Pattern Radar: January 2020

Here is my pick of patterns that have caught my eye lately.   They are all very interesting, with cool stitch patterns or constructions that engage the brain as well as the eye.

Normandale by Norah Gaughan

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© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

The more I look at this, the more interesting it becomes.  Designed by the incomparable Norah Gaughan, this uses mosaic stitch with two different weight yarns – a chunky and a DK weight.  With mosaic stitch you only knit with one yarn at a time, so you can do fairly complicated-looking colourwork without stranding.  I like mosaic stitch (here is a sweater I knit using the technique), but the idea of doing it with very different weights of yarn really appeals.  The organic structure it reveals is inspired by Portland’s bridges.

Tsubaki Pullover by Hiroko Fukatsu

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© Hiroko Fukatsu

These big, chunky, cables are fantastic!  And, like the above cardigan, the more I look at them, the more they pop. But I have to admit that what really drew me into this pattern was the description on the Ravelry pattern page (see link above): “Tsubaki – camellia japonica – is an epaulet sleeve pullover with large, gorgeous cables, worked without ever cutting yarn. Enjoy the original construction of this sweater!”  I am now totally intrigued.  I can’t even begin to figure out how that could work, and I have to know! The technical knit nerd in me can’t resist.  The fact that the sweater is gorgeous is like frosting on the cake.

Brandi Cheyenne Harper’s Gentle Cardigan by Brandi Harper

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© Brandi Harper

I am not usually a fan of chunky knits.  In particular, I find that the finishing never looks neat.  But this one has gorgeous finishing details.  Just look at the line of the shoulder and the very elegant edging.  Brandi Harper only has a few patterns published, but they are really eye-catching. (Just look at this dress made in super chunky wool; it brings out the Judy Jetson in me!)  I am definitely going to be watching her work.  (I am also completely captivated by the smile in this photo; I want to be her friend!)

Clade by Stephanie Earp

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© Stephanie Earp

Another really beautiful stitch pattern is used to an interesting effect by Stephanie Earp. It manages to look very etheral – with the delicacy of the mohair contrasting with the variegated silk. The sweater seems to glow in these gorgeous tones. Stephanie mentions that the sweater has a tendency to catch, so this is a special occasions piece. This would match almost any other block colour, and you would really make an entrance wearing this. Stephanie has been doing some interesting things with colour lately, which has put her firmly on my radar.

Caroline by eri

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Camel © eri

This amazing cabled sweater is knit in a light fingering weight wool.  Can you imagine knitting so many cables in such delicate yarn? It is knit top down in one piece with raglan sleeves, and the way that the cabled details are incorporated into the shaping is brilliant. I also like the sleeves. The slight cuff and the intricate cables down the side make for a subtle but stunning sleeve. This would look good in any colour, though I personally would stay away from variegated yarns to keep the cables firmly as the focus. The neutral is a fantastic choice, and this particular yarn is not just called Dry Desert Camel, but is 100% camel! How cool!

Honeycomb by Yumiko Alexander

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© Yumiko Alexander

I just LOVE the shape on this one. Its a very playful design, with really clever details. The slip stitches in the pattern compress the fabric on the one side to create the asymmetric drape. I could see myself wearing this to work, out to dinner, or even for a walk on the beach. This is made of silk, but would probably look great in linen as well. The pattern includes options for a longer sweater or for wider sleeves, so you can customize it to suit you.

That’s my selection of great sweaters for this month. I am currently unable to knit due to my de Quervain’s tenosynovitis acting up. My family tells me this makes me very grumpy. I console myself by adding patterns to my queue, which has grown by leaps and bounds, and by being extra grumpy just to annoy them.

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:

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© 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

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© 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:

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© 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

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© 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

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© 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:

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© 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:

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© 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:

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© 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:

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© 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!

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:

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© 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?

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© 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:

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© 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 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

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© 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

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© 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

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© 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

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@ 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

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© 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

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© 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?

A pattern to celebrate my 300th post!

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This is my 300th post on this blog!  I am very excited to still be writing the blog, and happy that people keep reading it.

To celebrate my 300th post, I designed and knit a beautiful, colourful shawl and have posted the pattern here for you.

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I had three goals in mind with this pattern:

  1. It had to be in garter stitch. (Mindless knitting, yeah!)
  2. It had to use yarn already in my stash. (Limited funds, boo!)
  3. It had to match my COOL BOOTS! (Cool boots, yeah!)

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(The boots are from Camper.)

Here is a photo of it laid flat:

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I love this shawl.  It is a deceptively simple pattern, composed of long, thin triangles, but once it’s off the needles it has fabulous drape and the colour pops!

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Please enjoy the pattern.

Cool Boots: a shawl pattern by Kelly Sloan

The shawl is knit lengthwise in garter stitch, with six very long triangles formed with short rows.  Please read the pattern through before knitting, particularly the Notes at the end.  You should review the instructions for German short rows in garter stitch (which you can find in this post on the blog).

Size: Approximately 18” x 70”

Yarn: Fingering weight wool in three colours; approximately 70 grams (350 meters/383 yards) of each colour.  For this shawl I used Tvinni Tweed by Isager in shades 17S, 28S, and 32S.  These are 100% wool tweed yarns in shades of red, coral and fuchsia, with a grey tweed undertone.

Needles: US 4 (for the shawl); US 6 (for casting on and binding off)

Gauge:  24 stitches and 48 rows (24 garter ridges); very lightly blocked.

When I took the shawl off the needles, it measured 16.5″ x 64″.  I very lightly wet blocked it to 18″ x 70″.

 

Directions.

With Colour A and US 6 needles, cast on 380 stitches.

Switch to US 4 needles.

Triangle 1:

Row 1 (RS) – knit 2 rows.  (You will have one garter ridge on RS of work).

Row 3 (RS) – knit to 12 stitches from end, turn work.

Row 4 (WS) and each remaining (WS) row – slip first st as if to purl, pull yarn to the back, knit across all remaining stitches (you have thus performed a German short row; see Notes).

Row 5 and RS rows: Knit until 12 stitches from the last German short row (indicated by the “double stitch”), turn work.

Continue until 18 stitches remain before the last German short row.  (This number could vary depending on how you count your short rows.  Continue until you have between 12 and 24 stitches before last short row.)

Next row (RS) – knit all the way across, knitting each ‘double stitch’ together as one stitch. (See Notes for German short row.)

Next row (WS) – knit all stitches

You should now have two garter ridges at the narrowest edge of the triangle with the right side facing you.  At the wide edge, you should have 32 garter ridges (note that this number is not important, but it should be the same for each triangle.)

Triangle 2:

Change to Colour B.  Knit 3 rows, ending with a RS row.  You should have one garter ridge with Colour B with the right side facing.

Row 4 (WS) – Knit to 12 stitches from end, turn work.

Row 5 (RS) and each remaining (RS) row – slip first st as if to purl, pull yarn to the back, knit across all remaining stitches (you have thus performed a German short row; see Notes)

Row 6 and WS rows: Knit until 12 stitches from the last German short row (indicated by the “double stitch”), turn work.

Continue until 18 stitches remain before last short row (or same number of stitches as for last triangle).

Next row (WS): knit across all stitches, knitting each ‘double stitch’ together as one stitch.

You should now have two garter ridges at the narrowest part of triangle 2, when viewed from the right side.

Repeat these instructions twice more, thus making a total of 6 triangles, changing colours as indicated in the chart.

schema for cool boots pattern

With RS facing, and using a US6 needle, cast off all stitches.

Finishing: Weave in ends.  Wash and block lightly.

 

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Notes

Note 1.  Weigh your yarn.  At the end of the first triangle, weigh remaining yarn of Colour A.  You will need enough yarn for two triangles in each of the three shades.

Note 2.  In the beginning, mark the right side (RS) of work with a removable stitch marker.

Note 3. All colour changes are made at the beginning of a RS row.

Note 4.  The narrow edge of each triangle has two garter ridges.  The first of these is made before you begin the short rows; the second garter ridge is made at the end of the triangle, after the short rows, when you knit across all of the stitches.

Note 5. On the first, third and fifth triangle, the short rows are made (the work is turned before the end of the row) on the RS rows; on the second, fourth, and sixth triangles, the short rows are made on the WS rows.

Note 6.  There is a photo tutorial of how to do German Short Rows in garter stitch on my blog.  You can find it in this post.  This is by far the easiest way to make short rows in garter stitch, and should not leave any holes in your work.

Note 7.  Put a removable stitch marker into the ‘double stitch’ formed by the German short row.  After each short row, you can move the marker, so it always marks the last short row knitted.  This makes it easier to know when to turn on the next turn row.

Note 8.  When counting the 12 stitches between short rows, I counted the ‘double stitch’ from the previous short row as stitch number 1.  This is illustrated here:

short row fo cool boots pattern

Note 9. You can make the shawl shorter or longer by casting on fewer or more stitches, respectively.  You can change the width of the shawl by increasing or decreasing the number of stitches between each short row (the more stitches between short rows the “narrower” the triangle will be).

That seems like a lot of Notes, but the pattern is very intuitive and easy peasy.  Please enjoy!

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This shawl has not been test knitted.  If you find any mistakes, or have trouble understanding any part of it, please let me know.  You can leave a question on the blog, or you can write to me on Ravelry (my Rav name is kellydawn).

A final note: Please respect my copyright.  Do not reproduce or publish any part of this pattern without my permission.

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.

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© 2016 Interweave

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© 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:

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© 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:

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© 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:

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© SoHo Publishing

 

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© 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!

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© 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.

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© 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:

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© 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.

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© 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.