Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Elderberry Road

I had a fantastic time at Tolt last weekend! It was great teaching knitters about color work, and I loved celebrating the launch of Rugged Knits with friends. I was particularly excited that my aunt who reminded me how to knit when I was 18 and two of my cousins came to the signing! My cousin Sophie wanted to cast on Elderberry Road asap, so with her as inspiration, that's today's pattern highlight.

- Worked bottom-up: the body is worked as one piece, then the sleeves are worked in the round to the sleeve caps, then worked back and forth in rows.

- Shoulders and sleeve caps are sewn in using mattress stitch to add stability.
- The button bands and neck trim are picked up and worked after seaming. A few rows of garter stitch between the pick-up and the ribbing add a nice, clean detail.

- This one is designed to be worn fairly fitted, so if you're in between sizes, I recommend rounding down. (The sleeve cap shape means that it probably won't look its best with an oversized fit.)

- The recommended ease is +1-3 in/2.5-7.5 cm.
- Gentle waist shaping adds to the flattering fit.

Berroco Blackstone Tweed (65% wool, 25% mohair, 10% angora; 130 yd 119 m/50 g skein) is an aran weight yarn with a recommended gauge of 18 sts = 4 in/10 cm.

- It's got a lovely tweedy look that makes this a classic, traditional-looking sweater.
- The mohair and angora content gives a lovely, soft halo.
- Majority wool content means this is a resilient yarn without a ton of drape.
- It's got 2 plies that are gently twisted, so there's a good amount of texture. The stitch definition is soft rather than crisp.


- The gauge in the pattern is 16.5 sts = 4 in/10 cm, but I don't recommend using that to choose a yarn. The textured stitch pattern spreads out more than Stockinette fabric would, so I suggest choosing a yarn that recommends a gauge of 16-19 stitches = 4 in/10 cm instead to get a similar fabric to the sample.
- Sadly, the yarn used in the sample has been discontinued. Lots of yarn shops still have stock, though, so try your LYS to see if they've still got it!
- A possible substitute that Berroco recommends is Tuscan Tweed. It's a tweedy yarn that includes wool and mohair, like Blackstone Tweed, and the recommended gauge is the same, so the fabric is likely to be similar. The color palette is lovely too - I'd love to see this worked up in Oak and Cornflower!
- I think this could be a super cozy winter sweater in Imperial Yarn Columbia or Cestari Traditional 2-Ply. Both of those have a buttery lanolin-rich feel and combine ruggedness with softness in a way that makes my heart sing. They'd both make a denser fabric than in the sample and would likely have slightly less drape.

- For a crisp, clean look, Quince and Co. Lark. The tight twist and many plies will make for popping stitch definition and the clear, solid colors give a modern, understated feel.
- For a super soft lounge-y sweater, try Malabrigo Merino Worsted. It's so squishy and feels amazing worn. (Beware that this singles yarn pills like crazy, but it's so worth it! Just shave your sweater every now and then!)

The color blocking with garter ridges between the sweater body and ribbed edging add a modern touch to a classic silhouette.

Parts of this sweater are worked in the round and parts are worked in rows, so be sure your gauge is the same for both. It's helpful to swatch both in the round and in rows to confirm that you're getting gauge.

Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits, #ElderberryRoad, and #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Elderberry Road projects!

My Canadian book launch event and intro to color work class using the Boreal Toque pattern are happening in Victoria this weekend!

Beehive Wool Shop, Victoria, BC - August 6-7, 2016
Book Launch Party & Signing, August 6, 11am-3pm
Boreal Toque Workshop, August 7, 1-4pm


Finished Sizes

32.75 (36.75, 405, 44.75, 48.75, 53.75)” (83 93.5, 103.5, 113.5, 124, 136.5 cm) bust circumference with 2 (2, 25, 2.25, 2.75, 2.75)” (5 5, 5.5, 5.5, 7, 7 cm) overlap and 23.75 (24, 24.75, 25.25, 26.25, 26.25)” (60.5 61, 63, 64, 66.5, 68 cm) long.

Intended to be worn with 1–3” (2.5–7.5 cm) of positive ease. 
Shown in size 36.75” (93.5 cm).


Worsted weight (#4 medium). 
Main Color (MC): 702 (790, 876, 964, 1,053, 1,162) yd (642 722, 801, 881, 963, 1,062 m). 
Contrast Color (CC): 234 (262, 291, 322, 351, 387) yd (214 239, 266, 294, 321, 354 m).

Shown here: Berroco Blackstone Tweed (65% wool, 25% mohair, 10% angora; 130 yd 119 m/50 g skein): colors #2601 Clover Honey (MC), 6 (7, 7, 8, 8, 9) balls; #2646 Saltwater (CC), 2 (3, 3, 3, 3, 3) balls.


Size U.S. 6 (4 mm): 32” (80 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double-pointed (dpn). 
Size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm): 32” (80 cm) circular (cir). 
Size U.S. 4 (3.5 mm): 32” (80 cm) circular (cir). 
Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Markers (m); stitch holders or waste yarn; tapestry needle; eight3⁄4” (20 mm) buttons.


161⁄2 sts and 28 rows = 4” (10 cm) over Textured patt using size U.S. 6 (4 mm) needles.

See it on Ravelry


  1. I just started knitting this beautiful pattern, but when I did the set up row for the color change on the wrong side as instructed and then knit main body row 1 I have that running stitch of contrast color on the front of my work. Is this correct or did I miss something? I've knit a lot but am pretty new to color changes.

  2. Thanks so much for reaching out! I'm afraid you found an error - thank you! And I apologize for that. You should instead work 3 rows (not 4) in CC. Then switch to MC and knit 1 row. After that you can continue as written in the pattern. I'm posting this errata on my website and on Ravelry as well.


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