Spring Patterns

I have two new patterns for spring to tell you about! The first is the Spring Thaw Cardigan available from Knit Picks in the new book Flourish. Spring Thaw is a lightweight cotton cardigan worked in Knit Picks Comfy Fingering yarn. The pattern is, of course, completely seamless, and worked from the top down.

I found the inspiration for this pattern in the new growth of Spring. The leaf lace pattern that starts at the top of the back gradually grows, cascading down the back of the cardigan until the leaves wrap around the front, in the same way that leaves start out as tiny buds in Spring and grow into leaf covered trees.
Besides the lace pattern, my favorite feature of this sweater is the seamless set-in sleeves. After the front and back of the cardigan are finished, all of the sleeve stitches are picked up from the  armhole and the sleeve caps are shaped with short rows. I started experimenting with this method after I read Barbara Walker’s book Knitting From The Top, but it wasn’t until I discovered German Short Rows that I really liked it. Of all the short row methods I’ve tried, German short rows are not only the best looking, but also the easiest to work. The trick to making neat looking seamless set-in sleeves is to keep the stitches small. Picking up the stitches with a smaller needle, and using the German short row method to hide the turns, produces a very neat join between the armhole and sleeve.
I also released a new shawl pattern this week. Voyager takes its name from the third book in the Outlander series, which I was reading while I knitted the sample. Yes, it is possible to knit and read at the same time! You just need to find a way to keep the book open (I use a book stand) and a fairly simple pattern like this one, which is worked entirely in garter stitch stripes separated by rows of eyelets. You might have to stop reading to work the cabled i-cord border, which is much more difficult to explain than it is to do!
Part of the book takes place on an eighteenth century sailing ship, and I wanted the shawl to represent that. The white and navy stripes are a common nautical theme, but the border is something I’ve never seen before, and it makes me think of all the ropes necessary to control the ship’s sails. I had originally planned to do a knitted-on cabled border, but it wasn’t working, so I came up with the cabled i-cord instead. It also means that this entire shawl is worked without a single purl stitch!
The yarn I used is Mirasol Sulka Legato, a soft and drapey light fingering weight blend of Merino, Alpaca, and Silk and it only takes one skein of each color.
I hope you’re enjoying Spring and thank you for knitting!