Happy Little Accidents: My Humulus Sweater (Dress)

Did you all watch or grow up with The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross? Well, when I tried on my freshly blocked Humulus his famous phrase was my first thought: “There are no mistakes, only happy little accidents.”

Humulus by Isabell Kraemer called to me from the moment I saw its hop-filled yoke last year. At the time I was still living in Fort Collins, Colorado—the Napa Valley of craft beer. The sweater design and enthusiastic beer lifestyle of Colorado were a perfect pairing. When I moved back to the east coast I decided to make Humulus as a wooly token of my second home. A sheepish text was sent to Kate requesting a sweaters worth of my favorite new Kelbourne yarn, Scout, in graphite heather and natural. A short time later a bag full of squishy Scout was all mine!

The original Humulus is gorgeous, but I needed to modify it for my body type and comfort level. So, I carefully swatched, blocked my swatch, made modifications for a swancho-type fit with deep armholes, a roomy body with ample ease, and a cowl neck. What I didn’t expect was my gauge drastically changing over the four months spent picking up and putting down this project. Clearly, my new Kelbourne lifestyle has suited me well because my gauge got wicked loose.

When I tried on my Humulus after blocking the hemline nearly touched my knees, the armholes were deeper than I intended, but the overall look was surprisingly perfect! The whole sweater-dress-bag look is one I can get on-board with this winter and many winters to follow.

The best element of all is Scout—this sweater-dress is soft enough to wear against my skin (which is quite sensitive) without a wee poke to be felt. Many knitters have used Scout in their Humulus, and I have to say we all couldn’t have picked a better yarn for this design.

Find all the Scout colors and stockists list here. Let me know if you’re making or planning to make a Humulus in Scout, too!

Courtney's Carbeth Cardigan

Every now and then a pattern hits you like a ton of bricks, and you stop everything you’re doing to cast on.

Image: Kate Davies Designs

Image: Kate Davies Designs

Years ago I knit what became my favorite sweater - Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Hurry Up Last Minute Sweater in Tahki’s Donegal Tweed. The offset raglan shaping of Carbeth is so reminiscent of that super simple shaping, but with the added bonus of having the numbers figured out for me, and with really excellent details like the folded collar and i-cord buttonholes.

Last March, when I was about seven month pregnant, we went on a trip to visit the Navia headquarters in the Faroe Islands. There were many things about that trip that made wardrobe choices a challenge for me, and in the weeks leading up to the trip I went on a knitting rampage with a mission to “bang out a Carbeth!” Call it love at first knitting pattern sight, or call it a knitter’s version of “nesting,” but whatever you call it, I call it my favorite sweater of 2018.

courtney carbeth.jpg

While I will be the first to admit that photographing a sweater after days of traveling-while-pregnant is no one’s favorite, don’t let that grimace fool you. I am in love with this sweater. I recently wore it all through our trip to Ireland, and this time I carried the baby on the outside!

courtney kelley andorra carbeth.JPG

I used our Andorra yarn to knit Carbeth, holding it doubled on a US 9 needle (5.5mm). I got gauge handily, no fussing around with multiple swatches, and cast on for the third size, a 44” bust. I figured that size would give me plenty of wear in the rest of my pregnancy and in the bustier post-partum nursing days to come in the fall. Held double, I used seven skeins of Andorra - with plenty to spare.

Now that Gilda is almost six months old - she was a TNNA baby! - I think it’s time to think about making another Carbeth, this time one size smaller and marled in ink black and snow white. A new classic for my wardrobe, which will patiently wait until after the holiday knitting frenzy is over.

Did you #bangoutacarbeth in 2018? What was your most memorable knit of the year? Tell us in the comments!

New Free Pattern: Llumeneres Hat!

When we received the new colors of Andorra this season, I saw the deep navy and immediately fell in love.

I had always wanted to knit my Seathwaite hat in a smaller gauge with a slouchier fit, and with the release of the new colors and Small Business Saturday just around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to do just that!

Llumeneres is a classic hat with a ribbed brim and intricate all over cable pattern. Integrated decreases shape the crown, and the added length allows for a folded brim and classic fitted hat or unfolded brim and slouchier fit.

The free pattern is our gift to you this season in appreciation for your support and enthusiasm this past year. Here’s to many, many more!