I always need a really good reason to knit something that is all in stockinette. I soooo love to make my knitting life difficult (and this blog is becoming a testament to that), but sometimes a simpler knit catches my eye because the final product has more than stockinette. It has details -- lovely, carefully thought-out, keep-Dayana-interested-or-else details that make the pattern a true delight.
This is the Laszlo Cardigan by Alexis Winslow, a top-down seamless picture of elegance from her new book "Graphic Knits". The book is released this month, woohoo!
I became an instant fan of Alexis's work and especially her attention to detail, when I discovered her fabulous earflap hat pattern, Arbuckle. I wear it every day of my Montréal winter, I highly recommend the pattern. Read my blog post about it here.
I was lucky enough to be chosen to join a small group of bloggers who received Graphic Knits a little early. We all picked different patterns that we liked best and are now releasing these posts to celebrate the book's release -- scroll to the bottom to see a schedule of other posts in our little blog ring!
There were obviously many tempting patterns to choose from, but as I mentioned before, what caught my eye about Laszlo was the details:
First there was this great big sailor collar! I had never made one of those, and I saw that it was constructed in a clever way with increases and short rows. Fun.
I made some tiny little mods -- I thought the transition from the last short row into the ribbing was a little bumpy on the original, so I knit an entire row without short rows to smooth the transition. Secondly, and this is something I always do, I used an end to whip stitch the edge of the button band ribbing to add bulk so that it would meet better with the collar ribbing. Ribbing always wants to accordion back on itself, and these types of edges are never very square without a little help.
The inside of the collar is all in reverse stockinette. If I do up the button at the end of the collar a little of it shows, which I actually like. However, I really recommend you do the following to perfect the look: to change from stockinette to reverse stockinette you have to transition from picking up in knit to picking up in purl. You may find that this leaves a blip of the wrong color showing. Just make sure to duplicate stitch over it until it disappears!
A second fab detail is the button placket cuffs. Yes, that's a lot of buttons to sew, but it's worth it because it adds such a nice dressmaker's detail to the rather simple cardigan. I did use one less button because I made my sleeves too long (I always typically overcompensate!).
Finally, there are the sweet pockets. Now these are optional because they are sewn in later, but who doesn't love pockets? I made them bulge out a tad more than in the original, just for the "I-actually-use-these-pockets-look." Don't you just love the little button closing it?
A note about the buttons: they need to go on two different colored fabrics, the light colored sleeves/pockets and the dark colored button band. In the original they only show on one color. So, I tried hard to find a button that would show up on both fabrics, and I'm really happy with that choice.
In the pocket pic above, you may have also noticed the little decreases running down the middle front, just like the seam of a fully fashioned blazer... so nice! See what I mean about details?? The decreases are also cleverly placed in the back.
I used Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in Satin and Clove shades, and it came out really nice and soft after soaking and blocking. I think this yarn is growing on me after the epic afghan I finished earlier this year.
If you are thinking of making anything from the book (and you should scroll down to see my other faves), I have advice for you:
READ THE TIPS BOX THAT COMES WITH MANY OF THE PATTERNS!
This was a lovely knit, I really enjoyed it. If you like top-down seamless sweaters, this is a good one, and all of the little details will keep your interest high. (Do make sure to check the errata available, for the print copy.)
If you'd like to learn more about Alexis's process designing the patterns for Graphic Knits or see what she is up to, please go visit her blog on Knit Darling.com and become a follower! Here are some other knits from the book I particularly like:
|See the Germander Shrug on Ravelry|
|See the Tanager Shrug on Ravelry|
|See the Orly Cardigan on Ravelry|
And better, why don't you visit some of the other bloggers in our little release party?
Up now -- Heather Zopetti Designs -- Woodstar Mitts and a Graphic Knits book giveaway!
Oct. 9 -- Stockinette Zombies -- Germander Shrug, Rockland Cardigan and Sweetness Pullover
Oct. 9 -- Knitscene/Knitting Daily Blog -- Barbet Turtleneck
Oct. 15 -- Polkadot Overload -- Bowerbird Wrap
See my Laszlo Cardigan on Ravelry