Best of Spring 2017: New York

Best of Spring 2017: New York

I’m trying something a little different this season: looking at the fashion week collections city by city (as I fall inevitably behind). Starting where it starts: New York. The NY Spring 2017 collections are an especially odd hodgepodge this time around — running the gamut from sporty to ’70s psychedelic to goth, with no particular through-line other than an inordinate number of white dresses. I’m into the flirty little cropped fisherman sweater at Tory Burch, intrigued by the space-dyed onesie (or is it a sweater and pants?) under crinoline-like skirts at À Détacher, and puzzled by the three’s-a-trend situation of pullovers with button-up sleeves worn unbuttoned, as seen at A.L.C., Michael Kors and Lacoste. Ok, that last one looks like snap-on sleeves worn unsnapped at the raglans — but still!

As far as Bests go:

ABOVE: I’m crazy about lots of other things about the A.L.C. collection — a brilliant meld of sporty and flirty — including the black ribbed sweater dress over wide pants and shrunken striped turtleneck. And then there’s that last look, which my brain sees as a simple stockinette pullover in ash Kestrel, paired with some Liberty-print Purl Soho City Gym Shorts.

BELOW: Great little sleeveless, boxy, cabled number at M.Patmos.

Best of Spring 2017: New York

New Favorites: For Bob (or himever!)

New Favorites: For Bob (or himever!)

My favorite thing about the Brooklyn Tweed Fall ’16 collection that came out last week are these three men’s sweaters, which I assess in terms of their Bob-ability:

TOP: Tamarack by Jared Flood is the sweater equivalent of my husband’s favorite shawl-collar sweatshirt, and very likely the next sweater I knit for him (with scaled-down pockets)

BOTTOM LEFT: Carver by Julie Hoover is spare enough in its overall cable-y texturedness that I might be able to coax him into it

BOTTOM RIGHT: Auster by Michele Wang is the sweater I hope to get him into once he’s comfortable in his Carver

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: The solace of hats

Knit the Look: Deepest, blackest turtleneck

Knit the Look: Deepest, blackest turtleneck

So I’ve been working on a sleeve of my Channel Cardigan and have developed a pretty serious obsession with the “half brioche” stitch that forms the pronounced rib portion of the overall stitch pattern. There’s something crazy satisfying about working those stitches, and I love the texture of it. After seeing Jen’s revised knitalong swatch using this stitch, I almost decided to copy her for my fafkal do-over! Then last night I was cruising Vanessa Jackman’s blog and ran into this photo of a girl in a black turtleneck with a pronounced rib stitch that looks a lot like brioche or half brioche! Luscious. So to emulate it, all you need is the Improv top-down tutorial, the half brioche stitch (below), and some gooshy, deeply black yarn. For this scale, I’m thinking maybe Quince and Co. Osprey (aran weight) in Crow. For the turtleneck, pick up stitches as for a crewneck and work in 2×2 rib for that slight contrast with the sweater body. (When knitting a turtleneck, I like to pick up stitches with a needle two sizes smaller than the main fabric and work half the height of the neck — i.e., to the fold — then go up one needle size for the rest. So the outer part is slightly larger than the inner part.)

HALF BRIOCHE WORKED FLAT:

RS: *p1, k1 below; repeat from *; p1
WS: knit

HALF BRIOCHE WORKED IN THE ROUND:

Row 1: *p1, k1 below; repeat from *; p1
Row 2: purl

See Vanessa’s original post for more pics of this sweater.

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PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Nastya Zhidkikh’s sexy little pullover

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Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

New Favorites: The solace of hats

New Favorites: The solace of hats

There have been a lot of great pattern collections released in the past couple of weeks. So many good sweaters I’m trying not to think about right now (but will definitely get around to raving about!) because I’d rather think about hats. I think it’s when I feel the least in control of my to-do list that I start to really crave a nice little hat to knit before bed. Is that an epiphany I’ve had a hundred times before? Regardless of circumstances, a hat is always so achievable and uncomplicated, so bite-sized. So satisfying when everything else is a sea of unfinished business (including, uh, the four sweaters on the needles). Any of these would do nicely  —

TOP: Phōs by Fiona Alice — from the awesome new Amirisu that just hit the shop — is colorwork combined with texture in a geometric motif I love

MIDDLE: Fluffy Brioche Hat by Purl Soho would be a sweet little intro to brioche and an eminently wearable hat

BOTTOM: Furrow Hat by Jared Flood — from his book Woolens — would be such a melodic knit, that simple combo of moss and cables

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Finn Valley and St. Brendan

A shawl for Fall

A shawl for Fall

IT’S SEPTEMBER! And you know what that means: Fall is on its way. Time to think about the beautiful reality of those slightly cool evenings when you just want to wrap yourself up in a little something cozy, before jacket and coat weather kick in. Here are some gems to consider:

1. Tensdale by Patricia Shapiro is such great garter geometry it actually has me itching to knit a triangle shawl again

2. Crosshatch by Jared Flood — from his gorgeous book Woolens — has succeeded in making me want to knit brioche

3. Florence by Bristol Ivy — from the autumn issue of Pom Pom — would be a ton of fun to knit, and to pick yarn for!

4. Ingwer by Melanie Berg is an enticing combination of textures, love to see it even bigger

5. Metronome by Julia Farwell-Clay is just so striking, and I love the shape

6. Meet Me at the Ryman by my beloved Jo Strong is a Nashville tribute that’s also just a really great lace pattern

7. Bittersweet by Amy Christoffers has a sweet allover cable pattern and just makes you want to cozy up in it (free pattern)

For more shawls I’ve loved lately, see my Ravelry favorites.

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New Favorites redux: Finn Valley and St. Brendan

New Favorites redux: Finn Valley and St. Brendan

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Arranmore Collection — how much I loved all of the garments and how sad the photos made me. Turns out there’s a second set of samples knitted in alternate colorways, which are even better than the originals, and they were in the middle of being photographed on a simple dressform. When I saw this whole new set on Kelbourne’s blog, I nearly fainted. How amazing does Finn Valley (top) look in this gorgeous camel-y tweed? And the dark version of St. Brendan (bottom) is a sweater I truly don’t think I can live without — I want it exactly like this. (Clearly I’m nowhere near over that whole dark yoke sweaters fixation.)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the Arranmore Collection

WIP of the Week No.2 // and Elsewhere

WIP of the Week // and Elsewhere

Before I announce this week’s WIP of the Week, I want to say something about prizes, because I think people have a tendency to put too much stock in them. Prizes are lovely, but PRIZES ARE NOT THE POINT. As I’ve said before, I feel like when you participate in a knitalong, the prize is your sweater! And never more so than this Top-Down Knitalong, where it’s a sweater you cooked up completely on your own — and for many of you participating, it’s also the first time you’ve done so. What you get out of the knitalong is a sweater, plus a lot of learning and experience and maybe even some new friendships. Priceless rewards. If you happen to be one of a few people who wins a prize along the way, that’s just icing on the cake, right? It’s the cake that really matters.

With that said, this week’s WIP of the Week is by Beth, who is @bethtais on Instagram and also beththais on Ravelry. I wrote an essay recently for an upcoming book about how we, as knitters and sewers, have the power to make treasures, and not just clothes. This sweater of Beth’s is such a beautiful example of that, so it really stood out to me in that regard. She’s knitting a little striped cardigan for her daughter, and really thinking of it as a part of an outfit and larger wardrobe of treasures.  The yarn is the last in her stash of a much-loved small-batch yarn, Flock, left over from knitting she’s done for herself. And likewise, the dress is sewn from fabric she dyed and made herself a dress out of, before using the rest for her daughter. It’s the sweetest little outfit (reminds me of Kathryn Davey) and I hope it gets worn and loved and saved and passed on to the next generation. And I just adore that touch of blue in the stripe sequence. So beautifully done in every regard.

So congratulations, Beth, you’ve won 7 skeins of Purl Soho’s Flax Down, in the color of your choosing! Please email me at contact@fringesupplyco.com to collect your prize! And big thanks again to my friends at Purl Soho for providing this week’s luscious prize. Next week’s prize is 10 skeins of the new Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Marls, so keep those photos and stories coming! Link your Ravelry project to the Improv pattern page if you’re using my tutorial (131 projects and counting!), and use the hashtag #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 wherever you post. I especially love it when you leave links in the comments to your blog posts, so everyone can see those.

Whether you’re participating or not, I really recommend clicking through the posts on Instagram — such an amazing range of knitters and sweaters and trials and errors and victories. It’s incredible. When you’re done reading through that, there’s Elsewhere:

Have you seen Brandi’s YouTube channel? Gorgeous

Have you heard about Ann’s Washalong idea? Genius

Tom’s sweater is a work of art

And Dianna’s queue is jaw-droppingly beautiful

Great tutorial on seaming perpendicular knits

LOVING this year’s Refashioners challenge

Darling

I might need to make this tank

And this hat

Happy weekend, lovely people! See you back here next week—

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PREVIOUSLY in Top-Down Knitalong: How to knit a compound raglan // PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere