Posts in design
Helenium

Helenium, my latest sweater design, was published in the Fall 2017 issue of Twist Collective.

The idea for this design came about a year and a half ago, when I was working on another sweater with a brioche ribbing detail. I was a few rows into the brioche section when I felt the need to add some patterning to that design (I’m pretty sure I was inspired by photos of amazing brioche shawls on Instagram).  It was way to late in the process to change that design, so I tucked the idea away to be explored later. When the opportunity to submit a sweater for Fall 2017 issue of Twist Collective came long, I immediately thought back to that seed of an idea from a year ago. Here is my sketch:

helenuim-sketch.jpg

This was the first time I would attempt to design a brioche motif, so I went straight to my favorite brioche book, Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant. I highly recommend this book, by the way. It not only covers the basic stitches, but also includes information on increasing and decreasing, reading charts, fixing mistakes, and lots of brioche stitch patterns.  It took me a few tries to get the flower motif just right, here is my initial swatch (left) and the final motif (right): 

helenium-motif.jpg

I chose to use straight single color brioche for the cuffs and bottom edging so knitters new to the technique could start with the easier stitch and get some practice before moving on to the 2-color brioche with shaping increases and decreases. I wanted to keep the body simple so the yoke would really be the focus of the sweater. 

When you are working brioche, yarn choice is important. One that is slippery or heavy might stretch too much, a toothy or wooly yarn is best. The bloom and halo of Hikoo Kenzie look beautiful in brioche, especially after you block it - this is one of those yarns where the stitches really even out after blocking.

One last thing - fixing mistakes and dropped stitches can be intimidating in brioche knitting, but it really isn't so hard. There are great resources available that walk you through picking up dropped stitches or fixing missed yarn overs (see my gush about Nancy Marchant's book above). If the mistake is a wrong leaning decrease, try fixing it with duplicate stitch - this is much easier than tinking 20 rows of brioche (I know this from experience).

Visit the Twist Collective website for all the details or to purchase the pattern.

Sagitta

I released a new shawl pattern - Sagitta!  This is an asymmetric shawl with alternating lace and garter stitch panels designed to showcase the beauty of gradient set of 6 mini-skeins.  Cables in the garter stitch sections flow out of the lace pattern and are created with traveling slipped stitches worked over a striped backdrop.  The design looks more complicated that it is because only one color is worked at a time, the cable pattern is created by slipping the contrasting color stitches over the main color rows. The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry.

The yarn used is Seven Sisters Arts Meridian, a fingering weight 75% super wash merino/25%nylon blend.  I choose the Transition Metals gradient set with a single skein of Citron for contrast.  Seven Sisters Arts has so many gorgeous gradient color ways to choose from, it was really hard to decide on just one.  Karen, the talent behind this hand dyed yarn company, and I had fun putting together color combinations on instagram, here are a few of my favorites:

From left: (all yarn is Seven Sisters Arts Meridian)  Grassroots  with  Mood Indigo ;  Chartreuse  with  Azalea ;  Raven's Wing  with  Nickel ;  Transition Metals  with  Mead .

From left: (all yarn is Seven Sisters Arts Meridian) Grassroots with Mood Indigo; Chartreuse with Azalea; Raven's Wing with Nickel; Transition Metals with Mead.

While the pattern calls for a 6-skein gradient set, I have included a modification to work the shawl with a 5-skein set.  Some of my test knitters chose this option, and were able to work it with 133 yard minis.  If you want to work a smaller shawl with skeins that are less that 130 yards, there are modification instructions below.  I will include these in the pattern with the next update, which will hopefully include the written instructions for the charts (I am working on this version now).

 

Small Mini-Skein Modification

measurements: about 70 inches wingspan, and 16” at deepest point.

yarn:  MC - 400 yards of fingering weight yarn; CC - 5 mini-skeins, approximately 100 yards each, of fingering weight yarn 

Modification Instructions

Section 1 Work per pattern instructions. (26 sts)

Skip sections 2 and 3.

Sections 4-13, work charts per pattern instructions, substituting colors as indicated below. The stitch count at the end of each section is given below.

Section 4 (lace, color CC1) 53 sts.

Section 5 (garter stitch, colors CC1 and MC) 64 sts.

Section 6 (lace, color CC2) 86 sts.

Section 7 (garter stitch, colors CC2 and MC) 97 sts.

Section 8 (lace, color CC3) 114 sts.

Section 9 (garter stitch, colors CC3 and MC) 125 sts.

Section 10 (lace, color CC4) 136 sts.

Section 11 (garter stitch, colors CC4 and MC) 147 sts.

Section 12 (lace, color CC5) 152 sts.

Section 13 (garter stitch, colors CC5 and MC) 163 sts.

Section 14 (lace, color MC) With MC, work rows 1-22 of Lace Chart E three times. 196 sts (Note: An extra repeat is added to this section to increase the size of the shawl, if you prefer, you can work just two repeats of chart E.)

Section 15 (garter, color MC) With MC work rows 1-23 of Garter Chart G. 207 sts.  Loosely bind off all stitches knit-wise.

Tucker and Interweave Knits Fall 2015

The fall issue Interweave Knits is out, and my latest design, Tucker, is in it - and on it (right there, on the cover!)  

Interweave Knits Fall 2015

Interweave Knits Fall 2015

Tucker is a minimalist pullover worked from the bottom up in stockinette stitch with garter edgings.  It is a simple sweater that shows off a distinctive cable circling the yoke.  Horizontal, or infinite, cables are one of my favorite features to design with because the are fun to work and satisfying to watch as they take shape. 

photo by Harper Point Photography

photo by Harper Point Photography

I started planning this design with one of my favorite books, Continuous Cables by Melissa Leapman.  This is a great resource for learning the techniques and finding infinite cable stitch patterns.  I didn't find the perfect cable for this design in the book, so I started sketching on graphic paper and came up with this pattern, not too complicated, but not to basic either.

photo by Harper Point Photography

photo by Harper Point Photography

The yarn I used is HiKoo's Kenzington.  This is a chainette-constructed yarn, a knitted tube sort of like an i-cord.  When you first get then yarn in the hank, it is a bit compressed.  However, it blooms to a plump, round yarn when wet or steam blocked.  You will definitely want to swatch with this yarn.  

Here is a bit more info about Tucker:

Finished Size: 36 (40, 44, 48, 52)” bust circumference. Pullover shown measures 36″, modeled with 2″ of positive ease.

Yarn: HiKoo Kenzington (60% New Zealand merino wool, 25% nylon, 10% alpaca, 5% silk noils; 208 yd [190 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): #1000 pavlova, 5 (5, 6, 7, 7) skeins. Yarn distributed by Skacel.

Needles: Sizes 8 (5 mm) and 9 (5.5 mm): 24″ and 32″ circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn).

Gauge: 16 sts and 24 rnds = 4″ in St st on larger needle.

PS - Interweave has sweater kits available on their website.

New Pattern - Stutzen

My latest pattern, Stutzen, was released this week.

stutzen by Amanda Scheuzger

Stutzen is a triangular shawl inspired by the calf gusset patterns in traditional twisted stitch stockings, called stutzen. These cables are created with traveling slipped stitches worked over a striped garter stitch backdrop.  

I love the patterning in the calf gusset of this traditional twisted-stich stocking.

I love the patterning in the calf gusset of this traditional twisted-stich stocking.

The shawl begins at the center top with a garter stitch tab, and is worked out to the edging. Eyelet increases at the center spine and outer edges create the triangular shape. A lace border flows from the cable pattern and ends with a scalloped edge.

stutzen by amanda scheuzger

While the patterning looks complex, only one color is worked at a time, the pattern is created by slipping the main color stitches over the contrasting color rows.  That means there are three easy rows after each row of cable crossings.

measurements the shawl is about 48 inches wide and 24 inches deep at center back.

yarn I used Malabrigo Sock; 440 yds / 402 m per 3.5 oz / 100 g skein; 100% Superwash Merino Wool.

MC–1 skein in 855 Aguas, or approximatly 350 yds/ 320 m (80 g) fingering weight yarn 
CC–1 skein in 854 Rayon Vert, or approximatly 210 yds/ 190 m (48 g) fingering weight yarn

needles Size 5 US / 3.75 mm circular needle, 40” / 100 cm long.

This pattern can be purchased on Ravelry.

Cypri

cypri by Amanda Scheuzger

I have been amazed with the wonderful response I have received for my latest design for Twist Collective, Cypri, mainly because it actually began with a rejection letter.  A year earlier, I had submitted a design idea for a shawl that didn’t make the cut.  I felt strongly about the idea – slip stitch cables on a striped background.  They create a strong graphic and are really fun to knit.  So I went back to the drawing board and reworked the design. 

First, I changed the shape.  The original was a top down triangle; this one would be a crescent shape (which is what I would actually prefer to knit for myself.)  I liked the idea of lots of detail at the bottom edge, and less detail in the short row shaping portion. 

Next I looked at the cable design.  The pattern in the original submission was inspired by a traditional twisted-stitch pattern.  This design needed something unique, so I began sketching.  I started with the idea of a long strand of gems hanging from a chain.

cypri sketch

The first sketches (above, left) were okay, but when I turned one upside down, I liked it much better.  The design started to fall into place.  I refined the shapes and they began to remind me of lady’s slipper orchids (above, right).

The next step was to turn the sketch into something knittable.  I lightly sketched the shapes on graph paper, trying to keep in mind the scale and potential gauge.  Then I charted the cable symbols right over the sketchy lines.  This step involved a lot of erasing as I worked out the cable crossings.  I refined it bit more as I knit the swatch.  It was finally ready to submit.

Sketch and swatch from my submission

Sketch and swatch from my submission

The sample I knit for Twist is in Breathless by Shalimar Yarns.  It is a superwash merino/cashmere/silk blend that is very soft and creates a fabric with the perfect drape for this shawl.  While I love the colors of the sample, byzantium and mole, I want to knit my own in bing and scarab, a purple and teal combo similar my swatch.  Or maybe glacier and driftwood, or copper pennies and black truffle.  I could go on and on, there are so many colors to choose from.

Cascade Falls

I'm excited to show off my latest sweater, Cascade Falls, which I designed for SweetGeorgia Yarns. 

This is a long, cozy, open front cardigan knit mainly in stockinette stitch with a wide reversible cable panel at the front edges.  The yarn used is the insanely luxurious SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted, a beautiful blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and silk, but it would be equally wonderful worked up in their Superwash Worsted (I'll choose the Deep Cove colorway for mine).  You can read more about Cascade Falls on Felicia's blog, or check it out on Ravelry.

Transient
Brick Lane

The Interweave Knits Spring 2014 preview is up, and I am excited to have my latest sweater design included in the issue. Brick Lane is a straightforward, bottom-up raglan with lace patterning on the sleeves and a unique ribbing at the cuffs and hem.

Brick Lane Pullover by Amanda Scheuzger

It is knitted with Relikt, a new wool/nylon blend yarn from Schoppel Wolle.  This may look like a standard tweed, but it gains its depth of color from the recycled fiber scraps of the Zauberball production process.  It knits up with a bit of a rustic hand, but it really blooms and softens after a good wash.

crazy_.jpg