New Pattern: Crosswind Pullover

I’m pleased to bring you Crosswind!

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Crosswind is a cropped sweater that features dramatic flared cuffs, a scoop neck, and deep ribbing at the waist. The cuffs fold back over ¾-length sleeves and are sewn in place: use your favorite buttons for a decorative accent. Crosswind borrows its silhouette from the sweaters of the 50’s, with steampunk details to delight and inspire.

Worn with 1-2” of positive ease, this garment is both forgiving and flattering. Body and sleeves are worked bottom-up, in the round, until armhole bind-offs. The ribbed neckline is worked in the round from picked-up stitches. Traditional sleeve caps provide a tailored fit. Pattern includes directions for plain ribbed cuffs.

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I’m especially excited to launch this design, because Knitcrate is offering a limited-edition Crosswind kit. The kit includes the pattern, yarn, and some awesome extras. You have a choice of three exclusive colorways of Aesir from A Hundred Ravens.

Aesir is a round and bouncy 8-ply superwash merino that straddles the line between sport and DK. It has the perfect combination of substance and drape when worked at a DK gauge (5.5 spi). The 8 plies are actually four 2-ply strands, cabled back on themselves; this lends Aesir durability and strength, making it a near-perfect sweater yarn.

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This is a design that I’ve adored pretty much from the first sketch all the way through blocking and photography.  This isn’t normally the case for me! I’m used to a certain stage of my design process where I kinda sorta hate what’s on the needles.

But Crosswind practically knit itself … I love the cuffs, love the deep ribbing, love the pretty scoop neck.

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FO Friday: Blue Yonder Lambton

I finished a sweater (top?) for me!

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Project: Blue Yonder Lambton

Pattern: Lambton Top

Designer: Theressa Silver

Available: in  Jane Austen Knits 2011  or $5.50 in the IP Store (for the single pattern)

Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in Blue Yonder

This pattern was written for color-matched laceweight and fingering yarn. I opted to use Shadow Tonal — single-stranded for the laceweight ruching, and double-stranded for the fingering portions.  This worked out really well, and made it extra easy to do the ruching increases. The row before the increases is double-stranded, so for the increase row I knit one stitch into each individual loop to double the stitch count.

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I made substantial modifications in two areas.  The first is the neckline.  I knew when I began knitting that many people felt the neckline as-written was too big, especially in the larger sizes. I decided to make it as written anyway, knowing it would be relatively easy to go back and add extra rows of ruching at the neck by picking up stitches from the cast-on edge and working upwards with decreases at the corners.  Here’s a WIP picture of the neckline as written:

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When the garment was finished, the neckline was indeed to broad for my liking.  The puffed sleeves pulled the shoulders off, and the corners of the square neckline showed my bra WAY too much.  I followed my plan, and did two extra batches of ruching at the top — it looks weird when flat, but fits me well.

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I also modded the bottom hem — instead of garter stitch, I used this pretty little lace edging. I also did a seven-stitch repeat of the slipped stitches in order to make everything work.

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New Pattern Release: Astrid

Introducing my latest pattern: Astrid!

(Photos from Classic Elite!)

Pattern: Astrid

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 on Ravelry, or as part of the booklet #9236 “New Mode” (from Classic Elite Yarns)

Yarn: CEY Alpaca Sox; 4-7 balls (depending on size); sample knit in 1869 “Amethyst”

Design/Skills Needed:

Frothy lace at the hem, throat and cuffs make this cozy pullover dramatic and feminine. This pullover is worked primarily in the round.  The lacy portions are worked single-stranded; the stockinette portions are worked double-stranded. This makes for a suprisingly quick knit!

 

 

Cast-On Monday: Parseval in the Clover, Ashton Sweet Pea, RSC Jan 2012 Not-Sock

Here I go, casting on new projects like a crazy person.  I had a good reason though! I’m sure I did. I think.

First up: Parseval in the Clover

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I finished the knitting on a sweater-for-me project, and although it was blocking and lacked three buttons, I gave myself permission to swatch for my long-planned Parseval.  Except, I wanted to swatch in the round, because the garment is worked mostly in the round … and when I decided how much to cast on, I realized that it was almost enough for a sleeve … so in a way, I’m not swatching.  I cast on for a sleeve willy-nilly with just a guess at the correct needle and garment size. I will wash & block the sleeve when it reaches 6 inches or so, but this is unsteady ground for me.  I have learned, however, that flat swatches aren’t necessarily accurate when planning in-the-round garments, so there it is.  I love the yarn (Gloss DK), and the pattern isn’t too terrible (4×1 rib, mostly).  I really want the finished sweater, and all the knitting becomes interesting towards the end, so I should be good to go.

Next up: Ashton Shawlette

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I love this KAL choice — it’s the Feb project in the Beginning Lace Knitters group. There’s nothing super-special about the pattern, but it is well balanced and extremely well written.  The designer has written a lovely tutorial that new lace knitters should find exceptionally helpful, and she’s providing it for free.  I’ve already used it to help a new-to-lace knitter get started.  For my own Ashton, I’m pleased to say it seems like my unloved ball of Sweet Pea (from the 2010 Socks that Rock sock club) has finally found its true calling as a simple lace shawlette.

Third, I also cast on the “not a sock” pattern from the first shipment of the 2012 Socks that Rock sock club.  This year, the good folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts are providing two patterns (as they have for the last two years), but one of the two patterns is not a sock!  Due to spoilage issues, I can’t say any more about the pattern or color, except that I am IN LOVE with both. Of course I had to cast on.

New Pattern Release: Flurry Sweater

Introducing my latest pattern: the Flurry Sweater! This two-color pullover features a band of colorwork snowflakes at the waist and elbow, waist-shaping, flared sleeves and hem, and i-cord finish on all edges.

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Pattern: Flurry Sweater

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $3.99 through Knit Picks IDP

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed

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Inspiration: I have this old sweater, a favorite that I’ve had a long time.  It’s pilled and felted from incautious laundering, but I still love to wear it. I picked the things I liked best about it (grey on top, blue on the bottom, colorwork band) and improved it a bit too (more fitted waist, set-in sleeves).

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Design/Skills Needed: The body is knit in-the-round until the armholes, after which the front and back are worked flat, separately. The sleeves are also knit in the round until the sleeve cap, which is worked flat. Knitters may select their preferred in-the-round method (DPNs, one circ, magic loop, two circs, etc.) throughout.

For the colorwork section, I recommend going down one needle size, as many knitters find their colorwork to be looser than their stockinette. However, it’s possible that you may need to stay with the same needle, or even go up a size, to maintain consistent gauge between the stockinette and colorwork portions. Please work a gauge swatch in both stockinette and the colorwork pattern to determine the best needle size for you, for each section.

When working stranded colorwork, take care to keep the floats loose behind the work. When gaps larger than 5 sts must be bridged, catch the float halfway through the gap to keep things tidy. The colorwork sections are charted.

Yarn: Almost any worsted-weight yarn will work with this pattern. I recommend the darkest color for the bottom, a medium value for the top, and the lightest for the snowflakes.

I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on this project.

FO Friday: Diplodocus Sweater

I recently had the good fortune to test knit this adorable sweater for Kate Oates (of Tot Toppers). If you like this pattern, think about joining her KAL (starting August 1st).  If you buy the pattern before the KAL starts, you’ll get it for a mere $4!

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Project: Dino Sweater Test Knit

Pattern: Diplodocus

Designer: Kate Oates

Available: discounted to $4 until August 1st, buy now and save! 🙂

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tonal in Blue Yonder, Deep Waters, and Springtime

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Like every single other thing I’ve test knit for Kate, this pattern is well-written and thoughtfully designed.  Simple things like adding a button to the neck on the smallest size (baby heads are big!) make all the difference.  The sweater begins with the neck, and short rows are worked across the back to make the neck scoop down in front.  The colorwork dinosaurs are worked without increases (thank goodness).  After the dino yoke is complete, the sleeve stitches are held while the body is worked in stripey rounds.  Although Kate provides a gorgeous striping chart (I followed it exactly), she also encourages the knitter to be inventive — stripe as you like! 🙂

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You can see how much my 6yo son likes his new sweater … he wore it in June, in Massachusetts, for several days in a row.  The size 6 did come out a tiny bit big for him — but then again, he is a smallish 6yo, so please blame the knitter (not the pattern).

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Back:

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Closeup:

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Front:

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Cast-On Monday

This week I cast on (and finished) a wrist-strap cozy for my new i-Pod Nano. I’ve been using it every day since I finished it — love it!

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I also cast on (for swatching) for a Ruched Yoke Tee (for me!) made from Cascade Ultra Pima. I bought this yarn on sale at a new yarn shop, Unforgettable Yarns, that has sprung up in a corner of the Andover Book Store. I swatched with a bit of this yarn at the Grand Opening and it is soft and shiny and purely lovely in every way.

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