Laurus your way

Laurus your way

I’m officially the Fringe Hatalong laggard — nearly done with my Hermaness Worsted and barely started with my Laurus. But oh how I love watching the hats roll in. Laurus is definitely creating the most diverse results, which I guess is not surprising given the extra level of opportunity for variation afforded by the colorwork. We’ve seen everything from the very pale to the dramatically dark, with the quite bright and everything else you can think of in between, but apart from the color choices I thought I’d highlight some of the subtle changes people have employed to tailor this one to their own liking:

TOP: There are a couple of ebony and ivory versions on Instagram — @ecr00neg and @simonesmanufaktur, above — both of which, coincidentally, omitted the stripes.

BOTTOM LEFT: There are lots and lots of pompoms and a couple of lengthened brims, but @kiyomibee made her brim long enough to fold up. Along with the contrasting pompom, of course.

BOTTOM RIGHT: I thought there would be a lot of people using three colors instead of two (although I failed to suggest that possibility up front). @wintiliviknits knitted her stashbuster with four: a forest-y green with both pink and purple (navy?) stripes, plus ivory for the leaf motif. With a four-color pompom.

Mostly I’m thrilled at how many people who’ve never tried colorwork before have jumped in with this simple little Laurus hat and reported back that I was right — perfect place to start!

SHOP NEWS: Field Bags and bonsai-style scissors are both back in stock, so go get ’em! Due to the postal holiday on Monday, we’ll be doing a special shipping session tomorrow morning for tonight’s orders. Note that orders from tomorrow morning through Monday will ship on Tuesday when the PO is picking up again.

Happy long weekend to those in the U.S.! Make it a good one, wherever you are—


PREVIOUSLY in Fringe Hatalong Series: Laurus by Dianna Walla

Idea Log: the mildly Folksy tunic

Idea Log: The mildly Folksy tunic

Earlier this summer, I was having lunch with my friends Anna Maria and Rebekka one day and Anna started telling us a sweet and funny story about a Panamanian woman who had just been in her shop, Craft South, who Anna felt sure was judging her harshly (based on the look on her face as she looked around) but who actually apparently liked what she saw — to the point that she wound up giving Anna a trove of small embroidered pieces from her home country. They’re made by the Kuna people, and she was convinced that Anna was a person who would appreciate them. Anna was blown away by the gift and by the pieces themselves, especially the more unusual embroidered collar-and-cuff combos that were part of the collection, called molas. She wound up pulling them all out for us to see, and insisted Rebekka and I each take one of the pieces to do something fun with. I immediately chose this charming fish and knew I wanted it to be a pocket. On something!

In the ensuing weeks, I decided yes, definitely a pocket, and that while it would be fantastic and appropriate on something like Cal Patch’s Folk Blouse sewn at dress length, I would almost certainly never wear it. So what I want is just a nod to that — a loose, casual, simple tunic on which my pocket can shine. The challenge would be fabric, since the embroidery is done on a sort of off-black cotton that wouldn’t be easy to match.

Well. Along came serendipity in the guise of Jaime and Amber of Fancy Tiger Crafts. They were coming to Nashville for a workshop at Craft South, as it happens, and Jaime sent me a text one day that just said “olive drab or off black?” I thought it was a message typed into the wrong text window — you know how it is — and responded “?” She said that’s all, I just had to pick, and I said I couldn’t possibly since those are basically my two favorite colors plus I had no idea what I was picking. When they arrived, they handed me a little bundle adorably stitched up in a brown paper bag, and what I pulled out of that parcel was a length of Japanese linen-cotton that is a dead ringer for the background of my fish pocket, which they knew nothing about.

I am so grateful for my friends, and not just because they give me gifts that add up to awesome clothing.

So what about the pattern? Surfing around the internet the other day, I saw a dress someone had sewn that led me to the Sutton Blouse pattern, which seems to be just about perfect for this.

(Beloved Fashionary panels from Fringe Supply Co., of course.)


By the way, speaking of Craft South, I should mention that I’m going to be there on Tuesday eve the 15th, hanging out, knitting, and answering any knitting questions anyone might have. Anna calls this “knit picking my brain.” I’ll also have the thoroughly awesome Kathy Cadigan in tow that night. So if you’re in Nashville, please come! Details on their site (and I promise to brush my hair).


PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: The cinched shift

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!


PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere