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I’m pleased to announce the release of Honeymaker, my newest design for Quince & Co. A feminine take on the traditional aran sweater, with a bee-inspired twist, the Honeymaker pullover features stitch patterns inspired by netting, hives, and, of course, the honeycomb. It also comes with directions to include an optional bee inset into your honeycomb, if you like.

The cables really pop when knit in Quince’s Osprey aran-weight yarn, particularly in the less saturated shades, like the faded brick-colored Clay used here. The collar can be worn popped for a face framing effect, or folded for a more-traditional shawl-collar look.

The pattern is knit in the round from the bottom up, with subtle waist shaping. The collar/shoulders are knit back and forth (cabling on right side only) with raglan shaping and the collar ribbing is picked up and knit back and forth for a seamless garment.

The pattern is available for download for $6 USD from the Quince & Co Website or you can queue it up on Ravelry.

Modeled photos courtesy of Quince & Co.

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For the first of three posts about my designs for the Strata and Line Collection, I decided to start with Lamina.

I wanted Lamina to be one a simple, very wearable sweater . The original idea was do to an all-over stripe (below), but after some design tweaking, I went with a solid body and striped sleeves and collar.

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The decision to keep the body solid makes for a slightly interesting, though not difficult construction.

At its most basic, Lamina is knit in the round from bottom up with saddle-shoulder shaping and some gentle waist shaping. The saddles themselves are knit back and forth and seamed from underarm to shoulder and then rejoined to work the cowl neck in the round. Because the stripes are contained to the arms, it’s also a relatively quick knit.

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It was also a huge pleasure to work with the yarn on this pattern. The yarn is the Woolen Rabbit’s  Grace in Myrtle and Straw. Grace is a beautiful merino yarn that comes in sizable 525 yard skeins. There are few yarns I think I’ve enjoyed knitting with more – it was just so pretty, lovely to work with, and the colors really make this design pop. Tea Leaves/Forever in Blue Jeans would be another fabulous color combo. I just picked up some more Woolen Rabbit yarn at a recent local fiber event so I can work more with her yarns.

Lamina is available for download as a solo pattern for $6.00 USD or can be purchased from my Ravelry store with my other two designs from the collection, Latitude and Longitude for a discounted $12 with the coupon code LINE.

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If you want to queue it up on Ravelry, the collection can be found here.DSC_0233

So on Tuesday, something very exciting happened for me. A national magazine hit the newstands with my name on the cover (spelled right and everything)!!
Way back in March I got a email from Lisa Shroyer, the Knitscene editor, asking if I would be interested in doing a collection as their featured designer for the Winter issue.

Would I?! And in the Winter issue none the less?? I think I thought about it for a minute before I said yes, yes and yes!

After about a week, I sent Lisa a packet of about six design proposals ranging from the simple to the complex and included four sweaters and two accessories, plus one more accessory I had submitted to magazine through the regular process. (Some of the “rejects” will likely show up as designs in the future too). We edited it down to three items, which I though was doable in the approximately 8-week knitting period.

Some yarn was ordered and fortunately some of it matched my swatching yarn, so I was able to get a head start on the math. As soon as my first yarn arrived, I start knitting like a crazy person. (Fortunately no repetitive stress injuries were obtained in the process of making this collection.) In end, we ended up with three designs that I’m very proud of.

Willamette Coat

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The Willamette Coat (they named it after my alma mater) is my personal favorite in the collection. It’s an idea that’s been banging around in my head for over a year, and I was glad to finally get it out into reality. The big feature hear is the asymmetrically buttoned front with the dramatic cable panel and the matching cabled cuffs. I think the sample might have been a bit small on the model, because it can button (for example, dress form it’s a size 35″ sample on a 33″ bust), but I’d recommend a minimum of 2″ positive ease.

The sample was knit in Berroco Vintage Chunky an acrylic/wool blend that is probably my favorite machine-washable yarn ever. It comes in a bunch of great colors, is fairly inexpensive, and doesn’t feel plastic-y at all (though the ends are a bit harder to weave in). I’m actually on my third project with this yarn now, that‘s how much I like it. If you’re looking to sub, I’d recommend any bulky weight wool that shows cables well.

Toulouse Pullover


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The Toulouse Pullover has been the big hit on Ravelry so far. Knitscene did some lovely boho-chic styling on this one, that I think has really attracted people to it. Which is funny as I considered it a much more 50s-style garment in my head when I was making it, but that just shows the versatility and timelessness of the bow-neck I suppose.

This item is probably the easiest knit in the whole collection. After you knit the collar/ties back and forth the rest is a super simple raglan with no body shaping. Again, I’m not sure on the model’s size, but for comparison it’s a size 34 3/4″ on a 33″ dress form in the center photo.

The yarn for this sample is Classic Elite’s Mountain Top Vista, an organic worsted weight wool. It’s got a nice hint of halo, surprisingly drapey, and is definitely sheepy. In the projects that are already (!) popping up on Ravelry a lot of people are subbing in Berrocco’s Ultra Alpaca, which would be a really good choice too. Anything with a bit of drape and halo.

Marketa Mitts

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This is the only design in the collection I named myself, and like the mag says, they were inspired by Mareketa Iglova’s character in once. They’re your basic fingerless mitts, knit in reverse stockinette with a tulip-esque insert panel that’s a combo of a bunch of sts.

This sample was knit in Shibui Baby Alpaca DK – a super dreamy yarn to knit with, though I’m not sure I’d call it a DK (these were knit on size 2/ 2.75 needles). The could easily be done in a fingering weight, and something with less halo would show off the stitch pattern a bit more clearly.

Where can I get these?

Right now the magazine is on newstands, or can be purchased as a digital magazine.  There are several other lovely patterns in there, as well as a 2-page profile on me.

If you want to favorite or queue these up, here are the links for the Willamette Coat, Toulouse Pullover, and Marketa Mitts.

A Giveaway!

I’ve also got one signed copy of the magazine, along with a skein of Shibui Baby Alpaca DK in Artichoke (like the sample) to make your own pair of Marketa Mitts to give away. If you’re interested, simply leave a comment below and I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner on Tuesday.

I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that Quince & Co. would be releasing my newest design this week, as I didn’t expect it to see the light of day until the fall knitting releases, so while this isn’t the springiest sweater, it’s without a doubt one my favorite designs.

Quince Osprey Sweater Sketch 10 17 11I wanted Kaeryn to be one of those cozy weekend sweaters that you could just throw on, be comfy and still look good.  I wanted it to be something infinitely wearable and a go-to item. My knitting buddy Karen must have thought so, because ever since I pulled out the sketch for the first time, she was encouraging me to hurry up and finish it so she could knit one of her own.  And since Karen served as my design-approver throughout the process, I named it after her (though I changed the spelling to look more knitting-pattern-y)(though technically, I think the new spelling would be pronounced kay-ren, but I’m cool with however you want to pronounce it).

In many ways, this is a very basic raglan, a-line sweater, but I think I’ve added a few details that make it pretty special. Perhaps the most noticeable are the moss-stitch panel and its seamless kangaroo pocket.  I also like the clean lines of the turned hems at the collar and hem. I discovered the decrease bind-off while working on this sweater and it’s perfect for keeping the hem sketchy.

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Also of note are the moss-stitch cuffs, which are decreased into a soft point.

The sweater is knit in Quince & Co’s worsted weight Lark yarn, in Frank’s Plum.

When possible, I strive to write my patterns for a while range of sizes and this comes in a bunch: 30½ (32¾, 34¾, 36¾, 39, 41, 43¼, 45¼, 47¼, 49½, 51½, 53½, 55½, 57¾, 59¾)”

To purchase the pattern, visit the Quince & Co. website or you can queue it up on Ravelry.

Like I said, I love this sweater and totally want one in my own size, so I’m up for a knit-along nearer toward fall if anyone’s interested!

[All photos with model © Carrie Bostick Hoge, courtesy of Quince & Co; all other photos by me]

(c) Jane Heller, Courtesy of Twist Collective

It’s been a big week for me a designer, I’ve had not one, not two, but three designs come out in the past four days. The one I’m perhaps most excited is Wetherell, which came out in the Winter 2011 issue of Twist Collective.

(c) Jane Heller, Courtesy of Twist Collective

This design started way back in the early days of 2010, when I challenged myself to design a sweater as my 2010 knitolution. I’ve knit plenty of sweaters, and adapted a few, but I wanted one that was all me.

As with most deadlines, I procastinated and didn’t even start thinking of my design until early October, when I was doodling during a meeting and came up with this (and promptly dripped water on it):

Wetherell Sketch

The big question was how to do the diagonal feature on the yoke. After flipping through some stitch dictionaries, I deciding on modifying a slip stitch pattern. I love slip stitches because their woven-look texture and I find them less commonly used than other stitch patterns (though it is my second Twist pattern featuring slip stitches).

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The downside to this heavy of a slip-stitch pattern is that is takes almost twice as many rows to get get the same length as Stockinette stitch. The upside is that it looks great and since it’s confinded to the yoke and the cuffs, it isn’t overwhelming. The name for the sweater came when Bristol Ivy and I did this photoshoot in March. It comes from the copy of The Wide, Wide World, I’m holding in the shoot, a 1850 novel by Susan Warner, published under the pseudonym Elizabeth Wetherell. According to Wikipedia, it is often acclaimed as America’s first bestseller  (if you’re interested you can read the whole thing here.)

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The front and back of the sweater are knit flat, while the sleeves are knit in the round until the sleeve cap, then everything is blocked and seamed to together. The sweater is finished off with a knitted hem on the bottom. All together it’s a simple sweater with the right amount of detail.

Both my prototype and the Twist sample were knit in Valley Yarn’s Williamstown, a worsted weight wool/acrylic blend in a lovely range of tweedy shades. I even found matching buttons 8 months apart in the button box at Z Fabrics.

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The pattern is available for $7 USD via Twist Collective or you can queue it up on Ravelry.

Photos 1-2: © Jane Heller, via Twist Collective

Photos 3-5: by Bristol Ivy

 

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When it comes to my own designs, I never wear them until I have a chance to do the official photoshoot because I want to keep them as pristine as possible for the pattern photos, and for this particular design the weeks between completion and photography were super tempting.

I designed Oakdale as my dream sweater, and it turned out pretty much exactly as I hoped: as in crazy-close to the original sketch. The only difference is the neckline, which is more boatneck than crew (which I prefer).

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Still in my colorwork period, it started off with an acorn motif and a desire to do a 40s-50s style sweater.  I wanted it to be seamless and easy to knit, so I decided to do it as a raglan sweater, and since I hadn’t decided what I wanted the neckline to be I started at the bottom and worked my way up, figuring I’d decide by the time I got there.

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There’s no shaping in the body of the sweater, but 1-2 inches of negative ease, plus the nature of the colorwork stripes, makes for a shapely-looking sweater. If you wanted to make it even MORE shapely, you could switch the Stockinette stripes for corrugated ribbing easily.

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The front and back are entirely the same until after the yoke decreases are completed, then there are a little over an inch of short rows on the back neck to raise it up a bit higher than the front for comfort in wearing. The sleeves, neck and hem are all finished off in a K1, P2 rib that mirrors the striping pattern.

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For the sample I used Cascade 220 in Chocolate Heather, Smoke Blue and Straw. But it would work in any worsted weight yarn with a reasonable color range.

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A big shout out must be given to Bristol Ivy, fiber artist, who served as color consultant, photographer and tech editor for this pattern.  And a mini shout out to the Canal School in Westbrook, which served as a charming autumnal backdrop, when our original location fell through.

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The pattern is written for sizes 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58)”/ 76 (81.5, 86.5, 91.5, 96.5, 101.5, 106.5, 112, 117, 122, 127, 132, 137, 142, 147.5) cm at the bust and is perfect for your next sock hop or pep rally.

Oakdale is available for purchase for $7.00 USD

or you can queue it up on Ravelry.

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PS – Did you know about the new mailing list? You’ll receive notification about all new Ms. Cleaver Creations patterns as well as special discount codes and offers.  Sign up Now!