• naturesknitch

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

It is interesting to ponder how ideas are transformed into projects. Sometimes its all about connecting some ideas or thoughts (the dots) and adding the creative juices to mix them together to see what happens. My mosaic toque is a great example.

I purchased an new pea coat at the end of winter last year in a light grey. So subconsciously I have been thinking about what colour combination can I put with the light grey coat because we know that we need colour in winter. This is simmering in the background when my subscription to Interweave Knits comes. Oooh, the front cover has that dark grey and golden rod colour. I like that. I stash dive and to my luck I have left over skeins of Custom Woolen Mills 2ply 100% wool mule spinner in light grey (more than 1 ball), golden rod (1 full skein) and about half of a ball of the dark grey. Wow, is this meant to be?

So I explore a little further. Note that I have now dropped everything else I had on the go to follow this trail of crumbs. So I was looking at my Curly Q Coat I had posted on Instagram and remembered how enjoyable it was to create with mosaic knitting (Barbara Walker's book). Another mosaic? Let's see if I can find a pattern that jumps out at me. Ha, ha you know that there will be, the question is can I make it work in a toque style.

So I decide that I can make it happen based on previous hats I have made (Winter Beauties Hat and Pony) only this time it won't look like a crown, but a ribbing and then the mosaic pattern, not a tight fitting toque but a bit slouchy so I can make the mirror or shadow work for the pattern.

An so we swatch for number of stitches per inch and begin the exploration.

So far so good. The mirror or shadow is pretty cool. It's a colour switch of the stitches. So we continue and in no time we have a toque with very cool patterning. You will note that I started with a single k1, p1 rib in light grey. With mosaic you can see from the picture there are floats so in essence the toque is a double knit lending warmth. I thought the single k1, p1 in light grey wasn't enough contrast so I picked up stitches on the edge with right side facing and did another k1, p1 rib in dark grey. Much better, so now I have this cast-on light grey trim moving into the dark grey so now it balances with the shadow portion of the mosaic.

So now we are almost done except for the pom-pom. I think the great big pom poms are fun but they should be in wool not manufactured. Do I remember how to make one? I check my knitting bag and fortunately I do have a pom-pom maker. Yup we want big and hey I think we have enough dark grey (barely) to load the ring up. It was surprisingly easier than I thought. You cut a length of yarn (like 4 yards) double it and then start wrapping the rings. Depending where you load the colors you can get some pretty cool colour designs. Another opportunity to play for another day! Okay so load, tie a length of yarn around the middle (not too tight as I broke my first one) and then we cross our fingers and cut. Voila, a big pom-pom!

Along this journey, I view a friend's post that these colours are the pantone colours of the year. Who knew? This toque is right on cue! I am also thinking about Custom Woolen Mills. They have a group that grows and harvests their own natural dyes and I think this would be an awesome project as the dark grey and light grey are natural colours and the dyed yarn golden rod (not sure what flower- marigold?) would create this lovely colour.

Project complete and ready for pattern write-up. At this point I have to decide whether it will be a kit or posted as a pattern on Ravelry. Its a hard choice sometimes because I end up holding a lot of inventory if my guess doesn't interest you. I decide that it will be a pattern and I will offer it up to the Custom Woolen Mills group so they can use their stash of lovely naturally dyed yarn. And so Winter Beauties Mosaic is a new design.

Now wouldn't a scarf in this mosaic look fantastic with it...

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  • naturesknitch

Yup, another project on the needles that is now identified as unfinished object(UFO) #2. I pulled it out and would you believe the back and two fronts are complete! Just waiting on sleeves, collar and some hidden pockets. Key here is that when I took it out of the bag, I feel in love again with the design. It is a cable design using Heidi's 2ply home grown wool (Bragg Creek, Alberta). Wool and a solid colour really shows these cables well.

This one is a keeper so it is on my Move it Forward (MIF) list. So now I have two projects jumping up and down in wait for Monday! Yippee!

This project has been on the needles for a long while (+5 years) and I wonder why it just didn't have longevity of attention? Anyways, I had to go back to piece together what I did. Thankfully at the time I was writing a daily diary of sorts, so knitting information mixed in with ideas, things going on at the moment, thoughts, you know stuff that would be put in daily diary. The thing is, it is not ideal for writing down what you did with a project. To go back means you have to sift through the diary to find tidbits of information related to that particular project, and if you have many projects on the go (yes, you do) then it does become a bit of task. The good news is at least you have some breadcrumbs to piece it all together and you have the physical work to look at see what you did. For example: It is easy to look at the armhole shaping and see that you did a 4, 3, 2, 1x4 reduction.

I am happy that I moved to a file format with journal entries to keep track of my projects, much better. You can still capture ideas but maybe you want to capture those in an idea file.

Enjoy moving it forward...

Carol :)

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  • naturesknitch

As I mentioned in my last post, we need to find a way to capture that we touched our yarn, kinda like leaving bread crumbs so we know how to get back there. My project involves a repeating pattern over 4 rows. So in order to make it easier to get back on track, I have chosen to always finish on the 4th row. That way I do not have to decipher the point at which I left off.

How to capture...I am old-school I guess - give me a pen and a pad of graph paper and we are good to go. I use files folders for all of my projects because they can travel with the project, even if its back into the stash pile! I date the entry where I left off and say hey I moved it forward. It is also an opportunity to capture those ideas that you might want to try that you thought about while you were knitting. Maybe you also count the number of stitches you have on the needle to confirm you did those lace row correctly. Capture that too!

There is also a project capture section on Ravelry that you can use as well. Why not try it?

Key is to date your entry. Be specific about what you did with the project - so you might be completing the armhole shaping so say cast off 3 sts, then 2 sts and then 1st 5 times. If you are specific it will help if you have to repeat it (so what did I do for the left front again...) or for writing up your pattern based on the size you are making.

Okay, write it down and enjoy the journey!

Carol :)

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