Elsewhere: Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Happy Friday! This has been one of those weeks that I’ve felt like I was dragging myself through quicksand trying to get through my to-do lists, so I’m extra excited about the weekend and some creative time!

But first, I’ve got a healthy stack of links for you to click around in today—

– One of my very favorite projects from the #fringeandfriendslogalong is @sari_n_’s blanket (photo above), and she’s now posted an in-depth video on YouTube talking about how she’s going about knitting it

– Also, Bonne Marie Burns has published the pattern for her beautiful rendition of “courthouse steps” blanket (20% off with code LOG for a limited time)

– I’m so excited that the long-awaited Vintage Shetland Project has come to fruition, and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy

– How are your favorites faring in MDK March Mayhem?

Here’s a guest list I wish I’d been on!

– “I’ll try anything,” I told her. “Just don’t make me stop knitting.”

– Meanwhile, studies continue to show knitting reduces depression, anxiety and chronic pain (thx, Rach)

– Pretty excited about Denim Days

Yes, please

These swatches. And these.

– “If you have ever wanted to crochet an eyeball …” is my favorite random phrase from Insta lately

– and What’s in your tool pouch? A little or a lot? (Tell me here or there!)

Have a fantastic weekend — see you back here next week!


PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere + Mitts No. 6

Spring ’18 wardrobe: Haves and have-nots

Spring ’18 wardrobe: Haves and have-nots

There’s a sufficient level of flux and lack in my closet right now that I don’t feel like I can do quite the same sort of tight, functional closet inventory I’ve done the past couple of seasons. Instead, I’m taking stock of the key haves and the critical have-nots (with underlined notes-to-self along the way), in the hope of translating this into a very focused plan for what I get to knit and sew for myself in the near future. So from all of this will come the make list—

TOPS WITH SLEEVES (that aren’t wool or flannel)

I mean, crickets; see above. And this is the number one thing a person needs at this time of year — actually at least half the year here — when it’s too warm for flannel shirts or wool sweaters (both of which I do have, of course) yet not warm enough to be leaving the house sleevelessly. I have the one cotton fisherman sweater (old L.L. Bean); my blue Archer button-up (and the somewhat redundant chambray workshirt I rescued from Bob’s discards a couple years ago); my little black gathered sleeve top (never blogged); plus my black silk Elizabeth Suzann Artist Smock (no longer available), and to put that last one in the “sleeves” category is to define it loosely. So as keen as I am to sew myself some more pants, I need to concentrate on this area first and foremost.


Spring ’18 wardrobe: Haves and have-nots

If there’s one thing I have in spades, it’s sleeveless garments. I’m in decent shape for little sleeveless tops, with all my old chums hanging around: black silk gauze shell/black Adventure tee, striped Adventure tee, grey linen sleeveless tee (Everlane, no longer available), striped cotton shell, dotted chambray tunic (Endless Summer, made by a friend). Sadly, the one I lean on most — the white linen shell — was involved in a laundry mishap and is now a sad, dingy shade of not-quite-blue-ish. It can be solved by dyeing it a more deliberate shade of blue, but the little white top is a key piece of my wardrobe missing, so it needs to be replaced asap. A few of the others are looking a bit worse for wear at this point, plus a quick little sleeveless top is my favorite thing to make, so I’ll likely be adding a couple more (in color/pattern), in addition to replacing the white linen one.

In the not-quite-sleeves category, I have my little plaid top (never blogged), my blue stripe Fen and (not pictured) my two Harper Tunics: natural linen and olive cotton (no longer available), the former of which needs a dye job or some contrast stitching or something so it will look less deathly on me. But the olive one is a gem.

This is my favorite time of year for my black Sloper sleeveless turtleneck — either over a shirt or tee, or on its on. I’m also in good shape on vests — from my black Anna vest to my Cowichan-ish vest, which has its window of opportunity right now, to my very old J.Crew holdovers, the denim vest and trench vest. My beloved State Smocks are everything right now, through summer and fall. And my ES sleeveless navy canvas Clyde Jacket cum vest (top row, sample sale score of all time), which needs a bit of attention and then will be a big star of the season.


Spring ’18 wardrobe: Haves and have-nots

My army shirtjacket is my absolute favorite thing right now, thrown over everything from a sleeveless top to a smock to a dress with boots. The only one of my cardigans still in play is the black Linen Quill cardigan, which I recently blocked out a tad longer and have decided to leave alone once and for all, largely because I absolutely love how the length of it works with my State Smocks. And there’s the lovely tobacco-colored linen Nade tunic from last year (no longer available), which is easy to throw on over assorted sleeveless things. It would really be nice to have another season-spanning cardigan sweater.


Spring ’18 wardrobe: Haves and have-nots

This is a bit of a sad situation. Of the four pair of “toddler pants” I’ve made myself, two have gotten ruined in the wash. You already know about the original olive pair going all discolored. (I do still wear them around the house or on manual labor days.) Then after relying heavily on the cherished ivory pair all winter, I finally worked up the nerve to wash them — on delicate/cool, even though the fabric had been pre-washed in hot water. They came out about two sizes smaller and several inches shorter, so they’ve gone to a friend’s house for a try-on. (Sob!) That leaves the denim and the camo pairs, plus my clay-colored Wide Clydes, and it’s time to bring back out the black linen Florence pants. I’ve been itching to make some pants in a little bit different shape in a lighter faded-denim blue (among other things), but replacing the natural ones might now be top priority. And then there are my dark jeans (x3) and my natural jeans, but I’m just not wearing jeans as much lately and still feeling pretty happy about that.


Pretty much same exact situation as last Summer — i.e., I have a couple of newer workhorses and a couple of slightly older things that have gone unworn, and those I’m giving them one more chance. There have actually been two additions, which will show up in outfits and/or Summer inventory — an Ace&Jig Eve Dress is Forte that I bought at their sample sale last fall, and an Elizabeth Suzann Harper Dress in grey linen gauze bought at her sample sale in early December. It’s a big muumuu — invaluable come summer — but I do like it now with my tall boots and army shirtjacket. Still no sign of me starting to wear skirts, and no real needs in this category.

Now to figure out exactly how to fill the holes, and in what order.


PREVIOUSLY in Spring 2018 Wardrobe: Mood and strategy









New Favorites: Grete

New Favorites: Grete (dickey knitting pattern)

Quick pause in my Spring 2018 Wardrobe Planning (my workload is requiring me to space it out a bit this time around) to tell you all I’ve fallen in love with a dickey. Or should I say another dickey. When Woolfolk was teasing the pattern above, now revealed as Grete, I instantly fell for the turtleneck sweater under the camel coat. The neck itself bothers me — turtlenecks that don’t hug the neck just look like wind funnels to me, counterproductive — but otherwise it struck me as perfectly proportioned. The scale of the cables, the width of the hem ribbing, the exact spot where the hemline hits the model. Love.

So I was momentarily stunned and disappointed when I learned that it’s actually a dickey! And then I stared at it, and stared some more. Imagined it walking down some painfully cool runway, like Céline or Stella McCartney, and could see myself wanting to copy it instantly. I mean, that model looks pretty chic wearing it with just that beautiful white shirt. Could it be cool to walk around in a dickey all day, as opposed to wearing it only with a coat? Maybe so! It’s certainly one way to deal with my want of all the wool sweaters and insufficient cold weather for them!

Plus as gorgeous as it is in Luft, which is actually a wool-cotton mix I’ve been eager to sample, it could also be a great match for that beautiful bulky OUR Yarn in the shop.

I might need to knit one and give it a go. If nothing else, I would love it under my coat.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Ply by Emily Greene

Spring ’18 wardrobe planning: Mood and strategy

Spring ’18 wardrobe planning: Mood and strategy

In really starting to think about dressing myself for Spring — or the most important part: what I get to make! — I of course started a spring 2018 mood board at Pinterest, and thought it’d be a good idea to go back through last year’s spring planning posts … but alas, there are none! We skipped over spring last year, and so did my planning. But it looks like I had all the right ideas and attitudes in my summer strategy, even though my plans were largely foiled. This year, I don’t have to worry about being frozen at work (we have control of the themostat now!) but I also don’t want to get ahead of myself. It seems like we may be in for a nice long spring, so I’m thinking in terms of winter-into-spring right now, more than spring-into-summer. Knock wood knock wood knock wood.

So what does this season’s pinboard tell me:

As always, I’m in the mood for all the blues and greens, especially the lighter ones, piled onto a foundation of whites and off-whites, khaki/camel/caramel, heathery greys, denim, navy and black. But I’m also longing for a hit of yellow and maybe even a spot of pinkish-red. I used to have a killer pair of men’s chinos in vivid yellow, which works better for me than yellow near my face, so I’m pondering that at the moment. But mostly keeping with my usual palette and thus, happily, my existing fabric and yarn stash. If I buy any fabric at all, let it be for the sake of color.

And I’m still in the mood for loose, easy shapes — floaty tops or soft tees with loose pants, worn with a shirt, jacket or tunic-as-jacket. Not reflected here, though, is what a big vest mood I’m in — from my State Smocks to my sleeveless Clyde to my assorted sweater vests. It’s interesting to me how many of the same images make it back onto my mood boards season after season, which I think is fantastic and as it should be — each season is a slight evolution, not a tearing up and discarding of what I wanted the season or the year before.

Apart from that, I’ll be following much of the logic expressed in last summer’s plan as I start to think about what pieces I’ll be moving to the center of the closet, what I’ll be making to augment that, and how I put it all together into outfits. More to come!

Fashionary sketch panels from Fringe Supply Co.


PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Plannning: So long winter wardrobe: Notes for next year








Logalong FO No. 3 : Veronika Jobe

Logalong FO No. 3 : Veronika Jobe

Our second panelist from the Log Cabin Make-along to make it across the finish line is Veronika Jobe of YOTH Yarns, with her stunning plaid wrap (modeled here by her gorgeous daughter). Dude: I want to make this. For more of Veronika’s endless stream of knitting beauty, be sure to follow @yarnonthehouse on Instagram. With that, here’s Ve—

. . .

Back at the start of all this, you noted that your approach was going to be modular knitting, if not literally or technically log cabin methodology. Without giving away the pattern, can you describe the process you used on this — how you went about constructing the piece?

This wrap idea was inspired by a picture of a lovely gal I had pinned on Pinterest wearing a black and white version of a large-scale buffalo plaid-style scarf. It was definitely commercial and not handknit, but I kept coming back to it over and over again. I knew I wanted to recreate the simple nature of the plaid using a series of tonal and gradient marls. This project spurred the creation of our new small-batch yarn by Abundant Earth Fiber, which was only half the work. The other half was how to put this thought into pattern and once you have the yarn there’s really no going back! It was really a beautiful happenstance when you asked me to be a part of the Log Cabin Make-along, because it really catapulted my method of thinking through the construction. I dove into the MDK Log Cabin Field Guide and knit up Cloth 1 & 5 while looking through the construction of the other cloths as well. Without giving away too much of the “secret sauce,” it’s essentially a mash up of the MDK Cloth techniques and a classic knitted-on edging.

Buffalo plaid is heavily associated with black and red or royal blue, whereas you’ve gone very pale with your palette. It has a sort of oversized gingham feel to it. Has it met your expectations, lived up to the idea you started out with in your mind?

It’s pleasantly surprised me. I was a bit worried about the colors and marls not being strong enough in contrast, but it turned out really great, just as I had imagined. I can at times be let down with how my designs unfold, or if they somehow don’t end up working for one reason or another, but this really loose relation to a buffalo plaid has really made me happy and the best part was the knitting. I’m all about the process! It has to keep my attention or I’m on to the next thing. This one with its constant color changes, unconventional construction and the entertainment of seeing the plaid emerge makes me want to make a blanket version of it.

A fabric like this — any kind of plaid, check, what-have-you — is a neverending goal among knitters. Seems like we’re always trying to find ways to mimic it in knitting. But the solutions are often tedious or complicated, and/or you wind up with intarsia or floats, and it’s not a two-sided piece, necessarily. Do you feel like you’ve solved it here — cracked that nut in a wholly satisfying way?

Isn’t that the truth?! One of my reasons behind knitting this scarf in a modular way was to make it more reversible. I think I’ve made a good pass at cracking that nut and both sides of this lovely thing is pleasant to look at. Plus, I think we as knitters so often get distracted or scared away by certain techniques. We can be a bit judgmental! Intarsia can have some feelings and images come up for some of us… little color bobbins dangling and tangling in the back of your work, cartoon characters knit onto the fronts of sweaters, you see where I’m going with this. I didn’t want my scarf to end up in that black hole.

Logalong FO No. 3 : Veronika Jobe

I know you were excited to use your new yarn for this (coming soon to your website), with the tonality and marls lending themselves to the concept. Again, just as you’d dreamed it?

Oh my gosh and more! This yarn is a dream. I can’t really take too much of the credit. Lydia from Abundant Earth Fiber is really the master here. She took our hand-dyed roving and turned it into the some of the most beautiful, squishy, bouncy, slubby, rustic-in-just-the-right-way kinda yarn. It was such a treat to knit and I’m really sad we only have so much of it, to be honest. I would love to have this as a core base with all the colors, but that’s one of the reasons small, limited-batch runs are so special, right?!

This was your first time venturing into the world of modular knitting, correct? If not all the way into log cabin world. Did it leave you wanting to dig deeper into the ways of log cabin, or have you had your fill? What’s next for you, in this regard, if anything?

In the past, I had done some modular knit garments that came together in pieces and were connected as I knit, but there’s a different wave of thought there. Those tend to look like nothing until some of the final pieces fit into the puzzle, but this project starts transforming before your eyes within the first couple of strips, which is really fulfilling. It makes you want to keep going and see the next color pop up while you are knitting away. Definitely on my list: a tonal Ninepatch Blanket from MDK’s Field Guide.

So I know you’re planning to publish the pattern. Any details on that?

I am! Pattern is in the works and will be available this week, as will the yarn. Follow us on Instagram or join our newsletter at yothyarns.com to be the first to hear.

. . .

Thanks, Veronika! Don’t forget there’s still activity on the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed — so many knitters finishing up so many great projects — and we’ll have the last two panelist’s interviews coming soon!


PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Make-along: FO No. 2 Ann Shayne

Q for You: Do you add it up?

Q for You: Do you add it up?

I recently did something I try never to do: I calculated stitches and rows and yardage for something at the ultra-granular level. It was the collar of my blue Bellows. I realized I didn’t think I was going to have enough yarn, which is a thing that happens, right? Normally in such a situation, I’ll weigh my yarn, knit a row, re-weigh to see how much the row used and thus how much yardage that was, and assess the situation based on how many rows are left. However, I try to keep it as general as possible. I only want to know as much as I actually need to know. With that shawl collar — it’s basically like knitting a third sleeve — there are short rows involved (not as straightforward to calculate since each one is literally a different length), plus I had the idea that I might reduce the total number of rows. There were variables and mitigating factors. The only thing I could do was knit a row, calculate the weight/yardage used; do the math to figure out exactly how many stitches a short-row sequence amounted to; count the number of full rows and short-row sequences; and tally it all up. Only by knowing exactly how many stitches it would be could I determine how much yarn I needed. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t have enough.)

It’s the first time in my knitting life that I ever could answer the question “How many stitches is that?” And let me tell you: I did not love knowing. In fact, I’ve since repressed the number. I remember only that it was in the thousands — and that’s just the collar! At bulky gauge, no less. Since then there was that hat where I did increasingly gain a heightened awareness of how many stitches x how many rows, just because it was so much more knitting than a typical worsted-weight hat and I was on a deadline — but I still never multiplied those numbers!

I’ve always been amazed at how many people do this math regularly and on purpose. There are those of you who like to be able to say how many stitches, how many miles of yarn, how many minutes or hours were involved. In so many facets of my life, I am like that. But with knitting, I don’t want to know. The only thing I ever do in that regard is sometimes I’ll time myself to see how long one repeat of a chart takes, or two inches of knitting, or something broad like that, and I do it to set realistic expectations with myself. Like: If one chart repeat takes 1.5 hours, you can expect to knit maybe a few repeats per week, so what does that mean for the expected lifespan of the project. That’s the most I ever want to know.

Yardage-wise, I typically weigh a finished project to see how much yarn got used. That’s it.

So that’s my Q for You today: Are you a tabulator? Do you add it all up, or keep yourself in the dark, or are there in-between cases like mine? I look forward to your answers, and wish all of you a very happy weekend!

Oh, and p.s.: the Wabi Mitts kits are back in stock!

Pocket notebook from Fringe Supply Co.


PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: What’s your knit-stitch happy place?




Queue Check — March 2018

Queue Check — March 2018

So I never did a February Queue Check. Life was turmoil, and I was just plugging away on the four hats. With those now complete (1, 2, 3, 4), the blue Bellows shelved till next year, and my last sweater having been finished on New Year’s Eve, I’ve found myself with something resembling a clean slate. Or, the more clear-eyed version: a selection of abandoned projects. I promised myself I’d be more focused on knitting from stash this year, plus I really want to clear things away, which means my attention has turned to the contents of the four Porter Bins on my WIP shelf:

– One of them contains my rotating pile of leftovers and singles that I’m still (and likely forever) transforming into Log Cabin Mitts. So that’s fine.

– A second contains a few odds and ends that need putting away, along with a skein of yarn awaiting my attention — for a pattern I’ve promised and won’t be able to talk about.

– The oldest of them is the long-abandoned Sawkill Farm sleeves, which I have every intention of knitting a sweater body for — now more than ever, most likely a Trillium cardigan — but not right away.

– And the fourth is the carcass of the grey summer cardigan I gave up on last year and have yet to frog. This is the one I’m dealing with first.

The yarn is one of my favorites — O-Wool Balance — and I have a cardigan’s worth. So what to do? I love this organic 50/50 wool-cotton blend, and love it best in stockinette. Every time Bob wears his green sweater, I just want to hug it. I mean, him. But this shade, Talc, is unlike the others — it has no heatheriness, no real variation in tone. It’s just a flat medium-light grey that leaves me cold. I thought it might benefit from some allover texture — from lights and darks being cast across the surface — and swatched for that cute little Massaman top, but the combination of this color and that waffle stitch was just plain homely. (This is why we swatch, friends!) The yarn wants to be stockinette but the color needs … something. So thinking further about it and my stash, I swatched it held double (on US8s) with some ivory Pebble left over from my striped raglan, washed it, and this I love. To the point of carrying it around with me, abusing it, petting it, whispering sweet nothings in its ear, not wanting to be away from it.

I’m stuck on the idea of a little sleeveless sweater that can be worn under a jacket or vest on cooler days and on its own on warmer ones, so I sketched three or four ideas and cast on for one of them (just stockinette with reverse-St side panels) before realizing what I really want is a sweater version of a top I used to own and wore to tatters. It was sweatshirt fleece sewn into a sleeveless top with crewneck and armbands and a wide waistband. Even that trademark V patch at the neck. So that may be what I’m making, or by the time I get to the upper region, it may become a sweatshirt. I do have enough yarn for that, after all, and with the cotton content and looser gauge, this would fit the bill of what I was talking about yesterday. So I’m torn, but planning to listen to it as it grows up and see what it wants to be.

Either way, it will factor neatly into my spring wardrobe planning, coming up next week!

OK, this is funny. In adding the links throughout this post, I found myself on last March’s Queue Check, subtitled “A whole new queue.” I’m writing above about the fate of that first item, and finished the second one earlier this year. (I’m wearing it as I type.) For the rest of the items listed in that post, there has either been progress (e.g. a grey Junegrass pullover, just a different pattern; a different chunky shawl-collar in progress, etc.) or the plans remain exactly the same. That makes me feel so good. ;)

Porter Bin and Fashionary sketch template from Fringe Supply Co.

Queue Check — March 2018

PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: January 2018