Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Dunbar’s Point Mittens

Do any of you have a signature color? One to which you faithfully return even despite your best efforts? My friend Danielle does, I’ll let you guess what color it could be. A few weeks ago, Danielle accepted a great job offer after a long and frustrating hunt for the perfect position. I am really proud of her for landing the job for which she worked so doggedly. This clearly called for some celebratory knitting, and I had the perfect yarn on top of my stash: some leftover scraps from a project with Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes in Petunia. I didn’t quite have enough yarn for full-sized mittens, but I knew I could eke out a nice pair of fingerless mittens with what I had (about 120 yards).

Dunbar’s Point Mittens are basic stockinette, fingerless mittens with simple lace edgings knitted on afterwards. The pattern offers photo tutorials of a provisional lace cast-on and the knitted attachment of the edging. Dunbar’s Point provides the opportunity to learn and practice new techniques in a small, unintimidating setting.

Both seamless and fairly easy, this is a perfect project for using up scraps too big to throw out and too little for much else. Plus, the knitting flies by rapidly – I knitted the pair in one evening, then attached the edgings the next evening.

Although I considered using lace edgings on the thumb, I decided against it to give the thumbs need more freedom. After all, these should be useful, not just pretty.

I hope these will serve Danielle well in her brand new office. At the very least, I feel fairly confident they will match whatever she’s wearing on any given day. Good luck on your first day, Danielle!

Hallett’s Ledge

Didn’t I tell you twist collective’s Fall 2010 issue would be amazing? If you have not yet seen the 30 beautiful patterns, I encourage you to check them out! I feel so honored that my latest design, Hallett’s Ledge, is included among them. Allow me to share some of twist’s photos, taken by the talented Jane Heller. Hallett’s Ledge is a modern interpretation of a fisherman-style sweater. It takes its name from a shoal in Nantucket Sound, off the southern coast of Cape Cod.

Copyright Jane Heller

Copyright Jane Heller

Knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran, Hallett’s Ledge is a tailored and textured women’s cardigan that will prove both interesting to knit and easy to wear. The garment employs ribbing below the empire waist, garter eyelet rows marking the empire waist and echoed at the elbow, and an interesting cable pattern at the bust, upper back, and upper arms. It is intended to be worn with about 2″ of positive ease at the bust.

Copyright Jane Heller

Copyright Jane Heller

The body is worked in one piece from the bottom to the armholes, after which point the fronts and back are treated separately. The close fitting sleeves are knitted in the round to the armhole, and then the sleeve cap is worked flat and sewn into the body. The neck band and button bands are picked up and knitted onto the body.

Copyright Jane Heller

Copyright Jane Heller

This was another project I swatched last fall, hoping to create a modern, flattering interpretation of an aran sweater for women. As you may know, it is my firmly held opinion that heavily cabled garments should be trim fitting, with as little excess fabric as possible, due to the weight and bulk of the cabled stitch pattern. After all, there is nothing worse than a heavy, droopy, bag-shaped, boxy sweater. Nothing!

Copyright Jane Heller

Copyright Jane Heller

I received my yarn only days after learning we would be moving 800 miles away in less than a month’s time. Consequently, I did all of my math and worked out pattern sizing before we left, and knitted the bulk of the garment on the road between Kansas and Ohio. Let me tell you, this was the most compelling sight along the interminably dull trek!

The sweater itself knitted up quite quickly, although blocking took forever (DAYS!) because our washing machine had not yet been delivered to our new house. Who blocks the old-fashioned way? The spin cycle reduces drying time a hundred fold!

Of course, as with any ribbed garment, blocking is key. Look at the difference between the shriveled up in-progress body and the neatly blocked one.

Because the ribbing shrunk up so much on itself, I also aggressively pinned down the button bands.

The design element I love most about the garment is the centered cable running down the top of the sleeve. I love the symmetrical look of centered sleeve cables; consequently, I use them frequently.

As with the sleeves, the cabling on the upper back is also centered.

This requires a bit more math to set up the stitch pattern, but I feel it’s math worth doing. After all, I did not suffer through 7th grade algebra for nothing! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me algebra could be so handy?

Although I intended 2″ of positive ease at the bust for this cardigan, I had to try on my sample despite it being a size too small for me! As you can see, this is a much closer fit (roughly 1″ of negative ease at the bust) on me.

I do think the drape is better with positive ease, although your mileage may vary.

For more information about the pattern itself or to purchase a copy, please see the pattern page at twist collective. I hope you enjoy it! Please be sure to check out all the other lovely patterns, articles, and photos in the Fall 2010 issue. There are stunning works from many of my favorite designers in this issue!