I'm sure many knitters know how you can knit your feelings into your projects. A shawl worked during grief can carry some of that sorrow. But you can also weave happy emotions into your knits, like this sweater that carries my roots.

What: Alho / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.0 and 3.5 mm
From: Holst Garn Noble + Isager Silk Mohair, 107 + 47 g

Alho is the name of an old farm. It's the name of the land that gave life to my great grandfather, my grandfather, and then, my mother. I've never lived there but it is the land I belong to. The land gave its name to this sweater because the delicate lace reminds me of grains and soil.

I couldn't stand mohair. It was a nasty long fiber that tickled and irritated my skin. While half of the knitting world was obsessed with mohair and used it in every second pattern I didn't want to take part in such a folly. Until of course, I did. You see, when you combain mohair with silk it turns into a heavenly soft and fluffy fabric. And once I went down that road there was no going back. 

Most sweater patterns use mohair silk with another strand of yarn to give the fabric that lovely halo and fluff. I wanted something a bit different and came up with a sweater that's mostly worked with two strands held together but there's lace that's worked with the silk mohair alone.

A lace weight silk mohair makes the lace pattern so delicate that I can't even.

Next on the list was finding a nice lace pattern. I fell in love with this lace chart that I think was supposed to be leaves but turned upside down it reminds me of grains. And grains reminded me of soil and roots - and so began the sweater called Alho.

Alho is knit seamlessly top down. It has a round yoke with a beautiful lace insert. The sweater comes with plenty of ease and an A-line body. It has 20 cm / 8'' positive ease at the bust and the body widens towards the hem. The sweater is cropped and the back of the hem is shaped longer with short rows. The pattern also comes with instructions for an optional bust dart.

The sweater is worked holding two strands of yarn together: a light fingering weight yarn and a lace weight mohair silk yarn. The lace is worked in just the mohair silk. I made my sample in Holst Garn Noble (wool + cashmir) and Isager Silk Mohair (30% silk).

The pattern comes in 11 sizes for finished bust circumference of 38-70'' / 95-175 cm. I recommend choosing a size with 8''/20 cm positive ease at the bust. All my new patterns come with this extended size range and once the year end work load eases off I will be adding sizes to my older patterns as well.

You can buy Alho on Ravelry and there's a 20% introductory discount until Christmas Eve using the code ROOTS.

What: Alho / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.0 and 3.5 mm
From: Lotus Yarns Mimi Plus + Lang Yarns Lace, 150 + 75 g

As you can see, I've made two Alhos. This darker version is the one I had to cast on right away as I had the idea for the sweater. I was in such a hurry that I skipped swatching. Let's just say there was a lesson to learn.

My gauge was way off from what I based my calculations on so the sweater turned out a lot bigger than intended. Even the neckband was too wide. So I made a sweater-size swatch and re-calculated everything based on that. The pattern will give you the fit of the lighter sweater above.



I usually knit while watching TV. So it's important to always have something mindless on the needles that doesn't take too much concentration. On the other hand, I'm bored easily. I need variation or a challenge. This time, I managed to design a shawl with the perfect balance of both, lots of mindless repetition yet enough variation to keep me interested. Don't worry about the challenge: I conquered those during the design process so that you don't have to.

What: Lumo / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.5 mm
From: Kettle Yarn Co. Baskerville 2.0, 100 g

I got a pleasent email in the spring from the British Kettle Yarn Co. They asked me if I'd be interested in designing a shawl for their yarn. I got a shipment of this gorgeous Baskerville 2.0 yarn which is a blend of Gotland and Blue Faced Leicester, both long fibres. The yarn has a stunning, natural lustre and shine to it and it's non-superwash which I like a lot.

Since the yarn itself was so beautiful, I wanted to design something rather simple for it. Also, I've yet to design a rectangular shawl and this was the time. I got two colors of the yarn (Dawn and Madder) and I decided right away that I'd use the main color for garter stitch and the contrast color for lace.

I know myself and I knew that I'd loose my mind working garter stitch straight for the entire length of the shawl. So I started sketching a shawl that would have these sections worked in different directions.

I needed the patience of a saint with my sample. I think I worked every single section at least twice to make it work. You see, when working in different directions, there are different row gauges to consider and constantly making sure the shawl is the same width everywhere. Garter stitch added to the challenge as it has a very different row gauge compared to stockinette stitch. With stockinette stitch, you can usually use the 2 sts per 3 rows to pick up stitches but that goes haywire with garter stitch. In the end, I got the knitting mathematics to settle down and I promise you won't have to worry about any of this. You get to just knit and relax.

Lumo is a rectangular shawl worked in two colors. The main color is always worked in garter stitch and the contrast color in lace. The fun part is that each section of the shawl is worked in a different direction so you sure won't get bored even though this is a fairly easy and simple design. The shawl has i-cord edges that are worked at the same time as the rest of the shawl so there are only yarn ends to weave in once you're finished with the shawl body. You can cut the yarns when changing sections but it's easy to carry them along inside the i-cord. That way you will only have few yarns ends to weave in at the end.

You can find the shawl on Ravelry and there's a 20% discount code KETTLE good through December 9th.