August 2010 Archives

Monami pattern is up!

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Thanks for all the lovely comments on the Blakeslee top, everyone! Test-knitting is in progress, which is very exciting.

To let you know, the pattern for the Monami Cardigan is now available here or on Ravelry. Details on the pattern, including sizing, yarn requirements, and more, are up on the pattern page.

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Introducing Blakeslee

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Friday afternoon was beautiful day—sunny and crisp, lovely cirrus clouds with just a hint of fall in the air. David and I seized the opportunity to head out to Sauvie Island and take some finished shots of the Blakeslee top, which knit up so fast that I barely had time to snap some in-progress shots of it.

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This little top is dead simple, but it hit that sweet spot for me—I managed to come up with exactly the project I wanted to be knitting, and knit the whole thing while I was still in the mood for it. (It helped that the design is plain enough that I could do it even while watching foreign-language films.) I was actually still SO in the mood for this pattern when I finished it that I contemplated casting on for another right away, maybe in the robin's egg/cocoa combination I mentioned in my last Blakeslee post—an impulse I ended up resisting only because the yarn store where I "casually stopped in" didn't carry the robin's egg sock yarn of my dreams.

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I was beset by a sudden lust for stripes before I started knitting Blakeslee, and I love the way this stitch pattern, borrowed from Barbara Walker after a simple conversion to working in the round, combines tweediness and stripiness into some kind of ideal mashup of classic designs. It alternates rounds of plain knitting with rounds of slip one, knit one, and the resulting texture and pattern does so much with those very simple moves. I love the way the slipped stitches create a dashed line—it reminds me of a decorative running embroidery stitch, or the center line in that handwriting paper from elementary school.

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Other details on Blakeslee: worked from the top down, at a largish gauge for a light fingering-weight yarn, which means it's light and airy, with lots of give. The yoke has raglan increases, and there is a minimal amount of waist shaping. Mostly it relies splitting the difference between negative ease at the hips and positive ease at the waist to create a flattering yet relaxed look. The short sleeves consist of an inch of 2X1 twisted ribbing to match the boat neck and the bottom edge, finished off with a double row of the contrast color.

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We'll have to see if the test-knitters can replicate my results here, but I was surprised that one skein of each color in Malabrigo Sock was enough to finish this, with quite a bit of the Natural left over, and just a bit of the Boticelli Red. Hopefully that will make it a fun little project to use up some of those single skeins of light sock yarn we all have lying around.

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I hope everyone's having a lovely end-of-summer!

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