The Winter issue of Interweave Knits has been out a few weeks now, and I'm so happy to see that you guys like the collection and the general direction of the magazine. Combining rich, cozy designs with a rustic winter aesthetic just felt so natural as we planned the issue. I think a lot of us come to knitting because we love the idea of a big, casual, tactile knitted thing for cold weather—be it cabled pullover, cowl, or hat. I hope the collection in the winter issue excites that same guttural urge in you!
One of the designs that especially epitomizes the rustic-but-rich theme is Alex Capshaw-Taylor's Manicouagan Pullover. Styled after a henley, but worked here with an extra-deep placket and an allover cable-and-drop-stitch pattern, the look is thoroughly contemporary—and yet... There's something about the rugged gleam of the singles yarn, a blend of wool and the oh-so-engimatic nettle that says "vintage." There's something about the classic, almost conservative shape with its crewneck and dark color that nods to menswear, especially styled over a flannel shirt. You know, there's a tendency in knit design to go Girly with a big G. I see a lot of submissions with dramatic body shaping and elements that accentuate all that is feminine on the body. I do believe a flattering fit is a good thing, of course. But I think it's refreshing to see designs for women that are comfy, functional, and heck—handsome. Diminutive cables and openwork are feminine in a very structured way in the Manicouagan Pullover, but its tomboy flavor is a big part of the appeal for me.
The designer, Alex Capshaw-Taylor, is a budding star in the yarn world and I recommend you keep an eye on her. She can go Girly, no fear—check out her Pluie Cardigan from a past issue of Interweave Knits:
But I also really like the work she's doing in her independent line. Check it out on Ravelry here. The Nottingham infinity scarf makes a great first knitting project or a quick gift for a man. My brother's always asking for handknits, and he wears them! This might go on my to-knit list for the holidays. The pattern is a free download through Alex's store; head on over there to get a copy and get knitting!
Find these patterns in Alex's Ravelry store
But, just as I loved the rugged aesthetic of her Manicouagan Pullover, so I love her new design, the Copper Canyon Pullover. In a simple but solid allover waffle stitch that harkens back to traditional Henley fabrics, this spare design is handsome, hardy, and, on size 9s, won't take that long to knit. We don't see that many designs for men that work as day to day menswear and are fun to make—I think Alex's fresh aesthetic and grasp on minimalism make her uniquely suited for the task. I look forward to more.
Til next time,