New Favorites: the City Cape

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]

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Simple scarves

New Favorites: Simple scarves

New Favorites: Simple scarf patterns

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)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Slouchless beanies

 

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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New Favorites: Stuffed toys (seriously!)

New Favorites: Stuffed toys (seriously!)

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!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: House socks redux

New Favorites: House socks redux

New Favorites: House socks redux

Is anyone else out there as hungry for Fall as I am? It’s my favorite season (obviously) and I basically haven’t had one in 17 years, so the idea of living through a real true Fall this year is exciting beyond description. Plus it’s 1000 degrees in Nashville right now, and paralyzingly humid. Plus September (sweet September!) is the month we’ll finally have a home again. So I’m like the proverbial horse who can smell the barn — if only I could gallup toward September instead of waiting for it to come to me. Alas, I wait. But while I’m waiting, I’m fantasizing about all sorts of wooly, Fall-y goodness in that new home of mine, starting with house socks. I’m still thinking about the ones from this earlier New Favorites, but have added these to my which-ones-will-I-knit list:

TOP: Cuckoo by Marie Wallin, lovely mix of texture and cables

BOTTOM LEFT: Inglenook by Adrian Bizilia, a good answer to those Toast socks in the previous list

BOTTOM RIGHT:  Supreme Bedsocks by Emily Foden, so simple, so right

Have a lovely weekend, everybody!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Palmyre

New Favorites: Palmyre

New Favorites: Palmyre

I was at my friend Jo’s house recently and asked her what she’d been knitting. (She knits nonstop.)  She said, “Karen, I just finished my favorite thing I have ever knitted.” When she led me to it, I was surprised to see a shawl — and a rather basic looking one at that — but when I threw it over my shoulders, I fell instantly in love. It’s Nadia Crétin-Léchenne’s Palmyre, a simple stockinette shawl with a lace border. (That’s Nadia’s pictured above, to be clear.) Jo had knitted it as a sample for the Haus of Yarn Bus, using oatmeal-colored Kenzie, and it is so light and warm and lays so nicely on one’s shoulders. It’s just a magical combination of yarn and stitches.

Those of you paying extra-close attention will recall that the bus is driven by my dear friend Meg*, Jo’s daughter, and that Meg and the bus were also at Stitches Midwest this weekend, two aisles over from me. So when it got chilly in the convention center and all I had with me was all I have in my possession these days (living out of a suitcase and all), namely summery sleeveless tops, you can guess what I did. I borrowed that shawl, wore it for two days, and I did not want to take it off. Not sure I can live without one of my very own.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from the Knightsbridge collection

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*who we’ve been staying with, who taught me to knit, etc, etc …

New Favorites: from the Knightsbridge collection

New Favorites: from the Knightsbridge collection

I’ve been waiting forever to rave about these patterns and I can’t wait any longer! My friends Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley at Kelbourne Woolens (they sell the Fibre Company yarns) have been working for months on this collection for their newest yarn, Knightsbridge, and it’s so, so good. I saw the call for submissions last winter. Saw the teaser pics from the photo shoot last spring. Saw the yarn and the finished garments at the trade show in May. And nearly stole my favorite pullover right off of Kate when she was wearing it at Squam. (Remember I said then you’d be hearing more about that sweater she was pictured in.) They finally listed the patterns on Ravelry a few days ago and they should be for sale — along with the yarn — in a day or two. So I’m waiting no longer!

If you look at the whole Knightsbridge collection, you’ll see there are lots of good patterns by lots of good designers. And I love all of it far more in person than in the photos (which isn’t often the case). I’m particularly crazy about the stitchery on Maura Kirk’s adorable Harvey vest. I don’t think I could pull off that retro neck, but it would be easy to modify — and I will very likely knit that at some point. But as it happens, my very very favorites of the bunch are all by Kate and Courtney themselves:

ABOVE: Courtney’s Teegan sweater is freakishly similar to that little post-it sketch on my own pinboard, so obviously I’m gonna love it. And this is probably not the only time I’ll post about her Royston cap. Would you look at that amazing crown?!

BELOW: Kate’s Gillam is the One that Must be Knitted. (She slipped me a working copy of it awhile back, knowing the depths of my love for it. Thanks, Kate!) And her Henrietta hat is just a perfect cable beanie, complete with luscious doubled brim.

New Favorites: from the Knightsbridge collection

I have one and two half skeins of Knightsbridge in my stash, which is sadly all in storage at the moment. I’ll tell you that I saw the yarn the night before I saw the garments and I was a little underwhelmed by it. It seemed too soft to me — by which I mean too gooey for stitch definition and long-term wear. But once I saw how it knitted up, I was totally blown away. Look at those cables! I can’t wait to knit with it.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Lena Samsoe’s fisherman cardigan