|The FlutterSleeve Cardigan by Pam Allen
Pam Allen's Flutter Sleeve Cardigan has been on my wish list since it debuted in spring 2008 in Interweave Knits
. I love the waistline, and the sleeves are knitted as part of the body—no separate pieces to knit. The shoulder shaping is done with short-rows to give a nice curve, which is a really important bit of design work.
Many sweaters with sleeves knit as part of the body end up with the sleeves sticking straight out from the body, which creates loose fabric under the arms. I'm not a fan of the bunched up extra in the armpits—how about you?
Pam, who was the editor of Interweave Knits
for many years, is truly a knitting icon. She's been up to something really special lately—creating a new yarn company!—and I thought you'd like to catch up with her.Designer Profile: Pam AllenPam Allen has been designing for handknitters for over twenty years. Bethany Lyttle
chronicled her latest adventures in "Taking Flight" in the Winter 2010 issue of
Soon after her fledgling yarn company, Quince & Co., was up and going, Pam Allen
and photographer/designer Carrie Bostick Hoge set up a photo shoot. The
subject? A pair of socks that would be featured on the company's website. Well,
as anyone who has ever attended a photo shoot knows, the process can be
arduous, and some days the outcome is naught. After hours of disappointing
results, they decided to call it a day. In response, the model, still wearing
the socks and a vintage cotton dress, leaped into the air with glee. Pam looked
at Carrie and Carrie at Pam. That was the shot! It appeared soon after on the
That response typifies Pam Allen's approach to almost everything. She has an
uncanny ability to identify beauty and to connect with what is real. Getting
things right is more important to her than merely getting things done. Over the
course of her professional life, this approach has resulted in knitwear patterns
that echo her gentle aesthetic, books that are as open and encouraging as she
is, and articles that inspire and guide. Impressions and instincts, more than
facts and figures, are her guide.
Pam has been observing and interacting with a new generation of knitters for
years, first as a freelance designer, then as editor of Interweave
, and most recently as creative director at Classic Elite Yarns. "Over
the past decade, knitters have become much younger. These knitters want more
from a yarn than beautiful colors and sensual textures," she says.
As for showing up at warehouses or sorting through paperwork for a yarn company
of her own: "Even three years ago, that was the furthest thing from my mind!"
But for years, as she knitted, her eyes tracked the tiny V-shaped stitches that
lined up on the needles like birds on a wire. To the casual eye, her work may
have looked like a sweater in progress. But to Pam, each wave of garter stitch and
wing of stockinette was the distinct expression of the yarn itself. "I have
always been drawn to the unique quality and texture of each individual stitch,"
she says. "And I'm fascinated by the role that yarns play in a stitch's formation."
The eye has a way of insisting itself, of memorizing impressions, amassing observations,
and eventually tugging us toward home.
—Bethany Lyttle, "Taking
I hope you enjoyed this peek behind the curtains into one of knitting's VIPs. To celebrate Pam's contribution to the knitting community, we've gathered some of her most popular patterns into one eBook, 6 Knitting Patterns by Pam Allen
, and the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan is part of the collection. Take a look, I think you'll like it!