Pattern Release & KAL: Gretna Jumper


Allow me to take a moment to reminisce about Rhinebeck, 2017. It was my first time there. I was overwhelmed by the number of people but overjoyed by having excellent company and seeing all of the gorgeous handknits, wools, and livestock. I was on a mission to snatch some longwool yarn while I was there. I had already begun falling in love with longwools because of some Leicester Longwool I was [practicing] spinning with, and Wensleydale yarn I used to swatch and begin a sweater. On Sunday, I entered the Flying Fibers booth. It was exactly what I was searching for. 

I first heard of Flying Fibers through the Woolful (now known as Making) Podcast. There was a delightful interview with both Jeri and Irina. You can listen to it here. I knew Flying Fibers was located near my beloved south-central Pennsylvanian home. I moved away in 2015, but grew up beside Gifford Pinchot State Park, lived in uptown Harrisburg for several years, and attended college at Millersville University. Somehow I never managed to visit their shop while living in the area.  

Irina and I chatted a bit while I was checking out. I told her I'm a bit of a newbie designer and that I'd love to work on something with her yarn. She handed me her card and much to my surprise, she contacted me a few days after the show. I was THRILLED. We began a somewhat casual plan for the design. I made swatches, drafted a few proposals, and the design gradually came to life. I simply cannot overstate what a wonderful experience it has been to work with Flying Fibers. Their trust in me helped me create my most proud design to date: the Gretna Jumper.

photo by Flying Fibers

photo by Flying Fibers

I would go on about the details of the sweater, but there are actually plenty of notes on Ravelry and on Irina's YouTube podcast. We're hosting a KAL that lasts until the end of May. We will have prizes, of course, and would love to get more people involved. I promise you'll have time and find reasons to wear this jumper year-round. I already want to design everything with this yarn. I have loose plans for a Gretna hat and have a swatch (and rejected proposal) ready to begin writing the pattern for another pullover. I've also had a request or two for a Gretna cardi.

I'll keep you posted on my progress for my own version knit in Rothwell Gold. You can share your own progress on Instagram using the hashtags #gretnajumper and #gretnajumperkal. Chat and share photos at the thread on the Flying Fibers Ravelry Group. In the meantime, head to the Flying Fibers website and purchase your yarn for the Gretna Jumper KAL. I urge you to support this small business. I cannot say enough good things about them. 

Finally, I cannot let the opportunity pass to thank my amazing test-knitters. They were working with a tight deadline, provided fabulous feedback, and are just invaluable to this process. I hope to work with many of them again in the future!

Warmest regards,