I haven't blogged much in awhile, partly because I've been busy designing and knitting! And I've just had a number of designs published, so this will be the first in a series of FIVE posts about newly available patterns.
The Barnard Raglan, a top-down, in-the-round, A-line pullover, is available in the Interweave Knits Fall 2013 issue (the first three photos are from Interweave Knits), and I am very fond of it-- in fact, I kind of wish I had negotiated to get the sample returned to me. It uses a wonderful yarn, Dream in Color Everlasting DK (100% merino), which is springy and soft and a joy to work with. And the colors are gorgeous. When I first saw the yarn for this pullover, I was afraid that (though lovely) the colors would be too dark to photograph well. But I think the true colors come across nicely in the photos.
Simple in line and relatively simple to knit, this pullover was not so simple to design (and a bit tricky when it came to writing up the instructions). Early on I decided on an A-line silhouette, relatively deep raglan armholes so the sweater would be easy to wear over another layer, and sportswear-inspired pockets, at both the hips and on one upper arm. When I hit upon the idea of using cables to accent the sweater's shape, and hiding the pockets behind the cable edges, the design really came together.
At least as a sketch!--when it came time to figure out how to keep those cables moving on a consistent diagonal from neck to hem, I realized that best way to do this was to make regular increases between the cables on front and back, but when I plugged these increase numbers and then the raglan increase numbers into Excel, I couldn't get the yoke, sleeve and bust dimensions of all the sizes to work out properly. That's when I added the point-of-shoulder (POS) increases-- which turned out to have the advantage of helping to shape the shoulder and to remove bulk from the underarm area.
I did realize that having three kinds of increases going on at once was going to be tricky to describe AND tricky for knitters to figure out, so I tried to keep it as simple as possible by making the A-line increases every 10 rounds, on the same pattern row as the cable crosses. And I kept the POS increases every 4 rounds-- only the raglan increases change in frequency.
Even though the increases happen simultaneously over the course of working the yoke, they don't all start at once, so it just takes a little patience to go round by round, figuring out which increases happen on each one*, and it does get easier as you go along, because the POS increases end fairly quickly. So hopefully knitters won't get discouraged by this part, because the body and sleeves are easy! Well, except for the pockets.
I do love pockets, and they are actually not that difficult, but it takes a good chunk of the pattern to explain how to work them, and yes, if you've never knitted pckets before, it may take reading through the instructions a time or two to picture in your mind how to proceed.
Will it be worth the trouble to figure out the yoke and the pockets? I think so! The Barnard Raglan flatters many body types, and is so versatile, as a layering piece in the winter, or as an outer layer in the fall or spring: tuck a couple of bills, a key and a cell phone in the pockets, and you are ready to walk the dog or run a quick errand!
*There is an app called Jknit which does this for you-- that is, you input the pattern info somehow (I have never used it, but I know other knitwear designers who love it), and then it gives you round-by-round instructions.
Also, I've been considering putting a chart together for the yoke, for all sizes, which goes round by round and tells you which increases occur on each round. If anyone thinks this would be helpful, please leave a comment, so I know how much interest there is in such a chart.
Edited to add: Click here for a chart showing which yoke increases occur on each round, for all sizes. To use the chart, look at each yoke round # for your size (numbering begins with first round AFTER transition round from neck ribbing); if charts says, "R, SS" it means for this round you must do both raglan and shoulder shaping increases.
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Featured pattern: The Treccione Pullover features a wide cabled yoke, worked sideways, then grafted; stitches for the body and sleeves of this classically shaped pullover are then picked up from the edge of the yoke, and worked down in the round. See more patterns