And the Jilted winner is . . .

 Random Thoughts  Comments Off on And the Jilted winner is . . .
Sep 272012

. . . Monica! Congratulations, the Random Number Generator has chosen your comment #16  to win a free copy of my Jilted pattern, from Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2012.


I’ll be sending that out right away, and thank you to everyone who entered the Giveaway! Those are pretty fun, so I’ll have to see about giving away more swag in future!

Sep 262012

Melony Last Look|  The Knitting Vortex

Part of the Very Chic series, Melony is a sideways-knit, cabled cowl which is made extra soft and scrunchy by dropping stitches between wide ribs. It is worked flat, with a provisional cast on which is grafted to the final row, to create a seamless circle. Fitted to hug the neck but stretchy enough to be comfortable, Melony is a chic little neckwarmer designed to keep out the chill.

Techniques & Skills Used: provisional CO, knit/purl, cables, dropped stitches, grafting or optional 3-needle bind off; this pattern includes both a chart and written instructions, and a photo tutorial for grafting the cables.

Size: 6” tall and 18” circumference, after gentle blocking.

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Worsted (100% Merino Wool; 210 yards/100g); 1 skein, shown in Polar Morn.

Other Materials: US 9 (5.5mm) 16” circular needle; Scrap yarn for provisional CO; Stitch markers (3); Cable needle; Yarn needle; Crochet hook (any size) to help with raveling; 5 non-slippery US 9 dpns or straight needles, preferably two different colors, for grafting.

Gauge: 16 st and 20 rows/4” in stockinette stitch after blocking; one cable is approximately 2.5” wide.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or to purchase the pattern.  

Melony front view | The Knitting Vortex  Melony side view | The Knitting Vortex  Melony hero | The Knitting Vortex

Sep 192012

Jilted slouchy  Jilted in Gissing  Jilted cropped

Yesterday I posted about the release of my new sweater design Jilted. You may have noticed in pictures that Jilted appears styled differently around its various homes on the web. Part of that is thanks to the innovative approach of Holla Knits, which shows every published design in two versions – one knit up in a yarn from Knit Picks, and one from an independent dyer – and always in two different sizes. It’s so helpful to see how a sweater looks on different people and in different colors, to spark the imagination of how YOU would wear it. In the case of Jilted, there’s a bonus presentation of one size worn two very different ways based on fit.

Jilted sketchI knit the vibrant Fairy Tale magenta sample in Knit Picks Capretta; “Let’s go BOLD!” said Allyson from Holla Knits, when we were discussing yarn colors, and I loved the idea of this unapologetic color for a sweater conceived as a statement of girl power self-confidence. The original sketch shows the design concept of a partly fitted, partly slouchy, body conscious knit. I knit the 39.5″ with the intention of 4-5″ of ease for my 35″ self; then I tried it on my 34″ daughter and thought it captured the look I was going for so well, that we styled it up to match the girl-going-out vignette from the pattern. That’s her in the first picture above, looking fierce on the street.

Jilted a la PolyvoreOf course I sent my sample off to Holla Knits with the pattern, and when photoshoot time came around, another styling opportunity arose. The lovely model with the 36″ bust also stands a statuesque 6′ tall, which is 6 inches taller than my model; you can see how the sweater looks in the picture above right, with about 3.5″ of positive ease, but a cropped effect – very modern over a long tank top.  The average female adult height in the US is about 5’4″, but whether you’re average, petite, or tall, NO WORRIES – the body of Jilted is knit topdown and straight with no shaping (the rib hem pulls it in), so you can knit it as short or as long as you like.

Meanwhile, Allyson was knitting her sample in the beautifully subdued Don’t Blink color of Roman Hills Gissing, which to me really plays up the casual chic Flashdance element. Have I mentioned that grey is my absolute favorite color for apparel? Allyson knit the 36.5″ which is just about her exact size, so she’s wearing the sweater with no ease and knit to a medium length. I like the way this makes it the ultimate in versatility; you can go for a drink, to the grocery, to the park, anywhere, and be appropriately garbed as well as be able to layer a coat or scarf over if it’s chilly.

And so there you have examples of three styling options, with of course as many infinite possibilities as there are knitters – that’s why we knit our own stuff, right?

Jilted is available for purchase from Holla Knits, either individually, as part of the Fall/Winter 2012 Collection, or part of a Holla Knits Subscription.

Now for even more fun, I’m giving away a free copy of the Jilted pattern; take a look at the photos on the pattern page on Ravelry for inspiration, then come back here and leave a comment on this post telling me how you would size and/or style your Jilted. Fitted? Flashdancey? Subtle? Bold? Deadline for comments is wednesday September 26 at midnight EDT. One entry per person EXCEPT: for an extra chance, tweet a link to this post or like The Knitting Vortex on Facebook (dont forget to come back and leave your second comment if you do!) I will announce the winner, drawn by random number generator, on thursday September 27. And may the odds be ever in your favor!

To check out the other fabulous designs and yarns, take the Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2012 Blog Tour:

Sept 10th: The Sweatshop of Love – entire collection & New Girl pattern giveaway
Sept 11th: I Knit 2 Purl 2 – Devon Cardigan pattern giveaway, and subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
Sept 12th: Wooly Wonka Fiber – Devon Cardigan pattern giveaway, free shipping when you order a sweaters worth of yarn
Sept 13th: Stash, the Knit Picks Blog
Sept 14th: Knits in Class – Bombshell Shorts pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive discount
Sept 17th: The Owl and the Bee – Sexxxy Librarian pattern giveaway, and subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
Sept 18th: Periwinkle Sheep – New Girl pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
Sept 19th: Knitting Vortex – Jilted pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
Sept 20th: Roman Hills – Jilted pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive discount
Sept 21st: Under the Red Umbrella – Bombshell Shorts pattern giveaway
Sept 24th: Springtree Road – Henri pattern giveaway, 2 skeins Praline DK giveaway
Sept 25th: Magical Grammar – Henri pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway
Sept 26th: Dirty Water Dyeworks – Sexxxy Librarian pattern giveaway, free shipping on all orders with coupon code ‘Holla Knits’


Sep 182012


Jilted, dropped, fallen . . . She may have been left ignominiously by that worthless boyfriend, but that just means her spirit is free. No more quiet evenings in, no more covered-up turtlenecks; she’s going out, and she’s going to wear something touchable and revealing, something imperfect and undone. And it’s going to be eye-catching, just like she is.

Jilted is a very simple, wide-neck blouson with a column of dropped stitches placed on each arm and asymmetrically on the front. Knit in cashmere blend sockweight yarn on larger needles, seamlessly from the top down with raglan shaping, the boxy fit hits at high hip with a wide rib hem which echoes the rib cuffs on three-quarter length sleeves. With a simple purl neckline and stockinette body, the focus is on the dropped stitches, which are set up at the beginning and dropped almost at the end. There is no body and minimal sleeve shaping; instead the cuffs and hem are knit in rib on smaller needles, creating the generous sleeves and body.

Dressed up or down, Jilted is a simple sweater with a surprise – just like the girl wearing it.

Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, knitting in the round, dropped stitches.

Size: 34 (36.5, 39.5, 42.75, 46, 49.25)”. This nonchalant pullover is designed to be worn with plenty of positive ease. Shown above in third size with 5” ease; below in more fitted versions.

Garment Measurements:

Bust & Hip: 34 (36.5, 39.5, 42.75, 46, 49.25)”.

Sleeve length: 19.25 (20.5, 21.75, 22.5, 23.75, 24.75)”.

Length: 20 (20.75, 21.75, 22.5, 23.75, 24.75)”.

Yarn: Knit Picks Capretta (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 230 yards/50 grams); 4 (4, 5, 5, 6, 6) skeins, Fairy Tale, or

Yarn: Roman Hills Gissing (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 420 yards/100 grams); 2 (2, 3, 3, 3, 4) skeins, Don’t Blink.

Other Materials:

US 7 32” circular needle or size to match gauge.

US 5 32” circular needle for ribbing.

Yarn needle.

Stitch markers (7 total; 1 for EOR, 3 color A, 3 color B).

Waste yarn or extra cables for stitch holders (2).

Crochet hook, any size, for raveling dropped stitches.

Gauge: 20 st x 28 rows/4” in stockinette stitch on larger needle; 24 st x 36 rows/4” in K1P1 Rib on smaller needle.

Jilted in Gissing  Jilted in Capretta  Jilted back view

See it on Ravelry.

Jilted is part of the Holla Knits Fall 2012 Collection. You can also purchase the pattern, or subscribe to Holla Knits for the Spring,  Fall, and Accessories Collections.


Sep 142012


“Folderol” means foolish nonsense, but this worsted crescent shawl is no trifle; the cozy wrap is made extra thick and warm with triple folds, curved gently with short rows, and finished neatly with applied I-cord. Knit from the bottom up and given texture and shape with tucks and decreases, Folderol is completely reversible and absolutely worthy.

Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, tucks/picking up stitches, short rows, decreasing, cable & provisional CO, applied I-cord.
Size: one size, 58” from end to end, and 10” deep.
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted (100% Merino) 210 yards/100g; 3 skeins shown in Tuareg. The sample used approximately 525 yards.
Other Materials: US 9 (5.5mm) 47” circular needle; US 7 (4.5mm) 47” circular needle for picking up stitches; Stitch markers (2) optional, to mark SR turning points; Smooth scrap yarn for provisional CO and marking Tuck row; Yarn needle.
Gauge: 14 st and 24 rows/4” in stockinette stitch on larger needle. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished shawl, and different yardage requirements.

Folderol back Folderol tuck closeup Folderol in Knit Edge Issue 1

See it on Ravelry to read more or purchase the pattern. 

Folderol was originally published in Issue One of Knit Edge Magazine, the new digital magazine from Cooperative Press, that goes beyond patterns to explore the art behind our craft. Of course there are not only fabulous designs, but also informative articles and opinion pieces. Issue One is available to download, or you can subscribe to the magazine for even more yarny goodness.


Fall 2012 Pantone Fashion Color Report

 Fashion  Comments Off on Fall 2012 Pantone Fashion Color Report
Sep 062012

Fall 2012 Women's Colors

Now that back-to-school is a reality, in my mind fall has officially arrived. And fall of course means a mental adjustment, back to serious work and a more pulled together look – I’m eagerly anticipating the ability to wear more sweaters and accessories. The forecasters released their visions for Fall 2012 two seasons ago, but now we’re finally in the moment.

As is typical with me, I personally prefer the subdued edges of the color line above, but can see Pink! Tangerine! even Chartreuse! as an accent. That Ultramarine Green is the only one I cant imagine myself doing anything with – it looks like Forest to me, but as that’s my son’s favorite, I’m sure I’ll be seeing some of it. Here’s what Pantone has to say:

As the season transitions from the heat of summer, Bright Chartreuse, a vital yellow-green, pays homage to a typical spring shade and creates a bridge into the cooling days of fall. Reminiscent of bright green foliage, it provides a perfect accent to every color in the palette. Like the name implies, Pink Flambé is a delicious, vibrant pink with a bit of heat to it. Pair it with vivacious and enticing Tangerine Tango for an ongoing retro feeling. Or, to bring a calming element to the mix, combine these vibrant warm tones with Ultramarine Green, a deep, cooling blue-green. Ethereal Rhapsody is a grayed-down purple that also encourages comfort and serenity with its quiet, muted tone. Honey Gold, a mellow, burnished yellow, suggests the soft-muted tones of sunlight to brighten a fall day. Pair it with sensible and strong Olympian Blue, a patriotic blue that will surely make its way into fall and winter athletic apparel. Rich and robust, French Roast is a tasty, sophisticated hue that is a great alternative to the black and charcoal basics typically worn in the fall. Other staple neutrals include elegant and versatile Titanium, the quintessential cool gray, and Rose Smoke, a veiled rose tone that pairs well with Rhapsody and Titanium.

Fall 2012 Men's Colors

This fall’s Men’s colors show minimal distinction from the Women’s; just Rhubarb instead of Pink Flambe, Sea Fog for Rhapsody and Whitecap Grey for Rose Smoke. I like to see a little more girl/boy variation, but I think this season’s Women’s colors are overall fairly unisex, so there you go. Interesting that my own top pairing pulls from the Men’s palette – Rhubarb together with Sea Fog are just about everything I like in color.  Pantone says:

Similar to this season’s palette for women, there is something for everyone in the top color selections for men. Rhubarb, a deep, pungent hue, brings intensity to the palette, and is best paired with Tangerine Tango and Honey Gold for a typical collegiate look. To hit the ski slopes in style, combine Ultramarine Green with Bright Chartreuse and Olympian Blue for the ultimate in winter athletic apparel. Moving from the vibrant tones of fall to more neutral basics, Whitecap Gray is a classic off-white, reminiscent of an overturning wave under a winter sky. Sea Fog, a gray with a muted purple cast, exudes just the right amount of confidence and masculinity. Pair these two neutrals with the strength of Titanium for a subtle and sophisticated direction. Combine all three neutrals in a dress shirt or tie with basic, versatile French Roast for a classic fall look.

So I went looking among my stuff to see how on trend I might be this fall, and it appears I have nothing to worry about. My nails at least will be current; the rest can follow.

Fall 2012 polish