Blog Crush: The Craft Sessions

Blog Crush: The Craft Sessions

It occurred to me when putting together the last installment of Elsewhere how often I link to Felicia Semple’s Craft Sessions blog and yet I’ve never done a proper Blog Crush about it. Well! Felicia is the founder of the Australian craft camp known as The Craft Sessions — which I dream of one day attending — and started the blog (I believe) at the same time as the run-up to the first Sessions, a couple of years ago. In addition to her being a fantastic knitter and sewist, whose every project is worth an ooh and an ahh, the blog has become an outstanding resource over time, as Felicia is not afraid to write long. She picks a topic — from keeping a visual diary to picking the right sweater pattern — and digs all the way in. That means I don’t always have time to read as much of it as I would like, but I love knowing it’s there when I do — you know? Keep it up, F!

.

PREVIOUSLY in Blog Crush: Woolful — who, by the way, launched her podcast yesterday

New Favorites: Hearth Slippers

New Favorites: Hearth Slippers

I’m having a serious case of knitting FOMO right about now. My friend Anna at Tolt enlisted my friend Dianna Walla to design a pattern using my friends at Fancy Tiger’s Heirloom Romney, and the result is the totally adorable Hearth Slippers. And now they’re all having a joint knitalong! I saw the samples when I was at Tolt and they’re even cuter in person. But I’ve been checking out the hashtag on Instagram the past few days and I’m loving all the color combos people are coming up with. Especially these two — so different. I wish I loved knitting colorwork as much as I love having knitted colorwork, because my feet would really enjoy these.

.

New Favorites: BT’s best shawl collars

New Favorites: Brooklyn Tweed's best shawl-collar cardigans

When I was talking to someone recently (can’t remember who/where) about putting a shawl collar on my Amanda cardigan for the #fringeandfriendsknitalong, they said something about how on-trend that will be. And I suppose it will, but it got me thinking. There are definitely lots of shawl collars in the stores right now, but aren’t there always? I genuinely don’t think there’s ever been a year when there haven’t been amazing shawl-collar cardigans I’m dying to own. Certainly the shapes and details vary, and they may be more “in” one year than the next, but a shawl-collar cardigan is never out of style. And I think that timelessness is a big part of why I keep casting them on! It seems perfectly reasonable to me to invest large chunks of knitting time on a garment that cozy, and that I believe has a greater chance of wearing out than falling out of fashion. So that train of thought and yesterday’s Wool People release got me looking at the Best of Brooklyn Tweed shawl collars:

TOP: Field by Kazekobo, the newest entry, from Wool People 8. Honeycomb on the body, reverse stockinette sleeves, and compound raglan shaping — a total classic. Plus based on the gauge, it appears to be the perfect pattern from which to borrow the neck shaping and collar method for a shawlified Amanda. (Was there anyone at BT reading these posts thinking “Hold on! We have the perfect candidate!”?)

ROW 2 LEFT: Channel Cardigan by Jared Flood, from BT Winter ’14, knit-purl splendor already on my needles. Even though I’m planning to leave out some of the details that make it so exceptional, I think this is the Sweater of the Year.

ROW 2 RIGHT: Timberline by Jared Flood, from BT Men. I could stare at those intricately branching cables all day, and think the collar on this one is perfection.

MIDDLE: Little Wave by Gudrun Johnston, from Wool People 6, textured stitch panels with garter-stitch accents. And pockets! This one didn’t make that huge of an impression on me until I tried on the sample and fell in love. (I’ve also been taking a second, third and fourth look at Persimmon lately.)

BOTTOM LEFT: Burr by Veronik Avery, from BT Fall ’12, in stockinette with stylized shaping. Looks like such a simple sweater, and then you start to notice all the amazing, subtle details.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Bellows by Michele Wang, from BT Fall ’14, allover texture with cable accents. Seriously, it’s all I can do to not cast this on before finishing Amanda and Channel. And actually, my all-time favorite BT shawl collar might be another Michele design: the Arlo kids cardigan.

I wish I had every one of them in my closet right now and forever.

.

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Offshore

Elsewhere

Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Know what I’m excited about?

- the impending Seamwork webmag from Colette

- the impending podcast from Woolful

- Ann Shayne’s crazy 8-yarn sweater for the #fringeandfriendsknitalong

- the fact that people like this exist (thx, jo!)

and

- Felicia Semple’s Stash Less series

Not to mention there’s a new BT Wool People collection coming along any minute now … [UPDATE: Here it is, the Wool People 8 lookbook]

.

FO Sightings: Skiff hats of the #fringeandfriendsknitalong

FO Sightings: Skiff hats of the #fringeandfriendsknitalong

While the #fringeandfriendsknitalong has been open to any fisherman-cabled object of a knitter’s choosing, there are clearly way more Amanda cardigans being knitted than anything else, followed by Ondawa and Bellows, it seems. But in the accessory department, the clear favorite has been Jared Flood’s Skiff, published just as the knitalong was kicking off. And of course they came together way faster than the sweaters. I wanted to take a minute to pay them tribute:

+ WorthingGirl on Ravelry, knitted in Fibre Company Acadia

+ lmscott from Ravelry / @lianneknits on Instagram, knitted in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter

+ waldorfmanufaktur / @waldorfmanufaktur, knitted in Fibre Company Organik

+ DanaRae19 from Ravelry, knitted in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (she’s also completed a White Pine cardigan; so good)

+ @recklessglue, knitted in … unknown

+ QuiltedTortoise / @thequiltedtortoise, knitted in Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted

+ tumblingblocks / @tumblingblocks, knitted in Madelinetosh Tosh DK

+ @kimberley.buergel, knitted in Camellia Fiber Company Merino Aran

And now I want to knit this hat! Huge apologies if I missed any finished Skiff pics in rounding these up.

Also, @fancyjaime is the first of our Panel to finish her Amanda — the knitting, at least. She posted a pic from LAX, unblocked and no buttons yet, and I can’t wait to see it all finished up.

I promise next week we’ll talk about seaming.

.

PREVIOUSLY in #fringeandfriendsknitalong: Amanda neck shaping: Kate reworks the crewneck
PREVIOUSLY in FO Sightings: Junko’s patchwork shawl

Holiday knitting cheat sheet: Warm hands, warm hearts

Holiday knitting cheat sheet: Warm hands, warm heart

Given that fingerless gloves have always been my favorite thing to knit, it’s funny that we’ve talked about hats for the whole family and cowls all around, but I’ve never done a holiday knitting rundown of which mitts to knit for whom. Well, here it is!

1. the girly girl: Rhea Wrist Warmers by Kari-Helen Rane — pretty lace on the back of the hand, ribbing everywhere else

2. the tomboy: Stadium Mitts by yours truly — what can I say? so simple and versatile (free pattern)

3. the traditionalist: Leaves Fingerless Gloves by Valentina Georgieva — easy cables-and-lace chart in aran weight (free pattern)

4. the english major: Brooke Mitts by Michele Rose Orne — simple colorwork that won’t slow you down

5. the sophisticate: Fure by Olga Buraya-Kefelian — yep, still have these long, luscious beauties on my mind

6. the dude: Man Hands by Shireen Nadir — slightly more dudely than the average unisex mitts

7. the art student:Gradient Mitts by Krista McCurdy — ombré is irresistible (see also Purl Bee’s Colorblock Hand Warmers, longer, fingering, gussetless, free)

8. the unknown recipient: 70-Yard Mitts by Hannah Fettig — lightning fast, stash-busting and, depending on color, suitable for anyone

Like always, that last one is also a great idea to just knit to have on hand … for that Oops! moment.

.

Speaking of gifts, if you’re not inclined to knit for the whole family (or you’re crafting your own wish list!), know that I’ve got lots of amazing goodies coming to Fringe Supply Co. in the coming weeks. I put one super fun gift item up over the weekend, just because I couldn’t resist: Shabd’s Magic Jar Dye Kit.

.

PREVIOUSLY in Holiday knitting cheat sheets: Cowls all around

 

New Favorites: Offshore

New Favorites: Offshore

Swans Island released a little pattern collection a few weeks ago called The All American Collection, and I can’t get this Bristol Ivy pattern, Offshore, off my mind. Slouchy and unisex, it has some handsome cables up the front of a simple stockinette sweater, and another one running up one sleeve, across the saddle shoulder (love a saddle shoulder) and back down the other sleeve. It looks like a such an easy but engaging knit, and the slouchy, unisex, sweatshirt-y shape looks so perfectly cozy to me right now — great for weekdays and weekends alike.

See also: Oranmore.

.

p.s. In case you haven’t already seen it, I added a photo to the end of Thursday’s post about joining Amanda parts at the underarm — a spectacular photo of a just-joined Amanda. Go look!

.

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Uncommon cables