May Knit Lab II: ZigZag Mitts Protypes II & III

Progress is moving faster now that I have worked out a couple of iterations. The first picture is the second version where I decided to try a cuff on the thumb opening as well. I reduced the flair at the bottom cuff, which worked perfectly, but the thumb cuff ended up being too heavy and picking up the stitches to finish it was hard to keep even. I also noticed that I needed to add a little more room in the glove at the base of the thumb, the material was being stretched more there and felt a bit tight.

I thought a bit more and decided that a button-hole opening would work well to streamline the gloves, but I needed to add a bit of a gusset below it to add a little give. I found a great button hole tutorial and decided to add some extra stitches on the outside loop. It turned out really well! The thumb hole has a little “cap sleeve” gusset underneath, but still maintains the pattern and helped with the fit. Now I just have to get it all written down in an easy to follow manner! I’ve also decided to mirror the left and right hand gloves, so the pattern will change on each glove. A bit of extra effort, but I think it will be worth it.

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May Knit Lab: ZigZag Fingerless Mitt Prototype I

Knitting has slowed down a bit this month, I’ve been catching up on some reading and smoothing out the wrinkles in some of the previous patterns I’ve released. I’ve been so focused on hats, that I wanted to do another fingerless mitt pattern and thought one matching the ZigZag Swirl hat would be fun.

The first prototype is pictured above (I actually frogged one before this that was almost complete, but I didn’t like the bottom cuff). I am knitting these from the top down and have already started a second version that refines a few points on this one. I have decided to enlarge the thumb section to double it over like the top and bottom to give it more weight and a finished edge. I am also going to reduce the flair at the bottom a bit. Look for more progress soon!

Progress Report May 2012: Two Hats and an Infinity Scarf

Projects have slowed down a bit after the flurry of knitting and pattern making that went into the ZigZag swirl hat. I took some time to try another lacey scarf pattern and created this great pattern from two existing patterns in my Vogue Stitch-a-day calendar you can see it here (if you scroll down, you’ll see the pattern chart).

I also went back to my stash and found I had a bunch of little balls of yarn left from previous projects using Lion Brand Amazing in Ruby and Arcadia. I decided to put these to use with the simple Interweave Hat pattern and made two nice organic striped hats.

Now I am starting on a new fingerless glove pattern to accompany the ZigZag Swirl hat. Look for another update soon.

Things We Like: Off!

Off!’s first proper album—following the band’s First Four EPs—dropped last week. The band’s new installment delivers on the promise of short, sweet, retro SoCal hardcore. Sure, the surprise of First Four EPs is gone—that they were able to match the sound and fury of early 80’s hardcore so immaculately—but what’s lost in surprise is made up for in hard, fast, stripped down and pissed off tunes. The point here is that the formula has not been tweaked in any major way. And that’s just fine. Really, they’re better off for it. Aesthetic exploration is not Off’s raison d’être. The aggression, the ferocity, the hooks, the breakneck pace is what matters and that’s all here.

One of the things we love about Off! is that every detail is carefully considered. It’s as if the band arrived fully formed and as such they present their wares as a complete package. The sound, the visuals, and the attitude are all part of a concept that aims to capture a very specific aura.The whole enterprise is well designed, right down to the vinyl color and the cover art: 1) black or white, 2) a new drawing by Raymond Pettibon (in black and white).

We also appreciate the band’s economy of means. They know exactly what they want to accomplish and they view the recording process as simply a means to an end, a process for getting from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible. Thus, the rough edges are left intact. For instance, sometimes Keith’s vocals sound like he’s been recorded too close to the mic, giving the effect that he’s barking through a megaphone. Other times songs begin and end with short bursts of feedback and white noise. Some may call it sloppy, but we deem it necessary. Details like these just add to the immediacy of the material. The point here is to get it done quick, to get in and get out, to get it down on tape. There’s no looking back, no regrets, no second-guessing, no polishing of edges. Because there’s no time. And no need. The songs are short, sweet, and to the point.

Similarly, the artwork by Pettibon is scrawled out in black ink on white ground, no need (or time) for color.

Going by Off!’s standards I’ve gotten terribly redundant and long-winded, so I think I’ll quit. In closing, know that there are no shades of gray here. Off!’s mission statement has again been clearly and forcefully articulated. In black and white.

Print: Untitled (Chevron)

Worked on new edition this past weekend—a new colorway of a recent design, to be precise. This time out it was a rich burgundy and a vibrant magenta on bright white stock. I got a few great one-offs in random colors too, which I’ll share later. These are now available on Etsy.

Knit Pattern: ZigZag Swirl Hat

After a few prototype, I have finalized the ZigZag Swirl hat pattern! I really like the subtle patterning and lightweight feel of this hat. The doubled over brim gives it a finished look. I hope you enjoy it!

Needles: US 4 circular and/or dpn
Yarn weight: DK/light weight worsted

You can purchase this pattern on Etsy for $2.50:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/99295438/zigzag-swirl-hat-pattern-pattern-only

Also available on Craftsy for the same price:
http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/knitting/Accessory/ZigZag-Swirl-Hat/14593