Monday, December 21, 2015


That last London Calling KAL, which I did with A Playful Day back in May and June was so much fun that I have been itching for an excuse to do one more.....

I'm thinking January is a great time for a fresh start on the needles - and high time for some selfish knitting once you are done with all the holiday gifts, right?

 

I've begun a thread in my BabyCocktails Ravelry group and I've created a KAL discount so you can get yourself all set up with a new pattern and yarn -  with the code WWD, you can get 20% off any BabyCocktails pattern you want, until Jan 5.  (Because that's when the actual prizes will begin, and I'm going to assume you have patterns in hand by then.)

I have been stockpiling prizes and patterns for January - I have lots of yarn, some great Ravelry swag, and a few upcoming pattern releases. Depending on how many of you we have, I will expand the prize pool as needed - and be giving away copies of the new designs as well.  And I have a whole bunch of new drinks in mind!  Warm wintery ones.  I may need help naming a few of these new designs, and we'll be thinking about bourbons and rums and things in front of fires.

In order to participate, you need to be working on a BabyCocktails pattern (or two...) and post photos of your progress in the thread. Each photo is a separate entry for prizes.   And it does not matter when you cast on or how far you are - a pattern and a photo on the thread is a WIP in my book. 

So, I hope you'll plan to cast on and join in!  Happy Everything in the meantime....

Monday, November 30, 2015

Another Bourbon is a holiday gift for my guy. It was time to add to the manhat wardrobe.


I love nothing more than bold cables.  Add some gorgeous yarn and a quick project and I'm set.  And, bonus if it's a 100% domestic Rambouillet made by an awesome family-run company that I love.

So when my skein of YOTH's new Father worsted arrived and Craig liked the beautiful brownish-taupe shade of the Cocoa, I figured this was perfect.


It seems super-appropriate to make a manhat out of a yarn called Father -- and the holidays are almost here -- and I saw my window.  One gift done, 7 remain.


All the details and a few test knits will be on the Ravelry page - and the PDF to knit the hat can be purchased for $4.50 either here on the website or through Ravelry.

As for the drink itself?  He's a big fan of Woodford Reserve - add a shot of bitters and a single cube.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm knee deep in preparations for Thanksgiving, but am thinking that you may be looking for a bit of cocktail guidance?  I know I am. 

We have 19 coming this year and the guests show up tomorrow, so forgive the links!  There just isn't time for me to do a proper post with my own photos and such, but here are three ideas that I'd earmarked for possible pre-turkey cocktails.

They aren't my own, so I'm linking to the proper places:

Walnut Old Fashioned - this seemed like a cool spin on the original, with a hint of orange and a bit of nuttiness.  I kind of want to sip it by the fire after dinner....  (and walnut liqueur is not as hard as you think to find - Nocello, Nux, and a few others are usually in the specialty section at the shop)

http://imbibemagazine.com/walnut-old-fashioned/

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail - if we were a fancier family, this would seem like a good idea while people milled around before the meal.  Champagne isn't our usual Thanksgiving thing.  However,  I may save this one for a holiday party later in the season, because it's easy and festive. 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/cranberry-champagne-cocktail-recipe.html

Hard Cider Sangria -  in our newly-gluten free home, hard cider has gotten a lot of love lately, and I like this spin on the classic.  It won't be too sweet - or I could even add a little regular cider if I wanted to add a bit of depth to it.

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/thanksgiving-drinks/7

There are actually a few good ones in that slideshow on F&W, give it a look through!

Plus, there's always the easy Rhinebeck Cider Mix - hot cider on the stove, and a small pitcher of add-your-own Bourbon/Cointreau/Orange Bitters on the side.  A little orange twist in the pitcher is festive, and as I just told Maureen over at Green Mountain, I go for a ration of 4/1 on my Bourbon/Cointreau mix.  A little lemon juice comes in handy if you think it's getting sweet.  The pitcher idea is nice, so that people can adjust their intake - and the kids can have plain warm cider if they want. 

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Have a great holiday and tune back in on Monday! I have a new hat pattern that's just about ready to go, but I'm afraid to put anything up today since my attention is so split between things.  Monday will be better.  I'm calling it Another Bourbon, and that gorgeous yarn is YOTH's new Father.  In Cocoa.  That adorable and patient model is my DH, who tolerated a mid-hike modeling session.  And he just may wear this Thursday while making a turkey on his Big Green Egg in the cold. (Unless it's around 60 degrees out, which is possible.)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Two weeks ago, I was here.  And it was wonderful. 


I've always loved the Spinnery.  My Mom had their books on her shelf in our guest room when I was rediscovering knitting about 10 years ago, and I would leaf through them before going to sleep.  They were full of inspiring, colorful, sheepy goodness and I yearned to learn how to make the gorgeous cables and colorwork in those pages. 

Who'd have thought then that the people behind those pages would become friends and colleagues? But I'm lucky enough to say that they have. Over the last few years, one of my favorite parts of going to yarn festivals has been visiting with Maureen and Kate and Eric at the GMS booth and stepping in to peruse the new colors and yarns and samples and squeeze everything.  I've also managed to design three patterns in their yarn - Champagne, Tanqueray, and Windward Island over the last couple of years,  but I'd never actually made it up to Putney, VT.

I'm in love with everything they do - from those old books to the Spinnery's own yarns, to Jill Draper's Empire to Julie Asselin's new Nurtured.  And Maureen's cabled cardigan design which was hanging in the shop - It's called Duncan and it 's gorgeous. (Those cables and that detail in the collar are stunning...)

It really was high time I found an excuse to get up there. So when they asked me to teach at their Knitting Weekend retreat with Ellen Mason (who I also love) I was all over it and happy to finally be going up.   It was everything I'd imagined. Wooly and homey and down to earth.  These guys are all about the yarn and the process and supporting the traditions and the farms behind their skeins. They work hard and they care so very much about what they are doing and how they are doing it.  


Ellen and I arrived early and got a personal tour from Larisa, while Kate and Maureen set things up for dinner. We began in the back shed, which is piled high with fleeces - and when I say high, I mean it.  Bags, boxes, leaf bags - you name it.  The farmers deliver their goods in whatever container seems to work, and they are all stacked here.


From there, fiber eventually goes into the mill to be washed, carded, spun, plied, and steamed.  Everything is covered in a light haze of fluff and it smells amazing. ( I was told that on some days, it's not that amazing, but hey.)  The Spinnery isn't fancy and it's not big, but bells and whistles aren't needed here.  The small shop is up front, about 8x10 feet square, with shelves going up the walls, just full of colorful skeins.  A door to the right leads to the mill in back.  Space is at a premium, and every wall is lined with more hooks and shelves full of parts, tools, packages of yarn, and boxes of even more stuff.  The story of the mill is documented with a collection of photos and newspaper clippings, located along the bathroom wall, which was really the only surface where space was available.

The photo below shows the awesome layer of fuzz on the antique machinery - and hanging from the ceiling.  Fluff, everywhere.


The off-mill hours were spent in a local barn that's been made into a bright and airy community center, where meals were served and classes were taught.  The knitters were a lively bunch and made for some really fun classes.  We had views of the mountains, yummy things to eat, and amazing hosts.  I got to meet and chat with one of the Spinnery founders - Libby Mills (wearing her original Islander's Vest!), who was seated next to me.  It was a fangirl moment for sure.  Across the room, Claire Wilson spoke a bit about her own knitting story and the history of the Spinnery.  It was really inspiring to meet those two and talk about all the changes in the knitting community over the years and the connection between the leap of faith they'd taken back then and how it's led to what we get to do today.

There was also a beer thirty spent at a local restaurant/bar and a Sunday morning coffee at the Putney General Store - both a short walk from the barn, so we didn't need to venture far to explore town.
Plus, there were Saturday AM cider donuts from the farm up the road , which arrived warm out of the oven, and were the BEST donuts I've ever had.  (Plural, because I did not eat only one.)


Don't worry. I left with a bunch of yarn in hand. One of the amazing things about doing what I do is that when I love and respect a business like I do GMS, and when I get all teary eyed next to the giant machines or yep, in the bathroom looking at photos from the 1970s, I get to support them in the best way I know how.  I bought yarn.  Lots of it.  And I'm going to publish things so you can buy some too.

Mountain Mohair in Claret, Mewesic in Mean Mr Mustard, and a few skeins of Sylvan Spirit. I may have a skein of Weekend Wool and a few others here already from previous festivals.


You can definitely expect more GMS designs from me in the coming year.  And if you want to learn more about the history and story behind the Spinnery, Ashley Yousling just interviewed original founders David, Libby, and Claire along with newcomer Kate for her Woolful podcast.  It's a great episode.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Honestly, I was kind of surprised I hadn't already designed one.  A gin and tonic is one of my all-time favorite drinks and there's really no occasion when a cocktail is involved that I wouldn't be happy having one. 

So it seemed appropriate for this sweater, which I designed as a wardrobe staple.  And that has become a total go-to ever since it was finished.  It's soft, light, warm and goes with everything.


It's my go-to sweater for the rest of the winter.  I used the beautiful Hayden yarn from Lakes Yarn and Fiber, in a versatile DK weight.  This color - Heartwood - is dyed with subtle shades of cream and gray and it makes a gorgeous, sophisticated neutral.   Ami raises her own sheep out in Idaho, and dyes her gorgeous colors at the kitchen sink.  The work she puts into her fiber is obvious and it's really beautiful stuff.  She's updating the Hayden in her shop for this pattern, so look HERE on Friday 11/13, anytime after 10AM EST.


I had a little fun with detail - since I appear unable to work anything in simple stockinette.  A delicate texture is featured on the body, with long cozy cuffs and a deep hem.  (and yep, that's a ring on my sister's finger!)


Distinct cables line the sides of  the body.  At the hem, those cable tails flow into the ribbing - and at the armholes, they open up and slant outwards, creating the lines of the seam that runs up the yoke.


A really cozy cowl neck is perfect on a cold winter day, and in the DK, it's not heavy or bulky to wear.  Plus, the pattern has instructions to make a crew or turtleneck if preferred. 


As with all my other patterns, there are instructions to modify the sweater for depth or width easily, and bottom up construction means that you can check things as you go and be sure you like the fit of the final sweater before you finish it.

All the details and a few test knits are here on Ravelry, so for more information, go here.  The PDF is available for $7 either on the pattern page in Rav or here on the blog. 


As for a Gin and Tonic (the drink), my favorite thing is to play with one.  I almost never make a simple combination of gin, tonic and lime.  That's good too, don't get me wrong.  But the refreshing fizz of a G and T is kind of a blank slate for me.

A few ideas, if you want to play too, are below:

Add a dash or two of  bitters is wonderful and they come in so many great flavors that work with gin - lemon, graperfruit, celery, orange, or rhubarb - just to name a few.

Pour a splash of grapefruit juice, apple cider, or lemon/limeade in there.  

Muddle a little something at bottom - apple, orange, lime, lemon, pear or cucumber are all yummy.

Smush a few herbs and throw them in - dill, rosemary, or basil are my favorite gin partners.

And don't forget the gin itself -  there are so many kinds out there, and they each add their own flavor to the drink.  My current favorite is aged gin - shown below.  It adds a little depth to the flavor - which is perfect as the weather gets cold.

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So here's the basic "recipe" - and then add whatever you like -

Start with a tall glass.
Put a few ice cubes in there.
Add 2 oz ice-cold gin (I keep mine in the freezer)
Then pour in 6-8 oz of tonic (make sure it's good and fizzy.  Flat tonic can really kill the drink.)



Enjoy!!

Monday, November 02, 2015



The Southern Comfort Cowl was exactly what I needed as the chaos of Halloween and fall sports hit around here.  Some really gorgeous yarn, paired with some easy-to-knit cables.  On #10/6mm circulars. This thing flew off the needles and it hasn't been off my neck since.

  

Shalimar's Breathless DK was already one of my favorite go-to yarns, so when Kristi mentioned she'd created a bulky version, I had to knit with it pretty immediately. The Cush is just as soft and beautiful and lightweight as the DK, but big and round and oh-so-woofy.   Cush is available at many of the  local yarn shops that carry Shalimar, and Kristi is having an update on Wednesday Nov 4, at 12 noon EST in her Etsy shop as well: https://www.etsy.com/shop/shalimaryarns

My Southern Comfort takes 2 skeins, for a great mid-body length. You can easily adjust the cowl for a shorter or longer version if you want to play with more or less yarn - and I've also included instructions if you want to play with width.  The cables are an easy, rhythmic repeat and the long symmetrical ribs really showcase the subtle variations in the dye on this fiber.

The details are all on the Southern Comfort Ravelry page and the PDF can be purchased there or the pattern page of the blog here for $5.50

As for Southern Comfort itself, I'm thinking about the holidays - and one of my favorite things ever is a Southern Comfort Cake.  It's not from scratch and it's probably from the 1970s, and I'm sure it's bad for you.  And it's really, really good.  Friends of my parents used to bring it to our house when they visited, and when we were invited to their place for Christmas Dinner, it was always on the table:

SOUTHERN COMFORT CAKE

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c. cold water
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. Southern Comfort

GLAZE:
1/8 lb. butter
1/8 c. water
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. Southern Comfort

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Set on rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn upside down on serving plate. Prick top immediately; drizzle and brush half of glaze. After cake has cooled, reheat glaze and brush it evenly over cake.  (I'm also a fan of no glaze and powdered sugar)
To make glaze: Melt butter in pan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in Southern Comfort.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Introducing my Stillhouse Vest.

I kind of  love this cable.  And I really kind of love Brooklyn Tweed's new yarn, Quarry.  So you can imagine how happy I was to have the chance to play with both before the yarn was even out in the world! 


I was working on the design in a different yarn originally, and I was happy.  Until I met my friend Bristol at the beach and she was working on something in Quarry, which I hadn't seen before.  I went home and looked at my project and decided an email was in order.  And the folks at BT were nice enough to let me buy a secret, ahead-of-time SQ.  


It had to wait until Quarry was released, and then I had Rhinebeck in the works, so the project was rush-rush and then wait-wait to publish.  But I'm home and organized (kind of) and ready to go now.
I wanted to balance the bulky yarn with a flattering silhouette, so the vest is short and the bold lines are vertical.  The shape is simple, and I think that it looks kind of perfect with skinny jeans and the sleeves and tails of a blouse underneath -
I had a little fun with the cable lines.


And the seam.


It's a quick, easy project and a great excuse to get your hands on some brand new yarn!

All the details are on Ravelry.  The PDF is available for $7.00, either there or in the pattern section of this blog.  Due to the fact that this one happened before the yarn was out in the world, I only have a couple of test knits this time, so be sure to post yours when you finish up ;) 
One was knit in Quarry, which Glenna bought the day it went live so she could finish in time - the other was done by Tanis of Tanis Fiber Arts, in her Gray Label Chunky - and it's a very different look than the tweedy one I had in mind, but I kind of love it.   Both are up on Ravelry (or will be shortly), so take a look!

The name of this pattern comes from the  Van Brunt Stillhouse - a distillery I visited when I was in Brooklyn last spring.  The location and vibe of the place, plus the fact that they made some amazing spirits - in an old warehouse in a historic section of Brooklyn?  It seems pretty perfect for a Brooklyn Tweed project. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


As always, it was about spending time with good friends - meeting a few for the first time in person (Joji!), catching up with the ones that I don't get to see often, and getting a whole weekend in a house with my semi-local New England friends, away from family and other distractions.  I loved meeting all of you who took the time to say hi --  and it's always a thrill to see my sweaters and hats and cowls walking around the Fair or on display - thank you to everyone who brought something of mine to the Festival -- you have no idea how happy it makes me to see you in your knits!


The weather was perfect for wool and hot cider, and the Hudson Valley was gorgeous.   I doctored things up for a few of you, and the bourbon-Cointreau-orange bitters concoction was a tasty addition.


Erin wore Bonnie's Dobbs Ferry and kind of effortlessly pulled together the perfect combo to wear with it. The hat and purple bag, plus her hair with these greens.... 


Laura generously shared her Halloween-themed Canadian Coffin Crisps with a smile -- and maybe a new ring on that finger....


Jill Draper was WAY too busy at Saturday's Open Studio for any photos, but I caught her on Sunday in the Soak booth for a quick pic.  I had a great time  meeting you guys at the event and was able to help more than a few knitters pick out Rockwell combos for their Dobbs Ferries before heading back across the bridge. 

And I had a few moments to peruse the rest of Jill's yarns and have started to plan something new, in perhaps ..... Windham this time.

More people pics are on Instagram, but I'm thinking I should share some of what came home with me, right?.  (there is more...)


Julie Asselin delivered a SQ of her new Nurtured yarn to me in person, and I cannot WAIT to get going on this.  I am telling myself I have to write the 2 sweaters I am currently working on first.  But then....


I've been wanting to try Brooke's Sincere Sheep yarn for a while - and this raspberry cormo was beautiful.  Amy Christoffers had shown me an upcoming Berroco shawl design in a similar color, and I think I was channeling my desire for that piece when I pulled this off the hook.  I may need to make Amy's as well - keep your eye out for it, because it's going to be a stunner. 


As always, Barbara's Foxfire yarn is gorgeous - I thought I was done for the day when I found myself in her booth.  But this is a silk and cormo blend that I could not leave there.


 
Lastly, a bit more Cormo from my favorite ladies at Foxhill Farm. I see a future shawl out of these lovelies.  You have no idea how happy I was to arrive on Saturday morning and see a crowd and a long line in the booth when I got there.  Alice ran out of yarn for Buck's Hat before Saturday was out and had a great show, thanks to all your enthusiasm for her fiber!  I am getting a list of the other events they will be at this year and promise to share the schedule as soon as I can.  I know they plan on going to the MA Sheep and Wool festival in early November, and the Wayland Farmer's Market in MA in February.  I'll get the dates and details soon.


I also have some new O-Wool - which I pretty much traded with Jocelyn for the original Paloma sample.  She looked so great in it that I couldn't bear to bring it home, and I'll have a whole new O-wool project for myself in a few months, so I think we both won. But a photo of my new yarn will have to wait - the light is tough on blues and greens today.

Also not photographed are a few skeins from the Neighborhood Fiber Company, but it's a dark day and I can't capture those colors properly - but they are worth capturing, so you'll have to wait to see them.  I think all of these may end up in some kind of  Festival-themed accessory project as the year goes on, but we'll see...

Anyways,  it's definitely time to get back to work and (snif) put this year's festival behind me.  If you went, I hope you had a great weekend too!!
 

Friday, October 09, 2015

I'm thinking I'll never be able to get enough of either.  You already know about my Beekman Tavern sweater, which I did for Ysolda's Rhinebeck Book a couple of years ago.  It was designed in a yarn that's perhaps one of my favorite yarns ever.  First, because it's gorgeous and squishy and simply wonderful to work with. 

 
But just as importantly, I love everything about Foxhill Farm Cormo because of Alice and Sue, who run the farm and create the yarn and sit in the booth when you come and see them at one of the many Fiber Festivals they travel to every year.

These guys are about the farm and the yarn -- which is made with love and commitment and time and effort.  They'll tell you sheep names and talk about the different fleeces in the flock, and how they cover their sheep (I always imagine little plaid jackets..) to protect the fiber throughout the year.  But you won't find them online and you won't see them at TNNA, and they don't have a distribution system to get their product into shops across the country.  And to me, that's the heart and soul of the Fiber Festival.  It's what makes it different than the rest of the yarny world.  It's the place to celebrate the tradition and work behind our yarns, to find things we can't get other places and to see what people still make and bring to market themselves -- as opposed to the other - oh so convenient and internet-y side of the business that we spend the rest of our lives involved in.

But I'll use a little technology to spread the word about the farm.


I decided to focus on hats - because single skein projects are the perfect way to sample something new.  And my goal with this project was to give you a reason to try this yarn if you're off to Rhinebeck next week - or any other festival later on.... 


I had one leftover skein of worsted from Beekman - so I got a skein of Aran and one of  Bulky and decided I'd design a project in each for a pre-Rhinebeck release.  Then, no matter what weight you fall in love with, you can grab a skein and knit it up.  

Above is Buck's Hat in Aran, and below is Daisy's Hat in Worsted.  Buck's Hat is named for Buck, who gives his darker fleece to create the silvery gray in the Aran wool.  Daisy's Hat was knit from my remaining skein of  the worsted, and I imagine Daisy to be a classic white sheep about half  Buck's size.  I could be wrong, but I get to say whatever I want when I name my projects.


To make this a bit more fun, I got my friend Ellen Mason involved -- because she does wonderful things and loves traditional farm yarn.  Also because I was visiting her for the weekend and had the yarn in my bag and once she started squeezing the bulky, it really just became hers.

Check out the design she created below -- the adorable Polka Knot Hat.


All three designs are available on Ravelry for $4 each.
Buck's Hat
Daisy's Hat
Polka Knot Hat
More details and photos are on each of the pattern pages.

I have a drink called a Daisy and Buck that I'll post later - because I want to share it with a friend tonight, and right now I still have a few hours of seaming ahead of me.

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So if you're at Rhinebeck next weekend - or any other Fiber Festival this year, keep your eyes out for Alice and Sue and Foxhill Farm.  Get yourself a skein or two (in any weight!).  I promise you won't be sorry - but I can't guarantee you won't want a sweater's worth next year... 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


Thank you for such a great response to the Dobbs Ferry Rhinebeck Sweater! Both Jill and I are so happy that you liked the design and have been scooping up the Rockwell - there will be lots more at Rhinebeck, don't worry - and if Jill's shop looks a bit bare right now, know that a few of her retailers also carry Rockwell, plus a bunch was headed to Hidden River, in Philly last week and should arrive on the shelves any moment.  There's a thread in my Ravelry group with lots of color discussion and we'll be doing a KAL in November for this sweater.

Anyways, the post had gotten a little long so the other day so I'd figured I would do a separate one for the drink - especially since it's a got a short story. 

I have this great vintage cocktail book that's full of weird tales and stories behind the drinks -  it's called the Esquire Drink Book.  It's edited by Frederic Birmingham and was published in 1956.  I found it on ebay (the best place to shop for old stuff) and it's one of my favorite things, ever. 



It's full of weird bits of 1950s wisdom, phrases, and illustrations - some vaguely inappropriate and sexist, which makes them even better - plus little stories like this one behind the drinks.... 

(I'm copying verbatim from the book below -)


The Dobbs:

"In the village of Dobbs Ferry, New York - not far from where the very first cocktail in all history (that's another story - involving a rooster, a barmaid and some colonists) was served, Dick Cavellero runs a spot - Dick's Cabin - which draws people from the whole countryside for drinks and dinner, to the despair of country club managers and gaudier places.  But Dick has a special after dinner drink of his one and one with a story. 

First the story:  Seems some local satrap was afflicted by hiccups, and had them for 5 days.  He was, in fact dangerously ill.  He had put his head in a paper bag, drunk a glass of water upside down, been said BOO to, and had interviewed a platoon of psychiatrists and doctors.  But he was still all hics and cups.  DC had the answer - in a glass.   Tres simple and very delicious. Pour white crème de menthe over crushed ice in a broad flange cocktail glass until near full (by capillary action).  Then, flirt across the ice several dashes of Fernet Blanca.

You guessed it. Cured his hiccups, probably because his host chilled the glass and the drink so acutely (and so astutely) that it partially anesthetized his throat and forced him to sip slowly"

:)  I chose the drink mainly because it was a local NY town - and that goes really well with Jill's commitment to local farms, but it's a bonus to be able to use my book! 

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For those of you going to Rhinebeck, you know Jill is having an Open Studio on Saturday night in Kingston, right? You can touch all the yarns and play with color combos, and I'll bet there to weigh in with all kinds of unsolicited advice.   Details are here.


And I have one more surprise for Rhinebeck up my sleeve - something in Fox Hill Farm's gorgeous Cormos....  Details on these soon!


Monday, September 28, 2015


Introducing Dobbs Ferry.  Last year at Rhinebeck, I walked into Jill Draper's booth and began mixing and matching the Rockwell - because this stuff is just too cool, and one color wasn't going to do it.  I'm such a fan of Jill's work and her gorgeous yarn and her entire business model, which is based on using New England animals and supporting local mills and traditions with a minimal environmental footprint.  Her blog is full of photos of her out there in the fields with the sheep, and she's rolling her sleeves up at Green Mountain Spinnery with Maureen and Laurie while milling the yarn, and she cares so deeply about all of what she produces, and about the steps she takes to do so.  I'm just so very happy to have the chance to be a part of what she's doing. And Dobbs Ferry is my latest little part, knit in her Rockwell yarn.

Rockwell is made with plies of different colors to give a marled effect to the finished fiber.  Jill uses naturally colored fleeces, sorted from lightest to darkest, and spins 3 shades - a light, medium and dark.  Each shade is really made up of dozen of colors from the many shades of fleeces, and even undyed, it's stunning.

 
 
But when Jill starts adding her dyes to this, it gets simply addictive.   And I really couldn't decide, standing there in the booth, so I picked three - Rose Petal, Lavender, and Cloud.  Then I came up with a plan to knit a simple, modern version of a bold, Icelandic-style yoked pullover.  The combination of clean lines in the colorwork and lots of stockinette really allow the texture and shades of the Rockwell stand out.  I also liked the idea of starting somewhere steeped in tradition for this project, and then taking it somewhere fun.  It's kind of what Jill does every day.
 
I added some detail to the ribbing at the bottom, and created a staggered motif that kind of echoes the colorwork itself.  It's a subtle thing, but I like it.
 
 
Three quarter sleeves and a wide, dipped crew neckline are modern touches that create a feminine silhouette, and this classic shape can easily be worn either a little slouchy (like mine) or more fitted if desired (see the test knits).  As always, there are notes in the pattern regarding modifications for length or width.  
 

I suggest using two complimentary shades for the hem/yoke and body colors, and picking a bright contrast for the accent on both sleeves and yoke.  It's cozy and traditional, but the yarn makes it just so fun, and I can't wait to wear this to Rhinebeck this year.
 

The PDF pattern for Dobbs Ferry is available on Ravelry or on the blog here for $7, and Jill's shop will be chock full of Rockwell at noon today. We have some color suggestions, and I will have a Dobbs Ferry thread in my Ravelry group where you can see the test knits or throw around your color ideas.  Feel free to ask any questions or just chat about your sweater plans...
 
You can purchase Rockwell in Jill's Etsy shop, or if you want to see all of Jill's yarn in person, she's having an Open House at her studio in Kingston on the Saturday night of Rhinebeck weekend, from 6-9pm.  I'll be sure to post the details when the date gets closer, and I hope to see some of you there!
 
And I know I'm covering a lot of topics in this post...  BUT, there's one more thing.  
 
 
I really couldn't let my Rockwell leftovers from the colorwork bits go to waste once I was done knitting Dobbs, so I designed another small pattern - the Dobbs Ferry Hat.  If you aren't planning an entire sweater, you can consider it a gateway drug for Rockwell, but if you are knitting the sweater, it's a great way to make sure nothing goes to waste. 
 
It's a simple, easily modified colorwork hat, using a variation on the motif from the sweater.  It uses about 75 yards each of two colors.   You can wear it slouchy or folded back and fitted, and there are lots of ways to alter this for depth, width or the amount of each color you have on hand.  I've tried to create a flexible recipe with options, so you can play around with what remains in your bag -  or give this stuff a try! 
 
 
The Dobbs Ferry Hat is available for $5 on Ravelry or on the blog here, and you can see the test knits on Ravelry for this one as well.
 
Since this was made originally for the leftovers, if you download your sweater pattern, there's a code in there that will get you 50% off the hat. It will work on Ravelry as long as there's a previous purchase of the PDF in your library, so you can decide after you're done knitting.  :)
 
I think I've said quite enough already, so I'll save the Dobbs Ferry Cocktail for a post later this week - I  hope you guys like these, and if you are planning to be at Rhinebeck, spotting me will be easy now.