New tricks, updates and Elsewhere

Red and oatmeal ribbed skullcap

I decided my idle knitting this week, while the Acer repair awaits me, would be the next skullcap in line for Bob. But in order to feel like I’d accomplished something as a knitter, I also decided to Magic Loop the crown. I’ve never been comfortable with this method, and not sure I ever will be. I’m so incredibly strategic with DPNs — about where best to divide up my stitches, how and when to slip some from one needle to another, etc. Would I get there with Magic Loop eventually? Not sure. Plus it’s just not as lovely to look at as the mouth of a DPN triangle. But I’m giving it a whirl, because hooray for old dogs learning new tricks.

Also hooray also for this Kenzie* red, which is the best shade of red I have ever seen — somehow wonderfully vintage looking — and is making me really happy. I say that, too, as a person who does not generally enjoy red.


– Remember that Nikki Gabriel triangles sweater pattern you all helped me get my hands on? It’s now available in her webshop.

– This week’s Knit the Look was a simple stockinette beanie on Emily Weiss, and I recommended you calculate your cast-on from a swatch and a measurement — an extremely valuable exercise for anyone who hasn’t ever done that. But if you prefer a fully written pattern, Purl Soho just yesterday listed their Basic Hats for Everyone, a proto hat pattern with three brim choices (rolled, garter, ribbed) and optional ear flaps and tassels, designed for their new worsted-weight yarn. (Which I’m still dying to knit with.)

– Another recent Knit the Look was Sabrina Meijer with that black-and-white op-art sweater. I recommended a similar op-art sweater pattern, but have since spotted a new cowl pattern, Rama Lama, which has pretty much the same colorwork pattern as Meijer’s pullover. So if you’re good with colorwork, you could borrow that stitch pattern and improvise a sweater out of it. (Of course, if you’re very good with colorwork, you could improvise that stitch pattern as well. But there it is.)


– Speaking of yarn I’m dying to knit with, hello Bare Naked Yarns from Anne Hanson. You can find them here.

– I’m excited about, a new podcast by Hannah Fettig and Pam Allen

– And in love with Fibre Space for teaching furloughed government workers to knit for free

– Thanks to Felicia at The Craft Sessions for bringing this fantastic post of hers to my attention: How to choose a sweater pattern

– I don’t know what the #CaribouKnits hashtag is all about, really, but Kay Gardiner has been cracking me up. (As usual.) I’ve been laughing at this one for seven days and counting.

– Not just the bunny, the bunny’s bag

How long a wool sweater can last (Hint: 1700 years)

My favorite yarny Instagram shot of the week, by Jill Draper

– And this one is an absolute MUST, do you hear me? A MUST. The whole conversation between Chuck Close and Robert Storr is fantastic, but you MUST go to the 1:10 mark and listen to Close talk about his grandmother and all the ways that her crochet and knitting impacted him as an artist and his views on art-making. Wonderful stuff, and I wish I could remember who pointed me to it. Thanks so much to Clare for having pointed me to it, and my apologies to her for having lost track of the source.

Thanks for a great week everyone, and don’t forget to enter the Manos yarn giveaway!


*Provided to me by Skacel

20 thoughts on “New tricks, updates and Elsewhere

  1. I’m magic looping an Angela Tong beret for the first time, too! I don’t like 16″ circulars — the short needles hurt my hands — and it’s too many stitches for dpns (I tried). Love Bob’s hat. I’ll bet he will, too.

    Also, that bunny is impossibly adorable.

    • I finished it late last night. He loves it and it looks SO good on him. I would never have thought he’d wear a red hat much less request one, but we’re both thrilled with it. Such a simple little thing …

  2. I am comfortable with magic loop for sleeves but I use DPNs for hats. Something about the position of the needles, or maybe more likely, the short amount of time a hat requires of the DPNs, makes this work for me. And with sleeves, if they are long, striped, and/or complicated, I am likely to knit them flat. They just come out neater and go much faster. Seaming is not a chore for me. Maybe because I have been sewing all my life….

    Love all the links… great post, as usual, Karen!

    • Yeah, it seemed really not worth it for this little hat crown. But I chose this chance to try it because it’s a case where there’s already a quantity of fabric. If I try magic loop from the point of cast on, I get confused about what’s what, and what should be pointing which direction. So it was good practice.

  3. I am usually working magic loop when there are more than one colour involved (too many balls of yarn with too many needles does not work out for me) – but I definitely prefer the DPNs… they go so much faster and I like the rhythm you get on with them!
    Loving the red hat!!!!!

  4. The Nikki Gabriel pattern made it to me, too, from the lovely Shannon you had put me in touch with. (Wow, ugly sentence. Oh well, Friday night ). My triangle sweater is taking shape with Debbie Bliss Milano yarn, probably in 5 colors rather than 10.

    I don’t enjoy ML…but I will use it if there are no dpns close by. Laziness. The hat looks great!

  5. Totally going to get that Purl Soho pattern set! This will be great for the shop – something basic I can expand upon to make my own hat patterns! :) Thanks for the link!

  6. I just noticed you linked the Chuck Close/Robert Storr conversation I mentioned here a while back. So glad you liked it and are sharing it! It is awesome, isn’t it? I think you might also enjoy Linda Ridgeway’s work too — the way in which it connects to the fiber arts — which I mentioned in the same post.

    • Clare, I’m so glad you said something! As I said above, I was really sorry that I couldn’t recall who had recommended it to me. Truly a great link — I’m grateful to you for it and happy to have a chance to share it with others. Please forgive me for losing track of the source.

  7. I’m a huge magic loop fan, I never really liked the feel of DPN’s… I’m finding it interesting to read how people think they can get into a good rhythm with DPN’s because I feel that way about magic loop! :)

    • Do you have any tips for me? How do you decide where to put the two breaks? How do you keep track of BOR? Anything that like would be greatly welcomed.

  8. I have never tried the magic loop thing. Maybe I should, considering I am clumsy with DPNs! Your hat looks great! it IS a great red. Great links! That instagram pic is so lovely!

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