I was at my friend Jo’s house recently and asked her what she’d been knitting. (She knits nonstop.) She said, “Karen, I just finished my favorite thing I have ever knitted.” When she led me to it, I was surprised to see a shawl — and a rather basic looking one at that — but when I threw it over my shoulders, I fell instantly in love. It’s Nadia Crétin-Léchenne’s Palmyre, a simple stockinette shawl with a lace border. (That’s Nadia’s pictured above, to be clear.) Jo had knitted it as a sample for the Haus of Yarn Bus, using oatmeal-colored Kenzie, and it is so light and warm and lays so nicely on one’s shoulders. It’s just a magical combination of yarn and stitches.
Those of you paying extra-close attention will recall that the bus is driven by my dear friend Meg*, Jo’s daughter, and that Meg and the bus were also at Stitches Midwest this weekend, two aisles over from me. So when it got chilly in the convention center and all I had with me was all I have in my possession these days (living out of a suitcase and all), namely summery sleeveless tops, you can guess what I did. I borrowed that shawl, wore it for two days, and I did not want to take it off. Not sure I can live without one of my very own.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from the Knightsbridge collection
*who we’ve been staying with, who taught me to knit, etc, etc …
You guys, I’m stuck in the most boring knitting season of my entire knitting life. For months it’s been nothing but stockinette and ribbing and — hold onto your seats! — a little garter stitch in the round. I am in favor of all of the future finished objects I have in progress, but working dropped stitches every few rows doesn’t really make the stockinette any more thrilling to knit. The only bit of fun I’ve had were those precious few rows of nupps on my Trillium yoke, and that was two months ago. It’s starting to make me think knitting is boring. Aiieeeee! I’ve given myself permission to cast on a Channel Cardigan sleeve if I want, and to intersperse it with all the stockinette going on, but I’m not convinced those knits and purls (however luscious) are enough to really break up the monotony. I want all the fun right now. I want cables, and I want lace. Specifically: Anne Hanson’s Wheaten, which I will knit one day, in wrap proportions. But to satisfy this particular craving in quicker/smaller fashion, I’m thinking a hat would suffice. Maybe Amy Christoffers’ Manhattan or Robin Ulrich’s Bosc.
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 …
I’m tardy with today’s post because I wanted to wait and see what treasures the new Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 7 collection might hold. Of the fifteen patterns, eleven are sweaters, but it’s these shawls that are lighting me up this morning — and not just because I’m still on a quest for the perfect wrap for my mom. The triangular Shetland shawl, Halligarth, is by Gudrun Johnston in two sizes, and it’s the one I’m most itching to cast on right this minute. I love the look of the geometric tree motif lace, and it looks like fun to knit. One of you used the phrase “granny’s dresser scarf” in a comment recently, which is a concept I hadn’t thought of for ages, and Dawn Catanzaro’s Nimbus has that kind of heirloom character about it. But I find it so pretty and current somehow. It’s just lengthwise garter stitch with that very traditional lace border, knitted on in a smartly seamless way. Could I stand knitting all those long rows of garter? If my mom loves this as much as I think she might, I’d do it for her.
I also love the wrap-sized version of Tanis Lavallee’s diagonal striped Vector. And a couple of the sweaters may make it into my queue at some point. I’m particularly intrigued by the construction (and enamored with the details) of Bristol Ivy’s Devlan, although I would have to change the neckline. But honestly, my favorite thing about the whole lookbook is this gorgeous model and her silver braid, my dream hair of the future:
(That’s Joji Locatelli’s Seacoast sweater she’s wearing.)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Bobble hats
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
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.
PREVIOUSLY in 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