Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Imbolc Pullover - Winter 2012 Knitscene!

I am delighted to have my Imbolc pullover included in the Winter 2012 issue of Knitscene!

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This pullover features two sunburst-like lace hexagons inset into the sweater so that they wrap around the ribs at the left and right sides of the pullover, creating waist definition. Each hexagon is knit from the center out and bound off. The front and back are each knit flat to the bottom of the hexagon inset, at which point stitches are bound off at each side. The pieces are shaped to accommodate the hexagon inset, after which more stitches are cast on and the front and back pieces are worked to the shoulders. The sweater has a feminine deep U neckline. The cuffs, hem and neckline are trimmed in tidy 1x1 ribbing.
 

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The sample was knit in the gloriously soft yarn from The Fibre Company called Road to China Light (65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yd [145 m]/50 g). I used 3.5mm needles and got a gauge of 25 sts and 32 rows to 4".

As the circumference of the hexagon inset is 27", an optional co-ordinating tam can easily be made by knitting two inches of stockinette stitch around the outer edge of a third hexagon, followed by decrease rows to reduce the circumference to 22", and ending with two inches of ribbing.

While winter days start to get longer after the Winter Solstice in late December, the sun's strength doesn't noticeably return until early February, which is celebrated as the Irish festival of Imbolc, which derives its name from the ancient Irish i mbolg, meaning "in the belly", referencing the newly-pregnant ewes. The two sunbursts reference the "doubling" of the strength of the sun, as well as the date of Imbolc, which falls on February 2nd: 02/02.

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