Introducing Stone Fence, worked in Jill Draper's Empire yarn, for this year's Sheep & Wool Festival.
I'd always wanted to play with one of Jill's giant Empire yarn babies!! You've seen the photos online, right? Those giant, gorgeous, rustic skeins of Rambouillet that she dyes up into hundreds of shades of happiness? Last spring she sent me a truly stunning skein in this deep green, tinged with a bit of gray, I saw it and immdediately knew it was bound to be my Rhinebeck sweater this year.
Rhinebeck always means cozy, classic sweaters to me, so this is a spin on a traditional Fisherman sweater design. With that type of sweater in mind, I wanted a to use simple textures and bold motifs that would really highlight both the shades of color Jill has created here and the cozy, round fiber of the Rambouillet wool that the Empire is made from. It allows those bits of texture and the highs and lows of the dye really stand out without competing with the lines of the design. Plus, with easy lace and 2/2 cables, the knitting is easy and quick on #9 needles. Super satisfying!
Test knits, more photos and all the details are here on Ravelry, and the PDF pattern is available for $7 as well on the Ravelry page. It will be on the blog soon as well. It's easy to modify the pattern for length or width and notes are included in the file on doing so.
Jill has tons of Empire all ready for her Open House on Saturday of Rhinebeck weekend. Not only has she dyed up a rainbow of giant yarnbabies, but she's got a whole bunch of small 213 yd skeins for those of you who want to purchase sweater quantites in smaller skeins.
I'll keep you up to date with what inventory remains after the weekend and will be available either in Jill's shop or in yarn stores that carry JDMS yarns. Right now, she's concentrating on the Open House, so there's not much in the shop today - but there will be again soon!
And lastly, you may be wondering two things --
First, is Stone Fence actually a cocktail name or did I cop out here? I know it doesn't sound like one but, yes it is!
In Colonial times, travelers wandering the New England countryside would stop in pubs and taverns for a pick me up and rest and an hour or so near the fire and this was a popular thing to order. A Stone Fence is combines two popular Colonial beverages that we still love today - hard cider and whiskey or rum. I thought this was the perfect combination for a Rhinebeck cocktail! Plus I loved the nod to the history of the region and the fact that the cables lining the lace panels kind of serve as "stone fences" in the sweater.
My take on this is below:
4 oz of hard cider
1.5 oz of bourbon/rum or rye
dash of lemon or orange (or really almost any) bitters
Second, that model may look a little familiar as she also modeled the Grayhound Shawl a while back. She's my good friend Gabriella, who is beautiful and also about my size. My sister got married this weekend and she's been just a bit too busy to do any modeling in the past couple of weeks. You will see Melissa again soon, but you may also see Gabriella again because she's also a pretty good time.