Scholar Cardigan // Grown

October, 7th, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

If this is the first time you are hearing about Grown, check out this post from earlier in the week for all the details about the book and how you can order your copy! The blog tour kicked off yesterday in a big and fabulous way. You’ll want to run on over to the YOTH blog for your chance to win a yarny prize.

Scholar Cardigan! The giveaway prize is 10 skeins of YOTH Yarns Father so that you can knit your own Scholar Cardigan.  Of course I am also including the pre-order package in case you haven’t already gotten your book.

Scholar was based on the Library Cardigan from Knits for Boys!

The adult design includes instructions for both a women’s and a men’s version. The men’s version (modeled by my handsome brother-in-law, by the way) was knit up first by my sister for her guy. It includes all the finishing touches from Library, the elbow patches and front pockets.

The rib pattern is classic and stretchy; this cardigan is so versatile.

When I was finalizing the pattern for this design, I realized that I had a truly different look in mind on how I would wear this sweater myself.  I decided a week before my last book photoshoot that I was just going to have to knit up this version too.  It was definitely a hectic week getting it done. I almost had to pull an all nighter at the finish line, but I managed to squeeze in about 3 hours of sleep the night prior to our shoot. It was totally worth it and I am so glad I was able to feature images of both versions.

There really are not a lot of actual differences in the knitting.  The sleeves and body length are shorter.  I went with more of a blazer style and left off the patches and pockets. And, my friend Micah wore the sweater more fitted. Perfection.  This version features Quince & Co. Lark.

This sweater is worked from the bottom-up with raglan style seamless sleeves.  The ribbing pattern is much easier to set up from the bottom and I love how the raglan decreases look on the yoke.

This is one of the patterns in the book that is great for a first sweater project.  There are a few of these (Plaza, Sidewalk or even Brecken minus the colorwork).  If you are able to read your knitting (meaning, identifying knits and purls as you come to them), you can totally handle this sweater.  There are some short rows in the collar but instructions for those are included and following them one step at a time will do the trick.

Here’s a little tip to make your patch pocket sewing super easy. Stitch an outline of your pockets using your tapestry needle and contrasting yarn.  It will be much easier to follow this outline while you are sewing than it is following your lines of stitches/rows. Pull out your contrasting yarn when you are all done. And, don’t forget to leave the top of the pocket open. #askmehowiknow

I just love looking at this little family of sweaters! I feel certain that you can think of someone to knit this sweater for since it is now available in pretty much any size.  Next up you’ll be hearing about Grown from a couple of podcasts so make sure to keep your eyes and ears tuned in to the tour!




Grace Wrapper // Grown

October, 4th, 2016

Photo Cred: Erica B. Studio + Design

If this is the first time you are hearing about Grown, check out this post from yesterday for all the details about the book and how you can order your copy! Mary Joy Gumayagay did the graphic design for the book and I still can’t believe how incredible it all looks.

Today I wanted to begin talking about the individual designs in the book and I decided to start with Grace Wrapper because it is one of my favorites and also because it happens to be the very first piece that I knit up for the collection. It just made sense. Grace was knit with the very scrumptious YOTH Yarns Big Sister. It is soft and heavenly and the colors are exquisite.

Grace Wrapper

Grace was inspired by an adorable ballet style wrap from my New Girl set last year, called Petite Wrapper.

Petite Wrapper

Obviously they are both wraps, ha! Both designs are worked from the top down with raglan-style seamless sleeves. But other than that there are quite a few differences between these two sweaters.  This was true for a lot of the new versions-I really did not set out to “simply” upsize for Grown, I wanted to make sure that the new versions were made for adults and would fit and flatter us appropriately.

Grace Wrapper Detail

One difference is the detailing at the cuff. Instead of the cutesy little pindot colorwork, I featured a bouquet style bobble on Grace. It keeps the design very clean and elegant but also gives it an original twist.

Grace Wrapper Detail

The finishing of this sweater features an i-cord bind off instead of the picot bind off that was in the baby version. I love the picot bind off but it seemed a bit much alongside the bouquet trim.

Grace Wrapper

The wrap itself is what ultimately gave me a little trouble. I redid it several times to make it just so.  Each wrap is picked up and worked from a vertical edge of the sweater front. The wrap itself is gently shaped so that it narrows gradually as it encircles. One wrap is longer than the other so that it ties off to one side in the front and criss crosses just perfectly in the back.

Grace Wrapper Back

After making a lot of adjustments in the knitting of the wrap itself I finally got it the way I wanted and blocked it.  I moved on to a couple of other things that were also included in our first photoshoot.  But the week before the shoot when we tried it on the model something was still just not sitting quite right with me about how the wrap would lay on top of the sweater on one side, where one wrap had to come out from underneath the side of the sweater and the other crossed over it (don’t even try to picture this in your mind, not worth the effort). Despite assurances from the stylist and photographer that it looked great and “that’s what wraps do” I decided about 2 hours before the photo shoot that I had to make an adjustment. #livinontheedge

Grace Wrapper Steek
I decided that what needed to happen was for there to be an opening in the side so that everything would lay perfectly flat. I have never steeked before. Never. So not only did I decide to make this drastic decision with zero time to spare…I was also trying a technique for the very first time and it was the kind of technique where there is no going back.  I wanted you to know this primarily because I really, really don’t want you to be scared to knit this wrap because of the steek.  It is the very last part of the instructions and is noted as optional. You might very well decide that it is totally unnecessary once you try on your sweater! But if you decide to do it, please don’t be nervous! The book not only gives written instructions for the steek but it also provides direct links to three great online tutorials that show you what to do in photos and illustrations. If it will be your first steek ever, you might consider approaching it a little more safely than I did and practice on a swatch once before on your sweater. Then again, my way worked out exactly as I wanted!

Grace Wrapper Spinning

If you like Grace, I hope you will hop on over to check out the book and pre-order your copy today! The pre-order package is truly a wonderful value and part of it is getting the e-book right away so that you can get something on your needles as soon as you pick out your yarn.

Grace Wrapper Bow

Keep your eyes on the Blog Tour because later this week, you will have an opportunity to hear what YOTH Yarns has to say about Grace and also maybe a chance to win a little something…

Grown: Sophisticated Sweater Designs from the Maker of Tot Toppers

October, 3rd, 2016

I thought I was done having babies. But then I embarked on this project.

I can’t believe I actually made it to this point (longest “pregnancy” ever, ha!) but I finally have A BOOK TO ANNOUNCE.  I have dropped some hints and teasers here and there but have mostly kept this not-so-little project under wraps. I hope that those of you who are used to more regular pattern releases from me haven’t gotten too frustrated; it turns out that I’m just not fancy enough to keep putting out single patterns while also creating my first full-size self-published book. I have so much to share about this whole process but let me just start by revealing the designs.

Grown Collage

Although my adult line has been around for a while, the concept behind the book was a little different. Most of my When I Grow Up designs of the past are their own thing and not connected with my kids line. But last year, after receiving yet another request to upsize one of my Tot Toppers designs, I decided I was going to do it but perhaps in an unexpected way. I toyed around with how this collection would come together.  First, it was just going to be single patterns that could be purchased in bundle form.  Then I thought maybe I could do an e-book.  But eventually, I fell in love with all of the new versions so much that I decided to go all out in a way I have never done before, overseeing the book from start to finish without an experienced publisher to guide me and actually taking it to print.

Ryan & Joey

Some of the designs are what you’d call upsized, keeping true to the inspired kids’ version overall. Others borrowed a stitch pattern or feature to create something entirely new. More importantly than that, each pattern was transitioned thoughtfully and intentionally for grown-ups. These Grown versions were cultivated to flatter adult women and men and not just blow up something made for kids.  We all know that kids bodies are just a little bit different than adults. The last thing you want to do is wear something that was made with a kid in mind.  I think you will find that is not the case here and the elements of each pattern were truly formulated for post-adolescents.  Each of the designs I chose to feature in Grown are raglan-style seamless sweaters with very little finishing and sewing: perfect for your busy grown-up life! You can combine this book with your favorite Tot Toppers patterns to create sweaters for the entire family. Maybe I’ll hold a Christmas card competition… :)

Sweater Family

I hope you have seen and heard enough that you are ready to order this book! Here are some more enticements. Right now, you have a few options to purchase and any of them will get you knitting straightaway.  Your best deal is to pre-order the print version of the book and receive the following package:

•  Grown E-book (immediate delivery)
•  Your choice of any one of the coordinating Tot Toppers patterns (immediate delivery)
•  Beautifully printed version of Grown (shipping in January)
•  A special custom wooden treat from Retromantic Fripperies (ships with your book early next year)

Folded Sweaters

Local yarn shops will receive a 10% discount when you pre-order your copies of Grown from NNK Press and will also be sent a complimentary e-book immediately, so you can get started on a sample or two if you wish. Also, there will be a trunk show that includes every sweater in the book so be sure to sign up for that.

The pre-order package for knitters and shops will only be available for a limited amount of time and is a really great deal! Your support means so much to me.

Book Thumbnails

Of course, if you would rather have the e-book only, you can absolutely do that right now as well through my website or through Ravelry.

Jesse Sweaters

Over the next month or two, I’m going to be sharing more detailed design-specific info and you can also learn lots by following along on the upcoming blog & podcast tour!  I’m so honored that Grown will be stopping by the following locations through the middle of November.  Follow along for chances to win all sorts of goodies, yarn, books, patterns etc. I’ll come back and update each link so that it is direct to the post/episode as we go along so they are easy to find.

YOTH Yarns Blog………………………………..October 6  
Knitting Butterflies Podcast………………….October 7
Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird……..October 11
Down Cellar Studio Podcast…………………October 13
Scavenger Hunt…………………………………..week of October 17
French Press Knits Blog……………………….October 19
Knitterella Blog…………………………………..October 26
Knitmore Girls Podcast………………………..October 27
A Playful Day Blog……………………………….October 29
2 Knit Lit Chicks Podcast……………………..October 29
Alicia Plummer……………………………………November 5
Very Shannon……………………………………..November 14
Webs Podcast………………………………………November 16
Knittin’ Little Blog……………………………….November 16
Anzula Blog…………………………………………November 17
by Annie Claire…………………………………….week of November 21
Knittin’ Little Podcast…………………………..November 23

Before I close out this post I have some thank you’s to those who were invaluable at putting together this project.  You were and are awesome and this page deserves to be shared with the world and not just in the back of the book!

And, more on this when I post about the designs themselves, but thank you also to the yarn companies who were part of this collection!  Thank you for trusting me with your precious fiber and I hope you are pleased with the outcome: Anzula, Dream in Color, Lorna’s Laces, The Plucky Knitter, Quince & Co. & YOTH Yarns 

<3 to you all
Even when you are Grown, may you never stop growing.