Pattern (and yarn!) Release: Foyle’s Sweaters

So if you head on over to Clara Yarn today, you’ll notice a breathtaking new offering:

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This is Shetland 1.0, a naturally-colored Shetland woolen-spun yarn. DK weight, blooms like nobody’s business, a sweater yarn to end all sweater yarns. As Clara herself said:

“Don a sweater out of this yarn and you’ll be driving a World War II ambulance in no time.”

To say that I was excited about working with this yarn is something of an understatement. I was lucky enough to have time to luxuriate in my swatches, and let me tell you – EVERYTHING looked great. Cables? Stunning. Texture? Perfect. Small-scale lace?

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There we had my winner. The crazy bloom of this yarn made the lace look almost like a texture. I was instantly in love. I came up with the notion of offering two variations on the same sweater pattern – something for pullover people, something for cardigan people. I wanted allover texture on the front, but plain sleeves and back to facilitate shaping. Keeping the front straight meant that the sweater could have an old-school, comfortable, slightly-slouchy feel while not being super boxy.


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Foyle’s Cardigan and Pullover will take you to the grocery store, on a hike, to work, to the library, all while making you feel as though you’re surrounded by the heather of a Scottish moor. Knit up in Shetland 1.0, they’re the kind of sweaters that turn people into sweater people. They wrap you up in woolly comfort, and remind you of what clothes can do for us when they’re made from thoughtful materials and created with care and pride.

Both designs feature an allover-patterned front and Stockinette back and sleeves. The pullover sports a wide, slightly-deep crew neck; the cardigan, a comfy deep V. Waist shaping is located on the back only for the ultimate in casual comfort. Want some more pics? Of course you do!


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You can get the yarn here, at least till it’s gone – and I urge you to do so. It’s like the culmination of all of my yarny dreams, in 3 great colors.

(I may have tripped and fallen on a sweaters’ worth in each of the other colors, too.)

Once you’ve gotten your yarn, head here to create your own Foyle’s sweater:

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Click for the cardigan!

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Click for the pullover!

And tell us about your sweater nirvana. Are you a cardigan or a pullover person? Average fit, like my sweater – or relaxed, like Clara’s? Where would you wear your Foyle’s, and what will you wear it with?

Happy knitting!

Drumlin Cardigan

How is your Cardipalooza cardi coming along? I’m pretty excited about the one I just cast on, but I’ve actually already got a couple of cardigans to share with you!

The first is the Drumlin Cardigan:

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Cardigans are such essential sweaters for most of us, aren’t they? The design for this one started when Clara Parkes and I were discussing what makes for a quintessential cardigan. I’d just received a sweater quantity of her (then-new) Cormo 2.0**, which is such a fantastic sweater yarn. We started bouncing around thoughts and descriptors:

Great indoors and out. Comfortable, but not baggy. Shaped, but not tight. Versatile in terms of layering. Pockets a plus.

I spent some time sketching, and swatching, and fiddling with my sketches a bit. The design is pretty simple:

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But I’m also finding the sweater to be pretty much infinitely wearable. Our weather has warmed up a bit this week, and I’ve been wearing this every day instead of a jacket. I’ve worn it with a long-sleeved T-shirt, as in the pattern photos. I’ve worn it over a thin henley store-bought sweater that I love. I’ve worn it over a giant cowl-neck tunic, and over a button-down. And it’s risen to the challenge most admirably. (Also, the fabric is looking lovely even after so much hard wear – a little fuzzed, but not a pill in sight.) And by the way – I worked the edge shaping on this sample 3 stitches in from the edge, slanting against the edge being shaped – but of course, you can shape however you’d like.

I’ve built Drumlin right into CustomFit, so you can get your own perfectly-suited cardigan without having to worry about fit modifications or matching anyone else’s gauge.

If you were not able to purchase Cormo 2.0 while it existed, any worsted-spun, traditional wool yarn will make a great substitute. For a commercially-available yarn that will produce an extremely similar final product, try Imperial Yarns Tracie Too.

The exquisite buttons on this sweater were created by Melissa Jean Handknit Design and are highly recommended.

Are you cardi-inspired? What will you use to make your own Drumlin?

**(P.S. – in re: another sweater I’ll be sharing with you shortly, you probably want to sign up to be notified when Clara releases new yarn. Link here. Just sayin’.)

Knit Wear Love – Release Day!!!

There seriously aren’t enough exclamation points in the world for how I feel today.

Knit Wear Love is finally available!

The patterns are described on Ravelry and here on this site, the blank pattern worksheets are available to help make your sweater knitting more brainless and easy, and I can finally start wearing the sweaters.

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(The cozy in today’s studio brought to you by: The Casual Cardigan.)

You can get the book from Amazon, directly from my publisher, or from your favorite independent bookstore. Or better still: Visit one of our wonderful CustomFit yarn stores to pick up your copy.

As you knit from the book, or daydream about knitting from the book, we’d love to keep track of what you’re doing! Use the hashtag #knitwearlove so that we can see all of your sweater awesomeness.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more sweater talk, but for today – I’m going to celebrate, and knit, and breathe a huge sigh of relief. It’s here!!!

CustomFit Basics: Winter/Spring 2015 Collection.

I’ve always felt that our knitting should be worn.

One of my great passions in life is to change the fact that sweaters suffer from the “closet curse” more than any other kind of knitting. That’s why I created CustomFit — to help all knitters make sweaters they love to knit and to wear. This fall, my inner restlessness and focus on great clothes combined into a somewhat-obsessive desire to re-imagine our “Classic” CustomFit silhouettes into something less static. Through the process, I kept coming back to this concept of basic wardrobe fundamentals.

You know the kind I mean, right? Those sweaters you wear all the time. That you want in 17 different colors. That go with everything in your wardrobe. That feel current, but that you also know you’ll wear for years to come.

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I thought about what those sweaters have in common. And decided that our “classic” CustomFit sweaters needed to be an evolving series of the most versatile things that will ever fly off your needles. I sketched, and chose sweater yarns that I believe in on a number of different levels, and I swatched. Then, the knitting began…

…and today, I’m presenting the first in a line of CustomFit Basics collections: twice-yearly presentations of the classics of our time. Those fundamental, wear-every-day sweaters we can’t wait to throw on. Ready for you to interpret – in your own materials, for your own wardrobe.

For Winter/Spring 2015, our inaugural collection, we’re presenting a mix of timeless, tried-and-trues and updated interpretations of the garments we wear every day.

CustomFit will create them in your own gauge, and your own size. So think about what you’d like to wear, grab your favorite yarn, and play around. See where your hands take you while you look through the collection.


And then, share with us! What styles appeal to you? What materials? What three things in your closet would you want to wear with your new sweater? When you’re ready, click here to get started on your very own wardrobe fundamentals.

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: Featherweight

It’s no secret that I love the process of helping knitters achieve sweater nirvana – i.e., a garment that fits well, and that they love to wear. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do.

And it always gives me a particular thrill when I’m helping them start with someone else’s design, and identifying the modifications they’ll need to make to get a sweater that they love. It’s fun when we’re doing it with pencil and paper; it’s been even more fun to help people “mash up” a CustomFit pattern with a traditional design they’ve purchased.

For today’s Sweater Week installment, just in time for Rhinebeck, we’re taking it one step further.

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Hannah Fettig’s wildly popular Featherweight Cardigan is now built directly into the CustomFit site.

What does this mean?

Each new CustomFit Featherweight pattern is created specifically for you. You’ll get a finished sweater with the same gorgeous look and versatility as the original, but the pattern is crafted on the spot exclusively to your exact specifications:

  • We create the pattern specifically for your gauge. This means you can knit Featherweight at any gauge you like – the only thing that matters is whether you like your fabric!
  • We create the pattern specifically for your body. This means you don’t have to worry about choosing the right size, adjusting for differently-sized hips, busts, waists, shoulders, and arms. The set-in sleeve construction of this version of CustomFit Featherweight allows us to make a Featherweight pattern that will fit you everywhere.
  • You get to choose whether you’d like the original ¾-sleeve and shorter-length Featherweight pictured, or whether you’d like to adjust the sleeve and sweater length. The pattern will be built to your exact choices.

Excited? We sure are!

To celebrate, we’re running a KAL!

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We hope you’ll knit along with Hannah and I, here in the CustomFit Featherweight KAL group on Ravelry. Let us and the community support you as you choose your yarn, cast on and knit your Featherweight! Make sure to check out the Nitty Gritty KAL details on this page.

(Also: Many, many beautiful Featherweight cardigans have been knit from the original pattern. And if you have this version and want to participate in the KAL, you’re more than welcome to! We’d love to have you. A CustomFit Featherweight opens up a bunch of new possibilities, though, so we hope you’ll check it out!)

The KAL is sponsored by the amazing Quince and Co:

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If you’d like to knit a fingering weight version, take advantage of our sponsor’s special offer: Buy 4 or mores skeins of Quince & Co. Tern and receive 10% off! Offer good 10/16 & 10/17 ONLY, coupon code FEATHERWEIGHT.

I’m so thrilled about this new step in CustomFit’s evolution. (Not to mention being excited about knitting my own Featherweight, which I’ve wanted to do for years now! I’ll be using Tern, which is one of my all-time favorite yarns.)

I feel strongly about the importance of marrying wonderful design with well-fitting sweaters, and am beyond thrilled to be working with Hannah, who I admire very much. Sweater Week will continue throughout the weekend, and I’ll be back on Sunday with a post about fabric, specifically focused on Featherweight in different gauges and blends.

Until then: Here’s to fantastic and fully-customizable sweaters!

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.

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?

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.