I was looking through the projects shared by Sweater Knitter group on Ravely this morning and found RainDance, a beautiful little t-shirt sweater by Heidi Kirrmaier (username PiPiBird):
all photos from Heidi's flickr page, used with permission
I love the sleeve details and the keyhole at the back. Also, it's hard to see, but the knitting switches directions just below the keyhole/bust. I've never made a side-to-side garment before but I'm sorely tempted to buy this one from her Ravelry store.
You could also knit a button tab instead of the little ties, if you like.
Yes. I am buying this pattern. It calls for DK alpaca yarn, which I don't usually use, but I can change. Would it be as adorable in a different colour? I love the look of gray knits, but it's not great with my colouring (it makes me "look dead", as my mother says).
Despite living in Calgary, Heidi likes to design for hemp and cotton. Both of these tunics are knit in Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy. They're both available for free download, too.
Buttercup reminds me of Mary Weaver's romantic Dahlia sweater from Knitty, Winter 2007, but simpler and more suited to summer.
Part of me considers these patterns and thinks, someone give Heidi a book deal! She's got a strong point of view (simple designs, thoughtful details and lots of positive ease) and a taste for less-common materials. At the very least, her tunics seem like perfect additions to wool-free knitting books like Amy R. Singer's No Sheep For You and Shannon Okey's Alt Fiber. But then part of me thinks, no, Heidi should just start a blog. With strong patterns like this, she could probably sidestep conventional publishers, Ysolda-style.
Either way, I'm pleased to have discovered another fun knitting designer!