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Moonlit Kiss Design Story

Lindsay Lewchuk Announcements, How-Tos, Pattern Related, Puddles, Yarn Leave a Comment

When God sends you a kiss under the moon light, the only thing to do is repay the blessing by turning it into a design! Originally crafted with Malabrigo Yarn’s Mora in mind, Moonlit Kiss’ objective was “a design as luxurious as the fiber with which it’s knit.” To me that spoke of evening elegance.

But how does that translate into stitches? Let’s examine the design a little closer…

I was dying to try Lindsay’s Disappearing Cast On ™ with silk. Would it act differently than cotton? Would it even work? Well, after much experimenting the answers were “yes” and “yes”. At issue was the non-elastic nature of 100% silk yarn. Tug as much as you like, a strand of silk rarely will budge. Added to the pattern are these helpful hints for making a perfect Disappearing Cast On ™.
If substituting a non-elastic yarn, like silk, try these mods to make your stitches flawless:
* Larger needle used for long tail CO. I went up two sizes for best results. If subbing fiber that is elastic or stretchy in nature, use original sized needle for long tail CO.
* On the internal stitches, (that is the short rows that land inside the shoulders), slip the first stitch after turning instead of working it. This will prevent having any excess fiber inside your shoulder cap when the silk fails to average out like cotton will.
Lindsay's Disappearing Cast On with Mora

Nearly seamless. It’s a break for sure, to me elegance is seamless design with a faux seam feature. The body of Moonlit Kiss, and indeed the sleeves and optional cowl neckline are all worked seamlessly. For the added elegance of Moonlit Kiss, the faux seam is a simple 3 stitch, 1 row repeat mirrored on the sleeves as well.

But when it came to the inlay, try as I might, seamless didn’t work… at least not with the silk. Regardless of needle size, I found binding the rising lace to the body was pulling the body stitches out of place. Two things were evident after the third ribbit – 1, the lace would be knit as a semi-separate piece (picking up the CO lace stitches from the body worked even if binding the sides as you went didn’t) and 2, the lace needed to be made more airy and what better way than with lace embedded lace!

original lace and seamless shot

See those strands pulling on the wrong side? Those are body stitches being yanked out of place :-(.

Semi-separate? To ensure as little seaming as possible, I went for a pick-up along the scoop to anchor the lace inlay.

pick up and knit shot

Check out that invisible hem trick too! Video demo on the blog here

Notice something missing in the seamless lace above? That’s right, the original back was a mirror of the 2 row lace cowl detail. However, I wasn’t happy with how heavy it looked… nor the biasing caused by the one directional increase. So it was back to the drawing board. Trying my hand at different embedded lace shapes landed me in the frog pond about a half dozen times more. At this point, I realized, wow, this Malabrigo Mora yarn is a workhorse!!! Despite it all the yarn was still luxuriant, smooth, and silky to the touch without any additional haloing or breakage. ‘Round draft 8 it hit me… the name I’d pitched was Moonlit Kiss, a “design as luxurious as the fiber with which it’s knit”… but what if Moonlit Kiss was more than a name? What if it was THE detail too? EUREKA! The final defining element came together, and this design was knighted “magnum opus 2019 silk”.

close up of final lace design

Getting stitch mastery to play nice took a little doing, but this section is now fully written and fully charted so you can knit the method you find easiest!

All that was left was to shoot this piece being kissed by the moonlight. The weather was uncompliant as were the camera parents for the tank shoot – March at midnight, brrrr! BUT, Puddles joined in so I know with his presence you’ll forgive us 😉.
photo shoot with Puddles

An adventure of nearly two months ensued, where I learned a ton about shooting at night and the phases of the moon. Looking at the calendar, the next full moon wasn’t for weeks so I started looking outside at different times to find when the moon was visible through the quickly blossoming tree cover. A potty break for Puddles showed 5:30 am the perfect time.

With MUCH cajoling, dad agreed to be cameraman down the gravel trail pre-sunrise. Standing atop my mini, we got the shots… some with moonlight and some with the first streaks of sunshine. Thankfully camera day stuck around until the sun began to shine in order to get the lace adequately lighted.

cajoling dad

LOTS of hugs and thanks too!

The final element was a wonderful offer from designer, Simone Kereit. A close-up photo of a full moon she shot as an overlay to the moon blur in the photos camera dad shot. A few weeks in photo shop and the design was complete.

original and new moon

Thanks, Simone!

The sun arose quickly – waiting for enough light for the design to be visible also meant the sky changed from the gorgeous midnight blue to early sunlight lavender. I went for cohesion, but because I love blue 😉.

before and after lighting

before and after day to night

Analyzing the night shots, it’s the highlights that are the major difference between sunlit and moonlit!

(And yes, you know me I had to turn noon to night… even if the moon wasn’t visible).

before and after day to night with Puddles

See that spot next to the moon? Jupiter came out to play too!!

I had such fun sharing the design story on IG over the last nine days. I hope you’ve enjoyed this more detailed look at the design process.

The released version and the original concept share many elements in common, except two. The sleeve design and the back-lace inlay design. What say you? Mission accomplished? “A design as luxurious as the fiber in which it’s knit.

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