Monday, February 13, 2012

Let's Party!

This is a free pattern (you're welcome!) and a nice break from the slouchy berets that seem to have taken over the knitting world like mice in a feed shed. Plus, this pattern only has 320 projects as of this writing, so you won't have to worry about being one of fifty knitting this in your SnB.  (Am I the only one obsessed with being original? Ok, then...)
This is actually designed to be a man's hat, but you'll see that it is very versatile and looks great on women and children as well.  The designer recommends worsted yarn and size 9 needles, so it should be a relatively quick knit. (Note: I think it's hard to believe that I didn't hire these people to do a photo shoot for this post.  These are all their regular Ravelry project photos! Be sure to tell them how cute they are in the comments.)


Another Note: I was honestly about to pack this thing up when, yesterday, OSKA got a Facebook "like," seemingly out of the blue.  Since it happened on the same day I was going to hit the big DELETE button and pull the life support on the blog, I took it as a sign that this blog has value.  So, let's get back into the swing of things, shall we?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Looking for Partner

If anyone would like to help research, contact knitters, or write for this blog, please let me know.  I think we have a good thing here and I don't want to hold it up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

For Whom the Bell Tolls

I've been on a search for a skirt pattern.  I needed something versatile, because in my real job casual days can turn to Very Important Meeting Days very quickly.  I also wanted something that wouldn't sag in the behind and it had to be simple, but polished.  It's hard to find a skirt pattern.  There aren't that many.  Plus, of the few that exist, there aren't many projects out there to examine for practicality.  I really don't want to try something that everyone else has failed at.  The following projects have me optimistic about the Bell Curve pattern by Kira Dulaney, but I'd still like to hear from people about the butt-sagging issue.  That's the deal-breaker for knit skirts.  Full disclosure: none of the following women appear to have saggy butts.

This is: Soozilah
Also Known As: Suzie
:  US 4 - 3.5 mm;  US 5 - 3.75 mm
 Size: Medium

 I hate to be all "black is so slimming" cliche', but you really want to stick with neutrals or muted colors on this one.  It's called Bell "Curve" for a reason, and some women don't want to draw too much attention to that very reason.  Suzie did a great job with her black version, and she looks so classy in her photo spread.

This is: SoKnitPicky
Needles: US 7 - 4.5 mm; US 8 - 5.0 mm
Size: 30"
It's always easy to gloss over the smaller women.  People think everything looks good on them.  But let's not underestimate that in this era of Beyonce' and Kim Kardashian, smaller women need nice butts too.  Bell Curve does a nice job of creating visual curves. The same vertical features that can help to slim a larger woman can help to create an hourglass shape on a smaller woman.

This is:  NancyKane
Also Known As: Nancy
Needles: US 5 - 3.75 mm; US 7 - 4.5 mm
Size: "Smaller than Medium"

I love this photo.  In case you haven't noticed, I'm all about clothes shopping in the fall.  I guess it's held over from when we were in school and had to go "school shopping."  My poor kids can't even get excited about their belt options- black or brown.  But this year I made them cool grossgrain ribbon belts... I digress.
Nancy has chosen a beautiful color for her Bell Curve.  I wouldn't like a heavy wool skirt in a bright, flashy color.  I guess I'm old fashioned in the "bottoms should be neutral" kind of way.  This photo does a good job of showing one of the skirts best features: the vertical details down each side make your eye believe that the edge of the skirt is actually a few inches in from where is really is.  Instant Slimification!

This is: wargoddess
Also Known As: Keli
Needles: US 6 - 4.0 mm;  US 8 - 5.0 mm
Size: 3x

I know a few women who would kill for this shape.  Keli knit this in a tight gauge, but she still suggests using foundation garments.  I definitely would not use a loose gauge on this, or a drapey yarn.  You want this skirt to hug you tightly, if not suck you in.  And, check out how those vertical bands take a few inches off the width. Genius!

In Conclusion:
Vertical interest acts as a slimming illusion or can add curves to a straight figure.  It's like regression to the mean for any of you math nerds.  Stick with neutral or muted colors and fuller yarns.  Tight gauge is your friend, but be wary of the borders- you'll want to loosen up there.  This pattern looks great dressed up or casual.  Foundation garments may be necessary.

Speak Up!:
I only have one question.  How does the butt hold up over time?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Please Forgive Me

I've cleaned my desk again and lost all my notes.  We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Want to Wash Your Clothes on These?

I have a four yo son who has the obligatory 4 yo washboard abs.  That little six pack peeks out during giggling fits and tickle fights.  Of course, being the borderline bad mom that I am, I taught him to lift his shirt and ask random friends and relatives if they'd like to, "Wash your clothes on these?"  He was way to embarrassed to do it at first, but now he blurts it out when we least expect it, making it all the more hilarious,  Just me? Okay then.

I have no idea how this pattern got its name, but the slanted lace pattern at the sides reminds me of my son's little obliques (since I know no adults that actually have those).  Oblique is a free "Knitty" pattern by design goddess Veronik Avery.  To be honest, from the Knitty photos alone, I probably wouldn't have considered knitting this project.  Seeing it on different women, however, showed me the versatility and structure I look for in a good pattern.

Let's commence with the pattern love, shall we?

This is: Yuki
Also known as: Yuki77
Needle: mm
Yarn: silk, angora, wool (Yum!)
Size: XS

The first thing that drew me to this pattern whilst looking at the completed versions online, was the versatility of the sizing.  Oblique looks just as good as a more formal fitted cardigan as a more casual ubiquitous baggy sweater.
Yuki's version is of the fitted variety, and I think it's important to explore how the fit needs to be tailored to your own body (pun halfway intended.)  The form of this sweater is accentuated or maybe created by the texture in the sides and front/back panels.  You'll want to use a solid color yarn for this one.  Anything to varied will muck up the texture.

This is: Anisa's Mom (And, how cute is she? Hi, Anisa's Mom!!!)
Knitter is: Anisa
Also known as: anisa

Needle: US 9 - 5.5 mm
Size: 39

Anisa's mom is also sporting the more fitted style.  She seems to be on the petite side, so a baggier fit would have swallowed her up. She still looks comfortable and the diagonal side panels and deep v create an illusion of a more narrow, columnar front view.

The next two Obliques were both knit by Lynda
Also known as: LyndainOregon
:  US 5 - 3.75 mm
Size: Sm- 36"
This cutie is Tori, Lynda's granddaughter.  I like the looser, casual version on her. She looks super-comfortable and age-appropriate.  (Am I the only one sick of young girls dressing like Bratz dolls?)  Ah, I remember way back in the 80's and 90's, slouching on the couch or on the floor even, with well-worn jeans and a baggy sweatshirt.  Those were the days.  I wish all girls could have the freedom to dress comfortably like we did and I certainly hope that over-size style comes back before my daughters reach puberty!

But, I digress.
Here's Lynda. 
Needle: US 5 - 3.75 mm
Size: 52"

Lynda's version is more fitted and you can see how the side panels seem to make almost half of her body seem to disappear.  Your eye goes straight to the front panels and deep-v.  In this pattern the v neck doesn't necessarily draw your eye to the face as deep vs usually do, but it points to the front panel like an arrow, and all you see is the slim line created by the vertical lace pattern.

This is: Ruth
Also known as: Impulsiveknitter
:  US 7 - 4.5 mm
Size: M

OMG! The color!  I may be mistaken, but I believe Ruth dyed this herself and sells her own hand-dyed yarns?  Ruth, is that true?
This color is freaking GORGEOUS! Like a Tiffany box.
Ruth went for comfy here.  With her shape, she could have easily gone either way.  It's great when a pattern can be slimming when it needs to be, but non-restricting when it doesn't.

This is: Trinity
Also known as: Trinknitty
Needle: US 5 - 3.75 mm
Size: xs
Here is another example of the versatility of this pattern.  Now some of you might say, "Sure, the fitted version looks good on her, she can fit into an XS!"  What people don't realize is that it's just as hard to find clothes that look good on the small end of the spectrum.  You have to worry about being overpowered by the print or design and lots of times you end up looking like you raided your older sister's closet, engulfed by shapeless fabric.  Thin women often need the same kind of fitting tricks to create curves that larger women need to smooth their curves out.
This is: Cecile
Also known as: MrsMusic
Needle:  US 7 - 4.5 mm
Size: XXL (in small gauge, so the fit is M/L)

Cecile used one of my favorite tricks for slimming here.  She knit up a larger size in a smaller gauge.  This results in a thicker fabric with less ease.  The end product tends to either stand away from the body, or if knit tight enough, will actually hold back some of the bumps- corset style.  Cecile's version is still on the baggier side, so I don't think she was going for corset here, but that just gives you another option to personalize the pattern.

In Conclusion:
This pattern is very versatile.  Smaller women and younger girls can get away with an over-size fit, but stay away from baggy if you are petite, otherwise it will eat you up.  Fitted versions look more professional or formal and knitting with a tight gauge will allow you sculpt the fabric into more of the shape you want to be.  The deep-v neck is always a winner here, and the diagonal side panels disappear focusing the attention on the singular vertical front panel.  Instantaneous slimulation!  Stick to solid colors, but yarn weight is up to you.

Speak Up:
Have you ever knit up Oblique? How awesome is Veronik Avery? How do I get Blogger to add the appropriate accent over her name?  Are there any other patterns with disappearing side panels that you know of?
I'm also looking for suggestions for my next hat party!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Imagine That!

A shrug?  It's a little known fact- okay, unknown until now- that I do not care for shrugs.  Fact of the matter is, my boobs get cold faster than my arms/shoulders and shrugs do nothing to make me comfortable.  I've also not been able to find a flattering shrug pattern until now.
Enter the Textured Circle Shrug by Stefanie Japel.  It's a free pattern on the Lion Brand site, but you need to sign up to access the pattern (membership is also free).

This is: Kelli
Also Known As: Kellibug

: Di Ve 
Size: Large
Kelli's shrug illustrates two important points:
1. OMG- how good does turquoise look with red hair?
2. The TCS is one pattern that allows you to play with scale. 
While Kelli knit hers in a larger size and looser fit, you'll see other TCSs knit with a very tight fit and they look just as nice.  It's not often you can take such liberties with one basic shape.

This is: JunDai
Also known as: jundai

US 5 - 3.75 mm
US 3 - 3.25 mm
Size: small
JunDai describes her modifications on her Ravelry Project page, but basically, she just knit fewer repeats all around.  I love how her collar and sleeves have a slight ruffled effect.  Plus, the collar comes to a point right at the bust line.  This has the same look as a deep-v, cinching the waist and putting the focus on the face.

This is: Riki
Also known as:  Rikihall
Needles: mm
I think the photo is actually of Riki's mom and her friend Janice, but I could be wrong.  Either way, these beautiful ladies are modeling two different ways to wear the collar of the TCS.  Mom's collar is worn wider on the shoulders, with a shorter "v" effect, and Janice's (?) collar is pulled up tighter around her neck.  Both collars end up hitting the models right at/ below the bust line giving an hourglass illusion.  Bonus: I always love when patterns can be work by women of varying ages as well as shapes and sizes.  I think agelessness is a sign of a true classic, like a little black dress or trench coat.

This is: Mary
Also known as: MaryD
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 8 - 5.0 mm
You guys know I can't resist a good maternity photo.  When pregnant, it is a small luxury to be able to wear real clothes as much as possible.  Maternity clothes are not real clothes.  The hourglass shape in the front of the TSC, also helps to slim even the biggest baby bump. (Mary's is a very reasonable baby bump.)

This is: Ann
Also known as: roocmc

US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 4 - 3.5 mm
Size: 40-42
Beautiful color!  Also, notice how Ann knit hers a little tighter, but it doesn't look "tight."  Stefanie Japel is always good at fitting, she even wrote a book about it.  With the TCS, you get to decide how you want to wear it- loose and comfy, or snug and sexy.

This is: Heather (What? No blog?)
Also known as: heatherxxll

: US 6 - 4.0 mm
Size: small
I haven't seen the TCS knit in a lighter yarn.  Seems to me all the structure in the patten would beef up a slinky yarn.  Heather, here, shows us another great feature of the TCS.  Knit in a heavier yarn, this shrug is great for fending off the fickle office air conditioners. (Mine breaks down at least twice a week during the summer, which extra sucks when you realize I'm in an attic office.)

This is: Sarah (Another blogless wonder!)
Also known as: carexnigra
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
Size: M
I absolutely love the moss stitch modification in this project.  While the textured stripe looks great in all the other projects, I think if I ever knit this- I'd go with the moss stitch. Again, this is a tighter fit, and the dk yarn makes the shape that much sleeker.

This is: FranciaB
US 8 - 5.0 mm
US 9 - 5.5 mm
This is another looser fit. It looks super warm and comfy (maybe the yarn is sending me a subliminal message.)  I also love the red, and the collar seems more substantial than the other projects featured here. Notice, though, how the eye goes straight to the collar and shirt beneath.  The shape makes you ignore the sides of the TCS, which is like instant liposuction without all the bruising!

In Conclusion:  This shrug has all the makings of a classic.  Versatility is sizing, shape, and fit- check.  Amenable to modification- check. V-neckline and hourglass shape-check.  Covers the girls- check (essential in my book.) Ageless- check. Super-flattering-check.

Speak up:  How do you like this pattern?  Would you wear the finished garment?  Textured stripes or moss stitch?  Have you tried another modification?  How do you accessorize shrugs when you wear them?  Any other shrug patterns you would recommend?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Join Us on Facebook

Be the first to know about new posts.
Join other OSKA fans.
Share photos.
Suggest patterns.
We're on Facebook!