You all know I like things pretty spare and simple — aesthetically, at least — but I think that’s especially true of scarves. Whenever I’m admiring beautiful, intricate scarf patterns, I’m always thinking, “but how does that go with my/your coat?” Or hat. Or outfit. Or whatever. Plus there’s so much pleasure in a knitting project that is just tricky enough to not be boring or plain, but still simple and repetitive enough to work as mindless knitting at the end of a long day. These two scarves fall squarely into that category, while also being super wardrobe-friendly, especially if knitted in a nice neutral. Bonus: suitable for any age or gender!
TOP: M.1 by Shellie Anderson (free with purchase at participating yarn stores)
BOTTOM: No-Purl Ribbed Scarf from the Purl Bee (free pattern)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Slouchless beanies
An exceptionally thoughtful blog reader emailed me the other day to say that she had come into possession of a friend’s grandmother’s collection of vintage knitting publications and that there were some Aran sweater (aka fisherman sweater) booklets in there she wondered if I would like. WOULD I?! Yesterday evening, just as the daylight was waning, I pulled them out of my mailbox — 5 booklets (dozens of patterns) ranging from 1963-1987 — and nearly fainted. I’d give just about anything to be able to republish these patterns (despite every stitch being written out; not a chart in the bunch!) but in lieu of that, I thought I’d show you some of my favorite photos. Pardon the quality, but I couldn’t stand to wait for a better lighting situation/location than the parking lot at dusk.
The last photo below just absolutely kills me. Thank you so much, Catherine!
By the way, while all of this was happening, the Swon Brothers were shooting a music video outside my studio, so I was already swooning a little. Damn, those boys can SING.
I need to get publication rights for this one so we can all knit it for next year’s #fringeandfriendsknitalong, am I right?
Here’s a confession: I’m not the biggest fan of slouchy hats. They look super cute on lots of people, I concede* — I just personally prefer the look of a tidier, shorter hat. Given that slouchy beanies have been all the rage the past couple of years, I am always the one sussing out crown depth (multiplying the pattern’s row gauge by the number of rounds knitted for the crown) and modifying work-even height so my total hat height is about 7.5-8 inches. Not all hats lend themselves to this very readily. SO! I am thrilled to see the tides seemingly shifting and a number of fantastic patterns for what I’ll call knitted caps hitting the pages of Ravelry. These are all calling out to me: “Forget all those sweaters, Karen. Cast on a hat! You know you want to …”
TOP LEFT: Hutchin by Jared Flood
TOP RIGHT: Dauphine Hat by Julia Farwell-Clay
MIDDLE LEFT: Archway Hat by Adrienne Larsen
MIDDLE RIGHT: Mistake-Rib Beanie by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (free pattern)
BOTTOM LEFT: Richting by Andrea Rangel
BOTTOM RIGHT: Apple Pie by Tin Can Knits [For a slouchier version, see Courtney Kelley's Kiva Hattu]
*Case in point: The gorgeous photo of the blonde model in the purple slouchy Skiff does make me want that exact hat. I think I have enough Thistle left from my Trillium to have it, too.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Stuffed toys
It’s early days, but already the Spring 2015 collections are making me think I could learn to love warm-weather dressing. (Hot-weather dressing is another story.) One of my favorites so far is Creatures of Comfort, due in large part to the presence of that elusive garment I love so well, the vest. The show combines haberdashery vests and sweater vests — sometimes in the same look. But I also think that slouchy black-and-grey pullover paired with the sunny yellow skort (what do you call it?) is the perfect between-seasons look.
So the Brooklyn Tweed Fall ’14 Collection is out, and it’s a doozy. I don’t think there’s a single piece that won’t factor into some future post of mine, and a least a couple I can see myself knitting. (The one I most want in my closet right this minute is Docklight.) There’s nothing that quite meets the Amanda parameters, construction-wise, but if you just want to knit a cable sweater along with us, there are lots of lovely choices there. However, it’s possible you’ve been wishing to participate in the Amanda knitalong (aka #fringeandfriendsknitalong) but feel like a densely cabled cardigan sweater is beyond your skill set and/or your availability. If that’s true, and you’d like to join in by knitting a smaller-scale piece with all the cable goodness, the BT collection contains two good Amanda alternatives:
LEFT: the Shackleton scarf by Michele Wang has a lot in common with Amanda, combining honeycomb and (softened) diamond cables
RIGHT: on an even smaller scale, there’s Jared Flood’s Skiff hat, which, like Amanda, has moss-filled diamonds as its main motif
Both would be great if you’re a cable addict itching to knit some lush cables, or if you’re newer to cables and up for the challenge of expanding those cabling skills and knitting from a moderately complex cable chart. All of which will factor into the knitalong discussion. Something for everyone!
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Cables and lace
My dream of knitting a few rows this weekend did not come to fruition. We moved into our house finally last Wednesday, with our 15 boxes of miscellany and 1 chair. After months of saying it and knowing it in the abstract, it’s a bit of a shock to find that we really did get rid of just about everything we own(ed). There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes with me lately, which I won’t bore you with, but we’re not nomads anymore, we have a bed and two chairs now — so we can both sit down at the same time — and as of yesterday we have Internet access again. My inboxes are completely out of control; if I owe you an email, please know that you are far from alone and I am making progress on getting caught up with it all. It’s wonderful to be in high demand and horrible to not be able to respond to everyone in a timely fashion. But I also have help again, starting today, so hooray for that.
Anyway blah blah, some lovelier things of note Elsewhere:
— One day I hope I’ll go to The Craft Sessions, but I enjoyed seeing scenes from this year on Felicia’s Instagram stream
— I hadn’t heard of Fiber College but suddenly my Instagram feed was full of it over the weekend. (E.g. @hodgepodgefarm, @agatheringofstitches); adding that to my wish list
— I may not be knitting (or sewing) but, geez, somebody has been; check out Z’s summer finishes!
— And it’s nice to see Jenny Gordy blogging again
ALSO OF NOTE: Pom Pom issue 10 has finally arrived at Fringe Supply Co.
How simply gorgeous is this black ribbed scarf seen on French model Marie Piovesan? So luscious looking, and the epitome of French elegance. You could knit your own by just casting on and working in 1×1 rib for as long as you like, but to get that extra squishy cushiness, brioche would be the way to go, and Stephen West has a free pattern that’s just the thing: Ferocious Briocheous it’s called. It’s written with color changes and seamed into a mobius cowl, but you could knit all in black and seam or not. For the luxe look of Marie’s scarf, try knitting it with Purl Soho’s Line Weight in Soft Black or Fibre Company’s Canopy Fingering in Obsidian.
See Vanessa’s original post for more pics of the scarf, the coat and the incredible hair.
PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Mariska van der Zee’s EZ pullover
Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission