Whole Lotta Knitting Love, top 10 patterns

February 13, 2013

In honor of Valentine's Day, all week I've been posting top 10 lists to my Knitting Love Series. Monday was my top 10 yarn choices, Tuesday was my favorite designers, Wednesday was my favorite knitting books and today I share my favorite garments.  The sweaters below made the top 10 because they were fun to make and have clear instructions but mostly because I wear them all the time!

I give all the sweaters below a BIG 10 and would highly recommend that you can knit them with confidence.  Links take you to the Ravelry page.

1.  Pearly by Martin Story.  Hands down my favorite sweater and my husband's favorite.  Fingering weight wool, Rowan 4-Ply Soft, tons of little cables and pearls, knit flat and seamed.  It's the prettiest sweater I've ever made and one I am most proud of.  It was while knitting this sweater that I realized that instructions are really just a guideline.  I could fudge on everything, change the yarn, the gauge, the stitch count, the increases and decreases to make a perfect fit.  I've been doing that on every sweater since because fit is very important to me.  Pearly is the acme of my knitting career!

2.  Effie by Kim Hargreaves, knit flat and seamed.  Ruffles are made separately and sewn on at the end.  I used  Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Anthracite, a smokey charcoal, and oh my, I love the color, the fabric, the fit, the ruffles!  I wear it out to dinner with skirt and jewelry, I wear it to the shop with jeans, very versatile! 

3.  Kelly Cardigan by Erika Knight.  My go-to sweater, I've made this 4 times, each time using Rowan Kidsilk Haze doubled.  If you've wanted to use KSH but have been resisting it because of the lacy features, try it doubled as dk weight.  I promise you will love it.  Knit flat and seamed.  Easiest sweater to wear and besides, every wardrobe needs a little black cardi.  It goes dressy or casual and people want to pet it!
Little Black Kelly Cardi

4.  Genevieve by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I consider this to be the most perfect top down pullover.  It's simple and mindless with it's ocean of stockinette, but that's a plus in my book, plus it has an adorable and easy lacy neckline.  Very easy to make a perfect fit.  I've made this 3 times.  The yarn is Quince and Co. Chickadee, 100% wool, machine washable and soft, it's a very well behaved yarn.  I love Duck Egg Blue!
Genevieve in Blue

5.  Baby Owl Cardigan, a Penny Straker Design and designed by her mother Janice Straker.  She was the first to knit cables into owls, or at least the first to publish it.  This little sweetie was knit with Rowan 4-Ply Cotton, machine washable for mother's peace of mind.  Knit flat and seamed.  Be still my heart, I just can't think of a cuter baby knit.  Wouldn't baby look dear wearing this to a picnic or a cheery visit to Grandmas?
Baby Owl Cardigan

6.  Water's Edge by Hannah Fettig, top down cardi.  LOVE.  Twice I've made this with Rowan Aura (a big sis to KSH but now sadly discontinued) and knit once again with cotton for my granddaughter.  Easy to knit, easy to wear, fun peplum and so soft and warm in Aura.  I think I'll make it again!  I had to size it down for my grand but now it's available in a child's version.
Water's Edge

7.  Sand and Sea Shawlette and Cedar Leaf Shawlette by Alana Dakos.  I've lost count on how many times I've made these! Both are go-to scarfs to keep the chillies away.
Sand and Sea Shawlette

Cedar Leaf Shawlette

8.  Apricot in Rowan All Seasons Cotton designed by the Rebecca Design Team.  I made this years ago and wore it until it died, but I am still hanging on to it because it's too sad to have to say goodbye to such a loved one!  Some of these pictures are pretty old and I don't look the same, like this one.

9.  Lisette designed by Kim Hargreaves.  This was an instant must-make the first time I laid eyes on it in Rowan Magazine 36.  It's such a pretty sweater but I have to say that I remember it was a bit of a challenge.  I love the lace peplum and the yarn, Rowan 4-Ply Soft.  Mostly I love the memories this gives me.  I knit this when my father was so ill.  He slept, I knit, he would wake up and we would talk.  He said, "You've been busy making something since you were tiny!"  It's true, he almost never saw me when I wasn't making something.  A memory in every stitch.   It's funny how knitting can do that.

10 and 11.  A tie between Lily by Marnie Maclean and Martha by Stella Smith.  Two white summer sweaters that I have worn ragged but still wear them each summer, regardless of their slightly shabby state.  Still, they have held their shape through multiple washings and I pretend not to notice that they have seen better days.  Lily knit in Rowan Cashcotton 4-Pl, knit in the round and Martha in Rowan 4-Ply Cotton knit flat and seamed.
Behold the Lilies


12.  Well, looks like I can't stop at 10 or 11, because how can I not put in Tiny Tea Leaves?  I loved knitting this. I've made several of the grown up version and two of the pint size version.  My granddaughter looks adorable in this Tiny Tea in orchid Louisa Harding Kashmir DK.  Designed by Melissa LeBarre, knit top down in one piece and very fun to make.
Tiny Tea Leaves

13.  Glade, epic in all ways.  I rarely wear this, but when I do pull it out I stare at it for a really really long time.  Bobbles and lace and pleats and picots and ruffles, it's not missing one frou frou detail.  I am so proud of this because I think I am the only knitter that was able to make this fit, and it wasn't easy.  For this reason I would not recommend this pattern unless you are willing to tackle that.  Designed by Martin Story and made with Rowan 4-Ply Cotton. 

14.  Iceland, gorgeous, right?  Designed by Stephanie White using Rowan Cocoon. I wore this to Stitches West one year and was mobbed.   Well not exactly mobbed, but I got a few compliments!
Very fun to make with a lace leaf pattern that is easily memorized.  It's worked from side to side, then the ribbing is added at the end.

15.  Hourglass by Joelle Hoverson.  Everyone loves Hourglass as it flatters all figures.  It's bottom-up in-the-round construction is pretty simple.  I loved the knitted-in hem and the bell sleeves.  Knit in Rowan Lima it's a pretty darn perfect pullover pattern.

So many hours, so many memories, knitting has been such a good friend to me.  Knitting has brought me calm when I've felt anxious, something about the rhythm of the clicking needles perhaps.  Knitting gives me an outlet to be productive and explore my creativity.  It's amazing that I can do something I love, then have something beautiful at the end.  The best hobby ever!

Well that's it, thank you for taking the time to view my favorites I've knit over the years and giving me a chance to show them off.  I have so many more I love.  For someone who has made hundreds of garments over the years, it's hard to limit to just 15.  In reality, several of the sweaters above have been retired or given away, but the patterns I would make again and again.

I'm sure you've noticed that most of the yarn I use is from Rowan.  I fell in love with Rowan because my LYS has always carried a great selection.  I think their quality is top-notch and I'm pretty picky.  Because of this love affair, I applied to become a Rowan Ambassador, a champion of the brand in their own words.  I actually made it to the shortlist of 30 people!  I'll let you know when I know!

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  1. what a lovely knitting career! and good luck with the Rowan Ambassador role...they'd be fools not to choose you (especially if they read this blog post!!)

  2. I love your posts and especially these Top 10 -things are great. Thanks Kristen!

  3. Kristen, thank you for sharing! You are such a skilled knitter that any pattern is make-able (is there such a word?) for you! Heart all your projects! Totally agree with you about knitting as a hobby!

  4. Wow! Beautiful projects, each one is more special than the next, and it's difficult to choose a favorite. I am in awe of your talented creations!

  5. Kristin, I have truly loved your top 10 lists - this has been so much fun!
    I am so glad to see your Pearly and your Hourglass made this list - they are two of the my favorite of all your many, many beautiful works of art.

  6. I'll bet it WAS hard to choose the top 15 between so many beautiful creations made over the years!!! There's always at least one thing that stands out in each, I'm sure! It's so great that you have a hobby that not only does your hands and brain good, but does your heart so much good. Have a wonderful weekend!!

  7. Kristen!
    I am still in awe of all your knitting. I can't decide which of the sweaters I like the best. The top 10 Posts have been very fun and I've enjoyed reading them. Looking forward to Spring.

  8. Thanks for including Martha in your list, Kristen, I'm very flattered!
    I still have the very original (pre-sponsored) garment in my wardrobe in Parchment and I wear it every summer without fail!
    Sorry to be slow to catch up on your blog, but I'll look forward to following you in future. Stella x


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