New Favorites: Eva

New Favorites: Eva

I’m super smitten with Julie Weisenberger’s latest little sweater, Eva. With its cropped length and open sides, it sits somewhere in between a shawl and a cardigan. I’m not 100% sure I’d like how it sits on my frame, but I like it enough I think I’m very likely going to find out. It just seems like such a simple little throw-over-anything sort of sweater, and I love the funkiness of the dangling ties. (I like it less with them actually tied.) Given that I’ve been saying for a couple of summers now that I’m eager to try her top-down set-in-sleeve method, I’m thinking this may be the one I actually knit.

The abbreviated scale of it makes me willing to tackle a fingering-weight sweater, albeit knitted on US5 needles, but a sweater quantity of fingering is the last thing you’ll find sitting in my stash. So in addition to giving me a chance to try out her method, it may also be the chance to knit with BC Garn Bio Balance, one of the yarns on my Nashville-friendly blends list. Will swatch and see!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Over-the-top tams

Low-key Summer of Basics

Low-key Summer of Basics

Hi, friends. Sorry to leave you hanging on this all the way to mid-May, but there’s been a lot up in the air at my house lately, and it has implications for Summer of Basics, and for my summer in general. Bob has been having back issues again the past 6 weeks or so, and has been undergoing a lot of tests and such, and there’s a high probability he’ll be having more surgery in the coming weeks. (Although please keep your fingers crossed, if you would.) With the uncertainty around that, I’m leery of overcommitting myself, so I’m pulling back on my previously stated intention to reframe and actively host a summer make-along this year.

HOWEVER! For those wanting to proceed with the same outline and hashtag as in the past, please do! Pick three things you feel your closet will truly benefit from (knitted/sewn/crocheted/whatever), share your progress on your blogs and/or Instagram (with hashtag #summerofbasics) and have at it! I’m still following the hashtag and will set some optimistic making goals for myself as well (beyond finishing this vest). I’ll keep an eye on the hashtag and cheer you on as much as possible — and join in as life permits. If you’re posting progress on your blog, feel free to post links in the comments here so I and others can see. There won’t be any formal blog programming or prizes or anything tied to it — just the sheer joy of making good things in good company.

Have you thought about what you want to make this year? If so, I want to hear!

ALSO: I would love to support any other summer knitalong/make-alongs that might be happening. Please feel free to post below about any you know, and I’ll help spread the word!

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Q for You: What’s your progress blocker?

Q for You: What's your knitting progress blocker?

I’m pretty sure “stuck on sleeve island” is the most frequent lament among knitters (which you know I don’t understand!) but I suspect we have a wide array of idiosyncratic responses as far as what part of the knitting process stalls our progress or even robs us of mojo, in some cases. No doubt for a lot of knitters it’s seaming, and thus the need to seam is avoided altogether. That’s another one I don’t get — seaming is like performing a little magic trick, although it does tend to put a halt to progress in that I only do it during daylight hours. So unless I happen to finish something on a Thursday night, have it blocked and dried by Saturday morning, and have a corresponding chunk of free time that very weekend, there will almost always be a lull while something awaits seaming. But the real mojo thief for me is picking up stitches.

Picking up stitches is the other thing I only do in daylight, so there’s that, but I don’t actually dislike it. In fact, the neat-freak part of me takes pleasure in that nice tidy column of stitches running up along the needle, in marking off matching sections and making sure I’m picking up identical numbers of stitches for perfect symmetry. I honestly have no idea why I dread doing it, and yet it is almost always the source of a disruption in forward progress. This poor vest spent three weeks waiting for me to have the right spot of daylight to seam it, after which I forged right into picking up armhole stitches in hopes of avoiding a cessation, but I picked up too few in my haste, and now I wonder how long it will be before I pick it up again. And I really want this vest!

So that’s my primary progress blocker and my Q for You: What is yours?

(Needles, removable stitch markers and notebook from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: What’s your favorite pattern source?

Elsewhere + news to come

Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

It’s May, and I know some of you are wondering about Summer of Basics! My apologies for the cliffhanger — I’ve been thinking about retooling it a little bit for this year and hope to have an announcement about that next week. If you have thoughts on it in between, please do leave a comment below.

And in the meantime, a little Elsewhere—

— Data nerdery in knitted form: The National Parks Tempestry Project is kind of mind-blowing (thx, DG) (photo above left)

— “How sewing improved my mental health — and restored my professional ambitions

Spectacular

I love this profile of textile artist Llane Alexis (previously mentioned here)

How to dye with osage orange (photo above right)

Brilliant refashion

What a treasure!

— and I’m eager to listen to this interview with Imogene+Willie cofounder Matt Eddmenson

Happy weekend, everyone. I’d love to hear what you’re working on!

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PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere: Wool dogs and whaling wraps

New Favorites: Over-the-top tams

New Favorites: Beret confections

Honestly, saying something has an almost confectionary quality is not normally my way of paying a compliment, but somehow I’ve fallen in love with these two new beret patterns that are exactly that. And I don’t even like berets! Although now I’m wondering why I’ve never really tried one on my beanie-unfriendly head. It could work!

These both just look like such total joy to knit, no matter whose head they might wind up on—

TOP: Western Sky by Caitlin Hunter combines cables, lace and bobbles into the more understated-yet-freespirited of the two

BOTTOM: April Hat by Courtney Kelley mixes a spot of lace, twisted-stitch faux cables, bobbles, puff stitch and a pompom into a fun-loving whole (free pattern)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Head kerchiefs

Me-Made May the Bujo way

Me-Made May bullet journal habit tracker

Hi, my name is Karen and I’m a data nerd. I love information design, bullet journaling and long walks on the beach at sunset.

But seriously, here’s how I’ve set up the aforementioned Me-Made May tracker in my mini bullet journal. In designing the layout, I wanted to track how often I wear me-mades, the average percentage I wear as a proportion of any outfit, plus literally what garments I wore and which category they fall into. I couldn’t bring myself to make it just me-made vs ready-to-wear, since some things literally fall in between — like second-hand jeans, an upcycled State Smock (especially if I dyed it), a refashion, a RTW tee I screenprinted, etc. So there’s MM (me-made), H (hybrid) and RTW along the right side of the tracker for breaking each outfit into its parts. And then along the right of the spread there’s the Wear Count. I can fit about 30 garments into the page, which should be more than enough. When I set that 20×30 challenge for myself a couple of Octobers ago, I wound up wearing not quite 20, I think. But instead of pre-picking them, or necessarily enforcing a limit, I want to allow for that to take shape somewhat naturally. Of course, there’s some serious Observer Effect at play here, since this will make me more self-conscious as I’m getting dressed about whether I’m wearing me-made and what and how often. But it’s more game than science experiment, so that’s cool.

Me-Made May bullet journal wear count tracker

If I keep it up, I’ll do the following and share the results —

TO BE TALLIED:
– the number of days I wore something me-made
– the average percentage of MM worn
– the total instances of MM | H | RTW items
– what garments I wore
– how many of those garments are me-made (denoted by a bullet in the list)

(Dot-grid memo book from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Me-Made May: My 2019 pledge (and more)

Me-Made May plans, NEW Town Bag! and more

NEW! Olive Town Bag + Helga Isager "Stitches" book

Somehow I decided to participate in Me-Made May for real this year — although, by that I do not mean taking 31 days of selfies! What I am going to do is track my wears for the month on a little chart I’m designing in my mini bullet journal. (I’ll show you that asap, and elaborate on it — I’ve had a lot of questions about how I’m doing it.) I will be posting the occasional outfit selfie on Instagram, and will do a wrap-up here at month’s end. I’ve been in a real dressing slump lately and am hoping this will get me re-engaged with my closet — loves and loathes, needs and wants, as we head into the hot zone. Will I run into you on #memademay2019? I’d love to hear your plans.

Speaking of things I’ve announced on Instagram lately, if you haven’t already, please read my Squam update!

IN SHOP NEWS: We’ve got the new Helga Isager book, Stitches, and wow is it gorgeous! So many stunning patterns in a beautiful hard-bound volume. BUT WAIT — we’ve also got a new Town Bag color launching at 9am CT! It’s quite possibly my favorite bag we’ve done so far, and I hope you’ll love it too! I’ll update the photos on this post once it’s been revealed [UPDATED: IT’S OLIVE!], but if you’re following @fringesupplyco, turn on post notifications or just pop onto Fringe Supply Co. at 9am! (Where you’ll also find the needles and notebooks pictured.)

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I hope you have a lovely, restful, restorative weekend. I’ll be seaming my vest so I can finally dig into the fun bits! How about you?

Photos by Kathy Cadigan for Fringe Supply Co