Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Hazy Cloud

When I envisioned Rugged Knits as a collection, I wanted to create a cohesive group of designs that would be classic and beautiful while also having an outdoorsy, active vibe. 

Over the next few months I'm going to highlight the designs in my book Rugged Knits, looking deeply at each one to give you a good view of the details I designed in, what to consider when making your own, and what makes it work for the long term. 

First up I'm going to take on Hazy Cloud, the cover sweater. I describe this one as the ultimate sweatshirt because the fit is relaxed and comfortable and the yarn I chose, Fibre Company Road to China Light, is unbelievably soft with gorgeous drape. The overall effect is a luxury version of your favorite lounge wear.

- Seamless (never work color pattern on the wrong side)
- Bottom-up
- Neckline is created with steek stitches that are reinforced and then cut. Because the yarn is a bit slippery, more steek stitches are used than is standard. The neck band is then picked up and worked double, then sewn down so that the cut stitches are entirely enclosed.
- Underarms are finished with 3-needle bind-off.
- Yoke shaping is carefully calculated so that armhole and body shaping are accomplished at different rates. This creates elegant, flattering raglan/saddle shoulder lines. 
- Gentle waist shaping gives a feminine silhouette.

- Intended to be worn with a relaxed fit (4-6 inches/10-15 cm of positive ease)
- To get the comfy sweatshirt look, go up a size when in doubt. If you like a more fitted silhouette, you could also try it with less ease. Check the measurements of a sweater you love and compare them to the schematic if you're having trouble deciding.

I chose Fibre Company Road to China Light (65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yd [145 m]/50 g) for a bunch of characteristics:
- softness
- elegant drape
- slight shine
- subtly heathered colors
- warmth

Fibres like alpaca and silk have a strong tendency to grow out of shape, but the checked color pattern worked at a snug gauge creates a fabric that is dense but flowing. That all-over color work gives a great level of resilience to the fabric that makes a long-lasting garment.

Tips for Substituting
- You're likely to have a stiffer sweater with wool. If you choose a yarn that's 100% wool, you may want to work with a fingering weight instead of a sport in order to get pattern gauge while maintaining some of the drape given by RTCL. 
- To get a sweater more like the sample, choose a yarn that includes some of the fibres in RTCL like alpaca and silk.
- Work at least one large swatch in the round (and be sure to block your swatch!) in order to help you decide on which yarn you'd like to use. This is of course also necessary for checking your gauge.
- I'd love to see this sweater worked with Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool as the Contrast color. I haven't swatched it, but I have a feeling that it would look incredible with the long color changes paired with a solid.

The wide but shallow V-neckline is just the perfect shape, and the encased neckband gives a pro finish.

Be sure to hold the same color dominant throughout this project as the fabric will show it pretty clearly if you switch dominance while you work. The easiest way to do this is to hold the yarns with one color in each hand and pick with your left hand while throwing with your right - hold the dominant color in your left hand and and the non-dominant one in your right. I love this article by Dianna Walla about color dominance in knitting.

Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits #HazyCloudSweater, and #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Hazy Cloud projects!

Finished Size 
33 (36.75, 40.75, 44.5, 48.5, 52.25)” (84 93.5, 103.5, 113, 123, 132.5 cm) bust circumference and 26 (26.75, 27.75, 28.25, 29, 29.25)” (66 68, 70.5, 72.5, 73.5, 74.5 cm) long.

Intended to be worn with 4–6” (10–15 cm) of positive ease. 
Shown in size 36.75” (93.5 cm).

Sportweight (#2 Fine) yarn in 2 colors: 
Main Color (MC): 734 (823, 924, 1013, 1,114, 1203) yd (671 752, 845, 926, 1018, 1100 m). 
Contrast Color (CC): 651 (730, 820, 898, 988, 1087) yd (595 667, 750, 821, 903, 994 m).

Shown here: The Fibre Company Road to China Light (65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yd 145 m/50 g): colors Lapis (MC), 5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins; Riverstone (CC), 5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7) skeins.

Size U.S. 2 (2.75 mm) 24” and 32” (60 and 80 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double- pointed (dpn). 
Size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm) 32” (80 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double-pointed (dpn). 
Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Markers (m); stitch holders or waste yarn; tapestry needle; small amount of fingering- weight yarn in coordinating color for steek reinforcing; size C-2 (2.25 mm) crochet hook for steek reinforcing.

31 sts and 28 rnds = 4” (10 cm) over Checked Color patt using larger needles.

       Get Rugged Knits from Interweave

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