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Lisa Shroyer: Studying Knitted Sweaters For A Living

Nov 16, 2007

Lisa Shroyer

Today's Knitting Daily post was written by the next in our series of Guest Star Editors: Lisa Shroyer, senior editor of Interweave Knits and editor of Knitscene magazine.

I've been with Interweave since 2005. My main job is the pattern manager/editor of Knits. I manage all the knitting patterns in the magazine, from tech editing to photoshoot to final published pattern. I fondle all the garments, count stitches, swatch, study charts, do lots of math on my grimy little well-loved calculator, check yarn info, chase down designers with questions like "did you use the eastern CO or the figure 8?" and so on.

I live in Philadelphia, the Interweave headquarters are in Colorado, and Eunny Jang, the editor of Knits, is in Maryland. So I travel quite a bit! I love my job, because I love knitting and yarn and technical bits and I really love a great magazine. Studying sweaters is a good way to make a living.

My credentials? I've been knitting for about 18 years, crocheting for almost 3. I come from a knitting/fiber family—my parents founded the company Nancy's Knit Knacks ( We can trace our lineage on my mother's side back to the Aran Islands themselves!

Apothecary Raglan (Knitscene Spring 2008)

As for what I like to knit things with—wool! Big winter sweaters, fair isle hats, cabled thingies. I do not care for making socks (shoot me with a dpn). I like to design conceptual pieces, garments that are a study in line and graphic as opposed to highly traditional or subtly articulated garments. My recent patterns were the William Street Socks, Road to Golden, Summer Wheat Tank, and Orbit Lace.

What am I working on right now?

A cabled scarf for myself (using a stitch pattern from the new Harmony Guides), finishing up my Central Park Hoodie (from Knitscene Fall 2006), and many unmentionable UFO's in my knitting closet...

What's next for Knitscene?

That's right, my other (!) job is as editor of Knitscene, Interweave's little but luscious biannual special issue. This mag's focus is on simple projects, stylish shapes, and garments that are wearable and contemporary. We don't take ourselves too seriously. You could call Knitscene the little sister of Interweave Knits. We JUST went to press on the Winter 07/Spring 08 issue of Knitscene. It's a great issue, filled with trans-seasonal layering pieces, hoodies, cardigans, fitted tees, and quick accessories.

New Wyoming Vest (Knitscene Spring 2008)

For this Winter/Spring issue, I designed two garments. One is the Apothecary Raglan—okay, it's the most challenging project in the issue, but I like to think the brain exercise is worth it! Worked in a bulky wool-blend singles, it has an unusual top-down construction. The yarn is self-striping, and I couldn't pass up the chance to manipulate the colors. The turtle neck is worked first as entrelac in the round, then a panel of entrelac splits off from the neck and is worked as a flat panel. Then you pick up stitches around the base of the neck piece (which has splayed out to form a yoke) and work the body as a top-down raglan in allover 1x1 rib. The colors pool in the entrelac section, then make funky stripes on the body. It's warm, comfy, very elastic (can be form fitting or loose), and is a fun way to incorporate entrelac into a sweater. And really, in this bulky yarn, it doesn’t take long to make. I may be a fast knitter, but I mean that!

The other project I designed is a cardigan vest called New Wyoming that combines a super bulky yarn with a light and feminine silhouette. This was so quick to knit! I literally made it in three days.

Central Park Hoodie (Knitscene Fall 2006)

And last but not least: We're running a bonus Knits Spotting feature on the Central Park Hoodie (CPH in blogland). We've found knitters around the country who made this grand-slam project from the Knitscene Fall 2006 issue of Knitscene, and we're showing off their versions. AND I revised the pattern to include three new PLUS sizes—52", 56", and 60"—so that everyone can make this great sweater. Look for that on Knitting Daily in December, along with pics of my finished 52" CPH! Because yeah, I am a big girl. And I am an advocate for positive ease, people. Positive ease + big girl bust = big CPH. Coming your way soon.

Coming Up on Knitting Daily

Next week: It's Thanksgiving here in the States! We'll have a tiny holiday treat for everyone; and just so you know: There will be only one Knitting Daily post that week.

Then on Monday, Nov. 26, We'll be back to our usual schedule with The Winter Knits Galleries! We've chosen several of the sweaters from the Winter 2007 issue for the Women of Interweave West to try on and model for you, so you can see the sweaters on a variety of different body shapes. Katie Himmelberg, style editor of Knitscene, and assistant editor of Knits, will be walking us through some helpful styling tips for different body types. Don't miss the fun!

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

Where in the world is Sandi knitting today? Sandi is knitting her way around Toronto, Canada for a bit, while she visits with loved ones. She'll be back as soon as she finishes a few more rows...

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BonnieR@2 wrote
on Feb 11, 2008 9:50 AM
One of my goals this year for Knitting Fearlessly was to try entrelac. I was also very attracted to your (Lisa's) Apothecary Ragalan so I decided to give it a go this weekend. The entrelac worked beautifully! Your instructions were clear and easy for me to understand. I thought entrelac would be tedious, but found it to be very addicting. I am moving along quickly on this pattern, as you said and can't wait to finish it and wear it. I am using a very nice self striping yarn...Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted LP (100% wool). Seems to be working out nicely as none of my LYS's carried the recommended yarn. My other WIP is the CPH. Seems like every knitter needs one of those!
Anonymous wrote
on Dec 2, 2007 2:37 AM
I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on the CPH...I just adore it. I only hope it turn out as well for me as it seemed to for all the other women that made it. It looks great in so many different colors, & in so many different sizes!! Now I just need to figure out what color to use :P!!!

BeckiS wrote
on Nov 25, 2007 10:55 PM
My sis and both did the CPH a while ago- it was my first (completed) sweater! Now my mom is begging me to find a cotton tweed with a similar gauge to make one for her to wear... Any suggestions?
MaryB@3 wrote
on Nov 20, 2007 2:12 PM
I love the Central Park Hoodie any chance of posting the pattern on Knittingdaily, since the magazine is sold out?
JanL wrote
on Nov 20, 2007 12:51 PM
Is the CPH anywhere, but in the back issue magazine?
Eharper wrote
on Nov 19, 2007 11:21 PM
Yes! I would love to read a post all about how the women of interweave and/or knitwear designers for the magazine got to where they are professionally. As a school teacher whose fingers itch to knit all day long, but who comes home too tired to stay awake through a row, I would love to get started on the road to knitting and/or designing professionally. How? What should I do first?
Lee AnnM wrote
on Nov 19, 2007 9:36 PM
Thank you for acknowledging that some of us girls need a little more sweater than others by adjusting for bigger sizes. I appreciate it!
Tmcpersonage wrote
on Nov 19, 2007 2:25 PM
I am interested in making my love for all things knitting and crocheting my full-time activity. Any suggestions of how to make it happen?
LaurieA wrote
on Nov 19, 2007 1:10 PM
Wow...I KNEW I liked you, Ms. Schroyer--positive ease and a big girl--you're the answer to an older knitter's dream.!! I've never been the right size for knitting-- a size 16 when 12 was considered generous, and now a 48 when 44 is considered extra large! It takes longer to cover us, but, really, we larger women have been fashion conscious for quite a while, and even though I am outraged when I see less than a yard (or 18") of fabric for teeny-weeny bikinis going for over $100, I am also hurt by the lack of "breathing space" on knitting patterns--after all, Hagrid knitting a circus tent on the London underground does not describe who we are as "larger" women. My daughter is at least a 52" woman, and she's just 17 and drop-dead gorgeous (creamy pink clear skin, naturally curly hair, and a dead-on sense of humor) who subscribes to the thinner is better, who would EVER want to date me I'm fat & ugly mentality. You yourself seem gorgeous (clear blue eyes and creamy skin) which is NOT a come-on, but an old lady's assessment, and it's wonderful that AT LAST we can have a designer's heart to design for us! Ugh,, after all that ranting, I think I need to lie down for a while (I can knit while being horizontal OR vertical--47 years of experience!) Keep up the great work! :-D
RebeccaA wrote
on Nov 18, 2007 4:35 PM
I just finished the Central Park Hoodie for my 18-year old daughter. She chose the style and the bulky yarn from my "stash." It was Unger's "Driftwood" so for those who are familiar with this yarn, you know that it had been in my trunk for longer than I care to admit! The yarn's colorway is a rich chocolate brown with random pastel striations. The gauge swatch worked up the same as the recommended Takhi yarn. My daughter is quite pleased with it and even wears it!
NathaliaH wrote
on Nov 18, 2007 3:51 PM
I was looking at the picture of the new wyoming vest and reading the text for the apothecary, got very confused- pretty hilarious- I will definately be knitting the vest. No promises on the sweater. LOVE Nancy's Knitknacks- they made me a glorious bag for an oversized monstrosity of a needlepoint-I can't say enough about the generosity of these kind folks who make beautiful bags!!!
LolaB wrote
on Nov 18, 2007 9:19 AM
Hi guys! [[[[Lisa here.]]]
Yes, the pattern for CPH (on KnittingDaily) will be offered in all sizes, from 32" bust to 60". The sizes range from 32 to 60 in 4-inch increments. So if you can wait til next month, you don't need to hunt down the Fall 06 backissue.
VivianM wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 5:40 PM
now there's a survey for you. bust sizes! could it be more large size knitters than thin? would that cause a change in the size range that patterns come in? would designers keep us large girls in mind, or continue to ignore us? hmmmmmm.....
JoanB@3 wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 5:17 PM
Back issues of Knitscene 2006 seem to be unavailable. will the pattern for all sizes of the Central Park Hoodie be published again?
NorahW wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 2:04 PM
Thanks for making the Central Park Hoodie in plus sizes!
Catmum wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 11:15 AM
The Central Park Hoodie was my first sweater; I loved it and learned a lot. I used
Cascade 220 heather smoke. The CPH KAL and the group on Ravelry were
lots of help, great suggestions for modifications. I knit a bigger
size and added length to sleeves and body, knit it in one piece, etc
and very glad I did. Details are on my blog and on my project page
on Ravelry.
JoanG@4 wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 10:41 AM
Your wonderful free pattern library is now so large that it would really help if you indexed it by subject, rather than just alphabetically. e.g. sort first by knitting and crochet and within each of those by type such as sweaters, socks, bags, etc. The alphabetical sort is useful only if one can remember the name of the item. Thanks for a great service to the knitting world.
KateS wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 9:40 AM
Hey Sandi, are you Canadian?
meezermeowmy wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 9:00 AM
Thanks for sharing your knitting bio with us. Here's a chicken vs. egg question: Do you design for the niche your magazine addresses ("edgy knits"), or were your designs going in this direction before? I've always wondered how much designers write to their audience, and how much they express their muse.
M.M wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 8:34 AM
Lisa, you go, girl! Great job on that New Wyoming Vest--I will keep my eye out for that issue! Your mom taught a class on sweater fit that I took a couple of years ago that was really great--I still refer to it. Its obviously in your blood.
Alan wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 8:20 AM
I looked at the 'Central Park Hoodie' that Lisa Shroyer is currently knitting and think it is beautiful. Would love to do it for my niece. Unfortunately it is from the Fall 2006 Issue of 'Knitscene' which is unavailable and I cant find back issues anywhere. Does anyone know if it has been published anywhere else, or how I could go about locating the pattern?
KierstenW wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 7:15 AM
Arrggh! I am a plus sized knitter who is 2/3 of the way through my CPH that I modified myself--I might have to make another!
KarinL@2 wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 6:33 AM
Lisa, I enjoyed your post very much and i think you are a very inspiring writer. I especially liked that you told us so much about your knitting background and about how you enjoy you work. Now I am very much looking forward to buying the new Knitscene (Love the New Wyoming Vest!) and the CPH pattern on Knitting Daily (One of the best christmas presents a knitter could get in my opinion. All the best! //Karin in Sweden
Carol J wrote
on Nov 17, 2007 1:14 AM
love the CPH--definitely has to be in donegal tweed !!!!!
thanks for the sizes for the BBB among us (big, beautiful, babes) thnaks so much for bringing it back for all of us.
PamelaB@2 wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 7:43 PM
Lisa, I'll add my grateful comments to Dawn's. I lost the issue containing the pattern for Central Park Hoodie and will be ecstatic to have the pattern once again.
on Nov 16, 2007 6:25 PM
Lisa, you have made my day. When the holiday knitting is done I shall be casting on a hoodie for me. My cyber-jealousy shall finally be slaked. Do you hear us Interweave? More, more more curvy sizing!
DotteeC wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 6:19 PM
in the apothacary raglan description....what's entrelac? I've been knitting since I was a child, but don't recognize the phrase.
LynneG@2 wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 6:01 PM
A me-sized (56") CPH???? Whoopie!!!! MORE big-girl sized patterns, please... I'm so TIRED of the math, and the ever-lasting frogging! And that some designs just can't be up-sized by my skills...
Coley J wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 5:13 PM
For those who don't know, you can e-mail knitting daily and they are selling the pattern for 4 dollars (I dont know if you have shipping and handling charges or if it's more if you are out of the country) but yeah :) there you go.
Ozlorna wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 4:33 PM
Desperately seeking the pay here download button for Knitscene Fall 2006. It is sold out AND noone has it for sale in Sydney Aus!! Please put me out of my misery and let me pay for a cybercopy.
Krs Lorna
SharonC wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 4:21 PM
Alright! My niece is a busty gal. I've always thought the CPH would be great for her 19-year-old sense of style, but there wasn't a size for her. Now there will be. And the Wyoming Vest? Can't wait to get my hands on the pattern. Thanks.
SharonR wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 4:19 PM
Shout out from Philly! If you ever want a cool car for a shoot, let me know. I've got a London Taxi & an old Land Rover.
laughinglagomorph at gmail dot com
SharonH wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 4:04 PM
You rock.
TerryW wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 4:03 PM
I am new to this site and excited to have found it. I have just been reading the comments up until now. I must say I can not wait until the Knitscene sp 2008 issue comes out. Just love the "Apothecary Raglan". More challenging the better, as entrelac is one of my favorite stitches. And as for that quick "New Wyoming Vest", I would be wearing it right now! Terry Wisun
JulieN@2 wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 3:47 PM
Hi... I recently saw the Central Park Hoodie when mentioned in someones blog and absolutley fell in love with it!! The perfect knit I have been looking for!! Im in Australia and that issue of the magazine is sold out, so I didnt think I would ever get a copy of the pattern. So glad it will appear here soon. Does that mean that all sizes will be available at knitting Daily?/ Or will it just be the bigger sizes?? My daughter and I both love this pattern and I really do hope that it will be available in all sizes on Knitting Daily soon. Knitting Daily really is my savior!! It keeps me inspired and up to date!! Thanks agan everyone!!
KarenM wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 3:24 PM
YAY!! I was so going to have to try to find the back issues, as I really wanted this pattern, it is like the mind reading knitting fairy came to visit!! I have the perfect yarn and EVERYTHING :-) I even learned how to cable and follow cable charts, let me AT IT :-)
PamK wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 3:13 PM
Yippee! A large and lovely pattern, finally! I loved the CPH when I saw it in the mag, and was very sad and disappointed not to see my size. I may be a large woman, but I love cute and trendy knits. Sadly, there aren't too many of those around for people who don't fit into a size 6. Kudos to IK for fixing this. Now, can we maybe see some models who don't shop at Size 0 Are Us?
PamK wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 3:13 PM
Yippee! A large and lovely pattern, finally! I loved the CPH when I saw it in the mag, and was very sad and disappointed not to see my size. I may be a large woman, but I love cute and trendy knits. Sadly, there aren't too many of those around for people who don't fit into a size 6. Kudos to IK for fixing this. Now, can we maybe see some models who don't shop at Size 0 Are Us?
on Nov 16, 2007 2:48 PM
I am excited! A plus size CPH pattern. Awesome! I will be making the biggest size.
JanMoreno wrote
on Nov 16, 2007 2:34 PM
Hooray from all us big girls!