Saturday, November 30, 2013

Doomvember: Technologica

Here we are, on the last day of Doomvember (well, pretty much... we'll get to that.) This pattern is probably my favorite of the ones I designed for Doomsday Knits, probably because it makes me feel like Judy Jetson-gone-badass.

Meet Technologica. As you can probably guess if you've been following along at home, this one is part of the "Kill All Humans" robot-rebellion-singularity-technopocalypse. 

Technologica features significant waist-shaping on the back to really cling to your curves, and a vaguely Aeon-Fluxian chest slit to balance the mock turtleneck with a peek of skin. Itty-bitty cap sleeves leave your arms free for maximum movement, and edges are left raw and rolled for just a touch of that retro-futurism-rings-look.

The yarn is Austermann Merino Silk which was sadly discontinued at some point while the book was in editing (blast!!) But anything smooth and worsted weight will do just fine- a little silk adds some extra slink and luxury. Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted would be a gorgeous sub. 

^ The best my butt has ever looked in a photograph. Which isn't saying much, 
since it's almost entirely in shadow, but I'll take it. Go Vivian go! 

Weeellllp, that about wraps it up! Thank you so much for joining us on this month-long Doomstravaganza! Tomorrow I have a surprise bonus project for you (hint, it involves yarn, but no knitting) and a Doomvember recap with links to all the posts. You can also check out all the patterns on the Ravelry source page (if you preorder there, the book will pop into your library as soon as it's available.) 

ALSO, TODAY ONLY: Cooperative Press is having a Small Business Saturday sale and you can get 10% off your purchase with the code "sbs"- that includes Doomsday preorders! Both print and pdf are available for preorder now- the pdf will be out sometime in the next month (we're in the very last editing stages) and the print book will follow shortly after :-) 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Doomvember: Battle Ready by Suesan Roth

Today we have our last Doomvember guest post, by Suesan Roth. Over to you, Suesan!

Battle Ready is inspired by one of my favorite sci-fi shows – Firefly. I based it off of two of my favorite characters: Zoe who is strong & powerful and Inara who is soft & peaceful. I wanted to combine those characteristics into one brilliant vest.

In my head, I see the woman wearing this vest – let’s say her name is Angel. She’s on Earth looking for survivors after the fall out with her ship hidden and after gathering what supplies she could find – she hears a voice crying for help. Knowing that her vest is reversible, she wears the armor pattern out just in case… It’s the attitude boost she needs to feel tough. It also signals to her crew to come guns blazing. As she approaches she sees a gang of thugs terrorizing some homeless children. "Such jerks," she mutters under her breath. The thugs look up and immediately are attracted to the feminine lines of the vest accenting her curves. Just the distraction she needs as she whips out her weapons of choice, straight metal knitting needles size 12 – hey if you have ever been poked with one of these you know – it hurts. She jumps into action, because the vest has high slits on the sides she is able to kick butt without restraint. Will the vest survive the battle? Yes, it’s not made with just any yarn but with the finest Malabrigo Arroyo 100% Superwash Merino Wool yarn which everyone knows is super soft and extra durable. Enemies down, she hurries to the scared children and says, "You’re coming with me, and you’re safe now." Heading back to the ship she reverses the vest to the ribbed pattern so her crew will know that all is peaceful, at least for now…

Whether you are battling thugs or just the morning rush hour you will look fierce. The vest is worked using a simple puff stitch design and centered increases, which create beautiful lines on the front and back of the vest also giving it the armored appearance. The waist is shaped using increases and decreases on the sides creating an hourglass shape. I used toggle closures that you can find at any craft store or wear this with a large leather belt instead.

Our heroine is putting on the matching gauntlets as she gets her ship ready for space, their new home. Her thoughts are with the children on board, “What can I knit for them…hmmmm?”

Thanks Suesan! You can find Battle Ready on Ravelry here! Or, as I'm sure you know by now, learn more about Doomsday Knits or preorder a copy over at Cooperative Press.  Just one more day of Doomvember left!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Doomvember: Suture

Happy Doomsgiving, one and all! Let's all go around the table and say what we're Doomful for, then dig into this "turkey." Yes....turkey....sure.


Today's Doomvember pattern is Suture! This hat uses a technique I've been toying with for a few years now (I think I made the first prototype in the car on the way to Michigan from Portland in fall of 2010, so... yeah, awhile.) It involves using long floats on the front of the work which you then pick up later as if you were fixing a dropped stitch. The result is a weird ladder effect that causes ruching and gathering. 

The finished look is a bit creepy and "stitched up"...  "zombie couture" maybe? Or, at the very least, a good way to keep those brains hot and tasty (in some luscious Madelinetosh, too. Nom.) 

Suture can be found in the "Miscellaneous Mayhem" section of the book, and on Ravelry here. Learn more about the book or grab a preorder over on the Cooperative Press website! You can also preorder on Ravelry and have it delivered straight into your library the second it's released.

We're almost done with the Doomvember tour- you can see the schedule here, or you can just stick around because the last few posts are all here on Dull Roar ;-) 

And finally- a very happy and tasty Thanksgiving to the US folks, and a happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate! (Is it okay to put gravy and cranberry sauce on latkes? Because that sounds yummy....)  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Doomvember: Survivor by Mara Marzocchi

Today we have a guest post from designer Mara Marzocchi! 

So it's my turn to talk about my contribution to Doomsday Knits (with thanks to Alex for giving me a soap box), the Survivor Socks.

No matter what brand of apocalypse comes (hence the inclusion in the Miscellaneous Mayhem section), the folks who are left are going to have to crawl out of the wreckage of the old world and wander into the brave new tomorrow. And since it's likely that the modern conveniences of central heating and chemical footwarming packs will become a thing of the past, socks are going to be a necessary part of that wandering.

These socks, like the survivors themselves, show off their scars proudly. Are they caused by the grasping fingers of zombies or the snag of concertina wire as the wearer finds shelter? That's not for me to say. Either way, you can get the pattern as part of Doomsday Knits when it's out in December, but you can pre-order now!

You can find Survivor on Ravelry here! Tomorrow, Alex is back with another pattern out of the Miscellaneous Mayhem (good no matter what flavor of doom you have!), Suture.

Thanks Mara! It actually looks like the last few days of the tour are all here on Dull Roar - not really intentional, but hey! How the Doomvember has flown...

Sunday, November 24, 2013


In the middle of all this Doomsday madness, I'm sneakin' in a little somethin' somethin' else:


French for "Clock", Horloge is named for the hourglass-esque figure "drawn" with tiny cables and texture changes. It is knit inside-out to achieve the reverse-stockinette backdrop without doing too much purling, and the cables are tiny and easy enough that you can skip the cable needle, if you're feeling brave. Squooshy Plucky Knitter Primo Aran (in "Sticky Toffee", yum) has great stitch definition and is an absolute pleasure to work with.



 You can find Horloge on Ravelry here, or

Friday, November 22, 2013

Doomvember: Forager

Today's Doomvember pattern is one of mine, and *gasp* it's a garment!! (Those rad gloves are in the book too of course, we'll get to those tomorrow ;-) ) 

Meet Forager: 

This pattern was named by Britney Dyer, one of our awesome Kickstarter supporters!

Part of the Wasteland Vagabonds chapter, Forager is a vest and cowl combo garment, asymmetrical and easy as pie, both drapey and airy in a wonderful crepe-y silk called Heichi from Shibui Knits. Perfect for a long ramble through the bombed-out hinterlands in search of something (or someone) to hunt or gather. 

The bandana-pointed cowl neck is detached from the vest, and so each can be worn separately. The vest closes with a shawl pin (or any ole stick you can find out there)- no fussy buttons to pop off and get lost in the wilderness. Originally I thought I'd put sleeves on it but somehow they felt like they'd be too much. Better to keep the arms free for maximum ease of movement, y'know? You never know what you'll run up against out there, you have to be ready to swing that stick at a moment's notice. 

Incidentally, did you know that "a really great stick" is something you can rent from a costume shop? I did not! But it's true! And it's pretty much the only rented object in the whole book, haha. 

A huge thanks to my former boss Emily for wandering around pantless in the cold, making forlorn faces, and to Vivian for the photos (and poor baby Anaiah for riding around on mom's back all day with relatively little protest!) 

You can check out Forager on Ravelry here, and learn more about Doomsday Knits (now up for preorder!) at the Cooperative Press website.

We are about 2/3rds of the way through Doomvember already! My, how time flies. The tour schedule is here, and be sure to check out tomorrow's post about those awesome mitts over at Sarah Bear Crafts!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Doomvember: Bulletproof by Alexandra Virgiel

Today we hear from fabulous designer (and our intrepid tech editor) Alexandra Virgiel!! Take it away other-Alexandra!

One of the things I love about sci-fi is the things it gets wrong about the future. Nothing illuminates the past so well as reading the past's conception of the future.

Picture from

 For example: We have not annihilated the planet in an insane arms race with the godless Communists. That's a big one. It's way past the year 2000 and we're not living in space, nor do we have flying cars. The future is not made of mod white and red polymers with rounded edges as in 2001 (we got the cheap plastic everything, but without the style), nor is it a Roddenberryian utopia where nobody smokes or uses money (still smoking, and nobody has any money, which isn't the same thing). And, most importantly, we're not all wearing jumpsuits, though it is instructive to go to Target on a Saturday and count the people who aren't wearing the national uniform of jeans-and-whatever.

Usually the most jarring anachronisms are the throwaway ones, though. Last night I was reading Solaris (Lem is excellent for insomnia), which takes place in some undefined future where we're traveling all over the galaxy, and the protagonist notices someone's smallpox inoculation scar. Apparently visiting faraway planets ain't no thing, but eradicating smallpox? That'll never happen.


Bulletproof was inspired by a paragraph in William Gibson's Neuromancer, describing the freelance muscle, Molly:
She took off her black jacket; the fletcher hung beneath her arm in a black nylon shoulder rig. She wore a sleeveless gray pullover with plain steel zips across each shoulder. Bulletproof, Case decided, slopping coffee into a bright red mug.
Remember when synthetics were going to solve all of our clothing problems? We understood that in the future, our clothes would be sleek, stylish, washable, and adapted to all conditions. Better living through chemistry! Technical fabrics and armor have certainly improved, but the average Jane is still slopping around in odor-absorbing, static-generating polyester that wouldn't stop a mosquito, never mind a bullet.

Bulletproof is knit with double-stranded Berroco Comfort DK, a very respectable acrylic/nylon blend. It will not, regrettably, protect you in case of gunfire. There is such a thing as Kevlar yarn (you can buy it on ebay!), but it's a weird petroleum jelly yellow, and I would guess it isn't any fun to knit with. (And, y'know, it's probably not actually bulletproof as a hand knit.) Comfort DK is soft and blocks surprisingly well. Suggested shades: black jeans, metallic-taste-in-your mouth gray, and the color of television tuned to a dead channel. (Which is also an anachronism, alas. My dead channels are black with a box that says "not authorized.")


The vest has twisted rib panels along the sides, for a body-conscious fit without increases or decreases. It is knit in the round to the armholes, then flat to the shoulders. The back shoulder straps wrap to the front and are angled off with short rows. Metal separating zippers finish it off. Why does a stretchy knit vest need zippers? The same reason everyone in The Matrix needed shiny leather pants. It's for strategic, um, hacking purposes. Yeah.


Bulletproof is on Ravelry here. 

To pre-order Doomsday Knits or learn more about the book, click on over to Cooperative Press. 

Photos by Vivian Aubrey.

Thanks Alexandra! Why DID we get the cheap plastic without the style? I feel ripped off. The past's future was way cooler than the real future. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Doomvember: Oh Bondage!

We're just about half-way through Doomvember, and the Doomsday Knits release date is creeping ever closer! Whee! On the docket for today: Me looking totally, criminally insane!

Introducing Oh Bondage! (As in... Up Yours!) 

Oh Bondage! Takes its name from the bondagey-looking straps (and general attitude of RAARRR!!!) Despite looking a bit more complex than your average cowl, it's a very easy and fast knit in chunkysoft Malabrigo Rasta- sewing on the straps (which are actually purse handles from a chain craft store!) is the hardest part. (And don't worry, it's not that hard, I promise!) Since you can choose your straps and also their placement, it can be tweaked for any size- I recommend safety pinning things into place and doing a lot of trying-on before you sew.

Even zombies need to tie their shoe laces.

We figured this cowl could fit into quite a few apocalyptic scenarios, so we put it in the "Miscellaneous Mayhem" chapter, which covers things like zombies, plagues, war, famine... all the reasons-for-chaos that didn't explicitly fit with the other chapters.

Oh Bondage! is on Ravelry here. Please be sure to check out the rest of the tour- tomorrow you'll see corsets as you've never seen them before over on Rachel's blog! 

Want to lay your claim on a copy of Doomsday Knits before release day? Swing on over to Cooperative Press to pre-order!

Photos, as you may expect, are by the delightful Vivian Aubrey. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Erika Knight Yarn Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to (the enigmatically named) Mrs! May your boots be ever topped :-)

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Doomvember: Ozone by Rebecca Zicarelli

Tra la la, here we are pluggin' merrily along towards destruction! Today we've got a guest post by designer Rebecca Zicarelli- take it away, Rebecca!

It all started with those a stitch pattern in those infamous Barbara Walker Treasuries called Zig Zag Trellis. Such a simple pattern, a combination of K2Tog one row, and SSKs two rows later. I loved the way it looked...

...and hated knitting it. Those SSK's, slowing down the knitting rhythm, always put any design on hold. And then Alex put out a call for Doomsday Knits, a book for a time when all the rules were thrown out, and the lucky (and fashionable) survivors got to write their own rulebooks. I went back through years of swatches, searching for a design for the future in my knitting past, and there it was. That damned Zig Zag Lace Trellis.

With no rules, with nobody to tell you you're knitting the wrong way, it would be easy to knit; all you had to do was mount your stitches 'backward' for the SSK sections. All you had to do was combined knitting. I played with several design ideas, and then settled on a poncho and cape; Alex liked the poncho; Alex named it Ozone.

Ozone is knit from the top down, half of every-other row being left-leaning decreases. By wrapping the yarn THE WRONG WAY on the previous row, they're already mounted properly, with the trailing leg forward. At first, the rows are very short; if you mess up, it's easy to tink back and fix the wraps, or to simply remount your stitches as you go. And a few times of doing that sort of cures you of the habit. Ozone becomes a meditation in controlling stitch mount. By the time you get to the end of the poncho, you have the muscle memory of keen eye to look at the rows before, and know which way to wrap your yarn. And you discover there is no wrong way, there's just the best way to produce a beautiful lace trellis without straight lines to draw the attention of eyes looking for prey on a desert beach somewhere in the distant future. Or next month; whichever comes first.

I opted for Quince &  Co. yarns, who allowed me to use their soft Aran weight for a relatively quick knit (considering the size!) that's super soft and squishy. For the fringe, I went with Quince's Chickadee, with the strands doubled, for extra fringiness, breaking another rule – two weights of yarn in the same project. And Alex, amazing as she is, broke a third rule, and had the model wear the poncho backward. (Heh, oops, sorry Rebecca!! - ed.) 

 I'm a renegade from the 70's, and owned more than a few ponchos: coarse, scratchy, and with V-necks that would slide forward and strangle you unsuspecting. Ozone, which begins with a triangle like a butterfly shawl, will sit where it's supposed to sit, worn front or backward, and comes in two lengths, regular, and Amazonian (show here) for the giants that walk amongst us and learn to knit how they want to produce the results they want. Because in the future world beyond Doomsday, there's nobody to tell you you're knitting the wrong way.

Thanks Rebecca! Such a stunning piece! You can find Ozone (part of the Global Warming chapter) on Ravelry here, or catch up with the rest of the tour on the schedule post over here.  To preorder Doomsday Knits or learn more about the book, click on over to Cooperative Press.  And don't miss tomorrow's pattern and post over at PDXKnitterati!

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