Grace Cardigan knit in SweetGeorgia BFL Sock (Deep Olive). Designed by Jane Richmond.

Grace Cardigan knit in SweetGeorgia BFL Sock (Deep Olive). Designed by Jane Richmond.

I first heard that Jane Richmond’s new book had come out when we were at Knit City in October 2012. Carina was working with me in our booth and she came running over, saying, “omg I gotta get Jane Richmond’s new book” and I said, “what new book!?! get me one, please!”. Minutes later, Jane completely sold out of her printed copies at the show… and for good reason.

ISLAND features five new designs by Jane Richmond including a cardigan (Grace), scarf (Strathcona), hat (Renfrew), cowl (Arbutus), and fingerless mitts (Rathtrevor). The inspiration for these pieces comes from her beloved, Vancouver Island. If you’ve ever been to the Island, you’ll sense the Pacific Northwest in her designs and the gorgeous photos by Nicholas Kupiak. The design and layout of the book itself was done by Shannon Cook.

The patterns, photos, layout and even the feel of the paper help to convey that sort of meditative, rustic, fresh but relaxed feeling. All the designs look classic but modern, minimal and timeless. I knit myself a Grace cardigan and the Arbutus cowl, but I could easily see myself knitting all these designs more than once. The simple accessories would all make wonderful gift knits.


Grace Cardigan knit in BFL Sock (Oxblood)

Grace Cardigan knit in BFL Sock (Oxblood)

Back in March 2012, Jane had contacted me about dyeing our Deep Olive green on the BFL Sock to knit one of her new designs. That new design ended up being the “Grace” cardigan. This cardigan is knit from the top-down in one piece and features a lace yoke that feels minimal and modern. Designed in fingering weight yarn, it’s lightweight enough for layering.

I started knitting a Grace cardigan at the beginning of November and finally finished it during my trip to Long Beach for TNNA. It’s a lovely and easy knit… the only thing that was a little confusing for me was keeping track of my lace stitches in the yoke. I had to rip back a couple times because I kept forgetting to make yarnovers. And I think I ended up knitting my cardigan a little longer than specified. I knit the 34″ version and it only took 2 skeins and a small amount of a third skein.

The pattern is written in ELEVEN sizes, to fit busts between 30″ to 50″. To make the pattern easier to read, the pattern is written in a “fill-in-the-blanks” style. You first choose your size, then you consult the table of all the stitch counts and measurements and then copy the values into your pattern template. Then as you knit your pattern, you only see the values that are relevant to your project! No worries about accidentally reading the wrong line or size!

I love my Grace cardi. I just wish I had done two things differently… I wish I had made the upper sleeves bigger to fit my arms. Somehow wishing I had thinner arms is the same as wishing I was taller… it’s just not gonna happen. And I wish that I had made single yarnover buttonholes. The buttons I chose were so tiny, they don’t stay buttoned. But other than that, I love this design.


Arbutus cowl knit in SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted (Wisteria)

Arbutus cowl knit in SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted (Wisteria)

Jane was wearing the Arbutus cowl at the Knit City show in October and I was immediately smitten. It’s pure genius. Jane has designed this welted cowl to bunch and fall perfectly.

Basically, there are three tiers to the cowl. Starting at the top, you knit the first tier of the cowl. Then you cast off a portion of the stitches and cast on more stitches for the section tier, making the second tier slightly wider than the first. The third tier is similarly wider than the second. As a result, the cowl looks like it’s been casually wrapped around your neck three times, but isn’t bulky.

When I saw the Arbutus cowl, I knew I had to find just the right yarn for it. I’ve been testing new base yarns and found one that fit the bill perfectly… It’s our new Trinity Worsted: cashmere, superwash merino and silk in a squishy soft worsted weight (available shortly). I know Jane calls for DK in her pattern, but the Worsted weight worked just fine too. I just went up a needle size. I’m just finishing the last few rounds of the cowl (sorry there’s no finished cowl photos yet!) but I’ll be wearing it at Fibres West in a couple weeks!

Want to win a signed copy of the book?

Jane has graciously given me a signed copy of the book to give to one of you lucky knitters! And to sweeten the pot, I’ll include a skein of our SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted (would make a great Arbutus Cowl or Renfrew hat) in a colour of your choice. Here’s the rules and how to enter:

  • Leave me a comment here, telling me which pattern in ISLAND you want to knit and why!
  • Be sure to include your email address or Ravelry ID or some way for me to contact you.
  • One entry per person, open to international entries too.
  • Giveaway ends one week from today — 11:59pm on Tuesday, February 26th.

Thank you so much to Jane for inviting me to be a part of the ISLAND blog tour! Want to see what other people are saying? Follow the rest of the blog tour!