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.
Moon Mirrors in Tide Pool and Fire Thorn
My most recent tapestry knit design, Moon Mirrors, received a little bit of attention when I first posted about it, but I wanted to point you to this tutorial detailing one method of tapestry knitting.
There are several things I like about this technique. First of all, I love the look of strands! Worked in a pattern as in the upper portion of the scarf at left with just little sprinkles of raspberry peeking through, they're simply delightful. The purl side is also pretty cute.
But it's the ability to make large shapes that really excites me. Those long horizontal lines in the moons are done by stranding the moon color in front of the work instead of catching it on the back side. Watch the video! I still have some refining to do, but I'm enjoying the construction of designs that read well on both sides.
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 new Clotheshorse is out, and two of my designs are included in the Tapestry section.
Hestia is a shaped cashmere-blend pullover with negative ease. It fits like a glove and feels wonderful next to the skin. This piece uses an interesting method of stranded colorwork that leaves some strands visible. With careful finishing, the garment is reversible. The reverse side has the stripes showing in the opposite order from the photographed side.
The Hestia Tapestry is a Byzantine work from the 6th century A.D. Hestia is the Greek goddess of the hearth and home. The stylized flowers on the pullover have a rather Byzantine shape, and the colors may be similar to the tapestry's original colors. The cuffs and neckline are a subtler version those on Hestia's robe.
Next up: San Graal
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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