New Favorites: Amirisu 19 (all of it!)

New Favorites: Amirisu 19 (all of it!)

The Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Amirisu landed on my desk last week and I had a bit of a swoon. It is stunningly beautiful from front to back, and there’s not a single thing in there I wouldn’t want to have. (Including the house where it was shot!) I’m not sure the last time I said that about a magazine or book, but while I’m thumbs-up on the entire dozen patterns that comprise the issue, of course there are those that stand out as my very favorites of the bunch:

TOP: Streaks by Keiko Kikuno would make me want to learn how to knit if I didn’t already know how

LOWER LEFT: Fleur by Megumi Sawada is a pretty little lace-and-bobbles hat (which apparently is a thing that appeals to me! who knew)

LOWER RIGHT: Lierne Cowl by Bristol Ivy is a fascinating little loop of pleated coziness

BELOW, UPPER: Escala by Alice Caetano features a mesmerizing fade in texture from smocking to diamonds — I’m obsessed with this

BELOW, LOWER: Wetherell by Kiyomi Burgin is a super charming yoke sweater with additional colorwork accents at the cuffs

New Favorites: Amirisu 19 (all of it!)

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet

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

 

Queue Check — November 2018

Queue Check — November 2018

I did that thing where I convinced myself I was going to come home from my Thanksgiving road trip with nearly finished front and back pieces for Bob’s sweater vest. (Details on the pattern and yarn here.) Instead, of course, I knitted about two inches on the drive to Atlanta, an inch on the drive back, and not a stitch while we were with my family. Too many meals to prepare, kids to fling around, dominoes games to lose. But I have, at least, done my alt-gauge math and made it into the armhole shaping on both pieces, so it’s downhill from here!

Which means it’s about time to decide what I’m casting on for myself when this is done. As you know, I’ve been deliberating. And deliberating some more. Based on the notes in my mood board post last week and an assessment of my stash — as I continue to make slow but steady progress on my cleanout — I’ve got three yarns vying for my attention.

LEFT SKEIN: While I was at Tolt a few weeks ago, I bought a skein of black Luft to swatch with for another Grete, and when I got home a box arrived from my sweet friends at Woolfolk with enough to finish the job. This one is pretty much a sure thing, so very likely the next project on my needles. All there is to think about is the mods I want to make this time, beyond what I did with my first one.

MIDDLE SKEIN: The Our Yarn I’ve been saying I want to use for a Carbeth Cardigan, amplified by my trying on Shannon’s on that same trip. Shannon’s was knitted in the soft black Quarry and it really felt like a sweater that belonged in my closet, so as confident I am that I would absolutely love it in the toffee, I’m questioning whether I’ll regret not making a replica of the sweater that felt so entirely perfect to me. Especially since I also have other ideas for the toffee.

RIGHT SKEIN: The other sweater quantity in my stash that’s crying out the loudest is the YOTH Neighbor I bought at Stitches West back in February. I really love this nubbly, heathery wool and am dying to knit it up, but I’m also being mindful about my quest for less warm sweaters, which led me back to Kram, which has been on my shortlist for three years. I’m leery of these kinds of sweaters (basically triangular garments meant to sit on a square frame), so I still regret not trying on Tank’s when I had a chance at Knitting With Company two years ago, but it looked great on her and the fact that I’ve had it in mind for so long is a good sign. I’d probably need to hold this yarn triple, and believe I have just enough to pull that off, but I’m also considering holding an ivory or lighter blue with it to brighten up the color, since this is a pretty grey blue.

And then there’s the sewing queue. Writing about my wool muscle tee the other day made me think I might want to make another with the toffee-colored wool I have in stash, which was actually woven from the same yarn above. And fueled by the winter mood board, I pulled this purple fabric off my shelf. It’s a gorgeous deep eggplant with patterning in a lighter shade of lilac, woven in Thailand. I bought it a few years ago at Craft South when they had a pop-up with a woman who buys indigenous textiles on her global travels. (I can’t remember her name or brand!) I’ve been waiting for it to tell me what it wants to be, and I’m now thinking a pretty little sleeveless top of some sort. This fabric will go with every cardigan I own (including the to-be-steeked purple lopi) as well as my army and denim shirtjackets, and a little sleeveless top is of course useful year-round. I don’t know what exactly, but I’m picturing something feminine, with maybe a little gathering or pleating at the waist? If I can find the right pattern, I might have the time next weekend, and it would be my idea of a perfect little #sewfrosting project, just in time for the holidays.

(Fringe Town Bag and Lykke needles from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: October 2018

New Favorites: the Two-Point Cowl

New Favorites: the Two-Point Cowl

I have two chief concerns right now, winter wardrobe-wise, being opposite sides of the same coin: First, how to knit myself a couple of sweaters that aren’t too warm for my climate and work well with my collection of pants. (What shape? What yarn? The internal debate is interminable.) Second, what to do with the assorted beautiful wool in my stash such that it is wearable in my climate. Of the two, the one I’m trying most to focus on is the latter, since it makes use of stash — and specifically of yarn I have because I’m dying to knit with it! So I keep going back to my dickey and what I said about Brandi’s neck pieces — the notion of sewing myself a couple of simple things that would fill in for lighter-weight sweaters (e.g., a sweatshirt instead of a pullover; a kimono jacket instead of a cardigan), and layering them with wool neck accessories that are easier and more flexible to wear than were I to commit the same yarn to a full sweater. Which brings me to Churchmouse’s Two-Point Cowl, pictured above in two different gauges. The simple but effective pattern — which wears more like a wrap than a cowl, and also looks great more bunched up — is easy to adapt to any gauge, making it a good candidate for the variety of yarns I have in waiting. And it’s a great pattern for just letting a good yarn shine.

(p.s. Sorry for my unintended absence yesterday. I was sick all weekend and didn’t get a post written. All better now!)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: All square

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

When the gorgeous OUR Yarn arrived at Fringe Supply Co., we were of course eager to see it knitted up. I’d already made my Log Cabin Mitts in the DK weight (we’re now down to just a couple sweaters’ worth of the DK, in black only) so we asked my pal Jo Strong to knit up the Double Basketweave Cowl using one strand of chunky instead of the two strands of DK called for in the pattern. The result is the deeply beautiful black cowl I’ve been wearing on chilly days in the studio (as seen in yesterday’s 10×10 outfits, Day 9).

We still have lots of the chunky-weight OUR Yarn, in both black and toffee, so if you’d like to use it to knit a Double Basketweave Cowl of your own (free pattern here on the blog), or any other chunky yarn, here’s how to tweak the pattern to wind up with roughly the same finished dimensions:

– Hold one strand of chunky-weight yarn throughout (rather than 2 strands of DK held together)

– Other than that, cast on and proceed with the pattern exactly as written

– Work rounds 1-10 of the basketweave stitch 3 times

– Work rows 1-5 again (so you’re working 3.5 repeats, instead of 4)

– Work the 4 ribbing rounds and BO as written

Jo knitted this cowl with 2 skeins of the OUR Yarn chunky, with a bit left over, and it blocks out to almost exactly the same dimensions as the pattern. Your results may vary slightly with a different yarn — just make sure you’re matching the pattern gauge, as usual.

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

Happy weekend, everyone!

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PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Log Cabin Mitts

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Jumbo Basketweave Cowl (redux)

Jumbo Basketweave Cowl (redux)

In December of 2011, when I’d known how to knit for 2 months, I published my first “pattern” here on the blog: a trio of superbulky cowls I called the Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection. “Trudging around [San Francisco],” I wrote at the time, “I like a really thick scarf or cowl that I can bury the lower half of my face in and not feel the cold wind at all, and that’s these in a nutshell.” I no longer live in SF, or suffer that brutal wind on a regular basis, but when the temperatures drop below freezing here in Nashville, and I’m headed outdoors, it’s this ol’ bombproof neckwarmer I still reach for. With having gotten a lot of comments from people over the years chastising me for not publishing them as separate patterns, this being my favorite of them, and there being some rookie dumbness in the original post (See: “Gauge isn’t terribly important here …”), I thought I’d republish this one with a few tweaks. When I went to update it, I realized not only was it unnecessarily long and wordy and lacking gauge and measurements, it’s been wrong this whole time! So here it is anew, below: the Jumbo Basketweave Cowl, on its own and fully corrected. I even took a new one-arm selfie in honor of the update! ;)

With winter storms all around us, if you find yourself in need of serious neck protection that you can also pull up over your chin or nose as needed, here’s a fun knit that can be whipped up during the course of a single movie.

(If you prefer a lighter, drapier, longer cowl for wearing loose or double-wrapping as needed, I also adapted this for the Double Basketweave Cowl a few years back, still an extremely popular pattern and also available in kit form in the shop.)

Happy basketweaving! And my sincerest apologies to anyone who might have tried to knit this from the flubbed original …

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Jumbo Basketweave Cowl pattern

This pattern requires a multiple of six stitches for the K2/P4 repeat; modify according to that and your own gauge/dimensions as desired. 

Materials:

Measurements: (after blocking)

  • Gauge: 9 sts and 15 rounds = 4″ in basketweave pattern (1 “strip” of basket = 1.25″ tall)
  • Size: 21.5″ circumference, 8.75″ tall

DIRECTIONS

CO 48 stitches
Place marker and join for knitting in the round, making sure stitches are not twisted around needle.

Round 1: Knit
Rounds 2-5: [k2, p4] to end
Round 6: Knit
Rounds 7-10: p3, k2, [p4, k2] to last st, p1
Round 11: Knit
Repeat rounds 2-11 two more times (total of 6 “strips” of basketweave)
BO loosely and weave in ends

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
K = knit
P = purl
BO = bind off

Please favorite this pattern on Ravelry, if you’re so inclined.

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PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Sloper (Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater)

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New Favorites: Quickies! (aka last-minute gifts)

New Favorites: Quickies! (aka last-minute gifts)

My long dark nights of grey stockinette have me yearning for something small, quick and satisfying (as so often happens). Those of you less selfish than me might be yearning for last-minute knitted gift ideas! Any of these could satisfy us both—

TOP: Varm cowl from Woolfolk is superbulky and supersquishy, and the pattern also includes instructions for it at scarf or throw blanket dimensions. The cowl looks like a one-sitting project.

MIDDLE LEFT: Exeter mitts by Alicia Plummer are sweet little abbreviated fingerless gloves, perfectly unisex too — my husband might need a pair in army green. (Alicia sent me a copy of the book these come from, and it’s a doozy! Lots of great patterns in there.)

MIDDLE RIGHT: Flaps slippers by Cindy Pilon are so funky I have to have them! Bulky and felted.

BOTTOM: Chunky Walnut hat by Katrin Schubert looks like a fun and fast knit, at bulky gauge.

For more gift knitting ideas, see Holiday hat mania! So many gems.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mildly mannish cables