Much like last year at this time, I find myself with a ton of sweaters to tell you about, just in time for one of the biggest sweater events on this coast.
(Will you be at Rhinebeck, too? If so, we’d love to see you! Amy and Jackie will be hosting a CustomFit meetup at 12:30 pm, on the hill where the Rav meetup is held, across the walkway from Building E. Amy will do a sweater Q&A, talk about what’s coming up for CustomFit this fall (so exciting!), and we’ll take a giant sweater-licious group photo. For a bonus this year, bring a CustomFit project on the needles (or off) for entry in a raffle!)
So, much like last year, let’s make this week a feast of sweaters.
I want to start the week with six sweaters that were part of our swanky new CustomFit site design:
The Summer/Fall 2015 Basics collection.
The basics collections for CustomFit are specifically aimed at giving knitters super-wearable, super-flexible, gorgeous sweaters that will work in any yarn. We release them twice a year, with an eye toward silhouettes that are lacking, current, or otherwise catching our eye at the moment.
You can find more details here in our lookbook:
And on the site itself (see individual pattern names for the link). So here, I just want to tell you a few things about the designs.
My vision for Yawl came from a long-lost, much-loved store-bought sweater I had ages ago. It was a straight-sleeved, 3/4 cardigan with a single fabulous button in a sturdy marled wool/acrylic blend. I wore it to death, and when we were daydreaming about this collection it came back into my mind.
This time, I worked it with a thick garter edge that perfectly suits the incredibly soft wool I chose: Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mewesic. I love Green Mountain Spinnery – their yarns are fantastic, and they’re a worker-owned cooperative in Vermont committed to USA-grown, regionally-sustaining fibers with environmentally-conscious processing to boot. I’ve been honored to work with their yarns over the years, but I have to say Mewesic might be my favorite so far. It’s a nubby, soft 100% fine wool that makes a warm, lightweight, utterly wearable sweater.
CustomFit has needed a cozy shawl-collared cardigan for awhile, and we totally indulged that urge with Ketch. Long sleeves, long sweater length, a thick 2×2 ribbed button band and relaxed fit? Sign us all up for that, honestly, but Jackie lucked out and got the sample this time. I can imagine it for myself in lots of different styles and colors…
…after knitting myself a Ketch out of the Lorna’s Laces Masham we used for the sample, anyway! I’ve been lucky enough to work with Masham before (see also: Harrogate and the Sporty Tunic), and was eager to reunite for this design. It’s gloriously thick and wooly, comes in a lovely array of colors, and is exactly what you want to be wearing when the temperatures drop.
Mindful of the fact that it’s colder here than in many other places, I wanted to include a shorter-sleeved, twinset-like cardigan that would be versatile both weather-wise and style-wise. Sloop can be worn with your comfiest pair of jeans, or dressed up for work.
Heather is wearing a sample in a lovely, soft wool-silk blend called Sporty Kashmir by one of my favorite hand-dyers The Woolen Rabbit. I’ve also worked with this yarn before, and adore its sheen, softness, and (of course) beautiful beautiful color. We used the “Boney Maroney” color way, but I also really love Chocolate Chambord, Clara Bow, and Forever in Blue Jeans. (Ahem.)
I’m so excited about Cutter, you guys. Jackie’s been asking for a rough-and-tumble, wear-everywhere-do-everything crew neck pullover for awhile: 3/4 sleeves, please, for maximum utiliy. Low-hip length, please, so that it doesn’t ride up while hiking. Sturdy wool, for sure, because this sweater needs to stand up to daily wear.
I thought immediately of Ross Farm Fibers, wonderful people I met at the Super Summer Knit Together a couple of years ago. Amy and crew are fifth and sixth-generation sheep farmers in Southwestern PA who focus on rare and heritage breeds, many of which are exceedingly low in numbers. You can find out more about what they do here on their website, or check out their Etsy shop for information on the wool they have in stock. (Or visit their NYS&W booth this weekend and see their yarns in person!) We used “Letitia”, which is utterly gorgeous and has an amazing sheen, but why limit yourself? Any of the Ross Farms yarns would shine here.
We have also been shockingly lacking in turtlenecks here at CustomFit, and my best friend Beth has been aching for one. Interested in giving her a versatile work/home piece, I chose my favorite soft, durable wool cotton blend. Long sleeves, a mid-hip length, and 2×2 ribbing keep Catboat classic and understated.
The yarn keeps it super wearable – Rowan’s wool cotton has long been a favorite of mine. It’s got cotton’s softness and next-to-the-skin qualities, with the memory and elasticity of wool helping it out. Beth’s already gotten tons of wear out of this sweater, and has dropped hopeful remarks about more versions in a range of colors.
Even though it’s getting chillier where I am, now, I couldn’t resist a classic breezy linen tank in our Summer/Fall collection. I live in stuff like this, all summer long. It’s lightweight, it dresses up well, but I’m not afraid to get dirty digging in the garden, either. It’s long enough to work well with skirts or pants, and looks great over a thin cami or a button-down when things are cooler. It makes me feel effortlessly chic – every time I wear it, I need more linen sweaters in my life!
And I love Shibui Linen in particular. It’s a fingering-weight chain construction yarn that comes in about a billion super-wearable colors, and it’s one of the most comfortable linens I’ve ever worked with. They can tend to be on the heavy, fuzzy side for me – but the Shibui is super-light, super-crisp, and wears beautifully with time as well.
Get the sweaters!
All of these Basics are built right into CustomFit, which means that you can create patterns for them specifically to your choice of gauge and body measurements. Click on any of the sweater names, or any of the main photos, to go to that sweater’s page. Or click here to see the whole set!
Purchased individually, each one is just $10. Or, if you’re a maker, they’ll be one credit each. And if you’re a maker plus – you get unlimited patterns, so go bananas and outfit yourself with an entire wardrobe of basics.
Many of our lovely yarnies will be at Rhinebeck and other festivals this fall, so be sure to stop by and show them some love. If you’ve already cast on for one of your own basics, let us know how it’s going by using the hashtag #customfitbasics.
Until tomorrow, happy knitting!