Last November we received the first samples of The Fibre Co. Cumbria, and to say I was smitten is an understatement. After our first design team meeting I kept thinking about my parents' beloved Aran sweaters they obtained on a trip to Ireland years ago. I rode home on the train that night sketching various ideas I had for the collection - cables, nupps, slipped stitches, all of it.
I started flipping through my stitch dictionaries and fell in love with a chevron nupp pattern. It was interesting, full of body, and complimented the rustic nature of Cumbria beautifully. However, after countless attempts at playing stitch matchmaker, my dream stitch pattern wasn't working. So I went back to the drawing board, leaving my heartbreaker of a stitch pattern behind and revisited my old swatches. Early on, I had swatched a mirrored cable to be paired with the nupp as a border. As an edging it didn't work, but as a main motif with a little alteration, it worked beautifully. Flanked by a smaller cable cording and slipped stitch rib, the end result is truly a testament to the design process and I couldn't be happier with it.
My favorite element of this design are the fringe tassels. Not only are they fun to make, fringe has been popping up everywhere lately, so it is a nice traditional element that still has a modern feel. And since Penrith is fairly unisex, I'd love to make a skinnier, longer and fringeless version for my father in Grizedale Forest or Hadrian's Wall. - LM