The only knitting I did in December was this design, entitled Ravinia, for Lorna’s Laces to unveil at last week’s TNNA show. The yarn is Shepherd Sport in a new colourway; Kerfuffle. (Don’t you just LOVE the name?)
The construction is a bit unusual. I wanted a circular yoke, but I quickly fell in love with the look of the lace when knit from the hem up. This meant that I designed Ravinia to be knit in two seamless pieces; the lace body from the hem to the underarms, and the yoke from the neck down in a circular increase pattern. The pieces are then joined at the yoke with a three needle bind off. The sleeves are knit down to the cuff.
I really loved this construction method, as it’s kind of the best of both worlds. Having that extra stability at the yoke (and with the picked-up neck band) allowed me to work at a slightly more open gauge than normal for this yarn, and resulted in a garment with a lot of beautiful drape.
However, the downside to the ‘meet in the middle’ aspect of Ravinia is that I initially knit the sweater with an incredibly wide neckline. Off-the-shoulder-wide. And couldn’t really figure this out until I’d joined all the pieces together. And most unfortunately, not until after I’d knit the sleeves.
Luckily, Lorna’s Laces had provided me with an ample quantity of yarn to design with. I was able to unpick the ends and un-attach the lace body from the yoke by cutting above the join line and unraveling the pieces I could. Not having to reknit the body helped a lot. I was able to finish the second version, with the much more appropriate neckline, in about five solid days of knitting.
The other bonus of revising the pattern was that I was able to rework some of the yoke shaping and the sleeve sizing. The end result? I’m absolutely thrilled.
Ravinia will come back to me in the next few weeks, and I’ll do a full photo shoot and publish the pattern, just in time for your spring knitting. (Can I share a secret? I’m pondering making this into a twin-set, with a matching tank.)
In the meantime, big thanks to Mary-Heather for modeling, and Laura Chau for photographing, so the folks at Lorna’s Laces (and me too) could have a photo of the pattern!