First of the best of Fall 2015: Wool and Gang walks again

First of the best of Fall 2015: Wool and the Gang walks again

Following last year’s Eek hat for the Giles Fall ’14 collection, my friends over at Wool and the Gang had more knits walking the runway at London Fashion Week yesterday. This time they collaborated with Christopher Raeburn on his shark-themed Fall ’15 collection. As seen in the photos here (from @woolandthegang and @jade_harwood) the pieces include a pair of shark-shaped mittens plus a killer multi-color slouch beanie and big fringed scarf. The mittens, dubbed the Bruce Knitmitts, are available on their site straight away, both as finished goods and a knit kit, and they’ve promised to let me know when the hat and scarf patterns are available later this year. My compliments to the Gang on what must have been another thrilling ride. And to Raeburn, who looks pretty pleased with those mittens.

p.s. They were kind enough to send me an Eek hat kit when I was crying for a fast break from my four months with Amanda, but I haven’t knitted it up just yet. Love. That. Hat.

p.p.s. If I had the sewing chops, I would totally be making my own version of that olive-drab duffel coat with Grainline’s pattern. That is my dream coat right there.

 

Swatch debates

Swatch debates

Going back to my to-knit list from January, my Bellows is done. (Photos as soon as I can get them, but for now let me tell you I haven’t taken it off since the minute I attached the buttons on Sunday afternoon, and don’t foresee taking it off until April.) The idea of knitting a Uniform cardigan out of the army-green Shibui Merino Alpaca in my stash has been rethunk, and Channel is tabled for fall — I’m thinking it’ll be my Rhinebeck sweater, so I better not put it off too long. And meanwhile, along came the idea of the vest. So I’m swatching. And debating.

Up top is the Spiral-Spun Waistcoat from last week, and my Hole & Sons Wool swatch for it. I never would have thought to knit this DK-weight yarn on 5.5mm needles, but it totally works, and I’m getting gauge for the pattern. I’m just not 100% convinced about the garter rib. I knitted that little bit of stockinette at the top of the swatch and am so tempted to keep it that simple, but I think I might hate myself. Plus there’s already a lot of stockinette on my horizon. But do I love the look of it? I like it better in the sketch I did of the sweater, where it’s as baggy as this garment would be on me, but maybe I’d like it best if the garter rib was 1×1 instead of 2×2. Might have to swatch that before I cast on.

And the change in the army-green Uniform plan is to knit it in Knightsbridge instead of the Merino Alpaca. This is to replace a pair of J.Crew cashmere cardigans I had to let go of before we left California — one grey, one blue, both worn to shreds — and I want it to be as light and thin and soft as they were, without knitting a fingering-weight sweater. This Knightsbridge swatch is perfect. I’m thinking of doing the button bands and pocket edging in garter but ribbing the waistband and cuffs, so I’m debating between the 1×1 and 2×2 ribbing. The bigger debate, though, is whether it makes sense to cast this on right now. The only spring/summer sweater in my closet is a thin grey cotton cardigan in the same style (seen here), which I’m utterly dependent on for trade shows and such but which is not especially nice-looking. It might be better to knit a near-term Uniform out of a magnificent cotton-linen blend or something. So if you have any brilliant suggestions in that realm, I’d love to hear it!

New Favorites: Modified ganseys

New Favorites: Modified gansey sweaters

I’m always hearing people talk about the gansey — relative of the cabled aran jumper in the classic fisherman-sweater family — and its characteristic underarm gusset. One of these days I’ll knit one and understand more specifically what the traditional construction is like. But it might have to get in line behind these recent interpretations, which are both calling out to me —

TOP: Eastbound Sweater by Courtney Kelley has an “exploded gusset” and slouchy shape, looks like the perfect spring/fall sweater to me

BOTTOM: Alvy by Jared Flood might be gussetless (not sure) but borrows the gansey look for a nicely androgynous sweater

.

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Foldover mitts

Boxes out and boxes in

Boxes out, boxes in, boxes out

It’s been such a surreal week, being snowed in (iced in) for the first time in years, along with the rest of Nashville. I always loved that feeling of an entire community waving the white flag in the direction of normal daily proceedings and going sledding instead. But this week was more about cabin fever while working at home, and just trying to get the Fringe Supply Co. orders shipped in a timely fashion, which we were mostly able to do! I’m also happy to report that UPS and USPS arrived bearing boxes we’ve been waiting anxiously for:

– the sold-out Bookhou storage boxes and large pocket pouches are sold out no more!
– the Bookhou flat rectangle pouch is also back, in three prints plus two waxed canvases, and the large pocket pouch now also comes in tan wax — I’m in love with this!
Knitters Graph Paper Journal is back in stock
– the concave horn buttons are restocked, along with the cream bone version
– and the narrow-rim buttons are filled back in and also now available in cream bone too, in all three sizes

It’s also been a joy this week seeing copious Audrey hat knitalong hats appearing on Instagram (under #fringehatalong), along with a handful at Ravelry. If you haven’t cast on yet, no worries. There’s no schedule, so there’s no such thing as too late!

I’m jealous of everyone headed for Stitches West this weekend but am looking forward to sitting on my couch and knitting. How about you?

.

My classic British vest

My classic British vest

Despite the ice and snow on the ground, and as much as I want to get to the rest of my sweater queue (once I finish my neglected Bellows), my thoughts are starting to turn to my warmer-weather wardrobe challenges. Which brings me back to my Hole & Sons wool and my wish for it to become something quintessentially British: namely, a vest. It’s the perfect thing for spring, and if I want to wear it this spring, I better get started. I’ve been thinking I’ll just tweak a classic v-neck cardigan pattern but have been sort of dreading the stockinette, so I decided to conduct a little research for inspiration and/or a particularly interesting pattern, and golly, would you look at this gem?!

The Spiral-Spun Waistcoat is a WWII Jaeger pattern (a knit-it-for-the-troops design — “choose air force blue or khaki wool”), available as a free download from the Victoria & Albert Museum, with an allover texture that is just interesting enough while remaining timeless. It might be exactly the thing — I shall have to swatch and see.

Knit the Look: Natalie Joos’ charcoal cap

Knit the Look: Natalie Joos' charcoal cap

I find Tales of Endearment blogger Natalie Joos impossibly adorable, but this also happens to be one of my all-time favorite photos from Vanessa’s blog — Natalie in a subdued-yet-rule-breaking, season-spanning combo of a white skirt, incredible wool toggle coat and charcoal grey beanie. It’s an outfit that says she sees the light of Spring at the end of Winter’s tunnel. But mostly I just really love that hat. Neither of the two photos tells us anything concrete about what’s actually going on with it, knitwise, other than that it’s a bulky yarn knitted with a bit of purl texture on the body. I’m thinking all we’d need do to get the same effect is tamper with Audrey’s stitch counts and knit it in Quince and Co’s Puffin in Kittywake.

And now that I’ve typed that, I won’t be able to avoid doing it.

.

PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Multi-marl infinity scarf

.

Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

Elsewhere

Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Our forecast for a foot of snow yesterday proved to be way off base. But what we did get was a heavy coating of ice topped with snow. So it was a quiet, work-at-home sort of day — which may be repeated today, depending on what we wake up to. (I’m hoping the roads are safe enough for us to get to the studio and ship the weekend/holiday orders, but please bear with us if that’s not the case.) Whether you’re similarly cooped up at home or just in want of some good yarny links, these are for you—

• What a true knit lover looks like

• I fell into some kind of trance watching this rug being woven

• I’ve been loving the #knittertools tag on Instagram that cropped up in response to my lost tool pouch, but Anna Maltz took it to a whole ‘nother level

• Do you have an emotional support alpaca?  (thx, DG)

Tif Fussell is killing me with the  “woolly tattoos” that have followed her craft-life-changing embroidered mittens, but none more so than this sweater

• Adored the backstory on Dianna Walla’s Swedish Pancakes mitts pattern (which is in Pom Pom issue 12)

If I ever take up quilting …

• And this made me laugh

.

PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere