It’s time for the fourth (and final!) Steampunk Oz design! This time I’m using two skeins of Iachos in “Patchwork Girl” and “Deadly Desert.”
The Wheelers first appear in Ozma of Oz. Their arms are the same length as their legs, and all four limbs end in wheels made of fingernails. Their clothing is colorful and heavily embroidered. As a child, they terrified me! But, now I admire their attitude and steampunky outfits.
Wheels is a crescent-shaped shawl that features a high-contrast colorway in wheels and stripes against a neutral background. The wheels are worked flat, using short-rows to create the curve. The body is also worked flat, bottom up, from a combination of stitches picked up from the wheels and newly cast-on stitches.
This pattern can easily be lengthened by making more wheels. Each additional wheel will use approximately 32 yards of MC and 27 yards of CC. If you have two 400-yard skeins, you could safely begin with as many as 11 wheels.
Wheels is part of the Steampunk Oz Collection. Look for The Wizard (two skeins of DK yarn), Glinda (two skeins of fingering-weight yarn), and Winged Monkeys (two skeins of DK yarn).
Just in time, for Vogue Knitting Live: 2015 in NYC … I give you the Mini Marvel Swing Vest!
Are you anywhere near Manhattan? No plans this weekend? Come visit me, Kate, and the Mini Marvel Swing Vest at Vogue Knitting Live. Ask nice, and I’ll let you try it on and give it a spin. A Hundred Ravens has Booth #1006 on the sixth floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square (market hours and directions). We’ll have plenty of mini sets as well as new colorways in Kate’s fabulous yarn, and of course all the usual suspects too.
Mini Marvel is a slouchy vest that features an asymmetric flare of color over the left shoulder – show off your gradient mini set from A Hundred Ravens! Also perfect for hoarded sock-yarn leftovers … go subtle or bold, the choice is up to you.
Worked sideways in garter stitch, the vest uses short rows to create the flare and swingy hem, and simple increases/decreases to shape the armholes. Finishing is limited to two shoulder seams!
Many thanks to the lovely Libby for modeling Mini Marvel for me! The owner of Stewart’s Florist (Townsend, MA) was so accommodating for our impromptu photo shoot — thank you!
I have started work on a new design, pitched to me by Kate of A Hundred Ravens. It’s a garment, it uses one of her minis sets, and it will be done for the spring season … beyond that, I’m not quite ready to share, except perhaps this photo:
Things to ponder… Who blew the great horn of Helm Hammerhand? Was Saruman experimenting with explosives? Whatever shall I do with this high-contrast variegated colorway?
Hornburg provides an answer to the last query, using slipped stitches and ever-changing stitch counts to show wild colorways (like Helm’s Deep) to full effect.
Pattern: Hornburg Cowl
Designer: Rachel Henry
Available: $6 on Ravelry
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Aesir — 2 skeins
Hornburg is knit flat, using a clever trick of construction to result in a circular cowl with no sewing or picked-up stitches. No, really!
Although designed for a bouncy sport-weight yarn (like Aesir), the pattern is readily adapted to other weights of yarn. Use needles sized appropriately for your yarn, and add (or remove) repeats of the bias strip pattern as desired. Naturally, yardage required will vary with size of yarn and needles.
Lookit what I made, it’s so cool! :)
Project: Fairy Rings
Pattern: Miss Winkle
Designer: Martina Behm
Available: €3.60 EUR on Ravelry
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos in “Frances and the Leaping Fairy”
So … I think we all know how hard it can be to find a good pattern for a high-contrast multi-colored skein of hand-dyed yarn. For instance, take a look at this skein:
In terms of colors, the white, coral, and green all contrast sharply. The tone of the saturated green and color are about the same, as you can see in the black-and-white version, but there is a strong contrast between the white and the most saturated “grey” ends of the skein. This is a colorway that will be stripey, and would overwhelm any but the most simple lace pattern.
BUT — it’s perfect for garter stitch, especially if the project has a variable stitch count to help avoid big pools of color. Martina Behm’s Hitchhiker is a perfect example of a simple pattern in garter stitch that increases gradually from a small cast-on to a broad end … it’s classic! Martina seems to have made this sort of shawl/scarf a bit of a speciality. What I like about Miss Winkle is the awesome loopy edge. I need something to help hold my attention when working garter stitch, and this was just the thing. An unexpected side-benefit of the loops is that they concentrate the color. I estimate that each loop uses about half a round of the skein, so many progress through all three main colors. It helps “pop” the colors in the garter stitch…. and also, they are so cool!!
The curve of this kind of shawl happens naturally — the neck edge has kfb on both RS and WS rows, so it “pulls” a bit.
So … last week I got my hands on my special-order Aesir from A Hundred Ravens. I had a specific project in mind, and I asked Kate to dye a batch of Aesir in “mostly Bree, but less orange and more tonal in general.”
She took a look at the project I was planning, and made this for me:
And, here are the first two gears of my Torque Scarf!
A Hundred Ravens can be found at the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market most Saturdays! Snugged in amongst the plants and, um, garden decorations you will find a wide variety of delicious local food and other neat stuff. Kate sells hard copies of many of my patterns, and has lovely samples worked up in her yarn. The butter-yellow Levade in Llyr is one of my favorites.
It’s even better on a dinosaur.
(The raptor is a yard ornament. That you can buy. To put in your yard. And terrify people.)