Tuesday, May 06, 2014

What do you think?

 photo: Knitscene/Harper Point

Hi, Knitters,
Last fall I went to Cleveland to film a segment for Knitting Daily TV with Vickie Howell, which is produced by the good people of Interweave. While hosting the show Vickie wore all kinds of knits from the pages of Interweave Knits Magazine. When I was in the studio she wore the sweater in the photo above, called Emmanuelle. I remembered seeing this sweater in Knitscene when I got my issue and I remembered liking it. However, when I saw the sweater in person and on Vickie I fell in love with it. 

This sweater is knit in Nature Spun Worsted Weight and is knit flat in pieces with intarsia color work on the front. I think the key to this sweater is to make it roomy and loose fitting. It is supposed to have 4-6 inches of positive ease. The model is a 33-inch bust and it is knit in the 38-inch size. The same version Vickie wore was very roomy on her.

When I looked at the finished Emmanuelle projects on Ravelry it seems that many have knit this as a fitted sweater. When it is closely fitted I feel like the color work arrows going down the front look a little bit like..... a necktie? When it is loose fitting and roomy, as intended, it simply is stunning. I love the 3/4 length sleeves, too.

Anyway, I ordered the yarn in the same colors as the sample and in the Nature Sport Worsted. I really like this yarn a lot. I had every intention of knitting this sweater in the summer months ahead.

But then this happened....

photo: Juju Vail

I saw Solja.

I keep hearing about this new knitting magazine, Pom Pom Quarterly.  I decided to check it out for myself and I am glad I did. It is a digital and print magazine based in London. You must check it out if you are interested. The designs are beautiful and the magazine is so well done, great photography with whimsy, articles, talented designers, wearable knits, and more. It's super fun.

When I received my issue of Pom Pom, I fell in love with the sweater above, called Solja. I love it so much.

Click here to find out more about Solja by Anna Maltz.

Solja is an interesting combination of old and new. Solja combines the age-old bottom up color work yoked pullover, Elizabeth Zimmermann style, with added all over lace and corrugated rib. This combination makes the sweater feel different and fresh. Plus the yoke color work is so light-hearted and whimsical. I haven't seen a combination like this before and I think it is just so much fun. This sweater is knit in the round from bottom to top, sleeves are knit separately and joined in and then the yoke is completed. I love color work stranded knitting, it is one of my favorite techniques.

I am feeling like my Emmanuelle dreams might become a Solja instead.

It just so happens that the amount of yarn and the colors for Emmanuelle will work perfectly to make a version of Solja. If I make Solja I will throw in a creamy off-white hank of Cascade 220 I happen to have sitting around. It is funny, both call for a main color and 6 contrast colors.

Basically, my question to all of you is which one would you make? Should I stick to my intended plans to knit Emmanuelle or should I dive into Solja? I still like both of the sweaters very much.

I'd love to hear your opinions!!

Ending with another change of yarn plans, quite a long time ago I purchased some Shelter yarn in the Button Jar color way to knit up a Levenwick by Gudrun Johnston. I had every intention of knitting a Levenwick, I even purchased the pattern and have buttons for it. I really enjoy Gudrun's work. She has a simple, wearable style that I gravitate toward in knitting. A lot of Gudrun's work is clean and simple but there is often some sort of single design point of interest. That makes the knitting fun and fast.

However, every time I went to start the Levenwick I hesitated. It is an asymmetrical cardigan and cleverly designed in a simple way with a touch of easy lace on the button band. Something about it makes me pause. Would I wear it? Would it be flattering on me? I am not much of an asymmetrical clothing person and I started doubting the project. 

I put the Levenwick on hold and started casually looking around for something else to knit with the beautiful Shelter yarn. 

Then I came across Carrie Bostick Hoge's recent cardigan pattern release called Maude. I think I put it in my Ravelry queue for later but I kept thinking about the pattern. Last week I looked at it again and realized that the Shelter would work perfectly for Maude. I immediately jumped right in. It just struck me as the perfect combination.

Here is the start of the body. Maude is a very slouchy grandpa-style deep v-neck cardigan. The sample in Carrie's photo is knit with about 6-inches of positive ease. I am knitting the size 40-inch bust which will have about 4-5 inches of positive ease on me. I think that it will be perfect. I will keep you posted on my progress. It is working up really fast so far. 

Carrie is another designer who knits simple, casual sweaters and cardigans. I pretty much love everything she designs. She hits the nail on the head every time for the type of garments I want to wear in my everyday life. Comfortable, casual, wearable and fun to knit are key elements for Carrie's work. Her baby designs are wonderful, too.

I love the Shelter yarn, vegetable matter and all, and this color is gorgeous. I will use the buttons I purchased for the Levenwick on Maude. They are really cool wooden buttons that I will share with you later. I have missed my sweater knitting as of late and I want to get back into it for the summer months ahead. For some reason I love knitting sweaters in the summer which is perfect because when the fall and winter seasons roll around I am all set with a new handknit sweater or two.

By the way, I think I still may knit the Levenwick. Now that I am looking at it again I really do love this design. We'll see what happens. For now, it's all about Maude!

What yarn do you have that was intended for one pattern and became another? We all do it. It's part of the fun of knitting.

I'll be back soon with more. I hope you all are having a good week so far. Let me know what you think about Emmanuelle and Solja.
best, susie
p.s. Hey! The Fall Fling announcement just came out! I am teaching along with Ann Budd, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and Marly Bird! I'm so excited about this. Sign up quick, it sells out fast. Click here for the information on The Loopy Ewe.