Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

This week’s list is more fun than meaty, but who can argue with fun? Here we go—

– Deargod I want this book — go read what Dianna has to say about it

– I would like to live in this room

– And have this sweater. And this one. And this one.

– And I want so SO badly to take this week-long class with Mary Jane Mucklestone at John C. Campbell Folk School. Sadly, my schedule won’t allow it, so you guys all please go and tell me all about it!

Remember that “mola” Anna Maria gave me? Meet the Guna: Makers of Molas

– Felicia being astute about making for necessity vs. making for creativity. (The whole reason I cast on that Penguono, by the way.)

– And thanks to Christine for pointing me to this priceless video of the moment when Jimmy Kimmel interviews a knitter in the audience. That dude is too cool (and I don’t mean Jimmy Kimmel). And Elizabeth found the “after”. SO GOOD.

One other thing: If anyone needs a last-minute Valentine’s gift idea, might I suggest a Fringe Supply Co. gift certificate, available by email? I’m here to help!

Thanks for reading, everyone — have a yarny weekend. And tell me what you’re making if you feel like it! I always like to hear.



Best fisherman sweater patterns

Best fisherman sweater patterns

Back in November 2012, I wrote a little about my quest for the perfect fisherman-cabled sweater, or Aran sweater, and how that desire was one of the key reasons I learned how to knit in the first place. Aran sweater patterns were the first thing I searched Ravelry for, fantasized about, all of that. Two years after that post, I knitted my Amanda cardigan (along with so many of you) and I’m very happy to have it. But has that fulfilled my dream of a fisherman pullover? For obvious reasons, not. In the few years since I’ve been looking, several great patterns have come along, and there’s also that amazing cache of vintage booklets I was given awhile back. (Which I just realized includes the vintage Bernat pattern shown at #5 in my original quest post! How did that escape my notice at the time?)

You know I have a billion cable sweaters favorited at Ravelry at this point, several of which fall into my narrowly defined fisherman-cable set, but so many more I run across are out of print or otherwise inaccessible, or simply not quite right. The only thing that’s really going to scratch this itch is a true classic. Harrogate and Samantha, for example, are both terrific sweaters — either of which, in fact, would look less linebacker-ish on me than the ones pictured above — but without the allover texture, they just don’t give me the feeling. Woolwich is dreamy, but lost in an older Rowan publication I don’t have the good fortune to own. This free Lion Brand pattern is also good, but the drop shoulders combined with all the cabling would look horrendous on me. And so on. So the hunt continues, but for now these are the best candidates I’ve found:

TOP: Marsellus by Whitney Hayward is brand new and perfectly classic, with columns of braids flanking a panel of honeycomb, and the critical folded neck band.

MIDDLE: Grit by Kim Hargreaves and Honeycomb Aran by Patons are closest to the iconic Steve McQueen sweater — the key difference between them being Grit is set-in sleeves and Honeycomb is raglan. I slightly prefer the raglan, which is also a free pattern, and downloadable, while Grit is trapped in a book. (Then again, either one is so similar to the Amanda cardigan and the LL Bean sweater already in my closet that knitting either one anytime soon seems a little silly.)

BOTTOM: Stonecutter by Michele Wang is less classic, more contemporary. Plus I have tried on the sample and it is guilty of having the linebacker effect on me. But I want so desperately to knit those cables I might be able to convince myself I don’t care.

In the end (and despite the lack of charts) that vintage Bernat one may win out.


DIY vs. RTW : Fen vs. Madewell

I’m often stunned by the ready-to-wear clothes that pop up in my inbox or around the web — clothes that look freakishly as if they could have been made from one or another of the indie patterns popular in the handmade community (which, of course, were generally inspired by the runway or ready-to-wear, and around and around we go). Sometimes it’s downright spooky, as in the case of the Madewell dress above right, which is not only eerily similar to the Fen pattern (above left) I was obsessing over last summer, but is made in the exact same flowered fabric I had picked up around the same time and have pictured as a Fen on several occasions. In most cases, the timelines overlap in such a way that it’s obviously a simple case of great minds thinking alike, or tapping into the same zeitgeist (or following the same Pinterest feeds) for inspiration. But it’s fun to ride the inspiration merry-go-round, regardless!

DIY vs. RTW : Cadence vs. LL Bean

The new Cadence pullover pattern (above left) is such an all-American classic/basic that its twin is currently on offer at none other than L.L. Bean (above right).

DIY vs. RTW : Turia vs. Madewell

Madewell’s forthcoming overalls, above right, bring to mind the popular Turia Dungarees pattern (above left), with a few easy to swap out details either direction.

DIY vs. RTW : Camden vs. See by Chloe

The Spring 2016 collections are chock full of capes, many of them admittedly more similar in shape to the Camden Cape pattern (above left) than this See by Chloé version (above right), but how great would Camden look sewn up in denim with classic blue-jeans buttons like that?

New Favorites: Mad hatting

New Favorites: Mad about hats

I have this vision of a time in the future when my wardrobe is in good working order (no more rush to fill in all the gaps) and I can simply knit 1 or 2 carefully chosen sweaters per year, at my leisure. Then the rest of my time can be spent knitting hats! There is such an endless stream of good pattersn, and we all know how relatively quick and gratifying they are. These are my current obsessions:

TOP: Fidra by Gudrun Johnston (as knitted/shot by Kathy) is just good chunky fun

MIDDLE LEFT: Halus by Jared Flood is even more good chunky fun

MIDDLE RIGHT: Buck’s Hat by Thea Colman is cable-based basketweave used to great effect (See also: Manx from my fall hat roundup)

BOTTOM: Holt by Alicia Plummer features allover puff stitch for a simply gorgeous hat


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 2

Fidra photo by Kathy Cadigan used with permission


Elsewhere: yarny links for your clicking pleasure

From the thought-provoking to the entertaining, here are the latest links I think are worth following:

– Oh, but first: please tell The National Needlearts Association a little about yourself for a chance to win a $100 gift card

– I am So. Seeing. This movie. (Will watch once for the sweaters, once for the scenery, then again for the story)

– And wish I could see this exhibition

– In case you haven’t read it: The health benefits of knitting (h/t everyone)

– Major style crush

– Kate’s coat, swoon

– That time Jimmy Beans yarnbombed the Sundance Film Festival

– Angela Lansbury in a killer Cowichan-inspired sweater; and the pattern is still available! (h/t @cchandorf)

– Good interview with Tara St. James of Study-NY about building a sustainable fashion brand
— wouldn’t it be amazing if all clothing tags looked like this?

– The three types of books you should have in your knitting library

– And that’s gotta be a pretty awesome moment

IN SHOP NEWS: We’re about to be out of the black Field Bag for a minute (we have precious few at the moment!) while we get black and grey into our select Field Bag stores around the world, but we do have a fresh batch of grey in stock today! We also got in quite a few varieties of buttons this week, so if there’s a particular size/style you’ve been looking for, check to see if we have it!



Knit the Look: Charlotte Groeneveld’s cozy turtleneck

Knit the Look: Charlotte Groeneveld's cozy turtleneck

How pretty does fashion blogger Charlotte Groeneveld look in this big shell pink overcoat wrapped around a simple grey turtleneck over ivory culottes? I know a lot of people recoil from this shade of pink (I personally love it) but who can argue with the sweater? To knit your own, all you need is Michele Wang’s new Cadence pattern — just skip the textured stitch on the body if you like. And it’s written for Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter, which offers the perfect icy-pale grey in Snowbound. I did a little bit of Google image searching to try to get a better look at the neck on Charlotte’s sweater, and it’s either a mock tneck or just a snugger, skimpier turtleneck. So if you prefer that look, knit to the smallest neck size your head will allow and cut down the height of the ribbing by a couple of inches. Then extend the cuff ribbing by few inches as well.

See Vanessa’s original post for more get-the-look suggestions.


PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Ultra-stockinette scarf


Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 2

New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 2

The second big collection this month featuring some good ‘ol hardworking basics is Kelbourne Woolens’ Acadia Collection, built entirely around the undyed colors of The Fibre Co’s Acadia yarn. Great hat, great scarf, great vest, and these two simple beauties—

TOP: Echo Lake by Courtney Kelley is the perfect blank canvas of a set-in sleeve sweater

BOTTOM: Beech Hill by Leah McGlone is a lovely, simple ruana that would also be fun to play with


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 1