Hey Ya’ll let’s talk about a new kit available here in the shop, the Pixelated Hat and Pixelated Palms from Jennifer Beaumont. These are a great beginner color work pattern with simple stranded techniques that use worsted weight yarn. The sample we have knit up in the shop is worked in Kollage Happiness Worsted and truly, this yarn epitomizes Happiness. A worsted weight, hand dyed yarn with subtle color variation and super soft superwash merino wool that is 100% sourced from the U.S.A. It comes in a myriad of colors that are simply stunning.
The pattern is well written and straightforward, it lists the abbreviations used as Beginning of round, Cast on, Knit, Knit 2 Together, marker, Purl, Place marker, Rounds and Stitches. And skills needed for the pattern as knitting, purling, increasing, decreasing, stranded knitting, reading a chart, circular knitting, and knitting a small circumference in the round. So if you recognize all those terms chances are this pattern is a great fit for your skill level. If you find some of those terms challenging why not stop in the shop and ask a few questions? One of the best assets of a Local Yarn Shop is that we are here to help with questions!
There are even more colors available in this incredible yarn so head on over to the website and check it out. Having trouble choosing a color combination? Maybe this blog post on Color Theory for Knitters will help you out.
Also as a special surprise we have an interview with Jennifer Beaumont herself, the designer of these gorgeous patterns!
Welcome to Paradise Fibers Jennifer!
Meghan: When did you start knitting? Did someone teach you? What was your first project?
Jennifer: I started knitting when my firstborn was a baby. He was literally in my lap, as I took classes with knitting designer & teacher (& then, local yarn store owner of City Knitting), Lorilee Beltman. I found it challenging at first to learn as I was distracted by interpreting the language of my son’s gurgles, coos, and grunts! I had closed my business when he was born to stay home and focus on mothering him. We had quiet days that were sometimes measured in rows or rounds. I remember walking over to the shop with my projects and my son in a sling, to ask for advice. The first project was a seamed baby hat, followed immediately by a baby sweater. I knit only baby things for awhile. I found this to be a satisfying way to learn and practice. The tiny garments didn’t have to be perfect or fit precisely and yet taught me a variety of skills and techniques. Having a project to work on periodically helped me with practicing patience and being quietly present through repetitious routines and activities. Eventually I moved on to focus on adult sweaters. I needed to knit lots of simple, soothing stockinette for awhile, so that I could respond to children and pick up projects and put them down again easily. As they grew a little older, I began looking for more challenges.
Meghan: When did you start designing patterns? What prompted you to begin designing?
Jennifer: I began designing when I had started knitting stranded a lot. When I designed my first hat, I first looked for a pattern but I couldn’t find one that already existed for my idea. After a lot of trial and error, I was really happy with my design. Soon, someone asked me to write it up so that they could knit one too. At the same time I was already trying to work out how to play with certain color-work patterns in garment designs. I enjoy knitting seamless garments, particularly in-the-round, and top-down. I love to work hard at puzzling out how to accomplish a design idea in the most simple and seamless construction possible. There was a lot of interest in patterns for these sweaters, so I began the work of pattern writing. I have found that I enjoy the challenges of writing patterns for multiple sizes and solving the problems that come up during the design and pattern writing process.
Meghan: What inspires you to design a pattern? What inspired this (these) patterns specifically?
Jennifer: Pixelated Pullover was inspired after I saw a white and gray pattern printed on a silk blouse in a European movie. The irregular and random dissolution of one color into another intrigued me. At the same time, the brightness and nuanced color of Neon Peach from Madelinetosh had been challenging me to find a way to set it off, and show it off. I wanted to find a way for it to be worn and experienced more. That design also explores how the use of color and patterning in a design can flatter the wearer. When I painted, I was bothered if someone looked at my painting when it was half finished. That sweater design was a little like that. Half-knitted, it was all rumpled from stranding before blocking, and quite imbalanced due to the color blocking. I almost frogged the sweater then because it didn’t look like much and I was feeling unsure about it. My husband encouraged me to keep working on it and see it finished. As someone who works in the tech industry, he was a big fan of the pixelation. I was grateful for his faith and support and promised him a design made with the same patterning. He uses fingerless mitts a lot, usually over tech friendly gloves, for extra warmth while bike riding to work. So I designed Pixelated Palms for him. The Pixelated Hat is a simple seamless introduction to stranded knitting. It has break rounds of single color. The color-work pattern doesn’t need to be followed perfectly, and all the shaping happens on the solid color rounds. That design makes me think of the crown of a neutral-colored hat dipped in a bucket of neon paint. I really enjoy playing with splashes of bright color in designs especially during our long, snowy, gray winters in West Michigan. I love the shock of it against the gray.
Meghan: Do you design full time or part time, what are your other hobbies or job?
Jennifer: I probably work full time hours at design right now. At the same time, we are a homeschooling family —my children are currently very interested in learning ballet. I watch them dance a lot, often while knitting. Together, we read a lot of the classical ballet stories, most of which are fairy tales, and study ballets. I practice yoga everyday, and have been teaching Iyengar yoga since 2003.
Meghan: What is your favorite knitting technique?
Jennifer: My favorite knitting technique is fair isle knitting. I have a background in Art & Design, and have always been color-obsessed, so once I started with playing with more than one color in design it really ignited my work.
Meghan: Where can we find you on social media?
Jennifer: You can find my other patterns for sale on Ravelry. Also, there is information about upcoming designs, pattern support and the opportunity to share projects with community in the “Color Playground” group for my designs on Ravelry.
Meghan: Thanks so much for chatting with me today Jennifer and giving us the inside scoop on these great designs!
So come on down to the shop to check out the new kits, or just browse around and choose your own 2 colors of Kollage Happiness to start a Pixelated Project today!
Did you like this blog post? Do you want to read more posts I have written? Check out my knitting and design blog at www.littlenutmegproductions.blogspot.com for technique tutorials, new patterns and posts about knitting and design.