Over the last few years, whenever I have collected summer knitting inspiration, the name Yumiko Alexander has popped up again and again.
While many designers create patterns for warmer weather, this is the main focus of Yumiko’s designs, and she really showcases how knitted garments can have a place in a summer wardrobe, or in the wardrobe of someone living in a warm year-round climate.
So today’s post is going to be completely devoted to Yumiko’s patterns, and I hope they may inspire you in your summer knitting!
Originally from Japan and now based in Arizona, USA, Yumiko Alexander has been publishing knitting patterns since 2007, and currently has 145 knitting designs listed on Ravelry. She sells her patterns, and her own range of linen, cotton and silk yarns, under the name Dan Doh.
“My design style has evolved over the years incorporating more influence from my Japanese heritage, featuring simpler shapes with lots of texture and unique stitch patterns. The inspiration for my designs come from many facets of my life, but mostly I design things I would like to have in my closet and things I can’t find in the usual clothing stores.” (Quote from Ravelry )
The majority of Yumiko’s designs are knitted in light weight, plant based yarns or silk, making them ideal for warmer climates.
The designs include tops, sweaters and shawls, all with a cool, contemporary feel in terms of their silhouettes, colour palette and styling.
The oversized fit of most pieces makes them easy to wear, with some offering multiple styling options that change the look of the garment quite dramatically. E.g. Ripples and Waves (see below) can be worn ‘with the Waves up (Lace Collar side up) or with the Ripples up (Lace Collar side down)’, and Sankaku (see below, in ‘Playing with colour’) ‘can be worn like a cowl or a poncho and spreading the slit to 180 degrees, allows you to wear it in many different ways.’
While the silhouettes are often simple, the fabric of the garments is usually more complex, with textures and shapes worked within the fabric in lace, cables and colourwork. These elements are often reminiscent of the natural world, emerging from the fabric as soft, curving forms that remind me of twisting roots, the texture of tree bark, ripples in water or the patterns in sandbanks. This is perhaps unsurprising as Yumiko’s company name ‘Dan Doh’ is Japanese for “warm earth”, because, as she explains,
“Much of the inspiration for my designs comes from nature.”
For more details about sizing, fit and feedback on Yumiko’s patterns, see the notes in project pages for her patterns on ravelry.com- e.g. for Forest Weave.
To buy or find out more information about a pattern, see the links in the photo description.
Playing with colour: mosaic and multi-stranded knitting – Clockwise from top left: Permutations (Ravelry, Dan Doh) and Ko-michi (Ravelry , Dan Doh), Sankaku (Ravelry, Dan Doh), Cobblestone (Ravelry, Dan Doh).
Find out more about Yumiko Alexander
Instagram – as dandoh.designs
For more summer knitting suggestions
See my recent post Summer Knitting: light linens and cool cottons, or select ‘Summer Knitting’ in the sidebar.
Over to you
Have you been inspired to try a pattern by Yumiko Alexander? Or have you already knitted one of her designs? Which are your favourite patterns shown above?
I’d also love to hear your suggestions for other designers of summer knitwear!