Artisan Sweater // Grown

October, 24th, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

Say hello to Kim!  She is my most famous and often used adult model :) In addition to that, she has traveled the country with me to help in the Tot Toppers booth at a variety of shows like Stitches and SAFF. Some of those travels included screaming babies in the car over long distances, getting lost on the Turnpike, sleeping in close proximity to howling dogs… the list goes on.  The good news is that they have also introduced her to things like Rombauer and my extended family.  Kim has also been a sample knitter in the past and she is part of my knitting group. I have known her for years and her daughter, Naia, has also modeled for me and has really grown up all of a sudden. Featuring her in the book was a no brainer.  Thank you Kim for always being a supportive friend and encourager to me!

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 is well underway and it has been such a pleasure to hear perspectives from a myriad of viewpoints.  You can really learn a lot about the book by checking out what others have to say.

I think this sweater is the most fun. Because you get to be picky and creative and basically do the fun parts of designing your own sweater without getting bogged down in the math. Artisan is the grown-up version of Imagination Sweater from Knits for Boys.

This pullover is worked from the top down with raglan-style seamless sleeves. The neckline is super cozy and depth is created with some basic short rows.

Artisan features Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted.  This yarn is such a lovely choice for colorwork.  It is so soft to the touch, the merino strands blend perfectly and you do not have to worry about felting your project accidentally since the yarn is superwash.

The pattern provides 20 colorwork options; you choose which ones you want to utilize. You could choose to alternate between just a few or use a whole bunch like we did. In the child’s version, I used 7 different colors.  Here, we stuck with 4.

Another cool thing about Artisan is that it is a unisex design, along with about half of the others in the book. The sweater is pictured on John as well as Kim, and you can see how it is styled to fit both of them.  Having John throw on the sweater was something I decided to do the day of the shoot.  I am so glad it worked out so that you can see how it looks on a man and a woman.

Kim is wearing it oversized and both the sleeve and body length are as written in the pattern.  In the book, I talk about some very easy ways you could tweak this design (or others with unisex sizing) in order to make them a little more feminine if you desire.

Another sweet friend of mine gets knitting credit for this sweater! She seems to always pick the tricky ones when she sample knits, #overachiever.  She and I had to work together on the collar to make it just right so we got to pass the sweater back and forth a couple of times; thankfully she lives right down the street.  Bless you Renae for another beautiful sweater.

Eli Cardigan // Grown

October, 18th, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

This time last year, our state was recovering from historic, devastating flooding.  Now, the coastal areas are facing similar, if not worse disaster in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.  Edisto Island is one such coastal area and it makes me so sad thinking about the things there that have been lost.  Our family has vacationed there for the past several summers and one of our traditions was to visit Botany Bay Plantation, which is a wildlife preserve abundant with history.  The photos for three of the designs from Grown were taken on Edisto last summer and a few of of those for the Eli Cardigan were taken at Botany Bay. I’ve heard rumors that the park is now closed indefinitely as the DNR tries to assess the damage of a portion of beach that was already eroding alarmingly. I am hoping this is not the case but haven’t really been able to find a conclusive answer.

OK, sorry for the sad! Movingon, please meet my handsome husband, Ryan.  He is modeling for me for the very first time. Yes, there was bribery involved. Especially considering it was a hot and humid South Carolina summer and I made him put on this gorgeous cabled aran sweater.

Eli Cardigan is the bigger version of Eliot Hoodie & Eliot Zip-Up.  Both designs were named after our youngest child, Eliot, who was very high maintenance in the womb and for his first couple of months out!

The baby version features a sweet hoodie with a tassel and toggle closure; the child’s version is collared with a zipper.

The adult version keeps the closure and neckline but adds extra cables and moves others around a bit. This design is challenging and suitable for experienced knitters.

Like the other sweaters in Grown, the cardigan features raglan, seamless style sleeves.  This one is worked from the bottom-up so that you can set up and establish your cables properly.

The one and only style of zipper I have ever installed is the no-sew zipper. That is what I featured in this design, along with the others that show a zipper in the collection. Instructions are included, of course. I love this method because it is NO PRESSURE.  Since it is all done by knitting the sweater into the zipper, if you mess up all you have to do is rip it out and try again! You won’t ruin your sweater.

When this much work goes into a sweater, the right yarn becomes even more important.  I used Anzula For Better or Worsted, which is a 4-ply merino blend.  It is scrumptiously soft but won’t pill excessively and the little bit of nylon helps it wear. You also have a zillion color choices. Basically, FBOW rocks.


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 is rockin and rollin and there are several giveaways that you can enter.  This week our Scavenger Hunt is underway and it is not too late to jump in.

My friend Krista knit up this sample for me. She did a great job with what is probably the most complex design in the book.  I was not at all surprised since we both share some perfectionist tendencies!  Thank you Krista.

Plaza Hoodie // Grown

October, 10th, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

If this is the first time you are hearing about Grown, check out this post from last week for all the details about the book and how you can order your copy! The blog tour has kicked off as well and you’ll definitely want to check out the YOTH blog stop from last week.  Coming up this week are some great podcast stops!  Tomorrow I will be doing an interview with Marly Bird on the Yarn Thing podcast–you can even listen to podcast live and call in to win goodies. I would love to hear from you!

The next pattern from Grown that I wanted to chat about is the Plaza Hoodie. It was knit in Dream in Color Canyon.  This yarn is SO squishy and soft and I love the weight. It wasn’t too bulky but has a nice cozy factor. As the brand name would suggest, your color options are pretty amazing. This version shows Prince William with Ghost Town.

Plaza Hoodie was derived from Park Hoodie. Park Hoodie is the longest running kid design that was transformed for Grown. I was also really excited to have a unique opportunity to feature one of the original models for Park in this grown-up version.  Naia then & now:

Park Hoodie–the original child’s version–is a pullover with a kangaroo style front pocket. It is a versatile design with different options for body shaping, sleeve length and even neckline options.  There are lots of other pictures of these variations too.

Naia was in elementary school when she first modeled for me and now she is in her last years of high school looking absolutely beautiful and with the disposition to match. This makes perfect sense since her mother, Kim, is also stunning in every way (more on her in a later post).

Plaza Hoodie is a cardigan instead of a pullover and features pockets inset on each side. This cardigan can be worn so many different ways, styled up or down. I also chose neutral colors so that it would match everything.

The sweater is constructed from the top down with raglan style seamless sleeves.

The edging is worked at the same time as the body so you’ll get to skip out on the dreaded buttonband stitch pick up.

The hood is worked from the bottom up starting at the neckline and finished seamlessly.

Just a handful of stripes adorn the yoke.

This book really was about growth for me on so many different levels.  I loved being able to feature people that have been meaningful to me and part of my support system and I appreciate Naia giving me her time once again!

She may be on her way out of childhood but she was still sweetly willing to play around the fountains with us :)

And thank you so much to Liberty for doing a test & sample knit of this design.  You rock!