Thursday, November 21, 2013

Meet Kristen Rengren - and GIVEAWAY!

You know how we need more knitwear designers who create their patterns in larger sizes? Ones who are creative, talented, and understand that larger knitters need great sweaters, too? Well, I've found a great one. Meet Kristen Rengren.

Kristen is a long-time collector of vintage clothing and ephemera and a former vintage clothing dealer. Her work as a knitwear designer and author is inspired and informed by her vast collection of vintage knitting patterns, including thousands of patterns spanning from the 1920s to the 1950s. She has designed for Blue Sky Alpacas and Vermont Organic Fiber Company, among other yarn companies, and her designs have appeared in Twist Collective, too.

Kristen writes, "I have released a number of vintage-inspired knitting patterns in a wide range of sizes, both individually and with Twist Collective, and I thought that my newest patterns (or possibly many of them) would be of interest to the Knitting at Large group’s members."

Her most recent designs, the Minette Cardigan and Minette Pullover, comes in sizes up to 58 inches and can be worn together as a sweater set. "Both (are) top-down seamless garments that feature a hybrid raglan construction; the unusual construction uses a saddle type increases for the body only at the start of the sweater, before switching to more traditional raglan shaping, also incorporating some double increases as well. The result is a well-fitting, comfortable raglan shoulder and sleeve that also reaches the appropriate bust size without resulting in too many rows and excess fabric under the arm. Both patterns also include some other options for customization as well, and the pullover could easily incorporate short row bust darts," Kristen says. 

Some of Kristen's other plus-size designs include the Doverfell, a cute zippered hoodie that comes in sizes up to 59.25 inches. Note the attractive texture that adorns the zipper, hood, and pockets.

I don't know anyone who isn't fascinated by Celtic cables. Kristen's Barberry, which comes in sizes up to 60.25 inches, features twisted stitch panels on fronts and back and twisted rib bands at the fronts, hood, cuffs and hem. It's a real beauty.

You may also remember Zora, another of Kristen's patterns which appeared in Knitty. This classic cardigan comes in sizes up to 58 inches. I like the ribbing at the waist which would provide natural waist shaping without a lot of fuss.

To celebrate Kristen's great work, I'm giving away a copy of the Minette Cardigan and the Minette Pullover. Just leave a comment on this post to enter the contest.
I hope you'll check out Kristen's designs and buy them, too. Remember, if we want knitwear designers to create sweaters for us, we need to buy their patterns. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Knitting at Large goes international

Very excited! I recently was asked by the published of Let's Knit magazine to pen a guest blog about plus size knitting. Check out my "Five Things You Should Know about Plus-Size Knitting" at

Monday, November 11, 2013

An update on Memories of Maine

Just wanted to share a photo of my progress on Memories of Maine, my take on Marilyn King's Cape Cod Cardigan. I talked previously about how easily the sweater has been to knit. While I still adore it, I have to say that the sleeve is a mother-of-a-dog. Not that it's difficult - it's not - but I've been sparring with this sleeve all weekend and don't have that much to show for it.

But it is pretty, isn't it? And I think it will fit well given the overall shaping.

I was thinking that getting this done by Thanksgiving would be a breeze, but now I'm worried I'll be knitting up to the last minute. What else can I do but persevere? And knit.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CustomFit Knitalong at Knitting at Large

I'm sure you've already heard about Amy Herzog's new knitting software, CustomFit. As her website puts it:
CustomFit makes custom patterns for hand-knit sweaters. It takes your choices, your body, and your hand-knit fabric and produces a pattern perfectly suited to you. CustomFit makes a sweater that is the correct size. From hem to neck, and everything in between.

The software takes your measurements and gauge and produces a pattern made just for you. You may still want to make mods to the pattern based on your particular shape (for example, you may want more ease below your bustline), but CustomFit will do all the math for waist shaping, bust darts, and more. Plus you can use whatever yarn or gauge you wish.

Starting December 1, the Ravelry Knitting at Large group is going to do a CustomFit KAL. Come join other ample knitters in making their first CustomFit pattern. Share your experiences and suggestions, get help and advice, and just hang out with your Knitting at Large friends, which is always a delight.

To join, just visit the CustomFit Knitting at Large KAL thread. I look forward to making my first CustomFit pattern right along with you.