Pattern Deep Dive: Gell Tunic by Sarah Solomon

Pattern writing is all about making choices for the knitter in order to deliver a satisfying experience, both in the process of making and of wearing. But many of the choices that contribute to a well-planned pattern might not be immediately apparent when just looking at a picture, so we wanted to share with you some of the thoughtful details featured in one of our latest patterns, the Gell Tunic.

Gell is all about ease, comfort, and understated elegance. Ease not only in the sense of how the garment drapes over the body but in the uncomplicated nature of the sweater itself. A simple slip-stitch pattern is the perfect pairing with both the subtle shading of Daylights and its ability to produce deep texture without sacrificing drape. The slightly oversized raglan silhouette and the wide curve of the neck draw the eye up to the face, which is then framed by the luxurious cowl neck collar. Turn-back cuffs and a vented hem make for a tunic that is cozy but still chic.

Simple garments often demand the most attention to detail, and Gell abounds in carefully chosen touches; the vented hem is longer in back than in front with slipped stitched edges for a neat finish; the raglan decreases and selvedge stitches work together to create an angle that is pleasing to the eye, comfortable to wear and easy to seam; the gentle shaping of the collar using changes in needle size provides just the right amount of floof to the cowl neck and optional tubular edges add a dash of refinement to this polished piece. 

All of the details are thought out and tucked away in the pattern for you so the knitting itself is simple, pleasant, and meditative. This garment is seamed for improved fit and longevity and paired with this very special yarn it should prove to be a treasured garment for years to come.

  1.  Deep and generous cowl neck shaped with needle size changes.Subtle shaping for this collar is achieved with needle size changes. 
  2. Compound raglan construction for an improved fit. In a compound raglan the back raglan seams are longer than the front raglan seams, meaning that the front and back raglans are worked differently, and the two sides of the raglan sleeve caps have a different angle as well. This is the way most raglans are constructed in ready-to-wear garments, and this silhouette provides an improved fit in the neck and shoulders, making the garment both more comfortable and allowing for a wide and elegant neckline. 
  3. Slip-stitch texture is easy to execute and provides added structure and warmth.Slip-stitch knitting is simple and rapid to work and lends itself to creating deep, warm textures. In this particular garment the density of the stitch pattern is balanced by using a large needle size which allows the fabric to have the right combination of structure and drape, making it comfortable and flattering while holding up to wear. 
  4. Carefully chosen selvedges and decrease placement assist with assembly. Raglan seams are some of the easiest to sew and with the right placement of decreases and a complimentary selvedge, the finishing process is smooth and pleasant. 
  5. Vented hem with slip stitch edge for ease of movement and a contemporary silhouette.Slip-stitches are used in a second method here to create a finished edge on the vented hem. The hem is longer in back than in front for added warmth without making the sweater look too heavy. 
  6. Deep ribbing on the sleeves can be worn full-length to warm the hands or folded back for a luxurious double cuff. The sleeve length was planned for a cozy, deep winter garment but sleeve length is very personal; feel free to make the cuff shorter or subtract a little from the total length if you don’t like to cuff your sleeves.  
  7. Optional tubular cast-ons and bind-offs for a refined finish.The tubular cast-on is another technique borrowed from ready-to-wear knits that creates a beautiful rolled edge to the ribbing. This edge can also be worked as a bind off to make your edges match perfectly. Full instructions for these techniques are included in the pattern but you may substitute the cast-on of your choice if you prefer.