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Slants, angles, and lines 

Knitters want interesting knits.

Every project should be an adventure, and that isn’t difficult when you have options of color, stitch pattern, shape, or yarn to keep your focus. 

Scarves are a great example. You can pick a simple stitch and a colorful or textured yarn and knit one up in a flash. Or challenge your skills with an intricate stitch and choose a classic yarn. The scarves in this issue are a blend of great stitches and great yarns.

Zigzag in cables lets you perfect short rows and reversible cables as you create a rickrack-shaped scarf. Once finished, arrange the points for an attractive face-framing look as you wrap it around your neck for warmth. Blues & berries shows how bands of colors can enhance a stitch pattern. Shaped much like a seaman’s scarf, the 2 halves narrow toward the center and are grafted together.

The Slip-up möbius intermingles a 3-row pattern with 3 strands of yarn. Right and wrong sides don’t matter, because you change yarns at the end of each row. Top it off with coordinating caps. The Slip-up cap is worked in the round; the Berries cap is worked flat and seamed later. Pair each with their coordinating scarf and möbius for ensembles that make the best of the remaining yarn. 

The benefits of scarves and hats are endless, but they needn’t break the bank?—?the yardage is far less than for a full garment. Because the area is smaller, you can complete a scarf in much less time?—?great for gift knitting. And as a fashion accessory, they add a flash of color to any ensemble while keeping you cozy and warm. 

Shawls in bits and pieces 

The modular approach can hold your interest, much like building a puzzle. The Incline Wrap joins stockinette and entrelac triangles into a square, then stack 5 squares to build a rectangular shawl. Pick a great hand-dyed yarn and create diagonal lines in both directions without any added effort. Work seed stitch with a monochromatic yarn for the softly shaded Step-up shawl, or mix 6 colorways of the yarn into the grid for an explosion of color blocks. 

What’s your angle? 

For about the same amount of knitting, you might be inclined to knit a vest. Vests add warmth and style, are easy to wear, and are perfect for the office. Create a vest with diamonds that Tilt to the left; variegated yarn and stitch texture share equal billing. Align Chevrons down the center of your body in a cardigan vest. With cables and a button closure, there is plenty of center-front interest, while the back forms its own chevrons.

Add dimension to an allover stranded pattern by playing stacking-color yarn against a solid black background. Rainbow grove is modern and lovely with its waist-hugging rib and wide-shoulder silhouette.

Raglans with a slant 

We have been bitten by the raglan bug?—?so much so, that 3 designers were given a design challenge to present at the Stitches East 2013 conference. The results are 3 great raglans with 3 distinct personalities.

Barry Klein inserts lace mesh along the raglan lines and into the skirt of Confetti. The cotton yarn and its construction make for a year-round top. Fiona Ellis pays tribute to the military jacket, but keeps it strictly Ladies only in a bold pink. The shoulder medallions and cables are powerful, yet feminine. Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton’s tunic makes another power statement: Shaded diamonds. The graceful color changes in the long-repeat yarn keep the look quiet and sophisticated. The design challenge proved successful in showing that great details make for noteworthy raglans.

An upside-down raglan offers opportunities for easy and interesting construction. Uncharted lace features openwork raglan shaping created with paired pairs of eyelet increases set at half the normal rate. This musk ox, silk, and merino confection is a joy to knit and to wear.

The Iron, slate, & moss color-blocked pullover capitalizes on its sideways 2-color peplum and mock-raglan shoulders. The back piece extends over the shoulders and is shaped to create a raglan line in front?—?offering the opportunity for stripe accents. A semi-sheer linen tunic features contrasting ribbon at the raglan decreases, neck, and skirt gores. The striped gores and solid sleeves prove that Unfinished business can add to the success?—?they are mitered squares bound off before completion. Take a saddle-shoulder design and add wedges. Garter epaulettes features an alternating seed-stitch body which gives way to the garter ridges at the shoulders. This is classic?—? perfect for any guy or gal! 

Who doesn’t dream of a resort vacation in the middle of winter? That calls for something light and pretty. Tangerine leaves features a soft hand-dyed color, perfect for an afternoon or evening outing. Or maybe you want something a little more relaxed and full of texture provided by the yarns: Chartered lines. This casual jacket looks great with white linen or coordinated with your wardrobe?—?just think Beachcomber Chic. Should you desire a more formal approach, don a white shirt, black slacks, and Shifting bands for a woman’s version of black tie. Choose pearls, a scarf, or sleek earrings for the final touch. 

Classics with a twist

Never underestimate the power of tradition?—?just add clever details as a fresh approach for something memorable. 

The Diagonal zip is a special combination of an off-center zipper, a wrap collar, and zip cuffs, plus the diagonal stitch pattern. The play of positive and negative can be fun. Rather than go solid black and white, choose light and dark tweed yarns; add a curved hemline and a powerful diamond accent front and center on Smoke & ice.

Weather-ready with its chunky yarn, intricate cables, and sleeves could replace a coat in many climates. Should a breeze complicate issues, belt the front around your body and you are ready to go. The weatherman might not always be right, but your attire can be!

Keep things interesting! Great details can be inherent, planned, or even cobbled into the process. But the adventure should prove successful every time you view your hand-knit masterpiece. 

Keep warm, 

   

Rick Mondragon,
Editor