Our Next Knit-Along (and a little bit of “You Can Make That)
When Stacey Gerbman approached us to do a Tester’s Knit-Along for her upcoming pattern Straight & Arrow, we jumped! We love working with Stacey. Not only is she super laid back and easy to work with, but she’s really talented and creative. When it became clear that we could marry Stacey’s KAL with our Brooklyn Tweed Pop Up, I started to feel inspired and had serious trouble containing my enthusiasm.
Stacey’s new pattern is similar to Migration in that it’s a cabled cardigan with a shawl collar. Straight & Arrow has a little more going on, with two cable patterns and a chevron pattern. It’s an open cardigan (no buttonholes) and it has pockets. I was completely engrossed when knitting this pattern. It was so incredibly relaxing and meditative to knit this pattern on a couple different levels. I think many people look at it and say “It looks just like Migration” but for me, it was so incredibly fun in so many ways that I want to spread my very enthusiastic word as much as possible.
One big difference between Straight & Arrow and Migration is that I couldn’t memorize the stitch pattern. The cables were a breeze for me, and it was easy to see them coming and going. I could not memorize the chevron chart (Stacey has the pattern repeat written out and charted for the knitter’s convenience), so I had it on hand and referenced it every row. No, this was not annoying. It was wonderful to have something that required my attention, that kept me from the distraction of my phone and email, and that let me have a quiet moment that was all about something I love (knitting) and a little mental exercise (reading and repeating patterns).
There’s also those pockets. For all my griping about pockets and how they are usually unnecessary on knitted sweaters, I’m happy to contradict myself in this case. Stacey’s pockets are trim and sturdy. They add no bulk to the sweater and are still functional.
Straight & Arrow is open and roomy, and an easy piece to throw on over anything. That simple lack of buttons seems to make it even easier and more accessible. Making a cup of coffee on a chilly morning? Perfect. Over a sassy camisole and some skinny jeans? Perfect. That staple you keep in your overly air conditioned office? Perfect.
The other thing I loved so much about this project was working with Shelter. I mentioned in my class the other day that I felt I’ve deprived myself by going so long without working with it. It’s a bundle of contradictions – and that seems to make it so beautiful to me. It seems scratchy but in working with it you realize it’s incredibly soft. It’s a delicate yarn but it has a rugged quality, and it works into a sturdy and strong fabric. Every shade has a depth of color seems to come straight from nature. Upon blocking, it blooms beautifully. Knitted pieces are lofty and have gorgeous body to them. It is truly a knitter’s yarn, and it’s made for those of us that love the dynamic process of turning a big, long piece of string into something amazing.
I also want to give you a little dose of “You Can Make That” since I came upon a really easy match. Last week’s blog mentioned the new Brooklyn Tweed Collection, and I referenced a favorite staple called Meyer – a totally straightforward and easy turtleneck sweater. This morning (on my daily peruse of Net-a-Porter) I noticed this fabulous turtleneck sweater from Saint Laurent for $1150. Look familiar? Yes, I thought so. Brooklyn Tweed’s sample is already knit up in their marled color way of Shelter called Caribou. Change it up for the color Newsprint and you’ve got a ringer for that very comfy, lovely and expensive Saint Laurent sweater. Veronik Avery’s pattern is a staple and perfect for a newer knitter ready for a little sweater adventure. This one is on my queue. Anyone feel like joining me?
One last friendly PSA: Motivated knitters who would like sweater quantities of Arbor or Shelter should place a pre-order with us at the shop by Sunday, September 24. As a pop-up shop, we will not be reordering Shelter or Arbor in the foreseeable future (although we hope to do this again with Brooklyn Tweed soon!!!) – so let us help you get the yarn you want and pre-order soon!
As always, thank you making us your LYS, shopping small and local, and being a part of our awesome knitting, crochet and needlepoint community.