My mom has a thing about color: she loves it. Has to have it. Many of them, preferably at the same time.
(You can imagine how much I understand now that she loves me, since when she first asked if I wanted a sweater, the only one I wanted was a pitch black sweater with cables in it. That’s rough even if you like that sort of thing. Mercifully, even then I had enough sense to cherish it, and I still wear it. ‘Tis a little small.)
But she doesn’t like making socks (or anything on a small gauge), and she’s not huge on fair isle. Intarsia is cool, but it’s kinda out of fashion. So what’s a budding dyer/designer to do?
Mom’s solution? Multi-colored worsted weight yarns, and designs to go with it. When I expressed hesitation, because semi-solids are more in vogue at the moment than multis, especially when it comes to worsted-weight and thicker yarns, she said with feeling, “Well I’m going to bring them back!” We laughed, but she was at least somewhat serious; just because they aren’t the hot trend in yarn fashion doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t invest in them if they’re what we love! Especially if something beautiful, interesting, and versatile is the result.
Scroll down the Woolpaca page, past the lovely semi-solids, and you see the multi-colored worsted-weight yarns that Mom’s come up with so far. But the truth is, there are not a lot of sweater patterns out there that are contemporary and that work with multi-colored yarns.
So Mom delved into another rarely-used technique – a variety of slip stitching patterns.
The offspring of this uncommon marriage is Mom’s latest pattern, Slip Stitch Revival. It’s a sideways-knit vest, knit all in one piece and closed with a three-needle bind-off, and it’s a sampler of slip stitch patterns.
Mid-pattern write-up, we discovered a little issue – the larger sizes (it goes up to 50″ chest, leaving up to 2″ of negative ease) tended to be shorter in the waist. Instead of leave it that way, we made two options for all sizes: a shorter length that goes to the top of the hip, like a normal sweater, and a tunic length that goes over the bum.
Back at thanksgiving, when Mom first finished her sample, little sister rocked out the tunic look. Someone likes being a model.
Apparently, the back of this vest is totally fun, because we both kept taking pictures of it. I think the combination of vertical lines, slight asymmetricality of patterns but not silhouette, makes it very modern looking. The slip stitch patterns muddle the color, making the changes softer. If you wanted an even more blended look, you could switch balls of yarn every other row (which I generally recommend for any hand-dyed yarn).
These two samples are in “Redwood” (tunic length) and “Indian Summer” (waist length). I must confess – Indian Summer was not my favorite color when Mom started dyeing it. But I love how it looks in that vest.
This pattern is available on Ravelry. As summer sets in, and we start looking forward to fall knitting, consider this one to warm your ribs. Kits are now available, in all sizes and colors (including semi-solids), and also as per usual kits include a discount on the yarn and a complimentary color copy of the pattern.