New Favorites: Over-the-top tams

New Favorites: Beret confections

Honestly, saying something has an almost confectionary quality is not normally my way of paying a compliment, but somehow I’ve fallen in love with these two new beret patterns that are exactly that. And I don’t even like berets! Although now I’m wondering why I’ve never really tried one on my beanie-unfriendly head. It could work!

These both just look like such total joy to knit, no matter whose head they might wind up on—

TOP: Western Sky by Caitlin Hunter combines cables, lace and bobbles into the more understated-yet-freespirited of the two

BOTTOM: April Hat by Courtney Kelley mixes a spot of lace, twisted-stitch faux cables, bobbles, puff stitch and a pompom into a fun-loving whole (free pattern)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Head kerchiefs

Me-Made May the Bujo way

Me-Made May bullet journal habit tracker

Hi, my name is Karen and I’m a data nerd. I love information design, bullet journaling and long walks on the beach at sunset.

But seriously, here’s how I’ve set up the aforementioned Me-Made May tracker in my mini bullet journal. In designing the layout, I wanted to track how often I wear me-mades, the average percentage I wear as a proportion of any outfit, plus literally what garments I wore and which category they fall into. I couldn’t bring myself to make it just me-made vs ready-to-wear, since some things literally fall in between — like second-hand jeans, an upcycled State Smock (especially if I dyed it), a refashion, a RTW tee I screenprinted, etc. So there’s MM (me-made), H (hybrid) and RTW along the right side of the tracker for breaking each outfit into its parts. And then along the right of the spread there’s the Wear Count. I can fit about 30 garments into the page, which should be more than enough. When I set that 20×30 challenge for myself a couple of Octobers ago, I wound up wearing not quite 20, I think. But instead of pre-picking them, or necessarily enforcing a limit, I want to allow for that to take shape somewhat naturally. Of course, there’s some serious Observer Effect at play here, since this will make me more self-conscious as I’m getting dressed about whether I’m wearing me-made and what and how often. But it’s more game than science experiment, so that’s cool.

Me-Made May bullet journal wear count tracker

If I keep it up, I’ll do the following and share the results —

TO BE TALLIED:
– the number of days I wore something me-made
– the average percentage of MM worn
– the total instances of MM | H | RTW items
– what garments I wore
– how many of those garments are me-made (denoted by a bullet in the list)

(Dot-grid memo book from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Me-Made May: My 2019 pledge (and more)

Me-Made May plans, NEW Town Bag! and more

NEW! Olive Town Bag + Helga Isager "Stitches" book

Somehow I decided to participate in Me-Made May for real this year — although, by that I do not mean taking 31 days of selfies! What I am going to do is track my wears for the month on a little chart I’m designing in my mini bullet journal. (I’ll show you that asap, and elaborate on it — I’ve had a lot of questions about how I’m doing it.) I will be posting the occasional outfit selfie on Instagram, and will do a wrap-up here at month’s end. I’ve been in a real dressing slump lately and am hoping this will get me re-engaged with my closet — loves and loathes, needs and wants, as we head into the hot zone. Will I run into you on #memademay2019? I’d love to hear your plans.

Speaking of things I’ve announced on Instagram lately, if you haven’t already, please read my Squam update!

IN SHOP NEWS: We’ve got the new Helga Isager book, Stitches, and wow is it gorgeous! So many stunning patterns in a beautiful hard-bound volume. BUT WAIT — we’ve also got a new Town Bag color launching at 9am CT! It’s quite possibly my favorite bag we’ve done so far, and I hope you’ll love it too! I’ll update the photos on this post once it’s been revealed [UPDATED: IT’S OLIVE!], but if you’re following @fringesupplyco, turn on post notifications or just pop onto Fringe Supply Co. at 9am! (Where you’ll also find the needles and notebooks pictured.)

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I hope you have a lovely, restful, restorative weekend. I’ll be seaming my vest so I can finally dig into the fun bits! How about you?

Photos by Kathy Cadigan for Fringe Supply Co

Idea Log: Summer sweater-jacket

Idea Log: Summer sweater-jacket knitting concept

That pic up top is my friend/colleague Cara wearing a little jacket I haven’t been able to get out of my head since I saw the photo long before I knew her. It had been designed by Hackwith Design House for my fellow Nashville small-biz owner Goodwin, and was out of my price range. I keep going back to this image thinking what a useful little thing that could be for much of year here, and it would not be hard to recreate in linen or something, but then you know when it’s summer and you long for that feeling of a sweater knit on your skin? So I’ve been pondering the possibility of a sweater equivalent in a linen-cotton blend or something. Knitting pattern designer Elizabeth Smith seems to be feeling a similar vibe with these two patterns of hers: 1979 (lower left) and Layla (lower right), which could just as easily be single-color stockinette. Either one would be a good jumping off point for a summer jacket like this.

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Everyday vest (now in progress)

Queue Check — April 2019

I feel like nearly every time I make a list of things I intend to knit and/or sew, I’m almost guaranteed to make one or fewer of those things. Since the list I set out for myself last month, I added the possibility of a blanket/shawl for my niece, and in the interim I have worked on only one thing: the shawl-collar smock-vest situation above. Somehow it’s taken me a month to knit those three plain little pieces of fabric, but now the fun part starts!

I’ve had this idea before (for my vanilla cardigan) but am saying it out loud this time: I’m considering sewing canvas pockets onto this garment instead of knitted ones. I really like that combination and decided against it for the cardigan partly because it would have been too bulky to get under the foot of my machine. But it might work here …

Meanwhile, swatching for the prospective navy pullover.

I’ve also never really actively participated in Me Made May before, and probably won’t this year in any traditional sense (maybe the occasional mirror selfie on IG, dunno) but it seems like as good an excuse as any to dust off my sewing machine, which hasn’t been touched since last summer. So that’s my pledge: By this time next month, there will have been sewing. In addition to the patterns mentioned last month, I bought the new Wiksten Shift, so who knows what my Garment of Return will be. But I’ll be sure to tell you about it when it happens!

(Cocoknits Knitters Block kit and removable stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: March 2019, a whole new queue

Elsewhere: Wool dogs and whaling wraps

Elsewhere: Wool dogs and whaling wraps

Hi!! I meant to have this ready to post on Friday, but last week was a week of (good) distractions and (non-tragic) complications, so here is it for your Monday enjoyment instead—

— Don’t miss this one: Andrew Sean Greer on the virtues of questionable taste (thx, DG)

Beautiful short video of indigenous Chinese textile artists and a Chinese-American designer attempting to keep these traditions alive (thx, Angela)

Short history of the Coast Salish wool dog, now extinct

After combat, a veteran finds solace in sheep farming

Kate Atherley’s dissertation on increases and their virtues

Make your own tiny woven pouch

Love the idea of colorwork sleeves on a solid cardigan

This is an incredible sweater collection

Nobody will ever crochet stones as beautifully as @resurrectionfern (bottom photo)

— And I’m super into everything about these knitted wraps for the Whaling Museum, from inspiration to execution (top photo)

Hope your week gets off to a great start!

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Photos © @isobelandcleo and @resurrectionfern, used with permission

New Favorites: Head kerchiefs

New Favorites: Head kerchiefs

I know one of these just came up in the context of last week’s Our Tools, Ourselves interview, but I want to get it into New Favorites (which I literally reference when looking for knitting projects) and these sorts of confluences are what tend to lead me to such posts. So—

When I was going through all of my favorited shawl patterns in putting together the most recent New Favorites installment, I ran across Julie Hoover’s Walsh (top), which I had saved as a shawl pattern because it’s literally a little triangle that would also look great scaled up to shawl proportions, and even at pattern scale might double as a neck kerchief like the one I made my mom long ago and still want for myself. But when I saw it again that day, my reaction was “a head kerchief is such a good idea.” And a matter of days later, along came Denise Bayon’s Hatdana (bottom)! Now I find myself wanting to knit one of each — and why not, when they’re perfect little portable warm-weather projects.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Blankety shawl patterns