Togue Stripes

Togue Stripes

Verdict on this tank sweater: BIG LOVE. So quick (actual combined knitting time), so simple, so useful here in the land of 90-something-degree days. Dress it up, dress it down. And it’s forever entwined in my memory with Squam — this yarn and the green needles and porch floor and weathered decking were just the most soothing and pleasing visual combination. I love love loved it.

Togue Stripes

As you know, I wanted a cross between Pam Allen’s two recent tank sweater patterns. I wanted the weight and gauge of Togue Pond with the look of Saco Stripes — specifically the A-line shape, plain lower edge, stripes (obviously) and wider “straps.” So here’s what I did:

— Knitted it in the Kestrel yarn (in Pebble and Senza) using the Togue Pond pattern (second size).

— Omitted the waist ribbing and short-row shaping — I simply did one purl round after the cast-on and then worked straight in stockinette.

— Cast on with US10 needles and worked the first couple of inches, then switched to US9’s, then to US8’s after the top stripe. When I do it again, I’ll just start on US9’s; it’s already getting to be a little more flouncy at the waist than I’d like.

— Anticipating that it would grow with blocking and over time, I knitted it shorter than I wanted it. Unfortunately, I didn’t write it down, but I think it was 13 or 13.5 inches before dividing for front and back. After blocking and a couple of wears, it’s now 15 inches (not including the ribbing).

— I worked the first stripe 3 inches (I think) from the cast-on edge. The Senza stripes are 2 rows each, with 6 rows of Pebble in between.

— I staggered my waist decreases a little differently (just keeping them in the grey), and did fewer of them. When it came time to divide for front and back and work the armhole shaping, I had eight more stitches than the pattern called for, which gave me two extra stitches in each “strap.”

— I did the 3-needle bind-off for the shoulders with wrong sides together, so the seam is exposed. I also have a bad habit of forgetting to bind-off when doing a 3-needle bind-off — I just do all the k2tog’s and wind up with a row of live stitches. So then I go back and pass the stitches over each other to bind them off. Which actually makes a nice substantial looking exposed seam.

— I had seen comments on Ravelry that people were picking up fewer stitches for the neck/arms than the pattern called for. I picked up 96 for the neck and the same number as the pattern for the armholes.

— To counteract the growth tendency, I deliberately did my bind-offs a little on the tight side.

— I did not do jogless stripes, and I did not carry the Senza yarn up the sides either, because I knew it would show through, given the loose-ish gauge and high contrast. So when weaving in each of those Senza ends, I did one duplicate stitch from the right side of the fabric to even out the jog, and I’m happy with how it turned out.

Our first evening in Nashville, we were over at our friend Jo’s for BLTs. I wove in the last of the ends on her deck and she threw it in her washing machine while we ate, then laid it out to air dry. I’m already in love with the fabric and know it will just get softer over time, so definitely put me down as a linen convert.

Togue Stripes

New Favorites: Pam Allen’s linen tanks

New Favorites: Pam Allen's linen tanks

I’m convinced my indifference to all the sweaters on my needles is to do with their being stockinette, but perhaps it’s more the fact that long-sleeved wool sweaters have no actual current relevance? And thus I’m simply unmotivated? I wonder, because I am plagued with the desire to cast on yet another stockinette sweater — but this time a linen tank. Pam Allen has been on a roll lately, and if I had any linen in my stash, I might have already cast on one or the other of these, just to see whether my stockinette apathy would dissipate if the garment were of immediate use — or in fact, necessity. The only problem is: which one? On top is Togue Pond; on bottom is Saco Stripes. I might need to hybridize them …

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: WATG cotton toppers

New Favorites: A bit of mesh

New Favorites: A bit of mesh

I’m aware that it’s still snowing in some parts of the US, but it’s been spring here for 3 or 4 months and I know everyone else is ready for fewer layers and lighter clothes. This “winter” has actually been warmer than our “summer” typically is, so I have no idea what we’re in for this year. But with global weather no longer following traditional patterns, I’m into the idea of flex-weather sweaters such as these little mesh-patterned beauties. Above is the Zigzag Mesh Pullover by Carolyn Noyes for the new issue of Knit.Wear. I know: Purple chevrons, what is up? But I’d prefer this one in a neutral. Below is the Perkins Cove Pullover by Pam Allen, which is the same basic idea as that drop-stitch sweater of Iz’s that Meg made me a sleeveless version of, and that many of you have been clamoring for a pattern for! Here it’s done raglan-style in a finer gauge, in linen, and it is lovely lovely lovely.

New Favorites: A bit of mesh

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Colorwork without the work

Christmas-y New Favorites addendum: A very elfin earflap hat

A very elfin earflap hat

It’ll be 68 and sunny here today — that’s how we roll again/lately — but my interest in earflap hats persists. And I don’t know how I forgot about this one. Quince and Co sent it out in a holiday email yesterday — Kelpie! By Pam Allen. It’s mildly, amusingly elfin in the pretty ivory version, and full-on Christmas elf in the red. And at 3 stitches per inch, you could pull some bulky out of your stash right now and have one whipped up before all of the presents are open!

I might have to knit myself one in a nice subdued charcoal.

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates today! And to everyone else: I hope you have a lovely, quiet Wednesday off, full of knitting and good cheer.

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Scarves to start now

Scarf patterns to start knitting now!

So about that growing scarf obsession. I’m not talking about any skimpy little rectangles to flick around your neck; I’m talking about big, dramatic, shoulder-hugging scarves, bordering on “wraps” or “stoles.” Scarves that involve some serious knitting. So whether you want to be wearing one this fall or are thinking about knitting a few for the holidays, these are scarves to start now!

1. Wheaten by Anne Hanson, exquisite cables and lace (See also: Topiary and Afton)

2. Nathalie by Val LNU*, simple and effective rib-and-seed-stitch combo  (free pattern)

3. Kirkwood by Julie Hoover, love those classic cables

4. Doux by Julie Hoover, luscious yarn combo and lovely textured stitch**

5. Falmouth by Alicia Plummer, on-trend chevrons (and there’s a matching hat)

6. Isla by Carrie Bostick Hoge, good old knits and purls, even better with another repeat or two each direction

7. February by Beth Weaver, pure cable beauty with tallllll ribbed ends

8. Vermeil by Wencke Lucas, my life won’t be complete until I cast on this crazy stitch combo (in Pom Pom 6)**

9. Caribou by Pam Allen, curvaceous grid of welts (maybe?) and ribs

10. Snowflake by Joelle Hoverson, bulky with allover texture, this is probably the quickest knit on the list (free pattern)

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*LNU: That’s cop-speak for Last Name Unknown. Don’t ask me how I know.

**I know, I know, I’ve featured these two before, but this list wouldn’t have been right without them.

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Dear Pam Allen: Yes, please

Apiece Apart fall 2013 cardigan-coat sweater

The bad news is: I’m still sick. I keep thinking it’s getting better, and I pump out as much work as I can while I’m riding the wave of euphoria that comes with feeling normal(ish), only to find myself getting knocked back down. It’s been two weeks today. During the first week of all this, my sweet friend Leigh sent me some links to things floating around the web that she knew I wouldn’t want to miss, including the incredible Apiece Apart cardigan-coat above (spotted in a Remodelista interview with the designers). Several other nice people have brought it to my attention since, and with good reason: Apiece Apart is always a huge inspiration but this piece is to die for.

The good news is: I just saw Pam Allen praising it on the Quince and Co blog, and she’s pondering writing a pattern for an inspired-by piece. Cross your fingers.

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p.s. Thank you for the amazing response to Friday’s post. You guys really blow me away so very often.

p.p.s. There’s been a mad rush on those marked-down cedar sachets — people ordering them three, four, six at a time! Only four left at this point…

Best summer sweater knitting patterns

Best summer sweater knitting patterns

I’d tell you this was another request but really it was more like a demand. People in need of knitting patterns for little summer tanks and tees can be rather assertive!

Some of these have been seen on Fringe before, and not all are digitally available sadly, but here in one place is a whole slew of my favorite summer (or at least summerish) sweaters — too many to picture:

1. Gate Pullover by Margaux Hufnagel, knitted sideways with a little geometric lace across the top; see also: High Relief Dolman by Courtney Kelley (which I would knit wider and with shorter sleeves)

2. Kit Camisole by Bristol Ivy, lovely slouchy, textured tank; see also: Aproned Tank by Hannah Fettig

3. Hester Pullover by Amy Herzog, adorable

4. Mix No. 13 by AnneLena Mattison, allover mesh makes a great coverup

5. Francis by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, with really interesting construction; see also: Short Row Sweater from the Purl Bee (free pattern)

6. Knit T-Shirt from the Purl Bee, with contrast-lined pocket (free pattern); see also: Insouciant by Julie Hoover, Two-Color Baseball Tee by Laura Bryant

7. Shiro Shiriku by Vicki Square, which also applies to this!; see also: Lemon by Helga Isager, of course

8. Drop Stitch Tank by Pam Allen, the photo is a little unfortunate but the sweater is cute (picture it, as I am, in charcoal tweed — so summery!)

9. Riverine Pullover by Andi Satterlund, two-toned and two-textured (from the new Pom Pom Quarterly); see also: Cap Sleeve Lattice Top from the Purl Bee (free pattern)

10. Pebble Tank from the Purl Bee, which looks so cool in Habu’s Natural Cover Cotton (free pattern)

Please feel free to add your favorites below!

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