At its heart, Kitsune No Omoi (Foxthoughts) is a simple yoked jumper. There’s some tidy finishing, and some definitely fun steeking action in the cardigan version, but like all colourwork knitting, really the dazzle comes from the palette. Therein lies it’s strength and the difficulty. Because of how the colour transitions are made in this jumper, it can look intimidating. I’m here to help you figure out how and where to start so you can get an overview of the work before you tuck in.
Usually, when you’re knitting colourwork you’re alternating one strand of colour A and another of colour B. When you want to make a transition you cut one of the strands and replace it with another colour. The wools used to knit this pattern are Helix and Felix, and they are are lace-weight. Throughout the work, they are held doubled. So here, you’re always knitting with four strands. Two strands are held together for each colour being alternated. When you are making the colour changes, you cut one lace-weight strand and replace it with another lace-weight strand of a different shade.
This type of knitting is called marling, examples of which being put to excellent use in patterns such as (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/marled-magic-sweater--dress
) or (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/marled-mania-leggings
). Marling is what creates this beautifully nuanced transition between colours, and due to the fineness of the strands, the optical blending is exceptional. In Foxthoughts, it is like painting, but in wool. The options are breathtaking, and maybe a little overwhelming. This is how in one yoke, we move so smoothly from the rich loamy darkness of Undergrowth to the screaming fluorescence of AS IF. In every colour design for this pattern, there’s moments of high and low contrast. There are places where the gradients cross fade, and sudden highlight pops. The collaboration in this design is between the simplicity of the canvas, and the beautiful versatility marling gives with this unique base.
The next pleasure comes in the actual knitting of the base. Because these are untreated wools, they marry as you knit, fulling to each other to create a unified strand. Through handling, the floats full into the fabric, creating a wonderfully warm, dense, and classic shetland-style knit. The finished object is eminently wearable and durable. Though Helix and Felix are rustics, they come up soft for that genre, while still having that wonderful ‘velcro’ like quality that makes colourwork a breeze.
The Foxthoughts jumper and cardigan are two separate designs. The jumper version has options to knit it both as crew (featured on the cover) or as a lower neck (similar to the cardigan version). The cardigan version features a self-finishing steek, a closer fit, and a cropped length. Both versions offer a choice between two types of waist reductions, with suggestions for which to choose for the body type you are knitting for.
You can determine your size using the pattern page on Raverly:
Aimee’s blog post
outlines how La Bien Aimée is presenting kits for the wool. It is important to note that both kits are bundles for the yoke, and you will choose what main colour you desire, according to your size. There is an extra mini of Shire (in the Briar Rose colour design yoke kit) and Undergrowth (in the PomPom Fluo colour design yoke kit) This is for simplicity's sake, because those colours are used in the yoke, and the pattern assumes you are using Undergrowth or Shire as the main colour. This way if you choose a different main colour, you won't be short Undergrowth or Shire.
What if you want to substitute the wool? To do that, you can go in armed with the following information (Please note these numbers are approximate, and include some, but not a lot of margin, for swatching, lengthening, or accounting for individual gauge). Click here
to download the information sheet on subbing yarn.
The pattern Foxthoughts is in issue 35 of Pom Pom Quarterly
and can be purchased here
Our first update for Foxthoughts yoke bundles will go live on Monday November 23rd at 3pm (Paris time).
The next updates for Foxthoughts yoke bundles will be:
Dec 23, 2020 at 9pm (Paris time)
Jan 23, 2021 at 6pm (Paris time)
Feb 23, 2021 (TBD)
Questions concerning the pattern and color sequences should be sent to the designer, Hiroko Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions concerning the yarn and the yoke bundles, please email La Bien Aimée at email@example.com.