by Wenlan Chia
March 2nd, 2009
As the spring season approaches, more and more knitters who love quick knits ask me how we can adapt chunky for spring. My answers are two: use yarns of good drape and find patterns with a lacy effect.
There are many wonderful silk, linen and cotton yarn available to knit spring sweaters. I like to work with those that have good yardage and great drape feel. I choose designs that are not too close to the body, making it optimal for layering. For example, a scooped neck tank top with low armholes or a Â¾ sleeve wrap cardigan are versatile to wear as layering pieces. Pair them with silk dresses to wear for a cool night, or with shorts for an early Sunday walk. I like these throw-on pieces as they modernize knits. Choosing good quality yarn is the key. I prefer silk yarn as these thrown-on pieces can almost work as an accessory. They work as part of your travel wardrobe and makes an ideal complement to a dinner look. The Pacifica Jacket from Town & Country Knits and Chelsea Sweater from Big City Knits are my favorites.
For a pattern with a lacy effect, there are many tricks to play with. You can use lighter weight spring/summer yarn to knit a winter chunky pattern. Since the yarn gauge is not equivalent to the needle, you will end up with a very loosely structured sweater. Choose a design that will look stylish to wear super slouchy. When you knit it with a soft drape yarn, you will have an artsy piece - you knit this piece in a chunky method yet end up with a light weight wardrobe addition perfect for spring instead! Some minor adjustment might be needed, such as using one size smaller needle and shortening the length. But overall, I love the look of wearing a bigger sized, â€œthinâ€ sweater. Another more traditional way to do the lacy effect is to choose a pattern that has an open work stitch. I very much like the common â€œfeather and fanâ€ pattern - knit 2 together 4 times and yarn over 4 times. Or simply add a crochet edge to create that breezy feeling. The Sexy Seaside Sweater and Feather Scarf from Big City Knits are some of my suggestions.
Chesapeake Charm School Cardigan and Big Sur Cardigan from twinkle’s Town and Country Knits