Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Knitting Storey

There's a marvelous knitting designer out there. Named Martin Storey (that's him wearing his design, Morris). Perhaps you've seen his fantabulous designs for Rowan yarns, perhaps you saw them for the now-defunct Jaeger yarn line. Wherever you saw them, did you swoon over their perfection for today?

I did. I bought his books for Rowan featuring Soft Lux (soft, soft, soft), and his summer book from a couple of years ago.

And one of his Jaeger Handknits books.

I made Milkshake from the Rowan summer book. Why? Because the shaping, the neckline, the proportions were perfect, darling. I made that sweater out of Filatura di Crosa yarn (itself wondrous to work with and wear), and wore it to several weddings to rave reviews. As in, "No, you did not make that yourself; it looks professionally done!" Exclaimed several times in loud voices. I was kvelling (Yiddish for swelling with pride), I tell you.

Now, this Jaeger book has 15 designs and all of them are winners. When was the last time that happened? The sizing runs from extra-petite to, shall we say, suitable for the quite well-endowed. The yarns are no longer available, BUT they are standard DK-weight yarns, running 22 stitches to 4 inches so finding suitable substitutes should not be a challenge. DD#2 took one look at the book and wanted every last one. Though I love her dearly, truly, 15 sweaters were just not happening. Plus DD#2 told me she needed a cardi more than a pullover, and she'll never wear a sleeveless shell even as an underlayer (she prefers thin camis). After long thought, this design won:

Peggy, it's called. Cables on every right side row. To be made in DD#2's favorite color, Burgundy (of Jaeger Shetland, a blend of soft wool and alpaca). It's worsted weight to be sure, but I'm making it in the smallest size so it'll be more like a jacket than a light cardi. DD#2 goes to college in Maryland; this will be her go-to outerwear for most of fall and all of spring.
Did I say cables on every right side row? Did I say that most patterns in this book feature either cables or lace motifs? Did I say that the patterns are not charted? This is 2010, you'd think that charts are now de rigueur. Guess who charted Peggy (the things we do for our kids)?

Peggy 2
Peggy 3
Note that not only are cables running throughout the garment, the cables are on a background of stockinette stitch, rather than purl stitch. You can't tell from the stock photo but trust me, that's the way it is. The cables at least in Shetland don't pop out quite as much from stockinette as they might from purl. Yet the subtle appearance is part of its charm. I suspect that the Jaeger yarns specified in the book, Trinity and Aqua, are crisper than Shetland, and the cables would have more definition worked in either yarn. Still, this will be one warm jacket when it's completed, and that's the important feature.

Mr. Storey, I'll keep knitting your patterns but I'll also keep wishing you'll start charting them. Morris is calling me to be knitted, but I must have charts for those cables.

Saturday is the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Have an easy fast to those who are fasting. May we be sealed in the Book of Good Life for the coming year.


fleegle said...

Not a chance that I would even pick up the book without charts. Medieval!

Experimental Knitter said...

Bought the book online based on the gorgeous designs. Wasn't to know there were no charts.
Live and learn.

Henya said...

I am in love! This would be a perfect pattern for someone like me - big and heavy. I love cables, but would never make them for me because they add so much bulk to the already corpulent person.
What do you think would it work in WW?
What is the book's name. I want to try to get it!
By the way, I intensely dislike charts and much prefer written out instructions. I think that is because I have difficulty with graphics. I can not do maps too.
Have an easy fast.
May you and yours be sealed in a Book of Life.

Experimental Knitter said...

Henya, I'm posting part of my e-mail reply to you here for others to see.
Jaeger Shetland is worsted weight and I think it is lovely. Adjust the size of the sweater you choose to fit the worsted gauge of 5 sts to the inch and it should work out (I've done that with other designs).
The booklet, Jaeger Handknits JB25 is available online from Hampton Knits, which is where I bought it.

Donna Lee said...

What a beautiful sweater. Funny thing is, I am looking for the written directions! I cannot visualize the piece from a chart but give me a written description and I can see it.