Monday, September 22, 2014

The Saddleback Cardigan

I was so excited to do this design for the fall 2014 issue of 
Interweave Knits. The Saddleback Cardigan.

bear with me--this is not a professional photo shoot. Just the detail shots I got of the sweater before I shipped it off to Colorado. The lovely yarn is Classic Elite Crestone in Umber.

I had been wanting to try making a cable sweater with the saddle in a different location, say, the upper back, for instance. I love modular pieces, the kind that start with a bit of something and the knitting picks up and branches off in different directions, magically coming together to form a wearable garment. 

The Saddleback Cardigan starts with this cabled panel, which is also your gauge swatch.

From there, you pick up stitches along one edge and work the cables that appear at the back.
Stitches are then picked up at the other side of the saddle to knit the fronts. When each arrives at the depth for the armhole, they are joined for knitting the lower body.
 This sweater features two more details I wanted to try--short-row sleeve caps and sleeve decreases worked at the center of the sleeve inside of hiding them at the inside seam. Both of these techniques produced a rather roomy upper sleeve for me, which gives it a unique silhouette, I think.  

For the finishing, I decided on a wide overlapped ribbed front with toggle buttons along the side. 
These wonderful rolled leather ones are from Fibers, Etc. here in Tacoma. Roberta Lowes, the owner, stocks one of the best button inventories I've ever seen. It's a treat just to go and shop for buttons there (if you can stop wondering at all the gorgeous yarn, that is).  

I hope you can try out the Saddleback for yourself!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Figheadh Fundamental Cardigan Updates

I have to crow about finishing an editing task that's been on my list for a while.

Yesterday I sent out updates to the Figheadh Fundamental Top-Down Women's Cardigan pattern. It has better wording for the raglan and neckline increases. It also has more sensible lower-body lengths. Today I sent out the rest of the cardigan pattern updates. I added the increase instruction update to the Men's Cardigan pattern, and the Baby Cardigan and Junior Cardigan patterns simply had their worksheet page overhauled, as did all four of the patterns.

If you're not familiar with our Fundamentals, they all have instruction for at least four different yarn weights. The women's cardigan pattern includes a whopping twelve sizes. You could use these patterns to make any human a cardigan with any yarn in your stash. And that's a promise.
Any human. Any yarn.
And what happens when I edit a pattern of mine? Yep, I cast on one, of course.
This one is particularly colorful, because I decided to use this Butternut Woolens Homegrown yarn I've had set aside for the perfect project for years. I consulted Margaret Radcliffe's wonderful book The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques and chose this great hexad color combo and this beautiful slip-stitch color pattern. It's too much fun, y'all.
I already have the other colors of Homegrown arranged for another one. You see, the Fundamentals are just what they sound like--blank canvases for your own creation. Make it in stripes, add some cables, add some lace, do whatever you want!

Alas and however my cardi will have to wait. I just got yarn in the mail for a project for a magazine we all know and love, so time to cast on for that project. 
Too much fun to be had around here!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Last Wanda Nell?

Well, it might just be the last Wanda Nell Cardigan for me. You see, this is my fifth one!

Since I first told you about this one I have happily knitting it in between other work and even took it camping with us. Perfect evening fireside knitting.
I finished the knitting a couple of weeks ago.
Then blocked her in the upstairs bedroom where it's nice and warm.
Flipped her over to get her backside dry.
And finally finished the front closure. Notice anything different? 
No buttons!
This time I sewed snaps to some satiny ribbon and then stitched the ribbon to the front ribbing.
I like it even better than the buttons I've attached on all the other Wanda Nells I've made.
Here are the Wanda Nells in my possession.
On bottom is the first one, knit with Claudia as well, but in Maple Leaf and Shells on the Beach.
The next one up was knit with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in an old colorway of hers called Sailor's Delight and Wool in the Woods Cherub (discontinued).
The brown one was made using Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Chocolatier (gone, but now she has Fudge) and Schaefer Nichole in Julia Child (discontinued).
Then on top is the latest rendition with Claudia's sock yarn in Walk in the Woods and Stormy Day. My second one is with my Aunt Wanda, the namesake of the pattern, and was made with Pagewood Farm Yukon in Sea Breeze. 

Why is this likely* my last Wanda Nell? It's not because I don't love knitting her--she goes so fast and is so lightweight and comfy to wear. No, the only reason for moving on is that I want to make her daughter. This last one inspired me to design another sock yarn sweater, but this time I'll make it a pullover. I'll let you know when it's all figured out.

I hope you'll try a Wanda Nell Cardigan for yourself. For most sizes, all you need are a couple of large skeins of sock yarn. It's such a fun project--top-down and with no seams.   

*Disclaimer: My mom has been sneakily craving a Wanda Nell and I only found out about that when my Aunt Wanda spilled the beans that Mom told her this juicy piece of news. I may need to make my mom one. Oh, darn, you know I would just hate that.