I am delighted to announce my new pattern for Knitter's Magazine Issue 125, the Boyfriend Brioche sweater! Combining brioche ribbing with garter stitch stripes makes for a cozy project with lots of interest while knitting and a great visual pop in the finished garment. This knit makes a great men's sweater and is also a lovely oversized, tunic for the ladies. In the magazine, the same size sweater is modeled on both the man and woman to give you an example of just how versatile this garment is.
The sweater is knit in-the-round from the bottom-up and features a garter-stripe edging at the hem and wrists. The body of the sweater and a majority of the sleeves are worked in a simple 2-color brioche rib. We opted to write-out the pattern in a more traditional sense in an attempt to make the brioche patterning more welcoming to those who may be intimidated by the technique. It really is very simple and I hope that you give it a try. (Honestly, it's no harder than working and eye-of-partridge heel or linen stitch). The shaping of the sleeve-caps corresponds to the the garter stripes, so it's very easy to see how many decreases you've made as you work and the neckline is an extremely simple garter edging.
The recommended yarn, Donegal Tweed Homespun (in Embers and Amber), provides some great visual interest as well as extra structure in the knitted fabric. It isn't extremely soft at first touch, but as you work with it, you begin to fall in love with the texture of the yarn and as the sweater grows on your needles, you'll appreciate having a sturdier yarn to make the brioche and garter fabrics behave. If you do decide to substitute in a different yarn, keep in mind that these stitch patterns grow with blocking and can vary widely depending on what type of yarn you pair with them so be sure to swatch and wash your swatch.
Knitter's Magazine #125 (Winter 2016) is on newsstands now and is a rather bittersweet issue. I feel so blessed to have been a part of it, but I am slightly heartbroken because it is the last issue of Knitter's Magazine. On January 17, 2017 XRX CEO, Benjamin Levisay, sent out letters to subscribers, shop owners, advertisers and contributors letting us know that they have decided to discontinue publication of the magazine.
As someone who dislikes change and who has spent their entire life in the publishing world*, my first reaction to this news was extreme sadness and maybe some tears. Not only does this mean the end of an era for one of my 3 favorite knitting magazines (Knitters, Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits), but it's produced in the same town that I live in and it's the first actual magazine to publish my patterns. I've walked along the bridge in the photograph of my sweater above, Issue # 120 included my very first magazine pattern and was photographed at my LYS. This magazine means a lot to me, and I'll forever be grateful that I've been able to be a small part of it.
*(My dad has created, owned and run either Deals on Wheels (now discontinued) or AutaBuy magazines for my entire life and I worked at Barnes & Noble full time for about 7 yrs, 3 of which as a Newsstand Lead.)
On, the flip-side, though, XRX is far from going away. The Stitches shows are shaping up to be better than ever with the official inclusion of quilting, sewing, weaving, cross-stitch and other crafts. Stitches United in Hartford, CT on April 27-30, 2017 is the very first of these events and I'm so excited to see this new direction for the shows. Personally, I think that this is a brilliant idea from XRX. Over the last couple of years, there's been a huge cross-over trend between knitters/crocheters and other crafts. Take a look at the class roster that they have lined-up for this first show, it looks absolutely amazing and I wish that I was going myself! (Psst... Franklin is teaching sewing!!)
In his letter, Benjamin also mentions that Rick and the Knitter's editorial team will be regularly producing content at STITCHES.Events which makes me think that discontinuing the print magazine will be the best possible move for the company. I'm really excited to see what the team comes up with and I can't wait to see what the new site looks like. There really is so much more that you can do by using a digital versus print format and the fact that these articles and projects will be free offers a wonderful resource to the crafting community.
As hard as it is to say good-bye to an old favorite in print, I have to say that the future of XRX is looking extremely positive and I can't wait to see everything that they have in mind for us in the future!
Happy Knitting, and Crocheting, and Sewing, and... Everything!