Wednesday, July 08, 2015

New Pattern: Lemon Difficult

Difficult Difficult Lemon Difficult.

Admit it. You’ve got one in your stash. That skein of one-of-a-kind limited-edition crazy-variegated sock yarn that you just couldn’t resist. The one with all the colours and the fast changes and the overall craziness. The one from the charming little indie dyer at the fiber festival. The one in the sale bin at the yarn shop with the hilarious name? The one you created by accident in a misguided home dyeing experiment?

Yeah, that one. This pattern is for that one.

In my case, it was this one: Western Sky Knits Aspen Sock in Rainbow Bright.

I adore these yarns, but they can be difficult to use. Very difficult. In socks, they create busy stripes that are messy and muddled. They resist lace patterns, and in garter they pool and create strange collisions.

Adding another, solid colour (in my case, black) calms things down a little, and using the crazy colour as the background to a two-colour brioche rib creates spectacular shadow and relief effects.

This pattern creates a slightly asymmetrical triangle shawl that’s smooshy and warm and easy to wear. Depending on how crazy that crazy skein of yarn is, you can create a true statement piece….

Or something that shows off a less bright but still busy colourway in a clever and subtle fashion. See the test knitters' projects on Ravelry to get a sense of how it looks in other combos.

Don’t be intimidated by the brioche: oddly, it’s easier to work in two colours than one, as it’s easier to see what you’re doing. These instructions are detailed enough that even if you’ve never tried it before, you will be able to manage it.  It does require a little attention, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not difficult. This isn’t necessarily TV knitting, but it definitely would go well with a good audiobook or podcast.

I've heard from test knitters that it's detailed enough that even total-brioche-novices can safely tackle it. (Heck, one of my testers informed me that until she started this pattern, she didn't even know how to increase.)

Click on this pic to enlarge and see the fabric up close. I think it's amazingly cool. 
The size is entirely flexible: you work until the piece is the size you want. I used 50gm each of two fingering weight yarns to get a piece 52 inches by about 22 inches, but you could go larger if you wish, with no pattern adjustments at all.

The pattern is available for download now, for $5, from Ravelry, Patternfish and LoveKnitting.

1 comment:

kathy b said...

it is just so lovely. I really like how you've tamed the crazy sock skein