Thursday, December 17, 2009

Julia and Her Cozy Cap and Pullover

Thank you all for the lovely comments and support the other day. The concert went well and Julia didn't need any help getting up the stairs. There were a lot of tears before the concert and I think she was more anxious than I had ever dreamed possible. As Julia's aide Jackie said to me the other day, "It's hard to know what is swirling around in her mind." So now on to easier things ---- knitting!

Sometimes I just like to knit simple. I'm sure you all feel that need - maybe even more than I do. Although I am known as a designer who creates colorful and sometimes intricate patterns for magazines and books, there are days when all I want to knit is garter stitch! There are many times when life is so complicated that picking up a piece of complex knitting is the last thing I want to do. Thank goodness, I always have a few projects going myself, something difficult and usually something unbelievably easy that I can knit in the dark in the movie theatre. (Do you knit in the movie theatre? Much to the chagrin of my family, I do. I'm forever fumbling in the dark looking for the ball of yarn that starts rolling down the slope under other's seats! Ugh!)

Even if a sweater is basically simple to make, there is no reason that it can't have a little style to it, some frivolity that makes it fun to make. If I'm going to spend hours and hours on a project, I want it to be a project that stops traffic. I want it to look handmade and sophisticated, all in one fell swoop.

Last year, I started this pullover for Julia. She's been growing so fast that none of her handknit sweaters fit her. I knew I needed to make something loose and cosy and pink for her. With kids of her age (11), you really don't know what size they will be the following year, do you? Julia is still prone to really liking her handknits that her mom and our friend Cathy make her, thank goodness. What will I do when that stops? Oh, I guess I will adapt and knit for someone else!

So here you go - Julia's favorite sweater and matching cap of the winter and the only handknit that fits her at the moment! (She has sadly outgrown the beautiful "Best Friends Pullover" that she wore in my new book Color by Kristin). She has named it her Cozy Pullover and I agree. Looking at her dressed in the simple garter stitch in a lovely combination of Blue Thyme, Magenta, and Espresso Julia Yarn really makes me feel cozy too.

This is a project that a beginner can make. Both the cozy cap and pullover is knit entirely in garter stitch. If you like the projects you see on my blog and in my books but just aren't ready for Fair Isle Knitting, this sweater may be the project for you. For fun, I added some crocheted and embroidered flowers to the pullover yoke to make the design girly. It could just as easily be knit for a boy, just leave off the flowers. The cozy cap has a fun pom pom topping it off.

I've sized this design for toddlers to pre-teens. There are many variations I can imagine you could make to it:
•knit it in one color
•knit it totally in a two color garter stripe
•knit it in a mish mash of different colored stripes - sort of like a scrap afghan.
The basic premise is an easy to knit, easy to wear sweater made in comfy, warm wooly worsted weight yarn. You can find the pattern as a PDF download on my shop page. To learn more about the pattern, see my Julia Yarn page.

I know this isn't the most opportune time of year to be introducing a new pattern but it was finished! It is hard to hold back my excitement when a pattern is finally photographed, put into Illustrator, Indesign and tech-edited and up-loaded to my website. But then I also know that everyone is probably done (or almost done) with their gift knitting and you all are looking for a new project to knit at the new year! Or you could make the cozy cap over the weekend and give an IOU on the sweater!


Julia is for sure!


Gerri said...

Great shots of Julia! She is indeed growing up. Really different feel to them. I'm glad the concert went well. You moms are all going to need a nice long bubble bath or time out with libation of choice-my neighbor was dealing with hair that refused to curl at 6AM, all for the Christmas show.

You know, as far as a pattern intro this time of year; just remind us in a month. If folks are too busy right now, they'll be happy to hear about something they'd forgotten! A public service to us all.

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing but that Best Friends sweater should be in some sort of knitting museum - it is one of the most beautiful works of knitting I've ever seen! Okay, so yes I am a new knitter, but still!

I got the pattern and look forward to trying the hat out first - should be fun!

Kar said...

Beautiful as usual! The colors are great. And I don't think that Julia will tire of her Mom's handmade items. Hard to believe. :)

fracksmom said...

yeah, soemthing of yours i think i can make, and better yet i so needed a gift for an 11 yr old. now i just need to find yarn in my stash and i'm going to knit like a manic.

Shell ~ said...

hi Kristin,

~ * absolutely stunning photographs of your beautiful Julia * ~
Its a wonderful classic sweater, I can't wait to order it & your new book, so you can sign it for me.

My son was in 5th grade when he asked if he could have a store-bought hat. Up till then, all his hats were Mom's handknits with some very creative shapes, since in the baby years I didn't know how to knit in the round. My favorite was the Chinese Helmet, which could stand all by itself & a hat with a llama on it, which everyone thought was a cow, a grey cow ? .....hhmmmmm. ;0
Now thankfully Oren still wants me to knit for him, not hats, but a sweater vest. Can't wait to try your Julia yarn for that. I'm always inspired by your site & blog.
Shell ~

missjanesplace said...

Kristin, I love this sweter and Julia looks perfect in it. I've asked for your new book for Christmas so if I'm still "good" maybe Santa will bring it to me. (I think I saw DH in the book store with it in hand. JOY!) Hugs, Jane

Turtle said...

as always lovely! (and such is the model!) I would so love to see a pattern/kit from you some day. maybe a tea cozy, mittens or scarf kit. Not only would it be fun to knit but give folks a chance to play with your Julia yarn!! (lol, and become hooked on both!) :)

Virginia said...

Gorgeous shots of Julia! And the sweater isn't bad either. :)

I'm glad to hear that the school event went smoothly.

Rose said...

Really pretty; love the flowers. And the grey skies make for some interesting photos, especially with Julia's boots (are they orange?)

rebecca said...

Beautiful photos!
Oh, and beautiful knitting as well. Love, love, love your colour sense.

Sarah said...

What gorgeous pictures!

Yes, I knit in movie theaters. I usually bring something knit in the round, like a hat, or anything knit on circular needles so there's no risk of dropping and losing a needle. Top-down hats are especially good because when they become bag-like, I toss the ball of yarn inside the hat and significantly reduce the risk of runaway yarn.

Okate said...

Wonderful pattern, Kristin . The simple lines in it are open to all kinds of interpretation. I think this style would look great pulled low over the tutu my niece refuses to take off.

Any possibility you will be sizing this up adults? I hope that question doesn't make you groan.

I recently found out that many of your previous textile-inspired designs for Classic Elite are up on Patternfish. Yay! You are a master of the knitted kilim motif. I'm so happy those patterns are back in circulation.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to just say DITTO and join in with everyone elses first reaction - it was mine too...fantabulous shots of Julia!!

How did she get to be so lucky? 11 can be a very awkward age, shots of my daughters at that age are one's they want to hide! :D But Julia looks as though she is coming into her own and flowering! :D I smiled at her exhuberance and sheer joy! These pictures are real keepers!


doreenobrien781 said...

Wow, that first shot is a BEAUTIFUL shot of Julia, she's so beautiful! I look forward to seeing her in your blog and with the latest creation!

ellen said...

In the first picture she makes me think of Tess of the D'Urbervilles! Lovely picture, and adorable sweater.

mathea said...

The sweater is lovely!
When you mentioned knitting in the movie theatre and having the yarn roll down the floor, I remembered my grandmother's cousin talking about walking to the summer dairy farm in the mountains with the cows each spring. She'd fasten a ball of wool to her skirt with a safety pin so she could knit all the way - maybe a solution for going to the movies too? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Julia is just beautiful. The sweater is too, and ....those boots. She has a clear sense of color for sure!

Christine said...

We just had our holiday elementary school concert. And that morning was full of tears and anxiety.

Have you tried the Knifty Knitter yet? Found at Joann's, Michael's and AC Moore. Use bulky yarn. The blue hoop makes a doll hat. The next size makes a young child hat. The next size makes an older child/adult hat.

I had to do the wrapping at first for each round and sit by my daughter as she did it.

My daughter (age 7) went with me to my knitting night (hubby was out of town) and she insisted on bringing her knitting and I insisted she bring something else as well. Until now knitting meant one row of 5 stitches with me helping when things were fouled up. But this time she did manage to knit a row, have me knit a row (to get row with manageable stitches) and she knit a row and she did this for the hour we stayed. The group also explained to her that holes in knitting is called "lace" and that was a good thing ;)

The whole time she repeated the learn to knit verse "in through the door, around the back, out the window and off jumps Jack".

duraknit said...

Kristin, my daughter is just a little older than yours, and it was so hard to find something to make that she would wear when she was 11. Please don't stop designing for tweens, even when Julia is past that age -- you get it just exactly right. My sophisticated 13-year-old won't wear any handknits now except for fingerless gloves. I know! I'll send her to college in Maine -- that'll change her mind!

--Elizabeth D

Kat said...

LOVE the pattern. I'll have to knit one for my niece.

christine m. east of toronto said...

there is a pervasive charm present in these pictures of your girl. something both touching and beautiful.

fracksmom said...

I made it with a flower on the front instead of the pom pom amber loved it so much, she wouldn't let me have it back when I noticed one of the sleeves was wrong. I used it as my Jan sweater and it is posted over in the group forum