New Favorites: the Purl Bee three

New Favorites: the Purl Bee three

Just as people’s attention is starting to turn toward warmer-weather pursuits, and the pace of new knitting pattern releases slows to a painful crawl, the Purl Bee shows up with three killer scarf patterns — all of them featuring engaging little techniques to hold your interest:

TOP: Jasmine Scarf features an insanely pretty stitch pattern that looks like a ton of fun to knit — go watch the little how-to video on the pattern page (free pattern)

MIDDLE: Cobblestone Scarf is a simple stitch but knitted with three different yarns held together — always among my favorite tricks — to create intriguing and subtle texture and color complexities (free pattern)

BOTTOM: Reversible Rivulet Scarf combines twisted stitches and reversible cables (free pattern)

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UNRELATED NEWS OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS: We got in a nice little batch of several of the beloved vintage fiber mill spindles many of you have been asking about. There’s also a secret new addition in the dropdown (not pictured) — a light cherry red version of the green/blue one — but there are only a dozen of them so you might need to be fast! Plus Knitters Graph Paper Journal and both sizes of the Doane notebooks are back in stock. It’s an embarrassment of riches in the paper goods department right now!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the perfect Summer aran

Blog Crush: Into Mind

Blog Crush: Into Mind

Late Friday afternoon I was feeling slightly hooky-ish and also desperate to finish my seemingly endless waistcoat button band. So when I saw an Instagram remark from @ashmhiggs about wardrobe planning with the aid of a site called Into Mind (“set a few hours aside,” she said) I decided to take a look. Before I knew it, I had my knitting in my hands, the blog on my screen, and a pile of Fashionary panels spread out in front of me — reading, thinking, knitting, sketching, reading, sketching, knitting, sketching, reading. It was exactly the site my brain needed at that particular moment, and I felt immensely inspired. And in the case of this post, highly amused. (I am dying to get my hands on that book!)

As you know, along with attempting to gradually build an almost entirely handmade wardrobe, I’m trying to be incredibly thoughtful about what I knit and sew, choosing colors, fabric/yarn and patterns that not only suit me and my lifestyle but that will work together to form a small but hard-working wardrobe. It’s a lot to think about, and — apart from the handmade aspect — that’s exactly what Into Mind is all about. Similar to Sarai Mitnick’s Wardrobe Architect series last year, Into Mind’s Anuschka challenges you to think hard about every aspect of your ideal wardrobe: color, proportion, style, etc. Nothing about what she’s suggesting is particularly new — this is advice I’ve been reading since I was a teenager (decades ago, in other words) and have long felt like I no longer needed. I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I like and what works for me, generally speaking. But in the past I was only spending money. Now, in addition to the money, I’m spending a lot of time making my own clothes. And I’m more determined than ever to have them span years and seasons, so it feels that much more important to get it right. Anuschka really did make me want to take a step back and make a conscious list (or set of drawings, actually) of the basic proportions or outfit combinations that work for me — to establish a specific framework so that, going forward, I can make sure the things I intend to make will really fit into that framework before I cast on or cut fabric. So that it all adds up to something brilliant instead of a collection of beautiful things that don’t necessarily work together or for me.

Between Friday afternoon and the weekend, I’ve spent a couple of hours going through the posts — this one is a good jumping-off point if you don’t want to just go from the reverse-chron scroll — and have probably only made a dent in it. But I have to tell you, it’s really got my mind — and my pencil — racing.

Don’t worry — I’ll have lots more to share about that. Thanks a billion for the tip-off, Ash!

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PREVIOUSLY in Blog Crush: The Craft Sessions

Makers’ little helper

Makers' little helper

Speaking of my handmade wardrobe, I’ve been (with great difficulty) keeping this under my hat until I had a chance to get them into the shop, but my Fashionary addiction has expanded from the magical sketchbook — which accompanies me everywhere — to these accordion-fold, perforated paper panels that you can tear apart (or not) and work the individual drawings into other notebooks or pinboard compositions or whatever suits your fancy. As with the sketchbook, they’re pre-printed with faint dotted templates for you to draw over, and there are four variations now in the shop: women’s figure, men’s figure, kids’ figure, and women’s flat garments. Find out more and snag yours at Fringe Supply Co. Note, too, that if you were missing the interior shots of the fantastic new Taproot issue, I’ve added those images as well. AND! yesterday we received more Sincere Sheep for the Double Basketweave Cowl kits and more Habu for the Wabi Mitts kits.

By the way, I was scrolling back through Our Tools, Ourselves the other day and Jared Flood’s sketchbooks caught my eye. Somehow it escaped my attention before that they’re Fashionary!

As you can clearly see from these photos, I’m obsessing over my waistcoat — when I’m not knitting it, I’m sketching it every which way. My hope for this weekend is to finish it and sew that sketched dress to go under it! How about you?

 

New Favorites: the perfect Summer aran

New Favorites: the perfect Summer aran sweater

One night last week, we went out for ice cream at the local hotspot in my sister’s tiny coastal Florida town. Bob and I were enjoying the warmth, but the temperature must have dipped below 80 or something — the locals were all wearing jean jackets or sweaters, and you could tell they were savoring the chance. It brought to mind this Martin Storey sweater I ran across recently and can’t stop thinking about: Naxos. It’s perfectly unisex and would also work beautifully as a woolly winter sweater, but I love it in this ivory cotton, pictured in a dreamy boatscape. Because, you know, heaven forbid there should ever be a time or a place where some form of fisherman sweater isn’t part of the equation.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Linda

Next of the Best of Fall 2015: Knit skirts

Next of the Best of Fall 2015: Knit skirts

Among the surprising items to make repeat appearances on the Fall 2015 runways is the knit skirt. I’ve already sung the praises of the amazing cable skirt and white top combo at A Détacher. Then there’s this lovely duo, above, from Michael Kors — a swingy cable skirt shown in camel and charcoal, one paired with a matching cable sweater and the other with a chunky rib-knit sweater. (As with nearly all of the sweaters in the Kors show, both have ultra-long sleeves folded into forearm-length cuffs.)

Then there’s the pair below, which remind of those nail-biting (<— that’s sarcasam) episodes of Project Runway where two designers emerge from Mood with the same or similar fabric. Who’ll use it best? The upper image is from Mulberry, and the lower one is Opening Ceremony, both looks built around a grey knit skirt cut sideways. (Both textiles look like cut-and-sew sweater knits to me, but someone will correct me if I’m wrong.) I love them equally — would happily live in either outfit — but all of the oversized work jackets and exaggerated chamois shirts in the Opening Ceremony collection make me swoon. That they’ve paired them with sweater tunics and dresses only makes me love them that much more.

Next of the Best of Fall 2015: Knit skirts

PREVIOUSLY in Fall 2015: A Détacher forever

Elsewhere

Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

I, my friends, am elsewhere this week. I fly to Florida today for a few days of much-needed sun and fun with my family. Under normal conditions, I would have made the week before my trip as stressful as humanly possible by trying to do two weeks’ worth of blog posts in one, making the vacation that much more necessary! But last week was already off-the-charts busy/stressful, so it just wasn’t an option. All of which is to say, apologetically, this may be my only blog post for the week. I’ll almost certainly turn up on Instagram (as both @karentempler and @fringesupplyco) and I can’t swear another blog post or two won’t happen, but right now it seems highly unlikely. So I leave you with some tasty links to chew on—

— Felicia on Simple Sewing 101, part 1 and part 2 (with more to come)

— And to go with that, Tilly outlines a basic toolkit for new sewers

These books are rather tempting

“Yarnkraft” = love

— Did you know BBC Radio has a Knitting show? Neither did I till my friend Sarah alerted me — I hope to give it a listen one of these days

Australia’s oldest man (109!) is still knitting (via Rebekka)

— I’m eager to see what Bristol gets up to

— And this made me laugh my arse off — love that Anna Maltz

Ok, I’m off — see you when I see you. Oh! And don’t worry about Fringe Supply Co. — DG will be here every day shipping orders just as fast as you can place them. Business as usual!

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PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere

A shawl for my granny

A shawl for my granny

It’s funny how I’m always looking for shawl patterns that aren’t granny-looking, and now I’m looking for a shawl pattern for my granny. She’s turning 90 in exactly one month and — please don’t tell her! — I’m planning to knit her a shawl. The thing is, I’ve been planning it for at least a month and haven’t cast on a stitch yet because I’m hung up on what it should be. I feel like it should be lace — or at least lace-edged or something — but I don’t want to give her anything that requires really precise blocking every time it’s soaked. Ditto the yarn selection: Not only am I hesitant about giving her anything hand-wash-only, she lives in Texas! So wool is out of the question. Size-wise, she’s not a very large person, plus there’s that whole Texas aspect (this is really something to toss on in over-air-conditioned spaces), plus I need to be able to complete it in a month. So basically I’m looking for a simple, small-scale, decorative-edged shawl. For the yarn, I think I’ve settled on the dark purple Shibui Heichi in my stash (her entire wardrobe is shades of purple), which is 100% silk. Still hand-wash, but not wool. Right? So I’ve narrowed it down to the smaller Lola (top), a scaled-down Palmyre (middle) and the lace-less but still really pretty Marin (bottom), which I’ve wanted to knit for a long time. I haven’t knitted with 100% silk before and really don’t know what that will look or behave like, so it seems like my best bet is to swatch all three and see.

Still have never managed to pick the right shawl for my mom. :(