Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Really - this technique is pretty cool!

One of the things I love about designing is the opportunity to develop elegant solutions to a problem*.  The Bolsillo pocket scarf allowed me to do just that:

This one is knit in KP's self-striping Chroma yarn, in the Rollerskates colorway.

While this one uses a random striping sequence (provided in the pattern)
and is knit with four different colors of Wool of the Andes.
While I was in the design process, I looked for patterns of scarves with pockets in them.  I even found a few free ones: link, link, and link.  But none of the patterns I found did what I wanted.

I wanted to make pockets that didn't require me to pick up stitches or sew seams.  Why?  Well ... you mean other than the fact that I don't particularly to do either of those things?  I don't like when my pockets get holes in them - and I can't think of a better way for pockets to get holes than for them to have sewn-shut seams.

So I pondered.  How could I make these pockets without seams?  How could I make them without picking up stitches?  I could knit them in the round, but I really wanted to have a distinct bottom and distinct edges, which I couldn't figure out by knitting in the round. I pondered some more.

And ... can I tell you how very proud I was when I came up with the perfect solution?  Seriously.  It's ingenious!  It's really a modification of tubular double knitting (but it's not as hard as that makes it sound), and it makes knitting this scarf feel like magic.  I've made three of them - that's a total of 6 pockets - and every single time, I got excited when it was time to open the pocket.

I've made a couple of video tutorials to help folks who prefer to see rather than read instructions for new/innovative techniques.  The first is here.  This will show you how to knit the actual pocket.  The pocket bind-off technique (that's the magical part!) is shown in a second video, which is available to everyone who buys the pattern.  Which you can do here or via Knit Picks.

* Mathematicians in the group may very well recognize one of their brethren ... "elegant solutions" are something I learned about while toiling away earning that math degree.  But really, I can't think of a better descriptor.

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