ISLAND / Designing the Patterns

The past month certainly has been a busy one, but busy in the best of ways. Wrapping up such a long project that took so very many months of hard work and planning is both incredible and completely overwhelming. It all comes down to that moment when you are ready to share what you've been so secretly putting together and I can tell you that there are so many details that all need attention, and all in the final hour no less.

In the chaos of finalizing everything and finally being able to announce the project I realized that I haven't formally introduced all of the patterns in my new collection. So allow me to introduce...

Arbutus is one of my favorite accessories from the collection. It uses short rows and "tiers" to create a layered affect that makes the cowl look like it's wrapped around the neck a few times when really it's not. I knew how I wanted this piece to look and it was by far the most complicated to perfect but it was well worth the trouble to get it right. It only takes one skein of Madelinetosh DK and it's a really quick knit and a great project for a special hand died yarn that you've had difficulty diving into. I've already seen completed projects popping on Ravelry and it makes me love the cowl even more because they are such successful projects even with alternate yarn and tension.

I knew when I was knitting Grace that she would be my new favorite cardigan and now that she's done I can say that I adore her. I really love fingering/sock weight cardigans because they create the perfect layer of warmth without being bulky under a coat. Felicia died up a special batch of BFL Sock in Deep Olive so that the colour appeared more solid rather than semi-solid, this was important because I didn't want this heritage green colourway to end up looking like camouflage in the big stretches of stockinette. The result is a beautiful classic shade of green that goes with absolutely anything. It is so very wearable and I am so pleased with the end result.

You may remember a sneak peek of Renfrew on the needles. This project definitely had some false starts, mainly because of the yarn. The colour of this particular skein of Madelinetosh Vintage is Cove and the combination of blues and greens is magical, but finding the right canvas for such a special colourway was very tricky and it had to be right. Renfrew ended a huge distance from where it originally started and I'm glad I toughed it out because I am really happy with the way the design displays the colours in the yarn, I didn't want it's beauty to be hidden in the wrong combination of stitches.

Strathcona was entirely different. I knew clear as day what I wanted this design to look like, the tough part was finding a yarn to go along with my vision. Shannon was working with a gorgeous skein of Sparrow that she had been gifted, in the colourway Blue Spruce, the moment I laid eyes on it I knew it was the answer to my Strathcona. I don't tend to use 100% linens or cottons because I am not very fond of the knitting or the end result when using them. My experience with this 100% organic linen was entirely different. It was so lovely to work with, smooth and soft on my needles and the results were perfection, I highly recommend this yarn to anyone. What makes Strathcona unique is the directionality of the stitches, the bias fabric alternates between left slanting and right slanting, resulting in a wide v shape that hangs so nicely when worn around the neck.

And last but not least there is Rathtrevor. These mitts have a very different story than the others because I actually knit the first prototype for them in 2009. It wasn't until I was working with this gorgeous pale blue Madelintosh DK that I realized I had found the perfect yarn match for the long lost design. I loved working with this colour so much that it made me want to knit everything out of it. Halfway through the mitts I wished I could have an Arbutus of the same colour, it was a real struggle to resist the urge! On this final version of the mitt I've brought the beaded ribbing up beyond the wrist and into the hand for a more flattering transition. I love how casual these mitts look, they go with everything.

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I hope you've enjoyed hearing a little of the back story for each of the designs. They were all a labour of love and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
If you are wondering how you can get your hands on a copy of ISLAND, the book is available for Pre-Order until midnight this Wednesday (November 7th). Pre-Order your copy HERE.

With your order you will receive...
:: A print version of the book mailed November 30th
:: A digital copy of the book to your inbox so that you can view your book right away
:: Printable PDFs of all of the patterns contained in the book

If you are an LYS and would like to take advantage of the pre-order please contact me directly at janerichmonddesigns@gmail.com with your order.

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