This is week 10 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.
Atyria II is worked in Seven Sisters Arts Helix, a fingering weight BFL.
My original idea for a Craftsy class involved teaching the basics in one pattern, then cramming as many techniques into a second pattern as physically possible. I wanted to try to get a whole book’s worth of techniques into that class. In retrospect, I’m lucky that Craftsy talked me down from that ridiculous goal. Whatever I made would have been hideous, and probably wouldn’t have sold the class as well as the two patterns I ended up using instead. Atyria was a pattern that used my off-the-grid style of decorative increases and decreases, combined with some basic 1×1 double-knit cables. This was the first place my new double-knit cable techniques were taught on a grand scale. However, the pattern was a bit of a rush job and I knew it. It was a great way to teach the techniques but a poor execution of a pattern. It relied on an obscure technique I called “ghost pairs” which confused some people greatly, and in the end the hat was too short and there was no good way to lengthen it. When I realized that the class was past its second birthday, I checked my contract and realized that the patterns were my property again, so I redesigned Atyria, lengthened the pattern and removed the ghost pairs. If you’re already in my Craftsy class, this pattern will be separated from the book and offered as a free download for my Craftsy students, around the same time as the book comes out.
I also took the opportunity to change the yarn I was working in. While I enjoyed working in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport for Craftsy, it was a superwash yarn and I wanted to steer away from that when possible. I stumbled across a sportweight BFL in a New York City shop and figured I’d use that instead. The dyer (who shall remain nameless) was excited that I was going to be working in her yarn for one of my book’s projects, but when I reached out to her for yarn support (the colors I had bought weren’t quite what I needed), she never answered. I poked her again a little while later but my time was getting short so I had to choose another yarn. I heard from some other designers that the same thing had happened to them — I hope she’s OK. Her blog seems to indicate she is, but there’s a month-long gap in the posts right around when this happened. Anyway, I ended up finding Seven Sisters Arts, a company from Maine, at Stitches West of all places — and they not only had a heavy fingering BFL, they had it in almost exactly the same colors I originally used for Atyria. It turns out the owner is a big fan and was flattered that I’d be working with her yarn. I finished the hat in record time and was able to show her the final version at Stitches South later that year.
Atyria, if you google it, is a genus of moth. While that’s a dirty word to knitters, the vast majority of moths are not likely to eat your yarn stash and many of them are quite pretty. The spiral motifs in this hat, while clearly meant to represent some kind of fern-like plant, reminded me of moth antennae or probosces, so I looked for a moth-related name. Atyria is a pretty name and more easily pronounceable than something that ends in -ae, even if moths in that genus don’t actually seem to have any particular relationship to the spiral shape.
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!