A few weeks ago while noodling around on Ravelry we came across this amazing sweater, knit out of Canopy Worsted.
It was, coincidentally, knit by Sonali (knittingowl on ravelry) who used to live in Philadelphia and bought the Canopy Worsted to make this sweater at the local yarn store we also frequent. Small world! Sonali is now living and wearing her Canopy Worsted sweater in Berlin. She emailed us a few weeks ago to say:
I wore that sweater just yesterday while I waited for hours in the cold and rain to watch the celebrations for the anniversary of the fall of the wall here in Berlin. I knew it was going to be freezing and I figured the sweater was one of the warmest things I had, with all that lovely alpaca, and it did a great job.
The yarn seemed perfectly suited to this sweater. It has the drape needed to allow the cowl to fall just so, it's soft enough to wear next to the skin, perfect for a fitted sweater. We sent a ravelry message to the sweater's designer, Beth Silverstein (philosoknitter on ravelry) to ask her more about her fantastic design.
Beth has been blogging at www.philosoknitter.blogspot.com since 2005 and, like many of us, started blogging to keep in touch with friends and family who are scattered far and wide. Francis Revisited is a free download on Ravelry, and has been very popular, with over 400 versions on Ravelry alone. Her design was mostly inspired by the minimally processed alpaca, from the alpaca named Frances. She says:
When I saw Frances I fell in love. I loved the natural color of the alpaca, it was this perfect heather of grays and tans, and it was so soft and unique. Buying local and organic is important to me, and I try to do it whenever I can, whether at the grocery store or when buying yarn. My favorite stash items and projects are usually made with undyed wool or alpaca or naturally dyed fiber. When I visit a yarn shop while traveling I usually try find something that is connected to the area, whether locally produced, spun, dyed, whatever. Something that will help me connect to that place.
We couldn't agree more. Yarn choice ought to be a primary inspiration for design. One's choice of yarn will greatly affect the final outcome, fit and style, of your garment. Beth goes on to say:
I love alpaca for the project because at such a loose gauge the sweater is light but really, really warm and the alpaca gives the perfect drape for the cowl neck. I think they are so classic and elegant but not over the top, so almost anyone can pull it off effortlessly and look stylish.
Thanks to Beth and Sonali for your participation!