Next of the Best of Fall 2016: M. Patmos’ blanket-cardigan

Next of the Best of Fall 2016: M.Patmos blanket-cardigan

Um. Now normally I’m sort of allergic to a hyphenate. But this cabled ivory blanket-wrap-cardigan — a big rectangle with pockets and a button band — is so good I don’t even know what to say about it. Other than well played M.Patmos, well played.


PREVIOUSLY in Fall 2016: Hat hair


The moment my anti-“arm knitting” resolve crumbled

The moment my anti-"arm knitting" resolve crumbled

Throughout the last year or more, I’ve managed to avoid ever typing the phrase “arm knitting” or uttering a single thing about it. There was one phase where it seemed like I couldn’t click anywhere on the Internet without encountering a mention, but I studiously avoided following any of the links or reading anything at all about the craze that was sweeping the yarn nation. The definition of arm knitting seemed self-evident, no need to click for an explanation, and I was happy to sit out the fad. Then just recently the whole thing flared up again — I started seeing rampant mentions of a book called “Knitting Without Needles” by Anne Weil, often accompanied by photos of things that were not at all horrifying. (I have no idea where my instant disdain for arm knitting came from, honestly — it’s just there in my head, involuntarily.) Saturday before last, I popped into Craft South to buy a Moroccan pillow I’d been coveting, and found that Weil was going to be doing a book signing in a matter of minutes. There I was, faced with the book itself, so I broke down and flipped through it. Assessment: not awful. I was a little bit interested to meet her but had urgent pre-Thanksgiving errands to run, so off I went. Then somehow yesterday, cruising around the web, I found myself at her blog, Flax and Twine, and more specifically at a post about this giant, fluffy, basketweave, arm-knitted charcoal grey throw. And I’m not sure I can live without it! (You know I have mega blankets on my mind.) So I might be caving in about this whole bloody arm knitting business. Have you all done it? Am I crazy to have been avoiding it this whole time? Can you live without this blanket? I need to know.

Gift Idea of the DayUNRELATED/VERY EXCITING SHOP NEWS: If you’re curious to learn about natural dyeing or have someone on your gift list who is, I’m happy to report we’ve now got autographed copies of Kristine Vejar’s jaw-droppingly great new book, The Modern Natural Dyer, along with the beautiful boxed kit for the Northwoods Hat, available in three colors. See Fringe Supply Co. for pics and full details, and to grab yours before they’re gone!

New Favorites: Mega blankets

New Favorites: Mega blankets

There’s something so incredibly irresistible about a massive mound of wool to curl up under, isn’t there? (Especially, for some reason, when it’s pictured in a completely impractical shade of white.) I’m currently dreaming of these two beauties:

TOP: Koselig Blanket by Wool and the Gang is knitted on US50 needles in herringbone stitch, with the perfect fringe (also available as a kit)

BOTTOM: Falling Bobbles Blanket by Purl Soho is knitted on US15 needles and sprinkled with giant bobbles (free pattern)


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mitts and more mitts

New Favorites: Graphic garter-stitch blankets

graphic garter stitch blanket patterns purl bee jo sharp

Winter by the San Francisco Bay basically means it’s 58 degrees with (maybe) a chance of rain — and that happens only in brief (widely complained about) patches amidst mostly warmer days. But not this year. This year it’s been weeks of 50something days and frosty nights. And this new workspace of mine — being still all but empty, and having a concrete floor, an 11-foot ceiling, and one drafty glass wall — is cold. So I have got blankets on the brain. There are so many beautiful patterned-stitch blankets out there, but I’m fantasizing about being cross-legged on the couch, knitting garter without hardly looking, and having one of these geometric gems spread out over me as I go.

1. Jo Sharp’s K009 Mitred Blanket Vers 2

2. … and Vers 1

3. Purl Bee’s Super Easy Lap Blanket (free)

4. … and Hudson Bay-Inspired Blanket (free)

For a little more of a challenge, and a good cause, there’s also Kay Gardiner’s Cornerstone Blanket, with proceeds going to help Hurricane Sandy victims.


Do the Guinness people know about this?

purl bee giant granny square blanket

Apparently the largest crocheted blanket Guinness has recorded is 81 x 38 feet, completed in 2007 by a woman named Daphne O’Connor. But was it a single granny square? The website doesn’t specify. Anyway, regardless of whether it might be the world’s largest, I’m amused by the latest Purl Bee pattern — the Giant, Giant Granny Square Blanket, a single granny square giant enough to act as a bedspread. Of course, ever since it hit the interwebs I’ve been mentally draining it of all that color and imagining what it would look like in a solid charcoal, or a single color in an outward ombré effect, or all neutrals, or even ebony and ivory. Our kittens would make a hash of it, so it’ll never happen, but it’s fun to visualize.


All the pretty blankets

jess brown alpaca fringe blanket

Remember Jess Brown, of the handmade rag dolls and fringed shawls? Check out that ivory-striped blanket. And then there’s the new picnic roll pattern from the Purl Bee. And just look at the gorgeous quilt below, with such a story behind it.

purl bee picnic blanket

maisy quilt make something

I’m also eager to see what will become of this Kay Gardiner project. The yarns and inspiration photo are super swoony.