Someday vs. Right Away: small-scale Amanda alternatives

Someday vs Right Away: small-scale Amanda alternatives

So the Brooklyn Tweed Fall ’14 Collection is out, and it’s a doozy. I don’t think there’s a single piece that won’t factor into some future post of mine, and a least a couple I can see myself knitting. (The one I most want in my closet right this minute is Docklight.) There’s nothing that quite meets the Amanda parameters, construction-wise, but if you just want to knit a cable sweater along with us,  there are lots of lovely choices there. However, it’s possible you’ve been wishing to participate in the Amanda knitalong (aka #fringeandfriendsknitalong) but feel like a densely cabled cardigan sweater is beyond your skill set and/or your availability. If that’s true, and you’d like to join in by knitting a smaller-scale piece with all the cable goodness, the BT collection contains two good Amanda alternatives:

LEFT: the Shackleton scarf by Michele Wang has a lot in common with Amanda, combining honeycomb and (softened) diamond cables

RIGHT: on an even smaller scale, there’s Jared Flood’s Skiff hat, which, like Amanda, has moss-filled diamonds as its main motif

Both would be great if you’re a cable addict itching to knit some lush cables, or if you’re newer to cables and up for the challenge of expanding those cabling skills and knitting from a moderately complex cable chart. All of which will factor into the knitalong discussion. Something for everyone!

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PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Cables and lace

Knit the Look: Marie Piovesan’s luscious scarf

Knit the Look: Marie Piovesan's luscious scarf

How simply gorgeous is this black ribbed scarf seen on French model Marie Piovesan? So luscious looking, and the epitome of French elegance. You could knit your own by just casting on and working in 1×1 rib for as long as you like, but to get that extra squishy cushiness, brioche would be the way to go, and Stephen West has a free pattern that’s just the thing: Ferocious Briocheous it’s called. It’s written with color changes and seamed into a mobius cowl, but you could knit all in black and seam or not. For the luxe look of Marie’s scarf, try knitting it with Purl Soho’s Line Weight in Soft Black or Fibre Company’s Canopy Fingering in Obsidian.

See Vanessa’s original post for more pics of the scarf, the coat and the incredible hair.

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PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Mariska van der Zee’s EZ pullover

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Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

FO Sightings: Junko’s patchwork shawl

FO Sightings: Junko's patchwork shawl

Ran across this lovely Japanese knitter the other day, Junko, and can’t stop thinking about this shawl from her feed. (Here’s another shot of it.) It’s a totally delightful patchwork quilt of granny squares and garter stitch squares — such a perfect combo. As so many of you recently noted, making little squares and such is the perfect warm-weather way to knit, and a wrap is more achievable (at least for me!) than a whole blanket. Not to mention a great stash-buster …

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Pretty spring scarves: Or, what to knit for Mother’s Day

Pretty spring scarves: Or, what to knit for Mother's Day

Whether you’re barely beginning to thaw out or already thinking about concerts in the park on a cool summer night, a lighter, leaner scarf might be just the thing to keep your knitting needles (and crochet hooks!) happy and your neck cozy in the weeks to come. Or your mother’s, for that matter — Mother’s Day is right around the bend:

 1. Kozue by Kirsten Johnstone, lace for minimalists

2. Spring Lace Infinity Scarf by Linda Thach, lovely mix of textures, knitted in linen (free pattern)

3. Trellis Scarf from the Purl Bee, nice transitional piece (free pattern)

4. Celes scarf by Jared Flood, full-on lace I could imagine wearing myself

5. Striped Cotton Cowl from the Purl Bee, how to make a cotton cowl fantastic (free pattern)

6. Claudia Scarf by Rebecca Jackson, an elegant slip of crochet (free pattern)

7. Spring Tuck by Rose Anne, love that strip of lace in the gossamer stockinette

8. Kelly’s Frothy Crocheted Scarf by Kelly Jahraus, super-simple single crochet on a big ol’ hook

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Knit the Look: Or, make that crochet?

Knit the Look: Crocheted wrap with fringe

Crochet the Look? I love the pretty fringed wrap on this unidentified model after the latest Margaret Howell show — especially right now, since it’s the perfect seasonal transition piece. As is often the case, the details are hard to discern from Vanessa’s street-style photo, but it sure looks like crochet to me, so I called on Cal Patch for a consult. Cal agrees, and had the same thought as me: that it might very well be a triangular shawl with fringe along the two sides, wrapped in scarf-like fashion. Maybe even as simple as a big half-granny square, with fringe added. Another great option would be Cal’s Wingfeathers Shawl pattern, crocheted in a worsted or heavier yarn. If you prefer a rectangular scarf, you could also follow the Purl Bee’s Granny Stripe Blanket instructions and just change the dimensions to a wrap-sized (rather than bed-sized) rectangle, then add fringe along one long edge. Wrap and go. Whichever you choose, it would be lovely in the Purl Soho Worsted Twist in that Heirloom White I love so much.

See Vanessa’s post for an additional view.

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PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Marte Mei Van Haaster’s perfect grey pullover

New Favorites: Colorwork without the work

New Favorites: Uncommon colorwork

There’s a way to do colorwork that doesn’t involve stranded knitting (i.e., alternating between different yarns within the same row/round) or intarsia (changing colors mid row and then changing back again later). It’s basically just stripes — anyone can knit stripes, right? — except you jumble them up by knitting into the row below here and there instead of knitting straight across. So it’s colorwork without the work! I’ve long been intrigued by it but have never done it, and in the past couple of weeks, two tempting patterns have hit the airwaves.

The one above is the Midwinter scarf by Wendy Baker and Belinda Boaden of True Brit Knits (for the Quince and Co. Scarves 2014 collection) and looks almost like crochet! It’s a stitch pattern that is apparently called English Rose Tweed, which I only know because it’s also one of three stitch patterns artfully combined in The Purl Bee’s Stitch Block Cowl (free pattern). Worked at a slightly smaller gauge than Midwinter, it looks a little more like weaving. Even more so for the Checked Rose Fabric stitch pattern it’s paired with. (My favorite might be the one-color part of the Purl Bee pattern, the Rambler stitch.) But it’s fun to see what a difference the change of scale makes, and makes me want to play with this stitch pattern at an even wider range of gauges.

New Favorites: Uncommon colorwork

IMPORTANT SHOP NOTE: I’m in a van today on the way to Seattle for this weekend’s Vogue Knitting Live event, and will be gone through next Monday. (Don’t worry, I have blog posts lined up!) But the very capable Anie is here to take care of your orders*, and I’ll still be checking email as much as possible while at the show. I have several things with me that are new, and I’m excited to announce them after I’m back! Meanwhile, there are a few more Bento Bags on the webshop shelves (more, including more XL’s, coming soon — I promise) AND there’s a new size of the beloved Doane Utility Notebooks. It’s 5×7 and feels so right and great in the hand, I’m completely in love with it. Check it out!

*With the exception of international orders — those will ship next week when I’m back.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Rosa Pomar’s blanket hat

Someday vs. Right Away: Deluxe knit-purl combos

Someday vs Right Away: Deluxe knit-purl combos

When I finish my Tag Team sweater, I know I’m supposed to get back to my Slade shawl-collar cardigan, but I’m having so much fun with the simple knits-purls-and-nupps combos in the Trillium yoke that I can’t stop wishing I was knitting something really complex next — namely Jared Flood’s Channel Cardigan. It would be super slow going for me, so it may be someday or it may be never, we’ll see. But I could certainly satisfy that knits+purls craving more readily with Jared’s beloved  Guernsey Triangle or with the new Keirnan scarf by Shannon Cook.

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PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Bobbles (Hey, that last Someday is today!)