New Favorites: from Farm to Needle

New Favorites: from Farm to Needle

First, can I just tell you: I am blown away by the response to the Slow Fashion October kickoff. I’ve been reading all of the comments and blog posts (linked from the comments) and Instagram posts and their comments and ensuing discussions and … wow! I’m a little fearful of my ability to keep up with it all! But so thrilled to see that this has struck a chord and that so many people are into it. I’m more excited than ever to see what everyone has to say and share this month.

Second: This post is weird. But New Favorites is all about patterns I’m dying to knit, right? And right now at the top of that list is my own pattern. Weird, weird, weird. A lot of you had asked me to write out my version of the vintage men’s waistcoat I knitted earlier this year, but I really wanted to rework it from the ground up — different weight, stitch pattern, shoulder shaping, the whole nine yards. So when Anna officially asked me if I’d like to design something for her book — now known as Farm to Needle — given that Anna is a vest fiend like me, I suggested doing just that. And the Anna Vest pattern was born. The thing is: I didn’t knit it, and it’s not my sweater. I wrote the pattern and enlisted my amazingly talented friend and master sample knitter Jo Strong to do the principal knitting for me. I did the finishing and sent the vest off to be photographed, and am left wanting one of my own. So there it is: on my New Favorites list, with all the usual longing. (I also want the model’s braids.)

There isn’t a single thing in the whole collection that I wouldn’t love to make and have, but to my great surprise, the one other pattern I can’t get out of my head is Dianna Walla’s Aspen legwarmers (and socks), which must surely be the most fabulous legwarmers in history. Yes, I did just profess my love for a pair of legwarmers.

Weird, weird, weird.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Dress-down sweaters

New Favorites: Dress-down sweaters

New Favorites: Dress-down sweaters

My new favorite thing in the world is dresses. Sadly, at the moment, I only own one! Since finishing it while I was in Florida, I’ve worn my linen dress nearly every day. (Post about that coming soon.) But basically, all I want to wear is dresses right now, with other stuff layered over them. As we’re heading into fall, that means I’m thinking about those layers. What I crave — in addition to the sleeveless turtlenecks and vests I’ve been smartly lining up — is simple, boxy, slightly cropped, super casual sweaters. Sweaters with which to dress down a dress. A consult with my closet this weekend showed me this is a major void right now, thanks to my recent focus on cardigans. The two that are always on my list are Purl Bee’s Sweatshirt Sweater and Julie Hoover’s Sanford (along with Shellie Anderson’s new Trace, of course), any of which I want to knit a little bit wide and cropped. The same goes for these two newer additions to my list:

TOP: Element by Kirsten Johnstone, another classic sweatshirty shape

BOTTOM: Inscribe by Shellie Anderson, a perfect layering piece with that deep V


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Crazy good colorwork

New Favorites: Crazy good colorwork

New Favorites: Crazy good colorwork

Seems like every time I’m writing about Marie Wallin, it’s her colorwork. And almost every time I’m writing about colorwork it’s Marie Wallin. All my favorite things lately seem to be colorwork (including Julie Hoover’s Ashland from BT Fall ’15), so I better hurry up and get more comfortable knitting it. I want a fully stranded sweater, and right now I want it to be Sleet by Marie Wallin, above. I don’t want it to be alpaca and mohair, mind you, but the patterning and the shape of this are slaying me right now. I even want it in those exact colors. (I mean: Duck Egg, Steel, Clay, Pearl, Ancient, Drab, Carbon and Anthracite? Come on!) Bought the pattern the instant I saw it.

I’m also immensely smitten with this month’s free Rowan download, more amazing Marie Wallin colorwork, which is Jura, below. Exquisite.

New Favorites: Crazy good colorwork

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Trace

New Favorites: Trace

New Favorites: Trace

There’s a LOT to love in Shibui’s FW ’15 collection by Shellie Anderson — this texture-mixed v-neck, that gorgeous scarf, to name but two — but the piece that has me totally wowed is the “simplest” of the bunch: the Trace pullover. At a glance, it’s just a perfectly proportioned, cozy-as-hell pullover, with some appealing ribbed borders for visual interest. A sweater that might be a little bit boring to knit but that you would never want to take off. (I absolutely love the fit of it on this girl.) On closer inspection, though, it’s pretty damn brilliant. The ribbing is picked up along each edge before being seamed together, and whereas the stockinette body is knitted in Baby Alpaca, the ribbing is worked in two entirely different yarns — Cima and Pebble, held double. So rather than the simple contrast of the ribbing and the stockinette, they’re actually different fabrics, with different character and the slightest difference in color, as each of the fibers takes the dye a little bit differently. It’s a total “God is in the details” moment.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Summer’s last temptation

New Favorites: Summer’s last temptation

New Favorites: Summer's last temptation

Just as summer is winding down, I found myself tempted by a pile of oatmeal linen yarn on markdown at Craft South the other day, followed by an email from the Purl Bee with this Box Pleat Top sweater pattern, pictured above, which made me regret having left the yarn at the store. It’s too late for me to knit this sweet little tank for this year, but I’m putting it at the top of my list for next spring.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from Pom Pom 14

New Favorites: from Pom Pom 14

New Favorites: from Pom Pom 14

There is so much I love about this new Pom Pom Issue 14 — the deft color story throughout the gorgeous photos, the fact that three of the pieces were shot on both a boy and a girl, the abundance of great patterns. It’s definitely one of my favorite issues so far, and to my surprise, I find I’m most smitten with the accessories. The cute dala horse hat, Karusellen by Erica Smith, and Melody Hoffman’s pretty Woodland Tales mitts are both on my wish list. But these are the two pieces I most urgently want in my possession:

TOP: Oak Crest by Maisie Howarth is a hat I thought I disliked and now find I can’t stop thinking about. The crown looks almost like some sort of weird exoskeleton, which I’ve apparently decided I’m in favor of, and I’m obsessed with that topknot.

BOTTOM: Pianissimo by Thien-Kieu Lam is a scarf knitted with the most intriguing shifting rib texture, plus I’m a sucker for long stretches of ribbing at the ends.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: High school flashbacks

New Favorites: High school flashbacks

New Favorites: High school flashbacks

Oh look, it’s Rowan’s Martin Storey and Sarah Hatton, making their way onto my wishlist again — this time by tapping into that annual back-to-school nostalgia with a couple of sweaters that look just like things I either owned or coveted in my school days. In most cases, garments that look like they’re from my real live past make me recoil, but these are forever good:

TOP: Mayfair by Martin Storey reminds me of the lice-stitch sweater I ordered from the L.L. Bean catalog (my first-ever mail order purchase, pretty sure) and couldn’t wait for it to arrive, only to find that the ragg wool was impossible for me to wear.

BOTTOM: Longdendale by Sarah Hatton just feeds directly into my sweater vest fixation, which dates back to the day.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from Interweave Knits Fall ’15