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L'Arbre x Fringe Association

Karen Templer, the editorial maven behind the Fringe Association blog has picked my L'Arbre Hat for her next Hatalong. I'm thrilled about this!

    © Jared Flood from   Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads   by Cirilia Rose (STC Craft, 2014)

 

© Jared Flood from Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads by Cirilia Rose (STC Craft, 2014)

As the years pass I find myself with less and less time to read blogs, but hers is one I try to keep up with. Karen is a researcher, a compiler, an educator and a zealous knitter. She also happens to sell some of my favorite knitting supplies through Fringe Supply, a sister site she runs alongside the blog. They're no nonsense and starkly beautiful. Karen has taste for days, so I'm tickled she picked my hat out of the zillions out there. 

Real talk: books take a long time to make. My book took an especially long time to make. I designed L'Arbre in 2011. It was one of the very first book pieces I finished. When I design something so simple, I do a thorough Ravelry pattern search to see if a particular stitch pattern or technique has already been covered before. At the time, this one (Little Tent from Barbara Walker's 1st treasury) hadn't been used for a hat. I was shocked, and proceeded with what is one of the simplest designs in the book. 

Since there is such a long lead time between designing book pieces and seeing them in the world, I knew that a parallel design was probably going to happen. Norah used to call this "the ether." If someone published a design that looked a lot like one we were working on, she'd just say, "it's in the ether," meaning we're all working from the same sources. 

I consider knitting a shared language, and I no longer concern myself with reinventing the wheel every time. I love homage, and bricolage and anyone who reads my book will gain a deeper understanding of that. Some designers intentionally avoid looking at other people's work, but I don't. I look at as much as I can, every day. If someone or something inspires a piece, I'll cite my sources. I didn't finish my master's degree, but I kept that habit. 

For me, the originality lies in the combination and execution of whatever elements I've gathered. That said, I did reach out to the people who published very similar hats in between the time I knit mine and when the book hit the shelves [Citadel by Beata JezekLiftOff by Julie HartBlythbourne Hat by Susie Allen. I sent them messages letting them know and apologizing for any inconvenience it might cause. So far, there have been no issues, and everyone had a wonderful attitude about the unfortunate coincidences.

And, proving my point, our hats all have slight differences! Contrast cast-ons, linings, brim patterns, crown decreases, embellishments, construction--all different. The only thing we really have in common is "hat" and that stitch pattern. There is room for all of us.  

XO CR 

P.S. I'll be knitting up a new L'Arbre, too! Find my yarn pick on the Zealana blog

Loro KAL | Casting-On + Making Mods

Hello! We're ready to cast-on for Loro! If you're been following along so far, you'll know that I swatched five yarns in preparation for today. I forgot to mention that I picked up four of them at Tolt Yarn and Wool, my semi-local LYS (Cascade Ecological Wool, Madeline Tosh Vintage, Peace Fleece Worsted, and Quince & Co. Osprey Heathers). They should all be available online soon, or you can call and place an order over the phone. I've decided to use Zealana Tui, a soft single-ply which is slightly too heavy at 3 stitches to the inch knit on size 9 needles. Lucky me, as Zealana's Brand Ambassador I was able to get this gloriously fluffy possum/merino/cashmere blend on a cone, meaning I'll have very few yarn ends to weave in (truth be told, I swear by spit-splicing, so I rarely have many ends). 

The fabric on 9s is already rather firm, and to get to the stated gauge of 4 stitches to the inch, I'd have to drop at least a needle size, which would probably yield a cardboard-like fabric. I decided to do a bit of tinkering on my calculator, coming up with a new cast-on number that would work with my gauge. It was very easy, and I'll walk you through what I did in case you're having trouble getting gauge, or, like me, you fancy yourself a rebel.

Oh! One more note: in my last post I said that matching row gauge isn't all that important and that's not exactly true. I'm shortening my vest, and since the pattern calls for decreases every 12 rows (approximately every 2"), I needed to figure out how many decreases will be eliminated in the shortened version so I can adjust my stitch count accordingly. 

I'll be knitting a medium, which measures 21.5" across at the lower hem. The medium back as written is 29" long and I'd like to shorten my vest to about 21", which means eliminating 4 decreases. First, I need to find my new cast-on number. I know that the original back measures 21.5" across at lower hem, so I multiply this number by my new gauge and get 64.5. I need a whole, even number to work Moss Stitch and the built-in garter selvedge, so I round down to 64. I subtract the decreases I'm omitting and get 60. This is my new cast-on number. I'll cast on 60 and proceed with the pattern as written. 

Leaving a 16-18" tail of yarn when casting-on is a great way to facilitate neat seaming later, but that long tail can get in your way while you're knitting. I wind it into a small bundle called a yarn butterfly, a technique that can also be used in lieu of bobbins when working intarsia. The whole process is pictured below: 

Good luck with your cast-on! Let me know if you have any questions, or if you're making any mods of your own. Comment here or in our Loro KAL Ravelry thread, and be sure to hashtag #LoroKAL on Twitter and Instagram so we can all keep tabs on each other's progress. Have fun!

XO CR

all text and images © cirilia rose 2017