Tegna II

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Tegna II is done.

Clearly I really like the Tegna knitting pattern by Caitlin Hunter (Boyland Knitworks). Released in May of this year, Tegna is constructed from the bottom up starting with the lace section and has a loose, boxy shape that I feel is well suited for hand knit garments. For me the fit is perfect, on top of all the other amazing features of this top, so how could I resist knitting a second one?

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Since my first Tegna is what I consider to be a neutral version I decided to go with more color for the second one. Recently I had become aware of the allure of Garn Stories, a German based yarn company that seems to specialize quite well in speckles–just what I was looking for! I went with the colorway Magic Mint, which is a blue-green (although more green than blue) and white yarn with multi-colored speckles. It is luscious!

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Having already worn my first Tegna about a dozen times I think we can expect this one to get a ton of wear. To view and read about my first Tegna, click here.

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Sophie’s So Faded

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I’m fairly new to Andrea Mowry’s knitting patterns and only became familiar with her earlier this year when she released the Find Your Fade shawl, which uses a very similar fading process to the So Faded sweater pictured above. I have found that I am strongly attracted to knitting any kind of fade or blend. (In fact, my Cupid’s Mix beanie design from last year fades colors from one to the next. Click here for my Cupid’s Mix post and free pattern.)

Needless to say, the Find Your Fade hook was in my mouth before I knew it, and I rapidly ordered yarn and cranked one out–not because I needed a shawl (but who can have too many), not because the design was irresistible (although it is very pretty), but because I simply had to work that fade. Thus began my introduction to the beautiful knits of Andrea Mowry. (To see my post on the Find Your Fade shawl, click here.)

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I’ve been rather uncertain whether I could pull off a So Faded sweater for myself, but I was positive a So Faded Sophie would be adorable, so I showed her the pint sized version of the pattern. Pictures of the sweater got her quite excited, but it wasn’t until we started searching for yarn that she was bouncing in her seat. We ended up at the site for Old Rusted Chair, whose Nashville-based owner is the sweet and acrobatic Lauren (yeah, she’s got all kinds of skills). I’ve been no stranger to her enticing yarn, having used it in several of my previous projects, and I can say with authority that her style and quality is supreme. I let Sophie select the colors herself from Old Rusted Chair’s site, although I did assist her so that we’d end up with the ultimate Sophie fade. Above are the colors we chose, which are from top to bottom Chrysalis, Spring Forward, Don’t Forget Your Shades, Test Kitchen and We Will Rock You. Which is your favorite???

Like Find Your Fade, So Faded is a super fabulous pattern, and I hope to make another one. Perhaps one of my friends knows a baby or child for whom they’d like me to knit one? Let me know!

I am of the opinion there cannot be too many pictures of this sweater. We love our So Faded so much! The So Faded patterns (regular and pint sized) can be purchased directly from Andrea Mowry’s site here.

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The Tegna Tee

I really don’t know where to begin with the Tegna tee. Genuinely, this top has blown my mind. It is by far my favorite knit piece ever, and that is saying something because I love my knit pieces.

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The Tegna pattern is authored by Caitlin Hunter (@boylandknitworks on Instagram), and while this pattern is her first for me, it shall certainly not be my last. Let’s work our way sequentially through the pattern, starting with the bottom lace section. The chart is clear, simple and easy to follow, yet the lace is varied and interesting enough to thwart the doldrums. To top it off the hem is ridiculously stunning and drapes gracefully from the body of the garment. It’s plain to see that the lace and over-sized fit are a match made in heaven.

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Which brings us to the fit. The Tegna top is meant to fit loosely for that over-sized look and comfy feel we’ve all grown accustomed to with the fashion trends of the past few years. However, somehow Hunter has magically conceived a knit boxy tee design that is actually flattering. No small task, indeed.

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Perhaps the reason the baggy fit succeeds to this degree is that the shoulders and arms are fitted to just the right snugness, and the relaxed and open neckline further complements the overall design. I do not exaggerate when I say this pattern is 100% lacking in flaws. There is not one teeny adjustment I will make on my next Tegna. Yes, I will definitely be making another Tegna. The pattern can be purchased here.

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I knit the sleeves two-at-a-time (see above) because knitting sleeves, socks, mitts, etc. one at a time drives me crazy. Knowing I have another identical object to knit inevitably slows down my work due to the foreseen mental weariness and consequent procrastination. To view my instructions for knitting sleeves two-at-a-time click here.

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This top would be gorgeous and stylish in any color, but I am in love with my color choice! The yarn is Woolberry Fiber Co. Pure Merino in the Farmer’s Market colorway, which is a delicious speckled neutral–one of my favorite schemes! I had never seen a gray yarn with specks of purple, orange and dark green. It’s ravishing.

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A little bird told me she might adjust the pattern for child’s sizes. In that case my daughter will have one hanging in her closet, for sure.

To view this project on Ravelry, click here.

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Slushies Top

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The Slushies Top is an elegant, airy tank from the Spring/Summer 2017 collection of We Are Knitters, an international brand that offers everything-you-need knitting kits featuring chic patterns and high quality yarns. This pattern uses diagonal eyelets to form large diamond shapes throughout the fabric and includes We Are Knitters Peruvian Pima cotton yarn, which is available in an assortment of enticing colors. I chose Light Salmon, a pinkish nude color (rose gold?) that is strangely lacking in my wardrobe–until now! The kit for the Slushies Top can be purchased here. Below is a video showing all that is included in the kit:

Folks, this yarn is soft! So so so so soft. Luxuriously soft. Ideal for summer soft. In fact, knitting with this velvety goodness was so pleasurable that I was a little sad to reach the end of the project.

When I first started my Slushies Top I got in a rush and misread the chart included in the pattern instructions. Oops! The result was a stockinette fabric rather than garter (see below), so I frogged it and started anew–this time with acute concentration. I did quite like the stockinette version, however, so it would be nice to try again. For those of you interested, simply purl all of the wrong side rows.

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The top is knit in two pieces–a front and back–which are worked identically other than the neckline shaping. Since the cotton yarn is a worsted weight it knits up quickly, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Once the pieces are finished the sides and shoulders are seamed together.

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Upon completion I realized the Slushies Top is actually more of a tunic, which is perfect for tights. It also looks great partially tucked in with jeans or shorts. I like to keep it slouchy, and an off-the-shoulder look would be easy to pull off. However it’s worn, it feels super comfy!

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From the yarn to the pattern, the Slushies Top gets an A+ from me! I look forward to making another We Are Knitters project sometime down the road.

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The tag below was included in the kit. It’s such a nice touch!

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Aila Tank

I found the pattern for the Aila Tank on Ravelry late last spring, and while I started knitting it in early summer it took me nearly a year to complete it. Why, you ask? See below…

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The pattern, written by Isabell Kraemer, calls for the Quince and Co yarn Sparrow, which is 100% organic linen in a fingering weight. If you’ve visited Quince and Co’s website then you know that picking a color is no small task. (There are literally dozens of colors from which to choose for nearly all of their yarns.) However, for the Aila tank I was drawn to this scrumptious 24-karat gold, called Maize, like a moth to a flame. And that was that.

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I can’t recall having knit with linen before, and I learned a few things. Linen yarn is stiff and ropy, much like bamboo, and was not easy for me to knit with. It felt like it retained some memory, and the wiriness kept curling away from me and slowing down my knitting. Furthermore it was nowhere near as comfortable on the fingers as wool, which is my favorite fiber and pretty much everyone else’s. Nevertheless this rigidity makes for exceptional stitch definition (hence, Kraemer’s wise inclusion of lace for the bottom of the tank). The downside is that great stitch definition renders the knitting less forgiving, so mistakes stick out like a sore thumb (I was fortunate to catch and correct mine early), and it became clear that I needed to keep my joins at the seams like my life depended on it and weave in the ends very neatly on the inside to avoid unwanted bumpy regions.

Not only was I a bit surprised by the linen’s stiffness but I was actually a little shocked at its weight. For a fingering yarn it felt quite heavy. One 4-ply 50-gram skein of Sparrow measures 168 yards; by comparison, one 4-ply 50-gram skein of Finch (a 100% wool Quince and Co fingering weight yarn) measures 221 yards. Wearing the tank leaves no doubt as to its heaviness. It almost tugs on rather than hangs from the shoulders, like there’s a kid down there pulling on the hem. This sensation is not something I am accustomed to in a summer tank.

All this is not to say I don’t adore my Aila tank, because I do! After washing and blocking the tank is comfortably airy and drapes quite nicely. They say you can even throw handknit linen garments into the dryer, but I wanted to spread out the lace and air dry my Aila for best effect. I knit mine a little big for that flowy, oversized look that I’m in love with right now. It might not be cozy, but sometimes cozy is overrated–especially in summer, right? The simple lace design is quite stunning upon completion, but without the linen it would have been far less visible. The linen is what makes this pattern top-notch.

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I find that the yarn and pattern are a perfect match, and I plan to wear this tank all summer long!

Cushman Sweater

When I first saw the Cushman Pullover on Instagram I had an instant must-have reaction. The pockets are adorable, plus it is knit up in Malabrigo Rios, an aran weight yarn–meaning it will be a cozy, super fast knit.

The pattern, which is written by Isabell Kraemer, is found in the Malabrigo Book Ten: Rios pattern book. This project is my first completed by Kraemer, but I have another WIP (Aila tank). Both patterns are well written, and the styles are very cute. I have several of her other patterns in my queue. To purchase and download the Cushman Pullover pattern, click here.

For my yarn choice I went with Rios Ilusion. It wasn’t an easy choice given that Malabrigo has dozens of rich colorways from which to choose. Much like its name, Ilusion has the mystifying effect of appearing quite differently in various light settings (see above). Furthermore, from a distance Ilusion appears purple to grayish purple; up close, however, the yarn reveals itself in muted jewel tones. This type of property involuntarily causes me to gleefully rub my hands together and open my eyes really wide like an excited monkey.

It took me over five months to complete this sweater, but that was mostly due to Christmas knitting and other projects. I’m a polygamous knitter, so I’m constantly bouncing around on various projects because I lack the focus to do otherwise. Needless to say when I was working on the Cushman it went quickly, as expected. The pattern is straightforward. The pockets were not difficult, and since I knit the sleeves two-at-a-time via magic loop, they were a cinch.

Instructions for Knitting Sleeves Two-At-A-Time

Knitting sleeves two-at-a-time enables you to knit them to a consistent length as well as maintain the same tones from a single skein. The negative is that you cannot try them on easily for sizing, so you have to knit them to your measurements. To knit identical sleeves two-at-a-time divide the held sleeve stitches roughly in half for each sleeve at the underarm and top of the shoulder, so that you have stitches for the Front Right (FR), Back Right (BR), Front Left (FL) and Back Left (BL). (The underarm will be the beginning and end of the round for each sleeve.) Then pull your needles for magic loop through all held stitches in this order: BR underarm to shoulder, FL underarm to shoulder, BL shoulder to underarm and FR shoulder to underarm. The BR and FL stitches will be on one needle and the BL and FR stitches on the other. In order to get the needles through all stitches the sleeves will have to be folded over each other and twisted slightly as shown above. You can then knit the pattern as stated, starting with the BR stitches and copying the instructions for each sleeve. All identical sleeves in which the pattern begins at the underarm can be knit in this fashion.

First sweater of the year complete! My only issue is that the bottom of the sweater is knit with a warmer skein, so as you can see above the bottom two-fifths is a slightly different shade. I forgot to check the dye lots before beginning, and I did not notice the gradual increase in warmth until it was too late (too late for my stubbornness). Oh, well. My husband thinks it looks better for it, and perhaps over time I’ll think the same.

Another Young Einstein Baby Cardigan

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When I knit my first Young Einstein cardigan back in August, my friend Amy saw the picture on Instagram and asked if she could commission me to make one for her friend’s baby. Not only did I immensely enjoy knitting the first one, but the pattern’s author, Julia Stanfield, had made the Young Einstein pattern license free for small scale sales, so of course, I said yes!

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I have to hand it to Amy for her yarn choice because in my experience with commissions people tend to select boring colors and schemes. I had directed Amy to the Tosh DK selections at Jimmy Beans Wool, and just look at the color she picked! The colorway is called Yoko, and the buttons are from Purl Soho.

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I hope Amy’s friend loves this cardigan as much as I do. As my husband said, “Give that baby a newspaper to read!” Because the cardigan is so intellectual-looking. ;o)