Friday, October 04, 2013

Dutchess - my Rhinebeck sweater

Autumn is here once again and it's a delightful time to break the sweaters out of storage and decide what to knit for Rhinebeck, my favorite sheep and wool festival in upstate New York. Thankfully this year my Rhinebeck sweater was finished well in advance. I'm so pleased to be included in The Rhinebeck Sweater, a lovely new collection of 12 patterns by Ysolda Teague. Each of the patterns was inspired by the festival and the book includes stories behind the yarns featured in the sweaters. There are many lovelies in here that I want to knit! You can pre-order the book today and the official release date is November 6th.

My design is called Dutchess and is a worsted-weight pullover knit in the round from the bottom up with decorative ribbing and waist shaping for a more flattering fit. The herringbone yoke uses two colors for a easy-to-remember and enjoyable colorwork design.

 The sample is knit in Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch, a machine-washable worsted weight yarn with a crisp stitch definition. This gives the geometric color work a very clean look.  I've made endpaper mitts with their fingering weight wool and was excited to try their worsted weight offering for this design. I love exploring their booth at the festival - it's so wonderful to be overwhelmed by the enormous wall of colors.

When working on the design idea, I was drawn to the idea of a modern and striking sweater with subtle details that one could knit a few weeks before the festival. Or even knit at the festival while waiting in line for the delicious fried artichokes!
The two color design in the yoke allows one to explore a myriad of color combinations and even incorporate several colors if they wish. I'm thinking about another version with a cooler color combination. I recommend swatching the yoke pattern to see how your colors will work together, the results can often be surprising. I swatch the yoke pattern by casting on enough stitches for six or so repeats of the yoke pattern (depending on the width of the yoke repeat), joining in the round, working a sample of the  edging and then working the yoke chart. This will give you both a great sense of how the colors work together as well as a sense of your gauge in colorwork. You may need to adjust your needle size to get the required gauge in colorwork. I sometimes need a larger needle size than I use in plain stockinette stitch in the round.

Sweater details are on Ravelry. You can also see some of the other patterns from the book here. See you at Rhinebeck! I'll be wearing my Dutchess.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

spinning down the stash

I've been having a lot of fun lately spinning my way though a HUGE bag of lovely batts that I got from Spinners Hill last fall at Rhinebeck:

spinners hill label - in case I lose it

They are blend of corriedale, finn, and rambouillet wool with mohair. I'm shooting for a rustic, long-draw worsted weight yarn, but I'm trying not to over-think it too much and am just spinning and planning to ply together the first and last bobbins to even things out.

bowling with bobbins

I've been spinning a bobbin a day, and now that I only have one bobbin left it's time to start plying. I still have about a third of the batts left, so I'll be able to knit a cabled jacket or a cozy for my car. Maybe 2lbs, 2 oz was too much? I didn't want to run out...

bobbins and bobbins

Thursday, November 05, 2009

cottage garden design process

Last fall I moved into a cottage on a historic turkey farm in western Massachusetts. The cottage is a Sears kit house from 1919 that was delivered on the local train. For the gardener in me, it was love at first sight, as I saw the rambling flowerbeds and beautiful wisteria vine trailing up the side of the cottage. Other bonuses included a beautiful kitchen garden and the resident pet pig next door named Pinky.

At the same time I was exploring the work of a group of New England artists from the 1950s called the Folly Cove Designers. Led by Virginia Lee Burton (who wrote and illustrated many childrens' books including Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel) this group made incredible designs that were hand-block-printed on fabric. Check them out - here and here.

I was drawn to the fact that many of their designs described daily life in New England. It got me thinking about a vintage-inspired colorwork sweater that would speak to my story of falling in love with a little cottage garden. I started sketching a yoke design that was bursting with joyful flowers.

Cottage Garden was originally submitted to the Summer issue and I was thrilled when Kate asked if we could add longer sleeves and move the deisgn to the Fall issue. I had a lot of fun exploring color options for Cottage Garden but settled on one of my favorite combinations: teal and chartreuse (swatch knit in Reynolds Whiskey)

The best part has been seeing how other knitters have made Cottage Garden their own. Look at these beautiful versions!

Kelly's Cottage Garden

Momo's Cottage Garden
Tanya's Cottage Garden

What stories can your knitting tell?

Many thanks to Kelly, Momo and Tanya for the photos.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

waterlily socks

Just a quickie post as I am on my wondrous "staycation" puttering around and trying to stay offline - but wanted to let you all know I have a new sock patter available at Webs. Waterlily is knit out of Franklin sock yarn in the Jade colorway - handdyed by the lovely Kangaroo Dyer.

waterlily socks

waterlily socks

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend all!

Monday, August 17, 2009

cottage garden sweater

cottage garden front - model shot

Hey, I've got a design in the latest issue of the Twist Collective! The cottage garden pullover was inspired by my move to a small vintage cottage with a rambling garden.

cottage garden back - model shot

Do check out the issue as there is a whole pile of stunning designs. It's hard to decide what to knit first!

cottage garden yoke detail

Monday, August 10, 2009

knitting to show you - and a tomato!

It's been an odd summer this year, with the weather all strange wet and cold, and I've been working on so many secret projects (one which will be revealed in the Fall Twist Collective - hooray!) that I've not had much fodder for the blog. But finally this weekend I had some time to finish some non secretive knitwear.




Finally finished my eastlake, just in time for some fall wearing.

Pattern: Eastlake from Norah Gaughan Vol 3
Yarn: 8 skeins of Inca Gold in color 6418
Needles: 5's and 6's
Size: 34" Which I never would have picked but I tried on the 34" at the WEBS trunk show and I'm so glad I did. Normally I would have gone with the 37". I think this sweater does not want any ease to look good and I usually add a few inches.
Notes: Knit according to pattern (note the errata on the website) but not completely happy with the joining of the neck section in the back of the sweater. I may retinker this part if I can do it without ripping out the neckband...




My friend Lucy at A Black Pepper just published this pattern. She is a genius with the cables and I was happy to try it out for her. I wouldn't normally think this sort of hat would look good on me, but I'm really pleased with how it looks. Go make yourself one!

pattern: Anemoon by Lucy Sweetland
yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL in color 020 slate grey - 3 skeins
needles: 5's and 6's

first tomato!

And as promised here is a photo of the first tomato. I've really been enjoying the chance to have a real garden this year and to take in all of the rhythms of the farm that we live on. Starting with crocus, daffodils, barn swallows and asparagus in the spring to the current buzz of cicadas and bushes full of blackberries its been satisfying to take in all of the quiet life here. Hope your days are incredibly enjoyable and full of little wonders as well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

hello blog - look at these!

potholder swap goodies!

Look at these georgeous potholders I got in the mail from the potholder swap. I feel completely spoiled! What amazing little jewels!

From left to right: Ardian, Reve, Maritza, Dawn, and Erin

Thanks ladies! And a special shout out to Adrian and Maritza for putting this wonderful swap together.