Introducing the new Town Bag + “garter stitch” bandanas!

Introducing the Fringe Supply Co. "garter stitch" bandanas!
Introducing the new Town Bag + "garter stitch" bandanas!

I’ve been a little awol this week because there’s a lot going on behind the scenes at Fringe Supply Co., with two delightful new goods for you today: First is the new Fringe Supply bandana pictured here — a 100% US-made cotton bandana (hard to come by!) with a “garter stitch” border hand-drawn by yours truly and available in two colors. For more on that, click through to the webshop.

And to be revealed at 9am CT is a new color of the Town Bag! So if you’re potentially into that, hold off on your bandana order till then. I’ll update this post once that’s live, but you might want to set an alarm to show up at the webshop right at that time. UPDATE: It’s FIG w/ waxed plum, and it’s a knockout!

Introducing the new Town Bag + "garter stitch" bandanas!

We’ve also got eggplant Bento Bags and charcoal Mamoru Mitts kits back in stock! And so much more, as always, at Fringe Supply Co.

Happy weekend, everyone — see you next week!

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That time I crocheted a hat

That time I crocheted a hat

I’m totally stunned that this worked. A) I’m not a frequent or experienced crocheter. B) I have never attempted to crochet something that had to fit. C) My gauge was totally different from the Wool and the Gang “Joanne” pattern I bought for this, so I had to wing it. But really the most amazing part isn’t that I crocheted a hat that fits — it’s that I made a hat that actually doesn’t look bad on me! Incredible.

This is the second of my three proposed Summer of Basics pieces, following my toffee Grace sweater. The third was meant to be a dress that I don’t yet have the fabric for. But since I’ve made three other dresses this summer (and pants!), I’m calling it a success.

That time I crocheted a hat

(Field Bag from Fringe Supply Co.)

PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Amazing “Grace” and the perfect pants

Elsewhere

Happy Friday, friends. I’ve got a nice varied stack of Elsewhere links for you below, but one tangential one first — from Grace Bonney as she closed Design Sponge after 15 years, a bit of advice I can simultaneously nod along with and continue to learn from, and I hope others will too: How to handle (and learn from) being called out. Please read and pass it along!

• Well said, Denise, and obviously about knitting as well: “Sewing has taught me that I’m in charge of the image I present to the world.”

Does anyone have a spare copy of this to sell me?

I love this crochet swimsuit

The fashion industry’s diversity problem

• Three new-to-me, WOC-owned, slow-fashion brands I’m loving: Emme (totally brilliant upcycling and more), Chelsea Bravo (hand-painted casual wear) and Proclaim (“inclusive nude” bras and bodysuits)

• Maybe this is the one to get me going: Quilted hexagon potholders (perhaps at coaster size?)

This sleeve swatch [heart eyes!] — and it takes me back to this ol’ gem

“Systematic overproduction just isn’t sustainable, no matter how you spin it.”

This doll outfit in my size, please (Which takes me back to these beauties!)

Next-level yoke (click the little right arrow on the first image)

Stunning shibori

• And wowwwwww

IN SHOP NEWS: We’ve got the brand-new MDK Field Guide No. 12: Big Joy! And so much more …

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

New Favorites: Textured yokes

New Favorites: Textured yokes

I’m still hosting an internal debate about my fall sweater. Now, in addition to the allover texture options, I’m weighing textured yoke possibilities. These are just a few of the contenders, along with previously mentioned Anker’s Sweater and Eldingar

TOP: Tarn by Claire Walls

MIDDLE LEFT: Astragal by Ainur Berkimbayeva

MIDDLE RIGHT: Ocean by Christina Danaee

BOTTOM: Mio by Paula Pereira

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites:

The Details: Sleeve cap short rows

How to knit sleeve-cap short rows

There’s a trick I have wanted to try for as long as I’ve known the term “short rows” but hadn’t until my Grace pullover — for reasons unknown. What finally prompted me to try it was that I was knitting this sweater out of chunky yarn and in pretty fitted proportions, the combination of which made the urge more pressing. What am I talking about? Making more room for my shoulders.

If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know that (even before discovering the freedom of experimentation that comes with top-down sweater knitting) I learned to favor raglan sweaters at a young age because my shoulders are so broad that fitting into set-in-sleeve clothes is a challenge — if the sleeve cap seams hit at the tips of my shoulders where they belong, the garment will be too big for me overall, and vice versa. Raglans solve this in that there’s no sleeve seam to sit uncomfortably in the wrong place, but it can still be the case — especially on a snug pullover — that there’s not quite enough fabric to get over my big shoulders. It has always seemed to me that this should be addressable with short rows, and I’m glad I finally gave it a go!

This was an especially easy case for them, too, since the gauge of this sweater meant I could create extra fabric in only a couple of short-row turns. I’ve left my pink waste yarn in place for the pic up top so you can kind of see, but here’s all I did:

1) After separating my yoke into the sleeves and body and knitting a few inches of the body, as I like to do, I put my sleeve stitches back on my needles. (That’s the upper pink strand of waste yarn.) I’ve knitted my sleeves flat, as usual — picking up underarm stitches starting at the midpoint of the underarm (aka side seam), knitting across the sleeve stitches, and picking up the last few underarm stitches back to the midpoint — but this process would be the same if you were knitting in the round.

2) I then purled back across the WS of these stitches, stopping one stitch before the end of the row, and did a YO-and-turn. (You could wrap-and-turn, or whatever your favorite short-row method is.) Then knitted back to 1 st before the end of this third row, YO and turn. That’s one pair of turns.

3) For my second pair of turns, I placed them in line with my front and back raglan “seams.”

4) And then I worked my way back across the stitches one last time, closing up the YOs as I encountered them, to the end of the row. (That’s the lower strand of pink waste yarn.)

This amounted to a wedge of six extra rows of knitting at the sleeve cap before I continued downward with the full set of sleeve stitches as normal, giving me an extra 1″ of fabric to help accommodate my shoulders before worrying about my arms. For a finer gauge sweater, I would want to do the equivalent number of rows at whatever row gauge to create the same amount of extra fabric, and would distribute those turns within the underarm stitches.

This will factor into every top-down raglan I do from now on, stitch pattern permitting!

For all other details on this sweater, see the original FO post.

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PREVIOUSLY in The Details: How to sew a kangaroo pocket

Q for You: What are your Fall making plans?

Q for You: What are your Fall making plans?

Hi, friends. How was your week? I’m supposed to be out of town right now but the universe has been tossing up nonstop roadblocks this week, to the point of also derailing my blog output. So rather than being ready to talk about my Fall making plans, or sharing a meaty Elsewhere list, I’m here asking about yours! (Mine are uncertain anyway — I’m hoping you’ll help get me unstuck.)

So that’s my Q for You for the long weekend: What are your Fall making plans? I want to hear about your knitting and/or sewing goals, patterns you’re fixated on, anything you’re willing to tell me!

And I’m also still hoping to finish crocheting my hat this weekend, even though I didn’t get the road-trip hours I was counting on … I’d love to hear your weekend plans, too!

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: What’s your time-worthy detail?

Amazing “Grace” and the perfect pants

Amazing "Grace" and the perfect pants
Amazing "Grace" and the perfect pants

The instant I laid eyes on my friend Denise Bayron‘s Grace pullover in Laine magazine’s IG feed, as you know, I knew it would be one of my three Summer of Basics projects, and it didn’t take long for me to decide to knit it in OUR Yarn, in Toffee. A chunky wool sweater is not on the Approved Closet Additions list, but I’ve wanted a pullover in this single-batch yarn ever since acquiring it for Fringe, and this was the perfect sweater for it — simple yet interesting. My hope was that the somewhat abbreviated shape would make it more wearable in my climate than a more voluminous bulky sweater would be, but that remains to be seen. Meanwhile, I love it.

So this is the first of my three SoB picks to be finished. I’m still hoping to finish the hat before this week is out. And while I don’t yet have the fabric for the dress to complete my proposed trio, I have sewn myself three dresses this summer! So I’m feeling good about that.

But back to Grace: Knitting it in this yarn meant doing my own math, since the gauge is different — I’m at 3.75 sts/inch vs the pattern gauge of 2.75 — but that was easy to do since it’s top-down. (Of course, I bought the pattern — the magazine — to compensate the source, even though I knitted it my own way. If you can’t get ahold of this issue, I believe Denise will be releasing the pattern for individual download sometime in November.) The challenge was only in maintaining Denise’s design details and silhouette while making up my numbers, and the only real trick in that was the neck. I really love the little retro slight-funnel neck, and wanted to preserve it, but more than that I love the way the cable panel not only runs right up onto the funnel but actually spans the full width of the front neck between the two raglans. Since knitting at a finer gauge would automatically mean my cables would be narrower, I had to choose among a few options: widening the cables, increasing the number of cables, widening the reverse stockinette field, or not having it fully span the front neck like that — none of which I wanted to do, but I could live with the first one.

By just slightly widening the cables (from 3 stitches to 4, which does create a different look for the cables themselves, unfortunately) and by shifting more of the stitches into the shoulder tops than what Denise starts with, I was able to preserve that key design detail. I also did an extra set of short row turns for the back neck, and placed them a little differently, given the gauge difference. When it came to the sleeves, in addition to knitting them flat, like I do, I did a thing I’ve always wanted to try, which was to put short rows in at the edge of the sleeve caps. (I’ll post more about that in a separate Details post!) In making my sleeve tweaks, I forgot to look and see what clever thing Denise had done with the decreases, so that part got left out. But otherwise, it’s pretty much as designed!

Amazing "Grace" and the perfect pants

After finishing the sweater on Sunday afternoon, I was dying to wear it (for the length of a photo) with my striped linen pants … which were still just a stack of parts on my table. Thus motivated, three hours later I had these beauties. You’ll recall these (yet another pair of modified Robbie pants) were cut out of what was left of the Merchant and Mills stripe from my glorious caftan, and working out the stripe placement was tricky! I managed to use only the multi-stripe portion of the fabric and was able to place the pattern pieces in such a way that the adjacent black stripe disappeared into the seam allowances at the crotch and outer leg. The gaps left between the stripes at those seams are close enough to the original gap between them, as woven, that I don’t think you even notice! My big concern was how it would look where the stripes collide in the rear, but I figured worst-case scenario I’d have to always wear a long top with them. In the end, the butt is my favorite part! And how often can one say that in life?

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PREVIOUSLY in Finished Objects: Double caftan magic