When the Brooklyn Tweed Fall ’17 collection came out, I mentioned there were some sweaters that would come up here sooner or later. I was referring to Galloway by Jared Flood and Voe by Gudrun Johnston. What I didn’t imagine is that, in the meantime, they would put out photos of second samples in their holiday lookbook that are even more stunning in wintry shades of greys and blues. I’m now yearning to have Galloway in my closet in this exact color combo. And while Voe would look terrible on me — I can’t do a motif that encircles the shoulders like that — there is now a Voe Hat! (below) It’s fingering, but maybe I have the patience for fingering-scale colorwork at hat proportions! It’s just so gorgeous.
IN OTHER NEWS! We’re having a holiday pop-up here in Nashville this Saturday, in conjunction with our friends at Mason-Dixon Knitting — the first-ever Taylor Yarn Co-op Pop-up! We’ll both have all of our goods (including our new holiday lovelies and theirs), and we’ll also have some special Field Bags at markdown prices: samples, slight seconds and floor models. (Available only at this event, not online.) It’s happening at 100 Taylor Street in Suite A22 from 10-3, at the same time as the Shop Small Makers Fair is happening, so there will be lots to choose from! If you’re in the are Nashville area, please come see us!
I’ve been favoriting hat patterns like crazy at Ravelry lately, and have printed out no less than three — Huck, Lancet and No. 1 below — as my just-in-case alternate travel project for later this week. (How will I pick one?!) Since I know a lot of you are gearing up (or already in the midst of) holiday knitting, I thought this would be a good chance to update the ever-popular Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet, this time organized by what kind of knitting you’re in the mood for. Note that most of them are unisex, and a couple include kids’ sizes—
1.) Simple knits and purls: Anker’s Hat by PetiteKnit (See also: the sweater version)
2.) A little colorwork: Luzerne Hat by Whitney Hayward
3.) A lot of colorwork: Miguel Hat by Rosa Pomar
4.) A little cabling: Parallelogram Hat by Angela Hahn
5.) A bit more cabling: Kagome Beanie by Veera Välimäki
6.) Teeny-tiny cables: Sumburgh Hat by Jen Arnall-Culliford
7.) Whole big bunch o’ cables: Brackett by Whitney Hayward
8.) Stockinette plus: Top-down Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho (free pattern)
9.) Little bonnets: Animal Bonnet by Jenny Gordy
10.) Big bonnet: Diana Hat by Martha Wissing
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Ol’ softies
As you likely know, the Brooklyn Tweed Fall ’17 collection hit the airwaves yesterday, and there are several nice garments in there that could make their way into my queue someday. But the standout — the design that made me leap out of my chair a little — is Norah Gaughan’s hat pattern, Huck. I’ve been missing that raspberry/blackberry/trinity stitch from my fisherman sweater and planning to knit a funny little hat pattern from the same 1967 booklet (which partially inspired my teaching pattern, Debutant) that uses the same stitch. But Norah has hit this one well out of the park. The way the cables nestle into the raspberries is flat-out stunning, and looks like it would be so fun to knit … that I already printed the pattern!* I look at so many hat patterns every week of my life, and this one was such a jolt of originality. I was about to say now I can’t decide between this one and the vintage one, but they’re hats! No need to choose.
*I feel compelled to note here, by way of a little PSA, that if you’re printing this (or any) pattern, please only print the pages you need! This one is hilariously 11 pages long, but you actually only need a few of them.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Massaman set
In the realm of hats, Purl Soho’s pattern collection (mainly free patterns, a few not) has most of the basics bases covered. Their Basic Hats for Everyone pattern alone (top) covers myriad expressions of the worsted-weight stocking cap: with or without ribbing, a pompom, earflaps; mix and match as you please. Knit 4″ of ribbing instead of 1″, fold it up, and you’ve got your classic Watch Cap. Purl also has a cabled gem in their Traveling Cable Hat (bottom), the aran sweater of beanies. For a timeless bit of 2×2 ribbing, might I suggest my own Stadium Hat (middle left, free pattern), with or without the marl and/or stripe. And if you’re more of a beret person, try Churchmouse’s Cashmere Beret (middle right) or Felted Shetland Beret.
PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: The shirt dress
Brioche, fisherman’s rib, half-brioche, English rib … these are all names for what looks a lot like the same super-squishy ribbed fabric, except the method of getting there is slightly different. Or maybe they’re all different names for the same fabric and the methods of achieving it are interchangeable? I can’t figure it out — some people use the names interchangeably and others seem to have fixed ideas about underlying distinctions thereof. I don’t know! As far as I can tell, the latter three are all some version of a knit-1-below technique whereas brioche involves working paired yarnovers together with adjacent stitches. (Am I right about that much, anyone?) Whether that leads to a molecularly different fabric or is just an alternate path to the same fabric, I’ve never done it and would love to try it someday. (I have done the knit-1-below version, and love it.) I’m into this little Lang sweater pattern, 242-41, but if it is in fact brioche — as I’m defining it here —I’d want to try the technique on a smaller canvas before diving into a whole sweater. Kirsten Johnstone’s Shinko Hat is a gem, with shifting bands of brioche. And then there’s Purl Soho’s wildly appealing Fluffy Brioche Hat (free pattern), which is sort of a seed-stitch equivalent in brioche.
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: A spot of colorwork
Every single time I buy yarn for a sweater, I buy a little more than I think I might need plus one more skein — out of extreme caution heightened by my compact-row-gauge affliction — and every time I think, “If there’s enough left over, I’ll knit a matching hat.” I’m apparently wild about the idea of a matching hat. And yet, thus far, I have never once done that. Which means I have a lot of leftovers, which is why you’re always hearing me speculate about a leftovers blanket or even a leftovers sweater. But the fact is, I do really love the idea of using them to make myself an array of very plain but perfectly coordinated hats — hats that hopefully meet my exacting requirements for a hat, since I don’t have a super hat-friendly head and won’t wear one if it isn’t just right. Enter Whitney Hayward’s Holcomb Hat, an ultra-basic top-down hat pattern written to work for any gauge and intended size. She describes it as ideal for using up handspun (unpredictable gauge) and those mysterious no-longer-labeled stash yarns we all have rolling around, but I love this specifically for project leftovers because you’ve already established your gauge, thereby negating the need to commit any of your yarn to a swatch while simultaneously increasing the likelihood of nailing the fit.
The thing about a top-down hat is it’s the same as a top-down sweater: Trying it on as you go is all well and good, but you need to know how blocking will affect the finished fabric. As long as you remember to count, not measure, you should be good. And a fold-up brim always gives you wiggle room on the length.
I’m hereby swearing to do this when I’m done with my current sweater, leftover yardage permitting.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Goose Eye
A variety of conversations and previews and proximity to experts lately has me itching to get some colorwork into my knittin queue, and I’m particularly smitten with these two patterns with just a little spot of something extra:
TOP: Hoopla by Dianna Walla (from the powerhouse new issue of Pom Pom) is a characteristically appealing 2-color job but with the subtle flair of a Latvian braid at the transition from ribbing to stockinette.
BOTTOM: Inlet Scarf by Inese Sang is mosaic, for starters (which I’m still dying to try), but I also really love the simple black border setting the mosaic section apart from the staggered rib texture along both ends — really lovely combination of elements
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Whelk