Archive for the ‘Patterns – Women’ Category

Barton Park: Colinton Angoras, Colinton 2000 Lace Weight

May 14, 2011

I just finished a new design in time for TNNA in June. It is a triangular shawl worked from the back neck down. The shawl was actually inspired by a call for submissions from one of my favorite publishers, who is doing a Jane Austen themed publication. I chose Sense and Sensibility, as we have the movie and I enjoy the story. This is one of her first (maybe the first published) novels. In the movie, the Dashwood sisters wear these beautiful everyday shawls, and so I decided to do a shawl utilizing some very old stitch patterns.

Barton Park, by JoLene Treace

Barton Park

I had participated in the Great Wall of Yarn for TNNA last June, and swatched the design in Colinton 2000 from Colinton Angoras.

Many designers I know help knit swatches for the Great Wall of Yarn, a special display at TNNA (the June trade show). It gives the shop owners and industry attendees an opportunity to see the yarns in the display worked up, and it gives the designers more visibility.

I was delighted when I received Colinton Angoras lace weight to swatch, as I had asked for lace weight yarn. I had not picked a yarn for this design yet. they liked the swatch and the result is that I have found another wonderful company to work with.

The yarn has a beautiful luster, and is springy and lively. It is amazing how it looks when blocked compared to when knit. When the knitting is in progress in any lace, you have to see it pinned out to appreciate it’s’ beauty. The yarn itself felt nice in the hand and was easy to work with. I have other ideas in mind for this yarn, and will of course share them here when they are done.

I pinned it out to 72 inches wide along the top of the shawl, and 33 inches from the top to the bottom point.

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All Seasons Bramble Berry Released

June 9, 2009

Bramble Berry All Seasons_ThumbnailThe last few years at TNNA I have heard comments from the warmer states along the lines of “the designs are lovely but they would be too warm here”. So I am beginning to offer the worsted weight designs in a lighter weight version, beginning with Bramble Berry. Bramble Berry has always been a popular design so it seemed  to be a good choice to start with.

Skacel generously provided yarn support which I appreciate immensely. It has been an expensive month with the different garments coming due that were test knit, and then designs needing tech edited. I don’t even want to think about it.

At any rate, here is a picture of Bramble Berry in Merino Cotton 90 by Schulana, a Merino Cotton distributed by Skacel. It is a wonderful yarn, lighter in weight and also the fiber content makes it friendlier for warmer climates as well.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Design Discussion: LaMancha

September 25, 2007

LaManchaThis pullover is a ladies pullover, and is knit with worsted weight yarn. Chest measurements are as most of my other patterns, 40 (44, 48, 52, 56) inches. This particular design feature the Channel Island cast on, and has saddle shoulders. The design was inspired by one of the breeds of Dairy Goats we have at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  Our local zoo is ranked among the top 10 in the nation and we enjoy going at least once a season. 

One of my favorite areas in our zoo is the Indiana Family Farm. It has an area that used to be called the petting zoo. Although the name is different, the animals are the same. The goats are highly inquisitive, sometimes obtrusive, and just a lot of fun. You have to watch anything loose and dangling though, as it is likely to end up in their mouth.

Typically, even when the rest of their bodies are still, their tail is moving. Their tails are often held stiffly at attention, with a bit of a curve in them, and they swish back and forth,back and forth.

The LaMancha goat also has small nubby ears. This is a distinguishing characteristic of this goat, and I wanted to bring that into the design. I felt the Channel Island cast-on was a good choice for the cast on as adds a layer of detail as well as reflects the inspiration fo the design.Three Little Goats

I also chose to use panels of garter stitch in the design. There are those who turn up their noses to garter stitch, feeling it is too common or plain, but I really like to use it.

In this case, it is reflective of the feel of the inspiration of the design in an emotional or intellectual sense.

Imagination is a powerful part of design. I wanted something that reflected the very utilitarian nature of the inspiration. The farm, dairy goats, things common and simple. Garter stitch is perfect for this, and it also added a textural contrast to the eyelet zig zag. The columns of garter stitch are strongly vertical while having a horizontal texture, so the more formal or lofty feel you can get from strong vertical lines is balanced by the horizontal lines of the stitch pattern.

The eyelet zig zag is also representative of a portion of the body of the goat. I feel their tails are a lot of fun and so expressive. The eyelet zig zag makes me think of their tails swishing back and forth. The diagonal lines of this stitch pattern balance nicely with the vertical and horizontal lines. Lastly, I felt the garment needed just a little more detail to round out the design.

I don’t know if you can see it in the photo or not, but it has a saddle shoulder. For those who may not know what a saddle shoulder is, it is a portion that extends up from the sleeve across the top of the shoulder. It is used in Gansey and Aran knitting, but in this case it was another detail that made the design a bit more special.

Since I was dealing with fairly simple stitch patterns, I wanted to have details that were not so simple or run of the mill. That is why the Channel Island cast on is so important to the success of this design, as is the saddle shoulder. It will not be at my vendors quite yet, as the pattern is at the tech editor right now. If all goes well, Black Water Abbey will be introducing it at Stitches East. Up North Fiber Art Supply, my American Distributor, has already placed their order. So it will be available in the shops soon.

WooHoo! I finally have a new design that is out. This is the first new pattern leaflet since I had my accident a year ago this past March. It feels so good to be productive.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Design Discussion: Three Flowers

January 31, 2007

Three FlowersThis handknitting pattern has three lace scarves. Much like Elizabeth I, it has stitch patterns that are both easy to get in the rhythm of, yet satisfying in the end result. When I worked on this design, I wanted to offer essentially the next step in lace knitting. Edgings other than garter stitch. Don’t get me wrong, I like garter stitch. I use it quite a bit as I think it a versatile stitch. Really, I think the best edging is one which complements the design the best. Some designs need a simple treatment, and some need something more.

For inspiration, I looked again to nature and thought of what I enoy. I love looking at flowers, and I am essentially a homebody. I live in a wonderful old house (100 years old) and live on 2 acres in the city of Fort Wayne. We have a wonderful property, with lots of wildlife. Birds, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, deer. And some really wonderful old fashioned flowers and wild flowers. Pulmonaria, Lilly of the Valley, Day Lillies, Hostas, Flowering trees, wild berries, Lilacs. We have a large Saucer Magnolia near the front of the house.

So I wanted to pick things which were feminine, old fashioned, yet up to date. I opted for three flowers in my yard as inspiration. The Saucer Magnolia, the Day Lillies, and the wild Violets in the yard.

The Saucer Magnolia has large, waxy blooms which appear in early spring. The stitch pattern I used has a large repeat, and makes me think of the simple shapes of blooms on the naked branches. The tree leafs out after it blooms. This is a simple stitch pattern with round shapes, and it is not a fussy pattern which fits the Saucer Magnolia. Stately elegance was the feel I was after. It is feminine, too, and I decided a little ruffle would be a nice touch. I did not want to add your typical pointed type edging as I felt that did not give the feel I wanted. I wanted something that made me think of Mint Juleps, and porch swings. The hospitality of the country, with a bit of stately elegance mixed in. The traditional pointed edgings felt too formal for the feel I wanted, and the ruffled edge gave it the feel I wanted. This design is an example of how something can be inspired by an object and yet not be obviously visible. A very abstract approach, as it deals with how something feels, rather than the shape.Magnolia

The Tiger Lilly pattern is an example (as is the final design in the pattern) and example of an overall shape being the main expression of the inspiration.  Day Lillies are a bit exotic. Even the wild Tiger Lillies which we see in the country. There are some at the edge of our property, near a narrow trickle of a creek. In this design, what I focused on was not the bloom, but the seed pods. The stitch pattern echoes the shapes of the seed pods, as well as other parts of the plant. The plant also as long stems, and long leaves. This needed a simple border, as I had picked simple, strong shapes. It simply would not have felt like a Lilly to me if it was too fussy. So I trimmed it in garter stitch, which would fade into the background, much as the foliage fades into the background and plays a supporting role to the flower.

The final design, Sweet Violet, is for the wild violets in my yard…sweet, wild, and cheerful. This stitch pattern is the least abstract of all, as the lace pattern really mimics the 5 petaled Violet. This design, with it’s old fashioned inspiration, needed an appropriate old fashioned edging. One that would support the design and not detract from it. I picked a simple edging that has an angular feel to it, as repetition in design elements ties elements together so they look like they belong.

I know I have talked about this before, but don’t be afraid to choose what you like. I sometimes hear talk about “pushing the envelope” in design. I actually have heard this in relation to the choice of edging treatments in lace. If you are choosing garter stitch because you feel that is the best choice of treatment for what you want to do, say or communicate…there is nothing wrong with that choice. You truly ARE pushing the boundaries of design by not putting an “edging” on every piece of lace because that is how it is finished.

Form follows function, and that is true in good design as well. But there will always be personal choice involved. If your personal vision or inspiration for your project feels like it needs something different, by all means make the choice you feel best for your design. I have used the term organic unity before in reference to design choices, and it is one I strive for myself. That point at which nothing can be added or subtracted to a design without affecting how “complete” the design is. A design can have a simple garter stitch border or an intricate edging and have organic unity…it depends on what the inspiration is, what you want to communicate, how you want it to feel. That is the difference between Art and Craft. Craft chooses garter stitch because it is utilitarian. Art chooses garter stitch because as a design element, it supports the design.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene

Design Discussion: Squirrel Monkey

December 16, 2006

Squirrel MonkeyThis is a woman’s pullover knit with Interlacements Toasty Toes. Finished chest measurements are 36, 40, 44, 48, and 52 inches. This is a nice project for knitters who want something a little different and a little classic at the same time. It features cables and lace, and I am currently looking at sizing it for men. Interlacements has told me that there has been some interest in a men’s garment with this design.

This design is from a collection inspired by animals at our local zoo. I mentioned this collection in the post on Zambesi River (a lace gaban for women). I love looking at the colors and textures of flora and fauna. Often when something catches my eye other things start coming to my mind which influence design choices too. I have often said the imagination is just as valid with design decisions as more objective points of reference. It is our imagination which colors our own inner landscape and helps create meaning.

In the case of this particular design, the inspiration was a small and delicate monkey known as a Squirrel Monkey. This particular monkey has some striking coloring mixed in with your drab browns, which range from bright orange to yellow to cream. This monkey is native to virgin and secondary forests of South America. They are typically one of the most peaceful of the primates.

In this design I decided to focus more on the delicate appearance of this monkey, and the playfulness of monkeys. Here is where the imagination comes in, as I had this picture in my mind of these little monkeys careening about in the forest.

I love combinations that are a little different, and when I saw the stitch pattern in one of the Barbara Walker stitch pattern books, I knew it would be perfect. Cables and lace, that tilt back and forth.  I also knew that I wanted a finer gauge yarn since I wanted to keep the delicate feel, so I decided to look for a yarn that was not any heavier than a DK weight. I saw Interlacements Toasty Toes at Stitches in the Olive colorway and knew it would be perfect for this design. It is a Sport to DK weight yarn, and I loved the varigation of the yarn. It has a little yellow in it, and the variation in the greens is enough to enhance the design rather than detract from the stitch work. It made me think of the leafy canopy these little monkey’s play in. The yarn has excellent stitch definition and a nice soft hand.

You will notice how the design has simple garter stitch bands. There are some that don’t care for garter stitch, but it is a stitch that I really like. In this case, it provides a nice non-rolling band to a garment that has a lot going on already between the varigated yarn and the busy stitch pattern. Part of good design is knowing when to stop with the detail, so that not every part of the design commands the same amount of attention. Not every piece of knitting needs to have a lot of detail. The important thing in choosing how much detail you are going to add lies in what you want for your knitting. That is the most important factor of all, what you like and what has meaning for you.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene

Design Discussion: Flying Geese

December 2, 2006

Flying GeeseThis knitting pattern is for a ladies vest. The sample garment was knit out of Black Water Abbey 2 ply Worsted Weight yarn, and the finished chest measurements are 38, 42, 46, 50, & 54 inches. This particular design was done in 2002. At that time I was selling my patterns only through Black Water Abbey, so it was naturally done in her yarn. In the case of this particular design, it fit what I wanted as it made it to a completed pattern.

I wanted to do a project that would be good for the fall, and began looking through stitch pattern library books for ideas. I fell in love with this particular stitch pattern, as it made me think of geese flying south for the winter. We see this in the fall in this part of the country, just as many parts of North American and Canada do.

The stitch pattern forms V’s of garter stitch, and it is this portion of the pattern that made me think of flying geese. It is also made me think of a quilt block called flying geese. I needed to look no further for an Autumn vest, as I had the imagery of quilt blocks and migrating geese to inspire my design.  I chose the color Ocean, a lovely blue green color, as it made me think of some of the colors the shakers used (also colors used in New England traditionally).

Setting off the bottom of the garment is three repeats of all pattern rows with yarn overs worked where the increases are worked to give a lacey effect at the edge of the garment. So, there you have it. Curl up in a cozy quilt on a brisk fall day with your knitting, and hear the geese as they pass overhead, the first herald of the winter to come.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene

To Err is Human: Correction to Bramble Berry Sleeves

December 2, 2006

This pattern has been out for two years and has been extrememly popular. Today a kind soul emailed me and let me know the numbers for her cast on and the chart were off by 2 stitches.

 I discovered in the writing of the pattern that when the stitches outside of the repeat were adjusted to fit the stitch pattern in a pleasing way, that the adjusted numbers outside of the stitch pattern repeat were not crunched in the excel spreadsheet for the pattern. Some sizes were affected and others were not. The pattern has therefore changed, but the chart has not.

The cast on for the sleeve should be changed to 46 (46, 54, 54, 56) stitches, and the inreases are worked as follows: 1 st every 4 (2, 4, 4, 2) rows 25 (2, 27, 31, 2) times; then 1 st every 6 (4, 6, 6, 4) rows 2 (28, 2, 0, 31) times.

This has been added to my FAQ/Errata sheet on my website which will be uploaded soon by Katherine. Thank you to the knitter who emailed me! And to those of you who have had things come up in patterns, don’t be afraid to contact the designer. I have my email address on my patterns for a reason…so that I can be contacted if there is a question. Most of the time it turns out that it is not an error with the pattern, but that can happen. In this case, yes it was just two stitches and could be worked around easily enough, it turned out to be an area with adjustments in other sizes as well. Thanks for letting me know!

Peace and Knitting, JoLene

Design Discussion: Brambleberry

November 8, 2006

Bramble BerryThis ladies pullover is knit without your traditional type of edging out of Black Water Abbey Worsted Weight. Finished chest measurements are 40, 44, 48, 52, 56 inches. It has an average ease, and finished garment length is 23.5, 24, 24.5, 25, 25.5 inches. It is a feminine design which is very flattering, with it’s strong vertical lines.

This particular design was inspired by a patch of wild berries in my yard. We live on a little over 2 acres, in a house just over 100 years old. There are lots of trees – including walnut trees, crab apple, elderberry, and others. It is a good natural habitat for animals. In the spring we have lots of birds, who love the berries in the patch and the trees. I always know spring is here when I hear them all singing. And they stay, too, until it is time for them to leave for Winter.

I wanted to bring the berry patch into cold weather sweater, so I focused on color and stitch pattern to give the design the feel that I wanted.

Pink Heather was the perfect color, as it made me think of the berries. Next, since I was working in worsted weight, I knew that I would be using cables for the stitch patterns. If I were working in a lighter weight wool or a plant fiber, I would have chosen lace to create line. I had cables in mind, too, just from looking at the patch of arching canes. Very fluid and strong lines that would be well suggested in cables.

With that in mind I found the perfect stitch pattern. One of the reasons I think this design is successful in representing the feel that I wanted it to, is because I did not simply repeat the chosen stitch pattern over the whole garment. By working a small portion of the repeat over the bottom part of the sweater the long vertical lines are formed, which is repeated on the sleeves. On the yoke the whole stitch pattern is worked which gives the feel of the canes crossing back and forth. In the berry patch itself, that movement is a long, graceful arc. So even with the simple cable crossings which occur more frequently, the overall movement in the stitch pattern is more widely diagonal, as the eye follows not just the individual cable crossings, but the blocks of cable crossings, as they begin at the bottom edge and arc over the yoke, ending at the shoulders.

I chose not to put any edging at hem and sleeve cuffs. I had the design go right into the stitch pattern so that the detail would gradually build, drawing the eye up to the top of the garment and near the face of the wearer.

It is one of my favorites and is carried by most of my vendors. It works well in any number of worsted weight yarns and colors. As always feel free to choose what you love when working the design.
Peace and Knitting, JoLene

Design Discussion: Charlotte

November 5, 2006

Charlotte This stole was knit out of 2/8 Organic Fingering Weight from Black Water Abbey. The name of the pattern is Charlotte. The stitch patterns are traditional Shetland Lace patterns, and it is worked on a garter stitch ground with a garter stitch border.

The impetus for this design was to introduce knitters who have not done a lot of lace to more traditional types of lace. There is a scarf and a stole in this pattern, and one can start with the scarf and become familiar with working in pattern on both odd and even rows in a more simple version of the stole, and then move on to the stole.

When designing this stole, one of the traditional stitch patterns used had the word spider in the title. So I of course thought of Charlotte’s Web, a delightful children’s book. There have been many analogies between knitting lace and spider webs, so it seemed fitting to name it Charlotte.

This design to me pushes the boundaries as far as what is expected. What is expected is an edging, rather than a simple garter stitch border. In this situation I did not want an edging as I wanted to keep it simple. You, however, may add one if you wish. Sometimes less is more, to me. And I have said before, that form follows function. This is knit out of a weight of yarn that would have been a hap shawl (an everyday shawl). I would perhaps put an edging on it if I was knitting it out of a fine lace weight. But the fingering weight works well with the simple clean lines the garter stitch border gives it. I simply don’t think it needs an edging.

There is a point in any piece of art, where the design has achieved what is called organic unity. It is at that point that nothing can be taken away, design wise, without adversely affecting the composition. It is also at the point where anything that is added is superfluous. This is the point of balance that I strive for.

When making these choices for yourself, only you can decide whether what you are knitting needs “more”. Don’t be afraid to add simple edgings to pieces like this, if you want one. They are simple to learn.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene

Design Discussion: Hickory Hollow

November 1, 2006

Hickory HollowThis handknit cardigan pattern was designed with men in mind, but I have been told women knit and wear it too (it has been labeled a unisex garment on the pattern). The mannequin is a little small, so the neckline looks lower than it actually is – although it is lower than the armhole. It comes in finished chest measurements of 40, 44, 48, 52, & 56 inches. The sample garment was knit with Black Water Abbey Yarns 2 ply worsted weight.

This is another design inspired by a place, with memories and feelings in the mix. It was named for my grandparents cottage on Palestine Lake (you can read about that a  bit and see the picture on the post about Through The Woods, another cardigan designed and inspired for this area).  I designed this thinking of my grandfather Caroll.

His normal day wear consisted of a tee-shirt and bib-overalls, which he wore like a badge of honor. He was a a dark and handsome man, who reminded me of a loaf of french bread. Crusty on the outside but soft on the inside. Everyday, hard working. He would often delight in pulling little pranks on us, too, like the time he told us his hat was made out of Hamster fur (we had a hamster at the time). I’ll never forget the sparkle in his eye and his grin when he would do stuff like that, or my Grandma’s voice in the background tinged with exasperation uttering one word…Caroll!

He would have looked great in this sweater, on occasions where they would dress up or just to putter around outside the cottage.

When swatching this cardigan, I took a simple cable pattern and altered one end of the cable. In doing so, it changed the texture of the cable and made me think of the Shagbark Hickory. The cottage was named for the Hickory trees in the yard. That is the emotive part behind the design. Home, comfort, loved ones of all kinds.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene