Hello, lovely knitters!
Long time, no chat, huh? I feel like this happens every year – I spend August feeling like I have things pretty much under control, and then September comes and things get crazy. Crazy in the best possible way, of course, because I spend part of my September here:
But crazy, nonetheless. Now that I’m back home, and make. wear. love. is over for another year, I’m excited to share what I’ve been working on! Today, let’s talk make. wear. love. retreat sweaters.
(From left to right: Shorescape, Back Cove, and Tidal Pool.)
Let me start by saying that I love designing for the make. wear. love. retreat. For each retreat, our yarn vendors and I work together to choose a yarn they think attendees will adore. Then, I design a garment specifically for that yarn, trying to make it reflective of what we’ll be exploring through the retreat weekend. This year, that meant learning what each yarn wanted to be when it grew up. And by the weekend of the retreat, I found myself with three wonderful, but very different, sweaters.
Shorescape is a truly collaborative effort between myself and Kim McBrien Evans of Indigodragonfly fame. Kim had been playing around with an idea for variegated color gradients, and I’d been thinking about exploring stripes in different sweater constructions. She spent some time with her dye pot, and I made some sketches, and then we spent a couple of weeks swatching and passing around ideas. I’m thrilled with the finished sweater – the two of us truly worked together to make a lovely pairing of design and a very special set of yarn colors.
Shorescape is a drop-shoulder cardigan with a deep V neck, long sleeves, and a single button. The drop shoulder construction provides a perfect canvas for the stripes, since there’s not a lot of armhole shaping to interfere with the way the color plays out. The fingering weight yarn helps it feel contemporary and comfortable, and the final stripe of color on the button band provides a great showcase for a spectacular button.
It’s made with Indigodragonfly CaribouBaa, which is an utterly fantastic sweater yarn. Even better, Indigodragonfly is making dyed-to-order custom color kits for Shorescape, in your choice of CaribouBaa or Chameleon yarns. They include everything you need to make the sweater – in colors dyed specifically for you! As someone who regularly benefits from color discussions with Kim, I can’t overstate how amazing that is.
Find more information on Shorescape, and purchase the pattern individually, by clicking here.
Back Cove is the latest of several sweaters that I’ve designed with Green Mountain Spinnery’s luscious Alpaca Elegance. I love this yarn – it’s soft, tweedy, durable, and has just a touch of drape. For this year’s retreat, I was excited to create a design featuring cables – a new feature in CustomFit this fall. I chose a rich, deep blue, and set the intricate-looking (but really simple) cables against a background of reverse stockinette stitch.
Back Cove is a straight-silhouette CustomFit pattern, which means that your own version of Back Cove will be created specifically to your choice of gauge and size, for men, women, or kids. It’s a set-in sleeve cardigan with a mock turtleneck, long sleeves, and a trim i-cord button band. (Full disclosure: I plan on making a second one for myself, with a zipper, when the weather gets super cold.) I recommend using a DK-Light worsted yarn for adults, and a sport-weight yarn for kids, to preserve the scale of the cable.
I used Alpaca Elegance in the color “Ceylon” for this sweater, and for a standard size 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60)” sweater you’ll need approximately 7 (8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 13) hanks. Mine, an extra-long 42” sweater, used nearly all of my 10 hanks.
Find more information on Back Cove, and purchase the pattern individually, by clicking here.
Tidal Pool started when Patti Odinak of Yarn Culture popped a hank of ultra-soft, ultra-luxe merino in my hands. It was my first introduction to Rosy Green Wool, and when I swatched, the thing that struck me most was the stitch definition. It was diamond-sharp. My mind immediately went to gansey-inspired texture patterns, and I started thinking about how I’d update a traditional style of sweater with a more modern silhouette.
Tidal Pool is a slightly A-line pullover, worked from the bottom up with set in sleeves. It features a flattering scoop neckline, 3/4 sleeves, and slim 2×2 ribbed trims on all edges. It’s classic, comfortable, and I found the texture portions incredibly addictive to knit. Right now, it’s available as a traditionally-written pattern in twelve sizes. It’s fairly easy to recreate with CustomFit, though, and I’ve created a “mash up” worksheet to enable you to do so. And later this fall, as CustomFit’s capabilities grow, it will be built directly into the site.
Rosy Green Wool’s Cheeky Merino Joy is an absolute stunner of a yarn. It’s soft, it’s durable, it comes in an incredibly sophisticated color range, and the stitch definition is beyond belief. Even better, Rosy Green Wool is committed to fair, humane, and environmentally-friendly production of high-quality knitting yarn. The result is a yarn that you’ll feel amazing about purchasing, as well as wearing. To make sweater sizes between 30” (ish) and 62” (ish), you’ll need 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7) hanks.
Find more information on Tidal Pool, and purchase the pattern individually, by clicking here.
Next up: Cables
As you explore the sweaters, you may have noticed something exciting – a cabled design in CustomFit! In the past, CustomFit wasn’t able to automatically adjust stitch counts for the width-wise “suckage” cables produce. As of this fall, that’s changed. I’ll explain the feature more in an upcoming blog post, and look for many more cabled designs over the course of the fall. Including something involving these little beauties:
(Om nom nom.)
As always, thanks for reading – and until next time, happy knitting!