Jesse’s Girl // Grown

November, 18th, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

The following post is mostly a copy of my guest post over on the Anzula Blog!  You can read the original post here. I wanted to include a lot of the info here, too, so that I could link up to my Ravelry project for this design :)


This is Jesse’s Girl.  It was inspired by Jesse Half-Zip, a sweater that was part of my Knits for Boys book and is also now available as a single pattern. My husband and my oldest son share the name Jesse. My son is the 4th generation actually, so the name has been in the family for quite a while. He modeled the Jesse Half-Zip, of course.  And so, I decided it was fitting for me to wear the Grown version.  I openly admit that I made Erica spend WAY more time shooting this piece than the others because I knew I was going to have trouble looking at these photos of myself, ha!

Both sweaters share a central cable pattern and utilize Anzula For Better or Worsted.

I can’t help it.  Sometimes I accidentally have a favorite and from Grown, Jesse’s Girl is it.

It has all of the things I love. Squishy yarn with incredible color and depth. Textured fabric with cables that pop.  Flattering lines. A scoopneck that I can accent with big sparkly jewelry. Purple.

I had a “knitting disaster” with this sweater.  I knit the entire body and then realized I needed to make an adjustment to the cable pattern.  For a day or two I sat on it, trying to figure out a way around ripping the whole thing out.

NOPE. I had to do it. Frogged the entire thing.  It was painful. So painful. I had been petting those cables for several weeks.  I forced myself to get right back on the horse and reknit it quickly before I had time to get more frustrated. As has happened every time I have made this kind of decision, I don’t regret it.  All in the name of perfection!

This sweater is worked from the bottom up with raglan-style seamless sleeves. Shaping at each side flatters.  I am a mom of four.  These things are important. The shaping occurs outside of the underarm stitches in a sweet spot that works whether you are trying to create some curves or nicely accent those that are there without messing with either of the stitch patterns in the body.

I have already had several comments from folks who would like to see this design in a cardigan version.  I don’t have any immediate plans to do that, but I am happy to share a few instructions on how you can accomplish this modification!  It is really nothing fancy.  It will be easiest to follow along with the Jesse’s Girl pattern while reading these notes, but the principles are definitely applicable to other designs as well.

First, adjust the cast-on to remove width for the buttonband. For this design, I suggest you CO 6 fewer stitches.  This removes the center front cable only while providing for 2 selvedge stitches (one at each edge).  The selvedge stitches make it easy to pick up for your buttonband.  In this design, it is important to set up the Ribbing properly, so that your side Ribbing matches with the hem. With this in mind, set-up your Ribbing like this:

Row 1 (WS): P1, k1, *p2, k2; rep from * to last 4 sts, p2, k1, p1.
Row 2 (RS): K1, p1, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 4 sts, k2, p1, k1.

After you work the hem, and this is the only tricky part, map out your cable set-up row since the end-of-round for the pullover is not in the center front.  The easiest way to do this is to draw yourself a little picture like so:

Using the information in the existing pattern, fill in stitch count numbers for each section.  During the following row, you should be able to establish the stitch patterns properly and then you can knit back and forth for a while without thinking too hard. Do not forget to leave your first and last stitch as selvedge sts (that is, work them as knit on the RS and purl on the WS throughout the entire project and don’t include them in your cable set up). You won’t need to modify the sleeves or the sleeve join.

Next, determine your new center front neckline numbers. Subtract 6 sts (for the width you left out in your CO) from the total front neck stitches that are slipped to hold in the pullover  and divide the remaining sts in half.  The example below shows the smallest size. 22 stitches are slipped to hold for the front neck in the pattern.  After subtracting 6 and dividing by 2, 8 stitches should be put on hold for each side.

Work the remaining shaping just like for the pullover, taking into account that your end of row does not match the patterned end of round.  Your stitch counts both in total and in each section should match up at this point.  When you’re all finished, pick up a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 along those neckline stitches and use the same Ribbing pattern I provided for the hem.

Finish up with your buttonband, once again picking up a multiple of 4 sts plus 2, including along the vertical edge of the neckline.  This time, establish your Ribbing slightly differently…

Row 1 (WS): *P2, k2; rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.
Row 2 (RS): *K2, p2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Your buttonband should be about 1.25″ wide; place buttonholes as you like, with the top and bottom buttonholes about an inch away from each edge.  If you need help placing the buttonholes, use the Scholar Cardigan instructions as a guide. Buttonhole instructions are included in the Technique section of Grown.

I hope that sharing some of these notes with you is helpful! Grown is full of lots of tips and tricks to help you personalize your knits. After all, if you’re making your own clothes, they might as well be just right.  For more details about the entire collection, check out this post. Click here to buy it now.

All the sweaters from Grown will be touring around in a Trunk Show next year, which is wonderful but kind of a downer for my closet.  I would really really REALLY like to knit myself this sweater.  Along with several others.  But I’ve already admitted this one is my favorite so yeah…  first up!

Sidewalk Sweater // Grown

November, 15th, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

Here we are at the 7th sweater for review from Grown, the Sidewalk Sweater. I am definitely starting to feel like a broken record, but in case you’re just hearing about the book, check out this post from the release for all the details and how you can order your copy! The blog tour is starting to wind down but a few giveaways remain; all the links have been updated to take you directly to the relevant posts for easy access to more than you will ever need to know about my latest collection.

Sidewalk Sweater is worked in Lorna’s Laces Cloudgate.  I first worked with Cloudgate when I designed the Katy Tunic. It has cozy softness and incredible depth. I love how fast it knits up!  Yarn choice really has a lot to do with the finished style of this design. Cloudgate has just enough of a sheen and color depth to dress this sweater up.  Using something more flat in color, like the Spud & Chloe Outer in the kid’s version, is even more casual.

The inspired children’s design for Sidewalk is the Outdoorsy Sweater from Knits for Boys.  The overall look was definitely maintained, but the adult version also includes instruction for optional waist shaping. The children’s version is also shown with more ease than on my adult model.

The sweater is only shown on a woman but I hope seeing the child’s version on a younger guy helps you to see that this design is definitely unisex.  I suggest 4-6″ of positive ease for a man wearing this sweater and of course you will probably want to skip the waist and hip shaping options.

Here’s the cuff unrolled.  This sweater is super classic and the design is beginner friendly.  There are three sweaters in the book that I think make great “first sweater” projects and this one is probably at the top.

Because of the simplicity of this design, I think it is so interesting that this sweater is the most favorited design from the book on Ravelry! I would have guessed one of the more complex projects would hold that spot.  But then, this sweater is both so very knittable and wearable and the Outdoorsy Sweater was also the most popular design from Knits for Boys.  I really should not be surprised.

Sidewalk is knit from the top-down with raglan style seamless sleeves.  The collar is knit doubled so that it looks great inside and out.  You can crochet the cord like the pattern instructs, or you could buy some twill a la the Brecken Sweater for a more casual look.

Of all the sweaters in the book, this is definitely the quickest knit.  It contains a lot of warmth, but it is not overly bulky and if you layer with a tank, works even with milder winters.  Trust me, I should know!

This was another sweater knit by Linsay (LittleLippyEwe).  That speedy lady!


Brecken Sweater // Grown

November, 1st, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

If this is the first time you are hearing about Grown, check out this post from the release for all the details about the book and how you can order your copy! The blog tour has crossed the halfway point; all the links have been updated to take you directly to the relevant posts for easy access to more than you will ever need to know about Grown.  I feel very honored on receiving support from each of these knitters!

The Brecken Sweater (Grown) & Brochan Sweater (kid) are pretty closely related, as you can see. The colorwork was adapted for a larger yoke and placement was adjusted a bit. Also, the cuffs are worked a little differently.

In the child’s version, the hem is actually tacked under so that it can be let out later for additional length.  Since most grown-ups aren’t continuing to grow taller, this isn’t necessary and I’ve taken out this particular feature.

This sweater has always made me want to go on a fancy ski vacation. I would absolutely wear it around town in my Boots With The Fur and cozy leggings sipping on fancy hot chocolate.  I would venture most of you might go with coffee, but I don’t drink coffee and so Hot Chocolate it is!  Now you are in on my fantasy.

This sweater was in our very first photoshoot for the book and I came back so totally hyped up about the entire project because I could finally see everything coming together. Before this shoot, I had been debating on whether I should print the book.  These pictures made me do it.

Thanks to Linsay (LittleLippyEwe) for sample knitting this one for me. Linsay absolutely flies with her knitting.  It is incredible. I consider myself to be a pretty fast knitter but I get nothing done compared to this talented momma.  She knit two other pieces in the collection as well.

Brecken is a top-down & seamless raglan-style sweater. The colorwork is very minimal, which makes it appropriate as a first-stranding project.  I also think the sweater would be cute with stripes only or even some colorblocking if you like the shaping but aren’t crazy about fair isle.

The sizing is Unisex; like many of the sweaters in the collection it is appropriate for both men and women.  You can see how great it looked on little Jesse in the child’s version and the colors are really the only thing that could push it towards men or women. The book includes some notes on how to make it more feminine if you prefer, but I didn’t have Linsay work any modifications in this sample–it is knit as written.  If you don’t love my twill ribbon at the neck, you could also crochet a chain or knit an i-cord with your yarn. I personally liked the contrast with the twill but you won’t offend me if you go another way!

It is knit in Plucky Knitter Scholar 2.0 (worsted) which also makes it slightly heavier than the children’s version done up in Plucky Sweater (DK).  There is no end to your color combination options with Plucky Knitter at the helm. I love how this yarn feels after blocking. It has a beautifully soft bloom that draws the colors together just so.

 I really think I could say this about most of the sweaters in this collection but this one is just so wearable. It is cozy, it is not too heavy.  Friends who live in mild climates (like I do!) won’t be burning up with just a tank underneath in a worsted weight. Maybe skip your Boots With The Fur though… ;P

One last thing to mention before I go… click for details!