Double or Nothing Patterns: Kontinuum

This is week 5 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.

Kontinuum is worked in Yarn Carnival Goat Roper, a superwash merino, cashmere and nylon fingering weight yarn.

Kontinuum-GZI mentioned in the last pattern that I haven’t done many designs in multi-color double-knitting, but this pattern is worked in 6 colors. However, you’re only working with 2 at a time, with some small areas where you’re holding 4 colors at once — so it doesn’t really qualify as the same technique. This pattern is where I really start introducing new concepts, not just subtle adjustments and refinements to existing techniques. As with any of these pieces, the term “new” is not meant to imply that something has never been done before, just that it’s very uncommon and poorly, if at all, documented. In the case of double-knit intarsia, I am aware of a couple of other people using the technique, and I can’t even claim to have done it before them. This is one of those techniques that I put off for a while and finally began work on it as I decided on the patterns for the new book. But not being one to leave well enough alone, I wasn’t content to just teach one technique — I wanted to teach several. So not only will you get to learn how to do double-knit intarsia, you’ll learn how to move the color change to the right or left from the previous row and still hide the yarns — and you’ll also learn how to do it in the round. This hat is remarkably stretchy; it fits my big head as well as my models’ smaller heads. The colorwork is really interesting as well — the intarsia color changes run in one direction and the double-knitting color changes run in the other. This is one piece where the opposite side is not particularly different, but where double-knitting is nevertheless useful because we can hide all the ugly twists and do neat things with colorwork that would be much harder to do in standard intarsia.

Kontinuum-AWI struggled quite a bit with the yarn for this. I had to find a good mini-skein set, and tried several from yarns I really wanted to use — but the colors had to be just right and all the other stuff I wanted to use was either variegated or semi-solid in such a way that it made it harder to see what the pattern was doing. I wanted to avoid using a gradient set, although that may have been a better idea in the end. I was at the first Stitches Texas and got to visit the Hill Country Weavers booth, where I fell in love with these amazing mini-skein sets made by Yarn Carnival. They’re just a superwash merino blend, but the color saturation and combinations were just so interesting — not quite gradient, but related colors. I could see so many good combinations, so I bought 3 different ones, figuring I’d decide later. I later found out that these seemed to be one-offs, which under normal circumstances would preclude my using them — but the fact is that there are hundreds of independent dyers doing mini-skein gradient kits, and as long as the weight of yarn is correct I think you’ll have no problem.

The original name of this pattern was going to be “42 Skidoo” which is a play on the early 20th century slang phrase “23 skidoo” and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where the number 42 has universal importance, to say the least. But it was named such because the original repeat was 42 pairs across, and when I redesigned the piece for new yarn, the repeat had to change. As the closure came together in this dramatic spiral, I thought of more sci-fi names related to black holes and the like. The word “continuum” resonated with me, but there are already lots of patterns with this name so I changed it to “Kontinuum” for a little distinctive flavor.

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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