16 Feb 2010

Brother Amos, redeux

As you may have noticed, I have been paying rather a lot of attention these days to the design of things. The new website is the most visible of the design projects, but there are many others happening quietly behind the scenes. I suppose it began with the design of the Driving Miss Daisy gloves, and has continued since largely owing to the inordinate amount of time I have on my hands, now that my hands are free from knitting. (To say nothing of creative mojo that is rising like a spring tide, and has nowhere else to go but into pixels or onto paper.) Whatever the impetus, I’m enjoying it.

Part of the design process for the DMD gloves involved the creation of a new layout for the printed pattern. Driving Miss Daisy is not just a good pattern, it’s also a well thought out, and beautifully designed pattern, if I do say so myself. It’s clean and easy-to-read and, best of all, the design confines all the utterly necessary but toner-wasting color pictures to the first page of the pattern. Though this isn’t an issue with the Driving Miss Daisy kit, as the pattern is professionally printed, I was thinking about using the pattern layout for past and future work, even as I designed it. With this pattern layout you don’t have to waste a lot of expensive color toner to print out a knitting pattern; you can print out just the black and white facts, ma’am. I’m so happy with the concept that I have been reworking all my patterns and laying them out anew.

The first of my designs to get the makeover was the Hellfire Lace version of Brother Amos’s Socks, a pattern I designed several years ago, just for Cast On donors. Having, at the time, recently finished rereading Stella Gibbons’ excellent novel, Cold Comfort Farm, I named the socks “Brother Amos” after one of the characters in the book.

I must say, I’m very pleased with the redesigned sock pattern, which now makes use of recent advances in toe up sock technology. The hand dyed yarn originally specified is no longer available, so I chose new yarn for the project – Regia Hand Dye Effect. This particular colourway, “Rubin” pleases me to no end, both for it’s beauty, as well as its homonymic name. (One of the sons on Cold Comfort Farm is called Ruben because, as Stella Gibbons writes, “Highly sexed young men living on farms are always called Seth or Ruben.”)

After the big redesign, came the big reknit; a slow and painful process. This was the very last project I completed before deciding to take a break from knitting. Tonia helped with the big new photo shoot (which was in no way painful) after which I uploaded everything to Flickr and offered the pattern for sale on Ravelry as a pdf download. It was very big job that really deserved a special Ta-Da! moment at the end of it, but somehow I got distracted and forgot all about it. Until this week, when two people bought the pattern, and reminded me that it exists.

The newly pretty Brother Amos Hellfire Lace sock pattern is now available for purchase on Ravelry.

Ta Da!

Posted on February 16, in News


  1. LoriAngela wrote:

    I truly appreciated all those points about the DMD pattern. Thanks for bringing pattern intention into our new age.

    Posted on 2.16.10 ·
  2. Laia wrote:

    I love the new layout, and I’m glad to hear that you’ve found something to help with the flood of creativity. The same flood happens with me when I don’t have the time to work with it properly.

    Also, loving that you’re blogging more. It’s helping me with my Cast On podcast withdrawal symptoms. I’ve taken to watching more OPB lately to help fill my knitting and dish washing hours.

    I hope you start feeling less pain soon, and that you let your shoulder heal before getting back into knitting. I’d rather wait longer now than lose you all together later.

    Posted on 2.16.10 ·
  3. Linda wrote:

    Looking forward to your blogging more. I really like your pattern for the Hellfire Lace sock, but what I would really like is the pattern for the Pentre Ifan sock! It is very pretty and I’ve been soooo patient! Hope you are feeling better soon.

    Posted on 2.16.10 ·
  4. Yay! Love these and bought the pattern immediately. May even have to read that book. Brenda, thanks for hanging in there while your shoulder recovers. “Sports” injuries can help with focus and strengthen the resolves. You have so much to offer and my life would be so dull without your musings in whatever way you can provide…gush gush gush…
    Here’s a thought: How about doing a few podcasts with a collection of your awesome essays and music selections in between? Or guest writers to provide materials, heck, some of my fav’s do “encore presentations” which would be great too! Way better than sloshing through older ones to find a favorite or two to pass the time til your back. Just a thoughts.
    Anyway, be well. Spring is on the way and all will be right with the world again.

    Posted on 2.18.10 ·
  5. Lovely socks! Cold Comfort Farm is a wonderful novel. The movie is also quite fun.

    Posted on 2.18.10 ·
  6. Jaala wrote:

    Those socks make me swoon. The colors and pattern=both gorgeous.

    Thanks for the nice Knitcircus mention on the podcast a few months ago. We’re all the way online now and I’d like to send you a pdf of the pattern collection (the not-free part of the magazine) as a thanks for the generous airtime. Just shoot me an email, jaala AT knitcircus DOT com and we’ll send one your way!

    Thanks and keep up the lovely work,

    Posted on 2.18.10 ·
  7. Anne wrote:

    Hi Brenda
    I found your podcast a few months ago and have been listening to them from the beginning. I just bought the Brother Amos pattern and want to start it soon. I love your podcast and just listening to your voice as you ramble. I too have fought with the thyroid problems and have used knitting to work through health problems. Keep it up. ((BIG HUGS))

    Posted on 2.19.10 ·
  8. Robin wrote:

    Hi Brenda! I hope you’re healing and feeling better. It’s extraordinarily snowy here in Indianapolis and I’ve been listening to your podcasts while I spin and knit and wait for the snow to melt. Being a professional gardener, I’m off work during the winter months, and your podcast keeps me company – filling my kitchen with music and your wonderful stories. I look forward to your return in the spring. Feel better soon!

    Posted on 2.20.10 ·
  9. Nina wrote:

    I love the newly knit Brother Amos socks! They look like flames traveling up the legs. Beautiful work and great idea on putting all the photos on the first page. I definitely hate printing something out and eating up all my toner when really all I want are instructions on how to knit it.

    Posted on 2.22.10 ·

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