All posts by Amy Gunderson

Creative Director at Universal Yarn

Attire to Adore

Attire to Adore isn’t only the name of our recent Spring 2017 ebook, it’s also what we hope you think of it! The six knit garments in this collection run the range from vest to pullovers to cardigans. All projects are knit in one of our newer yarns, Adore.

Adore is a blend of superwash merino and anti-pilling acrylic. The anti-pilling acrylic component is the key in a garment that is easy to care for and still looks great after wearing and washing. Adore is a great basic – it has both a luxurious and a practical side, is fantastic to work with, and doesn’t break the bank.

Let me walk you through the projects, all designed by Tori Gurbisz and myself (Amy Gunderson):

Sienna Vest is the quickest knit in the book because – no sleeves! If you ever get worn out by a full sweater project by the time the body is done, a vest might just be the garment for you.

The lower hem is split in the front and a cable starts twisting up the center front like magic! Okay, it’s not magic, but it’s cool. This same cable eventually diverges at the neckline, maintaining the same ribbing as the cable. This ribbed edging that is worked at the same time as the shoulders means there is no need to work an additional neck edging.

 

 

Aurelia Peplum is a sweet little raglan pullover shaped through the inherent nature of dense cables.

This sweater is knit from the bottom up. The peplum portion of the sweater could easily be made a bit longer if you prefer to wear this with leggings.

 

A short-row curved hem and traveling cable panels are the defining features of Crisanta.

Slightly oversized, you’ll want to snuggle the day away in this cozy sweater. A fun little detail is the traveling cable which is echoed in the folded turtleneck collar.

 

Willow Cardigan has the benefit of set-in sleeves without the actual setting in part.

This sweater is knit seamlessly from the top down using Barbara Walker’s method of simultaneous set-in sleeves. If you’ve never tried this technique before you’re going to love it – trust me!

 

A nondescript cable running up each sleeve brings subtle interest to Jora.

Jora is knit from the bottom up in pieces and seamed, making it a great travel project. This raglan sweater is another wardrobe staple that’s easy to throw on with just about any outfit.

 

The collection’s second cardigan, Sorrell rounds out the group.

The drop shoulder design incorporates two lace patterns for easy knitting without the stress of much shaping in pattern. Who doesn’t love a lace cardigan, particularly one you can throw in the washing machine?

Free Pattern Friday – Mingle Cowl

Today, we have a small piece of heaven for you in the Mingle Cowl.

This cowl soothes my psyche with its shades of blue and gray. Two strands are held together throughout the cowl making this a pretty quick project, too. Knit up in our new fall yarn, Bella Cash, this piece is soft as a newborn kitten making it perfect for a piece that will be worn against bare skin.

 

Bella Cash is a 2/sport weight, comes in 20 solid colors, and is machine washable. Oh wait, and did I mention – there is cashmere, too! Mmmmm.

Blue not your thing? How about 102 Blush + 109 Snow?

Or 107 Coffee + 106 Oat?

I also like classic 108 Ebony + 109 Snow.

Happy knitting and happy weekend!

Color Pooling, Ocean Style

Last year, I wove a scarf utilizing the variegated effects of Bamboo Pop. You can find that post and all of my warping and weaving photos here.

This is the first version of the color pool scarf.

For my second go at this scarf, I decided to try one of our tonal multis in Bamboo Pop. I chose 205 Brilliant Blues + 120 Graphite for the warp. I wove with Whisper Lace 104 Fog as weft. This project takes just one ball of each color for a substantially sized scarf.

So soothing.

This blue-gray version is a more understated look than the original. I was hoping to show that this fun technique can be used to achieve more or less impact – it’s all about contrast.

I love the twisted fringe finish with hemstitching. It’s so tidy!

You can see both scarves in person at Stitches United next month. Stitches United is a new kind of multi-craft stitches. In addition to knit, crochet, and yarn, there will also be sewing, weaving, beading, and a lot more! If you’re in the Hartford, CT area at the end of April, you should definitely check it out.

See you next time here on the blog with more fun weaving!

Deluxe Cable Collection – Still Going Strong!

It might be February, but many of us are still working on projects from last fall’s Deluxe Cable Collection.

As a reminder, this is our ongoing blog series covering projects from the Deluxe Cable Collection. You can learn more about the knitalong by reading previous blog posts here, viewing the collection here, and joining our Ravelry group here.

Our Sales Director Yonca has completed both ponchos from the collection. We don’t have a shot of her Catawba River Poncho which she knit up in Deluxe Chunky 91904 Pomegranate Heather (which might be my most favorite shade of Deluxe). Below is free pattern Valentina worked in this same color.

Free pattern Valentina, worked in Deluxe Chunky Pomegranate Heather

But Heather did manage to catch Yonca the other day as she wore her new Cumberland Poncho here at the office.

Is she adorable, or what?Yonca made a couple of small changes to the pattern.

First, since she is a rather petite woman, Yonca knit each panel a little bit shorter is called for, which resulted in a bit less circumference in the finished poncho. Her gauge was also a bit tighter than called for in the pattern, but it worked out in her favor, giving the piece a bit less depth, as well.

Second, Yonca added only half the fringe called for in the pattern. Which I adore! A few weeks ago, she had her poncho here in the office to show us how it was coming along. At that point, the entire thing was knit and seamed with half the fringe attached. She put it on to show us, and we convinced her that it looked totally awesome only partially fringed. And she was delighted to hear this, particularly since that is a lot of fringe to attach and she was getting rather burned out of doing it!

I love these changes that get made along the way (especially when they involve less work!)

How about you? Are you still plugging away on a project from this ebook? I’d love to hear about it!

Rocking Moto Jackets

You can read through the entire tale of the moto jackets on previous blog posts here, here, here, and here.  It took a few near all-nighters, but the moto jackets got finished by my goal of TNNA last weekend. Yay!

Here are myself and Yonca wearing them in the booth:

I love Yonca's choice of red zippers!
I love Yonca’s choice of red zippers!

For those who aren’t familiar with TNNA, it stands for “The National Needlearts Association” and is our industry trade show. The winter show took place in San Jose just this past weekend. It’s an opportunity for our LYS customers to swing by our booth and see all our new yarns, colors, and designs. We love meeting customers in person – thanks to everyone who attended!

After returning from our long weekend, Heather kindly snapped some detail shots of the jackets.

Each jacket has 5 zippers - that was 10 total zippers to shorten. Whew!
Each jacket has 5 zippers – that was 10 total zippers to shorten. Whew!
My pop of color is on the inside of my jacket in the form of teal lining. Mmmm.
My pop of color is on the inside of my jacket in the form of teal lining. Mmmm.
I really do love this pattern complete with details like these pleats. They're both stylish and functional, allowing for ease of movement in the back and shoulder area of the wearer.
I really do love this pattern that includes details like these pleats. They’re both stylish and functional, allowing for ease of movement in the back and shoulder area of the wearer.

 

The gray contrast fabric at the waistband, elbow patches, and a few other locations is a wool blend that was purchased.
The gray contrast fabric at the waistband, elbow patches, and a few other locations is a wool blend that was purchased.
It's amazing what a difference the details can make!
It’s amazing what a difference the details can make!

Yonca Jacket full blog

Next time, I’m going to be back at the rigid heddle loom with some of our Ready to Dye yarn and some experimentation!

Sewing Moto Jackets

Finally, after sampling for my fabric (and getting a cool scarf in the process),

herringbonescarf4_deluxedktweedhires

warping 280 inches of 432 ends,

warping_2

and weaving the actual fabric

weaving_8_blog

it was time to sew jackets!

The first step was to interface all of my handwoven fabric. I got enough lightweight fusible interfacing for all my yardage. The reason for doing this is so that when I cut into the fabric for my pattern pieces, it will prevent the edges from coming unwoven.

Two jackets-worth of pattern pieces and lining is a LOT of cutting!

Sewing_1

Every bit of fabric is precious since I wove it, so a certain strategy is involved when laying out those pattern pieces.

Sewing_2

With the interfacing on the back of my fabric, it made it easy to make pattern markings and actually be able to see them.

Sewing_3

I used a special foot on my sewing machine called a “walking foot” for some of the bulky seams. It helps to manage bulky layers of fabric so that they feed evenly through the machine.

Sewing_4

Sewing moto jackets requires a lot of coffee.

Sewing_5

Since this is a weaving column, I’m taking it easy on sharing every single detail of the sewing process. But zipper installation fascinates me, so here are some in-progess shots of the pocket zippers. Above, I’m sewing the lining onto the right side of the fabric.

Sewing_6

Then the pocket opening is slashed down the center.

Sewing_7

Next, the lining fabric gets pulled to the wrong side and pressed. It’s so clean and tidy looking!

Sewing_8

And finally the zipper is pinned underneath and sewn down. I love a good zipper installation. Which is good, since each jacket requires 5 zippers. Whew!

Sewing_9

Here we have something that is actually beginning to resemble clothing. Yay!

It's like magic that this can turn into a moto jacket, right?
It’s like magic that this can turn into a moto jacket, right?

 

If you’re planning on being at TNNA in San Jose this weekend, stop by the booth and check out the finished jackets. Otherwise, I’ll be back on the blog next week for final photos and wrap-up.

 

Weaving Fabric for Moto Jackets

And the adventure continues! You can read the first two posts in my moto jacket series here and here.

After warping my loom with my monstrously long and wide warp – 280″ long x 36″ wide using Deluxe DK Tweed Superwash, I was delighted to weave the fabric. I wove the same herringbone pattern that I used in my sampler scarf (seen here).

This piece of fabric I’m weaving will be for two jackets. My warp is color 414 Charcoal in Deluxe DK Tweed, and the photo below shows color 413 Smoke as the weft.

One bobbin of yarn lasted for about 3" on my 36" wide warp.
One bobbin of yarn lasted for about 3″ on my 36″ wide warp.

Back when I was winding my warp, I thought to tie some bright thread around some of the warp threads at the halfway point. I’m going to be changing my weft color halfway through since the jackets will be slightly different in color. This thread reminds me it’s time to switch colors!

This contrasting thread tied to the some of the warp threads lets me know I'm at the halfway point.
This contrasting thread tied to the some of the warp threads lets me know I’m at the halfway point.

Not too long into the second half of my warp, I realized I had a couple of problems. I managed to mis-thread two heddles, which resulted in a glitch in the patterning. See below for one example.

Uh oh!
Uh oh!

I could have fixed the problem right there – I could have broken the warp thread, threaded an afterthought heddle and tied on a new strand, but I opted to leave the mistakes in place and fix them after the fact.

If I had noticed sooner, I would have fixed them right away. But because I had made it this far and knew I’d be doing some repair work anyway, I figured I might as well do the whole length at the same time.

 

Cutting doesn't have to be scary!
Cutting doesn’t have to be scary!

After cutting my fabric from the loom, I simply knotted the warp ends together – no hemstitching. I then zig-zagged the edges with my sewing machine, and also sewed lines at the halfway point. I figured it would be a lot easier dealing with two 3 yard pieces of fabric rather than a 6 yard piece. I then cut the fabric apart at that halfway point.

Fixing my warp mistakes.
Fixing my warp mistakes.

After my two halves were cut apart, I threaded a tapestry needle and wove the correct placement for my mistaken threading. It was a little tedious, but very doable and wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be.

And here are my yardages basking in the sunlight prior to washing. I threw both of the pieces of fabric into my machine and washed and dried them on gentle cycles. Because I wove a fairly dense fabric, the fabric changed very little after finishing. But I already knew that would be the case since I was a good little weaver and did a sampling first.

Zippers, lining, fabric: go!
Zippers, lining, fabric: go!

My jacket will be made from the stack on the left – gray on gray fabric, teal lining, and gray zippers. Yonca chose cream to go with her gray for the fabric, matching gray lining, and bold lipstick red zippers.

My goal is to be finished with these jackets by next weekend’s TNNA. So if you’re planning on attending, stop by our booth and check them out. Otherwise, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks here on the blog with all the sewing details.