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.
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.
The Spring/Summer 2013 Clotheshorse went live yesterday, and two of my patterns were included. I'll post about Cherry Cheesecake, a really cool textured purse, tomorrow. Today's feature, Transverse, is a reversible cowl/vest which you can wear many different ways.
Transverse is a super-simple construction---a long and wide tube and a short and narrow tube connected by two pieces of medium length and width.
The model wears it with the short end on top, and boy is it cute that way on her! I prefer to wear it with the long end on top (below, left). You could probably even wear it as a hoodie that way.
The stitch pattern is Lynne Barr's Twist Pattern from Reversible Knitting. The yarn is Party from Crystal Palace, a nylon ribbon that not only lends variety to the dropped wraps sections but looks wonderful in the garter stitch intervals as well.
Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr, photographs by Tyllie Barbosa, pub. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2007
This is not a new book, but it contains some new techniques that have been underused since it came out. I guess this is because it purports to be a pattern book.
And it really is a pattern book, filled with 27 "distinctly modern designs" beautifully photographed, and only a few pages of technical information both in the final chapter and sprinkled throughout.
The cover scarf is a lovely example of a simple yet creative, functional yet attractive design. The pattern fits easily on one page, but it encompasses four techniques--two standard and two innovative. Wonderful.
The scarf at right is related to Tricorner and looks a bit like Twisted. Better than either (in my opinion), it's really just ribbing knit in and out on little wings instead of around and around in a tube. Get the book for more details.
But as much as I admire those technique photos (and drool over the technology--I do not have the engineering brain needed to set something like that up), they are trumped by Tyllie Barbosa's ingenious work.
Draping scarves over just about anything you might find in a home (except people), her photos are narratives and Lynne's designs come across as extremely comfortable works of art. The cover photo is one of my favorites. Another is at right.
The waves in that scarf are knit in the round on two sizes of double-pointed needles, but there's more to them than that. Lynne had to work out several more details, yet the result is elegant and not the least bit cerebral or off-putting.
The scarf at left is worked with one continuous strand of yarn. Carumboa is made of interlocked rectangles. Circles reminds me of a motif from Pop Knitting. Peek is knit flat using intarsia yet has a three-dimensional look. Drifting Pleats may sound scary (no stitch numbers and as many as six needles at once) but it's beautiful and has many Ravelry projects, so I think it's probably worth a try.
And there are more, doubtless some you will find so charming that you'll wonder why I didn't feature them in this review. (The answer must be my inferior taste.)
It seems Lynne's main purpose in writing this book was not to put forth gorgeous scarf designs (though she has done that). It was to come up with provocative, inspiring designs that would take us beyond the instructions into the land of What-If.
When I read a novel, I want to be taken somewhere new. It's a joy to find that in any knitting book, let alone a pattern book. Knitting New Scarves gave me that sense.
I strongly recommend this book for any knitter who has not yet encountered Lynne Barr. It gives just a taste of her genius.
Disclosure: Kangath reviewed a copy of Knitting New Scarves from her library. 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 Stewart, Tabori & Chang or Lynne Barr.
The Shape of Knitting by Lynne Barr, photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy,
pub. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2013
This book begins with over 25 innovative projects to knit, but (though cute, wearable, and knittable) they are not the meat of the content. Halfway through the book, we realize that the scarves and slippers were merely whetting our appetites for the main course: Techniques.
This last half of the book is devoted to explaining in detail the techniques found in the preceding patterns---and in some cases, their creative origins. Lynne's explanations even of commonly used techniques (such as the long-tailed cast-on) are valuable because they include not merely the how, but the why and the what as well. Information about stretchiness and stability are paired with analyses of the look of the completed procedure.
Lynne deals with cast-ons and bind-offs, decreases and increases (including the wonderfully simple speed increase) in this way. Then it's time for dessert. (Can it be dessert and main course at the same time?)
The first meaty treat (maybe pumpkin pie---that always has enough eggs or tofu in it to count for protein) is the chapter on three-dimensional knitting, as featured in the Dimpled Cowl. In this chapter Lynne covers combining and dividing stitches in a much more thorough way than she was able to do in Reversible Knitting, which was essentially a stitch dictionary.
She details 14 different ways to make a pleat (and gives a couple stitch patterns to use them in), 2 ways to work short rows, and a basic hem or casing with variations.
Then comes the whipped cream.
Lynne has developed a way to knit multiple units with an uninterrupted strand of yarn. She designed Square Arches in one piece, not as separate pieces sewn together or even picked up and knit. The technique is similar to the way you might knit a sideways edging onto a shawl, and she presents several variations.
Speaking of slippers, there are several interesting footwear patterns in this book. They seem just right for wearing on my cold hardwood floors in springtime.
Slippers are an even smaller project than socks, and provide many opportunities for learning new techniques. Another small project is the Fringe Headband (below) which will be one of the very next things I cast on.
I really like this High Profile Top, too. Maybe I'll add some sleeves to it to make the fun last longer.
Along the lines of small projects, there's also a necklace and a pair of mittens, not to mention the two hats, two bags, and two, um, eyeshade patterns. I was actually pretty unhappy to see those eyeshade patterns because I had plans to design some of my own. Now I'll just have to give them an unusual twist.
Disclosure: Stewart, Tabori & Chang sent Kangath a free copy of The Shape of Knitting for review. 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 Stewart, Tabori & Chang or Lynne Barr.
Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr, pub. Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, 2009
Lynne Barr's dictionary of 50 new reversible stitches is a showcase for the virtuoso knit designer. In the first section of the book, chapter titles reveal her thought processes: Faux Crochet, Rows Within Rows, and Divide and Combine are just a few. 20 thrilling patterns by designers such as Lily Chin, Teva Durham, and Nora Gaughan fill the second section. The clear, detailed photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy makes everything appealing.
I have already used these stitch patterns in my work, and I long to cast on for Lynne Barr's Folded Mini Dress and Debbie New's Double Wrap Stockings (right).
While some of the stitch patterns have 20 or more lines of instructions, this is no different from many interesting cable or lace patterns. And several, such as Linked Discs (below) need only 2!
Barr also suggests many places for knitters to branch away from her ideas and create their own motifs. The Special Techniques section at the back of the book is revelatory, including several new skills to master and an in-depth look at how to chart double-knits with completely different patterns on each side.
Stunning book, clear instructions, great photos. Just my thing!
Disclosure: Kangath reviewed her personal copy of Reversible Knitting. 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 either Stewart, Tabori, & Chang or Lynne Barr.
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