Q for You: When do you give up on a WIP?

Q for You: When do you give up on a WIP?

This is that time of year where I’m off behind the scenes shooting beautiful photos of upcoming goods — starting with a new waxed canvas Field Bag color tomorrow! — and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in every set of lookbook photos there’s inevitably at least one with a luscious pile of grey wool and a certain sleeve in progress. It makes me laugh how many shoots this WIP has gone on, and I almost don’t ever want to finish it because it’s so great for this purpose! But in reality, it’s the Sawkill Farm sleeves and skeins from a sweater I started three years ago. There are older projects in the aforementioned pile of WIPs and yarn that needs to be sorted, but I consider them abandoned and awaiting frogging, whereas this one stays in its designated Porter Bin on my WIP shelf. One of these days, I’m going to figure out exactly what shape of sweater body these two sleeves want to be attached to, at which point I’ll resume knitting; meanwhile I’m perfectly content for it to hang out.

So that’s my Q for You today: How do you know the difference between and old WIP and an abandoned project? (Knitting and/or sewing.) Is there a time limit or some other criteria? And what’s the oldest WIP in your house?

(With special thanks for Kate Gagnon Osborn and Jen Beeman for sparking this Q.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: Do you wind yarn as needed, or all at once?

Maker Crush: Natalie of The Tiny Closet

Maker Crush: Natalie of The Tiny Closet

Shortly before Slow Fashion October kicked off this year, I ran across @thetinycloset on Instagram and a post that summarized what I’m driving at with this year’s Action Items in a single short paragraph: “Clearing out half your closet will feel great short term but chances are, you’ll have to do it again. And again. The thing is, having clutter is just a byproduct to the real issue. Which is buying clutter.” She goes on to counsel, “Spot the future clutter before you buy it by asking yourself these two questions when looking through your closet: Why did I buy it? Why am I throwing it out?” Same goes for making, obvs. Natalie is an advocate for the capsule-closet concept (after having dealt with an out-of-control closet) and now runs The Tiny Closet, a tiny fashion brand, by which I mean she makes everything herself and to-order. She’s sewn over 1000 garments since she got her start in 2016, can you imagine? I’m really heartened seeing so many sewn-to-order businesses like this cropping up (it’s how Liz Pape of Elizabeth Suzann began, among others, and I have an interview with another coming up later this month!) so you should check out her designs. But she’s also just a fount of wisdom as far as keeping your closet under control (whatever your personal definition of that might be, capsule or otherwise) so do give her a follow on Instagram and read back through her recent posts. Or at the very least, read this one on fear/lessness.

Are you taking a hard look at your closet this week? How’s it going so far?

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PREVIOUSLY in Crush: Style Crush x 3

Style Crush x 3

Style Crush x 3

I’m taking this opportunity to revive the long-neglected Blog Crush / Maker Crush series by posting a few of them throughout Slow Fashion October. Highlighting people who inspire me is one of my favorite things to do, and during Slotober there are always way more people I’d love to call attention to than I actually can, so this is yet another way to point you at some people worth knowing about! Since our theme this week is What’s your look? (zeroing in on your personal style), I thought I’d kick it off with a trio of people who are living a slow-fashion life and whose very different personal styles I admire tremendously. I believe I’ve made smaller references to all three on the blog at various points in the past, but all deserve a bigger spotlight!

TOP: Sienna Parfitt / @notaprimarycolor
Sienna has possibly the most dialed-in personal style I’ve ever seen and an astonishing internal well of creativity. She lives in the earth tones that surround her namesake color in the spectrum, and she is the walking epitome of that “funky art teacher” vibe so many makers aspire to. She is both an art teacher and a design student, makes her own wardrobe and accessories — all perfectly in step with her aesthetic — and every time I see her sketchbook or chalkboard make list, it just makes me want to make things! She is nonstop inspiration both on Instagram and her blog.

BOTTOM LEFT: Ebony / @ebonyh
Ebony is a city girl (San Francisco) whose style I would describe as urban-casual. Polished but comfy. Chic but unassuming. She has a closet after my own heart, in other words, which looks to be a pretty steady mix of RTW and handmade — but good luck telling which is which, as she’s an awesome maker. You may have spotted her on my Fall mood board, in fact.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Libby Callaway / @libbycallaway1970
Libby is a Nashville acquaintance so she is someone I admire from a’near, through her Instagram and the very occasional bump-into around town. She is a lust-for-life maximalist and a masterful one — color and pattern and pizzazz are her signature, and the more the better. I have no idea how massive her vintage collection actually is, but she is one of the stalwarts keeping the good stuff from ever becoming landfill, while also supporting small, emerging brands. She’s a publicist who used to work in fashion in NY and now makes sure the world knows about all the creative good happening in Nashville (including most recently curating the Greetings From Nashville pop-up at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, which I’m mentioning because if you’re in Brooklyn please go see it and send me pics of the Porter Bin in the mix)! She’s the kind of wizard who makes me wish I were a better vintage shopper and had a stronger color sense, but I’m happy to admire it all on her!

Of course, it’s impossible to convey anyone’s style in a single image, so please make sure you click through and check out all three! This was one of the discussion prompts this week — who inspires you? I’d love to hear about your favorites below (or on #slowfashionoctober), whoever they may be.

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PREVIOUSLY in Blog Crush: Meeting Rosa Pomar

Elsewhere

Elsewhere: Book sale and yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Fun news: There’s another standalone marlisle pattern now available! It’s a hat called Pheasant Plucker, which combines marlisle with stranded colorwork in a feather motif, and there’s still time to knit it for the Marlisle Knitalong! Relatedly, I’m hoping to get to listen to Mimi’s Yarnchix podcast discussion with Anna this weekend.

And what’s with all the book pics up there? We need to free up some shelf space so we’re having a little sale — use code HITTHEBOOKS to get 20% off everything in the Books section at Fringe Supply Co., now through Sunday.

And with that, how about some Elsewhere? —

– Kate Davies is doing ready-to-wear sweaters and I’m a little obsessed with Finnich

I love this post of Lee Vosburgh’s about how she’ll wear her summer favorites for fall (and the shape and proportions of that black turtleneck are 100% perfect in my view.)

This year’s Refashioners challenge has me thinking about having a go at it

The story of Chloe’s yarn cabinet is magic

– And also the story of Annie Rowden’s redwood-dyed California yarn souvenir

– Anyone know where I can get some horse chestnuts?

This photo makes me want to knit socks

This photo makes me want to mend some

And I’m tempted by Tamarack all over again

Happy weekend, everyone — thank you for spending your time here this week!

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PREVIOUSLY in Elsewhere: I know what you missed last Summer

I Know What You Missed Last Summer

I Know What You Missed Last Summer

Now that we’re all settling back into our knitting chairs, putting summer behind us, I thought it might be good to take a minute to point up some of the highlights from the past three months here on the ol’ blog — in case you missed anything really good (if I say so myself) while you were out enjoying the warm weather and long days!

There was the whole of Summer of Basics, with three rounds of inspiring prize winners to check out: Round 1 (the planners); Round 2 (the WIPs) and Round 3 (the finished goods). My own SoB-3 didn’t turn out quite like I expected, but great nevertheless! (Plus my aran-gansey, which I finished on Labor Day.)

I offered a peek inside my mini bullet journal.

Sewed a sweatshirt (almost correctly!) and took it to Squam.

Then I took an epic trip to PortugalPortuguese knitting, hand-spinning (photo above),  a wool mill and sheep blessing … Definitely don’t miss the sheep blessing.

I interviewed Brooke Sinnes about single-breed yarns and her US Cormo in particular.

Revealed the other sweater Meg gave me — you won’t believe it.

Shared a video version of my folded neckband tutorial, which you’ll find anytime saved at the top of the @fringesupplyco Instagram profile (the written version is here)

Took stock of my entire sweater inventory as it stands, with notes about what NOT to knit next!

And of course, you’ve got about a dozen New Favorites to scroll through!

What’s on the horizon for fall into winter? We talked about that, too!

Summer also saw the release of the “Bury me with yarn and needles …” tote bag and the Jen Hewett “Hank” Field Bag, the butterscotch Porter Bin and the new canvas drawstring bag. I hope you didn’t miss any of those!

And if you have FOMO about what else you might have missed, you can always use the little dropdown in the right rail over there to skip back to any particular month of the blog archive and give it a scroll at your own pace.

Happy Equinox! Thank you for spending your time here, and I hope you have an amazingly restorative weekend. I’ll be unpacking from my SF trip, happy to be home …

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Elsewhere

Elsewhere: Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Happy Friday! We’re halfway into the #fringemarlislekal (details here) and there’s still plenty of time to jump in.  Fancy Tiger — who, you may recall, are offering some of the prizes! — have a lovely interview with Anna up on their blog, and there’s still time to get a seat in some of her classes at Fancy if you’re in the Denver vicinity.

Other than that, here’s Elsewhere:

– Fascinated by this Yoke-u-lator that Kelsey Leftwich used for her amazing Summer of Basics sweater

This Ellsworth coat is perfect

So simple; so good. (Pattern here)

– I love that there’s a book of 40 of Norah Gaughan’s decades of Vogue Knitting patterns in the world (I’m into that texture-rich one pictured above)

– Ummmm …. somehow that’s all I’ve got! (lol) Man, I knew I had way too many plates spinning these past few weeks, but I have never not saved a boatload of links and references to comb through when it’s Elsewhere time. Wow, that speaks volumes.

So I’m putting it to you guys: What are the best things you’ve seen/read/heard lately? Please share!

And I hope you have an awesome weekend. I’ve got some really fun stuff lined up for you next week, so I’ll see you back here on Monday!

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PREVIOUSLY: Elsewhere

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Linen-cotton Carolyn pants (2018 FO-20)

Non-pj Carolyn pants (2018 FO-20)

When I sewed my striped Carolyn pajama pants last month, I noted — and many of you chimed in — that they are surprisingly polished and 100% street-worthy, so I vowed at the time to try them in an equally street-worthy fabric. I still fully intend to make the navy-and-black piped linen pair, but these jumped ahead in the queue, and here’s why. Ever since relying so heavily on my black linen pants while traveling this past year+, and after seeing Martha’s natural linen pair on her recent trip, I got it in my head that I wanted to make myself a pair of Carolyns in natural linen — but I also didn’t want to buy fabric. Then when I was compiling and sorting my stash for the (ongoing) sewing room cleanup, I discovered just the thing.

Last summer, when ordering the fabric for my button-up, I had also bought two lengths of a linen-cotton blend that I assumed would be sort of a light shirting weight. I’d never unwrapped it or washed it; just added the tidy, ribbon-tied bundle to the stash. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was heavier than I thought. And after a wash, I was convinced it would work for these pants. Once I realized they’d be just the thing for a certain photo shoot last week, I somehow whipped them out one night in a fugue state. And then Hannah snapped this photo of me actually grinning at a camera. (I know.)

So what do I think of the pants? Here’s the thing: They have a lot of structure in terms of the pockets and the faux fly, and no part of that wants to gather really, once you install the elastic. (True of the pj-weight ones; even more so with a heavier fabric like this.) So what happens is the gathers collect in the little space between the pockets and the fly, almost like pleats. And in this light-colored fabric, that can wind up looking a little awkward in the crotch. In this photo, I’m conveniently striking a pose that counteracts the issue. It’s not terrible or a deal-breaker, but it does make them a Like rather than a Love. Still, it won’t deter me from making the navy pair!

Pattern: Carolyn Pajamas, view A (size 12, no mods, 2″ hem)
Fabric: Half Linen Solids from Miss Matatabi

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PREVIOUSLY in FOs: The ivory aran-gansey (FO 19)

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