Something classic and cool for summer makes me very happy. It’s knit with Quince & Co Sparrow, one of my favourite yarns for summer. It feels soft and cool on your skin, washes beautifully in the machine, and just kind of *flows*.
Note: Linen can be quite stretchy once it is washed, so be sure to swatch a square at least 5″ x 5″ and wash it before you measure your tension. You may also want to make a smaller size than normal, I usually go down one size.
I have fallen seriously behind in my COVID knitting … you know how it goes, make plans and universe laughs. I pulled some sexy yarn from my ‘stash’ and have been working on Love Note. I know fuzzy isn’t really spring but hey, my pandemic, my rules. My sweater is not the pink one, that belongs to the pattern designer, mine is the dark one in progress below.
I finished the body last night and tried it on and it looked amazing! I’m feeling motivated to finish the arms and wear it – it feels light as air, it should be great over a cami. The lace looks really pretty, I’m not really a lace person, but it isn’t too much, and it’s in the right place. There is a sort of high front/lower back thing going on, if you aren’t into it you can skip it, although I would put in at least half of the short rows to even out the front & back. The pattern has both a cropped and full length version, I’m making the adult size XS in the full length (see below for interesting things about size), I added a 1/2 inch, and it’s still on the short side style-wise. I highly advise trying on your sweater before starting the short rows. BTW, the lace is fairly simple, and the pattern comes with both a chart and the written instructions.
The pattern uses a thin mohair held with a fingering weight yarn, but I’m not really up for mohair (itchy), so I have subbed a ‘blown yarn’ with baby alpaca. Blown means it has a knitted core and the alpaca is literally blown into it with a machine. It makes an extremely light, airy yarn that has some depth to it. I’m using Illimani Amelie, but you can also use the very similar and quite affordable Drops Air(or if you want I’ll special order you some Amelie, it’s super yummy scrummy sexy (I don’t have any in store right now, it costs $24/skein).
The pattern is EXTREMELY size inclusive, it runs from a baby 0-6 months up to an adult 5XL (72″ bust). I’m thinking matching mommy/baby sweaters? Sibling sweaters? Cousin sweaters? BFF sweaters? The opportunities are endless. The baby and child sizes are an ideal opportunity to use Drops Air – my mom always said you can put a baby in anything, that they can’t complain, but I beg to differ – they seem to be adept at wailing their adorable little heads off for as long as they feel uncomfortable.
Sorry we haven’t connected in a while, I’ve been working hard and am healthy and happy. You know how it is, this experience is wearing on the most resilient of us – going eyeball to eyeball with fear and vulnerability is challenging. Anyway, I haven’t been feeling myself lately, but I think that’s ok, I’m growing into something new, so I’m just sort of letting myself marinate. I saw my niece and nephew for the first time since before march break and found they have grown … they used to fight like cats & dogs and now they’re BFFs (it only took a month and a half of being locked in together). They got bigger too, but that’s a given.. they’re kids. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to (should you be interested):
Reading:The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle (audiobook) … I just started this on Sunday and it’s the kind of book that you’re going to read over and over as you grow. I think it’s also the kind of book that you don’t read until you’re ready for it. I wouldn’t say the material is over my head, but I’ve got some work ahead of me.
Listening: Tara Brach podcast …. I’ve wandered from her excellent weekly pandemic support content and have crawled into the back-catalogue from B.C. (ie. before covid). The episodes on Radical Compassion from December 2019 are excellent, this morning I was listening to Desire and Addiction from March 2020.
Discussing: The Zombie Apocalypse … apparently I’m not on my beau’s Zombie Apocalypse ‘team’ and he’s throwing me under the bus. On the upside, he says the team will eat me. I don’t really blame him, I can’t run and I bruise easily. Anyway, I don’t really want to be around for the Zombie Apocalypse anyway, it sounds stressy and low on crafts. Other topics of interest include washing our winter coats … is there anything better than sucking the air out of the storage bag containing your winter coats? That’s a feeling worth savouring!
Cooking: Instant Pot Chicken Adobo. Yummy, simple and easy! Serve with Rice and a veggie. Freeze in batches for quick prep later.
Working On: Making vulnerability my BFF … according to researcher Brené Brown in Daring Greatly: “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
I kinda love the slouchy, deconstructed quality of this sweater. Texture replaces colourwork in the yoke, evoking a fair-isle sweaters without creating the bulk of layers of yarn. It’s a light, easy to wear spring & summer top. It’s meant to fit oversized, so take that into account when choosing your size.
The body and sleeves of this pullover are worked in the round from the bottom up to the yoke, then the pieces are joined for working the circular yoke. If you haven’t already read about the yarn, BC Garn Bio Balance, (if you have you can skip ahead to the next section … seriously, it’s a copy-cut-paste) it’s soft, light, comfortable, and comes in a great selection of colours. It’s a 100% organic and GOTS certified blend of cotton & wool, and kind of feels the way I’ve always wanted cotton to feel (but doesn’t). And FYI, the GOTS certification is a real THING. It means the product is truly organic and humanely handled from the field to the distributor (once it hits the store shelves it’s an ethical free-for-all, choose your yarn pusher wisely). BTW, there’s a lot of yardage on these little skeins, so PLEASE feel free to ask us to wind it for you before shipping or picking it up.
Circumference at Underarm: 42 (48, 54, 60, 66)“
Pullover shown measures 48”; modeled with 15” of positive ease.
We recently finished this cozy sweater, and it’s definitely a WIN! It was a quick, simple knit with a timeless appeal and pretty, knitterly details. The pattern, Felix Pullover, is a beginner friendly top-down sweater that knits in one piece (no seaming). It works up on 6mm/US10 needles, so it makes a great project you can make AND wear THIS fall. We used two skeins of Cascade Eco+ Merino, which makes it an affordable project that comes in just over $75. It also makes a great gift to knit, should you happen to owe someone a sweater?
After seeing clients make a few gorgeous Carbeths with Cascade Eco+ Merino I wanted to give it a go! I’ve been feeling a need for colour lately, but I thought the neutral light grey would make for a pretty, simple sweater and show off the design details. Cascade Eco+ Merino is a soft, springy 100% South American merino wool, made in Bolivia. It’s spongy and has a ton of body and memory (seriously, it stands up majestically, like gigantic fake boobs). The only thing I’ve found about this yarn is that it’s very merino-ish, it creates great surface detail and would make gorgeous cables. The flip side is that it was slightly unforgiving when it came to weaving in the ends. I suggest splitting the strand when weaving in the tails, which will create less bulk.
DROPS AIR: The Felix Pullover was originally written to be a looser knit on an aran weight yarn that blooms. If you want to try a lighter or airier version, try super soft Drops Air: 4(5, 6, 6, 7) balls. This would would make a sensational spring pullover which would look great over a tank top, or be a great sweater for warm climates and for people who run warm. This is also a super affordable option, running from $40 to $70 (depending on size).
BERROCO VINTAGE CHUNKY: For a machine washable sweater or something for someone who is extra itchy or allergic, I’d go with Berroco Vintage Chunky: 5(6, 7, 7, 8) skeins. Vintage Chunky is also a pocket-book friendly choice, running from $40 to $80 for the project (depending on size).
QUNICE & CO KESTREL: Do you winter down south or live in a warm climate? I don’t, but if I did I’d go for an aran/chunky weight, machine washable linen like Quince & Co Kestrel: 9(10, 12, 13, 14) skeins. NOTE: Linen is VERY stretchy and you can probably go down one or two sizes from what you would normally wear.
Felix is supposed to fit a little bit oversized and casual. We made the second size, which is a medium.
S(M, L, XL, XL2)
Circumference at bust at underarm: 39 (43 ½, 48, 52 ½, 57)”
Length from right front cast on to right neck edge: 21 (23, 24, 26, 27)”
If you’re looking for a quick sweater to whip up before the fall weather really hits, this is IT! The Carbeth Pullover uses chunky weight yarn, 6mm/US10 needles, so it goes fast! The design is simple, elegant, and makes for a very easy to wear sweater with a little bit of interest in the details. It’s easy to change the measurements (make the body longer, make the neck longer or shorter, etc). We used the same yarn, Cascade Eco+ Peruvian Tones, but in a more interesting colour, 08 Rum Raisin (in the skein it looks brownish, but knitted up it looks more like an oxblood/dark red). We tried out the black/grey colourway last December when I made a Carbeth Cardigan, but I think it’s time to get some colour back into our lives!
We used Cascade Eco+ Peruvian Tones, which gave it a contemporary look for a great price (the project used less than two skeins, and came in under $70). I’ve also seen it made a few times with Cascade Eco+ Merino, which is a softer merino wool, has more body and definition and still comes in under $76. If you need something machine washable you can’t go wrong with Berroco Vintage Chunky.
The pattern is a cropped style and we added one inch to the length of the body. I think if I was to make one for myself I’d like the neck longer – I like it all oversized and cozy.
Many thanks to our sample knitter Tessa, without who I could not keep up with the hard work of inspiration.
Fibre Co One Sweater is a classic. It’s a timeless, gender-inclusive (unisex) knit – it will NEVER go out of style. Take good care of this sweater and you’ll have it forever. It’s knitted in one piece from the top down with a raglan sleeve. It has a little bit of short row neck shaping to make the fit comfortable (I hate it when the back of a sweater rides up). The pattern is offered in a broad range of sizes, from age 1-2 through to a 56” chest circumference. It also includes the option of a shorter or longer length for the adult sizes, and they included the extra yardage (I love these people).
This is a great project for knitters who are new to sweaters, as well as those who have already been initiated.
If you are ….
New to sweaters: it’s a good first sweater, you’ll learn useful new skills and it’ll give you the confidence to jump into more advanced projects.
Have a little bit of experience with sweaters: this shouldn’t phase you, and it’ll reinforce the skills you already have.
Experienced at sweaters: it’s great for those who want to go on autopilot and make something simple and timeless.
This is normally a paid pattern ($9 USD/$12.50CAD) but The Fibre Co is offering it for free through stores when you buy the yarn for the sweater (Fibre Co Cumbria). Just ask us in-store or when you check-out online.
Let’s talk about the YARN. Fibre Co Cumbria is a traditional style British yarn, and at first glance it doesn’t look substantially different from other classic-ish string from the UK? What makes it special? Good question … it involves a story. A little while ago I decided to start exploring a different way to buy yarn for the store. Instead of making sure a yarn ticks a bunch of boxes of client needs (which I do still take into account), I decided to base my initial decision of how the yarn feels to knit with – ie. how ENJOYABLE it is.
So I started swatching and rating my enjoyment level during the process of working with the yarns. It has been a VERY interesting process. There have been a lot of gorgeous yarns that I thought would be great while in the skein, but once I cast-on they felt Meh, or worse, Yucky. Life is both very short and very long, and if I’m laying down my money for a pricey yarn I don’t want to work with Meh or Yucky. I want something that SINGS, something that brings me JOY. Furthermore, I don’t want you to either. There’s already enough Meh and Yuck in our world, I don’t want to spread more, I want to share Joy. It’s time to bring-back joy.
Anyway, I’m sure you’ve already read between the lines and figured out that The Fibre Co. Cumbria was one of the yarns that absolutely SANG. I think I even swatched it twice, on separate occasions several months apart, and still had the same happy reaction. It was beautiful to work with, and I enjoyed it so much that when I ordered it I bought an extra bag to make a sweater for ME (if you want my yarn I’ll share it, I know where to get more).
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).