Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Home Is the North

I've always had a sort of genetic nostalgia for the North, realm of snowy swaths of land and rugged peoples, craggy rocks and rocky waters. My Viking and Celtic forebears knew much more of those things than I do now, in my temperate life in this lush valley. I can only imagine that kind of cold, the short but tireless summers and long dark winter. But I can be assured of one thing: our common affection for wool.
This collection for the Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project  was born out of the romance I have for the far North and their knitting traditions, especially their way with colorwork. I almost always enjoy my work more in collaboration, so I begged Sorren to climb aboard because I have absolute faith in her taste and impeccable knitting skills. And the result was these six patterns, mostly geared around our children because they are so dadgum adorable in things like hoods and legwarmers, but there are a few options for adults, too. Alongside the instructions and photos are some irrepressibly whimsical illustrations by Sorren, in short, this was a lot of fun to put together. Without further ado, the patterns:

Anders (Ravelry link), by Sorren

A beautiful and approachable colorwork sweater in four sizes, Anders is full of possibilities. I love the options to wear it with the buttons on the front or the back, depending on how much you trust your little one to not chew them off.

The color choices for this little snowy scene are pretty irresistible, and in a sport weight it can be either a cozy middle or light outer layer. You may have already noticed this one, it's kind of taken Ravelry by storm. Sorren would never be so crass as to brag about it, so I have to for her.

Anikka, by me

I had been wanting to make a little knitted jumper for Anaiah ever since I became aware about a year ago of the eminent versatility of this type of garment for a little girl. I imagined it being a no-fuss kind of affair with a bit of sweet colorwork around the hem and a simple bodice, the kind of thing that can grow with a girl and be as much use at two months as two years. Or almost. I made two sizes to span that amount of time, anyway, each one can easily cover several months of the rapid growth that is legend among the half-pint set.

Eivor, by Sorren

A quick and cozy cowl in two sizes, with the same motif as Anders but in a worsted weight to keep the Arctic chill from your collar.

Kirsa, by me

When I started to think about patterns for this collection, this was the first one I thought of. I wanted something slightly gnome-like without being too utterly twee (I hope), cute as a button and practical, and with pompoms. I am a firm believer in pompoms. The faced brim makes this extra warm, the colorwork is all achieved in the round, and there are enough sizes to keep all the young and adult people in your life in cheery comfort.

Lucia, by Sorren

Little legs also need something to keep the chill out, and these are just the ticket. They coordinate uncommonly well with Anikka (cough, cough), and with an articulated knee and reflecting patterns they are quick and ready to be on the go, wherever they go. They can also come in handy for mom's arms, or even baby carrier straps in a pinch.

Tovi, by me

At the eleventh hour, I needed a hat. That serious late-fall cold snap was sweeping across the country, and my ears are very sensitive to such things. I knew precisely what I wanted, a snug triple-layer brim with a roomy and festive body. Something to kick around in all winter long, to cheer up a gloomy day, leave my hair in place and that could be knit up in one or two evenings. Fortunately for my ears and this collection, I got it right and in time to publish. Hallelujah!

That wraps things up for us, I think. Now I'm all excited about wooly things again, hmmm...and I have so much yarn left over...

Stay warm, friends, and ring in the new year in style!


  1. I meant to wish you congratulations on this cutefest when I saw it pop up on Ravelry a few days ago! Lovely work, my friend! Jolly gives his approval, too, especially for the pictures containing the stuffed rabbit (we have its identical twin). He is making me scroll up and down the post repeatedly so he can admire it all.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I am glad Anaiah loves Bunny as much as I did when we bought it before she was born. It is her very frequent companion in all manner of situations and, I dare say, in need of a bit of a wash...