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I am a hand-knitting designer and teacher. See and purchase my published designs on Ravelry.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Woolly-Wits' Top 10 Most Flattering Hand Knit Designs for 2013

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Thyone by Tori Gurbisz

So, I am a little late with my first annual list, but you try and wrestle a video-obsessed 13-year-old boy away from the computer with the biggest monitor in the house.  After two weeks plus two extra days home due to life-threatening cold, I am finally child-free!  With no more ado, here is my own highly-subjective list of the most flattering designs to make their debut in 2013:

Funky Grandpa by La Maison Rililie

These first two designs are my gift to those of you with the body type opposite my own - proportionately larger hips and thighs.  To balance your figure, you need to have more color/pattern/texture/shine across your chest (but watch it if you are busty).  Both these designs do that, without forgetting that you also need vertical design lines to elongate the body.  If Thyone is you choice, you might want to skip the color patterning  at the bottom edge, or shorten it to a high hip length - which you should probably to anyway.  Personally, I am so enchanted with Funky Grandpa that I might throw all caution to the wind and make me one.

Aralia by Kennedy Berry

Since this is my list, it will definitely include a skirt.  What I love about Aralia is the strong vertical lines - ribbing and cabling.  It's also a lovely length, but could easily be shortened for anyone with still-pretty knees.

Brynna by Bonne Marie Burns

Any list of flattering designs would not be complete without an entry from Chic Knits' Bonne Marie Burns.  I chose Bryanna because it's the perfect little summer cover up for those or us who don't want their flabby arms or tummies to be exposed.  It is a little long for women who have larger hips and thighs, but the photos on Ravelry prove that it can be shortened without losing any charm - and maybe even gain some.  I also like the variations with buttons added, as they provide more coverage and can pull the sweater in to emphasize the waist and/or bust.

Dalriada by Amy Herzog

Another designer not to be left off a list of those who know how to flatter the figure is Amy Herzog.  Although she has published many excellent designs this year, I narrowed my choice down to one - Dalriada.  I love a deep v-neck, and especially love the hourglass design line created by this one.  This design also has a pleasant surprise on the back - a little cable pattern panel running up the center.  This keeps an otherwise simple design out of the 'coffin sweater' category, i.e. where all the interest is on the front and the (unseen) back is plain, plain, plain.

Colorblock Cardigan
by Cheryl Murray
Vogue Knitting, Fall 2013

The one design I reviewed this year that keeps coming back to my mind is Cheryl Murray's Cardigan.  The stripe color are all wrong - the center should be lightest, sleeves in a mid-tone and body sides darkest.  And, the worsted weight yarn choice should also knock it off my list.  But, it's such a great design with flattering vertical lines, perfectly on trend, and very modern with the vents at the bottom hem.  I really want to re-work it in a dk or sport weight yarn - and maybe I will if I have a few minutes between my own design projects.

Ruisseaux by Hanna Maciejewska

Ruisseaux is the opposite of a 'coffin sweater' - the best part is on the back here.  The little openwork lines create such a beautiful hourglass shape.  And it is also lovely on the front side.

Well Water Hoodie by Suvi Simola

In the category of just-squeaked-in-under-the-fence is the Well Water Hoodie, which was just published the last week of December.  (Can this late entry justify a belated top ten list post?)  I know I should totally be past my fascination with hoodies, but, I publicly confess, I am not.  The vertical design lines are such an interesting contrast to the tone-on-tone variegation of the yarn.

Sablier by Nell Ziroli
from Twist Collective Winter 2013

My list also had to include a design from the Twist Collective.  Their design aesthetic had a rather narrow range, but it had a high degree of overlap with my own.  I chose Sablier because of the hourglass shaping created by the cable panes, but also because it is such a classic design.  This year I've also been a little obsessed with pockets, and had to have this represented by at least one design on my list.

And, last but not, and with no surprise to any regular reader since I spent an entire blog post rhapsodizing about it is . . .
Modular Jacket
by Shiri Mor
Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2013

I am sure you don't agree with all my decisions, but that's why it's my list.  I look forward to checking out yours.

Disclaimer:  Since I have virtually no time for personal knitting, I can't guarantee the accuracy or quality of all the patterns in the list.  And, I know that they can vary widely with self-published patterns.  I always check Ravelry comments before beginning a project, as you will find not only errata, but also helpful suggestions.

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