New Favorites: Building blocks

New Favorites: Building blocks

In my first couple of years as a knitter, I had an idea for a book I wanted to do (I think I’ve told this story before) — a collection of patterns that would gradually build up your skills if you worked through them in order. Then Tin Can Knits put out The Simple Collection, which is wonderful and similar but also super different, and I abandoned the idea. I’d forgotten all about it until I saw the bit of simple brilliance my pals over at Kelbourne Woolens came up with for their new yarn, Germantown, which you’ve already heard me raving about. Dubbed “Building Blocks,” it’s three patterns that each encompass three variations on an accessory, of escalating difficulty. The Hats are just plain stockinette, then add a ribbed brim, then rib all over. But the Scarves take you from garter stitch to striped ribbing to cables, and the Mittens encompass stockinette, textured stitch and colorwork. Of course, the hats and mittens also introduce you to shaping, and the beauty of mittens is you can leave the tops off to make fingerless mitts, for even more variations. If you’re like me and like knitting simple things — especially at worsted gauge — they’re great little patterns to have in your arsenal, no matter how long you’ve been knitting.

(If anyone’s wondering, I have no stake in this yarn or anything — I just really like it!)

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9 thoughts on “New Favorites: Building blocks

  1. I teach knitting and these patterns are the perfect skill builders, as you have mentioned, just the right size for practice without being overwhelming. Thank you for sharing, I will need to find these patterns.

  2. I eagerly followed the link to Kelbourne Woolens’ history of Germantown yarns because I made several sweaters for my children out of Brunswick’s Germantown, which disappeared back in the 90s. We moved to Washington, DC in ’91, and that’s when I ran across a back stock of this wonderful, versatile, high quality worsted in a LYS. It could be knitted at both 4 1/2 and 5 stitches to the inch and came in a range of beautiful colours, many heathered. The closest thing to it currently available would be Galway, although Germantown might have had a bit more heft. Glad to see that a similar quality of yarn has been resurrected.
    P.S. The Tin Can Knits ladies are brilliant. I’m looking forward to a workshop with Alexa next month just a few steps from where I live.

    • Thanks. I’m glad you pointed out the history. Since Kelbourne is in Philly I figured they’d named it after the lovely city neighborhood of Germantown.

  3. Agree. When I saw the name Germantown was pretty surprised as it had been gone a long time. Will be interested to hear more from knitters who have used it, worn it and washed it.

    • I never had the pleasure of meeting the original Germantown, and wish I could compare the two, but this is just a good ol’ sturdy-but-soft American-made wool, and I love it. I haven’t worn my vest yet so can’t attest to how it wears or washes, but will report back in a year or two!

  4. The thing I love about the Scarves trio is that that’s literally the progression I went through before I knit anything else – I started with garter stitch, moved on to ribbed scarves (which I started striping), and then learned how to cable with a scarf. Makes me kind of nostalgic!

  5. What a great little collection – so perfect for newbie knitters. And I love how each pattern comes with tutorials for all the techniques involved. And bonus, all the patterns are really lovely!

  6. If only I had a guide that showed there was more than garter scarves out there I may not have dropped knitting for 25 years! Also I love the Germantown big hefty rolled skeins. I am so used to hanks and balls these days.

  7. Pingback: New Favorites: Brandi’s neck sculptures | Fringe Association

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