Friday, October 20, 2017


RHINEBECK 2017 - My Saturday Sweater, Rye & Rum Punch!

Wandering around the bluffs in Scotland last summer, Jill Draper mentioned to me that she was going to be doing a little partnership with Rachel Atkinson of Daughter of a Shepherd yarns, starting with Rhinebeck this year.  Now, if you aren't familiar with both of these guys, you may not realize how fantastic a match this is, but let me tell you it's a good thing we weren't on the edge of a bluff when Jill told me, because I literally lost my footing I was so excited!


Both of these women are incredible voices in the world of wool and in keeping farming and farmers and sheep doing what they've been doing for years.  They know fiber and they know animals, and they value the people who work so hard to make yarn available to us. And, of course both of them make fantastic, beautiful yarn.


So, to celebrate this partnership, Kirsten Kapur and I each set about designing something that would feature a combination of both fibers.  Kirsten, of course, is known for gorgeous shawl designs that showcase color and texture, and I'm a sweater fan.  You can find out more about Kirsten's Targhidean  (shown on the left below) on Raverly, and I'll share a little more of the story behind Rye &Rum Punch here. 


I chose to pair Jill's Mohonk with Rachel's DK weight yarn.  While playing with the yarns to see what they may want to do together, I was smitten by the way Jill's colors shine in the dark shades of Rachel's Hebridean fiber. Every single color was gorgeous against that deep brown.  Honestly, the hardest part of designing this sweater was trying to choose only two colors for my contrast colorwork.  But I did, and I love how the simple tone on tone shading of the pinks adds a sophisticated feel to the sweater.


The inspiration behind the design was the classic LL Bean Norwegian sweater I owned back in high school, a simple navy pullover with small white flecks all over the body and sleeves.  When designing Rye & Rum Punch, I wanted a more feminine feel, so I added a more modern shape, an open neckline, and some detail along the sides and raglan seams.  I also chose to create a few solid color sections on the body and sleeves, then added deep ribbings to the cuffs and hem. And thanks to these design elements, altering length or width of your sweater won't affect the colorwork panels at all!  I do love how it updated the original, and think this is an extremely wearable sweater for my wardrobe!.  I see it with an off-white shirt tail peeking out the bottom, and a bit of the collar showing at top.


Remembering how hard it was to choose my colors, I made sure to give you a little flexibility if you want to play with your colors as well.  These motifs are simple and versatile, so you can swap and use Jill's yarn as the background and Rachel's as the accent color, or you can choose one of Jill's vareigated colorways instead of matching single skeins, letting the dye job do the striping for you. You can also play with more or fewer accent colors, add more or less "stripes" into the colorwork sequence as needed, or work the colorwork panel to a different depth - and notes on all of that are in the pattern.

All the important information is on the Ravelry page, and the pattern is for sale both there and here in the Patterns section of the blog for $7.00.

Over the weekend, both Jill's and Rachel's yarns will be available at Jill Draper's Open House on Saturday night in Kingston NY.  

If you are not at Rhinebeck or missed RSVPing to the Open House, Jill and Rachel's online shops will re-stock AFTER the festival and I will post everywhere when they are ready and back up for business.  

This weekend, the shops are closed because those two women are quite busy offline!

(However, Loop London may just have 25 skeins of the DOAS DK listed on their website at the time I'm typing this blog post, if you are in the UK.)


If you are thinking of substituting yarn, you want a nice, wooly DK weight fiber.  Gauge is 22 sts /28 rows per 4"/10cm in stockinette, based on final, blocked fabric.

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As for actual Rye & Rum Punch, Jill will be making up a batch for the Open House --

The following recipe is supposed to serve 20 people, so I don't really have any reason to make some for myself right now - I'll get a photo on Saturday, I promise.

2 quarts of Rye Whiskey
1 pint Jamaican rum
1 fresh pineapple, sliced in small chunks
6 sliced oranges
4 quarts of club soda
sugar to taste

Mix Rye, and Rum and add sliced pineapple. Add orange slices as well and then pour club soda in slowly to retain carbonation.  Add sugar to taste and serve over ice cubes in punch cups!










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