As soon as I saw the previews of this book on Ravelry, I knew I had to have it! Ysolda has brought together a stellar cast of designers all inspired to create a sweater for the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck). The book is interspersed with essays, beautiful photographs taken on location at the festival, and even a recipe.
I have been browsing yarn possibilities for at least three of the sweaters, and there are a few more that I fancy too! First up is Gudrun Johnston's Pippin - a snuggly warm jumper with an eye-catching cowl neckline. I love Gudrun's designs anyway, but this sweater looks particularly perfect for keeping warm in a cold house over the winter. I was thinking about some New Lanark Aran for this, as I will undoubtably wear layers underneath, making the more rustic wool very wearable. As a side note, it's just £4.00 for 100g which is a complete bargain!
Ysolda's own design is Pumpkin Ale - an intriguingly constructed cardigan. It features a cable panel down the back, with sideways knitted fronts and three-quarter length sleeves with cable details. There are generous pockets in the fronts - a fantastic addition. I love a pocket! I can imagine wearing this cardigan all the time over the winter months and into spring. This too is a worsted weight project, so will knit up satifyingly quickly. I'm looking at some Cascade 220 (the antithesis of the intended small local yarn producer, but a very affordable worsted weight yarn option in the UK) from Get Knitted - at £5.50 for 100g it's hard to argue with! As this cardigan is worked in multiple directions, matching stitch and row gauge is going to be vital, so I'm matching the yarn as closely as possible. One of the lovely features of The Rhinebeck Sweater is the detailed information about the qualities of the yarn required for each design.
I knew the name Amy Herzog, but it wasn't until I clicked through to view all her designs on Ravelry that I realised how much I love her aesthetic! I've been admiring her designs for years, but hadn't really put them all together in my head, if you know what I mean. I think I love Maple Cotton Candy even more for the fact that Amy just looks so happy in the photos. The sweater has a flattering scoop neckline and pretty details at the cuffs and hems. The allover texture stitch pattern adds just enough interest without being as painful to knit as moss stitch would be! I can imagine this being a go-to jumper for autumn and spring (with plenty of wear the rest of the year as well!). As this design is fitted, I'm looking at something a bit more luxurious in terms of yarn - perhaps some Tosh Vintage? I think this will be on my Christmas wishlist!
The print book costs £24 and comes with a unique download code for a digital version - perfect for printing out patterns to shove in your project bag. Altertnatively the eBook alone is £18, but I would highly recommend purchasing the print edition as it is a beautiful thing in its own right. The paper is heavy and the photography sings out in lots of detail. The colours are glowing, capturing the essence of autumn in New York State.
As a true pattern geek I've done some reading through the patterns and I'm impressed with the clarity of instructions and charts. Each design has a full schematic with a comprehensive array of measurements, without being too cluttered to read clearly. The patterns are sized generously, starting from around 30in up to 55-60in. Not all designs have the full range of sizes (probably due to the constraints of the designs themselves - not everything lends itself to be scaled up indefinitely), though all go to over 50in, so if you are at either extreme, do check the individual pattern information on Ravelry before you purchase.
When I took the book to SnB on Tuesday, this design got a whole lot of love too - Artichoke French by Laura Nelkin. The flattering shaping up the shoulders, and thumb holes at the end of the sleeves were all admired. I've only held back on queuing it as I think my knitting queue for this season is full!
From the beautiful pictures of designers wearing their own sweaters, to the essays brimming with a love of wool and knitting, this book will more than earn its place on your shelves. If you haven't already don't pause, just go and get a copy!
The Rhinebeck Sweater £24 / $38 (print) or £18 (eBook) Published by Ysolda Teague
(I purchased my own copy and am reviewing this simply through enthusiasm!)