This fall on Fringe Association

This fall on Fringe Association

Have I mentioned how happy I am that it’s September? I know you’re all with me on this (in this hemisphere, at least). I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Slow Fashion October, in particular, and seeing lots of speculation here and there about the various upcoming knitalongs. I get that everyone’s curious and excited and also increasingly busy as we head toward the holidays, so I thought it’d be good to take a minute to discuss the fall highlights!

Fringe and Friends Knitalong
As noted last week, there’s another big Fringe and Friends Knitalong coming your way in two weeks. (If you missed last year’s Amanda/fisherman knitalong, it’s all here.) I’ll announce the pattern pick on Friday Sept 18th and introduce you to this year’s illustrious panel of knitters on Monday the 21st, and we’ll be off and running. Er, knitting. I’m super excited to show you these swatches! This year’s sweater is a super quick knit — the opposite of last year’s — and is in some ways insanely simple and in other ways interestingly challenging. It’s going to be a ton of fun to see what each of the panelists does with it — and what you all do.

Slow Fashion October
Yes, Slow Fashion October is happening! As you know, it’s inspired in large part by Me Made May, in the sense that it’s meant to be super participatory and a total community event. The focus and structure will be different, and I hope to involve not even just knitters and sewers, but also anyone who wants to be more thoughtful about their wardrobe and where their clothes are coming from.

There won’t be any kind of pledge or commitment — how you participate will be entirely up to you. There will be a hashtag of course (#slowfashionoctober), and I’m planning to structure it around weekly themes, with which you can do as you please. That may mean just thinking about these subjects and ways to apply them to your own life and closet, but it will hopefully mean sharing your thoughts and efforts and conclusions on your own blogs and social media, as well as in your offline social circles or around the community table at your local yarn/fabric shop or whatever the case may be. So I’ll declare a theme for each week and give you some ideas of subjects to think and talk about within that theme, and you take it from there!

I’ll post the outline for that here in the next week or two and again on the first of October. Cool?

I’ll be doing lots of posts here on the blog and on my @karentempler Instagram feed relating to those themes and prompts. But I’m also declaring one specific, ambitious project for myself to tackle during that month, and I hope you’ll think about doing the same. Mine is that I’m going to sew a garment from fabric that my friend Allison Volek Shelton will be weaving for me. So I’ll have lots more to say about that, too! Your project might be to knit your first sweater, or to try your hand at sewing, or to push your own boundaries in whatever way, with the idea of creating a really special something that will have meaning to you for years to come.

Fringe Hatalong Series
The Fringe Hatalong Series (aka #fringehatalong) will continue throughout all of this, as well. You guys all know my one true love (for knitting and wearing) is cables, so of course the fall hat is a cable hat. It’s an original pattern designed for the hatalong by one of my favorite people, and it is just perfection. I cannot wait to show it to you and to cast on, so keep that in mind for mid-October. Totally doable even if you haven’t done cables before.

And then the last hat in the series will be revealed in either late November or early December. They’ve all been excellent hats for gift-giving, and I know a lot of you have been stockpiling them for that purpose, but this one is especially great for holiday knitting. It’s a men’s/unisex hat with really interesting construction, and again, I’m dying to get to it because I can’t wait to see for myself how it works.

I’ll have more on all of the above as their respective dates draw near! Which part are you most excited about?

Center photo by @shuttersandshuttles, used with permission

Knit the Look: Alex Yuryeva’s plaid pullover

Knit the Look: Alex Yuryeva's plaid pullover

What could be more appropriate for the 1st of September than an image of a plaid pullover, eh? (Even if temps are headed into the ’90s over here.) This black-and-white number was photographed on model Alex Yuryeva, and my inner back-to-schoolgirl wants it. Debbie Bliss’ Tartan Sweater pattern is a perfect match in terms of the kind and scale of the plaid, and at least one of the recommended yarns comes in black and white. (Another option would be Quince and Co’s Osprey in Frost and Crow, pictured.) All we need to do to make it more like Alex’s is to knit solid black ribbing at the waist and cuffs before embarking on the plaid, and then knit a black ribbed neckband instead of the turtleneck. The only hardship is finding a copy of Milano, the Debbie Bliss booklet this pattern was published in. Why oh why don’t people make things available for download?

See Vanessa’s post for more views of Alex’s outfit and sweater.


PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Slouchy sweater perfection


Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission


New Favorites: Summer’s last temptation

New Favorites: Summer's last temptation

Just as summer is winding down, I found myself tempted by a pile of oatmeal linen yarn on markdown at Craft South the other day, followed by an email from the Purl Bee with this Box Pleat Top sweater pattern, pictured above, which made me regret having left the yarn at the store. It’s too late for me to knit this sweet little tank for this year, but I’m putting it at the top of my list for next spring.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from Pom Pom 14

With which to mend, carry, repair

With which to mend, carry, repair

Ever since I first posted pics of my embroidermended jeans last summer, I’ve gotten tons of questions about them. Especially that patch on the upper right thigh, which you can see in more detail here. I’m hoping to put together a complete tutorial as part of Slow Fashion October (yes, it’s happening!) but I’ve gone ahead and listed the beautiful sashiko thread I love in the webshop, since it’s really just running stitch and I know lots of you don’t need any guidance from me! Because I’m me, I bought black, white, ivory and every shade of blue! Along with lovely needles to go with. So you can get those today at Fringe Supply Co.

… along with MORE FIELD BAGS!! And the beloved repair hooks are also back in stock. Note that we’re now selling them as sets, except we still had some individual larges, in both bone and ebony, so those will continue to be available on their own for as long as they last. (There’s a large number of Field Bags over there this round so maybe they’ll hold out for more than an hour!)

Thanks for all the great comments this week. Have a wonderfully crafty weekend — I’m hoping to do something more than set up house, myself — and I’ll see you back here next week! The week that brings us SEPTEMBER! Ahhhhhh


Elsewhere: Maker links for your clicking pleasure

First off, Dianna Walla has written a post for her blog about the 4th Fringe Hatalong (Laurus) in which she talks about not only why she chose Lark for the yarn, but also about Quince’s amazing color-picking tool. Check out both her post and that killer tool. But make sure you have a minute, because it’s pretty addictive.

Professor Clara Parkes on splitty yarns and needle tips

Intriguing discussion of top-down set-in sleeves and a better way to knit them

DIY espadrilles (I’m kind of blown away by this)

8 tricks for perfect top-stitching

How to match plaids when you sew (I suddenly can’t wait to sew something plaid!)

A handmade wedding — exceptionally well done

That’s one pretty yarn cabinet

So wish I could go to this event

– And that I could visit here and here (note to self: London trip)

And that I could wear this outfit every day forever

UNRELATED SHOP NEWS: the mini scissors are back and we’ve got a fresh batch of hand-carved wood bowls plus a small cache of the coveted red vintage fiber mill spindles. Make haste!


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Queue Check — August 2105

Queue Check — August 2015

It’s a bit late in the month for my monthly queue assessment, but it’s also crazy to me that in the weeks since my July Queue Check — in the midst of the move and all — I knitted a whole turtleneck sweater that wasn’t even really on my radar at that point. (Which I finally added to Ravelry, by the way.) As promised, I’m working on a second version, with not discontinued yarn, and will be publishing the pattern as soon as I can make that happen. I’m thinking of doing this one as a marl, as seen in that swatch up there. But I want to do one more swatch in another yarn (not marl) before I commit.

The marl swatch is Lark — two crows and an egret — and it seems like Lark might be all I’m knitting with for the foreseeable future. The colorwork swatch, also in Lark, is for this fall’s big Fringe and Friends Knitalong! (And yes, there is a mistake in my swatch.) I’m keeping that a secret a little bit longer, but will tell you for now that it is a bit of a weird choice — in a good way. It does involve OPTIONAL colorwork, is a fantastic first sweater if you’ve not knitted one before, and I have an amazing panel lined up. This one is a much quicker, simpler knit than last year’s Amanda cardigan, but offers lots of great meat for discussion and room for people to get creative and so on. It’s going to be a blast and I can’t wait to tell you more! Just be ready for a really fun knitalong announcement in mid-September. (Here’s one more hint, it has to do with that green sweater I knitted in the spring.) Meanwhile, I’m swatching and deciding about colors. I like this grey/black/ivory combo but what I really want the finished sweater to be is navy and black. I just fear for my eyesight and my sanity if I decide to do that!

I also think I’m giving up on the idea of having a Rhinebeck sweater in my queue. The colorwork sweater will have be my Rhinebeck sweater. And why shouldn’t it? It will be totally worthy.

In addition to the big turtleneck and preparations for the big knitalong, I’m still working on my Hermaness Worsted (in Shelter, which got neglected during the move — no brain for lace — but has progressed quite a bit since this photo) and about to cast on my Laurus (in Lark) (Marsh and Egret). Telling you: it’s a Lark-fest over here right now.


PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: July 2015

Q for You: Are you a kit knitter?

Q for You: Are you a kit knitter?

One of the most fascinating things about knitters, to me, is the variety of approaches and attitudes toward choosing yarn and projects and yarn for projects. There are people who have no interest in patterns and want to make everything up for themselves — finding half the joy in the planning and even the trial-and-error aspect of it. People who like a pattern but go their own way where yarn is concerned and/or make lots of pattern modifications. People who will only use the recommended yarn, either knowing that the pattern was designed for that yarn and using it will increase the likelihood of success, or not trusting themselves to choose something else. People who want exactly the pictured item, and will use not only the recommended yarn but the same color as the sample. And people who prefer the pattern and yarn be sold together in a kit, so not only is there minimal risk and no decision-making required, it’s a single purchase. I love it!

Like most things in knitting (and life) there is absolutely no right or wrong. We all come to knitting for different reasons. Some have mind-numbingly dull day jobs and knitting is their creative outlet. Others find the greatest escape and relaxation in having had someone else do all the math and planning for them — they just want to sit down and knit, and to feel reasonably confident the outcome will be positive. Among a million other scenarios. I get it: Some days I’m one of these people, and some days I’m the other. But most days I’m somewhere in between. I feel like if I want the thing exactly as pictured (which happens often enough), I’d rather buy it as finished goods, since there’s no room for me to bring any of my own thinking to it anyway. On the other hand, kits can be such enticing objects unto themselves. The Latvian mitten kit I won a couple years ago is one of my prized possessions, to the point that I can’t imagine unboxing it, so I guess that’s maybe a kit being too good? Wool and the Gang does such a beautiful job with their boldly bagged kits. (Of course, I like to think my own Fringe kits are pretty appealing!) And the other day I ran across Kit Couture and found myself wanting kit after kit. So that’s my Q for You this round: Are you a kit knitter? Or where do you fall on this spectrum?


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