Smookie – one of the patterns in our new SARK book

Hello, all, hope you are enjoying your Sunday! I definitely felt the need for a sweater on my walk this morning – my new Smookie is just the thing . . .

Smookie is one of the new pieces included in our new book – SARK. I worked on this pattern several months ago, and had to keep schtum about it, so as not to spoil the book’s surprise. I have found it really hard not to tell you about Smookie, because I just love it (and wear it) so much.

In old Scots, a Smookie is a smock or woollen shirt. When creating my own smookie, my starting point was the beautifully embossed embroidery with which traditional hand-made smocks were decorated.

I’ve thought often, over the years, about how the flowing lines and simple motifs of smocking stitches might be re-worked into knitting . . .

I first wrote about the history of smocks and smocking in my Textisles zine 10 years ago

. . . and discovered that twisted stitches were the ideal way to explore this idea!

Like many of its hand-stitched namesakes, this hand-knitted smookie features a heavily embossed central panel and wide shoulder straps with a chain-like appearance.

The fit, much like a traditional smock, is comfortably oversized

But this is also a garment whose contemporary fit has been carefully thought through. The sleeves may be dropped, but the fit is not square: rather, the extended shoulder line is shaped with short rows to create a gentle slope and a garment that works around, and moves with, the wearing body.

I just love my smookie – it’s an interesting knit with a really versatile (and wearable) end result – ideal for these crisp days of early autumn!

As I said, Smookie is included in our SARK book, but the individual pattern can also be downloaded from Ravelry, or from the KDD shop, where we also have Smookie kits available.

And finally, a wee shout-out to fellow Scottish designer, Kaz Robertson, of whose resin jewellery I’m a huge fan, and whose lovely necklace I’m wearing in these photos.

Happy smookie knitting!