Sophistical – in Knitty First Fall

sophistical 11 - upsidedown How excited am I to be back in Knitty?

I’m very happy to present Sophistical. This is a great loose-fitting layering piece that’s mostly super-simple and quick to knit. The front and back are worked flat and seamed at the shoulders and sides. Drop sleeves are picked up and worked in the round until they’re exactly as long as you want. Simple 1×1 ribbing finishes the neckline.

However, there are a few slightly tricky parts that really add a lot of style: a tubular cast-on and bind-off start and finish your ribbing beautifully, three organic-looking welts on the front skew the hemline in an interesting way, a box pleat on the back adds a bit of swing, and short-row shaping provides a better fit at the shoulders.

The instructions include modifications for simplifying the pattern if you think you might not be up to the challenge (but don’t be afraid to give it a shot–what’s the worst that could happen? You can just unravel and try again . . .)

sophistical2-jumping

Thanks to my two amazing dancer models, Kate Franklin and Vanessa Goodman.

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Spring into knitting

cherrybSpring is a great time to learn to knit! You can practice on a scarf or two, maybe make some mitts or a hat, and by the time the cooler weather rolls around again, you’ll be ready to make your first sweater! Seriously, my second project ever was a sweater. I learned to knit because I love sweaters, and didn’t want to spend any more time on flat things. It wasn’t the greatest sweater, but I wore it proudly.

fling-4Are you a beginning knitter? Once you know how to knit and purl, here are some patterns you might like to try:

These are super easy: How about a reversible scarf with different stitch patterns on each side? Or a garter stitch boa that works with pretty much any yarn.

dashing 2Try these next: Learn to knit in the round on double pointed needles (it’s not that hard!) and create cables (also not that hard!) while making these popular fingerless mitts. There’s also a guy-friendly version). Maybe you want warmer hands? How about some mittens? Or a simple baby hat worked in the round (it makes a great gift)! knitscene-inari-skirtDo you know a Life Aquatic fan who needs a basic ribbed hat?

Ready for a challenge? How about a sweater? This one only takes a few hours. Mr. Darcy is very straightforward (exactly what you need in a Regency-era hero). Or try this drawstring-waisted skirt for a versatile addition to your wardrobe.

There are lots more patterns here and here. Have fun!

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The Red Queen is finally ready

Well, this took a lot longer than I thought it would. Probably because I stopped to make a load of tiny sweaters and alpaca cowls for our pop-up sale last month. Anyway, it’s finally done and I think it turned out pretty well. I’m especially happy with the tubular bind off on the ribbed edging. Such a great technique–I highly recommend learning how to do it if you don’t already.

Red QueenMy new Queen Street cardigan in madelinetosh tosh merino light (in Tart)

Detail showing the excellent tubular bind off.

Detail showing the excellent tubular bind off.

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Pop up sale!

minisweaterCome to this tiny holiday market featuring original hand-crafted gifts and accessories by three five Vancouver designers.  You’ll find beautiful leather goods, amazing Selfie dolls, stylish knitted & crocheted things like chunky cowls and tiny sweater ornaments, and more. We might even have cookies for you!

Here’s a preview for you (click on any image to enlarge)
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Some of Katharina Brand‘s beautiful leather ornaments & lavender sachets
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Some lovely warm items by Candice Leung
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Imagine wrapping a gift card in one of these wallets made from vintage maps of Vancouver!

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Would you pay for Knitty?

skeinFINALnotypeKnitty is doing this interesting thing. I’m so happy to be able to support such an excellent online knitting magazine. I got my start as a designer in Knitty, and still feel like Amy Singer is my knitting fairy godmother.

Can you support Knitty too? $2 an issue is quite a bargain.

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Queen Street goes both ways

IMG_1145I’m excited to release my newest pattern, the Queen Street reversible cardigan.

Right-side out, you get sleek slip-stitch ribs on a reverse-stockinette stitch background, with exposed seams. Inside-out, you have nice plain stockinette stitch with garter stitch bands at the hemline and sleeve cuffs, and wide-ribbed sleeves.

It’s made from gorgeous Americo Originals Brezo (a wool/silk/linen blend you will love). It also works beautifully in MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light.

Click here for more details or

 

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Time for a treat

I’m having a sale in my Ravelry Pattern store:

25% off all patterns until August 9th.

Just use the code “SUMMERLOVE” when you check out. Shop as often as you like. My latest pattern, the Queen Street reversible cardigan (coming on July 28th) is included in this special offer.

summerlove2015

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Introducing: Sleepy Bunny!

Need a gift for a summer baby? Here’s a sweet cotton garter stitch blanket with i-cord edging and a handy loop on one corner. This is a free pattern; get it here.Sleepy Bunny-3Sleepy bunny

 

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Got gauge?

What kind of needles do you use? I have a whole collection of different types made of different materials. My current favourites are metal Addi turbos because they are so smooth and light. But I also have bamboo (Takumi) and resin sets (Denise interchangeables, sadly missing one 5mm tip) which I also use from time to time.

The only type of needles I never use are aluminium, because my yarn always slips off and they make a terrible sound when they rub together.

I noticed a subtle difference in the knitted fabric I got from various needles, but never really paid a lot of attention to it. Until now.

This article by Alexis Winslow (KnitDarling) is an eye-opener. If you’re having trouble getting gauge, it might not be the size of needles you’re using, but the material!

Knit-Darling-Needles-Gauge-01

used with permission – click on the image to see the original post

Alexis also wrote a post on circular vs. flat swatches, which is also very helpful. And super interesting. You should read it.

 

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Made any resolutions for the lunar new year?

yearofsheep

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