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Working with Apple Oak Fibre Works Stockholm ...and, My First Pattern Book

LBHandknits

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It began with a single sweater design. 

When Jenny of Apple Oak Fibre Works described her new chunky Stockholm yarn, I immediately envisioned a simple top down cowl-neck pullover, in a bright winter colour with just a touch of something out of the ordinary. Say, i-cord edgings in a contrasting colour? 

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The Kalinka sweater was born.

And so lovely and quick it was to make, that it only made sense to offer more patterns for the Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin.

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Thus happened Winter Smock.

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And from the scraps of the two sweaters... InstaMittens!

Interestingly, the feedback at the Knitting and Stitching Show was, that knitters wanted a bigger selection of patterns for the Stockholm yarn. And so at this point we figured, might as well do a collection?

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The Apple Oak Fibre Works Stockholm Pattern Book will be coming out shortly, as an e-book certainly, and possibly also in print, so please stay tuned. The collection will feature garments and accessories, including two hat patterns, two cowls, two mittens, and four (4!) sweaters. 

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As Stockholm is a chunky yarn (100m/100g), the pieces are all fairly quick and easy to knit, for 'adventurous advanced beginners' and beyond. 

And as for working with the yarn itself, here are my impressions of its qualities:

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The Apple Oak Fibre Works Stockholm is a naturally dyed, soft (mixed fleece, but feels very merino-like) chunky singles yarn.

As such, I did have some concerns about the base before I began working with it. Namely, I was worried that the finished item would pill like crazy. And also that garments knitted out of a chunky yarn might not be altogether flattering. Happily, I was proved wrong on both counts. 

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While the Stockholm knits up like a chunky yarn, it does not behave like one in the sense that it has considerably more drape and swing than other yarns of the same gauge I have worked with. This makes it more flattering and less bulky-looking than a typical chunky-weight yarn. It is surprisingly forgiving of tummy rolls and such, and looks well on a variety of body shapes. 

As far as pilling, I was likewise pleasantly surprised. I have worn the Kalinka sample since November, as my personal sweater. And while of course there is some pilling, it is mostly contained to the underarms and the cuffs, and cleans up easily with a bit of gleaning.

Another interesting characteristic of this yarn, is that is does not seem to require blocking. The fabric knits up flat and remarkably even, straight from the needles - even when working lace repeats! Out of curiosity, I did block a couple of the finished samples to see whether blocking changed the fabric. It didn't really. And so I am going to say, if you are working with this yarn blocking is not really necessary. 

And of course, the colours... I don't think I even need to say how stunning it is that Jenny has achieved such a range of vibrant, saturated colours using natural dyes (including indigo and cochineal) - the pictures speak for themselves! And the more muted shades are rich and gorgeous as well.

Overall, the Stockholm yarn has been a sensory pleasure to work with this very cold winter. And the fact that it knits up so quickly, made the collection achievable. I will have news of the release date shortly!