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Vintage Green Strange Brew

July 11, 2019

pink and green – fresh new territory

Green isn’t generally one of my go-to colours. As you’ll see from this post on my very favourite colour combinations, I tend toward the primaries, with orangey reds, teally blues, and golden yellows featuring heavily. So this green + pink concept… it’s colouring WAY outside my usual box (which of course, as a designer is where I’m interested in going).

My exploration of machine knitting (more on my machine in a later post, I promise!) has opened my world to 4-ply yarns, leading to a collection of Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight, Jamieson’s of Shetland Shetland Spindrift, and JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool. During the 2018 Edinburgh Yarn Festival I was SMITTEN with this cone of ‘vintage green’ Rennie’s Supersoft, and spent the better part of the show collecting other shades of green and pink to coordinate with it. You know how it can be when a project idea strikes!

51 weeks later

One week before Edinburgh Yarn Festival in 2019, I realized with a sense of embarrassment and impending doom that all that ‘perfect green sweater’ ambition had come to naught in the previous 51 weeks. I love a deadline, so I decided to ‘bang out a Strange Brew’ in the week that remained before the show. A solid plan if ever I’ve had one.

Doing a little sleeve swatching to decide on my colours

Imagining a cropped / kinda baggy silhouette, I began with the Strange Brew women’s size L (42.5″ chest), following the sock weight instructions. I made a short unshaped body, and long unshaped sleeves on the machine. Then I decreased to half the stitch count to hand-knit the cuff ribbing, which made for these (very comfy) relaxed sleeves with a slight bell effect.

At the yoke, I began with a pattern which I’d tested out in swatch format. From there, I alternated the larger motif with a narrower motif, working the decrease rounds in between.

colourways I used:

As you can see from the chart and the finished knit, I experimented with different options for the small-scale motif; I think I prefer the 3rd option, which reads more clearly as a little string of boxes on a deep pink background.

It’s also useful to note that in rounds 1-28, I was able to control the vertical alignment of the patterns one to the next, because there are no decrease rounds between these patterns. So I was able to offset the larger patterns a half-stitch-repeat relative to each other, and align the small pattern between. However, with the decreases in rounds 29 and 47, alignment above was not consistent, as it may seem from the chart. But in the finished knit I don’t think it particularly matters, given the horizontal ‘banded’ nature of the design.

I have been loving this sweater since I finished it (a day after EYF finished, of course! because as much as I love a deadline I also love to miss them….) I took it to Paris with me to show it off to Alexa when we met up. While there are things that I would change if we published this as a pattern, I am very pleased with it as a knit, and I’ve learned by 37 that perfect is the enemy of ‘finished’.

Will you ‘Strange Brew’?

We have documented a number of finished Strange Brew sweaters now! Here some others which you could make using our Strange Brew colourwork yoke recipe in your own size and palette, using similar charts to the ones we developed.

A sweater for my best friend Chantal
John’s holiday sweater
Neve’s Strange Brew prototype
A geometric yoke for me
Related Strange Brews for Max and myself

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2019 7:29 am

    I absolutely love your green take on Strange brew!! But green is my favourite colour. The contrasting colours you have for the yoke are simply gorgeous!! All these stunning yokes got me thinking of fall now…. :)

  2. Meredith MC permalink
    July 14, 2019 8:12 am

    Love, love, love the green strange brew. Your work is inspiring.

  3. July 13, 2019 1:40 pm

    I love that green/pink color combination! I have been thinking about options for a Strange Brew sweater for a while – this is a great inspiration :)

  4. Jess permalink
    July 11, 2019 8:47 am

    Really love the sleeves and the box motif on this!

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