Tuesday, May 06, 2014

It's May!

Hello dear readers,

Wow, what a beautiful month April was... It was hard to say goodbye to it and welcome May... But here we are!
I became one year older in April, which I don't really like... So, to feel a bit better about it, I saved a few releases for this time.  Two of them, you already saw: Inner Peace and Worsted Boxy.  But the most special one, came on April 22nd, with the release of Brooklyn Tweed's latest Collection: Wool People 7.

On the cover: Devlan Pullover by Bristol Ivy

My design for this collection is called Seacoast, and it is a beautifully simple yoked pullover.
It was my first time working with them, and I can't tell you my feelings when I finally saw it, brilliantly styled by Brooklyn Tweed, on this stunning model:

The model just makes me want to cry.  She's so beautiful.  Look at her hair...

This flattering beauty relies on clean lines and a flirtatious open neckline for arresting elegance. Worked from the top down, the circular yoke begins with a slipped-stitch rib that gradually introduces the new stitches. A few short rows beneath the yoke raise the back, and gentle waist shaping creates a classic, feminine effect.  You can read more about it on Ravelry's pattern page.

The sample was made using Shelter in the colorway Fossil (Oh, the most perfect creamy tweed), and I was amazed at how light this yarn was... Just under 7 skeins (350 grams) for a full sized sweater.  Impressive!

In the meantime, I've been staying busy knitting, knitting, knitting...
One of the projects I've just finished, I'm calling it the Grandpa Cardigan, until I find a better name for it.  Actually, I am not even sure if it looks like a Grandpa style cardigan at all.  This is the image I had of this style:

But when I swatched, I realized I didn't have enough yarn to make it so roomy, so I modified it a bit...

The yarn I am working with comes from Germany.  It's WalkCollection's BFL DK, and the colorway is called "French Lilac".  I only had 5 skeins of this.  It is 100% superwash BFL wool, and the skeins are 100g / 246 yd.

I received this yarn back in January, when I was at the summer house, and I immediately wanted to work with it... But for some reason, in my head, I just couldn't find the perfect project for it.  The dilemma was that my designs tend to have too many feminine details (like lace inserts, funny shaping, buttons, ruffles, bobbles, fringes...) and paired with this ultra-feminine color... It almost seemed like too much.  I adored the color, and really wanted to make it work... But all my ideas, when I pictured them in this color... they looked like a sweater made for a princess.  And, well, that's not really my style.
I must say I thought A LONG time about what kind of design would be perfect for this yarn.  It is such a beautiful hard-wearing base, that I wanted it to be a garment that could be worn for a long time.  And then I realized that the best was to go to the basics, that's when the grandpa style cardigan hit me, and it totally made sense.

I began to picture a basic cabled cardigan, paired with jeans, a basic T-shirt or a denim shirt... Yes.  This was the perfect concept for this base and color!

So, I don't have any "good pictures" of the work in progress, but I did post a lot of them in Facebook and Instagram, if you do follow me there.

Don't worry!  It has a button-band and a small shawl collar... The ties were just for trying it on ;)

I worked it from the top-down, completely seamlessly.  It was fun, and quite an accomplishment! But now I have to transform this into a multi-sized pattern, and it is taking a long time... It's hard to give instructions on how to place the cables correctly when you are increasing for the neckline and for the armhole shaping... Looks like I'll have to spread the directions into sets, for the different sizes.  That's OK, I don't really mind doing so... But some parts will only be charted out, or else the pattern will be 40 pages long ;)
It is funny, because it is quite a simple design!  But in order to be precise with the cable placement, and not to let things for the knitters to figure out, lots and lots of words are required.

The sleeves are set-in sleeves, and they are worked from the top down too.  I picked up stitches around the armhole opening, and worked a sleeve cap using short rows.  Here again, the cable placement for each size is easy but different, so more charts are needed.

What I learn from it?  A new technique!  I worked a TUBULAR BIND OFF for all the ribbing bands (bottom hem, cuffs and front bands).  If you haven't tried it yet, you have to do it.  It's amazing!  I watched this video by Very Pink, and after a couple of stitches I was ready to do it on my own, with out help.  The finishing is just... perfect, since I felt that this cardi needed polished finishing details in order to look Grandpa-style, but neat.

So! This baby is finished, and I won't show you the final pictures until the pattern release...  which is probably going to be during a more season-appropriate time... Maybe with a winter time collection? ;)

Have a great week!