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An Opening Day challenge at STITCHES West got me thinking about how much fun it is to combine color, pattern, shape, and texture. The Crazy for knitting theme asked our participants to think ‘quilting’ while designing a knit. They arrived at designs worthy of any knitter’s attention, and we feature them along with many other inspired designs.

From STITCHES
How you choose to arrange blocks can go anywhere from shocking to serene, depending on the colors and shapes. How about Myra Wood’s Krazy kurti, with mitered squares in a stacking yarn accented with crazy quilt blocks full of color, shape, texture, and even embroidery? 

Barbara Kerr surprised us with her take on the Cathedral windows block. Abandon the folded and layered quilt blocks for 4-miter squares. There are quite a few of them, but once you knit a few you’ll go on automatic pilot and soon be done. (Just for the record, each block takes about 10 minutes.) Simply tack the corners together to join, leaving the edges to curl and reveal the garment underneath. A second idea came to mind while creating this design?—?stockinette stitch panels crocheted together at strategic points for Cathedral panels

Gwen Bortner’s Kiwi squares with entrelac and counterpane squares joining forces, was featured last issue. 

Once more around the block

Bold blox pays homage to Amish quilts?—?a colorful log cabin grows from the neckline into a trapeze-style vest. That motif also can be downsized, quartered, and repeated for  an intarsia pattern: one row of Petit squares is placed like a belt accent on a button-front vest. The former features a series of solid-color blocks built modularly; the other takes only 10 rows of intarsia. Both are stunning and effective.

The mitered square can often look like a quarter log cabin and are added as textured cuff accents in Simply blue. Or play with slip-stitch and garter in fabric that looks like mitered squares?—?the advantage is that you work only one color per row the full width of Ginger squares.

On another level, Stippled blocks uses intarsia squares embellished with garter accents. The subtle colors of the yarn make for a granite-look fabric. Pick a letter builds a knit quilt of block letters out of garter-stitch intarsia.

Edgy Attitudes

There are many dressmaker details that can be carried into knits?—?ruffles, drapes, gores, yoke treatments, fringe, and even decorative hems. 

An impressive feat of shaping, One skirt 3 ways lets you play with short rows, cable needles, and build-as-you-go piecing. Once you get started you won’t want to set this skirt down, it is a knitting delight from the beginning to end. Keep it simple as a tumpet skirt, add a center hem accent or finish with decorative drapes.

Granny-go-round allows a little hook action before you start knitting. The crochet primer can help anyone get to the finished piece successfully?—?all you need to know are single and double crochet and chain and slip stitches?—?we show you how. 

Continue the hem strategy: work Furrows & fringe sideways or add ruched borders to Fondant

Double a yarn?—?main and contrast colors held together?—?for a slipstitch border that’s a fun and beautiful shrug. It’s up to you how you wear it.

Slate combines a traditionally knit back with sideways-knit fronts. The interesting edging along the center front becomes the collar. 

Tailoring finesse

Our cover jacket, Kate’s cardi, introduces you to Jean Frost’s Custom Knit Jackets approach. Inspired by Kate Middleton’s jacket seen the evening of the Royal Wedding, we change the color and offer you 10 different sizes; so you can get the fit you deserve.    

Borderlines 

Lines of texture and color can keep knitting interesting and fun. The luxury of cashmere and merino is magical in Smoke & mirrors. The light-as-air knit is a study in raglan and A-line shaping from the neck down. Rotate 180 degrees for Grape & melon. Strategic shaping in the color changes accomplishes the trapeze shape, and you can pair it with the Triangle vest
from last issue. This is not your classic twin set. 

Salmon shrug makes a glistening statement in rayon and mohair. The textured stitch and yarn become companions in a symphony of stripes. For a little more color, Indian summer celebrates earthy oranges and golds in a garter-with-a-twist stripe pattern. Add crochet edges and you are ready for the cool days ahead.  

K103 is a true celebration of the needle arts.?With nods to dressmaking, crochet, and quilting, we knit. While quilters and sewers work with fabrics, knitters create our own. 

Rick Mondragon, Editor