Sunday, January 27, 2013


Let me preface this by saying: do you know how hard it is to blog when The West Wing is playing in the background? For example, this was meant to be another lightning-round 15 minute blogpost, and we're already on minute thirty.  Because I love this show SO much.  Heaven help my productivity if I keep watching!

Tearing myself away from my decades-long crush on Josh Lyman, I wanted to talk a little bit further about my latest design, Linnae, which came out with Quince & Co. a few weeks ago.  Linnae was inspired by Scandinavian design, Mod style, and my rabid love for polka dots. 

(Seriously, twenty minutes just went by.  Damn you, Aaron Sorkin!)

(all photos by Carrie Bostick Hoge!)

This past summer, my parents brought me back an Scandinavian interior design magazine from their trip around the Baltic (yes, I know, I'm crazy jealous, too), and the clear, fresh colors and simple, clean lines were amazing to see.  There was also always a little hint of quirk--a splash of color, a fantastic print, a mug with a squirrel tail for a handle.  I loved the aesthetic so much and, of course, began scheming how I could translate it into a knitting pattern.  The idea of polka dots was almost instantaneous--who doesn't love polka dots? They remind me of the fantastic style of the Mod era, another of my perennial design inspirations.

(Another twenty minutes.  It was a Josh and Donna interlude.)

The key to working with such a quirky accent was keeping the shape and style of the sweater clean, as the magazine had demonstrated.  I went with a simple, bottom-up raglan, with some gentle waist shaping to tailor the whole.  I also played with tiny details like contrast color edging on the hems and a centered polka dot motif on the raglans.  

(The raisin muffin email debacle! I'd forgotten about that!)

Being able to add little details like that are what make me love designing! 

The other part of this design process was narrowing down the colors for the Fair Isle.  I originally had my eye on Kittywake (the current main color) and Rosa Rugosa, a deep pink-red, but in keeping with the original Scandinavian inspiration, I ended up with Bird's Egg, a clean, clear grey-blue that I also used in the Bristol's Cowl.  But I also had a wonderful time daydreaming about what other colors of Chickadee would be amazing in combination.  Here are a few I've put together:

(let Bartlet be Bartlet! God, I love this show.)

Top row, L to R: Chanterelle and Twig, Kittywake and Honey, Twig and Marsh
2nd row: Marsh and Honey, Lichen and Iceland, Frost and Leek
3rd row: Frost and Winesap, Carrie's Yellow and Bird's Egg, Kittywake and Iceland
Bottom row: Bark and Gingerbread, Gingerbread and Apricot, Dogwood and Pomegranate
(can you tell I like neutrals, greens, and yellows?)

I could go on for days picking color combos.  My current plan is to spin for this during this year's Tour de Fleece, using a solid neutral fleece for the body and a hand-dyed roving for the polka dots.  Which colors would you use? 

Linnae is available through Quince & Co. here, can be found on Ravelry here, and Chickadee can be found here!

(That only took me two hours.  Damn you, Sorkin!)


  1. I will always love Toby Ziegler, for some reason.

    And, of course, Jed Bartlet is the best president ever, especially because he's from Concord.

    I always cringe, though, when they give him little New Hampshire details that are a His pronunciation of Concord is the biggest one.

    Oh, yeah. Beautiful pattern!


    1. How have we not bonded over TWW before, Thea? Becuase holy crap that show. Oh my goodness. Amazing. (And yeah, I give up on people trying to do authentic New England accents. . . )

  2. You're adorable and I love your designs. Wish we got to talk more when we met.

  3. Thank you so much, Andrea--I'm so excited to see your version!

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