simple knits

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Lately I’ve realized the importance of having a simple project on the needles. I’ve been working on two new patterns (more on them soon, I promise) that both involve multiple charts, and in my free time I’ve been working on a pair of Twisted Flower socks from Cookie A’s Knit. Sock. Love. and I’ve started swatching for Quadrillion from the most recent fall issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. Both of those patterns are also heavily charted, and while I’m totally a chart lover, I think I’m beginning to understand the importance of balancing those more intricate projects with much simpler ones. I call this kind of knitting mindless knitting – think miles of plain stockinette, or extremely basic knit-purl patterns (ribbing, seed stitch). It’s the kind of knitting I can do while I read, because I don’t have to look at it. Ideally the most attention I ever have to pay to the project is to tick another row off in my notebook when my finger hits the stitch marker marking the beginning of a round.

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Craving this kind of project this weekend, I found myself casting on for a pair of basic fingerless mitts with some Noro I recently received as a gift. Initially I thought I’d do stripes, but then I decided I’d rather showcase the color change of the yarn on its own, with some texture for added interest. I divided the skein into two little balls, cast on 31 stitches for each mitt (an odd number, so that each row started with a k1 and was therefore exactly the same), and knit until there was only a little yarn leftover for the thumbs. I didn’t even have to count my rows as I went, which was wonderful. I seamed up the sides, leaving holes for the thumbs, then picked up stitches and worked 12 rounds for each thumb. Unfortunately, there were two knots in the skein, both of which landed in the right mitt, which is partly why the color shifts so much more often on that mitt, but I don’t mind. I kind of love how delightfully mismatched they are.

With this realization in mind, I’m planning to make sure I’ve got at least one mindless project going at all times, and last night I cast on for a three-color Inkling with some super lovely shades of Berroco Ultra Alpaca:

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I think it should keep me busy for a little while.

In other news, I’m putting together wholesale linesheets this week and I finally have hard copies of several Paper Tiger patterns (including the FW 13 collection) ready to go. If you’re a yarn store or other retailer interested in carrying Paper Tiger patterns, shoot me an email at dianna (at) paper-tiger.net to request a linesheet.

fall/winter 2013: inkling

It’s been a race to the finish, but Paper Tiger Fall/Winter 2013 is essentially done, and the first pattern has been released! You can see all five patterns in the lookbook, which is viewable here. The patterns will be released via Ravelry over the course of the week and I should have some hard copies on hand this weekend at Knit Fit! I’m incredibly proud of this collection and I’m thrilled to finally share it with you.

I’ll be writing a little bit about each pattern in the collection as it’s released, so this evening I thought I’d start with the first one: Inkling.

The end of summer and beginning of autumn always makes me feel the anticipation of going back to school I had as a student, even though I haven’t been a student for years. I’m still a lover of new books, fresh notebooks, and any knitted garb with an academic bent (and I still read books about phonology in my spare time). This cowl is a nod to my huge soft spot for academia, my years in grad school, and I must admit, it’s also a nod to a few of my favorite fantasy authors and academics, both in name and appearance. I wanted to give the old school scarf idea a more modern treatment, so Inkling is a seamless infinity cowl, long enough to wrap twice around your neck when you need some cozy warmth, but not too long to wear down in one loop. I’ve been trying not to wear the sample too much, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to take the thing off! It’s simple and cozy and goes with everything, and the color possibilities are endless. Wear your nerd pride with some Hogwarts house colors, or go for muted neutrals and pastels to soften it up. I want to knit about a dozen in different color combinations.

The pattern is simple; it starts with a provisional cast on and the cowl is knit in the round. When it’s long enough, the ends are grafted together so it’s completely seamless with no wrong side. For a full list of details including yarn and needle requirements, and to purchase the pattern, visit the Ravelry page for Inkling.