Posts Tagged ‘aran’
When I heard about The Shepherd and the Shearer, I was all, “Shut up and take my money!” The concept, in short, is a domestic sheep-to-sweater project with two aran patterns by amazing designers Kate Davies and Kristen Kapur. The concept of sheep-to-sweater really had me excited.
We make our clothes so we know the hard work and resources that go into each stitch. But taking that back even further is so interesting. Let’s talk about the mills and the farmers and the sheep themselves! This is something that indie dyers have really embraced (see Jill Draper Makes Stuff) and Brooklyn Tweed has brought it to the mainstream. But we should not forget that even DIY has its roots on a farm, in a mill, and in someone else’s hands.
Susan just announced that there will be another installment of The Shepherd and the Shearer this year. So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share the gorgeous yarn I received from the project last year.
Each kit came with a pattern book featuring the special designs, a project bag, and some of the yummiest fresh-off-the-sheep yarn. Susan’s concept was not only to give buyers insight into the process but to come out with some real, old-fashioned yarn. This is rugged and hard-wearing, none of that silky, slinky yarn. There’s a time and a place for those soft yarns but this is about wonderful, traditional arans and natural colors.
The yarn came to me with that funky sheep smell, still greasy with lanolin. It really felt like I was getting this straight from the shearer herself. Unfortunately, since receiving the yarn, I haven’t had any time to knit it up. I haven’t even decided which of the two patterns I prefer. But I just love the look of this yarn.
This year, there will be a limited release of The Shepherd and the Shearer so keep your eyes on the Juniper Moon blog for more information. It sounds like they’ve worked some of the kinks out of this massive undertaking including changing mills. I’m excited to see what these designers come up with!
Do you knit sheep-to-sweater? Did you pick up one of these kits last year?
I will not add to my queue. I will not add to my queue. I will not- Nope, I give up. Andi’s latest pattern, Aiken, is just jaw dropping! Gorgeous and simple. She really knows how to flatter. I love her style!
>> How do you feel about granny squares? Top Shop is selling a turtle-necked, long-sleeved granny square dress for $580. I’m not sure I can get behind it (coming from a girl with furry shoulders, I guess I shouldn’t throw stones) but I’m definitely giving the side eye to it’s “Hand Knit Crochet” title…
>> This is kind of incredibly disgusting but also probably cool? Anna Dumitriu makes quilts out of MRSA. She also needle felts little lungs and infects them with TB.
>> H&M wants to pay all textile workers a living wage by 2018. While I’ve really come to detest fast fashion, they have seemed to step up and take responsibility. I’m still sticking to my buy less (I’ve only bought a few garments, most made in the US, over the past few months!)/make more policy but good on them for working a little harder to make their industry better. They should hurry up!
>> It’s not news to any of us that hand knitting is undervalued. But this post is a good reminder that it’s still happening. (I also love that she uses the word makar to describe herself!) Don’t under-sell yourselves!
>> I don’t think I ever gave too much thought to this sweater on Mad Men (gosh, was that season two!? Feels like yesterday) but I was wrong. It’s definitely worth a look.
>> And goats wearing sweaters!
Hope you’re enjoying your short week and holiday if you’re state side. And it’s Hanukkah, too! Many days of latkah frying coming up! What will you be knitting on before your turkey nap?
It’s getting cold outside! Slowly but surely, fall is descending on New York City! Which means it’s time to pull out some hand knit sweaters! I got this one out of the closet and I just had to share it. Please forgive my nostalgia but I’m quite attached to this thing.
I love big comfy chunky fisherman sweaters. This is made from the Lion Brand Comfy Inishturk sweater pattern in their Fishermen’s Wool in the color oatmeal. Nothing warms you up like wearing a color called oatmeal. I bought the yarn and kind of decided to tackle this ambitious knit just before starting my junior year of college on a visit from my mom and aunt. I’d recently moved into my first apartment in Williamsburg. I was pretty much unstoppable. I’d knit a sweater and an intarsia vest before this so I was confident I could pull it off. I got all of the yarn on sale and immediately went home and cast on.
I’m just as proud now as I was when I finished it. The cables look incredibly complicated and they’re definitely screwed up in a few spots especially right in the front where I wouldn’t want them to be but I couldn’t rip out once I’d realized. I wonder if I would go back and fix it now?
I’ve been knitting since I was 14 but this sweater is kind of a turning point in my career as a knitter. I knit a lot of things before this sweater but most of them were of little consequence and made with little care. I can’t recall many of those things besides a few hats and badly-designed scarves. That other sweater and the vest I knit before this I never wear. They don’t fit right and the yarn I chose isn’t comfortable against the skin.
I’ve learned a lot since I bound off and put those gigantic sleeves onto the even more titanic body. (Don’t get me wrong, I love how big it is…and it is a size small…but it’s a little bigger than a “comfy sweater” should be. Who knows what size it should be. I didn’t knit gauge swatches back then!) Putting the fishermen’s sweater on now, I can see that I clearly had not ever heard of the mattress stitch. I laugh and think about how far I’ve come with my technique in only a few years. It’s exciting to think that I have such a thorough understanding now but, of course, I have a lot to learn still. Who knows what I’ll be making in another two years or so.
Long story short, I’m still in love with this oversized lump of a sweater. It really turned me into a full-time knitter. And, even though I’m critical, no one notices the messy seams or misshaped cables. I’d love to see what I’d make if I re-knit this pattern but I don’t think I want to go back. I like my imperfections and I have too long a queue to start back tracking anyway!
Have you ever re-knit a pattern you knit before? How do you feel about your old FOs? Do you love how silly they are or do you hide them in the bottom of your stash?
ps. Please forgive the Photobooth pictures. I guess I didn’t have a real camera back then. It’s a fun contrast, though, isn’t it!
pps. Happy birthday to my Dad who turned 60 last week!