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“Is there anything fragile, liquid, perishable, or potentially hazardous,” the postal clerk asked before she smoothed the postage sticker onto my Large Priority Mail box.

Alanna Nelson Master Knitter Boston portfolio

A few knitting references surround my box of the Master Knitter Level 3 portfolio, ready to post!

“Um, no.”

The corrections to my Master Knitter Level 3 portfolio are headed to my committee chair, ready for weeks of scrutiny. This accomplishment yielded not nearly the relief I expected. Two things I’ve learned in this process:

  1. I am capable of making copious careless mistakes.
  2. There are some pretty wonderful knitting resources out there.

Finally it’s time to do things other than peruse knitting books (did you catch Margaret Radcliffe’s The Knowledgeable Knitter)?  What a lovely addition to the genre! It’s time to return phone calls, bake, garden, make anything I feel like and read!

Oh, there will now be time to blog, too.  So once I wade through the stuff that I’ve ignored for most of the last two months, I’m sure the anticipation, elation and jubilation will rise. Shouldn’t there be a pusheen emoji for this?

That package didn’t have anything fragile, liquid, perishable or potentially hazardous, but it did contain the fruits of many hours of work and timorous hopes of few corrections when the reviewers send the box back to me in a couple of months.

Wish me luck!

Last Stitch!

Last Stitch!

Tada! Blocked, sewn and buttons, with a photo shoot planned for Monday, the last stitches of Dovuto have come together. It fits just fine, although remind me to put 5 buttonholes in the pattern if I ever publish it.

Alanna Nelson knitwear designs Boston
I am so ready to knit something different… oh yes, I have commission work waiting in the studio! And there’s the hat pattern, so back to work!

Start: MHK3 Aran Sweater

Start: MHK3 Aran Sweater

Alanna Nelson New Orleans inspired cable knitting pattern

Grapes, leaves and winding tendrils inspired a cable pattern

Drumroll!

After weeks of brainstorming, figuring,swatching and experimenting, I finally began KNITTING my aran sweater design for the Master Knitter Level 3 program.

Inspiration: wrought iron railings in New Orleans.

Ideally, I wanted to create this motif center panel with a V neck. Then, I’d make the body in one piece… a princess line sweater. It would be easy to customize when it came time to size the pattern.  Unfortunately, my brain insisted that the cable motif would wrap around the neck and shoulders, which would probably require considerable short rows. Time is of the essence, and I’m much more of a cardi kind of gal anyway.

So the princess line sweater became a high low cardigan. This time.

I’ve grappled with my stubborn non conformity to traditional aran style.  It would have been infinitely easier to drop a few stitch patterns into a basic sweater shape with ribbed edges. But I don’t like ribbed edges these days (exception for mittens!). My aran sweater has a stretchy provisional cast on with stockinette stitch hem. I’m using rick rib for the lower edges of the sweater, and I love the lofty light effect that contrasts with the other stitch patterns.

The Master Knitter program requirements are fairly straightforward: cables, bobbles and two other stitch patterns. I’m making this more difficult than need be.

Deadline’s a looming. I spent at least 3 weeks creating the 3 dimensional leaf shapes and the cable pattern with a bunch of grapes (bobbles) tucked inside. My swatch is nearly 2 feet long, complete with V neck shaping (that doesn’t include all of the work frogged!).

The yarn? Woolpak NZ DK weight purchased with my employee discount at Sit n Knit (Thanks, Janet!).

Once I drafted the pattern, work proceeds quite well… until the first leaves.  I developed leaf patterns in 7, 9, and 11 st.  I chose 7, and now wonder if the 9 wouldn’t fit the overall scale of the sweater better.

Alanna Nelson NOLA cable knit pattern

first repeat of cable pattern


Part of me says, forge ahead, deadline looming.

Any thoughts?