Welcome to Fringe Association

fringe association intro sampler

When I started this blog last December, and called it Yarnover.me, it was primarily a cleaner way for me to show my beloved friends Meg and Jo what I was up to. They were my only knitting friends at the time, and they live most of the way across the country from me. I also hoped it would help me find more kindred spirits, and it quickly became not just a place for me to document what I was making, but to share the great patterns and bits of inspiration I was finding as I scoured the internet. It’s no small chore — finding the needles in this particular haystack — but I love doing it. And it’s incredibly rewarding that so many people are choosing to spend a few minutes here each day. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that someone has been inspired to try a new skill, or that they saw a link to the perfect pattern for them. One very kind person told me she thinks of me as her imaginary friend who she goes yarn shopping with, because she doesn’t know any knitters, and that made my heart melt.

Up to now, my yarnophilia — and this blog — has been something of a secret identity, an aspect of my life I rarely and reluctantly mention to existing friends and colleagues. Nobody ever found it the least bit odd that I sew or garden or cook. And yet they find it improbable and hilarious that I knit. So while you know I love fringe in a literal sense, the new blog name is also a tiny joke about the fact that — even despite the boom in knitting over the past several years, even in a place as handmade-centric as San Francisco — knitting (or crochet or weaving) can still feel like a subversive activity.

The happy fact is, knitting is increasingly becoming a real focus in my life. But “Fringe Association” is also meant to convey that this is about much more than me. It’s about whatever and whoever is worth knowing about in the crazy, warm, wonderful world of yarn.

So, with that, I have two requests of you:

1) Talk to me. I regularly hear from people through all sorts of channels, but I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below letting me know who you are and what brings you here. What would you like to see more (or less) of?

2) If you like the blog, I’d be honored if you’d tell your friends about it. That might mean mentioning it to your three-dimensional knitting friends, or sharing a favorite post on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest. Any mention is greatly appreciated.

And regardless, thank you so very much for reading. There’s lots more to come —


PICTURED ABOVE, snippets from: 1) Transformative Mods: A modern spin on Flukra; 2) Blog Crush: Wiksten; 3) New Favorites: from Wool People 3; 4) Unspun and undyed; 5) FO Sightings: Kent Turman’s impeccable headwear

77 thoughts on “Welcome to Fringe Association

  1. I like the sound of Fringe Association. At first I thought it was an email from the TV show… then other thoughts popped up. I really appreciate all the tidbits you share. Patterns, yarns, what new and exciting or just what interests you. It’s never too much (like talking on the phone with my mother) I love to stop by and see what you’re up to today. Congrats, I’m glad you came out of the yarn closet.

    • Hi — thank you! I’ve never watched the show, but I’m sure you won’t be the only one who has that thought. Apparently it’s in its final season.

  2. Hi Karen, This seems like the perfect opportunity to jump in. I’ve been loving your blog, and love the new look. (The typeface, however, is a little wonky on my screen–could it be Google Chrome?) I haven’t done any needlework in some time, but hope to begin again once my life settles back down, which should be sometime this winter. And I quite literally mean “begin again”–I’m going to relearn knitting starting with a hat as you recommend. I want to understand the knitting process more than I have in the past. I’m so amazed how much you have learned in such a short time. Thanks for the inspiration..

    • Hey, Nancy, I’ve been wondering about you. Let me know if you need any guidance when you’re ready to do that hat!

      Would you be willing to send me a screengrab of the type issue you’re having?

  3. I like the new name. I don’t know why people think knitting is weird. I get that sometimes too. I’d like to see more of your own projects, but you if all you do is keep enabling my Ravelry queue habit that will be cool too.

    • It’s funny how terrible I am about photographing and posting (here or in Ravelry) my FOs. But that’s good to know, Heather — thanks.

  4. Oh I LOVE the new name and the new blog. It’s perfect, Karen. And I love your little bio in the sidebar. “Yarn enabler”, yeah, that’s you :) Add “idea enabler” too. For me, I know for sure, that I would not have come this far in knitting these past few months without your ideas and encouragement. In the process, knitting really has changed a lot of things for me in very good ways. I know no knitters here in the physical world, so finding your blog was a very big lift for me. I so appreciate you introducing me to ideas and inspiration I never would have found on my own. Your style and likes are so similar to mine, and I’m very grateful for that. Until I found Yarnover.Me, I was really in a knitting slump because I just couldn’t find things I loved enough to make.

    Oh I hope that made sense :) Bottom line, the only thing I wish for in the new Fringe Association is more posts. Selfish of me, I know, considering you have a life outside of here. I just like seeing the notification for your latest posts in my inbox because I know I’m gonna find good things in it, including the beautiful things you knit and inspiration for new projects.

    Congratulations and thank you!

    • You’re so kind to me, Sarah — I always appreciate it.

      I do know what you mean about the problem of simply not knowing what to knit, and I think it’s a really, really common one. I’ve been doing some personal shopping (as it were) for patterns for friends and am working out how to offer it as a service to others. But I really strive for the blog to fill that need for as many people as possible, because I do know how hard it can be to sort through the billions of patterns out there and find a reliable one that also suits your tastes and needs and skills. It can be daunting.

  5. I love it! I found you recently via Millie Rossman Kidd, and have been enjoying your blog since then. I know what you mean about being on the fringe. I get quite the sideway glances from people when they find out I knit. I’ve enjoyed reading about your various inspirations and learning more about various crafts!

    • I’m so glad Millie introduced us! I’m determined to come up with a knitted headband to wear on cold morning walks this winter, inspired in large part by your story about your daughter’s last year.

  6. For anyone who’s wondering and doesn’t know about the emails a couple of people have mentioned — you can sign up to get alerted by email whenever there’s a new post on the blog. Just plug your email address into the box in the right-hand column up there.

    I’m also going to try to do a better job of tweeting each post. (I’m resistant to auto-tweeting.) Follow @fringeassoc for that. (If you were already following @yarnoverdotme, you’re all set.)

  7. Hi, like your blog a lot and I read through your posts regularly. Because you post quite often I usually have two to three posts to read at the same time. But I am keeping up. I like your style a lot and text especially. Keep those posts coming!
    P.S. I´d love to see FO´s as well but also unfinished projects are very interesting.

  8. I love your aesthetic and think our taste is very similar (It’s hard to tell as I don’t post everything I make, but TRUST ;)). I especially love the posts where you pull images from the runway. Most people that indulge in crafts or the handmade/diy lifestyle shun designer items so it’s refreshing to see someone else, like me, that can appreciate them.When people hear I knit they immediately conjure up images of grandmas and itchy ill-fitting sweaters. Your blog proves there’s cooler and more modern stuff out there.

  9. And while I love the new layout it’s kind of hard for me to read the text. It’s almost too thin? I’m not sure how to describe it. :)

    • That means a lot coming from you, Iz!

      And I’m still massaging the type a bit. There’s something wonky about CSS inheritance and overrides with the way wordpress.com is specifying styles when Typekit is enabled. Trying to work it out …

  10. Well, I must say I love your new blog name. It’s a perfect fit. I, too, especially like the runway knit fashions you post and while a few are a bit outlandish some are perfectly reasonable and make me happy to know there are fashionable knit items out there. Also look forward to the knitters and designers you feature and glad you’ve found a few male knitters. And, needless to say, I’m always happy and interested to see what you’re doing.
    Keep it up…You know your blog makes my day!

  11. The new name is a perfect fit, especially with what seems to be a slight obsession between you and fringe and/or pompoms! I like when you reference other blog posts…I find myself meandering around the links, admiring the beauty of whatever has been photographed…swooning and dreaming all-the-while…then, I slam my iPad shut and get back to my knitting!

  12. Ah, that’s where you’ve gone! Like you, I’m a secret knitter and I’ve been reading Yarn Over Me for a few months and wondered why it had suddenly disappeared from my blog roll. Phew! Your blog is great and I love that it’s purely yarn-based posts. Don’t go changing!

  13. Hi, Meredith — thanks for chiming in. I’m sorry to hear something didn’t go seamlessly with your method of following the blog. Can you tell me more so I can try to get to the bottom of it? What method or tool (email subscription, feed reader?) were you using to keep up? For example, were you subscribed to the RSS feed using Google Reader? Or Bloglovin? Or … ? Any details you can provide will be greatly appreciated. And I’m glad you found me again, regardless!

  14. Cool new name! Love reading about your adventures with fiber. Love being inspired by all the outrageous, edgy, stylish, cosy, fringy things that you somehow magically find and share with us. You are my personal stylist/shopper to all things wonderful in the fiber world!

  15. I was in the yarn store in Nashville and admiring your Wool / High Fiber tote when the helper told me about you and your blog and that you were in the BayArea which is where I am from (Marin) and when I am there I want to explore all things related to knitting. I am excited about getting your blog now. And just saw your May 2013 news re Han Stern …here in Nashville ,,, who I hope to connect with.
    I am currently knitting my first man sized sweater (for my husband) when previous works have been for babies and young children and go really fast. This project is truly a labor of love because it is HUGE! But helped by the wool which we purchased in New Zealand and made from their divine Merino and “possum”! I hope to see when I am back in the Bay Area next month.

  16. I was roaming around as one does on the internet and there you where! My name is Kirsten and I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a tiny place called Mountain Home. I seem to love all the same things that you do. I was filled with glee with the socks. I am trying to get motivated to make socks for my hubbo who wears a size 17 narrow shoe and our youngest son who wears a 18EEEE shoe. wow it gets me every time I see it in print. I’m not even sure how much yarn to get. I also fell in love with the wreath from Churchmouse as well and I even like it in the more rustic color. so thought I’d let you know that I’ll be stopping around to visit! looking forward to getting to know ya better. Till next time, keep well!

  17. Found your site while poking around Ravelry – really enjoyed reading your Blog. Going to make your “Stadium mitts & hat” for my son in the colours of his beloved ‘Patriots’ We sure need all the woolies we can wear with this cold weather… Knitters rule when temperatures plunge below zero!

  18. Hi Karen!
    I found you through your shop — after seeing the gorgeous pyramid of wool print (bought it) and putting it on my wishlist for Christmas (along with the ‘Wool is Essential’ tote, which my sister gifted me and has currently replaced my broken-down handbag). I now own several Fringe things and bone needles are next on my list. And by next, I mean I’ll be buying them as soon as I can cash my freelancer work check on Monday!

    I have been knitting since I was 8 and have worked for several yarn companies on various projects (Malabrigo on Book 3 & Book 4 — my name’s in the back! Premier/Universal Yarns, as a short-stint creative director, Knit Purl / Shibui as a copy writer and Yarnbox as a creative director). The knitting world and the people in it are my life! I am so glad to have discovered your blog through your shop and can’t believe we haven’t met at a show or something as of yet! My Ravelry name is Hannahbelle. Perhaps we know each other already on there!

    • Hi, Hannah. I recognize your name from the shop and am happy to know more about you! Seems we are likely to cross paths one of these days. Will you be at TNNA in May?

  19. Hi Karen – came across your blog through Mason Dixon knitting’s website. I NEVER spend time “looking at things” on the computer… but, when I came across your sight I was immediately drawn in – couldn’t put the kindle down. Gotta have a couple of those rice baskets as soon as I can justify a “treat” oh, and the brass and leather stitch markers with that fancy litte leather purse (lovely). anyway, glad to have found you!

  20. Just found your site. Love the look and the style of the site, patterns and ideas! Thank you. Great find. I am an avid knitter, weaver and general fiber enthusiast. Working on opening my own shop (The Fiber Lounge) in Austin, TX! Just searching for the right spot. Love your products too.

  21. I am happy to have found your blog. I am an eager knitter, but have a problem which isn’t all that uncommon: I am allergic to wool.
    I can knit it, but not wear it. I use cotton (and silk when I can afford it), but it’s often too heavy and unsuitable.
    – Suggestions in this regard would be very welcome from time to time. :-) mlise

  22. I have had a lot of difficulty finding knitting blogs that I want to read everyday. I stumbled across yours by accident on Pinterest in the last month, and now look forward to your daily update first thing in the morning SO MUCH. I’m a few years older than you and have been knitting since I was a kid. I abandoned it almost completely in the 80’s and early 90’s, finding it too difficult to find good affordable yarn and patterns. Around 7 years ago, I started noticing the knitting boom, jumped in with both feet, and have been knitting non-stop ever since.

    Mostly it’s been a very long love-affair with hand-dyes (at first Sundara, going on to Pigeonroof, Sanguine Gryphon, and Madelinetosh), as finding good saturated colors had been one of my biggest frustrations. About a year ago though, I hit a wall with hand-dyed superwash yarn: while there are many beautiful superwash yarns out there, they can suffer from a sameness of feel, drape and texture, and I think I finally got a little overdosed on color.

    Ever since I’ve been obsessed with sheepy yarn, natural colours, and TEXTURE (some recent favorites are Baa Ram Ewe Titus and Elsa Cormo), and for someone in that frame of mind (not to mention shared interest in knitwear fashion trends and different construction methods, especially top-down), your blog is like crack cocaine ☺. Thanks to you, I pulled the trigger and made Lila, a pattern I’d been eyeing for a while, and I think it’s the favorite thing I’ve ever made (Berroco Ultra Alpaca in brown). I’m thinking about making another in Herriot, after reading your undyed post (I love the look of Swan’s Island, but look ill in both grey and oatmeal). I don’t think I’m going to abandon hand dyes altogether; I still love the Plucky Knitter and The Uncommon Thread, and I still consider olive, burgundy and dark teal (a particular shade of deep green-leaning blue) to be neutrals ☺. But I’m so excited to be on the hunt for the perfect neutral-shaded beautifully textured yarn for future projects, and am so happy to have found a kindred spirit in that adventure!

  23. I’m absolutely infatuated with your blog! I’ve just got back into knitting and my very first project was intarsia and my second a pair of socks! I’m sixteen by the way and i’m a shy knitter too!

  24. I love this place, your blog, the projects, your willingness to share everything! A lot of my favorite knitting blogs have gone away leaving me feeling bereft, almost abandoned. Leafing through Pinterest, I saw the name of your blog first (a fave TV show that’s gone now too), then was captivated by the content. I’ll be back very often and be forewarned… I’m talkative and like to comment! ;)

  25. Just wanted to say hello. I just discovered your blog and am loving it so far. I’m a very new beginner knitter, so I’m still learning how everything works, but I’m enjoying it so much that it’s nice to find there is a whole community out there of people who love it too. I really resonated with your comment that people you knew found it “improbable and hilarious” that you knit. I’ve found the same thing, or I’ve been too embarrassed to really talk about it much. I’m 38 years old, but as soon as I mention knitting, people seem to think I’ve turned into an “old lady”. Anyway, keep up the good work!

  26. So happy to have found your blog! I’m a new knitter but have all the beginner projects done and look forward to improving with new patterns and stitches. I also live in Nashville. I just ordered from your website this morning but can we shop locally?

  27. Karen, un chaleureux bonjour de France… J’ai découvert ton blog via Pinterest et en ai dévoré chaque page ce week-end… oui, tout le week-end !
    I am the only knitter I know in real life so it is always exciting to discover yarn/knit-aholics who can “understand”… My one year old partner in life is desperate to learn knitting as he’s just realized what we all here already know : knitting is endless excitement and such a great source of content.
    I wish more French knitters could speak and read English… They miss so much in not having access to blogs like yours…
    No need to say how happy I was to get my first email from Fringe this morning !
    And because of you, I’m about to start a cabled cardigan for my love… and a lace shawl… when my Lotus silk/cashmere finally gets here !
    Merci merci merci Karen

  28. I just learned of Taproot from A Sonoma Garden blog. She was showing off the barn coat she had just finished I love it! how do I by the pattern?

  29. I found you through Cirilia Rose’s new book, and am so glad. I know plenty of knitters in real life fortunately (MN is cold, the winters are long, the LYSs are plentiful, every handknit can be worn and is) as well as virtually through Ravelry, but it’s always fun to discover more. I’m going to be spending many happy hours looking through everything here, and then checking back everyday.

  30. I just found you by listening to your interview on the Woolful podcast! It was fascinating to me, a beginner knitter, and I spent last evening consuming your blog. I will be spending lots of time here learning everything I can. Very excited to have found you! :)

  31. Hi, Karen! I’ve been sporadically reading and commenting on your blog. Do you have a “bricks & mortar” store in Nashville? My daughter’s birthday is coming up, and we’re looking for interesting places to visit around town — I would love to visit with Fringe, and I think she would too.

  32. Hi! I just started my blog, and almost out of the same reasons as you did; I wanted to motivate myself to finish more of my started projects, share some of my own designs (not very good at pattern writing yet, though!) and to meet other people sharing the same passion for knitting and to be inspired by them! I have also not announced my blog to friends/colleagues (only to my few knitting friends!), but it is so great to see how I am starting to get in touch with people all over the world! I am looking forward to follow your blog! Greetings from Oslo, Hege

  33. I’ve been reading your blog for ages, but I just wanted to say I love it so much. I’ve informed everyone in my circle that they should be reading your blog. Loving the hatalong as well.

  34. Hi Karen, I stumbled upon your blog through Pinterest about a week ago. So glad I did. My mother taught me to knit as a child, and I taught my own daughters. Only one of them actually loves it like me. After reading your blog I ordered the book Essentially Feminine Knits to make the Amanda sweater. I would have loved to do the knit -a -long for it. I am very excited for the pattern to the sleeveless turtle neck you made too. It is beautiful and I lOVE the colour. I hope you will have time soon to put the pattern on your site. Thank you for all the great information will definitely be reading your blog often. Can’t wait for the next knit a long.

  35. Hi Karen, I came across your blog by accident and am most impressed and interested in what I’ve read so far – and there’s so much more that I feel I’ll be dipping in and out for a long time to come. I am a knitter in the UK, run a small knitting group and use Rav an awful lot – it’s so addicitive!
    Lovely blog :)

  36. I am just now finding your page and the wealth of information you have here. And I’m really glad that I did find you. I searched for “is there anyway to make a seamless garment except by knitting”. For the sake of brevity I will omit the reasons why. Your site popped up and I am so impressed with your seamed seamless sweater! What an ingenious idea! Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to your updates.

  37. Hi Karen-I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and just discovered this page today. I’ve been knitting since 2012 and just now decided to tackle a Brooklyn Tweed Topiary wrap. Your blog is beautiful and extremely helpful. It’s definitely a confidence builder! I also don’t see why people find knitting so odd? We have a little group of friends that get together at work during lunch once a week to chat and knit and we’re all in our late 20s and early 30s. I’ve shared lots of posts from you blog with them :). Thank you for the wealth of information! -Kathleen

  38. hi, I love your blog, shop and personality. We knitters are lost souls but hey we will find each other anyway in this big world.
    Its nice to read that someone is struggling to find money for fancy yarn like me in the pas, but still knit and every day become better and better knitter.
    Keep doing what you are doing….you inspired me and you gave me faith and power.
    If you wish to meet me please visit my Instagram @Mar__Be the only place where I put my secret knitting work.
    Good luck to you xxx

  39. I found you in a midnight panic over a raglan baby sweater instruction sheet short on info and long on blather. Couldn’t see on the page or in mind what the instruction writer was going on about. You appeared in a Google search, and I knew Ravelry was reliable. I read your divide for the sleeves section, and went sleep confident that in dawn’s early light, I’d be fine. I was, and we have a blizzard on the east coast, so I can stay in and knit. Good news for me, as the baby for whom the sweater is intended arrived at 2:00 am this morning, five weeks early. We’re all fine-he, his mother, and me, the sweater knitter. Love your blog and your work. Many thanks!

  40. Hello Karen! I want to send a warm thank you for everything you have done here at Fringe Association. You are quite simply an inspiration to me and other knit bloggers and aspiring designers. Your site is beautiful, as is your work. Please keep it up. It is a wonderful place to visit.

  41. Hi Karen! I found your blog over the weekend via Pinterest, and for the first time ever regarding a blog, I am hooked. You write intelligently about a topic I am obsessed with, so I am excited to follow along on here and Pinterest. I started a knitting circle with ladies from my church, and I will be passing Fringe Association along to them.

  42. Love your blog and read it daily! Please do a post on Norwegian purling for the continental knitters. It has changed my life!!!!

  43. Just discovered your most interesting site and blog accidentally via Pinterest. I’ve been looking for something like this site for quite a while. There is a lot to ponder here. I’ve been knitting for nearly ten years and am pretty obsessed, but most of what I make are simple designs, because that is what I wear. I mostly knit top down sweaters of my own design – a shout out here to Karen Alfke, who teaches a wonderful course on the details of this method. Right now I’m trying to learn the varieties of and all the ways one can use short row shaping. Look forward to finding out new things and, hopefully to joining a sweater knit along. (I don’t do well with scarves and shawls; I don’t wear them much and after about two feet I’m really bored with knitting them.)

  44. Pingback: Our Tools, Ourselves: Karen Templer (that’s me!) | Fringe Association

  45. I stumbled across your website via a link to your Knitting Basics article. A lot of what you said resonates with me…..I have always knitted…….and sewed ( on and off- I have an O-level!!) and baked- all those things seem acceptable- BUT knitting- its something your Granny does and cant possibly be trendy!
    Well, after all these years I’ve been getting quite brave- my knitting goes to work with me- in case of a spare half hour or time in my lunchbreak, on the train/tube,, long car/ plane trips, in our campervan – even swimming galas ( anyone who has a child who swims knows how long you can be sat there).
    A lot of my friends have been politely surprised- most interested and many amazed at all the gorgeous wools and , yes, trendy patterns. I knit for family and close friends – I love Loop (London ), Ravelry (and many of the British designers ( many of the US ones too). I tell my husband how rock n roll I am and that everyone is way behind…..:-). The main thing is , I love it, love looking at what people are designing and even though sometimes I may feel like an Aged Aunt ( I’m not really that old) I like it when people surprise me when they ask how to do it , or are inspired to try. We have a mini knitting group at work and my 10 yr old is getting keen ( ahhhh ). The 14 yr old likes the end product (but is not interested in the making thereof!!)
    So , I hope you don’t mind- I’ve added you as a friend on Ravelry – because I like the items you have made and as one of the other people said- not many people “get” it , so when you come across someone else who does…..well…. its a nice feeling! xxx
    All the best
    Emma x

  46. Are you going to release the pattern for the sweater that knitted itself? I think also called Olsen?

  47. Hi Karen!

    I just stumbled upon your blog recently via knitting patterns on Pinterest. I love your sense of fashion and knitting ideas. It’s neat to see your process through different projects. I have been knitting since I was a little kid. A family friend taught me the basics of the knit and purl stitches, and since then I have been a self-taught knitter. I’ve done everything from socks to stuffed animals, but sweaters are my real favorite! (Especially baby sweaters for my son because they take so much less time and are adorable!!!) <3

    I was wondering… do you have any tutorials or suggestions when it comes to binding off sweaters? When I do the stretchy bind offs, they always make my edge look bulky and unprofessional – but otherwise, there is no elasticity in my work. I've tried a few things, but everything seems to fall short of my expectations.



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