Knit Focus, Knitting inspiration, Summer Knitting

Summer knitting: designs by Yumiko Alexander

 

Woman wearing knitted, white poncho made in all-over, dropped stitch, open lace design.
Knitting pattern: Clouds by Yumiko Alexander. See Ravelry or Dan Doh.

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!

An introduction

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.

 

Logo for Dan Doh website, knit and crochet designs and yarn by Yumiko Alexander.
Dan Doh: knit and crochet design and yarn by Yumiko Alexander.

The style

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.

Sedona Shadows (Ravelry, Dan Doh), Elemental Dolman (Ravelry, Dan Doh)

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.’

Ripples and Waves by Yumiko Alexander (Ravelry, Dan Doh)

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.”

Woman showing the back of a knitted, cotton sweater with gentle, organic cable details across the back, asymmetric hem and lace detail from elbow to the cuffs that fall mid hand.
Knitting pattern: Jaunty II by Yumiko Alexander. (Ravelry or Dan Doh)

From left: River Ripples (Ravelry, Dan Doh), and Meander (Ravelry, Dan Doh)

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

 

Pattern Gallery

To buy or find out more information about a pattern, see the links in the photo description.

Lace: Clockwise from top left: Mirror (Ravelry, Dan Doh), Cloud Cover (Ravelry, Dan Doh), Links (Ravelry , Dan Doh), Smoke (Ravelry, Dan Doh)

Asymmetric shaping– Clockwise from top left: Sunset Dunes (Ravelry, Dan Doh), Ribbon Weave (Ravelry, Dan Doh), Crossroads (Ravelry, Dan Doh)

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).

Woman wearing cream, knitted silk stole with all-over mesh texture and occasional twisted stitch that creates a small swirl in the fabric.
Knitting pattern: Urban Chic by Yumiko Alexander. (Ravelry, Dan Doh)

Textured cables– Duality (Ravelry, Dan Doh), Forest Weave (Ravelry, Dan Doh).

 

Find out more about Yumiko Alexander

Ravelry

Dan Doh

Etsy

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!

 

4 thoughts on “Summer knitting: designs by Yumiko Alexander”

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