Skip to content


November 22, 2018

Sometimes things come easy, but Marshland? Not so much.

Sometimes the knit design process is straightforward. Starting with a concept, we swatch or knit up the prototype and then grade it (that means figuring out directions for 25 or so sizes), knit up the final sample, photograph, test-knit, tech edit, and lay it out. Simple right?

But sometimes it is not very simple at all. The Marshland sweater was a design that required some elbow grease. I swatched and I swatched, changed colours and changed motifs, then swatched again. It was a good lesson in perseverance and try-try-again!

The first yoke was just okay. It was more blue than I wanted and I only liked about 1/2 of the motifs together. I picked out the motifs I really liked then cast on again!

It also turned out I had made a mistake in the initial increase and it was the wrong size to boot…

Next came the colour debate, I had chosen Brooklyn Tweed Shelter for my sweater but should I use Artifact or Button Jar?!

After a couple weeks, I had swatched in the blue/green combination so many times I needed a change! I ran out to my LYS and picked out the yellow/brown/cream palette I used for Jones’ sweater just to break up the monotony! It was as I worked on the kid size that I finally struck upon what I wanted: chunky motifs, strong blocks of colour, and bold shapes. It was perfect.

I graded the yoke design up, cast on Gary’s sweater and I was FINALLY on my way. While we always hope to have our sweater samples bound off well ahead of photoshoot time, I was still working away on the sleeves as we headed out on the Icelandic ring road from Reykjavik!

Marshland Pattern details:

Pattern: Marshland from Strange Brew
The Marshland pattern includes sizes from 0-6 months through Women’s and Men’s sizes up to 4XL (61″ chest). The design is worked in worsted / aran weight yarn, we used Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a lofty soft woollen-spun yarn that comes in an excellent palette of tweedy colours.  Find all sizing, and yarn details here.

You can also find some really amazing versions on our Pinterest board here:

Mountaintop Views:

Normally while driving over a mountain pass you can see your path laid out in front of you. There is a space between two mountains through which you might pass, or you can see the line of the road cutting across the slope. One day on our Icelandic journey, as we drove north to Akureyri we headed towards a wall of mountains and all we kept saying to each other was ‘where will we get through?’.

The road had the appearance of heading straight into the mountainside. Finally, as we approached we could see a narrow winding dirt road that led up. It was so faint we couldn’t see it from afar. Up up up we climbed and finally came out on top. We found a stunning vista of lake, snow, the warm dirt and bright green mosses.

The wind that day threatened to blow us over, but we got Gary and Jones sweatered up and these are some of my very favourite shots from the book. Father and son in coordinated sweaters, enjoying the great outdoors.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Karolina permalink
    April 17, 2019 12:52 am

    Hello! I’m starting a marshland sweater and I am wondering why the collar portion is added at the end. Why not start with the ribbing of the collar ?

    • April 17, 2019 9:56 am

      Hi Karolina – picking up from the cast on gives the neckline a little extra structure, instead of having the weight of the sweater hang from the cast on it will hang from the ‘seam’ created by picking up sts.

  2. Pat Murphy permalink
    January 13, 2019 4:44 pm

    I am choosing yarn now for this sweater. Making it in a class at my knit shop Woolworks with instructor Tara. My first color work sweater. I ordered your book and look forward to trying several patterns. I enjoyed your photos from Iceland I have been there twice. Thanks for making this pattern so versatile Pat from Baltimore, Maryland USA

  3. November 22, 2018 2:17 pm

    So pretty! The process was obviously worth it!

  4. Lynne permalink
    November 22, 2018 9:59 am

    I’ve stood on that plain, and I have to say the first photo and how the colourwork connects with the landscape is just such exceptional work! Love everything about this.

  5. Shelly Mitchell permalink
    November 22, 2018 7:22 am

    WOWZERS! It was worth the work–at least for me! I was going to make the Mountain Mist, but I think I’m changing my mind 🤔

  6. Donna permalink
    November 22, 2018 6:24 am

    You have beautiful knitting patterns! Is it possible to show us the reverse side of a yoke? What is the secret to not pull the carry yarn too tight? Is this such a simple question?

    • November 22, 2018 1:15 pm

      Hi Donna – Check out our Instagram we sometimes have shots of the inside of our work there (I’ll try to post one in the next couple of days for sure). To keep it loose I try to use a slightly longer cable than usual, and I make sure to spread out my stitches on the right hand needle every few sts. Keep those floats long and loose!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: