Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Chinese Valentine’s New Day Year!

Golden Sands Sweater pattern from Guys in Nantuk Ombré, 1972

Today is Valentine’s Day AND the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Tiger. Surely, there’s no better way to celebrate these two auspicious occasions than to knit up a sweater that’ll bring out the tiger in your Valentine!

Of course, I mean this sweater. How can you even ask that?

Why just look at how the ribbing on the sleeves and waist makes the tiger stripes appear out of focus. That effect is not accidental! It’s meant to call to mind the disheveled coat of a jungle cat, who’s much too busy prowling its territory to waste time on frivolous niceties like personal grooming. Note as well how the large, open collar of the sweater is reminiscent of the gaping maw of a predator. This is a collar for a man of large appetites, who doesn’t care about the occasional piece of fondue falling into his chest hair.

And that oversized pocket is the pièce de résistance! It proclaims that any man who wears this sweater is a tiger at heart. Plus, he has a sinus condition that requires him to keep a supply of extra large hankies close by at all times. But a tiger at heart, nonetheless!

If you still have doubts, why just eye that tiger of a man who’s modeling this sweater! According to Chinese astrology, tiger men are physically powerful, ambitious, and brave. Now look at the model again. He’s so secure in his masculinity that he doesn’t feel the need to demonstrate a single one of his tiger qualities. He’s a cool cat, ladies, and he’s single!

At least, he was single back in 1972. But for all we know, he’s still a swinging bachelor in 2010!


Click here for the complete pattern (and more snark!)

Golden Sands is a very popular name for hotels and resorts. This yarn could be named after a romantic hideaway in Bermuda or an exotic vacation playground in Malaysia.

Or the unforgettable heated pool and laundromat of this Penticton, B.C. holiday resort.

Doubtless, GY-5 is the premier private suite at Penticton’s Golden Sands Resort, where the romantic ambiance inspires guests to immediately declare their undying love for each other.

You Need: Columbia-Minerva

NANTUK OMBRÉ 4-PLY (3½ oz pull skeins): Color A: 3 (4-4-5)


NANTUK 4-PLY KNITTING YARN (4 oz pull skeins): Color B: 2 (3-3-4)
And if the prospect of polka-dot sofas isn’t enough to seduce you, Penticton itself is known as A Place to Stay Forever! Just imagine all of the enchanted evenings you’ll spend at the Overlook Hotel, I mean Golden Sands Resort.

Just stay away from the outdoor maze. It can get a tad chilly in Canada this time of year.

Needles: One pair each “Boye” Sizes 6 & 8 and one crochet hook Size G.

Gauge: 9 sts to 2”; 6 rows to 1”

General Instructions...
Read Before Starting

Introducing a brand-new space-dyed yarn, Columbia-Minerva’s NANTUK OMBRÉ has qualities and a design that no other ombré yarn has.
I hate to accuse Columbia-Minerva of indulging in a white lie, but space-dyed yarn wasn’t available until after NASA’s first space station Skylab was launched in 1973. Unfortunately, the risk posed by pull skeins in zero gravity was unknown at the time, and a fateful tangle of Silver Nantuk Ombré caused Skylab to crash in 1979.

Sure, NASA claimed the early re-entry was caused by sun spot activity. But I have photographic proof to the contrary!

Completely color-fast and machine launderable, it has a luxurious quality that is exclusively ours.

All styles are written for Size 38. Changes for Sizes 40, 42 & 44 are in parentheses. Directions are based on the following Chest Measurements: 38 (40-42-44)”.
Technically, these chest measurements are stating the obvious. However, as I didn’t notice the lack of sizing information for my Talk Like a Nantuk Ombré Pirate Day Sweater post, I’m going to humbly let this one go.

Back: With Size 6 needles & Color A—cast on 86 (90-94-100). K 1 & P 1 in ribbing for 6”. Drop A. Change to Size 8 needles. With B—P 1 row, inc’ing 4 sts. Work in St St on the 90 (94-98-104) sts to 16” from start.

Armholes: Bind off 4 (4-4-5) at beg of next 2 rows. Dec 1 each side every other row 5 times. Work on the 72 (76-80-84) sts to 9 (9½-10-10½)” above underarm.

Shoulders: Bind off 5 (7-9-10) at beg of next 2 rows then 8 at beg of next 4 rows. Bind off 30 (30-32-32) sts for neck.

Front: Same as back to underarm, end on right side.
Hey, I just realized that Golden Sands must be a self-striping yarn! That certainly explains the haphazard creative arrangement of the sweater’s blotches bands of colour.
Armhole & Neck: Bind off 4 (4-4-5) at beg of next 2 rows. Dec 1 each side every other row 3 times. P 38 (40-42-44) sts & sl them to a holder, P to end. Dec 1 at armhole every other row twice more. Work on the 36 (38-40-42) sts to 5½ (6-6½-7)” above underarm, end at neck. Bind off 8 (8-9-9) at beg of next row. Bind off 2 at neck edge twice then dec 1 at same edge every other row 3 times. Work on 21 (23-24-26) sts to match back armhole, end at armhole edge.

Shoulder: Bind off 5 (7-8-10) at armhole once then 8 at same edge twice. Work other side.

Sleeves: With Size 6 needles and Color A—cast on 52 (54-56-60). K 1 & P 1 in ribbing for 3”. Change to Size 8 needles. Working the added sts in rib pat, inc 1 st each side every 10th row 9 times. Work on the 70 (72-74-78) sts to 20” from start.

Sleeve Cap: Bind off 4 (4-4-5) at beg of next 2 rows. Dec 1 each side every row 4 times then every other row until 30 rem. Bind off 3 at beg of next 4 rows. Bind off. Seam shoulders. Sew sleeves in place then sew side and sleeve seams.
This Sleeve Cap should not to be mistaken for a Cap Sleeve, whose bell-shaped curviness is usually reserved for women’s blouses. This is a macho macho sweater for a macho macho man.
Collar: With Size 6 needles & Color A—cast on 133 (133-137-137). K 1 & P1 in ribbing for 2 rows.

Row 3: K 1, SKP, work to last 4, P 1, K 2 tog, K1.
According to the ABBREVIATIONS, SKP means slip 1, knit 1, pass the slip stitch over the knit stitch, then SKP, SKP, SKP to my lou, SKP, SKP... okay that last bit was my addition. But c’mon, compared to pedestrian abbreviations like psso, SKP is much more fun.
Row 4: P 2, work ribbing to last 2 sts, P 2. Repeat last 2 rows until 107 (107-111-111) sts rem. Bind off. Sew to neck.

Pocket: With Size 6 needles & Color A—cast on 27. Work in ribbing for 5½”. Bind off in ribbing. Sew in place. On right side with Color A—crochet 1 row of sc on opening, ch-3 for button loop at neck. Fasten off.
Yes, it feels like cheating to do such a tiny bit of crocheting in order to give this knit sweater its finishing touch. But remember all’s fair in love and war!

So, ladies, let’s knit up this tiger sweater, put on our tiger bikinis and hunt down the Valentine of our dreams!


Click here for the printable pattern.

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