stephanie japel

So Liza dubbed her bolero the “Shrug of Destiny”– and sticking with the hyperbolic shrug-fest– here is my Infinity. Named because the recycled cashmere seemed to come from an infinite cone (I knit an aran sweater for M from it, and there was still enough to make the shrug). Too bad the wool from Texere is now discontinued, as it’s lovely.

I was messing around with Lavold’s motifs in her Viking Knits, eventually becoming obsessed with the figure 8.

I also enjoyed knitting these vulvic eyes on the sleeves.

I constructed this using the basic top-down raglan formula, omitting the neck increases. After I reached the end of the armholes, I knit the sleeves, I picked up around the sides and back neck, increasing in rib every inch at the same points where I had increased for the shoulders. After I got Stephanie Japel’s Fitted Knits I realized that it was quite similar to her shrug pattern. If something in the stash matches that, I will be knitting it next.


Spicy Tee, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

Here I am modeling the tee. I really recommend this pattern, which is from Stephanie Japel’s Fitted Knits.

Here’s the back:

spicy tee, back


This is my version of the “Spicy Tee” from Stephanie Japel’s Fitted Knits . back.jpg

Here you can see the shaping at the back. It does fit me amazingly well. From looking at the flickr group devoted to this book you can see that the name of this book is pretty appropriate. Everyone’s designs fit them really well. I promise a picture of me modeling this soon.

This design is very similar to some of the tees in Teva Durham’s book– they are knit from the top down with decorative shaping in chunky, earthy yarn. But unlike Durham’s tees that come in one “stretch to fit” size, these designs can be modified from shoulder to hem, adding and subtracting stitches in the round.

I modified the pattern a bit to fit me, but also I made the sleeves cap sleeves and abbreviated the garter stitch ribbing. I was using Rowan “Holiday”– a cotton ribbon-like yarn that is basically a stretchy core inside a gauzy ribbon. I knew it was going to be hard to work with, but it was on sale at Liberty and I liked that it was this chunky, stretchy yarn. But it really was unlovely– splitting, fraying and getting caught on everything. I was irritated that my earthy-funky sweater looked too “Rowan”– ie– a West London boho lady-who-lunches. I really wanted it to look more like something Lt. Uhura might wear if she was, well, going to Ladyfest Bristol or something.


I actually realized I would run out of the dustly plum, without having done the sleeves or neck, so I ordered some day-glo chunky from Texere. Lately I’ve been obsessed with this idea of using day glo as a trim on something earthy looking, like searing pink and moss brown as a color combo, or tweedy grey and acid yellow. I thought hell— plum and synth orange? Why not.

It reminds me a little of the stuff the used to sell at Cyberdog in Camden in the late 90’s. When I first saw those soft-armor pieces, all intended for black light, I was pretty turned on by it all. I know neon is “in” right now, and I don’t care. I intend to make it my own.