I have found that the weather at the New York Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY in October can be very difficult to predict. I always take that into account when designing my 'Rhinebeck' sweater for each year. Apple Cider Donut is shown with four inches of positive ease so that it may be worn over a t-shirt if the weather is on the warmer side, or used as a jacket over another sweater if the weather is chilly. Buttons are placed at the collar and top of the sweater only to allow for ease of movement.
The Rhinebeck Sweater
In this collection Ysolda brings together eleven designer friends including Gudrun Johnston, Amy Herzog and Mary Jane Mucklestone, to share the sweaters they would wear to Rhinebeck, the site of the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.
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Shot on location at the festival, the book is beautifully inspiring, filled with the rich colours and textures of autumn in Upstate New York. Clear patterns in Ysolda’s signature style are included for each design so that you too can make your own special Rhinebeck sweater.
One of the best parts of a festival is the community: meeting new friends and old, spotting knits in the wild, and learning more about the yarns you buy from the people who know them best. Ysolda brings the stories behind the yarns featured in the sweaters to you, interviewing dyers, spinners and shepherds. No one knows yarn better than Clara Parkes and she shares her experiences of shopping at festivals in an evocative story about the joy of a hand-knit sweater full of memories.
Making a special new sweater to wear to Rhinebeck has become a tradition for many knitters. Pattern selections are pored over, eye-catching colours are chosen from favourite dyers, techniques are selected to highlight skills. Knitters work furiously before the festival, finishing in the car, blocking on hotel beds, anything to ensure the fabulous new garment can make its debut in the perfect environment — among a community who will truly appreciate it. It doesn't matter any more whether a Rhinebeck sweater is actually worn to Rhinebeck, the important thing is to wear it somewhere with pride. Make something that you love, and that demonstrates your love for knitting and for yarn. Find the perfect pattern for yours in The Rhinebeck Sweater.
YARN COMPANIESStarcroft Fiber Mill
Green Mountain Spinnery
Briar Rose Fibers
The Verdant Gryphon
Jill Draper Makes Stuff
Bijou Basin Ranch
Fiber Optic Yarns
by Laura Nelkin
Many years, going to Rhinebeck can be a chilly adventure. I’ve found that what I really like is not to be encumbered by too many layers and accessories. Simplicity is the key to having a great time! So, having a thick warm sweater that is well fitted AND has integrated fingerless mitts is rather perfect… I can wear less AND be warm! It means I don’t have to take off my mittens to eat my way through the festival or knit while I catch up with old friends.
by Pamela Wynne
Aunt Fred is my favourite kind of sweater to wear at a fall festival like Rhinebeck. It's casual, colourful and warm, and it looks great layered over a long-sleeved shirt. The stranded colourwork pattern is inspired by the curtains that hung in Aunt Fred's avocado-and-goldenrod kitchen, which existed as a 1970s time capsule until the day she died in 2008.
by Thea Colman
When asked to contribute to this project, I immediately wanted to do a modern update to the classic Fisherman knit. It was an excellent excuse to knit with this gorgeous Cormo wool from Foxhill Farm. The resulting fabric is soft and round, with a bit of stretch to it, which gives the sweater a body skimming shape if knit with the suggested ease
by Cheryl Burke
Dutchess is a worsted-weight pullover knit with generous decorative ribbing and waist shaping for a more flattering fit. The herringbone colourwork yoke is simple to remember, fun to knit, and uses only two colours. With minimal finishing, you’ll be off to Rhinebeck in warmth and style!
Every year Rhinebeck creeps up and surprises me. Suddenly I need a sweater that is both fun and fast to knit, and comfortable no matter what the weather brings. A gently fitted colourwork cardigan hitting just below the bum was this year’s solution. It’s cute and swingy unbuttoned for warm weather, perfectly comfy when buttoned, and has just enough ease for additional layering should temperatures plunge.
You might have one of Melissa's sweaters tucked in a drawer without ever realizing it. Not only does she create hand knitting patterns, but she also has a 'real' design job. She learned to knit as a child but her interest in hand knitting was reignited while studying fashion design, with a specialism in knitwear, at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Fall is my favourite season of the year and I love to have a good selection of basic sweaters to keep off the chill. When designing this garment I wanted to combine all of the elements of a sweater that make me happiest. This meant including a cowl, pockets, and nice long sleeves. Although the silhouette is simple, the unusual sleeve cap shaping keeps things interesting, while the cosy brioche stitch pattern adds texture.
Pumpkin Ale started with a list: for Rhinebeck I wanted a versatile cardigan that could be worn open or closed; worn as a jacket, possibly even layered over a thinner sweater if the weekend was cool; pockets were a must for keeping change, business cards and a map handy; and the silhouette should be one that was easy to wear for many different body shapes.
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