Hello! This is the second in a series of weekly posts highlighting patterns from my upcoming revision of Extreme Double-knitting, which is now available for preorder in print and digital. It’s my hope that people who have been on the fence about preordering will get excited by one pattern or the other and decide to bite the bullet.
More news later in the post; for now:
Pattern #3: Wrist Chakra
The Wrist Chakra wristwarmers were a last-minute addition to the 2011 printing, as is evidenced by the fact that the original photo was clearly taken in my living room, on my wife’s hands, with the yarn that had just been broken off and woven in. I realized I hadn’t included any truly basic double-knitting in the round, and time was of the essence so I whipped up a couple of small double-knit tubes as wristwarmers. I offered an option for a headband, but I hadn’t actually knit one so the measurements were simply gauge-based. I figured this was a relatively simple calculation, and it was.
However, I wanted to do it properly in the new revision, and as fate would have it, the yarn I had used (Araucania Nature Wool) was out of production. I had a hard time finding a good kettle-dyed DK-weight yarn in my local shops but eventually settled on Jojoland Splatter Dash, many colorways of which are at least reminiscent of kettle-dyed yarns. This time, I also made sure to work out a really nice headband version as well.
Pattern #4: Bratach
Bratach was my introduction to what I now call “off-the-grid” double-knitting in my classes. It’s a tongue-in-cheek name for a method of using increases and decreases in a decorative way. Much more is done with this technique later in the book but this is a good place to start.
In this case, I felt the product was pretty much exactly what I wanted — so no redesigning or reknitting was needed — but the process left something to be desired. Because of my relative inexperience in 2009-10 when it was designed, I did some pretty weird things with chart notation, and even made up my own chart symbol for a technique I called a “shift” which was something like a mock-cable. Essentially, it was a combination increase and decrease, done in such a way that the lifted increase was worked off of the top leg of the decrease. It was necessary to keep the traveling stitches moving dramatically while the crown decreases went on, and it worked nicely — but it can be notated over the span of two pixels in the chart using standard knitting notation. I also gave the pattern a little more rigorous sizing, whereas the older version relied on some weird math you had to do. It’s still very easy to change sizes simply by adding more space between the “banners” but most people would probably rather just follow instructions for the size they want rather than do a bunch of math.
What Else is New?
My tech editor has signaled that she has gotten the manuscript and given it a once-over; she really likes some of the changes I’ve made! Now let’s see how I like the changes she’ll be making :>
I have finished the edits to my website, and on the pattern page I’ve even included some other patterns I designed that are not available through my site — but are available for purchase elsewhere. I had links to these in a previous revision of my site, but links kept changing and it was sometimes unclear whether patterns were actually available. In the end, I decided to only link to the patterns I was (a) reasonably sure were available for the long haul and (b) reasonably proud of, as well as (c) double-knitted. There are a couple of other patterns out there that aren’t double-knitted; I’ll leave finding those as an exercise to the reader.
Thanks for your interest, and don’t forget to preorder! I’d love to be able to fund my first printing with preorder money only, but we’re only about 1/3 of the way there. Stay tuned next Friday and Fridays in general most of the summer for more pattern highlights and progress reports on Extreme Double-knitting!