Interweave Crochet Fall 2008 Galleries

Interweave Crochet Fall 08Take several beautiful crocheted garments. Add the cast and crew of one magical local yarn shop. Flavor with a fun and stylish Interweave Crochet magazine editor, a wacky Knitting Daily editor and a fun-loving mannequin named Bertha. What do you have? A recipe for the first-ever LYS Knitting Daily Gallery!

Here are the first four garments…look for more on Wednesday.


Lara's Dance Skirt by Doris Chan

Dusk Sweater by Amy O’Neill Houck

Pretty Little Dolman by Annette Petavy

Stepping Stones Cardigan by Kristin Omdahl

Thanks to all our gorgeous local yarn shop models: Kathryn, Jeanette, Joanne, Chelsea, Cherie, Erin, Crystal, Barbara, Lucy, Eleanor, Pam, and Grayce. You folks made our garments glow!


Lara’s Dance Skirt by Doris Chan

Afraid of wearing a crocheted or knitted skirt? Yeah, well; me too! Not all of us have flat tummies and perfectly shaped hips, however, no one says that you have to show off the top part of the skirt, right? Wear the skirt with a long belted over-tunic, so that only the swingy bits below the knees show. Add some kicky boots and you're a star! Sample garment measures 30"

Sizing: There are a couple of ways to add or subtract stitches if you do not fall into one of the size ranges given. You can add/subtract panels to change the circumference at the waist and hips. You can work the top section with a larger or smaller hook size. Or, goodness: Who says you have to add/subtract an entire panel? Make each panel one stitch smaller across (or one stitch wider!). Make every other panel one stitch wider/smaller. See? There are many possibilities.

The secret of making a knitted or crocheted skirt fall gracefully: Do not make the waist/hip section too tight! Allow the skirt to skim your hips and fall from the widest parts, instead of clinging tightly and hugging the widest parts. This means adding a bit of positive ease to the waist/hips area, NOT negative ease (not unless you truly want that curvy goddess look, then go for it!). A bit of positive ease will add extra swing at the hem as well.

Knitting Gallery - Lara's Dance Skirt   Knitting Gallery -Lara's Dance Skirt
Bertha needs the waistband to be a bit tighter to lay flat–it is a bit loose around her waist. She could work the waistband section on a smaller hook to achieve this.  
Kim is flaunting the mermaid look here, with lots of cling at the top and a bit of swing at the bottom. If she wanted less cling and more swing–and thus achieve a more flattering silhouette overall–she could make the top part a bit larger using one of the methods outlined above–or simply make the next size larger.

Dusk Sweater by Amy O’Neill Houck

This is a classic pullover, worked side to side, with each sleeve picked up at the armhole and worked downwards. The ribbed cuff is worked separately and attached row by row to the sleeve as you go.

Tricky bits: The wide boatneck collar can cause concern for some people–perhaps you want to cover bra straps, or it is not flattering on you. You can narrow the neck opening by connecting the mesh sections at the shoulders.

The long ribbed cuffs may call attention to your hips–they cause the eye to see a wider silhouette at that level. If this is problematic for you, shorten them, either by rolling them up, or by actually working fewer stitches across each row.

Sizing: This sweater looks best when it falls from the bust with a bit of positive ease around the hips. If you are smaller up top than down below, you can still make this sweater, but consider: Are you OK with it clinging to your hips/tummy area a bit? Then make the size that fits your bust plus a bit of positive ease for comfort. Would you rather skip the cling? Then make the next bigger size and have a nice comfy pullover.

Knitting Gallery - Dusk Sweater   Knitting Gallery - Dusk Sweater
Eleanor: The long ribbed cuffs pulled the entire silhouette down, instead of framing her face, so we rolled them up a bit. Much better. The body size is good for her, but the sleeves are very puffy–she could get away with fewer stitches around the sleeves to make a slimmer sleeve that balances her overall look. The wide neck shows off the pretty colorful blouses Eleanor likes to wear.

Erin: When Erin put this sweater on, we all gasped: It was perfect on her. So beautiful! (You can see that little secret smile of hers that says, "Just wait till no one is looking, then I can spirit this one away for my very own…")
Knitting Gallery - Dusk Sweater  
Bertha: The 36" sample is a good size on Bertha for the loose, weekend look, but Bertha has a lovely figure and can show it off–so I would make the 34" for her instead.

Pretty Little Dolman by Annette Petavy

A dolman sweater gives you wings! You might think that having all that fabric near your upper body would be a bad thing for anyone but skinny minnies–not so. As you move, the wings flow and change shape, thus creating a gracefully moving "frame" for the rest of you. Think about the way Oprah dresses: She decorates her full bust area, and her upper body, in such a way that her clothing becomes a decorative "picture frame" for her face. A dolman can do that, if done cleverly. And this one is very clever. The "wings" come from the empire waist, keeping the eye away from hips and true waist; the wings are proportional to the rest of the garment so that they don't call undue attention to the upper body. Nice!

Neckline: Check the schematic measurements against your own shoulders and the neckline of a favorite top. If the shoulders on this sweater are too wide for you, start the neck shaping a couple of rows later than indicated. How many rows? Use your own measurements, your favorite top's measurements, the schematic, and the row gauge statement to work this out. You can bring the low neck up a bit by adding more stitches to the center front rows.

Sizing: Don't use your bust measurement to pick the size–use your underbust measurement, as that is the key to good fit for this particular sweater. The top section is meant to be loose-fitting; if you need more room up top than provided by the underbust size you choose, you have a couple of options: Go up a size; work the top section in a larger hook; or add more rows to the center front section (adjusting the neck opening accordingly). Realize that the first option will enlarge both the back and front sections; the second and third options can be used to enlarge only the front, if you work the back as written.

Lower Body Section: Check the hip measurement on the schematic, and compare to your own hips. If the size you need for your upper body does not leave enough room for your hips, you can do one of two things: Either add more stitches in multiples matching that of the stitch pattern for the lower body (if you need a lot more room, or if you need room all around) or add stitches to the hip shaping section (if you need a little bit of room, or room just at the sides). You can do the first option by working more (sc, ch 1) pairs in the set-up row, spacing the added pairs evenly around.

Knitting Gallery - Pretty Little Dolman   Knitting Gallery - Pretty Little Dolman
Bertha, as usual, looks adorable. Note that the sweater has a slightly different look on her due to the fact that the empire waist of the sweater actually falls closer to her true waist. If she wanted a REAL empire waist, she would compare her own vertical measurements from underbust to true waist to those given on the schematic, and subtract stitches on the top section, making it shorter. She would also then add rounds to the lower section, making it longer so that the hem fell at the same place. (Whew! Got all that?) Kim: The hem is higher on Kim, giving the top a more modern "shortie" look, the kind of top you could wear with a lacy something underneath that showed at the hem. The neckline is too wide on Kim and the sleeves are a weensy bit short. Other than that, super cute!
Knitting Gallery - Pretty Little Dolman   Knitting Gallery - Pretty Little Dolman
Lucy: The top looks a bit big on her, especially considering that she's wearing a (gorgeous handknitted by herself) vest underneath. A smaller size would help the neckline come in a bit, which would suit her smaller frame better. I keep thinking I want the hem to come lower, not much lower, but lower. And the sleeves could be longer. The color is to DIE for on you, Lucy. Makes you glow!

Me: (I look like I am ready to direct a choir or something.) OK…this is cute on me, I do say so myself. I'd bring the neckline up and inwards to cover the little camis I like to wear under lacy things like this. I would add some stitches to the lower section so it did not cling so much to my hips and tummy. That's all, though.

Stepping Stones Cardigan by Kristin Omdahl

It's top down. It's EASY top-down, with only one (ONE!) row of increases and then straight all the way to Tuesday. It's cute. What more could you ask for?

Neckline: If you want a smaller neckline, use fewer foundation single crochet stitches when you begin. Use the schematic and a favorite shirt in your closet as your guide.

Top section: If you need a little more room in the upper chest area, work alightly longer foundation chain and/or work a few more increases on the initial row. (Likewise, if you need things a bit smaller, you can work fewer increases in the initial row.) You'll need to increase/decrease by an even number, in order to keep the pattern stitch straight. Easiest way I can see to do this is to work the first row, the increase row, entirely in single crochet, increasing three single crochets in each foundation stitch, adding (or subtracting) additional single crochets as needed. Then work the next row in the spike stitch pattern as indicated. Don't try to add or subtract too many stitches to this first row, or the sweater will be distorted–if you need more than an inch or so, or less than same, go up/down a size or adjust the initial foundation chain to make things the size you require.

Sizing: If you want to wear the sweater closed, as in the magazine, you might want  to choose a size that allows for more positive ease than if you want to wear it with only the top button done up. The sweater looks adorable either way! Check the schematic measurements and compare to your own measurements (plus or minus ease) to determine which size is best.

Knitting Gallery - Stepping Stones Cardigan   Stepping Stones Cardigan
Cherie: This is an adorable style on Cherie, but a bit small. For this to fit her better, she needs more room, particularly across the back. This would allow the fronts to come a bit closer together and the sweater as a whole to hang more gracefully–give it a bit more "swing"! She probably would want to make the next size up.

Crystal: Gotta love her spirit here, folks, with the one-armed approach! Crystal needs to make a larger size–but which one? She would compare her measurements to the schematic, figure out how much ease she wanted, and find the closest match. I'd like to see he wearing this open, top button done only, with the fronts having only about two inches between them. The fronts should not fall straight down along the fullest part of her bust but rather fall closer to the center on her. Likewise, the fronts should cover the bust for her best look–but not necessary button all the way down. A fully buttoned sweater, with buttons and potential gaps, would keep the eye away from her incredible light-up-the-house smile (Crystal, you make me happy just looking at that smile!). Also, a fully buttoned sweater makes a full bust seem bigger, because it looks like one continuous, and thus visually larger, bit of landscape. Break up the landscape by having the sweater drape open, with a pretty shirt underneath, and a full bust seems less full.
Knitting Gallery - Stepping Stones Cardigan   Knitting Gallery - Stepping Stones Cardigan
Joanne: There's a couple of clues here. Notice how the bottom does not fall straight at her hips? Notice how the top button is pulling? And then notice how big the shoulders and sleeves seem? Interesting. Joanne needs a larger size, but what to do about those sleeves? I'm going to say: Go with the larger size, but do fewer increases in the front shoulder area to cut down on the bulk and looseness there. You can control shaping in this sweater by WHERE the increases go as well as how many there are. Color: When we were talking with Joanne, we all agreed that a lighter gold color would be more flattering, less heavy, on her than this brown. See the highlights in her hair? Pretty! She could match one of those tones for a look that echoes her delicate face better.

Me: Wow! Tooo small. Next size up, please. And I'd want to make sure the fronts fell closer together so that they covered my full bust a bit better.
Knitting Gallery - Stepping Stones Cardigan   Knitting Gallery - Stepping Stones Cardigan
Kim: It is too small to be worn buttoned up; the one-button-at-top look is better. The sleeves and shoulder area look big on her, as with Joanne; Kim also could work fewer increases around the shoulders in front to have the top lay a bit more gracefully.

Bertha, don't you ever look bad in anything? Imagine this with a little skirt and a silk tee and she can waltz right into the boardroom. (She'd have amazing shoes to match, of course.)

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