A Subtle Pattern Hit, the Subtle Diamonds Throw

There are times that I undertake a project and later wonder what I was thinking. Sometimes this is because I have bitten off more than I can chew, maybe I hadn’t thought my plan through enough, or maybe my timetable really will not allow for what I think it would. Yet with some perseverance it all comes out in the end. So when I took on the challenge of the Subtle Diamonds Throw I should have already been aware of my own pitfalls, but I jumped in anyway.

The challenge of Subtle Diamonds was really of my own creating, as it was designed as a challenge, could I create an afghan from a few skeins of hand dyed yarns. Some may think this really isn’t a challenge, yarn is yarn, and you are making a blanket…that seems pretty straight forward. However using hand dyed yarns can create a bit more thought in the designing.

Subtle Diamonds Throw Photo courtesy Ancient Arts Yarn

Some may not realize it but one of the thoughts that goes into a design for a pattern is if it would be cost prohibitive. By this I mean, if I designed a pattern that took 25 skeins of a $10 per skein yarn, would anyone realistically spend $250 in materials to make it? Probably not, especially if it was something pretty basic. This thought comes into play not only with the designer but with publishers and yarn manufactures. So working with hand dyed keeps this price pointing in your mind to find the most cost effective way to create.

So with Subtle Diamonds I was limited on the amount of yarn, using only 2 skeins of each color this throw can easily be made into a 48”x48” (122x122cm) throw, adding 1 more skein of 2 colors and it can become a 54”x48” (137x122cm). Then I wanted to ensure that the fabric was appropriate and would keep you warm, as well as the stitch pattern being interesting. Utilizing post stitches a staggered diamond pattern is created while helping the colors visually blend and harmonize together. This design as a result took a bit more planning and I am pretty happy with the way it finally came out.

Subtle Diamonds Throw Photo courtesy Ancient Arts Yarn

I teamed up with Ancient Arts Yarn to bring this design to you, they loved the idea of the challenge and added a bit of a twist to the process by requesting that the design have a modern, contemporary feel. I will in no way claim to be an expert in meeting, understanding, or designing to specific “type” or “style”, but apparently I came close since they liked it.

This challenge did help me grow as a designer, as all challenges do in general. It sharpens your senses and helps you to focus.

Corkscrewing Thoughts on the Unfurling Hat

ScannedImageIt amazes me how something so simple can create such an interesting look. The Unfurling Hat, in the Autumn 2016 issue of Crochet! Magazine is one such design. It is a warm, strong hat that features post stitches. It is these post stitches that create corkscrew effect, or might even be described as a pinwheel kind of look, as it spirals outward from the top and cascades down to the brim.


Unfurling Hat Autumn 2016 Crochet! Magazine Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The brim is quite generous, and the hat tall. There are a couple of reasons for this, okay, mostly one, I usually have my hair up, and running out in the cold weather I like to be able to throw a hat on and go, not re-do my hair so my hat will fit comfortably and still keep in warm and dry. So by adding a little length to the hat, I can simply put it on and go. It fits over my bun, my pony tail, my French twist. It fits over my clips, and combs, while still doing its job. In addition I think it still looks pretty stylish, while covering up my up-do.

CoverThe design of the post stitches, came out of simple playing again. I had a lush yarn in my hand and I wanted to just crochet, not think, and not work any math, just crochet. The placement of the stitches for this design actually allow me to do that. After you work the first round, the same basic concept works in all subsequent rounds, so I no longer had to think about what stitch I was working. It has a natural organic feel, and works up quickly.