Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dress + Cardigan: Installment 1

Mary and Ellen

Mary Rebecca is my lionhearted older sister, and she can do anything she puts her mind to.   I like that about her.  It seems perfect that my first sweater in my Dress + Cardigan project is named after her -- it helps me to create the right mindset for a large undertaking.

Ellen and Mary

Mary Rebecca is a versatile cardigan with wrist warmers to match;  slip them off for dirty work without fear of soaking or soiling the three-quarter length sleeves.

The sweater is worked from the bottom up on circular needles. The sleeves and body are joined on one long circular needle, and the round yoke conceals short rows to create subtle shaping.  There are no seams to sew.

Nash Island Light yarn is thick and lofty, making for a quick knit that is surprisingly lightweight.  The wool is strong and fluctuates ever-so-slightly in gorgeous color and thickness, creating rich character.

30-32-34-36---38-40-42-44---46-48-50-52 inch bust circumference in finished sweater
Starcroft Fiber Mill’s Nash Island Light (shown in Finch)
5-5-5-6---6-6-7-7---7-8-8-8 skeins
175 yds (160m) - 3½ oz. (100g)
18 stitches and 25 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch on larger needles
• Suggested Needles:  Sizes US 7 (4.5mm) and US 8 (5mm) 32“ (80cm) circulars (or longer, if available)
and one set each US 7 & 8 double pointed needles,
or size needed to obtain gauge
• Stitch Markers: 5, plus 2 of a different color or style to indicate decorative stitch boundaries
• Cable needle
• Stitch holders or waste yarn
• Tapestry needle
• 5 to 7 excellent buttons, and 5 to 7 small buttons for inside the button band (optional)
Skills Used
Cabling, short rows, knitting a small circumference in the round.

The pattern has some friendly tips and diagrams (for example, how to tell left from right in an ever turning project), and the decorative stitches are both charted and written.

Mary, Ellen & Angela
If you're interested, you can purchase my Mary Rebecca pattern by clicking the button on the right sidebar there. 

I wish I had a photo for you of the two of us on her Schwinn, she as the motor, me as the passenger in the baskets on the back; we covered many miles of road together.  Here's wishing you a lionhearted week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dress + Cardigan: A Codependent Study

I love cardigans because they are versatile garments: Wear them buttoned or fastened to stay warm, open them up to moderate one's temperature and showcase a lovely top.   A cardigan can be worn with a simple top, a complicated top, blue jeans, or a wedding gown.  Versatile.

If you follow me over on Pinterest you may have noticed one of my boards, Dress + Cardigan.  Of all the cardigan relationships, I find the pairing with a dress to be my favorite.  But alas, I do not have many dresses.


And so, I am setting some goals:
12 dresses, sewn by me.
12 cardigans, at least 6 of them worked into patterns.
On Groundhog Day, 2014, I will poke my head up and look around: If I'm looking shadowy there will be another six weeks of this project.

I was going to call it an independent study, but the name did not ring true. I get so much inspiration and support from others.  So it is a Codependent Study.

Today, dress no.1, from a pattern I drafted last fall.  There is a zipper at the side (instead of the back - last fall's version needs a string on the zipper like a scuba suit in order for me to get in and out by myself).  The fabric is a simple quilter's cotton from Marden's, and I made a three inch hem in hopes it will be heavy enough to drape properly.

And today's cardigan is Mary Rebecca, knit with Nash Island Light wool from Starcroft Fiber Mill.  This pattern will be available at NETA Spa, next weekend in Freeport, Maine, as well as right here and on Ravelry.  I'll give more details on this next week.

Up next is Fannie Fouche, the gal that made this endeavor possible.  (In writing the pattern for Fannie Fouche I fell deep into writing my own pattern calculators, last year's codependent study.)

Thanks for stopping by.