Modifying Your Dragonfruit Shawl

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.

Dragonfruit is a shawl of endless possibilities. By playing with proportions, trying different transitions, and engineering unique edgings, you can create a Dragonfruit Shawl uniquely your own. For inspiration, here are a few examples courtesy of the wonderful Dragonfruit testers.

Proportions

One of the simplest ways to change up your Dragonfruit is to play with the relative proportions of each section. The pattern includes notes on how to change the length of each panel.

Tester gulickkr lengthened Section III of her shawl, emphasizing lace over texture to show off her delicate alpaca silk yarn. Disou made Section II the widest panel in her Dragonfruit Shawl, yielding more substantial shoulder coverage. In my own Dragonfruit in Grey, I made Section II the main stitch pattern and diminished Section III to a small band of texture that draws the eye to the edging.

Top, left to right: gulickkr, Disou. Bottom: Dragonfruit in Grey.

Border

If you prefer edgings that are simpler to crochet, try finishing off with a picot-chain row, as in Nancy-P’s project (top left).

Would you rather skip the second set of dblo slip stitch rows? Take a look at 15FiberFrenzy’s project page to see how she worked the edging directly into the mesh of Section III (top right).

If you come to the end of Section III and realize you are running out of yarn, there are still plenty of options. You can leave out the border altogether like ppremdas, finish off with triple crochet clusters as dsmcg did, use picots like tropigal08, or improvise your own pointy edging like colorsfromspace.

Bottom, from left to right: dsmcg, ppremdas, tropigal08, colorsfromspace.

Beading

To add sparkle and weight to your Dragonfruit, consider adding some beads to the border. You can add beads to the points of picots as Chamelaucium and tekkie did, or you can follow gulickkr‘s example and use beads to replace the picots.

Left to right: Chamelaucium, tekkie, gulickkr.

Transitions

The original Dragonfruit Shawl (right) has a small bump  at the transition from Section I to Section II. If you prefer a smoother curve, the pattern gives instructions for an alternate transition as shown in the Dragonfruit in Grey (left).

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For more inspiration, check out all of the Dragonfruit Shawl projects here.

Do you love making modifications to patterns? Which mods would you like to try in your next Dragonfruit? Let me know in the comments below!

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Choosing Yarn for Your Dragonfruit Shawl

Dragonfruit Shawl Collage

When I invited the Dragonfruit Shawl testers to share their yarn choices, I was amazed by the variety of yarns and color combinations that poured in. Some posted pictures of gorgeous gradients, others chimed in with solid and slow-color-change and self-striping yarns, and still others showed off combinations of yarns from all categories.

Altogether, my 26 inventive testers used over 30 different yarns to create their shawls. I hope the gallery of possibilities below inspires you when choosing yarn for your own Dragonfruit Shawl. With so many possibilities, you can make this shawl over and over again with a different look each time.

The Backstory Behind the Original Yarn: Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber

Two of my testers, MrsMcD918 and nikkifox81, also used Jazz Handz for their Dragonfruit Shawls. Coincidentally, they both used the same colorway, Rainbow Sherbet.

Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber, created by the wonderfully sweet Susan Herkness, inspired and motivated me when working on the Dragonfruit design. When I received my very first cake of Jazz Handz, which I had ordered in the Bird of Paradise III colorway as a birthday present to myself, I had a vision of it worked up as a richly textured crescent shawl.

On fire with inspiration, I set to work to create my dream shawl. Hesitant to use such a gorgeous yarn for mere prototypes and possible failures, I used other yarns to experiment with textures and shaping techniques. These efforts, however, were largely unfruitful. Months of swatching and dreaming failed to produce anything close to the shawl I had imagined.

Disheartened, I unwrapped the gorgeous cake of Jazz Handz once more from its carefully wrapped swaddle of tissue paper. I suddenly felt an urge to work with it, to feel it running through my hands and over my hook, to watch with delight and suspense as the colors changed. After an argument with my perfectionist side, which advocated for perfecting the design in a different yarn first, I picked up my hook and began to crochet with it.

My first attempt was far from perfect, and my perfectionist side had cause to gloat as I regretfully unraveled several rows and rewound the yarn around the outside of the center-pull cake. The yarn was resilient, however. It looked none the worse from being frogged, and I realized that I, too, was none the worse for having tried.

In fact, I was better off. I had become acquainted with the feel of the yarn, and seen it worked up, and thus I had a better intuition for which textures would suit it best. Not only this, but in returning to the yarn, my original source of inspiration, I had rekindled my passion and excitement for my quest. Hook in hand, I picked up the yarn with renewed energy and confidence.

At the end of a few more days, which passed not without some frogging and frustration, my dream shawl was complete, and I felt the exhilaration that only comes after surmounting a difficult challenge. I couldn’t wait to share the newly born Dragonfruit Shawl.

To learn more about Susan Herkness and her wonderful yarn Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber, check out my interview with her here.

Inspired to make your own Dragonfruit Shawl in Jazz Handz yarn? Click here to visit the Jazz Handz Etsy shop.

Other Yarn Choices

Gradient

Gradient yarns were a popular choice among testers because the pattern is easily modified to use an entire skein or gradient set. With Dragonfruit, you don’t have to worry about any colors going to waste.

Solids

Dragonfruit also looks well in solid-colored yarns. Whether you make it monochrome or use a different color for each panel, solid colors show off the contrast between each panel of texture and the intricate edging.

Slow-Color-Change and Self-Striping

The stitch patterns of each panel help blend the transitions of both self-striping yarns and slow-color-change yarns such as Knit Picks Chroma and Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable.

Variegated, Semisolid, and Combination

Dragonfruit is a great stashbuster shawl! Those beautiful but often tricky-to-use skeins of variegated yarn can be used by themselves or paired with coordinating solids and tonals.

Ready to make your own Dragonfruit Shawl? Click here to buy it on Ravelry.

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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The Bridgette Shawl

Bridgette Shawl Bridgette Shawl

Bridgette ShawlBridgette Shawl

I am pleased to announce the publication of my latest design, the Bridgette Shawl! It is available on KnitPicks and Ravelry.

About Bridgette

Bridgette is a shallow crescent shawl designed to keep the shoulders warm during the transition seasons. Together, the textured body and lacy geometric border form a versatile accessory that can be worn with both dressy and casual outfits.

Recommended yarn:

Bridgette was designed in Comfy Fingering Weight, a lightweight cotton-acrylic blend that is squishy soft, yet sturdy enough for everyday wear.

Skills required:

To crochet the Bridgette Shawl, you need to know the following:

  • the basic stitches (ch, sc, sl st, hdc, dc, tr)
  • basic increases and decreases
  • back loop only stitches

If you can do all three of those things, you can crochet this shawl! Bridgette is suited for both beginner and experienced crocheters.

Construction:
The body of Bridgette is worked sideways. A varying increase/decrease rate forms the outer curved edge. The other edge remains flat throughout. A round of single crochet surrounds the body, then the border is worked along the curved edge.

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
  • a table explaining how the increases work

How to wear it:

See 5 Ways to Wear a Crescent Shawl.

Coupon code:

And now, dear readers, here is a launch discount just for you. Add the Bridgette Shawl to your Ravelry cart and use the coupon code “KTDblog” without quotation marks to enjoy 25% off the Bridgette Shawl. This code will expire at 23:59 PST on March 26, 2016. Thank you for following the Knot Theorist blog!


Nymphadora Tonks Shawl

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I could probably fill a laundry basket with all of my current crochet works in progress, but this week my Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber was just begging to be made into a crescent shawl.

I didn’t resist. After all, I was feeling somewhat burnt out after the busy holiday season and I knew that making a shawl for myself would revive my crochet mojo.

I decided to use Michele DuNaier’s Mine Once More pattern, which I had used before to make Le Châle Gris.  I set to work on Thursday and within the afternoon, I had already finished the first section.

Nymphadora Tonks in progress

This project was addicting. Once I started a section, I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the section. By the time I finished the section, I’d be right in the middle of a color change, and of course I had to keep going until I reached the next color. By Friday night, I had already reached the start of the transition to black.

color changes

On Saturday, I finished it! I named it after Nymphadora Tonks from the Harry Potter books because the colors remind me of her.

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Love the yarn? Check out my previous post here to learn all about its maker and find out where to buy your own!

Interview and Giveaway with Julie of ACCROchet

 ACCROchet logo

Meet Julie

“In French, ACCRO means addict. I am a crochet addict,” Julie writes on the About page of her blog. Julie is a French-English designer who specializes in modern crochet accessories with unique shapes and constructions. One of my favorite ACCROchet designs is the Twisted Cowl, a multicolored scarf worked in Tunisian crochet. I also love Julie’s shawls Theoretically, Adstock, and Granite and Quartz.

You can find all of Julie’s designs in her Ravelry designer page. You can also follow her on Facebook and on her website.

Left to right: Adstock, Granite and Quartz.

Adstock shawlGranite & Quartz Shawl

The Interview

1. Describe your favorite place to crochet! If you crochet everywhere, describe the most unusual place you have crocheted.

One D Crochet

Well, I really do crochet everywhere. Most often I crochet in my living room, after the day is done. I also crochet in the car when it’s not me driving, while waiting for my food when I have breakfast out with The Man and/or The Teens, etc.

To my daughter’s dismay though, the most unusual place I’ve crocheted is probably at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal earlier this month, as we waited for One Direction to come on stage. =)

2. How did you become hooked on crochet?

I initially tried knitting, but it didn’t stick. It made my shoulders tense, and I was so anxious that my metal needles were all scratched at the tip.

A friend of mine in Minnesota (hi Heather!) was really into crochet, and she was cranking out projects like a madwoman. She got me hooked long distance. She’d help me via email! At the time, there were few resources online (pre-Ravelry, pre-Crochet Me, pre-modern fiber world) and her help was definitely what fed my becoming forever hooked.

3. Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Everywhere seems like a cliché, but it’s really true! Often I’ll just grab yarn from my stash and play with it until I figure out what it wants to become. My entire online world is filled with crochet images – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, RSS feeds – and they all feed that creative part of me. Images also impose themselves in my head and refuse to leave me alone until I make them come to life.

I like my designs to be simple, clean and modern. I want beginners to feel like they can accomplish them, and I want long-time crocheters to see something new in them that they want to try.

4. What is your long-term goal for your design business?

My ultimate goal is to carve a name for myself as a modern bilingual (French & English) crochet designer. It’s still somewhat hard to find good crochet designs in French, and that was my original goal, but I do also speak English and so I want to design for everyone.

I hope that ACCROchet will be a synonym of simple, clean and modern quality crochet designs. Of a designer that cares about the people who trust her, and of a trusted resource in the fiber world.

5. What advice would you give someone making one of your designs for the first time?

Crochet looks awesome and sometimes complicated, but it’s really just a matter of knowing your basic stitches and then reading where to put them. You have to take it line by line, with patience, and definitely not be afraid to frog when you find a mistake. I really believe that anyone can crochet anything, if only they have the right mindset. I write with the Craft Yarn Council guidelines, and I find they’re a super resource for beginners. I’m also around whenever anyone needs help. I love receiving emails from crocheters. =)

Giveaway

Julie has decided to give the winner of this giveaway the choice of 3 free patterns from her Ravelry Store! For a chance to win, comment below with your 3 favorite ACCROchet designs. Then, click here to enter. The giveaway will end on October 15 at 23:59 PST.

Birthday Bow Ties

Bowties-2

You didn’t think I’d forgotten about my fifth work-in-progress for my WIPItGood challenge, did you? I completed three different bow ties of my own design yesterday and gifted them to my Whovian friend for her birthday.

Each one used a different stitch and took less than an hour to make. These bow ties are perfect for using up scraps of yarn. In fact, the blue bow tie was made from the leftovers of my Christmas Crescent!

I named the blue bow tie Crimp, since it uses a wavy yarn in a ridged stitch pattern. The texture of the red bow tie reminds me of coarsely woven linen, so I named it Dowlas.

The last bow tie with the jagged silver and fuchsia stripes has no name as of yet, but I would love to hear your suggestions! Take a look at the close-up photo, then comment below with your name idea.

Name this bow tie!

Rainbow Road Scarf

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A Hobby Lobby store recently opened in my town, so I’ve been having fun trying some new (to me) yarns! My latest creation, the Rainbow Road Scarf, was made from Yarn Bee Diva Sequin in the beautiful Bali colorway.

I used the free pattern Faux Broomstick Lace Infinity Scarf by Kate Cannon. At first glance, the pattern only gives instructions for a simple single crochet scarf. But the twist is in the gauge: the pattern uses a P (15.00 mm) hook with a worsted weight yarn! The broomstick lace effect is created by stretching the scarf when it is completed.

I didn’t have a P hook, so I used the largest hook I had: L. Straight off the hook, the fabric looked as it did below. The scarf was 6″ wide and 39″ long.

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The picture below shows the fabric as I began to stretch it. After being fully stretched, the scarf was 4.5″ wide and 58″ long! Just for good measure, I steam blocked the scarf. The final dimensions were 4″ by 72″. It grew impressively, considering I went down 4 hook sizes. It doesn’t quite have a broomstick lace effect, but the beautiful colors stand on their own.

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Tom Baker Fingerless Gloves

Tom Baker Fingerless Gloves

I recently finished another project from my Karissa’s Fingerless Gloves pattern: this time I made elbow-length wristwarmers using Knit Picks Felici in the Time Traveler colorway. I think you can guess Who was the inspiration Four the colors. 🙂

This was my first project made with Knit Picks Felici, which is an acrylic-wool fingering weight yarn that comes in self-striping colorways. It’s incredibly soft and light, and I only needed one ball of it to create my Tom Baker Fingerless Gloves! I have one more ball of the Time Traveler colorway…

What shall I make next?

Note: Hi Moogly and Petals to Picot Readers! I’m Keilah, the Knot Theorist, and I’m honored to be featured on the 100th HOHD. If you’d like to see the free pattern for this project, click here. If this is your first time visiting my blog, make sure to read my About page, and check out my latest posts, such as my Interview with Vicky Chan, which includes a special giveaway. If you’d like to see more of my recent projects, you can also look at my Titan Top and my projects for my WIP It Good challenge. Also, please feel free to like, comment, and subscribe! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Goals for 2015

It’s almost March! Where did the time go? It’s a bit late to post New Year’s resolutions, but here are some of my goals for 2015.

Blog Goals:

1.  Get into the habit of blogging at least once a week

I haven’t been very consistent about posting, but I want my blog to document my thoughts, hobbies, and achievements, so I intend to update my blog more regularly this year.

2.  Write from the heart

Someone told me recently that my posts are more powerful when I write from the heart. I would like to make my posts more reflective.

Design Goals:

1.  Submit at least 12 pattern proposals to third party publications

Rather than self-publish lots of patterns this year, I’d like to get a few accepted to third party publications. This way, I can improve pattern writing skills by working with technical editors.

So far, I’ve submitted 4 pattern proposals this year. The first one was rejected, and the other three are still under review.

2.  Learn garment grading

I have lots of ideas for garment designs, but I’ve never resized a pattern before. I want to learn garment grading so people who are different sizes from me can wear my designs. I’ve heard grading includes spreadsheets and math, so I’m looking forward to learning!

3.  Work from a style sheet

4.  Self-publish one garment pattern in at least 5 sizes

I’d rather write one multi-sized garment pattern and write it well than rush myself and sacrifice quality.

5.  Design a logo

It will be knot-related, of course! I’m considering a motif using the trefoil knot, partly because in 2-D it looks like a lemniscate.

Other Goals:

1.  Knit a pi scarf

Some day, I want to take a break from crochet and learn to knit. I know a basic cast-on method and the knit stitch, but by the end of this year, I want to complete a double-knit project like this pi scarf.

2.  Practice Soroban 10 minutes daily

For Christmas, I requested and received a beautiful soroban, which is a Japanese abacus. I hope to improve my mental math skills by practicing calculations on it every day.

3.  Learn shorthand

Shorthand is fascinating to me, partly because it’s almost like writing in code. There are some free Handywrite lessons at http://www.alysion.org/handy/handywrite.htm and I’ll probably get started with those.

4.  Read at least 3 of Shakespeare’s histories

I love Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies, but it dawned on me this year that I haven’t read any of his histories. (Does Julius Caesar count?)

5.  Qualify for the AIME

High on my list of things to accomplish in high school is to qualify for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination. To qualify, I need to score 120+ on the AMC 10 or 100+ on the AMC 12. I’ve already taken the AMC 10A this year, and I didn’t score high enough, but the 12B is yet to come.

6.  Go to Mathcamp

When I told my friend Jacob that I wanted to go to Mathcamp this year, his eyebrows shot up and his mouth dropped open. “Mathcamp?” he asked. “Is that a thing?”

Yes, Mathcamp is a “thing.” It’s a five week summer program for high school students who love math. Students are free to choose from a number of activities, including classes on topics like knot theory and the mathematics of origami, problem solving contests, and research in pairs. I think it sounds awesome – Jacob isn’t as impressed.