Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Knitting Patterns: What I've Got My Eye On

Let's switch gears and talk about knitting. Let's not dwell on the Aisance Cardigan which continues apace. (I was getting all smug about being ahead of schedule on this project until it occurred to me that I'm 33 per cent finished in 3 weeks. That means I've got to kick some butt if I want to get it finished by June 27 - not an artificial deadline. Anyway, we can dwell on the features of the cardigan another day...)

I love to read posts about new-to-me patterns. In fact, it's one of the predominant ways in which I discover designs, which I later go on to knit. On that point, other ways in which I discover new patterns include the ever-enjoyable Recently Added Patterns feature in Ravelry, the Ravelry Projects and Queue pages of my Friends, samples at knit stores, and electronic magazines (which, amazingly, one can "borrow" from the Toronto Public Library - and once borrowed they are the Borrower's forever. There aren't licenses for emags, apparently, so when you check it out, you keep it.)

But on to the eye-candy. Here are some patterns that have caught my eye, lately, not necessarily because I'll ever make them, but because they're highly intriguing:

Maja-Kiito by Marita Rolin
I love the asymmetric lines of this vest/sleeveless top and the use of colour blocking. It seems so elegant and easy to wear. Mind you, it could also make me look like a tent, if not perfectly fitted. As I appear to be moving away from my fitted-knits comfort zone - I'm tending towards the avant garde in handknits, these days - the Maja-Kiito is on the table as a potential future project.

Enchanted Mesa by Stephen West
OK, I'm never going to make the Enchanted Mesa. It's entirely nutty (click the link to see other versions). This kind of asymmetry would make me insane. But I find it interesting to see how attracted to asymmetric knits I happen to be. And it sure is imaginative. Moreover, it's a perfect design for using up ends of skeins.

Nearly Chanel Suit by von Hintern Stein
Just in case you think I've abandoned my highly-structured roots, let me introduce you to the lovely Nearly Chanel Suit. I love it. But I sense it might be more trouble than it's worth.

Mariposa Top by Americo Original
I recently wrote about my new attraction to Americo. A couple of weeks ago, when Andrea, Sara and I wandered in there (when I bought the Abrazos for the Karner Shawl linked to above), Andrea was all on about this sweater (the Mariposa, pictured above) she'd seen in the window, which was no longer on the shop floor. Happily, it was in the back and, when the owner brought it out for our perusal, we three tried it on and it looked amazing on each of our very different body types.

Andrea bought the yarn immediately - that's the only way to get the pattern btw. Americo is outrageously short-sighted, IMO, in this respect. Cuz, in the absence of the ability to touch the yarn, are you really going to pay the high-price for it - and then to have it shipped? This woman could be making a real dent on pattern sales via Ravelry and it would really increase the profile of her brand. On a related note, Americo is offering free shipping within Canada till May 31. On another related note, I am as irritated by Canadian vendors who ding international clients as by the Americans who do the same.

At any rate, it took all of my willpower not to buy 4 extra skeins of the Abrazos (I'd already bought one for the Karner Wrap) but I decided to exhibit restraint. I do that occasionally. Especially when the store is down the block. This sweater will cost 100 bucks plus tax (or tax and shipping) - probably about 120 once all is said and done - so it's not a cheap knit. But I can assure you, it's worth it.

So, today's questions: Which is your fave of these? Have you made any of them and, if yes, tell us about it! How do you source new knit ideas? Let's talk!

20 comments:

  1. Oooh, I like the look of the Americo top a lot - wish they had a line drawing so I could see how to make a jersey knockoff! ;)

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    1. The schematic is crazy - it's a square with some notches. To say it looks nothing like a sweater is the understatement of the century.

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  2. I'm all over the asymmetrical look these days and really, really like that first pattern so I have queued it, you know, for when I get a spare moment five years from now. I think the Mariposa top is going to rock, but it will also take me five years to knit… It’s all about the five year plan in these parts.

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    1. Isn't it pretty? I know it will suit you very well. And I'm down with the 5 year plan. It's good to have something to look forward to.

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  3. Hmm... I'm still very much a fan of my structured, vintage knits.

    But the Mariposa Top is very intriguing. I would actually never consider purchasing the yarn to get the pattern without seeing it in person for myself - definitely short sighted of the designer to require purchasing yarn to get the pattern. She's missing a whole segment of knitters... All well. She must know what she's doing.

    Sourcing knits - I do exactly what you do. Ravlery friends' favorites, trolling for new pattern releases & of course my vintage knitting mag stash. :)

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    1. You say that, but you just made that unstructured Vitamin D! And isn't it nuts that you can't get the patterns? I think it has something to do with copyright, given that the shop and brand owner does not design the patterns herself. Still, why wouldn't she let the designers benefit and promote her yarn?

      I forgot to mention that I go onto Etsy and buy vintage mags - and vintage one of patterns. I have lots of sources :-)

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  4. This is a great list! That vest! Not my usual style but I think I'm going to have to make it. That's two vests in my immediate queue that you are responsible for! I'm still considering the Mariposa... I did love it on you and Andrea but was not 100% sold on it for me. I'm not really one to balk at large projects but this one definitely has me thinking twice! So much purling! Not a happy place for a continental knitter!

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  5. Wow! I love the way your aesthetic is going these days.

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    1. Thanks Evie! I feel like I'm going in a lot of new directions. It's a fun time for my creativity! You have to do something when the weather always sucks.

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    2. You've had the crappiest of winters, for sure.

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  6. I have a really tough time imagining that Mariposa top flattering my short-waisted self, but the yarn looks scrumptious.
    I'm surprisingly tempted by the Mesa, just because the process of knitting it promises to be such fun. . . .

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    1. It's ridiculously attractive. I thought it would be horrendous on the boobs. It basically takes whatever shape you have and makes it look better. Given what a bore it's apt to be to knit (basically the thing is a notched square that's created in the seaming), it would need to be good!

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  7. I like the simplicity of the first one, but yeah... tent city if it doesn't come back under the bust.

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    1. I know. There are some shapes you have to be very circumspect about.

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  8. I really love the first top and the Mariposa top looks like a twisted top from one of the drape drape books :)

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    1. Gillian reminded me of this too!

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  9. I did not know that about knit magazines from the Toronto Public library! Very good to know.
    I know I can't pull off more fashion forward avant garde looks like these (too short for things not fitted!) but they are really inspiring to see on others!

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  10. The first one, Maja-Kiito is my favorite, and it will look good on me and fits with my style, so it is going to be added to the faves in hopes of eventually getting queued. I have a rough list of about 6 or 7 sweaters I hope to knit coming up soon, though so I don't see it happening right away, although that can always change. My lists and plans are always a bit rough, and what I actually knit depends on how I feel when I am ready to start the next project. As to the others, the last one would look terrible on me, I have a lot of trouble with that shape of top, and I would never knit it without being able to try it first. I have no use for the suit, but confess that I have been fascinated with Mesa. It looks fun to knit, but I've had a lot of failures the last couple of years, and am not inclined to go out on a limb for a fun process at this point in time.

    However I just finished and blocked my Geometry scarf by Shibui and it is the most beautiful and satisfying thing I have finished in a couple of years, so I am encouraged. As I settle into myself and what I want now, and return to successful knitting, my perspective may change.

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    1. The Maja Kiito really hit a sweet spot for a lot of people, it seems. Interesting how it combines elements that appeal to such a broad audience. Which Geometry scarf (there are a few and it doesn't seem to be in your Ravelry projects page...)

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