I don’t mind saying that the Oa is one of my all-time favourite sweaters. It is just really cosy, super-practical for walking, and I love the way it looks.
It’s a design that’s been really popular among knitters, but it’s also one of those hand-knits that non-knitters often really like. From time to time, when I’ve been out and about and someone’s asked me where I got my sweater (and has then seemed weirdly crestfallen by the prospect of actually making something), I’ve wondered what it is about the appearance of this particular sweater that widely appeals.
Perhaps it is the two-tone colourwork in dark blue and white? Perhaps it’s the ridiculous woolly hood?
. . . or the contrasting bands of corrugated rib along hood, cuffs and hem?
But I have recently been considering whether it all really boils down to the particular motif I featured on the sweater: the fun-to-knit eighteen-stitch repeat that first gripped me with an unquenchable desire to create a two-tone allover when I was working on Inspired by Islay, and is really what the garment is all about.
This motif (which, in several different variants, appears fairly widely among the traditional knitwear of Baltic and Nordic countries) is made up of dots and blocks and tiny radiating lines. Worked over a large area, like the body of a sweater, the pattern immediately resolves itself into strong diagonals, creating the impression of a fabric with an almost woven appearance.
. . . which also seems to want to wrap itself around the body, clothing it on the bias.
Is everything I enjoy about the Oa just about these diagonal lines?
Who knows? But I can say that, for many reasons, the Oa is my favourite outdoor sweater.
. . . and that I’m particularly enjoying wearing this new version for my daily walks.
Because of supply issues we previously had with a particular shade of yarn, we’ve not been able to stock Oa kits for some considerable time. This made me rather sad – and one of the first things I knew when I began to develop Schiehallion was that there had to be a dark blue in the palette – a dark blue, just for the Oa.
So we made our Faded Overalls shade, and I finally got to gad about in a new version of my favourite outdoor sweater.
Producing yarn, and designing and knitting things that I like wearing, makes me very happy.
If you’ve previously bought the Oa pattern, we’ve created an additional set of charts to enable you to knit the sweater in this reverse-y colourway, as well the original (you’ll receive the update automatically) and – I’m very happy to say – that we now stock Oa kits in all sizes in the KDD shop.
Have a lovely weekend!