Keeping Ears Warm

Jumping into the design pool has been both exciting and terrifying. But mostly terrifying. In November of 2011 I hit what I think is a pretty significant milestone – I had my first pattern published in a real life, hard copy magazine. Beyond exciting is what that was!

I didn’t blog about it when it happened because there was a little glitch in the whole situation – the magazine is a UK magazine and was only available there. Teasing y’all with something you couldn’t get seemed to be kind of mean, so I played those cards close to my chest. But no more.

This fantastic new magazine, Knit Now, is published monthly and everything about it is a bit … sped up… from normal publication timelines. On the plus side this means that the rights for publication revert to me in a shorter period of time. Which means that I have been able to put the pattern up on Ravelry!

A knitted purple Ear Warmer

Sleek, non-bulky cables

And now, some thoughts on the piece itself. What I had published was an ear-warmer. What precisely is an ear-warmer one might ask? Well it is either a headband on steroids or a hat on a diet. Here in the South it is often chilly enough to need the top of your head and your ears covered, but not cold enough to warrant a full on stocking cap. That is where this particular accessory comes into play.

And of course the lack of significant hat head is also a major selling point of our friend the ear-warmer. I took some time to look at patterns and found that the cable seems to be a popular design motif for this application. I guess something about a cable just screams warm, warm, warm. But for me, these large, bulky cables running from ear to ear across the top of one’s head screams sideways Klingon!

And who wants to walk around looking like a Sci-Fi convention costume gone horribly, horribly wrong?

With this in mind I worked on coming up with a low profile cable that doesn’t present a significant silhouette when viewed from the front. I think that this has just enough cable to give that ski lodge je ne sais quoi without going overboard. The “cables” framing the central motif are not cables at all, but twisted stitches. Totally cheating. The end result is a cable pattern where  you only have to use a cable needle every once in a blue moon. Most of the crosses are very easy and the faux cables are just a trick of the knitting.

Another feature of the finished product is that it tapers to two separate ends (ie: not a circular piece) and buttons together. That way if you want to wear your hair down you won’t have all of that bunchy width making you look all lumpily at the nape of your neck.

Now, I know it isn’t precisely the season for this kind of knitting – but I don’t have a lot of control over that. Is it ever to early to get started on Holiday presents? I know several people on my list who might be getting one of these this year.

ps: To some long time readers of this blog, this post might look familiar, don’t worry – you aren’t going crazy. I did do a bit of recycling … but it is new and improved!

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