Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oh, That's Clever!

I recently received my copy of the Summer 2011 Interweave Knits magazine. I've been getting this magazine for a few years and I don't knit that many things out of it, but I find it fun to look through and I always learn something from it.

In this issue there is only one project that I immediately wanted to knit, The Swirl Skirt by Annelena Mattison:

I think it is so pretty. I love the diagonal lines (it is cast on waist to knee and knit on the bias) and the fun play of the cotton (for stability) background and the fun color-changing wool (for a little more elasticity) accent stripes. The short rows that add some flare at the bottom of the skirt seem nothing short of genius. So clever!

Anyway, as I ponder more and more the idea of designing my own knits, I am always on the look out for clever ideas in others' patterns. So I decided to read through the patterns to see how the different pieces are constructed--even though I didn't want to knit that particular piece. Here are some of the clever ideas I found:

In the Camp Smock, Mary Keenan added this nice pleat detail. The smock is knit from the bottom up. To create and hold the pleat in place, she does the clever "folds" where she places two sets of stitches on doublepoints and then knits them together (kind of like a 3 needle bindoff without the bindoff part). SO CLEVER!

In my other favorite clever find, Lisa Shroyer makes this lovely curved V-neck in her Banstead Pullover. To create this lovely v, she adds that simple column of slip stitches in the middle of the bust. That creates that lovely v shape without any decreases. How simple and how very CLEVER!

Sorry for the sideways photo, don't know why Blogger does that sometimes!

I found a few other little design ideas in the following projects. In Allyson Dykhuizen's Cumulus Tee, a decorative band is knit in a long strip, then joined and turned to make a neckband, then stitches are picked up and the tee is knit top down from there. Very clever.

In Alice Tang's Al Fresco Camisole, stitches are dropped and the resulting ladders are crocheted together (four at a time) to form the interesting vertical bands of large stitches.

In Stacey Gerbman's Lion Oh! Sweater, the decorative lion body shape is added by making a crochet chain (crocheted directly onto the finished sweater). I don't think I'll ever knit this sweater, but I might use that technique sometimes. Seems like a simple, but clever way to add some embellishment.

I am so impressed with people who can come up with such interesting knits. So what clever ideas have you seen lately?


Jadielady said...

I am knitting the Lanesplitter Skirt from Knitty, which is also knit on the bias. But without any detailing. I'm knitting it out of Cascade 220 Superwash, so it's going pretty quickly!

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

I haven't picked up the new Interweave, but I'm seeing things I'd like to knit in your post.
I always love seeing how designers put things together - I find myself having "A ha!" moments while knitting :)