This is the story of Hepworth, and how it came to be. Hepworth WS post-surgery
Hepworth's spikes are not symmetrical from top to bottom, but more thorn shaped. I designed this raglan to be knit from the top down so the spikes would curve upward, like thorns. That meant I could try it on as I went . . . but that doesn't guarantee a good fit!
The shoulders looked great, the chest looked great, but then I knit the torso and found the weight of the fabric made the armholes stretch significantly.
Regrettably, I didn't photograph my new batwing sweater. The deadline was fast approaching, and I went into crisis-control mode. I don't remember exactly how I fixed it, but I did adjust the pattern so you will get it right the first time you knit it!
After performing surgery, I tried it on again and it was fine, so I added the zipper. It took 3 days instead of the 45 minutes the instructions promised, but then, not only do I sew slowly under normal circumstances but I was being extra careful because I was scared of bleeding on the beautiful white garment.
My swatch had taken forever to dry, so I had my heart set on steaming the finished jacket instead of washing it. I didn't carry the project around with me like I usually do, in order to keep it clean. But since the poor thing had been languishing and had had surgery and all, it really needed a bath. I spun it in the washing machine afterward, but that bulky yarn with cotton content . . .
Anyway, I tried it on again once it was dry, and found it needed even more surgery under the arms once zipped. When that was done, I was pleased with it and went to steam it with the iron. I was just thinking maybe I should get a pressing cloth when the iron spit brown stuff all over and it was back to the sink for Spike.
I only had to spot clean, but I was trying to avoid getting the cotton wet at all! Luckily, my editor was understanding and I was able to send the sweater in a little past the deadline. You would never know the trauma that sweater has been through unless you looked at the wrong side where I wove in all the ends. Certainly not by the calm, regal look on the model's face!
Spud & Chloe Outer in Snow Day
When I opened this box, I yelped with delight and trepidation. So much beautiful yarn . . .
. . . but it's white!
Those of you who know I drag my knitting everywhere with me will easily surmise from whence my trepidation sprang.
This project stayed at home in a valiant attempt to preserve its whiteness. I had planned to steam block the sweater (instead of my usual wash-blocking) because cotton takes so long to dry in our humid climate.
I ended up washing the finished garment after all, but that's a story for another day. . . .
I love what Hepworth's spikes do for my shoulders in this photo. They are adapted from Lynne Barr's "Fins" stitch pattern in Reversible Knitting.
Hepworth is knit from the top down with raglan sleeves. The sturdy yarn and texture seemed to call for a metal zipper, so that's what I used. The evolution of this sweater from yarn to finished project was quite interesting and will be the subject of future posts. I'm very much looking forward to receiving the sample back because I really want to wear it! The cotton-wool blend will be just right for those in-between days we have so many of here.
My husband recently returned from a trip east, gathering furniture and other items being passed down from older relatives. Among the things he brought home were two dressers, a dining room set (complete with china cabinet and hutch), two sets of china (to put in the cabinet), and piles and piles of beautiful cloth napkins in cheerful colors---some with swiss lace or embroidery, and a set with fleurs de lis woven into the hem. And the mystery round thing from my previous post. Since Jeff says it's not a hat, I can only figure it's to carry bread baskets or round loaves of warm bread. Any ideas?
The new Clotheshorse is out, and one of my designs, Hepworth, is featured in the Sculptural story. I really love this cardigan---the fit, the fun I had knitting it, the zipper, the shoulder detail. My daughter likes it too, but she wonders why it's named "Hepworth."
Like many magazines, Clotheshorse names every item in a story for that story's theme. I always enjoy seeing what they come up with for my designs because I often learn something in the process. I knew the authors named in the Classic collection, and the Chunky titles are all about speed. But my favorite designs are in the Sculptural section, and that's where I had to do some research to discover what the editors had in mind.
Dame Barbara Hepworth was an abstract sculptor who (as it happens) died on my fourth birthday. Ovals and spheres dominated her work, so it might be surprising that a spiky sweater was named for her. The key is sometimes in her choice of materials (soft alabaster for the spikes of Two Forms) and sometimes inside the main shape of the work (as in Oval Sculpture
). But the one that reminds me most of this jacket is Image II. From the Tate Gallery, "Even the substantial 'Image II' (weighing more than 400 kg) appears effortlessly lightened as a result of its undercutting, its concavities and the penetrating hole."
Click on the link to view the sculpture. It is truly beautiful.
progress after a long hiatus
I've been meaning to reorganize my Book Reviews page for some time now. I've only been reviewing books in earnest for about a year, but the page was getting cluttered and it was difficult to find particular titles.I stayed up late and finished revamping the page. Now there are alphabetical lists by title, author, and publisher. It was worth the effort!
Unique Feet: Men's Socks from The Unique Sheep by Laura Lough, photography by Kristen Caldwell, pub. Cooperative Press, 2013These past few years, I have learned a little about the process of producing a knitting book. It is after all a production, much like theater, with many hands and talents coming together---and many deadlines as well.I knit a couple pairs of socks for Unique Feet, one of which was the Heraldic socks by Janine Le Cras. Laura sent me Tinsel Toes yarn in the Sand colorway. I ran out of yarn.Normally this might not be such a problem, but I had misplaced my gauge swatch and Laura had misplaced the recipe. The new yarn didn't look much like the original, but we thought careful photography could avoid calling attention to it. The foot wearing the two-tone sock might be photographed partly inside a shoe, or behind the other foot. Naughty Norwegian Socks
No such luck.
But Janine's sock pattern is a joy to work and bliss to wear (according to my husband, who refused to take them off after trying them on---I had to remove them while he was sleeping!). I have another pair in process in my knitting bag right now. (And yes, they adjusted the amount of yarn required!)Unique Feet is ostensibly a pattern book, but like all truly good pattern books it teaches as well. Erssie Major's Naughty Norwegian Socks pattern and the Wedding Kilt Hose by Janine LeCras include calf shaping for "bulging calf muscles." The Naughty Norwegians also have a deep heel and slightly narrower foot. Super Hero Laura also cautions against making men's socks "too pointy in the toe." The incredible design feat (believe me, I tried not to use that word) at right fits the bill. It is Charles Voth's Super Hero, with a construction that "takes you on a daring caper."As Laura says in the chapter "Sock Basics," many sock patterns are supposedly "one size fits all." Even women's feet come in such an assortment of lengths and widths that this is a strange idea, but the problem is even greater with men's feet. All the patterns in this book are given in a variety of sizes, but if you want to knit one of these designs for a slightly different size than the ones given, Laura has tips to help with that. Cuffed Boot Socks These Cuffed Boot Socks by Katya Frankel are a great way to keep snow and debris out of boots. The socks are shaped before the heel flap for a better fit. Unfortunately, no rear view is provided---so we can't judge for ourselves.Maybe it's just my digital copy, but the photography in general seems overprocessed or something. (I'm not expert enough to pinpoint the exact problem.) Stitch patterns are difficult to see, socks aren't sufficiently smoothed, and not enough attention was paid to things like the toe of one sock being a totally different shade. Disappointingly, the stitch pattern is barely discernible on Lobug's addictive Diamond Moss socks. Laced Up This is my absolute favorite design in the book---another Charles Voth. The laces are done in the color named for him!The introduction to this book explains the motivation behind it, then continues with "Sock Basics" which contains much more information than its length would have you believe. The project section starts with simple toe-up, top-down, and time-saver patterns, then quickly ramps up speed with texture, construction, and colorwork designs. In sum, it's full of solid information and innovative socks in a variety of men's sizes. Great work!
Disclosure: Cooperative Press provided this copy of Unique Feet to Kangath for review purposes. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Cooperative Press, Laura Lough, or the designers.