Sep 182013

Plaidscape in Wooly Wonka Fibers  Plaidscape in Knit Picks | The Knitting Vortex  Plaidscape in Knit Picks by Holla Knits | The Knitting Vortex

Several months ago, the lovely Allyson of Holla Knits pinned a technique on Pinterest called Easy Knitted Plaid, from the WEBS blog. I spend as much mindless time trolling the Pinterest eye candy as any other procrastinator, and like to take note of interesting knitterly techniques, among other things. This plaid concept really intrigued me, and I immediately thought about designing an overscaled plaid something. What could it be? Accessory? Nope, too small. Gigantic squooshy wrap? Maybe, but too much exposure of the wrong side. Sweater? Getting closer, but anything with much shaping at all would interfere with the unbroken drama of the plaid. Then poking around runway photos and fall fashion forecasts, I noticed the unapologetic presence of capes as an emerging trend.

Now, I had thought my involvement with this sort of thing ended with the rectangular poncho I knit as a new knitter a long time ago – but, no! Cape, poncho, cloak, pelisse, mantle, tabard . . . exactly the silhouette for a big, bold plaid. I thought about calling it a swing coat for a while, when I got nervous, but instead plunged fearlessly on and embraced the cape-ness.

And I’m glad I did; this shape is an easy topdown knit, and the raglan increases allow the plaid to radiate outward for a geometric, eye catching look. It has a subtly shaped hemline, which visually echoes the round shoulder line that appears when it’s worn on the body. It’s knit one color at a time, in a simple wide rib, just like knitting stripes. It has an asymmetric, double breasted front closure, made from I-cord frogs that match the applied I-cord front edging. And it allows you to play with color, from high-contrast to gently tonal.

But the plaid, you say? What about the vertical plaid? Well, that’s put in last, using a crochet hook to pick up a line of stitches in the purl ditches of the ribbing. Those stitches nestle in there, nice and flat after a friendly blocking, looking just like they belong. I made a video tutorial to show exactly how.

I can see making lots of plaid in future, and meanwhile I’ll be sporting around in my fashionable cape; it’s outerwear and accessory all in one. I’d like to inspire everyone to embrace this bold shape, so I’m giving away a free copy of the Plaidscape pattern.

Leave a comment on this post telling me your thoughts about capes; are they fierce, flirty, frightening? What colors would you use to make this trend your own? Deadline for comments is wednesday September 25 at midnight EDT. One entry per person EXCEPT: for an extra chance, pin an image from this post on Pinterest, tweet a link, 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, right here on thursday September 26. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Cant wait? Plaidscape is available for download from Holla Knits, either individually, as part of the Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2013 Collection, or part of a Holla Knits subscription.

Take the Holla Knits Blog Tour, and check out the other fabulous designs and fantastic yarns from the Collection:

Sept 17: The Sweatshop of Love
Sept 18: The Knitting Vortex
Sept 19: Unplanned Peacock
Sept 20: Knit York City
Sept 23: masi|knits
Sept 24: Wooly Wonka Fibers
Sept 25: Knittery with Doog
Sept 26: Dyeing to Knit with Yarn Love
Sept 27: Dirty Water Dyeworks
Oct 1: Rohn Strong Designs
Oct 2: Knits in Class
Oct 4: Cosmos and Cashmere

  23 Responses to “Mad for Plaid . . . and a Giveaway!”

  1. I think a cape would be much more comfy for long drives, when a coat seems too bulky. I’d love to make this one!

  2. I’m not usually a fan of capes, but I love this one – the plaid look is awesome

  3. this its beautiful and very different from others cardigans.
    this pattern is in my bucket list!

    Great design!

  4. I entered AND found you on facebook! So excited about this piece!

  5. I love this – it’s gorgeous! I can’t wait to make one in time for D.C fall weather – Off to find some yarn. Capes are perfect for Fall.

    reskeined on rav

  6. I think capes can be any of those adjectives depending on the colors used. I might do some fall tones of orange, red and brown.

  7. That is very cute. I live in Minnesota. If I had this when I was young I would probably pull my arms inside the sleeves. Now that I’m older I would enjoy the 3/4 sleeve on a cold winter day!

  8. Pinned it! Adore it! I think I will make my first one in similar colors to Allyson’s as they’d look great with my red hair!

  9. I absolutely ADORE this pattern and would love to win a copy! I am ready to EMBRACE the PLAID!!!

    It is already in my favorites on Ravelry, and I’ll totally be pinning it so you’ll see another comment soon!

  10. When I was about 8, my mom made me a plaid cape, muff, and beret out of fleece so I could be like Mary in “The Secret Garden.” Capes are highly underrated and should be brought back into style! I would definitely knit this!

  11. You’ve been pinned!!!!!!

  12. Red with purple and green stripes _ or maybe a different combination of the three!!!

  13. You’ve been pinned!

  14. I think capes are fun and flirty. I can not wait to knit this pattern. I am mad plaid. I still haven’t decided what colors to use, though.

  15. Ooo..maize and blue, to be worn to the Michigan games!

  16. I’ve been wanting to try this technique and I do like capes, so this might be the pattern for me!

  17. I liked you on Facebook.

  18. I like capes, but I haven’t yet made one. I like this one because it’s not overly big. For colors I would use jewel tones – purples and blues. Thanks

  19. When I was young my mom made me a heavy winter cape that I still have. As I got older, I did not like them anymore, they were for old people. Now that I am one of those “old people”, I am ready to wear them again.

  20. Capes = FUN! I’m a shades of blue kinda girl.

  21. As soon as I saw the previews of this that Allyson was posting I knew I had to make it! It is wondrously bold and colorful, perfect for a hand knit. But I am all for capes.

  22. Capes are cute, especially on little girls. I can’t see myself wearing one though.
    wahoomerryf on Rav

  23. I have a crocheted cape that ‘s at least 10 years old, for which I still get lots of compliments! This is an easy shape to wear; to find it in PLAID is just amazing! The DH, DD & I are the “superheroes” of the Plaid Patrol, so I’ll need to make at least two of these capes (don’t know if DH would wear one without being wrestled to the ground first….). Thanks for offering this giveaway.