Yuko Shimizu is one of many great designers I’ve learned of this past week as a result of the powerful discussion going on about diversity and the knitting community. If you’ve missed it somehow, there’s a good synopsis-with-links on Ravelry. In addition to hopefully opening eyes and minds to ways we can all do better to make the knitting community (and the world) a more inclusive place, it’s bringing a lot of wonderful and talented people into broader view.
I’m super smitten with these sweaters:
TOP: Sunburst is a fantastic little cropped colorwork sweater with full sleeves and some mohair content giving it an unusual surface texture for such a sweater
When I was putting together my 2018 Favorite New Favorites and looking back through the year’s best (in my opinion!) knitting patterns, there were several things I regretted not having gotten onto the blog yet. Chief among them, these two enticing cable hat patterns by Sari Nordlund:
TOP: Marlon Hat is gorgeous and worsted weight, which means I have countless yarn options in my stash
BOTTOM: Utu Hat is gorgeous and written for Woolfolk’s weirdly compelling bouclé yarn, Flette, which I happen to have two skeins of (because they sent them to me) and so much curiosity about that I’m seriously sitting here thinking “would I knit a hat on 2s …?”
Of all the years, this is one where I feel most dramatically like WAIT! I haven’t even knitted anything from last year’s Favorite New Favorites yet! I’ve gone back to the patterns on that list over and over this year, and several I’ve continued to go on about during 2018, and yet somehow it’s already time to look back through this year’s and pull out the ones I most fervently want to not lose track of.
It was a really good year in knitting patterns, better than I even realized. To scroll back through the year’s New Favorites (which I recommend!) is to witness a lot of ingenuity and beauty, and yet there are loads of things I saved on Ravelry that haven’t even made it onto the blog. (Yet.) Trying to narrow it to the ones I simply admired the most, I was at risk of putting about 40 or 50 patterns into this post. So I decided to limit myself to just 12 patterns for the year: the ones I’d most like to actually knit and have. Which also means this could function as a queue for the coming year — if only people would stop with the new distractions!
Simply based on how many times I’ve typed the words Carbeth Cardigan this year — and the fact that I did cast one on during my flight to Palm Springs last week — it’s clearly the pattern that bored the deepest hole into my brain this year. And then there are the ones I actually made: Grete and Hozkwoz.
Does it mean anything, do you think, that the rate at which I bookmark sock patterns has seen a noticeable increase lately? I don’t think I feel any more inclined to knit a pair, but I’m all heart eyes for these:
TOP: Near and Far by Hanna Lisa Haferkamp — I honestly don’t know which is more mesmerizing: the cable or the color
OK, trying to stick to my Monday brief about these gift knit suggestions being pulled from relatively new patterns (i.e., those I haven’t managed to get into the blog yet this year) means these are perhaps not the world’s quickest cowl patterns. You could certainly find faster ones out there (ahem) but these are situated comfortably on the fast <–> interesting continuum! For the previous gift-knitting installments this week, see Hats and Fingerless Mitts.
TOP: Mason by Julie Hoover is a simple stockinette funnel at chunky gauge with a little slipstitch colorwork for interest
MIDDLE LEFT: Flying Solo by Espace Tricot is written for two strands of shifting shades to create an ombré but could also be done in a single strand of worsted. This one I actually favorited and forgot at the end of last year, which is hard to believe since it ties right into the whole dickey conversation (free pattern) — pardon me while I cast on
MIDDLE RIGHT: The Shift by Andrea Mowry is the biggest commitment of the bunch, an oversized bandana shape, but seems like it would be so much fun — more slipstitch action
BOTTOM: Sten by Renate Yerkes is double-knit in contrasting shades of worsted for a two-sided cowl
I hope that all gives you some ideas, whether for yourself or others!
Next up in this week’s short series of quick gift-worthy knits: fingerless mittts! My favorite snack-sized knitting. Mitts are beloved by all (or at least most!), although they can be a little more knitting than yesterday’s hats, due to there being two of them and all. But if you have a little more time—
TOP: Giving Mitts by Jenny Sauselein — look it’s right there in the name! I absolutely love these striped unisex cuties [UPDATE! And I somehow failed to notice they’re written for Lettlopi, so if you’ve got assorted balls for Solbein/Steekalong swatching, this is the perfect use for them!)
SECOND, LEFT+RIGHT: Log Cabin Mitts by yours truly — but really, what could be more perfect? They’re addictively fun to knit, the perfect use for leftovers or mix-and-match skeins, and lend themselves to an endless array of solids or color combinations (free pattern)
THIRD: McKenna by the Berroco Design Team are super-simple cable mitts at bulky gauge (free pattern)
FOURTH: Weekend Walking Mitts by Dianna Walla are a little bit more of a commitment at DK gauge but still cabled only on the back of the hand, this time with a helpful foldover top and a bit more of a wow factor (For superbulky gauge, see Dianna’s Chuckanut Drive)
If you’re really pressed for time — like Christmas Eve knitting — the cutest, quickest mitts are Hannah Fettig’s 70 Yard Mitts.
With gift-knitting season upon us and my having a backlog of eye-popping knitting patterns I haven’t squeezed into the blog yet, I decided to do a sequence of New Favorites alternatives this week: recent killer accessory patterns that also knit up quickly and would make great gifts. Starting today with hats, the ultimate unisex gift. These patterns have enough going on that they’ll be fun to knit and make an impression, but not so much as to slow you down too much!
The particular beauty of hats — or any small-scale gift knits, really — is that it’s a chance for you to have fun rotating through different techniques while you’re at it. A definite win/win—
TOP:Tamitik by Shannon Cook shot straight to the top of my hat list when I first saw it on her Instagram* — cute, simple and bulky is a perfect gift-knit combo
MIDDLE LEFT:Diamondback Hat by Mary Jane Mucklestone was on her needles when I saw her in September and it gave me instant cast-on-itis — rhythmic 2-color stranding at worsted gauge
MIDDLE RIGHT:Adam by Rachel Atkinson is a fitted cap in DK on 8s with gorgeous knit-purl patterning
You guys, I picked these thinking “slip-stitch, colorwork, knit-purl texture, cables,” something for everyone, and didn’t realize till I saw the photos together that I unconsciously assembled a collection of diamonds! But then isn’t that the ideal motif for a gift knit?
(Disclosure: Shannon has since sent me the pattern.)