Do you know I have never knitted a wash cloth? It’s such a classic thing to knit by the dozens — and such a common starter project — but I don’t really use wash cloths, so it’s never really interested me. But suddenly it’s on my mind. In part because of this great new Purl Bee pattern, Washcloths and scrubbing mitt, and in part because I’m having a “coming full circle” moment over here. Bob and I are currently staying with our dear friends in Nashville, the dynamic brother-sister duo of Meg and DG. Meg (of KnitKnotes fame*) is the one who taught me to knit when we were visiting them in 2011. When I went to see her at Haus of Yarn before flying home, I bought a booklet of wash cloth patterns, thinking that would be a good learning tool, but then there was that whole wash cloth disinterest thing, so I never did it. Now here we are again and Meg just recently taught DG to knit. And what is he knitting in front of me each night? Not just wash cloths, no. He started out knitting these 50 states wash cloths (he’s cuckoo for map stuff) and promptly decided to knit them into a blanket. Maybe it’s that, maybe it’s watching my friend Leigh knit so many Grandmother’s Favorites over the last couple of years; maybe it’s the inherent logic of knitting small, quick, cotton things in the summer heat. Whatever the reason, wash cloths (and their upsized friends, the dish towels) are feeling super appealing to me right now, so I consulted my favorite patterns and it turns out they’re all from my friends over at the Purl Bee — i.e., all of them free:
TOP LEFT: Soft Cotton Knit Dishtowels — mmmm, garter stripes
TOP RIGHT: Washcloths and Scrubbing Mitt — fantastic use of that crazy Habu yarn
BOTTOM LEFT: Slip Stitch Dishtowels — you know I’m intrigued by that slip-stitch colorwork action (see also)
BOTTOM RIGHT: New Log Cabin Washcloths — I’ve also never knitted a mitered square (quelle horreur!)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Martin Storey’s mega cables
*DG did the design work on the KnitKnotes, by the way. Told you they’re a dynamic duo.
If it’s anywhere near as hot where you are as it is where I am (hooray, we finally made it to Nashville!) this photo might make you recoil. But this is one of my favorite things I saw at the trade show in May, and I’m happy to see the pattern is now published. It’s Brecon by Martin Storey and it’s somewhere between a poncho and a cardigan, which I would expect to hate, but I love it. Or at least I remember loving it. Based on my reaction to it at the time, I feel certain I’ll be longing to knit and wear it once the temperature starts to dip. But it is kind of hard to imagine at the moment.
SPEAKING OF MY MOVE, things continue to not go as planned (which I guess I should have expected) so shipping is going to continue to be not-quite-daily for the time being. I’ve got a note at the top of the webshop about next projected ship date(s) and will keep that up for as long as it’s sporadic. Back to normal soon! (Or else somebody please shoot me.) But thank you to everyone for your patience in the meantime.
I never did knit that cable-hat palate cleanser I was on about last month. But I still have a yearning for cables (I always have a yearning for cables) and am reminded of my goal to knit at least one pair of socks this summer. Ergo, cable socks — or at least cable-ish socks — are my new fixation:
LEFT: The Planorbis Corneus Socks by Hunter Hammersen are actually lace stitches that look a bit like basic cables (free pattern)
RIGHT: The Cross-Rib Socks by Ann Budd are cable stitches that look more like gothic cathedral architecture than traditional cables
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: In my size, please
Brooklyn Tweed published their first collection of knitting patterns for kidwear this week, BT Kids, and it’s predictably adorable, right down to the sweater-wearing teddy bear. The hats and scarves go up to adult sizes. (I love Spore — predictable me.) The blankets are universally useful. And there’s a somewhat cryptic note in the lookbook on Julie Hoover’s sweet Berenice pullover about how “full-grown girls will triple-flip at the chance to scale this up in Shelter,” which seemed to suggest that such instructions might be included, but apparently they just meant that the dolman construction would be easy to adapt. Regardless, there are four sweaters in there I want in my size:
TOP LEFT: Atlas by Jared Flood, the colorwork chart for which one might be able to impose upon Grettir?
TOP RIGHT: Arlo by Michele Wang, which has me pondering adding some of its cables to Slade
BOTTOM LEFT: Vika by Veronik Avery, which they really should go ahead and grade up!
BOTTOM RIGHT: Sock Monkey Sweater by Jared Flood, which shouldn’t be too hard to adapt from Brownstone
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Alicia Plummer’s clever summer cowl
You may have picked up on the fact that the striped linen sweater-in-progress seen in a couple of recent photos (here and here) is my hybridization of those two Pam Allen linen tanks I recently fawned over. I’m using Quince and Co’s new Kestrel yarn. It’s my first time knitting with linen, plus it’s an unusual linen yarn: a worsted-weight, chain-plied tape. It’s quite odd, yet compelling, and I’m eager to knit more with it when this is done. The heft of it is peculiar, and I find myself wondering what it would be like to knit a summer shawl out of it. (I think it could work well for something like my beloved Orlane’s Textured Shawl.) Or what it would feel like to wear such a thing. But for the pattern collection that launched Kestrel, Alicia Plummer designed a cowl called Hudson — just a simple little spring/summer neck accessory — and that’s pretty clever, given the nature of the yarn. It also looks like fun: There’s a little mosaic panel that — as I understand it — is knitted flat and then joined into a tube, and from there you pick up stitches along each side to extend the short tube into a longer one. Quick, seasonal and gratifying, plus I know exactly who might like to have it.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Pam Allen’s linen tanks
I’m convinced my indifference to all the sweaters on my needles is to do with their being stockinette, but perhaps it’s more the fact that long-sleeved wool sweaters have no actual current relevance? And thus I’m simply unmotivated? I wonder, because I am plagued with the desire to cast on yet another stockinette sweater — but this time a linen tank. Pam Allen has been on a roll lately, and if I had any linen in my stash, I might have already cast on one or the other of these, just to see whether my stockinette apathy would dissipate if the garment were of immediate use — or in fact, necessity. The only problem is: which one? On top is Togue Pond; on bottom is Saco Stripes. I might need to hybridize them …
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: WATG cotton toppers
Good stuff coming out of Wool and the Gang for summer, especially the Riviera Sweater up top, which is a really terrific combination of stripes and texture-blocking. Knitted in aran-weight cotton, this would be a great most-of-the-year sweater, most places. I’m also into the big-mesh Ariel Top, made from their Mixtape yarn, which seems to be a jersey ribbon tube sort of thing. Has anyone knitted with this stuff? It intrigues me.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the Wool People wraps
(See also: Best spring/summer tees of 2014)