A baker’s dozen of men’s knitted vest patterns

My last post was a whimsical look at men’s sweater patterns from the early 70s including some wild vests. I have been wanting to knit a vest for Doug for some time now, but find that I can never find the perfect pattern. (Note that I am using “vest” in the American sense here. I will continue to spell colour with a “u” thus confusing those who want to categorize me.) While there are some fabulous patterns out there, I find that most of them fall short on one dimension or another.  In particular, they are (1) designed for someone considerably thinner, considerably younger (or both) than Doug, (2) they are made with a thicker weight wool, such as worsted or aran, and/or (3) they are boring. This last must be commented on:  I am told time and time again that men want boring. My man doesn’t.  As evidence of this, have a look at the last sweater I knit for him.

Doug wants a vest that he can wear to work with a shirt and tie, that he can put a sports jacket over comfortably, that has color and ‘pops’.  He also says he wants it to have buttons so that he can take it on or off during the day (but he could overcome this for the right pattern).  I want a vest which is fun to knit, which is challenging but not scary, and preferably not with steeks (but I can overcome this for the right pattern).  I also think that it would be better in fingering weight yarn to cut down on bulk.  Here are a baker’s dozen of great men’s vest patterns.  None of them seems to hit all of the requirements.  But they come pretty close.

We’ll start with a few vests knit in aran or worsted weight wool, move on to some fancy colourwork projects and end with some fantastic fairisle. (All links are to the Ravelry page.)

1. Laredo by Angela Hahn

laredo_z_500_medium2

© Jamie Dixon

I seriously love this vest.   Angela is a great technical designer and she charts this out in three lengths so that the pattern starts and ends on appropriate rows.  I keep seeing it in a rich colour, perhaps a strong gold or deep purple.  But it is made with an aran weight wool and isn’t the office-appropriate vest I am searching for.  When Doug needs a vest to go on safari, however, this one is so there.

2. Dr. G’s Memory vest by Kirsten Kapur

Dr G's memory vest

by throughtheloops

This is a fantastic vest.  It is knit in a worsted weight wool, but I also think it would look great with a sports coat. I love how the ribbing on the sleeves matches the pattern running up the side of the fronts, and how the two patterns come together and then separate at the shoulder to provide shaping.  Oh, the technical deliciousness of this pattern is so appealing! Every feature is so beautifully thought out. Kirsten designed this in memory of her father, Dr. G, who suffered from vascular dementia.  In order to receive the pattern, one must donate to dementia research, as detailed on Kirsten’s blog here. So, a gorgeous design and a good cause.  (I already have the pattern and it is definitely in my queue.)

3. Argyle Vest by Veronik Avery

1137288719_804b80bfe1_z

by Veronik

This is an old one from Veronik, dating from 2007, well before her Brooklyn Tweed collaboration. It is found in her book, Knitting Classic Style: 35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion’s Archives.  I already own the book, which puts it in the plus column.  I love argyle, and I think this design uses it to its best – it is a strong motif, but doesn’t overpower the vest.  I love these colours but can imagine all sorts of options from subdued to wild.  The problem once again is the yarn weight – it’s knit in aran.  Plus – intarsia – not quite in my comfort zone. But it’s pretty huh?  Especially when worn with a pout, like the model kindly demonstrates.

4. Drew’s sweater vest by Marly Bird

Drew's sweater vest

© Marly Bird

I love this vest! First of all, it buttons, unlike most of those I am reviewing here.  But it also has great features: the shawl collar, the twisted garter rib stitch, the beautiful fan pattern that goes up the middle fronts and around the collar.  It also is charted in a huge range of sizes – from 36.5″ to 60.5″!  You would be astonished (or maybe not) at how many vest patterns end at a size 48″.   Not only that, but it looks like a vest which would actually look good on big men.  I think this one will end up in my queue.  The problems – it’s knit in aran wool, and the shawl collar means no jacket.

5. #19 Men’s Houndstooth Vest by Josh Bennet

vogue_houndstooth_vest_medium

© Vogue Knitting, Winter 2009/10 Photo by Rose Callahan

I love houndstooth, and this one is scrumptious! Really, this is a lovely vest, elegant and totally office-worthy (especially if not paired with this shirt).  However, it is knit in DK weight wool, STRANDED, which means this has some serious weight to it. Only a guy with rock solid abs and a tendency to be cold all of the time could get away with this one.  (Imagine trying to pull it off when the office heater was set too high.) If you look like the model, I urge you to knit this vest! I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Otherwise, I would suggest that a pair of houndstooth mittens might help ease the pain.

6. #8 Fitted Waistcoat by Franklin Habit

VKEF14_Men_11_medium2

© Soho Publishing

I’ve featured this waistcoat on the blog before.  I think it is totally beautiful.  It is definitely on my radar, but I am waiting to see a few more projects pop on on Ravelry. I want to see what it looks like in real life on people who don’t wear a size small like this model.  I am worried that its cut, not only the trim waist, but also the deep arm scythe and the narrow shoulders, won’t suit Doug’s shape.  But someday, maybe….

7. Estefan by Brandon Mably

Estafan_2RET_medium2

© Rowan Yarns, 2014

This is another vest that I’ve featured before on the blog.  (Oh no! Have I become hopelessly repetitive and redundant?)  Abstract away from the fantastic tile background, and from the attractive model staring at you with smouldering eyes and come-hither look, and ….you still have a great vest. Brandon Mably is a colour wizard.  This is knit in cotton, in a sport weight.  I don’t really see myself doing this kind of colourwork in cotton, but I can imagine knitting it in wool.

8. Lean on me by Anna Maltz

LOM-hands-in-pockets_medium2

© Anna Maltz

This is a pretty pattern published in the Winter 2014 edition of Knitty magazine (this means it is free as well!). I love its use of colour and pattern, particularly paired with this shirt! Like the Houndstooth vest above, however, it is knit stranded with DK yarn, which will produce a heavy fabric.  That, and the way the stitch pattern biases, leads me to suspect that if you are carrying some extra weight around your middle, this vest will highlight it.  On the other hand, it is awfully pretty and there are endless options for playing with colour.

9. Order of the Phoenix Winged Vest by Kyle Kunnecke

Order_of_the_Phoenix-1_medium2

© Interweave & ©Harper Point Photography

I think Kyle Kunnecke is a great designer; he is so clever and has such a sense of fun in his designs.  You don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to think this is one seriously cool design.  One of the best things about it is that from the front it looks like a completely straight, classic v-neck vest that would like right at home with a jacket and tie; then you turn around and kazaam! I’m not sure this has “Doug” written on it, but if he has a (late) mid-life crisis and buys a Harley, this is going on the needles.

10. Carraig Fhada by Kate Davies

Carraig_Fhada_tom_6_copy_medium2

© Kate Davies Designs

Kate’s recent collection, Inspired by Islay, contains a few very nice pieces for men.  This vest can be made with either a crew or v-neck style (it is designed as a unisex piece and has directions for both men’s and women’s versions).  There is a huge range of sizes, from 32 to 60 inches.  It is knit up in her new signature yarn, Buachaille, a sport-weight wool.  I love this yarn, which feels good on the hands and takes to cables or colourwork really well.  If you follow the link, you can see one done in shades of grey with a very thin green stripe (in place of the yellow here) that is equally lovely.  I think that single row of a bright, contrast colour really makes this pattern pop.

11. Fall River Vest by Mary Jane Mucklestone

Knits-Fall-2016-1364_medium2

© Interweave Knits

I love this Fairisle Vest designed in natural shades by Mary Jane Mucklestone.  This is the first vest in this post that is knit in fingering weight wool.  (I can see why you might think that fingering weight would be a slog for a man’s sweater; but for a vest – no sleeves!  A vest seems like a reasonably-sized canvas for some fingering weight colourwork with no chance to get marooned on sleeve island.)  This is a fairly standard Fairisle man’s vest, but an especially lovely one I think.  This uses seven gorgeous muted shades that really work together to add richness.

12. Luke’s Diced Vest by Mary Jane Mucklestone

lukesvest_a_500_medium2

© caroline bergeron

This is a great vest.  I am clearly attracted to designs in which different patterns play off against each other.  And it buttons down the front.  But it is knit in sportsweight wool. And it looks hard to me.  (And the model looks to be about 15 to me.  I know this is a very nit-picky complaint; I am showing my age.)

13. Wartime Farm Sleeveless Pullover by Susan Crawford

WartimeFarmSleevelessPullover_04_medium2

© Susan Crawford

This vest has an interesting story.  From the pattern description: “In the wake of the popular Wartime Farm BBC TV series, you can now knit your very own authentic Fair Isle Sleeveless Pullover, modelled on a 1938 original and as worn by Alex Langlands no less!  For each pattern sold, a £2.50 donation will be made to the Women’s Land Army Tribute Campaign to help raise money for a permanent memorial to these forgotten ladies and their untold toil during the World Wars.”  This is knit in fingering weight wool, and is not steeked (it is knit in one piece to the arms and then knit back and forth). I think that it is fantastic.

These are all great vests, but I am still wavering.  I have three other options to consider.  I can (1) design my own, (2) modify a women’s vest pattern, or (3) modify a men’s sweater pattern and knit it as a vest.  I have lots of ideas about each of these, and may blog about them soon.

 

Pattern Radar – August 2016

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a Pattern Radar post.  Mostly this is because the last stages of finishing the MBA exhausted me and I’ve been recovering slowly.  The second, and perhaps related, issue is that I have a bit of knitting burn-out.  This means that patterns just aren’t reaching out to grab me – there seem to be too many patterns coming out all of the time, and my knitting mojo is low (see my post on Pattern Bombardment Syndrome here).

That is not to say that there have not been some lovely patterns out lately.  Here is my selection of the ones which really caught my eye.  We will start with publications, both books and knitting magazines.  The one which blew me away is Kyle Kunnecke’s Urban Knit Collection.  I don’t believe it has been released yet in print, though Kyle has put up all of the pattern pages on Ravelry in order to whet our appetites. I pre-ordered the book instantly; something I rarely do these days. There are so many great patterns that it is hard to choose, but my favorite of the collection is Savoy.  Here are front and back views. This one is definitely on my to-do list.

20150424_ukc_0378_medium2

© 2016 Interweave

20150424_ukc_0483_medium2

© 2016 Interweave

I think that Kyle is an incredibly inventive designer.  Here is another one from this collection, the men’s pullover Brandt, which is knit in one of my favorite yarns, Rowan Felted Tweed:

20150423_ukc_0052_medium2

© 2016 Interweave

Kate Davies also published her book on Haps.  As usual, I like Kate’s writing and historical research as much as the patterns.  In this book, unlike her earlier ones, she has collaborated with a number of designers.  My favorite is the Nut-Hap, designed by Jen Arnall-Culliford; I think it is a really clever design:

Jen6_copy_medium2

© Kate Davies Designs

The Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2016 edition came out a few weeks ago, and I really loved two of the patterns.  First, the #3 Mock Turtleneck Shell by Melissa Leapman.  What is not to like about this?  I would make it in red – really rich red.

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© SoHo Publishing

The #22 Hooded Cable Vest by Yoko Hatta also appeals.  This has really classy lines but still a touch of fun.  I can imagine wearing this all the time:

08_VKEF16_0074_medium2

© SoHo Publishing

 

08_VKEF16_0029_medium2

© SoHo Publishing

I used to have a subscription to Interweave Knits, but for a long time it went downhill (so I thought) and I cancelled my subscription.  Lately, it seems to be getting stronger. I tried to pick just one favorite from this edition, but couldn’t do it, so will show you two.  I am always interested in men’s patterns, and I have been searching for good men’s vest patterns (more on this in a later post), so I was extremely pleased to see the Fall River Vest by Mary Jane Mucklestone.  I love it!

Knits-Fall-2016-1398_medium2

© Interweave Knits 2016

I have featured Linda Marveng in a previous Pattern Radar post.  She continues to churn out some impressive patterns.  Her contribution to Interweave Knits is a very chic piece, the Kathe Cardigan.  I like it more every time I look at it.

Knits-Fall-2016-0718_medium2

© Interweave Knits 2016

(I was planning on also featuring another Linda Marveng design, a gorgeous reversible tunic called Hel, but just realised that it is still being test knit and hasn’t been released yet. This means that there is lots of good stuff still to come from Linda’s desk, so stay tuned.)

I had never heard of Gudrun Georges when I saw her design, the Amy Polo.  I will certainly put her on radar now.  I love this sport-weight polo, which is both classic and cute and has great details:

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© Gudrun Georges

Baby sweaters don’t normally catch my eye; perhaps now that I’ve knit one again, they have been raised a bit in my consciousness.  I really like Conifer, by Ella Austin, otherwise known as BomBella:

Ella_067_medium2

© Emma Solley

I have been noticing many beautiful Nordic designs and designers lately.  I was struck by the design, Superfritt etter Fana by Sidsel J. Høivik.  This pattern is apparently available in kit form from her website.  I was not familiar with Sidsel’s work, but will keep an eye on her.  Oslo seems to be a very happening place for knitting design.

Forside_Superfritt_etter_Fana_crop_medium2

© Sidsel J. Høivik

This seems like a very short Pattern Radar post to me.   I think once my knitting mojo comes back full force, and the fall sets in, I will once again get overwhelmed by new patterns.  In the meantime, these gorgeous designs are enough to keep your needles busy for a long time.

 

Pattern Radar July 2015

It’s been a while since my last Pattern Radar post.  These are semi-regular posts in which I highlight patterns which have caught my attention.  Normally, when I write one of these, my “favorites” box is overfilling with new and interesting patterns; this time not so much.   In any case, here are the ones that have lately caught my eye.

I really love the geometry in this cabled pullover called Allium by Nick Atkinson for Yarn Stories:

© Nick Atkinson

© Nick Atkinson

Combined with the lovely green (I am a sucker for green), this one definitely sparked my interest.  I think this would look fabulous on a very shapely person, and would also impart a beautiful silhouette to a slim, willowy person.

I like the drape and swinginess (is that a word?) of this lovely pullover by Maria Chiba:

© Fairmount Fibers

© Fairmount Fibers

I like the ease of it, and can imagine wearing it in a pale shimmery silky grey, on a breezy summer evening, while sipping prosecco.  Called Oxidar, you can find it here.

I adore Shifter by Julia Gunther:

© Julia Günther

© Julia Günther

I must be really attracted to this kind of shaping with ribbing; you can see it in the lovely Audrey which I knit for my daughter Emma, and also in the shapings of the ribbing for my Escher cardigan.  I think this example is very sophisticated but also casual and fun at the same time.  I would even overcome my zipper trepidation to knit this pullover.

I have a fondness for classics, and this one really does it for me:

© Knitscene/Harper Point

© Knitscene/Harper Point

This is the Hyannis Port Pullover by Cecily Glowik MacDonald from Knitscene Fall 2015.  I think it is beautifully designed and proportioned; I would wear this all the time if I had it.  I also love the styling and the photo shoot.  (We should ask: Why aren’t there more women of colour in knitting pattern releases?  Designers and pattern producers seem to be labouring under the impression that we want all sweaters displayed on young, slim, white women.)  Here is another fabulous photo from this shoot:

© Knitscene/Harper Point

© Knitscene/Harper Point

I don’t think of myself as a poncho person (I remember vividly too many hideous ponchos from the 70s), but I must admit that I find this one kind of cute:

© Anders Schønnemann

© Anders Schønnemann

It really has a casual chic vibe to it.  It is called Ella, and is designed by Lene Holme Samsøe and published in Perfectly Feminine Knits.

Here is another one from Yarn Stories; it is called Sloop and designed by Amada Crawford:

© Amanda Crawford

© Amanda Crawford

I have some very pretty grey silk merino blend yarn in my stash that would work really well for this.  I am considering knitting up a swatch and seeing if Emma is interested.  This is another example of casual chic, with good details and classic lines.

I am usually not a fan of triangular shawls, but this one is really striking.  I also completely love the photo, which is pretty much perfect:

© Justyna Lorkowska

© Justyna Lorkowska

The pattern is called Seiklus Shawlette and it is designed by Justyna Lorkowska.  It is pretty irresistable in this grey and would also be lovely in black (though it would take a brave knitter – or one with much younger eyes – to knit this in black).

I love the designs of Tin Can Knits, the designing duo otherwise known as Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel.  They recently both gave birth to baby boys and released a pattern collection of adorable baby knits.  I can usually resist baby knits, but this pattern really stands out.  I would invent a baby to knit Peanut:

© Tin Can Knits

© Tin Can Knits

And while we are on the topic of kids, Kate Davies and Jen Arnall-Culliford recently released some down-sized versions of their adult sweaters, Bluebells and Bruton.  Called Wee Bluebells and Wee Bruton, they can be found in Cross Country Knitting, Volume Two.

© Cross Country Knitting

© Cross Country Knitting

For some wonderful photos, and close-ups of the sweaters themselves, I recommend you read Kate’s post (actually, I recommend you read all of Kate’s posts – I never miss one).

That’s it for this edition of Pattern Radar.  Happy knitting, everyone!

Pattern Radar March 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Pattern Radar post.  It is rainy, grey and blustery outside my window this morning – just the right day to be thinking about little spring sweaters.  New Spring patterns seem to be published almost daily right now; here are seven that have caught my eye.

This is the lovely Violetta by Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard, published in Rowan 57 (all links in this post are to the Ravelry project page).

© Rowan Yarns, 2015

© Rowan Yarns, 2015

Here is the back view:

© Rowan Yarns, 2015

© Rowan Yarns, 2015

I love the swingy lines and casual vibe of the Swingback Hoodie by Amy Gunderson, published in knit.purl Spring/Summer 2015:

© Interweave Knits

© Interweave Knits

I am a big fan of the patterns coming out from Shibui Knits.  Here is a lovely example, called SS15 Square by Shellie Anderson:

© Shibui Knits

© Shibui Knits

Here is a close-up of the side panel:

© Shibui Knits

© Shibui Knits

Kidsilk Haze is one of my favorite yarns, and I love the way that Marie Wallin uses it in Philomena, from Rowan 57.  My wardrobe could use one in every colour.

© Rowan Yarns, 2015

© Rowan Yarns, 2015

I love Drift, by Kristen Finlay, for Skein Designs.  (I just happen to have some beautiful Skein yarn in my stash.  Hmmm…..I see you, Drift.)

© Kristen Finlay

© Kristen Finlay

If polka dots are your thing, you can’t beat the lovely Lus by Mer Stevens for the Pom Pom Quarterly, Sring 2015:

© Ana Mercedes

© Ana Mercedes

When the talented Lori Versaci designs for Shibui, you know the design will be a knockout.  Here is her Mix No. 28:

© Shibui Knits

© Shibui Knits

To really appreciate the design, you need a close-up of the neck detail:

© Shibui Knits

© Shibui Knits

This is something of a drive-by post as I am immersed in writing papers this weekend, but its been fun to take a break and dream of Spring!

Merry Mittenmas!

I was sitting around thinking about mitten patterns (as one does) and listening to Christmas carols.  My head filled in the following lyrics:

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Twelve great mitten patterns…

So, without further ado, I present to you twelve great mitten patterns (in no particular order; all links are to Ravelry pattern pages.)

1. Newton’s Mittens, designed by Emily Bujold:

© Scienceteacher

© Scienceteacher

2. Deep in the Forest mittens, designed by Tuulia Samela:

by Tuulia

by Tuulia

3. Perfect Storm mittens, designed by Kimberly Voisin:

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

4. 4-11 Mittens, designed by Anna Zilboorg:

© sweatergoddess

© sweatergoddess

5. Paradoxical mittens, designed by Lucy Neatby:

by LucyN

by LucyN

6. Blomst mittens, designed by Tori Seierstad:

by Torirot

by Torirot

7. Wallpaper Mittens, designed by Veronik Avery:

by Veronik

by Veronik

8. Stay Puft mittens (Ghostbuster tribute), designed by Therese Sharp:

© Therese Sharp

© Therese Sharp

9. Golden Light Mittens, designed by Spilly Jane:

© SpillyJane

© SpillyJane

10. Freja mittens, designed by Emmy Petersson:

© Emmy Petersson

© Emmy Petersson

11. Lotus Mittens, designed by Heather Dessurud:

© hedda knits

© hedda knits

12. Fishbone Mittens, designed by Marit Trudvang:

by yarnjungle

by yarnjungle

Looking over this list, I can see a number of dominant themes:

  1. Colourwork.  Every single one of these patterns utilizes colourwork.  No Plain Jane mittens for me!
  2. Whimsy.  It is clear that I have a finely tuned sense of the ridiculous.
  3. Black and white geometrics.  Three out of twelve fall into this category; clearly, this is an appealing theme for me.

Happy Holidays!

Pattern Radar – August 2014

Let’s look at the facts: (1) I have no new knitting to show you, and (2) I really, really should be writing a paper for business school right this minute.  What does this mean?  Well, in the procrastinator’s universe it means that it is time to bring you a new Pattern Radar post!  This is where I show you which patterns have caught my eye over the past month or two.

Linda Marveng has been getting lots of notice in knitting circles lately.  This popped up on my screen just this week:

© Eivind Røhne

© Eivind Røhne

This is the Cable Round Sweater.  The  cables are framed by rib which gives it more shape than a traditional cabled garment, and the cowl is a separate piece which adds flexibility.  It is one of four beautiful sweaters that Linda designed for the September edition of Made by Me, a Norwegian-language knitting magazine.  The other three are much more tailored and striking, but this one appeals to me.   If you don’t read Norwegian, don’t fret; she will release the English-language patterns in the Fall.

Alexis Winslow has a new book out called Graphic Knits.  I love the Laszlo Cardigan (Ravelry link is here):

© Joe Hancock

© Joe Hancock

I love the bold lines, the graphic pop of black-on-white, and the slightly-oversized coziness of it.  I’m particularly fond of the sleeves – those long rows of buttons on rib really grabbed my attention.

A number of years ago, I took a course from Shirley Paden on Sweater Design (at Knit Nation in London).  It was a small class, with only a handful of students.  One of them was Signe Strømgaard who designs beautiful garments for children.  Check out Signe’s work at Strik til Banditter  – the designs are amazing; she is doing some of the most creative work in children’s design right now. I really love this new pattern:

© Signe Strømgaard

© Signe Strømgaard

This is called Sesse and I think it’s pretty much perfect.  Signe has this pattern, along with 10 others, available in English in an e-book which can be purchased on the Ravelry link here.

Jasna Kaludjerovic is a new-to-me designer, who really grabbed my attention this month with this number:

© Jasmin Knits

© Jasmin Knits

This is the Lilynet dress and matching hat.  I absolutely love this retro 60s/70s look.  In fact, this dress reminds me very much of a dress my mother knit in the 1960s which I reported on in this blog post.  I will definitely be keeping my eye on Jana’s designs.

As you may know, I always keep my eye out for great menswear patterns.  The latest one to capture my attention is Tilt, by Lisa Richardson.  I love Lisa’s work (though we shall not mention the Richardson-designed wrap-that-never-ends that has been on my needles for a year now).

© Rowan Yarns, 2014

© Rowan Yarns, 2014

I love that the incredibly rich colourwork is made by knitting fairisle with just two different yarns, one of them variegated; thus it looks more complicated than it actually is.  Doug really likes this one, too, so it has definitely made its way into my queue.

I absolutely should not be looking at patterns for endless long wraps with tons of intricate colourwork (see above reference to unmentionable wrap).  I cannot deny being very attracted to this one however:

© Marie Wallin, 2014

© Marie Wallin, 2014

The photo is atmospheric and only gives a hint of the fabulousness of this Mint Wrap, designed by Marie Wallin and published by Rowan in Windswept: Collection One.  Repeat after me:  I will resist; I will resist.

However, I may be unable to resist another Marie Wallin pattern, Parsley,  from the same publication:

© Marie Wallin, 2014

© Marie Wallin, 2014

Again, the photo is a bit dark and atmospheric and doesn’t capture all of the colour and beauty of this design.  I absolutely adore the contrast of the fairisle patterned bands with the plaid bands, and the unusual, almost jarring, colour choices.  Love, love, love!

I have a particular fondness for garments, but sometimes accessories catch my eye.  I love this cowl pattern, Fusuma, designed by Kirsten Johnstone:

© Kirsten Johnstone

© Kirsten Johnstone

Kirsten was inspired by Japanese sliding screens and I think she nailed it.  I love the spare, stark lines.

Akebia is sweet:

© Twist Collective

© Twist Collective

I love Kate Gilbert’s designs, and this one, from the Twist Collective, hits all of the right buttons for me.  It is charming and looks so wearable – I can really see myself  wearing this one everywhere.  And that little peek of vibrant colour at the hems gives it just enough of an edge to keep it from being too sweet, if you know what I mean.

And to end with a bit of fun, here is Big Red:

© Rowan Yarns, 2014

© Rowan Yarns, 2014

This super chunky cardigan is designed by Josh Bennett for his Rowan Designer Collection: What do you become at night?  The collection is based on a Little Red Riding Hood theme, heavy on the wolf motif.  This is knit with Rowan Cocoon held double, which rules it out for me: if I were to wear it I’d end up like the witch in Hansel and Gretel instead (roasted, that is).  I love Josh Bennett, who is equally at ease designing classics and over-the-top pieces, and clearly has a sense of fun.

That’s it for Pattern Radar!  Even the best procrastination must come to an end.

Pattern Radar April 2014

April has seen an explosion of knitting patterns.  My favorites list can barely keep pace.  Today, I’ll show you ten of the patterns that have caught my eye recently.  I will start with the fabulous men’s fair isle waistcoat, Machrihanish, designed by Kate Davies.  I love Kate’s designs, almost as much as I love her blog.  I believe this is her first menswear pattern; hopefully, it will be the first of many.

© Kate Davies Designs

© Kate Davies Designs

Next up is the Artemis Sweater, designed by Anne Podlesak.  I think this is a really simple but effective design.  The ribbing gives it a good fit, with just enough of an architectural cabling detail to make things interesting.  I especially like the sleeves.

© Kristen Brooks Photography

© Kristen Brooks Photography

 

I’m not usually one for pink but I am quite taken with the beautiful soft pink of the Dolores sweater, designed by Dawn Catanzaro for Quince and Co.  This is such a sweet sweater, pretty and feminine.  I am a fan of Quince and Co, both of their yarns and of their design portfolio.  Their sweaters are always beautifully photographed.  And the yarns really impress me, especially with their colourfastness and vibrancy.  I have knit with their Osprey and Chickadee wool yarns, but Dolores is knit with their Tern yarn, a wool-silk blend in a fingering weight.  Its definitely on my must-try list.

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

Dolores is not the only Quince and Co sweater to hit my radar this month.  I really like the clean lines of the Aisance cardigan.  This is designed by Kirsten Johnstone and incorporates really clever ribbing details on the back, as well as the beautiful columns of ribbing down the fronts.  Aisance is also knit with Tern.  I think the silk really gives it a nice drape.

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

You might think that April would bring mostly spring sweater patterns to the fore (how terribly Hemispherist of me!)  You would think wrong! I adore the brilliant navy and white graphics in the Enige Og Tro Genser sweater, designed by Arne & Carlos.  Isn’t it fun?  Arne & Carlos do kitsch is such a good way; their designs always make me smile.  This pattern is unisex and comes with a matching hat, but if I had a 20-year old guy to knit for, I would totally make him this.

© Norsk Flid

© Norsk Flid

 

I tend to prefer winter sweaters, but this year’s crop of summer designs is pretty good.  There are quite a few that have caught my eye, including the Austin Tee, designed by Jean Chung for the Summer 2013 issue of Knitscene.  The lace is pretty and interesting, but I especially like the shape of this garment, in particular the wide neckline and the sleeves.  If I had this in my wardrobe I think it would get worn a lot; it could as easily dress up a cute summer skirt as be worn with cut-off jeans.

© Knitscene/Harper Point

© Knitscene/Harper Point

The Twist Collective is one of my favorite knitting publications.  I eagerly await every issue and always enjoy their patterns and articles.  It is a well-designed on-line magazine and their production standards are very high.  Their were plenty of pretty spring sweaters in the new edition; I will just show you one – the lovely Finery by Karolina Eckerdal.

© Linus Ouellet

© Linus Ouellet

I think this is a perfect cardigan to dress up a summer outfit.  It has beautiful drape. To really appreciate it, however, you have to see a photo of the back:

© Linus Ouellet

© Linus Ouellet

 

And this brings me to the new Brooklyn Tweed release, Wool People 7.  Brooklyn Tweed has become a powerhouse of design.  The stable of in-house designers put together by Jared Flood, along with the subtle colours of the Brooklyn Tweed yarns, and the meticulous curating of the collections make each new publication an event in the knitting world.  Three of the ten patterns I’ve chosen for this post come from Wool People7; I could easily have included them all.  First up, Arabella by Ann McCauley:

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

I’m not quite sure why I like it so much, but I love the casual ease of it, which still manages to be sophisticated.  (I am in fact considering knitting it with the four skeins of Madtosh Light in Tart which I posted about here.)

I also love Yane, by Tokuko Ochiai.  It is a very simple design, using the classic pullover shape (but extremely well-executed) and enlivened by intarsia chevrons.  I find it very appealing.  I also love this photo. You should definitely take the time to look through Brooklyn Tweed’s Look Books; the photography is always superb.

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

 

I’ll end with Pente, a great, casual, comfy, drapey cardigan using two colours of Brooklyn Tweed Loft.  I love this one.  (I have a lighweight cashmere cardigan of a similar shape and drape which I bought close to 20 years ago at the KaDeWe in Berlin; I love it to pieces but it is looking increasingly threadbare.  I think it’s past time to knit a replacement.)  Pente is designed by Carol Feller, who regular readers of this blog will know is a particular favorite of mine.  (I also must point out that I adore this model; she is so gorgeous.)

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

 

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

That’s it for Pattern Radar.  I am very nearly finished with a new knit; stop by to see it next weekend!