spotlight on … fascicles

The third and final hat in my trio of designs for the December Artisan Knit Crate is Fascicles.

I wanted to create a warm hat that showed off the deep colours of the hand-dyed yarn. In order to do that, I played with a few stranded techniques and found that by wrapping different clusters of stitches, it evoked clusters of pine needles.

I grew up very near to the Pine Barrens of Long Island and there are special Dwarf Pitch Pines that grow there. The needles of these trees are found in bundles of three which are known as a fascicle.

Fascicles hat

When out running or hiking in the winter I like a hat with an extra long brim that I can fold over and help make sure that my ears stay covered. If that’s not your style, feel free to knit a shorter brim. It uses a yarn-over tubular cast-on to create a beautiful edge for the 1×1 ribbing.

Fascicles hat

Fascicles, Parallu, Tres SpectraFascicles is available as an individual pattern download at Ravelry.

Errata

Please note there is errata for this pattern for the yarn-over tubular cast-on.

More information

Fascicles
Parallu
Tres Spectra

spotlight on … tres spectra

I love going out on clear winter nights to gaze at stars and this led me to think about Annie Jump Cannon and her work on stellar classification. I believe that she could classify three stars a minute, and that’s how my Tres Spectra was discovered.

For more on Annie, I highly recommend The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel.

tres spectra

I wanted a stitch pattern that would work well with the subtle colours of the The Yarnbrary’s Fantasy Worsted and still feel like a star. The stitch I fell in love with worked well when knitted flat, and it took several iterations of swatches to find how I wanted to rework it in the round.

That’s why you won’t find it in you favourite stitch dictionaries!

I want to thank Stitchmastry for being incredibly straightforward and easy to use. That I can easily design and integrate symbols for my stitches has helped me streamline my pattern writing process.

If you would like to own the Tres Spectra pattern, you can purchase it on Ravelry.

continuing a new year of deeper work

A year ago, I embarked toward deeper work. While the year didn’t go exactly as I expected, I’m pleased with what I accomplished. I know the key to this was being mindful about how I spent my time and the tools I used for my business.

It was a surprise to me to open the @creativeacorns instagram account. Why did I do it? Honestly, I was testing something for a a client and it was easier to have an account of my own. Over the months, I found that I like this different way to share my designs and process.

What does that mean for 2019? I hope to craft a better content sharing plan that fits in with what I see as little acorn creations as it exists today and where I think it may go in the months and years to come.

January’s Plan for Creativity

January 2019, stack of swatches including Silk Day Dream (Artyarns), Lunaris, Ava, Luster (Anzula), and Tranquility (TSC-Artyarns)

January 2019, pile of swatches including Silk Day Dream (Artyarns), Lunaris, Ava, Luster (Anzula), and Tranquility (TSC-Artyarns)


January is about laying the groundwork for the rest of the year and working out scheduling. I plan to finally get the instructions for both Transposon and Mendelian to the tech editor. Then I need to take some photos and get the pattern ready for you. I’m working on lots of swatching, both for my Meet the Yarn posts for Anzula and working through other yarns.

Overall 2019 Creative Plan

Shadow with yarn

Shadow snuggled with yarn

I’ll be honest — I’m still working this out!

Here’s one way you can help me out — please either comment below or send a message. Do you prefer a all-in-one package that includes yarn, pattern, and needed extras (such as a tapestry needle and buttons)? Or do you like to purchase your patterns and yarn in the more traditional manner (aka a la carte).

spotlight on … parallu

My inspiration for Parallu arrived before I received the yarn. The inspiration mood board evokes warmth and happiness with deep jewel colors, swirls, zigzags, trees, dots|stars, and oranges.

I honed in on the oranges and was delighted when the beautiful yarn arrived! In the Decembers of my childhood, I always looked forward to the arrival of the first crate of clementines to my house. I have fond memories of peeling them in different ways and toasting them near the fireplace.

I also wanted to play with the swirl that I feel is December. Even if you don’t celebrate a significant holiday this month, there are many year-end obligations that often cause you to pull in different directions. While I’m not a fan of pompoms, I like the whimsy they provide. They are a great reminder to remember to have fun and not everything needs to be perfect (more on that in a bit).

The first way I designed this hat is not the design you see today. As I knit the sample, I knitted my own instructions for the repeat incorrectly three times in a row. At that point I realized I needed to change the design a little and Parallu came into being. I hope you like it.

psg wearing parallu

One other thing I really like about this design is that it could be easily modified to a cowl. Cast-on additional stitches in groups of 4 until desired cowl circumference based on your swatch gauge. After working the initial ribbing, repeat the stitch pattern until piece from cast-on to edge is desired width minus however long you worked the initial ribbing. Repeat the stitch pattern at the brim and bind off. What bind off would I use? Something stretchy, either a sewn bind-off (EZ’s sewn bind off) or something with some stretch (Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, Knitty (Fall 2009)). As a bonus, it’s reversible! A great gift for those family members who can’t seem to keep the right side of your hand knitted gifts straight.

As for not perfect, if you work the pompom in The Yarnbrary‘s Fantasy Worsted, make sure that you use way more yarn than you think you need and tie it super extra tight before cutting and forming the pom. Why? It’s a due the nature of the fiber combination in the yarn. While the alpaca is generally sticky, the 30% silk kept it slippery. Make sure to steam it which helps it have maximum … pom. If you really want a pompom and find making them stressful, another solution could be any of the faux fur poms that are appearing on many hats this season.

A second note on perfection, errata for Fascicles was identified by a knitter in the KnitCrate Ravelry forum. I’ve posted the correction.

If you would like to own the Parallu pattern, you can purchase it on Ravelry (as are Fascicles and Tres Spectre).

a few thoughts on colour

Like many knitters and crocheters, I gravitate toward different types of projects throughout the year. When it’s cold, I want a big squishy wool blanket to work on. In the summer I like working with light linen and lace. One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is that my colour preferences also change with the seasons.

Merino & Yak blend

Merino & Yak blend

In spring, I want to urge on all the tentative spring growth and look for the hints of greens. I like when they are flecked with hints of colour. This merino/yak fiber from the now shuttered Happy Fuzzy Yarn is one of my favourites (this was colourway hydrangea).


VLSI

In summer when there’s a riot of brights, this is when I turn toward muted colours for accent. My crocheted shawl, VLSI in Lorna’s Laces showcase this. The sample is shown in colourways Aslan and Owen.


Hello Yarn Shetland Top

Autumn has me searching for the deep and vibrant colours that I see reflected in the trees that surround me.


However, winter is different for me. When the wind gusts bitter cold and the skies are grey that I wander to a wide range of colour at once.


Do you find yourself choosing certain colours and yarns this way?

a trio of new patterns

It’s exciting to finally reveal the December 2018 Artisan Crate from Knitcrate featuring The Yarnbrary Fantasy Worsted in a delightful orange colourway, Copperfield. Along with this yummy blend of 40% Superwash Merino, 30% Mulberry Silk, and 30% Baby Alpaca, members receive three patterns designed by … me!

The three designs find inspiration from nature, science, and the swirl that is December. In the coming weeks I’ll share more about the skills used in each hat and my design process.

Fascicles
Inspired by dwarf pitch pines’ bundles of three needles.

Learn more


Tres Spectra
Textured ‘stars’ adorn this hat in clustered trios.

Learn more


Parallu
Swirling snow, people, and activity inspired this twisting topper.

Learn more


The patterns are included with the December 2018 Artisan Crate, please visit their site for details. They are also available as individual PDFs, through Ravelry and I will add them here soon.

I hope you enjoy them!