New Favorites: The solace of hats

New Favorites: The solace of hats

There have been a lot of great pattern collections released in the past couple of weeks. So many good sweaters I’m trying not to think about right now (but will definitely get around to raving about!) because I’d rather think about hats. I think it’s when I feel the least in control of my to-do list that I start to really crave a nice little hat to knit before bed. Is that an epiphany I’ve had a hundred times before? Regardless of circumstances, a hat is always so achievable and uncomplicated, so bite-sized. So satisfying when everything else is a sea of unfinished business (including, uh, the four sweaters on the needles). Any of these would do nicely  —

TOP: Phōs by Fiona Alice — from the awesome new Amirisu that just hit the shop — is colorwork combined with texture in a geometric motif I love

MIDDLE: Fluffy Brioche Hat by Purl Soho would be a sweet little intro to brioche and an eminently wearable hat

BOTTOM: Furrow Hat by Jared Flood — from his book Woolens — would be such a melodic knit, that simple combo of moss and cables

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Finn Valley and St. Brendan

New Favorites: the Arranmore collection

New Favorites: the Arranmore collection

Do you guys remember those gorgeous skeins of charcoal and teal tweed yarn I posted about a few months ago and couldn’t say what they were? It can now be revealed that it’s the new Arranmore from The Fibre Co. — a yarn I cannot wait to knit with. (If only I could pick a color!) But what’s even better than the yarn is the collection of patterns that my friends at Kelbourne Woolens designed for it. The weirdly lit photos are bumming me out, unfortunately, but I saw these pieces in person at the trade show and there isn’t a single sweater or accessory in the whole collection that I wouldn’t want in my closet. And how often do you hear me say that? Pictured are the Killybegs cardigan and Swilly scarf by Meghan Kelly and Rosses hat by Courtney Kelley, but go look at the whole shebang. So good.

UPDATE: Check out the alternate colorway samples that went up on their blog late last week. GORGEOUS.

UNRELATED: I keep meaning to tell you the new autumn issue of Pom Pom has landed at Fringe Supply Co., chock full of good patterns and ready and waiting for you!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from Interweave Knits’ 20th extravaganza

Someday vs. Right Away: Cables, please!

Someday vs. Right Away: Cables, please, for the love of knitting

It dawned on me the other day that I am stuck in the longest stockinette spell of my knitting life — by a looooooong shot. I looked it up: Not only have I apparently not knitted a cable since finishing my Bellows in February 2015 (!), I haven’t even knitted a textured stitch pattern since Hermaness Worsted, last Summer. There was some colorwork last Fall, with my Cowichan-ish vest and my Laurus, but that’s just fancy stockinette. I have literally knitted nothing but stockinette for over a year.

Think about that for a minute.

No wonder I’m so desperate for a cable to knit! I think there will have to be cables involved in my Top-Down Knitalong sweater. Or if not, I’m casting on something like Bronwyn, up top, immediately thereafter. But now that I know how long it’s actually been, I don’t even know if I can wait that long. The logical thing to do, for an immediate cable fix, would be to pick up my poor abandoned Seathwaite (bottom left) from October’s hatalong. (I set it aside until I could find a quiet, daylight moment to do the join round, and have yet to accomplish that.) But over the weekend I also saw Dianna’s version of Ysolda’s Inglis Mitts (bottom right) and had major nostalgia for my mitt knitting days.

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PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Crochet skills

Someday vs. Right Away: Crochet skills

Someday vs. Right Away: Crochet skills

I keep saying I need to up my crochet game so I can think about making stuff like this and this and this, and instead I only talk about crocheting and have to turn to YouTube all over again every two or three years when I decide to give it a go. One of the first things I ever favorited at Ravelry was Roko’s Borsalino hat, pictured above, knitted from Michiyo’s No.5 hat pattern. (For a similar hat, see the free Novi Hat pattern.) I remember being floored at the notion that one could simply crochet such a hat. My noggin is problematically large (shut up, DG), rendering hats a challenge in general. I’ve developed a fair sense of what I can get away with beanie-wise, but structured hats are pretty much impossible. Which brings me back to that Roko hat. If I had game, I could make one for myself and make it fit properly, right? So if I want to ever do that, I better get serious about those skillz. Two good places to restart would be Dottie Angel’s sweet and useful Imperial Mitt and Hot Pad and same for Mamachee’s Perfect House Slippers.

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PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Outerwear

New Favorites: Andean-inspired hats

New Favorites: Andean-inspired hats

It’s making me laugh how hilariously out-of-season this is, but with the sopping wet blaze of summer upon us, all I can do is dream of Fall. It’s NEXT, y’all — it’s coming! In the Early Fall 2016 issue of Vogue Knitting, there’s a whole collection of Andean-style hat patterns, aka chullos, and what better to fuel Fall dreams? I find chullos completely mesmerizing, and have repeatedly lingered over the Purl Soho collection of finished ones (now on sale, even!) trying to figure out if I would ever actually wear one or just hang it on the wall. And I have no idea which of the Vogue patterns might be more or less authentic than any of the others, but these are the two I’m smitten with (despite the headache-inducing red background) —

TOP: #18 Textured Chullo Hat by Laura Zukaite with all its amazing texture and tassels (the Andean tassels are everything to me)

BOTTOM: #14 Andean Chullo Hat by Deborah Newton with its great patchwork of colorwork motifs; I’d love to see this one in black and natural

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In shop news, we’ve restocked a few missing bestsellers lately: The repair hooks, the rosewood crochet hooks and the Twig & Horn blocking soap bars are all currently available in all materials, sizes and scents! And we’re down to the last handful of Sheepmoji totes, just sayin’.

Thanks for all the great input this week, everyone — stay cool this weekend and I’ll see you back here next week!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Crochet shawls

New Favorites: For the hat list

New Favorites: For the hat list

My aforementioned urge to sit around knitting hats all the time, relishing in the variety, continues to be fed by the brilliant designers of the world. These two new cable hat patterns are fairly begging to make it onto my needles:

TOP: Burnaby by Jared Flood is an enticing but simple combo of knit/purl chevrons and basic cables (from the new Brooklyn Tweed Ganseys collection)

BOTTOM: Earlyrising by Annie Rowden is large-scale chainlink cables on a field of garter stitch

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Shawl collars and cables

Queue Check — February 2016

Queue Check — February 2016

So since my January Queue Check, I finished Bob’s rollneck sweater and started and finished my black raglan. (I posted a sneak peek by the way.) While both sweaters were drying on my dining table over the weekend, I had this moment of pause and relief and thought, “wow, so all I have on the needles right now are those two hats!” Of course, before the sentence was even complete in my head, I remembered ANNA! The thing about Anna is the stitch pattern is so mesmerizing I fall into a trance and forget I’m even knitting. Then I remembered, uh, I have a couple of other things going as well. Actual current WIP tally, top to bottom:

1) Anna Vest, begun in October and saved for the Anna Vest Knitalong, now going strong. This pic is the back piece, and the two fronts are where they left off after my inset pockets tutorial. By the way, there’s plenty of time to join the knitalong — just tag your posts wherever with #annavestkal. [yarn is Fibre Co. Terra in Coalwood]

2) Grey Sawkill Farm sweater (no pattern), sleeves knitted in November and then set aside to make way for Bob’s sweater and my black quickie. This one will probably get knitted here and there over the course of the next few months, ready to wear by fall. No rush. [yarn is Sawkill Farm from Rhinebeck]

3) Penguono, cast on in January among friends doing the same. Really love this photo, but really not feeling this sweater. I’m not sure what will happen next, but how gorgeous is that Camellia handspun? [a gift from Rebekka]

4) Seathwaite Hat, still waiting for me to sit still during daylight hours and do the brim join round. [yarn is YOTH Father in Saba, a gift from Veronika]

5) 1898 Hat, just waiting for some attention, any attention! [yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Soot]

I’ll be getting back to both hats soon, because while I don’t really think I’m about to knit 5 more stockinette lopi sweaters, I do think there’s more stockinette in my future (a nice plain cardigan, a simple sleeveless linen something for summer), and the hats will be the much-needed spice in that rather bland knitting diet.

After all the wardrobe planning and the last few makes (both knitted and sewn), I’m feeling for the first time since the purge like I’m able to get dressed in the morning, and for different seasons, and am not in such a panic about filling wardrobe holes. Also feeling more like I have a sense of where my wardrobe is heading for the foreseeable future. So whereas my Queue Check posts have mostly been me obsessing about the five next things I want to make, right now I’m just gazing casually out across the year. And the only thing I’m really feeling particularly driven about is finally casting on that Channel Cardigan I’ve been plotting for two years. If I can decide about yarn, I’ll cast on this spring and work on it in a leisurely fashion, with the anticipation of wearing it, too, this coming fall. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: January 2016