. Christmas Sweaters

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Christmas Sweaters

Category: Colorwork

I spent Christmas in upstate New York this year, with Brooks’ lovely family. After almost 11 hours of travel (thank you, holiday traffic), I was greeted by three enthusiastic Labradors and a plate of homemade cookies! Their tree was all lit up, the Christmas music was playing — this family knows how to really celebrate. They also have “cozy” all figured out. Brooks’ dad, in particular, has a stunning collection of warm sweaters:

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Aren’t they glorious? Brooks’ mom estimates that his dad may have close to 30 sweaters (the one at the lower right with the beautiful colorful trim around the neck is hers). She knit the one at the lower right! At the far top left is a handknit beauty direct from Norway that I did some repairs on this summer. As I went to unpick the collar, I discovered that the original knitter had done an extremely good job in weaving in her ends — it took me 15 minutes to find the end, and another 15 minutes to unpick it.

Now that Christmas is over, we can finish up our late Christmas gifts start new projects for ourselves! Wouldn’t a gorgeous colorwork sweater be perfect for the chilly, gray months to come? I hope that you all had a lovely holiday and that 2017 brings you lots of joy and happiness! Starling the Labrador reminds you to stay cozy!

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Goldfish Sweater Update

Category: Colorwork

While I was photographing my Goldfish sweater today, the Jaws theme song popped into my head. I’ve only just got the top edge of my fish actually knitted, and I found myself imagining that if they had dorsal fins, they’d be ominously slicing through the water, ready to devour a hapless swimmer. Luckily, these are cute and cuddly goldfish, sans dorsal fins. You can just see their backs/heads and a tiny tip of each tail. It may not look like much yet, but I’m so excited!

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There’s something very magical about watching a pattern develop. Whether it’s colorwork or a textured stitch pattern, or even just the basic shape of a project, I love watching something emerge from repetitive motions of yarn and sticks. It’s one thing to see it on a chart, but it’s an entirely different kettle of fish (haha) to see the chart translated into actual fabric. Now we just have to hope that my floats aren’t too tight. Cross your fingers!

Berroco Portfolio Vol. 2

Category: Colorwork

berroco-portfolio-v2_mediumToday, I fell in love all over again. It wasn’t love at first sight, because I vaguely remember glancing at it a few months ago during our rep meeting, and we’ve had it in the shop for an entire month. But sometimes the best loves are the ones where you discover that in fact, they’ve been there all along. That is the case for me with the new pattern book from Berroco, their beautiful Portfolio Vol. 2. This latest offering from the Berroco Design Team is so, so beautiful, and it uses yarns from the Vintage and Ultra Alpaca families.

Have you heard of the Rule of Three when it comes to patterns? If you like three or more patterns in a pattern booklet, it’s a worthwhile investment. Three is the magic number, but this book has nine patterns — nine! — that make me want to cast on immediately. The thing that really sealed the deal was that one of these patterns was already on my to-knit list, I just hadn’t realized that Portfolio Vol. 2 was the source. Obviously, it was meant to be. Let me show you some of my favorites:

© Berroco, Inc.

© Berroco, Inc.

The Teeter Totter Shawl by Julia Farwell-Clay is a fun riot of color. Knit in Ultra Alpaca Fine, it will keep me warm despite arctic air conditioning, but it won’t ever be too heavy. I’ve been wanting to dabble in intarsia, and the color options are endless (though I do love the contrast between warm and cool color families).

© Berroco, Inc.

© Berroco, Inc.

 

This simple, elegant item by Elizabeth Smith is called the Brooklin Vest, and would be a quick knit in Vintage Chunky (and machine washable, too!). Knit seamlessly from side-to-side, it features a checkerboard texture on the back for a little visual interest. The Brooklin Vest is the perfect item to dress up my jeans-and-long-sleeve-tee wardrobe for fall.

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© Berroco, Inc.

Speaking of cooler weather, this sweet accessory is called the Marguerite Hat. Designed by Beatrice Perron Dahlen, you already know it’s going to be soft, because it’s knit in Ultra Alpaca. I don’t know if I would do mine with a white background — maybe I would choose a fun magenta with eggplant colorwork, or perhaps a bright blue-green with deep teal colorwork… It would be so warm and cozy!

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© Berroco, Inc.

I’ve saved the best for last. This is my absolute favorite, the Addilyn Capelet by Elizabeth Smith. It’s designed for Ultra Alpaca Chunky Tonal, which has soft variations in color that add a beautiful depth to the fabric. And I just adore those statement buttons, and the way you can fold down the collar if you want to wear it unbuttoned. This is the item that was already on my to-knit list, thanks to our Berroco rep, Andra. She’s always a few steps ahead of us, fashion-wise, and she called the poncho trend before it was even a glimmer on our horizon. (You were right, Andra!) In fact, Andra was so far ahead that she had already put her own twist on the pattern: she switched the yarn to North Star on size 11 needles. Look how wonderful it is:

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© roentgen

I don’t think I can choose between the two yarns. I think I’ll have to knit both. Berroco really knocked it out of the park with their Portfolio Vol. 2. Stop by the store to check it out — it’s really stunning.