Happy pattern release day, lovely knitters!
Okay, so it’s technically not really a new pattern, but I’m excited nonetheless: I’ve built my Harrogate design into CustomFit!
I first released the Harrogate design as a traditional pattern in 2014, knit up in the lovely, woolly Lorna’s Laces Masham. It had my usual-at-the-time vertical dart waist shaping, and made a great mock-turtleneck, fitted pullover Jackie was kind enough to model for me:
There are so many things I love about this original – I like the contrast of the waist shaping with a more traditional cable panel, I love a good mock turtleneck, I love the way the cables look in the lovely, squishy, bloom-y wool.
It’s been such a favorite for so long, that once I could build cables into CustomFit designs Harrogate jumped to the top of my list.
But I wanted to give the CustomFit version a bit of a refresh over the original – so I decided to make a new sample for the CustomFit release.
I’ll be honest, here: the changes are the ways in which I wanted to modify my own Harrogate, once I’d released the original pattern:
- A deeper neckline. For my own taste, I needed a neckline that was a teeny bit deeper than the original mock turtle. So the CustomFit version has a scoop-depth neck, rather than the original crew.*
- Less-severe shaping. While I didn’t necessarily want to wear my Harrogate in a boxy style, I didn’t want full-on hourglass shaping, either. So when I built the design into CustomFit, I specified waist shaping on the back of the sweater only. I also allowed the design to be made in all of the other silhouettes: A-line, straight, or tapered.
- Crisper stitch definition. Finally, I used a smoother worsted weight yarn for the new sample: Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play Steamer Trunk. I just love the way it came out. It’s substantial, crisp, and the “Greystone” colorway I used may just be my favorite yet.
Plus, you can adjust all of the same things as in any CustomFit pattern: choose whatever sleeve length, sweater length, or fit you like.
*(And don’t worry! You can still make your own Harrogate with either neckline. Just use CustomFit’s “customize fit specifics” option to raise the neckline to a crew depth before making your pattern.)
My 2018 Photo Project, and Future Plans
Harrogate is also the sweater with which I’m launching my 2018 Photo Project: I’m (slowly) starting to photograph all of my sweaters on a wider variety of models. And today, I’d like to introduce you to Susan Prentice, a wonderful artist in my area:
(I thought Susan looked amazing in my Harrogate, even though it wasn’t made specifically for her. She liked it too, and asked if it came in a longer, A-line version.)
It’s been driving me crazy for ages that I’m pretty much the only person in all of these sweaters. Modeling everything myself is definitely practical as a small business, but it sidelines the thing that’s most important to me:
No matter who you are, or what your style, or what kinds of things you like to wear, I’d like to help you make a sweater you love.
Look, making a sweater you love to wear is one of the most magical things around. Sweaters by their nature are cozy, hugging, snuggly bits of clothing. They wrap us in warmth. Making handknit sweaters for ourselves, wrapping ourselves in warmth is astonishing and wonderful.
Loving our handknits enough that we want to forge out into the world wearing our own love and warmth is… well. It’s the thing I’m most passionate about. I want to help you feel that, make that, do that.
And I think it’s easier to imagine, to believe that I can help, if you see people like you in my sweaters. So, be on the lookout for lots of new photos and models in the coming year. I hope you love the results.
My needles are humming right now because I’m also going to try to spend the year making lots more samples for you. I want everyone to be able to imagine what CustomFit designs will look like in different configurations and options. So that means more men’s sweaters, more androgynous sweaters, more a-line sweaters, more kiddo sweaters…
For Harrogate in particular, I’ve planned a tapered mock turtleneck for my eldest son, an A-line full turtleneck for my always-cold bestie, and maybe a straight-shaped crew neck for hiking with the family.
How will you wear yours?