Meet Blue

Introducing the new BLUE Fringe Field Bag

This has been one of the harder things I’ve ever had to keep under wraps, so it’s with great joy and relief that today I get to introduce you to the new BLUE Fringe Field Bag!

When my friend and collaborator Alyssa Minadeo and I were first working on the prototypes for this bag more than 2.5 years ago, my goal was to see it in natural canvas (pure perfection), army green (RIP, we all loved you so) and a nice crystal-clear, bright blue. As much as I love all of our neutral options, I know a lot of you have been yearning for more colors, and I hope you’ll love this one as much as I do. This blue feels exactly right here at the height of summer, but will also be a welcome spot of blue-sky cheer when winter rolls around. And you know I am of the opinion that blue goes with everything! Including the rest of the Field Bag lineup.

You can get it right now at Fringe Supply Co., and it’s also in store today at these Field Bag stockists:

U.S.
– CA / Oakland: A Verb for Keeping Warm
– CA / Petaluma: Knitterly
– CO / Denver: Fancy Tiger Crafts
– MA / Cambridge: Gather Here
– MN / St Paul: The Yarnery
– NC / Black Mountain: Black Mountain Yarn Shop
– NY / Brooklyn: Brooklyn General
– NY / Manhattan: Purl Soho
– OR / Corvallis: Stash Local
– PA / Philadelphia: Loop
– TN / Nashville: Haus of Yarn
– TN / Nashville: Craft South
– VT / Burlington: Nido
– VA / Alexandria: Fibre Space
– WA / Carnation: Tolt Yarn and Wool
– WI / Beaver Dam: Firefly Fibers

INTERNATIONAL
– AUSTRALIA: Sunspun
– CANADA: Handknit Yarn Studio
– ENGLAND: Yarn and Knitting
– FRANCE: L’Oisivethé/La Bien Aimée
– ICELAND: Litla Prjonabudin
– JAPAN: Amirisu

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Have a fantastic weekend! And don’t forget to share your Field Bag photos on Instagram with hashtag #fringefieldbag, and all of your Fringe treasures with #fringesupplyco. I love seeing how things fold into your lives. (You follow @fringesupplyco, right?)

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Elsewhere

Elsewhere : Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Elsewhere is coming at you a day early this time around, because tomorrow I have something exciting to show you!

Love the story behind Cestari yarns — how did I not know he milled his own?

– Is anyone surprised I’m excited about Shelter Marls?

On the rise of luxury basics brands (Cheers to making our own)

On taking time to finish simple things well

– Major sweater inspiration: front and back

– Ace & Jig founders on how they develop their incredible fabrics

This scene

This tiny video

This blanket

– And this incredible trove of Life mag photos (thx, Anecolie!)

Hopefully these links will carry you through the weekend, but make sure you don’t miss tomorrow morning’s post! ;)

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Images: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right

Queue Check — July 2016

Queue Check — July 2016

I feel like I’ve had so little time for knitting lately and yet I’ve made progress on my black top-down cardigan (just the hem ribbing to finish before I turn to the sleeves), knitted the sample for a pattern publishing in October that I can’t show you yet, and have quickly taken a big bite out of the new sample sweater for the top-down tutorial in preparation for the upcoming Fringe and Friends Top-Down Knitalong.

What have I still not gotten to do? I can’t even say it out loud again. But the minute the new tutorial sweater is done, and before the knitalong begins, it will be cast on. I’m hellbent on having it to wear to the Knitting With Company retreat in October, so I better make inroads before the knitalong begins!

Both sweaters pictured are improvised top-down raglans; top yarn is Purl Soho Linen Quill in Kettle Black (a gift from Purl Soho); bottom yarn is Lettlopi in Color 1413

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: June 2016

Top-Down Ideas for me and you

Top-Down Ideas for me and you

I’m so thrilled about all of the enthusiasm for the coming Top-Down Knitalong, and the sketches and swatches already starting to turn up on the #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 feed. I’ve had a couple of people ask what “improvised” means and whether you’re not allowed to have a plan for your sweater going in. Improvised just means knitting without a pattern, but you do that by having a plan — a plan of your very own! Which is based on two things: 1) the gauge you’ll be knitting at (which you derive from a knitted and washed swatch in your intended yarn) and 2) your desired sweater shape and dimensions. It’s not about flying blind, it’s just about making your own plan for a sweater in your own head versus having a pattern tell you what to do.

And on the subject of shape, I’ve also had people ask whether a top-down sweater or a sweater for this knitalong has to be a pullover. Absolutely not! As noted in the preview and the addenda — and the tutorial and the prologue to the tutorial ;) — it can be anything your heart desires. The sample in the tutorial is a plain old crewneck pullover just because that’s the most basic a sweater can get. If that’s what you want in your closet, or you’re nervous about this and want to keep it as simple as possible, that’s a great option. Or you can get all kinds of creative if you like! Make a v-neck or crewneck or shawl-collar; pullover or cardigan or coat; plain or embellished; fitted and fingering or superbulky and slouchy, or anything in between! The possibilities truly are endless.

I still don’t know what I’m going to knit for this (all those endless possibilities …), and thought we could all use a little extra inspiration, so I created a new board on Pinterest called Top-Down Ideas. The captions are full of suggestions about things to consider — from shape to interesting details to how to really think outside the box. The sweaters included are mostly neutral, so you can use your imagination to fill in color or texture or pattern according to your taste.

I hope it gets your wheels turning, and I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about!

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PREVIOUSLY in Top-Down Knitalong: FAQ and Addenda

 

KTFO-2016.12 and 13: Adventure Tank and Seneca Skirt

FOs: Adventure Tank and Seneca Skirt

Having sworn to document all Finished Objects on the blog this year, as well as elaborating on how they fit into my overall wardrobe, I’m posting about these two aforementioned finishes today—

No.12: My first me-made t-shirt — and the first of many Adventure Tanks to come. As I mentioned in my summer sewing plan, this is a Medium and I love it but will make the next one (striped!) in size Small. This looks great with jeans and such on its own, but you can see above it’s a little big to be worn with the skirt and would look better scaled down in comparison, which would also be better for layering under other things. The only change I made was to lengthen it by 1.5″, and then I didn’t hem it (I’m liking it raw) so it wound up 2.5″ longer than the pattern calls for. I couldn’t love this hemp jersey any more than I do — it’s amazing.

No.13: My test sew of Seamwork’s Seneca skirt (designed for jersey), using the leftovers from my blue striped top to see if I would like it in a woven. The verdict: Eh, almost. I don’t think it’s outstanding in this particular fabric (I’ll like it better in something darker) and as previously noted, my plan for the next pass at it is to go up a size for the skirt front/back and gather them to fit the Medium waistband. This one is a straight Medium — only modification I made was to omit the side-seam insert panels and just seam the front and back together.

As with most every garment on earth, I like the skirt best with layers and boots. The question still remains whether I’ll ever really be a skirt person, but becoming a summer-clothes person seems beyond my capacities.

FOs : Adventure Tank and Seneca Skirt

TEE
Pattern: Adventure Tank (view B) from Fancy Tiger Crafts
Fabric: Black hemp jersey from Fancy Tiger Crafts bought for $20/yard
Cost: Free download from my CreativeBug account + $6 to print + $20 fabric = $26

SKIRT
Pattern: Seneca from Seamwork Magazine
Fabric: Unknown Japanese cotton remnant bought for $5/yard
Cost: $12 pattern + $7 to print + $7 fabric + $2 elastic + $1 grommets = $29

Also pictured:  black lopi raglan and off-black chunky turtleneck

NOTE: For those of you who were wishing for a pattern for my striped top, above, and its black precursor, I had mentioned that Amber’s Adventure Tank (muscle tank variation, view B) looked like it might prove to be the thing. And I think it’s safe to say it is — just look at the top two photos up there to see how similar they are! To make Adventure in a woven, you might need to go up a size — definitely make sure the neckhole goes over your head — and cut your bands on the bias. For the hi/low split hem, just straighten out the lower sides and hemline, making the front and back panels as long as you want them, and leave a split in the side seam to your liking. Add pockets if you want. Let me know if you try it!

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PREVIOUSLY in 2016 FOs: Gathered Skirt, take two

New Favorites: Swans Island’s S/M/L cable scarves

New Favorites: Swans Island's S/M/L cable scarves

I know I don’t have to tell you how happy I am that the annual July seepage of Fall patterns has begun. In a rare deluge, Swans Island published an incredible number of patterns this month, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to see them all collected together. Don’t worry, though — I’ve mined their complete archive in search of the latest additions and will be doling them out for some time! But what better way to ease into the season than to start working on a cable scarf? They’ve presented us with three options:

TOP: At the small end of the scale is the Woodlands Scarf by Talitha Kuomi, narrow and unisex, with symmetrical stacks of thin wishbone cables running up the center

MIDDLE: Clocking in at mid-scale wrap proportions is the Algonquin Wrap by Michele Rose Orne, with a mix of open diamonds and dense braids

BOTTOM: And then there’s the large-scale Fireside Wrap by Leah Coccari-Swift, with its big doughy cables

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Thanks so much for reading this week, everyone, and for all the enthusiasm about the upcoming Fringe and Friends Knitalong! I know I’ll be spending a chunk of time this weekend starting to sort out what I want to knit, and I hope you will too! Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope it’s a good one …

And if you need anything from Fringe Supply Co., we’re here for you!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Retro cable bliss

Top-Down Knitalong: FAQ and addenda

Top-Down Knitalong: FAQ and addenda

There have been some questions and suggestions on the Fringe and Friends Knitalong 2016 announcement — aka the Top-Down Knitalong — and I want to make sure everyone sees those, so I’m collecting them here (and will add to this over time as warranted). Forthwith:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Without a pattern, how do I know how much yarn to buy?

You can only guesstimate, and I usually do so based on the yardage of similar sweaters I’ve knitted in the past. Hannah Fettig created Stashbot for this, which is available both as an app and a printed booklet. You put in the general shape of the sweater you’re planning, your intended chest circumference, and your gauge, and it will estimate yardage for you. Or what I typically do is find a similar sweater on Ravelry — same gauge, volume and type of knitting (don’t compare a cable sweater to a stockinette one, for instance) — and check the yardage requirements on that. No matter which way you derive your estimate, buy more than you think you’ll need, just to be safe. Most yarn stores will let you return unused skeins, but I never mind having a leftover for future repairs/alterations or a hat or whatever.

Can we start planning and sharing now?

Absolutely! That’s why I announced it so far in advance. You’ll need to figure out what it is you’re making; knit, block and measure a swatch; and buy yarn. You can either start that on August 15th, or do the legwork now and be all set to cast on. If you do start dreaming and scheming, by all means go ahead and post it to the hashtag #fringeandfriendsKAL2016. I’m excited to see what you’re thinking about! You might base your sweater on a photo of something you love, or on your own sketch. And of course I highly recommend my beloved Fashionary panels (or the sketchbook) for working out your ideas. I find it HUGELY helpful to use that template when putting my ideas on paper — to tinker with where the hem falls (cropped? high hip? low hip?) and how long the sleeves are, and really zero in on what will look best. For me, it’s definitely a pencil-and-eraser exercise, and a big part of the fun.

Does it have to be a sweater?

It is a sweater knitalong, yes — the idea being to learn how to plan, plot and knit a garment, relying only on a swatch and some grade-school math. One of you asked if it could be a top-down onesie, and that sounds like a full-length sweater to me! (Hey, maybe that’s what I’ll make for myself!) I think as long as it is knitted top-down, without a pattern, and is a garment with a neckhole and sleeves, it qualifies. And again, it can be a pullover or a cardigan, plain or textured or colorwork (whatever you’re capable of planning!), long or short, narrow or wide, crewneck or v-neck or boatneck or turtleneck, cap-sleeved to long-sleeved, for yourself or a friend or family member.

ALTERNATE METHOD SUGGESTIONS

As noted in the announcement, my tutorial covers top-down raglan construction and I don’t have plans to expand on that, but there are other top-down methods you’re welcome to employ — remember, the only rules are top-down and no pattern. If raglan isn’t your thing and/or you just want to try a newer method:

If you’ve never knitted a top-down sweater (or improvised a sweater) before and want to keep it simple, I’d say stick with the basic raglan method for your first time.

PERTINENT PAST POSTS

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PREVIOUSLY in the Top-Down Knitalong: Fringe and Friends Knitalong 2016: Preview and plan