Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Shepherdess

Just my humble opinion, but there is nary a more darling baby sweater ensemble than Julia Farwell-Clay's Welcome to the Flock. Julia's bevy of baby sheep grazing in a grass of green hand-dyed yarn is topped of with a matching top-knot beanie. If you have a baby in your life, you must make this duo for your little one.

Now meet the new Shepherdess in town, the latest offering from Julia Farwell-Clay. As she writes, the Shepherdess is, "An adult sweater with a whimsical heart. Thank you to the knitters who loved knitting my baby sweater pattern Welcome to the Flock enough to also ask for a grown-up version for themselves. And what knitter doesn’t love sheep just a little too much?" True THAT.

Julia's adorable round-yoked cardi, which is designed for worsted yarn, comes in sizes up to 58.5 inches (thank you, Julia). The Shepherdess is knitted flat from side to side, but you could easily knit it in the round and steek it. Fit wise, it is similar to the Hiro Cardigan so many of us have already made.

I particularly like that Julia knit the body of the sweater in stockinette, but garter stitched the little lambs. Love those little fleeces!

The Shepherdess is available for purchase on Ravelry. If you're a plus-sized wool lover like I am, this one is for you.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tremendous Tempest

Hello, old friends. I'm writing today about Tempest, a lovely new book by Canadian designer, Holli Yeoh. Her creations feature the always stunning Sweet Georgia Yarns - honestly, I have never  seen a Sweet Georgia Yarn color I didn't like. If you're not familiar with Holli and Sweet Georgia, I'm happy to introduce you.

I got to know Holli while designing and building her website earlier this year.  Holli is an incredibly talented designer who is as comfortable creating women's cardigans as baby blankets. Vogue Knitting regularly publishes her innovative twists on the classics. Check out Holli's Ravelry pages to learn more.

As its websites states, Felicia Lo's Sweet Georgia Yarn hand-dyes "knitting yarns and spinning fibres in stunningly saturated colours." Supreme understatement! On steroids! Sweet Georgia Yarns simply sing. I could dig around for a more spectacular way to say it, but in this case, a picture truly speaks a thousands words.

Tempest offers 11 patterns - four sweaters, two wraps, four cowls, one hat and a matching pair of gloves. Holli's patterns are uniformly gorgeous, but the best news for us: all of the sweaters have at least a 60-inch finished bust measurement. Thank you, Holli!

My favorite sweater: Eventide, a lightweight pullover that alternates "bands of sheer and opaque chevrons create contrast and texture in this boxy pullover. Set-in sleeves and seams provide structure for a refined fit. Knit in fine merino and silk, this pullover has a sophisticated air while the easy silhouette makes it equally comfortable in a more casual setting." Holli designed Eventide in Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Fine and Silk Mist.

Another design I really love from Tempest is Haven, a veritable crayon box of a wrap. Holli's description says it all: "This simple project features an ombré fabric created by working with two strands of yarn held together throughout. You work colour changes by first knitting with two strands of the same colour, followed by a strand each of the old colour and a new colour, followed by two strands of the new colour; repeat!" The poncho, which is worked as a large rectangle, includes buttonholes in one of the ribbed selvedges. Fold fold your beautiful triangle in half, button it, and go. Haven uses Sweet Georgia's CashLuxe Fine, a merino, silk, and nylon blend.

To see more of Tempest or to purchase the book, visit the Tempest website.

And to win a free copy of the book, leave a comment here and I'll choose someone at random for the giveaway!

Tempest defines my life as well. It has been one hell of a year.  I appreciate the many prayers and kind words. During my time away, I've been knitting away. I will share my projects and lessons learned in the days to come.