Given the frustrations I expressed the other week about my lack of design output this year, you can probably guess I'm pretty happy to have a new pattern out there! And yes, I am.
This is Tully, so named for my niece. This is her birthday cardigan (her birthday was in July), but I have to admit it is still in my possession. Oops! Now the pattern is finalised and I know I need it no longer for any final checks or photos, it can go to her. Luckily she lives in a cooler part of the country!
Tully is very classic in shape and style. I love the way it sits so nicely upon the shoulders and I do so love a well formed set-in sleeves.
For a long time, I've avoided designing a set-in sleeve simply because a lot of seamless knitters avoid them. Why? I'm not sure. I guess there's a comfortable familiarity with a raglan, and of course the ease of its construction. Perhaps it's the techniques. I do know that there are knitters out there who avoid patterns with short rows or kitchener stitch. Ironically, many of my online knitter friends began their knitting career with longies and soaker patterns, both contain short rows and kitchener stitch!
I guess I also avoided short rows in a pattern because of my style of pattern writing. I like to totally guide the knitter, leaving nothing to guesswork and I consider communication within a pattern paramount. Despite the many different ways to work short rows, there was not one technique that I would consider fail-safe or perfect. Each of them had their own little idiosyncrasy that either annoyed me or I knew annoyed other knitters. And then I discovered German short rows.
While this pattern doesn't have any kitchener stitch, it certainly does have short rows. That shoulder shaping that helps the cardie hug the shoulders is created with German short rows.
Have you tried German short rows?
You really should!
If you're one of those knitters who is a bit apprehensive about short rows, you really should check them out, they are soooo easy!
Here's a link to my favourite you tube videos that show how to work short rows :
Short rows part 1 and Short rows part 2.
I also use the more traditional wrap and turn short row technique to shape the sleeve caps after picking up stitches around the armholes. But you know what, they're pretty easy here because I don't pick up the wraps, I just leave them as is and they create a nice edging around the armhole. So the whole pain in the neck part about wrap and turn, picking up the wraps, is avoided.
This is the third set in sleeve garment I've designed. You've not seen the other two as I've not publicly released the pattern nor photos of the garment. Each of them uses a different technique for working set-in sleeves. So I guess you could say, I've been experimenting with this technique and finding out works best for me and my style. I'll talk more about more experiments with set-in sleeves in my Introduction to Seamless Design class at The Craft Sessions, but suffice to say, at the moment I think the finish of this technique is the most pleasing. And yes, if you're attending my class I will take the other designs along.
The reality though is that a set-in sleeve cardie is no more difficult to knit than a vest such as What Big Eyes You Have or Zigvest. In fact, it's actually easier as you're not having to deal with charts will working the bodice/yoke section. So if you've successfully knit that style of vest, you will have no problems with this pattern.
One of the things I really like about this pattern, as did my testers, was the way I laid out the instructions for the two front pieces. The layout allows you to knit the two pieces either simultaneously or individually, which I love and am really proud of. It was a bit of an inspired moment! If you knit this pattern I'd love to know what you think of that aspect of the layout as it is one I'll probably use again.
Check out those sleeves! I really love them. Lily was adamant that this cardie needed those sleeves. Because I know you like choice there is an option in the pattern for knitting them straighter, as a few of the testers did. The number of buttons is also optional. Despite the prototype being a full buttoned cardie, I personally prefer a single button closure, but I know for smaller kiddies a lot of mums prefer cardies that fully button. After all, we do need to keep those little chests and tums warm!
So finally, my dear little Tully you can have your cardie! I hope it keeps you warm and toasty my sweet girl, and wear it knowing that Lily and I thought carefully about what was the perfect design for you!
Tully can be purchased via Ravelry for $6AUD.
And as a very special introductory offer for all my blog readers, if you use the code blogreader at the check out you will get an automatic discount of 30% off Tully for the next week. The discount code will expire at the end of the day Friday October 11th AEDST.
My kids loves to throw me a costume challenge. They have this expectation and belief that I can simply knock something up for them in an afternoon, no matter what they ask for. And yes, there have been some doozies; my favourite possibly was the jellyfish dress up. Unfortunately, my compliance to their challenges has really only fostered their beliefs and encouraged them. Dress up requests have been thick and fast of late with school concerts, book day and dress up parties.
When Lily decided she wanted to dress up as Little Red RidingHood for her school concert, I knew the pattern I needed for her hood. This pattern was in an Ottobre Winter magazine quite a few years ago, and I've hoped for an excuse to make it ever since I first laid eyes on it.
The pattern itself is designed to be made out of a wool fabric and then finished with some binding. I do have some really lovely wool fabrics in my stash that would have served the purpose except that none of them are red. Pink, black, burgundy, a plethora of checks but no red. The most appropriate fabric I could find in my stash was a pinwale red cord, so I decided to use it and line the cape with a second fabric.
In a stash search I found this amazing vintage style Red RidingHood fabric, which would have been perfect for the lining except that I didn't have enough. This just meant that I had to get a little creative.
The first step was to line the cape with a cotton fabric. I used the Red Riding Hood fabric for the hood and also the sides of the cape that may be publicly open. I then used a vintage cotton for the rest of the cape.
This is a super simple pattern, with just the shoulder darts, the seam across the top of the hood and attaching the hood to the cape the main sewing tasks. Pretty simple.
I added a row of bias binding/ribbon across the bottom of the hood to create the ties and to stabilise between the hood and the cape.
To finish the hood I used bias binding. I made this from the same vintage fabric that I used to line the cape. I made five metres of bias binding all up and used about four of it on the cape. Do you make your own bias binding? It really is pretty simple and it means you get far lovelier binding than the boring options available in the shops.
This was a very simple sewing task, and a really enjoyable one. And Lily loves it, which is the most important part, it looks so perfect on her. She's worn it quite a bit since as it has become part of her staple clothing choices.
I think I might make this pattern again. I can see a yellow and pink checked cape in my future. Hmm, you know, I'd quite like to scale the pattern up to fit me!
What have you been crafting?
Do you seem to have a time of the year when everything entails a dress up?
P.S. Are you going to or thinking about going to The Craft Sessions?
That amazing weekend retreat of creative workshops and delicious food I'm teaching at. If you're still thinking about it, please make sure you register before October 10th. That's when registrations close and I'd hate for you to miss out! It's going to be an amazing weekend!
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Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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