Worldknits is moving our blog to our newly redesigned, totally integrated website (we're excited for the change, and we think you will be too!). Please update your bookmarks, feed readers, etc. so that you can get the latest from the worldknits design studio. See you on the flip side.
I spent this past month in the picturesque mountains of Aspen, Colorado visiting my dad and little brother. The cool mountain air was a much appreciated respite from the humidity of Virginia; it was nice not having wool stick to my hands for a change. In between hiking, meals with friends and family, and building a new website for my dad's vintage bicycle business, I had a photo shoot for one of my new menswear designs.
The Hunter Creek Pullover incorporates two incredibly simple, but visually appealing textures- moss stitch and ribbing- into a refined men's sweater. Knit with a super soft 100% merino wool, Hunter Creek is perfect for transitioning into fall and the colder winter weather ahead.
Our photo shoot took place at the Hunter Creek ghost town, a nice day hike with a trailhead within walking distance from town. In addition to my little brother, my other model was Wesley, a Samoyed dog. In between photos, Wesley entertained himself (and us) by hopping through the tall grass after grasshoppers.
I usually share a soundtrack of the music I listened to while knitting and designing my garment, but this time I wanted to change it up and have a guest DJ. My little brother, Michael (my ever so patient model), was kind enough to put together some sweet beats for you to enjoy. This soundtrack reminds me of the time I spent with him this past month. It's always hard to leave Colorado; I may have to make the move out west one of these days.
|At the Saturday Market with my dad and his bikes.|
|Seven Castles hike. Climbing waterfalls.|
|Wesley on out Hunter Creek hike.|
|Hunter Creek photo shoot.|
|Stormy skies over Highlands.|
|Ajax peak hike with my dad and brother.|
|Park pho party.|
|Grizzly Lake hike.|
|The world in technicolor.|
|One last morning hike before heading home.|
Thanks to everyone who participated in the first contest to celebrate my book. Between now and when the book is published I'll have more contests so be sure to check back. I used a random number generator to determine the winners and they are:
Congratulations to our winners! And good luck to everyone else on the next giveaway.
|The Winner of Knitting Notes: Molly Spangenberg|
|The Winner of a Worldknits Pattern: Prairiegirl|
Congratulations to our winners! And good luck to everyone else on the next giveaway.
Posted by worldknits at 4:27 PM
I'm thrilled to share that I'm working on my first book! It's a collection of 19 brand new designs, both garments and accessories, that are a modern take on classic feminine silhouettes. The designs in the book can be styled for the office, the weekend, and a night out. I love the act of dressing and with the designs in this book you will too!
The book is slated for release in Fall of 2015. I know, that's so far away. Alas, I need time to write the patterns and knit the samples, and my publisher needs time to take photographs and put it all together. Fear not; follow me on Instagram and Facebook to get extra special sneak peeks of the process. In the meantime you can check out my back catalog here. If you'd like to receive an e-mail when the book is available and get a heads up when there's a new contest sign up here.
Piles of yarn have started arriving at my design studio. In the next 9 months I'll be knitting through 39,888 yards (22.5 miles) of yarn, making 15 garments (pullovers, cardigans, and dresses!) and 4 accessories. I've organized the projects and am ready to get my needles moving. To celebrate I'd like to offer my fans a chance to win a knitting book that will help you get organized, too. Good luck!
Contest #1- Win a Copy of Knit Notes - US Residents
In the comments below, share how you like to organize your knits- baskets, project bags, ravelry, spreadsheets, etc.- and tell me from what state you come. I'll randomly select one winner in a week's time. Check back on Monday, February 17 to see if you've won. (sorry, anonymous commenters can't win)
In the comments below, share how you like to organize your knits- baskets, project bags, ravelry, spreadsheets, etc.- and tell me from what country you come. I'll randomly select one winner in a weeks time. Check back on Monday, February 17 to see if you've won. (sorry, anonymous commenters can't win)
Contest #2 - Win Your Choice of One Worldknits Pattern - Citizens of the World
As always, the soundtrack to my design as I was writing the pattern and knitting the sample. I walked down the aisle to "Perpetuum Mobile" and finished the ceremony with "The Winner Is." Enjoy!
AlexSquared: How Knitting Led Me to AlexKnitting is my life, so it’s fitting that knitting led me to my husband. In 2009, I attended my first knit night. It was such a wonderful experience that I wrote a blog post about it. Rachel, another young woman saw the post and was inspired to join the group. Our friendship grew, as did our knitting skills. It was Rachel who would introduce me to Alex (mostly because I think she found it humorous that we shared the same name, but also because she knew we shared a love of travel and adventure).
Designing a Wedding DressIn August of 2013 I began sketching. I knew the silhouette I wanted: a fitted bodice with a full skirt and I knew that I wanted an Austrian stitch motif to honor Alex’s family (his father is Austrian, as is his mother’s mother). I found my motifs in Maria Erlbacher’s Twisted-Stitch Knitting. For the center-front panel I selected “#91 Large Chain with Twisted Bands” flanked by two braided cables, and for the remaining dress “#166 Double Chain”. I originally designed the dress with a high round neck and a large shawl collar, but later changed to an elegant fold over boatneck.
|Sketching the dress.|
Choosing the YarnOnce my ideas were transferred to paper, I shifted my focus to the ideal materials with which to bring the design to life. The yarn decision came easily when I remembered the 20 skeins of Michell Luxury Edition Alpaca-Cashmere in an ecru colorway that I had purchased in Peru the year before. Who knew I’d be able to stash bust for my wedding dress?! While the alpaca-cashmere would become the body of the dress, I wanted something more delicate and ethereal for the lace at the hem and collar. Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze Glamour, a mohair silk blend studded with delicate glass-like sequins, fit the bill perfectly.
Creating the PatternAll patterns begin with swatching. I started by working my desired motifs in the DK weight yarn using US 6 needles. I was pleased with the even tension and stitch definition, so decided to proceed on the 6s. The key measurement for this design was the waist; it would be here that all of the double chains would converge. After subtracting out the center-front motif, I learned how many of the double chains would make up the remaining circumference at the waist.
|The continuous line of the double chain motif from the hem to the neck.|
Finally, I had to negotiate the waist-to-bust increase, keeping the visual line of the chains unbroken. Unfortunately, increasing the size of the stitch motif wasn’t an option, as I wanted the bodice fabric to look delicate. I decided to eliminate two of the chain motifs at each side of the dress and instead worked a seed stitch motif across these stitches. All of my increases were invisibly worked into the seed stitch section, solving the problem of broken lines.
|The transition from double chains to seed stitch on the bodice.|
ConstructionThe dress is worked in the round from the hem up so that it is seamless to the underarms. I began with a simple mesh lace at the hem, worked only in the Kidsilk Haze Glamour (KHG). The asymmetrical shape of the lace (it’s longer in the back than in the front to mirror the chapel length train of the underskirt) was achieved by working short rows. I didn’t want the lace to transition immediately into a solid fabric so the 12-stitch chain motif at the hem uses a combination of yos and k2togs to create lacework within each chain.
Initially, I held one strand of the KHG together with the alpaca-cashmere to blend the two yarns. As the chains became smaller and smaller, I transitioned from lacework to seed stitch and dropped the strand of KHG as I worked the smallest chains in reverse stockinette. I separated the front and back at the underarms and worked each piece flat. The sleeves were worked flat and set in, giving the dress a very stable fabric at the shoulders (this is important because this is the area that is holding the weight of the dress).
|The body of the dress was finished on November 20.|
Embellishing the DesignI opted for a crocheted lace edging to save on time. I chose "Romanesque Arches" from Interweave’s Crochet Edgings & Trims (The Harmony Guides).The lace edging had an art deco feel reminiscent of my vintage engagement ring and looked beautiful with the dress.
|crocheting the lace border|
|The finished lace.|
|Sewing on the pearls.|
The Big DayThe night before the wedding my petticoat still hadn't arrived. UPS finally delivered it at 6pm. The petticoat was vital to the design because it served not only to fluff up my dress, but more importantly to hold the weight of the knitted fabric (the dress weighs 2.5 pounds). I tried all of the pieces on together for the first time that night.
Our wedding day had arrived. My husband met me at the alter in a wool-cashmere suit we had made while in China, and not to be outdone, a handknit tie I made for him using a vibrant shade of green ToshMerino Light. I walked down the aisle feeling like I was floating on air. We were married in my friend Rebecca’s restaurant, Kybecca. The venue was draped in hundreds of colorful pompom garlands, crafted by Alex. The ceremony was beautiful and it was followed by a brunch celebration with friends and family. A bride and a knitwear designer couldn’t ask for a better day.
|Alex showing off his handknit tie.|
|You may recognize my little brother on the left. He's my knitwear model.|
Question and AnswerI’ve tried to answer possible questions below. If you think of others please leave them in the comment section. You can also communicate with me on Facebook and Twitter.
|Stop by Old Town Yarnery in Fredericksburg, VA to see the dress in person and check out their great selection of yarns while you're there.|
After the dress is removed from display, it will be carefully packaged and put away. I plan to eventually donate the dress to a museum.
The Copper Canyon Pullover is rustic, warm, and relaxed with an allover slipped stitch rib, raglan sleeves, and a henley front placket. Made from Cascade's Eco Wool (available in a number of gorgeous natural colors), this pullover will keep the cold at bay.
I hope that the men in your life enjoy wearing this as much as you'll enjoy knitting it.
PS As always, I hope you enjoy the music I was listening to while designing and knitting this sweater.
First, I have to say, I was freaking out when I saw that I got the cover. This is a first for me and I am so thankful.
Chevrons are having a moment for me in my designs (in fact, you'll be seeing a lot more chevrons later on this fall and winter in new patterns I'm releasing). The motif on the back of the garment was actually inspired by a rug at my dad's house. I was thrilled with the contrasting variegated green that Interweave chose for this design. Brown Sheep's Lambs Pride Worsted couldn't have been a better match for this pattern. It's incredibly soft and warm with great structure and has a large color palette. I can't wait to see what you guys do with it.
|In my design.|
|In my design.|