Transformative Mods: Roko’s walnut cardigan

Hiroko Fukatsu's walnut snood and cardigan

Oh, you know how it is — you knit a cowl, you like it, you knit it up again, but this time as a cardigan. Or at least that’s what Hiroko Fukatsu (of Frida fame) did after she’d knitted the Walnut Snood pattern by Kyoko Nakayoshi. The cardigan’s shape was inspired by Michiyo’s Stranger Cardigan and Kazekobo’s Aran Cardigan. For hers, Roko left off the sleeves and simply repeated the snood’s walnut motif up the front and around the shoulders. I say “simply,” but we all know I mean wow.

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Thanks to Jo for the tip on this one. And to Hiroko for the photos.

Transformative Mods: Big Alfred’s chic twin

frederika sweater heidi kirrmaier

There’s no way to say how many times I’ve looked at the photos for a simple but beautifully textured men’s raglan-sweater pattern called Big Alfred’s. It’s one of the countless sweaters I’ve knit in my head, shaping it exactly to my liking. And yet when I saw the pictures of Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Frederika” sweater, I didn’t make the connection. I love it with her wide foldover collar and turned-up cuffs — seemingly small mods that make for a completely different sweater.

If you’re not familiar with Kirrmaier (aka PiPiBird), be sure to check out her amazing range of sweater and accessory patterns. (I’m still trying to figure out whether Boardwalk, which I especially love, would work with my broad shoulders.)

[UPDATE JAN 2014: She's now released this pattern — Such a Winters Day]

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Transformative mods: Sleeves, a hood (and then some) for Estes

meganimal's fancy pants jacket

One of the knitters I admire most goes by the name of Meganimal on Ravelry. (You’ve seen her “Droguerie Rip-off” here before.) She does a remarkable job of inventing and modifying designs, especially sweaters. I was blown away by her improvised ivory-aran Cloudbusting cardigan last week, and then on Sunday I saw the photos above, of another cardigan which she has dubbed her Fancy Pants Jacket. This cardigan started from a vest pattern called Estes, and if you click through to her project page, you’ll see her characteristically thorough, methodical and generous notes about what steps she took. In this case, she added sleeves and a hood, lengthened it and added a button band, but she also changed subtle details like the pocket edging and placement.

So inspirational. Not to mention darling.

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Transformative mods: Taking the rasp out of Raspy

jared flood raspy kim hargreaves

I really love Kim Hargreaves’ pattern Raspy — a lightly destroyed, collarless raglan sweater for women. But I also love what happened when Jared Flood knitted it in men’s proportions and skipped the raspy bits. I would put on that sweater and never take it off.

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(Photo by Jared Flood)

Transformative mods: A modern spin on Flukra

handepande flukra knitted shawl gudrun johnston flukra

It has never occurred to me to wonder what it would look like if Ray Eames had designed knitwear, but I’m pretty sure this is it. “Handepande” took Gudrun Johnston’s lace shawl pattern, Flukra, knitted it in a heavier (albeit just fingering) weight yarn and replaced the scalloped edges with garter stitch. The denser fabric and clean border really show off that graphic stitch pattern, the result being a shawl that is simultaneously cozier and more modern. I want it.

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Photo by handepande