New Favorites: Griffin by Bristol Ivy

New Favorites: Griffin by Bristol Ivy

It’s the little things, truly. This new Griffin Sweater by Bristol Ivy is easy for me to like. It’s gansey-inspired, shawl-collared, and — being a Bristol pattern — a little construction puzzle to be solved. I like a good puzzle. The main motif here is the paired diagonals forming chevrons up the center front and back (and each sleeve) that then swirl up into the collar, and the detail that really gets me is how those diagonals meet at the back of the neck. I love it as a design element, but go read the construction notes and think about it: You’ve got these assorted parts that start at the side/hem/cuffs and make their way upward … getting joined together, taking shape, decreasing into the yoke as you approach the neck, and then at the very end, BOOM! Bullseye.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: This stitch pattern

New Favorites: This stitch pattern

New Favorites: This stitch pattern

This is a really cute little shrug — Tillie by Pam Allen. (I think Pam Allen is the queen of shrugs.) But what I’m particularly in love with is the stitch pattern! I know I’ve also seen it just recently on a more bite-sized project — a hat or mittens? — but cannot find whatever it was. Does anyone know what I’m thinking of, or anything specific about this stitch pattern? My fingers are itching to knit it.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Exceptional shawl collars

New Favorites: Exceptional shawl-collars

New Favorites: Exceptional shawl-collars

Both of these have been alluded to in previous posts, but we are hurtling toward the end of the year (hell-o, November!) when I’ll look back and put together my Favorite New Favorites* of 2016 — the things I most want to not forget to knit someday — and these two have to be properly in the mix, because they’re two of the most covetable sweaters I’ve seen all year:

TOP: Gambier by Lindsay Inouye is a Cowichan-inspired gem and must be a total dream in Hinterland‘s alpaca-rambouillet blend

BOTTOM: Sourcebook Chunky Cardigan by Norah Gaughan (from her must-have Knitted Cable Sourcebook) is a cable-lover’s dream, and the shape of that collar is just perfection

*Take a look at 2015, 2014 and 2013 — such good stuff

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Hoods

New Favorites: Hoods

New Favorites: Hoods

Eventually it will cool off, right? I’m not actually complaining — don’t get me wrong — this Indian Summer suits me just fine. It looks like Fall but feels like the sort of summer weather I can get behind, and because it’s October I can get away with boots if I feel like it. But it does feel very faraway to think about needing a hat. Here’s the thing: As much as I love to knit hats, I have trouble wearing them. I’ve only ever had one that didn’t leave my hair destroyed, so once I put on a hat, there’s no taking it off. Which is why I’ve always wondered if I wouldn’t prefer a hood, which has the added benefit of protecting your neck at the same time! Norah Gaughan’s pattern from her new book (Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook, which is now out, by the way) got me mulling it again, and brought me to the others I’ve saved in the past:

TOP: Sourcebook Balaclava by Norah Gaughan is the coolest dickey in history

MIDDLE: Icicle Hood by Kari-Helene Rane has an Amelia Earhart vibe about it and I especially like it worn unbuttoned

BOTTOM: F627 Hooded Neckwarmer by Vanessa Ewing (free pattern) is a little more Hunger Games

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Every stitch of the Tov collection

New Favorites: Every stitch of the Tov collection

New Favorites: Every stitch of the Tov collection

I mentioned recently that I’d gotten a sneak peek from the set of the shoot for a new collection and that there was a cardigan I was losing sleep over. It turns out the entire collection — the Tov Collection from Woolfolk, for their latest yarn, Tov — is drop-dead ridiculously to-die-for gorgeous. For me, and what makes my heart race, it’s the single best pattern collection I’ve seen in the five years I’ve been doing this.

Here’s the thing: the day the lookbook first snuck into my inbox, I got the vapors. But before making a claim like “best I’ve seen in five years,” I have to stop and check myself. Let’s face it: the photography, the house, the ivory yarn and cables — it pushes every one of my buttons. Was I being swayed by all of that, or are these patterns as good as I initially thought they were? Having looked at it more times now than I care to admit, I can honestly say: Take away the house, make the garments colors I don’t like, whatever — they’re stupendous.

So here are my favorites: All of them! Starting, of course, with the sweaters:

Vidje by Kristin Ford, above, is the cardigan I was on about. This design is a tightrope walk; it could have so easily gone awry, but the bands of texture blocking are beautifully done. I mean, the shift in scale of the honeycomb is so gorgeous I’m hellbent on knitting this thing even though I hate knitting honeycomb! It might take me two years to finish it, but I ain’t lettin’ that stop me.

New Favorites: Every stitch of the Tov collection

Bue by (newcomer?) Nele Redweik might manage to distract me from Vidje for a minute. I’ve been planning to do a pattern for a sleeveless cabled tunic, but now I don’t have to! This is perfection.

New Favorites: Every stitch of the Tov collection

Gevir by Sarah Solomon represents that balance I think we’re always looking for, of a garment that’s striking — what I like to call a trophy knit — but also very practical and wearable. The combination of wide ribs and vertebrae-like cables, the way they’re deployed here, is slimming rather than adding bulk. And it feels extremely fashionable and classic at the same time. Absolutely gorgeous.

New Favorites: Every stitch of the Tov collection

And then there are the accessories:

TOP: Rille by Olga Buraya-Kefelian is just fantastic looking hat — must have

BOTTOM LEFT: Mont by Olga Buraya-Kefelian is a pair of long mitts that are just a good thing done well

BOTTOM RIGHT: Arkade by Antonia Shankland is the weirdest stitch pattern I’ve ever seen, makes no sense to my brain, but I find the dimensionality and pillowiness of it fascinating!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mitten mania

New Favorites: Mitten mania

New Favorites: Mitten mania

I’m heading for the frozen tundra of Northern Minnesota today for Knitting With Company — ok, highs in the mid-40s but that sounds pretty effing cold to me right now! — and the universe keeps whispering in my ear about mittens. First there was the flip-through of this Latvian mittens book on Tolt’s IG Story the other day, which is stunning. Then Clara Parkes wrote about the very appealing looking Big Book of Knitted Mittens. Oh, and when I’m done in Minnesota, I’m flying straight to Seattle for the Nordic Knitting Conference, where I’m taking a class about a knitting legend named Skaite-Maria. A mittens class! I have an exquisite pair Leigh made me last winter, that I’ll take with me just in case, but anyway here are some mitten patterns I’d love to knit:

TOP: Riva mittens (and hat) by Dianna Walla looks like a fun knit with colorwork just on around the upper hand (the sweater is Dianna’s Dalis)

MIDDLE: August Mittens by Kate Gagnon Osborn, cable-y goodness, aren’t meant to be worn in August but are the August installment of Kelbourne Woolens’ enticing Year of Mittens

BOTTOM: Wishbone Mittens by Michele Rose Orne have shaping at the wrist that creates the wishbone effect, and optional fingertip peepholes!

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BY THE WAY for those of you who were wondering what I was up to with that amazing Camellia Fiber Company handspun over the summer, it was a little pattern that will appear in the second issue of Making next month (which we’ll have at Fringe Supply Co when it comes out). My Camellia Tank, as it’s called, can now be seen on Ravelry. Show it some love!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: For Bob (or himever!)

New Favorites: For Bob (or himever!)

New Favorites: For Bob (or himever!)

My favorite thing about the Brooklyn Tweed Fall ’16 collection that came out last week are these three men’s sweaters, which I assess in terms of their Bob-ability:

TOP: Tamarack by Jared Flood is the sweater equivalent of my husband’s favorite shawl-collar sweatshirt, and very likely the next sweater I knit for him (with scaled-down pockets)

BOTTOM LEFT: Carver by Julie Hoover is spare enough in its overall cable-y texturedness that I might be able to coax him into it

BOTTOM RIGHT: Auster by Michele Wang is the sweater I hope to get him into once he’s comfortable in his Carver

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: The solace of hats