Rib as decoration: SABA AW 2011

I love knitting, so I’m always keeping an eye on knitwear in the shops. I guess the shops I’m walking past each day would be classified as the Australian ‘high street’ (whatever that term really means) or perhaps contemporary designer? Must say the knitwear I’m seeing has improved, compared to around 5 years ago when I first started taking note. I’m not seeing so many knits stretching and sagging off the hangers, these days.

Clever knitwear always makes me smile. Here, I like the idea of ribbing used as contrast and decoration, not just as utilitarian edging. The ribbing’s curved, even along the shoulders in a kind of boatneck style. I often appreciate fashion ideas that might be somewhat awkward to wear … but this isn’t one of them. The ribbing gives a little more style to an otherwise simple, neat jacket.

The photo is from SABA, about a month ago. The next day they covered the mannequin with an even bigger scarf, so I couldn’t see the knitwear detail anymore. I suppose the jacket’s probably on sale now or even sold out (I can’t see it in their online store).

Twofer: knitting in progress

I’ve realised I rarely show work in progress here: each project seems to be featured only once, either at the beginning or the end.

Well, I’m still working on this, and still enjoying it.  I think it’d be a great pattern for a beginner, it’s only knit/plain/garter and decreases. But I think a beginner would need a friend to talk them through it, I agree it’s more like a recipe, it does require some  knowledge of knitting. And I read the decreases wrong, and had to go back: should’ve trusted that nagging feeling it wasn’t right.

I’m trying to finish both hats together, a bit like a chef tries to plate everything up at the same time. That way the kids won’t argue about who’s first, who’s second …. I hope!

Glad I’m not a cat: Curiosity #001

Elly from green olives design recently wrote about Lands’ End and L.L. Bean. What got my interest was the shoulder seam on one of the knits she showed: it’s rotated to the back. (Above, courtesy Lands’ End). The arm joins the shoulder as usual.

I’ve seen this before on commercial knits, but never really thought about it. What’s the purpose? Eliminating bulk? Just a style thing?

Then I started thinking about hand knits: is there any technical reason why you can’t rotate the shoulder seam on a hand knit? I had a look through quite a few of pages on Ravelry (social site for hand knitters, with a huge user-created database of patterns). I couldn’t see any examples of this type of shoulder, although they may exist. I wonder why it’s not common?

Guilt knitting

I’ve been starting to think about writing down the knitting patterns buzzing ’round my head. I did once before.

This means, for the first time ever, I’ve bought wool just for swatching. I feel irrational guilt about it. You see, after swatching, some wool turned out too thick, or the slubs didn’t look right, or the whole idea won’t work, at least not now, not easily, not ’till I think about it some more.

I’m not a big stasher, I’ve 2.5 average-sized plastic boxes full of wool. (Ok, technically I should say “yarn”, but most of it’s actually wool). That’s my everything, all my half begun; abandoned; dreamt about but still untouched knit projects as an adult. I pretty much always have a plan for the wool I buy, even if that plan changes like, 5 or 6 times!

So I’ve been feeling really guilty about my just for swatching wool. And hurrying madly to find a project for it. Yeah, I fully agree that’s irrational, but it’s how I feel.

Mustaa villaa’s hat pattern is perfect for this situation, especially since it calls for 8ply/DK. If you’re Aussie you know that’s the most common weight here … by far. I’m really enjoying mixing the colours for the band, and looking forward to a guilt free knitting future. And to finally telling the kids, when I’m near the end: “Oh, yes, this one’s for you”.

Akris and the love of stocking stitch

My blog posts? I think I need to do some freeing up, stretching and shaking out. Possibly focus on my breathing too. My posts are too tense, too thought out.

Anyway. I remember a year or so ago discussion on Ravelry about “beastly” knits. Designers hating knit wear, making it look oversized, strangling, ugly. Since then, my eye has changed. My thinking too.

For me, this is a celebration of the stocking stitch. Its right side and, cleverly, a view of the wrong side as a simple collar. It’s huge stocking stitch, magnified. So you really look at it again with fresh eyes. In striking colour that you can’t ignore.

Oh, that giant cast on, and cast off! If you knit: how many times have you stared at those stitches, counting them? Now they’re plain for all to see, on the cuffs. And that slight sag, forming the peplum (restrained by a narrow belt, is it threaded through?)

Too bulky? Look, if you live in a really cold climate, I’m sure most of your Winter clothes are rather bulky. Makes you look too fat? … or doll like?

See, my eyes have changed.

Image used for review: style.com