The Men's Capsule Collection
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It’s collection release day! *Cue Anna from Frozen jumping out of bed yelling ‘It’s coronation day!’* The most exciting time of the year! (For me at least). It’s the day when all the hard work of the previous months pays off in one shining offering: to help people to make things for the people they love. (I hope you include yourself in that group of people, self makes = self love).
This collection is all about texture and the changing of the seasons. I wanted to capture that cloud of warm breath on that first really cold day. The sound of the crunching leaves underfoot. The smell of fire smoke in the air. The feel of soft leather from an old book or armchair. In short, this
I’ve partnered again with Paintbox Yarns, for two main reasons. The first, is that the people behind these yarns over at LoveCrafts (you may know them from LoveKnitting and LoveCrochet) have been so supportive of me and my design journey from the very beginning! Paintbox and The Queen Stitch are just about the same virtual age, and I like to think we grew up together on social media. I have used their cotton yarns for my last two summer collections, in large part because of the second reason - their enormous color palette. When I last checked it was up to 60 shades! This collection, as a mini, or capsule collection, was pursuing a specific mood or moment, so to distill that, I used only 5 colors. However, to choose each of these colors purposefully, to ensure they were perfect for the design, I needed the ability to hone in. Paintbox Wool Mix has 8 shades of green to choose from. I chose only one. “Evergreen”, for my Pine Crew. I’m sure you can guess why! The entire collection uses the Paintbox Wool-Mix fiber in two weights - chunky and aran. I like it because you get the cozy warmth of wool, with the functionality of machine washing!
This collection is a little something different from a design perspective too. For the first time, instead of patterns targeted at women, and things that I wanted to make and design for myself, I’ve designed these patterns specifically for men, male makers, and the men in lady makers lives. Now, you may be thinking to yourself - don’t put me in that gender norms box! I want to wear whatever I want to wear! And I would say back to you, Yes! Do whatever you want! However, in general, men’s sizing is slightly different, smaller waists, larger shoulders, longer torsos, slightly larger upper arms (in clothing proportions, if not in real life). And this collection reflects all those differences. (So just a quick word of warning, if you are a woman, going to use any of these patterns for yourself, check out that sizing chart BEFORE you jump in!).
Now, why? Why make a collection for men? It’s estimated that the vast majority of knitters and crocheters are women, though I’m sure we all know some really talented male makers - Vincent of Visuvio’s Crafts, other Vincent of Knot.Bad, Arne&Carlos, Alex of AlexCreates… I could go on. However, when my then-boyfriend Peter and I started getting “serious” and I went looking for men’s crochet patterns to embark on the dark and terrifying path that is “The Boyfriend Sweater” I found myself left wanting. The patterns I did find, which were invariably free and offered by larger brands, didn’t really do it for me. Oh, I still made them, what else was I going to do? But I had Peter standing scarecrow-style in the middle of my living room while I altered the pattern every step of the way to make sure it would actually fit him. By the end of this months-long endeavor, Peter had a sweater that fit him almost perfectly. It was only several months later he had the heart to tell me he really didn’t like Lavender, and why would I choose that color? Ahhhhhh blessed. In a twist of fate I threw that sweater on for a walk around the neighborhood (because someone was going to wear it goddamnit!) And he proposed to me on that walk. Lol.
So the cold season has come around again and that means it was time for a new sweater for Peter. Where to start? Was I going to make 5,000 custom edits to patterns that already existed?! No! I was going to design and release just a couple of classic, chic, and interesting patterns for men. One of these sweaters went to my brother, the other to my husband, and the last to a really good friend of mine. Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to just boyfriends! (Though I’m convinced there’s no curse of the girlfriend sweater because there’s so many patterns for women already out there).
I truly hope you love these patterns, and that they take a little bit of the stress of sweater and accessory making out of the process. So that when you say it was made with love, it wasn’t actually 50% love, 30% stress, and 20% regret.