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Graphic Knits by Alexis Winslow

Graphic Knits by Alexis Winslow

Graphic Knits by Alexis Winslow

I’m very happy to be able to share with you a book by one of my favorite knitwear designers Alexis Winslow! I’ve knit quite a few of her patterns, including her Delancey Cardigan and Bergen Street Cardigan, and they never disappoint. When I saw the sneak peek of all of the patterns in the new Graphic Knits, I freaked! There is a ton of amazing sweaters in this book and I can’t wait to get my hands on all of them.

You can preorder Graphic Knits at Interweave now! There are 20 patterns in there sure to make you the most stylish lady around. And scope all of the patterns on ravelry.

Alexis was kind enough to answer a few questions about her inspiration, and a few very pushy questions about her design aesthetic and how she creates such flattering, graphic garments! And enjoy the beautiful pictures of projects from the book I snagged from Interweave.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.21.41 PM

Laszlo Cardigan

‘Graphic Knits’ is a very striking book full of modern sweaters with graphic shapes created by colorwork, texture, and yarn overs – what draws you to this aesthetic?

Alexis: I design things that I want to wear, so the silhouettes and color I choose are a reflection of my personal style. I’m also very interested in what makes something fun to knit. I believe there are certain design elements that make knitting more entertaining and satisfying, and I try to incorporate them into my patterns as much as possible. These elements are obvious things like stripes of color or texture and easily memorized patterning, but also less obvious things like rhythmic structure to the written instructions and minimizing finishing by designing out seams.

Another thing I love to do in my design work is explore unique shapes that are really only possible to achieve with hand-knitting. For instance, a lot of my designs have shaping in the middle as opposed to on the edge like a machine knitted garment.

Minnow Top

Minnow Top

Looking through all of your patterns, this graphic element is everywhere, especially colorwork prints. What inspires your prints?

Alexis: I’ve been interested in graphic patterning ever since I can remember. I think my aesthetic looks a little different because my influences come from the Southwest United States instead of a more traditional European knitting influence. I credit my parents for this because when I was growing up we took frequent road trips to New Mexico. They collected Navajo rugs and Pueblo pottery so our family vacations often involved visiting far-flung native art galleries. If you’ve never looked at Pueblo pottery, I suggest you do a quick image search. The intricate, high-contrast patterning is mesmerizing and the silhouettes of the vessels are incredibly light and beautiful. While I’m not exactly looking at pottery everyday to get ideas, the aesthetic is clearly something that has ingrained itself in my design vocabulary.

Rockling Cardigan

Rockling Cardigan

‘Graphic Knits’ focuses a lot on color placement on a large scale. What are some rules you follow to make color placement flattering?

Alexis: In addition to my knitting pattern design business, I am also a professional printed textile designer so I tend to think about color placement from a graphic designer’s perspective. It’s important to remember that color and pattern work together to direct the focus of the eye. I don’t have any hard rules that I follow, but I am always thinking about balance and rhythm. I love using a bold or heavy color paired with a neutral or soft pastel color. This creates visual interest that’s both contrasting and balanced. I also carefully consider which color to use for the edgings of my designs. I like to use a heavier color for the edge of cardigan to draw the eye up toward the face. On the other hand, if I have busy patterning on a garment, I like to use a soft or neutral color for the edging to create a place of calm for the eye to rest.

Rook Pullover

Rook Pullover

What would you say to a knitter nervous about making the jump from texture rich sweater knitting to colorwork sweater knitting?

Alexis: I would tell that nervous knitter that they’ve been missing out on a whole lot of knitting fun, and there’s no time to waste! If you can knit a cable or lace chart, you already have 99% of the skills necessary for Fair Isle knitting. With colorwork knitting, usually you work with only two colors of yarn in a stockinette fabric, so it’s just a matter of juggling the two strands, which is no big deal. Putting colors together is also a really fun way to express yourself. There are few things in knitting that delight me more than watching a rich geometric Fair Isle pattern fall from my needles.

Germander Shrug

Germander Shrug

You’ve put out a TON of patterns over the past two years, between last year’s Winsome Knits and now Graphic Knits, and even a few patterns in between. What’s next for you besides a big fat break?

Alexis: Haha! Yes I’ve been working very hard! Currently, I’m planning a bunch of book signing events and trunk shows for Graphic Knits, so I hope some of the Sweatshop of Love readers will come out and say hi. Beyond busting my butt to promote Graphic Knits, I don’t have any other long term plans. I’m always sketching out new designs, and I probably have enough for a whole other book already. Despite this, I pretty much decided that I would have to quit my day job before I could take on another large scale project like a book. So I guess we’ll see! At the moment, I’m pretty much burned out for deadline knitting, so you can expect to see my designs published mostly independently for while. I do have one new design in Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 8 (coming out late fall 2014) that I am unbelievably excited about!

Graphic Knits

By Alexis Winslow

Interweave/F+W; $24.99

bit.ly/1r9yzUJ

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TTFN

This afternoon I’m jumping on a plane for Europe! Shane and I are getting married in Spain on Sunday, and then we’ll be puttering around Europe for a couple weeks. Kinda cool right? I made a page with more information about our trip, if you’d like to read about our plan.

Shane and I right after we got engaged in July

Shane and I right after we got engaged in July

Getting married is pretty nuts, and I thank my lucky stars every day for not having to plan a wedding. Because, you know, it’s not like I’m doing anything else important these days. Like writing a book and running a magazine. Designing embroidery patterns. Designing knitting patterns here at The Sweatshop of Love! I don’t know how people plan weddings. Putting this thing together was enough work!

Headband!

Headband!

We’re getting married on the beach, so it’s super casual. In fact, I pulled my dress off the rack at H&M for $40! Not too shabby. I wanted a little touch of a little headband/fascinator thing kinda. I found this, which I loved, but obviously couldn’t justify $290 for a headband. So I crafted this together with some tule, a cut up silk rose, and some ribbon. Pretty cute right?

Bloomers!

Bloomers!

My $40 H&M dress is very short. VERY short. So I thought it would be a fun touch to stitch up some little tap pants to wear underneath. I vaguely used the Purl Bee City Gym Shorts pattern, added some lace, and there you have it.

I’ll be back at the end of the month with more pictures and stories to share. I’ve got a couple posts that will be popping up here while I’m gone, but otherwise it’s going to be pretty quiet around here until Sept 29th.

Wish me luck! And if you have any Paris or Amsterdam recommendations please let me know!

Announcing the Sweatshop of Love Fall KAL!

Everybody loves a knit along, and I’ve been meaning to organize a knit along for my patterns for years. Well I’ve finally done it! A Allyson Dykhuizen / The Sweatshop of Love all pattern KAL!

Allyson Dykhuizen / The Sweatshop of Love All Pattern KAL!

Over the years I’ve accumulated lots of patterns! All 80 of my patterns will be involved in this KAL, and the more you knit the more you win and qualify to win.

  • Cast On Day: Wednesday October 1st
  • Finished On: Sunday November 30th
  • Prizes: ALL finished patterns posted before the end of the KAL will be awarded a free pattern of their choice from my pattern library! Finish a sweater? Win another sweater pattern of your choice. Finish an accessory? Win another accessory pattern of your choice. Finish two free patterns? Win any accessory pattern of your choice. There are no limits to the number of patterns you can win, so keep knitting and keep winning!
  • Grand Prizes: There will be at least twelve grand prizes including yarn, signed copies of my pattern collections, screen printed project bags, gift cards, and custom knit accessories! All finished projects will earn you entries for the grand prize drawing: each finished sweater will get you 3 entries, each finished accessory will get you 2 entries, and each finished free pattern will get you 1 entry. Grand prizes will be given away randomly at the end of the KAL.

The best part? Most of my patterns will be on sale between now and cast on day! So let’s look at all these patterns!

Patterns Featured in Magazines and Collections

Sweaters in Print!

Sweaters in Print!

Unfortunately I can’t put these patterns on sale because I don’t hold the rights to them, but all of my patterns that have been featured in magazines and collections are included in the KAL! Patterns include, top left to right: Block Island Sweater, Liaison Tee, Fire Opal Tee, Bristlecone Pullover. Middle left to right: Knickerbocker Tee, Harnett Tank, Trolley Dodger, The Georgia Peach, all from my Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits collection. Bottom left to right: Baby Baby Ruth, also from Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits, Thermal Pullover, Cumulus Tee, and Block Island Sweater (again).

Accessories in Print!

Accessories in Print!

These accessories patterns have also been included in magazines and collections. They won’t be on sale, but are up for grabs of course! Patterns include, left to right: Tulip SlouchIt’s a Wrap – Knot! Headband, Reservoir Mitts, Stadium Blanket from Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits, and Riga Bonnet.

Holla Knits Patterns

My Holla Knits Published Sweater Patterns

My Holla Knits Published Sweater Patterns

All of my Holla Knits patterns are available in my Etsy shop, which means I’ve got a coupon code for you! Snag any pattern in my Etsy shop, including all of my Holla Knits patterns, for 30% off with coupon code TSOLKAL now until KAL cast on day on Oct 1st.

Patterns include, top left to right: Umbre Lovre, In a While Crocodile, Put a Belt On It. Middle left to right: New Girl, El Matador, Cute Girl Squares Tank. Bottom left to right: Eastwood Cardigan, Heraldry, Velma.

My Holla Knits Published Accessory Patterns

My Holla Knits Published Accessory Patterns

My Holla Knits accessory patterns are also over there! Patterns include, left to right: Excelsior and Multiplicity.

Independently Published Patterns

My Independently Published Sweater Patterns

My Independently Published Sweater Patterns

All my patterns available from Ravelry are 30% off, too! Use coupon code TSOLKAL to get 30% off all of my patterns in my Ravelry store! These are my independently published patterns, of which the sweater patterns include, top left to right: WORK+SHELTER Lace Striped Sweaters, Two Boyfriends Cardigan, Caitlin’s Cardi, Granny Bomber Jacket. Bottom left to right: Traverse City Tube Top, The Loop Entrelac Tank, Melvie, Baby Sweater Buffet.

My Independently Published Accessories Patterns

My Independently Published Accessories Patterns

And all my accessories patterns, too! They include (deep breath!) Row 1 (top) left to right: Down, WORK+SHELTER Hand Warmers, Sheep Mittens, Granny Square Muff. Row 1, left to right: WORK+SHELTER Market Bag, WORK+SHELTER Cabled Clutch, Door County Wooden Handle Bag, WORK+SHELTER Cabled Headband. Row 3, left to right: McCarren Park Cap, Twin Cities Headband, Detroit Tigers Bow Headband, Madison Cowl and Handwarmers. Row 4, left to right: Reflection Cowl, Ridgewood Reversible Shawlette, WORK+SHELTER Lace Striped Shawl, Entrelac Snood. Row 5, left to right: WORK+SHELTER Corner to Corner Wrap, Twin Cities Ankle Socks, Hyde Park Legwarmers, Hot Stripes Dish Towel and Dishcloths. Row 6 (bottom), left to right: Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Krum Toilet Paper Roll Cozy, Hipster Tea Cozy, Gus Gus Kitty Toy, and Down (again).

Free Patterns

Free Patterns!

Free Patterns!

And last but not least I’ve got a bunch of fun free patterns you can knit up that qualify, too. If you make two of these patterns you’ll get a free paid pattern of your choice! And each finished free pattern will get you one entry for the grand prize giveaways. Patterns include, row 1 (top) left to right: Welly Warmers, Mollie Makes Welly Warmers, Mason Jar Travel Cozy, Knit Toilet Lid Cover. Row 2 left to right: We’re Just That Awesome Coffee Cup Cozy, Knit Happy Poos, Striped Beanie or Stocking Cap, Eric (Man) Beanie and Stocking Cap. Row 3 left to right: Slouchy Beret, Entrelac Beret, Quartet of Headbands, Cordia’s Bow Headband. Row 4 left to right: Tinfoil Tiara Brigade Cabled Headband, Half Fabric Half Crochet Infinity Scarf, The Only Way to Scarf, Chunky Cabled Cowl. Row 5 (bottom) left to right: Baby Sweater Buffet Snowsuit, Heart Patch, Lined (and Adorable!) Cabled Change Purse, ICord Friendship Bracelets.

WHEW! That’s a lot of patterns!

We’ll be chatting about our KAL plans, sharing progress, and posting finished projects over at the Allyson Dykhuizen / The Sweatshop of Love Ravelry group, so join the group if you haven’t already! We’ve got a very active group and it will be really fun to follow everyone’s progress.

Remember! You’ve got until October 1st to get your yarn and patterns in order and gauge up before we cast on! And be sure to share your plans with us on Ravelry!

New Pattern! Velma

Velma!

Velma!

Buy Now ~ Ravelry Pattern Page

A new collection of Holla Knits launched yesterday and in it was this cute pattern I designed for my cat! Meet Velma, the sweater version.

Sleeping Velma

Sleeping Velma

Sleeping Velma

Sleeping Velma

... still sleeping Velma!

… still sleeping Velma!

Pain in the Ass Velma!

Pain in the Ass Velma!

Barely Awake Velma

Barely Awake Velma

And of course you know my cat Velma. She gets a lot of play around here because she’s my one true love.

Sweater Velma!

Sweater Velma!

You see the resemblance I’m sure!

Pattern Intro: Crazy cat lady? Well, I certainly love my cat Velma. We’ve been together for over 11 years, and she’s just as ornery as she was when I plucked her out of a barn in West Michigan all those years ago. She’s a tiny, beautiful furball that only I can love, and we like it that way. Velma the sweater is cat-like in the simplest way – furry details but not remotely costumey. This sweater is sure to be your best friend, without having to worry about it eating you if you unexpectedly die in your apartment.

Finished Size 32 (36, 40, 44, 50, 54)” bust circumference. Pullover shown in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed in 36″ and in Knits in Class in size 40”.

So Pretty!

So Pretty!

Yarn Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed, 80% Peruvian Highland Wool, 20% Donegal Tweed; 110yds/50g: Brass Heather, 9 (10, 12, 13, 16, 18) skeins.

Yarn Knits in Class Worsted Single Ply, 100% Merino Wool; 250yds/4oz: Ruby, 5 (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) skeins.

Needles Size 7 (4.5 mm): 16″ and 24″ circular (cir) and double-pointed (dpn). An extra size 7 24” cir for Three Needle Bind Off. Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Back Seam!

Back Seam!

Buy Now ~ Ravelry Pattern Page

Notions Markers (m); stitch holders; tapestry needle.

Gauge 18 sts and 24 rows = 4″ (10 cm) in St st.

Notes Construction starts with the front middle Chevron Stitched panel and the body of the sweater is picked up and worked side to side around the body from there. Stitches for the sleeves and collar are held and finished from there.

Pattern Giveaway!

This just happens to be the first stop in the Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2014 Collection blog tour! There is a yarn giveaway over at the HK blog, but here I’m giving away a copy of this pattern to one lucky commenter! Comment on this post for your chance to win. Since I’m headed out of town, winners won’t be chosen until Mon Sept 29th so you’ve got plenty of time to enter. Share on all social medial outlets to earn extra entries!

And keep your eye on all the great giveaways and collection reviews throughout the blog tour by following the schedule below. Good luck!

Sept 8: Launch
Sept 9: The Sweatshop of Love – pattern giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP WotA Tweed in Brass Heather
Sept 10: Klever Knits – pattern and skein of Rowan Kid Classic giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP City Tweed Aran in Jacquard
Sept 11: Berroco – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 12: Canary Knits – pattern giveaway, SEG: 1 500 yard skein of Mountain Colors 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Ice

Sept 15: Mountain Colors Facebook Page – SEG: Mountain Colors Perspectives Twizzle in Blue/Turq
Sept 16: Life on Laffer – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 17: Knits in Class – SEG: 1 skein of Knit in Class
Sept 18: Makewise Designs – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 19: Anzula – SEG all the Anzula yarn needed for the Beech Street Vest

Sept 22: Ruby Submarine – SEG: 3 skeins KP WofA Tweed in Thirst Heather
Sept 23: BoKnits – SEG: 8 skeins KP Swish DK in Indigo Heather
Sept 24: Under the Red Umbrella – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 25: DoogKnits – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 26: Cosmos and Cashmere – review and pattern giveaway

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FO: More Baby Bibs!

Last month I shared a couple I Love St st Baby Bibs that I knit up for a friend.  Today I’ve got more! To mix it up I took a couple Velma kitty bomb shots.

Baby Bob Bibs!

Baby Bob Bibs!

KP Comfy Worsted in Jalapeño and Marlin

KP Comfy Worsted in Jalapeño and Marlin

Kitty Butt

Kitty Butt

Pattern: I Love Stockinette Baby Bib by Laura Treadway

Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Marlin and Jalepeno, just over half a skein of each

Needles: Size 7s, 16″ circ and 2 dpns

Ravelry Project Page

Velma LOVES These Bibs!

Velma LOVES These Bibs!

So Sweet in Yellow!

So Sweet in Yellow!

KP Comfy Worsted in Creme Brulee and Hawk

KP Comfy Worsted in Creme Brulee and Hawk

Pattern: I Love Stockinette Baby Bib by Laura Treadway

Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Creme Brule and Hawk, just over half a skein of each

Needles: Size 7s, 16″ circ and 2 dpns

Ravelry Project Page

This was one of the rare projects where I’ve made multiples and haven’t gotten super sick of the project half way through. Which is perfect because I think I’ll be making these for every baby born at any point in the future! So cute and quick. Now I just can’t wait to see a baby wearing one of these!