Brioche, fisherman’s rib, half-brioche, English rib … these are all names for what looks a lot like the same super-squishy ribbed fabric, except the method of getting there is slightly different. Or maybe they’re all different names for the same fabric and the methods of achieving it are interchangeable? I can’t figure it out — some people use the names interchangeably and others seem to have fixed ideas about underlying distinctions thereof. I don’t know! As far as I can tell, the latter three are all some version of a knit-1-below technique whereas brioche involves working paired yarnovers together with adjacent stitches. (Am I right about that much, anyone?) Whether that leads to a molecularly different fabric or is just an alternate path to the same fabric, I’ve never done it and would love to try it someday. (I have done the knit-1-below version, and love it.) I’m into this little Lang sweater pattern, 242-41, but if it is in fact brioche — as I’m defining it here —I’d want to try the technique on a smaller canvas before diving into a whole sweater. Kirsten Johnstone’s Shinko Hat is a gem, with shifting bands of brioche. And then there’s Purl Soho’s wildly appealing Fluffy Brioche Hat (free pattern), which is sort of a seed-stitch equivalent in brioche.
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: A spot of colorwork
We’ve talked about how eager I am to knit this sweater, St. Brendan by Courtney Kelley. It’ll be a while before I get to, and I’m also aware I’m in jeopardy of having done no colorwork at all in 2016 at the rate I’m going, which makes me sad! So my eyes lit up the other day when I saw Courtney had posted a free pattern for a hat version (“a swatch”) of it. If I had a minute to do that, would I rather knit the hat and have the fun of finishing something, or put those stitches toward my first sleeve? And if it’s some quick and striking colorwork I’m after, I’ve still never gotten over Kathy’s hat-sized rendition of Jón.
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Cables, please!
It dawned on me the other day that I am stuck in the longest stockinette spell of my knitting life — by a looooooong shot. I looked it up: Not only have I apparently not knitted a cable since finishing my Bellows in February 2015 (!), I haven’t even knitted a textured stitch pattern since Hermaness Worsted, last Summer. There was some colorwork last Fall, with my Cowichan-ish vest and my Laurus, but that’s just fancy stockinette. I have literally knitted nothing but stockinette for over a year.
Think about that for a minute.
No wonder I’m so desperate for a cable to knit! I think there will have to be cables involved in my Top-Down Knitalong sweater. Or if not, I’m casting on something like Bronwyn, up top, immediately thereafter. But now that I know how long it’s actually been, I don’t even know if I can wait that long. The logical thing to do, for an immediate cable fix, would be to pick up my poor abandoned Seathwaite (bottom left) from October’s hatalong. (I set it aside until I could find a quiet, daylight moment to do the join round, and have yet to accomplish that.) But over the weekend I also saw Dianna’s version of Ysolda’s Inglis Mitts (bottom right) and had major nostalgia for my mitt knitting days.
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Crochet skills
I keep saying I need to up my crochet game so I can think about making stuff like this and this and this, and instead I only talk about crocheting and have to turn to YouTube all over again every two or three years when I decide to give it a go. One of the first things I ever favorited at Ravelry was Roko’s Borsalino hat, pictured above, knitted from Michiyo’s No.5 hat pattern. (For a similar hat, see the free Novi Hat pattern.) I remember being floored at the notion that one could simply crochet such a hat. My noggin is problematically large (shut up, DG), rendering hats a challenge in general. I’ve developed a fair sense of what I can get away with beanie-wise, but structured hats are pretty much impossible. Which brings me back to that Roko hat. If I had game, I could make one for myself and make it fit properly, right? So if I want to ever do that, I better get serious about those skillz. Two good places to restart would be Dottie Angel’s sweet and useful Imperial Mitt and Hot Pad and same for Mamachee’s Perfect House Slippers.
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Outerwear
I’m having a sewing moment in Someday vs. Right Away today, because what’s feeling out of reach right now is outerwear. Specifically, the Cascade Duffle Coat by my friend Jen Beeman over at Grainline Studio. Jen released this pattern last winter and my jaw dropped. Rendered in grey or army green (maybe with a fur-trimmed hood!), it’s truly my dream coat. And developing the skills to make my own seems like a goal worth setting. Meanwhile, I might have to try my hand at Jen’s newly released Tamarack Jacket (quilty goodness) or Seamwork’s Camden cape. I even have a piece of wool that would work nicely for either one. Do I dare?
(Dear Seamwork: Please, please, please make copy-shop versions of your patterns. I would have bought several by now … Love, Karen) [EDIT: apparently they do! It’s just not clear on the product pages. Woohoo!]
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Fingering-weight lace
I’ve seen numerous versions of Carol Feller’s Carpino lately — in a host of different colors and yarns — and the more I see it, the more I want one. Also, the more worsted and bulky sweaters I make, the more I realize: If I’m going to insist on making all of my own sweaters, eventually I’ll need to break down and knit some thinner ones (from the perspective of my wardrobe needs and my limited closet space). But with my short attention span and dearth of knitting time — think how long it already takes me to finish a sweater! — it’s just impossible to imagine. There’s a theory that your hands move faster when knitting with smaller needles and finer yarns, and I like to think there’s some validity to that. But the only way to know for sure it so knit something in fingering, right? I’m tempted by these simple little hats as guinea pigs: Hermaness by Gudrun Johnston and Celine by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, which is actually a linen hat. So lovely.
Writing this, I just suddenly had an urge to knit Carpino in linen. Would that be amazing?
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Fair Isle practice
As much as I might like to fantasize about knitting an allover fair isle sweater, it’s probably more of a never than a someday. I have no doubt that if I practiced my stranded colorwork more and got more comfortable with it, I’d also get faster, and a sweater like Windermere wouldn’t seem quite so far fetched. So what better to practice on than lovely little hats like Schuyler by Jennifer Burke (free pattern) and Fjordland by Dianna Walla?
PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Small-scale Amanda alternatives