Idea Log: Shrunken crewneck Charles

Idea Log: Shrunken crewneck Charles

I mentioned in my Queue Check last week that I only expect to knit one more sweater this year, and I really want to get it right, in terms of feeding what I’m yearning for while also filling a legitimate gap in my sweater collection, which means a non-wool pullover, and I’m really really really wanting navy. A feeling that was compounded yesterday by seeing (once again) that pic of Sofia Coppola in her perfectly plain navy sweater on my forever mood board. But the sweater I can’t get out of my head is Michele Wang’s Charles, which I’ve gone on about how many times since it published last year? That fixation is meaningful, and I want to heed it, and while I can make a case for adding an aran-weight wool turtleneck to my closet to replace the sad old storebought one currently playing that role, it’s by no means by most pressing need at the moment. Do you know about L’Envers? It’s a small-batch sweater company in France — a wonderful slow-fashion brand worth knowing about — and if I weren’t a knitter, they’d be getting some of my money. (They might anyway, at some point.) The other day on Instagram, they posted a sweater that brought ol’ Charles to mind again, their Jane & Serge jumper. Although I like it even better in ivory, I’ve well established that I do not need any more ivory sweaters! So I’m thinking about knitting Charles at a lighter gauge, scaling down the silhouette to more like my aran-gansey (not nearly as long as the L’Envers one), and knitting it in a blend of some kind.

This is the always challenge for me: What I enjoy knitting is more fanciful, shall we say, than what I enjoy wearing, but I think this idea would satisfy both. Still, I’m not quite ready to commit. It could be another fisherman sweater in navy, which would also be Sofia approved, if you know what I mean, or a navy version of my aran-gansey, or a navy-and-black marlisle sweater, which I’m also never not thinking about. But I need to find the perfect yarn: dk or light worsted weight, a nice deep dark navy, and not 100% wool. Which is even harder than just finding a nice deep dark navy wool, which is hard enough. (A vexation for many of us, I know, and I’ve promised a roundup!) If you have yarn suggestions that meet all of those criteria, please let me know! I’ve got a decision to make.

(And a ball of Navia Bummull headed my way for a round of speed dating …)

p.s. If you’re wondering, I promise I’ll have Marlisle KAL prize winners for you very soon! 

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Carbeth coat

New Favorites x Idea Log: Carbeth coat

New Favorites x Idea Log: Carbeth coat

When Kate Davies published her Carbeth Cardigan pattern back in February (photos above), it went immediately into my Ravelry favorites, and I’ve daydreamed about it often and watched all sorts of lovely examples pile up in the ensuing months. I’m especially tempted by ilo’s, Garnomera’s, VeryShannon’s and this incredibly creative mod by @suninthesixth. Like the latter, I keep thinking I want it in coat proportions — with even deeper armholes and wider sleeves, along with the longer body and, of course, some pockets. But it was just yesterday,* as I was pondering possibilities for it (in terms of both shape and stash), that it dawned on me how much it might satisfy the cocoon sweater-coat Idea Log I posted last November (sketch above). I even have a couple of good yarn options in my stash for it.

*The day we were talking about how it’s too hot to get dressed! And here I was fantasizing about sweater coats.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Textural neckwear

Idea Log: Marlisle pullover

Idea Log: Marlisle-inspired pullover

As I’m knitting this heather-grey sleeveless sweater vest thingy, and temps are hovering blissfully in the 50s and 60s, I have a conversation with myself every single day about whether I should put sleeves on it. It’s beyond well-established that a cotton-blend, grey, everyday pullover is a garment my closet would benefit from tremendously. But I really want the sleeveless thing! So the conversation ends each day with me reminding other me about this other pullover I mean to knit, sketched up top.

It’s been in my head since the day I got my hands on Anna Maltz’s brilliant Marlisle book, and it’s sort of a cross between the adorable hat pictured above (Hozkwoz) and a beloved 10-yr-old J.Crew cardigan I auctioned off last October, pictured last above. That cardigan was an all-time favorite of mine — a tiny fair isle pattern used float-side-out, with a 3- or 4-stitch wide stripe at the seams, forming strong style lines. So what I’m planning here is a simple raglan marl pullover using non-marl stripes at the raglans, side seams and running down the sleeves, similar in many ways to Anna’s Humboldt sweater, now that I think about it. And perhaps the fabric will be akin to my grey marl, but this time predominantly ivory with light grey for the marl?

This is almost certainly one of my Summer of Basics garments this time around.

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Not quite harem pants

Idea Log: Not quite harem pants

Idea Log: Not quite harem pants

I have a longstanding longing for a pair of utterly perfect drop-crotch pants. Something slouchy and cool. Understated — not overly harem-ish. Definitely not Hammer pants. The other day I ran across the image above (middle left) on Pinterest, linked to a page where someone had dumped a ton of images with no credits, so I have no idea who designed them or was photographed wearing them or anything, but they are pretty damn dreamy. The mutton-leg shape is just the right proportion between the upper volume and the lower leg width, and omg those pockets. But even if I could locate and order them up, they’re still a little bit more voluminous than I probably really want to wear. They’re just such a polished example, something to strive for! My friend Kate alerted me to the Straight-Cut Sarouel Pants pattern pictured above (middle right), from Happy Homemade Sew Chic, and they look pretty promising. Especially this slightly modified pair. But basically I’m looking at these, my toddler pants pattern (modified Robbie) and Folkwear’s Japanese Field Pants pattern, and imagining what sort of hybrid I might be able to cook up. I have a few lucky yards of this lightweight fabric made from recycled denim that’s begging to become … these.

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: The pre-Spring sweater

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Idea Log: The pre-Spring sweater

Idea Log: The pre-Spring sweater

Of all my Yarns in Waiting, the one grunting at me most impolitely from the shelf is that skein of bright green Andorra from late last year, and as it happens, I’m also in the mood for some color — especially all of the greens — as we head toward Spring. I was originally thinking this one might become an old-school, oversized, V-neck sweater vest with wide ribbing at the neck and armholes. I still really like that idea, but somewhere along the line — probably due to the mohair content of the yarn — a slightly retro little pullover wandered into my thinking. I have in mind that my next pair of toddler pants will be made with the more tailored fit of my camo pair combined with a slightly straighter, narrower, longer leg. And I like the idea of these two shapes together, especially with flat boots for transitional weather. The shape of the sweater is not entirely unlike my lopi version, but more fitted and much lighter fabric, which I would be hoping is enough to offset the warmth of the mohair.

It popped back into my mind again last week after I posted that insane Sacai sweater/dress mashup. I was studying the sweater part of it thinking I wannnnt that … and wondering if maybe my little green mohair sweater needs some cables. And then along came Francis in the comments, saying it reminded her of Julie Hoover’s Hatcher pattern, which I’d somehow completely forgotten about, even though I’ve tried it on! So now I’m picturing something in between all of these things …

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Cocoon cardigan

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Idea Log: Cocoon cardigan

Idea Log: Cocoon cardigan

In addition to everything I talked about yesterday, there’s one more idea rolling around in my head that won’t let go. I have this wool coat I got at Elizabeth Suzann’s sample sale a couple years ago (no longer available; you can see it on me here), and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever owned. It just slides right on over everything, with its cocoon shape and dolman sleeves. So cozy and easy, and makes you look fabulous no matter what you throw it over. I actually wore it all summer at Fringe HQ (before we got control of our climate, finally!) and I find myself wanting a sweater version to snuggle up in through the winter. I even already have a swatch! What I’m envisioning is sort of in between the ES coat and something like Cirilia Rose’s Gezell Coat — less long and maybe slightly less voluminous than my coat, but with the stand-up collar and dolman sleeves. And pockets. But of course I still also want the sweater that swatch was originally envisioned as. Actually, I want about four sweaters with that yarn, but I think this idea might ultimately be the winner.

I haven’t searched for patterns, but it wouldn’t be hard to make up. If you happen to know of a similar pattern, though, let me know!

(Fashionary sketch templates from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Big pleated top

Idea Log: Big pleated top

Idea Log: Big pleated top

With that back-to-school feeling in the air, I’m full of ideas about what I want to make for fall! As I said the other day, I really am trying not to get ahead of myself, but there’s a shirt in my head that I want to record so maybe it’ll leave me alone for a quick minute — but which I think will be the workhorse of the season for me. It’s weirdly and tangentially inspired by a lot of things: Studio Nicholson‘s way with volume, the fall Zara men’s lookbook, the ghosts of garments past. It’s sleeveless, mandarin-collared, a bit oversized on top and voluminous on bottom, perfect on its own or layered under all sorts of things. And while if it works out, there will be more than one, the first will be in that navy-ivory menswear striped remnant bundle I’ve been mulling for two years now.

My plan is to simply modify Grainline’s Alder shirtdress pattern — shortening it and straightening the hemline, leaving off the collar, using Acher’s big pockets, and trading in the gathers for wide pleats. All the more motivation to finish up my Archer.

p.s. I’m pretty sure those are also my army-green pants for SoB 3

(Fashionary sketch templates from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Side pocket pants