This week we have a special treat for you! If you’re a regular Ravelry user, you will probably have seen that one of our favourite designers, Stephen West, has been hosting a ‘knit-along’ and releasing stunning patterns as part of his Westy’s Besties KAL recently. This week, the pattern being released is the shawl he originally designed for Loop – the Westloop Shawl! Stephen has very kindly agreed to offer the pattern for free to Loop customers who purchase the yarn for the pattern in either Brooklyn Tweed LOFT or or the Isager yarns required for the pattern. Hooray!
You may have noticed that these are no ordinary photos of knitwear. Shot by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed fame, and styled by Cirilia Rose, these pictures were taken on a trip Stephen took to Iceland to teach. The stunning models are friends of Stephen’s Icelandic friend Ragga. Stephen gave us the back story on how this collection came about:
I emailed Jared about designing a colorwork collection with his Brooklyn Tweed yarn and I already had a trip planned to teach with Knitting Iceland. So, I invited him to photograph the collection before the knitting tour. We traveled north to Hofsós where my friend Ragga is from and spent a weekend taking photos. It wasn’t hard to find beautiful places for the photographs because Iceland’s landscape is so varied and beautiful. The summer light was also easy to work with. It was never completely dark. Some of the photos in the collection were taken as late as 11:30 at night. The two models named Sigurður and Elín Eva are friends of Ragga’s, who organizes the Knitting Iceland retreats. They are local Icelanders and believe it or not, they’ve never done much modeling before. Elín Eva is a mother of two and Sigurður plays on the national soccer team. Cirilia Rose who works with Skacel in Seattle also came along as our stylist. It was one of the best, most inspiring weekends of my life.
Pretty dreamy, huh? We can but fantasise that we’re on idyllic Icelandic jaunts while knitting our own version of the shawl…
The shawl is clever but simple so it’s easy to knit while watching tv or travelling, but interesting enough that you won’t get bored! Stephen describes the process like this:
Seed stitch and twisted ribbing bands fill the top-down triangular shape of this shawl. Garter stitch short rows are added at the border for extra wingspan length. Choose two colors or add more colorful strips to the textured fabric.
The palettes of both LOFT and the Isager yarns are both beautiful – you can go soft and muted, or bold and dramatic…
Ready to start knitting? Here’s the yarn info you’ll need to get going:
Sizes: Small (Large)
Finished Measurements: 19 (29)” / 48 (74)cm from cast on to cast off along centre stitch, 80 (95)” / 203 (241)cm wingspan
Yarn: Small Version
Color A (Fauna) – 2 skeins
Color B (Hayloft) – 2 skeins
Color A (Postcard) – 3 skeins
Color B (Thistle) – 3 skeins
Needles: 100 cm / 3.5mm circular
Finished Measurements: 16″ / 41cm from cast on to cast off along centre stitch, 65″ / 165cm wingspan along top edge.
Isager Alpaca 1, Colour A: 40 – 1 ball
Isager Alpaca 1, Colour B: 46 – 1 ball
Isager Highland Yarn, Colour C: Ocean – 1 ball
Isager Highland Yarn, Colour D: Stone – 1 ball
Needles: 100cm / 4mm circular
You can pop into the shop to get your yarn and code to download the pattern online, or you can order online and send us a quick email to request your code. Make sure you let us know you’ve placed your online order when you email. While you’re in the online shop, be sure to check out Stephen’s other fabulously geometric patterns and then go have a look at the patterns he’s released as part of the Westy’s Besties KAL (these will be dropping into Loop later this spring too!).
And finally, a big thanks to Stephen and his ‘besties’ for producing such a beautiful pattern!