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
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’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
The most astonishing thing about knitting — this thing people have been doing for centuries! — is that not only is there always more to learn, but there are still clever people coming up with new ways do things all the time! New shaping and construction methods, smoother increases/decreases, original stitch combinations and motifs. You can argue that there’s actually nothing new under the sun — that every idea has been had before; maybe we just don’t know about it. But it doesn’t matter! It’s the constant flow of creativity that thrills me. And Anna Maltz’s new book, Marlisle: A new direction is knitting, is a superlative example. The book released on Saturday (our copies are going quickly!) and I can’t remember being so excited about a brilliantly simple idea or a collection of patterns.
It occurred to Anna (aka @sweaterspotter) awhile back that if you were knitting with two yarns held together — creating a marl — and you dropped one of them from time to time, carrying it as a float in the back for a few stitches, you could suddenly do all sorts of intriguing things, with none of the fuss of intarsia. She calls the idea “marlisle” — marl crossed with Fair Isle — and it first appeared on her Humboldt sweater, which has been in my queue ever since. With this new book, though — and the 11 patterns it contains — she’s really pushing the envelope, and applying the idea in a variety of ways. There are simple but very effective applications like the hat above, Hozkwoz, or the cover sweater, Midstream, with vertical stripes up the front and back. There are slightly more complex ones, such as the drop-dead stunning yoke sweater, Trembling, with its 3D facet motif. And there’s the incredibly meticulous pair of mittens, Delftig, with an intricate tile-like design achieved by alternating between holding one color, the other, or the two together. So she’s covered a range of surface designs — from bold and graphic to allover flame patterning to gingham and plaid and trompe l’oeil effects, and used them on everything from hats and cowls to shawls and sweaters. The whole thing is truly stunning, and I’m sooooo excited and inspired by it all. I cannot wait to cast on.
You can see all of the patterns at Ravelry and order a copy at Fringe Supply Co. (Our stack is dwindling but we’ll have more any minute!) There’s a fresh interview with Anna on the East London Knit podcast, and you can also read more about the Ricefield Collective here and her appearance in Our Tools, Ourselves here.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Colorwork mitts
Happy Friday! First things first: There’s a fun little oddball in the webshop today, which we’re calling the Mini Porter — cutest thing ever. It’s a happy accident, basically — the lemonade we made from a batch of wrongly cut canvas that was intended for Porter Bins, so the quantity is inherently limited. Get one while they last! (Also new or back in stock of late: black Porter Bin; Plain & Simple, Woods and A.L.J.; Lykke Driftwood interchangeable short tips and crochet hooks both now available individually; Wool Soap!; and mini matte scissors in highly amusing sheep shape.)
And, a wee Elsewhere:
– “I love your look! Who’s the farmer?”
– How the Faroe Islands got their landscape onto Google Street View (hint: sheep!)*
– What Brandi said
– Love this interview with a bespoke jeans maker
– Style muse of the week
– I’ll have this crocheted blanket, and the pup to go with
– and I want to make a bullet journal so I can have a page like this
Have an amazing weekend, and remember: Just a few more weeks till I start doling out Logalong prizes! See you on the hashtag? #fringeandfriendslogalong
*gravest apologies — I’ve lost track of which of you sent me this link!
Not that I want to distract you (or me!) from your Log Cabin Mitts plans ;) but there have been so many amazing fingerless gloves patterns published in recent months that I’ve decided to break them into small groups! Today, let’s talk about these colorwork gems—
TOP: Pinwheel Mitts by Ella Austin is small-scale allover stranded colorwork, used to magnificent effect on long gloves
MIDDLE: Frost Flowers by Dianna Walla involves just a little bit of worsted-scale colorwork around the hand, combined with generous ribbing and an afterthought thumb
BOTTOM: New Year’s Mitts by Veronika Jobe features beautiful use of a mosaic stitch pattern (no stranding or intarsia) blending a solid neutral with a variegated yarn and gorgeous shaping
Unrelated shop news — or, related in the sense of containing many great patterns, including some excellent mittens — the big beautiful book Woods is back in stock. And Lykke Driftwood crochet hooks are now available individually!
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Plain and Simple