The universe has sent me several signs in the past month that it’s time for me to learn fair isle knitting. (Tell you about them when I can.) What the universe apparently missed is that I had already signed up for a class! Which is where I spent my Sunday morning: learning proper habits and smart tips from the highly revered and totally charming Mary Jane Mucklestone. She not only bowled me over with her deep historical knowledge and her mountain of jaw-dropping colorwork swatches — each of them roughly twelve by twenty-four inches! — but also with her red clogs, literally the best clogs I have ever laid eyes on. I didn’t get very far on this hat-to-be, but I have totally got this.
[MISSED CONNECTION: Your name was Denise and you loaned me a stitch marker. Didn't mean to swipe it. Will pay you back in spades if you'll only tell me how to contact you!]
The Knitting Lab market was high quality but tiny compared to similar events I’ve attended, so I managed to escape with only one skein of yarn — a really deliciously hairy, naturally pewter, alpaca and mohair blend from Toots le Blanc, at half price. And Friday evening I got to eat at a hilarious little Japanese place with two of the very loveliest yarn people. Pretty brilliant weekend.
ICYMI this week is quite recent but highly relevant, here in gift-knitting season: Scarves to start now.
The yarn is Kenzie, sent to me by Skacel.
What did you do during the blizzard, Northeasterners? Thea Colman (aka BabyCocktails) was “playing around” and cranked out these gorgeous fair isle mitts. But I needn’t be quite so jealous — she says a pattern will follow.
(Guess I better fire up that YouTube video the lovely Nicole pointed me to since I’m already running color scenarios in my mind.)
Sometimes I forget that mittens exist outside of storybooks. In my head, they belong to those picturesque, all-white, deep-winter wonderlands — which are (thankfully) totally foreign to my existence. But the nightly news the past few days, along with my Instagram feed, have reminded me that the world is full of people who need, wear and knit mittens. And as it happens, there have been a lot of great patterns released lately. These six are almost enough to make me wish for a snow day —
1. Classic Mittens from the Purl Bee (free)
2. Icy Water by Muraka Mari (free)
3. Adiri by Julia Trice
4. Knoll by Michele Wang
5. Jagged Ridge by Kiyomi Burgin
6. Pinion by Véronik Avery
The latest BT collection, Winter 2013, came out this morning and it’s Brooklyn Tweed at its very best. There are eighteen designs presented in the most lavish BT lookbook yet — filled, of course, with Jared Flood’s beautiful photos. (The interlude of Hudson NY scenes is just gorgeous.) Eighteen is a lot of patterns and, while some of them are more to my personal taste than others, there’s not a clunker in the bunch. I’ll be mining this collection for weeks, but what tugged at me most on the first viewing is the colorwork at the front of the book, which isn’t ordinarily even my thing. But this is when I love Brooklyn Tweed the most — when they take classic styles and techniques and make them a little bit sharper, a little bit smarter, but without damaging the timelessness. Pieces worth the precious investment of your knitting time.
— The Adara Turtleneck by Michele Wang puts the colorwork around the waist.
— A little intarsia goes a long way on the Altair Cap by Jared Flood.
— Julie Hoover’s Kimmswick Scarf is miles beyond my skill set, but I would wear it in a heartbeat.
— And I adore both versions of Jared’s take on the lopapeysa, the Grettir Turtleneck and Crew (contained in one pattern).