For me, one of the most fun and challenging parts of Level 2 of The Knitting Guild Association’s (TKGA) Master Hand Knitting Program was the vest project. The requirement was simply to knit a vest, demonstrating our ability to use finishing techniques. We could use an existing pattern as written, modify an existing pattern, or design our own.
You probably know me well enough by now to guess which option I chose. Yes, as if completing Level 2 wasn’t difficult enough, I had to go and design a brand new pattern from scratch. Hence, the Lucy Vest, which I named after my beautiful and talented friend who was kind enough to model it.
What I enjoyed about designing it was incorporating little details that I’ve learned along the way to make a finished garment really attractive. I took a Melissa Leapman workshop one time where she talked about how to design necklines so they flowed out of the center pattern. I like the results here. (Thank you, Melissa!)
I added details into the instructions that I think help make for a nice fitting and polished looking vest. Ribbing along the sides makes the vest flattering to wear. On the neck and armhole trim, I used what I learned in the TKGA program to place strategic decreases to make the ribbing lie flat.
All in all, I’m happy with the Lucy Vest. I’ll be offering it as a pattern soon.
As always, I want to thank TKGA for providing so much education!
Oh, BTW….Don’t forget to leave a comment on the blog post for my Wild West eBooks Giveaway for a chance to win all five of Stephannie Tallent’s Wild West eBooks!
Don’t you just love it when you reach into your stash and find the perfect marriage of yarn and pattern? Such was my luck the other day when I found some Valkyrie “Jayne” fingering, a lovely blend of merino and cashmere hand-dyed by my friend Bonni Raine.
As luck would have it, I have a little bit of time between design projects to do some fun, personal knitting. I’m pairing the yarn with a design I’ve wanted to make for the longest time…the shawl called Ferru by my friend Stephannie Tallent. The design has special meaning for me, as I’ve spent a great deal of time in Arizona, the home of the Ferruginous hawk which inspired Stephannie’s design. Note the gorgeous feather motif!
The pattern is from “Lace 2“, Volume 5 of Stephannie’s fabulous eBook series called The Wild West. Check out the drawing for a giveaway of The Wild West collection!
You can find Bonni’s Valkyrie yarn at Yarns at the Adobe in San Luis Obispo, California
Stephannie Tallent’s blog is Sunset Cat Designs
For the longest time I’ve had my eye on Arenda Holladay’s pattern, “Woman’s Cable Vest”. I like its simplicity, with the cables adding just the right amount of interest. (Plus, I’ll use any excuse to knit with Rowan’s Felted Tweed!)
The red color (“Rage”) married with the tweed texture will be just right when Fall rolls around.
Woman’s Cable Vest by Arenda Holladay, in the Members’ section of the TKGA website
Rowan Felted Tweed DK
Why is it I’m always a season behind in my knitting? Ah well, there’s just enough winter-ish snow for this lovely, warm sweater to be useful for another week or so. “Mork” is designed by Julia Farwell-Clay. I love patterns that are both relaxing to knit and also interesting. Worked in worsted weight, the knitting progressed quickly, while the cables kept my interest.
Even the back is filled beautifully with cabling and a just-right icord edge.
I used Rowan Pure Wool Worsted for this project. I was worried it might be a bit scratchy, but it softened nicely with washing.
Any knitter who has known me more than five minutes knows that Alana Dakos is one of my all-time favorite designers. I finally had the chance to make her Gnarled Oak Cardigan from the book she co-authored with Hannah Fettig, Coastal Knits.
I used Madelinetosh DK in the Grove color.
I love Alana’s attention to detail.
Gnarled Oak Cardigan on Ravelry
You’ll enjoy checking out Alana Dakos’ Never Not Knitting blog and very entertaining podcast
My Gnarled Oak Cardigan on Ravelry
An enthusiastic fan of my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues asked whether I could design some mittens to go with the Mixer Scarf from the book. What a great idea!
Here’s the original Mixer Scarf from the book. It is now available as an individual pattern as well!
Here are the mittens…The little scallop shape on the cuff matches the scallops at the ends of the scarf.
The palms sport a little seed stitch motif
I figured, “Why stop at mittens?” So I designed a hat to go with it too.
All three patterns are available through the AudKnits Pattern Store also on Ravelry.
Many thanks to Gale Zucker for the wonderful mitten and hat photos.
Kudos, as always, to Caro Sheridan for the scarf photo from the book.
I love getting to be on hand for photo shoots of my designs. I do have a tendency to fret like a mother hen, and I’m fortunate to work with people who have patience!
We were soooooo lucky to use the fantastic Old Edna Townsite for Saturday’s session. Set in the Edna Valley Wine country, just south of San Luis Obispo, it’s a collection of historic buildings lovingly restored by “The Mayor” of the town, Pattea Torrence.
For out-of-towners there is a beautiful, restored farmhouse and adorably cozy cottage available to rent as part of a “farmstay” vacation.
Wouldn’t it be fun to hang out in 2 acres of an old town? My hat is off to Pattea for having the vision and considerable talent to create such a unique and character-filled place.
Not every rooster gets his own toy dump trucks to play with
Thank you, Pattea, for your kindness!
Colleen Rosenthal shot our lovely model Ali Peters, wearing some accessories that I’ll be publishing soon. Cassandra Evangelho kept us all organized and the outfits styled to a tee!
I’m grateful to be part of a talented team who work well together and spend most of the time laughing.
Suite Edna Farmhouse Vacation Rental
Colleen Rosenthal Photography
Cassandra Evangelho, stylist and co-owner of Evaneal
You might remember the Tea Leaves Cardigan I used for my experiment in stabilizing top-down sweaters. Here it is, completed. The pattern was well-written and fun to knit. I use Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the Amber Trinket colorway.
I’m pleased to say that after wearing it many times, the neckline didn’t stretch and the shoulders didn’t droop. My stabilizing experiment worked!
I’ve seen this cardigan made out of a large variety of yarns, worn by a lot of knitters with different body types. It is brilliantly appealing!
Do you have my Reversible Scarves book, and wish that you had accessories to match the scarves?
The new year will bring new designs that will do just that. I will be releasing mitten, hat and/or sock designs that will go with the lovely scarves you’re making. The accessories will not be reversible (after all, who needs reversible socks, right?) but will complement the reversible scarves. Here’s a sneak peek:
Anybody want to guess which scarf pattern these mittens and hat go with?
Photography by Gale Zucker
It all started with buttons. My friend Katy and I were playing in the button section of our local yarn shop in Cambria, the Ball & Skein & More, when we fell in love with the same buttons. She had a penchant for the green and gold version, while I liked the red. Katy, being brilliant and creative, immediately latched onto the Heliopath Vest as the perfect pattern to show off our buttons.
I thoroughly enjoyed making the Heliopath Vest. I wanted the vest to look holiday-ish, so picked a white Cascade 220 yarn. It gives wonderful stitch definition.
I did make a modification to the pattern. Where it calls for dropped stitches in the purled sections between sets of cables, I used all purl stitches (5 to get the same gauge):
The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits
Heliopath Vest on Ravelry
Cascade 220 Yarn
I’ve been saving this one for the holidays – the deep red color is perfectly festive! I used Swans Island Natural Colors in the fingering weight to make the “Aran” pattern from my Reversible Scarves book. This is one of my favorite patterns, as the cables are truly reversible. The scarf took me less time to make than I would have thought. The pattern looks complicated, but is actually very easy to memorize.
I’m not usually a fan of using tone-on-tone yarn in a cable pattern. The Swans Island color variations were so subtle, though, I love the end result.
I wish I were better at photographing red. If I was, you’d be seeing the true gorgeous ruby color of my latest pair of Lockhart fingerless mitts. The design is by the talented Leila Raabe.
This was my first time using Baah Sonoma yarn, and I am smitten. It is soft as can be, but doesn’t lose its oomph during blocking. The lovely ply makes for great stitch definition in the twisted stitches.
I made a few little modifications. I made the short version of the pattern, but wanted a bit more wrist coverage. I added two rows to the beginning and two rows to the end of the cuff chart. I bound of all stitches purlwise, since I like the way it blends into the rows of garter.
I love this pattern. It is well written, and fun to make!