Sneak Preview

These past few months I’ve been busy designing and knitting.  I haven’t shown you anything of this effort because, well, because I just wasn’t ready for the world to see what I was working on.  What if it was a flop?  What if I decided that instead of self-publishing I would try to get it published in a magazine?  Today I can finally give you a sneak preview of the sweater and pattern that will be coming soon.  And to ask for help.

The idea for this sweater was born from the desire to see more bottom-up, knit flat and seamed, interesting sweater patterns on the market.  Knitting without seams, in the round, top down, is all the rage.  That’s fine, and I love those methods myself, but I don’t think it’s good for new sweater knitters to start with that method, and I also think that anything knit with heavier yarns needs seams for stability and strength.  I couldn’t find patterns I liked so I decided to design my own.  I’m absolutely thrilled with the final result and it’s all I can do to keep from showing you the entire thing in detail!  All in good time….

I’ve named this pattern Mandy’s Heart.  There is a heart cable motif running down the center front and down the center of one sleeve.  Mandy is my niece, who I *heart* very much.

Today I’m announcing that I’m looking for test knitters for this sweater.  I’m going to post this request on a couple of Ravelry forums.  I thought I would post the same request here just in case you miss it on Ravelry and are interested in participating.

A Fall and Winter classic crew-­?neck sweater with cable details and stretchy figure flattering fabric. Knit in worsted weight yarn from the bottom up, in pieces, and sewn together.

The front of the sweater has a heart cable motif running in a column down the center. The back does not include the cable column. Directions are given for a sleeve with the cable column running lengthwise through the center of the sleeve, and directions for a sleeve without the cable pattern. Both sample sweaters were knit with one sleeve in each design with the heart cable on the left sleeve.

I recommend using 100% wool or yarn with at least 50% wool for this sweater. Using a tightly spun wool yarn will show off the cables and stitch pattern to their best effect. I would not recommend using alpaca or silk as the fit will be substantially different than intended. Having said that, you are of course free to use this pattern as a basis for your own take on the design and use whatever yarn you wish!

The sweater is designed with only 1”/2.5cm of ease. This is less than the typical ease for a worsted weight sweater. Please note that the finished sweater measurements are for un-­? stretched fabric. The fabric is very stretchy and will easily accommodate curves and waistlines. My design goal was to create a sweater that hugs the body in a flattering way, even with a worsted weight yarn, and feels good to wear.

I’ve designed this sweater to be knit in pieces and sewn together. I am a firm believer in seaming a garment of this weight. Seams, especially shoulder and sleeve seams, add the strength needed to hold a sweater of this weight in the correct shape. A worsted weight sweater without shoulder or sleeve seams will very soon sag and lose its shape and look old before its time. Taking the time to make beautiful seams will give you a beautiful garment you will wear for years. Don’t be afraid of seaming! There are many fantastic resources online to help you sew invisible seams in your knitted garments. (See the Appendix at the end of the pattern.)

Requirements for test knitters:

  • You need to be comfortable knitting simple cables, making right and left leaning decreases (SSK, K2T), and knitting and purling through the back loop.  You need to be able to read basic knitting charts.
  • The sweater must be made with worsted weight yarn and you must match the gauge given (within reason).
  • The yarn used must be at least 50% wool (superwash is ok).
  • You must join the Ravelry group for the test knit and give weekly feedback on progress.
  • You must be open and willing to communicate what you like and what you don’t like about the pattern, what problems you have, and any solutions you may offer for problems others may have.
  • The sweater must be finished with all input given by 10 February 2013.  The pattern will be released to the public on 14 February.
  • You will not share the pattern with anyone outside of the test knitter pool.

What do you get in return?

  • My gratitude!
  • Recognition in the pattern notes and on Ravelry.
  • Final copy of the pattern free, PLUS the pattern for the matching socks (coming also in February), PLUS a free copy of my next sweater pattern (which is already in the works).
  • Individual support from me while knitting your sweater.  I will answer all questions within 36 hours and will provide detailed photos of my sample sweaters and knitting techniques if required.

If you are interested in being a test knitter, and you are on Ravelry, drop me a message on Ravelry, or add a comment to this post, and I’ll send you more information.  The pattern will be emailed to test knitters.  It is currently in a pdf file, without fancy formatting.  I’ve included several photos, but more photos with different models will be included in the final version of the pattern.

I am now making a second sample sweater, in the same size, using a yarn that is 50% wool and 50% cotton so you can see the difference that makes to the fit and drape of the sweater.  I’ll be knitting along with my test knitters, heading for the February deadline.

Look out for February 14 when the final version of the pattern will be available!

6 thoughts on “Sneak Preview

  1. Veras November 18, 2012 / 22:36

    Congratulations! That is so pretty! What a shame that I have too many WIPs! I’d have loved to testknit this.
    🙂 Tot ziens.

  2. Jeannine Acantilado November 19, 2012 / 05:28

    I would love to test knit this sweater. It look fabulous. Being a cardiac ICU nurse for so many years, I also like the idea of the heart cable motif and the color you chose 🙂

  3. Lou November 20, 2012 / 18:10

    Love it! the texture and colour is also superb.
    Love the idea of flat knit patterns as i’m not a fan of knitting in the round as my Gretel sweater (WIP forever!!) denotes. Well done you!

  4. Ashley Lievense November 20, 2012 / 22:20

    Your sweater sneak preview shot is beautiful! I would love to test knit your pattern! One of the reasons you will see so few sweaters on my Ravelry project page is because my Oma taught me to knit with one needle firmly planted under my right arm. I am not a fan of knitting on circular needles, and unfortunately, sweaters in the round have too many stitches for my 14″ straights to accommodate. I have seamed sweaters before in the past and would love the experience of test knitting.

    Ravlery username: aelievense

  5. Brice November 25, 2012 / 14:26

    I would want to test. I’ve made Tinder of BT.
    I’m Astrakan (ravelry).

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