Double or Nothing Patterns: Hesperos

This is week 3 of the pattern highlights from my upcoming book. If you like what you’re reading about, please join my preorder mailing list. To read more about why I’m doing this (and why you should join the list), you can visit the Month 5 blog post.

Hesperos is worked in Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, a superwash merino, cashmere and nylon blend

Hesperos-AWYou may already know the story of my pattern “Victorian Raffia” but I’ll begin it here. Before my last book came out, I had begun double-knitting Kieran Foley’s pattern “Scandinavian” as a way to practice my increases and decreases. I had made some changes and figured I’d ask Kieran if I could include the pattern in my book, with attribution. He turned me down, kindly but in no uncertain terms. I was a little hurt, but to be fair I was a little-known designer at that point. True to form, I instead took what I had learned and applied it to a pattern of my own — the enigmatic Silk Road tie. This tie was the result of a bunch of sketches I had made in which I played with the different ways two horizontally-mirrored sets of chevrons could interact. The simplest was the spiral I used in the tie — but there were plenty of other options. I wanted to show them all off, but I didn’t want to make a huge number of patterns to do it. Instead, I opted to show them all in one scarf and Hesperos was born. In this scarf, the underlying chevrons show in the middle, but they begin to shift around as I work the next set of chevrons subtly offset from the previous one, in one direction or the other. Using only the clearest, cleanest versions, I generated mazes, Greek keys, diamonds, and, yes, spirals. To further show off the reversible nature of the fabric, I worked the increases and decreases into a more widely-spaced pattern, unlike the dense 1×1 patterning in the tie.

Hesperos-SMOne of the first patterns I discovered after the spirals was a sort of Greek key pattern, also known as a “meander” which is a synonym for “wander”, referring to the way that the path wanders but ultimately ends up going in a particular direction. The name Hesperos is ancient Greek, both a god and of one of the “wandering stars” that were eventually determined to be planets — in this case, the planet Venus. Venus is also the name of the Roman goddess of beauty. So the name Hesperos for this pattern is meant to express the beauty of wandering, getting lost, finding yourself, and getting to your destination in the end.

Hesperos-PGPlucky Knitter is another yarn company I stumbled across while at one of my teaching gigs. I was lucky enough to be teaching at Stitches South, the only such event that Plucky Knitter vends at, and their booth was mobbed — and rightly so. A fellow designer introduced me to the owners and they told me what makes them special: unlike many independent dyers, they don’t use bases that are commercially available — all of their bases are exclusive to them, so their yarns are unique. In addition, they have a stunning range of colors, and most of their bases can be dyed in any of these. Spoiled for choice, I picked an unconventional combination, and have never regretted it. The one thing I do regret is that I have not managed to attend another show where they were vending — but I’m sure our paths will cross again and more amazing things will come of it.

This pattern will be available in my upcoming book “Double Or Nothing”. To be informed when the preorder period begins, please join my preorder mailing list. Thanks!

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