Showing posts with label selected patterns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label selected patterns. Show all posts

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Making the Gradient: A Selection of Gradient Knitting Designs

Today on The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done, we're going to have a look at a selection of gradient knits. I've been finding as I write my knitting design reviews that I'm always especially drawn to a successful gradient effect. There's something so pleasing about the effect of a beautifully blended colour progression. It's a look largely dependent on its palette, as any striped or colour-block design could be used to achieve a gradient effect so long as the yarns work well together on that level. If you decide you want to try a gradient knit, be prepared for a challenge, as achieving a flow of colour in yarn can be harder than you might expect. It's a prospect that reminds me of the exercises I once had to do when I was taking a colour theory course as part of a certificate program in Visual Arts that I did at George Brown College here in Toronto in the early 2000s. We had to paint colour charts in evenly progressive gradients from white to black, or from the palest shade of a colour to its darkest shade, and any disproportionately large "jump" between any two shades stood out like a sore thumb and was ruthlessly marked down by the course instructor. But then you'll be mixing and matching yarns at your local yarn store rather than sweating over the possibility that a infinitesimal drop of added white or black paint might prove too much, and you won't be marked on your effort, so do go ahead and have fun picking out your gradient colourways. And there are also knitting design techniques that can help you integrate your selected palette of yarn, which I'll be pointing out throughout this post of selected gradient designs.

The above design is the Humphry shawl, by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs. I love the psychedelic rainbow effect, which the designer has made work by selecting an array of uniformly vivid shades and using black to offset them.

Changing Light, by Jennifer Weissman. In this gradient knit, the designer has used alternating stripes to blend adjacent shades together. Solid colour blocks with no softening transitions can look a little crude, even when one has selected a good colour range.

Gradient Dip, by Suvi Simola. Here again we have the alternating colour stripes, and the designer has restricted the gradient effect to the sleeves for a look that really pops.

Pixelated Pullover, by Jennifer Beaumont. Another technique for transitioning between two shades is this "pixelated" effect of artfully arranged random stitches of the second colour.

Metamorphic, by Lisa K. Ross. This design uses alternating stitches to "morph" from one shade to another. I've had my eye on this sweater pattern for some time and intend to make it in 2019 for my grandnephew Bug's sixth birthday.

Colorshift, by Carina Spencer. In this cowl, the designer has bridged the difference between her two yarns by knitting with two strands. This is a great technique for turning two colours of yarn into a gradient colourway, because you're creating the connecting colours.

All About Green, by Natalie V. In this design, repeating thin bands of colour are used to unite the palette of four shades of green.

Degreenify, by Josh Ryks-Robinsky. In this pattern, the designer has used the classic ripple afghan pattern (which is traditionally used to integrate numerous different colours) and added alternating stripes to ease the shade changes.

Reflected Lines, by Suvi Simola. I wouldn't have thought of putting these three colours together, but they look amazing.

The Umbra & Penumbra sweater, by Jennifer Thompson, published by Knit Picks in Burnished: 2014 Fall Collection. That's an impressive array of shades, but this would be an expensive pattern to knit, as one would need so many skeins of yarn and have so much left over.

Polar Prism Cardigan, by Jennifer Beaumont. In this cardigan, the designer has united the colours by using a neutral background colour.

Colorslide, by Nicole Nehrig. This pattern uses alternating stitches of colour to transition. These individual colours are beautiful, but I would have kept working on this palette a little more. The top three colours are warm tones and the bottom two are on the cool side, which makes for a bit of a disconnect in the midsection.

Three Greys Aurora Turtleneck, by Berta Karapetyan. I am quite sure my colour theory art instructor would have approved this grayscale.

Ombre Sweater, by Debbie Bliss. This ombre effect was created by combining strands of the different shades, and by using a mohair silk yarn, which has a halo that helps with the blending effect. The resulting effect is soft and muted and lovely. (I reviewed this design previously, as it appeared in Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine's Fall/Winter 2014 issue, and it seems I really liked it then too.)

Posh Petals, by Rose Beck. The three gradient bands of colour interspersed with dark lines give this otherwise traditional cowl such a striking and contemporary look.

Primus, by Dawn Prickett. Here we have a shawl that's contemporary in both its colourway and its style. The designer has managed to give the pattern such interest and movement using only three shades and an arrangement of stripes.

Curio Cowl, by Kelly McClure. Linen stitch does a particularly good job of blending colours together, and I love the colours used here.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Packful of Backpacks

In today's post, I offer a selection of backpack patterns. This is the fifth and final post in my series of posts on knitted bag designs, over the course of which I've done posts on selected clutch/wristbag, handbag, tote bag, and messenger bag patterns.

The backpack depicted above is the Verbena Rucksack, by Katie Carlson. I think I'd go with a commercially made straps and toggle for it. The commercially made straps will be much stronger than the knitted ones and, as I've observed in my previous bag posts, using commercially made straps, handles, fasteners, and other fittings upgrades the look of a handmade bag. It can be difficult to find the right fittings for a bag (there isn't a lot of selection on the market), so I recommend buying them before buying the other materials and supplies for the bag you want to make, and then matching and adapting your bag project plan to suit them as necessary.

Macduff tartan bag, by Judy Furlong. This is probably my favourite design of the sixteen I've selected for this post, and indeed, I've singled it out before, for my post on selected plaid-like knitting designs.

Black Plaid Felted Mini Backpack, by Sherrie Kibler. Here's another, simpler, tartan backpack, and it's ever so smart.

Rainbow Back Pack, by Phoenix Bess. This one is so fun I think that, if I had one, it would cheer me up every time I used it. I'd also really enjoy picking out a pretty colourway for it.

Felted Shoulder Sling Bag, by Katie Nagorney and Ann Swanson. Here's a simple and serviceable one. As with the Verbena Rucksack above, I'd go with commercially made straps.

Felted Flannel Backpack, by Patons. Cute and rather stylish bag.

Felted Knapsack, by Megan Lacey. Basic but attractive backpack, and this one's of a more practical size than some of the other bags in this post. But then of course an experienced knitter and felter can always enlarge any of these patterns.

Now that I've done the adult-appropriate, serviceable backpack designs, we're going to move on to the fun part of this post: backpacks for kids. This one is the Orla Owl Felted Backpack, by The Yarn Genie. So cute! But I would use shank buttons for eyes for this design rather than the kind with holes.

Sheep Backpack, by Tatyana Fedorova. There is something about a knitted sheep -- it's so meta. And this one is especially well-rendered.

Kitty Backpack, by Dale Hwang. I know a couple of cat-obsessed little girls who would love to get something like this.

Birdie Backpack, by Alison Stewart-Guinee. Here's another, more cartoonish-style, owl backpack. This was a pattern from the now defunct Petite Purls, but it's still available online for free.

Berry Cute Backpack, by Amanda Saladin. The strawberry is perennial favourite motif in children's design, and it's easy to understand why given the appealing shape and colours of real strawberries. This is such a cute bag, and the side pockets and zippered pocket are such practical touches.

Ulyana Unicorn Felted Backpack, by The Yarn Genie. Fun little bag for the unicorn-obsessed child (or adult?) in your life.

Robot Backpacks, by Brenda K. B. Anderson. Here's a nice bag to make when artificial intelligence takes over the planet and you want to show our robot overlords that you're being a good and properly subservient person.

Punk Rock Backpack, by Heather Barnes, as published in Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook. Backpacks can be surprisingly easy to make. Heather Barnes writes on this pattern page for this one that, except for the intarsia, "all you’re doing is stitching together knitted squares, then throwing in a zipper and some straps". This would be a good basic backpack pattern to customize any way you care to by replacing the monkey with any motif you like.

Nemesis Knapsack vs Hero's Half-Shell, by Rachel Sanchez. I'm not a gamer, but I'm going to tentatively suggest that this backpack might be meant to represent a Koopa from Nintendo's Mario franchise. (I am sure one or more of my readers will correct me if I've gotten the reference wrong.) The level of detail here is amazing, and the spikes are also removable so that the backpack can be used as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume -- there are accessory horns, wristbands, and masks included with the pattern.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Creepy Knits: A Selection of Patterns for Halloween

Happy Halloween, knitters! I have in previous years done posts of selected Halloween patterns on fun Halloween accessories, costumes, wigs, home decor, kids' knitwear, and toys. This year, since I'm out of categories for Halloween knits, I've put together a post of assorted Halloween patterns that I haven't featured before and that I thought looked cool.

The first pattern is the Eye See You Halloween Cushion, by Jane Burns. It would be like giving someone a hairy eyeball, except that it would be a woolly eyeball.

Halloween wreath, by Nicola Valiji. Cute and kid-friendly Halloween wreath. This is the wreath you put on your front door if you don't want to scare away all the little trick or treaters so you can keep all the candy for yourself.

Deathflake mittens, by Sissel KB. I love the intricate chartwork in these. And it's a free pattern!

Night Creatures Mittens, by Adrian Bizilia. These are pretty spooky, though that mouse is alarmingly large in proportion to the owl. But perhaps that's a feature not a bug.

Fangtastic, by Wendy Gaal. For the vampire aficionado, or perhaps the especially enthusiastic dental hygienist.

Flying Witch Lazy Cloth, by Wineta. I hate using these little knitted dishcloths -- just give me a j-cloth -- but I wish I liked them because there are so many super cute designs out there for them like this one that I would enjoy making.

Let's Play Murder, by Professor Fonz. This sweater pattern is based on The Wallpaper Had It Coming Again pattern designed to resemble the iconic wallpaper in the BBC's show Sherlock. They're both really great designs that I will avoid letting my Sherlock-obsessed but non-knitting sister ever see, because every knitter reading this knows how that is likely to end.

Skull Stockings, by Disorder Knits. Love these, which are both cool and warm.

Halloween Skulls, by Devorgilla's Knitting. This one could be a nice statement piece for those days when you have to deal with difficult colleagues at work.

Halloween Kitty baby hat, by Sandra Jäger. Love the glaring yellow eyes at the top.

Hairy Monster Halloween Mitts, by Black Sheep Wools. The perfect finishing touch for your monster Halloween costume... or for the person who has always secretly dreamed of being a Muppet.

Spooky Spider Earwarmer Headband for Halloween, by Sylvia Leake. The perfect gift for the budding arachnologist in your life -- or for someone who's trying to get over their arachnophobia the hard way.

Witching Hour, by Ruth Hawkin. I quite like the neat little motifs used here.

Macabre Halloween Cowl, by Bobbin Hobnobbin. The glowing orange against the stark black used here is particularly effective.

Halloween Skull Socks, by Fir Tree Knitwear. This one incorporates several Halloween motfis for a bold look.

Not just for Halloween Skully Socks, by Jane Burns. For the Halloween sock lover who prefers a more subtle look than the previous sock design.

Spüli Halloween-Katze, by Mamafri. A well-drawn silhouette of a very angry cat.

Halloween Cushion and Throw, by Sandra Rowland. Very cute, with just a little freakiness in the jack o' lantern's expression.

Skeleton Black Cat, by Tatyana Korobkova. For the macabre child. Who has probably been asking for a My Little Step Children doll for Christmas.