New Favorites: Fall warm-ups

New Favorites: Fall warm-ups

Are you already (like me) imagining that moment when summer starts to let up and you can drape something woolly around your shoulders again? The precursor to actually being able to slide your arms into a real sweater? These two beauties would make for fun summer knitting and will fill that in-between gap as well as layering beautifully over sweaters and coats when the times comes—

TOP: Moon Sisters by Caitlin Hunter is a clever application of Anna Maltz’s Marlisle technique — a two-strand marl shawl with a strip of colorwork triangles running down the spine

BOTTOM: Isadora by Berroco is a sea of chunky scallop shapes formed (I believe) by nothing more than increases and decreases in chunky wool

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BY THE WAY: We’ve been having a Warehouse Sale over at Fringe Supply Co. this weekend to clear out some “seconds.” We’re down to just the last few items we had the most of, but there are some killer deals to be had. Ends tonight!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mesmerizing colorwork

New Favorites: Mega wraps

New Favorites: Mega wraps (knitting patterns)

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:

TOP: Holmes Wrap by Michele Wang, pure cabley goodness

MIDDLE LEFT: Ridgeline Baby Blanket by Purl Soho, with just a slight tweak to the proportions (free pattern)

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

New Favorites: Mega wraps

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.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Simple pleasures

New Favorites: Junko’s abstract Bouquet

New Favorites: Junko's abstract Bouquet

I’m jumping the gun on this one because I literally cannot wait until the pattern publishes on Friday — it’s Junko Okamoto’s latest flash of brilliance, the Bouquet Sweater and scarf (not sure if the latter will be a separate pattern, but I assume). We’ve talked before about my love of The Twigs, and I’m equally smitten with her floral doodle on Papa, but this one is next level. Bouquet features a large-scale flower motif that reminds me of a sort of Weiner Werkstätte way of doing a floral — graphic and abstracted. But it’s also not a standard stranded motif and not embroidered after the fact. I’m eager to see when the pattern drops, but it’s either an incredibly clever use of right-side and wrong-side floats, or a wrapping technique similar to that in L’Arbre Hat? Like I said, I can’t wait to see the pattern and find out.

She’s knitted the sample sweater in a marl and a fairly low-contrast color, downplaying the effect — then flipped the two yarns for the scarf. For a higher-contrast version, just look at this gorgeousness.

And I just realized there’s been an unintended theme to New Favorites so far this year — bouclé cables, mohair colorwork, stranded purls and now this. So much lovely surface texture happening.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Stranded purl hats

Favorite New Favorites of 2018

Favorite New Favorites of 2018 - best knitting patterns

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!

BUT FIRST:

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.

And now the dozen …

Best sweater knitting patterns

SWEATERS
top: High Neck Pulloverby Tomoko Noguchi (as seen in Turtleneck season
middle left: Ridgeline Wrap Cardigan by Purl Soho (as seen in Those collars)
middle right: Breakwater Beach Vest by Irina Anikeeva (as seen in Way back to school sweaters)
bottom: Moosonee Sweater by Tara-Lynn Morrison (as seen in Wearable superbulky)

Best wraps knitting patterns

WRAPS
top: Ellsworth by Scott Rohr (as seen in Clever garter colorwork)
bottom left: Two-Point Cowl by Churchmouse (as seen in Two-point cowl)
bottom right: Wallace by Julie Hoover (as seen in Under wraps)

Best fingerless mitts patterns

MITTS
top: New Year’s Mitts by Veronika Jobe (as seen in Colorwork mitts)
bottom left: Weekend Walking Mitts by Dianna Walla (as seen in Quick Knits: Fingerless mitts)
bottom right: Tredje by Irina Anikeeva (as seen in Textured mitts)

Best hat knitting patterns

HATS
top: Tamitik by Shannon Cook (as seen in Quick Knits: Hats)
bottom: Adam by Rachel Atkinson (as seen in Quick Knits: Hats)

What were your favorite patterns this year — the ones you don’t want to let get away from you—

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Sock season

Queue Check — November 2018

Queue Check — November 2018

I did that thing where I convinced myself I was going to come home from my Thanksgiving road trip with nearly finished front and back pieces for Bob’s sweater vest. (Details on the pattern and yarn here.) Instead, of course, I knitted about two inches on the drive to Atlanta, an inch on the drive back, and not a stitch while we were with my family. Too many meals to prepare, kids to fling around, dominoes games to lose. But I have, at least, done my alt-gauge math and made it into the armhole shaping on both pieces, so it’s downhill from here!

Which means it’s about time to decide what I’m casting on for myself when this is done. As you know, I’ve been deliberating. And deliberating some more. Based on the notes in my mood board post last week and an assessment of my stash — as I continue to make slow but steady progress on my cleanout — I’ve got three yarns vying for my attention.

LEFT SKEIN: While I was at Tolt a few weeks ago, I bought a skein of black Luft to swatch with for another Grete, and when I got home a box arrived from my sweet friends at Woolfolk with enough to finish the job. This one is pretty much a sure thing, so very likely the next project on my needles. All there is to think about is the mods I want to make this time, beyond what I did with my first one.

MIDDLE SKEIN: The Our Yarn I’ve been saying I want to use for a Carbeth Cardigan, amplified by my trying on Shannon’s on that same trip. Shannon’s was knitted in the soft black Quarry and it really felt like a sweater that belonged in my closet, so as confident I am that I would absolutely love it in the toffee, I’m questioning whether I’ll regret not making a replica of the sweater that felt so entirely perfect to me. Especially since I also have other ideas for the toffee.

RIGHT SKEIN: The other sweater quantity in my stash that’s crying out the loudest is the YOTH Neighbor I bought at Stitches West back in February. I really love this nubbly, heathery wool and am dying to knit it up, but I’m also being mindful about my quest for less warm sweaters, which led me back to Kram, which has been on my shortlist for three years. I’m leery of these kinds of sweaters (basically triangular garments meant to sit on a square frame), so I still regret not trying on Tank’s when I had a chance at Knitting With Company two years ago, but it looked great on her and the fact that I’ve had it in mind for so long is a good sign. I’d probably need to hold this yarn triple, and believe I have just enough to pull that off, but I’m also considering holding an ivory or lighter blue with it to brighten up the color, since this is a pretty grey blue.

And then there’s the sewing queue. Writing about my wool muscle tee the other day made me think I might want to make another with the toffee-colored wool I have in stash, which was actually woven from the same yarn above. And fueled by the winter mood board, I pulled this purple fabric off my shelf. It’s a gorgeous deep eggplant with patterning in a lighter shade of lilac, woven in Thailand. I bought it a few years ago at Craft South when they had a pop-up with a woman who buys indigenous textiles on her global travels. (I can’t remember her name or brand!) I’ve been waiting for it to tell me what it wants to be, and I’m now thinking a pretty little sleeveless top of some sort. This fabric will go with every cardigan I own (including the to-be-steeked purple lopi) as well as my army and denim shirtjackets, and a little sleeveless top is of course useful year-round. I don’t know what exactly, but I’m picturing something feminine, with maybe a little gathering or pleating at the waist? If I can find the right pattern, I might have the time next weekend, and it would be my idea of a perfect little #sewfrosting project, just in time for the holidays.

(Fringe Town Bag and Lykke needles from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: October 2018

New Favorites: All square

New Favorites: All square (knitting patterns)

I’m endlessly amazed at how musicians can be given the same limited set of musical notes and yet come up with an infinite number of new tunes and melodies. I feel a bit the same about these two shawls — oversized rectangular wraps — both of which are based on the simple concept of squares knitted in alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette:

TOP: Ippen Shawl by Claudia Eisenkolb puts two twists on the classic big-basketweave effect: the squares give way to wedges at the center, turning the rectangle into a U shape; and there’s a stripe of color running the length of it that shifts depending on whether you’re in a stockinette or reverse-stockinette block, from a solid line to a ticking stripe [Link updated 11.13, original Ravelry pattern listing was broken]

BOTTOM: Sjal by Antonia Shankland is a subtle collection of nested squares that change scale along the way

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Brandi’s neck sculptures

The dickey I didn’t know I needed (2018 FO-22)

The dickey I didn't know I needed (2018 FO-22)

There was a night a couple of weeks ago where I was frantically looking for something to knit. My plum Anna Vest was blocking; I’d left my marlisle hat at work; I no longer have the thumb instructions memorized for the Log Cabin Mitts, and picking up my unfinished pair wasn’t going to take up that unexpected chunk of knitting time anyway. And so on. I could have cast on a sweater, but it would have been both underconsidered (I can’t make up my mind) and wool (since that’s what I have in my stash in sweater quantities), and I obviously didn’t want to do that. So I pulled up New Favorites and scrolled through looking for something I’d been wanting for a decent amount of time and that I also had yarn for in stash, and I landed on Grete, the crazy dickey I can’t get out of my head. PERFECT. Then I remembered it’s written for bulky yarn, which I don’t have meaningful amounts of in stash. ARGH. And then it slowly dawned on me: the exquisite single-batch, toffee-hued, Oregon-raised bulky I’ve been dying to knit with. I only had one skein on my shelf at home, but I had plenty in the webshop and had set aside a pile for myself at the studio. (Hilariously, I had made this connection last spring when the pattern published but had forgotten it in the meantime.) So I cast on.

The only thing I didn’t like about knitting this was how quickly it was over. I have friends who say the thought of coffee gets them out of bed in the morning. I had one morning where I woke up thinking “the sooner I get up and get through my workday and my workout, the sooner I can knit those cables.” Although, I did extend it by making some changes and revisions and re-knits along the way.

When I first blogged about this pattern, I mentioned that I wanted the neck to be snugger, and we talked about various other mods in the comments, including putting a back on it, which I did. But I was surprised to discover when I started knitting that the neck ribbing folds down over cables, as opposed to ribbing folding onto itself, and I couldn’t imagine wearing that, so I ripped it back. In total, here are the changes I made:

The dickey I didn't know I needed (2018 FO-22)

– Cast on 8 sts fewer (on US8 needle) for snugger neck
– Ribbed for 8″ (instead of 10″ of half ribbing/half cables)
– Worked an increase round at the end of my ribbing to get to the original stitch count
– Instead of binding off for the back neck, put those sts on waste yarn
– Worked the front panel exactly as written, on US10 needle for main fabric
– Returned the back sts to needles and worked a back just like the front, but only two repeats of the chart
– (I’m wishing I had added another repeat or two on the front so it hits me more like the one on the model, but that’s ok — I never did check my gauge so don’t know how it compares!)

In the interim, I tried two other ideas for the back (involving stockinette and short-rows and altered stitch counts to adjust for the gauge …), thinking it might not lie flat or sit right if I didn’t account for neck shaping somehow. But that was time wasted, because this totally worked. The back flap gives it a little visual ballast, plus I couldn’t stand the thought of cold air on the strip of skin between a shirt collar and the bottom of the dickey. And while I thought it was just a visual thing, it does actually help it stay seated better as well.

I also couldn’t be happier with my yarn choice for this, the OUR Yarn, and love it most because it’s a way I can feel like I’m wearing a luscious wool turtleneck sweater in a climate that doesn’t really allow for that. And did I mention it looks amazing with my matching Log Cabin Mitts?

The dickey I didn't know I needed (2018 FO-22)

So I’m eager to knit another one — wider somehow to account for my broadness, and with another variation for the back — and am thinking it should be black. I’m just debating between this same yarn for that (a deep, rich black which would be gorgeous) and trying it in the intended yarn, Luft, which is a wool-cotton blend and lighter, more heathery black.

Pattern: Grete by Woolfolk Yarn, with mods listed above
Yarn: OUR Yarn from Fringe Supply Co. in toffee (8.8oz, 2.25 skeins with my mods)
Pictured with: Fringe Field Bag in waxed camo

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PREVIOUSLY in Finished Objects: Plum Anna Vest (pattern now available)