New Favorites: A little something to knit

New Favorites: Graphique kerchief knitting pattern

You know I do love a little kerchief (exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit C) and plus — are you sitting down? — I’ve been struggling to knit lately. I can’t seem to attach to anything, and have been thinking what I need is a little something mindless and pocket-sized to have on the go.* Something quick but useful, that would give me that happy jolt of a finish, and BAM! along comes Graphique from Shibui. It’s nothing but a little stockinette square with concentric stripes, but I think if I were to knit it, I might stripe it more like that Joelle Hoverson scarf I’m always on about. In fact, I might just cast on tonight and see if I can score a little win before the yarn for my Summer of Basics sweater arrives.

I’m back from Squam, by the way — a day later than planned (hence the brief blog outage) and wildly behind on everything — so I’ll have my recap and outfit rundown for you soon.

*Of course, there’s always the Log Cabin Mitts but I seem to have stalled on my epic series for the moment. I have one pair that’s been awaiting thumbs since early March, and another pair in progress where I’m not happy with the yarn choices. So I’ve been reluctant to reach into that bag, as well!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Summer stripes

What to do when you can’t (or won’t) “get gauge”

What to do when you can't (or won't) "get gauge"

When I asked about your all-time favorite posts, lisakoby said: “I have the post regarding swatching to get the fabric you like and using the gauge to adjust the fit bookmarked and I refer to it every time I swatch for a new pattern. Every single time. It has been invaluable in my knitting life.” That makes me so happy! I do find this to be a really important lesson for sweater knitters to learn, since often you simply cannot match both the pattern writer’s stitch and row gauge, so then what? It’s pretty critical to know how to think through the implications of knitting at a different gauge and making adjustments as needed — and it’s not even hard! So today that’s the post I’d love for you to read: How to account for gauge differences.

p.s. That post was tied to the knitalong for my Anna Vest, and I’ve had several people recently asking about that one. I’m aiming to get it published as a standalone pattern this fall!

(Bento Bag and ruler from Fringe Supply Co.)

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Elsewhere: Overlapping make-alongs

Elsewhere: Overlapping make-alongs

I’m thrilled to see so many people already diving into the Summer of Basics makealong — our leisurely 3-garments-in-3-months challenge — but the world is fully of -alongs, and some of them might either inspire ideas for what your 3 garments could be, as well as affording you the chance to double- or triple-dip in the Instagram hashtags — more chances to make more friends! Here are a few I’m aware of. Feel free to chime in with others—

UNIFORM MAKEALONG
Making and Grainline are hosting a makealong of the cardigan and tunic patterns that comprise their Uniform book, which would give you 2 of your 3 right there. This one officially ends June 26th. (photos, top)
Details / #uniformmakealong

CROCHET SUMMER
… is a very straightforward challenge — crochet one thing this summer — with a mighty panel of prize jurors. This one has the same exact timeframe: June through August. Will one of your 3 SoB garments be crocheted? Think about it! (image, above)
Details / #crochetsummer2018

SUMMER SWEATER KNITALONG
Shannon Cook’s annual summer sweater kal will run the full month of August this year, so if you save a SoB sweater for that month, you could enter it in her contest as well. Watch Shannon’s site for details.

To participate in Summer of Basics, just use the #summerofbasics hashtag on your posts! Remember your account has to be public in order for everyone to be able to see your contributions, so if you normally post from a private account, you might want to make a separate public one for makelongs and such.

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UNRELATED: We’ll have our little Fringe Supply Co. table at the Squam Art Fair tomorrow night, laden with some very big sneak peeks of upcoming goods. If you’re in the vicinity of Squam Lake, get thee to the fair! For more details on the unveils, see @fringesupplyco. And if you’re not in the vicinity, never fear: everything will be online later this month!

Happy weekending to you!

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PREVIOUSLY: Jenny Gordy’s shirt + Elsewhere

Introduction to sweater knitting: Construction types and starter patterns

Introduction to sweater knitting: Construction types and starter patterns

If there’s one past post — or set of posts — that I believe to be endlessly useful and also of particular relevance at the moment, it’s Pullovers for first-timers: Or, an introduction to sweater construction and its lesser-known sequel, Cardigans for first-timers: Or, how button bands work. As we head into Summer of Basics, I hope to see a lot of people knitting their first sweater, and so I offer you these bits of guidance in choosing where to start. But whether you’re participating in SoB, maybe just thinking about getting started at some point the future, or have knitted a sweater before but want to gain a better understanding of the different sweater construction methods/types and their respective pros and cons, give these posts a read. And of course, they’re also chock full of pattern recommendations of every variety!

PICTURED ABOVE clockwise from top left:
Basic Round-Yoke Unisex Pullover by Hanha Fettig: top-down circular yoke
Sweatshirt Sweater by Purl Soho: bottom-up seamless raglan
Dwell by Martin Storey: fully seamed, set-in sleeves, sewn-on bands
• Casco Bay Cardi by Carrie Bostick Hoge: seamless, bandless, collarless

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Almost-perfect sweatshirt + Squam packing list

Almost-perfect sweatshirt + Squam packing list

This past weekend, I packed two totally different sets of clothes for two very different trips: Squam Art Workshops and Portugal. Pretty much all of my current favorite garments went into the Portugal pile (show you later), which left me combing through my remaining clothes looking for just the right few things that are A) reasonably presentable enough to teach in, B) appropriate for tromping around in the New Hampshire woods, and C) suitable for the cool, changeable, early-spring weather (as I sweat here in Nashville). And also, I seem to have entered some phase where each time I pack I’m in some kind of competition with myself to see how few things I can get away with! So, y’know, just a few complications there. But thankfully I left myself some very helpful notes after last year.

The Squam trip is just five days: travel there, teach, teach, playtime/art fair, travel home. (Although it feels so long and peaceful in those woods.) Having just watched On Golden Pond, which was filmed on Squam Lake, what I really wanted was to dress exactly like Katharine Hepburn in the movie — i.e., a daily diet of big button-down shirts over a jersey turtleneck and trousers.

In reality, there are two things going in both suitcases — my trusty old denim vest and my recently finished grey sweatshirt, above. It is perfect in every way but one: I cut the fabric the wrong direction. But it’s fine! And I’m looking forward to having it along for sleeping in, for knitting on the screened porch at night, and of course for those chilly mornings on the dock before class. It’s Grainline’s Linden Sweatshirt, and all I did was raise the neckline about an inch all the way around. The fit is utterly perfect, and I’ll definitely make it many more times over the course of my life.

So I’m takig 7 primary garments (outfit clothes) in my Squam suitcase:

Squam Art Workshops packing list

Black cardigan
– Denim vest (J.Crew, ancient)
– Chambray shirt (hand-me-down)
Black shell
Striped shell
– Clay wide-legs (Elizabeth Suzann Clyde Culotte, made in Nashville, sample sale 2017)
– Jeans (Imogene+Willie Willie, made in US, 2017)

(Lots of overlap with last year.) Plus for around the cabin: the sweatshirt, a tee, old cutoffs and my thick black leggings. And since apparently my good ol’ Chucks were the only shoes I wore last year, they’re the only shoes I’m taking this year — hopefully no rain. I’m tempted to throw in my black turtleneck, just in case.

Funny to think I’ll be seeing some of you in the dining hall tonight!

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PREVIOUSLY: Squam 2017 reflections and outfits and Knitting in paradise

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New Favorites: Summer stripes

New Favorites: Summer stripes

The Summer issue of Pom Pom is all about stripes, and it’s astonishing how many distinctly different ways the designers have managed to deploy them, even though the majority of the patterns are simple little summer sweaters! My favorite details among them:

TOP: Anna Maltz’s swingy little Tarmac tank with it’s striped edging!

MIDDLE LEFT: Tina Tse’s simple little Deauville with it’s perpendicularly striped hem

MIDDLE RIGHT: Gina Rockenwagner’s deft plaid Anni

BOTTOM: Amy Christoffer’s log-cabin inspired Riley (I am obsessed with this photo!)

BELOW: And the cross-hatching on Julie Knits in Paris’s Vasarely wrap

New Favorites: Summer stripes

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Thea Colman on a roll

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My pocket-sized life

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

This is my heart, my mind and my life — the last six months of it, anyway — in the form of a pocket-sized bullet journal, and I’m so deeply attached to it I can hardly even tell you. I’ve been sharing some of the spreads on Instagram the past few months (collected together under #ktminibujo) and have had requests that I write more about it. Ok!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a lifelong blank-book junkie. I’ve had more diaries, sketchbooks and datebooks than I could count (many of them still in a big rubbermaid tub that moves around with us from place to place) — but it’s been quite a few years. In more recent years, I’ve been tempted by Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal system, just because I love both organizational systems and paper so much, but “bujo” is sort of a cross between a planner and a diary. A paper-based planner is not really an option when your days are as complicated as mine, and I’ve never stuck with a diary for more than a few entries at a stretch. Still, I’m drawn to how flexible and customizable the basic concept is, and I’ve incorporated certain aspects of it into my web-based planner system. But seeing examples on Instagram of the incredible spreads and concepts people have come up with, within the larger #bulletjournal ecosystem, is incredibly inspiring to me. And then came my making journal, with its slight nods to bujo here and there. And then came the prototypes for the beautiful memo books (and leather cover) that finally made it into the webshop at the end of last week.

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

The samples came at a moment when I needed some help, to be honest. The first few months of this year were rough, and I was feeling both frayed and disconnected — from myself and everything else. One day, in looking at some of the “habit trackers” people have designed for themselves, I had an idea for charting my well-being and its influences, and I had the perfect notebook in which to do it! After that, I was besotted with my little book. It’s truly either in my hand, my pocket or right next to me at all times. Its very presence — the act of interacting with it — has done wonders for me.

There’s not much that’s core bujo in it, but it owes everything to the flexible, freeform, ever-evolving ethos of the system. There are no “dailies” or “weeklies” but there is a quarterly overview (a sort of “future log”) where I’ve listed top-level deadlines and initiatives for myself, to keep me focused on the big picture. In addition to my monthly “mood” charts with their occasional one-line entries about the day, there’s a page for each month that serves as a timeline, on which I record the highlights: travel, dinners out, time spent with friends. I’ve tried to make note of what we’re watching or reading or listening to, as I miss having a reading journal. And I’ve found myself actually writing a diary entry at the end of each month, sort of recapping life and where my head is at. But along the way, I’ve found myself craving more visual, dimensional, full-color representations of what I’m up to — to be able to actually SEE what I’m doing — which has taken all sorts of forms: from incorporating my spring make list into my Q2 priorities (which accounts for how much of it I’ve actually gotten done!) to enshrining my 10×10 outfits, logging my bathroom renovation measurements and shopping list, and sketching my Summer of Basics plan. I even included my little summer mood board because it makes me feel happy. I draw pictures and diagrams, glue things in, anything goes! And I have the notion that perhaps I’ll have prints made of a few relevant IG photos from the same time period, and enclose them at the end.

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

For all the books I’ve filled (or half-filled) in my years, I’ve never had anything like this one — so much more a reflection of the timespan than any written journal or datebook. And I love that I’ve got six months of life rather beautifully encapsulated in this small volume (or will, once the final four spreads are filled with Squam and Portugal this month). At that rate — two of these per year — even if I kept it up for 10 years, it would occupy very little space in the world and yet tell such a story.

So yes, I’m deeply attached to this notebook — the first thing I would reach for in a fire — and thankful to Ryder Carroll and every bujo-er who’s inspired me so far.

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There’s nothing to say a bullet journal has to be beautifully designed or elegantly hand-lettered or anything at all — it can be as simple as what Ryder demonstrates in his video or whatever you want it to be! — but if you want to look at some of the bujo Instagram feeds I find most inspiring, see @abulletandsomelines, @vestiblr, @tinyrayofsunshine (so many others!) and of course @bulletjournal

And you can find my perfect little notebook over at Fringe Supply Co.

My pocket-sized life: One maker's bullet journal

PREVIOUSLY: Do you keep a knitting journal?

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