New Favorites: Mad hatting

New Favorites: Mad about hats

I have this vision of a time in the future when my wardrobe is in good working order (no more rush to fill in all the gaps) and I can simply knit 1 or 2 carefully chosen sweaters per year, at my leisure. Then the rest of my time can be spent knitting hats! There is such an endless stream of good pattersn, and we all know how relatively quick and gratifying they are. These are my current obsessions:

TOP: Fidra by Gudrun Johnston (as knitted/shot by Kathy) is just good chunky fun

MIDDLE LEFT: Halus by Jared Flood is even more good chunky fun

MIDDLE RIGHT: Buck’s Hat by Thea Colman is cable-based basketweave used to great effect (See also: Manx from my fall hat roundup)

BOTTOM: Holt by Alicia Plummer features allover puff stitch for a simply gorgeous hat

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 2

Fidra photo by Kathy Cadigan used with permission

New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 2

New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 2

The second big collection this month featuring some good ‘ol hardworking basics is Kelbourne Woolens’ Acadia Collection, built entirely around the undyed colors of The Fibre Co’s Acadia yarn. Great hat, great scarf, great vest, and these two simple beauties—

TOP: Echo Lake by Courtney Kelley is the perfect blank canvas of a set-in sleeve sweater

BOTTOM: Beech Hill by Leah McGlone is a lovely, simple ruana that would also be fun to play with

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 1

New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 1

New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 1

In a world of 235,147 knitting patterns — and that’s just the ones listed on Ravelry at the moment! — it can be shockingly difficult to find good basics. I mutter about this to myself all the time when doing Knit the Look or fielding pattern recommendation requests, where classic shapes and styles are routinely called for and I can’t just say “make it up” all the time! Maybe basic doesn’t stand out enough to sell patterns, who knows, but I’m thrilled that there are a couple of new collections this winter featuring some very good, timeless, hardworking sweaters. The first being yesterday’s Brooklyn Tweed Winter ’16 collection, where among an assortment of lace and such appeared these new classics:

TOP: Cadence by Michele Wang is a mix-and-match pattern for a super basic raglan sweater with textured body and stockinette sleeves that can be done as a crewneck, V or turtleneck, with varying sleeve and body lengths

MIDDLE LEFT: League by Veronik Avery is a great take on the always-popular sporty look that sounds like it involves some fun construction

MIDDLE RIGHT: Tallis by Michele Wang is a nicely-shaped drop-shoulder pullover with a little bit of not-too-decorative stitchwork along the seams (that could also be omitted)

BOTTOM: and Snoqualmie Cardigan, also by Michele Wang, is an iconic cabled shawl-collar cardigan (a worthy follow-up to Bellows)

By the way, for everyone who lamented the difficulty in getting ahold of that Naxos pattern I posted about last spring, Snoqualmie is a great alternative — you could easily knit it with or without the shawl collar.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Favorite New Favorites of 2015

Favorite New Favorites of 2015

Favorite New Favorites of 2015 — best knitting patterns

Just about every week of every year, I post about the knitting patterns that are occupying my thoughts — whether they’re new or just newly appealing to me — under the heading of New Favorites. Some are content to be admired for just that moment, while others bully their way right into my queue. Interestingly, this year not a single New Favorites pick actually made it onto my needles (Not yet, anyway. I still have projects in my queue from last year’s and the year before’s.) Oh no, wait: I did cast on Linda — I just didn’t get very far because I need to switch yarns. Given that it’s the one I cast on and sketched into my Fashionary queue, and that I’ve mentioned it on the blog at least 92 times this year, that must have been the absolute most magnetic pattern for me this year! I’m still dying to try my hand at mosaic knitting, and this is still my favorite colorwork pattern of the year. But what follows are the patterns I’d most like to not lose track of as more and more new ones distract us from that which we already loved:

PATTERN OF THE YEAR

Although I give myself a 1% chance of ever actually knitting them, I think Dianna Walla’s Aspen socks/legwarmers, pictured up top, is the best pattern of the year, so I wanted to mention that. It’s inspired by historical garments and yet perfectly new and original, and just completely enticing and memorable. (It’s from the Farm to Needle book that, disclosure, I also have a pattern in.) If you haven’t seen Dianna’s blog post about the inspiration behind the pattern, take a minute to give it a read.
(as seen in From Farm to Needle)

SWEATER OF THE YEAR

Favorite New Favorites of 2015 — best knitting patterns

For me, Norah Gaughan’s Marshal is the sweater of the year, despite the fact that the neck treatment doesn’t quite work somehow. If (when) I were to knit it, I think I might make it into more of a bomber jacket — with a crewneck and curved neckband. That, or keep the V-neck and just leave off the neck flap, which looks fantastic from the back but which I love less from the front. Regardless, I’m completely crazy about the pocket design, texture and placement, and the gauge shift from the body to the pockets — really fantastic use of simple detail to elevate a design.
(as seen in The chevrons of BT Winter ’15)

YOKE SWEATERS

Favorite New Favorites of 2015 — best knitting patterns

Next year will absolutely be the year I knit myself a colorwork yoke sweater. Perhaps one of these three—
top: Stopover by Mary Jane Mucklestone, as knitted by Kathy Cadigan (as seen in Dark yoke sweaters)
bottom left: Lighthouse Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge (as seen in Dark yoke sweaters)
bottom right: Skaftafell by Beatrice Perron Dahlen (as seen in Winter blues)

PULLOVERS

Favorite New Favorites of 2015 — best knitting patterns

The rest of the sweaters I’m keeping on the don’t-forget list are good, hardworking wardrobe basics that also look reasonably interesting to knit—
top left: Grille by Bonnie Sennott (as seen in Grille)
top right: Trace by Shellie Anderson (as seen in Trace)
bottom left: Sanford by Julie Hoover (as seen in The chevrons of BT Winter ’15)
bottom right: Butte by Pam Allen (as seen in Big ol’ cozy pullovers)

ACCESSORIES

Favorite New Favorites of 2015 — best knitting patterns

left: Lambing Mitts by Veronika Jobe (as seen in Foldover mitts) (free pattern)
middle: Bonnie Banks Shawl by Beatrice Perron Dahlen (as seen in Fair-weather friends)
right: Abyss by Wool and the Gang (as seen in the WATG x Raeburn beanies)
right: Crag by Jared Flood (as seen in The hats of BT Men Vol 2)

What were your favorite patterns this year? Cast-on or otherwise!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Winter blues

New Favorites: Winter blues

New Favorites: Winter blues

The “Winter Blues” issue of Amirisu is out and it’s easily one of my favorite issues, not least because of the dark-yoked sweater in there. In fact, I’m obsessed with the idea of knitting all three of these pieces, each of which employs colorwork in an intriguing way:

TOP: Skaftafell by Beatrice Perron Dahlen is an updated lopapeysa with simplified colorwork at the yoke

BOTTOM LEFT: Tenchi by Olga Buraya-Kefelian is a cowl worked in modified two-color brioche

BOTTOM RIGHT: Jokull by Keiko Kikuno is a large wrap that combines three ideas — ombré, colorwork and houndstooth — and somehow winds up being mesmerizingly spare instead of a big mess

I also really love the art direction and styling here — all so good. Of course, I have a stack of them for you at Fringe Supply Co, but having now seen the issue in person, I think I should have ordered more!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Dark-yoked sweaters

New Favorites: Dark yoke sweaters

New Favorites: Dark yoke sweaters

One of the most endlessly irresistible things to me is a colorwork yoke sweater done all in neutrals with the body in charcoal or black. It’s so striking and rich and magical somehow. I could list countless examples, but these are the two that have most recently been haunting my dreams:

TOP: Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Lighthouse Pullover — from her latest collection, Swoon Maine — in shades of black and grey

BOTTOM: Kathy Cadigan’s rendition of Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Stopover, done in black, grey and a coppery brown

Kathy’s is the one I mentioned in a footnote yesterday, having worn it during our holiday lookbook shoot and fallen deeply, darkly in love.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from Olga’s “Capsule” collection

New Favorites: from Olga’s “Capsule” collection

New Favorites: from Olga's "Capsule" collection

The week before Thanksgiving, Brooklyn Tweed released their first collection of knitting patterns by a single designer, in this case Olga Buraya-Kefelian, which was also the debut of a new series of printed books they’re calling Capsule. Olga’s Capsule 1 collection is a little bit of everything — cables, lace and colorwork; garments and accessories — and definitely shows her range. The peplum sweater, Nobu, is completely fascinating from a construction point of view (the back of it, in particular, is just stunning) but my favorite pieces in the collection are the simpler ones:

TOP: the Tatara curved/scrunchy fingerless mitts are reminiscent of those bendy straws and promise to be a fun knit

BOTTOM LEFT: the Ebb ombré dress is a 60s-meet-90s mini knitted top-down with contiguous sleeves and sweet pockets

BOTTOM RIGHT: the Jujika colorwork cowl features my favorite interlocking crosses motif, so I’m an easy target!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mega blankets