Posts Tagged: Swans Island

Swans Island Twisted Cowl

This time of year is tricky. One day it’s warm, the next freezing. It really makes it difficult to dress in the morning, not knowing what will happen within the course of the day, weather-wise. My solution: the knitted cowl. It’s something that can add a nice layer of warmth, and since this one is made from Swans Island Natural Fingering, which is 100% merino wool, it is warm when it needs to be warm, but not too hot. This pattern also works well with this type of spring-or-winter layering technique. It has a nice loose lace-like quality, so it doesn’t feel overly heavy.

Have you knit with Swans Island before? If not, you should give it a try–their yarn is heavenly. And it is made right next door in beautiful Maine. I traveled up there before the shop opened and was completely smitten with their yarn and the people that ran the company. Should you ever be up in the Camden area, please do yourself a favor and swing by their dye house. You will see how they get their array of stunning colors and get a weaving demonstration of their amazing blankets. I feel like I’m overusing adjectives in this paragraph, but once you see and feel this stuff in person, you will completely understand!

The pattern for this cowl was created by one of my instructors. It’s a riff on a traditional lace pattern and really makes this yarn shine. The nice part about the pattern is that you can adjust the dimensions to be whatever you prefer! The pattern as written will use up most of the yardage of one skein of the Swans Island, but if you wanted to use up leftover yarn, this would be a great pattern for that. I love patterns that you can customize yourself. I think the difficulty level is not too high and as long as you can do the required stitches, you should be good to go! We are offering this pattern free with the purchase of one skein of the Swans Island Fingering, which comes in a great array of colors.

Do you have a particular way to dress with this weird spring-maybe-still-winter weather? Are you a layer-er like me? Or is there another way? Do tell!


All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Sydänmaa Mittens in Swans Island All American

Pintuck & Purl's Sydanmaa Mittens In Swans Island Yarn

Time to break out the mittens! I’m not sure if your outside temperature numbers are dropping, but here in New Hampshire, it is C.O.L.D. What is the only silver lining that I find this time of year, since I don’t ski, snowboard, snowshoe or any other snow-or-winter-related activity? Knit and wear mittens! Actually, I didn’t knit these; the fabulous Jenny, from our staff, knitted up these lovelies. I am wearing and will continue to wear them. Obviously when they are not on the shelf as a sample in the shop. Mostly.

Swans Island All American Wool Sydanmaa Mittens

These are the Sydänmaa Mittens by Hanna Leväniemi, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. Yes, you read that right. FREE pattern on Ravelry. If you have been searching for an interesting, not-too-crazy cabled mitten with fun construction, then these mittens are for you.

Swans Island All American Wool Sydanmaa Mittens

If you are looking for yarn for said mittens, then you need to take a look at Swans Island All American Collection Worsted. The yarn is a combination of 75% Rambouillet and 25% Alpaca. Both of these are sourced right here in the good ol’ USA. Yep, this yarn is 100% American Made. It is spun in a New England mill and then brought to the Swans Island Company dye house in Maine and lovingly infused with color. The colorway we chose here is called Atlantic, and it is perfect. There are just enough green tones to conjure up images of my beloved local beaches.

This rustic, yet still sophisticated yarn often gets overlooked in the shop as it doesn’t have bright colors or crazy packaging. It is one of those unassuming yarns that once you start to work with it, you wonder why you have’t knit with it before. And then you want to knit all things in it. The stitch definition is amazing and it is surprisingly light for all its rustic beauty. It is perfect for a pattern like this, really showing off those cable stitches.

Sydanmaa Mittens in Swans Island All American Wool

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography 

Now, the scratch factor. I think this may be a personal decision, but once this yarn was blocked I thought it softened up beautifully. I don’t find  the yarn scratchy and would wear it happily next to my skin. I know there are others that would disagree, so I think mittens are the perfect starter project for this yarn. If you can wear the mittens, then you are ready for a full sweater’s worth of this yarn. And trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

You can find a nice selection of the Swans Island Company’s trademark  subtle colors of the All American Worsted in the shop here (and soon online!) and then make your own pair. The mittens as shown were knitted up with one skein, with some left over. So, come on, what are you waiting for?!?!?!

Swans Island All American Yarn