Sweet spring shawls: Or, what to knit for Mother’s Day, part 2

Sweet spring shawls: Or, what to knit for Mother's Day, part 2

When I embarked on my roundup last week, it was going to be spring wraps (or shoulderwear, as I like to call it) — scarves, cowls and shawls. But I pulled too many good things to fit into one post. So here’s part two, the shawls!

1. Brisha by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, garter shawlette with a geometric lace border

2. Haiku Crochet Shawl by Rebecca Velasquez, previously noted, I know, but I’m just nuts about it

3. Imagine When by Joji Locatelli, asymmetic garter stitch with eyelets

4. Meadowgold by Romi Hill, pretty yet modern lace (See also: Sorority Shawl)

5. Spring Etude Shawl by Yuliya Tkacheva, well-done Tunisian crochet, be still my heart!

6. Qinnitan by Melanie Berg, who doesn’t love simple stripes?

7. Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn, a chunkier spot of lace (free pattern) (See also: Conifer)

8. Carnica by Robin Melanson, nice textured square with a not-too decorative border


In case you missed it: Pretty spring scarves: Or, what to knit for Mother’s Day


New Favorites: everything Leila Raabe

New Favorites: everything Leila Raabe

I think of myself as a Leila Raabe fan. Her Peabody sweater and Ashby shawl, for instance, have been on my dream knits list since almost the day I learned how. Stasis is a perpetual candidate for casting on. Her name comes up here fairly often, I’m sure. And yet I must never have gone to look at her complete oeuvre before. (Don’t you hate that word?) Because how else did I not know about some of her best designs? Or maybe I looked long enough ago that my taste in knitting has changed? Who knows.

In the comments on Monday’s spring scarves roundup, Indiecita mentioned Thayer, above left, which is what prompted me to take another look. Once there I found Wexford, above right, which is equally lovely. Apart from the fall-ish photos, either of these would have been lovely additions on Monday. And look at Spire, below — another amazing square shawl/throw that should totally have factored into last week’s New Favorites, alongside her Tilt. Pay better attention, Karen!

Regardless, now it can be said: There is not a single, solitary thing on this page that I wouldn’t want to knit … and in fact I’m just mentally trying to sort them into what order.

New Favorites: everything Leila Raabe

New Favorites: Square shawls

New Favorites: Square shawls

Last week Hannah Fettig released a new pattern called the Sans Kerchief which is nothing but a linen stockinette square. I’d laugh, but look how lovely it looks tied around that model’s neck! (The whole vibe makes me think of this.) It’s really sort of brilliant. It got me thinking again about square shawls — I’m still dreaming about this one — and since then, everywhere I look I see Tilt. It’s a big square shawl by Leila Raabe, knitted in the round!, and it’s one of those things I find irresistible. Especially with all the traveling I have in the coming months, I’m loving the idea of a big wrap that serves as a lap blanket on a plane, or a throw in a hammock, etc etc. So I’m wanting this, but also adding it to the list of possible shawls for my mama.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Helga does it again

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.


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

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.


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

2013: My knitting year in review

2013: One knitter's year in review

For as anal-retentive and “organized” as I am, I’m not a very good record keeper when it comes to my knitting. Most Finished Objects make it onto the blog. Many appear in other forms on Instagram. Some things make it onto Ravelry. But I feel like there are still some things that never even get snapshotted. So I’ve been wanting to take stock of my 2013 knitting, and now that I’ve pulled these images together — organized as chronologically as I can reconstruct it — I’m kind of amazed. While I didn’t sew or crochet or weave a single thing this year, I knitted more than I realized. As much as I kick myself for the two unfinished sweaters in my basket, the three finished ones have become such wardrobe staples I forget they’re from this year. And I feel good about the fact that those two sweaters are my only UFOs right now, rather than the mess of unworthy WIPs I’ve let pile up in the past. There’s even some color!

But the thing that really stands out about this year is that I gave myself the opportunity to make a lot of more advanced mistakes. And from making and analyzing and fixing those mistakes, I’ve become an infinitely more capable knitter. So while there have been successes and failures, project-wise, this year has been a big, big win for me.

left: My chunky Walpole, begun last year and finished in January. I’ve decided open-front cardigans are not for me, but this still gets a lot of wear around the house.
middle: This State Street Cowl is among my favorites — an extremely fun and rewarding knit, and I love having it around my neck.
right: Dubbed the Almost Perfect Pullover, and although I wear it a lot, I chastise myself every time for the neck. Never again will I do a sweater with no neck shaping, and always will I pick up stitches (for some structure) rather than knitting it in one piece.

left: Wabi Mitts — I couldn’t be more proud of this pattern.
middle: Did I never blog about this one? I whipped out this Bulky Hat (pattern mentioned here) one evening while drinking and chatting at a crafty social gathering — that’s a fun, quick, simple knit.
right: Acer, sigh. Cast on at the end of February and I really hope to finish it before the year mark rolls around.

left: The sample sweater from my top-down sweater tutorial. Talk about rewarding: I don’t even have words for what it’s been like, seeing all the sweaters that have resulted from that tutorial.
middle: My first Orlane’s Textured Shawl. I love this shawl — even/especially the kerchief-y size of it — but wish it wasn’t ivory. I always feel like I have a bath towel around my neck.
right: see below

left and right: Along with the hat above, my little pattern collection: Stadium Hat, Stadium Mitts and Whichaway Mitts. Love all of these.
middle: My Heel Stitch Hat was both a hit and a miss. It got big when blocked, so I wound up felting it down a little, and now it looks like I sewed it out of a funky old orange bath mat. But I’ve taken to wearing it at night, pulled down over my eyes! So it’s my pal, even if it’s not much to look at anymore.

left: My first sock, so I love it, and I had a lot of fun knitting it. But I hate the yarn so much I never made it a mate.
middle and right: Bob’s skullcaps. These make me feel all warm and fuzzy every time he wears either of them.

left: My bigger, chunkier Orlane. Love it.
middle: Oh, Slade. Realizing I had yarn from two dye lots took the wind out of my sails a little bit, even if I still can’t see what the camera saw. But I’m picking this back up in the new year, don’t worry.
right: My first colorwork, these Muckle Mitts were definitely a major high point.

left to right: With the mania of the past several weeks, I took refuge in hats, from the Simple Rib Hat to the pair of Hill Country Hats to, finally, the absolute highlight of my year, my beautiful Gentian. Such a perfect final knit of the year. Although I think that yarn may have ruined me for anything else.

So that’s my year in a nutshell. Thank you to every single one of you for reading, linking, pinning, and especially commenting over the past year. It’s been an honor to have your company, and I’m looking forward to finding out what 2014 holds for us all. Have a fabulous New Year’s Eve!


2013: My favorite New Favorites and your favorite posts

Best of New Favorites: Sweater patterns

You know there has to be some reflection and projection here as the calendar flips over from 2013 to ’14, starting with the patterns that caught my attention over the course of the year. Pretty much every week, under the heading of New Favorites, I post about the patterns that I not only like or admire but that make my fingers twitch with the urge to cast on — whether it’s great new releases, a designer who’s caught my eye, or some gap in my wardrobe or skill set I’m thinking about filling. Clearly I’m fickle, and some are more passing fancies than others. But some of these picks burrow into my brain and simply demand to be knitted. Here are the ones I’m still fixated on — I hope to cast on at least some of them in 2014.

top left: Stonecutter pullover by Michele Wang (Pattern of the Year, as far as I’m concerned)
top right: Dwell cardigan by Martin Storey
bottom left: Trillium cardigan by Michele Wang
bottom right: Rook pullover by Kyoko Nakayoshi

Best of New Favorites: Fingerless gloves

Antiquity mitts by Alicia Plummer

Best of New Favorites: Scarf/shawl patterns

left: Flying Squirrel stole by Michiyo
right: Imposter’s Shawl by Amber Corcoran

Best of New Favorites: Sock patterns

left: Climb socks by Jane Richmond
right: Cream socks by cabinfour

The hats I am most persistently obsessed with were both mentioned on the blog, but neither of them in New Favorites. They are the Bray Cap by Jared Flood and Gwyneth by Leah McGlone.


And speaking of favorites, here are the ten posts that attracted the most views over the course of 2013:

1. How to improvise a top-down sweater
2. Holiday knitting cheat sheet: A hat for every head
3. Best summer sweater knitting patterns
4. Double Basketweave Cowl (free pattern)
5. New Favorites: Simply Great Cowls
6. Scarves to start now
7. Wabi Mitts (free pattern)
8. Fast, easy and warm: Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection (free patterns)
9. Knitter’s Delight: Beautifully textured hats
10. Holiday knitting cheat sheet: Cowls all around