Finished Knit: Gesture Sweater by We Are Knitters

The Gesture Sweater kit from We Are Knitters in complete, and I’m utterly besotted with the results. A deliciously cozy burgundy sweater that is perfect with everything that is wonderful about fall.

The big star of the Gesture sweater is that stunning cable that travels down the center of the front, back, and sleeves. It is surprisingly easy to memorize the pattern, and considering the size of the sweater, I’d say this was a quick knit. It is knit in pieces, which lends a certain portability to the project – sleeves are basically like knitting socks. And with an fairly easy to memorize cable design, the sleeves were done in no time.

 As someone who is on the petite side, I eliminated one of the cable repeats to shorten the sweater overall by a couple of inches, and I’m glad I did that- the length is perfect for me with this slight adjustment. If only I had done the same for the sleeves! I forget that I have short t-rex arms, and should have eliminated about 3 of the cable repeats on them to accommodate that. But there is something casual and extra cozy about them being a bit long on me.

On cold days, it’s kind of nice to tuck my hands up into these cozy alpaca sleeves. Speaking of the alpaca yarn, I can’t say enough good things about the yarn that comes in this kit- the 100% baby alpaca is so ridiculously soft, and has held up nicely with wear. This pattern is seamed, which is absolutely crucial to keeping a 100% alpaca sweater from getting stretched out (long time readers know that I love seams for stability and increasing the lifespan of garments!). If you want to know a bit more of the pros and cons of getting a kit from We Are Knitters, I discussed it in more detail in my first post in this series, which you can find here.

I did make a slight modification to the pattern to widen the neckline into more of a boat neck. When seaming the shoulders, I stopped each seam 1 inch further away from the neckline on both sides than called for in the pattern. I love a slightly wider neckline, I think it adds balance to larger sweaters. But of course, you need to watch for stray bra straps.

The drop sleeve shoulder is a great detail on this design, and works when knitting something that is a bit oversized. I would absolutely knit this sweater again in a heartbeat- I enjoyed the whole process, and the result is so wearable and cozy, perfect for the cold weather.

With holiday season is approaching, a kit is a great idea for a knitter in your life (or if YOU want one for a gift, send the link to someone as a not-so-subtle hint!). If you are interested in getting this kit (or any of them, there are so many to choose from), I’ve got a special code for you for 15% off!!

WAK_KNITBLISS15

(there is an underscore between WAK and Knitbliss, so I recommend copying and pasting!)

And of course, there will be an outtakes post early next week- because when you do photo shoots with kids around, you know there are going to be photo bombs of cuteness. And of course, it was bloody freezing the whole time, so if you look closely, my nose is pink in every. single. photo.

* This is part two of a short series of sponsored posts for We Are Knitters. I chose the pattern kit and the colour, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible Review and Giveaway!

The Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida is already a huge bestseller on Amazon  (UK friends, this book launches on Amazon.co.uk on November 10th!), and I can’t say I’m even a bit surprised. Japanese stitch dictionaries have long been treasured by knit designers and knitters looking to branch out their skills, but they have been challenging to work with – mostly being in Japanese, it required an adventurous spirit to figure out the charts and stitch guides based on the illustrations alone. At least that has been my experience- I have a Japanese stitch dictionary from about five years back, and I’ve never found the time to really try to work through a swatch to decode the charts.

But this new version is going to save everyone a lot of effort in that department, with 260 different stitches fully charted with great instructions on all the chart symbols and stitches. Botanical elements, eyelets, twisted and crossed stitches, and serpentine cables are all here:

There is boatloads of texture to be found in these pages, and every time I turned the page, there was fresh inspiration and utterly stunning designs:

The book also includes some great ideas for edges and yokes:

The above are truly just a tiny sampling of the wonders inside (260 different charts, after all!), and considering the price, it’s a steal– the old-school Japanese stitch dictionaries are all 4-5 times the price.

You Should Totally Get This Book If: You love working from charts, love lace and cables in the same knit, and are looking for some new ideas for modifying existing patterns, or creating your own.

You Should Definitely Not Get This Book If: You hate working from charts (all the designs are charted, not written), aren’t a fan of cables, and really, you like your knits on the simple side.

So would you like to win a copy? The awesome folks at Tuttle Publishing are offering one lucky reader a free copy!

To Enter:

Leave me a comment telling me how you would like to use this amazing book. Comments will close at midnight on Wednesday, November 8th. The lucky winner will be announced on Friday, November 10th. Good luck!

Modification Monday: Market Day Mashup Sweater

Original Pattern: Market Day

Knitter Extraordinaire: Karen (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the stranded cowl design as a starting point, Karen changed the gauge to worsted weight and incorporated the fingering weight cowl design elements into the top down, round yoke sweater. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: So much to love here! Karen is an experienced knitter and used to making modifications, and has made several sweaters which provided her with a solid foundation  for improvising the sweater. Karen an amazing job of balancing out the central motif with the smaller bands along the yoke and the sleeves, and adding in the side bands along the central design to help frame it around the body, where there were no horizontal stripes. When you compare the original design tot he sweater, you can see that she followed the striping sequence perfectly, and it worked out so well! A stunning sweater, perfect for Rhinbeck – where she even met the cowl designer, Misa Erder, below:

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

How to deal with feeling stuck.

Pantone has given Prince his own shade of purple, and it is beautiful.

An interesting read on how to know if you are settling.

How to be more present.

A fascinating look inside one of the first capsule towers of Japan, built in 1972.

My Favourite Pins This Week

While I’m not exactly all about the unicorn craze (although my 5 year old is completely crazy for all things unicorn!), I do believe that fun rainbow sprinkles and bit of frosting go a long way to making everything awesome. Enter in Unicorn Banana Bread – full of rainbow sprinkles inside and out. Perfect for anyone who loves rainbows, or needs cheering up via baked goods. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe can be found here.

 

When it comes to food for entertaining, I’m all about the minimal (or zero) cooking to make it easy. Enter in the bread dipping station –  Lots of fresh crusty bread, and recipes for three different flavoured oils for dipping- lemon zest dipping oil, balsamic garlic dipping oil, and red pepper with herbs dipping oil. Add some wine and a cheese plate, and you’ve got yourself a party. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Love this idea for customizing a door mat- and cheery succulents are perfect for combating the dreary weather ahead! Considering that it is based off of clip art, the same techniques could be used for all sorts of images that you could paint onto a door mat. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY is here.

Speaking of succulents, I love this little succulent garden idea with the gemstones. So pretty, an what a great gift idea. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY can be found here.

Oh Coco Chanel. So very wise. Pinterest link is here, although the original source is sadly lacking.

How is it the first weekend of November already? The clocks are turning back this weekend, and I’m looking forward to an extra hour to get a little more done. I have so much catching up to do, and I’m way behind on my blogging…. I hope everyone has a cozy weekend!

Modification Monday: Faded Leftovers Antler

Original Pattern: Antler 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Gen (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the leftovers from her Find Your Fade Shawl, Gen created this fantastic Antler sweater. details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: How many people have had loads of leftovers from making a Find Your Fade, or another large scale project? This is a brilliant idea for using a great colour combination for another knitting project. Gen does a great job of breaking down exactly how she used the colour combinations in this top down sweater, and it works out so beautifully. It’s very rare to get a garment out of leftovers, but when you have been working on a large knitting project hat already blends together a great combination of colours, wouldn’t it be great to make a garment with the same combination that you love? I love the result, this sweater looks so cozy, and perfect for weekends.