About six months ago I started thinking about how fashion lines have changed, since I started designing some 8 years ago. I wanted to work toward a collection of garments that would be considered NEW BASICS! I thought about a few of my classics and considered how I would re-design them today. I started with one of my all time favorites, SUIT!

SUIT was what I thought of as “office wear” for my new career as knitwear designer. A comfortable, oversized cardigan that I could live in and pretty much get away with wearing and know that I was dressed “appropriately” no matter where my work life took me.At the time, I loved oversized sweaters and spent a good deal of time trying to find the perfect one (EMBRACECLARA, PROSECCO) and SUIT was the most traditional.

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Today I love loose fitting, easy clothes with very simple, yet modern lines. NEW SUIT is roomy with up to 12″ of positive ease (I have reduced the amount of positive ease as the sweater goes up in size), NEW SUIT‘s fit is what I would call comfortable! While NEW SUIT does have drop shoulders, I have sloped the shoulder tops significantly, so that the extra ease drapes beautifully along the sides rather than bunching up. The sleeve top is also shaped, so that the shoulder-to-sleeve line continues all the way from the shoulder to the wrist. But my favorite detail on the sweater is the sleeve shape! After perusing last fashion magazines, I decided that a “not quite full length” loose fitting sleeve which falls to just above the wrist looks fresh and modern, and is exceptionally comfortable. And, of course I included a small side vent!  Like the original, I think of NEW SUIT as a suit jacket that can be worn with anything, any time, any where!

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

I chose to knit NEW SUIT in a heavy DK weight yarn at a gauge of 20 sts per 4″, so that it would be easy and fast to knit, and also easy to wear. Continuing my quest to work with indie dyed yarns that I have been following for several years, I chose House of A La Mode‘s   Dreamy DK (color: The Smokey Semi Collection – Alpine; 100% Merino Wool SW; 250 yds per 115g skein). I have to say that when the yarn arrived, it was all I could do not to start knitting! Winding and knitting with the yarn did not disappoint! While I am sure that I alternated skeins, the variation in the dying was not overpowering and the amount of variegation is just so pleasing to the eye. And the color is simply divine. Sometimes looking smokey grey and sometimes bright blue. And now that I have worn my NEW SUIT for nearly 6 months (yes, it took me far too long to actually get this design from finished sample to publication), I am amazed that there is still virtually no pilling!

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Heather, of House of A La Mode promises me that she will add the Smokey Semi Collection yarns into her Dye-to-Order slots during her regular Monday shop updates. Trust me, it is worth waiting for! And the NEW SUIT KAL doesn’t start until September, so you have some time.

That having been said, there are plenty of wonderful yarn options for NEW SUIT. Certainly take a moment to go look at the lovely choices of the 10 ladies who test knit for me. And check your stash. Substitute yarns include Miss Babs YOWZA, Madelinetosh Tosh DK, Malabrigo Arroyo and Cascade 220. Oh yes, and just because we chose to use semi-solids doesn’t mean that NEW SUIT wouldn’t look great in a speckled choice or even a fade! Perhaps La Bien Aimee?

NEW SUIT is an easy and fast knit! It is the perfect first sweater or, for the experienced knitter, a great binge TV watching knitting choice. Whether a first time sweater knitter or an old salt, come join the NEW SUIT KAL in the VERSACIKNITS knitters ravelry group. While we don’t have hard and fast rules, the KAL will kick-off in earnest on September 7th!

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Head over to ravelry to learn more about NEW SUIT, see all of the wonderful test knits, heart and queue or buy your copy of the pattern!!!

Lori

{ 0 comments }

It’s time to Color Your Stripes!

cover photo for color my stripes

The next in my ongoing quest to discover the joy of shawl knitting is COLOR MY STRIPES! A simple, asymmetrical striped shawl, COLOR MY STRIPES uses elongated one-row buttonholes to add a bit of whimsy. The shawl is knit tip-to-tip in garter stitch, with increases on one side and decreases on the other, creating a triangle on the bias.

For me, the big challenge with this shawl is deciding what order to knit the stripes in, which, of course,I learned the hard way. In my normal, full-speed-ahead mode, I knit and ripped and knit and ripped, until my artist daughter said, “why don’t you just color it?”.

color my stripes coloring page

So I did!

And I have included the “coloring page”, with the pattern, to allow you to decide YOUR color order before you start!  But, if you want to get started dreaming, before you buy the pattern, you can download your own coloring page here!

 

 

 

 

The actual pattern is written for two sizes: The large version has a wingspan of 97″/246cm making it large enough enough to wrap yourself in and the small version has a wingspan of 72″/183 cm which is perfect for statement shawl or neck warmer.

wrap yourself in large

IMG_4375

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knit my COLOR MY STRIPES in two magnificent yarns:

In JDMS on wallMy first one (the large one) is knit in Jill Draper Makes Stuff Esopus, which is a beautiful, high twist, superwash merino, that Jill sources in the United States and dyes herself. I started with the grey/blue color, Stormy, and then used a color set that Jill had picked as a kit for the lovely Fort Tyron Wrap by Kirsten Kapur. I could not resist the colors, so when I envisioned this shawl, I went right to my stash and pulled them out. Jill also has a lovely new  fingering weight yarn coming, which will also be perfect for COLOR MY STRIPES and I am sure as soon as she returns from her summer break, she will be telling us all more about it and putting kits together. Stay tuned!

DSC_8033

My second COLOR MY STRIPES (the small one) is knit in a yarn new to me, Crave Yarn. I was introduced to the dyer, Amor, by the owner of Yarn Culture, who carries the full line of Crave Yarns, and promptly set about picking my colors, with Amor’s help. I love the saturated jewel tones and the single ply, ultra soft feel of this yarn (90% merino and 10% cashmere). Amor is busy putting together kits, which will be listed in the Crave store on Monday, June 26th! You can also see her Yak and Silk yarn,Thoreau, another great choice, at Yarn Culture’s shop!

For more information about COLOR MY STRIPES and to heart, queue and buy the pattern, click here!

To see all of the VERSACIKNITS designs, head over to my designer page on Ravelry!
And, read more about VERSACIKNITS blog and follow us on facebook and Instagram, so make sure to follow us!

Happy knitting,

Lori

{ 0 comments }

Just in time for Stitches West: summer fog

February 23, 2017

No time to talk, just a quick note to let you know that my newest design, SUMMER FOG, and I will be at Stitches West all weekend. Fun us both in the Yarn Culture booth Thursday, Friday and Saturday and in the Monarch Yarns booth on Sunday between 11AM and 1PM! For now, just a […]

Read the full article →

Introducing unMix 31!

February 17, 2017

I am so excited to be relaunching one of my favorite designs. First published as part of the Shibui Mix Collection, unMix 31 has been updated to include a broader range of sizes (28”-54” bust sizes) and to be knit in a single strand of Shibui’s luxe yarn, Drift. The curved hemline, A-line shaping and loose […]

Read the full article →

Valentine’s Day Offer

February 14, 2017

Today is the last day to get 20% off SINUOUS! SINUOUS is an easy knit with just enough interest to keep you going to the end and the shawl is finished with a lovely I-cord edge. Once off the needles, you will love how elegant you feel when wrapped up in your own SINUOUS! In honor of […]

Read the full article →

Introducing SINUOUS – a new shawl and a Valentine’s Day offer!

February 10, 2017

I am having so much fun exploring indy dyed yarns AND shawl design. Here, in my second design, I combine a dyer who I have followed for many years, A Verb for Keeping Warm and a classic crescent shawl shape to create a modern, wearable statement shawl: SINUOUS. sin.u.ous ˈsinyo͞oəs/ adjective having many curves and turns. winding, windy, serpentine, […]

Read the full article →

New Pattern: THE REACH

January 20, 2017

As many of you know, I spend my summers “on The Reach”. A body of water between Vinalhaven and Greens Islands in Penobscot Bay, Maine. The Reach is a meditative place for me. The water and adjoining rocky coast change color and texture depending on the weather and time of day; sometimes blustery and sometimes […]

Read the full article →

New Pattern: Origami Top Hat!

January 6, 2017

I am getting ready for VKL NYC next weekend, but couldn’t wait to share my latest design with you: Origami Top Hat! Origami Top Hat is a modern take on a simple knit hat! Knit in the round from the rim up, this easy knit is capped off with a little bit of shaping and […]

Read the full article →

Introducing GRANITE ISLAND!

November 3, 2016

Many of you know that my favorite place to be is a small island off the coast of Maine, Vinalhaven! While today Vinalhaven is best known for its thriving lobster trade, during the 19th century it was home to one of Maine’s largest granite quarrying businesses. Today the island is dotted with beautiful granite swimming […]

Read the full article →

Introducing POINTED FIRS at VKL Minneapolis — plus a few other things to look for while you are there!

November 3, 2016

Introducing POINTED FIRS! First stop, the Yarn Culture booth to see my newest garment knit in the extraordinary The Uncommon Thread Posh DK, which you can also buy in the booth. A triangle shawl inspired by the fir trees on the coast of Maine, POINTED FIRS is written for 3 different sizes: Neckerchief, Shawlette and Shawl (1, 2 or 3 skeins of Posh DK). […]

Read the full article →