The paucity of good tie patterns in knitting has irked me for some time. Most ties are overly-complex, constructed in the same way you’d sew one, or overly simple, looking somewhat tacky, or done on the bias, which makes the damn thing too stretchy. No offense meant to anyone who’s designed and published a tie. I’m sure there are some good ones out there. I figured out a while ago that double-knitting could be well applied to ties — the fabric doesn’t curl, it has no wrong side, and you can literally do any charted pattern on one without worrying about the non-existent wrong side. Hence, these two.
They’re both done in Crystal Palace Panda Silk (Thanks to Crystal Palace for the free yarn!). They’re entitled “Silk City” and “Silk Road”, respectively from top to bottom. Silk City was a snap — once I’d worked out the tie measurements and knitted gauge, it’s just a matter of planning out which rows to decrease on and keep working the pattern. The pattern itself has a ridiculous 70-row repeat, but it’s really all the same stuff, just shifted over a bit each time. Silk Road was no picnic; it was the one piece I dreaded designing most, not being sure I could work further decreases into the already increase/decrease-heavy fabric. Needless to say, I figured it out, but the limitation is that the decreases can only be put in every 16 rows if you want them to be invisible. So I decreased every 32 rows, which made the tie just a bit longer than its brother. They both tie just fine, however, without any awkward tail bit showing. I’m planning to include my tie blank in the book too, and will be interested to see what other patterns people put on it.