Elsewhere: Big-screen sweaters, Japanese denim and knitted pie

Elsewhere — links for knitters, sewers, slow fashion advocates

Happy Friday! I know it’s been awhile since my last links list, but this one’s got something for just about everyone—

How to knit a pie crust

— “‘The Lighthouse’ Is a Film About Men Arguing In Moldy, Beautiful Sweaters” (thx, Deepa!) (lower photo)

Tender Buttons, RIP

— A must watch: This gorgeous 6-minute documentary on denim in Japan (upper photo)

Vogue Knitting has announced Launch Pad: A Small Business Development Program with an emphasis on providing resources for entrepreneurs from marginalized groups to help increase diversity in our industry

The “Invisible Jumpers” photo project is now a book! (thx, Alyssa)

“There are no regulations” (via Clara)

Great interview with Quince’s Leila Raven about her career path and design process

What if all fashion schools took field trips to landfills?

— and this mini-Stonecrop cardigan is too darling

IN SHOP NEWS: We’ve got the new MDK Field Guide, No. 13: Master Class with patterns by Kaffe Fassett, as well as a limited-edition set of drawstring bags we’re calling Stash Bags sewn from collected miscuts, in a variety of sizes and colors. They’re sturdy canvas, endlessly useful and priced to sell! (At least one size is actually already sold out …)

Have a happy weekend, everyone—

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Elsewhere

Happy Friday, friends. I’ve got a nice varied stack of Elsewhere links for you below, but one tangential one first — from Grace Bonney as she closed Design Sponge after 15 years, a bit of advice I can simultaneously nod along with and continue to learn from, and I hope others will too: How to handle (and learn from) being called out. Please read and pass it along!

• Well said, Denise, and obviously about knitting as well: “Sewing has taught me that I’m in charge of the image I present to the world.”

Does anyone have a spare copy of this to sell me?

I love this crochet swimsuit

The fashion industry’s diversity problem

• Three new-to-me, WOC-owned, slow-fashion brands I’m loving: Emme (totally brilliant upcycling and more), Chelsea Bravo (hand-painted casual wear) and Proclaim (“inclusive nude” bras and bodysuits)

• Maybe this is the one to get me going: Quilted hexagon potholders (perhaps at coaster size?)

This sleeve swatch [heart eyes!] — and it takes me back to this ol’ gem

“Systematic overproduction just isn’t sustainable, no matter how you spin it.”

This doll outfit in my size, please (Which takes me back to these beauties!)

Next-level yoke (click the little right arrow on the first image)

Stunning shibori

• And wowwwwww

IN SHOP NEWS: We’ve got the brand-new MDK Field Guide No. 12: Big Joy! And so much more …

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Elsewhere

This has been a distressing week in the US (one of far too many of its kind), and you know I feel so strongly that every one of us needs to be informed and engaged and to work for peace. (Boy have my thoughts on how advanced these past three years.) But we also have to take care of ourselves and keep up our strength, which means being present with the people we love and also allowing ourselves to disappear into our knitting or sewing for a minute, to catch our breath and boldly face the world again.

I’ve got a mixed bag of links for you today, for your edification and/or enjoyment; I’ll see you back here on the other side of what I hope will be a comparatively peaceful weekend—

— Squam’s diversity-and-inclusion panel from last month has since been posted online. It’s long, so maybe watch it in chunks if you need to, but I hope you’ll watch

— I love every word of this interview with Oaxacan weaver and natural dyer Porfirio Gutiérrez: No one told us we were artists (via)

— Podcast eps I’m eager to listen to: The Dressed interview with Joy Bivins on the history of the Ebony Fashion Fair and the debut of Ceci Knits the World

— I’m in MDK’s debt for linking to Lorilee Beltman’s brilliant video about how to memorize the Kitchener Stitch — I always have to remind myself which way it goes and will never need to again!

— … and also for asking Jillian Moreno the question I’ve always wanted to ask someone: the difference between fingering-weight yarn and sock yarn

— Remember that wrapped hoop earring tutorial? Anne updated it on her own blog — and look at this lovely espadrille project

Why the American shoe disappeared, and why it’s so hard to bring it back

— and totally fascinating use of a sock blank

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On an unrelated note, I want to acknowledge the loss of Toni Morrison this week, which feels especially sharp within this particular news cycle. I don’t really even have the words for it, but I loved this passage by Tracy K. Smith from one of the many NYT tributes I’ve read in the past few days:

“… the living monument of Ms. Morrison’s body of work assures me that the language of peace, justice, safety and stability must enter our imagination as they always have — not through the language of policy, but via our willingness to regard one another as worthy of attention and love. Such ideas must be sat with, moved through, married to our vocabularies for love, desire, loss, resentment, remembering, healing and hope. And those vocabularies are the primary terrain of the artist.”

I’ve been saying lately it’s been too long since I’ve read any of her novels. Time to dig back in …

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Elsewhere + Holiday weekend project idea

Elsewhere + Holiday weekend knitting project idea

I woke up to such exciting news yesterday: Kay finished her Logalong sweater! And it’s a beauty. (Back story here.) Which is likely what reminded me that my Log Cabin Mitts pattern is a great holiday-weekend project, whether you need something portable for travel or an addictive little something to get into (and scrounge leftovers for) on a quiet weekend at home.

Here’s a longish Elsewhere for the long weekend—

— Never have so many people sent me the same link: ‘Knitting is coding’ and yarn is programmable in this physics lab (NYT link) (thx, everyone!)

— Makers of color: Have you responded to Jen Hewett’s survey for her upcoming book? Just a few days left …

— Settle in for this one: Anni Albers on How to Be an Artist

I always love reading about the birth of a new yarn

— Obsessed with these scrappy quilted jackets here and here

Great question

Canadian councilwoman calls out gender disparity at city council, one stitch at a time — you can see the disparity better here (thx, DG)

— “So, while it’s #memademay and I cheer at the handmade garments in my feed, I also cheer for the mended, darned, repaired, re-dyed, redesigned, or simply beloved clothes we’ve been tending for years. I celebrate the intention, the mindfulness, the awareness. And remember that we all have different resources in time, money, skill, equipment, and craftsmanship for our clothing. And hope that beauty can be the ecology we tend and support in Slow Fashion.

— “The question is no longer whether it is necessary to improve sustainable business practices, but rather how long it will take before consumers stop buying from brands that do not act responsibly.”⁣

Dream sweater

— And yes to baby animals in sweaters (but they are planning to pay for photos, right?) (thx, Jen)

On a totally different front, I’ll be reading the Wikipedia short history of Memorial Day, which — as with just about everything — is more rich and complicated than I recall knowing. And we’re planning to dust off Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary this weekend, which I’ve only ever seen bits of.

However you’re passing the weekend, wherever you are, I wish you the best — and I’ll see you back here next week!

IN SHOP NEWS: The butterscotch Porter Bin is back in stock, along with the new olive/army Town Bag I’m so thrilled you’re all loving! And all the other lovely goodies, of course.

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Elsewhere + news to come

Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

It’s May, and I know some of you are wondering about Summer of Basics! My apologies for the cliffhanger — I’ve been thinking about retooling it a little bit for this year and hope to have an announcement about that next week. If you have thoughts on it in between, please do leave a comment below.

And in the meantime, a little Elsewhere—

— Data nerdery in knitted form: The National Parks Tempestry Project is kind of mind-blowing (thx, DG) (photo above left)

— “How sewing improved my mental health — and restored my professional ambitions

Spectacular

I love this profile of textile artist Llane Alexis (previously mentioned here)

How to dye with osage orange (photo above right)

Brilliant refashion

What a treasure!

— and I’m eager to listen to this interview with Imogene+Willie cofounder Matt Eddmenson

Happy weekend, everyone. I’d love to hear what you’re working on!

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PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere: Wool dogs and whaling wraps

Elsewhere: Wool dogs and whaling wraps

Elsewhere: Wool dogs and whaling wraps

Hi!! I meant to have this ready to post on Friday, but last week was a week of (good) distractions and (non-tragic) complications, so here is it for your Monday enjoyment instead—

— Don’t miss this one: Andrew Sean Greer on the virtues of questionable taste (thx, DG)

Beautiful short video of indigenous Chinese textile artists and a Chinese-American designer attempting to keep these traditions alive (thx, Angela)

Short history of the Coast Salish wool dog, now extinct

After combat, a veteran finds solace in sheep farming

Kate Atherley’s dissertation on increases and their virtues

Make your own tiny woven pouch

Love the idea of colorwork sleeves on a solid cardigan

This is an incredible sweater collection

Nobody will ever crochet stones as beautifully as @resurrectionfern (bottom photo)

— And I’m super into everything about these knitted wraps for the Whaling Museum, from inspiration to execution (top photo)

Hope your week gets off to a great start!

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Photos © @isobelandcleo and @resurrectionfern, used with permission

Our Tools, Ourselves: Denise Bayron

Our Tools, Ourselves: Denise Bayron interview

I first met Denise Bayron on Instagram about a year ago when she had just learned to sew and was wowing everyone with her skills. No doubt her experience in knitting and the fashion industry were factors, but it was mind-blowing how quickly she was drafting her own inventive jumpsuit, for instance. And have you seen her knitting patterns? Last year’s chic Cardizen has just been joined by a clever cross between a head kerchief and a bandana cowl, the Hatdana. (Straight into my queue!) With more in the pipeline.

On top of her immeasurable talents, Denise might actually be the friendliest person I’ve ever met. I’ve loved getting to know her better in recent months and am excited to be able to share more of her story through this q&a. To keep up with Denise, follow @bayronhandmade.

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Do you knit, crochet, weave, spin, dye, sew … ?

I knit, crochet and sew. I learned to crochet from a neighbor when I was 4 years old. I practiced frequently and enjoyed doing it immensely but lost the habit as I grew into my teens. I’ve picked it up again in recent years.

As a young woman living in New York, I worked in the fashion industry as the VP of a public relations agency for many years. The corporate hustle didn’t allow for much making.  Even worse, I absorbed the conflicting message that quality clothing is both expensive and disposable after a season. Fast fashion diminished my self-worth because of unattainable expectations.  So I quit my job to pursue more meaningful work in the personal wellness industry. Ironically, leaving the fashion industry opened me up to making clothes by hand.

A few years later, I moved from New York to Madison, Wisconsin.  I was in a new city, and I had no friends. Within days of moving, I attended a fair-trade festival. The first person I met was a woman who was a knitter and the manager of a local fair-trade organization. I asked her if I could volunteer at her company. I also asked her if she would be my friend. I’m surprised she didn’t run in the opposite direction! I worked part-time for that organization for about 5 years. I was surrounded by items that were made by artisans and farmers from around the world. I grew to appreciate the beauty of handmade things, their longevity, their intrinsic and sentimental value, and the cultural lessons that can be passed down through craft.

Through my volunteer work, I was granted a visa to work with an artisan partner in Thailand. The partner ran a cooperative business comprised of women from the northern Thai hill tribes. My assignment was to teach the women English and marketing strategies so that they could compete in a global economy. These women made magic with their hands. I had much to learn from them too! After our classes, I stayed on to watch them sew, knit and embroider beautiful things. I continued traveling through eight countries and had similar exchanges in Myanmar and Indonesia too. The time I spent learning handicrafts from experienced artisans changed my life and point of view.

When I returned to the US, I continued to develop my knitting skills. Sewing, however, was still on the back burner. This all changed when I moved to California four years ago. I found myself in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has a rich and diverse maker community. I searched for a local yarn shop and found the most charming shop — A Verb For Keeping Warm! It was within walking distance from my home. OMG, two steps away from heaven, right??!! The shop hosts a monthly maker meetup called Seam Allowance. The meetup is a sew-and-tell of sorts where participants pledge to make 25% of their wardrobe by hand. I was floored by the quality of the projects shared in the group, and I was incredibly inspired. I was determined to try my hand at sewing. I walked out of the shop with a pattern by Sonya Philip, the designer of 100 Acts of Sewing. Sonya’s clear pattern instructions and tutorial videos helped me complete my first sewing project — a pair of pants! That success gave me the courage to keep sewing and later try my hand at drafting.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Denise Bayron interview

Tell us about your tool preferences and peccadilloes.

In a dream world, I am a monogamous knitter with one set of wooden needles and only enough yarn to knit the project that I am currently working on. In the real world, I do, in fact, have only one set of interchangeable needles. However, I need more cables to hold multiple WIPs.

In a past interview I vocalized my dislike for the clicking of metal needles. Never say never, because I’ve had to eat crow after working on a recent lace project. I found myself searching online for Addi Turbo Rockets. I didn’t buy them, but my little heart wants them so badly.

How do you store or organize your tools? Or do you?

I try to keep my tools to a minimum and buy the best quality and most beautiful tools I can afford. As far as organizing, I keep my yarn stash in two baskets on my sewing table. I also have one bookshelf where I store my fabric and hand knit projects. Next to that bookshelf I keep a couple of bolts of fabric standing upright on the floor. A local friend and shop owner offered to sell me 120 yards of tencel for $100! This offer was a no-brainer, so I immediately broke my own minimalism rules and rushed to her home to pick them up. She also gave me some garment-quality cotton, linen and wool as a gift. It was a total score!

Our Tools, Ourselves: Denise Bayron interview

How do you store or organize your works-in-progress?

I live in a tiny apartment in Oakland. I don’t have a dedicated studio for my work. My bed is two feet away from my workspace. I’ve placed two long Ikea desks side-by-side to make one long surface along the wall. That’s where I cut fabric, sew, knit, work on my laptop and drink hot coffee. Multi-tasking sometimes means that there is fabric on the dining table, yarn in baskets under my favorite armchair, and scrap paper on the bed. It’s not always pretty, but stuff gets done. I have to thank my partner who is the most organized person I know. He does the cleaning and sorting while I cuss at the dropped stitches on my needles and grade my patterns.

Are there any particularly prized possessions amongst your tools?

The tools I use the most are my Lykke interchangeable needles, Gingher shears, and Merchant and Mills snips. I love the Cocoknits stitch stoppers. I also use the black Magpie stitch markers that look like big safety pins as progress keepers. This year I also invested in a new knitting bag. It is the Twig and Horn crossbody project tote. I have the Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag in a matching toffee color and the Fringe leather tool pouch. Now everything is matchy-matchy and beautiful.

Having said that, I used to keep my projects in a Ziploc bag inside of a ratty Fjallraven backpack. Although I love a pretty bag, and sharp shears are essential for cutting fabric, I want to avoid repeating the negative messages I received from the fast fashion industry. More isn’t always better.

Do you lend your tools?

Not really. Not because I’m cheap, but because it has never come up. My maker friends all have beautiful tools of their own!

What is your favorite place to knit/sew/spin/dye/whatever?

I do most of my making at home. My home is tiny but cozy. It’s clean, quiet and smells nice. My new favorite candle is Teakwood by Wax and Wool. I’ve tried knitting in cafés and in the park, but really, my home is my haven.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Denise Bayron interview

What effect do the seasons have on you?

I knit year-round. Some knitters complain about working with wool in the summer, but I live in California. We get chilly coastal winds at night which is the perfect climate for knitting. I tend to sew mostly in the spring and summer. This year I want to try my hand at sewing a swimsuit. I have my eye on the Sophie Swimsuit by Closet Case Patterns.

Do you have a dark secret, guilty pleasure or odd quirk, where your fiber pursuits are concerned?

No dark secrets. Quirks? Loads of them! I love neutral colors and work with them almost exclusively. If there is a pop of color in my stash, it is probably for a gift. I also look for yarns and fabrics that don’t shed much. I am careful to avoid lint because my hair is styled in locs. As a result, I stay away from mohair and alpaca. I realize I’m missing out because the “halo” is beautiful, but I don’t want fibers to get stuck in my hair!

What are you working on right now?

At this very moment, I am editing how-to videos for a new knitting pattern called the #hatdana. The Hatdana is unique and versatile accessory that is both practical and beautiful. It works as a bandana to hold your hair away from your face, but it is slipped on like a hat. It can also be worn as a cowl with the bandana in the front like a kerchief.  I’ve been sharing sneak peeks on Instagram every day this week in anticipation of the release. I am so grateful for the positive reception it has gotten so far.

I’ve just wrapped up testing for another pattern, and I have several other designs in the queue. My proverbial plate is full, and my heart is happy. Thank you for allowing me to share my ideas with you.

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Thank you, Denise!

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PREVIOUSLY in Our Tools, Ourselves: Izznit

Photos © Denise Bayron, used with permission