Would you just look at this sweet, simple, ultra-versatile sweater — my future best friend — hanging around patiently with its waist missing? I can’t take it anymore. If you catch me working on anything other than this little chum over the weekend, please slap me around. My goal is to have it blocked and shot for next week.
Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to tell me what you’re working on!
I got an email from a reader asking if I could help her with her quest to knit a version of this sweater, designed by Correll Correll for Anthropologie. It’s a great summer sweater — slouchy, slightly open gauge, interesting texture, and that random colorwork. Y, I’ll call her, said she thinks she can figure out the colorwork but was having trouble finding a suitable pattern. I’ve had requests for similar things before, and honestly I’m surprised there isn’t a blank-canvas pattern — that I’ve seen — for a boxy, sleeveless top like this. But it would be pretty easy to do a little math and make it up. (Look at a few Pickles patterns, such as the Dressy Sweater, for the basic approach: Knit a tube from the hem to the underarms, divide your stitches in half for the front and back, working those sections back and forth to the desired armhole depth, then grafting it back together along the tops of the shoulders. Leave out the stripes, ribbing and sleeves.) Otherwise, you could easily adapt Elka Park by Heather Dixon, knitting it a little bit wider than the pattern calls for (going up a needle size would accomplish that and loosen the gauge), and changing the stitch pattern. I’d also make the armholes deeper.
It looks to me like the stitch pattern is a 4-row repeat: 2 rows of stockinette, then a garter ridge. But it starts at the hem with 3 garter ridges, which gives some ballast and prevents it from rolling. So after your cast-on, alternate knit rounds and purl rounds for a total of 6 rounds. Then switch to three knit rounds followed by a purl round (that’ll give you two rows of stockinette followed by a garter ridge); repeat. That’s as long as you’re working in the round. Once you’ve separated for the front and back, and are working those sections back and forth, to maintain that same stitch pattern you’d knit row 1, purl row 2 (that’s two rows of stockinette), then knit row 3, knit row 4 (one ridge of garter).
The colorwork is up to you!
When I saw this leather-and-stockinette clutch on Pinterest several weeks ago, I had to know more. Namely whether the designer — Nashville leather-crafter and musician Annie Williams — is a knitter. It turns out this piece is a collaboration with Williams’ studiomate Han Starnes, who not only spins and sells yarn but has a new line of beautiful handknits called Josi Faye. And yes, I will definitely be trying to swing a visit to that studio next time I’m in Nashville.
The clutch will be available August 1st on annie-williams.com. For glimpses of Starnes’ fiber-filled workspace, follow her on Instagram.
This girl and her closet are killing me. The beautiful sweaters and tunics. The mix-and-match-plaid tops. That killer olive raincoat with the grommets! All of it handmade. She is known only as “Z” (or by her Ravelry name, grimfrosties!) and lately I’ve been stalking her blog, Quixotic Thread, waiting for more garments to appear. Z has amazing knitting and sewing skills, great taste in patterns, and a knack for subtle but meaningful mods, whether it’s reshaping a neckline or adding those aforementioned grommets. I feel like she could single-handedly transform North America’s idea of what homemade clothes look like.
Z, more please!
1. Black Linen Tova, from the popular Wiksten pattern
2. Nude Beaubourg, a modification of the Julie Hoover pattern
3. Exeter, faithfully knitted to the Michele Wang pattern
4. Perfect Plaid, adapted from a pattern in the book Sew U
5. Lattice Top, from the Purl Bee’s Cap Sleeve Lattice Top pattern
6. Ubiquitous Olive Jacket, adapted from the Built By Wendy pattern Simplicity 3694
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I didn’t knit you anything for Mother’s Day this year. (Sad face.) BUT I have been thinking a lot about that conversation we had when I first started knitting. You know, the one where I showed you a bunch of lovely things I wasn’t qualified to knit? Most of those are still a bit out of my comfort zone, but I’m feeling pretty confident in my junior lace-knitting skills these days and am eager to try to my hand at something a little bit fancier for you. But this time I want you to have a hand in picking it out. Here are some ideas (additional images of each if you click the links), but if none of them makes your heart leap with longing, we can look at other options — there’s no end of them. Think about colors, too, and we’ll pick out the yarn together once we’ve decided on a pattern. Meanwhile, Happy Mother’s Day and thanks for being you — I love you!
1. Snowflake Stole by Véronik Avery, very straightforward and lovely
2. Checkerboard Lace Scarf from the Purl Bee, could easily be knitted to more wrap-like proportions if you like
3. Edie triangular shawl by Bristol Ivy, probably the most ambitious of the 4, but I can do it!
4. Terra triangular shawl by Jared Flood, simpler overall texture with a few lace repeats along the edges
Dear everyone else, this week’s ICYMI post is last year’s Mother’s Day post, A kerchief for my mother.
This week I swatched one thing, cast on another, and the yarn arrived to finish knitting a third. Plus there’s still Acer waiting for me to fix my mistake and start moving forward again. It occurred to me maybe I should take stock of my WIPs and, uh, it’s much worse than I realized. So let’s just focus on the new guys:
The little blue swatch is for the sweater I promised my husband last fall. It’s meant to be Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Seamless Hybrid with Jared Flood’s modifications, because I’m so curious about the construction of the shoulders, but I may chicken out (by which I mean, take the more controlled path) and do it top-down. (I have until the swatch is laundered and re-measured to decide.) Bob is very, very particular about sweaters and I don’t want to risk it being even an inch short or long for his taste. I want him to love and wear it, when all is said and done.
The ivory wedge makes my heart go pitty-pat. One of the very first patterns (possibly the first pattern) I ever downloaded was Orlane’s Textured Shawl Recipe. I love that shawl more than I can say (so many beautiful renditions of it, including Nicole Dupuis’ seen draped over her couch here), but of course the “recipe” was utter greek to me at the time. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I could make sense of it and knit it. And all this time, pretty much every new yarn I meet, I ask myself if it’s the one — the one to become my Textured Shawl. I decided Pioneer is it. And I have to tell you, this combination of yarn and stitch pattern is nothing short of addictive. I cannot wait to get back to it.
Tell me about you, please! Thanks for reading this week, and have a wonderful weekend —
It’s very very early days yet, but so far the most interesting thing to come out of The Fiber Factor (Skacel’s web-based knitting version of Project Runway) is a little off-Broadway show going on over at Mason-Dixon Knitting. The FF challenges are being announced online, with the contestants given an appropriate number of weeks to complete their entries, so it’s happening in real time. Ann decided to play along at home. The first challenge is to “knit your life.” My response would be a blank stare, with my mouth hanging slightly ajar. No idea. Ann, on the other hand, has responded with a cable sweater, knit from the top down, whereupon the cables go the way life goes. (“There’s no pattern to [this sweater], that’s for sure.”) So simple. So brilliant.
I can’t actually say that this is any more clever than what the official contestants have come up with, as I can’t sit through the individual videos where they announce their plans. (Anyone want to summarize for me?) But I’m looking forward to the moment where the finished pieces begin to appear. Most of all, though, I can’t wait to see what Ann decides about her hem: “Beginning to have superstitious feeling that I can’t ever cast off this hem. Maybe I’ll just leave the stitches on a holder down there. Don’t want to end anything too soon …”