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Rick Mondragon,
Patches or Swatches?
Swatches are magical, as we all know! They can offer insight for a finished fabric and even predict success or failure in a future garment. How about working small swatches to be placed within your final design?

In Boho/hobo a collection of small patches takes the leading role as you assemble them into the fronts and back of a reversible jacket — one side features exposed seams, while the other looks like a more classic knit. Just work stockinette, reverse stockinette, and seed stitch blocks and turn a few on their side during assembly for added interest. The mix of greens along with the spark of coral make this a joy to create and wear. Another slant on patchwork has you creating shaped blocks to assemble with seams exposed, tilting approximately 30-degrees from horizontal and vertical. Cables, box stitch, and seeded rib add texture, while blanket stitch secures the openings.

Create attention-grabbing accessories for your wardrobe and enhance your knitting skills at the same time with refreshing techniques and tricks. Step up your intarsia in a merino scarf with generous proportions. This exercise in color blocking is done in garter stitch for reversibility. The openings between the steps require a little ‘cheat’ of eliminating the twist at the color changes. Add buttonholes to the last stripe and buttons to the first for endless wearing options. A classic garter rectangle is finished with I-cord, buttonholes, and buttons for a sophisticated Winter diamond shrug. We show you how a few calculations and attention to your knitting allow you to control the pooling and striping of a hand-dyed yarn to create a striking argyle/hexagon color pattern.

Cloud cover is full of chunky bobbles, with decreasing cables to shape the piece. Add drama to your winter ensemble by placing this simple knit-in-the-round poncho over your favorite sweater, jacket, or coat. You might choose to wrap your palms in bicolor cables and pinstripes by adding the coordinating Tech mitts to the mix, so you can work any touch screen in the frigid cold.

Sssinuous scarves and hats offer a primer in short rows as well as invisible joins — grafts and pick-ups — in a creative manner. Besides learning a few tricks, you can spruce up your winter wardrobe.

Miters are picked up and worked from cable columns in Tropical tee. The colors of the multicolor yarn bend around the corners, while the semi-solids frame and accent. The bind-off at the center of the mitered panels is an extension of the mitered decreases — so clever and simple!

Five panels and two hand-dyed yarns create a versatile vest. The center back and front panels are a play of cables and lace, while the side panels boast a multicolor field of stockinette. The belt details Bridge the gap and add a designer touch.

Woodland diamonds showcase the raglan and princess shaping through color blocking. The diamond cable pattern travels along the length of the sleeves and center front to break up the field of stockinette.

Envelop yourself in cables and lace in Tamarak. This elegant raglan-sleeved cardigan sports a generous kimono-band collar.

Your slips are showing
Our Royal plum jacket combines high-relief honeycomb cables with bands of geometric mosaic medallions. A perfectly proportioned shawl collar frames your face beautifully, and will ward off any winter breeze.

Slipped stitches and sleeveless sweaters both have a place in our winter wardrobes. If you have never tried mosaic patterns, Herringbone in relief would be a great first go. Mosaics are not difficult — work one color per pair of rows, slip stitches following the charts, and you end up with an intricate-looking pattern. Plan a Midnight rendezvous with slipped-stitch columns and mitered underarm panels that make interesting patterns with a stacking yarn. The hint of glitz makes this turtleneck ‘party ready’ any time of the year.

And some orange punch
Orange is the new black. No, I am not talking about a television show, but a fashion trend confirmed by a friend’s recent expedition to Paris where it is the power color in many designer boutique windows. Mannequins are clad and accessorized in orange — not the pure hue, but variations of it. We offer a trio of sweaters in spicy combinations. Saffron and cumin accents frame a cayenne-colored pullover for Spice trade, with its panels of rib and cluster stitches separated by cables. Blocks à la carte joins simple basketweave panels worked in two colors — and two directions — with a garter band in yet a third color. This elegant play on color blocking uses earthy colors, while the solid-colored Carved cedar lets the texture take center stage in a classic silhouette.

Knitting is what you make it, so make it an adventure! Learn a trick or two, push your color limits, and practice skills that will make you a leader in your craft.

Hello from the control panel, otherwise known as my editorial desk. This issue was inspired by panels and patches. You’ll find garments that combine lovely yarns, flattering colors, and worthy stitch work. Some are quite straightforward and simple, others involve clever construction or detailing, and a few challenge you and advance your skills with new techniques or approaches.

Our cover piece, Drift & flow, is full of attitude. Wear it with the seams along the shoulders and upper arms for one look, or flip it for a second option with seams at the underarm and sides. Use a shawl pin to close it for yet two more. This shrug features entrelac in a creative way. Differently sized patches — with spacers in between — offer an organic 3-D fabric within which the blocks fill and wrap around each other. The interesting silhouette is a result of the construction — worked in mirrored halves, seamed together along the center back.