New Favorites: Mitten mania (cont.)

New Favorites: Mitten mania (cont.)

Seriously: cannot stop thinking about mittens! (See Mitten Mania part 1. And Jess’s post yesterday certainly didn’t help, either.) I’ve always thought of mittens as akin to straitjackets for your hands, but lately I have an overwhelming urge to knit a pair … or three. The latest contenders:

TOP: Ossify Mitts by Whitney Hayward is the pattern that answers the question I posed here — so yeah, these are a must-knit for me

MIDDLE LEFT: Aoibhinn by Ysolda Teague is other the pair I really can’t get out of my head (pattern not available individually until Dec 20)

MIDDLE RIGHT: Bearberry by Melissa LaBarre is a cute garter and stockinette combo

BOTTOM: Handspun Dreams Mitten by Hannah Fettig is a creative way to use a small amount of cherished handspun


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Griffin by Bristol Ivy


Elsewhere: Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Don’t be alarmed! It’s not Friday already, but I have something special planned for this Friday and recalled the days when I used to do Elsewhere on Wednesdays — you know, that day of the week where you totally don’t feel like working and would rather wander aimlessly around the internet. I’m here for you:

Squam pre-registration is open, and I’m one of the instructors! (photo top left)

I love every word of this (bottom right)


– In case there’s anyone who hasn’t heard, there are handknit scarves on the new Gilmore Girls! Kelbourne Woolens first heard about it from the designers, who had used Knightsbridge for Dots & Dashes (worn by Rory) and Road to China Light for Eponymuff (worn by Paris). Mason-Dixon has an interview with the designers — with lots of BTS and on-set details. (top right)

– I love the idea of spending Black Friday sewing instead of shopping. (thx, Karen)

– Sweet embroidered wooden bowls tutorial (bottom left)

– Painful reminder that there are still fast-fashion sweatshops in the US (thx, Angela)

– and don’t miss Clara Parkes on pilling



Make Your Own Basics: The little black dress

Make Your Own Basics: The little black dress

It’s that time of year when we’re all supposed to be relieved we have an “LBD” in our closet — that simple little shift or tee dress or slip dress that you can pull out and dress up or down for any sort of gathering you may be invited to. I don’t get a lot of party invitations at any time of year (lol) but the value of a versatile little black dress is undeniable. Here are a wide range of fairly timeless options — but of course, these are also just wonderfully versatile dress patterns that would make great wardrobe building blocks in whatever colors or prints suit you best and any time of the year—

TOP: Catarina from Seamwork is a slip dress with gathered skirt that’s great as a party dress or a summer frock, and would go great with sweaters [UPDATE: I just saw that the current issue of Seamwork is the LBD issue! Here’s the intro]

MIDDLE LEFT: Farrow from Grainline Studio was Jen’s wedding dress in crepe de chine, so that one definitely dresses up or down

MIDDLE RIGHT: Inari from Named is a slightly cocoon-shaped tee dress you could do absolutely anything with

BOTTOM: Anna from By Hand London is a little bit va-va-voom at floor-length and cute and girly in the knee-length variation


Simple Slip by April Rhodes is a plain slip dress that comes along with the Date Night Dress pattern — bonus! (See also: Juno)

Fen from Fancy Tiger, which I’ve mentioned before, looks really great in dressier fabrics — here’s proof


For a knitted dress option, Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s simple tee dress, Ebb (below), would dress up beautifully in black.

Make Your Own Basics: The little black dress

PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: The turtleneck sweater


Elsewhere + Shop Talk

Elsewhere + Shop Talk

First, a little bit of shop talk:

1) There’s a small batch of the Porter Bin in the shop right now (more next week), and you can also find it today in person at a few of our stores: Purl Soho, Fibre Space, The Yarnery, Tolt Yarn and Wool and (arriving soon) Fancy Tiger Crafts.

2) The Limited Edition hair-on-hide version of our stitch marker pouch is also in the shop this morning — while they last!

3) In case you missed it yesterday, Wish List!

And now, Elsewhere:

Lovely piece on the Verb blog about boro, sashiko and our Stowe Kit (available here)

A video not to be missed (thx, Anna!)

Craft as solace

This sweater

A history of knitting in 46 minutes

Now THAT’s a yarn bomb

Negative-waste fashion? (thanks to multiple tippers!)

– “In one year, this wall clock will make a two metre-long scarf …” (bottom right)

– Have you heard about the Pussyhat Project? (top right)

– I love the concept of the FibershedKAL (top left)

– and I also love MDK’s new Knitstrips feature — patterns in graphic novel form (bottom left)

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone — thank you for everything this week!



Prada’s hippie-Cowichan funhouse sweaters

Prada's hippie-Cowichan funhouse sweaters

There was this thing on the Prada Fall 2016 runway last spring that I quickly clicked right past, aghast at the … well, at the whole thing, let’s be honest. I didn’t linger nearly long enough to notice or wonder about the knitted fabric that made up the body of that cardigan. Then last week a reader sent me an email containing the image at the top of this post — from Prada’s current ad campaign — asking if I could shed any light on it. A few days later, a friend texted the Eddie Redmayne becardiganned version below it. Both images had the opposite effect on me: I could not take my eyes off them. The fabric is fascinating, but the vest! It’s like some kind of hippie patchwork version of my fitted Cowichan-ish vest, one of my all-time favorite garments. The colors in the Prada vest are too Bob Newhart Show for me (although I like it against the pink!), but the palette of Eddie’s cardigan is mesmerizing — like The Plucky Knitter was involved.

But what IS IT, you’re wondering? So was I! For a diagnosis, I turned to my friend Kate, who sees it as a variation on the short-row scallops you see in something like Olga’s Aranami shawl, with intarsia for the color changes, and a single-row stripe worked as a purl stitch running along the upper row of each scalloped ridgeline. No big deal!

I’ve never knitted anything in the scallops category and never done intarsia, but I’m sufficiently fascinated with that vest that I might have to give something like it a try someday. (Thank you, Ece!)

Prada's hippie-Cowichan funhouse sweaters

PREVIOUSLY in Fall 2016: Best of the Best: Dries’ epic sweater

New Favorites: Griffin by Bristol Ivy

New Favorites: Griffin by Bristol Ivy

It’s the little things, truly. This new Griffin Sweater by Bristol Ivy is easy for me to like. It’s gansey-inspired, shawl-collared, and — being a Bristol pattern — a little construction puzzle to be solved. I like a good puzzle. The main motif here is the paired diagonals forming chevrons up the center front and back (and each sleeve) that then swirl up into the collar, and the detail that really gets me is how those diagonals meet at the back of the neck. I love it as a design element, but go read the construction notes and think about it: You’ve got these assorted parts that start at the side/hem/cuffs and make their way upward … getting joined together, taking shape, decreasing into the yoke as you approach the neck, and then at the very end, BOOM! Bullseye.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: This stitch pattern

Someday vs. Right Away: A spot of colorwork

Someday vs. Right Away: A spot of colorwork

We’ve talked about how eager I am to knit this sweater, St. Brendan by Courtney Kelley. It’ll be a while before I get to, and I’m also aware I’m in jeopardy of having done no colorwork at all in 2016 at the rate I’m going, which makes me sad! So my eyes lit up the other day when I saw Courtney had posted a free pattern for a hat version (“a swatch”) of it. If I had a minute to do that, would I rather knit the hat and have the fun of finishing something, or put those stitches toward my first sleeve? And if it’s some quick and striking colorwork I’m after, I’ve still never gotten over Kathy’s hat-sized rendition of Jón.


PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Cables, please!