Project Ideas

Designer Crush: Thea Colman

Last week’s blog mentioned designer Thea Colman, a knitwear designer who is compelling for many reasons.  Her design for the new issue of Laine Magazine is a comfy and effortless stunner, much like the rest of her designs.  Colman brings a lot to the table, and I feel like I can sum it up in three C’s.

Rolling Rock
Colman’s Rolling Rock
  1. Cocktails
    Colman’s “brand name” is Baby Cocktails, and most of her designs are named after cocktails, with special collections revolving around a particular spirit.  She now has over 200 designs on Ravelry, which means she’s had to delve deep into the exploration of cocktail namesakes.  I’ll be honest and admit that my renewed interest in her designs has a lot to do with Oban, the name of her new hat and sweater patterns, and which also happened to be my favorite Scotch (back when I drank Scotch).  Clever cocktail names seem to be appropriately matched with sweaters that share characteristics of their namesake (like Oban, Oaxacan Rose or Rolling Rock, to name a few).
  2. Craftivism
    One of the most impressive feats of Colman’s of late is her ability to raise over $5000 to donate to the Flint Water Crisis.  Through sales of her “Water” hat pattern, Colman is donating 100% of the proceeds of sales of this pattern to this cause, bringing attention to a crisis that has persisted for way too long.  Colman reminds us of our ability as individuals to significantly impact the people and communities around us, and the power of craft in all of that.
  3. Cables, Color work (and Lace)
    Colman’s designs are gorgeous and they are not simple.  Whether for sweaters, scarves, hats or mitts, Colman always adorns her designs with her signature cables, color work and lace patterns.  Her patterns are wonderful projects for knitters looking to build their skills or for those who delight in the pattern, repetition and counting that goes into these sorts of designs.  You can choose from designs that are riddled with detail to those that have a hint of it, depending on how much stimulation you are in need of these days. 

Looking over her amazing designs, please remember that she has about 200, so I recommend you check out her Ravelry page for yourself.  These are a few of my favorites!

Oban
Oban

Above we mentioned Oban, a thoroughly cabled pullover knit up in a worsted weight yarn.  Try knitting up this one in something like Blue Sky’s Woolstok, Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter or Shepherd’s Wool.

Water
Water

Water is Colman’s cabled hat that benefits the Flint Water Crisis.  Find a gorgeous shade of blue in a hand-dyed worsted to emulate the watery qualities if her hat.  Madeline Tosh Vintage, Malabrigo Rios and HiKoo’s Sueno Worsted are all beautiful Choices. 

Oaxacan Rose
Oaxacan Rose

 

Maggie's Oaxacan Rose
Maggie’s Oaxacan Rose

We also mentioned Oaxacan Rose, which was knit up by our very own Maggie recently.  Maggie made her gorgeous sweater in Madeline Tosh Vintage.  Also consider something like Blue Sky’s Woolstok (for a more woolly version) or Katia’s Cotton Merino (for something soft and cozy). 

Genever
Genever

Genever is a beautiful color work hat.  Knit up in three colors of worsted weight wool, it’s a great pattern to try out stranded color work.  Colman uses Shelter in her pattern, but Shepherd’s Wool, Falkland and Woolstok are all great yarns that come to mind as wonderful possibilities. 

Reposado
Reposado

Reposado is a lace tee made with a light fingering weight yarn (held double!) or a DK-weight yarn.   It’s the type of thing I want to throw on right now.  With columns of lace amid a stockinette background, it’s a wonderful way bring lace into a project without it feeling overwhelming.  I think this project would be beautiful using Ito’s Kinu, Cozette or Pebble (all held double) or using Juniper Moon’s Zooey, Knit One Crochet Too’s Daisy or Queensland’s Savanna held single.   Also, in case your curious, Reposado is tequila that has been aged in oak barrels.  I had to look that up.

Earl Grey Martini
Earl Grey martini

Earl Grey Martini is a garter and lace shawl, knit up in a fingering weight yarn.  I love the combination of garter stitch and lace, putting together some squish and some elegant refinement.  This project screams for Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft, but another wonderful choice is Knit One Crochet Too’s Cozette.

Negroni
Negroni

Lastly, I am loving Negroni.  This is a beautiful, long cowl with a long column of a cable pattern, surrounded by a bobble stitch.  Negroni is knit with worsted weight yarn on a US 10.5 needle, which will give it a soft drape.  Knit up this beautiful scar in something like Madeline Tosh Vintage, HiKoo’s Sueno Worsted, Malabrigo’s Rios or even Pure Bliss’s Falkland.

Obviously, there’s a ton to see and love about Colman’s designs.  Check out her extensive collection of patterns here and find a handful of your own favorites!

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