Category Archives: IRL

IRL – VeVe Tee

Every day I feel lucky to have a job that I truly enjoy. If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would be working with yarn every day and earning a living doing it, I wouldn’t have believed them! Although I have a variety of duties here at Universal Yarn, when it comes down to it I’m really just a chick who likes knitting and wearing fun stuff.

IRL Amy gray top blog


For this week’s IRL, Heather photographed me in my version of the VeVe Tee from the Summer 2013 issue of Knitscene.  I don’t often knit second versions of any of my sweaters, but made an exception with this one. The sample I made for the magazine was in Cotton Supreme 503 Ecru, but I decided I needed one in gray. I am a total sucker for gray.

This piece has a fun construction. First, the saddle shoulders are knit sideways. Then stitches are picked up from the sides of the saddles and the body is knit down. Twisted ribbing and a sewn bind-off finish things off at the hem for a virtually seamless project.

Cotton Supreme is such a great yarn for summer! What are you knitting in Cotton Supreme?

IRL: Llamalini V-Neck

This week I’d like to share an IRL I spotted recently from Jen in our accounting department:

IRL Jen Llamalini top blog


Jen’s sweater was worked in the decadent Fibra Natura Llamalini, a blend of Royal Llama, silk bourette, and linen. Can you say YUM? Here is Jen describing this project in her own words:

“I had an idea in my head of the kind of sweater I wanted.  Top down, deep v-neck and some sort of simple lace.  So I basically cobbled two patterns together to get what I wanted. I really wanted to work with the Llamalini, because its sooooo soft and nice to knit with.  For this project I was actually a good girl and did a swatch in the round, and then soaked and blocked it so that I could determine my gauge.

The only thing I don’t like about the sweater is the way the neckline came out. I used a smaller needle for the ribbing with the idea that it would cinch it up a bit, but it didn’t work out like I thought it would.  If I do something like this again, I’ll definitely do ribbing instead of garter stitch at the bottom because the garter stitch keeps flipping up and its annoying; and instead of ribbing at the neckline I might do an applied i-cord to really tighten it up.  All in all though, it’s a nice, comfy sweater to wear, works good for layering over a tank top or a long sleeve shirt depending on the weather that day.”

Sounds like this project was a good learning experience for Jen. It looks so nice on her, and I love the pop of color from the shirt she has layered underneath. Well done!

IRL – Cardigan to Pullover Mod!

Our sales director and my boss, Yonca, is a very enthusiastic knitter. She always has at least a couple of projects on the needles, usually garments. Here is her latest creation, this lovely summery top made in Little Bird:

IRL Yonca Garden Leaf Lace Pullover_blog_crop

Yonca always has to put her own spin on projects, and this one is no different. She loved the lace patterning on this free pattern in Garden 10, but didn’t want a cardigan. Yonca wanted something she could dress up or down, and just throw on over a tank top or dress. So instead, she simply knit up 2 rectangles using the lace pattern and came up with this easy to wear piece.

It’s hard to believe, but this shirt really is just 2 rectangles with a few seams, and a little bit of garter stitch at the neck. Yonca knit this with a few inches of positive ease for a nice open and flowy top. I love everything about it!


IRL – Heather’s Hat

We are fully immersed in balmy summertime weather here in North Carolina. I look longingly at my heavy hand-knits every morning, knowing I won’t get to wear them for months. But with high heat also comes air conditioning, and we keep things pretty chilly here in the Universal Yarn office.

Many of us keep a lightweight sweater or jacket on the backs of our chairs for when the cold blast becomes too much. Heather, on the other hand, loves to knit and wear hats. She follows patterns sometimes. But Heather has knit so many hats that she is a hat-knitting pro and will often just cast on and start knitting, which was the case with this lovely hat in Poems:

IRL Heather Poems twist hat 2


I asked Heather to tell me about her hat, and here’s what she had to say:

“I was going to see Kingsman (loved it!) and wanted a fairly mindless project to work on in the dark, and hats are my go-to.  To keep it a little interesting, I added a right twist every other row.  I liked that technique in my Rocked Knitalong so it seemed like a good addition here.  For the decreases, I did a p2tog every couple of rows in the p3 sections, then did did my best to keep the twists going as I did k2tog for the final decreases. 

This hat will probably be set aside until I see what the Afghans for Afghans charity (​ ) is doing this year.  If they’re in need of hats, that’s where it’ll go.  It gets cold in those mountains!”

Heather’s hat took just one ball of Poems. We don’t have an official pattern for the hat, but Heather cast on 90 stitches with a US size 8 16″ circular and dove right into k2, p3 ribbing and worked a right twist every 2 rounds.

Thanks for sharing, Heather!

IRL – kite cardigan

Back in the fall of 2013, I designed this openwork cardigan in Deluxe Chunky for knit.wear magazine, an Interweave publication:


It’s called “Kite Cardigan“, and takes between 5-10 hanks of Deluxe Chunky. I had a lot of fun with this sweater. It’s knit bottom-up in two pieces. There is a bit of shaping involved, but the shape of the cardigan is largely due to directional lace. Done in a bulky yarn, it goes super fast, but because the fabric is so open, it’s fairly lightweight.

I am lucky enough to be in possession of my Kite Cardigan again, and can now add it into my rotation of daily sweater wear. It was a little chilly here in Charlotte last week, so I was able to squeeze in one last day of wool-wear for the season.

IRL Amy Deluxe cardi back blog IRL Amy Deluxe cardi front blog


Yes, my desk is a little messy…I know! We knitters have more important things to do than clean, right?

IRL – Jen’s Bamboo Pop cardigan

Today I’m delighted to share a Bamboo Pop FO from Jen who works in our accounting department.

IRL Jen Bamboo Pop

Jen always has multiple projects going on, as she is an avid knitter, crocheter, and spinner. This versatile summery cardigan was a free pattern Jen found on Ravelry. Crocheted using Bamboo Pop in color 210 Orchid Smash, it does look smashing on her – am I right?

Here is Jen in her own words on her fabulous project:

It took 3 balls with a 4mm hook.  The original pattern called for a worsted weight cotton and a 5mm hook I think,  but I knew it would be too heavy and cumbersome for everyday wear.  Since it was top down changing the gauge was easy peasy, I’d like to talk about all the swatching I did and the math I used,  but I really just crocheted until I liked where it was and then transitioned to the shell stitch.  Its ended up being one of my favorite FO’s.  The fabric is very drapey so it feels really nice and fancy to wear.  It looks great over the single black dress I own if I ever decide to go somewhere swanky and it also looks good with a t-shirt and jeans.  It’s very lightweight and breathable so I can wear it over a long sleeve top in the winter or a tank-top when it gets warmer and it isn’t hot or anything.  I knew the bamboo/cotton would grow a lot so I only crocheted until the bottom hit just below my navel, as I suspected, after washing/blocking and wearing it grew to the perfect length for me.  The pattern also called for buttons but I hate sewing buttons on so I just ignored them and use it to showcase my growing collection of shawl pins and brooches.

Thanks for sharing, Jen!

IRL – Colorblock Tank

My contribution to the Spring 2013 of knit.wear was the Colorblock Tank knit up in Flax. This is one of those pieces I have just as much fun wearing as I did designing and knitting it.


(image courtesy Interweave/Joe Hancock)

But more awesome than that are the other versions I’ve seen out there in the world. Of the projects listed on Ravelry, maybe half use the color combination of the original which incorporates 6 different shades of Flax.

Katie decided to go her own way with her version of the tank.


This turned out so great, I love it! Katie used 15 black, 08 purple, 07 lilac, 104 wild lime, and 105 natural; so just 5 shades instead of 6. And it worked out fine! I love the colors Katie chose to go with her red hair. She is obviously a purple lover, and shades of purple are so in right now, too.