Buy your double-knitting gifts soon!

Just a reminder that your last chance to order printed books and patterns from my online store (including Double or Nothing, Parallax, and Victorian Raffia, among other standalone patterns) to ensure delivery to the US by Christmas will be Tuesday, Dec 19th. If you are closer to the Northeastern US, you may be able to order later and get 2-day shipping or even 1-day shipping, but that’s not guaranteed.

Remember, if you order direct from my store (as opposed to Amazon), every book and pattern comes with a free PDF download code. You can also request a signature on your book for a nominal extra fee. Thanks for supporting small fiber businesses this year!

p.s. If you’d like to hear a recent review of Double or Nothing, the Knitmore Girls did one on their podcast back in November. I knew they were going to, but I didn’t actually hear it was out until later — so here you go.

Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #5

It’s been a month and a half since my last proper update — but I have an excuse. About a month ago, I took a fall on my bicycle and sprained my wrist. My right hand has been in a brace on and off since then, and while it hasn’t stopped my knitting, it has slowed me down significantly. It has also created difficulty in my job (it is hard to hold and turn a screwdriver while one hand is in a brace) and in typing. In addition, I had two weekend gigs with a total of 27 hours of teaching, plus book signings at four different venues. My wrist is basically OK out of the brace now, but it still twinges now and then and it will probably be a while before it’s completely healed and fully functional again.

For that reason, I’m going to try to keep this update short (note: I failed), and also focus more on the work done by other people than my own work.

First, the status of the book itself. Cooperative Press hasn’t responded to my emails for the past month, and hasn’t removed Extreme Double-knitting from Amazon or Ravelry as I requested, despite having a signed and counter-signed rights reversion agreement. I suppose it makes sense not to take them down as we go into the holiday gift-giving season, but I’d really rather people not get a sub-par product when they could simply wait a few months for a much better one. So I’m going to ask you, as someone who’s following me, to please wait. But if you just can’t wait, you can still get the 2011 version in the usual locations.

Now, the projects

I’ve gotten 5 of the 6 projects back which were being worked on by sample knitters. The sixth (Vasily) got an extension because his dog literally ate his homework. He gave me the choice of having me deal with it in person or an extension — I took the extension, and as of the most recent update, it’s almost complete and will be mailed back to me this week.

One of the others you’ve seen already — the Silk City necktie in Update #4 was the first to return. The next to return was the Four Winds hat, which has been heavily redesigned for a number of reasons. I’ll do a separate post about that later as I do my pattern highlight posts leading up to the printing. Suffice it to say, I’ve redesigned it from the ground up — new letters, new points, new closure. And it’s in sportweight yarn so it’s a little more wearable — and comes in two different sizes as well. Here’s a photo of the original and the new version side by side:

Another one that recently returned got an uncredited photo in my previous blog post: the redesigned and expanded Sierpinski blanket. Rather than going with Sierpinski carpet fractals in levels 2, 3 and 4, I opted for the original concept of a single level-5 version. This was originally a baby blanket, but strangely enough when done in sportweight yarn comes out with a similar gauge to my previous one in worsted. This means that the finished product is still about twice the size of the original one. So it’s more of a lap blanket than a baby blanket, which suits me fine. You can always go down to fingering weight if you want it smaller (and send me photos; I’d love to see that done)

Finally, Struktur has had a significant redesign: the chart repeat has been condensed for easier sizing (the closure is now 5 or 6 repeats around, rather than 4), and the yarn has been changed to sport weight. I struggled a bit with the colors because the heathered versions I was able to use in Cascade 220 don’t exist in 220 Sport. So I did the best I could. My sample knitter had difficulty with the decreases so I had to tear back the crown and rework it myself — which is a funny echo to the previous Struktur where I also had to do the crown myself due to a sample knitter’s hand injury (not related to knitting, I swear!). This also gave me the opportunity to refine the crown closure a little bit, so it was probably for the best.

The one I’m not showing yet is the Falling Blocks hat. It has returned, but the aura of the yarn is so overwhelming that I may have to reknit it. This is no fault of my sample knitter, but it is frustrating. The yarn is the same as the original but finer, so perhaps with increased surface area comes increased aura. I didn’t see this in the sample swatch I made, so I’m not sure — I’ll have to see how it goes.

In other news

While I am not doing a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale this year, I do have a way for you to save a little bit of money if you order from my store soon. Between now and the end of the month, Media Mail shipping will be available for my printed books and patterns within the US. For the month of December, I’ll be going back to Priority mail only — and then in January I’ll turn Media Mail back on again. So if you want to save a few bucks on shipping, order in the next few days.

Also, I’ve got my (PDF) book in an Ultimate Bundle that’s opening TODAY and is open for the next week — so you have only a short time to grab a whole pile of patterns and projects for very little money. In the knitting section, my book is far and away the most advanced, but there are sewing, weaving, applique, quilting and crochet sections if you are multicraftual or aspiring in that direction, you may find something to your liking here. In addition, if you buy in before Thursday, you’ll get your choice of a Craftsy class for free! Also, I believe you can give the bundle as a gift if you’ve got someone in mind who might be interested. And whether you’re going after the bundle for my book or for something else, if you use my link, you’ll be helping me out this holiday season too. Thanks!

Finally, if you missed my update on upcoming workshops, you can check my previous blog post and/or visit my events calendar.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

2018 workshops & last chance for Media Mail

First and foremost, as we begin the season of capitalist excess joy and gift-giving, I wanted to let you know that my online store (featuring my printed books Double or Nothing and Parallax, plus several printed standalone patterns) will be allowing Media Mail as a shipping option for only the next week. On Dec 1, the option will be going away in favor of Priority Mail for the month of December only. In my experience, during the postal chaos of the Christmas season, Priority packages have a lower occurrence of loss or damage than others. So if you want to save money on (shipping for) a book for yourself or for a loved one, order before the end of the month! (Media mail will return as a shipping option in January)

Now, looking forward to 2018 …

Here in New England, Summer has given way precipitously to Fall, with Winter coming soon, so it seems a little strange to be thinking about Spring already. Spring, in the vernacular of the knitting teacher, is a little misleading: my Spring season starts in January. So here’s the list of my appearances in 2018 so far:

  • January 12-14, NYC: I’ll be teaching a couple of intro DK workshops at Vogue Knitting Live. Also, my good friend Diane is bringing Lady Dye Yarns to Vogue for the first time, so check her out if you’re there.
  • January 20, Epsom, NH: I’ll be doing an intro workshop for the NH Spinners & Dyers’ Guild
  • February 22-25, Santa Clara, CA: I’ll be returning to Stitches West and teaching (among other things) two BRAND NEW workshops on double-knit intarsia and double-knit entrelac!
  • March 22-25, Hartford, CT: I’ll be teaching a few workshops at Stitches United.
  • April 6-8, Pittsburgh, PA: I’ll be making my triumphant return to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival
  • April 27-28, Minneapolis, MN: I’ll be back at Yarnover for my second year!
  • May 2-6, West Friendship, MD: I’ll be teaching a series of workshops at Maryland Sheep & Wool (precise timing TBA)
  • June 13, Warwick, RI: I’ll be teaching an intro workshop and doing a presentation to the Ocean State Knitting Guild.
  • More to come soon, probably — I’ll keep you posted! For more details on any of these, visit my Events Calendar.

Am I not coming to a convenient location for you? Do you have a LYS or guild that might like to bring me in? Get in touch and let’s talk! I’ve got a few weekends still open for the Spring 2018 season.

Finally, the book project

I haven’t stopped working on Extreme Double-knitting. I know I’m behind on the updates. I’ll get a new one up soon, but I’ve been traveling, teaching, and also suffering from a sprained wrist due to a minor bicycle accident. I’ve been unable to maintain the level of progress I would have liked. However, my schedule is solidifying beginning next week and I anticipate that I will be able to dedicate more time to this project. As before, if you’d like to be among the first to hear when the book is ready for preorder, please join my temporary EDK announcement email list. This list will be used once or twice to make announcements — then will be retired. So you won’t see any traffic until sometime in early 2018. For more granular progress, just keep an eye on this blog. And thanks!

Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #4

Before I get into the updates, I want to make a quick announcement. My books will be at Rhinebeck next weekend! Visit Dirty Water Dyeworks in Building C, Booth 42. I’ll be hanging around on Saturday, but I’m not allowed to do a formal book signing event. That said, grab your books and come find me at the Ravelry meetup at noon on Saturday; I’ll be happy to sign there.

Now to the updates! The revision of Extreme Double-knitting continues — if you’d like to get on the mailing list to be among the first to find out when it’s ready for preorder, you can join here. My tireless sample knitters are beginning to send me their finished objects, so I’m showing off some of the newly-completed projects. Starting at the upper left:

Wrist Chakra has been subtly redesigned to work with DK (rather than light worsted) yarn, and I’ll be doing a headband version as well.

Silk City has not been redesigned, but has been reworked in different yarn by Youmna, one of my sample knitters. Honestly, I think this one may look better than mine would have!

The Box of Delights has been redesigned from the bottom up (or the top down, technically) to be done in Bartlett yarn. This is the yarn I did my original prototype in, and I decided to revisit it for the new design. As you can see, I’m using the same concept as the Whorl’d Tree bag to make one layer a solid color; the outside of the box is still nicely striped but the inside is a solid color.

Four Winds has been reworked in a sportweight yarn by Holli, one of my sample knitters. As you can see, I’ve recharted the letters so they’re worked upside down — so that when the brim is folded up, they appear correctly.

Finally, Open for Business has simply been re-mounted. I got some very nice hardwood dowels and added caps to the ends after feeding them through the existing channels.

There are four more samples that are nearly done or already on their way back to me. I’m in the home stretch on my Whorl’d Tree bag (just about to begin the flap and straps) and have successfully redesigned my Footsies in four sizes. I am shooting for finishing all my patterns by the end of this month; I may or may not achieve this but it’s looking at least within the realm of possibility.

In Other News

October is a nice break for me this year, with no teaching events, and just Rhinebeck toward the end. In November I’ll be teaching and speaking at the Madison (WI) Knitters’ Guild on the 12th and 13th, taking a short break and then heading out by train to teach at the Yarn Attic in Hillsborough, NJ on the 17th, and Loop in Philadelphia on the 18th and 19th. That’ll be the end of my Fall 2017 season. So what’s up for Spring of 2018?

As usual, I’ll be kicking off my Spring season in early January at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. I’m just doing two back-to-back intro workshops on Friday the 12th, and registration should be starting soon! I’ll be hanging out in the vendor area on Saturday.

The following weekend I’ll be teaching another intro workshop up at the NH Spinners and Dyers guild in Epsom, NH. I think this is largely open to their guild members but if you’re not, you’re welcome to try.

In February, I’m going to be doing the big CA show as usual: Stitches West in Santa Clara! I’ll be debuting two brand new classes too — on double-knit intarsia and double-knit entrelac! Of course I’ll be teaching my usual fare as well. You can visit their site to find out more.

I’m still waiting to hear about events in March, so jumping ahead to April:

On April 6-8, I’ll be making a return to Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival; I did well there a few years back and I hope people will enjoy my new offerings this year.

On April 27 and 28, I’ll be returning to Yarnover in Minneapolis. This was a short but enjoyable event and I hope they’ll continue to book me there.

Finally (so far, anyway), on the first weekend in May, I’ll be teaching a series of workshops at Maryland Sheep & Wool! I’m really excited to do this, since I have yet to attend this event and I understand it rivals Rhinebeck in size.

Regardless of whether I’m attending an event, if Dirty Water Dyeworks or Wall of Yarn are present, you should be able to get my books there.

Thanks for your interest and I’ll keep you posted as I’m booked for more dates or have more news on the book!

Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #3

I love playing with hat crowns. When I’m designing a hat, I may knit swatches of the hat body itself, but mostly I’m going to be working on the crown decreases. In order to do that, I don’t typically need to knit the entire hat just so I can get to the crown. Instead, I cast on just before the decreases begin and just knit a crown. Depending on the decreases, it could come out domed or totally flat. These three are, in order, the redesigned crowns for the Four Winds hat, the Struktur hat, and the Falling Blocks hat. It’s also kind of cool to note that they are (again, in order) 4-sided, 5-sided and 6-sided decreases.

All four of these hats are now in the hands of sample knitters, so it’s my hope that they will turn out almost as well as mine did here. A few details:

The Four Winds hat has been re-designed to work with sport weight yarn, but the crown in the photo is done in worsted weight — and no, it’s not in that color combo. I was testing the crown decreases, not the gauge or the yarn — I have only so much of the yarn for that hat, and at the moment it’s all with my sample knitter. The rest of the hat is going to be done in a completely different way from the previous version: because the resulting fabric is thinner, I can design it with a fold-up brim. The brim will have the two-pattern letters on it, which will be worked upside-down so that they are right-side up when the brim is in place. The compass points will be worked in an off-the-grid style that is cleaned up from the previously posted version. The letters and the crown have been completely redesigned from scratch.

The Struktur hat has also been re-designed to work with sport weight yarn, and the resulting gauge is smaller so there are more repeats. I have also sized down the repeats themselves to add more flexibility in terms of sizing. The crown you see here is one possibility; it can also be worked with 6 repeats. I changed the color rotation for this version to what I consider to be a better, clearer version vs the original pattern.

The Falling Blocks hat shows the most significant change from the original here: what you are looking at is the new inner crown. The original hat uses a different three-color pattern on each layer, but because I didn’t want to figure out how to decrease both patterns at the same time, I opted to cut off one pattern at a strategic location and switch to a single color-rotated version on the other layer. This always felt to me like a cop-out, so this time I decided to redesign the crown so that both patterns decrease at the same time. This required a different way of looking at the decreases — they have to occur in the same location, but they need not mirror each other. As with colors, in two-pattern charts, I have the freedom to tell you in which direction your decreases should slant on each layer separately. Also, like the other two, this hat has been redesigned to work in sport weight yarn.

In case this is the first time you’re encountering these projects, you should read more on my website about my first book, Extreme Double-knitting, which I am in the process of reworking and reprinting.

Sample knitting continues apace, although there has been little progress on the piece from the previous update while I’ve been working on redesigning other things. Now that 6 of the patterns are in the hands of sample knitters, three don’t require re-knits, one re-knit is done and one is in progress, all that remains for me to do is to do the highly onerous redesign of the Footsies to make more than one size, and re-knit two of the smallest and quickest patterns. Of course, then comes finalizing charts and the ever-present looming complete and total rewrite of the book (OK, maybe not complete and total … but significant).

In other news

My Fall teaching schedule has begun with an appearance at a lovely oceanside campground in midcoast Maine. Last weekend I was at Fiber College, which is emphatically not a college, but has a unique laid-back atmosphere. Also, I got to camp out in a tent by the ocean! I hope to be back there next year.

This past weekend I had a trunk show at Mind’s Eye Yarns in my home town of Cambridge, and next weekend I’ll be doing another at Ptown Purl in Provincetown, MA. If you’re in the area on Saturday from 12-3pm, visit to check out my samples in person and maybe buy a book or two?

Coming up next in my teaching schedule will be an appearance at the Madison (WI) Knitters’ Guild on November 12 and 13. I’ll be teaching a series of workshops and then doing a guild presentation. As I understand it, this is one of the largest knitting guilds in the country and it is a huge honor to appear there. They seem to be excited to have me, and I hope I’ll live up to their expectations.

I’ll be finishing my Fall season with a double-feature weekend, visiting the Yarn Attic in NJ on Nov 17 and Loop Yarn in Philadelphia on Nov 18-19. You can check out more details on my events calendar.

I’m still finalizing my Spring schedule, so I’ll make an announcement about that later. I’ve got dates in NH, NY, CA and PA — if you’re interested in having me come to your area, feel free to get in touch.

Lastly, I have had some conversations with other small online business owners and it seems like the issue I had with missing or damaged packages initially was probably more due to the time of year (December) than the services I was using. I have therefore decided to re-enable Media Mail as a shipping option. I will take it away for December only (returning to Priority Mail only) to keep my packages from walking away during the holiday season. If you’ve had your eye on one (or more) of my books but the shipping cost has been too high, today’s your lucky day!

Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #2

In the past month, I’ve made some knitting progress, and some planning progress.

First, the knitting progress: I cast on for the redesigned version of the Whorl’d Tree shoulder bag, which will be done with the same yarn (Valley Yarns Northampton) but with some subtle differences. This is a 4-color, nominally-two-pattern piece (nominally because the second pattern is simply a solid color). This means that the structure of the fabric is somewhat different than other double-knitting: instead of the fabric being locked together at every color change, this piece is hollow regardless of the color, except when the color on the two layers is the same in any given pair.

In the original version, I chose Color A (the white background color) to be the interior color as well. However, when you get to the shoulder strap and flap, which are worked flat, this makes the multi-color linked pairs more difficult to execute. To get a more predictable edge solution, I chose to make the interior color Color B (the light blue). This is the only other color that shows up in every row (Colors C and D take breaks for entire rows/rounds), and also the only other color that’s light-colored enough to use inside the bag. Of course, this will change depending on what colors others choose. The issue is that, if you cut out the motifs in Colors C and D, there’s quite a lot of empty space between Color B motifs, which means that there’s more hollow space between the layers.

So I’m going to rely on the properties of the yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton is a workhorse non-superwash wool, which should felt somewhat through use and perhaps a little during blocking. To make sure that happens, I need to make sure that both layers remain as close together as possible. To do that, I need to make sure that there’s not as much tension on the many strands inside the work, which will pull Layer 1 taut and cause Layer 2, which has no strands, to buckle outward. To help with that, I’ve introduced a new chart element which identifies the areas where one needs to be most careful about the length of your strand(s) and give them a little extra slack. It’s working tolerably well but we’ll see how it works in the long term.

Second, the planning progress: In order for me to best use my own time, I need to have other people knit some of my sample patterns for me (for adequate compensation, of course) — and I will also have need of test knitters for some patterns that require more eyes and hands on them before they’re ready for prime time. To this end, I’ve created a new email list for people interested in test-knitting or sample-knitting for me. This is something I probably should have done some time ago, but better late than never. The list, which was advertised primarily to my main email list, has a sufficient number of people — but if you really want to get on it, please feel free to contact me and we can talk.

Still no progress on the actual rights reversion from Cooperative Press, but it may be due to a misunderstanding on my part. I’ve sent an email to try to clear that up, so perhaps there’ll be news on that front in next month’s update. Thanks for staying tuned!

Return of Extreme Double-Knitting: Update #1

Last time I did book updates (for Double or Nothing), I counted down, month by month. This time I’m counting up — I’ll try to get on a monthly schedule but I don’t know how many months it’s going to be. Still, I want to give updates so that you know I’m working — and I’m guessing that some of what I’ll have to say will be of interest. If you’re interested in getting on the mailing list for announcements when the new revision of Extreme Double-knitting is finally ready for ordering, please sign up on the EDK announcement list (and thanks!).

I decided to begin my journey in reverse order, working on the most difficult patterns first just to get them out of the way. The one pattern I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do back when I originally wrote Extreme Double-knitting was the Silk Road necktie. It’s done in “off-the-grid” double-knitting which ensures that not a single stitch in the pattern is part of a vertical column. Strategically placed increases and decreases move the stitches diagonally to create a pattern of tiled spirals. In addition to the decorative increases and decreases, the necktie must also be shaped using increases and decreases. Not much of this pattern has been changed, but the yarn I originally used has been discontinued and I opted to re-knit the piece in the newly-chosen yarn. Unfortunately, the Jaggerspun Zephyr didn’t look as good in a single strand, so I doubled it and it looks much better. I’ve only got a couple more repeats to go and it’ll be done.

I’ve also chosen yarn and made swatches for three of the other pieces, with varying results.

These three hats are done in worsted weight yarn and I decided to re-design them in a finer gauge for better wearability:

Four Winds was done in Cascade 220; I wanted to go quite a bit finer so I’m redoing the pattern in Briggs & Little Sport. Four Winds is actually in breach of contract with Twist Collective and shouldn’t even be in the book — so I’m going to redesign it completely. The finer gauge yarn (up 1 st/in from the original) will allow me to create different sizes without changing gauge or yarn, as I recommended for the original. There will be a flip-up brim with the letters on it (the letter pictured here is, clearly, not one of those that would be on the hat) to better show the reversibility, and the closure will be further refined to be less square.

Struktur was also done in Cascade 220; I opted to stick with Cascade 220 here but use the 220 Sport for a lighter-weight fabric. The original three-color piece could stand up on its own, and was probably better suited for a bowl than a hat. The fabric was also done in twisted stitches, which I will be downplaying in the new revision. Without twisted stitches, the new gauge is also up 1 st/in from the original. This will require a redesign of the crown since the repeat will likely no longer be divisible by 4.

Falling Blocks is one of the oldest patterns in the book, and was originally done in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light is an option, so I swatched in that without the twisted stitches. Interestingly, this yarn behaved differently from the all-wool Cascade yarns above, and the swatch in finer yarn with untwisted stitches matched the gauge of the heavier yarn with twisted stitches perfectly. I will not need to redesign this pattern, but I still plan to do some work on it — I want to figure out an elegant solution to the closure so that I can actually decrease both patterns at the same time.

Again, if you’re interested in hearing when the book is ready for preorder, you can keep watching this space (where there will be regular updates), but you can also join the EDK announcement list to be among the first to know.

In other news, I’ve got a few new appearances on the books for this Fall — more to come as I am able to schedule them:

For more info about these and other appearances, visit my calendar. Updates will be coming soon.

Change of Direction

As I was finishing Double or Nothing, an opportunity was presented to me that I could not pass up. Cooperative Press has decided to clean house, and allowed its stable of authors to decide how we wanted to proceed with them. Having just committed to a self-published book which was going smoothly, I expressed interest in taking back the rights to my first book, Extreme Double-Knitting. Since then, there have been various delays — but I have been given at least a verbal confirmation that I will be getting my rights back for the book. The exact timeline has not been finalized, but I expect to be hearing from CP at some point in the near future.

The plan is this: I will be taking the rights back for Extreme Double-Knitting and releasing a revised and expanded edition under my own Fallingblox Designs imprint. I don’t have a solid timeline on this project, but I expect it to take about a year. I will hopefully have something ready for next Spring’s big shows.

Why a new edition? To put it simply, I’m not happy with the book in its current state. I made a number of decisions that seem strange to me now, and I have learned quite a bit since then. I’d like to incorporate my current knowledge and understanding of the subject matter (while keeping the substance of the book largely unchanged). In addition, there are several patterns which I would like to redesign for a number of reasons. It turns out that several of the yarns that I used are no longer produced or distributed in the US, and I will need to make new yarn choices. Some of the patterns were done in twisted stitches, an option which I’d like to play down. Some of the patterns were done in heavier-weight yarn than is ideal, and I’d like to redesign them in finer yarns. One of the patterns sorely needed grading, but I didn’t have the time. So there’s a significant amount of work; redesigns, new charts, new photos, revision of the text, new layout. I’d like to say it’ll take less time because much of the work is already done — but it’s still going to take a significant amount of time.

I’m going to do something similar to the last book and begin an email list for announcements. This isn’t a preorder mailing list; I’m not using it to make decisions on how many to print. I’m just providing information. If you’d like to know when Extreme Double-Knitting is revised, expanded and ready to purchase, sign up on the mailing list today. I won’t be spamming the list with regular updates; for that stuff, come here or follow me on Facebook.

One thing which I am concerned about is how to give an incentive to people who bought the book originally. Since I don’t have sales records, and probably won’t be able to get them, I have no way of giving a discount code to previous customers. I have some ideas of how to do this in the future, so I’ve put a “promo code” field in the signup form. There’s no use for that code field right now, but it might be useful in the future.

I will try to post book updates on the same frequency as I did with the previous book project: about once per month, toward the end of the month.

Thanks for your interest and stay tuned!

New Pattern: Resistimus

This will be the last “craftivist” pattern for a while — I’ve got other things I need to do, but this one was burning a hole in my brain and I decided to get it out. Shortly after I released Felis Hattus, a fellow designer got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to be part of a book of craftivist patterns. While the book didn’t pan out, I did come up with another pattern that might have been included. This one was, clearly, made for the March for Science later this month (in case it’s not clear, those motifs are resistors; pun definitely intended). As it turns out, I’ll be teaching at Yarnover that day, so I won’t be able to attend. In addition, I’m getting it out merely a week before that event, which isn’t enough time for anyone else to finish one before the event (unless you’re very, very fast, about 4x my speed). However, I think there will still be use for this kind of piece and the message it conveys even after the march.

So a little about the pattern: It’s a double-knit scarf in 15 colors — but don’t worry, you’re still only using 2 at a time. The lettering is done with two-pattern double-knitting so that the “RESIST” is visible on the other layer as well. Yes, the other layer isn’t quite as presentable; this is one case where there’s definitely a right and wrong side. But it’s still nice to look at and readable on the “wrong” side. Color B (the green background) stays constant throughout, but Color A changes between 14 other potential colors (not all 14 are used in this particular scarf, but they can be) to make the wire, the resistor bodies, and the color bands that denote what type of resistor each one is. In this case, I decided to make the second set of resistors identical to the first, but you could choose otherwise. In between the first and second sets (in the place that would probably go over your neck) there’s a resistor symbol as well.

It’s called Resistimus, which is Latin for “we are resisting”, and you can download it on Ravelry.

I used Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted, but especially for the little bands you could just use scrap worsted wool of the right colors if you have it.

Like Felis Hattus, this is a free pattern. I want people to use it in protests and any other way that helps the visibility of the movement to defend the sciences from the ravages of the Trump administration. With funding and other support stripped from science, environment, education and more, we approach the standing of a third-world country. Our momentum in innovation will only carry us so far; eventually all science and innovation will be the purview of mega-corporations who can fund scientists on their own for their own reasons, and education and the environment will be under the control of people who think the Bible is more important than textbooks and that prayers will save us from rising seawater and rapidly changing weather patterns. So I hope that if you like this pattern, you’ll do something to support STEM advancement, or at least donate to one of the organizations fighting the Trump administration’s policies.

Thanks and stay tuned for more!

Colorwork Challenging

It’s no secret that one of the most visible pieces in Double or Nothing is the Adenydd shawl — the magnum opus of that book in double-knit lace. What you may not know is that it was also one of the most enjoyable pieces to design and knit, and I’ve been wanting to play more with lace design ever since.

Each year, as I am able, I go to an event for guy knitters called the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat. It’s fun and relaxing with a great group of guys. One of the things they’ve been doing the past couple of years is called the “Colorwork Challenge”. There’s a bin of crayons, and you pull 4 or 5 out at random. Those random colors are your challenge — you can add a black or a white for contrast but you’ve got to stick to those colors. People do all kinds of things with them and it’s always fascinating to see the interpretations. This year, for the first time, I’m taking part. Here are my colors, and the yarn I chose:

I actually found the yarn on a field trip during the retreat! But I was in the middle of finishing my book at the time so I haven’t really had time to deal with the pattern I had in mind. Needless to say, it went through some permutations before solidifying into a fascinating double-knit lace pattern that I adapted from a lace pattern called “Sunspot Lace” in one of the Walker treasuries. I loved those concentric circles, so I added more and linked them in chains — and then nested them together. The resulting chart is actually impossible to chart intelligibly in a grid, so I’m finally making use of Stitch Maps to chart it. Will it end up being released as a pattern? I don’t know. But for now, it’s a great way for me to keep on my toes. I hope to be able to show you the real thing at some point soon, but for now here’s a progress shot of the prototype swatch, done in the same yarn I used for Adenydd. When blocked, the circular shapes become much more clear.

In other news:

My workshop season continues apace; having so many workshops in the northeast has understandably had an effect on my average class sizes. While this is a little frustrating for me, it’s nice for those who are taking my classes since they get more one-on-one time with me. However, in future years, I’ll probably need to be more careful about how many workshops I schedule in the same geographic area. It’s hard to remember sometimes that New England states are all so close together compared to the rest of the country, and people often don’t mind traveling across one or two of them to get to a workshop.

That said, I’ve landed another workshop in Maine! But it’s in September, so hopefully it won’t be affected by the phenomenon I just mentioned. I’ll be teaching 3 workshops at Fiber College in Searsport, Maine!

If you’re a last-minute scheduling sort of person, I’m teaching this coming weekend at WEBS! Two of the classes (an intro and a multi-color class) have plenty of room, so if you’re in the Western MA environs and have time and interest on April 1 or 2, I hope to see you there.

Speaking of this coming weekend, since I can’t be everywhere, I specifically can’t be at Interweave Yarn Fest this coming weekend. This has been traditionally one of my more popular shows and it’s too bad they didn’t book me this year. However, if you’ve been wanting to check out my book or patterns, they’ll be at the Wall of Yarn booth (#301).

Finally, another new appearance as of this morning, I’ll be vending my books and patterns at the Yarn Sellar’s Fiber Marketplace on April 8th in York Harbor, ME.

Find other workshops and appearances on my event calendar, updated as I finalize agreements.

Thanks for keeping up with me, and I’ll try to keep updating around the end of each month if not sooner.