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  • fall/winter 2013: elskling

    I may be a little biased, but I love the backstory for Elskling. Elskling means "darling" in Norwegian, and it's based on the sweater I designed and knit for my winter wedding. Our winters in Seattle may be mild, but I knew I was going to need some outdoor cover with my sleeveless dress in February.

    (Photo by the incredibly talented Jenny Jimenez, and my muff bouquet was made using Tiny Owl Knits' tiny violet hand puff pattern.)

    As a result, this design works very well in formal situations. The prototype in the photo above has a brooch closure, but I've found that this cardigan transitions very well into a more casual everyday piece, and so I've included instructions for optional buttonholes in the pattern for a more standard button closure.

    Elskling is worked from the bottom up, and like everything else in the collection, it's entirely seamless. I made a few changes to the design going from prototype to pattern, and one of the changes I'm happiest with is the way the lace rib motif from the sleeve is carried through the ribbed cuff, so that the motif truly runs the length of the arm from wrist to neck. The stitches for the small shawl collar are picked up from the edge of the body.

    The wool I used for the prototype certainly kept me warm on my wedding day, but it wasn't the softest stuff to have next to bare skin. This was on my mind as I searched for the right yarn for this pattern. On my trip to Skacel to check out yarn, I fell in love with Schoppel-wolle Alpaka Queen, and even though the color range is more limited than other yarns (all the colorways are natural shades), I knew it was the yarn for Elskling. Alpaka Queen may be the softest yarn I've ever worked with. It was truly a treat. I went with a lighter shade of grey for the pattern sample, because it really highlights the texture of the lace rib nicely. (If you're looking for a wider range of colors, I think Schoppel's IN Silk would be a nice substitute.)

    Kathleen (my model) and I really enjoyed this shoot, too. We were in the most beautiful wooded sheep pasture I've ever seen, and Kathleen even got to feed the sheep! Cheviots are a little bit wary of strangers, but food breaks down all kinds of barriers. I think this breed is one of the most statuesque I've ever seen. So pretty! Huge thanks to Janya, who let us work in the pasture and hang out with her sheep.

    For a full list of details including yarn and needle requirements, and to purchase the pattern, visit the Ravelry page for Elskling. I can't wait to see everyone's different versions!