Saturday, April 18, 2015

Neon Jacket - My New Love

Yarn: Cascade 220 in  color 7828 Neon Yellow
Needles:  US #6

I simply wanted a neon yellow sweater!
Few weeks ago, I went to Jimmy Beans to get myself some bright, neon yellow yarn.  I checked its website and had my eyes set on Cascade 220 in neon yellow. But since I was going to Reno to do some book shopping so I thought it would be nice to check out the yarn in person.

On my way there, there was construction on the road right by Jimmy Beans. Many of the workers were wearing neon yellow vest. I started wondering if that's how it would look on me, and I began have doubts.  I wasn't going for the roadside construction warning look.

Well, the color was bright in person, and I didn't care what look I was going for, I liked it.  I was a bit side tracked by other beautiful yellows. But this was the brightest, and neon-est of all.  I got a sweaters worth.  And I was good, I didn't get anything else. I anticipated that I'd end up looking like Big Bird wearing a bright yellow sweater, but why not!

I started my idea with a relatively simple pullover, but my mind wandered as usual.  I finally set on a jacket with round / peter pan collar and some texture stitches.  I really, I mean really, wanted a arc on the top of the texture stitches, and I didn't know why.

After some thought and some swatching, the best way I could think of was knitting from bottom up in one piece. After dividing front and back, add in sleeves at the underarm horizontally as a continued piece to the body, like kimono style, and graft the front and back of sleeves together along outer edge.
It worked.

The sweater itself was almost seamless with only pocket flap to sew on.  But I did happen to pick up some zipper that match the sweater in color.  Without any conscious planning, the sweater came out the same length as the zipper.  So I changed the idea of afterthought button loops to the 2 way zipper.  I also added a single crochet button loop, and a button right below the collars for full closure.

The sleeves turned out to be normal length instead of the 3/4 length as planned.  Then I realized the generous positive ease in this construction added to the length of sleeve.  This actually works even better. I can wear it full length or fold over the cuffs for the 3/4 look as the texture stitches can be reversible.

Result? LOVE.  I love my neon jacket. The corners of the arcs are not completely smooth as a machine knitted sweater, but I love it. I love the organic, hand knit feel. And I don't mind my imperfect zipper sewing skill either.

Even Paul loves this jacket, and he's not one that loves everything I make, and he usually is not fan of neon colors either. But he digs the style in combination with the color.

Now I feel like I have to wait 'till fall to wear it though. It's getting so warm here. Time for summer dress, almost.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tickled by Your Smile

Finally, I don't have to keep the secret anymore!!  My newest published pattern "Tickled by Your Smile" is now both in print and online with Amirisu issue 7.

This shawl used twisted stitches to create the motif.
The yarn was Quince & Co Tern, a lovely fingering weight wool and silk blend in the color of Buoy.
The pattern came with 2 sizes, and the sample was size large and I used 3 skeins of the yarn (660 yards).

When Amirisu contacted me to do another design, I was over the moon.  I was really thrilled they picked this design from the few I submitted.  I personally am very happy with the very geometric yet intricate motif.  It took a few tries to figure it out, and it turned out just the way I wanted it.

I'm really thankful that Amirisu gave me this opportunity to showcase my design.  Also, I truly appreciate the help from lovely testers Tatjana and Vaida, and tech editor Judy.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First Linen Shawl

It was a sign of spring when I was looking at the linen yarn and thinking possibilities.
The yarn was Quince & Co. Sparrow, colors were Nannyberry and Sans.
The day was my first day of spring break.
It was a  perfect combo.

Top of the shawl was stockinette stitch and the bottom was very free-form lacy border.  I didn't plan any of the lace border stitches.  I had just a basic concept as my jump off point.  It was the beginning of spring, and I liked the feeling of being free. By the time I finished rows of free form knitting, I felt, OK, time to put in some regularity, so I improvised a pattern repeat.  It worked after coupla tries.

Paul said the lace border looks like dragonfly wings.  And I like that, a lot.