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Providence Hoodie Review

It is finally done! This sweater has taken about 1.5 years, off and on. I started this at Wool Gathering back in 2018, knitting this heavy, rustic wool sweater on one of the hottest days that month, in a sweltering tent. I then apparently misplaced it when we moved the following April, having done the body up to the armpits, and one sleeve.

Sometime this past August or September, I was looking for a new project to cast on. While I was flipping through my copy of New England Knits, I came to this pattern, and realized it looked awfully familiar. So familiar….oh. Right. I had already started it! So, with some on and off work, it is FINALLY off the needles! So, here is my official pattern and yarn review.

The pattern itself is well written – the design and construction aren’t challenging, and so it is a good project for someone who doesn’t want to do a whole lot of in-depth thinking. That being said, it is almost entirely moss stitch, which is tedious. Part of the reason this took me so long to knit is because I just could not handle that much continuous moss stitch, and frequently put it down to work on something a bit less annoying. 

The braided band along the bottom was a fun and fairly easy knit, and looked awesome. This part made me a bit nervous, as I had a hard time telling if it was actually long enough to fit around my body with a button band. That wasn’t something I could easily go back and lengthen.

I’m also not thrilled with the hood. I followed the pattern exactly, however the hood isn’t functional, at least for me, and I don’t have a large head. It doesn’t fully cover my head, or feel wide enough. It seems to be more decorative, and for me, if the hood isn’t functional, I would have rather not knit it. 

The yarn is some Donegal Tweed that I was given as a gift from family who traveled to Ireland a few years ago. It’s a fairly rustic feeling, tweedy yarn, and it’s a dense yarn, so I do have concerns about how heavy this sweater will be upon wearing. The yarn wasn’t unpleasant to knit with, but I will definitely be wearing this sweater over a long sleeved shirt, unless it softens up a bit more with washing. It’s got a great texture though, and I do think was the perfect choice for this moss stitch and braid. I love the combination of the yarn and pattern, overall.

Providence Hoodie in donegal tweed side view
Providence Hoodie in donegal tweed side view



The buttons are from Stitch Your Art Out, in Pine Grove, PA. These are adorable buttons, 1 ¼” in diameter, and the perfect finish for this sweater!

And finally, this sweater lived most of its life in one my newer Grace Bags. I did learn however, that I apparently need to make an oversize tote for  ridiculous sized projects. Ha!



Overall, this was an enjoyable, if lengthy, knit. I probably won’t ever make it again, but I will enjoy wearing it!

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October Project Review

One of the things I would like to start doing, is a review of the patterns and yarns I am working on. This month, I am reviewing Willings Alley Shawl, designed by Erika Flory, knit in June Pryce Fiber Arts Watch Hill Sparkle, colorway “Babylon Nights.”

Both creators are vendors at Knitters’ Day Out in Harrisburg, and every year I drool over their offerings. This year, Cheryl actually had the shawl knit up in a different colorway, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that was something I needed to knit. Let’s ignore the fact that I have a sock and sweater on the needles already…

First, a review of the pattern: Erika’s patterns are always so straightforward and easy to follow. I downloaded this, and after getting through the set-up and maybe 2 repeats, I didn’t even need to look at the pattern. It was simple to memorize, but creates a beautiful fabric. My ONLY complaint is more of a personal issue – there was a lot of yarn left over when I got to the end, and even after adding 3 extra garter ridges, I felt I had barely entered the last color change. I could have ripped back and done another pattern repeat, but I’m also lazy.

The pattern creates an asymmetrical shawl, with a length of about 72″ once blocked. It wraps around so easily – really no complaints about the shape or size.

willings alley, knit in Watch Hill Sparkle

The Yarn: OK. WHO could resist a gradient like that?! I’ll be honest, I fell in love with the colors first, but couldn’t figure out WHAT I would knit with 760 yards, until I saw the sample of Erika’s shawl. The yarn is a merino/nylon blend with stellina sparkles throughout. Not my usual color choice, but it was so vibrant I just had to use it. Knitting with this yarn was a dream. It was so soft, a huge contrast from the donegal tweed I’m using for my sweater. I seriously never wanted this knit to end, because the yarn was just such a pleasure. The color changes were so subtle, that it actually took me until about 1/3 of the way through the shawl to realize I HAD changed colors, and that’s what I love. A subtle shifting as you move – no harsh lines or abrupt changes.

willings alley, knit in Watch Hill Sparkle

Overall, this project was simple, straightforward, and a DREAM in this yarn. I would knit one of these every month if I could. Which, by the way, was an added bonus. I cast on September 28th, and even with only evening knitting (and not every evening, because hello exhausting kids!) I was casting off on October 29th. A GREAT quick-fix if you need a finished object to keep you motivated.

Now, to figure out what to knit next….(Don’t say my sweater. or sock. I’m in denial and need something FUN!)

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Goings On and Such

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve posted to the blog here. Sorry everyone! There has been so much going on lately (of course, that seems to just be life in general.) This has been such a crazy year here at Rock Solid Designs Headquarters! We participated in our first ever VogueLive! Knitting event out in Chicago – what a great experience! It was so much fun meeting new people and visiting the Windy City. Chicago is always at the top of my list of places to visit, and it did not disappoint, at least the little bit of it I actually saw this trip. (Check out the fancy elevator in my hotel, though. GOLD PLATED, GUYS)

Rock Solid Designs at VogueKnittingLive Rock Solid Designs at VogueKnittingLive

A lot of time lately has been taken up by our shift to wholesale – we want to make sure our innovative and original designs are available to as many knitters and crocheters as possible, and it seems the best way to do this is to make your LYS aware of us! If you think your neighborhood shop would be interested in opening a wholesale account, send them our way! We’ve got a great online wholesale portal for them to order through, plus we are busy expanding product lines and fabric options for everything in our shop.

Rock Solid Designs Wholesale

This weekend is the Central PA Fiber Festival – this is one of the smallest events we do, but it’s so nice to have one close to home. The kiddos are able to come hang out and meet people for a bit, then head home for naps when they get cranky. 😉

There’s also a big surprise coming this fall – we’re busy working on a partnership with a dyer to bring a *limited edition* bag and yarn combo to Knitters’ Day Out in Harrisburg! I’m so excited that I can barely contain it – you all are going to LOVE the theme!

See you all at the next event!