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
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!
In the absence of a big wrap that I’m really wild about, there’s a thing I routinely do — especially on airplanes. I take the two corners at each end of the thin wool scarf I always have in my bag and tie them together, leaving enough room for my wrists to slip through. That way my arms stay covered as I work or knit or whatever, without the scarf sliding off my forearms. I’ve always wanted the knitted version of this — and have twice been on the brink of casting on Flying Squirrel — but none of the shrug patterns out there ever feels quite right. Until I saw Pasvik, above, a design by Julie Knits in Paris for the new issue of Laine. (Which also contains the Denise Bayron Grace pullover that’s part of my Summer of Basics trio.) I had the pleasure of meeting Julie in Paris, and love the shape and textures on this, and the versatility of how it can be worn. L-o-v-e.
But then at exactly the same time, along comes Dyyni from Sari Nordlund, below, which I’ve been holding my breath for since it first appeared on her IG feed in recent months. It is literally the big wrap of my dreams. Simple (to knit and wear) yet with enough interest (in the knitting and the wearing) that I might actually complete it.
What’s a knitter to do? There may be a mash-up in my future …
It’s been four years since I swore off knitting shawls but, ahem, I’ve been thinking about that grand tradition of a shawl that can double as a baby blanket. So I’ve gone back through all the shawl patterns I’ve ever favorited to see if anything might tempt me into it. I’m not making any commitments, just saying these are a few that call to me, either newly or still, that seem suitable for this particular purpose—
TOP: Tensdale by Patricia Shapiro — probably my all-time favorite shawl pattern, baby friendly (nothing to poke or snag), and would look just as good in a bright color
MIDDLE LEFT: Dionne Shawl by Jeanette Sloan — on the one hand, I’m super curious to see what would happen if this motif were knitted at worsted gauge; on the other, lace plus baby fingers makes me a little nervous
MIDDLE RIGHT: Euclid by Isabell Kraemer — that is some serious cabling, especially at shawl dimensions, but looks like it’s all 1-over-1 crosses and easily memorizable, and it’s really lovely
BOTTOM LEFT: Ashby by Leila Raabe — another longtime favorite that has stuck with me, would be fun to knit but still baby-friendly fabric (See also Gansey Shawl, same thoughts)
BOTTOM RIGHT: Cloud Half Pi Shawl by Beatrice Perron Dahlen — a nice mindless pick-it-up-put-it-down project that would also let the color and yarn shine
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
Remember back at the end of last month when I said “Or perhaps I’ll cast on a Grete, if there’s a suitable yarn for it in my stash”? So that happened, and I’ll show it to you as soon as I take some pics, but it’s amazing. And between that and the situation with my too-warm sweater collection and my short attention span right now, I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of a winter wardrobe plan that consists of some very simple long-sleeve tops combined with statement-making neck accessories that also fend off the coming cold, and would be immensely satisfying to knit. I’m once again reminded of the loop stitch Markham Collar (which Tara-Lynn has since sent me and I just dug out) but am also newly fixating on Brandi Harper’s sculptural, convertible head-and-neck-ccesories, the Hoodie (above bottom) and the Shawl Collar (above top). Both would be great with yarns held double or triple, making them great stash busters, as well.
Summer seems to me like the perfect time for knitting neckwear — scarves and shawls that fall just in the sweet spot on the continuum between interesting and mindless, that are portable, that don’t require you to worry about fit or to have a growing sweater in your lap, and yet last long enough to carry you through road trips or baseball practices or whatever the case may be. Plus they’re the first thing you get to use when the weather begins to cool off (or when the sun sets at the beach). So why don’t I tend to knit such things? These three recent patterns have me wondering hard:
TOP: Madison Scarf by Norah Gaughan, who must have been smirking if she happened to see that whole conversation we had about adding a back flap to the Grete dickey when this one would have been deep in the pipeline and is that very thing! A scarf with a headhole and lovely overall knit-purl texture, which can be worn a variety of ways.
MIDDLE: Adrian by Dianna Walla is a traditional scarf (designed for cotton) that takes typical colorwork motifs and renders them in purl stitches instead.
BOTTOM: Orthogonal by Emily Greene is a stunner of a shawl with a mesmerizing geometric-lace maze of a stitch pattern. I saw this on her at Squam, artfully bunched around her neck, and it made me want to be a fingering-weight shawl knitter.