Pattern Radar: Summer tops

As the weather warms up (here in the Northern Hemishphere), there are lots of lovely, lightweight summer top patterns being released.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Dagny by Elsebeth Lavold

summer tops 1

© Anders Rydell

I love the long line of this pretty tank, containing the intricate Viking-inspired cables that Lavold is known for, combined with long, slimming ribs.  I think this is an elegant option for summer, especially if knit with a linen blend.

Monarri by Stephanie Earp

summer tops 6

© Stephanie Earp

This little tee is so charming.  I love the drape, the swingy silhouette, the two-coloured herringbone stitch cuffs and neck, the sunny shades.  Click through to the pattern and check out the back view; it has a really great swing to it.

Rainsong by Laura Aylor

summer tops 3

© Laura Aylor

Yes, this is a fairly plain tank, but it is a perfectly proportioned one, which balances a beautiful shape, a bit of texture to draw the eye, and just enough drape.  This will showcase a special yarn, and will look equally smart under a jacket at the office or with a floaty summer skirt.

Kentia by Marie Amelie Designs

summer tops 5

© Marie Amelie Designs

I keep coming back to this one.  The lace bodice is very pretty and romantic, and the loose, slightly-cropped fit of the tee is sporty and modern.   It is an intriguing combination.  With the right yarn, and two lovely, complimentary shades, this is a striking summer top.

Good Day Tee by Annie Lupton

summer tops 4

© Annie Lupton

This modular top has an interesting shape and construction.  I think it would be fantastic in linen or a summery blend – something with a bit of texture and sheen – and would keep you cool no matter the weather.  It also looks fun to knit.

Jenny Flower by Julie Knits in Paris

summer tops 10

© Julie Knits In Paris

I love this pretty, stripey, yoked tee with rows of eyelet lace, and summery colours.  It has a delicious drape and looks charming and comfortable.  Julie has been turning out some great patterns lately and is firmly on my radar.

I am on my way to Spain tomorrow for a short holiday.  I will be taking my Sparkling cardigan to knit, but don’t be surprised if one of these lovely tops gets cast on soon.  Do you have a summer top on your needles?

Pattern Radar: I’ll have some texture with that, please

The patterns that have caught my eye this week have played around with texture.  I’ve been fascinated by colour and stranded knitting lately, but texture has always been my catnip.  Here are some designs which are doing good things with texture, from a little taste to allover patterning.

Olive Sweater by Jemima Bicknell:

Olive_6_medium2

© Jemima Bicknell

This sweater is from the book, Art Deco Knits: Creating a hand-knit wardrobe inspired by the 1920s – 1930s by Jemima Bicknell.  I love Art Deco, in architecture, in jewellery, and in fashion.  The cables on this pullover are just fantastic.  Set against the simple shape of the sweater, they pop!  It reminds me in equal parts of a beautiful art deco building I lived near in Potsdam, and of The Jetsons, a “futuristic” animated TV show from my youth.  (Now I’ve dated myself.)  I think this has a cute, vintage feel to it.

Shifting Sands Pullover by Norah Gaughan

DSC_5578_medium2

© Norah Gaughan

I’m not surprised by this design making the list, since Norah Gaughan is the queen of texture.  The shape of this one is very simple; in fact it is rather shapeless and boxy (which happens to be big news in the knitting world right now).  But the asymetrical cables are mesmerising, as they shift and flow across the space.  If you’ve ever been in shifting sand, you can definitely see how this pullover got its name.

Nisaba by Asja Janeczek:

korzenie_008_medium2

© Whiteberry

This cowl pattern has a rich, luscious texture.  It is named after the Sumerian goddess of grain and harvest and was inspired by memories of traipsing through grain fields.  This first attracted my attention with its gorgeous juxtaposition between the three dimensional, undulating cable patterns and the flat sections worked in garter stitch with short row shaping.  Having a daughter who studies ancient Sumerian, the name kept my attention focused.

Firenze by Irina Anikeeva

9_medium2

© Irina Anikeeva

This simple pullover with a great cabled yoke jumped out at me.  I love that it is in sportweight rather than worsted, and looks both sophisticated and casual.  I think this could be dressed up or down, and would look great in neutrals or jewel tones.  (I am thinking about a rich yellow-gold.)  It’s knit top-down with the increases ingeniously incorporated into the cables.  This would be a quick and satisfying knit.

The Beauceron by Designs by Delz

P3200652-1_medium2

© Designs by Delz

I am always on the lookout for great menswear.  This is only the second pattern published (on Ravelry) by Vincent, the designer behind Designs by Delz.  I will definitely be keeping an eye on his work.  One might think that I am squeaking by here on the “texture” label, but in fact the colourwork on the yoke of this pullover combines slip stitches and purls, resulting in a beautiful subtle texture that highlights the lovely colourwork.  While I classified this as menswear, it is a great unisex piece; see the pattern page for an example worn by a woman.

I’m still chugging along on the Falkenburg jacket – sleeves in seed stitch with size 2 needles take a very long time to knit.  I have about 6 inches of the second sleeve still to go.  Have a good weekend and don’t forget to add some texture to your next order!

(By the way, this is my 400th post!  Who would have guessed I would still be doing this?)

Pattern Radar: Fusion Knitting

I am a real fan of fusion cooking.  It’s about taking the best of two or more traditional cuisines and combining them into a single dish.  As you may know, I have become very interested in Fairisle knitting, and indeed in stranded knitting techniques in general.  I have spent many hours pouring over patterns and projects and admiring the use of colour and pattern and technique.  One of the things that has been catching my eye lately, however, is what I am going to call Fusion Knitting – garments that are created by combining traditional knitting styles and techniques.

Here is an example:

fusion knitting 2

© Jennifer Beale

This design, called Heart’s Content, is by the Canadian designer Jennifer Beale. She has only released eight patterns so far (on Ravelry here), but each combines different knitting styles in interesting ways.  Heart’s Content is a basic top-down, in-the-round, knitted tee, in which the lace pattern at the top and shoulders transitions to stranded knitting for the body of the garment.  Not only is it pretty and imminently wearable but it has an advantage for someone who is new to stranded knitting: no steeks!

Another example of her work is the design called Joe Batt’s Arm:

fusion knitting 1

© Jennifer Beale

I really love her poetic description of this garment (from the Ravelry pattern page):

Joe Batt’s Arm is a structured, seamed cable knit with textured fair isle banding. The fair isle bands border the eyelet cables the same way that a bright blue night encloses the Fogo Island Inn with all of its light on. At the same time, the raglan shoulders lend a sporty quality to the pullover.

I dare you to read that sentence and not to want to search for the Fogo Island Inn.  I already did and I want to go there RIGHT THIS MINUTE!  Check out the photo here.  I love that she mentions her inspiration for this, as it really clicks once you’ve seen it.  This is a very intriguing and striking garment, and I imagine it would be both fun and challenging to knit.

Another knitter who is exploring the fusion of different knitting styles is the Japanese designer Junko Okamoto.  Here is her design, Astrid:

fusion knitting 3

© Junko Okamoto

I love this pullover which combines a beautiful muted stranded pattern with cabled sleeves.  Like Heart’s Content above, this is an example of a stranded garment that doesn’t need steeking.  Astrid also has a loose, billowy shape – a new profile that is in counterpoint to the fitted garments of recent years, and has been championed by a crop of new (to me at least) Japanese designers of handknitting patterns.  It is a one-size-fits-all garment designed to be voluminous.  (I am eagerly awaiting projects of this pattern on knitters of various sizes so I can evaluate its drape and fit.)

I’m not sure whether to call it fusion knitting as such, but I am also really caught up by Junko’s Bouquet Sweater and Bouquet Scarf, both shown in the photo below:

fusion knitting 4

© Junko Okamoto

If you look really carefully at the photos (go check out the Ravelry project pages), you can see the very interesting mix of techniques, including stranding the yarn on both the wrong and on the right side to create this ethereal, three-dimensional patterning that looks like moss on the forest floor.

I am totally captivated by these examples of Fusion Knitting and I would love to find other designers also pushing the boundaries and doing interesting juxtapositions of traditional styles and techniques.  If you know of any, please mention them in the comments!

A show of hands

It has become a custom around here to write a yearly post about mitts (mittens, gloves, etc).  This post is a bit late, but I have been in the Southern Hemisphere for much of the last month and so have not had to deal with cold hands.  Now that I am back home and it is frosty, warm mitts are back on my radar.  So, let’s see a show of hands!

Tettegouche Mittens by Virginia Sattler-Reimer

45203663915_11d10faf03_b_medium2

by ginni Flickr

I am currently obsessed with fair isle knitting, and these mittens are just divine.  The colours are so rich and gorgeous.  Susan pointed out to me on Ravelry (Hi, Susan!) that the Tattegouche State Park is amazing, and having looked it up, I would agree and can see the inspiration.  Virginia designed these to match a hat pattern which she contributed to Kate Davies’ new collection; so you can make a matching set.

Muhu Gloves by Anu Pink

MuhuGloves1_medium2

© Interweave / George Boe

I love Muhu designs. The description on it’s Ravelry pattern page says: “The gloves knitted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries on the tiny Estonian island of Muhu were exquisitely flamboyant and knitted at a very tight gauge. This project invites you to knit an authentic pair of Muhu gloves at the traditional gauge.”  (The gauge is 64 stitches and 66 rows = 10 cm, so be fortified before you cast on!) These are published in Piecework by Interweave Knits.

Amazing Grace by Jana Huck

Circles_1ph_medium2

© Jana Huck

Jana recently published five patterns for fingerless mitts in a collection called A cuff of Cheer.  I like them all and had a hard time deciding which to put here.  One of the things I like about these is the small lines of colour which run across the pattern; I think this opens up endless possibilities for adding some pops of colour and experimenting with shades and combinations.  Like the name of the collection, I find these very cheerful.

Bromont Mitts by Dianna Walla

2018-11-15_11.57.37_1_medium2

© Dianna Walla

These mitts (and the matching hats) make me think of snow ball fights and long walks in the woods, sledding and hot chocolate.  I love them in this combo of pink and grey and natural white, but of course the possibilities are endless.    Dianna spent a few years in Norway, and has clearly been influenced by Norwegian knitting traditions.  This is a simple design, but clean and fun.

Underground by Skeindeer Knits

IMG_20181021_110812_940_medium2

© Yarn in the City

I love a bit of fusion, both in cooking and knitting.  These mittens take inspiration from two sources.  As Eli says in the Ravelry pattern description: “I was inspired by the London public transport system, as well as my own Norwegian knitting heritage. These mittens feature patterns from the local-to-me Selbu mitten tradition, as well symbolism well known to all London residents.” I really love the way these two have combined in this design.  They manage to be both striking and charming, and a lot of fun as well.

Happy Glamper mittens by Keri Malley

Glamper_1_medium2

© Keri Malley

I love these mittens!  I cannot overstate how happy they make me.  Keri has only published two patterns, but I hope she does more.  They are so whimsical, and nostalgic, and absolutely perfectly framed.  It’s almost enough to make me want to go camping (and that’s saying something)!  I dare you to look at these and not be charmed.

That’s all for this round-up, but if you want to go back and look at previous years’ mitten posts, you can find them here:

Here’s wishing you a happy weekend, good knitting, and warm hands.

Pattern Radar: Fly me to the moon

Here is a short and sweet Pattern Radar post.  Today, the Pom Pom Quarterly released their new issue (#26) with 11 patterns inspired by the moon and its phases.  And they are fantastic!  Look at this:

Ixchel_by_Catherine_Clark__Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_27__Autumn_2018__5__medium2

© Amy Gwatkin

This is Ixchel by Catherine Clark.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  This is such a beauty.  I think it is a showstopper, and on top of that, it looks like it would be totally fun to knit.  Not convinced? How about this beauty?

Luna_by_Anna_Strandberg__Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_27__Autumn_2018__4__medium2

© Amy Gwatkin

I am a crazy fan of black and white knits and this one hits all of the right notes for me.  It is practically luminescent.  The design is Luna by Anna Strandberg.  I think it is so classy, with lovely architectural lines and a modern shape.  It makes my fingers itch to knit it!

I’ll show you one more, because I can’t resist:

Artemis_by_Esther_Romo__Pom_Pom_Quarterly_Issue_27__Autumn_2018__1__medium2

© Amy Gwatkin

This is Artemis by Esther Romo.  It is positively swoon-worthy.  It has been a long time since I’ve seen a collection with three designs that capture my attention so thoroughly.  (And while these are my favorites in the collection, it has 8 other great patterns!)

I can’t end without pointing out two things.  First, all three of these designers are new to me! And that makes me all kinds of happy.  Second, we see continued here the trend to use more diverse models in knitting pattern design.  I mentioned this in a recent post, and am very happy to see more and more designers and publications using models of all shapes, colours, and ages.  These beautiful models make me all kinds of happy, too.

Pattern Radar April 2018

Today seems like a good day for another Pattern Radar post.  The sun is shining here in my little corner of England, and everyone is smiling.  I had planned to head into London today to go yarn shopping, but the sunshine changed my mind and instead I am sitting in my back garden soaking up the sun.  Writing this post is my alternative to buying yarn.  (Much cheaper, too!)

Here are six new-ish patterns that have caught my eye.

Twill and Plain by Marzena Kołaczek

marzena

© Marzena Kołaczek

Marzena writes a beautiful blog.  It is in Polish, but never let a little language problem stop you from enjoying an excellent knitting blog!  You can be content with the photos, or use Google translate, or even try to learn a new language through knitting. Her photos are gorgeous, she has a great sense of style, and is a talented knitter.  I just love this sweater.  It is so subtle, and the juxtaposition of the twill and the stockinette is very classic and chic.  I also love the neckline; it has just the right proportions.

Mint Leaves by Joji Locatelli

mint leaves

© Joji Locatelli

This one made me do a double take.  It really deseves a second and a third look.  I love my Neon cardigan, blogged here, designed by Joji, and I have long wanted to try another of her patterns.  I love the geometry of this one.  It manages to look both casual and tailored.  You can’t see it in this photo, but the patterning is on front and back and it cascades to the sides in a very beautiful and organic way.  I usually don’t like bobbles or reverse stockinette very much, but this sweater may make me re-think.

Rocket’s Cardigan of the Galaxy by Mary Annarella

rocket guardigan

© Mary Annarella

First of all, how can you not like a cardigan named after Rocket, my favorite of the Guardians of the Galaxy?  In fact, the whole idea of this series is genius: Cardigans of the Galaxy, each design inspired by one of the characters.  And she calls them Guardigans!  I am so there.  Why is this one Rocket?  Mary says: “He gets a top-down cardi that’s the color of money (golden green!) with a diamond lace-and-cable motif that weaves in and out of a broken rib pattern. And hey, who isn’t a little broken?”  Of course no cute gimmik will get me to like a cardigan that doesn’t have good design.  This one does, and I trust Mary to deliver on all of the details and fit that make up a great cardigan.

Kilim by Vithard Villumsen

Screen_Shot_2017-01-31_at_09.58.28_medium2

© The Knitter

Love!  I love this design which has fantastic, chunky colourwork, and strikes both traditional and modern notes.  To me, it combines the colours of Turkish pottery with the fabrics and motifs of Kilim tapestries.  This design was published last year but has only recently come to my attention.  I have never heard of this designer before but he has definitely caught my eye with this piece, and I will be watching him to see what he comes up with next.

Hawley by Julie Hoover

julie-hoover-hawley-600-2_medium2

© Julie Hoover

Julie Hoover is the queen of simple, understated, but absolutely chic design.  I drool over all of her patterns, which manage to look both fashionable and totally comfortable.  This one, with its beautiful rippling cables and great proportions, is very appealing indeed.  It is a grown-up and luxurious version of the standard cabled pullover. I love the line of the shoulder and armscythe, the long ribbing at the hips, and the fantastic way the ribbing transitions into the cables.

Yoshino Cherry Blossom Hat by Susan Rainey

Jena_in_hat_close_up_dk_edge_medium2

© Susan Rainey

Today is the first day that feels like spring, and all of the cherry trees in our neighbourhood have just burst into bloom.  Cherry blossoms are such a short-lived luxury; what could be better than a cherry blossom hat?  This hat has delicate pink beads for the blossoms and looks just like the branches of a cherry tree against the brilliant blue sky.  It is designed by Susan Rainey, one half of the fabulous blog-writing duo, The Rainey Sisters!  I have been reading their knitting blog for over ten years, since before I even heard of Ravelry.

I hope that you enjoy these patterns.  I am going to stop writing now and start being lazy!

Pattern Radar February 2018

Take a little bit of knitting ennui, add a smidgeon of pattern over-abundance, and stir it up with a handful of work-induced stress: what do you get?  Pattern indifference.  It’s been a while since I’ve been excited by new patterns.  But now that is starting to change.  Maybe because the days are getting longer, maybe because I’ve got some knitting mojo back, and maybe because there are a lot of cool designs popping up.  Whatever the reason, it’s time for a Pattern Radar post.

1. Strathendrick by Kate Davies

Strathendrick_08_copy_medium2

© Kate Davies

I love this new design from Kate Davies.  She says: “The landscape which surrounds my home provided perfect inspiration for something I’ve long wanted to design – a statement allover sweater in which vintage colourwork combines with a contemporary look and shape.”  I think she nailed it: this is a fantastic pullover – I love the colours, the shape, the juxtaposition of vintage and contemporary, and the fluid drape.  I also love that Kate models her own stuff.  I love the gorgeous photos her husband, Tom, takes.  I love the design ethic and the love of nature in their stuff.  There is 20″ of ease in this sweater.  That’s a lot of ease, and a lot of stranded knitting, but it’s got my fingers twitching despite that.

2. Inkwell by Alice Caetano

KOD-39416_medium2

© Alice Caetano

I have a thing for black and white geometric patterns.  This goes all the way back to the 1970s, when I would wear black and white geometric sweaters with mini skirts and my favorite white go-go boots.  (Doug reminds me that I was still wearing this look when he met me in the 1980s.)  I don’t think I’ll ever go back to that style, but I would wear Inkwell in a minute with a black pencil skirt or a pair of jeans.  This design is from the Winter 2018 edition of amirisu – the whole edition is a glorious tribute to black and white geometry.  I love the details on this one, in particular the way the central patterned section on the front is angled downwards towards the middle, creating a very flattering line for those of us who are no longer wearing mini skirts and go-go boots.

3. Trembling by Anna Maltz

Trembling_Adam_back_square_medium

© Anna Maltz

This design just went live on Ravelry today.  It is from Anna Maltz’ new book, Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting.  This is a very cool pattern, and the longer you contemplate it, the cooler it gets.  Not only because of the way she is creating interesting riffs on marl (in which two different colour yarns are knit together), but also because of the fantastic, and nearly imperceptible shaping in the yoke.  I love this!  (Admission: I don’t even like marl very much.  This might make me change my mind.)

4. Cahal by Linda Marveng

20171025_LM_Boler_krk_194_medium2

@ Eivind Røhne

Linda is on a roll these days.  She keeps knocking out great patterns.  What I love about this one is how much she has accomplished with some texture and some rectangles. She has combined them into a truly fascinating and eye-catching shape.  I love the piece around the neck, from both front and back.  I love the visible seaming which really draws the eye to this feature. I like the way it drapes over the shoulder, too, creating a drop shoulder which is not a dropped shoulder, if you see what I mean.  This pattern has only been released in Norwegian so far, but the English-language pattern is on its way, so clear the knitting decks!

5. meander by Lori Versaci

_DSC0771_preview_medium2

© Chrissie Knight for VERSACIKNITS 2017

I guess I have Lori Versaci on my mind these days, as I have just this week cast on one of her designs.  This cardigan is fantastically lush.  Click on the link and look at the close-ups; it really is beautiful, and cozy, and soft, and lofty – you can tell just by looking.  The sample cardigan is knit in Woolfolk Tov, a very lush yarn.  I looked it up and it would cost me £345 ($480) to knit this in Tov in my size – that is a lot of dough – but oh how tempting!  I think I would wear this all the time if I had it!  I would have to fight off my daughters for it.  This one is going on my wish list and in the meantime I will be keeping an eye out for a possible yarn substitution.

6. 1704-12b Elvira bukse by Viking of Norway

k-1704-12b-1704-12b_medium

© Viking of Norway

Pattern Radar is for patterns which catch my eye, and this one certainly has done that!  I love these intricately patterned leggings.  If I were more skilled at stranded knitting, these would be on my needles right now!  (They would, however, not end up on my butt, but would rather end up on Emma’s – she could really rock these!)  These would require both knitting skill (and the ability to follow a Norwegian pattern) and a bit of style fearlessness to wear, but I think they are fabulous.  Apres-ski, anyone?