The pattern for Barrington is finally live! This is without question, my favourite design to date, and I’m sure it will be at or near the top for quite some time. Why? Well, the story behind Barrington is a long one. It actually started very soon after I learned to knit. It was at this time that I discovered my fascination with cables!! While I love almost every aspect of knitting, cables remain my favourite thing to create. I have a difficult time creating something without a cable in there somewhere–you’ve probably noticed that. A little while back, I was playing around with the Saxon Braid, and developed the Barrington Braid. I got to name it, as it wasn’t in the mainstream kitting world as yet, and it’s called the Barrington Braid because that’s my middle name.
There’s much more to that, and you may want to peruse more of this blog to find out more. Anyway, I’ve also discovered that I have Scottish and Irish ancestry mixed in with this Jamaican blood coursing through my veins(and who knows what else). I’ve gone so far as to find the family crest for Malcolm, which has 2 stags on it. Combining this with the Irish ancestry I have, I have always been fascinated by the Irish family sweaters. You may have heard the legend about fishermen being identified by their sweaters–that’s a story for another day. Suffice it to say that I went looking for a “family” sweater for Malcolm, and couldn’t find one. So, as is my way, I decided to make my own!
I decided to make this a true Aran sweater and incorporate traditional Celtic stitches along with the elements of the Scottish family crest I found. For this reason, the sweater has a Barrington Braid, front and centre as the main element. It is flanked by two cables, representing the fishermen’s ropes, and symbolizing protection. We can all use the feeling of protection, can’t we? Going outward, you have symmetrical staghorn cables, also flanked by two more cables. Again, added protection is a great thing. After the last cables, you have seed stitch to finish the design, representing abundance and growth.
I chose to use the Barrington Braid again as the only cable element on the sleeves, but made them a saddle shoulder. The Barrington Braid transitions into a 4-strand open cable at the shoulder and continues into the neckline. I also went with stocking stitch on the sleeves to provide contrast to where they meet the seed stitch on the body. This sweater can be made with a mock turtle or crew neck, depending on your preference. Mine is definitely the mock turtle neck. I seems much cozier to me that way. Although I had a classic men’s sweater in mind when I made this, it is indeed unisex, and looks equally as good on a woman as it does on a man (see the photos throughout).
In actuality, I created this sweater roughly 4 years ago. The original one was made with an organic merino wool, and I have to be truthful say that I made it too small for myself. It did fit, but not with the positive ease I had intended. My dear friend Sarka is now the proud owner of that one (she’s the dark haired model in the photos). Unfortunately, the source of the yarn disappeared, and I wasn’t able to pattern and publish the design. It wasn’t until just over a year ago when I met Tom and Cindy for Stunning String Studios, that I found a yarn that I was happy with to replace the organic merino. That yarn is Lush, and it’s a merino/cashmere/nylon blend that feels like butter and is fantastic to work with. Tom and Cindy also dye it in 180 colours, so you’ll be certain to find one you like!
I f you want to make this sweater, you can get the pattern either here on my website, or in my Ravelry store, where it’s just been uploaded! Also, subscribers to this site get a discount on the cost of the pattern, ranging from 5% – 25%, depending on your subscription level. Click on the Subscribe tab in the header for more information.
If you have a Ravelry account and want to include this in your Library, you can get it from my Ravelry store. Just click on the link above. If you do decide to buy this pattern, you have my deepest thanks for your continued support!