Enchanted Forest Aran
This is the DKNY sweater that originally appeared in Vogue Knitting and took the Knitlist by storm. For a while, it seemed as though the whole knitting world wanted to make one, there were surveys, sublists for EFA support and there is still a list of EFA comments and hints. (I've copied my comments on the Technical Stuff page).
The yarn is Classic Elite Tapestry, which is well suited for this pattern. Good stitch definition. The darker red is an unknown yarn unravelled from one of my sweaters as I did not have enough yarn to complete the project.
I believe that I still hold the Knitlist record for fastest EFA. It took me ten days. Hint: I don't use cable needles.
My own design, inspired by Deborah Newton, "Handknitting Gloves," Hand-Knitting
Techniques from Threads (Newtown CT: Taunton Press, 1991), pp. 66-71.
I did the back of the hand in a Bavarian twist pattern, before I knew what
Bavarian twist patterns were. (I liked the look of her richly patterned
white gloves and figured out that the high relief of the stitches was accomplished
by knitting into the back of the knit stitches.) The reason that the fingers
are a different colour is because I began the gloves in cheap acrylic fingering
yarn and then discovered that acrylic was too bulky around my fingers.
I have small hands and my fingers felt like sausages. I ripped apart the
tops and re-knit them with fine sock wool.
I knitted these almost ten years ago, when I first came to Israel. I had seen a friend's copy of Lizbeth Upitis' Latvian Mittens in the United States and created a pair inspired by the book.
This was really just an excuse to show off my son. The photo on the
left was taken after he had his first haircut at age 3. This is (was) his favourite
sweater. I finally had to hide it when he outgrew it, so that something would be left for future generations.
This sweater was knitted in mosaic stitch, in a pattern called "Three-and-One
Tweed" (Barbara Walker, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, p. 53).
Actually, I thought that I had invented it until I later came across the
pattern in her book. The background colour is charcoal grey and the contrasting
colour is achieved by tying together many remnants of my knitting, using
Kaffe Fassett's "Magic Ball" technique (Kaffe Fassett, Glorious Knits,
p. 140), although I'm not sure he ever uses the term. The sleeves and
front opening are steeked. I tried knitting this flat originally and discovered
that garter stitch done flat results "colour pooling" at the edges, so
I ripped it out and re-knitted it in the round, yes, even though it meant
purling every other round to achieve the garter stitch.
I was recently asked to give more details about the construction of this sweater, so here is the posting:
Boy, that's a tough one. I knitted this sweater probably 4 years ago. It's
Three-and-One Tweed (a mosaic stitch) from Barbara Walker's First Treasury
(I thought I invented the stitch and found it a couple years later in her
Multiple of 4 sts plus 3. Colors A & B.
Cast on with Color B and k one row.
Row 1 (rt side) - With A, k3, *sl 1 wyib (with yarn in back), k3; rep from *
Row 2 - With A, k3, *sl 1 wyif (with yarn in front), k3; rep from *
Row 3 - With B, kl, *sl 1 wyib, k3; rep from *, end sl 1, k 1.
Row 4 - With B, k1, *sl 1 wyif, k3; rep from *, end sl 1, k 1.
Color A was done with charcoal grey, Color B was lengths about 4 feet long
of odd bits of yarn tied together. It looks better if you have some kind of
coherent colour progression, like blues to purples to red or whatever. This
kind of remnant knitting looks better done in the round (that means that
you'll have to convert, in the odd number rows, knits to purls. I then cut
steeks for the front opening and the armholes. The reason it looks better
in the round is that if you're using remnants and you knit it flat, you get
colour "pooling" at the edges of the piece. The yarn doubles back and
instead of a nice tweedy look, you get wide bars of colour and they look
funny because garter stitch puts alternate rows together.
I picked up stitches for the sleeves and knitted down from the shoulder
but I don't recommend it. Although it eliminates sewing, it's a pain to
turn the whole sweater around every round (and when you're knitting a
child's sweater, those rounds aren't very long, so that's a lot of
The borders are garter stitch. Because mosaic stitch patterns pull in
considerably, I had to do the borders about 3 times before I got them to
lie flat. In the end, I used a much smaller needle than I normally would,
so that the gauge would be suitable.
For the knots between colours, I tied the pieces with 2 inch tails and
then just wove them in on subsequent rounds, over, under, as I went along.
Mosaic stitch is great because it creates a nice dense fabric, you don't
have to juggle 2 colours at once (each round/row, you handle only one
colour-- ideal for travel) and it doesn't curl.
Tap-Dancing Lizard Sweater
The yarn is cheap, locally made acrylic. The graph comes from Catherine
Cartwright-Jones and Roy Jones, The
Tap-Dancing Lizard (Loveland CO: Interweave Press), a marvelous
collection of designs. I adlibbed the musical notes in the background
to carry the yarn all the way around. This sweater was knitted in the round,
with steeked sleeves and front opening.
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