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
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.
So after my post last week about the Woolfolk debut collection, I got two skeins of Far in the mail. (Thank you, Kristin!) They were meant to be for a Knop hat, and oh man it would be delicious. But from the instant I pulled the yarn out of the envelope, all I’ve been able to think is I want that around my neck. 284 yards of pure luxury. Combine this with my latent nervousness over the fact that there’s nothing mindless on my needles right now, and I’ve suddenly got kerchiefs on the brain. Specifically that little garter-stitch kerchief I made for a my mom a couple of years ago. Thoroughly simple, it was really the perfect showcase for such a delicious yarn, and I just loved having it tucked around my neck for those snapshots. But then I’m thinking, isn’t there something equally spare I could knit with it — something mindless but not so mindless? (Don’t think I haven’t considered another Textured Shawl. But I already have a big grey version. In fact, I’m wearing it as I type.) What about a mini Lola? Or a Romney Kerchief? Then a quick trot through Ravelry led me to Pure, the latest from “cabinfour,” who has a way with ultra-spare shawls. I love the subtle progression of textures, and always love a big garter edge, but I wonder if I would love that if I scaled it down? Hm. Either way, it’s got my attention right now.
[DISCLOSURE: cabinfour frequently sends me copies of her patterns, unsolicited. No joke, not an hour after I finished writing this post (before it went live) Pure landed in my inbox. It's like the universe knows!]
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the Woolfolk 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.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the City Cape
Two years and two days ago, I wrote about a little capelet obsession I was having. I’m still not over it, and the one I mentioned casting on in that post is still on the needles, but the thing weighs a ton! I’ve never finished it because it was impossible to imagine ever being able to wear it in California. But now? Who knows. I was actually thinking about it as I roamed around the Nashville Flea Market this weekend, in search of some furniture for our empty rooms. It’s nowhere near cold enough to need such a thing here — yet! — but I was imagining being at the flea in cooler months and how nice a capelet like that would be. Then Sunday evening, this City Cape showed up in the Purl Soho newsletter, and it’s easily the best knitted cape pattern I’ve seen in three years of looking. The beautiful but neutral texture, that chic front slit, the big ribbed armholes for when you need them — it’s pretty much perfect. Not to mention free on the Purl Bee.
[UPDATE: Now listed on Ravelry]
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Simple scarves
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
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
You guys might have picked up on the fact that I’m not much of a kid person. I’m not anti-kid or anything, and I love my nephews and nieces to pieces, but kids just aren’t part of my landscape at all, and have almost never factored into my knitting. Lately, though, I keep seeing pics of simple little stuffed toys so utterly and irresistably charming I find myself wanting to knit them! It is way too late for this to have anything to do with any biological clock — save your comments! Plus I’d have a hard time not keeping them for myself:
TOP: Winston the Walrus by my friend Ashley Yousling of Woolful is the debut pattern under the Little Woolens brand, her collaboration with Annie Rowden. I’m eager to see where they go with this. (Look at @homesweethomestead’s sweet pic of her Winston. Aww!)
MIDDLE: #41 Stuffed Rabbit by Australian Country Spinners for the Fall issue of KnitSimple. Pictured are a pair knitted by Elly of Garment House — the little faces she’s given them are even more adorable than the original.
BOTTOM: Buddy by Susan B. Anderson comes with a cute owner, Ben, and his cute, tiny knitted wardrobe. Gotta love the leash.
And I wish I knew the origins of the rabbit seen here. If anyone knows, please clue me in!
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: House socks redux