Who else is a Rockstar designer with patterns that meet all 5 criteria? Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits. Cocoknits patterns are of the sort that I talked about in the blog about more fluid fabric. Being from California, her designs have a really modern quality that is fresh and wearable for women of all ages. Many of her silhouettes feature a subtle flare or a draped lapel that is hot right now, but not so trendy that you'll want to toss it in a year. As you can tell from the hair, I knit this Katarina at least 5 years ago, and I still love it.
Some Cocoknits designs showcase really interesting and different fibers, such as Japanese paper, which add s to the edgy quality, but in most cases, her modern look comes simply from the design, and her wonderful disregard for a yarn's "recommended gauge." Cocoknits sweaters are the garments you want with you because they work easily over whatever else you have on. A Cocoknits sweater is that magic piece that takes you from, "I just threw on jeans and whatever," to "Yeah, I thought about my outfit, and it looks great!" only you didn't think, and you still look great.
Clearly she's got stylish, buy-in-the-store designs, but what about the other stuff? Clear, detailed, specific instructions? You bet. Not only are her patterns well written, she has a section on her website with tutorials on how to do certain kinds of various innovative techniques.
Accurate patterns? Check. I've knit Brigitta (twice) Petra, Katarina, and Tessa. All perfect. with schematics.
Reasonable size range? Check. Most of her patterns go from XS to XXL. We featured Tessa for a First Friday project, and lots of women of all different shapes and sizes knit it. Everyone was very happy with the result.
And finally, honest pictures that realistically depict what the garment actually looks like? Check. The outcome I've had with all of the Cocoknits projects I've either worked myself. or helped customers knit have turned out to be every bit as attractive as shown on the models gracing the pattern pages.
If you're not familiar with Cocoknits projects, go to her page on Ravelry, and see all the great designs - then come by the shop and try on some of the samples we have here. Then choose one and knit it. You will be oh so happy.