New Favorites: Garter bliss

New Favorites: Garter bliss

Maybe it’s the surest sign that my brain is on total overload — the holidays, the persistence of moving boxes, the post-op husband situation — but this photo is the most calming, appealing thing I can think of in the whole wide world right now. If a therapist or yoga instructor told me to close my eyes and go to my happy place, I would call up this photo on the old mental projection screen and let out the biggest sigh. Garter stitch. Warm head. Warm hands. It’s Purl Soho’s Hat + Hand Warmers for Beginners pattern from the learn-to-knit-kit they released in fall of last year — just two versions of garter-stitch rectangles seamed into accessories — but I want so badly to knit without thinking right now that I am considering paying money for the cast-on counts. I already have the yarn!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from Marie Wallin’s Lakeland

Someday vs. Right Away: Fair isle practice

Someday vs. Right Away: Fair isle practice

As much as I might like to fantasize about knitting an allover fair isle sweater, it’s probably more of a never than a someday. I have no doubt that if I practiced my stranded colorwork more and got more comfortable with it, I’d also get faster, and a sweater like Windermere wouldn’t seem quite so far fetched. So what better to practice on than lovely little hats like Schuyler by Jennifer Burke (free pattern) and Fjordland by Dianna Walla?

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PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Small-scale Amanda alternatives

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.

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

Knit the Look: Danielle Bernstein’s cable beanie

Knit the Look: Danielle Bernstein's cable beanie

I love that We Wore What blogger Danielle Bernstein happens to be wearing a pin-striped coat with this little oatmeal-colored cable beanie. The overall androgyny of her look makes it that much more perfect that the best pattern I know for matching the hat happens to be a Jared Flood pattern from BT Men called Eno, which of course is perfectly unisex. To make it just like Danielle’s, use Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Woodsmoke and knit the ribbing to four inches, for a nice fold-up brim, before switching to the cable pattern. (If you’re one of the many knitters out there who has yet to discover the pure simple joy of cabling, this would be a great place to start.)

For more of Danielle’s outfit, see Vanessa’s original post.

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PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Marie Piovesan’s luscious scarf

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Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

New Favorites: Uncommon cables

New Favorites: Uncommon cables

As has no doubt become perfectly clear, I adore traditional cable motifs: braids, honeycomb, diamonds, even just plain old twists. Would even go so far as to say I could never get enough of them. But maybe I am in fact OD’ing on them a little with my beloved Amanda, because I am so, so attracted to not-so-classic cables right now, e.g.:

TOP: Catena by Courtney Spainhower — I can’t quite tell what’s crawling out of those arcs but the whole motif is sort of scarab-like, and I love it (there’s a matching cowl included)

MIDDLE: Hineri by Olga Buraya-Kefelian (this one’s actually an Old Favorite that won’t quit) — these extra-luscious cables are worked with additional fabric created on the wrong side (free pattern)

BOTTOM: York by Melissa Thomson — just different enough to be intriguing

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By the way, I’m not exactly sure how I did it, but I confused some people with last week’s installment of New Favorites, about cabinfour’s Pure shawl. New Favorites is about patterns I’m infatuated with and wanting to knit. In this case I was saying I had just gotten two skeins of Far in the mail, was thinking about a few different kerchief ideas for it, and wound up wondering if it would work to scale down the beautiful new Pure to kerchief size and knit it with my Far. Some took me to be saying that I had actually done so, or even that two skeins of Far are enough yarn to knit Pure to pattern dimensions. This is not the case — it is less yardage than the pattern calls for, which is why I was wondering aloud what would happen if one scaled it down. It was certainly not my intention to give anyone the impression that Pure could be knitted, as written, with two skeins of Far, nor that I have knitted Pure, with Far or anything else. (If only I could knit that fast!) Regardless, I apologize for any confusion I inadvertently created.

New Favorites: the Woolfolk collection

New Favorites: the Woolfolk debut collection

I promise we’re going to talk about sleeves this week, all of you following the whole #fringeandfriendsknitalong series, but home life took precedence over knitting this weekend so I don’t quite have that together yet. Which is good, because it gives me a minute to publicly drool over these new patterns. Kristin Ford has been a big cheerleader for Fringe for some time, and I’m so thrilled to be able to shout about her new yarn company, Woolfolk. (Named for her grandmother, Katherine Woolfolk — is that too wonderful for words, or what?) I got a sneak peek at the yarns in May — have had a gorgeous little canister of them sitting on my desk ever since — and this weekend it all went live with the launch of the debut pattern collection, which Kristin smartly enlisted Olga Buraya-Kefelian to design. Kristin is a former architect with a taste for clean lines and smart construction, and I’ve been known to describe Olga as “our foremost knitting engineer.” It’s kind of a match made in heaven. I wasn’t privy to the creative brief or anything, but Olga put together a capsule wardrobe of knits — eight understated but flawlessly detailed pieces — and it’s been beautifully styled and shot. I’m blown away by it. These four I can’t live without:

TOP LEFT: Flet is just a perfectly shaped raglan turtleneck with chained ribbing and a stand-up collar (and I’ll take the pants and shoes too, please)

TOP RIGHT: Fure is a simple pair of ribbed mitts (which you know I can’t get enough of) made irresistible by their length, suppleness and fold-back top

BOTTOM LEFT: Vinkler is the scarf I want for winter, plain and simple — love what the geometry of the stitch pattern does for the edge of the fabric

BOTTOM RIGHT: Knop, likewise, is exactly the shape I want a hat to be, with the added panache of that shaped front brim (I definitely prefer it in the front!) and gorgeous use of fisherman’s rib

You can see the whole collection on Ravelry and find out more about the exquisite yarns at Woolfolkyarn.com. Congratulations, K&O — amazing.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the City Cape

New Favorites: Slouchless beanies

New Favorites: Slouchless beanie patterns

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.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Stuffed toys

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