The pattern that started it all...

The pattern that started it all...

September 23, 2016

Everyone is asked, "When did you start knitting or crocheting?", but I ask "What made you want to start the craft?"   

I never thought I would learn how to knit; I had no interest in it. One day, my knitting buddy sat beside me and was making a little dress for her toddler.  While I crocheted, I thought, "Wow.  That is really cute.  Her daughter is going to look awesome in that.  I want to make that!"  It was Carina Spencer's Handspun Pinafore 

My mother agreed to teach me to knit shortly thereafter, and I had mastered the Cast On, Stockinette Stitch, and Cast Off and managed to create a pair of baby socks on straight needles.  About 9 months later, I picked up a copy of Knitscene and thumbed through it, stopping at this image of the Radon Pullover.  

The brilliance of the colors, the fantastic details & the modern design had me hooked. After days of color comparisons and second guessing myself, I finally chose my 3 colors, trying to match the principles of the original design: 1 high value pop color, and 2 muted tones of darker value to go with it. I had no idea what the instructions were saying, but I looked up each stitch (thank you U-tube and knitting stitch diagrams!) and made a sample swatch.

Here are some images of my finished project.   Since my fair skin will not take to neon yellow, I chose bright peach instead.   It took about 6 weeks to complete, and it has an odd stitch twisted here or there, but overall, the fit is great, and the length is perfect (I added 2 inches since I am long-waisted and tall).  



Yarn Loop is happy to add this pattern to the selection, and has put together some beautiful color combinations that range from bright and poignant to muted and understated.  While it looks like a highly complex pattern, it is quite simple, utilizing slipped stitches to create the diamonds.  Any intermediate knitter can make this pattern!

This was my first experience with Superwash Merino Wool, and it was heavenly!   Soft and bouncy, stretchy and self-lubricated with natural wool was sheer heaven to knit.  My hands were soft and moisturized instead of raw and chafed after knitting.  

I am a Texan, born and raised, and we have very little wool clothing, much less merino in clothing stores due to the warm climate (roughly 25 degrees on the coldest day and averaging about 45 at the warmest part of each day in the winter).  It isn't cold enough in the southern half of the state to have clothing stores full of wool, so many opt for cotton and man-made fibers instead.  I have since learned that wool is a temperature regulating fiber, and good for many temperatures, even if not severely cold. For example, I wore my sweater to a cold archive room at the library one day for several hours, I was perfectly content, not hot or sweaty or freezing (which usually happens in tandem in my cotton sweaters).

While I still love the shaping of the store-bought cotton sweaters I have, I am constantly looking for sweaters to make out of merino.  There is nothing comparable to a handmade sweater with a perfect fit.  

Yarn Loop has also added the book Knitting the Perfect Fit by Melissa Leapman which is an informative book about shaping and has images of each stitch and its use in a finished garment.  The book is packed full of patterns that utilize shaping to create that truly custom fit just for you.  Please click the link above for more information.

Please share your favorite patterns with Yarn Loop so that others can experience the wonderful world of knitting and crocheting!  We would love to know what pattern inspired you, too.

Yarn Loop has an ongoing discount on all new items!  Use code NEWKITS20 on any items under the "New" tab for 20% off.

Images courtesy of Knitscene Magazine, Interweave Press & Yarn Loop

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