So you know how I’ve been using these Log Cabin Mitts as a way to finally knit up some of the incredible skeins I have sitting around on shelves and in bins? Obviously one of the first ones I reached for is this delicious toffee-colored wool I bought from what was then TN Textile Mill (previously and once again Shutters & Shuttles) at Porter Flea in late 2016. The yarn had been custom-milled for a project that didn’t come to fruition and I’ve been intermittently pestering Allison ever since about what would happen to it. (If you don’t know, Allison now works part-time at Fringe Supply Co. keeping the trains running.) Today I’m thrilled to announce that I was able to acquire the remaining skeins from her and they’re for sale in the shop! This is the DK weight in Toffee, but there’s also a chunky weight, and both weights are available in Toffee and Black. Obviously supply is inherently limited, and I’ve hoarded some for myself! So get it while it lasts, whatever you may opt to use it for.
Related: Remember it’s only a week until I pick winners from the #fringeandfriendslogalong, so get those projects posted, whatever state they’re in! Full details on all of that here.
In other news, I’m off to Stitches West for the weekend (first time since I moved away), where I’ll be alternately roaming the show floor and hanging out by the big Fringe display in the A Verb for Keeping Warm booth (917/919), so if you’re there, please say hi! Verb will have a full range of Fringe goods, including a stack of the limited-edition Mini Porters, and they’ve also made up exquisite little mini-skein bundle Log Cabin Mitts Kits! If you aren’t at the show, they’ve made a small number of kits available on their website.
Have a great weekend — I look forward to seeing some of you! — and I’ll be back on Monday.
PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Mitts: Ebony and ivory
I have a longstanding longing for a pair of utterly perfect drop-crotch pants. Something slouchy and cool. Understated — not overly harem-ish. Definitely not Hammer pants. The other day I ran across the image above (middle left) on Pinterest, linked to a page where someone had dumped a ton of images with no credits, so I have no idea who designed them or was photographed wearing them or anything, but they are pretty damn dreamy. The mutton-leg shape is just the right proportion between the upper volume and the lower leg width, and omg those pockets. But even if I could locate and order them up, they’re still a little bit more voluminous than I probably really want to wear. They’re just such a polished example, something to strive for! My friend Kate alerted me to the Straight-Cut Sarouel Pants pattern pictured above (middle right), from Happy Homemade Sew Chic, and they look pretty promising. Especially this slightly modified pair. But basically I’m looking at these, my toddler pants pattern (modified Robbie) and Folkwear’s Japanese Field Pants pattern, and imagining what sort of hybrid I might be able to cook up. I have a few lucky yards of this lightweight fabric made from recycled denim that’s begging to become … these.
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: The pre-Spring sweater
In looking through all the fingerless glove patterns I’ve made note of lately, and zeroing in on these faves among faves of the textured variety, I noticed three of the four have a proportion in common that I love — slightly longer than usual at both ends, for a healthy amount of coverage and extra cozy appearance. The fourth pair goes even farther! And yet I love the variation in forms of knitting these represent—
TOP: Heyworth by Melissa Schaschwary have a simple allover knits-and-purls texture
SECOND: Valley of the Moon Mitts by Shannon Cook features a large-scale lace repeat surrounded by reverse stockinette
BOTTOM LEFT: Gren by Olga Buraya-Kefelian uses traveling brioche to great graphic effect
BOTTOM RIGHT: Tredje by Irina Akeeva appear to be quite simple longer gloves with single rib columns set against reverse stockinette, but there’s a surprise twist of cables on in the inner wrist
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Marlisle
This hat for my nephew — No.2 in the so-called February Hats Project — was a total delight to knit. It’s the 1898 Hat, which was the last of the six patterns for the Fringe Hatalong Series a couple of years ago and which I never got to knit! I’d done the first four of them along with everyone, and then got derailed on the final two by all the usual year-end obligations in my world. (There’s a summary and links to all 6 fantastic patterns here.) So I was excited to finally get to do it, and it was even more fun than I expected. The pattern was designed for seamen — you can read all about it here — with double-thick earflaps, and the way it’s constructed is just so clever and polished. It’s amazing to watch it come together.
The yarn is Woolfolk Far, my first time knitting with it, and it’s almost alarmingly soft. It’s ultra fine merino in a chainette construction, and after all the sheepy rustic woolly yarns I’ve been knitting with it, I almost couldn’t hold onto it. Do you know what I mean? It’s like trying to knit a puff of air after all that. I knit with worsted-weight yarns pretty much always, and have a really good feel for my gauge, but had to go up a needle size with this after my initial pass at the brim was coming out TINY. But once I got that sorted out and my fingers grew used to it, it was a joy to knit, and made the softest squishiest hat you’ve ever seen, which is kind of funny since it looks like helmet.
My only mod here was to make it shallower to fit the lad’s head. Halfway through the crown decrease rounds, I went down one needle size as well as omitting the work-even rounds from there on up, for a more rapid decrease overall. It’s 19″ around and 7″ tall, and hopefully I’ve nailed it.
I’ll definitely be knitting this again (and again).
PREVIOUSLY in Projects: Ebony and ivory mitts
Stiff competition around the Winter Olympics this week. I don’t mean the skiing or skating or snowboarding — I mean the tight race among knitting pattern designers, battling it out for top position on the Ravelry podium (aka Hot Right Now) with their Chloe Kim-lookalike hat patterns, all of them free downloads:
TOP: Olympic Inspiration by Barrettangie
BOTTOM LEFT: Gold Medal Hat by Jen Geigley
BOTTOM RIGHT: Chloe Kim Chunky Hat by Marly Bird
Plus who knows how many more! There’s even an option for crocheters: the Knit-Look Super Bulky Slouch by Jennifer Pionk.
And did you hear about the Finnish ski coach who knits on the slopes? My obvious recommendation for times like those — where you literally want to have a little tiny bit of knitting in your pocket — is Log Cabin Mitts! I need a press contact …
Have an eventful weekend, everyone — even if knitting is your main event. What are you working on?
I know it seems like I’m just knitting Log Cabin Mitts here, but that’s not how it feels to me. There’s something primordial about it. I’m having a reaction. Succumbing to an addiction. Scratching some itch that I don’t quite understand and am enjoying more than I can describe. I mean, the knitting is really fun, and the finished mitts are super cool and useful and feel good on my hands, so on that level they’re an obvious delight. There’s also something almost subversive about it, since I add onto them in life’s interstices — knitting a patch in a stolen moment here and there. But more deeply, they’ve stirred the old graphic designer and art director in me. Plotting out a succession of compositions and color combinations (and photos thereof) is feeding my creative self in a way I haven’t felt in awhile. And when I’m not knitting them, I have intense withdrawal. I literally dream about them, and my hands yearn for them when I’m doing other things. I can’t think of a parallel experience.
With the multiples — which show no sign of letting up anytime soon — I suspect I may have embarked on an epic art project of some sort, the shape of which hasn’t fully revealed itself yet … if there is one. (I’m imagining my obituary: Elderly woman found dead in her sparsely furnished home, next to boxes containing hundreds of pairs of fingerless gloves …) For now, I’m content to just keep making them, as often as possible! Exploring the possibilities presented by my Porter Bin of odds and ends, which I’ll keep dipping into for as long as doing so feels this satisfying.
This pair — number three to reach completion — is the most graphic one yet, and I adore them. The undyed wool is Tolt’s Snoqualmie Valley Yarn and the off-black is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Cast Iron. (Here’s this pair on Ravelry if you’re inclined to put a like on it!) And I’ll tell you about that toffee-colored one in progress, soon …
Of course, it’s also really fun seeing so many of these showing up in the #fringeandfriendslogalong and #logcabinmitts feeds, as well as on Ravelry. Have you cast on yet?
PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Mitts: Glorious grey, the originals, and the free Log Cabin Mitts pattern
I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to top off (har har) the Make Your Own Basics series with an entry about coats, but for anyone with a goal of eventually having an all or mostly handmade wardrobe, eventually you do arrive at the coat question. And when my friend Jen at Grainline put out the coat pattern she’s been teasing the world with for so long, it pushed me over the edge — and might even be the one to get me to tackle a coat one day—
TOP: Yates Coat by Grainline Studio is a modern classic with notched lapel collar, hidden welt pockets and boxy shape
NEXT: Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio is a spot-on version of one of the most enduring and iconic of coat types
THIRD ROW LEFT: Oslo Coat by Tessuti is a lovely shawl-collared wrap coat
THIRD ROW RIGHT: Lisette/Butterick B6385 is a longer coat with waist shaping, vertical welt pockets and three collar variations that each give it a very different look
BOTTOM: Ellsworth Coat by Christine Haynes is an always-chic little double-breasted shape designed for jacket-weight fabrics such as canvas or denim, plus a lining
For a knitted option, I’m partial to the Polar Coat by Regina Moessmer, but be cautious about your yarn choice to keep it light enough to be wearable!
PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: Mittens and mitts