Friday, October 29, 2010

the Cowl Collar sweater

Pattern #2: the Cowl Collar sweater

This is another sweater I made for the store window but never wrote the pattern. Amazing the incentive a couple of compliments can be!

The fuller or more lavish cowl collar is the one I made originally but while writing the pattern I wanted to add a more moderate collar modification for a scaled down version.

This sweater is also worked from side to side (cuff to cuff) and of course top down. Again it looks like a pretty simple sweater but the techniques give it a challenge.

The lavish version was knit using Madil Fusion which has been discontinued unfortunately because this was a great yarn. A mohair, merino & acrylic blend that has a wonderful drape, is lofty and soft, very lightweight. Of all their yarns this one was the last that should have been discontinued! If you see it out there somewhere grab it up you won't be disappointed.

The moderate version uses Cascade's Soft Spun which is pretty close to Fusion in loftiness and weight it's just missing that mohair fuzz.

If you are trying to substitute the yarn go for something that isn't wound tightly it needs to be light. When you hold these finished sweaters in your hands they weigh next to nothing.

Even though both Fusion & Soft Spun are worsted I liked how it looked using #11 (body) & #13 (collar & bottom of main body) needles with a gauge of just under 2.5 Sts = 1” in Stockinette Stitch on #11’s; 2-2.25sts = 1” in St st on #13’s.

And like the Boat Neck this pattern is not for the pedestrian knitter. Sizes are easy to adjust as you work and will be noted. The numbers provided form the framework and a starting point while making modifications to those numbers for a more custom fit for any size. This is the easier of the last 2 patterns I've posted and maybe a better introduction to this type of top down construction although I would still rate this for the intermediate knitter because of the techniques involved.

I love both of these sweaters. It's interesting though how different you feel wearing one or the other. The moderate version you feel you could definitely wear it to the office then throw on a pair of jeans for a casual after work get-together with your girlfriends. Where as the lavish version feels like something you want to wear to feel special or maybe for someone special I don't know but there's something about the way it feels when you wear it, the lightness and the fullness that makes you feel sexy!

Available as a PDF download. $6.50

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the Boat Neck

What do they say about life getting in the way... as much as I try to get these out in a timely manner I'm always behind!

The next 3 patterns I post are not for the pedestrian knitter as your participation is needed in making it a perfect fit for your size. Although the pieces themselves may look simple enough the techniques used are more for an intermediate knitter. The sizes are easy to adjust as you work and will be noted in the pattern using the numbers provided as a guide.

As usual these are worked top down and the beauty of that for me is being able to try on the piece as you work to make the modifications needed resulting in a perfectly fitting sweater. Size modifications will be noted where needed throughout the patterns and if you get stuck email me I enjoy helping others understand top down construction.

Pattern #1: the Boat Neck

I fell in love with "the Boat Neck". I think of Jean Seberg or Audrey Hepburn in their casual late 50's attire and it's a shape I could wear everyday. I know in a previous post I said I was adding neck and cuff variations but I spoke too soon. After living with the sweater for a while I didn't want to take away from it's simplicity.

Sizes: S (30-32” bust), M (32-34), L (36-38) larger sizes are easy to adjust to using the modifications noted in the pattern. Knit on #9's using 3 (4,5) skeins of Aslan Trends Invernal (color #22/295yds); a rabbit angora, merino & polyamide blend that was so wonderful to work with I can't wait to use it again. 

Available as a PDF download. $6.50

Friday, October 08, 2010

the Babydoll

The yarn used for the Babydoll is one I wouldn't have chosen myself, Lynn at Knit 1 in Chicago sent it to me and while I was a little stuck at first with what to do I ended up really loving it. This is a yarn that could easily look wooly mammoth if you're not careful but in keeping the stitches loose so you can see the little tufts there's an airiness that keeps it looking & feeling light.

Worked from the top down, the size is generous to fit most (laid flat and measuring the front at the underarm @26” across; measured at the bottom @30” across) with adjustments for petit or extra large sizes noted.

Knit using 3.5 Skeins of Schulana Rodeo (a kid mohair, merino, polymide blend) 383yds and a #19 24" circular with a gauge of 1.5-2sts = 1” (because of the little tufts of wool w/in the yarn there’s a half inch variance in the gauge) it's a pretty quick knit. 

I would rate this pattern as easy since the techniques used are casting on w/ 2 needles, knitting in the round using circular needles and using M1 (make one) the lifted bar increase for the increases.

The things I ended up loving about this piece are: the neckline, wide and open; it's lightweight and it's versatile worn belted or loose, with leggings or jeans; maybe a long sleeve shirt or just a cammy this is a piece you can throw on and go.

Available as PDF download. $6.50

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

rain, rain go away...

Rain in Los Angeles?! I normally love rain especially here but it's been 2 days too many! I never thought rain would be the delay for photographing my new designs. Maybe a horrific accident involving a cup of coffee but rain? Well, so it goes. Hopefully just a few more days. I'm excited though, I think you're going to like them.