Friday, June 1, 2012

Marie and Veronik, Part 1

My last knitting post (the last time that I wrote of what was on my needles) was titled "Betty and Helene" for the names of my two newest WIP's.

Marie and Veronik are the designers of these sweaters.

That would be Marie Wallin and Veronik Avery.  I actually have made exactly two other projects created by each of these two designers.  I thought it might be interesting to show the other projects and summarize what I like most about these two ultra-talented, prolific designers.  This blog entry will cover Marie and my next blog entry will cover Veronik.

Quoting from her Ravelry biography, Marie Wallin "joined the Rowan creative design team in 2005 as Head In House Designer … Marie is responsible for the creative aspect of Rowan, not only in the knitwear designs but also the photo shoots, styling and art direction. As well as being the main designer for the Rowan magazine and seasonal brochures, Marie is also responsible for content, look and feel of these publications. She is also heavily involved with development and selection of new yarns and colours which are introduced into the ranges each season."

Obviously, there is very little at Rowan that Marie Wallin is not involved with!  My first Marie Wallin project was from the Rowan booklet "Rowan Purelife - The British Sheep Breeds Collection".  It was a first pattern collection for the Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Yarn.  The Sheep Breeds Yarns look like they would be great to work with, but for this project I substituted the less pricey undyed Bartlettyarns Fisherman 3-ply (made in the USA).

Pattern:  Thwaite Ladies by Marie Wallin, Rowan Purelife - The British Sheep Breeds Collection
Yarn: Bartletteyarns Fisherman 3-ply
  6.25 skeins (907 yd) Medium Sheeps Gray

I subscribed to Rowan Magazine for two years (#47-#50).  My second Marie Wallin project was a summer top from Rowan #47.

Pattern:  Relax by Marie Wallin, Rowan #47
Yarn: Rowan Summer Tweed
  6 skeins (708 yd) Spring Pink

I made several modifications to both sweaters.  For the Thwaite Ladies, most mod's were in the ribbing and bands.  In one of my early blog posts, "A Book I Recommend" (the third photo is of my Thwaite), I wrote about how Nancie M. Wiseman helped me (totally) to begin using right-side woven seams.  I used her suggestions to make adjustments to my ribbing for nearly invisible seaming.  For the bands and the collar I added an edge stitch to be slipped on every other row, and a two-stitch-wide rib just inside of the edge stitch.

The Relax pattern had an error in the stitch pattern, which I found and wrote about on Ravelry.  (This was disappointing, yet, I got over it.  I still do not know of an erratum.)  I made mine narrower (dropping one size) and longer than the pattern.  The sweater is knit in one piece starting at the bottom ribbing of the front and ending with the bottom ribbing of the back.  I began with a provisional cast-on so that after seaming, the bottom band, sleeve bands, as well as the neck, could each be knit seamlessly in the round and each have the same Kitchener stitch bind off (my favorite for binding off ribbing).

Due to the vast number of patterns designed by Marie Wallin, there are many that I like very much.  I have found these patterns (and in general, all Rowan patterns) to be a little "bare-boned".  There is never "too much information".  I do think that there is an assumption that you are (or can get help from) an experienced knitter who does not need detailed information.  It works for me, because I can add my own ideas, especially for finishing details.  I still enjoy looking at my four issues of Rowan magazine, and I like their yarns as well.  Marie is doing a fine job! 

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