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.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Clever garter colorwork
I’ve basically been asleep for four straight days (even when my eyes are open), since getting back from Portugal — I can’t get enough shut-eye or enough water, for some reason. Which means I don’t yet have my arms around the first round of Summer of Basics prize selections or how to even begin to tell you about the trip. But this is a rare summer in which, so far, the flow of droolworthy knitting patterns is uninterrupted. So can we talk about these clever garter-stitch beauties for a minute?
TOP: Picket Fence Afghan by Julia Farwell-Clay (from the new MDK Field Guide: Ease) is made up of 3-color garter-stitch blocks which somehow magically eliminate the weaving of ends and create a magnificent tapestry, which I think would be great at wrap proportions
BOTTOM: Ellsworth by Scott Rohr takes garter stitch, two colors of yarn, and short rows to a new level of magnificence
(Side note: If I owe you an email, I’m trying!)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Dianna’s dream sweaters
The Summer issue of Pom Pom is all about stripes, and it’s astonishing how many distinctly different ways the designers have managed to deploy them, even though the majority of the patterns are simple little summer sweaters! My favorite details among them:
TOP: Anna Maltz’s swingy little Tarmac tank with it’s striped edging!
MIDDLE LEFT: Tina Tse’s simple little Deauville with it’s perpendicularly striped hem
MIDDLE RIGHT: Gina Rockenwagner’s deft plaid Anni
BOTTOM: Amy Christoffer’s log-cabin inspired Riley (I am obsessed with this photo!)
BELOW: And the cross-hatching on Julie Knits in Paris’s Vasarely wrap
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Thea Colman on a roll
In addition to the fact that the whole color palette for this photo shoot is KILLING ME (her hair, that wall, that foliage …), I am swooning hard over these two new patterns by Whitney Hayward that use the tiniest bit of colorwork to such major effect. In both cases, it’s just a few well-placed rows of 1×1 stranding, and while I obviously love the neutrals here, you can imagine how totally different the effect would be if knitted in three colors instead of three nons. The shawl is Ural and the little transitional-season sweater is Fukuro. Gorgeous on every level.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: from Rowan 62
Last month, Shannon Cook posted a pic on Instagram that made my eyes pop out of my head. It’s basically the shawl-collared-blanket-with-arm-slits of my dreams, and the finished pattern, Veronika, went live yesterday. I’m imagining myself curled up in the corner of the couch someday, wrapped in one of these — oblivious to the godforsaken air vent behind the couch, thanks to the voluminous shawl collar — while knitting another one.
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Quick mitts
You know that feeling when you see a stitch pattern and your fingers start twitching with the urge to knit it? But sometimes it’s on a garment or accessory that doesn’t quite suit you. So what’s a knitter to do?
TOP: Salt by Sylvia McFadden
I’m obsessed with stitch patterns like this one — especially this one — but not much of a shawl wearer (or knitter), so here I am pondering borrowing it for a little hat or somesuch.
BOTTOM: Split Stone by Clare Mountain
I really love what’s happening on the lower part of this sweater — I’m just not personally a fan of drop-shoulder sweaters. So I can’t help daydreaming about knitting this one from hem to underarm and then just changing what happens from there up.
(In both cases, obviously, I would buy the pattern!)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Marmor
March! That time of the year when we all start to ditch our coats and knitters replace them with shawls instead of jackets—
TOP: With Ease by Sylvia McFadden looks to me like it’s knitted from the left edge to the right tip, which is as tempting as that gorgeous stitch pattern
MIDDLE LEFT: Black River Blanket Shawl by Sam Lamb is a basic top-down triangle shawl with the visual punch of a trio of stripes
MIDDLE RIGHT: Flindra by Libby Jonson is an elongated triangle with intriguing construction plus slip-stitch colorwork
BOTTOM: Goderich Blanket by Tara-Lynn Morrison is a small rectangle worn as a wrap — love that “diagonal rib” stitch (free pattern)
PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Bohème big and small