Quince & Co‘s latest offering in Top Down: Reimagining Set-In Sleeve Design by Elizabeth Doherty is both a mini collection and resource for thoroughly understanding and knitting top down set in sleeves, a construction technique that is featured in all 6 of the patterns. In the information section, there are several diagrams and illustrations to help provide additional clarification for those of us who are visual learners, along with clear information on sleeve cap mechanics, fitting the cap to the body, cap depth and sleeve fit, and step-by-step instructions for how to work a top down set in sleeve. These resources will come in handy if this is your first time knitting a top down set in sleeve, or if you are thinking of designing knits with top down set in sleeves. Considering how fantastic a good set in sleeve looks, I’m hard-pressed to think of anyone that wouldn’t find this appealing- unless you aren’t a big fan of knitting sweaters!
This is also quite a beginner-friendly collection. There are lots of great little extras that help explain techniques and include links to videos, if you prefer seeing the technique executed in motion (which I always need!). If a knitter has some experience with other patterns but hasn’t knit a sweater yet, this collection would be a great way to ease into sweater knitting.
All 6 designs have very simple silhouettes and small, thoughtful details. But there is clearly a lot of encouragement for knitters to customize these for themselves. And you know how much I support knitters customizing their patterns! Here are my top 3 faves from the collection:
Sans serif is a simple worsted weight stockinette cardigan with hidden pockets that are knit in fingering weight (to reduce bulk). It’s companion cardigan is Serif, and they share many of the same elements, you could easily switch in and out a few details from either to customize it.
You Should Totally Knit This If: You love a classic goes-with-everything cardigan, knits with pockets (hooray!) and you actually button up your cardigans when you wear them.
You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: the idea of a knit that is pretty much entirely ribbing and stockinette fills you with dread, no matter how nicely the sleeves fit.
Meris is one of the more curve-forgiving knits in this collection, with a great A-line shape and lovely geometric lace details (lace has both written and charted directions). Hems and neckline are i-cord.
You Should Totally Knit This If: You love A-line knits and lace. This would pretty much be exactly what you are looking for.
You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: The idea of a cardigan that only buttons across the bust would drive you crazy, or if you prefer to wear your cardi’s open- the wrong side of lace just doesn’t look as good as the right side. Also, if you are allergic to i-cord edgings or bind offs.
The most modern of the collection, featuring gentle waist shaping and a traveling rib front band that is knitted separately. Provisional cast ons are used, and the neckband is seamed on. The traveling rib fronts are both charted and have written instructions. More adventurous knitters could swap out the traveling rib design for cables, lace, or anything you want!
You Should Totally Knit This If: You love a wear-with-everything cardigan that you can throw on at a moment’s notice, and you don’t mind some seaming.
You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: drapey, worn-open cardigans aren’t your thing or if you hate seaming and i-cord edgings.
Those are my 3 picks from the mini collection, but it’s worth checking them all out! If you have questions about the others, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments.