Monday, August 29, 2011

The "Frida" Peasant Blouse

I am a huge Frida Kahlo fan. I adore her art and also her personal style. She was not only a fantastic, gifted artist, she was also a style icon, an aspect of her that is just now beginning to be appreciated.

When I saw the embroidery on this skirt of hers (above), I was captivated and my first thought was "stranded colorwork!" I thought and dreamed and came up with a colorwork chart that I thought approximated it, and this sweater design was born!

This peasant blouse sweater is a raglan, knitted top-down, in the round, in one piece. The ribbed neckband is knitted first, then the stitches are divided for the front, back and sleeves. The shape is extremely simple. In fact, there is no shaping at all, making this a great first stranded colorwork pattern or a first top-down pattern.

At the beginning and end of the stranded colorwork, there are four rows where you’ll be stranding all three colors, but for the bulk of it, you’re only stranding two. The colorwork is a simple, enjoyable, 8-stitch repeat.

The neck opening is made oversized, then pulled in as much or as little as you want after the sweater is finished using a twisted cord tie.

Being a peasant blouse, the sweater is designed with a lot of positive ease, and the three sizes available (S/M, L/XL and 1X/2X) accommodate a wide array of sizes (44, 55, 64 inch finished body circumference, respectively). The sweater shown in the pictures is an L/XL (55 inches around) modeled on an actual 43-inch bust.

This pattern is the first in a series of Frida Kahlo-inspired knitting patterns that I am working on. I've already begun knitting design number two, which will be out as soon as my busy life allows me to complete it. I hope you'll enjoy knitting the Frida Peasant Blouse as much as I did!

The Frida Peasant Blouse sweater pattern is available on Ravelry for $5.00.

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