A Knitting Wrapsody: Knitted Shawls, Wraps, Scarves, and Skirts

Arcelia Skirt   Arcelia skirt worn as a halter!

A note from Kathleen: Kristin Omdahl is best known for her amazing crochet patterns, but she's a wonderful knitting designer, too. Her work incorporates unique stitches, shapes, and embellishments that are so much fun to work with!

In her newest book, A Knitting Wrapsody, Kristin incorporates her signature motif designs into eighteen fabulous projects.

I asked Kristin to write about her new book for us, and here she is!

 

  
Sand Dollar Cape

A Wrapsody of Knitting

I've been designing knitting and crocheting patterns simultaneously for the last six years, and I make time to both knit and crochet every day. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase A Knitting Wrapsody's knitwear collection.

My vision for this book was to take inspiration from other crafts and unusual places and apply it to knitted shawls, wraps, scarves, and skirts. I took inspiration from crochet, weaving, embroidery, fishing, seashells, and even an oil painting.

I also wanted to create versatile garments, so most of the pieces in the collection can be worn in a variety of ways. (My favorite surprise was that the Arcelia Wrap Skirt looks wonderful as a halter top. I can't wait to wear this top this summer!)

The most challenging project in the book was the Sand Dollar Cape. Inspired by—you guessed it—sand dollars, I thought it would be interesting to make a circular cape with overlapping ovals around the outer perimeter to easily weave a belt in and out to cinch the waist while keeping the "sleeves" wide and loose. It's a really flattering silhouette.

The challenge was that I started this project at the neckband and increased outward to the lower edge of the cape. Because of the amount of overlapping fabric, this project uses a lot of yarn. And I was trying to create a garment without knowing whether it would work, or even look nice, until it was finished. I was sweating bullets for over 1,800 yards! It wasn't until I bound off that I realized it was a success.

  
The Nerina Scarf

My son and I love fishing and I enjoying our fishing knots and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate my fishing knots into my stitchwork for years.

The Nerina Scarf is a really cool scarf that uses short-row shaping heavily to create beautiful ruffles and holes. The holes were a natural place to weave in cords for ruching the ruffles to manipulate the scarf into a cowl or capelet. Because the cords needed to be closed, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to use a uni-knot (the same knot that I use to join leader line to fishing line) in my knits!

The first project I designed for A Knitting Wrapsody, and the project that created the inspiration for the book's concept, was the Tree of Life Ruana. The ruana is a quick and easy knit in a simple, textured stitch with a beautiful pleat on each front that is fun to create.

The back of the ruana is my favorite part of the piece, though, and the one I was so excited to create. I fell in love with the painting Tree of Life by Tim Parish and wanted knit something like it.

I created a color chart for knitting the tree trunk in intarsia stockinette. The contrast of stockinette really pops on the textured fabric of the rest of the ruana. And the simple, chain embroidery stitch used for the spiral branches complements the stockinette stitch texture very well.

      
Tree of Life Ruana Tree of Life Ruana, back view

The branches are embroidered free form. I chose a roving style yarn for this project because the texture of the yarn weaves in really well—there are a lot of ends to weave in on this project, and I wanted to make sure that when they were woven in they would stay in place!

A Knitting Wrapsody
comes with a workshop DVD because I wanted to demonstrate the unusual techniques and offer my help, tips, and tricks. It's an hour-long DVD and I think it really complements the patterns in the book.

I love teaching and sharing my love of knitting and crochet with my readers, so DVD workshops are a great way for me to share my crafts more personally.

I hope you enjoy A Knitting Wrapsody. I sure enjoyed writing it for you!

Warm regards,

Kristin

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