Idea Log: Cowichan-style cardigan, take two

Idea Log: Cowichan-style cardigan, take two

Speaking of colorwork and my desire to do it more regularly, there’s a sweater idea I want to put a(nother) pin in for 2017 — a cardigan I’m pretty much never not thinking about. It’s partially the J.Crew sweater from my last Idea Log of 2015, which has been taped up next to my closet door ever since, and part Andrea’s vest from the Cowichan KAL, and part this sweater seen on Nashville leather-goods maker Annie Williams (photo by my friend Melody who shares space with Annie). Over time they’ve mashed up in my head into the sketch above. It was one of my many concept sketches for the Top-Down Knitalong, but it seemed wrong to do another Cowichan-inspired sweater for that. (And I’m so happy with the direction I went!) But like I said, this one is always on my mind. Hopefully some version of it will be on my needles before the year is out.

(Fashionary sketch templates from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Three easy (Kayne-style) pieces

New Favorites: Colorwork practice

New Favorites: Colorwork practice

Every time I knit a stranded project (meaning, about once a year) I find myself lecturing myself about how I really need to not let so much time pass between efforts. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be more fluid at it? To venture into projects that are more than just a few rows of colorwork in a sea of solids? After more than a year hiatus, I finished the stranded portion of my St. Brendan-in-progress very quickly and I am hereby swearing not to go so long before I do it again! The solution: hats between sweaters.

TOP: Coronal by Erica Smith

MIDDLE LEFT: Banff by Tin Can Knits

MIDDLE RIGHT: Verso by Bristol Ivy

BOTTOM: Northdale Hat by Gudrun Johnston

The only trouble is I want them all to be black and natural …

For colorwork advice and pattern recommendations, see: Colorwork for first-timers

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Bulky cardigans

Make Your Own Basics: The fisherman sweater

Make Your Own Basics: The fisherman sweater

If you know me at all, you know that A) I believe no closet is complete without a good ol’ ivory fisherman cable sweater, or “aran sweater,” and that B) I’ll take any opportunity to blog about my favorite fisherman sweater patterns, even if it means repeating myself somewhat. So obviously, sooner or later, the fisherman sweater installment of Make Your Own Basics was bound to happen. (As is my knitting one! One of these days.) I put together a roundup last year of a whole big bunch of favorites, and there are new ones all the time, but for the sake of Basics, I’m boiling it down to just the truly classic—

TOP: Honestly, all the best aran patterns I’ve seen are in vintage pattern booklets, and the crème de la crème is Bernat 536-145 (aka 4106-145), from the Bernat Book of Irish Knits, 1967. With this Basics series, I’ve tried to stick to easily accessible/downloadable patterns, but given the number of people who pipe up every time to say “I have that book!” it seems like it must not be terribly hard to come by — and regardless, well worth effort. This particular pattern is written for four sizes, but it’s unisex — meaning a deep yoke and wide upper sleeves to accommodate a manly-man physique. I have a huge yearning to create charts for this old pattern and rework it a bit in the process, but I would also very happily knit and wear it as is.

BOTTOM: For some random reason, I think of Steve McQueen’s aran sweater as the one by which all others must be judged, and the Honeycomb Aran by Patons comes pretty damn close. Regardless of how Steve it may be, it is utterly timeless and happens to also be a free pattern. For a very similar set-in-sleeve alternative, see Grit by Kim Hargreaves.

For me, for it to be truly classic and iconic as a wardrobe staple, it does need to be undyed/natural yarn. But obviously what feels most basic and building-block-ish to you may vary.

For more, see:
• Aran sweater legends
• Best fisherman sweater patterns
Cable sweater amazement of the 1960s-80s
Quest for the perfect aran sweater
• and the Amanda knitalong

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PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: The v-neck sweater

Elsewhere

Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Happy Friday and Elsewhere day — I’ve got a little light but delightful clicking around for you:

– Great post about how to mend knits

– plus beautiful darning sampler

Heart-melting (top right)

– I’m excited to watch the #leighsidemittskal2017 (details here) but I especially love finding out about this Generic Norwegian Mitten Chart via @resurrectionfern (who is knitting mittens inspired by Karen Barbé! So many of my favorite ladies tangled up in there.)

– Also wishing I could fit in the #fancykal, a sweater that’s been on my list for ages

– And just wow (top left)

Have a magnificent weekend, everyone!

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

 

Knit the Look: Perfect grey turtleneck

Knit the Look: Perfect grey turtleneck

Oh hey, what a happy accident! I’d forgotten all about this photo from Vanessa’s blog last year, and just rediscovered it on the heels of Tuesday’s post about funnelnecks and midiskirts. This one, spotted outside the Miu Miu show last March, is more of an upturned turtleneck, which I personally prefer to a funnel, and this proportion is also a bit more wearable for those of you who were concerned about that. To emulate this gem of a sweater, all you need is Julie Hoover’s Veneto pattern, which, if you take away the color-blocking, is the perfect basic.* It’s a classically proportioned, well-shaped, set-in-sleeve pullover, knitted flat and seamed — which means it’s also highly adaptable. To turn it into something more like the sweater above, all you’d need to do is go up one size (for the slouch factor), extend the hem ribbing to more like 3″, continue a few stitches of ribbing up both sides of the front and back, leave a split hem when seaming the sides together, and knit the neckback to your desired turtleneck/funnelneck length. (You might find you want to pick up a few more stitches for the neck, as well — try it and see.) Veneto is written for two strands of lace-weight mYak held double, at a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch, so you could also sub a sport-weight yarn. Ysolda’s Blend No. 1 would be perfection.

Now if only I could help you with that amazing skirt. You can see more pics of both garments in Vanessa’s original post.

*Veneto really should have been in the pullovers installment of Make Your Own Basics — I’ll rectify that.

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PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Jenny Gordy’s comfiest cardigan

Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

First of the Best of Pre-Fall 2017: Funnelnecks and midiskirts

First of the Best of Pre-Fall 2017: Funnelnecks and midiskirts

The Pre-Fall 2017 collection images are gathering slowly, but one silhouette trend I’m already loving is the combination of hip-length, funnelneck pullovers with midiskirts and killer boots. Seen here at Adam Lippes (top) — my always-favorite skirt length there, hitting just at the bottom of the kneecap — Protaganist (bottom left) and TSE (bottom right).

Definitely fueling my slouchy turtleneck fantasies

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PREVIOUSLY: Spring 2017

New Favorites: Bulky cardigans

New Favorites: Bulky cardigans

Between the bleak weather here in Tennessee and the skeins of bronze-colored bulky merino flirting with me from my worktable, I’m preoccupied with bulky cardigan patterns right now. In addition to old New Favorites Paloma and Naxos, I keep coming back to these two long-standing contenders—

TOP: Brew by Martin Storey is superbulky gauge and I just love the weird mixed-texture stripes

BOTTOM: Chevron Cardigan by Michele Wang is bulky gauge with a great allover chevron stitch pattern

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Favorite New Favorites of 2016