Corvina is the name of my seamless top-down cardigan pattern in the Fall 2014 issue of Twist Collective. It's a great fall sweater-- unfortunately I don't have the sample back yet, or I'd probably be wearing it right now! I really like the way the lace pattern accents the raglan "seams," and then splits to continue down the front and back of both sleeves and body. Like so many things in knitting, I can't claim to have been the first one to come up with this idea, but I did have a lot of fun looking at different stitch patterns and trying to figure out whether they could be used in this way.
Some stitch patterns are easily adapted to be split and separated as I did with Corvina. (The separation is necessary because of the underarm stitches that are cast on at the transition from yoke to body and sleeves.) Simplest of all are those stitch patterns which are really a combination of two mirrored panels. That was almost the case with the leafy lace pattern I used for Corvina-- except that the center "spine" of the lace is composed of 3 stitches: YO, k3tog, YO. Which doesn't exactly divide neatly in half. So when I split the lace into two halves, I used YO, k2tog for one half of the "spine," and k2tog, YO for the other half: this keeps that nice line of eyelets going from the neck edge to bottom hem and cuffs.
The major challenge for this pattern was to work out body and sleeve lengths so that they are a whole number of repeats of the lace pattern; since the lace runs uninterrupted from top to bottom, ending halfway through a lace repeat would have looked strange. Since the raglan "seam" length cannot be varied too much without causing the armhole to fit poorly, I set the raglan length for each size first, then figured out the body and sleeve lengths, where there is more flexibility. So if you want to change the body or sleeve length, remember to do so in full repeats of the lace pattern!
A minor issue was the fact that the lace pattern is quite wide, and there was barely room to fit it into the sleeve portion of the yoke at the neck edge (see above photo), even for the larger sizes. I got around this by placing the first few raglan increases inside the lace pattern. After working this out, and figuring out the proper lengths for sleeves and body, the design and knitting process went pretty smoothly-- I even had some buttons on hand that worked nicely.
And the name "Corvina"? It was a second choice, but in the end, I think the best one. This cardigan's leafy lace reminded me of grapevines, and the yarn I happened to use for the swatch, Malabrigo Worsted, was a lovely semi-solid purple called "Uva," which is Italian for grape. This combination got me thinking of wine-y names for the finished pattern, and since I like to choose an Italian name when possible, and one which hasn't been used before (which ruled out "Chianti"), I came up with a working name of Vigna, which means vineyard in Italian. So I was happy that an equally lovely purple yarn, Lorna's Laces Haymarket in Blackberry, was chosen for the final design, meaning that a wine-related name was still appropriate. However, the editors at Twist pointed out that "vig-na" sounds kind of harsh (in Italian it is pronounced "veenya," which is nicer, but of course most English speakers would say "vig-na"). So I suggested Corvina, which is a type of Italian wine grape. And here she is!
(1st, 2nd, 4th & 5th photos courtesy of Twist Collective and Linus Ouellet)