About Me

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I am a knitter and crocheter and love to design when I get a chance. I am known as the crazy cat lady with 3 dogs. I am a mother to 3 of my own and step-mother to several. I am also a grandmother.

Anything Knitted and Crocheted

Welcome to my blog. I hope to blog about my knitting and crocheting as well as everyday life. The patterns that I post are original and as such there is copyright on them. When they are based on another pattern there is a link to the pattern.

My husband and I adopted a beautiful dog named Leo. He is a dachshund and absolutely adorable! we adopted him on June 23, 2010 and he has become the love of our lives.

I love to share patterns that I find along the way or to talk about some of the neatest designers that are out there today, so I love to post links to the designs or the designers.

So grab a cup a and sit and enjoy the blog.


Cora

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eight Examples of Outstanding Knit and Crochetwear Design

I was reading a real cool article by Sandy Wiseheart, Knitting Daily and Interweave Knitting fame, about Eight Examples of Outstanding Knitwear Design. At the end of the article Sandy challenges us to come up with our own list of Eight Examples of Outstanding Knitwear Design. So here I go...I am going to be using Vicki Square's top 5 keys for a great sweater design, as I am crocheter as well, I will be producing my eight examples of outstanding crohet sweater designs following the same 5 keys for a great sweater design.

Knitwear

Key #1: Overall presentation must be aesthetically strong and balanced.
1)Anniversary Pullover Men are always hard to knit for, especially sweaters. I love this design, not overpowering for the men and not a boring knit for us. No wonder just realized who the the designer is, Kathy Zimmerman. Description from site: Kathy Zimmerman was looking for an anniversary gift for her husband when she came up with the design for this sweater. She feels that the knitted cables and checks represent the twists and turns of married lifethe texture shifts and changes, but the overall direction is straight ahead. With the motifs staggered, the pattern appears more complicated than it really is - you'll have it memorized after just a few repeats.


2) Bonsai Tunic
Norah Gaughan is the designer of this beautiful tunic. It incorporates two different lace patterns—one organic and curving, the other tailored and riblike—embellish this deep V-neck tunic. A bamboo/rayon yarn adds drape and sheen. Not sure if I would be able to find a suitable substitute for this yarn, Berroco Bonsai (97% bamboo, 3% nylon). I will have to ask the girls wonderful and always helpful ladies at Rver City Yarns as well as check out Ravelry's project page for this project.



Key #2: The marriage of yarn to garment has to be a desirable match.

1)Josephine Top This is one top that I cannot see being knitted in anything but a DK cotton. With knitted sweaters, especially here in Canada, you want one that can be worn for many seasons, not just one. This would look great layered as well. This is a Deborah Newton design. Deborah uses a combination of delicate knit-and-purl texture patterns define the bodice and little cap sleeves in this airy pullover. The top is worked in eyelet panels alternating with 1–1 ribs. A narrow cord ties at the base of the deep V-neck. Deborah Newton’s book Designing Knitwear (Taunton Press) has been in print for over sixteen years.



Key #3: Choose a stitch to showcase, and not overpower, the yarn.

1) Aran Rose
I love this design as the cables are not overpowering. If you love the look of the fisherman's sweater, just not the male factor, this is the sweater you are looking for. The sleeves and body are worked in rice stitch overlaid with a central cabled panel. Border and cuffs in a subtle twisted rib pattern echo the cable accents. The stitch patterns are easy to memorize and straightforward to work, and the sweater knits up quickly on size 7 needles. The other thing I like about this design is that it is knit with Paton's Classic Wool, so it makes the sweater affordable. A huge plus in our current economy. If you can't find Paton's Classic Wool you can substitute with Cascade 220, which is the same yarn and yardage just a different company.


2) Apr├Ęs Surf Hoodie There is just something that is really feminine about lace add it into a hoodie and we are talking wow factor! This was designed by Connie Chang Chinchio. This design brings a little edge to delicate lace by setting an allover arrowhead lace motif into a frame of wide stockinette bands and raw edges. Using shaping and set-in sleeves keeps the look feminine. A wide crossover neckband flows seamlessly into a neat, tidy edging for the lace hood. Definitely a must do on my list. It is knit with Rowan Cashcotton 4 ply (35% cotton, 25% polyamide, 18% angora, 13% viscose), so it will be another discussion with the wonderful ladies at River City Yarns or checking out Ravelry's Project Page.



Key #4: The garment's design absolutely must be well grounded in knowledge of garment construction, proportion, and knitting techniques.

1)Brilliant Retro This is a beuatiful design by Teva Durham. Teva has a way of using construction, proportion and knitting techniques in her designs. I have 2 of her books and I am the lookout for her other books. When you find a good designer you want to get everthing they have written or designed...lol. A close fit and delicate details give this shimmery little cardigan a vintage feel. Ribs placed along the hem, at the center front edges, and down the narrow sleeves help shape the bodice and give it textural interest. A series of tiny snaps closes the front edges and creates a scalloped closure. A metallic thread plied with a soft yarn gives the sweater plenty of drape and a slight cling. The pattern is knit in Paton's Brilliant.


2)1824 Blouson

Pattern Description from Interweave Knits, Summer 2007: “Mari Lynn Patrick used dressmaker details for her blouson top. The lower edges of the bodice and sleeves are pleated into folded bands, and another band finishes the wide neckline. Raglan shoulders add to the relaxed fit of the sweater, as does a nubbly cotton yarn worked in reverse stockinette stitch.”

“A soft-spun cotton yarn with a bumpy texture is a good choice for the 1824 Blouson. ‘I didn’t block this sweater because I wanted to preserve the rustic, handmade feeling of the yarn. It goes with the bloused shape and roomy raglan lines.’”


Key #5: There is one feature that acts as a primary focus, with all other design elements enhancing this feature, not detracting from it.

1) Cable-Down Raglan
This is a Stefanie Japel design.A large diamond cable runs down the center of this raglan pullover. It's flanked by smaller, asymmetrical cables that begin at the midriff. This garment is so simple even a beginner can do it. I think that this design falls into that category...what do you think? It is knitted with Gems Worsted (100% merino), although could be easily substituted with Paton's Classic Wool or Cascade 220 merino wool. Please note there is an errata here: interweaveknits.com



Crochet Wear

Key #1: Overall presentation must be aesthetically strong and balanced.

1)Antoinette Cardigan

This is a beautiful cardigan and one I keep coming back time and time again. my husband would just love the fact that it has be done up in the back...lol. The designer, Christina Marie Potter, loved the movie Marie Antoinette and was inspired to create a garment reminiscent of some of the fashions of that era. This cardigan is close-fitting and very lacy, intended to be the focal point of an outfit. Button placement allows some flexibility for a perfect fit. It is knit with GGH Tajmahal (70% wool, 22% silk, 8% cashmere; 93 yd [85 m]/3/4 oz [25 g]; CYCA-standard yarn weight system-1). there was some discussion on Ravelry as to the discrepancy of the weight of yarn, ravelry database states that this yarn is a Sport / 5 ply (12 wpi). One Ravelry member used Colinettes Jitterbug, which is a fingering weight yarn.

2) Astrid Pullover

While exploring the idea of Aran-style garments that are crocheted rather than knitted, designer Kathy Merrick was struck by how often crocheted Aran-styles look lumpy, awkward, and rather uncomfortable. Figuring that the difficulties lie in using a heavyweight yarn and in trying to replicate knitted stitches that are not wildly attractive in crochet, she uses sportweight yarn, instead of worsted or Aran, and smaller-scale stitch patterns, not cables or heavy stitches. Crochet is an interesting technique and to be able to get it to have the drape and softness like with knitting, often what we need to do is go down in the weight in yarn. What a beautiful design!

Key #2: The marriage of yarn to garment has to be a desirable match.

1)
Autumn Romance Pullover


This is a project that I could justify getting the suggest yarn. I just can't see this in any other yarn you know. Here is what it says on the website: Panels of open V-stitches alternate with rippling panels of twin stitches in this romantic, feminine take on the classic pullover. The soft stretch of alpaca and silk yarn contributes to an elongated, drapey style. The puffed bottom of the sleeves adds an extra touch of romance. The yarn used is Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (50% alpaca, 50% silk) which is a DK/sport weight yarn. If I were to substitute the yarn I would go for one that has very similar properties not an acrylic or cotton.



Key #3: Choose a stitch to showcase, and not overpower, the yarn.

1) Big Collar Cardigan This designer, Norah Gaughan, has a soft spot for the textured "ribbed" pattern stitch used in this cardigan. Years ago, her mother used the pattern to crochet a cardigan for her brother. But the pattern appealed to Norah for other reasons as well: Its ridged surface resembles knitted fabric in look and drape, and it's an easy pattern to work once you get used to it. The asymmetric closure and oversized collar give the sweater a retro edge, and the soft wool/cotton yarn makes it comfortable to wear in any season. Don't be to worried about the fact that there are not projects listed on Ravelry as of yet, as it is listed in several queues. Definitely on my to do list.


Key #4: The garment's design absolutely must be well grounded in knowledge of garment construction, proportion, and knitting techniques.

1)
Eagle Pullover Sweater
Inspired by her, Robin Chachula, ruggedly active family, this pair of sweaters is designed for the family on the go. The sweaters are easy to throw on when the weather gets cold, but are still lightweight enough to play in. The understated texture is easy to master, making these sweaters a quick gift for the boys and men in your life. Robin has a way of making her designs beginner friendly. please see the post on Robyn.





Books that Robyn has written.


Blue Print Crochet
Mission Falls Goes Crochet

Both are Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.

Books that Robyn has a pattern or patterns in:

1)
Crochet Belts From the Hip:

$15.00 US, appears to be a Ravelry download


2) Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution


Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.


3) Not Your Mama's Crochet: The Cool and Creative Way to Join the Chain Gang

Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.

4) Son of Stitch and Bitch

Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.
5) Sensual Crochet

Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.

6) Vogue Books
Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.

2) Easygoing Hoodie

Just right for a brisk Autumn walk, this softly draping hoodie feels like an old friend. Norah Gaughan uses simple stitches and ingenious construction to make all the elements fall together with beautiful ease. I am becoming a fan of Norah Gaughan's she has some beautiful designs that are interesting yet are easy for the average knitter or crocheter. This is crochet in Rowan Calmer (75% cotton, 25% microfiber) which is a worsted weight cotton.


Key #5: There is one feature that acts as a primary focus, with all other design elements enhancing this feature, not detracting from it.


1) Empress Baby-Doll Top

Another Robin Chachula original. The resurgence of layers and 1960s mod dresses inspired this designer to create this pullover as a fusion of a kimono and Empire-waist baby-doll top. The kimono wrap top of the garment is constructed in one piece and seamed at the sides. The lacy bottom is added by crocheting in the round. A belt or ribbon provides the finishing touch and a bit of structure. It is knit using Southwest Trading Company Bamboo (100% bamboo). This is a DK/Sport weight yarn.


Books that Robyn has written.


Blue Print Crochet
Mission Falls Goes Crochet

Both are Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.

Books that Robyn has a pattern or patterns in:

1)
Crochet Belts From the Hip:

$15.00 US, appears to be a Ravelry download


2) Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution


Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.


3) Not Your Mama's Crochet: The Cool and Creative Way to Join the Chain Gang

Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.

4) Son of Stitch and Bitch

Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.
5) Sensual Crochet

Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.

6) Vogue Books
Available throuhg Amazon, LYS, Chapters, etc.



2)
Mesh Peplum Cardi-Blouse

This is a Lily Chin original. Lily has designed some amazing designs, google her and you will see what I mean. As you work this cardigan seamlessly from the top down, you can try it on every step of the way for a perfect fit. Interior darts nip in the waist and a flirty peplum adds flair. Feminine yet not frilly, sections of solid stitching mix with sections of mesh for contrast, structural support, modesty, and style.



Two of Lily's books:








My favorite desings that combine both techniques.


1)
Josephine Pullover

The contrast of an airy, openwork crochet stitch creates drama against a knitted, fitted ribbed bodice creating a pullover that’s as modern as it is medieval. The lace looks more complicated than it really is and drapes beautifully from the flattering Empire waistline. Knit/Crocheted in Rowan 4-ply Soft (100% merino) which is a Super fine/Fingering / 4 ply (14 wpi) wool.


2) Melange Turtleneck

Baby alpaca yarn lends its comfortingly soft halo to this knit and crocheted sweater. Tailored for a full-fashioned fit, you can wear it on its own or layered over a long-sleeve top for added warmth from the lace sleeves. Body of sweater is knitted is knitted in one color; sleeves and collar are crocheted in a another color. Knit/Crocheted with Blue Sky Alpacas Melange, which is a DK/sport weight wool.



Wow it took a while to do get this post together, then blogger was being difficult and lost my post! So here are my choices...let me know what you think.

Cora
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Cora Shaw (formerly Levesque)