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Back in Shetland for Wool Week 2013 with fellow travelers Ysolda and MaryJane!

Congratulations to philhellene who is the winner of Fair Isle Style. Here’s what she said:
This dress is perfect! I would love to knit it in black and greys and off-white.
Oh, and your Mama’s dress looks so cool.

Thanks to everyone else for taking part and for all your lovely comments!

 

As you have witnessed on this blog Mary Jane Mucklestone and I have had many adventures together over the last few years and we have a few more up our sleeve in the next 12 months! In fact we’re heading to Shetland together (as well as Ireland and Yorkshire) next week for more capers!

It’s no secret that I love her to bits. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished in the knitwear industry in the last few years.  Mary Jane is well known for her colourwork skills with two wonderful publications now available on the topic- 200 Fair Isle Motifs and 150 Scandinavian Motifs.

I’m here to tell you about her latest contribution to the knitting world, Fair Isle Style. This book is a beautifully styled (Mary Jane did this part too) collection of contemporary designs inspired by Fair Isle knitting. I am so honored to be a part of it along with lots of other designers whose work I hugely admire!

You get to win a copy of this awesome book…..read on to find out how!

© Chris Vaccaro

© Chris Vaccaro

Although my own knitting is heavily influenced by my Shetland heritage, so far, I have tended to focus more on lace. The small amount of Fair Isle that I have used in designs has indeed been a lot of fun and is absolutely something I’d like to do more of.

My design for this book is the Bressay Dress seen above. Back when my mother was designing Shetland knitwear in the 1970′s she had some awesome Fair Isle dresses as part of her collection (see below).

Taking these as inspiration I designed a dress of my own using some peerie patterns from Mary Jane’s 200 Fair Isle Motifs book.

This dress is worked top down so you get to start the Fair isle knitting part straight away. Then there is obviously a fair amount of Stockinette stitch after that, but it’s all in the round and actually didn’t take as long as I’d thought. Then you return once more to some easy colourwork at the hem with the addition of some fun semi-circular pockets!

© Chris Vaccaro

© Chris Vaccaro

© Chris Vaccaro

 I did get some pictures of me in the dress on a chilly winter morning in Scotland about a year and half ago, right before it was sent off. It was gone for quite some time but I’m very happy to say that it has made it’s way back to me . Now I get to wear it as we head into crispy mornings in Massachusetts too!

For a chance to win your very own copy of Fair Isle Style please leave a message in the comments section by end of day EST Wednesday 2nd of October!

 

Blogtour Dates

Friday, September 20: Carrie Hoge – Peerie Weerie Booties
Monday, September 23: Norah Gaughan – Mareel Shrug
Tuesday, September 24: Courtney Kelly – Fara Raglan & Kate Osborne – Scandi Sukkalegs
Wednesday, September 25: Gudrun Johnston – Bressay Dress
Thursday, September 26: Kat Coyle – Keltin Skirt
Friday, September 27: Kirsten Kapur – Hap-Lapghan

I took my first truly autumnal walk of the season this morning…properly crispy with leaves of awesome colour starting to decorate the landscape. Fall is without a doubt my favourite time of year.
So what better way to honor and celebrate it than with a book packed with lots of perfect chilly weather knits!

My friend and fellow knitwear designer,  Ysolda Teague, had the great idea to put together a book of sweater patterns inspired by the New York Sheep and Wool festival, Rhinebeck! 12 designers have contributed sweater patterns based on what they would most like to wear to the festival and I was honored to be asked to be one of them!

We all finished our sweaters on time for Rhinebeck last year so they could be photographed in their natural surroundings!! In true Rhinebeck sweater prep fashion there was some last minute sewing in of ends as we approached the grounds on the day of shooting!

I also had the good fortune to be traveling with Ysolda prior to Rhinebeck last year when I was working on the sweater. She came in very handy for in-person consultation on the slightly experimental construction I was trying to figure out!

 

This is Pippin, worked in Green Mountain Spinnery’sWeekend Wool” yarn. This is a beautiful yarn with great stitch definition and gorgeous colour palette. Green Mountain Spinnery are located not that far from my neck of the woods and I have been fortunate enough to teach at one of their retreats and visit the mill several times. Their friendly faces are always a welcome sight when visiting Rhinebeck so we snuck in early to get a few snaps of the sweater in their booth and say hi before they were mobbed!

 

When thinking about my perfect Rhinebeck (or Fall) sweater one of the first elements that immediately came to mind was a cowl neck collar. I think they contribute greatly to the coziness factor.  I also wanted to keep things relatively simple so opted for small accents of texture on a background of Stockinette. Where things end up being a little different is in the construction.

As some of you may have realized by now I give preferential treatment to seamless constructions. It’s always fun for me to try out a new method that fits this mold. In this case I wanted the casual style of a drop shoulder but with less bulk around the underarms and a bit more of a flattering shape around the shoulders. I ended up with a modified drop shoulder that accommodates these aspects and makes for some fun and unusual shaping in the yoke!

The official release for the book is November 6th but you can pre-order it now!

All the details for my sweater can be found on Ravelry and more sweaters from the book will be appearing there in the next few days so that you can gather supplies for when your book arrives!

I’m hoping to make an appearance in my sweater at Rhinebeck next month…..it may only be a brief one though as I have a lot of traveling in my schedule for the next 6 weeks!

I know, it’s been quiet here since our trip to France! Mostly we’ve just been doing lots of hanging out! However that is soon to end as the kids head back to school this week.  I’m just a little bit ready for the routine again!

To celebrate a return to more productivity I’m having a back to school sale!

Visit my pattern store on Ravelry!

(20% off of all Shetland Trader individual patterns and The Shetland Trader-Book 1 eBook until end of day EST August 30th. This discount does not apply to the Shetland Trader printed book, the new book Knit With Me or to designs published elsewhere).

When Knit With Me came out I had several requests to downsize some of the patterns so that even littler girls could wear the designs too. Not all of them work to become smaller versions but Brock was an obvious first choice. So here it is, Wee Brock!

I made a sample for Quince & Co in Tern’s Sea Grass which you can see here.

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

Then I decided to make one for my niece, Georgia, as we would be spending a week together in France this summer. Well I recently returned from that trip and just managed to get it done while we were there. Georgia was very excited to model it for me so I took LOTS of pictures of her.

I made her the size 26 1/4 but clearly should have gone up a size as this one will not fit her for long! Still it looks very cute, especially with her gorgeous new dress (purchased by her daddy in a cute French shop in a nearby town)!

You can purchase this pattern here or here!

At long last I have a new self published pattern to share with you!

Meet Amélie!

Yes the name is inspired by my recent trip to France. We spent a few days in the Amélie neighborhood of Paris. Can’t you just imagine Audrey Tatou’s character in this sweater?

This is also a very photo heavy post but my model Lucy was just so photogenic that I ended up with lots of great shots and couldn’t decide which ones to use!

Plus there are lots of little details in this sweater that need their own spotlight.

So let me tell you all about it!

Amélie is worked from the bottom up in one piece uniting the sleeves and body at underarm and working the yoke using a Simultaneous Set In Sleeve construction.

This seamless sleeve construction mimics a regular set in sleeve but the sleeve cap shaping is worked at the same time as the body is being worked. Very clever and lots of fun to knit!

I wanted this to be a vintage-like and feminine piece without too much fussiness so these are some of the other elements that I chose to include: waist shaping formed using darts on the front and back, a simple V-shaped lace bib, gently gathered sleeve caps, keyhole shaping at the back neck and a neckline finished off with some I-cord that forms a pretty bow in the back.

The gorgeous yarn I got to work with is Canopy Fingering from The Fibre Company (shown in Acai).

Amelie

$6.50

Sizes

30 ½ (33, 35 ½, 37 ¼, 39 ¾, 42 ¼, 44 ½, 47, 49 ½, 52) inches at chest

77.5 (84, 90, 94.5, 101, 107.5, 113, 119.5, 126, 132) cms at chest

Recommended to be worn with approx 1-2 inches of negative ease

Shown in size 33”/84cm with 0″ ease.

 

Needles

US 4/3.5mm 32 or 40” circular needles

US 4/3.5mm set of dpn’s or long circular (if working magic loop for sleeves)

Yarn

750 (800, 850, 900, 960, 1025, 1080, 1140, 1200, 1260) yards of fingering weight yarn.

Shown in: Fiber Company Canopy (200 yrds/50g; 50% Baby Alpaca/30% Merino/20% bamboo) shown in Acai.

 

Notions

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

One 4 inch piece of contrast yarn in a similar weight

Scrap yarn

Gauge

26 sts and 36 rnds=4 inches in St St on US 4 needles.

29 sts and 36 rnds= 4 inches in twisted rib on US 4 needles.

We are now at the tail end of our trip to France and have just spent a lovely relaxing week with the rest of the family in the Dordogne region. We ate lots of good food, kept cool in the pool, played ping pong, slept outside, stayed up late, read good books and drank plenty wine!!

 

In which we went to Spain ( for a few hours), wrote songs, stories, poems and screenplays……made art…..shared our creative endeavors…..ate good food……swam……relaxed…..and generally got properly into holiday mode……