New Pattern Release: Muireann

She’s finally here! The top-down girls’ cardigan you’ve been waiting for. Or, at least, the pattern I’ve been taking ages to release to you.

I wrote this pattern in 2011 and it’s been in the back of my mind since then to get it into shape for general release. I had it test-knit over the summer and that was helpful in highlighting a number of issues. But it was really only when I recently started making time for design work every morning that I was able to give the pattern the focus it needed to re-write it.

Introducing Muireann

Introducing Muireann

Introducing Muireann

Muireann is a top-down girls’ cardigan with ribbed bodice and feather-and-fan lace swing that started with the buttons! My daughter fell in love with beautiful ceramic buttons in the shape of dolphins. Blue-variegated yarn was quickly purchased and a sea-themed jacket was promised.

The girls’ name Muireann (pronounced Mwih-RhaN) is derived from the Irish words for “muir” which means ‘sea’; and “fionn” meaning ‘white’ or ‘fair’. True to its name, the combination of the color-changes and the shaping of this jacket re-create a “fair sea” for the dolphins.

The colour-changes of the yarn on the bodice are like the play of sunlight on a deep, blue sea. When the structured ribbing reaches the empire line the change of gauge to ridged feather stitch allows the fabric to flare. The ridged feather stitch pattern is textured enough to allow the variegations of the yarn to shine. As a bonus, the waves formed by the stitch pattern are like the waves breaking on our local beach.

2011.03.30 - Muireann - lace

“The ridged feather stitch pattern is … like the waves breaking on our local beach. “

Muireann is graded for all sizes from 2 years old to 16 and is worked from the top-down using Barbara Walker’s method for simultaneously set-in sleeves as follows:

  1. After a provisional cast-on, the back is worked until it is one-sixth of the armhole circumference.
  2. Then each front is worked from the cast-on stitches to the same length as the back.
  3. Stitches are picked up for the sleeves and the fronts, back and sleeve-caps are worked simultaneously, with paired increases forming the sleeves.
  4. Just before the sleeves are divided away from the body, stitches are added to the body and the sleeves for the underarm shaping.
It started with the buttons!

It started with the buttons!

Thank you to all of my awesome test-knitters especially Maritere and Myjoha who posted great pictures on their Ravelry Project pages.

You can download Muireann from my Ravelry store. ETA: [For those of you who just want to put it in your queue or library, for now, (hint! hint!) here’s the link to the pattern page on Ravelry.] I’ve laid out the pages with the photographs grouped so that the pattern falls over the central four pages – to minimise printing. By way of introducing myself to you all as a designer, Muireann will be free until Jan 2015. I hope you enjoy spending time with Muireann!

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Do not adjust your set

Yes, these are all grey.

Last year, before my birthday in February, I suggested to my mother that I’d knit her something. My idea was that she could buy the wool and gift me pleasure of a knitting project. I would then give her the finished product, tailored to suit her size and shape and customised to her preferences as her birthday present (or part of it, since she’s already paid for it, essentially) in April.

She asked for a cardigan, something a-symmetrical, in grey. I bought her a cardigan’s worth of grey alpaca when we were on holiday in Italy last March, but it wasn’t the exact shade of grey she’d had in mind. I picked up the above skeins in This Is Knit when I went to check out their Powerscourt shop for the first time in early October. Of the four balls, she’s opted for the Lamb’s Pride. I’m very happy about that.

Of the four patterns I’ve shown her (Sunrise Circle Jacket, Tilted Duster, Montparnasse and one with an asymmetrical cable on the front panel) she’s opted for Montparnasse. I’m not so happy about that. I’ve heard that the pattern has dissappointed people with its length. I don’t like at all the way it’s been put together, either. I guess, being a process knitter, I’m reacting against so much knitting effort being expended into something that looks so unfinished. There isn’t the knitting-challenge in it that gives me the buzz I need. But… if that’s what the client wants sometimes you just have to go with it. It’s my own fault for presenting it as an option.

I just haven’t cast-on yet. Or bought the rest of the yarn. Or taken my mother’s measurements. Is it the resentment of the pattern? Or the thoughts of knitting in grey? Aaah! Procrastiknitting…

Or am I missing a Knitting Bug?

This little guy appeared on the counter after I’d taken the photo above. I don’t know if he came from the yarn, the bag or my house. I’ve never come accross a bug like it before, though. He was a fast little effer. Really tiny too, less than 1mm accross. Anyway, he’s dead now and, as a precaution, I’ve sealed up each of the grey balls in a separate zip-loc bag. It’s not the kind of bug I need.