January 26, 2017

New pattern release: La Belle Dame sans Mercy

La Belle Dame sans Mercy is based upon a medieval love debate poem; the three panels of this semi-circular shawl represent the three main players in the poem. The middle panel is the narrator who is an unwilling eyewitness to the debate between the lover and the lady. Because he has recently lost his own lady through death, his thoughts are in turmoil with no place to rest. The outer two panels represent the lover and lady, starting off with a somewhat relaxed conversation that turns into a much more serious debate.

The pattern instructions use one main color and three accent colors; however, this shawl is easily adaptable to other color options from one solid color to a main body and border color to gradients. Pattern includes charts as well as fully written instructions, so you can use whichever instruction type you prefer.

Yarn
Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat (100% superwash Merino, 512 yds/468 m per 110 g): 1 skein for Color A; 1 mini skein each for Colors B, C, and D (sample uses 1 full skein of Cabbages & Kings and the three lightest skeins in the Down the Rabbit Hole Phantomwise mini skein pack)
or another fingering weight yarn: approximately 500 yds/457 m of Color A; 90 yds/82 m each for Colors B and C; and 128 yds/117 m for Color D

Materials
US 6 (4.0 mm) 32” (80 cm) circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
4 stitch markers
Tapestry needle

Gauge
22 stitches and 34 rows over 4” (10 cm) in stockinette, blocked

Finished Measurements
66” (168 cm) across the straight edge; 29” (74 cm) radius

September 1, 2016

New pattern release and KAL: Polyxena Shawl

The Polyxena Shawl uses a half-pi construction, which doubles the number of stitches after each section. The construction is well-suited to showing off gradient yarn, and the final section is adjustable based upon how much yarn you have available. Although the name Polyxena refers to a character from the story of the Trojan War, the “poly” part of the name means “many,” which refers to the gradient or color-changing yarn used in this design.

Designed specifically for the Jumbo Sock Garden Party Cake from Art-by-Ana, the pattern includes instructions for three sizes based upon how much yarn you have (463 yards, 555 yards, and 693 yards).

Karen and Ana are co-hosting a KAL for the shawl. The KAL will run from September 15-November 15. For more details, visit their Ravelry group.

Photos courtesy of Anne Podlesak for Stitch Definition

February 10, 2016

New Pattern Release: Pyramus Beret and Thisbe Cowl

The tall, skinny cables in this matching hat and cowl resemble the crack in the wall through which star-crossed lovers Pyramus and Thisbe communicated. The length of the cowl provides warmth as well as a nice drape so it can be worn comfortably. The beret is knit from the top down in the round. The patterns are both fully written out and charted, so you can use whichever type of instruction works best for you.

Yarn
Malabrigo Arroyo (100% superwash Merino wool, 335 yds/306 m per 100 g); 1 skein for each project; samples use colorway Reflecting Pool; or 300 yds (274 m) of another sport weight yarn for each project

Beret Materials
US 6 (4 mm) 16” (40 cm) circular needle plus DPNs, or size needed to obtain gauge
US 5 (3.75 mm) 16” (40 cm) circular needle, or one size smaller than needle to obtain gauge
Cable needle
6 stitch markers (one different to mark beginning of round)

Cowl Materials
US 6 (4 mm) 24” (60 cm) circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable needle
Stitch marker

Gauge
22 stitches and 40 rounds over 4” (10 cm) in stockinette in the round on larger needles, blocked

Finished Measurements
Beret: 20” (51 cm) circumference and 11.5” (29 cm) diameter
Cowl: 29” (73.5 cm) circumference and 6.5” (16.5 cm) tall

Skills Needed
Beret: knitting in the round, working cables, increases (kfb, M1L, M1R), Emily Ocker’s cast on (video tutorial available)
Cowl: knitting in the round, working cables

Credits
Thank you to the women of Stitch Definition, who provided photography (Anne Podlesak), tech editing (Maureen Hannon), and graphic design/layout (Elizabeth Green Musselman).

December 1, 2015

Gringolet Cowl new pattern release

Knit in the round, the Gringolet Cowl uses a combination of increases (including double yarn overs) and decreases to create geometric shapes. The center of the stitch pattern resembles horseshoes, connecting the pattern to Gawain’s faithful horse, Gringolet. The pattern is both fully written out and charted, so you can use whichever type of directions works best for you.

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Skills needed: knitting in the round, k2tog, ssk, yarn overs, and double yarn overs

Yarn
YOTH Yarns Little Brother (80% Superwash Merino/10% cashmere/10% nylon, 435 yds/398 m per 100 g); 1 skein; sample uses colorway Wheatgrass (or 400 yds (366 m) of another fingering weight yarn)

Materials
US 3 (3.25 mm) 24” (60 cm) circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch marker

Gauge
26 sts and 48 rows over 4” (10 cm) in body pattern worked in the round, blocked

Finished Measurements
34” (86.5 cm) circumference and 9” (23 cm) tall

About the Name
Gawain was one of the knights of the Round Table — an integral part of the stories both in his own right as well as because he was Arthur’s nephew. Although horses were important to the knights and get many mentions in the tales, not very many horses are given names. Gringolet is one such exception, and the name is used in several stories about Gawain from various traditions, such as the French Erec and Enide by Chretien de Troyes, the English Lancelot-Grail Cycle as well as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the German Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach.

According to Roger Shermin Loomis, the name was derived from a Welsh word meaning either “white and hardy” or “handsome and hardy.” In either case, the “hardy” definition fits with Gringolet’s character quite well as he is a horse Gawain can rely upon. In Parzival, Gawain comes upon a wounded knight and tends to his injury. Gawain is “rewarded” by having Gringolet stolen from him. Later, Gawain finds himself jousting against a different knight who is riding Gringolet and recovers his horse, which is easily identified by the mark of the Grail it bears. Losing and regaining Gringolet seems to be a recurrent plot point for Gawain.

(Photos courtesy of Anne Podlesak for Stitch Definition)

September 1, 2015

Gawain’s Shield shawl collection pattern release

The six knitting projects in this collection are based on the enchanting medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Five stunning, crescent-shaped shawls represent the five knightly virtues symbolized on Gawain’s shield (Generosity, Fellowship, Chastity, Courtesy, and Piety), with an additional sixth project based upon the magical belt (the Green Girdle) that replaces Gawain’s shield later in the story. Included along with the patterns is a summary of the text as well as a discussion of the role of Gawain’s shield and the Green Girdle in both the story itself as well as in the patterns.

The collection is available in both print and electronic formats.

Photos courtesy of JS Webb Photography for Stitch Definition.

August 25, 2015

Clairvaux Baby Blanket pattern release

The Clairvaux Baby Blanket is knit all in one piece but gives the effect of being worked in four blocks, like a quilt. The seed stitch borders and a lifted twist pattern in each square make it seems like an extremely complex design, but it is not too challenging to navigate for intermediate or experienced knitters; the adventurous beginner also shouldn’t hesitate to try it. This baby blanket can be worked as written for a 30”x30” blanket or could be adapted for a larger size. Pattern includes both written directions as well as a chart for the block pattern (which is also written out).

About the Name
In the twelfth century, Bernard of Clairvaux was a Cistercian monk. He was sent to found a monastery which he named Claire Vallée (which became Clairvaux). Bernard was an important figure for the Cistercians as well as for Christianity in general. He was a judge between the rival popes in a great schism of the Church. He supported Innocent II and met with important figures of the times such as Henry I of England to secure their support for this pope. Most of Italy supported the rival pope, and Bernard worked tirelessly to get them to change their support to Innocent and was able to convince several key figures to do so.

Bernard’s theology rested heavily on stressing the importance of the Virgin Mary, with her serving as intercessor. He was instrumental in the founding of numerous other monasteries and wrote several theological works as well as many letters, for which he is known as an eloquent writer. He even found a place in literature when Dante used Bernard as the final guide in the Paradiso (the last part of the Divine Comedy).

I designed this baby blanket for a good friend’s baby and couldn’t resist using the Clairvaux name for the pattern after finding out what they named the baby.

May 12, 2015

Chauntecleer Cowl pattern release

This cowl uses two colors and an eyelet stitch pattern. Worked in the round on circular needles in a worsted weight yarn, this cowl can have a variety of looks based upon the colors selected — do you want to emphasize the contrast of colors or have them blend more together? Pattern includes both written directions as well as a chart for the body pattern (which is also written out).

To celebrate the release of the pattern, use coupon code Pertelote to save 20% through Monday, May 18 (end of day U.S. Central time) on Ravelry.

March 10, 2015

Brynhild Cowl pattern release

Construction and Size
This cowl uses a lace stitch pattern that creates a design that looks like a ring of shields around your neck (see About the Name below). Worked in the round on circular needles in a DK weight yarn, this cowl is fairly tall so you can wear it scrunched around your neck for extra warmth or even pull it up on the back of your head or in front of your face. The suggested yarn is a blend of merino and silk which provides softness and a lovely drape. Pattern includes both written directions as well as a chart for the lace pattern (which is also written out).

Skill Level: Advanced beginner
Skills needed: knitting in the round, yarn overs, decreases

Materials
Malabrigo Silky Merino (51% Silk, 49% Merino, 150 yds/137 m per 50 g skein); 3 skeins; sample uses colorway London Sky (or 400 yds (366 m) of another DK weight yarn)
US 5 (3.75mm) 16” (40 cm) circular needles (or one size smaller than size needed to obtain gauge)
US 6 (4.0 mm) 16” (40 cm) circular needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Stitch marker

About the Name
Brynhild is a character in the Völsunga saga, which is an Icelandic story from the thirteenth century. The story is probably most well known by the character Sigurd, who famously slays a dragon and eats its heart.

Brynhild is known as a shieldmaiden, a female warrior (also known as a Valkyrie). She is supposed to decide upon a battle between two kings, and instead of picking the king Odin favored, she chooses the other, angering Odin. She is punished by being made mortal and is placed in a castle that is surrounded by a wall of shields (which is much like the cowl—the stitch pattern forms a wall of shields), and she is surrounded by a ring of fire.

Sigurd rescues her (along with getting through the walls of shields and flames, he has to cut the extremely tight armor off of her), and the two seem to fall in love, but Sigurd ends up marrying someone else. Brynhild also marries and she and Sigurd’s wife argue over whose husband is braver, a conflict that reveals jealousies and betrayals. This situation leads to the murder of Sigurd. Brynhild, who is still in love with Sigurd, throws herself onto the funeral pyre.

February 24, 2015

Brangien Hat Pattern Release

This hat features a cable panel with the rest of the hat in a textured moss stitch. The fit should be just a little loose, not truly slouchy but not tight either. The hat is knit in the round on circular needles in a fingering weight yarn (a solid or semi-solid is recommended). Pattern includes both written directions for all stitch patterns as well as charts for the cable panel.

About the Name: Brangien (whose name is spelled in many different ways) is a character in the Tristan and Isolde story, which is a rather tragic love story.

January 8, 2015

Palamon Hat and Arcite Cowl: Patterns Released

The matching Palamon Hat and Arcite Cowl patterns have been released. This hat and cowl feature two slip stitch patterns, which makes this a great design for variegated or semi-solid yarns. Knit with a worsted weight yarn (sample uses Malabrigo Worsted Merino), each one is a quick knit to help keep you warm this winter. Patterns are available on Ravelry separately or together as an eBook and are on sale through January 15, 2015. (Quick note on the names: Palamon and Arcite are the main characters in “The Knight’s Tale,” part of the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.)