Let’s Get Nautical: Set Sail with Interweave Knits Spring 2017

Our cover project for Interweave Knits Spring 2017 is the Narragansett Gansey by Kathy Zimmerman. Made for the sea as well as the shore, Kathy used traditional Aran wool in her beautiful execution.

Imagine climbing aboard a sailboat, unfurling the sails, and setting out onto the steel blue waters of the Atlantic. The thrill of the open water is a feeling that just can’t be replicated. Adventure, nostalgia, and romanticizing life by the ocean inspired the nautical lifestyle story Ship to Shore in the Spring 2017 issue of Interweave Knits. In this sailing story, you’ll find classic fisherman knits and interpretations of motifs from the Pacific Northwest. All the knits in this collection are named after towns and villages scattered along the coast of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, the little state where I was born. This collection is an ode to my home state as well as a Knits take on classic American sportswear. Let’s take a closer look at a few of my favorites from this collection and a little peek behind the scenes of our photo shoot.

Narragansett Gansey by Kathy Zimmerman

Interweave Knits Spring 2017 Our cover girl, the Narragansett Gansey, was the first design I selected for this collection: with its mash-up of Aran cables and gansey textures, it set the tone for the story. The moment I saw the design sketch I knew we had to shoot this story at a marina, which left me scratching my head since the photo shoot had to be in landlocked Colorado. My dream of shooting this in Rhode Island quickly faded into disappointment, but fate has a funny way of providing unlikely solutions…


Point Judith Pullover by Josie Mercier

Interweave Knits Spring 2017

Best sailboat cap’n ever.

The handsome gentleman/location scout wizard seen here wearing the Point Judith Pullover pointed me in the direction of a marina just outside of Denver. Although the marina didn’t have Aunt Carrie’s clam cakes and chowda, it did have the most accommodating staff, including Anthony, our sailboat captain who offered up his own sailboat and managed to sail with our photographer, Nate, occasionally hanging off the side of boat to get the shots. If it weren’t for them, the photo I refer to as “the Disney Prince” would never have happened.


Interweave Knits Spring 2017

There appears to be a mermaid in the distance.

Charlestown Pullover by Cheryl Chow

Interweave Knits Spring 2017Interweave Knits Spring 2017

This cabled classic is a gem, much like the place it’s named after. Charlestown, Rhode Island, has a hidden treasure tucked away down a sleepy beach road: Blue Shutters Beach. This little beach is the only place in New England where I’ve seen turquoise water along the shoreline (it only lasts for about 50 feet until the dark waters of the northern Atlantic take over). Not only is the Charleston Pullover visually stunning, but the top-down construction featuring saddle shoulders is intriguing and engaging to work. This pullover is a timeless piece that a sister, daughter, or granddaughter will be guaranteed to call dibs on.

Newport Pullover by Kate Gagnon Osborn

Interweave Knits Spring 2017Interweave Knits Spring 2017

The Newport Pullover is my personal favorite in this collection, simply because it fits all my criteria for sweater knitting these days: (1) appealing gauge, (2) luscious, tweedy yarn (The Fibre Co. Arranmore, distributed by Kelbourne Woolens), (3) subtle cables, and (4) an oversized and comfortable fit. I love the soft, undulating cables; they remind me of the surf on a summer day in Newport, Rhode Island, the home of the Black Pearl restaurant, which has the best clam chowder I’ve ever had.
Now I want chowder . . . argh.

Westerly Pullover by Moira Engel

Interweave Knits Spring 2017Interweave Knits Spring 2017

The Westerly Pullover is one of the Pacific Northwest–inspired pieces in this collection. I asked our designers to reinterpret classic Cowichans, and this pullover sure did. I am embarrassed to admit that I fell in love with this sweater without being able to identify the creature in the motifs . I eventually asked the designer what they are, but I won’t tell you what she said—I’d prefer to let you guess or decide on your own(I thought lobster at first, but I’m from the land of lobster fanatics). It’s made in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, which is one of my preferred yarns for colorwork due to its woolen-spun, steam-finished softness. I’ve been toying with the idea of making this design into a cardigan for myself, but that’s a ways down road—much like our tired stylist, Tina, at the end of our shoot:

Interweave Knits Spring 2017

Disclaimer: No stylists were hurt in the making of this photo shoot, but her back did get popped into place. And yes, we are a ridiculous, weird bunch of people. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For more nautical knits and adventure, check out the rest of the issue!


Get the New Issue, Print or Digital