Knit the Look: Hanneli Mustaparta’s sweater, Kate Bogucharskaia’s wrap, and more

The web is riddled with street-style blogs at this point, but my favorite is Vanessa Jackman’s. Not only does she have a great eye, but she makes it a cross between useful and aspirational with her “recreate the look” posts. So I’m thrilled that she’s consented to let me use her photos for a new feature here on FA which I’m calling Knit the Look — putting a DIY spin on things. I’m kicking it off with pattern and yarn recommendations for a trio of looks, but expect one rec at a time in the future! I hope you love it —


knit the look kate bogucharskaia's black silk wrap

For a knitted version of Kate Bogucharskaia’s silky black shawl, you could knit Grace Anna Farrow’s Ferrous Wrap or Whitney Van Nes’ Whisper Wrap, using Anzula’s Mermaid silk-blend yarn in Black, (held double for the Ferrous Wrap). Or, for a heftier version of either, use Blue Sky Alpacas’ Alpaca Silk yarn in Night. See Vanessa’s recs for the rest of the ensemble.



knit the look hanneli mustaparta's wine sweater vanessa jackman

I think there’s actually some very subtle colorwork going on in Hanneli Mustaparta’s [2019: link no longer available] fuzzy wine-colored pullover. But you could get a similar depth of tone by knitting Julie Hoover’s Garance using Shibui Heichi silk tweed yarn in Graffiti held double with Shibui Silk Cloud mohair-silk yarn in Bordeaux. I might have to do this one. See Vanessa’s recs for the rest of the outfit.



knit the look giant ribbed scarf vanessa jackman

Child’s play: Using Malabrigo Chunky in Burgundy and 6.5mm (US10.5) needles, cast on 38 stitches.

Row 1: [knit 2, purl 2] across 36 stitches, knit 2
Row 2: [purl 2, knit 2] across 36 stitches, purl 2

Repeat these two rows until scarf measures 72 inches (or your desired length). Bind off in pattern and weave in ends.

Of course, you might need 5 or 6 skeins of yarn to make it that big! See Vanessa’s recs for other elements of both looks.


Street style photos © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

New Favorites: Graphic garter-stitch blankets

graphic garter stitch blanket patterns purl bee jo sharp

Winter by the San Francisco Bay basically means it’s 58 degrees with (maybe) a chance of rain — and that happens only in brief (widely complained about) patches amidst mostly warmer days. But not this year. This year it’s been weeks of 50something days and frosty nights. And this new workspace of mine — being still all but empty, and having a concrete floor, an 11-foot ceiling, and one drafty glass wall — is cold. So I have got blankets on the brain. There are so many beautiful patterned-stitch blankets out there, but I’m fantasizing about being cross-legged on the couch, knitting garter without hardly looking, and having one of these geometric gems spread out over me as I go.

1. Jo Sharp’s K009 Mitred Blanket Vers 2

2. … and Vers 1

3. Purl Bee’s Super Easy Lap Blanket (free)

4. … and Hudson Bay-Inspired Blanket (free)

For a little more of a challenge, and a good cause, there’s also Kay Gardiner’s Cornerstone Blanket, with proceeds going to help Hurricane Sandy victims.


Blog Crush: Resurrection Fern

blog crush margaret oomen resurrection fern

I know I have mentioned and linked Margaret Oomen a lot around here over the past year, so it’s no surprise to anyone that I admire and am inspired by her. But I wanted to say that in a more direct and formal way by adding Resurrection Fern to the annals of Blog Crush. Oomen makes, crochets, dyes and embroiders incredibly lovely things, plain and simple — and not just her unparalleled covered stones,  (for which she contributed a basic pattern to The Purl Bee). But I also love the blog for being so thoroughly genuine, and I have deep respect for how mindfully Oomen appears to live her life.

Also, her new kitten, Usher, is a dead ringer for my Slim.


Do the Guinness people know about this?

purl bee giant granny square blanket

Apparently the largest crocheted blanket Guinness has recorded is 81 x 38 feet, completed in 2007 by a woman named Daphne O’Connor. But was it a single granny square? The website doesn’t specify. Anyway, regardless of whether it might be the world’s largest, I’m amused by the latest Purl Bee pattern — the Giant, Giant Granny Square Blanket, a single granny square giant enough to act as a bedspread. Of course, ever since it hit the interwebs I’ve been mentally draining it of all that color and imagining what it would look like in a solid charcoal, or a single color in an outward ombré effect, or all neutrals, or even ebony and ivory. Our kittens would make a hash of it, so it’ll never happen, but it’s fun to visualize.


Yarn, from Napa to NYC

For reasons I’ll soon go into, Johanna and I had the distinct pleasure of fondling large quantities of Sincere Sheep yarn yesterday morning. Brooke Sinnes and I connected on Twitter last winter, and have met up a few times since. I love what she’s doing with her company — carefully sourcing her wool, using only natural dyes, tending to every detail herself. But I’ve only actually been in the presence of her yarn twice — both times at Stitches conventions, where I’ve been a little overwhelmed. So it was a distinct pleasure to get to visit her in Napa and spend some quality time with these beautiful yarns.

I’m also personally and vicariously thrilled for Joelle Hoverson and the Purl Soho crew. Earlier this week they announced the launch of their very own yarn, dubbed Super Soft Merino (yay, chunky!), and followed it up with a Purl Bee pattern, the Snowflake Scarf. I’m thrilled on my own behalf because I have a Purl gift certificate from my wonderful husband that I’ve been hoarding since last December, and this may be just the thing to splurge on … if only I can pick a color. And I’m vicariously thrilled for them because I can only imagine how exciting that must be. She mentions in the pattern intro that she’s been dreaming of this for 10 years, since opening the store.

I love it when dreams come true — especially when it means more great yarn to choose from!

purl soho super soft merino snowflake scarf

And while we’re on the subject of yarn makers, don’t miss Jared Flood’s latest batch of photos from his Harrisville mill. How much would I pay for one of those bobbins full of Brooklyn Tweed?


The other breed of colorwork

purl bee striped cowl nido mittens marl knitting

I have extreme admiration for intrepid intarsia knitters, but as I mentioned in yesterday’s Marl Mitts post, what’s most interesting to me, personally, in the realm of colorwork is the art of knitting with multiple yarns held together — a different breed of multi-strand knitting. Obviously, you can knit (or crochet) anything you like out of an actual marl yarn, but then you’re limited to what’s available, which is pretty much black/ivory or gray/ivory. (Both lovely; don’t get me wrong.) By pairing yarns and holding them together as you knit, not only are the color possibilities endless, of course, but so are the results you can achieve. And it goes well beyond mere marl. We’ve oohed and aahed about this amazing Chloé sweater, and taken a close-up look at this other amazing Chloé sweater, but I wanted to round up some other things that I find inspiring. For the purpose of talking about them, I’m breaking them down into three basic categories, but this is by no means comprehensive. I’d really love to see some of your favorite examples as well, so please share.


The Purl Bee Striped Cotton Cowl, above left, was one of the first really thought-provoking things I came across when I started scouring the web for inspiration. It’s an off-white cotton garter-stitch rectangle, grafted together into a cowl. But there’s magic in what happens as you simply pick up and drop various colors of cotton thread along the way.


marl sweater kid cowl

Simply holding (or, sure, plying) two different yarns together — high- or low-contrast — and watching them intertwine can be more than interesting enough. I mean, look at that amazing Dusen Dusen sweater above. (For sale in the Wiksten shop! Hide my wallet!) Things get extra interesting, though, if you hold two variegated or heathered yarns together. And then there’s what happens when you throw in a stretch of a solid color, or mix up your colors and stitch patterns, as in the Phildar kids’ cowl above. (I also want that kid’s hair.) See also pretty much everything by Nido, starting with the mittens pictured at top right of this post.


ombre blanket fade hat knitting patterns

If you take a very controlled approach to your color changes, transitioning from lighter to darker shades of a single color, or across analogous colors, you get something very much like ombré-dyed fabric. The more strands of yarn you’re holding, the more gradual the change can be, and thus the more subtle the effect. But it’s dazzling no matter how you do it, as evidenced by the 2-strand Ombré Blanket by Joelle Hoverson (from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts) and the 3-strand Fade Hat by Michele Wang. See also Nicole Dupuis’ insanely beautiful cowl for Bookhou.


All the pretty blankets

jess brown alpaca fringe blanket

Remember Jess Brown, of the handmade rag dolls and fringed shawls? Check out that ivory-striped blanket. And then there’s the new picnic roll pattern from the Purl Bee. And just look at the gorgeous quilt below, with such a story behind it.

purl bee picnic blanket

maisy quilt make something

I’m also eager to see what will become of this Kay Gardiner project. The yarns and inspiration photo are super swoony.