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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Kudzu Inspiration

Of all the patterns I’ve released to date, the most popular by far is the Kudzu Shawlette.  As of this writing, it has 207 finished projects in Ravelry — a order of magnitude more than any of my other patterns.  I wish I knew what helped it make such a splash — surely being published in CEY’s web-letter helped a lot, as did being chosen for several lace KAL’s. I really have enjoyed seeing the variations people have made, such as this beaded Kudzu and this extra-deep Kudzu.

Recently two designers asked my blessing for their patterns, which were inspired by Kudzu but definitely and distinctly their own design.  Adeline Too  designed a girl’s summer top with Kudzu leaves as the body. I think her Kudzu Top is charming!

Of course not everyone has an adorable little girl to knit for, but as long as you have hands, you can make yourself some Kudzu-inspired mittens.  Rahymah Bintmichael used the ribbing and leaf motif for her Mittens with Leaves.  I think they are very pretty!

 

Ravelry Monday: Catkin, Lavandula, Spring Cloud

First Pick: Catkin, by Carina Spencer ($7.00)

I love the clever construction and colorwork on this cozy shawl.  The first version has bold autumnal colors that really pop.  The second version shows how a subtle color choice can make a very different finished object — I love both.  The colorwork at the hem is done with slipped stitches, so it is much more accessible to knitters who fear Fair Isle colorwork.

Second Pick: Lavandula, by Mia Rinde ($6.00)

There will always be more lace shawls out there that I want to knit, and this one just got bumped to the top of my “to do” list.  I love the wide swaths of stocikinette (great for showing off some multi-colored yarn!), but what really got me is the 4-lobed hem edge — love it!

Third Pick: Spring Cloud, by Sachiko Uemura (FREE!)

For my last pick this Monday, I bring you this simple, elegant use of two yarns.  The body is worked with a fingering-weight yarn held together with a lace-weight mohair yarn, and the feather-light cowl is worked with the lace yarn alone.  It floats above the top like a separate cowl, but it matches and drapes perfectly.

New Pattern Release: Rapunzel

Introducing my latest pattern: Rapunzel! This simple girl’s top is designing with color-changing or self-striping yarn in mind, but will work with both plain and variegated colorways. It can be worn alone, or layered over a shirt in cooler weather.

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Pattern: Rapunzel

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $1.99 at Knit Picks

Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Fingering

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Inspiration: I swatched for this pattern using Felici Sport, a great self-striping yarn.  I wanted to show off the striping with a wide horizontal band, then work downwards.  When KP accepted the pattern, they offered me the new Chroma yarn … I could NOT resist. I just love how it turned out.  I used mostly-stockinette throughout, to highlight the color changes, with an itty bitty braid to add interest.  As I worked, I was reminded of Rapunzel letting down her braid … just like the off-center braid on the top, hence the name.

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Design/Skills Needed: Rapunzel is worked top-down, beginning with a large cabled bandeau that is worked sideways from a provisional cast-on and then joined in a circle. Stitches are picked up from the bottom edge of the cable, and the rest of the body is worked in the round. The bottom edge is finished with a simple ruffle. The straps are also mini versions of the main braid, with ruffled outer edges.

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

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/remcat/5536426944/&#8221; title=”1549 Rapunzel top by WoofBC, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5051/5536426944_a6234321f0.jpg&#8221; width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”1549 Rapunzel top” /></a>