Logalong FO No. 3 : Veronika Jobe

Logalong FO No. 3 : Veronika Jobe

Our second panelist from the Log Cabin Make-along to make it across the finish line is Veronika Jobe of YOTH Yarns, with her stunning plaid wrap (modeled here by her gorgeous daughter). Dude: I want to make this. For more of Veronika’s endless stream of knitting beauty, be sure to follow @yarnonthehouse on Instagram. With that, here’s Ve—

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Back at the start of all this, you noted that your approach was going to be modular knitting, if not literally or technically log cabin methodology. Without giving away the pattern, can you describe the process you used on this — how you went about constructing the piece?

This wrap idea was inspired by a picture of a lovely gal I had pinned on Pinterest wearing a black and white version of a large-scale buffalo plaid-style scarf. It was definitely commercial and not handknit, but I kept coming back to it over and over again. I knew I wanted to recreate the simple nature of the plaid using a series of tonal and gradient marls. This project spurred the creation of our new small-batch yarn by Abundant Earth Fiber, which was only half the work. The other half was how to put this thought into pattern and once you have the yarn there’s really no going back! It was really a beautiful happenstance when you asked me to be a part of the Log Cabin Make-along, because it really catapulted my method of thinking through the construction. I dove into the MDK Log Cabin Field Guide and knit up Cloth 1 & 5 while looking through the construction of the other cloths as well. Without giving away too much of the “secret sauce,” it’s essentially a mash up of the MDK Cloth techniques and a classic knitted-on edging.

Buffalo plaid is heavily associated with black and red or royal blue, whereas you’ve gone very pale with your palette. It has a sort of oversized gingham feel to it. Has it met your expectations, lived up to the idea you started out with in your mind?

It’s pleasantly surprised me. I was a bit worried about the colors and marls not being strong enough in contrast, but it turned out really great, just as I had imagined. I can at times be let down with how my designs unfold, or if they somehow don’t end up working for one reason or another, but this really loose relation to a buffalo plaid has really made me happy and the best part was the knitting. I’m all about the process! It has to keep my attention or I’m on to the next thing. This one with its constant color changes, unconventional construction and the entertainment of seeing the plaid emerge makes me want to make a blanket version of it.

A fabric like this — any kind of plaid, check, what-have-you — is a neverending goal among knitters. Seems like we’re always trying to find ways to mimic it in knitting. But the solutions are often tedious or complicated, and/or you wind up with intarsia or floats, and it’s not a two-sided piece, necessarily. Do you feel like you’ve solved it here — cracked that nut in a wholly satisfying way?

Isn’t that the truth?! One of my reasons behind knitting this scarf in a modular way was to make it more reversible. I think I’ve made a good pass at cracking that nut and both sides of this lovely thing is pleasant to look at. Plus, I think we as knitters so often get distracted or scared away by certain techniques. We can be a bit judgmental! Intarsia can have some feelings and images come up for some of us… little color bobbins dangling and tangling in the back of your work, cartoon characters knit onto the fronts of sweaters, you see where I’m going with this. I didn’t want my scarf to end up in that black hole.

Logalong FO No. 3 : Veronika Jobe

I know you were excited to use your new yarn for this (coming soon to your website), with the tonality and marls lending themselves to the concept. Again, just as you’d dreamed it?

Oh my gosh and more! This yarn is a dream. I can’t really take too much of the credit. Lydia from Abundant Earth Fiber is really the master here. She took our hand-dyed roving and turned it into the some of the most beautiful, squishy, bouncy, slubby, rustic-in-just-the-right-way kinda yarn. It was such a treat to knit and I’m really sad we only have so much of it, to be honest. I would love to have this as a core base with all the colors, but that’s one of the reasons small, limited-batch runs are so special, right?!

This was your first time venturing into the world of modular knitting, correct? If not all the way into log cabin world. Did it leave you wanting to dig deeper into the ways of log cabin, or have you had your fill? What’s next for you, in this regard, if anything?

In the past, I had done some modular knit garments that came together in pieces and were connected as I knit, but there’s a different wave of thought there. Those tend to look like nothing until some of the final pieces fit into the puzzle, but this project starts transforming before your eyes within the first couple of strips, which is really fulfilling. It makes you want to keep going and see the next color pop up while you are knitting away. Definitely on my list: a tonal Ninepatch Blanket from MDK’s Field Guide.

So I know you’re planning to publish the pattern. Any details on that?

I am! Pattern is in the works and will be available this week, as will the yarn. Follow us on Instagram or join our newsletter at yothyarns.com to be the first to hear.

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Thanks, Veronika! Don’t forget there’s still activity on the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed — so many knitters finishing up so many great projects — and we’ll have the last two panelist’s interviews coming soon!

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PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Make-along: FO No. 2 Ann Shayne

Logalong FO No. 2 : Ann Shayne

Logalong FO No. 2 : Ann Shayne

Our second Log Cabin Make-along Panelist to cross the finish line is the lovely Ann Shayne, whose talent competition entry is her sure-to-be-prizewinning blanket combining Sequence Knitting textures with Log Cabin modularity. (That is, if she’s brave enough to go up against crowd favorite DG Strong at the state fair.) As you’re about to hear, Ann’s blanket is basically a 5-foot-square love letter to knitting itself, and she’s shared the recipe for it and lots more photos over at Mason-Dixon Knitting. Here she is to tell us all about how it came to be, and how it turned out — thanks, Ann!

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You’re the only one of the panelists to knit that most traditional of log cabin projects — the blanket. You’ve knitted a fair number of log cabin blankets before, and yet you found a way to make it completely new and not at all traditional. You’re also the reason we coined the term “Mock cabin,” as you were working from a mélange of inspirations: log cabin, sequence knitting, blankets done in strips, etc. Remind us how this idea came together in your head, and how do you feel about how it came together in 3D?

First of all, you need to know that this has been the most fun I’ve ever had knitting. The combination of a yarn I love, an open-ended set of knit-purl patterns, and a knitalong to motivate me: wow. I’ve never made a blanket in eight weeks. Thank you for this knitalong, Karen! Amazing.

I started with the Ninepatch Blanket (a pattern in MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin)—I like the play of squares and proportion in that blanket. But having just published MDK Field Guide No. 5, all about knit-and-purl sequence knitting, I couldn’t see making a giant garter-stitch blanket — I wanted to play with sequences. That meant an instant diversion from the Ninepatch pattern, but not from the basic idea of blocks knitted one onto the next.

By the time I finished figuring out the plan, the Ninepatch idea had morphed. I scaled up the squares so that the sequences would read better. I ditched the miters in the corners. I was all about the textures and variety of sequences. And colors — a big part of the fun in the knitting was playing with the placement of the eight colors.

You and I talked at one point about how vast you were originally going to make this beast, and ways you could edit it down a bit. You wound up trimming out a few of the originally planned rows for a large throw size — although it might seem smallish to the uncommonly tall members of your household. Are you happy you scaled it down, or wishing you’d gone all the way? (Of course, it’s modular — you can add on anytime you like!)

Extremely glad to have scaled it down—I believe it was you who pointed out that I could finish faster if I … just ditched some strips. It’s 5 feet by 5 feet, and it seems to be about the same size as my other knitted blankets. The TV room is starting to look like a knitted blanket store.

I love that you’ve used this very traditional Irish donegal yarn for your #traditionalnottraditional blanket. Your original comment on this is one of my all-time favorites knitterly observances: “I want a blanket that will hold up like a Yeats poem.” Happy with how that worked out?

I continue to adore this yarn. I just returned a few of the unused skeins to our Shop, and I was actually sad. Tahki Donegal Tweed has been around since 1968, and there’s a reason for that. This blanket will outlive me, and that makes me weirdly happy.

You also posed some questions to yourself at the outset of this: “Will the various sequences hold up visually and read as squares? Will the colors fall in an amiable way? Will I ever fix dinner again, or will I vanish in the delicious Bermuda Triangle of log cabin sequence knitting?” So … ?

The squares turned out well. Loved seeing the textures emerge. As the strips of squares accumulated, I started to care more about how the sequences would land next to each other. There are definitely varieties of knit-and-purl sequences — some are flat, some are dimensional. Some read really easily, and others are so subtle that it takes 30 rows of knitting even to know what the texture looks like. I’d like a mulligan on a few of the squares—subtle textures on a dark yarn don’t sing, and the pleated sequences need to be surrounded by non-pleated sequences.

The colors landed OK. I did a last-minute 180 on one of the strips, which caused two dark squares to land next to each other, which I had wanted to avoid.

Dinner fixing? Maybe next month?

You’ve been smitten with log cabin for years, whereas this whole sequence knitting thing is a new infatuation. How do you rank them? And what’s it really like to take two highly addictive knitting concepts and meld them into one project? I’d ask if you’ll ever be able to knit stockinette again, but you’ve just banged out a Carbeth.

Sequence knitting is something I’m evangelical about. Find peace through knit-and-purl patterns! Life is so great when you’re knitting sequences! I want everybody to try it, because there’s such surprise and fun to be had. And yes — it works, totally, to combine log cabin knitting with sequence knitting.

You also noted in opening remarks that you didn’t want to include miters in this blanket, which are central to the original Ninepatch Blanket you’ve modeled it on, “because sequence knitting in miters would be a tricky thing to pull off.” Still feel that way, or have you already formulated a new project that does exactly that? If not that, what is next for you and log cabin, do we know?

It’s going to be fun to figure that out.

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PREVIOUSLY in Logalong FOs: No. 1 – My fingerless mitts

And the Logalong winners are …

And the Logalong winners are ...

Dear Everyone, thank you so much for your patience with me as I’ve been out tending to my post-operative husband, thereby delaying the hotly anticipated prize announcements! And thank you, also, for making it so difficult. When I first had the thought of doing a Log Cabin Make-along, I honestly wasn’t sure how many people would come along for it. It was a broad and abstract concept, a technique a lot of people might see as obscure or outmoded or something, and had the potential to involve some very large projects and a lot of time — although my point from the beginning was you could make anything from a washcloth to a bus wrap, up to you. So I’m thrilled that not only did so many people get on board, but it’s been really inspiring to see what everyone came up with, from the beautifully traditional to the wildly innovative and everything in between.

When it came to picking winners, I started by boiling my saves and faves down to a shortlist of what I felt were the strongest contenders, which wound up still being a whopping 31 projects … competing for 5 prizes. So to say this was a daunting task is to put it mildly. The scale of the projects has been diverse — from a little cross-body bag to sock cuffs and slippers, pillow covers, teapot cozies, even a circle skirt! However, there were definitely many more blankets than anything else, and it’s good that I thought to say at the outset that things needn’t necessarily be finished by now in order to win. I’ll be continuing to keep an eye on the hashtag to see how everything turns out!

I wish I could give an individual shout-out to everyone on the shortlist, and a prize to everyone who participated, but alas. So with all of that said, here are the category winners, who’ve each won a $100 gift certificate to Fringe Supply Co.

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BEST LAID PLANS — for the most inspired or creative concept

Pictured up top. When @breiwerken first started describing her plans, I absolutely loved the concept — the notion that she was going to use this traditional knitting technique, modeled on a traditional quilting technique, to emulate a distinctive textile tradition from a completely different culture, namely “the strip weaving cloths of the Ewe people from Togo/Ghana.” Such a unique idea. But honestly, I had a hard time imagining the end results. I watched it grow as she shared it all along the way, and found her enthusiasm for what she was doing utterly infectious. The photo above of it wrapped around her like a shawl melted my heart. But it wasn’t until she posted the most recent photo, of it draped out across a bench, that my jaw hit the floor. I am awestruck by it.

Click through to her feed (as with all of the following) to see all of her posts about it along the way — and follow her to see how it turns out!

. . .

And the Logalong winners are ...

HOUSE PROUD — for best photos/documentation

@elsbethsteiner created an Instagram feed just for the documentation of her project, the concept for which rivaled @breiwerken in its originality, and has documented it so thoroughly and lovingly throughout the last two months. She calls it her Rare Sheep Corral Blanket, and I implore you to go visit her dedicated feed to read all about it, as I couldn’t possibly do it justice. (I mean, there are undyed rare-breed yarns, knitted sheep, mountains and fences, creative construction …) Start at the beginning. Or if you only read a single post, make it this one. On top of all that, it’s just so beautiful.

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And the Logalong winners are ...

SQUARE AND TRUE — for best traditional use of log cabin

If you skipped by too quickly, you’d swear @clairesounes‘ blanket was a quilt. She’s not only kept it super traditional in terms of the log cabin blocks themselves (right down to the pinkish-red centers) but she’s truly thinking like a quilter. The light/dark distribution of the blocks makes them combinable in countless different ways for different effects, as you’ll see if you click through the frames in this post. And I love how she’s made it seem that much more scrappy and patchworky with the (so controlled!) mix of her palette, occasional instances of stripes, and so on. Really masterful.

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And the Logalong winners are ...

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BLOCK — for best non-traditional use of log cabin

Ok, I can’t do it so I’m declaring a 3-way tie on this one.

TOP: @lakesaltknit did her own rendition of a Josef Albers-inspired cowl (meaning, different from Ann Weaver’s Albers Cowl pattern). Her version is two large, striking, Albers-inspired blocks joined together into a tube for a generous cowl. I would love and want it even if it weren’t for the fact that she works at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, which owns this particular piece, and was able to photograph it with the original (modeled by a colleague). Amazing.

MIDDLE: @autumngeisha used elongated long cabin to create a fantastic and uncontrived pair of footie socks. If there were a pattern for these, it might lure me away from my endless Log Cabin Mitts making. Just sayin.

BOTTOM: @oystersandpurls had the sweet idea to build a log cabin washcloth, basically, into a bib-front baby romper. The result is so charming, but the really inspired touch is the little bit of color-blocking on the bum and straps, which makes the whole thing feel cohesive, rather than tacked together, and just that much more adorable.

. . .

And the Logalong winners are ...

LIKE CABIN (aka MOCK CABIN) — for best adaptation/variation on modular knitting

I’m honestly no longer 100% sure what I was imagining when I came up with this category at the outset. But of all the people winging it, free-forming, improvising things in variously modular ways, the most fascinating to me has been this pullover WIP from @i_knit_wool. The way she’s going about it is almost more Lego than log cabin, and yet the end result has a completely log-cabin feel about it. I’ve been riveted as it’s grown, and will be continuing to watch with bated breath until its completion.

. . .

And then there are the random drawing winners, who’ve each won a Field Bag in the color of their choice:

@honeyfolkclothing
@seniah.hm
@ellendavisions
@lady_olivia57
@stricken_ohne_naht

. . .

WINNERS: Please email <contact@fringesupplyco.com> to collect your prizes!

And of course, it’s not over yet! Our illustrious panelists are wrapping up their projects and I’ll have those FO interviews starting very very soon!

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PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Make-along: Log Cabin Mitts (free pattern)

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Still kickin’

Hey, so everyone’s fine at my house. (Exhausted and beat up, but hanging in there!) Bob came through his surgery like a champ but, as has happened in the past, he’s suffering from a complication that’s a lot more trouble than the post-op recovery itself. And managing it all on crutches for another six days, minimum. So helping him get through the day is literally all there’s time for right now.

I apologize for the cliffhanger on the #fringeandfriendslogalong front, but I will have prize announcements (and otherwise resume blogging) just as soon as I can give it the attention it deserves. Meanwhile, Kay wrote a lovely “So log, farewell” post on MDK today which includes a look at the three patterns that have come out of the logalong — so far! I know there’s at least one more alleged to be coming, and please do speak up if you know of any others.

Don’t forget to hug your loved ones as often as possible — and have a wonderful weekend.

Black and bluish + BRB

Black and bluish Log Cabin Mitts (free pattern)

I’m in a hospital waiting room today as my husband is having some outpatient surgery. Nothing to be alarmed about (although all positive thoughts beamed toward Nashville are mightily welcome!), but I’m just not sure how much blogging I might get done this week since my focus will be on him. I’m sure many of you are thinking it’s been absolutely ages since you’ve gotten to see a pair of Log Cabin Mitts, so I’m leaving you with my latest pair. These got their thumbs on just in time to travel to Stitches West with me and get fondled by countless curious knitters along with the rest of the stack. (Those present having been the originals, ebony-and-ivory, toffee, these and the ones in progress — the grey ones were given to a friend.) This is leftover Shelter in Fossil and Newsprint, carried over from previous pairs, along with leftovers from my blue Bellows-in-waiting, and I absolutely love the interplay of the b/w and the blue/purple/green Harrisville tweed. These might be the last symmetrical pair for a minute — I’m headed into the asymmetrical part of the sketch pile.

Meanwhile, I’ve got my work cut out for me choosing winners from the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed, where there’s a daunting abundance of creativity and gorgeousness. Remember it isn’t technically necessary to be finished with your project — all of the prize details are here — but you can’t win if you don’t enter, which you can do by posting to the feed, i.e. by using the hashtag. (Photos do have to be appearing in the feed in order to be eligible, so if you have a private account, either switch it public for a few days or make a separate account just for sharing your log cabin pics). I’ll do my best to get it done between now and the end of the week, and will be back just as quick as I can—

Log Cabin Mitts (free knitting pattern)

PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Toffee mitts

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Toffee mitts + YARN for sale (2018 FO-6)

Toffee mitts + YARN for sale

So you know how I’ve been using these Log Cabin Mitts as a way to finally knit up some of the incredible skeins I have sitting around on shelves and in bins? Obviously one of the first ones I reached for is this delicious toffee-colored wool I bought from what was then TN Textile Mill (previously and once again Shutters & Shuttles) at Porter Flea in late 2016. The yarn had been custom-milled for a project that didn’t come to fruition and I’ve been intermittently pestering Allison ever since about what would happen to it. (If you don’t know, Allison now works part-time at Fringe Supply Co. keeping the trains running.) Today I’m thrilled to announce that I was able to acquire the remaining skeins from her and they’re for sale in the shop! This is the DK weight in Toffee, but there’s also a chunky weight, and both weights are available in Toffee and Black. Obviously supply is inherently limited, and I’ve hoarded some for myself! So get it while it lasts, whatever you may opt to use it for.

Related: Remember it’s only a week until I pick winners from the #fringeandfriendslogalong, so get those projects posted, whatever state they’re in! Full details on all of that here.

In other news, I’m off to Stitches West for the weekend (first time since I moved away), where I’ll be alternately roaming the show floor and hanging out by the big Fringe display in the A Verb for Keeping Warm booth (917/919), so if you’re there, please say hi!  Verb will have a full range of Fringe goods, including a stack of the limited-edition Mini Porters, and they’ve also made up exquisite little mini-skein bundle Log Cabin Mitts Kits! If you aren’t at the show, they’ve made a small number of kits available on their website.

Have a great weekend — I look forward to seeing some of you! — and I’ll be back on Monday.

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PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Mitts: Ebony and ivory

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Ebony and ivory (2018 FO-4)

Ebony and ivory (2018 FO-4)

I know it seems like I’m just knitting Log Cabin Mitts here, but that’s not how it feels to me. There’s something primordial about it. I’m having a reaction. Succumbing to an addiction. Scratching some itch that I don’t quite understand and am enjoying more than I can describe. I mean, the knitting is really fun, and the finished mitts are super cool and useful and feel good on my hands, so on that level they’re an obvious delight. There’s also something almost subversive about it, since I add onto them in life’s interstices — knitting a patch in a stolen moment here and there. But more deeply, they’ve stirred the old graphic designer and art director in me. Plotting out a succession of compositions and color combinations (and photos thereof) is feeding my creative self in a way I haven’t felt in awhile. And when I’m not knitting them, I have intense withdrawal. I literally dream about them, and my hands yearn for them when I’m doing other things. I can’t think of a parallel experience.

With the multiples — which show no sign of letting up anytime soon — I suspect I may have embarked on an epic art project of some sort, the shape of which hasn’t fully revealed itself yet … if there is one. (I’m imagining my obituary: Elderly woman found dead in her sparsely furnished home, next to boxes containing hundreds of pairs of fingerless gloves …) For now, I’m content to just keep making them, as often as possible! Exploring the possibilities presented by my Porter Bin of odds and ends, which I’ll keep dipping into for as long as doing so feels this satisfying.

This pair — number three to reach completion — is the most graphic one yet, and I adore them. The undyed wool is Tolt’s Snoqualmie Valley Yarn and the off-black is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Cast Iron. (Here’s this pair on Ravelry if you’re inclined to put a like on it!) And I’ll tell you about that toffee-colored one in progress, soon …

Of course, it’s also really fun seeing so many of these showing up in the #fringeandfriendslogalong and #logcabinmitts feeds, as well as on Ravelry. Have you cast on yet?

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PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Mitts: Glorious grey, the originals, and the free Log Cabin Mitts pattern

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