New Favorites: Leeni Hoi’s halos

New Favorites: Leeni Hoi's halos (sweater knitting patterns)

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

New Favorites: Leeni Hoi's halos (sweater knitting patterns)

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mega wraps

Elsewhere: Sheep, avocado pink, and the unending cleverness of makers

Elsewhere: Sheep, avocado pink, and the unending cleverness of makers

I have an epic stack of links for you this round, so we better get started!

— Please read this one when you have time to sit with it: Navajo shepherds cling to centuries-old tradition in a land where it refuses to rain (thx, Katherine)

— And this: Physicists are decoding math-y secrets of knitting to make bespoke materials (thx, Martha)

— Are you doing the spring 10×10 challenge? This one is co-hosted by @selltradeslowfashion and @buyfrombipoc, hence the extra long hashtag. I’m sitting it out as usual (except the one time) but always love poring over the feed

— Seen Renée Gouin’s Women in Clothes (via @ebonyh) and Liisa Hietanen’s crochet humans? (thx, DG)

— Used Ravelry’s Road Trip Planner?

— “He has the gentle, attentive touch of someone washing a baby. Only with sharp metal blades.” (photo above right)

Ode to avocado pink (photo above left)

Immigrant Yarn Project looks amazing (thx, Carolyn)

— I’m loving all the offers of help for BIPOC trying to break into the industry, like this and this and this — if you’re aware of others, please link them in the comments!

— I’m a little obsessed with all the patchwork #wikstenhaori jackets, such as Edina’s and Arianna’s

— Amy Palmer’s amazing Captain Marvel sweater

This video of screenprinters in India adding layers of color to yardage

— This sentence: “She knows love is often a few rows short of perfection but keeps you warm anyway.”

— and this miniature style muse

If you haven’t seen all the great responses on Wednesday’s Q for You — or haven’t weighed in — don’t miss that, either.

Happy weekend, everyone!

IN SHOP NEWS: For the first time this year, I think, we’ve got all three colors of the Town Bag in stock, all three colors of the waxed canvas Field Bag (camo! plum!) and all four colors of the plain canvas Field Bag. (Although very few of some, so use that Notify Me button if you run into it!)

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Maker Crush: Mac Housley

Maker Crush: Mac Housley

On my sewing list for quite some time has been the Hudson Pants pattern from True Bias, with the intention of sewing this ostensible sweatpants pattern in a woven fabric, as I’ve seen many people do. But Mac Housley has put me over the top on it — she tells me she’s sewn at least 6 pairs, ranging from flannel pj’s (for the whole family) to the sage green pair above, among others. I’ve mentioned Mac twice in Elsewhere lately — in the context of @meetmakersofcolor and her fantastic Love to Sew Podcast interview (please tell me you’ve listened to it!) — but today I’m here to tell you I have a Maker Crush on her, straight up. It’s not just the Hudson pants, but her energy and openness and apparent willingness to dive right into whatever tempts her. Mac stopped crocheting (hopefully not forever) after her grandmother died fifteen years ago and is eager to learn to knit, but she has taken up sewing in just the past few years and is already a powerhouse thanks to that aforementioned diving-in mentality. 

In addition to her joint ventures @meetmakersofcolor and @sewalteredstyle, and the blog of the same name, her @macsmakespace account has become one of my favorites in recent months, and I particularly love her ongoing IG Stories wherein she checks in regularly about works in progress and so much else. If you’re not already following her, I’m sure you’ll find her as relentlessly inspiring as I do.

For pattern details, see her captions on the top photo and bottom photo.

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PREVIOUSLY in Maker Crush: Llane Alexis

Photos © Mac Housley, used with permission

Elsewhere

Elsewhere: Knitting, sewing, slow fashion LINKS list

This is a short but meaty installment of Elsewhere and I hope you’ll spend some quality time with it!

— I love every single thing Mac Housley had to say on the Love to Sew Podcast about why a diverse feed is important and so much more — please take time to listen to that this weekend, if you haven’t already. And see also the Harvard document she mentions, Suggested Norms for Cross-Cultural Dialogue

— I love this piece by my collaborator-friend Jen Hewett (above) on being a creative and a recovering perfectionist. For me, being one too, this bit about her great grandmother is the perfect tiny life lesson: She was a talented cook, but sometimes her cakes didn’t rise properly. “My mother never called those failures,” Auntie Maude said. “She’d slice that cake, pour some cream on top, and call it a ‘pudding.’ And we loved those puddings.”

— And I LOVE Dana Williams-Johnson’s piece about her 164 sweaters, and lol’d at her responses to the questions she receives (did you see the one I got to borrow?)

— Also: this Log Cabin situation

This groovy top

— and peeping what people are doing with that fascinating Junko Bouquet pattern

Happy weekend, everyone. I’ve been on overload lately and am looking forward to some quiet time with my mini Sólbein. Hope to have it to show to you next week! What are you working on?

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

Photo of Jen Hewett © me for Fringe Supply Co.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Izznit

Our Tools, Ourselves: Izznit

One of the first knitting friends I made through this blog and Twitter, back when knitters were mostly still found on Twitter, was the dynamo known as @izznit or Iz. You may know her on Instagram for her knitting, her wit, her ink, her plants or her adorable dogs; or you may recognize her from the Porter Bin photos. (Her blog is now dormant but not forgotten, and she’s still got best blog header ever.) And yet like always with this Our Tools, Ourselves q&a, I learned some new things about her! And hope you will too.

Thanks so much for doing this, Iz!

. . .

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

I’m mostly known as a knitter but I was a sewer first — my love for it is what led to my career in the garment industry (patternmaker turned designer). Once sewing became part of my job, it stopped being a hobby and knitting took over. I crochet on occasion but it’s limited to small projects like baby toys or dishcloths. I do know how to spin, even went so far as shearing my own fleece, but I don’t do it as often as I should. Weaving is on the to-learn list!

Our Tools, Ourselves: Izznit

Tell us about your tool preferences and peccadilloes.

I’m all about metal interchangeable needles for speed and convenience. I hated knitting at first because of the plastic Aero needles my mom taught me with — the yarn squeaked all the way across and required so much effort to move! I settled on bamboo because it was sold at all the big box stores but during the slouchy hat era, I struggled to find fixed circulars in the length I needed. That’s when I learned about magic loop and the versatility of an interchangeable needle set. I bought a nickel-plated set from Knit Picks and still use it eleven years later — no squeaks! The yarn glides! Now when I teach people to knit I let them know other materials are an option and to not get discouraged if their work isn’t moving easily.

I don’t crochet regularly so my hooks aren’t as curated, they’re just what my Mom passed down years ago. It’s a mix of materials and very incomplete.

I also have a stash of handmade bowls to hold my flat-bottomed, center-pull yarn cakes. I don’t have to worry about setting my yarn on an unclean surface and the added weight prevents the cake from flying when I need to pull.

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

I made my own pouch for my interchangeable needle set because I couldn’t find one that fit my needs (compact, not flappy, and no extra pockets or slots). Loose hooks and needles are in a variety of handmade cups and vases. I think it’s important to be able to see everything at a glance — if things are hidden they won’t be used.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Izznit

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

I have a WIP tray that I lug around the house with projects I work on the most. The ones I work on less go in their own Field Bag and on a shelf. That way if I ever have to bring my knitting somewhere I can grab and go.

Are there any particularly prized possessions amongst your tools?

A hand-turned nostepinne given to me by my university TA. She read I was using toilet paper rolls and spoons to wind, and sent me hers as she had no use for it. Eleven years later, it’s still my favorite thing to wind with. I’ve tried other nostepinnes but they aren’t as comfortable to hold. This was also my first knitting-related act of kindness that’s made me more comfortable with the idea of giving neglected tools away where I know they’ll be loved.

Do you lend your tools?

I don’t because my tool collection is so pared down and only comprised of things I use. I’ve given books and older tools when a friend shows interest, though!

Our Tools, Ourselves: Izznit

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

Most of my making is done at home in the evenings after work, but my favorite place to knit is anywhere on vacation. I love that the FO carries memories of the places it’s been, and it’s a pleasant reminder when worn.

What effect do the seasons have on you?

I don’t think there is any, really. I knit less frequently overall since my last tendonitis flare up. I don’t recall being a seasonal knitter before then either.

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

I’ll let the readers decide which category this falls under but I will never cut a knot. I will always undo it, even if it takes hours, because I’m scared of being short on a project. That includes joins where the yarn was split and I’d only be saving 2 inches. I also have a fear of my ends coming loose on an FO so I will weave far more than I have to. I used to weave tails up to 10 inches long until I frogged a project and realized the absurdity — now it’s down to 4 inches.

Our Tools, Ourselves: Izznit

What are you working on right now?

The Midsummer Rose Shawl has been my main focus, but I do have WIPs of varying difficulty around, for when my mood or location requires something less intense. My mom taught me to always finish a project before starting another but I couldn’t follow that for very long.

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PREVIOUSLY in Our Tools, Ourselves: Jenny Gordy (Wiksten)

Fringe and Friends Steekalong highlights and random winners

Fringe and Friends Steekalong results and winners

While there are still people knitting — some of whom have started in on a next sweater — today marks the close of the official Fringe and Friends Steekalong coverage. But please do keep knitting! And I’ll keep tuning in to the #fringeandfriendssteekalong feed, where there is so much splendor to behold.

In addition to an assortment of other beautiful sweaters and even a shawl or two, we’ve literally seen a Sólbein Cardigan in every color of the rainbow, plus all the neutrals, and one rainbow-hued take on the yoke, above, by @mettosaurus. Not to mention pockets, zippers, handspun — and a couple of reversals, converting Sólbein to a pullover, such as the beauty seen on @carolinefrett above in the great group shot from @wollenberlin.

I just have the finishing to do on my mini and can’t wait to show it to you — it’s gotten cuter and cuter with every step completed.

The FIVE WINNERS drawn at random from the qualifying entries are: @fletch1800 @knitterbree @thehavelockzoo @madknitter51 and @kbzelazny. Congratulations, you’ve each won a Field Bag in the color of your choice! Please email <contact@fringesupplyco.com> to claim your prize.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated or cheered participants along. It’s always such a joy join in with knitters stretching skills and sharing insights and making beautiful garments, and that’s never been more true than with all the steekers in this crowd. And thanks especially to Mary Jane Mucklestone for the amazing pattern and for joining in with so much great advice and cheerleading along the way!

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PREVIOUSLY in Fringe and Friends Steekalong: How to knit a mini Solbein

Vanilla + Elsewhere

Elsewhere: Links for fiber crafters

Happy Friday, friends — 

— First some bad news: Jagger Bothers yarn mill is closing — another loss for American manufacturing

— I’ve been limiting my IG time lately (in order to make more time for books), but there are three must-see’s for me: the #fringeandfriendssteekalong feed, of course, plus @meetmakersofcolor and @ebonyh’s Story, which has been my favorite part of each morning this month — so stunning and inspiring

How to overcome fear of failure (photo above, bottom)

Style muse: JoAni Johnson

With [mending] we affirm what we already know, that we can all be healers

A triumph of dedication and eyesight

— And most of all, Felicia: “I heard David Whyte speak a few months ago and he spoke of how we are practicing, in each moment, for who we want to be in the next. The fabric we create holds that intention – who were we practicing to be on that day? Were we practicing courage by trying something new? Were we practicing generosity by making for another? Were we practicing a new story about who we are by intentionally moving away from a story that no longer served us? Or were we simply trying to comfort ourselves so we could sit with our sadness or fear or insecurity? This comfort is a gift we give ourselves; a gift of time and space where we acknowledge that ignoring our pain, does not serve us. Allowing ourselves the comfort of craft – and then there being a visible reminder in our homes of us treating ourselves with grace – is so very important.” (photo above, top)

Yes, that. Please remember to treat yourselves with grace — this weekend and always.

SHOP NEWS: In addition to a fresh batch of Black, we’ve got a small batch of the Town Bag in Natural with a darker waxed natural outer panel, making the bag a little more contrasty than the usual subtle tone-on-tone effect. We’re calling it “Natural w/ waxed vanilla,” and we love it but it’s not reproducible, so it’s a self-limiting edition — only at Fringe Supply Co., and only while they last!

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere