Sunday, February 06, 2011

When we lived in San Francisco, there was a place called the Buena Vista Cafe, down in the tourist mecca that is Ghiradelli Square. Usually, we'd avoid the whole area, but that cafe made some amazing Irish Coffees. And after a hike in the fog, that drink was just kind of perfect. A warm and cozy pick me up that was both bitter and sweet, with a little kick.

So, when deciding what to call a cozy tweed tunic in the midst of February, the image of a spot at that bar, with a glass in hand, on a foggy day, finally made Irish Coffee the winning name. If you want their exact recipe, it's right here. Step by step. I get wistful just thinking about it!!

Anyways, Irish Coffee, the sweater, is also a pretty perfect mix too, if I do say so myself.
Simple, but different, fun to knit (all the concentrating is up top, and then it's smooth sailing to the bottom!), and easy to wear. The SHELTER yarn is unbelievable - it's a perfect midweight for wearing, a light lofty tweed for knitting, and the colors and texture are spot on for making the texture of the garment really stand out.

I tried to create a sweater where the focus would remain on the yarn, but I wanted to have a little fun with the details. This long line of cables brings the eye into the waist and enhances the slim line of the tunic. Up top, the short sleeves and seamed ribbing at the yoke balance out the length and give the neckline a distinct focus.

Top down construction means that modifications are easy.
The length, width and sleeves can be altered for whatever shape you prefer without changing the basic pattern instructions. You can go straighter or enhance the A line, and the length can be whatever works on your body. Notes are in the pattern at places to think about mods, as well as options for working the yoke in order to flatter different bust sizes.

I think it's a great, basic piece in a very versatile yarn that can be dressed up or down and worn with a variety of different kinds of outfits. I know I've been wearing mine around tons. A few of the testers have already posted their pics, and it's fun to see the mods and outfits they've chosen for their sweaters.

Here's Thao's. You can see she added a little flare at the bottom, which suits her perfectly.

The pattern is available on Ravelry or on the sidebar above for $6.50.

Basic Info:

Sizes: 32-50 (based on bust size)
Yarn: SHELTER 800(800,900,900,1000,1000,1100,1200,1300) yds
Needle: #8 (or size to get gauge)
Gauge: 4 st, 6 rows in 1" stockinette, lightly blocked

More information and testers photos are here on the Ravelry page.


Lastly, in the spirit of mods, here's another take on Irish Coffee
for those of you who like your drinks a little sweeter.

Baileys n Coffee (still Irish, but without the whiskey!)

2/3 cup of hot black coffee
2 oz Baileys
shot of milk
1 tsp sugar (optional)
whipped cream


PS: The great pics of the sweater that even make my dining room look good, (and make me wish I still had my long hair) are by Caro of Splityarn , who rocks :-)


Chris said...

It's really gorgeous, Thea! It looks lovely on you.

Rae said...

It so so beautiful! Now I just need to finish Cassis, Cranberry Capelet, and Mulled Cider then I can make it! At some point you are going to have to slow down on your designing to let us catch up!

PixieSam said...

What a gorgeous pattern. It's going straight in my Ravelry queue!

Amy said...

Luscious as always! The pics almost make me okay that it's still winter. :)

This one is *flooding* my ravelry friends page! Great job!

Dani said...

It's gorgeous Thea! Another one for the queue!

Marlena said...

Love it! I can already imagine myself wearing this.

Elly Danica said...

Can't wait to make this--I want it yesterday. Immediate stash diving required. Oh what fun. Thanks!

Seanna Lea said...

This top is super cute. Normally I make cardigans by preference, but I could actually see myself wearing this sweater!

Michelle said...

It's gorgeous! I love how classic and simply beautiful it is! Definitely added to my queue!

janna said...

I love this - I especially like the neckline! I would need to make longer sleeves. This one is going in the queue, too!

Anonymous said...

You're good! I love how wearable your designs are. And I love the way you think about how knitters might want to customize pieces to suit their own bodies/fashion sense and help make this easier. I'm blown away by all you've done.

Thea said...

Thank you all sooo much :-)

I'm so pleased that you like it!!!

Anonymous said...

really beautiful!

Missus Vonkysmeed said...

Another gorgeous design!

Anonymous said...

Just queued it on Rav! Love this, and I have yarn for it too (umm... no surprise there, but having the RIGHT yarn will bump it to the top of the queue).

Thank you!

Kathleen said...

Goodness' sake, woman, you have been a busy bee! Another lovely pattern - congratulations! And happy belated birthday! (Sorry this comment is exclamation-point-tastic :)

Turtle said...

love it! one of our lys's just started selling shelter and this would be perfect! Also adore irish coffee but with the last name of murphy, well... it's a must! either with baileys or jamesons!

turtlegirl76 said...

I love it! I can't wait to search the stash to see what I have for it. It's lovely.

Anonymous said...

Another great item for my queue! I want to commend you on thinking of us larger gals with your patterns. I consistently find that many pattern designers think that we all have a 34/36 chest...I wish! Anyway...thanks! When I find the right yarn, I will be purchasing this one!

Kym said...

Adorable! :-)

Hilary said...

Just beautiful, Thea! This is such a versatile sweater and looks cozy and chic at the same time! Your designs rock.

Can I tell you one of my favorite San Francisco stories ever? It's about Irish Coffee. Ok, I'm going to. So my very sweet/somewhat innocent friend and I ran into an old high school acquaintance one day when we were out and about in the city. Somehow, he ended up giving us a bunch of coupons for free Irish Coffees at the Buena Vista Cafe because his current boyfriend was working there. About a week later, my friend was temping at an office building across the street from the BVC and, during her morning 10 minute break, thought to herself, " Irish Coffee sounds really good!" So she crossed the street and ordered one to go. The waiter (as well as the other patrons within earshot) gave her a really funny look and told her it really wasn't something she could take to go. Still not understanding, she decided to stick with her order and just drink it there. When it came, she took a sip and was shocked to find a strong flavor of whiskey. Totally embarrassed of her ignorance and trying to save face, she forced herself to drink it. She downed the whole thing in about 5 minutes flat and went back to her temp job completely wasted. Somehow she fooled them, though, despite the fact that her state of mine pretty much rendered her unable to work the phone and door security system she was in charge of.

As you can imagine, I had a lot of fun with this one at her wedding. :)

Shannon said...

I have been happily waiting for this gorgeous knit and also had my very first Irish coffee at Buena Vista. Your non-whiskey version of the drink makes me laugh remembering pre-married dating days with my husband. He never kept fresh milk at his place and after polishing off some vanilla ice-cream for my morning coffee, I turned to the Baileys. Too funny. But really, I absolutely love this knit and can't wait to begin!