Quick Knits: Cowls

Quick Knits: Cowls (holiday knitting pattern suggestions)

OK, trying to stick to my Monday brief about these gift knit suggestions being pulled from relatively new patterns (i.e., those I haven’t managed to get into the blog yet this year) means these are perhaps not the world’s quickest cowl patterns. You could certainly find faster ones out there (ahem) but these are situated comfortably on the fast <–> interesting continuum! For the previous gift-knitting installments this week, see Hats and Fingerless Mitts.

TOP: Mason by Julie Hoover is a simple stockinette funnel at chunky gauge with a little slipstitch colorwork for interest

MIDDLE LEFT: Flying Solo by Espace Tricot is written for two strands of shifting shades to create an ombré but could also be done in a single strand of worsted. This one I actually favorited and forgot at the end of last year, which is hard to believe since it ties right into the whole dickey conversation (free pattern) — pardon me while I cast on

MIDDLE RIGHT: The Shift by Andrea Mowry is the biggest commitment of the bunch, an oversized bandana shape, but seems like it would be so much fun — more slipstitch action

BOTTOM: Sten by Renate Yerkes is double-knit in contrasting shades of worsted for a two-sided cowl

I hope that all gives you some ideas, whether for yourself or others!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites / Gift Knits: Fingerless mitts

 

Quick Knits: Fingerless mitts

Quick Knits: Fingerless mitts (gift knitting ideas and free patterns)

Next up in this week’s short series of quick gift-worthy knits: fingerless mittts! My favorite snack-sized knitting. Mitts are beloved by all (or at least most!), although they can be a little more knitting than yesterday’s hats, due to there being two of them and all. But if you have a little more time—

TOP: Giving Mitts by Jenny Sauselein — look it’s right there in the name! I absolutely love these striped unisex cuties [UPDATE! And I somehow failed to notice they’re written for Lettlopi, so if you’ve got assorted balls for Solbein/Steekalong swatching, this is the perfect use for them!)

SECOND, LEFT+RIGHT: Log Cabin Mitts by yours truly — but really, what could be more perfect? They’re addictively fun to knit, the perfect use for leftovers or mix-and-match skeins, and lend themselves to an endless array of solids or color combinations (free pattern)

THIRD: McKenna by the Berroco Design Team are super-simple cable mitts at bulky gauge (free pattern)

FOURTH: Weekend Walking Mitts by Dianna Walla are a little bit more of a commitment at DK gauge but still cabled only on the back of the hand, this time with a helpful foldover top and a bit more of a wow factor (For superbulky gauge, see Dianna’s Chuckanut Drive)

If you’re really pressed for time — like Christmas Eve knitting — the cutest, quickest mitts are Hannah Fettig’s 70 Yard Mitts.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites / Quick Knits: Hats

Quick Knits: Hats

Quick Knits: Hats patterns for gift knitting

With gift-knitting season upon us and my having a backlog of eye-popping knitting patterns I haven’t squeezed into the blog yet, I decided to do a sequence of New Favorites alternatives this week: recent killer accessory patterns that also knit up quickly and would make great gifts. Starting today with hats, the ultimate unisex gift. These patterns have enough going on that they’ll be fun to knit and make an impression, but not so much as to slow you down too much!

The particular beauty of hats — or any small-scale gift knits, really — is that it’s a chance for you to have fun rotating through different techniques while you’re at it. A definite win/win—

TOP: Tamitik by Shannon Cook shot straight to the top of my hat list when I first saw it on her Instagram* — cute, simple and bulky is a perfect gift-knit combo

MIDDLE LEFT: Diamondback Hat by Mary Jane Mucklestone was on her needles when I saw her in September and it gave me instant cast-on-itis — rhythmic 2-color stranding at worsted gauge

MIDDLE RIGHT: Adam by Rachel Atkinson is a fitted cap in DK on 8s with gorgeous knit-purl patterning

BOTTOM: Pabst Blue Ribbon by Thea Colman is a striking use of cables on a simple cap at aran gauge (see also: Wild Dandelion)

You guys, I picked these thinking “slip-stitch, colorwork, knit-purl texture, cables,” something for everyone, and didn’t realize till I saw the photos together that I unconsciously assembled a collection of diamonds! But then isn’t that the ideal motif for a gift knit?

(Disclosure: Shannon has since sent me the pattern.)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Wearable superbulky

New kit + Towns in town + Elsewhere

New kit + Towns in town + Elsewhere

Hello, Friday! It’s an exciting day over at Fringe Supply Co. — we’ve got a new Stowe Bag Kit from our friends at Verb, a kit for bags so pretty that photos can’t even convey the hand-loomed khadi, naturally dyed, sashiko-stitched gorgeousness. The kit is available now in three different color/fabric combos, and we do have limited quantities of them — it would make a beautiful gift either in either kit or bag form. And it just so happens Jen at Grainline is hosting a Stowe sewalong on her blog in December!

BUT WAIT, there’s more! We’ll also have this week’s Town Bag update at 9am CT. That one’s a little tricky due to overwhelming demand, so take a second to read the notes on how it will work. And if you don’t get lucky this morning, we will have more next week! We’re doing all we can to catch up with demand, and are grateful for your patience and determination in the meantime.

We also passed the six-year mark this week, and I marked the occasion by updating our About page, if you’re new-ish here or would like to know more about the history and mission of Fringe. We’ve come a long way these past few years! And I’m so eternally grateful for your support.

Now how ’bout a little Elsewhere:

This story of a quest to make an American flannel literally brought tears to my eyes (thank you, Sarah!)

Conversely

– And back to awesome

A holiday garland I can get behind

– I’m officially not alone in my love of the dickey as all-day wear

– This week in Podcasts I’d Like Time To Listen To: Thread & Ladle

– Same goes for Gretchen Rubin on Love to Sew!

– The “Wiksten Kimono Jacket” is now the “Wiksten Haori” — cheers to Jenny for undertaking that (see also: Jamie & The Jones) and to @little_kotos_closet who was instrumental in both name changes

– Do you have a charitable knitting/crochet project? You might be able to win yarn for it

– Currently loving hats with a bit of mohair mixed in: exhibit A and exhibit B

Have a cozy weekend, everyone!

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PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere: More comfort, more gauge range, and a spot of macramé

Winter ’18 wardrobe: Outfits!

Winter ’18 wardrobe: Outfits!

For this winter round of Closet Rummy™, I wanted to see if I could come up with 30 combinations I’ve never precisely put together before — always exploring just how endlessly recombinable things can be — and for my own ease of use, this time I organized them by weather. So they sort of go from outfits for really cold weather (with a light sweatshirt/sweater or other long-sleeve top layered under a cardigan, for instance) to moderately cold to not terribly cold, like those times it will be 78 degrees on a random December day. There are definitely some new ideas here — as well as several new or new-to-me garments — but seeing this has me feeling good about my shortlist of things I want to make, and what those will do to change things up a bit! For details on any of the garments pictured, see the closet inventory (not all of which got used here).

Winter ’18 wardrobe: Outfits!

Winter ’18 wardrobe: Outfits!

PREVIOUSLY in Winter 2018 Wardrobe: Winter closet inventory

 

Winter ’18 closet inventory

Winter ’18 closet inventory

I had this notion that I could get away with not doing a closet inventory for this winter (for myself or to share) — just to say “hey, I have a few new things; recently did a whole sweater inventory; will work off last year’s mostly unworn Deep Winter Outfits (not enough deep winter last year); and here are a few new outfit ideas.” But when I got up to my elbows in trying to do that (by which I mean, up to about 2000 words), I realized too much has changed. Between my Slotober-inspired closet cleanout, some new things I’ve made this year, some of last year’s key pieces being dyed or deaccessioned, my recent Everlane staples order (itemized below), and my not being the exact same person I was a year ago (or last week), it’s really a different ballgame. I needed to do the inventory to get my head around what I’m working with. So here it is! And I’m feeling pretty good about the resonance between this and my mood board. (All-new outfits tomorrow.)

TOPPERS

Toffee cable dickey
Plum Anna vest
Black Sloper sleeveless turtleneck
Navy mod-Clyde vest (Elizabeth Suzann Clyde Jacket 2017, refashioned)
Army shirtjacket (J.Crew 2014, refashioned)
– Denim shirtjacket (J.Crew c.2003)

TEES & TOPS

– White graphic sleeveless tee (Everlane 2018, printed by me)
Grey wool muscle tee
Black silk gauze shell
– Grey and black long-sleeve tees (Everlane, new)
– Black silk tie-neck blouse (Everlane, new)
Plaid top
– Black silk smock (Elizabeth Suzann 2017, made in Nashville, no longer available)
– Chambray work shirt (secondhand)
Chambray button-up

The new little black Everlane top doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but it is so pretty and versatile. I’m as excited to wear it with a cardigan and jeans as to a fancy holiday dinner out.

PULLOVERS

Grey wool knit pullover
Grey sweatshirt
– Black sweatshirt (Everlane, new)
– Blue cashmere pullover (Everlane, new)
Ivory aran-gansey
Striped raglan
Fisherman sweater
Grey cline sweater
Charcoal sorta swoncho
Black yoke sweater

I could have sewn the two long-sleeve tees above and the black sweatshirt here (I already have the Lark Tee and Linden Sweatshirt patterns in my possession) but am happy not to have had to. The blue sweater I could also theoretically have made, but it’s about a billion stitches and I would never knit such a thing. This may be the first sweater I’ve bought since learning to knit — certainly the only one in five years or more — and it does feel soulless, but it also feels easy and warm and comfortable and greatly needed, and I expect it to be with me for a good long time. Also worth noting: The sweatshirt and sweater are both thin enough to wear like t-shirts — under cardigans and jackets — during the coldest part of the year.

CARDIGANS

Vanilla cardigan
Camel cardigan
Purple cardigan
Black cardigan
Mushroom shawl-collar

PANTS & JEANS

Natural canvas wide-legs
– Clay wide-legs (Elizabeth Suzann Clyde Culotte, made in Nashville, sample sale 2017)
– Recycled denim wide-legs
– Denim wide-legs
– Natural denim jeans (Imogene+Willie, 2016, made in LA, no longer available)
– Threadbare jeans (Old Navy c. 2013)
– Cropped jeans (J.Crew Point Sur, 2016, made in LA, no longer available)
– Other dark denim jeans

SHOES

Not pictured, but basically all I’ll be wearing the next couple of months are my boots. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed — of if I’ve ever noted — but I rely heavily on tan footwear. I typically don’t wear any colors from the warm side of the color wheel; I only wear neutrals, blues, greens and bluer purples. (The red-purple Anna Vest is the warmest thing in my closet.) So my mostly unconscious way of balancing all the cool tones is to incorporate shades of tan and camel and caramel and such, often in the way of shoes. I have sandals and flats in lovely shades of tan (and last summer went so far as to buy those amazing orange sandals!) but somehow since moving to Nashville I have only bought black boots. As much as I miss the tan effect in winter, I haven’t found the dream pair, but I finally broke down and bought the Everlane Modern Chelsea Boots in cognac, just based on how much I love my black pair. They’re not actually in my hands yet, but I can’t imagine there being anything wrong with them when they arrive.

. . .

So this is 39 garments (26 of them handmade or modified!), but in reality there are maybe 20 that will be crucial and worn on repeat, and a few that will be worn only a couple of times, whether due to weather or favoritism. For instance, there are 8 pairs of pants here, but on any given day the real question is: Am I wearing my natural wide-legs or my Point Sur jeans. Maybe I’ll do a wear count this season.

(ICYMI: How to make a closet inventory)

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PREVIOUSLY in Winter 2018 Wardrobe: Queue Check November 2018

New Favorites: Wearable superbulky

New Favorites: Wearable superbulky

Here I am in the middle of winter wardrobe planning, having gone through my mood board and gap fillers and to-knit list, on the brink of putting together some outfits and carrying on with my winter, and suddenly I am 100% distracted by these chic little superbulky raglans from Tara-Lynn Morrison of Good Night, Day. I mentioned the incredibly fabulous mixed-sleeve-stripe one in the last Elsewhere, and can’t get it out of my head, and then yesterday Tara-Lynn kindly sent me her latest ebook of her Minimalist patterns, since which time I cannot stop looking at the photos seen here: three variations on a simple top-down raglan. Top to bottom, above to below, they are Moosonee Sweater (abbreviated turtleneck), Kingston Cropped Sweater (solid or mixed-stripe crewneck) and Trefann (textured yoke).

The world is full of people hawking superbulky sweater patterns, and they often lead to garments that appear to have swallowed the wearer. Plus who has the closet space for some of those?! But what T-L gets so right is the proportions. Yes they’re superbulky (you can knit one in a day!), but the scale of them is wearable (even in my climate!) and every detail is just right — the yoke depth vs body length and sleeve proportion … they just work. And the way she’s styled them here has my name written all over it. Cozy sweater + slippery little dress + knee-high boots is one of my all-time favorite combos, and these pics are making me not only want to knit one or two of these sweaters to wear with pants and jeans right now (it’s 31 degrees as I type), but to actually dust off some of my dresses to go with them on our seasonal dissonance days. So yes, I’m slightly rethinking my day-old Queue.

New Favorites: Wearable superbulky

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: the Two-Point Cowl