Welcome to our regular Lion Brand Yarn Studio blog feature “Look What I Made”, where customers of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, in New York City*, write about their projects. Have you taken a class at the Studio and then made a wonderful project? Do you have a Lion Brand Yarn project you want to share? Send us your stories & pictures to: email@example.com
Please note, many of our customers create one of a kind works with no pattern. If a pattern is used, we will include that information.
*If you are not a Studio customer, but have a project you’d like to share, sent it into LionBrand.com customer gallery. Click here for the link.
BY: Karen Durante
On January 3rd, 2010, I attended the kickoff of the Nicky Epstein Knitting on Top of the World knit-a-long at Lion Brand Studio. Mary Taylor, a knitter from Minnesota, was inspired by the movie, “Julie and Julia” to knit all 48 projects in Nicky’s book in 48 months. Lion Brand Studio was generous enough to offer their space to a wonderful group of knitters and a 10% discount to anyone who knitted along with Mary for any project in the book for the next four years. I have long been an admirer of Nicky’s work, and just say the words “discount” and “yarn” in the same sentence and I’m in!
My first project was the Northern Lights Cardigan. I made the sweater with Lion Brand Wool-Ease. Such an easy yarn to work with, I knitted most of the solid section at my company’s annual meeting without hardly having to look at my needles. I kept faithful to the pattern but did change the colors. All I did was swap colors in the chart for ones that suited me a little better. I am not much of a “blue” person and I like the contrast of a darker yoke with the lighter cream color in the lower section.
In February, my thoughts turn to pink for Valentine’s Day. I made the Copenhagen Shawl in the LB Collection Superwash Merino in the Peony color. Such beautiful yarn, gorgeous colors and so soft to the touch. Easy to work with, too. I kept faithful to the design, just added rhinestones when it was finished with a Brisk Set. The same principal as a beadazzler, but similarly used like a stapler.
March’s project was the Princess Bride Mittens. I used the LB Collection Superwash Merino again. You can fall in love with this yarn. I plan to make my son-in-law, Adam, a ribbed sweater out of the Denim color. Again, I stayed faithful to Nicky’s design, but swapped the colors in the chart for a different look. I used the Leaf color for my background color.
The St. Petersburg Camisole, while being beautifully designed, was not suited to my grandmother-style body. When I first saw it, loved the feather and fan double border and the pleated ribbon trimming. I immediately thought of a jacket with the same double border and long sleeves. This was not too difficult to do, but it did take some planning. I made the double border closer together by eliminating some length in the under layer, widened the shoulders, narrowed the sleeves and made them full length. I used Lion Brand Microspun in purple. I also changed the ribbon from the velvet pleated ribbon in Nicky’s design to a satin box pleated trim. It was lighter in weight than the original trim and better suited for the yarn that I used for the jacket.
(modeled by our own Claire)
Next, the Baltic Cuffs and Cap. When my daughter, Elaina saw the cuffs, she fell in love with them, but asked if I could make her a beret instead of the cap in the book. I again used the LB Collection Superwash Merino, and again I swapped colors in the chart for colors I wanted to use. I kept faithful to the design for the cuffs, but the beret needed to be designed from scratch. I searched the Internet until I found a beret that had a color chart and once I studied the basic design, I substituted the border for the same one I had used for the cuffs, just worked it in fewer rows. I used a pie-shaped outline on graph paper to draw in Nicky’s design for the top of the beret and added the sewn-on bobbles, just like the cap in the original design. The knitting went pretty swiftly after that. Elaina is very pleased with the results.
(modeled by our own Kendra)
I just finished the Bohus Swing Coat. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease for this project. I have substituted a more pastel palette for the original.
Thus far, this has been an interesting journey for me. Even though I am a long-time knitter, some of the techniques, like knitting from the center of each square outwards to the borders of the squares for the Copenhagen Royal Shawl, I had never tried before. This has been quite a learning experience for me. I have greatly expanded my skills with this project. I plan to complete all 48 projects in the allotted four years. My advice to knitters is to not be afraid to try something different with a pattern that is beautiful, but doesn’t quite fit the intended recipient. You can always do something to make it your own.
To view the original patterns, come by the Studio and pick up your own copy of Nicky’s amazing book: Knitting on Top of the World. If you are a fan of Nicky’s keep your eyes open for the announcement on this blog of her next master class & book signing special event!