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The Yarniacs: A Knitting Podcast

Aug 7, 2015

In episode 94, I recount that someone recently said to me, "You only knit sweaters from the top-down." For me, nothing could be farther from the truth. When I started knitting, I knit sweaters from contemporary patterns, which had me dutifully knit my fronts, back, and sleeves, and stitch them all together. But patterns, like clothing styles, evolve and change, and new designs caught my eye that involved new techniques. Being a sucker for innovative constructions, it wasn't long before I was stitching top-down sweaters, bottom-up sweaters, sideways sweaters, and currently I am enjoying the new creative techniques that designers are using to knit top-down sweaters with a variety of sleeve constructions. This new contemporary takes the fitted style many sweater wearers love, turns it upside-down, and introduces innovative constructive techniques enabling us to use knitting to its advantage. We aren't merely piecing together clothing as one would when creating a garment from an already woven piece of fabric, we are finding new ways to use our ability to create fabric while making fitted garments previously knit in pieces. While I adore my raglan-sleeved sweaters, I equally love trying out new construction techniques. More than one finished sweater in my closet has been knit because of the techniques employed by the pattern as much as for the style of the finished garment.

Elizabeth Doherty's new book Top Down: Reimagining Set-in Sleeve Design is exciting to me because it takes the set-in sleeve sweater style, turns it upside down, and teaches us how and why we can knit sweaters in this direction, create fitted sleeves, and why we benefit from the exercise. I know Elizabeth personally and I will tell you that she is smart, thoughtful, and funny. This book takes Elizabeth's voice, combines it with the beautiful photography, yarns, and skilled knitting of Elizabeth's sample knitters (Hi Erin from Doubleknit!) and takes off running for the win. Lest you be afraid you won't understand the technical bits, the technique is supported by 6 classic patterns that are simple, yet elegant. I personally would love to get three of them on the needles. :) Needless to say, Gayle and I are both fans of this book, and hope you will be too.
 - Sharlene

What are we wearing?
Since we aren't wearing too many knitted garments this August, we talked about knitted items we have been using, including knit washcloths, and crochet bath scrubbies.
Echoes of Color by Joji Locatelli
Gayle's Echoes of Friendship

What are we stalking?
Breezeway Pullover by Kirsten Hipskey
Edie by Isabel Kraemer
Whippet by Ankestrick
Color Affection by Veera Valimaki
Miss Babs' Yet
Manzanita Tee by Rosemary Hill
Neoma's Shawl by Rosemary Hill
Little City Tee by Rosemary Hill
Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Splash
Peanut Warmer by Taiga Hilliard Designs

What are we knitting?
Easy Folded Poncho by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Polaris by Hiroku Fukatsu
a new shawl from Elizabeth Doherty
Razzle by Allie Coffey
Deep Breath Sweater by Kirsten Hipskey

What have we finished?
Pagona by Stephen West
Gayle's Advent calender Smittens