Sweater: Better Breton by ME! wollmeise dk in admiral and natur
Jeans: Madewell Rail Straight jeans (possibly discontinued; replacement (?) style is Alley Straight
Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider Hayden Loafers in Sahara; similar styles (with tassel) and in patent from Bass
Nails: Butter London flawless basecoat which makes a pretty good matte nude...
Lips: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in Aubergine N50

Today is kind of a big deal.

It's my first for-sale independently published pattern. And, to be Californian and British for a moment, I'm properly stoked. Since we already talked about this sweater a couple months ago, I'm not going to bore you with rehash. What I will say is that writing a pattern is both easier and harder than I anticipated. Easier in that numbers don't lie. Provided you start out with good notes and proper measurements, applying a to b is not that difficult. If your gauge is 24sts over 4" then to have something 32 inches wide requires 192 stitches. The End. But transposing that simple truth across ALL the measurements needed is a bit tedious and more than a bit nerve wracking (cause it's so easy to make a mistake and never realize it). Which is why (and because if I'm asking someone to pay me for something, I ought to make sure it's good), I enlisted the help of a tech editor, Joeli on ravelry, to point things out like the fact I had copied and pasted the totally incorrect and nonsensical final measurements from some (likely notepad) document onto my "final" doc.

It's also a bit difficult to trust the standards especially when you, yourself, aren't so standard. My personal neck to underarm measurement is shorter than average; my bust to waist differential is larger than average; I prefer a shorter sweater. How to reconcile those preferences with a garment that will be universally (or will aspire to be...) applicable is challenging. Do I make the adjustments to my version but write the "real" numbers into the pattern? I didn't. I made my version according to Hoyle - and I'll make my next one a little more to my norm. This not only made the process easier, but also allowed me to feel as though the sweater I was selling was also the one I was actually wearing.

So we'll see how this little experiment goes. I'll be at Rhinebeck this weekend as will ALL of the other extant Better Bretons. So if you'll be there too, look for us on Sunday and maybe, just maybe, buy yourself some yarn to make one of your own!


  1. Pattern is already in hand :-D Yarn and shoes, however, are lacking. An oversight which will shortly (a relative term, but I'm quoting) be remedied ;-)
    Since you are often over-critical of your hair, let me just say that the hair looks GREAT! (As a person who has always struggled with front hair that frizzes and who was also unfortunate enough to enter jr high in 1980 and graduate HS in 1986, I can commiserate fully with the Woe of Hair). Also-- I personally think the slightly longer sweater looks good on you, but that may be my own personal sweater-length-preference emerging. I'm thinking I want this exactly as you have it-- such a classic white and navy. Just perfect for spring, and enough lead time to actually, you know, *finish* it before spring becomes Unbearable Japanese Summer. So, thanks for that;-) And congratulations on a Fabulous First!!!

    1. Thank you so so much - I am partial to the classic colors, but all the test knits look fabulous - so much so that I'm tempted to do something crazy(ish) for a future one! Cannot wait to see yours.

  2. Congratulations, Yelena! I showed this sweater to my husband this morning and he said "Wow! It's perfect!" I love the way you kept true to the whole Breton-style while making it more modern and sexy. And juxtaposing it with a red Adirondacks chair was really brilliant.

    1. Thank you AND your husband. As a classic dresser it seemed impossible I didn't already own one of these, so now my wardrobe feels complete!