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High Wire

Once in a while, when I am burned out on my own design work, I will knit samples for other designers. Many years ago, a mutual friend (I can’t remember which one) referred me to Faina Goberstein. Since then I’ve knit a few samples for her, emailing and shipping back and forth across the country, though we had never met in person.

That all changed when I was teaching at a Stitches West event in Santa Clara, California. Learning that Faina would be attending, we arranged to meet face to face. If you’ve never been to an event like Stitches, it’s controlled chaos. So many things to do and see. We only met for a few minutes. At the end of our conversation, just as she’s walking away, she says “Would you have time to knit a sample for my new book? It’s a pretty tight deadline.” Sure, no problem.

The sweater I knit was for The Art of Slipped Stitch Knitting. As a Thank You, she sent me a copy when it was published. In this book is what are called woven waves. I don’t know if they were created by Faina and her writing partner, Simona Merchant-Dest or if they can be traced back farther. Either way, they caught me imagination. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if I like the pattern at first. However, I found myself thinking about woven waves as I walked the dog and weeded the garden (prime-time designing time for me).

When I was asked to design a pattern for our local shop hop that reflected Northern Michigan, but also would appeal to knitter's of all skill levels. The woven wave sprung immediately to mind. It's simple, fun and uncommon.

Here, the wind can create waves on the water as well as in the snow. What better stitch pattern to represent Michigan than the woven wave. All of the seasons reflected in one simple stitch pattern. White Cap Mitts virtually designed themselves. I love these mitts.

Still, this stitch pattern was on my mind. Loving the idea of gradient stripes, but wanting to add a different element, woven waves came to my rescue again. High Wire combines solid and gradient fingering-weight yarn. In the sweater pictured, the solid yarn is Quince and Company Finch, which I love for its bounce and even-ness of stitches. It pairs perfectly with Knitcircus Greatest of Ease. Starting with the sleeves is key to the whole pattern. It's the way to get the gradient to flow uninterrupted through the sweater.

The buttonhole and button band are double-knit. One of the best things about a double-knit band on a cardigan sweater is the stability it adds. There is no need to sew in a ribbon or other stabilizer. The pattern has options for a one color band or a two color band.

High Wire is the culmination of a several year love affair with one stitch pattern. I hope you like it as much as I do. (I wonder if Faina needs another sample knit

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