knitting pattern

Voilà: Hermosa Tee

Snow and freezing temps are still high on the list of things to think about for most people, but for knitters, it’s time to start thinking about spring and summer projects.

How about my new Hermosa Tee?

Hermosa Tee by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

©Louet North America

If you care to remember, I’ve had this design knocking on submission doors for quite a while. When so many doors are slammed, it’s easy to get discouraged and think, “It’s not them, it’s me.” And when that happens, I’ll sometimes set aside a design, and I’ll sometimes never pick it back up. Not even to self-publish it.

Hermosa Tee by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

©Louet North America

But this time, I knew it was them, not me, and I kept submitting one more time.*

Then last year, the yarn company Louet North America opened their door.

And today, the little tee that I never gave up on (er, sorry Winston…on which I never gave up), is one of 12 patterns in Louet’s Spring 2016 Collection.

Hermosa Tee by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

©Louet North America

The pattern calls for Louet’s Euroflax linen sport weight yarn, but you could use any sport weight yarn in any fiber.


*It’s always them.

To Ponder: Success in any endeavor does not happen by accident. Rather, it’s the result of deliberate decisions, conscious effort, and immense persistence…all directed at specific goals. |-Gary Ryan Blair-|

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Voilà: Happy Hat

September is a Happy Month around here. First, a cool front blew some Happy Rain into Texas last week and the weather has allowed the wearing of long sleeves. It’s still spiking into the 90s in the afternoon, but the nights, oh the Happy Nights have been dropping into the 60s. I’ve slept with my Happy Window open, which is just about my idea of heaven.

I made some Happy Decisions for my health and future, resulting in the loss of four Happy Pounds. It took eight Bleepin’ Weeks to shed even an ounce, but it’s finally starting to Happ(y)en.

And my Happy Hat has been released!

©Geneve Hoffman Photography

Is that a stinkin’ cute Happy Baby or what?

I have self-published many designs and have been published in several Knit Picks collections, but this is my first design in a proper book.

The gestation period for this Happy Publication was about the same amount of time a baby takes to come into the world.

An elephant baby, that is.

I began working on it almost two years ago. As with most of my designs, I started with a swatch of a stitch pattern that spoke to me the day my eyes fell on it while browsing through one of my German stitch dictionaries. I didn’t know what it was going to be, but a basic pattern like this one would look great on many types of items.

And then I saw the call for submissions from Storey Publishing and knew that it should be on a hat. Around the same time, I was reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and so this design that looks like little smiles all over the place will forever be linked with the Cheshire Cat.

I submitted my design to Storey in February 2014 and they accepted it in July 2014, and now, 14 months on—after signing contracts, reviewing proofs and finding an error in the chart (theirs), conferring with the editor about their conflation of two sizes into one for the final version of the pattern, getting an initial pub date of August 25th then seeing a different pub date of September 8th, and accommodating their requests to get back to them ASAP about everything—the Happy Book is out.

One-Skein Wonders for Babies: 101 Knitting Projects for Infants & Toddlers edited by Judith Durant is 288 pages packed with ensembles, tops and bottoms, dresses, hats, socks and booties, blankets, toys, and other baby things to knit.

I hope my Happy Hat will be one of yours. It’s on page 151.

To Ponder: An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born. |-Unknown-|

 

Voilà: Atomic Fingerless Mitts

I’ve waited six long years to see one of my designs on the pages of Knitty. I’ve told you about the submission and the acceptance, and now it’s time for the big reveal of my Atomic fingerless mitts.

Atomic Fingerless Mitts by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

This pattern is free for everyone throughout the land.

Pattern Details: Atomic by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

Ah, the 1950s—they gave us Velcro, Hula Hoops, Saran Wrap, Scotchgard, Liquid Paper, Mr. Potato Head, McDonald’s, and credit cards. Did all of that make the Atomic Era the best in recent history? Who knows. But its art and architecture are the bomb!

I constructed these mitts around a Scandinavian snowflake motif that looks both futuristic and modern. I chose the popular Atomic combination of blue and green for an outdoor cocktail party, but you might pair aqua with orange and enjoy a dinner of fried clams at Howard Johnson. Or switch out the green for red and hang out at the Tastee-Freez. Or Google the word Googie and let the results inspire your colors and venue.

Wherever you wear these, you’ll be coolest cat around.

Atomic Fingerless Mitts by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

Not Neil Gaiman’s* hands.

Features:
* Knit in the round
* Seamless
* Minimal finishing
* Charted and written instructions

Skills: Knitting, purling, stranded knitting, working in the round, working from a chart, researching techniques you’re unfamiliar with.

Finished Measurements:
Hand circumference, excluding thumb: 8″/20.25cm, stretches to 8.5″/21.5cm
Cuff edge to top of mitt: 10″/25.5 cm

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport (100% Peruvian Highland wool; 137yd/125m per 50g skein); MC Avocado, 1 skein; CC Winter Night, 1 skein.

Needles: US 4/3.5mm needles for small circumference knitting in the round, either DPNs, 1 long circular, or 2 short circulars

Notions: Stich markers, yarn needle

Gauge: 24 sts/31 rnds = 4″ in stranded stockinette stitch in the round, blocked
22 sts/30 rnds = 4″ in stockinette stitch in the round, blocked

Atomic Fingerless Mitts by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

*I kind of, sort of, maybe hoped I might make the cover of Knitty, but was prepared to see someone else’s design. I wasn’t, however, prepared to see Neil Gaiman. Wow. I’m in the issue with Neil Gaiman on the cover!

To Ponder: If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it. |-William James-|

Voilà: City Cowl

My City Cowl that was accepted by Knit Picks eons ago is now available on their website—and it’s free.

(c) Knit Picks

I do wish they had taken more time to style their photos (and maybe brush the model’s hair), but the cowl is worn the way it’s supposed to be.

Pattern Details: City Cowl by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

Soft and warm, this close-fitting cowl uses an easy stitch pattern to create an interesting textured rib. A rectangle is knit flat, then the edges are sewn off-center to create a cowl with a fold-over half collar that can be worn many ways—in the city and the suburbs.

(c) Knit Picks

Features:

  • No shaping
  • Knit flat, then seamed
  • Gauge not critical
  • Quick knit

Skills: Knitting, purling, seaming, researching techniques you’re unfamiliar with.

Finished Measurements: 8″ (20.5 cm) high x 18″ (45.5 cm) circumference.

Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Treasure (100% Baby Alpaca 110 yds/50 gm balls): Embers Heather 23486, 2 balls.

Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) straight or short circular needles, or size to obtain gauge.

Notions: Yarn needle, 2 split ring or other removable stitch markers.

Gauge: 26 sts and 28 rows = 4″ (10 cm) in ribbing pattern, lightly steam blocked.

To Ponder: Learning to separate “happiness” from “spending money” is the quickest and most reliable way to a better life. |-Mr. Money Mustache-|

Voilà: Kettenglied Fingerless Mitts

Knit Picks released their 2015 Spring Accessories Collection.

And my Kettenglied Fingerless Mitts are in it. Second of 26 patterns, page 11.

What color will yours be?

One of their test knitters knit the final version, and Knit Picks photographed them on a darling gal who looks very happy to be wearing them.

Fingers are free so you can fix your hair.

More, please.

If there’s one thing I can design, it’s fingerless mitts.

Pattern Details: Kettenglied Fingerless Mitts Pattern by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

These fingerless mitts use an easy series of twisted knit stitches and regular purl stitches to create a highly textured ribbing that looks like square chain links (Kettenglied is the German word for chain link). Knit in the round from the bottom up, a few stitches are bound off and then cast on to form the thumb hole.

Pattern includes both written and charted instructions.

Skills: Knitting through the back loop, purling, working in the round, working from a chart, binding off and casting on in the middle of a round; researching techniques you’re unfamiliar with.

Finished Measurements: 5.5″/14cm long; 6.75″/17cm circumference, relaxed; stretches to 9″/23cm circumference.

Yarn: Knit Picks Galileo (50% Merino, 50% Bamboo; 131 yards/50g): Firefly 26101, 1 skein.

Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) DPNs, or size to obtain gauge.

Notions: Yarn needle, stitch markers.

Gauge: 28 sts and 32 rnds = 4″ over Stitch Pattern in the round, blocked.

To Ponder: Care what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. |-Lao Tzu-|

 

Voilà: Snowman Draft Stopper

The holiday thingamabob you’ve been reading about has finally been published.

My Snowman Draft Stopper is available as a free download from the Knit Picks website.

Instant mood lifter.

I had proposed four of these draft stoppers (except I called them draft dodgers and Knit Picks suggested that the phrase might be incendiary, so now it’s a stopper), the other three being a witch, Santa Claus, and a jack-o-lantern.

Holiday Draft Stoppers by Robin Allen - A Texas Girl Knits

The witch is the coolest.

Pattern Details: Snowman Draft Stopper by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

This tall, thin snowman will keep the cold air out and the holiday fun in. The top hat, scarf, face, and body are knitted stripes. The eyes, mouth, nose, and buttons are embroidered. After embroidering, sew one end closed, fill with lentils and sew the other end closed.

Sized to lay the length of the average exterior door, you can easily make it shorter for an interior door or windowsill.

(c) Knit Picks

Features:

  • No shaping
  • Minimal finishing
  • Quick knit

Skills: Knitting, purling, working in the round, researching techniques you’re unfamiliar with.

Finished Measurements: Approximately 36” long x 6” circumference, depending on amount of filling.

Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Worsted (100% Premium Acrylic; 218 yards/100g): MC: White 25694, C1: Black 25693; C2: Orange 25705: 1 ball each.

Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) DPNs, or size to obtain gauge.

Notions: Yarn Needle, Stitch Marker, 3 lbs. Dry Lentils (about 6 cups), Measuring Cup (optional)

Gauge: 24 sts and 30 rows = 4” in St st, relaxed

A note about substituting yarn/filling

In the colder months, I place several draft stoppers throughout my house, all made with different yarns and fillings, and here’s what I’ve learned.

  • Bugs love to eat wool (and probably alpaca and cashmere), so use a synthetic yarn.
  • Bugs love to eat rice. They don’t much like lentils, though, and I’ve never tried popcorn, so maybe that would work, too.

Having said that, the draft stoppers that suffered the most damage were the ones on my window sills that were never moved. If your snowman is against a door and will be moved regularly, you can probably chance any yarn and filling you’d like.

To Ponder: There is so much you can let go of without really losing a thing. |Ralph Marston|

Go Team!

A recent blog post on Knitting Daily featured my Paros Hat!

The Assistant Project Editor for Interweave Knits and Knitscene found a way to get around the universal manly colors of black, brown, blue, and gray, and made one for her fiancé in his favorite pro football team colors. Then she wrote a blog post about it.

With a fun photo and everything. {via}

What a clever idea to knit this hat in team colors. You could use school colors, too. In Texas, that means either burnt orange and white if you hook ’em or maroon and white if you gig ’em.

This is the second time one of my hats has been featured on Knitting Daily, which is rather incredible to me, considering I’ve had only two hats published by an Interweave Press magazine.

Mostly, though, this is validation. As a designer, you know what you like, but you’re never sure if others will like it. Magazine editors accept and publish things they like or think their readers will like, but it’s possible no one will knit them.

For example:

Seriously, Vogue Knitting Holiday 2014? This wasn’t even an attractive style in the 80s. [Photo (c)SoHo Publishing]

Today, the project page for my Paros Hat on Ravelry shows eight projects, and three of them are mine. But Laura’s fiancé’s hat isn’t on there, so there are at least seven people (I’m counting the editor who published it) besides me who like it.

I’m so thankful for that.

To Ponder: Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up. |Allen Klein|

Of All the Hat Patterns In All the World

Kathleen Cubley fell in love with mine.

Who is Kathleen Cubley? She’s the editor of Knitting Daily, the blog of Interweave Press.

In last Monday’s post, my Voussoir Hat was featured “above the fold” as it were (which explains the mystery of why so many people favorited and queued it on Ravelry that day).

Wow, right?

Kathleen wrote: “Hats are where it’s at, and there are several really wonderful hats in Knits Gifts. The one that I really fell in love with is the Voussoir Hat by Robin Allen.”

She goes on to say that my hat reminds her of her favorite Koolhaas Hat, designed by wonder-boy Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. What an honor!

Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood; photo (c) Interweave Knits

I subscribe to Knitting Daily’s digest emails that arrive on Saturdays. They contain all of the previous weeks entries, so I didn’t know about her post until a few days afer the fact.

What a blessing, this. Unexpected and genuine praise from a well-respected industry expert.

To Ponder: From a thing’s possibility, one cannot be certain of its reality. |Roman Proverb|

Voilà: Paros Hat

Happy to announce my second pattern in as many months in an Interweave publication.

The Winter 2014 issue of Knitscene is out.

Get the Marled Look

And my Paros Hat is in it.

Stockinette with garter ridge stripes and a moving swirl.

On page 19.

The Details: Paros Hat by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

A marled yarn paired with a bright solid makes for an eye-catching effect in this simple unisex pattern. Choose your favorite neon contrast color to make it your own, or pair a more muted solid to make this a gift for anyone to wear.

Sizes: 18 (19½)” circumference and 7¾ (8¾)” tall
Yarn: HiKoo Simpliworsted (55% superwash merino, 28% acrylic, 17% nylon; 140 yd 128 m/100 g): #654 forty nine shades of gray (MC), 1 hank; #007 kiwi (CC), 1 hank
Gauge: 20 sts and 32 rnds = 4″ in Paros Stitch patt on larger needle
Tools:
• Size 4 (3.5 mm): 16″ circular (cir) needle
• Size 6 (4 mm): 16″ cir needle and set of double-pointed needles (dpn)
• Stitch marker
• Yarn needle
Skills Required: Knitting, purling, decreasing, working in the round, researching techniques you’re unfamiliar with.

NOTE: Pattern calls for Aran weight yarn, but this could easily be knit in a worsted weight yarn with little effect on size.

Lots of texture and visual interest.

To Ponder: There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way. |Christopher Morley|

Voilà: Voussoir Hat

Interweave Knits just released their Gifts 2014 issue.

My Voussior Hat is in it!

Voussior Hat1 by Robin Allen - A Texas Girl Knits

I made this.

Voussior Hat2 by Robin Allen - A Texas Girl Knits

She looks like Pippa Middleton, no?

Apparently, the release happened last Friday (8/15), but I didn’t know about it until Sunday afternoon when this Google Alert popped up.

At first I was confused about how anyone knew about my hat when it’s supposed to be top secret until publication, but I clicked the link, and blimey, there she was on Ravelry—and favorited 40 times already!

Among my company in this issue are such influential designers as Veronik Avery, Annie Modesitt, Angela Hahn, and Cathy Carron.

This publication in an international magazine is an answered prayer, and I’m praying for more.

Voussoir Hat by Robin Allen | A Texas Girl Knits

In designing this hat, I was inspired by medieval cathedrals. A voussoir is a wedge-shaped stone used in building a vault or an arch. This hat fulfills my love of symmetry and my desire to create complex-looking designs with simple stitch repeats.

The close-fitting Voussoir Hat uses a combination of knits, purls, and twisted stitches to create a design that looks much more complex than it is.

Finished Size: 19 1/2″ circumference (unstretched) and 7 1/4″ long.

Yarn: Valley Yarns Northfield (70% merino,20% baby alpaca, 10% silk; 124 yd 113 m/1 3/4 oz 50 g): #18 pine green, 2 skeins.

Needles: Size 3 (3.25 mm): 16″ circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions: Markers (m); tapestry needle.

Gauge: 26 sts and 32 rnds = 4″ in charted patt.

Skills: Knitting, knitting through the back loop, purling, decreasing, working in the round, researching techniques you’re unfamiliar with.

Voussior Hat3 by Robin Allen - A Texas Girl Knits

To Ponder: True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new. |Antoine de Saint-Exupery|