Rhinebeck Preview in Black and White

With only a couple of weeks left until Rhinebeck, my mind is occupied with almost nothing else. Today it’s sunny and in the 60s — really perfect weather for a day wandering around the beautiful Dutchess County fairgrounds. I hope we have exactly the same weather for Rhinebeck. Last year, it was far too hot for wearing wool sweaters, so fingers crossed we don’t have a repeat of that.

Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

This year Rhinebeck is even more exciting because I’ve created a new design just for the fair. It’s knit in the exclusive Rhinebeck 2018 colorway dyed by an indie dyer who will be there. Since I don’t want to spoil the surprise of the color, my photos are all black and white for now. But trust me, it’s lovely — really, really lovely — a soothing and calming color that goes with just about everything.

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The yarn will be revealed and the pattern released during the days leading up to Rhinebeck. For now, I can share that it’s a garter stitch and lace crescent shawl, in two sizes. After working the lace, you transition to easy garter stitch short rows (very easy — you don’t even have to pick up the wraps, because they are hidden within the garter stitch). After the lace — which does require being attentive to a chart or the row-by-row written instructions — the project is refreshingly simple, perfect for taking along to a cafe or knit night.

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The dyer and I both wanted this design to be a one-skein project. After knitting lots of swatches and trying out different lace ideas, I made my best calculations about yardage and cast on. And at the end, when I cast off, there were only a few yards remaining. Not ideal! So I wrote up the pattern for two sizes, one 60 inches long and the other about 66 inches. The smaller size definitely requires just one skein (or about 425 yards of fingering weight); the larger one calls for two skeins (475 yards). I did manage to squeeze the larger size out of just one skein, but it was a very close call and it’s possible the skein had a little extra yardage in it. I don’t want anyone to lose at “yarn chicken” when they’re nearly finished, so I’m recommending two skeins for the larger/longer size.

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Will you be at Rhinebeck (or another fiber festival) this year? I’m getting more and more excited every day about seeing so much beautiful and inspiring knitwear all in one place, plus petting sheep, and goats, and alpacas, and bunnies. I can’t wait!

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Sneak Peek: Mount Pollux Pullover

I'm excited to be putting finishing touches on the pattern for my Rhinebeck sweater! Just a few more photos to edit and final tweaks to the text and it will be ready. It's called Mount Pollux, after the conservation area in Amherst, Massachusetts, where I shot the photos.

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With this design, I'm bucking the "rule" that lace is for spring and summer. The sweater combines a lace stitch that's dense rather than open and airy with contrasting knit-purl textures and garter stitch accents. Worked in wool/alpaca worsted weight yarn (I used Quince & Co. Owl), Mount Pollux will keep you warm and cozy all winter.

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This sweater is meant to be worn with a good amount of positive ease, for a relaxed, oversized fit. On my sister Betsey, who modeled, the sweater had a lot of ease (about 10 inches). On me, it's more fitted yet still relaxed, with about 6 inches of ease — just the look I was hoping for.

I look forward to releasing the pattern next week. If you don't already subscribe to my email list, now's a good time to sign up — there will be a special coupon code in the next one.

Countdown to Rhinebeck

The recent warm weather here in New England has been nice, but it also makes me a little nervous — is it global warming, or just an unusually warm fall? I hope these unseasonably high temperatures don't continue through the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, coming up October 21-22. If it's hot, no one will want to wear their Rhinebeck sweaters or shawls!

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I'm so looking forward to Rhinebeck — seeing (and petting and hearing) lots of pretty sheep and goats. And — of course — checking out everybody's gorgeous knitwear. Maybe if all of us knitters wish for crisp, cool, and bright weather, we can make it happen. Let's try!

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I'm working like mad on my Rhinebeck sweater and am optimistic it will be finished in time. The pattern won't be published until November, but I can share a few details now: it's a casual women's pullover, with modified drop shoulders, knit in worsted weight yarn (I'm using Quince & Co. Owl, a wool/alpaca blend). It's worked in the round from the bottom up and the only seaming is at the shoulders (or, if you hate seaming, use a three-needle bind-off instead). More details soon!

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The other new design I'm working on is the third and final accessory for my Dragonfly Days collection (the first two were the Enallagma Shawl and the Cordulia Cowl). This time around, I've mixed in some cables with the dragonfly lace, to create a crescent-shaped shawl. Worked in bulky weight yarn — Brooklyn Tweed's Quarry — it will be super warm and cozy, perfect for chilly winter days.

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In other news: My Chili Pepper Cardigan from the fall 2017 Knitscene is now available as an instant download from Interweave. Did you know my patterns in the Interweave family of publications are available as digital downloads? I participate in the Designer's Choice program, which means my patterns appear both in the magazines and in the Interweave online store. It's a nice program both for knitters and designers — knitters can purchase individual patterns long after the print magazine is no longer on store shelves, and designers receive royalties for those digital sales.

To find my patterns at Interweave, just type the pattern name in the search box. Or, use these direct links:

Chili Pepper Cardigan
Mathews Street Vest
Firehouse Alley Cowl
Drafter's Cardigan
Nested Knots Hat
Stagger Cowl
Morgantown Hat

Are you going to Rhinebeck this year? If you're working on a Rhinebeck sweater, I hope it's going well and you finish with plenty of time to spare!

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