean edge without feeling as if the all over pattern is cut off in any way.

I knit the original sample of Nico the last month of my pregnancy, and found the repetitive cables to be very relaxing. Once the scarf was complete, I didn't want to say goodbye to the cable, so I modified it even further and reduced the scale so that the main diamond was 15 stitches wide and 16 rounds long to better suit the smaller size of a hat. Instead of the repeat divided down the middle with an edging for the flat scarf, I worked the pattern in an all-over repeat. This requires a little finagling on the cables that cross over the repeat lines, but I created a tutorial for this technique, as it appears on a few of our all over cable patterns.

Once I finished Baby Jane, I still couldn't get enough of the cable pattern, so I used the repeat and edging from the scarf on my Birch Bay!

I really enjoy the swatching and scheming process, starting with an idea and seeing where it ends up. It was nice to apply this particular cable to a few different designs to see how it changes when the scale is adjusted. I really love it in such a high-impact application like the front of a sweater. It would be amazing in an all-over garment, too! 

Meghan's Wee Weaving: Unconventional Materials

By now you've read Mari's post about her experience with the Wee Weaver by Purl and Loop. I was able to pick up a Wee Weaver at the most recent TNNA and was excited to try it. Mari had the idea to make a weaving with unconventional materials and I have to say, I love her weaving! I think Mari took the idea to a really interesting place, finding and using things that every home has tucked away, but one would never guess to use. I was much more conservative in my materials quest and limited my search to funky fibers I found in my stash and studio.  

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Top / unknown linen from a cone, black ribbon, Wee Weaver set, maribou feather boa, my own hand-dyed hand-spun yarn from the Harveyville Yarn School.
Middle / Molly Girl Duet, a cone of yellow Rugby by Mondofil, black nylon cording, unknown raw silk, Navia Tradition.
Bottom / a mohair lock, Habu Pine Paper, a cone of green Rugby by Mondofil, and Buffalo Gold Buffboo.

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In the end, I decided not to use all the yarns in the interest of simplicity. The items that made the cut were the mohair lock, the maribou boa, black nylon cord, the yellow Rugby, some natural cotton/wool (that didn't make it into the earlier photo), and I finished it with some Tundra in Pinkberry and Bearberry. 

This was such a fun experiment! I love this little loom and I can't wait to use it again! 

All images © Linette Kielinski.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Crochet Summer 2017: Crocheting with the kiddo

Some people love summer, but as the mom of a school aged child I am here to say summer is the worst. I love the routine of school, and summer always catapults us into some strange hodgepodge of day camps, all of which seem to require driving at least a half hour in the opposite direction either during rush hour in the morning or before the work day ends in the afternoon.

Sigh.

This month, the camp my middle son has been attending is a 20-30 minute commute each way. My partner usually drives us, so one morning last week I thought that instead of checking work emails on the trip, I’d grab a hook and yarn and show the kiddo how to do a chain stitch. He has learned to knit a few times, with mixed success, and I thought maybe crochet would “click” for him. He naturally wants to hold the yarn in his left hand, so I didn't think crochet would be too terribly difficult.

I was right! He took to it pretty quickly, and over the next few trips he perfected the tension. I told him I wouldn’t show him the next step until he could make a perfect chain – not too tight and not too loose.

Along with the long commute, due to the unfortunate timing of the camp, there are, inevitably, some days here and there where there is a glitch in the schedules and we have an impromptu “Bring Your Child To Work After Camp Day.” (Rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?)

This week had a couple of those days, so my son got to join our office crew for the afternoon! On Monday, he brought his crochet with him (and an iPad, because we can’t keep him from Minecraft for too long). Much to his chagrin, I cut his chain off and handed the hook and yarn back with instructions to chain a scarf’s width of perfect stitches.

I worked the first row of single crochet stitches for him as he watched, and then he tried it. He did a pretty good job, too! He wants to crochet himself a scarf, and if he keeps working on it I’ll be sure to post a follow up this winter!

Now if someone could just invent teleportation and design every day camp to perfectly align with the work day.....