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For me, colour and texture rule and most of the inspiration feeding my imagination comes from the natural world. I see knitting as art, as viable as any other, and no matter what the tool or preferred palette, in human hands, magic happens.

Jane

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Phone: 902-829-3457


 

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NEW FREE PATTERN: SHELL DANCE CAPELET

 

 free_pattern_shell_dance_400

 

Another free pattern as my gift to all of you: something to wear through summer to fall, a light, lovely capelet featuring drop and seed stitches. If you’ve ever been captured by the soft, undulating colors inside a seashell, you’ll understand the inspiration behind this design. Those pearly mauves, pinks and creams dance in the light, shifting direction and playing with the eye.  In this open, shoulder-draping capelet, where the movement of drop stitches celebrate the variations of an extraordinary hand-dyed yarn, homage to the luminous seashell is born.

Though not a 'free-range' pattern in that a row by row pattern is followed, the same principles of mixing lovely hand-dyed, custom-dyed or variegated yarns applies. 

Difficulty: Advanced Beginner / intermediate This little capelet features hands-free wearability. It’s fitted around the shoulders but not too long  —perfect for air conditioning and summer nights. This version is silky-light, an effect achieved by undulating drop stitches and a yarn that possesses an amazingly silk-like hand. 

The pattern is not complex. Knitted on two sizes of circular needles but not in the round, shaping is achieved by decreasing in the center stitch every right-side row and by gradually decreasing stitches around the shoulders. On row 38, the needle size changes to a smaller size, which also contributes to the shaping. The pattern adapts to practically any yarn at any weight, though for the pearly effect shown in the picture, the silkier the yarn, the better. Try it all in one color or only two if you want, but hand-dyed yarn brings a gentle meld of different shades perfect for the design.  

The basic color principle used is to blend similar tones for a soft, misty effect but here the yarn does the work. I ‘anchored’ the colors by using a darker color at the base of the capelet, which are then echoed in the muted shades of the hand-dyed yarn. Both the soft mauve and the pink tones are present in the dyer’s alchemy.  

Do you want to knit your cape in other yarns but still use the muting effect? Try this: select one fabulous, variegated  hand-dyed yarn in colors you love and let that one skein be your guide to the supporting players. Take it with you to your stash or your yarn store and select colors that either match or echo the shades in that skein. Use the darkest shade for the bottom rows of the capelet and intersperse bands of the supporting shades amid the bands of your variegated ‘lead’ yarn. Sometimes being artistic is a matter of letting the colors guide you. Knitting two yarns together also brings a subtle, hand-dyed effect.

free_patternshelldancepinon                                     

 MATERIALS 

Needles: Size 10 ½ (6.5 mm) circular needles: 24” (60 cm)              

Size  8     (5 mm) circular needles: 24” (60 cm)     

Notions: 1 stitch marker, tapestry needle

1 mother of pearl button or shawl pin

Optional: 3 medium-sized shell beads, 3 freshwater pearls in mauve or blue, six seed beads in any coordinating color, beading thread and needle.  

YARN: 

If you’ve been following my online journal at http://www.janethornley.com/journal_knitters.php,  you know I knit with multitudes of different of yarn in the same piece. In this case, I’ve used only two kinds of hand-dyed yarn, one a soft rayon tape and the other a rayon metallic from Blue Heron with the two often knit together. I've augmented some of the drop stitch rows with a small amount of hand-dyed silk from Fleece Artist. The silk is an enhancement only and not necessary for an effective design but substitute polished cotton. The Blue Heron Cotton/Rayon tape is one of my favorite yarns but a similiar yarn is available through Crystal Palace and is called Mikado. Both have a soft hand and give beautiful stitch definition whereas the Rayon Metallic is simply gorgeous! Not only does it give a gentle luminosity but it feels exactly like silk (hey, it fooled me at first and I’m an avid silk nut). You can also try Katsara yarns which has beautifully-dyed yarns perfect for this project.

 

However fee free to substitute ANY COTTON OR COTTON-RAYON YARN in a DK weight. Either mix two or more colors or go with a single shade in the two yarn types together. Either way, the project requires approximately 300 yards of yarn.

INSTRUCTIONS Tips:

 ·         This pattern decreases and shapes through a series of k2tog on every non-drop-stitch right side row. In order not to skew the stitches, you’ll be knitting the center stitch together with the stitch immediately before it and then, on the next right side row, knitting the center stitch together with the stitch immediately after it, alternating the befores and afters throughout the project. I’ve color-coded them to make it easy for you

.·         Because you’ll be reducing a stitch every right-side row and, when reducing a stitch in the middle of a seed stitch row, it’s often necessary to compensate for the lost stitch in the rhythm of the seed stitch sequence. If the center stitch k2tog results in two knit stitches back to back, for instance, continue ensuring the sequence even if it means two knit stitches in the same place. Chances are that stitch will be the one decreased in the next right side row. Obsessives and perfectionists alert (you know who you are): this will not change the overall look of the piece!

·         Unless specified, always cut last yarn used and knit tail in back of work before adding in a new yarn. Alternatively, you can leave the tails until the end and weave them in with a tapestry needle.

·         Always begin and end every row with a knit stitch to form your selvedge edges·         My capelet measures 13 inches in length measured along the front opening—my choice length for this version. Decide how long you want yours to be. If you’re tall and you’d like it longer, add a drop-stitch row between rows 24 – 28, which will give you 2-3 inches more length.  Gauge: Don’t fret too much about gauge. It varies throughout the project when working with different weights of yarn, multiple stitches, and two needle sizes, plus those drop stitches change everything. Since this is a loose-fitting project anyway, gauge variations are not an issue. Because the pattern involves many decreases, I’ve written the instructions in the traditional row-by-row style but included a visual color map as an additional guide. The color map provides at-a-glance color and texture information but does not detail every stitch or yarn change. 

Row 1 (WS): With larger (size 6.5 mm) circular needles and Blue Heron Rayon tape doubled (in the capelet pictured, I used one strand of another mauve-colored yarn I had on hand), cast on 176, 200, 226, 250 stitches and place a stitch marker at the center stitch: 88 (sm), 100(m), 113(L), 125 (XL).

Row 2 (RS):  knit

Row 3 (WS): Knit

Row 4 (RS):   Using only 1 strand of Cotton/Rayon tape (cut the additional strand and weave in the ends), work seed stitch (k1p1)  to marker, k2tog using the stitch immediately before the marker plus the center stitch and continue working seed stitch to end

Row 5 (WS): k1, *k1p1 (seed stitch) to end, k1

Row 6 (RS): k1, *k1p1 to marker, k2tog using the center stitch and the stitch immediately following it, *k1p1 to end, k1

Row 7 (WS): k1, *K1p1 to end, k1

Row 8 (RS):  Change yarns to Rayon Metallic doubled (or substitute one strand for silk or any other complementary yarn) and begin alternating wave drop stitch. The alternating wave drop stitch varies the number of needle wraps from one to three across the row, creating an undulating, wave-like effect. I always begin with a series of one-wrap drops, followed by two-wrap drops and finishing with three-wrap drops before going back to two wraps and then back to one again. This can be totally random, depending on how wavy you want the effect. The sequence for row 8 goes as follows: knit1, wrap yarns around needle once, knit one stitch, repeat 10 times before wrapping the yarn around the needle twice (keep knitting one stitch in between every wrap) repeat 7 times followed by 5  three-wrap drops and then going to 10 two-wrap drops  followed by another 7 one-wrap drops. Either repeat this sequence or your own variation until you reach the end of the row. End with a knit stitch.  

Row 9 (WS): Knit previous knit stitches while dropping the wraps in between from the needle. Comb the drops with your fingers until they hang straight. 

Row 10 (RS):  If you have more than one color of Rayon Metallic yarn, change to other shade here or continue with same yarn combination as in previous rows and knit to marker, k2tog using the center stitch and the stitch immediately before it, knit to end.

Row 11 (WS): Knit

Row 12 (RS): Knit to marker, k2tog using the center stitch and the stitch immediately after it, knit to end (stockinet stitch).

Row 13 (WS): Purl

Row 14 (RS):  Knit

Row 15 (WS): Purl

Row 16 (RS):  Keeping with Rayon Metallic doubled or substituted with alternative color, begin drop sequence again: k1, wrap yarns around needle once, knit one stitch, repeat 3 times before wrapping the yarn around the needle twice (keep knitting one stitch in between every wrap) repeating 5 times followed by 3 three-wrap drops and then going to 5 two-wrap drops followed by another 3 one-wrap drops. Repeat this sequence or your own variation until you reach the end of the row.

Row 17 (WS): Knit

Row 18 (RS): Change to Rayon Tape in either alternative color (if you have two shades) and knit to marker, k2tog using the marker stitch and the stitch immediately before it, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog

Row 19 (WS): Knit

Row 20 (RS): Either remain with current tape yarn or change to alternate color and begin seed stitch:  k1, *K1p1 to marker, K2tog, using center stitch and the stitch immediately after it, k1p1 to end, finishing with a knit stitch

Row 21 (WS):k1, *k1p1 to last stitch, k1

Row 22 (RS): k1, *k1p1 to marker. K2tog, using center stitch with stitch immediately before it, k1p1 to end, finishing with a knit stitch

Row 23 (WS): k1, *k1p1 to end, finishing with a knit stitch

Row 24 (RS): K1 *k1p1 to marker, K2tog using marker stitch and stitch immediately after it, k1p1 to end, finishing with a knit stitch

Row 25 (WS): k1, *k1p1 to end, finishing with a knit stitch

Row 26 (RS): Change to Rayon Metallic doubled or add in a second (for a mixed effect) color if you have it, and begin wave drop stitch sequence as follows:  K1, wrap yarns around needle once, knit one stitch, repeat twice before wrapping the yarn around the needle two times (keep knitting one stitch in between every wrap) and repeating 10 times followed by 10  three-wrap drops which, in turn, are followed by 10 more two-wrap drops and another 10 one-wrap drops. Or variations, thereof (I am very random when I do this and there’s just no point in pretending otherwise). Repeat this sequence or your own variation until you reach the end of the row.

Row 27 (WS): knit

Row 28 (RS): Switch to smaller-sized needles and change yarns to tape and knit, decreasing 1 stitch approximately every 20 rows including the k2tog at the center stitch, using center stitch plus the stitch immediately before it, knit to end, continuing with the decreases.

Row 29 (WS): K1, purl to end, k1

Row 30  (RS): knit, decreasing 1 stitch approximately every 15 rows including the k2tog at the center stitch, using center stitch plus the stitch immediately after it, knit to end, continuing with the decreases (you should be developed a lovely little point in the back by now, which can be further emphasized by a beaded dangle).

Row 31 (WS): k1, purl to end, k1

Row 32 (RS): Knit, decreasing every 10 stitches plus the k2tog at center stitch using the center stitch and the stitch immediately before it. Knit to end, continuing decreases.

Row 33 (WS): k1, purl to last stitch, k1                 

Row 34 (RS): Knit, decreasing every 10 stitches including the k2tog at center stitch using the center stitch and the stitch immediately after. Knit to end, continuing decreases.

Row 35 (WS): Knit

Row 36 (RS): Change to two strands metallic rayon and knit, holding both together, decreasing every 10 stitches and including the k2tog at marker, using center stitch and stitch immediately before. Knit to end, continuing decreases.

Row 37 (WS): Purl

Row 38 (RS):  Knit

Row 39 (WS): Purl

Row 40 (RS):  Mix 1 strand rayon metallic with 1 strand tape and K2tog before working seed stitch (k1p1) to marker and decreasing 1 stitch every 10 stitches, including the central k2tog using center stitch and stitch immediately after. Work seed to last 2 stitches continuing with decreases and k2tog last two stitches

(* In my version, I had 122 stitches remaining on the needle at this point. Try your capelet on or measure to decide how snug-fitting across the upper shoulders you want the capelet to be. I went for loose and scooped myself.

Row 41 (WS): k1, *k1p1 to last stitch, k1

Row 42 (RS) : k1, *K1p1 to last stitch, decreasing 1 stitch every 10 stitches (*note: no more central k2togethers), k1

Row 43 (WS): k1, *k1p1 to last stitch, k1

Row 44 (RS): k1, *k1p1, decreasing 1 stitch every 10 stitches to last stitch, k1

Row 45 (WS): k1, *k1p1 to last stitch, k1

Row 46 (RS): K1, *k1p1, decreasing 1 stitch every 10 stitches, k1

Row 47 (WS): Knit

Row 48 (RS): Change to tape mixed with strand of rayon metallic and knit to end, decreasing 1 stitch every 5 stitches.

Row 49 (WS): Purl

Row 50 (RS): Knit to end, decreasing 1 stitch every 5 stitches

Row 51 (WS) : Purl

Row 52 (RS): Change to tape yarn alone and knit to end.

Row 53 (WS): KnitRow 54 (RS):

Bind off FINISHING Neckline:   With rayon tape and smaller needles, pick up stitches evenly along neck edge, aiming stitch for stitch. Knit 2 rows (garter stitch) and bind off loosely. 

Right Front Opening: 

Still keeping with the rayon tape and using larger needles, pick up stitches evenly along left front opening. Knit 2 rows (garter stitch) and, on next right side row, when within 5 stitches of collar edge, cast off 3 stitches for buttonhole. Knit 2 more rows careful to cast on 3 stitches to finish button hole on return row. Bind off loosely. If desired, use a tapestry needle and the same yarn to fortify the buttonhole.

front

  Left Front Opening:   

Repeat right, minus the buttonhole.  Sew on button. 

Three Pearly Dangles  

Three decorative dangles form the back of the capelet, with one in the center and one on each of the bottom front edges. I’ve used mother of pearl plus a luminous combination of shell and pearls (included in the kits) that perfectly complement the yarn.  Alternatively, you cut equal lengths of ribbon or yarn used in the project and make fringes along the bottom edges but the weight of the dangles will further emphasize those elegant points. 

  • Cut approximately 10 inches of beading thread, and, while holding one end, drop one seed bead onto the thread before threading both ends of the onto a beading needle. This will be your anchor bead.
  • Now drop one bead (if using kits, this will be a silvery-colored bead) over your beading needle and down the doubled length of thread until it rests against the anchor bead.
  • With the needle held upright, slip more beads, of various sizes (kit: crystal+shell slice+pinky bead+oval shell bead), over needle and along thread until you have a bead stack approximately 1-2 inches long.  
  • To secure your bead stack to the capelet , bring your needle up through the bottom of the capelet (one center back point, directly where you’ve created with all those knitwotogethers, and one each on the front bottom openings) careful to keep the thread taut enough to avoid exposing bare thread between the edge of the capelet and the bead stack.
  • Tug gently before making several invisible stitches deep into capelet before drawing out the thread, disengaging the needle and tying a knot with the two thread ends. Cut close. Repeat for each stack.           

STITCH & YARN MAP shell_dance_schematic_2_400     

Posted by Jane on 06/27 at 05:39 PM
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Page 3 of 4 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >

From the entry 'SCARF CONFECTIONS: DESIGN YOUR OWN SCARF'.
Your work is magnificent, so lovely to look at, I can imagine the luxury of the finished product. I love it.I should be using my ribbon collection instead of having it in a drawer.

By Val on 2011 11 11

From the entry 'SCARF CONFECTIONS: DESIGN YOUR OWN SCARF'.
Whenever I need inspiration, Jane, I look through your patterns/recipes. With a beautiful Prism Impressions skein called Night Music (plus, of course, some Judi & Co rayon ribbons added), I'm making a version of free range, using some fan & feather, drops, garter, etc. After several false starts, I think I'm happy. I use larger needles than 6.5 MM because it seems to drape better. Do these drape well for you?

By Louise Giordano on 2011 11 08

From the entry 'SCARF CONFECTIONS: DESIGN YOUR OWN SCARF'.
Just completed - very much enjoyed doing it, and stunning result - mine's in rich deep reds and blues with inky-blue and deep dusky rose ribbon. Many thanks for the idea - am itching to make another one!

By Maggie on 2011 02 06

From the entry 'SCARF CONFECTIONS: DESIGN YOUR OWN SCARF'.
Hi Jane, Could you please let me know what a three-wrap drop stitch is in your Seaglass scarf pattern. The space provided for the demonstration was not visible. Many thanks, Robyn.

By Robyn Haslam on 2010 04 13

From the entry 'NEW FREE PATTERN: SHELL DANCE CAPELET'.
I love your work. I am also a quilter and have heard the term a millions times to step out of the box. What always amazes me are the women who dont even know there is a box and who never stepped inside one. I want to be one of those people who dont stay in the box. I havent stepped far out in quilting but knitting is my biggest love and I really want to go forward in that. I love your looks. I want to try your shell dance caplet but I cant get it to print, am I doing something wrong? I think it is the black background that makes it come out blank. Can you help me?

By Annette on 2008 08 08

From the entry 'FREE PATTERNS: The Free aRnge Scarf'.
This made me brave. I'm diving in my stash right now. I think I have some blue ribbon, and ladder, and eyelash... This is fun, just thinking about making somthing like this is well, just fabulous! Thanks for the pattern and inspiration!

By Lilleduck on 2007 04 16

From the entry 'FREE PATTERNS: The Free aRnge Scarf'.
wouah!!!!!!!!!!!! so beautiful !!

By Joline on 2007 03 17
 
Recent Comments I CAN'T WAIT.......

By Sheila McCormick on 2014 02 03
From the entry 'Rogue Wave nearing completion!'.

 

 

 

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