After posting about small-scale knitting alternatives to the amazing Jón lopapeysa pattern last Thursday morning, I saw a photo on Instagram along with a message to me from Kathy Cadigan (@kathycad) that she was borrowing Jón’s colorwork motif for a hat. Which made me super jealous, but the funny thing is she hadn’t seen my blog post yet — it was a total coincidence! I had been fantasizing the night before about applying the yoke pattern to either mitts or a hat, but it turned out Kathy did the very sensible thing of using the simpler chart from the sleeves/waist instead. She posted the finished hat over the weekend (also on Ravelry) and look how spectacular. It’s a lopi for those of us in milder climates — I must knit it.
PREVIOUSLY in FO Sightings: Süsk’s “mantastic” cowl
If you’re among the millions of people who were doing something other than reading this blog on the day before Thanksgiving, you may have missed the first installment of Someday vs Right Away, wherein I distract myself (and you!) from all the amazing sweaters we don’t have time to knit by offering up smaller-scale substitutes. Today: the Nordic sweater. Specifically the lopapeysa, national sweater of Iceland. As utterly transfixed as I am by the geometric colorwork on this perfectly unisex gem of a lopi, I won’t be knitting Jón anytime soon. But there are mittens that hold some of the same attraction, despite being very, very different. I’m looking at Pamela Wynne’s geometric, fair-isle Vera Marguerite Mittens (lower left) and Veronik Avery’s Pinion mittens (lower right), which have a lot of the same graphic appeal as Jón, but aren’t stranded knitting. They’re knit sideways in garter-stitch intarsia, so there’s the added bonus of an interesting little construction project.
SIDE NOTE: For anyone in the Bay Area interested in shopping the Fringe Supply Co shelves in person, I’m planning an impromptu Open House for this Saturday afternoon, here in Berkeley. I’ll post full details tomorrow but wanted to give you a quick heads-up!
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs Right Away: Complex mixed cables
I feel like the best thing I can do here is say as little as possible and just leave you alone while you stare at these photos.
(Or I could whisper for the few of you who want to listen a little while staring: Süsk & Banoo is a blog I should have known about a long time ago but only recently discovered by way of having shipped her a nice pile of Fringe Supply Co. goods — to Helsinki! — and then seen her nice blog post about it. She posted the top shot on Instagram the other day and then I saw that there were more on the blog. It’s the Purl Bee’s Lovely Ribbed Cowl knitted in some gorgeous charcoal wool, along with a matching improvised hat — a gift for her father, as modeled by her boyfriend. Husband? Whatever. Check the blog for the whole story.)
PREVIOUSLY in FO Sightings: Z’s coveted closet of handmade clothes
There’s a sweater pattern very near the top of my to-knit list that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned here. It’s Amy Christoffers’ Wren, above left. There’s no end of what you can do when you abut cables, and Amy seems to have a knack for it. Those wide and shallow cable pairs, stacked in columns, look like plating to me — almost like an exoskeleton of some sort! I’m mesmerized by them, and also love the attention to detail in how the waist ribbing folds itself into the cables. I’m dying to knit it (and to have it). But then along comes the new Twist Collective and here’s Amy at it again with the beautiful columns of cables. In Calabash, above right, the cable pairs are narrower and inverted (as compared to Wren) and in this case they remind me of laurel branches. Such a totally different effect. For Calabash, she’s contained them to the yoke, in a V, on both front and back. And they lend just enough structure to that funnel neck to make it work. Both such simple, beautiful sweaters.
UNRELATED: You may have seen this if you follow me (as @karentempler), but over the weekend I started an Instagram feed for Fringe Supply Co. — and kicked it off with a giveaway. I’ll be posting more behind-the-scenes stuff than I have on my account, along with shop updates, etc. So if you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow @fringesupplyco!
Also, I want to let you know that I have (at the moment) 3 or fewer of the following: Kinfolk 10, the Fringe project bag, the leather tool pouch in both colors, and the round canvas tool case in the navy and natural. These won’t be restocked (although I may get more Kinfolks), so if you’ve had your eye on any of them, act now!
Thanks so much, and I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend!
I’m taking some semblance of a day off today — as I hope you are, if you’re in the U.S. — and celebrating Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I also believe in taking life one holiday at a time, so I do have a little shop update, but it will happen tomorrow morning, along with a short blog post about that update. But I wanted to leave you with a few links to keep you entertained, and also with my most sincere thanks. Of all the things I’m grateful for, the opportunity to do this — to run Fringe — ranks way, way up there. I know I’ve said this a lot and recently, but I can never say it enough: It means the world to me that you find what I’m doing worthwhile. I am truly thankful for your time, your advice, your encouragement, and everything else.
So with that, a little Elsewhere:
— Is your pet turtle this well-dressed? (I love that my husband sent me this link.)
— Adventures in historically-correct knitting
— What could be more 2013 than a Kickstarter for custom-fit, 3D-printed sweaters
— A campaign I’m seriously contributing to: Mendocino Wool & Fiber
— “Handmade is never small” — Meredith’s latest yarn bomb project
— and my favorite yarny Instagram of the week (read the caption)
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!
As you may have noticed, my appetite for amazing sweaters is vast — cables, colorwork, clever construction … yes, please. Sadly, my actual allotment of knitting time (not to mention my yarn budget) is scant. I keep pointing out to myself that it’s not like I need all of those sweaters anyway, and besides, where would I put them? And if what I want is to knit them, there are smaller-scale ways of scratching that itch. So I thought this might make a good little occasional series — useful for me and others similarly afflicted. I’m calling it Someday vs Right Away.
At the very top of my list of not-gonna-happen-anytime-soons is Stonecutter, Michele Wang’s remarkable take on the fisherman sweater. If it’s complex mixed cables we’re longing to knit, there are hats galore that might appease us — including two great options from Wool People 6, the most recent Brooklyn Tweed collection: Gentian by Irina Dmitrieva (bottom left) and Bough by Leila Raabe (bottom right). I can only imagine the tremendous sense of accomplishment that would come with a finished Stonecutter, but either of these might provide a rewarding little dose of that. Right?
QUICK NOTE: I’m happy to announce three new Fringe Supply Co. stockists: Apple Yarns in Bellingham WA, Seaside Yarns in Juneau AK and my first international store, Sunspun in Canterbury, Victoria, Australia! Hit ’em up for some Fringe goods, will ya?
J.Crew is pretty much hitting it out of the park right now with their winter accessories, especially the knitted goods. One of my favorites is this simple Chevron Hat. What I don’t like so much is the way the crown decreases interrupt the chevrons, or that it’s “viscose/nylon/lambswool/rabbit hair/cashmere.” (I’d love to know what the percentages are, but that adds up to “synthetic with a touch of animal fiber.”) Happily, those of us who knit can make our own. Kate Gagnon Osborn’s Opus Spicatum (free pattern) has a much more elegant decrease scheme. It’s designed for The Fibre Company’s Road to China yarn (65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, 10% Cashmere), and you could go with their Garnet and Cobalt to simulate J.Crew’s burgundy/navy version. To match the heather-grey and off-white version above, I’d suggest Quince and Co’s Lark (100% American wool) in Kumlien’s Gull and Frost.
ALSO: If you’re into J.Crew’s Zigzag Stripe Scarf, you might take a look at Jill Zielinski’s Empire State Cowl (free pattern) — just knit it as a tube scarf, with solid-colored ribbing on each end, rather than grafting it into a loop.