In the absence of a big wrap that I’m really wild about, there’s a thing I routinely do — especially on airplanes. I take the two corners at each end of the thin wool scarf I always have in my bag and tie them together, leaving enough room for my wrists to slip through. That way my arms stay covered as I work or knit or whatever, without the scarf sliding off my forearms. I’ve always wanted the knitted version of this — and have twice been on the brink of casting on Flying Squirrel — but none of the shrug patterns out there ever feels quite right. Until I saw Pasvik, above, a design by Julie Knits in Paris for the new issue of Laine. (Which also contains the Denise Bayron Grace pullover that’s part of my Summer of Basics trio.) I had the pleasure of meeting Julie in Paris, and love the shape and textures on this, and the versatility of how it can be worn. L-o-v-e.
But then at exactly the same time, along comes Dyyni from Sari Nordlund, below, which I’ve been holding my breath for since it first appeared on her IG feed in recent months. It is literally the big wrap of my dreams. Simple (to knit and wear) yet with enough interest (in the knitting and the wearing) that I might actually complete it.
What’s a knitter to do? There may be a mash-up in my future …
I’m super smitten with Julie Weisenberger’s latest little sweater, Eva. With its cropped length and open sides, it sits somewhere in between a shawl and a cardigan. I’m not 100% sure I’d like how it sits on my frame, but I like it enough I think I’m very likely going to find out. It just seems like such a simple little throw-over-anything sort of sweater, and I love the funkiness of the dangling ties. (I like it less with them actually tied.) Given that I’ve been saying for a couple of summers now that I’m eager to try her top-down set-in-sleeve method, I’m thinking this may be the one I actually knit.
The abbreviated scale of it makes me willing to tackle a fingering-weight sweater, albeit knitted on US5 needles, but a sweater quantity of fingering is the last thing you’ll find sitting in my stash. So in addition to giving me a chance to try out her method, it may also be the chance to knit with BC Garn Bio Balance, one of the yarns on my Nashville-friendly blends list. Will swatch and see!
Honestly, saying something has an almost confectionary quality is not normally my way of paying a compliment, but somehow I’ve fallen in love with these two new beret patterns that are exactly that. And I don’t even like berets! Although now I’m wondering why I’ve never really tried one on my beanie-unfriendly head. It could work!
These both just look like such total joy to knit, no matter whose head they might wind up on—
TOP: Western Sky by Caitlin Hunter combines cables, lace and bobbles into the more understated-yet-freespirited of the two
BOTTOM: April Hat by Courtney Kelley mixes a spot of lace, twisted-stitch faux cables, bobbles, puff stitch and a pompom into a fun-loving whole (free pattern)
When I was going through all of my favorited shawl patterns in putting together the most recent New Favorites installment, I ran across Julie Hoover’s Walsh (top), which I had saved as a shawl pattern because it’s literally a little triangle that would also look great scaled up to shawl proportions, and even at pattern scale might double as a neck kerchief like the one I made my mom long ago and still want for myself. But when I saw it again that day, my reaction was “a head kerchief is such a good idea.” And a matter of days later, along came Denise Bayon’s Hatdana (bottom)! Now I find myself wanting to knit one of each — and why not, when they’re perfect little portable warm-weather projects.
It’s been four years since I swore off knitting shawls but, ahem, I’ve been thinking about that grand tradition of a shawl that can double as a baby blanket. So I’ve gone back through all the shawl patterns I’ve ever favorited to see if anything might tempt me into it. I’m not making any commitments, just saying these are a few that call to me, either newly or still, that seem suitable for this particular purpose—
TOP: Tensdale by Patricia Shapiro — probably my all-time favorite shawl pattern, baby friendly (nothing to poke or snag), and would look just as good in a bright color
MIDDLE LEFT: Dionne Shawl by Jeanette Sloan — on the one hand, I’m super curious to see what would happen if this motif were knitted at worsted gauge; on the other, lace plus baby fingers makes me a little nervous
MIDDLE RIGHT: Euclid by Isabell Kraemer — that is some serious cabling, especially at shawl dimensions, but looks like it’s all 1-over-1 crosses and easily memorizable, and it’s really lovely
BOTTOM LEFT: Ashby by Leila Raabe — another longtime favorite that has stuck with me, would be fun to knit but still baby-friendly fabric (See also Gansey Shawl, same thoughts)
BOTTOM RIGHT: Cloud Half Pi Shawl by Beatrice Perron Dahlen — a nice mindless pick-it-up-put-it-down project that would also let the color and yarn shine
Wandering around Ravelry late last week, I ran across a new-to-me designer named Leeni Hoi and fell for her lovely halo-y sweaters knitted in fingering weight yarn held double with a strand of silk-mohair. This is one of the tricks I remember being awed by when I first took up knitting, and I have bought two or three skeins of silk-mohair over the years with a plan to try it, and yet I’ve still not done it. Which is ridiculous, because in addition to creating an incredibly soft and supple fabric — just look what it does for these three beauties — it’s also a good way to boost fingering yarn to a gauge I’m happier knitting at, while still creating a garment lighter than a worsted-weight sweater. Win/win/win.
ABOVE, TOP: Shimo Sweater has a pretty cables-and-bobbles motif that dovetails neatly into the hem and cuffs
ABOVE, BOTTOM: Vaña Sweater is a simple reverse-stockinette pullover with a few graphic lines of ribbing to set it off
BELOW: Uhuru Sweater looks like a super-basic pullover, but offers the surprise of a triangular detail at the cuffs and back of neck
In addition to my shawl-collar vest idea and the navy pullover I still haven’t quite sorted out, the other thing I’ve had in mind to possibly knit for myself this year — making alternative use of a sweater quantity of wool in my stash — is a textured wrap. I’ve still never knitted a scarf, but have always wanted to knit a big blankety wrap of one sort or another. Some contenders:
MIDDLE RIGHT: Castlemilk by Cecelia Campochiaro, sequence knitting which could be easily scaled wider
BOTTOM: Heure d’Hiver by Emilie Luis, I’d leave off the fringe and elongate the ribbing
BELOW: En Voyage by Espace Tricot, just shortened a bit
Plus there’s still Julie Hoover’s Wallace from last year’s Favorite New Favorites, which is probably in the lead. But I’m also recalling how much I loved knitting the stitch pattern of my Channel Cardigan, and thinking that could make a lovely wrap as well.