What makes a great summer sweater?

It’s unseasonably warm here in Ellensburg at the moment, which has led me to jump start my thinking about what we’re looking for in a summer sweater. Because it has to be pretty hot before sweaters cycle out of the wardrobe altogether. Mornings and evenings can be quite cool, and my standard summertime response when the cashier at the grocery store asks me if I found everything on my list is, “Yes, and I also froze to death.” So what makes a great summer sweater?

  • It’s lightweight.
  • The style is either pretty casual, or reflects a very simple elegance. (Sometimes both!)
  • It’s made from mostly natural fibers–maybe plant-based, or finer-gauge wool.
  • It’s easy to layer.
  • The sleeve length runs from non-existent to three-quarter length.

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One of my favorite summer items is the Mock Lace Up Tee from Hélène Rush. I used Knit One Crochet Too’s Batiste, which is a wool, silk, and linen blend. Pleasant to knit with, and the fabric has great drape, but holds its shape well.  Hélène has designed a number of hand knit tees–take a look here.

Another more delicate, but versatile, sweater is Hitofude. The one I made is from a laceweight merino and silk blend, but knit to the gauge the pattern specifies for fingering weight yarn. (Because the stitch pattern is lacy, this results in a slightly lighter weight garment that is the same size.) The pattern is clearly written, and the design is pretty brilliant–it is knit continuously from start to finish. Yesterday, I was wearing a light long sleeved tee, and because the shop stays quite cool until late afternoon, I was chilly. Hitofude to the rescue–it was the perfect amount of additional warmth.

My first CustomFit sweater was also a summer sweater, a v-neck tee made from CoBaSi held double. I like to advocate for CoBaSi because it is one of those yarns that really has the potential to exceed your expectations. The fiber content–cotton, bamboo, silk, and elastic–is more than the sum of its parts. It gets breathability from the cotton and bamboo, drape from the bamboo and silk, and a nice bit of “boing” (that’s the technical term) from the elastic. I’m seriously considering a CustomFit Featherweight in CoBaSi (even knowing that the 1×1 ribbing might kill me).

Cinnie is another very wearable warm weather sweater. The pattern is written for any DK weight–mine is Plymouth Cleo mercerized cotton–and can be made full-length or cropped.  The construction is unique, in that it builds outward, and then down, from a center back panel.

And Low Tide! I’m seriously considering making another adult size to update my shop sample, even though the more prudent thing to do with the class (meeting June 1, 8, & 15th) would be to knit one of the small sizes. This is a pattern that shows serviceable a light wool can be in warm weather. It’s breathable, handles moisture well, and makes a nicely flowing fabric.

 

In addition to the CoBaSi Featherweight, I’m contemplating a Mama Vertebrae in a basic, neutral, sport weight wool. Probably with elbow length sleeves, though, since it is knit top-down, I can make a final decision when the time comes.

I started a bundle of favorite Summer sweaters on Ravelry–check it out, and I will be adding to it as more catch my eye!

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Tale of a bind off in this week’s newsletter. 

Right here

  

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In this week’s news: Yarn Folk is Three!

Check out this week’s newsletter for details on anniversary shenanigans and more! If you would like weekly updates, email sign up is in the right column of this page.

Anniversary shenanigans

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Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet Trunk Show

It came a day early, and Hunter Hammersen sent more pieces than I was expecting! Here are just a couple of the items. 

Two of the twenty (!) pieces, these socks are knit at typical sock gauge (8/8.5 stitches per inch), but use Malabrigo Arroyo, a sport weight. GENIUS. They are so squishy!

  

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This week at Yarn Folk

Check out this week’s newsletter here, and fill in the form in the sidebar to get it in your inbox every week. 

 (I finished the sweater!) 
  

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Last call

Today is the final day of the CustomFit Trunk Show’s stay at Yarn Folk.  I will miss these sweaters! Here’s a look at the last one made by another shop.

  Yarn Folk: Who are you, where are you located, and how long has your shop offered CustomFit?

Sunni: I’m Sunni Scrivner from Yarn in Eureka. Our shop introduced CustomFit sometime in 2014. The sweater that we contributed was knit by my employee – April Lane. 

YF: How did you choose the sweater you contributed? How about the yarn? 

SS: April wanted to knit one of the classic options. She wanted to make a simple pullover that could be worn every day. She likes cotton yarn and the Maya from Berroco is a great option because the chain construction makes it lightweight. She wanted it to be simple but not too plain, so the medallion on the back was a fun way to keep it interesting. 

  
YF: What’s your favorite thing about CustomFit?  

SS: We love CustomFit at Yarn because we have a lot of newer knitters who are just venturing into making sweaters for themselves. The combination of being able to choose any gauge, have a pattern created to their specific measurements and then select the fit works really well for these knitters. 

YF: How many CustomFit sweaters have you knit? Do you have a favorite? 

SS: We’ve knit three CustomFit sweaters in the shop and we have more than half a dozen customers working on their own CustomFit sweaters right now. We’ve almost all chosen one of the classic options because customers can add little details of their own to personalize them while ending up with a perfect basic wardrobe piece. 

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A look at Eddy

We’re in the last week of hosting the CustomFit trunk show at Yarn Folk, so here’s a look at Alisa’s sweater–with a bonus picture of actual human in the sweater! 
Yarn Folk: What’s your name, where are you located, and when did your shop introduce CustomFit to your customers?

Firefly Fibers: My shop is Firefly Fibers and I’m Alisa, the owner and do-er of just about everything in the shop – I wear ALL of the hats. 🙂 We are located in Beaver Dam, WI.

YF: How did you choose the sweater you contributed? How about the yarn?

FF: I selected Eddy for our sweater because it’s a fabulous first sweater or a quickish knit for an experienced knitter. The Eco Wool was also selected with a first sweater in mind because it’s economical and the heavier weight is great for sweater skill building (especially for the ease of seaming). Really, I love Eddy and I’ve actually had it on my “to knit” list for myself for awhile.
YF: What is your favorite thing about CustomFit?
FF: The smiles of the knitters when they finish their sweater and it fits. And I mean, REALLY fits. No matter shape or size, it does a beautiful job and with the fabric the knitter wants. Also, not having to customize on our end – I have a background in fashion and I love math, but I’d rather spend my time actually knitting.
YF: How many CustomFit sweaters have you knit, and do you have a favorite?
FF: I’ve knit 7 CustomFit sweaters (wow… I really need to get them on Ravelry) and I have 2 favorites – Featherweight in the Fibre Co’s Meadow and my most recent FO is Foyle’s Pullover in Julie Asselin’s Nurtured.

 YF: Anything else you’d like to mention?

FF: CustomFit is addictive… I can’t look at a sweater now without thinking about how to CustomFit it!
Thanks, Alisa! 

  

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Waiting for Rain KAL

Waiting for Rain combines garter stitch with short row lace. We’re casting on tomorrow–care to play? 5-7 pm. I auditioned a couple of combinations for a two-color version, but this one was my fave.

  

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A look at Stonington

 Another Q&A with a CustomFit Trunk Show contributor!
Yarn Folk: Who are you, where are you located, and when did your shop introduce CustomFit?  

Yarn Underground: Shelley Stone from The Yarn Underground, Moscow Idaho; The Yarn Underground. We introduced CustomFit in 2015.

YF: How did you choose the sweater you contributed? How about the yarn? 

YU: This is Stonington in Harrisville Highland. It is a timeless design, and a durable yarn that should stand the test of years.

YF: What is your favorite thing about CustomFit?

YU: Seeing people knit from a pattern that will fit them, and them realizing where normal patterns go wrong for them!

YF: How many CustomFit sweaters have you made? Do you have a fave?

Three. Wintry Mix is pretty great.

YF: Anything else you want to mention?

YU: Knitting a CustomFit sweater will totally open up new worlds to a knitter!
Thanks, Shelley! Stonington is a gorgeous sweater!

  

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Continuing with the virtual trunk show…Harbor Island

I’m enjoying my correspondence with other CustomFit shops, and I hope you are, too! Today we are featuring Harbor Island, a V-neck cardigan.

Yarn Folk: What’s your name, where are you located, and when did your shop introduce CustomFit to your customers?

JH: Judi Hederich at My Sister’s Yarn Shop, Green, Ohio. After visiting Yvonne at Natural Stitches last March we introduced CF in late July of last year. We have measured 42 knitters in eight months.

YF: How did you choose the sweater you contributed? How about the yarn?

JH: I wanted to knit a basic cardigan for my first CF sweater. I chose the Rowan Pure Wool SW for ease of care. I chose the relaxed fit. After knitting it I realized that I am not really a relaxed fit person and did the Mine Hill for my second sweater in the average fit and prefer that fit.

YF: What is your favorite thing about CustomFit?
JH: Fit. Fit. Fit.

YF: How many CustomFit sweaters have you knit, and do you have a favorite?
JH: I have knit two and am in the process of two more. I have a customer who has knit six.

YF: Anything else you’d like to mention?

JH: This program has made me look at knitting sweaters differently. In looking at other patterns I can now see how I can make adjustments to make them fit better.

  

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