Berroco Estiva is a bulky weight, 100% cotton ribbon yarn, so it’s super soft, easy to knit with, and works up FAST! Plus, it has scads of yardage, so you can make a smaller size of Deschain with two skeins, or a shawl/wrap with one. The ball-band calls for 6.5mm/US105 to 8mm/US11 needles, so there’s lots of flexibility to play around. The yarn is made in Italy (personally, I’m always pleased to see milling happening in Italy, they do it beautifully there), and it is MACHINE WASHABLE (a good thing for summer garments)!
Knitting Gauge: 3.5 to 4 sts = 1″ (2.5cm) on 6.5mm/US10.5 to 8mm/US11 needles. 14 to 16sts = 4″ (10cm)
When I ran across these projects on Ravelry I knew we had to make one! The pattern, Deschain, was designed a few years ago by Quince & Co for their organic linen yarn, Kestrel (which is also stunning and I love and we sell and makes me very happy). But the pattern looks equally awesome made with a new bulky weight cotton yarn, Berroco Estiva.
Note: you might need to work extra pattern repeats to get your sweater long enough. While you are working, hold it up to your body as you go (for a size small you might need to knit extra length to get good coverage).
I don’t know if you caught this pattern on Ravelry a few weeks ago, but I filed it away somewhere in the middle of my mind. It’s made with BC Garn Bio Balance, a gorgeous spring/summer weight yarn made from a blend of organic wool & cotton. We’ve worked up a sample shawl with it and it was delightful to work with and wear. When you work with it, it kind of moves like a soft wool with a bit of texture and grab to it, you don’t really feel the cotton. But when its knitted, the fabric doesn’t feel like wool at all, it feels like a blended plant fibre you’d find in a commercial garment. It’s interesting, and really nice!
Anyway, I love the combination of texture and oversized ease in this sweater. It’ll be extremely comfortable and breathable, perfect for slouching around the cottage, the house and the city. I don’t love the colour they chose, I don’t know about you but I have a hard time visualizing myself in a dark green summer sweater! Good thing BC Garn Bio Balance comes in a bunch of pretty colours for warmer seasons (they have a medium green that is beautiful). If you want to cast on right away, here are your best bets (if you have your heart set on another colour that we don’t have in stock let us know and we can get that for you):
Needle Hack: Interchangeables ROCK!
The body and sleeves are worked in the round from the bottom up to the yoke, then the pieces are joined for working the circular yoke. If skipped ahead to the materials, you’ll notice that the pattern calls for a bunch of needles in different lengths – if you have been thinking about buying yourself a set of interchangeable needles this might be a good opportunity. If not, I’d buy individual interchangeable tips and cords: for the circulars I’d get Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Tips 3.5mm-4.5″, 3.5mm-3.5″, and 3mm-4.5″ (to sub for the 2.75mm), and corresponding Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Cords/Cables in 16″, 24″ and 40″. For the double pointed needles you can get them in 3mm & 3.5mm, or use your 40″ cord for the magic loop technique.
If you already have an interchangeable set check to see if it comes with the 3mm tips – most do not, but Knitter’s Pride makes them as individual pairs in the metal “nova platina” (chrome plated brass).
Pattern Hack: Libraries ROCK!
We no longer carry Interweave Knits, but you can still find the paper edition in grocery stores, drug stores, and online as an e-publication through Interweave. But there is a fourth option: the public library! Check your public library to see if they provide digital magazines. Interweave Knits is available from the Toronto Public Library though the RB Digital service, which is a FREE service – all you need is a library card (also FREE) and a digital device (smart phone, tablet or computer). If you don’t have a device you can go to the library and use one of their computers and printers – you can even ask the librarian for help if you are having trouble, helping people access information is their calling. You can also ask a librarian for help if you have a portable device but you don’t know how to use the digital system to access the magazine. Librarians ROCK!
42 (48, 54, 60, 66)“ circumference at underarm.
Pullover shown measures 48”; modeled with 15” of positive ease.
I came across this gorgeous project by Prunus and I thought I’d share and show you how beautiful a couple of skeins of variegated yarn can look when they’re artfully blended together. This version is made with 2 colours of Manos Alergria (the colours they chose blend well together because they both contain grey and cream). This pattern is for children, but if you want an adult size go HERE.
12m (2, 4, 6) (8, 10, 12) years
Manos Alergria: 1(1, 2, 2) (2, 2, 2) skeins (1 in each of 2 or more colours) ON SALE TO SEPT 6!
You can’t go wrong with a simple, striped pullover like Confetti. The design is super flattering; fitted through the shoulders, arms and bust, but comfortable and slightly a-line through the body. Make it with a soft, light, machine washable merino yarn like Manos del Uruguay Alegria (a hand-dyed semi-solid), or if you prefer the crisp look of a mechanically dyed yarn, try Cascade Heritage (also easier on the budget). For a pretty single ply merino try Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light.
Finished chest circumference: 30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54)” or 75 (85, 95, 105, 115, 125, 135) cm.
As I’ve been writing about Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW) a question has come up a few times – what is the black denim like? And what they are really thinking is “will it end up looking like the sexy black jeans that ended up a sad dingy grey?”. The answer is it could if you’re really mean to your denim sweater, but if you take proper care of it you’ll have a “happily ever after”.
I think most people think of denim yarn as a knitterly sibling of denim jeans, but it’s really more of a cousin, so it doesn’t wear the same way, especially since we (hopefully) don’t wear or care for our sweaters in the same way we do our jeans. In high school, I worked in retail selling Levis jeans and became extremely well acquainted with the garment: they’re worn constantly, washed frequently, and cared for poorly. An average pair of jeans is dealt A LOT of abuse. Not so our sweaters: we don’t wear them as much, they aren’t washed as much, and when we do wash them it’s either by hand with a delicate wash like Eucalan or Soak, or in a delicates bag on the delicate cycle (cold) in the machine. Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to stabilize the dye and you have some very good looking denim knitwear (the vinegar trick works with your jeans too, it’s especially helpful with dark washes).
This is the project that helped open up my perspective on black denim yarn. The pattern, Deschain, was designed with a substantially thicker and heavier yarn, but the garment design is so oversized that it easily scales down to a thinner yarn. The texture looks amazing with lace and works really well with the drape of the oversized aesthetic.
Vale by Kim Hargreaves
In my mind, if super designer Kim Hargreaves is down with it, it might as well as have received royal assent (that’s Canadian parliamentary humour for “it’s legit” … I’m also really pleased that Kim thinks it’s ok to wear a tiara out-and-about, I could use a little more bling in my coif). Like the denim Deschain above, Hargreaves exploits the denim to create a tension between the delicacy of lace patterning and the texture of the yarn. It’s a balancing act that works beautifully and makes for a really interesting garment – definitely one you’ll never find in any store.
This guy obviously either lives in a beautifully curated home or a Pottery Barn … either way, it’s a nice backdrop for a beautiful sweater, Seahorse. One of the big problems with black yarn is that it is very hard to photograph the colour properly, and it often looks like a washed out dark grey. The yarn itself is a very deep, dense black, so add white vinegar when you wash it to stabilize the colour.
I don’t know which pattern was used for RobbyRaccon’s Ridge top (I think it might be a variation of Rosamund by Tonia Barry, but it’s a different type of sleeve construction … if you know please tell me, it’s driving me up the wall), but it made excellent use of black denim yarn, every time I look at it I experience sweater envy.
I saw this and thought of you! But seriously, I love things that are both simple and pretty, especially if they can work in some texture and colour. Yume is made in one piece (no seams!) from the top-down, so you should have it done in time to actually wear it. The depth of colour is created by working with 2 strands of lace weight yarn held together, which is also a great way to negotiate colour distribution and pooling issues in hand-dyed yarn. I think it would be PERFECT made with Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino (ON SALE NOW!). It has a beautiful hand and it’s soft halo ensure the strands will do their job, stick together and look more like they’re a single strand of yarn. Plus, it’s just so soft!
Taking a look at the shelf, here are some colour combos in Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino that will blend well together (these pairs are based on the actual dye lots, not the images):
XS (S, M1, M2, L, XL, XXL)
finished bust circumference: 35.75 (38.5, 41.5, 43.75, 45.75, 48.75, 52) inches or 89 (96.5, 103.5, 109, 114.5, 122, 130) cm
The sample is worn with 3.25” (8.5 cm) positive ease at bust.
Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino: Short Sleeve Version 2(2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4) skeins in each of TWO colours, Long Sleeve Version 3( 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4) skeins in each of TWO colours
My friend Reney is into Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW), and the other day she asked me a common question; What would look good in it? This is a question I both dread and adore. The dread comes on first because I usually need time to think about things and give a thoughtful answer. Then, once I’ve had some time to process, comes the love; I get to trot out all the different ideas and examples, it’s a big creative game of research and “compare and contrast”.
Other patterns that I think would look amazing made with denim are Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood and Void by Melanie Berg (the denim Guernsey Wrap on the left is made by janetwynne).
Guernesy looks especially good on men (maybe because they were created for them): above are Bowline by Tin Can Knits (you should knit with 4mm/US6 needles and make one size larger) and Beagle by Norah Gaughan.
Photos: Tin Can Knits, jennyinmaine.
Flax is a simple top-down, seam-free FREEBIE from Tin Can Knits that would look awesome made with Rowan Original Denim for anybody at any age to be worn in any season!