Three yarns, three women, three sweaters.

Vogue Knitting Live was, of course, bundles of fun – even if I did spend every non-class moment curled up with some Sudafed. Teaching is one of my most favorite of things, and it’s always wonderful to see fellow teachers and exhibitors at these large events.

I returned home to the kind of Halloween fervor only ninja- and monster-obsessed little boys can muster, but I’ve still managed to get a fair amount of work done. In fact, I can finally share three more fall sweaters with you! The sweaters have been done for some time, but we haven’t been able to add them to CustomFit until this week. (It’s not really interesting to explain why – maybe I should just leave it by saying that sometimes even the programmers themselves have a hard time estimating the difficulty of programming tasks?)

So to everyone who saw these sweaters in person, a month agothanks for your patience. I’m very pleased to say that the make, wear, love retreat sweaters for 2014 are now available within CustomFit.


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The Harbor Island Cardigan.

The Harbor Island Cardigan is relaxed, friendly, and warm – just the ticket for chilly nights in front of a fire or for a walk along the coastline. Its long sleeves, longer length, and deep V neckline layer beautifully. A textured stitch pattern is fun to knit and subtly showcases a beautiful yarn.

The sample is shown in Indigodragonfly’s Sad Lester DK, an utterly gorgeous 100% BFL yarn that knits like a dream. It’s wooly, a little on the gruff side, and glorious to wear. We used the color “The New Black”, but Kim produces gorgeous, saturated shades – so find a color that speaks to you!

While the design was originally conceived with stitch patterning only on the bottom of the sweater. Lauren changed things a bit to balance her shape and make the sweater her own. Her extra-long sleeves are super snuggly, and the ribbing at the top of her sweater as well as at the bottom adds interest to the shoulder area and balances the stitch patterning at the cardigan hem. I like the way it looks so much, I’ve included instructions for both in the CustomFit patterns.

You can adjust fit, sleeve length and sweater length to suit your own preferences as usual; Harbor Island is shown here in a relaxed fit, low-hip length, and full-length sleeves. You can create your own Harbor Island directly within CustomFit.


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The Pilot House Pullover.

The make, wear, love fall retreats are always held in a beautiful spot in coastal Maine where I grew up, and I try to create sweaters that would be at home in the region. The Pilot House Pullover is definitely “dressing up” fare, in my hometown, but who doesn’t like to be a bit fancy every now and again? It’s a comfortable, simple pullover to knit, with a diamond lace panel and simple scoop neckline. The lace adds a nice visual touch without fighting with the gorgeously-shaded colors of a hand-painted yarn. It also provides interest for the knitter in an otherwise-simple design.

For this sample, I used The Woolen Rabbit’s Sporty Kashmir in the colorway “Forever in Blue Jeans”. This yarn is an incredibly soft, 3-ply Sport Weight and is made from 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. I highly recommend it! If you’re using this yarn, you should aim for a stitch gauge of around 6 stitches to the inch to get a fabric like the one shown.

I recommend choosing either a ‘close’ or ‘average’ fit for this pullover, which looks best when worn either next to the skin or with a thin layer. I’m wearing it with a close fit. You can make your own Pilot House Pullover right here in CustomFit.


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The Round Cove Cardigan.

The Roundcove Cardigan is as classic as it gets. Elbow sleeves, tiny buttons, and 1×1 ribbing pair with a gorgeous yarn and tailored shaping to create a piece you’ll wear day in, and day out, for years to come.

Of the three make, wear, love retreat designs, this is the simplest – and an excellent showcase of how utterly classic a simple sweater can be. If you’re nervous about dipping your toes into sweater knitting, this would make a gorgeous first garment.

This design will work beautifully in absolutely any gauge. I have a special place in my heart for fingering weight sweaters, though – and so the sample is worked in The Uncommon Thread’s Posh Fingering. It’s a delight both to knit and to wear – a lovely, light yarn in beautifully shaded tones made from 70% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere. (Yum.) It’s shown in color Plata.

Stateside, you can find Posh Fingering at the wonderful shop Yarn Culture (both brick-and-mortar, and online.)

This cardigan will look lovely at any fit. As shown, the cardigan was generated with an average fit – but as you can see, Jackie’s measurements have changed since she’s expecting! In these pictures, I think it looks more like a close fit in the shoulders and bust. You can create your very own Round Cove Cardigan here in CustomFit.


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I hope you love all of the sweaters as much as we do! Just looking at them reminds me of the wonderful time we all had, and makes me homesick. Happy Halloween to all who celebrate, and we’ll see you soon!

Sweater Week: Stonington

For the last sweater release of Sweater Week, I wanted to share something that makes me think of New England fall. Meet Acorn Trail’s little sister, Stonington:

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Stonington started with a yarn, and a desire to create a sweater similar to Acorn Trail, but that was simpler to knit.

The yarn is Harrisville WaterSHED. Watershed is a wonderful yarn to work with – it’s woolenspun, so it’s lightweight and lofty. But it’s spun a bit more sturdily, so it will wear beautifully over time. It comes in a beautiful color palette, and is rustic enough to evoke everything warm and woolen about knitting.

With such a classic yarn, I wanted Stonington to match: To be a classic cardigan shape with a definite fall look, but on the easier side, skill-wise. It is both extremely simple to knit and has just enough detail to produce a timeless, wearable sweater. The lines evoked by the 2×2 ribbed sleeves and ribbing detail on the cardigan’s fronts allow it to be dressed up, and the earthy tweedy wool makes the sweater equally as comfortable with an old pair of jeans.


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As written Stonington has a low-hip length and full-length sleeves, but as usual (now) you can change those options when you create it via CustomFit. And like all of my other designs being released this week, CustomFit is where you can get a Stonington of your own.

Click here to get started!

I hope we’ll see you at the festival on Saturday or Sunday, but either way: Stay tuned for a post from Lauren tomorrow, and another post from me (on Featherweight fabric) on Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

Sweater Week: Hakone and Bridgefield

Today in Sweater Week news, I get to share the results of a partnership with one of my favorite yarnies: Spirit Trail Fiberworks. I don’t remember exactly when I was introduced to Jennifer’s yarns (maybe a sock exchange in 2006?), but I’ve been an avid fan ever since.

And above all other bases, I love her wool, cashmere, and silk blends. She’s got them in a variety of weights – I worked my design Alta in her Birte – and I aspire to a laceweight sweater some day too.

But for this fall season, I decided to design sweaters both in the fingering-weight Sunna and the worsted-weight Verdande. Fingering weight yarns and worsted weight yarns both make fantastic sweaters, but the different weights do encourage different things in the design process. Unsurprisingly, I wound up with two very different sweaters at the end!

I love them both, though. And I’m very pleased to share both Hakone, and Bridgefield, with you for today’s installment of Sweater Week.


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Here’s a little bit about each sweater:

Hakone is the kind of design that cries out for a lightweight yarn: whispery but warm, elegant but relaxed, and as at home with jeans as something fancier.

It’s largely Stockinette, which lets the yarn shine through, with just a couple of key details. The 3/4 sleeves are worked straight with a bit of a notch, and the edges are trimmed in 3×2 ribbing. The worn-open style and mid-hip length are easygoing and comfortable.

Hakone is currently available only through CustomFit: you can create your own here.


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Bridgefield celebrates the best part of worsted-weight sweaters: this pullover is cozy and warm, almost sumptuous. It begs to be snuggled on a crisp fall day and looks equally great over a tank or a button-down.

The scale of worsted-weight yarn shows texture beautifully, and keeping the texture on the front of the sweater only prevents the garment from feeling heavy or bulky. As written, Bridgefield has a mid-hip length and long sleeves.

Bridgefield is also currently available only through CustomFit; you can get started here.


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And the even better news about Hakone and Bridgefield is that now, for all sweaters that are built into CustomFit you can change the sleeve and sweater lengths to suit your preference. This has been a long time coming, and we’re so excited about it.

Finally, let’s talk yarn. Anyone who has listened to me talk in person has heard me extoll the virtues of a wool/silk blend – the drape! the shine! the memory! – and the blend that Spirit Trail Fiberworks uses for their Nona, Sunna, Birte, and Verdande yarns is a particularly nice one. The Bombyx silk gives the yarns a gorgeous drape and sheen, the cashmere gives softness and an ever-so-subtle halo, and the merino blends it all together into one glorious package. If you’re going to be at Rhinebeck this weekend, or even if you aren’t, I urge you to give it a try.

Sweater Week: Rhinebeck Plans, and Amy’s #FFKAL sweater(s?)

Today in Sweater Week news, I wanted to share some of my own #FFKAL plans, and give you all a heads-up about where we’ll be & what we’ll be doing at the New York Sheep and Wool festival this weekend.

#FFKAL – Amy edition

I’ve knit a few sweaters so far this fall, but I’m not sure whether any of them really count as FFKAL sweaters. They’re all sweaters I am enjoying greatly, they’re sweaters I’d enjoy wearing in “real life”, so perhaps they count…

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…but on the other hand, somehow I haven’t thought of them as KAL sweaters, in my head. I don’t know why, truly.

Maybe it’s because they weren’t imagined solely as part of the KAL. The ideas for them came from all over, and included more inspiration than just “What would I most like to wear this fall?”. Which is fine of course! But for whatever reason, I’ve felt like I haven’t been fully participating in this KAL so far despite the frantic pace of my needles.

That changed this week.

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As of this week, I have a plan that came from musing at my own closet, I have an absolutely incredible wool that I’m beyond excited about. I also have a dozen outfits I want to wear with this sweater. This sweater feels totally indulgent to me, and I can’t wait to share progress with you!

Where in the New York Sheep & Wool Festival are Amy and Jackie?!

Unlike the past few years, I’m planning on spending my Rhinebeck in my favorite of relaxed-crowd-ambling mode. For most of the festival, Jackie and I will simply be wandering the fairgrounds. I’m impatient for the whole weekend in the best way possible. So if you see us wandering about, come say hi! We’ll have a bag of CustomFit buttons to share, and I’d love to see your festival sweater.

But we’ll be doing a couple of more “official” things too, and I’d absolutely love it if you’d join us for them as well.

Buttons! A CustomFit button helps tell the world how you got the awesome sweater you’re wearing, what you intend to use to knit your next sweater, or just that you think CustomFit is cool. We’ll have them with us, and they’ll also be available at the incredible Spirit Trail Fiberworks booth.

Book signing! I’ll be signing copies of Knit to Flatter in the book tent on Sunday from 1-2pm.

CustomFit Meet-ups! We’ll be doing two this year, on Saturday from 1:30 – 2:30pm, and on Sunday from 11:00am – 12:00pm. We’ll meet in the grassy, fieldy, leaf-strewn bits across the path from the lost and found / building E overhang (kind of between the number 13 and the main gate in this picture of last year’s map). If you joined us last year too, we’ll do the meet-ups in the same place. We’ll do a group photo each day, and we’ll also do a group Q&A session. So bring your questions, sweaters, and your awesome self! I can’t wait to see you.

(For those who have asked, we won’t be doing measurements this time around. I’d like to change up the experience from last year’s rapid-fire one-on-ones (which were wonderful but totally crazy-pants), and spend the meet-up time talking to everyone as a group, instead. If you’re looking for help with measurements though, don’t despair! We’ve got a new measurements tips & tricks video up on our YouTube channel, and there is a fantastic collection of CustomFit LYSes who’ve been fully trained, too.)

For me at least, the meet-ups are about getting together and sharing the inspiring feeling of loving the garments you’re knitting. I really hope to see you there.

Free CustomFit patterns! One more bit of awesomeness from Spirit Trail: not only will they have CustomFit buttons in their booth, but they’re running an amazing show special – purchase a sweater quantity of yarn, and get a coupon for a free CustomFit sweater. (This is a good idea in general, by the way! Leaving with a sweater quantity is practically a yearly tradition for me, now.)With or without a CustomFit coupon, it’s a great idea to grab yourself some Spirit Trail. But a free pattern is definitely pretty cool!

Sweater Week continues tomorrow with another design…

That’s all for today, folks! What are you knitting for the #FFKAL? Will you be at Rhinebeck, and will we see you? What’s got you inspired, this year?

Sweater Week: Coracle

It’s the week before Rhinebeck, and all through the house, lots of wool is a-stirring…

…which is to say, we have a lot of very exciting things set to come your way these next 7 days! For those of us in the Northeast US (and many from further away, too), the New York Sheep and Wool Festival is an absolute mecca – for yarn, for inspiration, for wonderful knitters of all types. I can’t wait for it, every year. And every year, when it’s over, I return to my “regular life” inspired and energized.

So, Sweater Week. A (new) yearly tradition here at AHD, where we spend a whole week loving the sweater. Showing off the sweaters we’ll wear this year, sure, but also… sharing our hopes, our dreams, our plans for that next outstanding garment, too.

We’ll be finalizing our Rhinebeck meet-up plans very shortly, but today I wanted to start by sharing a new sweater design that’s built right into the CustomFit site.

We’ve got so many sweaters coming up this week that I’d planned on starting with something that evokes a crisp fall New England day. But then I thought: Waaaaait a minute. I never followed up with the progress on my own SSKAL sweater! Remember the sleeve dilemma?

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Well, I added sleeves, and have been wearing this thing non-stop.

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I love this sweater with a fiery passion. I’m calling it Coracle, and it’s the first design that I’m releasing exclusively through the CustomFit site. It’s built right in – choose your materials, swatch until you get a fabric you love, and get a pattern that’s as easy to knit as a blanket, with gorgeous custom clothing results.

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When the #SSKAL started, I knew I wanted to do a sweater that really departed from my typical woolly-wools. So I began by using a new yarn I found very exciting: Truesilk by Rowan. This is a 100% silk yarn, which is glorious for drape, sheen, and color. But it’s also chainette construction, which means it’s wonderfully elastic to work with. It produced a fabric that’s closer to what I can buy in the store than anything I’ve ever created with my needles.

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Now, for the nitty-gritty: This is a mid-hip, wide scoop neck pullover with tapered 3/4 sleeves. It’s trimmed with 2×2 ribbing, and the back is knit in plain Stockinette. The front is in an allover open mesh lace pattern (which has a gauge that’s essentially equivalent to Stockinette), and the sweater is written with waist shaping on the back only for ease of knitting and a more slouchy, relaxed feel to the garment.

The result is pretty much my most favorite sweater I’ve ever knit for myself. Want to make one for you, too? Click here to get started!

(Of course, later this week I’m going to get started giving Coracle a run for its money. I’m out to create a new wardrobe staple for myself, and I’m so excited about this one that I can’t even stand it. I hope you will be, too. Want a hint?

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See you soon!)

Seguin! (and a contest winner)

First things first: Thank you all so much for your suggestions regarding the blue SSKAL sweater! Here’s what it looks like now:

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Your comments really helped me decide what to do with the sweater. Many of you voted sleeves, and the more I thought about them the more I liked them. Many of you who voted tank mentioned that I could wear it in the other seasons as a layering piece – and the more I thought of that, the more I realized that I couldn’t envision it layering well in cooler weather. I started daydreaming about a slightly-slouchy fall piece, and then it was all over but the knitting.

On to the winner of our little contest! The random number generator chose Annie, who said:

A tank in that luscious shade of blue silk would pair beautifully with a summer skirt. The tank would also look striking and flattering over a white cotton blouse or knit top paired with jeans, pants or shorts. Keep it as a tank!

So some lovely sweater yarn will be headed her way! And I’ll be wearing my own fall sweater (and sharing it with you) very soon.

But wait! There’s more! Because in the meantime, with the chilly mornings and evenings around here, I’ve been wearing this:

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I’m very excited to share my first design of the fall, Seguin.

Seguin is inspired, like so many of my designs, by the beautiful place I grew up on the coast of Maine. Not only in terms of the weather – though we definitely wear lots of sweaters there! But also in terms of the scenery. I spent a good chunk of my childhood on the water, and Seguin lighthouse features prominently in some of my best memories. It seemed a great match for this perfect early-fall sweater.

The stripes make this sweater both simple to knit but engaging too, and offer lots of fun opportunity for color play. A simple scoop neck, 1×1 ribbed trim, and contrast-color hem and sleeve cuffs complete a look that’s unfussy and timeless.

I knit the sweater in Blue Sky Alpacas “Royal”, which certainly lives up to its name. It’s a fingering-weight, luscious alpaca and is light, warm, and smoother than anything you’ve ever felt in your fingers. It elevates this simple pullover into an incredible luxury. I highly recommend it, but Seguin will also work in many other materials and gauges, depending on the look you’d like to achieve.

But here’s the best part about Seguin:


In addition to creating it with a traditional pattern and your own modification math, Seguin has been released directly into CustomFit.

This is a really exciting step for our team. We’ve only recently been able to add designs into CustomFit’s sweater options; previous sweater designs needed to be created with a set of English instructions via CustomFit’s built-in custom sweater builder, and then knitted with both the CustomFit pattern and separate instructions. (Yuck!)

But Seguin is built right into the site from the get-go – so if you’d like a kicky stripey pullover of your own, swatch in whatever yarn you like and then click here to have us build a custom Seguin for your body, in your gauge, from scratch.

Want to see a few more details of the sweater?


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I’m really excited about this, and hope you are too. I’ll be wearing my own Seguin all fall, I’m sure. Will you share your versions with us, as well?

Happy knitting!

Updates for all!

The last sun-splashed days of summer are slipping by here in New England, complete with leaves falling and chilly nights. I’m soaking up knitting on the patio as often as humanly possible, which makes for good knitting progress but pretty mediocre updates here. So I have a bunch of updates to share with you today! To make the inevitable list less boring, read through to the end to get a chance to win some yummy yarn!

The first updates are to our Maker plans.

We got lots of great feedback right off the bat about the new Maker plans — thank you so much for all of your honest and thoughtful comments, and your patience as we worked to make these plans better match what you want from CustomFit. Thanks to your feedback, the plans have now changed!


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(From left to right: Screenshots of Maker Central, the recipes page, and the designs page.)

We definitely heard that people were interested both in:

  • Allowing everyone to knit all of the designs we build into the site, and
  • The Maker plans being a way to purchase patterns at a discount.

So, here are the new details for the maker plans:

  • All Makers will still get exclusive access to Maker Central
  • All Makers will still get free access to (all) AHD recipes

And the pattern details are now:

  • At $4.99/month, Makers now get 8 patterns per year (placed automatically in your account on the original Maker Plus dates), plus one free sweater credit at sign-up
  • At $7.99/month, those at the Maker Plus level will now enjoy unlimited patterns. (Please note that this is intended for personal and individual knitter use only.)

Everyone at any level (Basic, Maker, and Maker Plus) will have access both to the currently-featured designs and the full design archive. See the ever-growing list of sweaters that are built into the site on our designs page.

We hope you like the new Maker terms! We’re all really, really excited about CustomFit, the changes we have planned, and are definitely working very hard to make the site even better. Please also know that we’re also a tech startup in our first year, and CustomFit (at this point) is pretty far from being able to pay for itself. This means two things, really: First, thanks for your continued patience and support, and for inviting us along on your sweater journeys. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. Second, the best way you can help all of the fun CustomFit improvements happen is to tell others about the site, and become a Maker yourself if you’re so inclined.

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Second on the update front: Where’s Amy going to be this fall?

If I’m distracted from updates in general, I’m downright lousy about letting you all know where I’ll be, and when! Here’s a quick list of where I’ll be over the next couple of months:

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Third and finally, on the update front: My SSKAL sweater.

Despite plenty of knitting this summer, my poor SSKAL tank has languished!

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In fact… even though I’m still really excited about the concept (relaxed fit, casual silk tank with a mesh front), I’m clearly running out of hot, summer days on which to implement this whole wardrobe plan. So I’ve been thinking:

What if I added some sleeves?

I have the yarn, they’ll be quick to whip up in Stockinette, and will give me a piece I can wear further into the coming season. On the other hand, they change my original vision. So I thought I should ask you!

Should I keep the tank as originally envisioned, or make it into a sweater with sleeves? Which would you wear more?

Please leave a comment letting me know which option you’re more excited to see by Thursday August 28. On Friday, August 29, we’ll draw a random number out of a hat and send someone a fall sweater sampler pack:

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This is just a collection of one hank each of a number of different sweater yarns, to play around with. They range from fingering to bulky, include a variety of fibers and constructions, and should offer lots of fun sweater daydreams. Swatch them up and see what you think! Included are one hank each of: Rowan Felted Tweed Aran, Harrisville Designs WATERshed, Shibui linen, Blue Sky Alpacas Techno, Quince and Co Tern, and Green Mountain Spinnery Alpaca Elegance.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on what I should do with my sweater – and stay tuned later this week to see who won, and my first fall design release!

Cardipalooza pattern: Cushing Isle

After the madness of knitting all of the book sweaters, and the travel of this spring, I was looking forward to cardipalooza like nobody’s business. A sweater just for me? Sign me up!

Of course, it didn’t hurt that I had a sweater’s worth of Clara Parkes’ new Cormo 1.0 colors waiting for my needles. I took time out from the production knitting schedule to swatch it as soon as it arrived, of course! So all through the end rush of the book I knew I had a beautiful textured cable stitch cardigan waiting for me.

The yarn lived up to its promise.

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Buy the full Cushing Isle pattern for $7.00
Buy the Cushing Isle CustomFit recipe for $2.50

Clara said, about this yarn:

My goal was to produce an ideal sweater yarn, the kind of yarn that almost leaps off the skein and onto your needles while you aren’t looking. I chose a heavier gauge to let Cormo’s innate thick sponginess shine through. In fabric, I can’t think of anything else I’d want to wrap around my body.

Me either, really. It’s both comforting and lovely to look at.

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Of course the yarn is all gone now, but the pattern is still available for your cardipalooza pleasure. You can find all of the details on the project page, but here are a few of my favorite things about this cardigan:

  • I eliminated the waist shaping on the front of this cardigan (but kept it on the back), giving a nice relaxed fit through the tummy while keeping the essential shaped look of the sweater. That, combined with the super-deep V neck, give this sweater a real “boyfriend” feel, in the best possible way. (By which I mean, I get all of the comfort while still looking shapely.)
  • The textured stitch pattern gives a beautiful weight to the front panels of the cardigan. The little 1×1 cabled stitches don’t pull the gauge in perceptibly, but they do give the fronts a wonderful stability and structure.
  • The back and sleeves are in plain Stockinette and the edges are trimmed with 2×2 ribbing, all of which combine with the larger gauge to make the sweater a nice, easy knit. It’s as relaxing to create as it is to wear!

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As with all of my patterns now, Cushing Isle is available in one of two formats.

If you’d like a traditional pattern in 12 sizes and plan to work the modification math yourself, choose the full Cushing Isle pattern for $7.00. (Note: You’ll also get the CustomFit recipe for completeness’ sake.)

If you’d like to use CustomFit to create Cushing Isle, choose the Cushing Isle Recipe E-book for only $2.50. It will tell you how to create a pattern within CustomFit’s custom sweater wizard that with a silhouette like Cushing Isle, how to eliminate the shaping on the fronts of your cardigan if desired, and how to work the Cabled Check pattern.

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Jackie and Lauren will update you on their progress soon – but until then, thanks for your support! How is your cardipalooza sweater coming?

Interlude: Bretton Woods Collection and Patterns

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses to collections as a way to release patterns. I really appreciate knowing what works for you! In the end I decided on a hybrid approach: I’ll release my sweater patterns in groups, all at the same time, and offer them both ways: In collections, and as standalone patterns. I’ve also put all of my recipes up as individual downloads, including the Sebasco Collection recipes, which some of you have asked after.

Two trips down, one to go! And in this quiet, family-filled interlude between airplanes, I’m excited to offer up this month’s sweater collection: Bretton Woods.

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Buy any of the full patterns individually for $7.00:
Courant * Harrogate * Thornes
Buy the whole Bretton Woods Collection for $15.00:
The Bretton Woods Collection
Buy any of the CustomFit Recipes individually for $2.50:
Courant* Harrogate * Thornes

I’m a New England girl, born and bred. Growing up here has shaped me in many ways, fashion among them. At its best, the fashion I saw growing up had a relaxed elegance – a bit of polish, careful attention to detail, without screaming “look at me!”. (Other times, union suits and hip waders.)

In designing the sweaters for this collection, I wanted to draw from my roots. I wanted them to be current, but without verging over into trendy. Capture a little bit of that timeless style. So these three looks will fit right into your wardrobe today, and for years to come.

Courant is a classic take on some of my favorite 80s elements. The ultra-long sleeves put me in mind of legwarmers, but adding coziness to the arms. The shorter sweater length is a vastly more figure-friendly version of my beloved cropped tops. Together with the wide turtleneck neckline, the silhouette is balanced and widely flattering. In addition to pairing it several times with this tweed kilt, I’ve been wearing it tons with a sweet A-line jean skirt and boots. (Also: fleece tights. It’s cold here!)

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Knit out of the incredible Knitting Boutique Severn (a lovely BFL-Silk blend Knitting Boutique sources from a small PA farm), Courant is a snuggle in sweater form. Find out more here on its pattern page.

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Harrogate is a refined, comfortable pullover in a wool-lover’s wool. Typically, classic cabled pullovers are somewhat boxy and less-curvaceous; Harrogate updates this look with vertical waist shaping darts, hourglass cables, and a figure-skimming silhouette. It retains intricate-looking stitch patterns, strong vertical elements, and a lusciously woolly yarn. I’ve seen Jackie wear this dressed-up (as in the pattern pictures) and dressed down (in an adorable rolled skinny jeans and boat shoes outfit, with the cutest patterned button-down peeking out at the edges) and look smashing both ways.

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Harrogate is worked in an incredible new yarn from Lorna’s Laces – their Masham Worsted. I can’t say enough good things about this wool. It’s a sturdy, soft, wonderfully woolly wool with a subtly marled color texture. It works up into a beautiful springy and substantial fabric. Find out more about Harrogate on its pattern page.

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Thornes is a nod to my mother’s favorite sweater: The turtleneck. At its best, a turtleneck gives you a hug, with crisp tailored lines at the shoulders. At its worst, it’s only good for being covered up. Thornes adds understated elegance to any outfit (center stage or not) with a slightly drapey turtleneck and clean lines. The reverse stockinette stitch fabric lends a soft, approachable look to the sweater and makes the color changes in this variegated yarn more subtle. The ribbed trim and twisted stitch detailing give a bit of flair to a basic, comfortable staple.

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I was thrilled to be given such lovely materials for my design for WEBS’ 40th Anniversary celebration. Thornes is worked in their Valley Yarns Superwash DK, in a special color dyed by Madelinetosh called “Magnolia Leaf”. To me, this is the perfect blend of autumn colors. It’s slightly darker than shown in these pictures, like looking at the pattern of fall foliage across a hillside. Incredible. Find out more about Thornes on its pattern page.

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These sweaters fit into the fabric of how we live. They’re comfortable at home, keeping us cozy on chilly days. They’re comfortable out in the world, whether you live in uber-fashionable Manhattan (all 3 got worn last weekend, out and about at Vogue Knitting Live) or a small country town. They work with your life, and your closet, and are fun to knit too. All three are available as individual pattern purchases for $7.00 or together, in the Bretton Woods collection for $15.00. Or, if you prefer to create your sweaters with CustomFit, you can purchase individual recipes for $2.50:


Buy any of the full patterns individually for $7.00:
Courant * Harrogate * Thornes
Buy the whole Bretton Woods Collection for $15.00:
The Bretton Woods Collection
Buy any of the CustomFit Recipes individually for $2.50:
Courant* Harrogate * Thornes

It’s time to snuggle the boys now, but I’ll be back this week talking about waist shaping. Thanks so much for your support, and happy knitting!

On knitting, gifts, and love.

I love the holidays for so many reasons. I adore the celebrations. The time with my family is the most precious thing in the world to me. I’m a huge fan of winter, and love the twinkly lights and evergreen smells that abound. There’s no better time to pull up with a warm mug of tea and some great wool.

But most of all, I love the gifts. I come from a family of gift-givers. There was very little to spare, when I was growing up, but we were constantly giving one another little gifts that we’d made, all the same – cards, little poems, bits of this and that we’d created with our hands.

At a very young age, I came to appreciate and understand what we’re truly doing, when we create something for someone else: We’re giving them the gift of love. We’re taking the wonderful feelings we have for that person and looping them through one another, creating an unbroken cloth of warmth and coziness. We’re giving time, and care, and thought, and love. It’s an incredible, powerful set of gifts for a person.

And when those gifts also happen to serve the purpose of keeping us warm on a blustery day? Well. There’s nothin’ better.

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And if you’re in the mood for a last-minute holiday gift of warmth and love, I hope you find this hat/mitt set helpful.

The Noanet Peak set knits up quickly, is cozy warm, and has kicky stripes to keep you interested…

…while being easy enough to knit when you’ve got other things on your mind. It’s available in my Ravelry Store for US $5.00 or by clicking here:

Noanet Peak is worked in Green Mountain Spinnery Alpaca Elegance, in Rosehip (MC) with Ceylon, Cream, Cappuccino, and Chai accents.

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All pieces are constructed in the round, and offer a great way to use up small amounts of very special yarn. It’s also part of the Back Roads & Brownstones series of patterns that the wonderful Kirsten Kapur and I have been working on. (Wait till you see her final sweater!)

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The hat and mitts are both intended to be just a little slouchy, just a little broken-in in feeling. They should give you a hug, rather than stretch sleekly over your skin. I wanted the fingerless mitts, in particular, to feel like legwarmers, but for your arms – so they’re shaped, with a long, slightly-slouched length.

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I can’t say enough lovely things about the yarn. The Alpaca Elegance is soft, and ever-so-slightly fuzzy, and comes in a wonderful palette of colors. Can you imagine these in a lighter main color, with ombre stripes? Greens and browns? That beautiful blue, with red and tan accents?

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All pieces are constructed in the round, and offer a great way to use up small amounts of very special yarn. And whoever you’re knitting for, they’re sure to be cozy and warm when they wear your gift. I’m thinking of making a couple of sets, this year.