I’ve just returned home from Barcelona, after spending four days meeting fellow knitters and makers. And to say my heart is full is an understatement. The sunny weather definitely was needed as we’ve really entered into that post-autumn time of the year in Ireland, and I just basked in the sunlight whenever I got the chance to while in Barcelona. For me, whenever someone asks “did you have a good show”, what fills me to the brim is the conversations I have. Generally they’re with other makers, but sometimes also with knitters. It’s always these simple conversations that boost my energy, and there’s always one or two that really stick with me. This time, I met someone I hadn’t seen since 2019, Fay Dashper-Hughes who is just one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know. Fay works closely with UK mills, utilising the woolliness in her designs and she’s a real advocate for those who take on the challenge of owning a mill, and their visions. Fay works closely with Jonny from Garthenor (who I’ve been a massive fan of since I first saw them in EYF many years ago) and also Helena and Sonja who own John Arbon mill (and again, when I first saw John Arbon years ago, the little girl in me swooned with how beautiful it all was. It was at the time I had started toying with the idea of “what if I was to own a mill…?”). Suffice to say, this conversation has impacted me, and will continue to. Knowing that the work I’m doing now, is important and valuable to those in the knitting world, just means so much.
But, I’m also here to talk about something very special. Our first sweater pattern!
Many moons ago, myself and Cris sat down over coffee and explored the idea of designing together. You see at the time, Cris was our clubs dyer but I had watched him knitting on his tea break or he often came to me to show me what he was working on. Little did I realise Cris had only been knitting for just over a year at that point. He began knitting during lockdown with his mom while in his home country of Chile, but Cris comes from a textile background which includes tapestry. A very creative and talented person, don’t you think? Soon after learning to knit, he moved to Ireland and we met, and all of us on the team just instantly fell in love with his very chill, very relaxed personality.
Earlier this year, as winter was departing, Cris and I settled on the idea of a joint design team. Cris leading the way with drawings and swatches, and me with colour, texture and ideas of what I wanted to focus on. We launched our first pattern earlier this year in April, called Sidetrack, and is a gorgeously simple slip stitch cowl. Another thing we focused on was the idea of how our two sides to Olann should be enmeshed. Hand dyed AND mill. Together. They compliment each other, the mill offering a solid ground to start on, and the hand dyed offering nuances of colour that slightly shifts. We adore it!
During the summer, Cris physically left us and moved to Barcelona but we continue to work together every day. How we love a good internet connection. And video calls! So, this brings us to our newest release – After Rain. Cris derived inspiration for this simple yet textured sweater from his time here in Ireland, how no matter the weather, you’ll generally always need to put on a sweater at least once a day. Even during summer, with heavy downpours.. I personally love this sweater. It’s textured yet easy, intuitive and rhythmic to follow.
After Rain will launch on the 11th November both on Ravelry and Payhip.
This sweater is knit top down in a circular yoke, with German shirt rows for neck shaping. Once the yoke is completed, the body is a simple stockinette. We encourage you to create this in a unique to you way, whether that’s minimal contrast between mill yarn and hand dyed yarn, or super high contrast, or even fading, the possibilities are never ending. Another idea is to hold two fingering weight yarns to create a marled look. Play with positive ease too! Pops of colour to highlight the collar and cuffs, maybe?
Here is what Cris has to say about Afterain:
“After rain” is my first sweater design. It’s genderless by design, and is inspired by the idea of shelter from the cold and rain in Ireland. As a queer knitter, it’s important for me to create garments that contemplate clothing as something far from binarism, in order to accommodate
the majority of bodies and give clothing a contingent perspective“.
Our website will be stocked with ready to ship yarns, and have included 20% off all yarns in celebration of our first sweater pattern! In stock yarns include Cór (DK) and Méara (fingering) mill yarns, and lots of Cloudy (Suri alpaca) and Kidsilk Mohair.
A special thanks to all our testers 💕