To everyone who’s been asking for it …

Now in BLACK! The Fringe Porter Bin

BIG SHOP NEWS TODAY! The Porter Bin you know and love is now available in black — and it is a beauty. Also new in the shop are the latest issue of Selvedge magazine and the third volume in the Mason-Dixon Field Guide series.

And we’ve got many of your favorites back in stock:
Both issues of Making magazine (back in print!)
Lemongrass-mint Etta+Billie skin balm
Owl scissors
Japanese tapestry needles
Lykke interchangeable needle sets
– and all sizes and lengths of the Lykke fixed circulars

You can get all of the above today at Fringe Supply Co! And the black Porter Bin is also available at or in transit to these fine stores, so if one of them is your local, please check with them for instant gratification.

Have a happy and restful weekend, everyone — I’m looking forward to catching up on all the comments from while I was away …

How to use Lykke (and other) interchangeable needles

How to use Lykke (and other) interchangeable needles

The first time I ever used an interchangeable circular needle, it was in a class situation. For reasons I no longer recall, the kind woman next to me loaned me one of hers, quickly showing me how to use the little turnkey to attach the tips to the cord as she slid it all towards me. “Stick this little key through the holes in the end of the cord, and that way you can hang onto it better as you’re screwing on the tip.” And ta da, instant tutorial! That’s how you use interchangeable needles with threaded cords and tips.

How to use Lykke (and other) interchangeable needles

I never quite realized this isn’t knowledge we’re born with — that it had been handed down to me — until we started selling the breathtaking Lykke interchangeable needle sets and getting emails from customers having trouble attaching tips to cords. Since sets don’t include instructions for whatever reason, I thought I’d take a minute to go over the contents of the Lykke set:

  1. Needle tips, of course
  2. An assortment of cords in varying lengths, which you can combine with whichever size tips you’re using to make exactly the size and length of needle you need in any given situation
  3. Keys, turnkeys, doohickeys, whatever they’re technically called — as noted above, you insert one through the holes in the end of the cord anytime you’re screwing or unscrewing components, giving you leverage and torque (There are four in case you lose any. I always keep at least one in my stitch marker pouch)
  4. Connectors, those tiny little silver tubes, which allow you to daisy-chain cords together to make even longer cords
  5. And stoppers, for when you need to leave live stitches on a cord (i.e. as a stitch holder) while using the needle tips elsewhere — just unscrew the needle tip (again, using the key for stability) and screw on the stopper

It’s natural and desirable for the threading to be tight — you want a nice solid join — and with every set I’ve had, I’ve found it’s sometimes necessary to back off and start again (like screwing a lid on a jar and having it very slightly crooked) or flip a cord around and try a needle on the other end. The key should facilitate getting everything screwed together nice and tight and smooth. That said, if you find you have a needle or cord that simply won’t cooperate, even when following these instructions, get in touch with Lykke and they’ll be happy to help!

We have Lykke sets in the shop right now, but I also want to let you know we have individual circs coming very soon! If you’re not quite ready to invest.

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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!

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Giving thanks and making wishes

Fringe Supply Co. holiday WISH LIST - download and print

I might have overshared a little on Instagram last night, but the fact is life can be hard, business can be hard, but the rewards are plenty. I have so much to be thankful for — my husband and family, my health and my home, and this incredible community. By which I mean each and every one of you. Whatever the triumphs and trials might be, I get to organize my life around the art of knitting — thinking and writing about how we all might be better, smarter, more thoughtful, even better-equipped knitters. And I couldn’t be more thankful — to you and for you.

To the Americans among you, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving feast today!

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For everyone everywhere, I have a little something for you — a downloadable wish list for you to mark up and give to your loved ones, in the hope of getting exactly what you want this holiday season. Assuming that what you want comes from Fringe Supply Co. ;)

Thank you for supporting small business!

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season ;)

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season ;)

I’m not sure how it got to be November 18th already, but I’m pretty thrilled because I get to tell you about the gems I’ve pulled together for Fringe Supply Co. this holiday season, with more than a little help from my talented friends. As usual, I’ve added only a few new items to the mix, and they’re things I love with all my heart — from the big and exciting to the tiny and endearing …

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season

PORTER BIN — If you’re on the shop mailing list or follow @fringesupplyco on Instagram, you’ve had advance notice about this indispensable new project bag I’ve been working on all year, the Porter Bin. After several rounds of prototypes (that have traveled all over with me — from Nashville to both coasts and even the Bahamas; in cars, planes and boats) my co-conspirator Alyssa Minadeo and I arrived at what I believe is the perfect large vessel for knitting — equally useful lined up on craft-room shelves or sitting next to your favorite knitting spot or road-tripping around the country. I’ve had each of my sweater WIPs in one for months, and love it so much I dedicated an entire lookbook to it! There is a batch of Porters in the shop this morning (while they last!), and I hope to replenish them weekly from now through the holiday season. You are going to love this bag. (Share yours with hashtag #fringeporterbin)

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season: Lykke "Driftwood" needles

LYKKE DRIFTWOOD NEEDLES — For four years, I’ve been looking for needles I loved enough to put them in the shop, and it finally happened! These Lykke “Driftwood” needles are everything I love about the needles I’ve been using, but so much more! Made of birch with a greyish finish, they’re hard, smooth, perfectly pointed and insanely beautiful, and the sizes are etched into the black metal end caps. Right now they’re available only in sets — interchangeables and straights (so beautiful they make me want to knit on straights) — which are contained in grey waxed denim cases. The interchangeables have flexible black cords and smooth joins. And they’re very well priced, too, given that a set includes 12 pairs of needles, ranging from US4 to US17! Are you drooling as much as I am? Oh how I love these.

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season: Bookhou double-zip pouch

BOOKHOU DOUBLE-ZIP POUCH — You all know how much I admire and love working with Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou, and for this season we came up with one perfect tool pouch — rectangular in shape, with a large main compartment and a second outer compartment for smaller items. And of course we made it in her Knit print you all love so much, with brass zippers set into natural twill tape. You’ll find it as covetable and useful as a clutch as it is for tools! All entirely handmade by Arounna.

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season: enamel pins and tiny wooden bowls

TINY TREASURES — Some of you may have guessed that I’ve been working on an emoji set for knitters for quite some time, waiting for the day it’s technologically possible. In the meantime one of those characters made its appearance on a tote bag, but now these three darlings are available as enamel pins! And then there are the tiny wooden bowls made by my friend James Worsham of Handy Dandy Productions. I’ve been using one of James’ little handmade bowls for stitch markers for a couple of years (sitting on a little tool tray by my chair), so I asked if he would make some for the shop this season, and I’m having a hard time not keeping them all for myself! We have plenty of enamel pins to go around (they’ll make great gifts for your knitting friends, too) but the bowls are limited edition!

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season ;)

BESTSELLERS — Of course, there are plenty of well-established favorites to choose from as well: the Field Bag, the leather wrist ruler, the Woollelujah! tote, the Bento Bags … and all the rest.

Top 10 ways to improve your knitting life this holiday season: Stowe Bag kit

SASHIKO STOWE KIT — And in case you missed the announcement last weekend, in honor of their sixth anniversary our friends at A Verb for Keeping Warm approached me about doing a special limited-edition patchwork Stowe Bag kit, incorporating Sally Fox’s organic cotton, some of the pieces shibori-dyed in Verb’s natural indigo vat, along with touches of sashiko — to be pieced together as your heart desires. We still have kits available, and either the kit or the finished bag would make an amazing gift! If you can stand to give it away …

As always, I hope you’ll love these goods as much as I do, and that they’ll make your life a little bit brighter, smoother, better organized, more beautiful.  Thank you so very much for supporting small businesses this holiday season — mine, those I work with, and others like us. It means more than I could ever say.

Happy heading-into-the-holidays, and have a wonderful weekend!

>> VIEW THE PORTER BIN LOOKBOOK and/or SHOP FRINGE SUPPLY CO.

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Photos (mostly) by Kathy Cadigan / Wreath and tree by Vintage Florals

WIPs of the Week No.7 (and fun new stuff!)

WIP of the Week No.7: Kelsey

I’m going to say I’m at a loss for words and then proceed to write quite a lot of them, but I guess what I mean is that I’m not in possession of the right words to describe what the Top-Down Knitalong has been like. I’ve talked a lot about the amazing attitudes on display, but the variety and creativity is also well and truly remarkable. Participants have ranged from sweater novices to sweater aficionados who’d never done top-down to published sweater-pattern designers scratching a creative itch. The sweaters run the gamut from classic stockinette pullovers to elaborate colorwork and cables, and in every shape and proportion imaginable. (Check out the clever construction on this and this, for example.) And the stories! The sweater designed by her 10-y-o; the dude who said “I would totally wear this” and is getting one of his own; the top-down dog sweater; great-grandma’s yarn … If I were to try to post a highlight reel here, it would be hundreds of sweaters long — truly every single sweater deserves acclaim, and the whole thing is such a reward for time spent perusing it, both on Instagram and on Ravelry. Alas, I have two final bonus prizes to award, and picking them was both simple and impossible.

Above is the honey-colored cable sweater by Kelsey, who is @kelseyknits on Instagram and kelseyknits on Ravelry. She was so excited about her swatches she cast on a couple days early and has been one of the stars of the show ever since. There haven’t been many days when her latest pic wasn’t in the Top Posts section of the #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 feed, so in love has everyone been with her progress. She’s said she wanted to get outside her comfort zone with both the color and the deployment of the cable patterns on her top-down raglan, and I’d say it paid off! Kelsey, you’ve won 7 skeins of Father from YOTH Yarns, gorgeous US-grown and -milled Rambouillet, in the in-stock color of your choosing. Drop me an email at contact@fringesupplyco.com and we’ll discuss how to get it to you!

WIP of the Week No.7: Orlane

And the remaining prize goes to Orlane, who is @tete_beche on Instagram and orlane on Ravelry (and the creator of the Textured Shawl Recipe I’ve knitted three times and explicated here). Orlane’s sweater is undeniably beautiful, but it gets better and better the more you know and the closer you look. She’s French and used some gorgeous farmy yarn from Brittany, one skein of which she avocado-dyed. She smartly didn’t start the colorwork until just below the neck join, then stuck with simple geometric repeats centered within the stitch counts between the raglans. My favorite detail, though, is not just the folded hem (which I’m totally into right now) but the fact that she gave it a striped facing. It’s amazing from start to finish. Orlane, you’ve won the 15 skeins of small-batch California-grown Range from A Verb for Keeping Warm in your choice of Lighthouse and/or Quartz colorways! Please email me at contact@fringesupplyco.com with your choice and mailing address!

Both have amazing IG feeds and tons more pics of their sweaters all along the way, so make sure you click through and check them out.

I want to say a huge thanks again to all of our prize donors: Shibui, Purl Soho, Brooklyn Tweed, O-Wool, Woolfolk, Kelbourne Woolens, A Verb for Keeping Warm and YOTH Yarns. You’ve been amazingly generous!

And I want to congratulate all of the WIP of the Week winners and, truly, every single person who took on this challenge. The knitalong doesn’t end here — all four panelists are still knitting and so are countless others — so keep using that #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 tag to share. If you’re following my tutorial, please link your Ravelry project to the Improv sweater pattern page so I can see. And I want to say again I’m truly so inspired and in awe of all of you. You’ve taught me so much about being a brave and determined knitter, and you’ve done the knitting community proud with all of the support and advice and camaraderie you’ve provided each other along the way. It’s been an honor! And I mean it: keep it coming! (I’ll do my best to keep up, but Slow Fashion October also starts tomorrow! So please understand I’ll be juggling.)

SHOP NEWS

New at Fringe Supply Co: bling, cleaner and wax for your beloved Field Bag

We’ve got some really fun stuff in the webshop today: bling, canvas cleaner, canvas wax, and even a small number of Field Bags to apply them all to! (More next week, universe willing.) Click through for details on all of those items, since this post has gone on long enough!

Happy weekend, everyone — see you tomorrow here and over at @slowfashionoctober!

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PREVIOUSLY in Top-Down Knitalong: Let’s talk about underarms

Woollelujah! + WIP of the Week No.3

Woollelujah! the new Fringe Supply Co. tote is here

We’ve got a lot to talk about today, so I’ll keep this part brief! Before I reveal the third WIP of the Week, I have to tell you about this new tote because, well, I can’t wait another second. It’s my favorite tote so far, and since the day the word first popped into my head (and proved to be, shockingly, 100% unknown to Google) it’s been killing me to keep it a secret. So here it is: the Woollelujah! tote, in all its glory.* This one’s big and exuberant in every way — and it’s also available in a choice of two ink colors! For more about it, and lots of pics in its black and blue guises, pop over to Fringe Supply Co. It’s also in yarn stores around the globe today, so check with your local!

Also this week, we got in Jared Flood’s exceptionally gorgeous and useful new book, Woolens — full of timeless accessories you’ll be knitting for years — and the new issue of Taproot, the theme of which is Wander. So take a second to check all of that out, and then come right back for WIP of the Week—

WIP of the Week No.3: Jess Daniels

Ok, so about WIP of the Week: You guys are making this a truly impossible task. Truly. Everyone is being completely amazing and I wish I could give every single Top-Down Knitalong participant a bonus prize. (Or at least a big kiss!) But that said, this week I’ve chosen to spotlight the WIP of Jess Daniels, who is @jess_b_daniels on IG and jessbdaniels on Ravelry. Jess had knitted a sweater last year for her beloved Jenn, which “just didn’t work out.” We all know the perils of knitting for our loved one, the fear of disappointing them and of a handknit sweater going unworn. Jess decided the improv knitalong was a perfect chance for a do-over. She’s frogging the failed sweater and reusing the yarn, and this time she’s not just knitting Jenn a sweater, she crafting one from her own imagination and calculations — a simple stockinette pullover with a henley placket. And I can’t wait to see how the placket part goes! So congratulations, Jess, you’ve won 10 skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Marls in the color of your choosing. Please get in touch with me to collect your prize! (I just realized after I wrote all of this that Jess’s WIP happens to also be Shelter. Hope that’s a good thing!)

Next week’s WIP of the Week prize will be 12 skeins of O-Wool Balance! Another of my personal favorite yarns. So keep those photos and stories coming on the #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 feed, link your projects to the Improv pattern page if you’re using my tutorial, and leave links to your blog posts in the comments here so I and everyone can see what you’re up to! And remember: THERE’S NO SCHEDULE. I’m handing out bonus prizes through the end of September, but please knit at your own pace — there is no deadline. Whether you’re still sketching or already binding off, it’s all cool.

But before I close, I just want to give props to a few other (of the many) standouts from this past week:

@snohomishcarol for finishing this amazing cardigan — maybe she’ll give us speed-knitting lessons!

@stephrbernhard for all the various lessons she’s both learning from and bringing to her beautifully shaped pullover

@ajamakesthings for tapping into her heritage along the way

If the three of you will email me at contact@fringesupplyco.com — Carol, Steph and Aja — I have a Woollelujah! tote for each of you.

To everyone else, keep up the amazing work, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next week!

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PREVIOUSLY in Top-Down Knitalong: How to improve your knitting and FO photos

*If there are any Best Made fans out there, you may recognize this as a design nod to one of my all-time favorite totes, which had sadly gone out of print but which they re-released last week!