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 pattern, new muse, and Elsewhere

New pattern, new muse, and Elsewhere

So I’m off to Tolt today for their 5th-anniversary weekend — the celebration at the shop tomorrow and then teaching my new Cascara Mitts pattern on Sunday (photo above, top). Remember the pattern will be downloadable on Ravelry tomorrow morning! Along with the rest of the whole gorgeous mini-collection.

Meanwhile, DG and Allison will be manning the Fringe Supply Co. booth at Fiber in the ‘Boro tomorrow, our beloved local fiber festival in Murfreesboro. If you’re in the vicinity, I highly recommend this sweet fest.

And next week at some point I get to tell you about the next Fringe and Friends Knitalong! Which will start on Jan 1 again, like the last. I’m soooooper excited about it, so look for that news midweek, hopefully.

But for now, a tiny spot of Elsewhere:

– This profile sent me to by reader Hanna is of my new hero, knitter, veterinarian and slow fashion muse Kat Bazeley, written by Mina Holland (photo above, bottom, by Elena Heatherwick for Toast) — the perfect read for the end of Slow Fashion October

– Speaking of which, I’ve saved a whole recap of the closet challenge steps, highlights and main discussions from this year’s Slow Fashion October — tap the “recap!” highlight at the top of the @slowfashionoctober profile page

Magnificent interview about Faroe Islands history and the origins of Navia yarns

– I always love the people at shows and festivals who come with an annotated map of which booths they want to hit up and what they’re looking for. Kay’s Rhinebeck bullet journal spread goes one step further, and applies well beyond Rhinebeck

Behold, a massive knitted map of the cosmos (thx, Barb et al.)

– and some major crochet temptation

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone — see you next week!

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PREVIOUSLY: Weekend Reads

Photos courtesy of Tolt Yarn and Wool and Toast, used with permission

New Favorites: Summer bags, big and small

New Favorites: Summer bags, big and small

Back in April, I wrote about two Wool and the Gang raffia projects I still haven’t stopped fantasizing about, and they’ve since added more raffia projects that look super satisfying. Big round retro raffia bags are a bit on trend at the moment, and the new In A Dream Bag (above, bottom) hits that mark. (@sister.mountain made a beautifully lined one for Summer of Basics.) But I’m even more tempted by the smallest-scale project, the Money Honey Clutch (above, top). It looks simple enough for a lifelong crochet novice like me!

Unrelated: I’m working on picking the prize winners from the July #summerofbasics feed! To be announced very soon, hopefully tomorrow!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Yoke fever

True Confessions and Our Tools, Ourselves

Funny moments in Our Tools, Ourselves

If there’s one installment of Our Tools, Ourselves that pops into my mind on a regular basis and makes me laugh every time, it’s the interview with crocheter-stitcher-knitter-sewer Tif Fussell (aka Dottie Angel) with one of the funniest confessions of all time. And of course, the whole series is a trove of wit and wisdom!

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PREVIOUSLY in Our Tools, Ourselves: Jenny Gordy of Wiksten

Top photo © Tif Fussell

New Favorites: Summer blues

New Favorites: Summer blues

So I’m thinking about summer sweaters, and what jumps into my path right on its annual cue? Crochet. Namely, these two cuties from Wool and the Gang, both simple as can be—

TOP: Walking On Sunshine Sweater, which is just so much beachy goodness that I find myself wanting it even though it’s all the things I don’t like on me! (Boatneck, drop-shoulder, wide sleeves … and yet.)

BOTTOM: Hot in Here Dress, which is tunic length, but I would do it cropped and bigger/boxier (And wear with a tank or camisole underneath!)

I’ve still never knitted/crochted a WATG pattern but I’m super into that recycled denim yarn used for the top one, while the bottom one has me wondering whether you could crochet with Kestrel. Anyone ever tried it?

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Baby cardigans

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New Favorites: Raffia

New Favorites: Raffia

Summer is coming, and I am totally into this collection of super-simple crochet patterns that Wool and the Gang has released for their new yarn, Ra-Ra Raffia. I have a big trip coming up this summer (tell you about it soon!) that I need a crushable hat for, which is basically a life-long wishlist item. I do not have a head for hats, so we’ve talked before about how if I could bring myself to crochet one, maybe I could actually get it to fit me right! This perfectly plain one makes me want to give it a try:

TOP: Joanne Hat looks so chic in black and a little like an upside-down planter in natural, but the latter might be more practical

BOTTOM: Paper Gangsta is a classic crocheted market bag that, once again, is making me want to make such a thing! (For knitted options, see: Market bags)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from the Scout collection

Logalong FO No. 4 : Cal Patch

Log Cabin Make-along FO No. 4 : Cal Patch

One of my favorite things about this last fafkal concept, the Log Cabin Make-along, was being able to rope crocheters into it (no pun intended) — and particularly getting to include my friend Cal Patch on the panel. The crocheters have made so many amazing contributions to the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed (I’m particularly crazy about @peacockaren’s boxy sweater) and today I’m thrilled to show you Cal’s finished bandana-cowl, which she’ll be releasing a pattern for soon! For news on that and more of Cal, make sure to follow @hodgepodgefarm on Instagram. Here’s Cal—

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You initially set out to make what you were tentatively calling a “log cabindana” — a neckwarmer with coverage in both the front and the back. Did you veer at all from your original plan along the way, or did you make exactly what was in your head from the start?

This is a case where my end result is very much exactly what I envisioned! I guess the only real difference is that it did end up a bit bigger than I imagined … possibly more into mini-poncho territory than a bandana cowl-esque thing, which was my intention. I am pro-poncho so this is not at all a negative for me! I did consider crocheting around the neckline to build it up higher around the neck, and I’d like to try another version and do that. But I loved this one so much once I joined the rectangles together, that I wanted to keep it just as it is.

I also didn’t imagine it quite this big — I love the scale of it. And I take it you love how it turned out?

I LOVE IT!!! The log cabin technique is so fun; I had dabbled in some LC sewing but never tried it in crochet. (Which, in retrospect, seems unimaginable that it took this long!) As a scrappy improviser, this method makes my soul sing! I’ll be wearing my Cabindana for the next few months as Winter transitions into Spring here in the Hudson Valley — always a chillier season than we’d like to think. So having this snuggly mini-blanket around my neck will be a welcome comfort.

We talked about this a little bit before, but have you used one crochet stitch the entire time and it’s just the yarns giving it subtle variation in appearance, or have you changed it up at all along the way?

Yes, this project is 100% half-double crochet in the back loop, which gives the ribby texture. Half-double is actually my favorite stitch; it’s the “just right” middle size between single (too short and potholder-y) and double (too tall and open). Any variation you’re seeing would be due to the slightly varying yarn weights and textures. They’re mostly sock yarns, but some were definitely lighter single-plies, verging on lace weight, and others may have been sport or DK. There’s even some handspun in there, from a bag of bits of leftovers given to me by a friend.

And you’ve gone totally freeform in terms of both the sizes of your various blocks and your use of color — or did you map any of that out ahead of time?

I did not map it at all; my only plan was that I knew the destination, or the finished dimensions of the two rectangles, which I had worked out in advance using some T-shirt jersey. So I worked freestyle and occasionally held the two rectangles up to the sample to guide me. I knew I could always add on a few “logs” to just the short sides, if I needed to make up extra length. It worked out perfectly.

Will the pattern invite people to be freeform about it as well, or have you broken it down into established chunks of crochet?

I’ve been mulling this over in my head … I’d prefer the pattern, which I haven’t yet written up (maybe for this very reason), to allow the maker to freestyle within the blocks like I did. But I’m not sure if that method suits everyone. Maybe I’ll include both ways in the pattern. It wouldn’t have been nearly as fun for me to be told the size of every log, but I’m sure there are many who’d like to be told the sizes. Feedback is welcome!

I mentioned before that I kind of feel like crochet is inherently modular and log cabin-like, but did working on this project make you want to do more in the log cabin realm? Or did it have any effect on your broader sewing/making practice? How soon before you log cabin again?

Yes, I definitely predict many more Log Cabin Crochet projects and designs in my future! My wheels are turning … and the crocheters seem to have embraced it over on the Insta. We’re using the hashtag #logcabincrochet to share. I haven’t decided what my next LC plans are; I may need to make another Log Cabindana to test the pattern, or a sweater, or some crochet mitts, or … I guess you can safely say I’m HOOKED on Log Cabin!

. . .

Thanks, Cal! Don’t forget there’s still activity on the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed, and we’ll have our final panelist FO q&a with Kay Gardiner once she finishes up her little gem of a sweater!

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PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Make-along: FO No. 3 Veronika Jobe

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