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Knitty's 2008 Winter Surprise!

Filed Under: Crafts, knitting and crochet

Modern Lacy Henley sweater, from's Winter Surprise update.It's time for a winter surprise! Three new patterns have recently arrived on the site of Knitty, the wonderful free online knitting magazine. I don't know about where you live, but where I am, it's been perfect knitting weather lately: well and horribly below freezing.

Bloody Stupid Johnson, an asymmetrical hat, is a lot of fun. It's knit with short rows and a cable that breaks open into ribbing, and named for a Terry Pratchett character. It's probably my favorite of the three new patterns.

Modern Lace Henley is basically a pared-down polo shirt with a delicate overall lace pattern. It will be very nice for spring, and I like it.

But there's something I don't like about the way the Modern Lace Henley pattern is written, and there's also the third surprise pattern to discuss: a knit skirt, a topic that some knitters find divisive. You'll find more on that after the break.

For important information on how to knit the Modern Lace Henley correctly, its designer, Pam Allen, refers people to an article that came out in Interweave Knits last summer. I think this is frustrating. Although the two magazines have ties (the founder/editor of Knitty has also written a regular column for Knits), they aren't the same thing. As far as I know, the column that Allen mentions isn't available online.

The information given in the pattern itself will probably be enough for most people, but if it isn't, and if you didn't buy that particular issue of Knits, you might be haunting their back-issue archive or begging for help on some online forum or other. Knitty has message boards, so you might try there first if you have any problems.

On another note, the entire "knit skirt" concept is troublesome: these garments have been known to get baggy in strange and unflattering places, even if they're knit in a firm yarn without a lot of give.

But Bell Curve is an A-line skirt made from a yarn in a blend of viscose and nylon that the designer claims won't sag or get all stretched out. The shape of the skirt is attractive, and it should be wearable by a lot of different shapes and sizes. It seems like, if you're itching to try a knit skirt, this one would be a good candidate... as long as you're sure to use the yarn you're told to use.

In spite of my little quibbles, I think the three patterns in the Winter Surprise update are all worthwhile. Give them a gander, if you haven't already.


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