Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Knitting Plus - Cleveland Shell and Seagirt Pullover

I was thrilled when Lisa Shroyer told me she was working on a book about plus-size knitting. I was really excited when she told me she chose two of my designs to include in the book. I have been amply proportioned my entire adult life. I know, first hand, the challenges of finding or making clothes that fit well and are comfortable to wear. Lisa's final product, Knitting Plus, is an amazing resource for knitters who want to understand how various styles and knitting techniques work to cover the body and how to combine those styles and techniques to achieve a flattering and comfortable fit. One of the hardest parts of designing a sweater or knitted top to fit my plus sized body is figuring out how to transition from the lower half of the garment to the upper half. It's fairly simple to create enough knitted fabric to cover my hips and tummy. It's labor intensive but not complicated. The difficulty is figuring out what to do with all those stitches so the armholes, sleeves, bust and shoulders fit comfortably and are esthetically pleasing.
Knitting Plus - Cleveland ShellKnitting Plus - Seagirt Pullover

Cleveland Shell

Seagirt Pullover

Although the Cleveland Shell is designed for warmer weather it can be worn over a blouse or t-shirt to expand its seasonal options.

I prefer my tops to be looser over my tummy and hips but have a closer fit across the shoulders.

Knitting Plus - Cleveland Shell armhole detail I love set in sleeves, or in this case set in armholes, because the shaping of the armholes offers a great opportunity to reduce the width of the top in order to achieve a closer fit in the bust and shoulders. The A-line shape of the top allowed me to include even more ease at the hips. The extra width at the hips is gradually decreased along the side edges of the front and back. Knitting Plus - Cleveland Shell side shaping A lace gusset added to the front of the top gives even more width at the hem while tapering away to flow into the textured stitch pattern at the bust line. The gusset hangs closed providing just a peek at the lace. Movement of the body reveals the gusset as the gusset provides ease. Knitting Plus - Cleveland Shell gusset closed Knitting Plus - Cleveland Shell gusset open Knitting Pluse - Cleveland Shell neckline The sweetheart neckline gives the Cleveland Shell a pretty, classic look.

The Seagirt Pullover is another warm weather top. The dolman sleeved, v-neck, bamboo top is particularly well suited for the larger plus-sizes and those with larger busts. The stitching at the neckline and back of this top is functional as well as decorative. The twisted and ribbed stitches draw the fabric in to create an A-line shape. Additionally, decreases at the beginning of each column of twisted stitches reduces the total number of stitches and contributes further to the shaping.

Knitting Plus - Seagirt Pullover front neckline Knitting Plus - Seagirt Pullover back neckline The dolman sleeves are knit with the front and back pieces by casting on stitches on either side of the body. Knitting Plus - Seagirt Pullover sleeve Knitting Plus - Seagirt Pullover front

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Diamond Rib Socks Pattern

Learn to knit 2 socks at a time on 2 circular needles. No more Second Sock Syndrome! These socks feature a ribbed cuff, textured leg and instep, heel flap and turned heel, and star toe.
The hardest part of knitting 2 socks on 2 circs is getting started. The first few rounds feel like wrestling with an octopus. Take heart. This pattern includes a photo tutorial to work through the cast on to get the socks established. Then sail through to the finish because when you’re done, you’re DONE! No second sock to knit.

Finished Sizes: foot circumference unstretched 6” (s), 7” (m), 8” (l), 9” (xl) These socks are designed with 1” – 2” negative ease.
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (100% merino wool, 3.5 oz, 440 yds) Boticelli Red, 1 skein.
Needles: 2 16” US size 0 circular needles. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: tapestry needle, 2 stitch holders or safety pins
Gauge: 40 sts per 4”.

Price: $4.00

Friday, March 19, 2010

Travelers Socks

Traveler's socks, click to enlargeTraveler's socks, click to enlargeTraveler's socks, click to enlarge
I knit these socks about a year ago. They are my very first Malabrigo socks. I fell in love with Malabrigo sock yarn while knitting these socks. And fell more deeply in love after I washed and wore the socks. They are so soft and non-scratchy.

The pattern is Traveler's socks by Nancy Bush. I have large, wide feet and ankles. I cast on and knit the cuff according to the pattern but omitted the long, plain leg and went directly into the heel, gusset and foot. This gave me the appropriate number of stitches to accomodate my sizable feet. I loved knitting the cuff pattern and the "clock" that runs down the sides of the foot. Lot's of fun traveling stitch patterns.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Cherry Blossom socks and Corset Vest

cherry blossom socksI have two projects to share today. I'll start with the oldest. Way back in 2008 I dyed some sock yarn with some friends of mine. I had a couple of failed attempts at finding a stitch pattern that would work well with the colors. I finally found something that worked. I finished the socks quite a while ago. I forgot that the base yarn wasn't machine washable and ended up shrinking the socks. They fit A now so she got a new pair of handmade socks.

The stitch pattern is a combination of 1x1 rib and moss stitch. I included some travelling stitch "clocks" down the sides of the legs. From now on I'm sticking with washable sock yarn. I find that I don't handwash all that often so these socks spend more time dirty than clean.

The second project has been in the planning stages for a long time. I've had several versions of the drawing in my notebook for over a year. Once I finally got the yarn and started knitting it went very quickly. I made a strapless vest for A. I forget whether this was something she asked for or I came up with on my own. Either way, I like it, it was fun to knit and A seems to enjoy wearing it. That makes it a success in my book!

A's corset vest front viewA's corset vest front view
A's corset vest side viewA's corset vest back view

Monday, March 01, 2010

K's Mittens

K needed new mittens. Her old ones are WAY too small. Her favorite colors are orange pink and purple (at the moment!) I had malabrigo sock yarn in colors terra cotta and eggplant. Here are her mittens. They are a tad big for her but she'll be able to wear them again next year. I never did get to block them. She seemed reluctant to wear them (I still don't know what the problem was) but when we got a big snow storm she wore them out to play. When she came inside all the wet outer wear went into the dryer. The mittens came out of the dryer soft and comfortable. She likes them now.

Her name is knitted into the wrist. Her first name is on the back and her middle name is on the palm side. Hopefully this will make it a little harder for her to lose them at school!

Friday, February 12, 2010

2 scarves

Yes, it's taken me a little longer than I expected to get some new pictures posted.

...click any photo for a closer look...

I made this scarf for one of my knitting friends, Ann. My knitting group did a scarf exchange last year (2008) at the holidays. We each knit a scarf of our own choosing. We packed them up in identical gift bags and then randomly selected a bag at our holiday lunch. I had to borrow this back from Ann to get photos because I forgot to take them before I gave the scarf away.

Yarn: Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool (2 skeins)

K's teacher has made such a huge impact on K this year. K was in a Christmas musical at our church and her teacher came out to see her in it. K was very excited! I decided that K's teacher deserved a little sometime extra. I made her a scarf. I customized it by knitting her initials in lace at both ends. K wanted the scarf to have flowers so the main body of the scarf is made up of lace flowers. Since every flower needs some leaves I used a lace leaf border with faggotting to edge the whole scarf. The knitting was fun and K was happy with it. I hope her teacher enjoys wearing it in good health! Thanks Mrs. G!
The ends hanging from the corner of the scarf are attached to the hang tag I attached to the scarf. The pictures of the outside and inside of the hang tag are a little blurry, sorry!

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace (1 skein + a little)

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I've been feeling the urge to start blogging again. I just don't know where to start. I am working on several projects but can't post pictures of them yet. Some are for future publications and others are super secret gifts. So give me a few minutes and I'll see what photos I can find.