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).

DragonfruitSmoothTransitionDragonfruitOriginalTransition

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

Dragonfruit Shawl-4 Dragonfruit Shawl-6Dragonfruit Shawl-11 Dragonfruit Shawl-5

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!

30 Day Blogging Challenge Recap

I’ve finished my 30 day challenge!

At the beginning of 2015, I made a goal to blog at least once a week. Since I only blogged 8 times by halfway through the year, I challenged myself to write a blog post every day for 30 days.

I kept my resolution for 16 days, but missed the 17th day because I didn’t plan ahead. To make up for it, I decided to end the challenge one day later. By the end of the month, I had missed 4 days. Nonetheless, this challenge taught me to commit to writing blog posts.

My 30 day challenge also helped me develop some regular post themes! Going forward, these regular posts will include my Tuesday Bam Bam and Karissa feature as well as designer interviews every other Thursday.

If you would like to see the posts from my blogging challenge, I’ve added a gallery below featuring pictures from those posts. Click on a picture to see the corresponding post.

Tom Baker Fingerless GlovesRandom WIP Royal Crescent WIP - Knot Theorist Comet WIP - Knot Theorist   Tanja Osswald's Igel - Knot Theorist Comet by Tanja Osswald - Knot Theorist  Fibonacci's Biased Scarf - Knot Theorist     Vest for a Thlee Year Old      Grey Swatch - Knot Theorist RollingAlpaca

Bam BamRoyal Crescent Shawl - Knot TheoristLe Chale Gris - Knot TheoristBowties: Crimp, Dowlas, and Jagged Checks

Dedri Uys' Gregor the Rhinosaur - Knot TheoristStreak Bow Tie - Knot TheoristName the Bow Tie - Knot TheoristMy First Garment - Knot TheoristTitan TopRuby Pullover - Knot Theorist

WIP It Good Recap

Today I realized that I’d forgotten to celebrate the achievement of my July goal to finish up 5 crochet works-in-progress! Here are all 7 of my completed WIPs:

1. Vest for a Thlee Year Old

WIP - Vest for a Thlee Year OldFinished Vest for a Thlee Year Old

2. Fibonacci’s Biased Scarf

Fibonacci's Biased Scarf

3. Royal Crescent

WIP - Royal CrescentRoyal Crescent

4, 5, 6, 7. Rainbow Road Scarf and Birthday Bow Ties

Rainbow Road ScarfBowties: Crimp, Dowlas, and Jagged Checks

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.

Comet by Tanja Osswald(1)KMGP6451

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.

5 Ways to Wear a Crescent Shawl

Knot Theorist: How to wear a crescent shawl

Do you love the look of crescent shawls, but aren’t sure how to wear them? These shawls are actually incredibly versatile accessories! Here are 5 different ways I wear my crescent shawls.

The shawl I used in this photo shoot is Royal Crescent, which was made from Michele DuNaier’s Crescent Queen pattern. My Royal Crescent counts as my fourth WIP this month! One more to go…

1. Capelet

How to wear a crescent shawl: Capelet StyleHow to wear a crescent shawl: Capelet Style

2. Ruffle Scarf

How to wear a crescent shawl: Ruffle Scarf Style

3. Bolero

How to wear a crescent shawl: bolero styleHow to wear a crescent shawl: bolero style - back

4. Front Bow

How to wear a crescent shawl: front bow style

5. Side Bow

How to wear a crescent shawl: side bow style

 

If you like what you’ve read, please like, comment, and subscribe. Thank you!

Le Châle Gris

Knot Theorist crochet shawl: Le Chale Gris

Le châle gris is the most beautiful thing I have ever made. I could look at it all day.

I made it from the pattern Mine Once More by Michele DuNaier, a wonderful designer with many beautiful shawl designs. The pattern was both written and charted, and the instructions were easy to follow, which is part of the reason I loved making this shawl so much.

Another reason I adore this shawl was that it took only one ball of yarn to make! Yes, one three-dollar ball of Woolike fingering yarn for a full-size shawl.

I also greatly appreciate that it’s durable and doesn’t require much maintenance. The photo above shows it after months of wear. It’s gotten accidentally thrown in the washer once or twice, and it still looks amazing. And it’s only been blocked once – I steam blocked it lightly before its first wear. These shawls would definitely make great gifts – if you’re willing to part with them. 🙂

Why the French name? I can’t spell it out, but this shawl reminds me of France. Perhaps it’s the romantic lacy picot edging. Or maybe it’s the satiny grey color against the beige stucco. What do you think?