Knitting Classic Style: 35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion's Archives

Knitting Classic Style: 35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion's Archives

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by Véronik Avery
     
 

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In fashion, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out . . . and the day after that, you’re back in again. Designers are always referring to fashion’s rich history as they imagine its present and future, and retro looks remain ever-fresh as they are renewed—and restyled—for the next generation of wearers.

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Overview

In fashion, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out . . . and the day after that, you’re back in again. Designers are always referring to fashion’s rich history as they imagine its present and future, and retro looks remain ever-fresh as they are renewed—and restyled—for the next generation of wearers.

That’s precisely what top knitwear designer Véronik Avery is up to in Knitting Classic Style. Mining fashion’s endless archive, Avery has created 35 smashingly contemporary garments that take their cues from decades and designers past. The collection of clothing and accessories Avery presents is organized into four thematic chapters that highlight women’s wear, men’s wear (and its influence on women’s and children’s clothing), traditional ethnic garb, and sportswear.

Aimed at both beginning and more advanced knitters, the book’s projects range in difficulty from a simple drawstring purse, French beret, and Afghan-inspired slipper-socks to a shawl-collared cardigan, a geometric ski sweater based on a popular 1950s Native American design, and Avery’s own reinterpretation of the trimly elegant Chanel jacket. The author introduces each project by explaining its historical/cultural roots; Sara Cameron’s moody photos evoke the settings that have inspired Avery’s reworkings of the classics.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781453268186
Publisher:
STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
857,849
File size:
37 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

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Read an Excerpt

Knitting Classic Style

35 Modern Designs Inspired By Fashion's Archives


By Véronik Avery, Melanie Falick, Sara Cameron

Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Véronik Avery
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-6818-6



CHAPTER 1

FASHION MAVENS


The staples of classic feminine fashion often reference historical periods and can be rife with meaning—not only about a particular period, but also a woman's place within it. For example, Christian Dior's "New Look"—which emerged after World War II, when resources were scarce and women filled the workforce out of necessity—illustrates the layers of meaning that can be found within a simple outfit. Sensing that a "new look" was necessary to bolster postwar spirits, especially in Dior's heavily damaged France, he created a fresh and feminine fashion that rejected wartime frugality in favor of full skirts, luxurious fabrics, and dainty wasp-waists. The style served a postwar political agenda, too: Its very feminine silhouette idealized capable and lovely housewives, women whose skills, no longer needed in the workforce, were to be applied toward keeping a happy home. While lauded by the fashion cognoscenti of the time, the New Look was simultaneously scandalous for its extravagant use of fabric in the aftermath of World War II. Critics even suggested the designer was trying to undo women's advances by popularizing the corset again.

The following designs are my interpretations of pieces that have made an impact on women's fashion throughout history. The corset cover was necessitated by a very specific and important fashion staple, the corset, and the subsequent fashion emphasis on sculpting and restricting a woman's body. In the opposite spirit, the wrap styles of Claire McCardell (interpreted here in the Strawberry Lace Wrap Cardigan) and the comfortable fit and flattery of Madeleine Vionnet's bias-cut designs (Bias Shell) liberated women in a very physical way. The soft, close-fitting twinsets of the 1940s further emphasized the femininity of women in postwar times.


Corset Cover

While some trends return once every generation, others reappear much more often. Victorian lingerie, like this corset cover, is an excellent example of a perennially popular style. Commonly known today as a shell, the corset cover was, from the 1860s on, a lightweight sleeved or sleeveless undergarment worn over the rigid, constraining corset to keep that expensive article of underclothing clean, provide warmth, and modestly cover the corset lest it show beneath the dress. The ribbons and lace used in these increasingly pretty and romantic garments, both fitted and unfitted, have contributed to their lasting appeal. While warmer than sewn covers, knit variations never attained the historical popularity of the former for one reason: They added to the circumference of a woman's waist.

Unlike its Victorian ancestors, my cover, designed to be worn solo or over another top in typical 21st-century fashion, is perfectly suited to the technique of knitting. The feminine detailing works up beautifully in mercerized cotton.


SIZES

X-Small (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X-Large)

Shown in size Small


FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Chest: 32 (35, 38, 41¼, 44¼, 47¼)"


YARN

Reynolds Saucy (100% mercerized cotton; 185 yds / 100 g): 3 (3, 3, 4, 5, 6) balls #817 natural


NEEDLES

One 24" circular (circ) needle size US 6 (4mm)

Change needle size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.


NOTIONS

Waste yarn, stitch markers (one in contrasting color for beg of rnd), stitch holders, yarn needle


GAUGE

21 sts and 33 rows = 4" (10 cm) in Ric Rac Lace (see Chart)


STITCH PATTERN

Moss Stitch (multiple of 2 sts; 4-rnd rep)

Rnds 1 and 2: [K1, p1] around.

Rnds 3 and 4: [P1, k1] around.

Rep Rnds 1–4 for Moss st.


NOTES

• Read the Body section of the pattern through before starting; patterning and shaping occur simultaneously.

• When working decreases in Moss st, if the 2nd st of the 2 being worked together is a knit st, k2tog; if 2nd st of 2 being worked together is a purl st, p2tog.


BODY

CO 168 (184, 200, 216, 232, 248) sts. Join for working in the rnd, being careful not to twist sts; place marker (pm) for beg of rnd.

Establish Border and Body Pattern: [Purl 1 rnd, knit 1 rnd] twice and on last rnd, mark 'side seam' by placing a second marker after 84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124) sts. Beg with Rnd 2 of patt, work Moss st for 8 rnds. [Knit 1 rnd, purl 1 rnd] twice and on last rnd, place markers 11 sts before and after each marker.

Next rnd: *Work in Moss st to marker, slip marker (sm), work Row 1 of Ric Rac lace (see Chart) to next marker, sm, work in Moss st to side marker; rep from * once more. AT THE SAME TIME,

Shape Waist: When Body measures 1", dec 2 sts each side on next rnd, then every 4 rnds 6 times as follows: *K2tog (or p2tog), work in patt as est to 2 sts before side marker, k2tog (or p2tog); rep from * once more (see Notes)—70 (78, 86, 94, 102, 110) sts each Front and Back. Work even in patt as est until Body measures 5".

Shape Upper Body: Inc 2 sts each side on next row, then every 6 rnds 6 more times as follows: *K1, M1, work in patt as est to 1 st before side marker, M1, k1; rep from * once more—84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124) sts each Front and Back. Work even until Body measures 10¼ (10½, 10¾, 11, 11¼, 11½)".

Divide for Armholes and Neck: BO 0 (2, 6, 6, 10, 14) sts, work 34 (36, 36, 40, 40, 40) sts in patt; place next 50 (54, 58, 62, 66, 70) sts on holder for right Front and last 84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124) sts on 2nd holder for Back.


Shape Left Front Neck and Armholes:

Row 1 (WS): BO 8 sts, work in patt to end—26 (28, 28, 32, 32, 32) sts rem on Left Front.

Row 2 (RS): K1, k2tog, work in patt to end.

Row 3: BO 4 sts, work in patt to end.

Rep [Rows 2 and 3] 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2) more time(s)—16 (18, 18, 17, 17, 17) sts rem.

Next row: K1, k2tog, work in patt to end.

Next row: BO 3 sts, work in patt to end—12 (14, 14, 13, 13, 13) sts rem.

Cont decreasing at each RS armhole edge until 6 sts rem. Work even until strap measures 6½ (6¾, 7, 7¼, 7½, 7¾)". BO all sts.


Shape Right Front Neck and Armholes:

(RS) Slip last 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54) Front sts to needle, leaving 16 center Front sts on holder. Work 1 row in patt as est.

Row 1 (WS): BO 0 (2, 6, 6, 10, 14) sts, work in patt to end.

Row 2: BO 8 sts, work in patt to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.

Row 3 and all WS rows: Work in patt as est.

Row 4: BO 4 sts, work in patt to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.

Rep [Rows 3 and 4] 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2) more time(s)—16 (18, 18, 17, 17, 17) sts rem.

Work 1 WS row.

Next row (RS): BO 3 sts, work in patt to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.

Cont decreasing at each RS armhole edge until 6 sts rem. Work even until strap measures 6½ (6¾, 7, 7¼, 7½, 7¾)". BO all sts.


Shape Right Back Neck and Armholes:

(RS) Slip first 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54) Back sts back to needle. BO 0 (2, 6, 6, 10, 14) sts, work 34 (36, 36, 40, 40, 40) sts in patt. Work as for Left Front Neck and Armholes.


Shape Left Back Neck and Armholes:

Work as for Right Front Neck and Armholes.


FINISHING

Sew straps at shoulders.

Work Neck Edging: With RS facing and beg at right shoulder, pick up and knit 26 (28, 30, 32, 34, 36) sts along strap, pm, 56 (56, 56, 64, 64, 64) sts along Back Neck, pm, 52 (56, 60, 64, 68, 72) sts along left strap, pm, 56 (56, 56, 64, 64, 64) sts along Front Neck, pm, 26 (28, 30, 32, 34, 36) sts along strap, pm for beg—216 (224, 232, 256, 264, 272) sts. Purl 1 rnd.


Establish Neck Border:

Row 1: Knit to 1 st before 2nd marker, turn;

Row 2: Yo, purl to first marker, turn;

Row 3: Yo, knit to yo from previous row, k2tog (st before 2nd marker and yo), knit to 1 st before 4th marker, turn;

Row 4: Yo, purl to 3rd marker, turn;

Row 5: Yo, knit to yo from previous row, k2tog (st before 4th marker and yo), knit to end.

Row 6: Purl to first marker, ssp (st after marker and yo), purl to 4th marker, ssp (st after marker and yo), purl to end.

Rep Rows 1–6 twice more. BO all sts.


Armhole Edgings: (make 2)

With RS facing and beg at 'side seam,' pick up and knit 2 (3, 7, 7, 11, 15) sts along base of armhole, 70 (74, 78, 82, 86, 90) sts alongside strap, 2 (3, 7, 7, 11, 15) sts along base of armhole—74 (80, 92, 96, 108, 120) sts. Pm for beg of rnd. Purl 1 rnd, knit 1 rnd, purl 1 rnd. BO all sts.

Weave in loose ends. Block to finished measurements.


NOTE

• Work from right to left on all rnds when working in-the-rnd.

• Work from right to left on RS (odd-numbered) rows and from left to right on WS rows when working back and forth.


Bias Shell

Nobody used fabric on the bias quite like Madeleine Vionnet, a near-mythic couturière at the cutting edge of Parisian fashion in the 1920s and 1930s. With it, she was able to design beautifully simple garments that showcased rather than molded the female form. This apparent simplicity was hard-won: In her book Madeleine Vionnet, costume historian Betty Kirke describes Vionnet's complex technique of tying weights to the fabric before sewing garments to eliminate the distortion associated with bias construction.

Knitwear doesn't have to be on the bias to move with our bodies, but the lines radiating from the center of a garment knit on the bias are flattering to many. Inspired by Vionnet, I designed this little black top, which is quick and easy to make. You begin by casting on a few stitches and working in the round from the center out until the finished width is attained; once this width hasbeen reached, work continues one section at a time to lengthen the body and add the straps. No need to make a swatch first—just knit the back until it is about 6" square, block it with a shot of steam, and count your stitches. If your gauge is correct, keep going. If your gauge is off, simply begin again.


SIZES

X-Small (Small, Medium, Large)

Shown in size Small


FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Chest: 29½ (33, 36½, 40)"


YARN

Adrienne Vittadini Allegra (85% cotton / 15% nylon; 87 yds / 50 g): 6 (6, 7, 8) balls #5014 black


NEEDLES

One 24" circular (circ) needle size US 8 (5 mm)

One 24" circular needle size US 7 (4.5 mm)

One set of five double-pointed needles (dpn) size US 8 (5 mm)

One set of five double-pointed needles size US 7 (4.5 mm)

Change needle size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.


NOTIONS

Waste yarn, stitch markers (one in contrasting color for beg of rnd), stitch holders, yarn needle


GAUGE

19 sts and 24 rows = 4" (10 cm) in K1, P2, K2, P2 Rib using larger needles


NOTES

• For best fit, select a size 3–4" (7.5–10 cm) smaller than actual bust measurement.

• Front and Back are identical. Each piece is begun by making a center-out ribbed square, worked in the round. The piece is then split at the neck and worked back and forth to the side seam. This seam and the armholes are shaped separately. Finally, the bottom portion is worked until the piece reaches desired length, after which the bottom corners are finished separately.

• Switch from dpns to circular needle when there are enough stitches to fit on the needle. Place markers to separate each dpn's section.


FRONT AND BACK

Using provisional method (see Special Techniques, page 136), waste yarn, and larger dpns, CO 8 sts. Distribute evenly on four needles; place marker (pm) for beg of rnd, and join, being careful not to twist sts. Knit 1 rnd.


Begin Square:

Set-up Rnd 1: [K1, yo, k1] 4 times—12 sts.

Set-up Rnd 2: [K1, k1-tbl, k1] 4 times.

Set-up Rnd 3: [K1, yo, k1, yo, k1] 4 times—20 sts.

Set-up Rnds 4, 6, and 8: [K1, p1-tbl, work in patt as est to last 2 sts, end p1-tbl, k1] 4 times.

Set-up Rnd 5: [K1, yo, p1, k1, p1, yo, k1] 4 times—28 sts.

Set-up Rnd 7: [K1, yo, p2, k1, p2, yo, k1] 4 times—36 sts.


Continue with Rib Pattern:

Rnd 1: [K1, yo, k1, work in patt as est to last 2 sts on needle, k1, yo, k1] 4 times—44 sts.

Rnd 2: Rep Set-up Rnd 4.

Rnd 3: [K1, yo, k1, work in patt as est to last 2 sts on needle, k1, yo, k1] 4 times—52 sts.

Rnd 5: [K1, yo, p1, work in patt as est to last 2 sts on needle, p1, yo, k1] 4 times—60 sts.

Rnd 7: [K1, yo, p1, work in patt as est to last 2 sts on needle, p1, yo, k1] 4 times—68 sts.

Rnd 9: [K1, yo, k1, work in patt as est to last 2 sts on needle, k1, yo, k1] 4 times—76 sts.

Rnd 11: [K1, yo, p1, work in patt as est to last 2 sts on needle, p1, yo, k1] 4 times—84 sts.

Rnd 13: [K1, yo, p1, work in patt as est to last 2 sts on needle, p1, yo, k1] 4 times—92 sts.

Rep Rnds 1–7 (1–9, 1–11, 1–13)—124 (132, 140, 148) sts, switching to circ needle when possible and placing markers on circ needle to define each dpn section (see Notes). Cont working increases before and after markers on odd rounds as before.

Divide for Neck: Remove beg-of-rnd marker, turn.

Next row (WS): *P1, k1-tbl, work in patt to 2 sts before next marker, k1-tbl, p1, sm; rep from * to end. Turn.

Next row (RS): Work in patt to 1 st before marker, yo, k1, sm, [k1, yo, work in patt to 1 st before next marker, yo, k1, sm] twice, k1, yo, work in patt to end—6 sts inc'd. Cont in this manner, working back and forth, increasing 1 st on each side of marker and working new sts in rib patt until there are 178 (198, 218, 238) sts on needle—40 (44, 48, 52) on either side of neckline and 49 (55, 61, 67) on each lower quadrant.


Upper Right Seam Edge:

Row 1 (RS): Work in patt to last 3 sts before first marker, k2tog, k1, turn. Place rem sts on 2 separate holders (upper left section on one holder and two bottom sections on second holder)—39 (43, 47, 51) sts rem.

Row 2: Work in patt as est.

Rep [Rows 1–2] 4 (6, 8, 10) more times, and Row 1 once more—34 (36, 38, 40) sts rem.

Shape Right Armhole: BO 16 (18, 20, 22) sts at beg of next row—18 sts rem. BO 2 sts at beg of every following WS row until 4 sts rem. Work 1 row, then BO 4 rem sts.

Upper Left Seam Edge: Slip 40 (44,

48, 52) upper left section sts back to needle.

Row 1 (RS): K1, ssk, work in patt to end.

Row 2: Work in patt as est.

Rep [Rows 1–2] 5 (7, 9, 11) more times—34 (36, 38, 40) sts rem.

Shape Left Armhole: BO 16 (18, 20, 22) sts at beg of next RS row—18 sts rem. BO 2 sts at beg of every following RS row until 4 sts rem. Work 1 row, then BO 4 rem sts.

Shape Bottom: Slip 98 (110, 122, 134) bottom section sts back to needle.

Row 1 (RS): K1, ssk, work in patt to 1 st before center marker, yo, k1, sm, k1, yo, work in patt to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

Row 2: Work in patt to 2 sts before center marker, k1-tbl, p1, sm, p1, k1-tbl, work in patt to end.

Rep Rows 1–2 until bottom section measures 8¾ (9¼, 9¾, 10½)" or desired length from horizontal line, ending with a WS row.


Shape Bottom Right Corner:

Row 1 (RS): K1, ssk, work in patt to last 3 sts before center marker, k2tog, k1. Place rem sts on holder for bottom left corner.

Row 2: Work in patt as est.

Rep Rows 1 and 2 until 4 sts rem. Cut yarn, thread through rem sts, and pull tight.

Shape Bottom Left Corner: Slip bottom left sts back to needle, and work as for right corner.


FINISHING

Sew shoulders and side seams.

Armhole Edgings: (RS) Using smaller dpns, pick up and knit 64 (68, 72, 76) sts evenly around armhole. Purl 1 rnd. Work 2 rnds of K2, P2 Rib. Loosely BO all sts.

Neck Edging: (RS) Using smaller circ needle, pick up and knit 33 (37, 43, 47) sts along each side of neckline—132 (148, 172, 188) sts. Purl 1 rnd. Work 2 rnds of K2, P2 Rib. Loosely BO all sts.

Bottom Edging: (RS) Using smaller circ needle, pick up and knit 66 (76, 86, 96) sts each along Front and Back—132 (152, 172, 192) total sts. Work 4 rnds of K2, P2 Rib. Loosely BO all sts.

Thread tail from CO onto yarn needle and run though base of CO sts. Remove waste yarn and pull tail tight. Weave in loose ends. Block to finished measurements.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Knitting Classic Style by Véronik Avery, Melanie Falick, Sara Cameron. Copyright © 2007 Véronik Avery. Excerpted by permission of Harry N. Abrams, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

VÉRONIK AVERY is the creative director for JCA Yarns. Her designs have appeared in numerous books and magazines, including Handknit Holidays and Weekend Knitting from STC, Interweave Knits, Woman’s Day, and the webzine Knity.com. Avery lives in Montreal.

SARA CAMERON is a Montreal-based photographer. Her work—in entertainment, fashion, advertising, portraiture, and fine art—has appeared in publications and campaigns throughout North America and Europe.

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