A Logo — Finally!

Being more technical than artful—an odd thing to say about a crafter, but I’ve always felt it to be the case—I was trying to work with various graphic artists on a logo. Since these folks were also friends, it just never seemed to rise to the top of their “to do” list, even though I was a paying customer.

Well, I finally took it upon myself to create my own. I’d love any feedback you might have!

OrcasIslandKnitsLogo

Variation on a Theme

My Quickie Caplet pattern keeps taking on “new life”. It’s such a simple pattern that you can do pretty much anything with it and still come out with a handy shoulder warmer.

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This one is for a co-worker of mine. I’m calling it Swanky Caplette since one of the yarns is Red Heart’s Swanky which adds a bit of sparkle when the light catches the little metallic beads in the yarn.

I started out using a pattern from Sequence Knitting a K2 P2+1 modified rib—and planned to make it a spiral, but on a decrease row I must have had a reversal, because I realized the following morning after a night knitting session in front of the TV, that it was spiraling the other way.

No worries! I just counted the rows and completed another set before turning around and going the original direction—and Voila! It looks like I meant to do it that way, no?

Welcome to my world of ad hoc knitting! I love creating a unique piece every time!
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By the time you read this, I’ll be in Italy hopefully hitting some of the great knit shops in Milan. It’s my first time to Italy and I cannot wait!

Dr. Seuss Capelet Pattern

This pattern is based on my Quickie Caplet pattern. As with that one, it holds multiple yarns together and uses big needles to make it a quick, fun knit. The one pictured above is the Long length. All versions have three “furry” rows, but in the medium length version, they are narrower and the collar is slightly shorter.

Why Dr. Seuss? Well, you can dress it up a bit by bunching it up over a frock and you might resemble Seuss’s character Foona-Lagoona Baboona. If you wear it poncho style over casual clothes or a jacket you’ll fall somewhere between the Dr. Seuss birds the Goo-Goo Goose or a Pelf.

Enjoy!

Downloadable pattern: 2017-dr-suess-caplet

Needles: a 32” circular needle–size 17.

Yarns: 2 skeins Red Heart Super Saver and 3 skeins Red Heart Fur Sure

Gauge: stockinette holding two strands of Red Heart super saver together 7 sts over 4 inches

Fuzzy rounds are created by holding one strand of Fur Sure together with one strand of Super Saver. Plain rounds are created by hold two strands of the Super Saver alone.

Pattern: Medium length (Long length)

Cast on 72 (88) stitches holding one strand fur yarn and one strand worsted plain yarn together. Join yarn to knit in the round, placing a marker.

Continue in the round using a K2P2 rib (all fuzzy rows are ribbed) for 6 (8) rows. Decrease one stitch at marker each row (on fuzzy rows only) to hide reductions.

Row 7 (9) drop Fur Sure and pick up another strand of smooth yarn (two smooth yarn strands held together. Knit in stockinette for 6 (8) more rounds even (do not decrease on smooth/stockinette rows to hide decreases).

Repeat rows 1-12 (1-16)

Row 13 (17) drop one strand of smooth yarn and pick up the furry strand. Rib for 6 (8 rows). Decrease one stitch at the marker each row.

Row 19 (25) Drop furry yarn and holding two smooth yarns together knit in K2P2 rib for 10 (14 rows). Do not reduce.

Row 29 (39) Cast off loosely

© Kristin Tolle. This pattern is freely available and without restriction to all would be capelet makers and Dr. Seuss lovers!

Copyright, Creativity and Crafting

The song Donna Summer song “She Works Hard for the Money” is rolling around as I write this post. And work hard I do. And in spite of this, I’ve mentioned I wanted to start selling my extra produce at the local resort. Well, they’ve put me off just long enough that I’ve gotten the message—not interested. They are nice people, they just to keep things neighborly. So rather than say “No”. It’s always, “We’ll get back to you.” Only they never do. So I’m looking for a new outlet.

Happily, many of the samples I knit up fell into the hands of my family members for Christmas, saving me a huge amount of time shopping and bringing lots of joy. The other reason I didn’t sell them was that I noticed (and wrote about) that some of the items had the stipulation that they “cannot be used for commercial use”. I assumed this referred to the knitted garment, but a person posted on that blog I should read up on it because that was not the case citing US copyright law.

I didn’t have time to check it out at the time, but this weekend I decided to research and found out—they are quite correct. According to US copyright law, this stipulation cannot apply to “useful articles” produced following a recipe or pattern. The UK (of course!) has a similar rule specific to knitting and croquet items.

You certainly don’t have to take my word for it–after all, I may have many advanced degrees, but I’m no lawyer. So here’s where you can read up on it yourself:

You might also find a couple of articles helpful to parse the legalese. I really appreciated Jason M. Krellenstein’s brief description in his “Ask a Lawyer” column in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2012 issue. To summarize: any statement about “no commercial use” in a pattern has no legal precedent and is unenforceable on knitted items. This article, from 2014 in “Plagiarism Today”, spells out in understandable detail why socks, hats and sweaters fall under “useful objects” and can therefore, not be restricted by a designer.

The bottom line: A designer cannot, as of this writing, legally enforce a “no commercial use” clause in the UK commonwealth (Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, etc.) or in the United States on articles generated by following the pattern.

In retrospect this makes sense. The pattern and all the hard work that went into creating it belongs to the designer—and they should profit from the sale of that pattern. For produced item based on that pattern, a knitter’s cost of materials, time and effort, modifications/customizations belong to the knitter–full stop. Effectively, the knitter may not be restricted from earning a profit on their labor, clause or no clause.

This said, while you (and I) can sell these items (until there is a legal decision to the contrary), be mindful of what the copyright protects–the pattern itself. The law is very clear that this intellectual property belongs to the designer.

A pattern should not be resold or given away, in whole or in part.  A pattern must be purchased and it should not be shared, unless the designer gives you permission. You also cannot reproduce or publish it without express permission. Speaking from personal experience with my own *very simple* designs, designers work hard for the money.

Got the Blues

Boy was I sunny this weekend despite the rain. I finally did it. I talked to the resort next door and asked if they’d carry my knitwear. I’m so excited because they said yes! Then the blues set in.

I’ve considered setting up an online store and decided there was too much competition, not to mention the difficulties and cost to ship from the Island. Living in a vacation destination means people with disposable income visit—frequently. They often want to bring a piece of their experience back, so why not a practical item like a hat scarf, yoga hood, or scarf? Now all I need is a label and I’ve reached out to a local designer for assistance.

For supplies I’ve got scads of grandma yarn (free to me wool) to use for these small portable projects while I’m still commuting and flying around the world for the job that keeps a roof over my head and food on the table. Though I’d never really planned to make a profit, it is still good to have things to keep my hands busy and I’m a bit over hatted, scarved and mitted at the moment. As is my trusty husband.

YogaHood
Yoga Hood I am planning to sell at the resort next door

I’ve already posted about the Yoga hood I cobbled together from gift yarn—which will likely be the first item on sale. The next item I planned to show them was a matching hat and mitts I was making from leftover Tosh DK for my Woolful KAL George Hancock Home and Away sweater in lovely Worn Denim.

The mitts are no problem, because that is my own design. But as I was knitting the waffle hat I pulled out the pattern to look to see the decreases and to my disappointment the pattern says that it can only be used for personal use and non-profit use. And while I wasn’t planning on selling it for a profit (just cost) it seems like that would violate the disclaimer.  

While I completely agree that you should acknowledge where a pattern comes from. I can also completely understand not duplicating it and serving it up as your own design. Which is why the mitt pattern I created refers back to the Violet Waffles hat pattern as inspiration for their design. And while I completely get why you wouldn’t want a huge conglomerate (e.g., The Gap) taking a pattern and mass producing it as their own design, eliminating low-production, in-person sales of garments is a bit hard to understand. After all, the work of knitting it and the materials are my own. That said, this was a FREE pattern. So that might have something to do with it. I’ve written to the designer to ask her thoughts, just to be sure.

I’ll be sure to check this out before I knit up someone else’s design or design something to match. Another lesson learned the hard way!

I guess my sister-in-law will get this set. *sigh*

My First Crochet Project

My Gadabout Bag
My Gadabout Bag

I know somewhere in the distant past I made a few granny squares in Junior High. So you might argue that this isn’t my very first crochet project. So perhaps a better way of describing it is that I’ve just created my first ever *usable* object.

The not-so-little Gad-about bag (I used 64 stitches instead of 48), designed by Dot Matthews, is my newest project bag. The Seahawks colors are unintentional. This is just what I had lying about of similar weight and composition. Though it could be that I’m subliminally drawn to the local sports team colors. I like to think I already liked this combination and that the correspondence is a coincidence.

The bottom of the finished bag inspired my wish to see what more
The bottom of the finished bag inspired my wish to see what more “mistakes” might look like.

My LYM (local yarn manufacturer) is Warm Valley Orchard (WVO) on Orcas Island. When I’ve bought a sweater’s worth of yarn I’ve been allowed to make a free selection from a hank ends pile. So between leftovers from various projects and these hank ends, I was building up quite a stash of unstashable yarns. I find WVO yarns to be stiffer than other yarns. Perfect for a sturdy bag.

I didn’t follow the directions exactly for the bottom, but I followed pretty closely for the top. And though it is clearly too tight in places, I must admit, I prefer the fabric from the not followed section better than the followed. The coil outward reminds me of a Panamanian hat. I wondered what it would look like if I just kept on going…

Bottom of the bag in progress
Bottom of the bag in progress

I was so pleased with my mods, I decided to immediately start on another bag. However I stopped work quickly after the bottom section because I really am anxious to get on with my next big project—a cardigan for me. Finally!!

You might also notice that the colors match fairly well the first project I put into it—my Woolful Summer knit-a-long Home and Away project, which is a combination of a Georgetown and a Hancock sweater from Hannah Fettig’s Home and Away book.

Georgetown-Hancock from Home and Away
Georgetown-Hancock from Home and Away made from Tosh DK in Worn Denim

If you’ve seen this beautiful book, you’ll know that Hancock calls for a sport weight yarn and Georgetown calls for worsted. One is cropped and the other is hip length. One described as a bottom up knit and the other top-down (though directions are provided in both styles for each). About the only thing they have in common is they are cardigans. I love design elements from both, so onward I go.

And as for the yarn. I’m officially madly in love with Tosh DK in this colorway.

Warm Waffle Mitts

Madelinetosh DK in Cathedral
Madelinetosh DK in Cathedral

Download PDF: Warm Waffle Mitt Pattern

With the funds from some recent vintage yarn sales on Ravelry, I recently purchased 2 beautiful hanks of Madelinetosh DK in Cathedral. What prompted it (besides a closeout sale on that color) was lovely Violet Waffles hat pattern. It looked like it would be perfect for a good winter/spring all-purpose hat.

Violet Waffle Hat
Violet Waffle Hat

When I’d finished and still had a full hank and then some yarn leftover, I thought it would be nice to have a matching pair of fingerless mitts. This inspiration came along after a couple chilly mornings waiting for the bus whilst trying to check for its approach on my cell phone. Mitts are the perfect combo of finger to phone access and woolly goodness.

I searched several times for the features I needed. Nothing out of the ordinary, I thought; just a pattern with the following characteristics:

  • A longish mitt that would go up the arm for extra warmth;
  • Something in a waffle pattern or one that could be converted; and
  • Works well with a DK weight yarn

Easy! Um. No.

Mitts with the Hat
Mitts with the Hat

I could find one or two of these characteristics, but struck out on finding all of them, so like any budding designer, I made my own. The closest was Lettice Weasel’s Slim Fit Stripe Mitt pattern for length and yarn weight, but it didn’t work for the waffle pattern. So I started there and made changes, which led to several more changes to compensate for the first changes, and so on. Rather than a slim fit, I really wanted something a bit more comfortable.

So here it my own pattern for the Warm Waffle Mitts. So good you can easily eat in them.

Materials/notions:

The gauge swatch
The gauge swatch
  • ½ hank of Madelinetosh DK (~110 yards)
  • 3 stitch markers in contrasting colors (one of one color—two of another)
  • 4 double point (DP) needles in US sizes
  • 4 and 6 or whatever needle enables correct gauge.

Gauge: 22 stitches, 32 rows = 4” square

Abbreviations:
K – knit
P – purl
M1 – Make one stitch by knitting or purling into the stitch below
DP(s)/ DPN(s) – double point(s), double point needles
rnd(s) – round(s)
st(s) – stitch(es)

Pattern:

Wrist to Thumb
Onto smaller DP needle, cast on 40 stitches. Divide them across three needles. Place a (uniquely colored) marker to indicate rows.
Rows 1-22: work stitches in the round in a K2 P2 rib
Rows 23-24: Change to larger needles and K all stitches
Rows 25-26: work in K2 P2 rib.
Repeat rows 23-26 until you have 30 rows of the waffle pattern (ends on second row of all knitted stitches)

Thumb Gusset
Row 53: K2 make a stitch by purling into the row below and place a marker, P2 and then work in K2 P2 until you are two stitches before the original start/end marker. Place another marker (same color as the first in this row, but different than the original color). Make a stitch by purling into the row below and purl the remaining two stitches. Stitch count = 42, 6 stitches between the two new markers.
Row 54: K2 P2 until the last 3 stitches. Purl the last 3 stitches.
Row 55: K all stitches
Row 56: K3 M1 by knitting into the row below. Move marker and K to marker. Slip marker. M1 by knitting into the row below and K to end. Stitch count == 44, 8 stitches between new markers.
Rows 57-58: K2, P4 work the rest of the row in K2 P2 waffle pattern until you reach the marker. P4.
Row 59: K4, M1 by knitting into the row below, slip marker, K to next marker, K2, M1, K2. Stitch count = 46, 10 stitches between the outside markers.
Row 60: K all stitches
Row 61: K2, P2, K1, slip marker and P2 K2 until you reach the next marker. P2 K1 P2.
Row 62: K2, P2, M1 by knitting into the row below, K1 and follow pattern until you reach the marker. P2 M1 by knitting into the row below, K1, P2. Stitch count = 48, 12 stitches between the markers.
Row 63: K to last marker and transfer all stitches between the markers to a holder—removing all markers.
Row 64: knit the remaining 36 stitches. Placing a marker to keep track of rounds.

Hand
Continue to work in the round following the waffle pattern for 14 rounds (should have just completed 2 rounds of K only rounds.
Change to smaller needles and knit in K2 P2 rib for 8 more rounds and cast off in K2 P2 pattern.

Thumb
Arrange 12 stitches on three DPNs. Start from the last knitted stitch, place marker and pick up two stitches from the hand side of the thumb gusset. K to marker.
Next 2 rows: P4 K2 P2 K2 P2 K2 (4 purls should be on stitches that are between the thumb and hand).
Next 2 rows: K all stitches.
Repeat 4 rows 1 more time.
Cast off (on second knit row)

Quickie Capelet

Several views of the Quickie Capelet
Several views of the Quickie Capelet

How this pattern came together was trial and error. And while the pattern creation took several days, the actual knitting was 3 hours—total. A nice afternoon project with great results. Also of benefit is that I not only have a warm wear around the shoulders garment, I used up two yarns had had which were too much for a scarf/hat and not enough for a sweater.

I spent one whole day knitting swatches and seeing how the two yarns worked together. The main color is a single hand spun natural hank of worsted wool I picked up in Holbrook Arizona, just south of the Navaho Indian reservation. The other was three balls of wool ribbon yarn from my grandmother’s stash.

My inspiration for this garment was after I saw an Eileen Fisher capelet on a fashionista at work. I asked to inspect it more closely and it is from this that I chose the method of reducing—the creation of a seam in the back. Eileen’s was with a bulky fuzzy black yarn in garter stitch (so every other row knit/purl in the round) and had no border. I wanted both more and less texture. Less fuzz to show the yarns. Ribbing create visual appeal.

Supplies:

Side view of the capelet
Side view of the capelet

Pattern shown in photograph is made with three yarns held together:

  • Two hanks (~250-320 yards each) of worsted weight wool
  • Three skeins of ribbon yarn (I used a wool ribbon of unknown origin) of approximately DK weight

Substitute the same length of single strand of super bulky or two strands of bulky held together or whatever gives you the appropriate gauge.

Gauge:

5 stitches and 10 rows in a 4” x 4” square

Pattern:

Cast on 72 stitches and place stitch marker. Then continued in the round being careful not to twist.

Rows 1-4: K2P2 ribbing.

Row 5: Knit to marker

Rows 6-14: At marker K2tog, knit to end of row

63 Stitches remain

Rows 14-16: Knit even (do not reduce)

Rows 17: At marker K2tog and switch to K2 P2 ribbing

62 Stitches remain

Rows 18-30: Knit evening (do not reduce) in K2 P2 ribbing

Bind off in K2 P2 ribbing pattern

What I would do differently…

  1. I would hide the reductions by doing something farther out from the marker and evenly on each side. While there is a “cool” triangle on the back of the garment, I think a more subtle look would be better.

    K2tog at the marker creates a "tucked" look
    K2tog at the marker creates a “tucked” look
  2. I would even up the top and bottom rib for symmetry. I wanted more ribbing at the top to keep it up higher on my shoulders, but I think it would look better if I’d made them the same size.

What I would do the same…

  1. The yarns speak for themselves. I’d do less ribbing to show off the variegation in the wool ribbon yarn against the natural variations in the hand spun wool.
  2. Keep it this simple. What really makes the capelet visually elegant is the simplicity.