New designs, new knitting

Howdy everyone, and happy March!

I hope you’re all doing well, and enjoying whatever kind of weather you’re getting at this time of year. Here in Connecticut, things are warming up and my snowdrops are braving the intermittent frosts and showing us their beautiful blooms.

I have just a quick update for you today; I thought I’d share what’s on my needles, and a new design I’ve built into CustomFit. I’d love to know what’s on your needles and what’s inspiring you this month as well – please share in the comments!

No longer a ‘monogamous’ knitter?!

I’ve been a one-project-at-a-time knitter for so long that I almost wondered if I needed to worry about alien possession this winter when I cast on for three (3!) things in quick succession.

Three knitting projects laid out on a wooden table: A cowl, a gray sweater with a red stripe, and a burgundy sweater in a tweedy yarn.
They take longer to complete, this way.

The one in the middle started first: A red-striped version of Tramontane for myself out of some very special Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna that I purchased at make. wear. love. a couple of years ago. Fingering weight sweaters take awhile, but I like them so much that it’s worth it. (Plus, for whatever reason fingering-weight Stockinette is my reading happy-place: I can absolutely tear through books while I’m knitting this.)

A close-up of the gray sweater with red stripe. It's gray Stockinette trimmed with a generous amount of 1x1 ribbing, part of which is red.

I am up to the armholes on the front in this one, trying to decide how wide of a red stripe I want on the bust and whether I want to make it a more complicated set of gray and red stripes. (Suggestions welcome.)

Then, I saw Celeste Ng wearing an absolutely gorgeous sweater on twitter in January. Once I realized it was the Mirehouse pullover and got a better look, I had some Arranmore Light for my own version ordered before you could say yarn. Out of the three colors I ordered, this burgundy tweed was clearly the right choice for that gorgeous texture on the front.

A close-up of burgundy tweed, in a stack of three pieces of fabric.

I found the texture pretty addictive on this one, so I’ve completed the back, front, and part of the first sleeve. I think this will be the first one finished but you never know.

THEN, I saw Kate knitting something super scrumptious and immediately pestered her for the pattern. I’m really excited to share not only the finished product with you, but the design as well.

A close-up of a blue piece of circular knitting in a woven texture in front of a knitting bag.

I have to say, it’s really quite inspiring to be working with someone who has so much more accessory design-fu than I do. I’m absolutely loving the way this leftover Spirit Trail Fiberworks is working up. Also, cowls are very quick.

Will I finish these before casting on something new? I’d like to be able to say yes, but today I spent a few hours updating all of the products in the shop that can now be made in a drop-shoulder construction. (You can find them all by searching on the customfit-drop tag, by the way, or directly on CustomFit itself if you’re already a maker.) And now I want to make a drop shoulder Courant, and a drop shoulder Tidal Pool, and a drop shoulder Mount Merritt, and… well… you get the idea.

“New” design time! Bricklayer

This year, I’ll be building older designs whose rights have reverted to me into CustomFit – getting them re-photographed, polished up, and entered into the site. While I was working on that project, I became obsessed with a couple of the samples from my book Knit Wear Love.

Knit Wear Love was basically a precursor to CustomFit – a collection of “meta patterns” in simple shapes that are endlessly extensible from a design perspective. Cardigans, pullovers, tanks, vests, cowls, boleros, tunics, and wrap sweaters; each written in 12 sizes, three gauges, with different “customization” patterns that mix and match. I’ve always felt like the book, full of design ideas and ways to play around with basic patterns, was overshadowed by the software even though it makes a perfect complement to CustomFit.

So I ran the idea of building a couple of the individual samples into CustomFit, and using them to refresh everyone about the existence of the book, past my editor – and she liked the idea. I’ll do a fuller blog post on the book itself and the two samples soon, but for today I wanted to let you know that the first of the two garments is now live: The Bricklayer Pullover.

A blond woman wearing a brown textured sweater in a winter woodland scene. Her arms are stretched out to the side and she's looking at the sky and smiling.

In the book, I referred to Bricklayer as “Worsted Pullover, Classic Variation” which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. It’s a textured, preppy take on a traditional crew-neck pullover. The front and part of the sleeve cuffs are trimmed with a simple purl texture, that works super well with slightly-shaded yarn from Swans Island.

You can make it now in any gauge, silhouette, length, fit, and construction (woot!) choices you want thanks to CustomFit’s magic. I’m personally adding an a-line tunic to my knitting queue (I know, you’re shocked). But I think it would look fab in a cropped straight drop-shoulder version, or in a tapered version as menswear in a rustic tweed or marled, or as a long straight sweater dress for my teenage goddaughter.

And that’s the loveliest thing about both Knit Wear Love and CustomFit, I think: Neither limits you to the designer’s strict vision and choices. You get to start with the designer’s ideas, and make it a perfect expression of yourself, instead.

Happy knitting!

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