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—
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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.
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?
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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