Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Ssssssssneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek at what I’m currently designing—a snake scarf!  Sssssssssss!  Nathan just learned how to make the noise a snake makes, so knitting this has been fun.  He comes over to my knitting, picks up the snake by the tail and waves it around and goes Ssssss ssssss!

I originally wanted to make a black and red snake scarf to go with his black and red winter coat, but I didn’t have enough yarn of either color (plus, some black and red snakes are poisonous!) so I dug into my stash to see what color snake scarf I can knit up. And I did an image search for Pennsylvania snakes and came up with the ribbon snake, which is a docile snake common in the eastern half of the U.S., is not poisonous and is even kept as a pet. Perfect!

I’m knitting it in Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool. This yarn is surprisingly soft for the price (you get 8 ounces for about $10) and it isn’t scratchy at all. Just right for little ones or big ones—just about any reptile-lover in your life.

The pattern takes advantage of the natural roll of stockinette fabric, and he’s coming out quite realistic-looking. I’ll have to give him a really cute head and face to make up for his a-little-too-realistic-looking body. His vertical stripes are an easy introduction to colorwork (for those of you who say you’re too intimidated to try it!) and don’t leave you with lots of ends to weave in, the way horizontal stripes do.

A Word on How I Design

When I design a knitting pattern, I design it as if I’m going to knit it myself (and I do). When I see some patterns, like the ones with hundreds of ends to weave in or too many colors in one row, I ask myself, who’d want to knit that? And I wonder if the designers actually knit their own patterns before publishing them, or if they even knit.

I strive to write my patterns so they’re easy for advanced beginner knitters to decipher, yet interesting enough to get the attention of more advanced knitters. I also call for yarn that’s easy to find and not super expensive. Ever pick up an issue of Vogue Knits and wonder, Who can afford to spend $1,000 on cashmere yarn to knit a bulky sweater?! Frankly, if I had that kind of money to spend on one article of clothing, I’d want the sweater to be already made up, thank you, and it wouldn’t be bulky.

Or, ever hunt around for the specialty yarn called for in a pattern and can’t find it? Or you find it and it’s only sold by some obscure online shop you’ve never heard of and have to pay shipping charges? Even though yarn can be substituted, I call for yarn that found in craft stores, most local yarn shops or in the Knit Picks or Patternworks catalogs.

I’ll post Snakey (or whatever his name ends up being) as soon as he’s finished. Happy knitting, my friends!


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