hey, you . . .

cloud3

. . . get off my cloud!

Well, now the pattern is at last nearing completion, I think I can show you my new hoodie — knit top down, with pleasing puffy sleeves, and a cloud pocket, inspired by the old BBC weather symbols. It is a hoodie to be worn in the summer and is (I hope) a little suggestive of that season: a pale blue sky, and a drifting cloud. If you’ve been reading my posts about making this hoodie, you’ll know that what I particularly love about it are its details: its sleeves, its pocket, its neat hems and facings, and (of course) its acres and acres of i-cord.

detail

At first I tried to knit the pocket ‘blind’, just making up the cloudy shape as I went. But I soon realised that this would not work – on my first attempt I merely made a nice, mound shape, with some even nicer 3 stitch icord around it. After a few more (failed) attempts, I decided to do things by the book, and actually graphed out the angles and dimensions of the cloud in the original BBC weather symbols designed in 1974 by Mark Allen. Then I translated my maths into something knit at 6.5 stitches to the inch, and outlined it with a bold 5 st icord. Nifty! This is what I based my pocket on:

cloudy
(© BBC)

And this is what it became.

cloud1

Hurrah! I was very pleased with the cloud, and am also pleased with the pixie-style hood. This is picked up around the neck and shoulders after the rest of the sweater is complete. It lies nice and flat thanks to some neat facings (made in a similar manner to the way I describe here) and then the hood and front-neck are finished off together with (yes) a continuous icord bind off. The neckline sits nicely, though I do say so myself. Here is the hood from the back:

hoodnsleeves

and – wait for it – from the front.

hood

I fear I may be starting to resemble a cartoon character, but I’m seriously pleased with the end result — so really, who cares? Its worth saying now that in the final pattern the cloud pocket will be an optional extra, and that instructions for a more conventional kangaroo-style plain pouch pocket will be included. My prototype is made in (yes, you guessed it) my favourite Bowmont Braf , but I reckon it would work equally well in any robust 4 ply. Even though the gauge is fine, the top-down seamless stockinette makes for a relatively quick knit. In fact, the only thing that is time consuming is the finishing — and I reckon that is worth doing well. I’m now receiving some welcome and expert assistance test knitting a rather different prototype version, which I hope will give some sense of the different ways in which this hoodie might be knit. I am also pleased with the name (suggested by Tom and, um, Keith Richards) which evokes the cheesy 70s feel I was aiming for in the design. And I can already testify that it is good at what it was designed for– summer walking.

uphill

Well, I’ll get off my cloud for now – but I thought I’d let you know that a pattern is coming soonish, that the sweater will be available in 9 sizes to fit any chest from 24 to 44 inches with ease, and that I’m taking my time in order to get things just right.

Name: (Get off my) Cloud
Pattern: by me. Tis imminent.
Yarn: Bowmont Braf (or similar 4 ply / light sport weight that knits at 6.5 st to the inch).
Ravelled here.

PS I want to thank everyone for your allotment congrats. The elusive key has finally arrived. We are very excited. More soon.

46 responses

  1. Oh, that is so simple and yet so imaginative and stylish! And just a bit cute too. Darn it, I knit so slow, there are too many things that I want to do, and this could muscle its way to the top of the queue…

  2. When I was about four, I had something called a Knitting Nancy, a cylindrical wooden doll with four metal hoops on her head and a hollow interior. You wound the wool around the hoops in a certain way, and out of the doll’s bottom (as in ‘opposite side to top’, rather than the anatomical kind) emerged a woollen tube which, according to the box (and my Mum, who obviously bought herself hours of free time by giving me this) was called ‘French knitting’. But I think perhaps it was i-cord. The only thing was, I could never think of anything to do with it, apart from wind it into a spiral and stitch randomly to make a table mat. But now, after all these years, I think your gorgeously original hoodie might provide a solution! It’s just a shame that my own daughters are probably a bit too old to con into playing with Nancy. I can see I’m going to have to learn how to do i-cord the grown-up way!

  3. great job done – I read the posts before – also the one with the elephant pants – and I am soooo with you! I still own some of my “designs” and I can still feel the motivation…
    I definitly want THIS pattern – and I definitly will give the cloud a bit more time to be finished :-))

  4. Wonderful, Kate. I’m so impressed with your designs and your style. I look forward to buying and making both this and the Paper Dolls pattern soon!

  5. Your i-cord is so beautiful, and I love the whimsy you bring to your patterns! They truly look different from anything else I see, without looking odd or unfashionable. Impressive, the way you are able to make something both unique and stylish!

    I love the inspiration for the cloud. It’s a brilliant little piece of graphic design, isn’t it? Readable, but with a distinct character and a minimum of lines. I love good design!

  6. I have to credit DeadlyKnitshade’s post on Craftycrafty.tv for pointing me in your direction. I adore this hoodie and after years of toying of taking up knitting (including one disasterous attempt at learning how to knit a scarf with my mum that lead to an almighty row) I have now picked up some needles and am learning to knit and purl like a girl possessed. I can’t promise I’ll finish your jumper any time soon (or indeed at all) but it’s definitely on my favourites list! Thanks for sharing this brilliant design.

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