You didn’t see it here first – I’m about the last one to talk about my Rhinebeck Sweater
Jenny at the Fair!


MJ wearing Jenny at the Fair while browsing the floors of Maine Salvage in Portland.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Rhinebeck, that wonderful sheepy and wooly festival in New York State – the happy mecca for many knitters…and spinners…and fried artichoke enthusiasts?

And I’m certain most of you have already heard of our darling Ysolda’s book celebrating the fair,  The Rhinebeck Sweater. Because, as you know, we all feverishly make sweaters especially to wear for the weekend. I usually start mine WAAAAAAAAAAY too late…so here’s a heads up folks – get started now!

Last year Ysolda organized a bunch of her friends and we’re all in the book together wearing our sweaters. She even came to Maine last summer, where we participated in a great downeast adventure on Nash Island, the home of the sheep who contribute the wool for Jani to spin and turn into yarn that became my Jenny at the Fair cardigan that you’ll find in the book!


MJ explaining the virtue of secret colors inside your pockets. ©ysoldateague

Ysolda tells the story of the Nash Island sheep round-up in the book. That summer we also ventured to the very heart of Maine to visit Bartlett Yarns home of the oldest operating spinning mule in the country…another tale told in the book. Not only can the girl knit, she spins a good yarn too! The two of us also climbed the beehive in Acadia National Park.

Lately, others have been making Jenny at the Fair. Jani Estelle, mistress of Starcroft Fiber Mill, maker of the fine wool used in the original Jenny and knitter of fantastic garments tells the story of her Jennys. She couldn’t stop at just one. In her new year’s post Secret Revealed she shares how hard it was to keep the secret of the book and sweater for an entire year. What she doesn’t tell is how she talked me down off the ledge when I was going crazy trying to finish Jenny in time!


Jani’s Jennys at left and center. Georgie’s simple, and simply beautiful version at right.

If you tool around Ravelry you’ll find even more. Georgie made a beautiful super – simplified version. With just two colors Jenny at the Fair becomes serene and sophisticated.

Jill Draper’s mom was wearing a beautiful Jenny at Vogue Knitting Live NYC, and I was without my camera wouldn’t you know… SAD…but here’s the one Jill is making for herself. Read her post “New Year, New Sweater” on Jill Draper Makes Stuff.



Go on and make your own, I dare you!

What colors would you choose? Let us know!

Here are the details for the original:

Worked from the bottom up, the lower body ribbing is worked back and forth in rows, and then joined with centre front steek stitches for working in the round, making the colourwork sections easy and fun to knit. Sleeves are knit in the round up to where they are joined with the sweater body. Then the yoke is worked in the round. V-neck shaping and raglan armhole shaping are worked simultaneously. When the body is complete, the steek is reinforced with a line of slip-stitch crochet, and cut down the centre … not to fear! This is a great first project for steeking. The sweater is finished with a ribbed button band.

A non-superwash woolly wool yarn that blooms well.

Starcroft Nash Island Light (175yds / 160m, 3.5 oz. / 100g) shown in MC: pine cone, CC1: lobster bake, CC2: acorn, CC3: finch and CC4: cove.

MC: 750850, 900, 1000150, 1250)yds / 700800, 850, 900050, 1150)m
CC1: 110[110, 110, 120] (120, 120, 120)yds / 100[100, 100, 110] (110, 110, 110)m
CC2: 75[75, 80, 80] (80, 85, 85)yds / 70[70, 75, 75] (75, 80, 80)m
CC3: 45[50, 50, 55] (60, 65, 70)yds / 45[50, 50, 55] (60, 65, 70)m
CC4: 45[45, 45, 50] (50, 50, 50)yds / 45[45, 45, 50] (50, 50, 50)m

18 stitches and 22 rows = 4” / 10cm in colourwork and peerie patterns; use the needles necessary to match gauge for each.

Finished chest circumference: 33[36½, 40, 43½] (47½, 51, 54½)” / 84[93, 103, 111] (121, 130, 139)cm.

Shown in size 36½” with 2” / 5cm of positive ease.