Lisa Shroyer: Studying Knitted Sweaters For A Living

Lisa Shroyer

Today's Knitting Daily post was written by the next in our series of Guest Star Editors: Lisa Shroyer, senior editor of Interweave Knits and editor of Knitscene magazine.

I've been with Interweave since 2005. My main job is the pattern manager/editor of Knits. I manage all the knitting patterns in the magazine, from tech editing to photoshoot to final published pattern. I fondle all the garments, count stitches, swatch, study charts, do lots of math on my grimy little well-loved calculator, check yarn info, chase down designers with questions like "did you use the eastern CO or the figure 8?" and so on.

I live in Philadelphia, the Interweave headquarters are in Colorado, and Eunny Jang, the editor of Knits, is in Maryland. So I travel quite a bit! I love my job, because I love knitting and yarn and technical bits and I really love a great magazine. Studying sweaters is a good way to make a living.

My credentials? I've been knitting for about 18 years, crocheting for almost 3. I come from a knitting/fiber family—my parents founded the company Nancy's Knit Knacks ( We can trace our lineage on my mother's side back to the Aran Islands themselves!

Apothecary Raglan (Knitscene Spring 2008)

As for what I like to knit things with—wool! Big winter sweaters, fair isle hats, cabled thingies. I do not care for making socks (shoot me with a dpn). I like to design conceptual pieces, garments that are a study in line and graphic as opposed to highly traditional or subtly articulated garments. My recent patterns were the William Street Socks, Road to Golden, Summer Wheat Tank, and Orbit Lace.

What am I working on right now?

A cabled scarf for myself (using a stitch pattern from the new Harmony Guides), finishing up my Central Park Hoodie (from Knitscene Fall 2006), and many unmentionable UFO's in my knitting closet…

What's next for Knitscene?

That's right, my other (!) job is as editor of Knitscene, Interweave's little but luscious biannual special issue. This mag's focus is on simple projects, stylish shapes, and garments that are wearable and contemporary. We don't take ourselves too seriously. You could call Knitscene the little sister of Interweave Knits. We JUST went to press on the Winter 07/Spring 08 issue of Knitscene. It's a great issue, filled with trans-seasonal layering pieces, hoodies, cardigans, fitted tees, and quick accessories.

New Wyoming Vest (Knitscene Spring 2008)

For this Winter/Spring issue, I designed two garments. One is the Apothecary Raglan—okay, it's the most challenging project in the issue, but I like to think the brain exercise is worth it! Worked in a bulky wool-blend singles, it has an unusual top-down construction. The yarn is self-striping, and I couldn't pass up the chance to manipulate the colors. The turtle neck is worked first as entrelac in the round, then a panel of entrelac splits off from the neck and is worked as a flat panel. Then you pick up stitches around the base of the neck piece (which has splayed out to form a yoke) and work the body as a top-down raglan in allover 1×1 rib. The colors pool in the entrelac section, then make funky stripes on the body. It's warm, comfy, very elastic (can be form fitting or loose), and is a fun way to incorporate entrelac into a sweater. And really, in this bulky yarn, it doesn’t take long to make. I may be a fast knitter, but I mean that!

The other project I designed is a cardigan vest called New Wyoming that combines a super bulky yarn with a light and feminine silhouette. This was so quick to knit! I literally made it in three days.

Central Park Hoodie (Knitscene Fall 2006)

And last but not least: We're running a bonus Knits Spotting feature on the Central Park Hoodie (CPH in blogland). We've found knitters around the country who made this grand-slam project from the Knitscene Fall 2006 issue of Knitscene, and we're showing off their versions. AND I revised the pattern to include three new PLUS sizes—52", 56", and 60"—so that everyone can make this great sweater. Look for that on Knitting Daily in December, along with pics of my finished 52" CPH! Because yeah, I am a big girl. And I am an advocate for positive ease, people. Positive ease + big girl bust = big CPH. Coming your way soon.

Coming Up on Knitting Daily

Next week: It's Thanksgiving here in the States! We'll have a tiny holiday treat for everyone; and just so you know: There will be only one Knitting Daily post that week.

Then on Monday, Nov. 26, We'll be back to our usual schedule with The Winter Knits Galleries! We've chosen several of the sweaters from the Winter 2007 issue for the Women of Interweave West to try on and model for you, so you can see the sweaters on a variety of different body shapes. Katie Himmelberg, style editor of Knitscene, and assistant editor of Knits, will be walking us through some helpful styling tips for different body types. Don't miss the fun!

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

Where in the world is Sandi knitting today? Sandi is knitting her way around Toronto, Canada for a bit, while she visits with loved ones. She'll be back as soon as she finishes a few more rows…

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