Q for You: Are you a repeater?

Q for You: Are you a repeater?

A few days ago, I posted the above photo on Instagram with this caption: “I stopped an inch short of finishing the body last night because I’m not ready for my time with this stitch pattern to come to an end.” One of the comments was “Time to cast on another one!!’ and the immediate response in my head was Too many other fish in the sea! As if I would never knit the same sweater twice. And yet I say to myself all the time that I’m going to knit another Bellows one of these days, and maybe even another Amanda, which got me wondering why and when I’m willing to repeat. In both of those speculative cases, it’s because I want another of the same sweater but in a snugglier, woolier yarn. (A Spring/Fall version and a Winter version, basically.) But even so, I’ve made no moves to actually cast on again.

I have repeated smaller things in the past — I knitted Fetching mitts for two different friends (no different other than the yarn/color), and have knitted three versions of Orlane’s Textured Shawl (here, here and here; all pretty distinctly different in scale, gauge and fabric). Of course I’ve knitted multiple Stadium Hats and Super Simple Mitts. And oh yeah, Improv sweaters, obviously! And clearly I have no problem repeating sewing patterns — in fact, I prefer it, given all the prep work involved. Apparently the only things I’m willing to knit repeatedly are fairly simple, useful, adaptable basics, whereas the more unique or challenging things get knitted once and then it’s on the next one. But is that really it? I don’t know! I’m still pondering.

So that’s my Q for You today: Are you a repeat knitter of things, and if so what and when? Is it different for sewing than knitting?

I look forward to your responses, and also wish you a wonderful weekend. I, for one, am super excited about the arrival of Daylight Savings!

UNRELATED SHOP NEWS: I’m also super excited about the arrival this week of more Lykke fixed circular needles, the new issue of Taproot, Bookhou double-zip pouches (the beloved Pepita print is available again) and a massive restock of Bento Bags!

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: How do you use Pinterest?

Winter wardrobe results: Or, what to remember next year

Winter wardrobe results: Or, what to do next year

The time I spent on my Winter wardrobe planning in November was so well spent, it turns out, and I’m eager to do it again for Spring. But first I want to make some notes about how the Winter plans worked out — as guidance for next year. For one thing, I find there’s always a genuine difference between what I think I’ll want to wear during a certain season (say, when fantasizing about Fall during the heat of Summer) and what I actually want to wear when I’m in that season. But also because I don’t want to lose track of the little bits of things I learned by paying attention this time around.

Mostly, my outfit plans worked out great. I did literally print them out and tape them up next to my closet, like a huge dork, but it saved me time on a number of mornings — being able to just glance at that, pick out what spoke to me at that moment, and throw it on. And it definitely kept me from unfortunate impulse purchases or cast-ons. But there were still too many mornings where I stood in front of the closet staring, because there were some flaws in the plan and/or my implementation of it.

WHAT WORKED
– My best trick this winter was wearing my big black-and-blue wool plaid shirt or my denim shirt-jacket like a cardigan, basically — as a top layer. This was in part because I simply really like the look, and also because I’m coming up a little short on actual cardigans. The outfit I repeated the most often and felt the most comfortable in was the big plaid shirt over the dotted chambray Endless Summer tunic with blue jeans and boots.
– Related: I love my black-and-white flannel shirt more than I can say, and would wear it every single day if I could. I would really like to feel that strongly about everything in my closet.
My Bellows cardigan continues to be my most-worn garment, and I’m in real jeopardy of growing sick of it at this point, so it’s great that I’ll soon have my Channel cardigan to alternate with.
– I wore the short-sleeved black lopi sweater at least 1-2 times per week, far more than expected. It was the perfect thing for this mild winter.
– Shrinking my Amanda cardigan a bit did result in my wearing it a few times, and I think with solving some of the other problems (below) I’ll get even more wear out of it next year.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK
– Nearly all of the outfits incorporating the sleeveless black silk gauze top, which looked great on paper and I was and still am eager to wear, didn’t work in reality because the length of the front of that top (and the blue striped version) is awkward for layering. Between that and my linen tunic having gotten too shabby looking to wear in most circumstances, I have a shortage of underlayer tops to rely on. That dotted chambray tunic is pulling all the weight.
– All of the outfits incorporating the grey vest, which again I loved in theory and really want to wear, were not possible because I never got around to fixing the buttons.
– Likewise, the outfits with the sleeveless black turtleneck over a long-sleeved shirt depended on my blocking that out a bit larger, which I still haven’t done.
My black cropped cardigan is too cropped. It works great with the limited things it works with, but would be far more useful if a couple inches longer.

ONCE MORE, IN TO-DO FORM
– Make/acquire a few longer underlayer tops
– Fix the buttons on the grey vest
– Block the sleeveless black turtleneck out bigger
– Lengthen the black cardigan

RANDOM GLEANINGS
– I really like for my neck to be warm. The reason the black-and-blue wool shirt (and the b/w flannel shirt) got so much wear is I would turn up the collar and button the top couple of buttons (with a contrasting underlayer top peeking out down below) and I felt super cute and cozy. I also wore the big old grey H&M turtleneck several times, but it’s feeling really ratty at this stage in its long life. My instinct to knit myself a big cozy turtleneck sweater is spot on.
– As much as I love the grey wool men’s shirt and layering with it, it’s the standout example of a thing that happens to me every Winter. Which is, what I want after New Year’s is completely different from what I want during the Fall and holidays. I always have an urge to lighten up — the things that felt cozy a week or three earlier suddenly feel dour and depressing — once we’re headed downhill toward Spring. So I was heavily dependent on that shirt in the outfit lineup and in the last few weeks of the year, but then I was basically without it as an option as of mid-Jan or so. I need to anticipate and plan for that shift.
– The natural denim jeans have been a real difference maker in my overly blue-jean-dependent closet, but I would like to be generally less dependent on jeans next year.

The upside of the “didn’t work” list is that there are a lot of outfits in the lineup that I still want to wear and am not tired of, having not gotten to wear them! Plus I finished two excellent pullovers late in the season (the striped raglan and the colorwork yoke, up top) so I have all of that to look forward to next year.

For details on the garments above, see my winter closet inventory.

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PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Planning: St. Brendan outfits!

Lesson learned

Lesson learned

I did some very productive knitting yesterday and the Sunday before — road tripping to and from my sister’s house in Florida. I was working from there all last week, but made a wildly unoriginal discovery on Wednesday afternoon. My niece’s school let out early that day, so I shut the lid on my laptop and the four of us (me, Bob, sister, niece) went to the beach for a bit. In between playing with Nina in the waves and the sand, I was camped out in a chair under a beach umbrella, knitting my Channel cardigan. At first I was wondering how it was possible that I’d never done that before — how I could not have known how brilliant it is to knit on a beach on a breezy-cool day with a pile of sweater flowing across the lap — and then I remembered: I’m not a beach person. I’m a shade worshipper, for one thing, and have never really known what to do with myself at a beach. I mean, I love to go to the beach, take a nice walk and a dozen photos. But to sit down and hang out? Well, now I know.

(Stowe Bag pattern at Fringe Supply Co.)

Our Tools, Ourselves: Alexia Abegg

In Our Tools, Ourselves, we get to know fiber artisans of all walks, ages, styles and skill levels, by way of their tools. For more on the series, read the introduction.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Alexia Abegg

One of my favorite people I’ve met since moving to Nashville is Alexia Abegg. Best known as a fabric designer and cofounder of the immensely popular Cotton+Steel line, she’s also half of Green Bee Patterns (with her mother), worked with Lotta Jansdotter on the patterns for her book Everyday Style, and is a fantastic knitter. As you can imagine, what with her being a surface-pattern designer and all-round colorful person, there is a lot of colorwork and striping and freewheelingness in her knitting. (I love this note about the cardigan she’s wearing in the photo above.) So naturally I thought it would be fun to get a peek into her process, her tools and her studio.

You can find Alexia on Instagram as @alexiamarcelleabegg and on Ravelry as alexiastitches.

Speaking of tools — one quick bit of business I need to get out of the way before we get started, which is I’m excited to tell you we now have individual Lykke needles available at Fringe Supply Co., both straights and fixed circulars!

And with that, here is Alexia! —

. . .

Do you knit, crochet, weave, spin, dye, sew … ?

If it is a fiber-related craft, I have at least attempted it, but my passions in that realm are for quilting, sewing and knitting. I also paint and draw almost every day. My mother taught me how to knit when I was eight years old. We were traveling all summer with my dad’s band, and my mom taught all of the kids on the tour how to knit and embroider. I think we hit around twenty states on that tour, we celebrated my youngest sister’s first birthday, and by the time we were back home I had almost finished what I think many knitter’s have in common as their first project: a garter-stitch, worsted-weight scarf!

I have loved making things since I can remember existing, and watching my parents paint (Dad), and sew (Mom) taught me to value creating something with my hands at a young age. I started sewing much later, and didn’t love it from the start — pre-teen impatience and sewing do not combine well. A few years later, when I was in high school, my mom let me borrow her machine and I created quite a few haphazard projects, including some little patchwork bags, and my love for sewing and quilting was sparked. My approach was often messy, and free from any of what I viewed at the time as perfectionist rules I thought my mom was unnecessarily imposing on her sewing projects. Over the years I have, of course, realized how much joy my mom takes in practicing patience and careful precision in each and every project she sews. I’m still a bit haphazard and love to work quickly, but I have learned how to corral my energy and patience.

I love quilting because it is easy to just begin. Pieces of fabric, destined to stay two-dimensional even when pieced, are free from the level of commitment I feel when sewing garments. I feel a looseness and relaxation when quilting that allows me to stay more in the process and less focused on the end result. Garment sewing is a passion, but it is more about finishing the garment I desire than about relaxing into the process.

My daily fiber fix is knitting, because it is portable and meditative, and I can still read or hang out with my husband and our two dogs in the evening while knitting. Knitting is the process I feel the most connection with in process alone. I almost don’t even need the desire for a finished object when knitting. I just love the feeling of moving my hands, touching the needles and yarn, and enjoying the colors and texture of wool yarn.

The passion for painting and drawing, and all of the fiber things, have developed into my career. Everything I do for work is directly related to the combination of these creative pursuits.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Alexia Abegg

Tell us about your tool preferences and peccadilloes.

Oh boy, I love tools. I really, really love having just the right tool for every job, and I love discovering what those tools are. My most used and valued tools: my collection of circular knitting needles (I like wood for some projects, Addi turbo metal for others, and I hate straight needles — I just can’t seem to hold them as comfortably) and my 10″ sewing shears. My mother grew up moving all around the world — my grandfather was Air Force — and her family lived in Japan during her high school years. She was given a pair of these very same shears when she lived there, and years later she gifted me a pair and they are the best and only shears I will ever need. They are lightweight and super sharp, don’t pinch on my hand, and are perfectly balanced.

How do you store or organize your tools? Or do you?

My sewing tools are scattered in many drawers, bins and baskets in my studio. It is somewhat chaotic and I certainly find myself searching for things in different places. I am not an organized person in my workspace, and as many times as I try to create places for things, and put things back after use (it sounds so simple when I write it out!), I am just not a tidy maker.

My knitting tools are fairly organized, probably because I mostly keep those at home, and there is less space to be messy in our small, one-bedroom home. My knitting needles are logged in my Ravelry and stored in folding needle cases, and my tools are in a zippered pouch in my WIP basket on the bookshelf in our den.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Alexia Abegg

How do you store or organize your works-in-progress?

My knitting WIPs are in an enamel wire basket on an Ikea bookshelf in our den, and I keep track of everything knitting related in a notebook and on Ravelry.

I don’t tend to have very many sewing WIPs because I usually set out needing to finish a sewing project very close to when I begin it, and that means more complete projects than WIPs. I do however have tons of fabric stash in limbo and stored waiting to become a garment, and that requires a ton of space in my studio.

Are there any particularly prized possessions amongst your tools?

My sewing shears I mentioned earlier are my most prized and used tool. Second to those are probably my sable paint brushes, which I actually probably take care of more carefully than any other tool I own, even my shears.

Do you lend your tools?

It depends on the tool in question, but generally speaking yes, I love connecting with my friends and family that are makers, and there is a real economy to lending each other the things we need when we need them.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Alexia Abegg

What is your favorite place to knit/sew/spin/dye/whatever?

I love to knit absolutely anywhere, but my favorite spot is probably on our front porch in Spring when the weather is nice, before the terrible humidity hits in the summer.

I love sewing in my studio, which has plenty of room to spread out and make a mess!

What effect do the seasons have on you?

I’m a pretty year-round maker, but all of my making energy probably peaks two times a year: once at the beginning of spring, and again just after Thanksgiving. Those two times of year give me a lot of energy and creativity.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Alexia Abegg

Do you have a dark secret, guilty pleasure or odd quirk, where your fiber pursuits are concerned?

When I was growing up my mom had a bumper sticker on our Toyota station wagon that read “the one who dies with the most fabric wins.” I am a shoo-in.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on my next fabric collection for Cotton+Steel at the moment. It is due at the end of March and I really love to immerse myself in each work project I take on. Whether it is a book, a new sewing pattern or a fabric line, I like to schedule time to focus deeply on that one goal for at least a couple of weeks in a row. I find I am able to break through to new ideas and creativity in ways I just can’t when I’m juggling multiple projects on a daily basis.

For fun I am knitting some socks, swatching an Ondawa in Junegrass, and making a baby sweater for my friend Sarah’s baby.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Alexia Abegg

PREVIOUSLY in Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

Q for You: How do you use Pinterest?

Q for You: How do you use Pinterest?

When Pinterest was young, I was deeply in love. Back around 2011-’12, when I also happened to be a brand-new knitter, it was an essential part of my daily routine. I’d log on late at night with a glass of wine, and/or first thing in the morning with my yogurt, scroll back to where I’d last left off, and wander my way upwards — looking for random inspiration and also (maybe moreso) for interesting people. In those days, your feed was made up very straightforwardly of the chronological pins of the people you had elected to follow, and it also displayed who they had repinned an image from, as well as any comments on the pin. So not only could you control what you were seeing by choosing who to follow, and could keep your place because it was chronological, but you could find and meet new people! I loved seeing who my chosen pinners were getting their best pins from, clicking through to find out more about those people, and interacting. Along with being lit up by all the beauty in my curated page, I discovered all sorts of interesting people with excellent taste, and met some of my favorite knitters and even one of my very best friends that way.

Then, as seems to be inevitable, things went south. From my perspective, anyway. A redesign a few years ago buried the community layer — no longer did the bottom of each pin in the scroll say who it was repinned from, comments were collapsed (and thus suppressed, activity-wise). If you want a pin to lead you to other good pinners, it now requires time and effort. The feed stopped being chronological and gradually became jammed full of sponsored or suggested pins, so it was no longer specific to the pinners you’d chosen to follow. Which meant it looked more like the old front page (the everyone page) and less like one’s own little curated world. And now they’re even collapsing the captions — it’s like they have a vendetta against words! Having worked in tech, I have no doubt they’re making data-driven decisions — they must have evidence that other people didn’t care about all that stuff that made me love it in the first place. I guess. But is that true? Or is Pinterest no longer the phenom it once was because so many other people valued it the same way I did, data notwithstanding?

The thing is, I still love Pinterest — or at least, I want to. I long for those days when I could call it up in my browser and know I was going to tumble down a gaping rabbit hole of gorgeousness, but I’ve been trying to find new ways to make use of what it is, since it’s no longer useful to me in the way it was. I think now I use it more the way it was originally conceived — simply as a place to store things I want to save and find again, or occasionally to search for something specific. I’m enjoying making my guest board for BT. I have some secret/shared boards for project planning. I’ve been repinning the whole site archive onto series-themed boards, and love being able to see whole series at a glance like that. (And hope you do, too!) And I still see a lot of blog traffic coming from Pinterest, so I know people are still using it.

But I am curious, and so that’s my Q for You today: How do you use Pinterest? What do you use it for and hope to get out of it. Do you look at it every night/morning or only when you have a specific need? What works for you, Pinterest-wise. Or do you use it at all?

I look forward to your responses, and also wish you a happy weekend!

(NOTE: The image above is a screengrab from my Yarny Goodness board. I have two Pinterest accounts — karentempler and fringeassoc)

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You:

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

In Our Tools, Ourselves, we get to know fiber artisans of all walks, ages, styles and skill levels, by way of their tools. For more on the series, read the introduction.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

In recent months, Beth Thais — I mean, @beththais — has become one of my very favorite Instagrammers. You may recall she was also one of the WIP of the Week winners last summer. I don’t really know anything about her other than that she’s an incredible sewer and knitter, takes beautiful photos and lives in the Bay Area. Since encountering her online, I’ve wished I had made friends with her while I still lived there, and having asked her to answer my Our Tools, Ourselves questions — reading her answers and seeing these photos — has made me wish I had moved in with her. Forgive me if that sounds creepy, but I think you’re likely to feel the same way. ;)

In addition to her Instagram feed, you can find her on Ravelry as beththais. Thanks so much for doing this, Beth!

. . .

Do you knit, crochet, weave, spin, dye, sew … ?

I knit (14 years running), sew (five years) or quilt (two years) almost every day. I enjoy spinning and crochet on occasion. I dyed my first-ever skeins of yarn last month and I liked it.

Tell us about your tool preferences and peccadilloes.

I get attached to the potential tools bring, and their sentimentality. Like fabric on the bolt, it’s easy to pick up a tool and picture all things you could make with it — that sense of possibility is so heady and hard for me to resist.

I do most of my sewing on a modern Bernina and a Brother serger that I researched and bought deliberately. And my rotary cutter and mats and my first good pair of sewing scissors were the same. Most other things I use, including the 1950s Gimble sewing machine I learned on, are things I’ve stumbled across online or at garage sales, or I am lucky to get them as gifts from family or friends.

And I know it’s bizarre, but I just don’t care that much what kind of needles I knit with. Metal, wood, circulars, DPNs — I care about the yarn and the pattern, everything else is background.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

How do you store or organize your tools? Or do you?

I have a big cabinet for yarn and another for fabric. The fabric cabinet was pulled out of the dining room of a 1920s home in Burlingame, California, before demolition and came to me by way of Craigslist years later. My husband restored it and installed it in the spare bedroom I use as a workshop. He did such a beautiful job — it looks like it’s been a part of our house for a hundred years.

My yarn cabinet is a 1930s kitchen cabinet with stove burner etched glass that I bought from a woman downsizing her home in Oakland. She had used it for many years to hold painting and ceramic art supplies, so it’s on a second tour of duty storing tools for making. My rolled sewing patterns are in a ceramic umbrella stand I found at a garage sale. Boxed patterns are in two baskets in an order I can pretty much recite but has no real organization behind it.

I have a yellow standing sewing box that I treasure. It’s a bizarre little piece of midcentury furniture built entirely with making in mind: pin cushions on the inside of the lid, dozens of little pockets lining the inside for your tools and notions, a deep curved bottom for your sweater or hand sewing project in progress, and little wheels so you can drag it all around the house with you. It is incredibly useful, but also so specifically built to my purpose that I can’t help having an affinity. We share interests, it and I.

When my projects leave the house, I have little tool kits to go with them. Tasa Gleason came to a monthly Seam Allowance meeting at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland with a Sew Together bag she had made. We all loved it and kept after her until she agreed to teach a class so we could each sew our own. I have a full-sized one for hand sewing and the mini size for knitting. They have built-in pin cushions and needle stops and a million pockets and I know by heart what goes in each one.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

How do you store or organize your works-in-progress?

With exceptions for gifts made on a deadline, I give myself freedom to work on what inspires me. I use a big bulletin board to plan projects obsessively when it suits, but also wait for that idea that bewitches me out of nowhere. Some of my most euphoric makes are completely unplanned and heady with that sense of giving into a wonderful whim.

My Snoqualmie cardigan sent me on a bus to buy yarn on my lunch break, and I cast on during my commute home despite not having the right size needles to do a tubular cast-on properly. So one sleeve starts with a long-tail cast-on and it looks a little different than all the other hems, and while I completely get that most people think that’s totally nuts, I don’t know … it’s never bothered me. I look at that cast-on that doesn’t match and remember how much I loved that sweater when I first saw it, and how thrilling it was to turn around and suddenly be making something so beautiful and complex with my own hands.

This approach begets many active projects. I have a drawer for sleeping or misbehaving WIPs, and an accordion wall rack that has the ones I’m rotating between more frequently. I’m a huge fan of the Stowe Bag for active projects — if I end up with more WIPs than bags, I can always make more. There is literally a Stowe on the project rack that has pieces of other Stowes-in-progress inside.

I’ll pick the project that speaks to me and head to my little rolling sewing box if I’m working around the house, or grab the right travel bag if I’m headed out the door. It’s a system that works surprisingly well, and I’m grateful for the freedom to have most days start with thought and a decision about what I’ll spend time with.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

Are there any particularly prized possessions amongst your tools?

I inherited a beautiful blue spinning wheel that has been in my husband’s family for generations. I spin on a modern wheel, but think about restoration.

I have a small gold thimble from my husband’s grandmother. There’s a scissor case that looks like a pizza slice that I made on a whim that I’m bizarrely attached to and take everywhere. My husband is a geologist and my pattern weights are all rocks he’s brought home over the years.

I have a standing mirror that was the mirror my mother-in-law shared with her sisters in their room growing up. The table that holds my sewing machine and serger is an old oak desk built for two people to use facing each other. The drawers open in either direction, which I adore, and it’s full of weird little corners and drawers that I fill with patterns and notes and books and tools.

Do you lend your tools?

About two years ago, a woman at an improvisational quilting class who was much better at improvisational quilting than I was gave me a 12 x 12 ruler because she had a spare and I didn’t have one yet. It felt like a validation of the skill I was trying to learn, and support of the work I had left to do. I will lend anything and give most things if you need them; I believe in our community and the support we can give each other.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

What is your favorite place to knit/sew/spin/dye/whatever?

I work away from home and I have young children who don’t nap anymore, so nights are my creative time. And I’ll get up much earlier on weekends that I ever do during the week, and have the sun come up while I’m cutting out pattern pieces if I’m feeling ambitious, or sit on the couch with sleepy pets and knit and think about the day. It’s a meditation, a beginning and end of the day I always recognize.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

What effect do the seasons have on you?

I’m consistent in my inconsistency; seasons tend not to change my approach.

Do you have a dark secret, guilty pleasure or odd quirk, where your fiber pursuits are concerned?

I knit everywhere, I sew everywhere, but I only feel like spinning if it’s 75 degrees and breezy and I can sit outside, listen to music and have a glass of wine. It happens maybe four times a year and it is transcendent.

I take a project with me everywhere; it’s like a comfort object. The one day I leave the house convinced that bringing a WIP is silly will be the day I get a seat on the train and that train will break down and spend 45 minutes stuck in a tunnel. If you happen to meet me in the supermarket, know there’s at minimum a sock-in-progress somewhere on my person.

What are you working on right now?

I have a crocheted afghan that lives in a basket on top of a cabinet. Knitting feels the best to me, but I’ll crochet a square every few weeks just for the feel of something different in my hands. There’s a Furrow Cowl by Jared Flood that’s been my project of choice for a few weeks and is nearing the finish line, knit off a treasured cone of Sally Fox’s naturally colored cotton.

My most ambitious undertaking is an English paper pieced quilt called Patchwork of the Crosses, designed by Lucy Boston. It’s my first hand-sewn quilt, my first English paper pieced project. Weaving, crochet and spinning are enjoyable, but I’ve never found them captivating the way I do knitting and sewing — and I think I assumed I had found the two types of making I’d love most. But I folded the two first little fabric scraps around paper templates and stitched the edges together and I knew immediately that I’d do this forever. It’s such a surprise and a gift, to find another thing to fall in love with.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Beth Thais

PREVIOUSLY in Our Tools, Ourselves: Karen Templer

Photos © Beth Thais

Q for You: Are you a sweater knitter?

Q for You: Are you a sweater knitter?

I know I’ve asked you all before what you knit the most of, but I have a very specific subset of that Q for You at the moment, which is: Are you a sweater knitter? [ETA: Pullovers and cardigans are both sweaters.]

Here’s why I ask. I haven’t made a scientific study of it or anything, but I would swear that in the course of the 5 years I’ve been paying attention, pattern collections and indie magazines and such have gone from being half or mostly accessories, with a few sweaters thrown in, to often being sweater collections with a couple of accessories thrown in, if even that. (And socks are definitely more scarce than they once were.) It has me wondering whether that’s the bias of the people putting them together, or whether there’s evidence that people are really that much more interested in sweater patterns than anything else these days. I know there are new sweater knitters joining the ranks every single day, but I would still assume there are far more accessory knitters than sweater knitters roaming the earth. So how to explain the shift in the collections? If I’m right about that. And I really believe I am! Or maybe it’s a pendulum swinging back where I wasn’t around for its previous swing the other direction?

So this is not just a Q but a PLEA to the thousands of you reading this post, will you take two seconds to leave a comment either saying Yes (I am a sweater knitter) or No (I’m not a sweater knitter)? If you have the time and the will, I’d love to hear more — if no, do you want to be; if yes, is it all you knit. Sometimes, always, never. Whatever you want to tell me! But please, I’m dying to know—

Hi, my name is Karen, and I am a sweater knitter.

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Oh, and for aspiring sweater knitters, see: Pullovers for first-timers (an introduction to sweater construction) and Cardigans for first-timers

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: What’s in your Field Bag?