The Dragonfruit Shawl

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I am incredibly excited to announce the publication of my latest design, the Dragonfruit Shawl!

About the Design

Featuring an engaging hybrid construction and an unusual border, Dragonfruit is an adventure of a shawl. Its three textured panels and intricate edging pack a visual punch, whether made in solid, gradient, variegated, or slow-color-change yarn.

The pattern is written using US terminology.

Recommended yarn:

Dragonfruit was designed in Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber, a wonderful unplied cotton gradient yarn available on Etsy. Its excellent stitch definition and semi-gloss finish showcase the fine details of the textured panels and intricate edging. The dramatic color changes, far from diminishing the effect, enhance the contrast between the panels.

Dragonfruit is tremendously versatile, and there are plenty of possibilities for yarn to choose from. Dragonfruit is suited to solid, tonal, striped, and even variegated yarn! You can also mix and match by using different yarns for each panel. For inspiration, check out the wonderful projects on the pattern page.

Click here for a blog post all about Dragonfruit yarn choices!

Techniques and Difficulty Level:

Dragonfruit incorporates the following techniques:

  • basic stitches (ch, sc, sl st, hdc, dc, trc)
  • basic increases and decreases
  • back loop only stitches
  • back loop only slip stitch

Construction:
Dragonfruit is worked in 3 sections. Starting with a single shell, the Section I is worked from the bottom upwards. Then the work is turned, and the other sections and the edging are worked from the top down.

Customization:

Dragonfruit is a shawl of endless possibilities. By playing with proportions, trying different transitions, and concocting original color combinations, you can create a Dragonfruit Shawl uniquely your own. For inspiration, check out the wonderful projects on the pattern page.

A blog post about customizing your Dragonfruit Shawl is coming soon.

How to wear it:

See 5 Ways to Wear a Crescent Shawl.

What to expect in the pattern:

For a complete list of what to expect when you buy a Knot Theorist pattern, click here.

Here is what you can expect to find in the pattern-specific designer notes:

  • a summary of how the shawl is constructed
  • a schematic of the body with labeled pattern sections
  • how to treat turning chains
  • where to place the first stitch of each row
  • tips for working the slip stitches
  • instructions for an alternate transition between Sections I and II (as seen in the Dragonfruit in Grey)
  • instructions for customizing your shawl size

Coupon code:

And now, my wonderful followers, here is a launch discount just for you. Add the Dragonfruit Shawl to your Ravelry cart and use the coupon code “KTDblog” without quotation marks to enjoy 20% off the Dragonfruit Shawl. This code will expire at 23:59 PST on July 18, 2016. Thank you for following the Knot Theorist blog!

The Dragonfruit Shawl by Knot Theorist Designs

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Interview and Giveaway with Tanja Osswald

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Meet Tanja Osswald

Tanja Osswald has loved crochet ever since she started at six years old. She is well known on Ravelry for her friendliness and her beautiful slip stitch designs. My favorite of her designs are the fingerless mitts that use her innovative horizontal cabling technique. Comet, which is perhaps the most well known of Tanja’s designs, showcases this technique beautifully. Shown on the left below, this design was also the deserving winner of the Flaming Hook of Justice Award for the Best Fingerless Mitts Design of 2015. Besides fingerless mitts, Tanja has several lovely geometric shawl designs that also use slip stitch crochet. Of these, one of my favorites is Igel, shown on the right below. Be sure to check out her designer page on Ravelry here.

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The Interview

Q: If your favorite design was a robot, what would it do and how?

A: My favorite robot would wind all my hanks into nice and neat yarn cakes, ready for me to use – and it would work slowly and diligently, a pleasure to watch and meditate. My favorite design is always the next I come up with – so it is hard to imagine a matching robot.

Q: Where is your favorite place to crochet?

A: My favorite place to crochet is anywhere I can sit comfortably. That can be a couch, a seat on the train, in a cafe… good light is a bonus.

Q: Describe your first experience with slip stitch crochet. Was it love at first sight?DSC04062

A: In 2008 I played around with hotpads and oven gloves (see right). I worked these at a tight gauge, so they are thick and insulating. A friend at the Häkelclub (an internet forum) brought up the idea of making projects just from slip stitches (like in Bosnian crochet) and that got me started. It was interesting to explore different stitch patterns, but I had no idea it would become such a big love for me.

Q: Describe the time you invented horizontal slip stitch cables. Was it intentional? Did it take a while to figure out?

A: That was in the spring of 2010. I wanted to make a pair of fingerless mittens for my mother. They were supposed to be just plain and mindless. Then, work stress kicked in and I just had to be creative to relax a bit. I love cables because they are pretty and mathematical (all those permutation groups) and ancient (the Celts had awesome cable patterns). What more to wish for?
I like to work my mittens sideways so I can use the stretchy back loop only slip stitch rib. I also wanted the cable to run along the whole length of the mitten. Topologically, it should be possible to make a horizontal cable with a continuing thread – so why not make one in real life? My commute was about 45 minutes. On the way to work, I tested the principle of making horizontal cables, and on the way back, I made my first cabled mitten.

Q: What one piece of advice would you give someone trying one of your designs for the first time?

A: Enjoy! 🙂 And just contact me if you need help with anything.

Sneak Peek and Giveaway

KMGP6895 As a special bonus, Tanja has shared a special sneak peek of one of her upcoming designs! She has also generously offered to give away a copy of one of her patterns. Enter here and tell Tanja which of her designs is your favorite!

The giveaway ended on July 29th at 23:59 PST.

City Neckwarmer

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One of my favorite go-to gift patterns is the City Neckwarmer by Donna Rutledge-Okoro. It’s a simple ruffled scarflette that only requires one ball of yarn and can be made in one sitting. This scarflette works with many different outfits and can be worn all year round.

The project pictured above was made in Lion Brand’s Modern Baby, which is an airy chainette acrylic/nylon blend, perfect for light spring accessories. I have also made this pattern with Lion Brand’s Cotton-Ease, which is slightly thicker, but just as breathable and machine-washable.

Sweet Eleanor Scarf

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Last December, I was looking for a quick, easy Christmas gift to make, but I also wanted to try something new. I had never done a project in lace before, so I decided to try a Sweet Eleanor Scarf. I prefer to give gifts that can be thrown in the washer and dryer, so I bought some acrylic crochet thread.

The pattern was unique, easy to follow, and required only one cake of lace yarn. Straight off the hook, though, my project was a frumpy mess. It needed some heavy blocking, but I had never blocked lace before.
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After a short search, I found a helpful article on How to Block Acrylic Lace by Subversive Knitting, and carried out the instructions. I was amazed at the difference it made! The stiff, rumpled project softened and expanded into a crisp, drapy scarf.

Christmas Crescent

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November is almost over, and Christmas is approaching quickly. It’s time to start making presents!

The first gift I’ve finished so far is my first shawl project. I used one skein of Simply Soft Light in Hawaiian Sky to make Julie Aakjær’s beautiful Spring Crescent pattern, which is available as a free download on Ravelry, here.

I would definitely use both the yarn and the pattern again. The Simply Soft Light has great yardage for the price, is machine washable, and is available in several jewel-tone colors. Even after heavy frogging, the yarn hardly pills at all, although it sticks to itself in some places. The light twist of the yarn lends texture to the finished fabric and adds interest to the project. The Spring Crescent pattern has clear instructions and simple charts. It’s easy to modify to accommodate for different amounts and weights of yarn. This simple one-skein shawl will make a great gift.

 

Blaze Peplum Shirt Release

My very first published pattern, the Blaze Peplum Top, has completed testing! It’s free for the first 150 downloads on Ravelry with the coupon code BLAZEFREE. After this promotion, the price will go to $4.00.

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Details:

This crochet toddler shirt pattern is formed in two parts: a top made of join-as-you-go motifs and a peplum of lacy shells. It works up quickly with 450 yards of DK yarn and a size J-10 (6.00 mm) crochet hook.

Additional Materials Needed:

Scissors
Yarn needle

Gauge:
Pentagon motif – 3” diameter
Hexagon motif – 4” diameter
Skirt – 2 repeats in pattern = 3”