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.