KT Baldassaro appeared for the first time in series 600 of Knitting Daily TV, and soon became a fan favorite. A designer for Feza Yarns, she takes novelty yarns to the extreme with classy, fun patterns beyond the scarf. We caught up with KT to see what she's been knitting lately. She shares her recent knitting eploxits, the joys of knitted lace, and a free lace beach cover-up pattern. Thanks, KT. Here's to summer knitting!
As I sit here finishing this sweater, I vaguely remember a point in my life when I had never knit anything more than a potholder– and never thought I'd be able to do much more. I had many, many intermediate and advanced pattern books about my room, but they were treated more like coffee table books. I coveted the garments in them, and even began to envy the models: not for their beauty, but because I imagined you'd have to be able to knit the sweater before they'd let you model it. Needless to say, I was younger then; however, I still encounter this phenomenon today. Although none of us still have such naive thoughts how the books are put together and published, we still have these lingering voids of 'knitting-esteem.'
I know that when I first decided to "bite the wax tadpole" and make a garment that scared me, I chose a lace shawl. There's something so beautiful and rewarding in lace. People look at it and say, "You made that?! But it's so delicate. You must be a knitting genius!" Even avid knitters can appreciate the time spent highlighting charts, and really learning how to pick up a dropped stitch, when they see a handmade lace garment go by. So why does there seem to be this absolute divide in our minds about lace knitting ability? People say they either can or they can't, when more people should say they're trying. Not all lace patterns need to be a knitted interpretation of a stained glass window. Like any craft, there are levels of difficulty. Start at the bottom and build your way up. Lace can be a very rewarding learning exercise, especially with the right pattern.
Lace is also appearing in just about every swim catalogue being sent out this year. Beach cover-ups have gone from over-sized Men's t-shirts (that say something about the heat and whether or not you should be in the kitchen) to alluring and flattering knit/crocheted tops. The choice of knitting a beach cover-up makes a lot of sense. Firstly, because we're always racking our brains for good summer-wear projects. Secondly, because knitted lace (when done in the appropriate fibre) breaths well and allows the wearer to feel "covered" while still showing off bits of skin–and that not-so-cheap swimsuit you bought!
So with all this in mind, I designed this Lace Kimono Beach Cover-up (pictured left). Don't be frightened by the fact that it's a full garment and not some small neck-wrap. It's got a simple and flattering shape that allows for easy working of the very friendly Oblique Lace stitch, which is simply an alternating series of yarn-overs and K2togs. That's something that I bet most of you trepidacious knitters know how to do. The vertical line of a high contrast colour yarn at the front of the piece not only gives it a bit of pop, but acts as an additional body flattering design element, because all good beach wear should have some! I chose Alp Natural by Feza Yarns (pictured above) for this design because it's a variegated, hand-tied yarn that uses natural fibres. This is crucial for a garment you intend to wear out in the heat and the sun. You also get the best of everything to work with. Mixtures of linen, cotton, viscose, and silk all come together to create a fun and easy change in your lace work without you needing to change it yourself.
Give it a try this summer; knit some lace. You may find yourself getting looks at the beach for more than just your sunburn.
This post was sponsored by Feza Yarns, Yarns for Hand Knitting. For more information on the yarn KT used in the Lace Kimono Beach Cover-up, novelty yarns for hand knitting, and more designs by KT, visit fezayarns.com.
Design like KT! Feza Yarns in currently running a single skein design contest until the end of June. Enter your knitted one-skein masterpieces and you could be featured in Feza Yarn's next pattern-book, free yarn, and more. See the details online at fezayarns.com.
Watch KT and more top-notch knitwear designers on the latest series of Knitting Daily TV on a 4-Disc DVD Collection! Click here to purchase DVDs of this season or previous seasons of Knitting Daily TV.
ABOUT THE SHOW: Knitting Daily TV is an exciting needle crafts how-to program on public television covering everything from knitting and crochet to stitching, felting, and spinning. The show guides viewers in learning to make fun yet smart one-of-a-kind designs using the latest products in yarn and fiber. Download free patterns, meet trendsetting knit and crochet designers, and improve or learn new skills and techniques.
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