Candlewick is a knitting pattern that can be purchased via Twist Collective for $7.00.
C fixed my computer for me, and I have now backed up everything I’ve worked on in the last three months AND committed to moving things over to my external harddrive on a regular basis [pausing here to add an Event with reminders to Google Calendar] so now I have access to all the photos I snapped back in December!
This sketch was first submitted to Twist Collective for Fall 2011 (when they chose Boundless and Asher (!!)), resubmitted for Winter 2011 (when they chose Corinth and Thornia (!!!), and then held for Spring 2012 (!!!!!) The mood boards prepared by Kate and her team are always so inspiring that my head is overflowing with ideas. Sometimes I will be sending them just a ton of swatches and sketches, other times it will be photos of a fully-made thing (like my purple Boundless) that fits their theme.
My original design idea was something like, “If a Bond girl wore handknits, what would it look like?” - I think I had been watching Casino Royale while working on another project, and this began drifting around in my head. It would be black, it would be close fitting, it would have a high collar but a plunging neckline, and it would be sexy. I had also been noticing that the lace patterns on Ravelry that were sticking in my head were those with a fair amount of texture to them, made by combining decreases, plain stitches, and yarn overs in ways that created changes in fabric height, not just opacity.
My laptop had been suffering from a cracked case for several months, and just before it was time to start writing up the pattern, the screen decided to die… so my new glam writing space was a table in our living room, with a HUGE old monitor taking up most of the table while I still used the laptop’s keyboard for typing. (my current setup is slightly better, still have the busted laptop in use, but with a flatscreen monitor and external keyboard and mouse hooked up - much more elegant!) The pieces of graph paper you can see here are bits of chart that I had printed and cut apart, so I could figure out the spacing for every size that would keep the main Honeybee motif in the right place while removing or filling in extra stitches for larger or smaller bodies. Sandi Rosner and the tech editing team at Twist Collective deserve special credit for this pattern, as it got a major rehashing of the charts that resulted in each size having its own page, instead of YOU the knitter having to do all the manual cutting and pasting!
Candlewick is written to be worked in pieces, from the bottom up, and then the fronts are joined to the back with a saddle extension from the sleeves. This is what the piece will look like when you get to the blocking stage.
To get the collar to stand up during blocking, I propped it around the lid from a small wicker basket that has been living in my collection of containers for years… see? There’s a reason why I don’t like to get rid of things, they might be useful some day!
Post-blocking, the sleeves are ready to be set in, then seams worked from hem to armpit and cuff to armpit. (do you know that trick? Start at the outer edges because they are most visible, and leave any end-of-seam fudging for the hidden armpit area!)
I love these buttons. I wanted something with a bit of subtle glam, but knew that cut glass would be too heavy for the sweater. These are made from mussel shells, and I found them at the glorious Button Button shop in the Gastown section of Vancouver. The yarn from Elann is wonderful too - I’m making a second version in MY size, using the same Peruvian Baby Silk in the same colour.
Final photos here were taken on the shop mannequin at Three Bags Full (thanks Francesca and Zoe! [best bosses ever]) You can see that the stitches are expanded a fair bit, especially on the upper back.. the mannequin is a 36 bust, the sweater is a 34ish, and the model that Twist Collective used for Jane Heller’s photos was probably a 32! This is the joy of knitting for yourself, getting to choose the size you make based on the amount of ease (positive/extra ease aka bigger than your real chest measurement = looser fitting, zero or negative ease means it will be skimming your body or stretched to show off your curves! The size I am making for myself is the 46″, with short rows in the front to give my 38Es a bit more length but not adding any extra width (I’ve made that mistake too many times before, and have the baggy-busted sweaters to prove it!).. so it will be fairly close-fitting at my bust, and hang from there. Photos can be found on my Ravelry project page whenever I finish it!
Are you thinking of making Candlewick? I’d love to see your projects! Please share your photos on Ravelry (I watch for User Activity on my patterns pretty regularly so I will spot them when you post) or drop me a note in the comments if you are sharing your photos and project notes elsewhere!