Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve posted! I do have a pretty good excuse, though. Besides the fact that my current knitting projects are two secret yarn company designs that I can’t show you, no matter how much I wish I could, there’s also this:
As of last week, the hubs and I are the proud owners of this house! We’ve been busy running around getting things ready to move in. I’m going to have a great workspace for my knit designs and plenty of yarn storage space. It’s pretty dang exciting.
But somewhere in the middle of all that, I managed to wrap up test knitting on my newest sweater design and get it published. So here, without further ado, is Full Circle:
I finished the knitting on this sweater back in the summer (gulp! Can’t believe it’s been that long!), but I couldn’t show it as an FO because I sent it in for an online magazine’s call for submissions. When I got the word they weren’t going to use it, I started the process of self-publishing the design. And now I get to show it off!
Pattern: My own Full Circle Cardigan pattern. I wanted a long, cozy cardigan when I moved back to the Midwest, so I decided to design one. I threw in the fun bubbly cables because, well, I like cables.
Yarn: Araucania Toconao, purchased from Little Knits when they were having their ridiculous full-bag sale ($35 for ten skeins!). I loved working with this yarn–it’s squishy and reminiscent of my beloved Tosh Vintage.
The only thing that bothered me, actually, was the obvious inaccuracy of the yardage given on the yarn label. I used about 6.5 skeins for the whole sweater, including two extensive swatches. If I use the 139 yds/skein given on the label, this was about 900 yds. I can’t knit a regular-length, all-stockinette sweater with 900 yds of Aran weight, so I knew that was waaaay off.
With some help from the Little Knits Ravelry group, I figured out that their skeins are regularly in the 160-170 yd range, which made much more sense, so I put a note in the pattern to this effect. I guess it’s better to get more yarn than advertised rather than less… but it’s still rather annoying.
Notes: I think my favorite part of this design is the teeny sleeve cables. They make me happy. :-)
I was incredibly excited to have my first Twist Collective pattern in the Winter 2012 issue. Here’s a peek into my design process (something I hope to blog about more often in the future, so I hope you like it!).
I started out with the idea of a lacy, v-neck cardigan. I knew I wanted it to be very fitted around the waist and have more ease in the bust–if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I’m all about the bust-friendly designs.
One of the best ways to flatter a figure is to make sure a sweater is fitted at the smallest part of the torso (which for many people is under the bust or a few inches below). I decided on deep ribbing to shape the waist, instead of my usual increases and decreases, since I thought that would complement the lace pattern nicely. I also liked the idea that the knitter wouldn’t have to worry about placement of the shaping.
Here’s the rough sketch I sent to Twist. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination–so I was pretty happy with this one, haha:
I knew I wanted a simple lace pattern, but one that would be pretty and feminine at the same time. After swatching a few (okay, maybe five or six) different patterns, I settled on this snowflake lace. The swatch was knit up in Tosh and photographed in my DIY lightbox.
When I got the email telling me my pattern had been accepted, I was thrilled. When they told me they were sending me Sundara Yarn Sport Merino Two to knit the sample, I was beyond thrilled and into ecstatic! I’ve heard such rave reviews about Sundara yarns for years, and I just never got around to ordering any to try it for myself.
Let me tell you–I nearly swooned when I opened the box. This stuff is gorgeous. It’s as squishy and elastic as my beloved Madelinetosh plied yarns. The colorway they sent me, Monet’s Basilica, is a stunning lavender with perfectly layered purples and blues.
Then it was on to the knitting!
Full disclosure: even though I was the one who proposed it, I wasn’t quiiiiite prepared for the 12.5″ of 1×1 ribbing up to the waist. That, as I’m sure you will agree, is a lot of ribbing. I found I got into a rhythm pretty easily, though, and after a few inches, it wasn’t any more tedious than stockinette. Great TV knitting! The yarn was a pleasure to knit with, which helped a lot. My suggestion to anyone who’s feeling a bit daunted by all that ribbing: choose a yarn you love. It will ease the pain, I promise.
Once I sent the sample and the pattern back to Twist, it was time to wait impatiently for the issue to come out. When it finally did, I was blown away by how beautiful it looked.
You can see that the pattern didn’t change much from sketch to finished object–not always the case for my designs, let me tell you! But this was one of those magic ideas that just came together perfectly.
You can click here to see more information about Lavandula (sizes, yarn requirements, etc.). The rest of the winter issue is stunning too, of course. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen it, head over and check it out: Twist Collective Winter 2012 Issue. I’m so proud and honored to be included in an issue with so many talented designers!