Con Alma

Good morning! Time for another pattern release today! I love our new Asphodel shade of Milarrochy Tweed – a light, fresh orange colour with bold tweedy neps.

I wanted to really celebrate Apphodel’s interest and complexity by featuring it in a garment – so I designed Con Alma

A couple of years ago, I designed Stronachlachar

And then created Pabaigh

And I’ve found that these garments – half tees, half vests, great to throw on over a shirt or long-sleeved top – are among the most-worn items in my wardrobe at this time of year (April and May in Scotland are not usually terribly warm, and there’s often a cold wind)

Con Alma also fills this springtime gap, and I’ve a feeling this jolly orange throwover is going to be one of my go-to garments for the next few weeks!

Con Alma is a very straightforward knit – there’s rib and stockinette . . .

. . . and a central panel of structured lace, for visual interest and knitterly diversion.

The shoulders are shaped to be fairly wide for a vest, but rather narrow for a tee – the whole garment is quite straight up and down and simple.

I’m wearing Con Alma with a little over 4 inches of positive ease, in the second size. This is perhaps a little more ease than is usually factored in for such garments. You could knit a size close to your actual bust measurement if you wanted the garment to look smart and fitted, or the next size up, for the more roomy, easy fit of my Con Alma

I have found myself thinking quite a bit about the effect of colours – particularly in what I wear – on my state of mind. It perhaps sounds ridiculously trite to say that I find wearing bright colours cheering – but for me it’s undoubtedly the case that this is so.

I am really enjoying wearing orange at the moment and Con Alma is providing that orange pop of brightness that I need right now!

The Con Alma pattern is now available on Ravelry and kits are in the shop. If you aren’t quite as much of an orange fan as I am, we’ve also made the kits available in Cowslip and Hare or if you’d prefer a kit in another shade, do feel free to email Mel, and she’ll sort this out for you:

And if you’d like another pop of brightness, why not listen to the version of Dizzy’s Gillespie’s standard – Con Alma – that I enjoyed hearing while I was creating this design. When I was nine, I received my first tape recorder as a present, and could finally enjoy playing music in my bedroom. My dad transferred several favourites from his vinyl collection onto casettes for me – including the album that Dizzy recorded with Mimi Perrin’s “Double Six” – a vocal group so-called from the way they enhanced their sound through double tracking – a technique you might be familiar with from other jazz ensembles, like Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Here’s Dizzy and the Double Six with Con Alma, recorded in 1963. It’s a very 1960s sound!