Over the Dark Rainbow

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The Fall issue of knit.purl magazine is now appearing in the wilds and with it, my Dark Rainbow Sweater!

Photos courtesy of Interweave

Photos courtesy of Interweave

This was my first time working with knit.purl (though I've worked with editor Lisa Shroyer before) and I'm glad to finally check that one off my 'knitting bucket list.' Stylistically, I think it's SUCH a cool publication and I always love their presentation. I'm really digging the dark rocker chic vibe of these photos!

Dark Rainbow Sweater is super simple to knit but packs a ton of visual impact thanks to the Schoppel-Wolle Reggae Ombre. I had never seen this yarn before which is kind of a big deal. Webs doesn't carry everything of course, that's impossible, but we carry a lot more than a small LYS can so I'm familiar with a wide range of yarns. The Reggae is a very cool slightly-felted single, though I feel like that description doesn't give it justice. Maybe it's the type of wool used, but it feels very different from other felty singles I've seen before (all merino ones.) Whatever the reason, it sports a very cool texture that adds extra dimension plus there are lots of color combos to choose from--more on that in a different post!

It's knit flat in almost-identical pieces and seamed with minimal body shaping. I dig the long garter stitch cuffs on the sleeves but my favorite part is....DAT COLLAR. It's worked similarly to a turned hem and creates a wonderful mini-funnel neck, stand-up-on-its-own collar.

I can't wait to get this one back in the mail. It will fit seamlessly into my fall wardrobe! Black bodycon dress and goth boots, anyone?


The Spring 2015 issue of Knitscene will be out shortly and I have two contributions this time around. One is a fun article about warm-weather knitting projects and the other is the Gilt Sweater.

Gilt-Sweater_medium2All photos by Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

This was sparked by the 'golden' color story on the mood boards. As I've mentioned before, sometimes I have ideas that just come to me rather than being drawn from specific photos or references and this sweater was one of those lightbulb ideas. I wanted to create a relaxed layering sweater, a transitional piece that was cozy like a sweatshirt but a little more refined. Hence my working title--Luxe$hirt! I think I said to Amy in my proposal that 'the $ is like Ke$ha', ha. It also explains my seemingly random designer blurb at the end of the pattern. I've been having fun with writing those lately, and I at least laugh at myself even if no one else finds them funny!

comboThe most striking part about the sweater is the gradient color transition, made possible by two gorgeous colors of Malabrigo Lace held double. The bottom is two strands of Color A, the middle is one strand each of Color A & Color B, and the yoke is two strands of Color B. It created a super luxurious fabric that's warm without being heavy--like a golden cloud! Extra deep ribbing on the sleeves, a boxy cropped fit and the raglan sleeves are all meant to keep it casual and sweatshirt-like. The small lace detail at the collar is supposed to mimic old school sweatshirts with the triangle insert at the neckline.

Knitscene-Spring-2015-Golden-0068_medium2The styling and setting for these photos is super cute and I couldn't be happier!

Something Magical

Last year a sub call came out that I instantly squealed over. I was already swimming in work and did not need another project added to my pile--but this was a theme I could not resist. I have always been a big reader with a special attachment to fantasy, mythology and science fiction. One of my favorite books as a child was D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, a book I loved so much that I covered the paper dust-jacket with contact paper so it wouldn't become torn. (I still have that book and it sits on the upstairs hallway bookshelf.) I wasn't limited to Greek mythology though and devoured books based upon legends and fairy tales from all cultures. As an adult, my single favorite book not from a series is Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, which mixes Russian fairy tales with the modern world. So when the call was released for Enchanted Knits...I couldn't help myself. It was my dream call. comboKitsunetsuki is a foxy red cardigan inspired by the Japanese mythology of the kitsune. While kitsune is the Japanese word for fox, in this context it refers to the fox spirits who frequently appear in their stories. Kitsune possess the ability to shapeshift between fox and human forms, often taking the form of a beautiful young woman. They can act as a trickster figure (akin to the wily coyote of Native American tales), have romantic dalliances with humans, or offer wisdom. Kitsunetsuki refers to the state of being possessed by a kitsune's spirit.

I wanted to create a garment that was flattering, wearable and inspired by the myth rather than being too obvious. The front features a traveling cable across the chest which imitates the shape of a fox head, and also serves the purpose of demarcation between the reverse stockinette body and the stockinette yoke. The simple front allows the large unique cable on the back to stand out. Each individual cable is meant to represent one of the kitsune's tails, as the stories hold that older and wiser kitsune are capable of earning more tails, and they join together to form a fox tail shape.

I have to admit the extent of my cats are named Kitsune and Tsuki.

2 kittiesKitsune (left) was the first, and I named her as such because she's gingery and has a big fluffy fox tail and as it turned out, is wily, manipulative and kind of a bitch. But I love her with all my heart because she's unabashedly herself, no holding back. As I like to joke, "Like mother like daughter!" Tsuki (right) came second, and I wanted them to have coordinating names because I am a dork. I tossed around a few other ideas based on Japanese words/mythology but none of them sounded pretty.

If you're interested in reading more about kitsune, I recommend the following:

  • Foxwife by Hiromo Goto, a short story found in The Fairy Reel
  • The Fox Wife by Ellen Steiber, a short story found in Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears
  • Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling - technically this is Chinese, not Japanese, and as such the relevant stories are about huli jing. There are many similarities though, and I studied this particular book as part of my focus in Chinese History when I was in college.

Happy knitting AND happy reading!

Accio Awesome New Pattern!

I have been DYING for this to come out.

All photos thanks to Interweave!

You got it, I have a new pattern called the Heliopath Vest and it's included in the first ever Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine issue!

I am a Harry Potter FREAK. Like, get the books delivered the day they were released and read them twice in that same day kind of freak. (But a freak that loves sleep too much to go to bookstore at midnight.) The first book came out when I was 10 and the final one when I was 19, so I essentially grew up alongside Harry, Hermione, Ron and my favorite girl....LUNA!!! That's right, this vest is all about Loony Lovegood, my tribute to the witch who stole my heart.

I actually proposed Heliopath as a cardigan with stockinette sleeves, and envisioned one sleeve having a tiny pocket on the upper arm--perfect size for one's D.A. Galleon, dontcha know! But I love it as a vest too, and I am head over heels for the styling and model choice. Really brings Luna to life!

I am also extremely self-satisfied with the bio I wrote and wanted to include it here for funzies:

Emma Welford wishes she attended Hogwarts and could help Loony Lovegood uncover the Rotfang Conspiracy. When she's not perpectually re-reading Harry Potter, Emma designs dreamy knitwear and harasses her cats in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Yeah, Loony and I would totes get that job done. Along with uncovering Cornelius Fudge's army of Heliopaths and dressing them all in this sweet vest.