Slip Sliding Away

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Mar 242014

Slip Sliding Away cover | The Knitting Vortex

This graphic, topdown shawl begins with a garter tab, then is worked in narrow, two-color stripes with slipped stitches in reversed colors on each side of the central spine. The lower edging is a complementary slipped stitch rib which curves around the point and extends to each tip, emphasizing the strong linear elements of the shawl. Visually complicated but easy to work, only one color is used at a time, and the slipped stitches result in the pattern looking different on each half of the shawl. Increases on every row create a long v-shaped wingspan which accentuates the strong lines and showcases the changing optical interplay of colors.

Techniques & Skills Used: garter tab CO, knit/purl, slipped stitch colorwork; this pattern is both written and charted.
Size: 64” wingspan and 27” depth, after blocking.
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (100% superwash merino wool; 395 yards/100g), 1 skein each, MC and CC. Sample shown in MC Wood Violet and CC Victorian Gothic. This pattern may be adapted to any amount of yarn in two colors, see Designer’s Notes.
Other Materials: US 7 (4.5mm) 40” circular needle; US 8 (5mm) needle for edging; scrap yarn for provisional CO; Stitch markers (4); Yarn needle.
Gauge: 20 st and 40 rows/4” in Body slipstitch pattern, after blocking. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished shawl, and different yardage requirements.

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

Slip Sliding Away | The Knitting Vortex  Slip Sliding Away crossed closeup | The Knitting Vortex  Slip Sliding Away bandanna style | The Knitting Vortex

Mar 132014

I’m pleased to announce that as of June 2015, Box Pleat is available as an individual pdf pattern from my Ravelry store. I’ve extended the size range to 10 sizes from 36.5 to 57.25 (and suggest it be worn with about 6″of positive ease), and expanded the pattern instructions and notes, as per my usual pattern style and format. See all the details and the new photos on my new blog post, and on Ravelry.

I buy all the knitting magazines, and my favorite by far is knit.wear from Interweave – so modern, with beautiful, simple photography anBox Pleat Scoopneck in knit.wear S/S2014d exactly the kinds of things I like to knit. Having a design published is always exciting, but I’m extra-jazzed about my Box Pleat Scoopneck sweater, which is in the Spring/Summer issue of knit.wear.

Box pleats can easily bring to mind classic schoolgirls with blazers and penny loafers, so the challenge here was to design a clean updated look that a modern girl would want to wear. I kept the fabric simple stockinette, and gave the boxy sweater shape that’s so popular right now a feminine spin by shaping only the back with princess seams, and leaving the fullness in the front to be consumed just below the deep neckline in the pleats. One large center box pleat flanked by two small side pleats keeps the whole look streamlined, and the seamless set-in sleeves maintain neat, fitted shoulders – I love the dropped-shoulder, square and boxy look, but this sweater is a bit more refined. Plus, the construction is modern and simple too – worked in the round from the bottom up, with seamless short-row sleeves.

Box Pleat project | The Knitting Vortex

 Box Pleat project | The Knitting VortexThe Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu that was my suggested yarn is a great wool/bamboo blend that knits like wool but adds a little extra drape and sheen perfect for a warmer weather sweater. It was ideal for the early fall, too, when I took these photos.

For all the pattern details, see the Box Pleat Scoopneck on Ravelry; and check out all the other fabulous designs in knit.wear Spring/Summer as well – I love them all!

Clubbing with Katie

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Mar 022014

Probably my all-time favorite movie is Gone With The Wind; I love everything about it – the period costumes, the sweeping narrative, the human frailties. And of course the heroine, Katie Scarlett O’Hara. As flawed a human being as she is, with her childish, manipulative, selfish temperament, she is also unflinchingly strong and unfailingly loyal to the people and places she considers her own. Certainly she qualifies as a heroine in my view.

Last year, Anne from Wooly Wonka Fibers invited me to design two shawls for her 2014 Heroines Shawl Club, and asked me to pair my choice of heroines with her lovely hand-dyed yarns. And so I designed two shawls, using Artio Lace and Aerten Sock to depict two admirable heroines. The first of these is the design in the March 2014 club kit, Katie Scarlett.

Katie Scarlett front view | The Knitting Vortex   Katie Scarlett arty view | The Knitting Vortex

It’s a semi-circular laceweight shawl, knit from a garter tab cast on, with four tiers of lace patterns that represent Miss Scarlett’s trajectory through life. The beautiful, jewel-green color is the exclusive Twelve Oaks colorway, meant to recall the infamous velvet curtain dress. Always resourceful, our girl Scarlett; and always a lovely, nuanced color sense from Anne.

All the design details are on Ravelry, where the pattern will also be available for sale as a downloadable pdf as of June 1. Hard to wait, I know . . . but after all, tomorrow is another day.