Pattern spotlight: Brookdale Vest by Elizabeth Smith from MAINE knits
Knit in Quince & Co. Owl, I knew this had to be in my wardrobe the moment I saw Elizabeth's sketch for it. It is a simple, wearable wardrobe staple. In Maine you need layer options for all seasons, and this vest fits the bill. And to boot, it's knit in one of my favorite yarns! I photographed this twice, as the first time I did so the light was fading fast. A lot of photos from that first shoot were just too dark, but the ones I did get I think perfectly captured the farm-folk mood I was hoping for.
Here is Elizabeth to tell us more:
Bea: Where did the inspiration for this design come from?
Elizabeth: I was inspired by the Maine landscape and combining a rustic texture with classic lines. Specifically, there is an old farmhouse in my neck of the woods that has this beautifully textured stone wall out front and the house and barn have such classic, clean lines. It inspired me to create a piece that had that mix of rustic texture along with simple lines. I decided on a vest because I think they are such great versatile pieces and are flattering on many different body types. Plus they work as great layering pieces for our ever-changing northern New England weather!
Bea: What are your favorite Maine fibers, yarns, products, etc.?
Elizabeth: We're so lucky to have a number of great fiber businesses here in Maine. I am especially fond of Quince & Co - I love their philosophy and aesthetic and always enjoy knitting with any of the yarns in their collection, including their wool/alpaca blend "Owl" which is what I used to knit up the Brookdale Vest. And of course I'm a big fan of KnitWit Yarn Shop in Portland (I've been working there since 2012). Suzie, the owner, is a big supporter of Maine fiber companies and carries a good selection of different Maine businesses, such as Quince & Co, Twig + Horn, On the Round, Swan's Island and String Theory. It's always such an inspiring place to be in!
Bea: What people, places or things in Maine inspire you and your work?
Elizabeth: I'm really inspired by Maine's mix of small city and rural living. That combo of modern meets rustic. I'm one of those people who need to live in both a city and a country setting - I'm not one or the other and I enjoy and need aspects of both lifestyles. And it's one of the things I love most about the Portland area and why we've made it our home over the last 12 years. And this combo is something I try to incorporate in all of my designs - modern looks and silhouettes with a natural, simple aesthetic.
Bea: What is your favorite time of year in Maine?
Elizabeth: Fall is definitely my favorite time of year - the landscape turns golden, the temperatures drop and I can start wearing wool socks again! I also like winter quite a bit - it gets a bad rap, but I find the quietness of winter in Maine such a nice contrast to the lively summer months.
Bea: Describe your perfect Maine day.
Elizabeth: Spending the morning taking a walk with my husband and our 2 dogs along the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland, stopping by Coffee by Design of course. Then enjoying the afternoon at our home in the woods, knitting in my favorite spot.
Thank you Elizabeth!