It’s been a while, I know, but here are some things I’ve been loving lately:
• Felicia on the most important lesson there is: learning to read your knitting. That is truly the point where everything changes, so if you don’t know how to read your work, go read every word. (See also her amazing quilt roundup, swoon)
• The incredible Nido has branched out; how amazing are these Telar textiles? (Did I learn to weave yet? I really am getting that Cricket Loom soon.)
• Better living through yak down
• Tara Hurst in a sweater her grandmother knitted in Emma’s Lovely Lady series. (I love Tara’s blog.)
• Coveting this simple tee
• Amazeballs (thanks, G)
• Next year I’m going to the Scandinavian festival with Lori
• And in case anyone hasn’t seen it, this is your brain on knitting
It’s raining bobble patterns. I had fun knitting the nupp rows on my Trillium (which I am THIS CLOSE to finishing) and between the last two months of sweater knitting and all the talk around here of smaller projects for the warmer months, I’m eager for hats. So much the better if they’re bobble hats, and this week the universe presented a few options:
Diode by Erica Smith is the restrained entry in the field. Relatively tiny sport-weight bobbles create an overall texture, and I love the doubled brim. York Bobble Toque* by Tara-Lynn Morrison is characteristically chunky but also written for aran weight — above is the chunky version pictured on her way-too-cool daughter. And last but far from least is Anna Maltz’s Archipelago. which I’ve been waiting for ever since she posted it on Instagram and was begged by many to write the pattern. Like everything Anna is involved with, it looks like a ton of fun.
*pattern sent to me by the designer
You may have heard me talking before about how I go to my friend Leigh‘s once a month to eat and drink with a bunch of creative women, who all bring some kind of handcrafty thing to work on for the evening. Last week, my friend Liz showed up with some mending in tow, including this vintage Dries Van Noten sweater vest, which I promptly stole from her. (Temporarily! I’ll give it back.) (Probably.) (I mean, she knows where I live.)
It’s an argyle sweater vest, right? Except it’s Dries Van Noten’s take on an argyle sweater vest. It’s bright blue and grey on the bottom; grey, green and another blue up top. It has pink ribbing around the neck and armholes, and a zipper halfway up one side. It’s crazy and amazing, but can we talk about the stitch pattern? I honestly can’t figure out what’s going on here, especially with the sort of double-dashes that run across the diamonds and appear to be simply woven straight across the fabric. If you have thoughts on how any of it is done, please disclose below.
SPEAKING OF CRAZY: I don’t know if it’s the end of tax season or what, but I’m in the mood to pack edibles into the Fringe Supply Co. shipments again! So from now through Sunday, all orders $30 and up (not including shipping) will come with a ginger cookie — my treat.
When I embarked on my roundup last week, it was going to be spring wraps (or shoulderwear, as I like to call it) — scarves, cowls and shawls. But I pulled too many good things to fit into one post. So here’s part two, the shawls!
1. Brisha by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, garter shawlette with a geometric lace border
2. Haiku Crochet Shawl by Rebecca Velasquez, previously noted, I know, but I’m just nuts about it
3. Imagine When by Joji Locatelli, asymmetic garter stitch with eyelets
4. Meadowgold by Romi Hill, pretty yet modern lace (See also: Sorority Shawl)
5. Spring Etude Shawl by Yuliya Tkacheva, well-done Tunisian crochet, be still my heart!
6. Qinnitan by Melanie Berg, who doesn’t love simple stripes?
7. Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn, a chunkier spot of lace (free pattern) (See also: Conifer)
8. Carnica by Robin Melanson, nice textured square with a not-too decorative border
In case you missed it: Pretty spring scarves: Or, what to knit for Mother’s Day
You guys, I have something really sweet and special for you in the webshop today: a very limited number of muslin drawstring bags from artist Jen Hewett. They’re lovely and useful and hand-printed and there are only 32 of them in the world and you should rush right over there and get one, but when you get back, I’ll tell you why this is especially special to me. Go ahead …
… so Jen was one of several creative women I was following a couple of years ago when I was pondering throwing caution (aka my job) to the wind and starting Fringe. I found her by way of a very popular pin about her post-it note to-do system and wound up an avid reader of her blog, where she wrote a lot about dividing her time between her corporate HR consulting gig and her creative business. It was all very inspiring and helpful to me, so I owe her a debt of gratitude for unknowingly providing that.
Meanwhile, I’ve been following her on Instagram for a long time, where she’s currently doing a little project called #52weeksofprintmaking. Each week she carves a block just for the sake of flexing her creative muscle (and Instagramming it) and prints it onto something and then Instagrams the finished piece. It might be a pillow or a wall-hanging or just about anything, but it’s just for her. Last week she posted these yarn ball-like blocks and it didn’t really register with me until she showed them printed onto a muslin bag. Even though I know it wasn’t intended to be a product, I immediately asked if I could please have some for Fringe Supply Co. and she obliged, lovingly printing 32 bags, front and back — all by hand — and stamping the inside with her logo. You can see them in the making on her Instagram feed. It makes me really happy to have them in the shop, but I don’t expect them to last long, given how few of them there are.
And if they happen to be gone before you read this, hold out hope that Jen and I will collaborate on more Fringe goods — I know I am.
OH, AND! the gorgeous Rosewood DPNs have been restocked, so all sizes are available again.
Happy Friday, everyone! Thanks for reading —
Anie and I were talking about this while toiling away at Fringe HQ the other day and she rightly pointed out that it’s an excellent Q for You: Does having a yarn stash ever actually work for anyone?
When I first began knitting, I was earnestly puzzled at how anyone could have a stash. I’d be in a yarn store, still completely overwhelmed trying to figure out what everything meant and how things were organized and so on, and I’d think “How could I possibly buy yarn without knowing what it was going to become? I wouldn’t know how much to buy!” But it wasn’t long before I was acting like a novice gardener at a plant nursery (i.e., a former me) — buying one of everything beautiful just because I had to have it, with no sense of what it might all add up to. By now, between gifts and trades and my own profligacy, I’m in possession of dozens and dozens (and dozens) of single skeins in want of a role to fill.
Sure, sometimes I buy in multiple. But it seems like every time I go to my stash to see if I have something in a certain weight or fiber for a somethingorother that caught my eye, I have one skein where I need two, or three skeins where I need five. I can’t think of the last time I had a project in mind, went to my stash, and found yarn to fulfill that destiny. Every new project requires new yarn, and the stash just grows and grows — all those poor skeins shut away in a closet.
So actually I have two Q’s for You: 1) Does stash work for you — meaning, are you able to shop from your stash instead of running out for new yarn every time you cast on? And 2) What is your favorite one-skein pattern? I’ve just realized I need to put together a collection of perfect single-skein projects (in every weight!) and I’d love to hear your suggestions.
PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: How do you cast on?
I think of myself as a Leila Raabe fan. Her Peabody sweater and Ashby shawl, for instance, have been on my dream knits list since almost the day I learned how. Stasis is a perpetual candidate for casting on. Her name comes up here fairly often, I’m sure. And yet I must never have gone to look at her complete oeuvre before. (Don’t you hate that word?) Because how else did I not know about some of her best designs? Or maybe I looked long enough ago that my taste in knitting has changed? Who knows.
In the comments on Monday’s spring scarves roundup, Indiecita mentioned Thayer, above left, which is what prompted me to take another look. Once there I found Wexford, above right, which is equally lovely. Apart from the fall-ish photos, either of these would have been lovely additions on Monday. And look at Spire, below — another amazing square shawl/throw that should totally have factored into last week’s New Favorites, alongside her Tilt. Pay better attention, Karen!
Regardless, now it can be said: There is not a single, solitary thing on this page that I wouldn’t want to knit … and in fact I’m just mentally trying to sort them into what order.