Summer coming

DSC_1054BI just finished a new design – a pullover to wear to the beach. I’m debating about whether to call it West Egg (the fictional site of Gatsby’s house) or Sands Point (the real West Egg). The pattern’s still with the tech editor, but the shoot happened on Sunday, with my youngest, Peter, acting as the stylist and my oldest, Con, as the model. They’re collaborating here on doing a Snapchat while I’m trying to get the pictures right.

Specs? Bottom up raglan. Body starts off as front and back to form the side vents, then it’s knit in one piece to the armholes. Sleeves are knit in the round. The only seaming is along the raglan lines. Garter details along those lines and running up each side. Twisted cord  laces up the front.

Yarn? A dream to work with…Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Audra Mix…silk and linen. The gauge was a little looser here so that it would appear more open.

And the detail I love…the sleeve cuffs. Organized dropped stitches are “run” down to the cuff to create a slightly deconstructed look.

The pattern should be out the first week in June ~ just in time for the beach.

Linen for April

Launched a new cardi on Ravelry today, Spring Leaf. This came together very quickly with this idea… I wondered if I could use a bit of shawl shaping to construct the back of a cardigan?

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The answer was yes. Briefly, there’s a bit of bottom-up shawl construction with  simultaneous short rows. (It’s much easier than it sounds!) The 3/4-sleeves and raw edges in a linen-cotton blend that blocks out beautifully, is going to be one I’ll be making again.

From now until the end of day (EDT), Sunday, April 30th, it’s 25% off – no coupon code necessary.

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When my daughter and I shot this (she’s the model), a flock of seagulls took off just as she turned toward them. I love when the unexpected happens!

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Photoshoot

 

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Anselm (cardigan), shown with distraction

For me, one of the hardest parts of getting a pattern published is the photoshoot. I’m lucky that my go-to model is my daughter, Connie — 23, very pretty with a great figure.  Although she’s generous with her time, now that she’s out of school and working full-time, its harder for us to schedule. Often, we’re not available at the same time. With daylight in short supply during non-working hour, getting the latest patterns photographed has been difficult. But scheduling is only a small part of the whole process.

Before the shoot, there are so many things to consider and manage  — weather, wardrobe, lighting, and location.

During the shoot, location can be tricky.  Today, for example, we encountered people in our shoot location, as well as tricky terrain after last night’s sleet-y snow.

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Frigid winds and chattering teeth shooting Frost Field.

After the shoot, the biggest issue is the time involved in editing — the best pictures need to be chosen, showing the knitted piece and the model to the best advantage, then cropping and adjusting lighting and color. As a non-professional photographer with just a digital camera and no photoshop experience, it’s hours of work.

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Photos of Echo Song were among my favorite of the day.

 

 

Today we shot 5 pieces in 3 locations.  Toward the end, Connie and I were a little punch drunk. She wanted to call this one Pretty Little Liars and I thought Signed “A” might be a good one. (If you watch the show, you’ll get the references — red coat and “sssshhhhh.”) But in the end, it’ll be Twine & Warp.

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We found “A” wearing Twine & Warp.

 

 

 

 

In addition, to T&W, I’ll also be releasing Frost Field, Echo Song and Anselm by the end of the month, with Simplicity coming in early February.

 

Policy of Truth: Making a length adjustment

Policy of Truth is my most recent pullover design for Paper Moon Knits.  The lace panel is shorter in the front than the back.  For some (like the model in the picture, my 23-year-old daughter) this is just what they want, but for others, it may not be the best option.

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Fortunately, this pullover’s length is easy to adjust and for this post, I’ll teach you how to use a schematic to make that length adjustment.  In the process, I’m hoping you’ll also learn just how useful a schematic can be.

Here’s the schematic for Policy of Truth:

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The pullover has lace at the bottom edges of both the back and front.  We’ll be looking at the measurements for B, C, E and F.  B shows us the length of the back lace, C shows us the length of the front lace, E shows us the length of the total front and F shows us where we’ll be dividing for the front and back armholes.  The schematic does not show the total back length.  No matter what size you’re thinking of making, the way the pattern is written, the measurements for B and C don’t change.  B = 7″ [17.8cm] or 3 full repeats of the 16-row lace pattern and C = 4 3/4″ [11.9cm] or 2 repeats of the lace pattern.

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The length of E changes with each size — 16 (16¼, 16½, 16¾, 17, 17¼, 17½)” [40.5 (41, 42, 42.5, 43, 44, 44.5)cm].  F is the length of the armhole where the pullover is divided front and back and worked separately in rows.  This also changes for each size — 6½ (7, 7½, 8¼, 8½, 9¼, 10)” [16.5 (18, 19, 21, 21.5, 23.5, 25.5)cm]

E- C = length of Stockinette stitch.  Let’s call the answer E1.  Once we have this answer (E1), we’ll subtract F.  E1 – F = length of Stockinette before we divide.  We’ll call this answer F1.  This is the answer we REALLY want.  If we have this answer, we won’t have to fiddle with the pattern as far as to where to begin armhole or neck shaping.

Decide whether you want the sweater to keep that high-low/front-back look.  Then decide what length you’d like the front of the sweater to be.  Keep in mind that 2 full repeats of the lace pattern is 4 3/4″ and 3 full repeats is 7″.  In this particular pattern, I wouldn’t use more than 3 full repeats of the pattern (but of course, you can).

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So, what to do?  Let’s take a practical example using the largest size:

 

You decide that you want to keep the high-low look of this sweater.  You’ve also decided that you want the front length to be 20″.

20″ – 4 3/4″ = 15 1/4″   That is E – C = E1 

15 1/4″ – 10″ = 5 1/4″   And this is E1 – F = F1

That means that on the front, you’ll do 2 full repeats of the lace for 4 3/4″, then 5 1/4″ of Stockinette, then 10″ after dividing for the front and back for the armhole.  The total length will be 4 3/4 + 5 1/4″ + 10 which will give you 20″ of front length.  Of course, the back will be 2 1/4″ (7″ – 4 3/4) longer than that for a total of 22 1/4″.

Feel free to write to me with any questions!

 

All the news that’s fit…

Usually I post when something significant happens in my design world, but really, I’ve been remiss.  There have been 4 new patterns since my last posting — two for-sale Paper Moon Knits patterns, a free PMK pattern and a pattern published in Love of Knitting.  If you missed it, you can subscribe to my newsletter here, because, well that’s the newsletter.

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stella cadente

First up is Stella Cadente.  It’s the free one.  I hadn’t published a free pattern since the mishap with the Pickford, M. socks, and I thought it was about time.  This design was really inspired by the yarn, Lang Yarns Aurora.  26132928695_0984b46165_zIt’s ribbon-like with a little metallic and a multi (things I don’t usually go for), but together…lovely.  A simple garter and drop stitch piece that is uber-fast to finish.  I think I did the sample in a couple of hours.

Next are the two new PMK patterns.  The first is Policy of Truth (and, yes, if you’re a Depeche Mode fan, it was named for the song).  It has lace and cable edgings that resemble a star at the bottoms of the front, back and long-ish short sleeves and is slightly oversized.  Although the front is shorter than the back, it’s very easily adjustable and my plan is to do a blog post next week on how to adjust this.  Done in my all-time favorite yarn, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, it’s really a 3-season piece.

This one was followed up by The Crossings, a summer tee in a cotton/linen blend by Tahki called Laguna.  It’s a light and loose raglan with a “differently” great cable running up the center front.  The sample is at String Yarns, if you happen to be in NYC.

And, last but not least, a piece for Early Fall.  Love of Knitting’s newest edition is out and the Orbit pullover was mine.  I love the way they styled this piece — even the belt  which I don’t usually love on knitted pieces works here.  Orbit is a knit-in-the round, bottom-up raglan pullover with dressmaker details — turned hems and collars and full-fashioned shaping.  When you work with a publication, the editors choose the yarn, not you.  Honestly, most of the time it works, but it’s not always that you fall in love.  This time, I did —  Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts BFL Fingering/Sock — in a color called Kismet.  G-O-R-geous.  The good news about this design is that even though it’s brand-spanking-new and is part of a current magazine, you can buy it individually here.

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orbit pullover photo courtesy of Interweave by Carmel Zucker

So sorry I’ve been a bit negligent taking care of the blog.  Going to try this summer to be on top of my game.

 

Claire Tank

The Claire Tank was released this week in the spring/summer 2016 issue of knit.wear (formerly knit.purl which was formerly knit.wear) .  This design had been kicking around in my head for the past few years in various iterations, including a textured colorblock mid-panel.  In the end, though, it was best with some side vents and the colorblock without the texture.  I can see it in a muted green with a big pop of fuchsia or tonal with shades of blue.  It’s knitted in Shibui Twig, a blend of flax, silk and wool, that washed really beautifully.

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Originally, the design was called Obi, as in sash (not as in Kenobi).  This is the sample on Annabel before I sent it off.

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This issue of knit.wear has some great pieces.  I especially love the Bande Pullover by Amy Gunderson and the Lin Sweater by Maria Leigh.

 

 

Ethel Rose Knits

I’m off on a new adventure with my friend and fellow designer, Sima Brason.  We have some new designs and we’re teaching some classes in the NY/NJ area.  Ethel Rose Knits is our collaboration and we’ve named it for our maternal grandmothers ~ Ethel is hers and Rose is mine.  Pellegrino, pictured below, is my first design for Ethel Rose.  (Ettle, coming early next month, will be hers.)

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The story of my maternal grandmother is one of perseverance and I have heard it told since I was a small child. The eldest of 6 children, Rose left to be with her husband, John, who had already emigrated to the US. Her mother-in-law, with whom she lived after her marriage, begged her not to go in the hopes that John would return. She was torn between being a good daughter-in-law and being a good wife, and returned my grandfather’s ticket twice before she eventually left. She never saw any member of her family again.

Six years later, during the long labor in which Rose delivered her only child (my mother), her lung collapsed. She then developed tuberculosis and as was the custom at the time, was sent away to recuperate, leaving her infant daughter with her husband and family friends for almost 2 years. When she returned, her daughter did not know her.

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She was widowed at 48 when my grandfather died suddenly. She went to work as a seamstress and raised her 12-year-old daughter alone in a country without one relative to help her, but refused to go back to her country because it was my grandfather’s wish that his daughter be an American.

It’s a sad story, yes, but in the retelling I always find inspiration. I can’t imagine being brave enough to do those things. Rose was an amazing woman. Through hardship and difficulty, she never gave up, and it makes me proud that she’s my grandmother.

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And so, my first design for Ethel Rose Knits is Pellegrino, my grandmother’s maiden name.  When I looked up the meaning of “pellegrino,” I found that it meant “pilgrim,” a coincidence I find wonderfully strange.  Just like the Pilgrims, my grandmother came to a new world where things weren’t always easy, but through perseverance found a way.

You can find Pellegrino on Ravelry.  If you’re a subscriber to the Paper Moon Knits newsletter, you’ll receive monthly news and special offers.  (There’s one for Pellegrino in the newsletter this month.)