Friday, July 31, 2015

Hello everybody!  I hope you are all having a great summer.  It's been a busy one over here.  June was full of Squam and family and school events.  The day after school ended, I started putting each of my family members on different airplanes bound for Europe - and hopped on my own flight soon after!

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen a bit of my travels.  I'll spare you the long blog post full of travel photos by saying it was amazing and fabulous.  I met a few of my wonderful British and Scottish BabyCocktails knitters, spent a couple days with the amazing Ce Parsiano of the Uncommon Thread, had a knit night with Stephen West, visited Loop in London, Stephen and Penelope in Amsterdam, YAK in Brighton (charming and full of beautiful yarns I hadn't seen before!!), and popped into host of smaller yarn shops around Finland and Estonia. I went to some really gorgeous lace and craft museums in Belgium. and came home with a new collection of vintage books and knitting magazines in foreign languages.  I took tons of photos to file in my "IDEA" folder for later and I am full of new inspiration and ideas.   I'm excited to take my time and try to sort through all of it this Fall... 

HOWEVER, before summer is over (and that's coming too fast for me), I wanted to share my Rye cardigan, a design done for Berroco last winter - and my contribution to Amy Christoffer's gorgeous Portfolio, Vol 1, which launched the week that we left.  I had no time to do a post properly before I got on the plane, but I LOVE this sweater (and the whole collection)!  

The Portfolio collection was Amy's brainchild, and kind of a love letter to Ultra Alpaca, a Berroco mainstay which is one of my favorite yarns ever.  When I started knitting, I'd stare at that wall of UA colors in my LYS and stockpile my favorites - and then when the next Interweave or Knitty came up, I'd figure out which color needed to be what project and go. I still have many of those old knits!  It's a beautiful yarn at a great price point, and I was a bit addicted to it.

So, when Amy said to choose any weight and color of the UA and design, I was MORE than happy to oblige.  The original, in Pea Soup, thank you... 

And with it, I designed this.  Rye has that great shape that goes with almost anything - over a dress, with a tee shirt tucked into jeans, or with a longer tunic worn out underneath.  The sweater is just a bit vintage-y, but has a more rustic vibe due to the texture.   Here you see it on my mannequin - a little less beautiful than the model, but I want to share the back too -

The panels are fun to knit and I think they look really cool when they hit the seams in different spots.  I wanted something heavily visual, but still geometric and simple, and I love how the heather in the yarn looks with this motif.  The lines are bold, but the shape and detail keep it delicate and feminine. 

Plus, this is my favorite kind of collar.  There's a little shaping in there, so the front is a bit deeper as you get towards the button band -- to show this off, I like it left open at the top, so my buttons end a bit lower than usual (and I tend to wear the top one undone too).

As with all my patterns, there are easy ways to modify this for fit - stockinette panels make for easy width adjustments, and any changes to length can be done as you go.  It's knit seamlessly from the bottom up -- and in this gauge, it's a quick, satisfying project.  The texture is simple and rhythmic, and makes for great car or TV knitting.

The whole Portfolio collection is just gorgeous - and it can be found here, or in your local yarn store.  You may even see a Rye sample in your yarn shop, should you stop in....

The single pattern is also available and can be purchased for $6.00 on Ravelry, right here.

So I'm slowly catching up....  I'll post again soon with a few finds from my travels and pics from the YAK event soon, and then we will turn our sights towards new projects and cooler weather after that...  

Cheers!  (I'm detoxing a little after the trip -  more drinks again in a bit.)