Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Pattern: Kenner Street Pullover!

It's summer! Guess that means it's time for a new sweater pattern, amirite?

This is the Kenner Street Pullover. It's top-down and totally seamless, with short-row shoulders, set-in sleeves, and a lace panel running down the back, just for something fun. From the front: basic V-neck pullover. From the back: BOOM, lace!

Construction details: This sweater starts with a provisional cast on of the back stitches. The back is worked down to the underarms, then put on hold while stitches are picked up from each shoulder for the fronts. The fronts and back are joined at the underarms and worked straight down with no waist shaping to the bottom ribbing. Stitches are picked up for set-in sleeves. The sleeve cap is created with short rows, then the sleeves are worked down to the ribbing.

The body has no shaping for an easy, casual fit, but you can easily add some waist shaping. Sleeve lengths are easy to customize- try 3/4 or half sleeves to make the sweater more versatile for warmer weather.

The pattern calls for DK weight yarn. I used Knit Picks Gloss DK, a very soft blend of silk and merino. The sample shown is size 34.5, worn with about 2 inches of negative ease. The sample took about 7 balls of Gloss DK. 

Skills needed: Knitting in the round, working short rows, basic increases and decreases, basic lace, picking up stitches, provisional and backwards loop cast ons, knitting with double-pointed needles.

Full bust: 33 (34.5, 37, 39.25, 43, 46.5, 48.25) 
To fit bust sizes 33-37 (34-38, 37-41, 39-43, 43-47, 46-50, 48-52) 
To be worn with 0-2 inches of negative ease in the bust. Shown in size 34.5 with approximately 2 inches of negative ease.

Knit Picks Gloss DK; (70% Merino, 30% Silk; 123yd/112m per 50 g skein); Color: Admiral 7 (8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16) skeins

Check out the projects on Ravelry- some of my testers adjusted the sleeve length, and it's cute!

Get the Kenner Street Pullover pattern for just $4.50 until June 7th, then the price will go up to the usual $6.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Designer's Pattern

Recently, I read a blog post from another designer about how important it is for us, as designers, to knit other designers' patterns. While I totally agree (it's a great way to learn more about construction, pattern writing, get new ideas, etc.), this is FAR easier said than done. I don't have the luxury of hiring a sample knitter, as badly as I want to, so I knit all of my samples myself. It takes up very nearly all of my (limited, with the job) knitting time. I come across patterns that I love and want to knit all the time, but I just file them away in my "someday" queue, knowing full well that it's actually a "only in my head and never for reals" queue.

Well, I got sick of that. I saw this pattern (Beatitude by Katy Banks) in a Knit Picks catalog last fall and was instantly obsessed with it. Like, leave-the-catalog-open-to-that-page-and-leave-it-lying-around-so-I-could-see-it obsessed. I broke down. I bought the yarn. I carved out some knitting time. I STARTED ANOTHER DESIGNER'S PATTERN. And honestly? I need to always have another designer's pattern on the needles. This sweater is my mental break from whatever else I'm working on- I don't have to do any math, or make sure the charts line up, or anything else I have to do when I'm knitting my own designs- and I love it.

It's a top-down yoked cardigan with a steek- this will be my first time steeking, and I admit I'm a bit terrified. I'm at the point now where there are something like 500 stitches in each round, so it's going a bit slow. Also, I don't often get more than 20 or 30 minutes at a time to work on it, so that's probably contributing more to the slow. I think I'm like an inch away from dividing for the sleeves, and honestly, I don't think there's any better feeling than dividing for the sleeves in a top-down sweater. I might truck on today so I can get to that point and rejoice in my knitting prowess. Also I don't have any major designs on the needles, so I can knit on this and not feel guilty! (Who am I kidding, I'll feel guilty anyway. Designer's guilt: it's a disease.)