I'm so excited to introduce you to my latest design, the Adrie vest!
It's been a long time in the making but the process was a pleasure. Along the way I took several in-progress photos, so you get to see much more of the design process than usual! Here goes . . .
First off, the yarn is insanely beautiful. It's Madelinetosh Tosh Merino light and it has these subtle shades in it that take my breath away. The colorway I used is called Calligraphy and it reminds me of mushrooms, with shades it it that go from brownish to greyish to pinkish. Every time I look at it I get the same thrill I got initially, so that really speaks for the beauty of the yarn. And the finished fabric? It's flowy and light, soft and smooth, and drapes likes nobody's business. If you haven't had a chance to work with this yarn yet, run, don't walk, to the LYS to grab a skein!
I knew that I wanted to use this stunning yarn for something drapey and cozy, but I didn't want to make a shawl simply because I wanted to do something new. The flowy vest was the perfect solution! I sketched, swatched, and ripped a bunch until I came up with the Adrie vest. It features a cable along the neckline that has no up/down direction (you'll be knitting it from both ends!) and various textures that show off the beautiful yarn.
Here's a closeup of the cable that starts everything off:
And bonus: in this unusual construction method, each section is knit from the previous one, so there are no ends to seam! I know you love that.
Here's how my vest looked when it was nearly done:
You can't really tell from the photo but the fronts are picked up and knit off the back, so you don't have to sew them to each other. It makes finishing so much simpler when all you need to do is weave in the ends and block!
Here's how it looks from the back when worn:
I wore this vest around at Vogue Knitting Live this year and got tons of compliments. I like to wear it over a fitted long-sleeve shirt with fitted jeans, that way the proportions are balanced out. I think it would be cute over a sleeveless dress too, if you're more of the boho type . . . I just can't pull that look off myself!
Here are the basic details:
Size & Finished Measurements:
Shown in size Small. My bust is 37”.
Back width at bust: 18”(21”,24”)
Length at center back: 19”(21”,24.5”)
25 sts/38 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch on size US #4/3.5mm needles
3(4,4) skeins Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% superwash Merino), 100 grams/3.5 oz, 440 yards/402 meters, in color Calligraphy
The knitting pattern is 5 pages long and includes detailed schematics to help you understand the unusual construction.
The PDF is available for purchase as an immediate download. Price is $5.50 and you can either purchase from my site or via Ravelry:
If you have any questions about the design please ask!
I'm so so happy with how this little scarf design came out!
The idea was to make a scarf that would shade colors of Koigu into each other, to seamless go from one color through a bunch of other colors in a way that made them look like the fade into and out of eachother magically. I knew that I wanted a simple stitch pattern that wouldn't detract from the colors, but knitting an all-garter-stitch scarf is pretty boring, so I threw in some eyelets to keep your interest as you knit. The eyelets ended up being my favorite part of the design! The different texture of those rows brings out the subtle color changes in a different way than the garter stitch does, so it gives the whole piece much more depth of color.
You can see the full color progression here:
I've done lots of projects in Koigu but never one where the colors changed this drastically. I'm still amazed at how great they look fading into and out of each other! Which probably explains why I can't seem to stop admiring the different colors . . .
And in this one, you can really see the texture of the garter stitch and the eyelets:
The pattern is available to purchase for $4.00, and will be delivered immediately as a PDF download. You can purchase it here!
Speaking of colors, as you know that's my favorite thing about Koigu. I decided to offer up some kits for this scarf, and had lots of fun coming up with colorways!
I'm offering limited-edition kits for $39 plus shipping of $5.50. I didn't even write down the colors I used here, so I can't make any more of these even if I want to! You're guaranteed to have a very unique scarf if you choose one of these =)
Here are the colorways I came up with so far:
The first one is called Dark and it's the colorway I knit for the project photos:
I love the way the finished scarf came out and I know I'll get lot of use out of this colorway, as it pretty much goes with everything!
For the next colorway, I wanted to go exactly the opposite and came up with the Light kit:
In this one I particularly love all the speckle-y colors, they're more rare than the stripe-y colors of Koigu so I tend to fall hard for them when I find them as they're so unique! This colorway would probably go with pretty much everything too, and would make a more spring-like finished scarf.
Finally I wanted to go a bit crazy and use some of Koigu's really bright, wild colors, so I put together a Bright colorway:
This one makes me think of Mexico and would be wonderful worn with a tame outfit. Like many New Yorkers I often end up in head-to-toe black with just a small bit of color from an accessory, so this scarf would be perfect!
Winding all the yarn up for these kits took way longer than I expected it to take, let me tell you. I used my kitchen scale to weigh each skein and then split each one up into 3 equal sections, building a little pile of wound up balls as I worked. I think from start to finish it took me over an hour to do 6 kits!
Here's a crappy iPhone shot of the process (and my messy table in the background):
I'm thinking of doing a little tutorial on how to do this, would anyone be interested in that?
It's done, and under the deadline, too! I love the way the finished shawl turned out, the shape is cozy and stays on my shoulders well and the colors are stunning.
Just look at the shades of bronze and pumpkin in the Ginger:
I think I'm in love. Which probably explains why I took so many pictures of this project! Here's another one for good measure:
I knit the largest size of the pattern and followed the instructions almost exactly as written, except for two things:
This shawl ended up using every last inch of the Madelinetosh and about half the skein of Malabrigo. It's a very nice size for a finished shawl so considering it only took 1.5 skeins of sock yarn, that's a pretty good deal!
Despite the fact that it's about a bazillion degrees in NYC right now, this new shawl is going to get some use immediately: it's coming with me to the movies tonight! It's always freezing in movie theaters, so I always go prepared. A light but warm shawl like this is the perfect thing to bring with you because it fits in your purse when you're not using it and is easy to slip on without disrupting anyone else in the theater.
Pattern: Whippoorwill by Carina Spencer
Yarn: 1 skein Madelinetosh Sock in Ginger and Malabrigo Sock in Eggplant
Needles: US size 6
Started: July 8, 2011
Finished: July 15, 2011
I actually finished this about two months ago but never managed to take an FO shot. I loved knitting Ysolda's Snapdragon Tam but the finished item simply does not fit my giant head correctly! When I originally bound off the hat looked like it would fit as a tight skullcap, so I blocked it around a plate to stretch it out. That made a big difference, but as you see it's still not big enough for my huge head + all that hair. It fits my head like a regular hat would, not like a tam/beret should. And before someone comments to say it's because I'm wearing it way too far down on my forehead, that's how I like to wear hats! I don't like it when they're perched precariously on top of my head the way current style dictates.
It's OK thought because I know just whom to give it to and I know she'll wear it all the time! So all's well that ends well. I may try to knit this again and add a repeat in the middle to make it slouchy for me, we'll see. Considering that spring is officially here now that probably won't happen for at least a few months though!
If you're thinking about knitting this I highly recommend it, assuming you love complicated cables the way I do. It was so much fun to watch the texture wind in and out! The pattern is VERY well written so you'll have no problems at all. This is my second Ysolda hat (I knit Gretel
a million years ago four years ago) and I can confidently say that her patterns have gotten much more clear and well-written in that time span. Which makes sense given how prolific she's been! The mittens that match this hat are really cute too . . .
Pattern: Snapdragon by Ysolda
Yarn: 1 skein (with plenty left over) Madelinetosh DK in color Nikko Blue
Needles: US size 6
Started: January 23, 2011
Finished: February 2011
It's been months since I actually finished these socks but I didn't get the last end woven in or pictures taken until this past weekend. Of course it's much too hot for my friend Shana to even think about wearing these socks right now anyway so I know (hope?) she doesn't mind the delay TOO much!
These socks had a rough time getting finished: They were restarted 4 times with different cast-on amounts, then when that was fixed they ended up too long and pointed and had to have their toes redone. All in all I think I knit these twice over before I was finished. In the end I added a pattern repeat to the cast on, worked the second sock's pattern reversed to make them mirror images of each other, and changed the toe shaping completely. It's surprising how much they still look like the originals even after all those changes!
You can see in this shot that the stitch pattern twists around, but I didn't find a way to fix the problem and wasn't willing to rip AGAIN to try to remedy it. If you're looking at the socks on your feet it's not very noticeable from the front, only from the sides. I thought it was interesting that they twist is in the same direction even though I mirrored the stitch pattern: amazing how there's always something new to learn about knitting, even when you've been doing it forever!
As always, working with Koigu was a dream and I know Shana will get lots of use out of these socks. In the last few months I've been knitting for others more and I'm finding that I really enjoy it . . . definitely going to make it more of a habit in the future.
Pattern: Nutkin socks, heavily modified
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM in color P905
Needles: Size US 1 dpn's
Started: January 7, 2010
Finished: Sometime in April, 2010