Anna Vest pattern, now available!

Anna Vest pattern, now available!

I’m so happy to report that my Anna Vest pattern — originally designed for Tolt’s book Farm to Needle: Stories of Wool back in 2015 — is finally available for standalone download through Ravelry. Originally inspired by a vintage men’s pattern from WWII, this cute little waistcoat pairs classic style with modern shaping in a versatile layering piece. As those who’ve already knitted it can attest, it is an excellent project for learning garment finishing techniques such as inset pockets and a sewn-on, 1×1 button band. But for this revised edition, I’ve added the options to omit the pocket(s) and/or work a simpler, quicker, picked-up garter-stitch button band instead. The original sewn-on band (on the grey sample) is quite polished, and has very tidy buttonholes as well, but it is a project and a challenge unto itself. It’s totally worth every minute, but life is also short oftentimes, and the picked-up version (on the plum sample) is perfectly lovely and way less daunting. So I approve of you doing it either way! And since many people have knitted this vest more than once (myself included), there’s always the option to do both and compare.

A few things to note:

– There was a cut-and-paste error in the layout of the book, with an errata note on the Ravelry pattern page. That error does not exist in the standalone PDF pattern, so the erratum only applies if you’re knitting from the 2015 Farm to Needle book version of the pattern. (Hopefully this 2018 PDF version is error-free!)

– We did an Anna Vest Knitalong a few years ago, so there’s all kinds of additional tips and info if you take a scroll back through that, including in-depth tutorials for how to knit the inset pockets and how to attach the sewn-on button band (if you choose that option).

– There are 6 sizes to choose from in the pattern, and I want to emphasize that this vest looks great on all body types. In fact, I mentioned when it first published that I had seen its predecessor (in 38″ circumference) on a whole slew of women at Stitches South and it looked amazing on every single one of them. When the pattern published, Tolt posted pics on their blog of the whole staff wearing the size 38 sample, and you can see what I mean!

– And thank you so much to my friends at Kelbourne Woolens for providing the yarn, Germantown, for the new plum-colored sample (which is officially called Rhododendron).

I hope you love the pattern, and I can’t wait to see what you make of it! For existing projects, see the #annavest and #annavestkal feeds on Instagram and the finished projects on Ravelry.

Anna Vest pattern, now available!

p.s. I was really excited to shoot the plum vest and waxed plum Field Bag together, and meant to release them on the same day. In the few days since the bag released, we’ve been totally wiped out of them. There are still some at or en route to a few of our stockists — most notably, there will be some in Harrisville Designs‘ booth at Rhinebeck this weekend — and we will have one more small batch at Fringe Supply Co. in early November, after which we have a fabric shortage problem until spring!

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How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

When the gorgeous OUR Yarn arrived at Fringe Supply Co., we were of course eager to see it knitted up. I’d already made my Log Cabin Mitts in the DK weight (we’re now down to just a couple sweaters’ worth of the DK, in black only) so we asked my pal Jo Strong to knit up the Double Basketweave Cowl using one strand of chunky instead of the two strands of DK called for in the pattern. The result is the deeply beautiful black cowl I’ve been wearing on chilly days in the studio (as seen in yesterday’s 10×10 outfits, Day 9).

We still have lots of the chunky-weight OUR Yarn, in both black and toffee, so if you’d like to use it to knit a Double Basketweave Cowl of your own (free pattern here on the blog), or any other chunky yarn, here’s how to tweak the pattern to wind up with roughly the same finished dimensions:

– Hold one strand of chunky-weight yarn throughout (rather than 2 strands of DK held together)

– Other than that, cast on and proceed with the pattern exactly as written

– Work rounds 1-10 of the basketweave stitch 3 times

– Work rows 1-5 again (so you’re working 3.5 repeats, instead of 4)

– Work the 4 ribbing rounds and BO as written

Jo knitted this cowl with 2 skeins of the OUR Yarn chunky, with a bit left over, and it blocks out to almost exactly the same dimensions as the pattern. Your results may vary slightly with a different yarn — just make sure you’re matching the pattern gauge, as usual.

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

Happy weekend, everyone!

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PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Log Cabin Mitts

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Log Cabin Mitts (free pattern)

Log Cabin Mitts (free pattern)

Alright friends, the wait is over. Today I give you the Log Cabin Mitts pattern, in all its addictive glory! I mention in the head matter on the pattern that these are cleverly constructed (if I do say so myself) and a great use for small amounts of yarn. What I didn’t mention is that once you start, you can’t stop! Their bite-sized, garter-stitch nature makes them ideal for just always having one going, to be reached for at those odd moments where you can’t pick up whatever you’re really knitting, so instead you’ll just add a patch onto your current square. And before you know it, voilà, you’ve got another pair finished. (How do I know? I started my fourth set on Monday night.) Not to mention, you can pretty much just keep a WIP in your pocket and no one will ever know.

Download the free pattern right here!

They’re also ripe for color play, of course. The pattern is written for 3 colors in a certain arrangement, but you can color them in however you like. Look, I even made you a coloring book! Print this out and have a blast filling it in a hundred different ways—

Log Cabin Mitts (free knitting pattern) by Karen Templer

Here are some I colored in to get your wheels turning. The black/natural one in the upper left is what I started on Monday night!

I’m proposing a little #mittalong as a sub-along to the #fringeandfriendslogalong. I’m getting my head checked, don’t worry — but in the meantime, please use the hashtags #mittalong and #logcabinmitts when sharing on Instagram, and tag @karentempler just to be safe.

If you love these Log Cabin Mitts, please take a moment to like or queue it on Ravelry, to help let the world know it’s there! And I absolutely cannot wait to see what you make with it.

Log Cabin Mitts (free knitting pattern)

RELATED LINKS:
How to avoid, minimize and weave in ends
“Interview” about these mitts
Fringe and Friends Log Cabin Make-along timeline and prize details

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PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Jumbo Basketweave Cowl, redux (all patterns here)

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Jumbo Basketweave Cowl (redux)

Jumbo Basketweave Cowl (redux)

In December of 2011, when I’d known how to knit for 2 months, I published my first “pattern” here on the blog: a trio of superbulky cowls I called the Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection. “Trudging around [San Francisco],” I wrote at the time, “I like a really thick scarf or cowl that I can bury the lower half of my face in and not feel the cold wind at all, and that’s these in a nutshell.” I no longer live in SF, or suffer that brutal wind on a regular basis, but when the temperatures drop below freezing here in Nashville, and I’m headed outdoors, it’s this ol’ bombproof neckwarmer I still reach for. With having gotten a lot of comments from people over the years chastising me for not publishing them as separate patterns, this being my favorite of them, and there being some rookie dumbness in the original post (See: “Gauge isn’t terribly important here …”), I thought I’d republish this one with a few tweaks. When I went to update it, I realized not only was it unnecessarily long and wordy and lacking gauge and measurements, it’s been wrong this whole time! So here it is anew, below: the Jumbo Basketweave Cowl, on its own and fully corrected. I even took a new one-arm selfie in honor of the update! ;)

With winter storms all around us, if you find yourself in need of serious neck protection that you can also pull up over your chin or nose as needed, here’s a fun knit that can be whipped up during the course of a single movie.

(If you prefer a lighter, drapier, longer cowl for wearing loose or double-wrapping as needed, I also adapted this for the Double Basketweave Cowl a few years back, still an extremely popular pattern and also available in kit form in the shop.)

Happy basketweaving! And my sincerest apologies to anyone who might have tried to knit this from the flubbed original …

. . .

Jumbo Basketweave Cowl pattern

This pattern requires a multiple of six stitches for the K2/P4 repeat; modify according to that and your own gauge/dimensions as desired. 

Materials:

Measurements: (after blocking)

  • Gauge: 9 sts and 15 rounds = 4″ in basketweave pattern (1 “strip” of basket = 1.25″ tall)
  • Size: 21.5″ circumference, 8.75″ tall

DIRECTIONS

CO 48 stitches
Place marker and join for knitting in the round, making sure stitches are not twisted around needle.

Round 1: Knit
Rounds 2-5: [k2, p4] to end
Round 6: Knit
Rounds 7-10: p3, k2, [p4, k2] to last st, p1
Round 11: Knit
Repeat rounds 2-11 two more times (total of 6 “strips” of basketweave)
BO loosely and weave in ends

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
K = knit
P = purl
BO = bind off

Please favorite this pattern on Ravelry, if you’re so inclined.

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PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Sloper (Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater)

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Sloper: Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater

Sloper: Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater - free pattern

The pattern: Sloper by Karen Templer (free pattern)
The knitalong schedule: Start now or whenever. Knit at your own pace!
The hashtag: #sloperKAL

Ok, today’s the day a bunch of you have been waiting for — the day I tell you how to knit my little sleeveless turtleneck sweater — but this is unlike the patterns you’re accustomed to. More like a Japanese knitting pattern, what I’m giving you (this is a free pattern, friends, ungraded) is a stitches-by-rows chart of the garment, which you can use to either knit the exact same sweater or resize/modify it into whatever sort of sleeveless sweater you might like. I’m calling it Sloper, which is a term from the sewing world for a set of raw, bare-bones pattern pieces that might be sized to fit a particular person precisely but that can be used as the building blocks or jumping-off point for any number of variations and adaptations. (Click to download.)

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RELATED LINKS:
How to work a slipped-stitch selvage
How to work the sloped bind-off
Sloper pattern at Ravelry
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I’m presenting it to you literally as a scan of pencil marks on knitters graph paper, because I want you to understand that’s how simple this is. And I hope what you’ll take away from it, the ensuing posts and knitalong is the underlying process for modifying just about anything. The garment is two pieces of fabric — a front a back — each 42 stitches by about 74 rows, and in chart form you can see what happens to each and every stitch as you knit your way up through the rectangle of the body into the shaping for the arm and neck holes. So you can knit it exactly as charted (working RS rows from right to left; WS rows from left to right, as with any flat chart), or you can literally print it out, grab a pencil and some whiteout (or your own Knitters Graph Paper Journal), and move those stitches around in the grid however you like.

This will make a lot more sense to you if you’ve knitted a (flat/seamed) sweater before and have a basic grasp on how shaping happens. If you have not knitted a garment before and you want to give this a go as written, I think it’s quite doable. (I wouldn’t advise trying to modify it in any way if you’ve never knitted a sweater before — knit it once as is, then attempt changes after seeing how it works.)

EASY VARIABLES

Over the next couple of days, we’ll talk about doing just that — how to change the sizing (through gauge, or by adding/subtracting stitches and/or rows), and ideas for tweaking the armhole and neck shaping and neck treatment to achieve different results. But even simply working from the pattern exactly as it is, you can still change it up in any number of ways through your choices with regard to these details:

Fabric: The versions pictured are solid colored. You could add stripes, colorblocking, stranded colorwork or intarsia, or even a stitch pattern so long as it’s in keeping with the pattern gauge. (We’ll talk about playing around with the gauge later.) Also, these samples are knitted with worsted-weight yarn held triple for a very dense fabric; you might opt to knit lighter yarn at the same gauge, for a looser, drapier fabric.

Seams: Just by playing around with the seams, you can have an impact on the look of the garment. The black version has a 3″ split hem and traditional seams, meaning the seam allowance is on the inside of the garment. The camel version has fully seamed sides (no split hem) and exposed seams at the shoulders. You could easily also make your back piece a few inches longer from cast-on to underarm for a high-low effect, paired with a split hem.

Neck: The pattern includes instructions for either a crewneck or a turtleneck, so those are two different looks right there. We’ll talk about more drastic changes to the neckline in an upcoming post.

YARN AND GAUGE

So step one is to knit and block a swatch and find a fabric you like that matches the pattern gauge. You could try a superbulky yarn; a strand of bulky with a strand of DK or worsted; or three strands of DK or worsted held together. (This could be a good stash-buster!) Suggested needle size is US15/10mm, but as with any knitting project, you’ll need to swatch to find the right needle size for you to match gauge. Always measure your gauge over at least 4 inches on a blocked swatch.

In reality, your gauge might not be an exact match for mine, and that might be ok. For one thing, I’ve rounded to the nearest quarter inch and the stitch gauge is technically more like 2.3333. At this scale, rounding to 2.25 versus 2.5 has a big impact on the resulting size info. As does blocking the finished garment, where manipulation is possible. (There is always that wiggle room.) So the measurements in the pattern are all given as approximations. Whatever your gauge is, multiply it by 42 stitches (the width of the front piece), double that for total circumference, and subtract for seam allowance*, and that’s how big around your sweater will be at your gauge. If that’s not a measurement that will work for you, we’ll talk tomorrow about how to manipulate it.

The same goes for row gauge. If your row gauge is bigger than mine (fewer rows per inch), your armhole depth will be longer. Divide the number of rows (31) from armhole to bind-off by your row gauge to see what your depth will be, and adjust as needed. For example, if your gauge is 3.5 rows per inch: 31 ÷ 3.5 = 8.9″. Subtract a row or two (between the armhole and neck shaping) if that’s too long for you. Same with the neck depth.

YARDAGE

How much yarn? That’s harder to say, as it depends on what you’re using and what kind of changes you might make. The black Lark sample used 9 (50g/134-yard) skeins (technically 411g, not the full 450). Since it was held triple, you could think of it as three 400-yard strands of worsted, so if you were just using one strand of superbulky, it would be more like just 400 yards. For the pattern size. If you make it 10% or 30% or 50% bigger, you’ll need that much more yarn. My advice is always, always to buy more yarn than you think you might need. As long as it hasn’t been opened and wound, you can almost always return any unused skeins (but inquire wherever you’re purchasing.)

THE KNITALONG

This is a super casual knitalong — no prizes or deadlines or anything. Just knit! Ask questions here and I (or anyone else) will answer as best I can. And share your progress on Instagram using hashtag #sloperKAL and on Ravelry by linking your project page to the Sloper pattern listing. I’ll be monitoring that tag fairly religiously for the next couple of weeks (more loosely after that) and can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

. . .

So tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll talk about resizing and modifying. If the existing pattern size (37-38″) works for you (or you don’t need no steenking advice to alter it!), feel free to dive right in! Please also favorite or queue the Sloper pattern on Ravelry.

For a glimpse at what I’m planning for my knitalong sweater, see my last Queue Check. I’ll talk more about how I’m accomplishing those changes in the next couple of days.

OK, let’s do this—

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*Traditionally, mattress stitch is worked such that you lose one stitch at each edge (two stitches per seam) into the seam allowance. At this gauge, some people will work into the center of each edge stitch instead, so you only lose half a stitch per edge (a total of one stitch per seam). You can do whatever you like, but I do it the traditional way, regardless of gauge, which means 4 body stitches total disappear into the seams. But really, what you lose in seaming can also be made up for in blocking. Numbers are squishy!

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Photos by Kathy Cadigan

How about a mini sleeveless turtleneck knitalong?

How about a mini sleeveless turtleneck knitalong?

Dear friends, I know you feel I’ve teased you with promises to publish the pattern for this sweater (see v1 and v2) over the last couple of years, and it was never my intention to withhold it from you. Look, Kathy even shot these photos for me a year and a half ago! When I was knitting the two of them, I kept what I believed to be very detailed notes and diagrams for this very basic pattern. But when I finally got time to pull out those notes with the intention of writing it up, ages later, it turned out to be, mmm, lacking. I have my work cut out for me getting it deciphered and written, and then there’s tech editing and laying out the pattern and all the other stuff that comes with … and I just don’t have the bandwidth!

But in the meantime, I had a thought. I know a lot of you really want to have a better understanding of how to manipulate patterns — and I want you to have that, too! — and this one, being so broad strokes and bare bones and sleeveless, is a great opportunity to experiment with it. So here’s what I’m proposing. On Monday May 1st, I will publish this in the simplest possible form: a chart and some footnotes. Kinda like a Japanese pattern only minus the inscrutable annotations. I’m calling it Sloper — the name sewers use for a basic pattern/template with no seam allowances that you can manipulate as you wish. I’ll spend a few blog days, I imagine, walking you through how simple it is to make key changes — to widen it, lengthen it, add waist shaping, tinker with the armholes and neckhole and the finishing details, make it a crewneck instead of a turtle. And then we’ll do it as a mini-knitalong! (Hashtag #sloperKAL) That way everyone can see what changes everyone else is making to suit their size and shape, and we can all learn from each other.

This is a fun one to play with, especially since it’s multiple strands held together, and a total blank canvas begging to be messed with. You can play around with marls, colorwork, stripes, whatever comes to mind, if you want. And this is such a quick and simple knit, it’s great for a spring quickie — and your finished garment will prove useful in the transitional weather and air-conditioned offices, etc. I’m willing to bet you’ll make more than one!

What do you think — are you in?

To get the wheels turning in your mind, and so you can do some advance planning: The [CORRECTED] gauge for the pattern is 2.25 sts and 3.75 rows per inch (aka 9 sts and 15 rows over 4″). You can use any yarn and needle combo that will give you that gauge, measured after blocking. The black sample is knitted in Quince and Co Lark (in Sabine) held triple on US15 / 10mm needles, and weighs 411g, so just over 8 skeins. (The flax one is discontinued yarn, also worsted held triple.) The sample size is 38″, but again, the point will be to show you how to adapt that to whatever size you want!

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PREVIOUSLY in Knitalongs: Top-Down Knitalong

Now available: Camellia Tank pattern!

Now available: Camellia Tank pattern!

I’m happy to report that the pattern I designed for Making Issue 2, the Camellia Tank, is now available as a standalone pattern! This sweater was inspired by Camellia Fiber Company‘s incredible superbulky black-and-white handspun (entirely undyed), and makes a great showcase for this yarn or other dramatic superbulky. It’s a simple sleeveless shell but with some very specific details to keep all of the edges as clean and tidy as possible, given the nature of the yarn. It looks great on its own, but if you choose a size with more ease it would also look fantastic layered over a button-down, turtleneck or shirtdress.

It’s a very quick knit as this gauge, and a great way to spend some time with a knockout yarn. And you can now download the pattern at Ravelry. (The yarn is available from Camellia, spun to order.)

My thanks again to Carrie Bostick Hoge for inviting me to contribute to her beautiful magazine!

Now available: Camellia Tank pattern!

Modeled photos © Carrie Bostick Hoge