I've been attending New York State Sheep and Wool festival (aka Rhinebeck) for years! So, when Ysolda asked me if I wanted to contribute a sweater design for her new project The Rhinebeck Sweater, a book dedicated to celebrating the community, yarn, food, spirit and sweaters of the festival how could I say no?
It took me like half a second to choose the yarn I wanted to use, Jill Draper Makes Stuff, Empire a ginormous 1280 yard ball of hand dyed, springy and soft 100% Rambouillet wool. When thinking about color, I thought about food (one of Rhinebeck's themes). The one thing I stand in line for every year is Artichoke French. Artichoke French is a concoction of breaded, sauteed artichoke hearts with a wine, lemon, butter sauce... mmmmm. All I had to do is say "artichoke" to Jill and she dyed the perfect color!
When considering the design I knew I wanted a bottom up, seamless sweater that was fitted to the body AND had built in fingerless mitts. Rhinebeck can be chilly and I don't like to be encumbered by many layers. It's easier for me if the experience is streamlined, then I can eat/knit and chat my way through the festival without loosing a my mittens or cardigan.
Ninja Cuffs, as integrated fingerless mitts are referred to in my house, are a favorite of mine and my girl's in the fall and winter. In fact, this is the first sweater I've designed the girl has asked for! If that's not a vote of confidence, I don't know what is!
Artichoke French has compound raglan (my first.... ouch the math) shaping with an artichoke leaf stitch that is created by manipulating elongated stitches, running up the side seams and raglan line to the mock turtleneck. I think the math on this sweater took me longer than knitting it, but in the end, with 16 sizes, and a full schematic, it was well worth it. This is the way sweater designs should be written and I LOVED being asked to challenge myself .
The official release for the book is November 6th but you can pre-order it now! There are 12 phenomenal sweaters in this book, designed by 12 AMAZING women and photographed stunningly by Ysolda and crew. You really do need to go grab a cup of something hot and take a peak at the look book. I can't wait to get my hands on a printed copy! The Rhinebeck Sweater is a knitting book, but is also a gorgeous coffee table book, with stories, recipes, tips, animals, photos and patterns!
All the details for Artichoke French can be found on Ravelry. More sweaters from the book will be appearing there in the next few days so that you can gather supplies for when your book arrives! I did just get word that Jill will have Empire balls in Jennie the Potter's booth #27A-9, so now you really have a reason to get on line right away!
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you... there's an Artichoke French Recipe in the book as well! I did some reading, practiced some methods, fed my family a few meals of artichokes and figured a recipe out that is "almost" as good as you can get at Rhinebeck! See how much I like it?Ricefield Collective giveaway???? Congrats to Hannah P I've been using my bag EVERY DAY and I bet you will too! Get in touch so I can send your bag out to you!