Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Kate Swimsuit!

I am thrilled to announce that I designed and knitted a swimsuit that is modeled by KATE UPTON in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT magazine! 

Kate Upton - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013 - Photo by Derek Kettela

It is Swimsuit‘s charge to feature gorgeous models in the latest swimwear and accessories, in the most picturesque settings around the globe.  For this year’s 50th anniversary issue, editor MJ Day lead supermodel Kate Upton, photographer Derek Kettela* and the crew on an expedition to Antarctica. Yes, ANTARCTICA – that massive, frozen land at the bottom of our planet.
The team made history – holding the first-ever fashion photo shoot on the continent, while completing the magazine’s mission of shooting on all seven continents in seven months.
It is really unbelievable when you think about it.  Right?
My design for the swimsuit was inspired by traditional Irish fishermen’s sweaters – those cream-colored, wool jumpers (as the Irish call them) with busy patterns you see Irish-Americans donning here in the U.S. on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Hand-knit swimsuit by Kate Preston for Kate Upton, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013
Composed of cable motifs and various other stitches, the busy patterns have great significance, and traditionally, the sweaters were hand-knitted by women for the fishermen in their families.  The lofty cables add warmth, and each style signifies a different meaning, ranging from safety, good luck, and hard work to wealth and a successful catch.  The motifs and the placement of those motifs were distinct to each clan – each having its own individual design for its sweater.  And to be quite frank, the explicit design provided a way to identify the family of a man lost at sea!
For my swimsuit design, I chose the cable motifs for “fashion over function,” as we did not expect for supermodel Kate to go overboard.  I do hope that it kept her a tiny bit warmer while shooting in the sub-zero temps among penguins and Antarctic glaciers.
The Kate Swimsuit was designed and hand-knitted by Kate Preston in October-November 2012.  The garment took forty hours to complete.
Materials and supplies included:
Malabrigo Twist yarn composed of 100% baby merino wool in colorway #63-Natural
ChiaoGoo Red Lace circular knitting needles
Brittany double pointed knitting needles
Clover stitch markers

Many have asked, “How exactly do you knit a swimsuit?”
My reply, “From the crotch-up.  And that’s the truth!”

* See the beauty of Kettela’s photographs for yourself - in the magazine, available on newsstands and in the app store.

Kate Upton knit swimsuit by
Kate Preston

Featured here in Newsday  on Feb 18, 2013.

Featured here in Rockville Centre Herald on March 6, 2013.

Featured here in Rockville Centre Patch  on Feb 28, 2013. 

Featured here in Long Island Exchange on March 15, 2013.

For more about Kate Preston Handknits | Custom, luxury knits, visit my sister site here.

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