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Penny Straker

for Straker Classics   1984

881 Lara

Penny Straker: “In 1975 Mom and I opened our second shop in Nantucket. It was a whirlwind of activity and hard work, sanding and varnishing lovely old shop floorboards, building shelving units and storage cupboards, searching for tables, baskets and small pieces to move around for best effect. One day, while Mom was out on an errand, she found a handsome antique breakfront – perfect for displaying the delicate yarns. Sundays and evenings we designed and knit as fast as we could to fill the shop with new designs - thankfully our knitting staff made the models of our tried and true designs!

“In the late ‘70s several designs flew off my needles in quick succession in concert with the arrival of Astrakan yarn to our shop shelves. Sadly written in the past tense, Astrakan was quality wool, blended with just the right amount of mohair and spun into a tight yet soft and rounded bouclé yarn. It inspired designs in rapid succession. Astrakan was a true bulky weight yielding a silky and textural fabric of 3 stitches per inch on #10 needles.

“Subtle understated drama in a refined and timeless jacket, Lara’s set in sleeves have just a hint of gathering at the caps – softening the shoulder line. Garter Stitch on the sleeve and bottom cuffs adds more texture, and defines the front bands, flowing into the collar. It’s cropped and should stay cropped – an integral part of the design.

“With the magnificent yarns in today’s marketplace it is easy fare to find perfect yarn for Lara. Or play by combining a light weight yarn with a heavier weight yarn of the same color, to create a desired fabric.

“The key is to take two yarns, determine their exact weight and optimum needle size. To create a bulky weight, the needle sizes for each must equal the #10 needle and the 3 stitches=1“in Reverse Stockinette, i.e. two sport weight yarns each worked on #5 needles, worked together will equal bulky weight worked on #10 needles. It is not complicated it just requires time – a luxury today - to swatch yarn samples of different weights, textures and fibers to find a combination that is texturally handsome and knits to a bulky weight. Easier, of course, to find just the right bulky weight yarn in the first place!”

Pattern Detail

  • no charts
  • no schematics
  • sewing required
  • fall/winter
  • straight (flat), bottom-up / toe-up
  • 5 sizes, to fit 32" - 40" bust; see data page
  • digital PDF has 5 pages (letter size)
  • easy
    • 4 x 4 in
    • 6.0 mm
    • US 10
    • 14.0 st st
Click below for more images and yarn requirements
Straker2 Straker1 Straker_20classics_lara_881-1data

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