Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emmett Vest - Petite Purls Fall 2011

Just last week the Fall 2011 issue of Petite Purls went live.  Although I normally look forward to every new issue of this magazine since I have two kids to knit for I was anticipating this issue even more than usual.  The reason is that my pattern 'Emmett' appears in this issue.  This pattern marks two firsts for me in the realm of knitting design.  It is my first garment design and it is my first non self published pattern.  Seeing the issue go live was very exciting!
The design for this vest was inspired by my absolute love of putting cables on everything.  However, here in Northern California fall is still quite warm, especially September so instead of knitting cables in the traditional sense I choose to embellish the vest using intarisa colourwork.  This allowed me to add an interesting cable element without knitting an actual cable.  I quite like how this turned out in the vest and I can definitely see using this technique in future designs.  Many knitters tend to label intarsia as frustrating due to the amount of ends that need to be woven in during the finishing and the fact that the numerous colours of yarns can get tangled while knitting. Although this is true I personally love intarsia and think that it is well worth the effort given the results that can be achieved with this technique.

 In knitting Emmett, I decided to test out a new intarsia technique  that I had read about to see whether or not it was less labor intensive then what I had been doing before which was winding long lengths of yarns into yarn butterflies or on bobbins which hung on the wrong side of the knitting.  The new method involved using short lengths of yarn, around 60" at a time and instead of winding the yarn it hung completely free on the wrong side of my knitting as I worked.  I was a bit skeptical of this method at first since it would most certainly result in more ends to weave in.  However, this method resulted in zero tangles.  Since the yarn lengths were so short they just didn't get tangles and any time it looked like a tangle was developing all I had to do was run my fingers through the strands to separate them.  It was quite easy to do.  Anyone, who is considering knitting Emmett should try out this technique.  It makes intarsia much easier and although there were more ends to weave in I don't think that there were too many more.

Also, I would like to thank Emma Williams who photographed the Emmett vest for my Petite Purls submission. She did an excellent job capturing the piece and my son Xavier who is modelling the vest.  Please check out her website at if you are looking for a photographer.

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