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.


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