Long time, no blog. A whole year in fact. yikes.
It's a fresh new year, however, and with a fresh new year comes a renewed effort to blog. While I was writing my newsletter today, I struggled with words. I struggled to find the flow of language. For me, someone who has grown up writing, who loves to write; this was a really disconcerting experience. It was like trying to swim after a month out of the pool; your stroke is off, you can't find your rhythm and it feels laborious. It's no longer enjoyable. When we don't swim we loose the rhythm because we're out of practise, but for some reason I just assume that with writing the words will always come easily. They don't and it kills me. And I haven't been writing, I don't blog or journal or even write regular newsletters. Occasionally, I'll smash out a longer email or letter, often about a local issue that's angered me; but I've gotten out of the habit of being a writer. I didn't mean to stop writing. I guess it's because so much of my writing has become online and restricted to this space. With the instant gratification and pretty staged images of Instagram seemingly taking over from blogs, I think it's destroyed my urge to write. It just happened without me even realising it. And that kills me.
There's a whole heap of stuff in the craft industry that I would really like to write about and this year I really would like to use this space to do more of that. Finally, we're seeing important issues being touched on over at Instagram. The shiny veneer is being removed as knitters are beginning to once again critique the realities of our industry. How did it get to this? How did we move so far away from the initial hand-made revolution that sort to reject over-consumption and mass-consumerism to one that really is just another form of fast fashion and consumer manipulation driven by affluence? But that is a topic for another day and another blog post. (In no ways is that intended to diminish from the current discussion about white privilege and racism in the IG-Ravelry western based knitting community.)
Let's instead talk about this, my first pattern for the year. The last few years my pattern releases have been pretty thin on the ground. I've been involved with a few big community projects, my mother passed away and I sort of lost my way. I forgot what it was that I enjoyed about designing, and for awhile even what I enjoyed about knitting. I forgot the pure pleasure that I get from grading the 13 or more sizes I use in a kid's sweater. I know that much maths honestly doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, but when it all comes together - and I don't use a automated spreadsheet - it's really kind of buzzy. What I used to love about designing was the experimentation; experimenting with structure, technique, style and problem solving. You all know how I feel about underarms after all?
I lost my way, I lost my love for knitting and I felt quite disillusioned about the direction the knitting community was heading. I'm not sure if I'll ever really find my way again, or if I ever truly will get past my disillusionment. I sit uncomfortably within this crafting space.
But here's the pattern and it's a pattern born out of love. It's a pattern I love and enjoyed designing. It began it's life as an intended Christmas jumper for Toby. A completely seasonally-inappropriate knit given that here in Australia, Christmas Day is typically a scorcher. Why just watch the pleasure of other knitters and their Christmas sweaters from a far, when I can knit my own despite the ridiculous timing of it?
Vicariously (link to Ravelry pattern page)
Vicariously is a seamless circular yoke sweater knit from the top down. The yoke is initially shaped with short rows before melding into a stitch pattern that sees the colour alter gradually. This is created through simple colourwork that is addictive and flies off the needles. After knitting the yoke, the garment is divided to knit the sleeves and body.
Instructions for the yoke are both written and charted.
To fit actual chest measurement of:
19-25: 19/48 (20/51, 21/53.5, 22/56) 23/58.5, 24/61, 25/63.5
26-32: 26/66 (27/68.5, 28/71, 30/76) 31/79 , 32/81.5inches/cms.
Finished garment chest measurement:
19-25: 22/56 (23/58.5, 24/61, 25/63.5) 26/66, 27/68.5, 28/71
26-32: 29/73.5 (30/76, 31/79, 33/84) 34/86.5, 35/89
knit and purl
Increasing and decreasing
Alternative Tubular cast-on
Working in the round on circular needles
Working small circumferences in the round
Working from charts
Picking up stitches
German Short Rows
DK/8ply weight yarn in two colours:
19-25: 360/330 (400/365, 445/405, 485/445) 525/480, 565/515, 600/550
26-32: 635/580 (670/615, 700/640, 725/665) 750/685, 785/720
19-25: 65/60 (80/70, 90/80, 100/90) 115/105, 135/120, 150/135
26-32: 165/150 (180/165, 200/180, 225/205) 250/225, 265/240
Original yarn is a worsted spun DK/8ply weight 4ply low micron Polwarth.
Yardage is approximate and may vary depending on your knitting style and yarn selection.
Sample shown in Tarndie Origins Ciderhouse Red as the Main Colour and Tarndie Undyed Taupe as the Contrast Colour.
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Who am I?
Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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