New Favorites: from Interweave Knits Fall ’15

New Favorites: from Interweave Knits Fall '15

Fall magazines are starting to drop! The Interweave Knits Fall preview is out, and it looks like a bit of a gem. My favorites happen to be three sweater patterns that are all about their yokes:

TOP: Agrotera Pullover by Amanda Bell has a slightly Art Nouveau-ish lace pattern around a circular yoke

MIDDLE: St. Helier Pullover by Mary Anne Benedetto is a perfectly lovely little gansey (I personally would skip the lace shirttail action)

BOTTOM: Tucker Sweater by Amanda Scheuzger is another circular yoke, this time with an encircling cable motif

The other one I’m smitten with is Yellow Gold Pullover by Linda Marveng. I don’t love the proportions of it, but I’m intrigued by the combination of the horizontal stripes with those absolutely jaw-dropping chain-link cables.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the WATG x Raeburn beanies

Knit the Look: Elisabeth Erm’s everyday everywhere sweater

Knit the Look: Elisabeth Erm's everyday everywhere sweater

This is two Looks in a row featuring a statement mini paired with an ultra-basic slouchy sweater. In the case of this Elisabeth Erm ensemble, it’s more of a summer-into-fall sort of pullover — drop-shouldered, long-sleeved, thin but warm. The sort of sweater you think of as your weekend sweater but you actually would happily wear seven days a week, for as much of the year as you can get away with, layered over everything from your best shirt to your nightshirt. The trouble with oversized sweaters is it’s a fine line between slouchy and sloppy. Wearing men’s sweaters isn’t really the answer. Which is why I love Jared Flood’s Agnes as the recommended pattern for this — slouchy and drop-shouldered but with all the necessary proportioning to keep you from drowning in it. The only difference between it and Elisabeth’s sweater is the edging. Knit a long ribbed hem (elongating the sweater in the process), ribbed cuffs and a ribbed neckband — and, of course, skip the stripes in this case — and voilà! If you like it tweedy, go with Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Fossil. Or for a really luxurious, pure ivory version, knit it in Woolfolk Tynd in color 01.

See Vanessa’s post for more shots of the sweater and Elisabeth’s most excellent sneakers.


PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Kia Low’s perfect summer sweater


Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

Then just like that, a sweater

Then just like that, a sweater

This felt like a miracle, after all the stress and distraction and feeling so disconnected from my making. While I was writing Friday’s post about not knowing what my next sweater project would be — about not knowing what my Hole & Sons yarn would be — I pulled my copy of Rowan Pioneer off my shelves, which is always a joy to spend time with. The leading contender for the H&S yarn is Dwell, from that book, but I have concerns about the armholes and wanted to look at the pics vs the schematic. On the next page is a sweater I hadn’t really taken note of before, Hearth. I don’t like it much — the waist shaping and the little ribbed cap sleeves and the cowl-ish neck put me off — but it brought to mind that Elizabeth & James sweater I praised here awhile back, and then I couldn’t get those photos out of my mind. Friday afternoon I had a much needed few moments of calm and focus, gazing at the various photos, imagining my own version and how I would wear it. And sketching it into the queue in my beloved Fashionary notebook, knowing for certain what my next sweater would be.

Friday night I wound three skeins of my camel-colored Shibui Merino Alpaca into one giant cake and cast on. At first, I thought I might loosely adapt Hearth, just leaving out the sleeves and the waist shaping, but after closer inspection I realized the only part of it that works for me is the cast-on count. So I’m winging it — working straight to my desired dimensions and writing shaping for almost slit-like armholes and a turtleneck that’s big but not enormous. The photo above is the first pass at the armholes — too cut in for what I want here — so I ripped back and redid it. I had knitted that entire back piece in two evenings, so I didn’t mind a bit.

Queue Check — July 2015

Queue Check — July 2015

It’s possible I spoke too soon about that house we have under contract. We got a not-so-good inspection report this week and now the whole thing is up in the air. So instead of marching through the steps toward closing, I’m in limbo, daydreaming about it. All I can think of when I think about that house is that it will be Fall there. It’s almost like I think that will somehow be true on the day we move in! I imagine the leaves turning on the all the big trees, and picture sitting out on the covered patio (in the rain!) when the temperatures get milder and the humidity packs its bags and shoves off. For when it gets colder, I have visions of knitting in front of the fireplace. A fireplace! Then there’s that screeching sound in my head as I remember the fireplace needs extensive repairs before that can happen. Anyway, somehow that house and Fall are inextricably entwined in my mind, and it makes me want it more than I want to want it when it may not happen.

Between all of that and the fact that Fall really is coming soon (it is! it is!), I’m rethinking my knitting queue. June mayhem didn’t allow for that summer sweater to get cast on, and now it seems too late to start. Time to start in, instead, on the sweaters I want to be done with in time to wear them on that covered patio, right? But my plans feel a little scrambled. All of this secret and required knitting the past few months has amplified my aversion to knitting that feels in any way like an obligation, to the point of making me a tiny bit allergic to my own to-knit list. Next up was supposed to be whatever that dark grey Hole & Sons is meant to become, but I haven’t solved that riddle yet. And next after that was supposed to be my Channel Cardigan, finally and again, but there too I’m on the fence about yarn. My latest theory has been that I would use the camel Shibui Merino-Alpaca I stocked up on when it was discontinued, but I fear it will be too hot and heavy with all that fisherman’s rib and textured stitch. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s not to cast on a sweater before really knowing it’s right and worthy, but these past couple of months without a sweater on the needles have been agony! So for the moment, I’m enjoying my Hermaness Worsted (have you seen all the #fringehatalong hats?) and pondering the notion of turning that Merino-Alpaca into a Linda. A big cozy fringed scarf might not satisfy me in the knitting like a sweater does, but it would in the wearing.

I hope you all have a magnificent weekend! We got a fresh batch of Yarn Pyramids in this week, and there are tools allegedly arriving this afternoon — bonsai scissors and counters and crochet hooks, among other things — so if you’ve been waiting, check in later today or tomorrow morning! xo


PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: June 2015

New Favorites: from Rowan 58

New Favorites: from Rowan 58

There’s one thing and only one thing I love about July — that moment where I can feel the sands almost imperceptibly shifting. We’re far from the floodgates of Fall, but the trickle of comfy-cozy sweater patterns is beginning to begin, with Rowan 58 as a whopping example. This volume of the illustrious British mag-book contains 35 sweater patterns and 5 accessories, but these are the ones I’d buy it for—

TOP: Glacier by Martin Storey — I’m slightly dubious about the neck shaping, but those chain-link cables are to die for

MIDDLE: Alderney Cardigan by Martin Storey — perfectly proportioned and I’m surprisingly into the giant leaf pattern; I want it in black and navy!

BOTTOM LEFT: Anglesey by Marie Wallin — another for the long list of classic stranded Wallin jumpers

BOTTOM RIGHT: Colonsay by Lisa Richardson — boxy plaid jacket that is just plain cool


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Grille

New Favorites: Grille

New Favorites: Grille by Bonnie Sennott

As you likely heard, the ninth edition of Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People hit the airwaves yesterday — a collection containing seven lace shawl patterns and seven sweater patterns. Were I a lace shawl person, I’d be casting on Loden ASAP. But I’m a sweater person, and the one here that makes my heart go pitty-pat is Grille by Bonnie Sennott. My love of the sweater vest is well-documented, as is my affinity for textural knit-purl patterns. So this oversized, sleeveless, crewneck number has my name written all over it.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Fair-weather friends

Knit the Look: Kia Low’s perfect summer sweater

Knit the Look: Kia Low's perfect summer sweater

Not many of us can pull off a gold lamé mini and Rodarte runway eyebrow “makeup,” but this slouchy little black sweater seen on model Kia Low is just the sort of staple we should all have in our closets. It strikes me as a classic Julie Hoover sort of thing, and sure enough she’s got just the pattern: Marly. All you need to do to make it a little more like Kia’s is knit an extra inch or two on the sleeve length.

Black yarn isn’t the easiest thing to come by, and Marly is written for Serena, an alpaca-cotton blend in sport weight, which makes this one extra tricky on the substitution front. (Unless, of course, you want to knit it one of Serena’s colors!) I asked Julie what she’d recommend and, interestingly, she thought of Shibui’s Twig and Pebble held together, which is the exact combo I was just swatching. Marly’s gauge is 23 sts and 32 rows over 4 inches. My swatch in those two yarns held double on US8s was 23 sts and 30 rows. So one could very likely get Marly’s gauge with a US7 or US8 needle and those two yarns, both of which come in the deliciously black Abyss. Or, as Julie points out, Shibui has a number of lace- or fingering-weight yarns that could be combined for this sweater in a variety of fabrics — Twig + Pebble, Linen + Silk Cloud, Cima + Linen. You’d just need the designated Marly yardage in each of the two yarns. And please send the sweater to me when you’re done with it!

See Vanessa’s original post for additional shots of Kia’s outfit.


PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Elin Kling’s spring shell


Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission