Gone makin’

人体色图人体色图 with a conflicted heart, but I’m here today to let you know that I’m putting the blog on hiatus. Short-term? Long-term? I honestly don’t know. I just know I’ve been writing this blog for 8+ years and I need a break — and a chance to focus on some other projects I can never quite get to. It’s a very hard decision to make because I value your company more than you know, but I’m not going away. I’ll still be knitting and sewing, obviously, and will strive to be better about sharing my makes on Ravelry and on my @karentempler feed on Instagram. I’m also aiming to do more with the @fringesupplyco feed, and I’m thinking of adding links and such to the shop newsletter, so make sure you’re following and subscribed accordingly. (There’s a newsletter signup field in the page footer here). I’m hoping this will lead to MORE creative output from me, and I still want to share it with you — just in different ways, for now.

人体色图Of course, Fringe Supply Co. marches on! And there are years’ worth of content in the archives that might be new to you, so I encourage you to explore it:

– All of the free patterns and how-to’s, including the top-down Improv tutorial
– The trove of pattern recs and links and stuff that fall under Finds
– The Hot Tips that make knitting life simpler and less stressful
– The Beginning to Knit archive of posts for anyone starting out or wanting to advance their skills
– And a peek behind the scenes with so many talented makers in Our Tools, Ourselves

Among many other things!

I’m so grateful to you for being here so far, and for all you’ve shared with me and taught me, and I hope you’ve found my work here useful in exchange. There’s definitely a next chapter, and I’m eager for the chance to figure out what shape it takes! So stay tuned, and thank you.

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2019: My sewing year in review

My Sewing Year in Review: all the Fen mods

Any year that includes that magical striped dress up there is a good sewing year, in my book. But I think this was easily my most successful — if most myopic — year as a sewer. I sewed 12 things, some of which were never blogged but all of which are pictured here. Every one of them was completed during my Linenpalooza of summer-into-fall, fueled by the actual and neurotic need for suitable clothes for my India trip. (Although not all of them went with me.)

I think I mentioned before that this came about because I didn’t own clothing that was appropriate. Essentially all of my hot-weather clothes are sleeveless; my dresses are sleeveless and knee-length. It was going to be in the 90s the whole time and we would be outside for most or all of every day — everything I owned that was sufficiently modest would have been suffocating. Buying a whole travel wardrobe was not an option, so I bought some linen to augment what I already had in my stash, and I pulled out some of my tried-and-true patterns and began cutting.

The six garments above are all made from the same two pattern pieces of the Fen top, just modified in various ways: the striped and blurple dresses, the yellow dress, the black top, toffee top and cyan top. The four pants below are all from the Robbie pants pattern I’ve also made (with my modifications) many times before: pomelo, striped, blurple, toffee. The striped and blurple ones were both made from the scraps of the dresses, and I cut both a top and pants in the toffee color. From the scraps of the pomelo pants, I also scraped together the little pomelo top, below, which is from the Hemlock tee pattern (modified along some of the the same lines as before) with the amount of fabric determining the length of the body and sleeves.

Sewing year in review: Hemlock tee and Robbie pants

I had a lot of fun making the matching tops and pants, which can be worn together like faux jumpsuits but which also mix-and-match with the other pieces. And ultimately 10 of the above got packed for the trip, along with one RTW linen top (so I took 3 dresses, 4 tops and 4 pants) plus an 11th-hour surprise, the jacket below:

Sewing year in review: linen Wiksten Haori with travel pockets

The Sunday before we left, as I was neatly rolling my clothes and laying them into one side of my suitcase, I began to get anxious about the flights. And I convinced myself I needed to sew a jacket. I have no fear of heights or flying, but I am a little claustrophobic and I always told myself I couldn’t be sealed in a plane for 14 hours. So naturally when it came time to do that, I decided it would be fine if only I had a linen Wiksten jacket (lightweight! but fends off a/c! doesn’t take up too much suitcase space while not in use!) with perfectly scaled secret pockets for my passport and kleenex and earbuds and phone … . So that’s what I made for myself. And it worked.

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PREVIOUSLY: 2019 Knitting year in review

2019: My knitting year in review

My knitting year in review: Smock Vest, Grace pullover, garter stitch shawlette kerchief

There’s always something surprising to me whenever I look back through what I’ve made in a given year. This year it’s the fact that I made things! For some reason, I don’t feel like I did, and it may be because this is the first year I knitted more for others than for myself. I also sewed more than I knitted (more on that tomorrow), which is easy to do — especially when you’re as simple a sewer as me —?but it turns out I did, in fact, knit this year. And I even crocheted.

For me, I knitted only three things, above, but I’m well pleased with them: my smock vest (improvised), my toffee-colored cable pullover (Grace pattern by Denise Bayron), and the little black kerchief (modified from a Purl Soho pattern) that is my constant companion these days.

My knitting year in review: Solbein cardigan, Gramps cardigan, April Hat, Anker's Jacket

I knitted four things for tiny nieces: The little colorwork cardigan being shared by Misses M and T; the bobble beret for their big sister R; the sunny cardigan for their new baby sister E; and the keepsake cardigan in memory of their baby cousin.

My knitting year in review: Cabled Dad Hat, Joanne hat

And then there are the two slight disappointments. The cable hat for Bob is a thing of beauty but the yarn has no recovery whatsoever and so isn’t well suited to this particular task. He gave it back to me and I’ve been wearing it on the trail, and need to knit him another one in a more elastic yarn. Similarly, the summer hat I crocheted for myself has sort of … wilted. I need to try it again at the nice tight gauge the pattern calls for.

All in all, a pretty successful knitting year —?especially given how much those girls loved their gifts.

Please note that each of these things is linked to the original blog post about it where you can find further photos, links and details on patterns, yarn, modifications and so on —?please click through to find out more! And if I left anything out, feel free to ask.

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PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Matilda’s cardigan

Favorite New Favorites of 2019

Best knitting patterns of the year (Bouquet by Junko)

I’m awed every single year when I scroll back through New Favorites to see how many fantastic patterns I’ve posted here, knowing they’re still only a fraction of everything that caught my eye and made me pause in admiration for a moment (or obsess for weeks or months). As is my annual custom, I’ve rounded up my very favorite favorites below —?by which I simply mean the ones I personally have the strongest urge to cast on and wear. Each pattern listed includes a link to the post in which it originally appeared, if you want to see what I had to say about it at the time and more of what was featured alongside —?or you can scroll through the entirety of New Favorites at any time or just the annual Favorite New Favorites roundups! So much beauty and talent to behold.

MY HIGHEST ESTEEM
In any given year, my absolute favorite pattern is not necessarily the most creative or innovative, and I tend to skew more heavily toward wearability regardless, but in my humble opinion the best pattern of 2019 is equal parts creative/innovative and wearable, above, and that’s Junko Okamoto’s Bouquet Sweater (from Junko’s abstract Bouquet). Her use of RS and WS floats in creating a variety of “bouquets” of flowers that are then asymmetrically scattered across the garment … it’s amazing in the concept and execution, and I have seen several really beautiful examples walking around in the world. I hope in 2020 I may have the courage to make it my colorwork project for the year. (Since I seem to pretty reliably do one per year.)

. . . . .

Best knitting patterns of the year (sweaters)

SWEATERS
top: Column by Hiromi Nagasawa (from Simple pleasures)
row two, left:?Tarn?by Claire Walls (from Textured yokes)
row two, right: Eva by Julie Weisenberger (from Eva)
middle: Streaks by Keiko Kikuno (from Amirisu 19, all of it)
bottom, left: Escala by Alice Caetano (fromAmirisu 19, all of it)
bottom, right:?ふっくらケーブル模様のセーター?by Yokota/Daruma (from Bulky beauties)

. . . . .

Best knitting patterns of the year (scarves)

SCARVES and COWL
top: Dyyni?by Sari Nordlund (from The ones I’ve been waiting for)
middle left: Isadora?by Berroco (from Fall warm-ups)
middle right: No-Cable Cable Scarf?by Purl Soho (from Cables for the Cable-averse)
bottom: Lierne Cowl by Bristol Ivy (fromAmirisu 19, all of it)

. . . . .

Best knitting patterns of the year (hats)

HATS
top: The Dawn Hat?by Brandi Harper (from Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns)
middle left: Oleander Reversible Hat?by Laura Chau (from Texture, please!)
middle right: Hatdana by Denise Bayron (from Head kercheifs)
bottom: Hjarn Hat?by Amber Platzer Corcoran (from Stranded purl hats)

. . . . .

Best knitting patterns of the year (socks)

SOCKS
top: Open Heart?by Ainur Berkimbayeva (from Serious sock temptations)
bottom left: Chunky Slipper Socks?by Churchmouse (fromSimple pleasures)
bottom right: Thaba by Dawn Henderson (from Serious sock temptations)

. . . . .

I should note that my New Favorites picks aren’t always published within the year, and some of these may not have been 2019, but I’d love to hear what your favorites of the year have been!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: “Cables” for the cable-averse

Warehouse Sale!

WAREHOUSE SALE at Fringe Supply Co.!

Hi, friends —?just a quick note today to let you know there’s a Warehouse Sale happening over at Fringe Supply Co.! Meaning clearance prices on seconds and odds and ends, while they last. There’s even more variety than what’s pictured here (including a few Porter Bins), and we have very few of some things and quite a lot of others, so click quick!?But please do read the listing thoroughly before placing your order.

Back to regular programming tomorrow …

Merry Elsewheres

Merry Elsewheres — yarny links for your holiday week perusal

I may not be the most festive person in the world, but what I do love about this stretch around the holidays is the way the world slows down while we collectively shift our focus for a minute (a day, a week), away from the daily grind and onto the people and places we cherish. Whether you’re crowd-averse like me or a confirmed extrovert, have big news to celebrate or are feeling the presence of a newly empty chair at your dinner table — or whatever your particular circumstances may be — I hope you find peace and joy this week. I’m spending it with my sister and her family and will be back here later in the week with some news and some recapping, so meet me here then! But if you’ve got a bit of time on your hands in the meantime, here are some links to keep you learning, crying, laughing or swooning—

— First, speaking of family and complexities and all that — I want to say thank-you to everyone who has shared such incredibly powerful and personal stories in response to my post about Matilda’s cardigan. It turned into a conversation about loss and hope and grief and love and … life, and knitting’s place in that. And I’m grateful for it.

— I hereby co-sign @arohaknits “petition to rename these items …” (and now I’m also giggling remembering the great“arm leggings” of 2012, which why on earth have I not been wearing those?!)

Have you seen the knitted postage stamps and the knitting itself? (via)

I like both Michael Ruhlman and Kay Gardiner and am eager to listen to their conversation

— I’m obsessed with this granny-square sweater by the always-inspiring Jo of Kkibo

and wowed by this cardigan-driven look

Totally fascinated by Cocoknits’ pick-up-THEN-knit method

Christmas decor I can get behind (esp if done with proper pompoms!)

Mary Jane and her dream sweater

and the I’m Not Lost project is amazing — there’s the backstory and a PDF download here, and don’t miss the flash mob! (photo by @kristyglassknits)

I know there are loads of efforts along these lines — SO much knitting for good cheer, charity and more — and would love for you all to share as many of them as possible in the comments.

Merry holidays to you and yours, whatever you celebrate!

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PREVIOUSLY: Holiday Hewett + Elsewhere

Q for You: What’s your strongest knitting bond?

Q for You: What's your strongest knitting bond?

I’ll be honest and tell you I debated whether to post here about this precious little cardigan, but the point of this blog for me has always been a shared connection with you: fellow knitters of the world who’ve stumbled in here, being people who understand what a mysteriously powerful thing it is to knit, and especially to knit for others. We often describe it as a hug, but what this tiny sweater has really driven home for me is that to knit is to form bonds — some of them beyond description.

This sweater is for my great-niece, Matilda, who lived only a few days. Before she was born, I had envisioned a future hand-me-down. I wanted to knit a Gramps cardigan (because the only thing better than a shawl-collar cardigan is a miniature shawl-collar cardigan) and had picked out this sweet, soft green yarn for it.* As with E’s sweater, I would have made it 6-12 mos size so she’d have time to grow into and out of it before it hopefully got passed on to another baby. When she died, I still very much wanted to knit it and didn’t entirely understand why, but thankfully her mother still wanted it and so I got to have this unexpectedly profound experience. Time spent knitting it these past couple of weeks has been time bonding with her in a way I couldn’t have imagined. I didn’t get to meet her, and she became so real to me as this sweater took shape. And once it became a keepsake, the shape of it changed — I wanted it to be very specific to her. Newborn sized and a pure expression of love.

It’s a gift I hope will convey feelings I don’t have any other way to express.

I’m making this post a Q for You because what I would love in response to this is for you to tell me about the strongest bonds you’ve formed through knitting — with a family member, friend or stranger; someone you’ve knitted for or with, or who has knitted for you? If you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear it.

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*The yarn is Bummull in “grass green,” which is a misnomer — it’s more of a dusty mint color, so pretty — and I’ve knitted the smallest size of Gramps on US5 needles with this yarn to get it to be newborn sized. (It’s less than one ball.) I added the garter ridges above the ribbing and did a garter-stitch button band minus the shawl collar, but otherwise it’s true to the pattern.

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PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: