New Favorites: BT’s best shawl collars

New Favorites: Brooklyn Tweed's best shawl-collar cardigans

When I was talking to someone recently (can’t remember who/where) about putting a shawl collar on my Amanda cardigan for the #fringeandfriendsknitalong, they said something about how on-trend that will be. And I suppose it will, but it got me thinking. There are definitely lots of shawl collars in the stores right now, but aren’t there always? I genuinely don’t think there’s ever been a year when there haven’t been amazing shawl-collar cardigans I’m dying to own. Certainly the shapes and details vary, and they may be more “in” one year than the next, but a shawl-collar cardigan is never out of style. And I think that timelessness is a big part of why I keep casting them on! It seems perfectly reasonable to me to invest large chunks of knitting time on a garment that cozy, and that I believe has a greater chance of wearing out than falling out of fashion. So that train of thought and yesterday’s Wool People release got me looking at the Best of Brooklyn Tweed shawl collars:

TOP: Field by Kazekobo, the newest entry, from Wool People 8. Honeycomb on the body, reverse stockinette sleeves, and compound raglan shaping — a total classic. Plus based on the gauge, it appears to be the perfect pattern from which to borrow the neck shaping and collar method for a shawlified Amanda. (Was there anyone at BT reading these posts thinking “Hold on! We have the perfect candidate!”?)

ROW 2 LEFT: Channel Cardigan by Jared Flood, from BT Winter ’14, knit-purl splendor already on my needles. Even though I’m planning to leave out some of the details that make it so exceptional, I think this is the Sweater of the Year.

ROW 2 RIGHT: Timberline by Jared Flood, from BT Men. I could stare at those intricately branching cables all day, and think the collar on this one is perfection.

MIDDLE: Little Wave by Gudrun Johnston, from Wool People 6, textured stitch panels with garter-stitch accents. And pockets! This one didn’t make that huge of an impression on me until I tried on the sample and fell in love. (I’ve also been taking a second, third and fourth look at Persimmon lately.)

BOTTOM LEFT: Burr by Veronik Avery, from BT Fall ’12, in stockinette with stylized shaping. Looks like such a simple sweater, and then you start to notice all the amazing, subtle details.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Bellows by Michele Wang, from BT Fall ’14, allover texture with cable accents. Seriously, it’s all I can do to not cast this on before finishing Amanda and Channel. And actually, my all-time favorite BT shawl collar might be another Michele design: the Arlo kids cardigan.

I wish I had every one of them in my closet right now and forever.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Offshore

New Favorites: Offshore

New Favorites: Offshore

Swans Island released a little pattern collection a few weeks ago called The All American Collection, and I can’t get this Bristol Ivy pattern, Offshore, off my mind. Slouchy and unisex, it has some handsome cables up the front of a simple stockinette sweater, and another one running up one sleeve, across the saddle shoulder (love a saddle shoulder) and back down the other sleeve. It looks like a such an easy but engaging knit, and the slouchy, unisex, sweatshirt-y shape looks so perfectly cozy to me right now — great for weekdays and weekends alike.

See also: Oranmore.

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p.s. In case you haven’t already seen it, I added a photo to the end of Thursday’s post about joining Amanda parts at the underarm — a spectacular photo of a just-joined Amanda. Go look!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Uncommon cables

New Favorites: Uncommon cables

New Favorites: Uncommon cables

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

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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.

New Favorites: Pure

New Favorites: Pure shawl pattern by cabinfour

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!]

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the Woolfolk collection

New Favorites: the Woolfolk collection

New Favorites: the Woolfolk debut 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.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the City Cape

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