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Developing your custom sweater concept

October 18, 2018

This post is part of a multi-part series that covers the Strange Brew colourwork yoke sweater recipe! For a list of the other posts in this series, click here. To get the Strange Brew recipe pattern (it’s written for 3 gauges, and includes 25 sizes from baby through women’s and men’s 4XL) click here.

Ready to design your own custom colourwork sweater? It’s so exciting! The first thing to consider is where to place your patterning? 

Patterning: here, there, or everywhere?

While the Strange Brew pattern was conceived as a recipe for a colourwork yoke sweater, the truth is that it’s possible to place colourwork patterning at any point on your garment! Cuffs and hems, across the chest, just a stripe of colourwork in the yoke….so many possibilities! So where will you add patterns?

Patterning at the Yoke

Within the round yoke of a Strange Brew sweater, there is a certain amount of room to locate motifs. Following the pattern there are a total number of rounds that you need to work to reach sufficient depth (this will depend on your size, and on the gauge at which you’re knitting).

One convenient feature of the Strange Brew recipe pattern is that the pattern sections (A, B, C or 1, 2, 3) have stitch counts divisible by 24. This means that colourwork motifs with stitch repeats of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 will all fit evenly, with no stitch count adjustment being required.

Full Depth Colourwork Yoke

If you develop a colourwork pattern that fills up all of the yoke rounds, you’ll get a deep yoke, like that of Almanac. If you take the pattern even further, and extend the colourwork onto the body and sleeves, you will get an effect like that of Marshland.

The Almanac pullover features a deep yoke and a small matching pattern at hems and cuffs.
The colourwork yoke in Marshland just keeps on going, extending for a few inches down the body and sleeves. This creates a striking and bold effect.

Pattern Centered in Yoke Depth

An elegant and simple option is to locate a narrower band of colourwork in the middle of the yoke. To create a design like this, take your total number of yoke rounds, and divide these rounds into roughly three sections. The bottom section will be worked in MC. Work your chosen stitch pattern (or patterns) in the middle section. The top section will be worked in MC, with all of the 2/3 (or 3/4) shaping rounds spaced above the colourwork and one below (or perhaps you might prefer all of the increases above the colourwork).

Narrow pattern band at neckline

Working a narrower band of colourwork within the top third to half of the of the yoke is a nice option too. This can often look a little bit more delicate than a full-yoke depth pattern.

I made this yoke following the Strange Brew top-down instructions, working an increasing wedge chart, at the sock weight gauge. I like the way that the pattern is somewhat delicate. It fills approximately 1/2 of the total yoke depth.

The concept I am developing for my own #strangebrewKAL sweater design will likely fall into this category of yoke design, with a narrowish band located at the top of the yoke.

Cuff and Hem Patterns

No need to let your sweater yoke have all the fun! Add some colourful details to the cuff and hems of your beautiful creation. The Strange Brew sweater recipe body stitch counts are all 12-stitch multiples. That means that many of the stitch patterns included in our little library with the pattern will fit evenly at the hem, without any stitch count adjustment.

The Strange Brew colourwork sweater recipe and the free Anthology hat & cowl recipe include a small library of stitch patterns to inspire your design.

If you’re knitting your sweater bottom-up, work your ribbing, knit a couple of rounds, then add a colourwork pattern. Your best bet is to add simple patterns related to the stitch patterns used in the yoke section. Working from the top down you will need to take the depth of your desired motif and ribbing into account when determining how long to knit the body before you start your colourwork.

Almanac includes cuff and hem patterns that are similar to portions of the colourwork used at the yoke.

The stitch counts of the sleeve cuffs are 4-stitch multiples. This means that 2-stitch and 4-stitch motifs will fit evenly. To work a motif of a different stitch repeat, you can either adjust the cast on stitch count, or work edge stitches at start and end of the pattern so it fits.

The cuffs and hem of the Marshland sweater have a tidy little geometric detail related to the patterning at the yoke.

Colourwork All Over

If you’re going ALL the way, we applaud you! All-over colourwork is intensely fun to knit. Alexa made MANY versions of the all-over design which developed into Cartography. One critical thing to note about all-over colourwork is that the stranded colourwork doesn’t create the same stretchy fabric that stockinette does.  So you’ll want to choose a size with some positive ease or you may find the sweater feels too small. The same size won’t fit in the same WAY as a sweater made in stockinette.

If you’re planning to go ‘all in’ then you probably want to do some extensive swatching, so that you can calculate your round gauge after blocking in the yarns and patterns you’ve selected. That way you can calculate PRECISELY how many rounds you will have to work with on your body and sleeves.

If you’re knitting and designing an all-over garment ‘by the seat of your pants’ then you may find it easiest to work from the top down (it leaves a bit more room to adjust if things aren’t working perfectly), but really, either way will work!

Colourwork as a band on the body

Whenever colourwork is placed on the body of the sweater, it becomes critical that your stockinette and colourwork gauges match. If they don’t match you can get an ‘hourglass’ effect, where the silhouette pulls in at the colourwork section.

Campfire Pullover
Even we get it a little bit wrong sometimes! The Campfire Pullover from Pacific Knits had a slightly different gauge at the colourwork section.

This is not ideal! To match your colourwork gauge to your stockinette gauge, you may try going up a needle size or two, and holding the work inside out when working the body tube so that the floats will tend to be slightly longer and looser. Our suggestion would be to do whatever you need to in order to LOOSEN UP, and so that you draw those yarns not in use (the floats) very loosely across the back of the work, and you avoid condensing the fabric too much. You can find all of our tips and tricks on colourwork here.

Blocking will also help, after the fact, however it won’t solve a really major gauge difference, so so take care in the gauge testing phase.

Colourwork at Cuffs and Hem only

Lastly, it’s not required that you place ANY colourwork at the yoke. You could knit your sweater with some stripes or colour changes, or simple stockinette at the yoke, and keep the colourwork to just the cuffs and hem.

Further Design Considerations

Some other issues to consider as you develop your sweater concept:

  • Do you want to adjust the body or sleeve lengths those given in the pattern?
  • Will you include waist shaping?
  • Do you want to adjust body shaping?
  • Do you want to include short-row shaping, and if so how will it interact with your desired pattern placement?
  • Do you want to make a cardigan (this means planning a steek)?

We will touch on each of these topics in coming posts!

My #strangebrewKAL Concept

My concept for my #strangebrewKAL sweater is to work my sweater bottom up. I will be working a fairly large-repeat wedge pattern (about 24 sts wide) that transitions from the deep red that I’ve chosen for the body, to a lighter contrast colour. I also plan to make the body cropped and boxy, with a high-low split hem detail… I’ll be posting more design details as I develop them on the Ravelry Group #strangebrewKAL thread, and in our Instagram Stories!


More colourwork from Tin Can Knits:

         

Choosing yarn for your colourwork sweater

October 16, 2018

This post is part of a multi-part series that covers the Strange Brew colourwork yoke sweater recipe! For a list of the other posts in this series, click here. To get the Strange Brew recipe pattern (it’s written for 3 gauges, and includes 25 sizes from baby through women’s and men’s 4XL) click here.

Which yarn shall I use for my colourwork sweater?

There are SO MANY YARNS out there. We love it, of course, because it’s fabulous to have a plethora of fibers, spins, colours and weights to choose from! But this can also be a bit daunting, so which yarn should you choose for your colourwork sweater?

The short answer: pretty much anything you can block, and we really recommend a wool or wool blend.

This doesn’t mean you can’t knit colourwork if you are a vegan or have a wool allergy of course, but wool tends to be the most forgiving. Wool has what is called ‘memory’, which will help your stitches stay where you want them and stop your garment from stretching out of shape over time.

This doesn’t mean you can’t knit colourwork if you are a vegan or have a wool allergy of course, but wool tends to be the most forgiving. Wool has what is called ‘memory’, which will help your stitches stay where you want them and stop your garment from stretching out of shape over time.

There are so many yarns and colours to choose from!

There’s a big world of wool out there, from rustic woolly wools to smooth plied superwash Merinos, and everything in between. If you take a stroll through your LYS give all the yarns a feel. You will see the variety in textures, softness, and spin. There are pros and cons to any choice and a lot will depend on the yarns you have available to you and the palette you are most drawn to.

How are the yarns different?

Yarns differ in the degree to which they slip smoothly past each other, vs. the degree to which they ‘stick’ one to the next, and have fuzzy furry bits that fill in the gaps.

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter is a woolen-spun yarn

Because of its fuzzy / furry / stickiness, a rustic Shetland yarn, for example,
is more forgiving when it comes to colourwork than a smooth, round, single-ply superwash sock yarn is. It hides more of the slight imperfections in tension.

On the left is a close up of Almanac, knit up in Istex Lettlopi, a yarn with lots of fuzzy bits to fill in the space between stitches.  On the right is the Clayoquot cardigan, knit up in Sweet Fiber Merino Twist DK, a superwash wool. In the superwash yarn the stitches are more crisp and they have more definition, because of this the yarn on the right is a little less forgiving if your tension is uneven.
On the left is a close up of the Compass yoke (in Quince and Co Chickadee) and on the right is Cartography (in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor). Both are knit in smooth round yarns that are not superwash, so they fall somewhere in the middle. They don’t have the same stickiness of a more rustic yarn, but the stitches do ‘fill in’ more than a superwash yarn with a high twist. 
These Hedgehog Fibers Skinny Singles are a smooth round superwash yarn.

It is also worth noting that superwash yarns tend to ‘grow’ with blocking, and with wear. They are a bit stretchier so make sure to block your swatch and consider this effect when choosing your sweater size, as well as body and sleeve lengths.

In Strange Brew we used an array of yarns, from woolen-spun Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and single-ply softly spun Icelandic Lopi, to the smooth and round Quince and Co Chickadee, and Stone Wool Cormo, which has a textured quality because of the yarn’s 2-ply construction.

Collect a rainbow:

Of course, it wouldn’t be a discussion of yarns for colourwork if we didn’t include the colour! We love knitting colourwork in yarns that have a great big rainbow of a palette available. This allows us to add (and add and add…) to our collection, knowing that the yarns will work well together, and that our painter’s palette available for colourwork will grow and grow!

Emily’s collection Jamieson & Smith is ever expanding!

Once you find a yarn that you love, we think it’s worth investing in a rainbow of your own; colourwork is rather addictive! It’s lovely to go to the stash and pull out a new combination to try when the inspiration strikes.

Hats and cowls are the perfect place to trial a new yarn, colour combination, or stitch pattern. Download our free Anthology hat & cowl recipe pattern, which has instructions for 3 gauges and baby-to-big sizing. Cast on for a swatch hat today!

Head to the stash for some play!

Feel like taking your yarn research to the next level? Once you find a yarn you like, knit yourself a hat and wear it for a week. Then you will REALLY know how the yarn knits up and wears. It’s as accurate a swatch as you can get without actually knitting a whole sweater.

You Can Mix and Match!

Emily is a big fan of mixing and matching across yarn brands, types, and even mixing weights! It’s worthwhile knowing that this is possible, because it really opens up the palette of colours you have available in your existing stash! She has successfully worked colourwork that mixed aran, worsted, DK and even a sport weight yarn or two, all with different spin types / qualities, within the same hat. If you hold a sock weight yarn double, it could be used alongside a worsted or aran weight in stranded colourwork. So feel free to experiment with mixing and matching!

This little hat swatch combines: Aran weight single ply, sport weight alpaca 2-ply, DK weight hand-dyed yarn, and DK weight alpaca yarn. But it all came together into a cohesive fabric in the end! So don’t fear mixing and matching.

So, now that your mind is full of yarn-y possibilities you can start on your swatching journey! We will be adding tutorials on swatching for colourwork next week!


More colourwork from Tin Can Knits:

         

How to choose your size

October 12, 2018
This post is part of a multi-part series that covers the Strange Brew colourwork yoke sweater recipe! For a list of the other posts in this series, click here. To get the Strange Brew recipe pattern (it’s written for 3 gauges, and includes 25 sizes from baby through women’s and men’s 4XL) click here.
One of the most common questions we get from knitters is ‘which size should I knit?’. Knitters often aren’t certain how to choose the size that is right for them. We’ll share with you how we do it.

Basic Method: Measure a sweater you love to wear

First of all, when knitting for yourself, the most useful and quick method for choosing a size is to begin with a sweater that you already love, and measure it up. Lay the sweater flat on the floor, and measure 3 key dimensions:
  1. Chest measurement (measure across, then multiply that number by 2)
  2. Body length measured from underarm to hem
  3. Sleeve length from underarm to hem
Armed with these key dimensions, look at the pattern sizing table. Find the size with a finished chest measurement that most closely matches the dimension your beloved sweater, this is the size you will knit. For example, I would usually choose to knit the adult M (37″), because I have a bust of about 38″, and I like to wear my sweaters with a bit of negative ease at the bust.

Adjusting Body Length

The body length in Strange Brew is easy to adjust. If you are making a non-shaped body, you can simply knit more or less inches in the body section. If you are working waist shaping (an option which is included in this recipe pattern) then you should add or subtract length from the hem. This means when knitting top down, you will complete the waist shaping section, then knit a shorter or longer distance before working your hem ribbing. When knitting from the bottom up, you will work either more (or less) distance BEFORE beginning the waist shaping, so the length is adjusted in that section of the body, and the waist shaping will still sit in a suitable place relative to the underarm join.

Adjusting Sleeve Length

You can adjust sleeve length in much the same way as you would body length. Working from the top down, you will work more (or less) inches before beginning sleeve shaping decreases. Working from the bottom up, you’ll work the sleeve shaping increases to full sleeve stitch count, then simply knit to the total desired length. If you’re working a larger size, you may find it’s necessary to work sleeve increases or decreases more often than stated in the pattern if you’re shortening the sleeves. For example, you might increase every 4th round rather than every 5th round, so you reach the total stitch count sooner.

Important Note: If you adjust the body or sleeve lengths, it means you will require more (or less) yarn in these sections.

Understanding Ease

Ease describes how tightly or loosely a garment will fit on the body. It’s the difference, in inches (or cm), between actual body measurements and the finished garment measurement. If the garment measurement is smaller than your body measurement, it has negative ease. If the garment measurement is larger than your body measurement, it has positive ease. Generally, the body measurement is most critical when sizing a sweater. It is the largest point of your torso; whatever that may be, belly, chest, or bust. Tin Can Knits patterns generally include a ‘sizing notes’ section that details the size of the model wearing the sweater in the pictures, and how the sweater sample fits that person. An example from the Almanac pattern: “John is wearing Men’s M (42.5″) with 3″ positive ease. Nina is wearing the same sweater with 5.5″ of positive ease.” We include these details to help you decide how much ease YOU would like to have in your finished sweater. Generally, we don’t tell you how you should wear our designs. Everybody loves to wear their clothes differently, and sweaters are no exception.

Note: Alexa and I don’t wear our sweaters the same way!

I usually prefer my sweaters with a bit of negative ease at the bust, so I choose the sweater size a little smaller than my bust measurement.  Alexa usually prefers a bit of positive ease so she would choose a size a couple inches bigger than her bust measurement. So this is why we list finished garment measurements (the size of the sweater itself assuming you knit it to the design gauge), and allow knitters to choose the size to knit based upon the amount of ease that they prefer. If relaxed ‘slouchy’ sweaters make you feel cozy and trendy, you’ll choose a size with a few inches of positive ease. If a close body-hugging fit makes you feel your best, opt for a chest measurement with zero or negative ease.

Fabric Type Considerations

Stockinette is a stretchy fabric, but other stitch types like stranded colourwork can be less forgiving. So at times we will also include a suggestion of what level of ease is required to make the garment fit well. For example, the Moraine and Cartography sweaters include stranded colourwork throughout the garment. This makes for a fabric that is MUCH less stretchy than stockinette. Since this fabric will not stretch as readily, we recommend choosing a size with at least a little bit of positive ease. This would apply to the Marshland sweater too, as the stranded colourwork section extends down past the yoke separation into the chest area.

Why Gauge REALLY Matters

One final note I would make about choosing your sweater size, is that gauge REALLY matters. You went to all the trouble of measuring and carefully considering what size you want to knit….so you really want to make sure you knit that size! Not really sure what gauge means? Check out this post. The process of choosing a size, then following the instructions for that size is only useful if, when you knit your sweater with your needles and your yarn, you achieve the stitch gauge given in the pattern. Any consideration of sizing will prove pointless if you fail to achieve the design gauge stated on the pattern. You may chose a size, but if your gauge is off you won’t be knitting that size! Let me give you a little example. Say I were knitting a sweater for my 38” bust, and the goal was to achieve a close fit. I decided I would follow the sock weight instructions instructions in Strange Brew for a size ML, which would come to 39” finished dimension, just 1” positive ease, so probably quite comfortable. The stockinette gauge for the sock weight Strange Brew is 26 sts / 4” which is 6.5 sts per inch. However, perhaps I didn’t swatch carefully, or I didn’t block my swatch, and I ended up with 24 sts / 4”, or 6.0 sts per inch. 252 sts (the body stitch count) at the correct gauge (6.5) results in (252 / 6.5 = 38.77”) At the gauge I actually got (6.0) the sweater would end up much larger (252 / 6 = 42”). So instead of having about an inch of positive ease, I would ended up with 4” of positive ease at the bust. Major sad face! Over the coming months, we will be filling in all of the pieces in the blog series mentioned above, Sign up for email updates to be reminded when these new tutorials become available!

#strangebrewKAL

We’ve just started a KAL focussed upon the Strange Brew collection! Join us for all the chat and colourwork inspiration in the Tin Can Knits Ravelry group. I can’t wait to share my epic Christmas sweater design process…

A Strange KAL

October 9, 2018

We couldn’t release the expanded Strange Brew recipe pattern AND 8 new colourwork sweaters without a KAL could we?! It’s time to gather up your yarn, pull out your needles, and join us for some knit-along fun!

Feeling bold? Design your own Strange Brew in the KAL!

How to join in:

Knit a project from our new book Strange Brew (either create a unique design of your own following our recipe pattern, or knit one of the 12 designs) between October 9th and December 6 2018, and join us in our Ravelry group here. It’s that simple!

I know there are at least a few of you ready to cast on for the Mountain Mist sweater!

Why KAL?

The number one reason to join a KAL is definitely that the knitting community is awesome. Going to a party with your non-knitting friends and sharing the gory details of your latest knit doesn’t always make you the most popular dinner guest. Gary is pretty patient when I wax poetic about a new yarn or my latest sweater debates (to crop or not to crop, that is the question), but I can definitely see his eyes glaze over eventually!

But knitters? They get you. They can weigh in on your colour debates, the ‘what size should I knit’ questions, the excitement over a new short row method. They get it all. They are dying to hear which yarn you chose, who you are knitting for, what went wrong, and what mods you made. A KAL makes the adventure of knitting a sweater even more fun!

Plus, I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who benefits from a deadline when it comes to getting things bound off, blocked and ticked off the list!

The cropped look was EVERYWHERE at Knit City this year. Icefall includes options for a cropped or full length body.

What are we knitting?

Emily and I will both be knitting along too! I have grand plans for a top-down sweater for Hunter, with colourwork at the yoke, hem, and cuffs, following the Strange Brew recipe pattern. I’ve got my palette ideas started, but the final colour choices will have to wait until the swatch-a-thon has concluded!

A lovely palette of Brooklyn Tweed Peerie for my KAL sweater!

Emily has an unreasonable plan… but this is not unusual! She’s setting out to knit a complete FAMILY of yokes for a crazy family holiday photo. Step one, choose a coordinating set of body colours. Check! More details to come on the Rav group.

After some soul searching (and some help from her friend Nina @rainbowheirloom) Em chose a palette of coordinating body yarns. The red (for me) is a lux alpaca blend that I made at The Border Mill when I visited, the green and grey are tweedy lovelies from stash, and the pink is Brit Light from Rainbow Heirloom… Yum!

Cast on today!

We will be casting on today, October 9th, and knitting our hearts out! Follow along in the Rav group and use the hashtag #StrangeBrewKAL on Instagram!


More Strange Brew knits from TCK:

    

Let’s Knit a Colourwork Sweater

October 8, 2018
Colourwork knitting is exciting, beautiful and satisfying, but it can also seem daunting when it’s your first time! Alongside the launch of our new colourwork collection, Strange Brew, we are running a KAL (that’s a knit-along), and launching a new tutorial series. This tutorial series will cover issues that apply to colourwork knitting, from the basics of choosing a sweater size, selecting a yarn and swatching, to the more complex process of designing your own colourwork yoke sweater using the Strange Brew colourwork yoke sweater recipe.
This sweater was knit following the top-down instructions in the Strange Brew recipe pattern. I used Ginger’s Hand Dyed Sheepish Aran in ‘crunchy leaves’, ‘honey pot’, ‘breakfast with ginger’, ‘birdie on the shoulder’ and ‘grumpy bear’.

This colourwork tutorial series will cover:

And many other topics too! There will also be posts highlighting some great sweaters that were designed using the Strange Brew sweater recipe pattern.
I used the ‘wedge method’ to design Max’s yoke, following the top-down instructions in the Strange Brew recipe pattern. I used Old Maiden Aunt Corriedale sportweight in ‘with a kiss’.

To get from idea to finished knit there is a BIG list of questions that a knitter must answer, and when you’re not sure how to tackle these questions, your project can get stuck, shelved, frogged or tossed roughly into the back of a closet. ARGH.

Though Alexa and I have been designing for nearly a decade now, we still encounter questions which stump us! These questions are the heart of the pleasure of design. We aim to tackle a few of these thorny questions, ones that might just be holding you back, over the coming weeks.
Nina made this lovely sweater following the Strange Brew sweater recipe, working bottom-up in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater (DK weight).
Join us and create an accessory, a sweater from the new collection, OR design your own unique colourwork yoke sweater using our Strange Brew sweater recipe! We aim to inspire, educate, and guide as you take the next step in your own learning journey, whatever that next step might be!
If a sweater is WAY to far outside your comfort zone, knit a quick hat instead! The Fleet hat is a great first colourwork pattern, both manageable and playful.

Strange Brew KAL

The KAL begins Tuesday, October 9th, and runs until December 6th. The chat will happen on the Tin Can Knits Ravelry group, so join in now! Get our excellent email updates to stay in the loop.

Designs from Strange Brew:

Laine Magazine Issue 6

October 5, 2018
Tortoiseshell – a heavy lace shawl included in Laine Issue 6 – photo © Laine Magazine

Laine is a publication that makes me want to wait until the kids are out, brew a cuppa, curl up on the couch, and really savor. I want to read each article without interruption, contemplate the recipe, and really enjoy the stunning photography. Laine is always full of inspiration, knitterly and otherwise. After meeting Jonna & Sini at Edinburgh Yarn Festival in the spring and loving the beautiful publication that they create, Alexa and I wanted to contribute. We were so pleased to have Tortoiseshell, a worsted-weight lace shawl design, included in Issue 6.

Laine is deliciously MOODY. The photography is excellent and the publication has this atmospheric style that is evocative and enchanting. Issue 6 was shot in Iceland and is, in my (admittedly biased) view, Jaw Droppingly Excellent.

This meaty collection includes 12 inspiring designs. Despite my love for the Tortoiseshell shawl, it’s not even one of the top 3 that I’d like to drop everything to knit! First on that list would be Hryggir by Hélène Magnússon, a fascinating woman who is also interviewed in this issue. Second would have to be Sode by Hiroko Payne and third would be Afterparty by Astrid Troland. Seriously, Afterparty is beautiful, but that name… pure gold!!

The Tortoiseshell shawl is simple, but satisfying and oh so cozy. The lace pattern is one that I developed myself. I began with a diamond leaf lace pattern, then experimented to see what would change if I made the increase and decrease stitches more extreme. The resulting pattern is organic and high-relief, perfect when paired with The Border Mill Alpaca Tweed.

Detail of the Tortoiseshell lace stitch.

Of course, it’s possible that no matter what you knit in Alpaca Tweed, it would be exquisite; it’s just that sort of a yarn…

If you haven’t checked out Laine Magazine yet, I recommend you give it a look. It’s the sort of magazine that I love to collect, a pretty book that brings delight beyond the really inspiring list of designs included.

More heavy-weight Shawls from Tin Can Knits:


GWN-drift-tmb-b
SC-grain-tmb-a
TCK-lodestar-tmb-c

Sweater Evolution – Cartography

October 4, 2018

Some design ideas get stuck in your head, like a song, and you just can’t get them out. You just keep rolling the idea around and around, over and over, plotting the details, exploring the possibilities. Small repeat colourwork patterns on an all-over sweater have been my year (or more) long obsession!

How do I get these ideas out? First I tried the ‘just knit it out’ method, casting on the idea I’m obsessing about. This method has resulted in the Antler sweater, the Boardwalk cardigan, the POP blanket, and the Snap hat… so all things considered, it’s not a bad way to go. But no matter how much I try to knit this out of my system, I’m still completely obsessed with small repeat colourwork patterns! I want to continue to play with them, trying different colour combinations and stitch patterns.

My first all-over colourwork sweater… but not my last!

First I knit Hunter this green sweater. I made it in Tanis Fiber Arts purewash DK in ‘spruce’ and ‘spearmint’, a combination I love. It was a great way to work out the decreases for our Strange Brew recipe pattern while we were in the design phase, and a way to try out many motifs in just two colours.

My next step was to rainbow-ize the idea! For our 2018 Strange Brew KAL I knit up this wild rainbow for Bodhi (from my wild stash of Tanis), testing out even more patterns, different tonal colour combinations, and different combinations of smaller and larger patterns.

Finally I had tested the idea enough and I cast on for the Cartography sweater. It is the culmination of all of my experimentation. I used Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in a fiery red and teal-ish blue on a background of simple white (actual colours are Firebush, Dorado, Rainier, and Hammock). I alternated the two contrast colours and added a bit of interest by using a lighter blue for the centre round or rounds of the larger motifs.

Now, once I finished up this sample I realized I STILL wasn’t done, so I knit one up for Jones as well. I used Dorado, Rainier, and Tincture. I could just knit this sweater over and over. It looks impressive, it’s interesting to knit, but it’s not particularly difficult. There are plain rounds between the colourwork and the sweater construction is top-down and dead simple. It’s definitely on my personal sweater wardrobe list!

Cartography Details:

Pattern: Cartography from Strange Brew
Yarn: DK weight yarn
MC: 275 (325, 375, 450, 525, 600, 675, 725, 800, 875, 900, 975, 1025, 1100, 1175, 1250, 1400, 1500, 900, 1050, 1125, 1200, 1350, 1425, 1575) yards
CC: 175 (200, 225, 275, 300, 375, 400, 425, 475, 525, 550, 600, 625, 650, 700, 750, 850, 900, 550, 650, 675, 725, 825, 850, 950) yards
Needles: US #3 / 3.25mm & US #6 / 4mm (or as required to meet gauge)
Gauge: 22 sts & 26rounds / 4” in stranded colourwork using larger needles

I think this photo-shoot in Reykjavik was my favourite of the whole Icelandic journey. These two were in a fine mood, enjoying their pastries and posing like pros. They were having so much fun being silly too, it just fills my heart.


More colourwork from Strange Brew:

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