My husband calls Rhinebeck the 'Sweater Convention'- and really he's not that off base. Every year around this time knitters are planning their pilgrimage to the NY State Sheep & Wool Festival a.k.a. Rhinebeck, and contemplating the most important travel question of all- WHAT SWEATER AM I GOING TO WEAR?! This has lead to the tradition of the 'Rhinebeck Sweater'- the sweater that you knit specifically to wear (and show-off) at Rhinebeck.
I think it's all great fun. It gives you the extra push to actually finish a sweater, and it really is fun to go 'sweater watching' at the festival and see what walks by.
This year, I've chosen one of the designs from Brooklyn Tweed's (utterly amazing) Fall 14 collection. This collection is inspired by the great tradition of hand-knits worn by fishermen, and it's SPOT ON. Gorgeous, modern updates on traditional cabled sweaters and cold weather accessories. If that weren't enough, the location for the photo shot was in Red Hook (not far from here) and they took the opportunity to spotlight the American fishing industry around the turn of the last century. It's a beautiful homage to American industry and manufacturing, and makes me incredibly proud to be an American knitter.
I chose Backbay, by Jared Flood. I am staying faithful to the design and knitting it in Brooklyn Tweed's worsted weight yarn, Shelter in Fossil. I feel that for a knitter, a fisherman-inspired sweater is a repertoire piece, and I've been wanted to work one for some time. Now I'm really glad i waited- because this is just perfect. An American design, made with American wool. The design itself is right up my alley- simple cable panel on the front and back flanked by moss stitch. Simple, classic, and in a neutral color. This is one I plan on wearing for YEARS.
To make this even more fun is Fringe Association's cable-sweater knitalong. Karen Templer's knitting blog is one of my favorites, and she's come up with a really fun knitalong centered around a fisherman-inspired cabled cardigan called Amanda from the book Essentially Feminine Knits. To make it even cooler, she's opened the knitalong to include all kinds of cardigans and sweaters, but especially cabled ones. All you need to do to play along, is use the hashtag #fringeandfriendsknitalong when you share your project.
I'm taking this a step further and recording my daily progress on Backbay. My idea is to have a fun little slideshow of a Rhinebeck sweater being made bit by bit. I'll be sharing my updates on Instagram, and hopefully here when the sweater is done! Good luck to everyone else!