Idea Log: Penguono x Joseph

Idea Log: Penguono x Joseph

Early Wednesday morning, I got a text from my sweet friend Rebekka, who was all lit up about knitting Stephen West’s Penguono cardigan and wanted to know if I would knit it with her. Like, starting tomorrow. Since I’ve long wondered what an understated version of this sweater would look like, I was quick to say yes, and the more I redrew and rearranged and recolored it in my head, the more I realized my version would be heavily influenced by these Joseph pants from the Pre-Fall 2016 collection that I cannot stop thinking about. (I might be starting a fund in the hope of having however much money they cost by the time they hit stores this summer. If, god willing, they do.) (Note to the reader who asked: Net-a-Porter carries Joseph.) I’m imagining the sweater all in ivory with slightly darker side panels and a big black patch pocket on the front. Possibly knitted; possibly boiled wool, with a flap. It’s fun to daydream about.

So in that moment, I got all excited about the idea of this sweater. And then I remembered I’m not supposed to be casting on sweaters willy-nilly. There’s Bob sweater still with hours upon hours of its stockinette body to be knitted. There are two unfinished hatalong hats waiting patiently in my Field Bag. There’s my very real need and very strong desire for that black pullover that’s supposed to be next. And there’s this crazy Penguono idea that could be a lot of much-needed fun or could be a lot of valuable knitting time poured into an idea that doesn’t pan out. And it’s soooo much knitting.

There’s the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, and this is the conversation they’re having. I’m in the middle, thinking I’ll most likely cast on, knit it in the designated hours with Rebekka and in the gaps among other things after that (for the next two years, prolly!) and see if anything ever comes of it. I mean, it’s a stash-buster and my stash needs busting, right?

IN EXCITING SHOP NEWS: We’ve got fresh stock of the Stowe Bag sewing pattern and the Maple Hand Loom Kit, as well as the elusive grey Field Bag (also in black and natural). Along with all the other beautiful things at Fringe Supply Co.!

UPDATE: We’re having major snowstorm in Nashville today and won’t be driving to the studio or anywhere else. We’ll resume shipping just as soon as road conditions allow!

40 thoughts on “Idea Log: Penguono x Joseph

  1. What a fun project. Makes everything I have planned and have yarn coming in the mail today seem kind of blah. What to do? Hope you will talk more about this sweater.

  2. I’m so out of the loop, Karen. I look at both pictures and think “ridiculous!! what world do these people live in?” Apparently, I’m a conservative when it comes to clothes, especially when I consider the investment of time and materials. And I’m old. Now you younger ladies can start throwing things at your computer screen….

    • Oh, well I’m 47! But regardless of age, seeing that cool minimalist Joseph photo side by side with the exuberant extravagance of Stephen’s photo makes me a little giddy. There’s such a funny call and response between them.

  3. Knitting is suppose to be fun. I’d let my imagination free and go for it. If you start not finding it fun, just unravel. No harm done. I’m old and it looks like such a wearable top to throw on and your color ideas sound really, really cool. Better than the designer ever thought of.

  4. oh, i love seeing stephen west here! every time i’m thinking of starting a new knitting project, i visit this sweater…but i have yet to cast on.

  5. Penguono warning: I recently cast on for one — going for earthy if not quite understated with my scraps — and it is EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE knitting. I have been abandoning the sleeves for my very practical, straightforward cardigan because I can’t wait to see what happens next in the crazy penguono pattern, can’t wait to decide which scrap to work in next.

  6. Oh i heart you! My fingers are crossed that you’ll cast on. I’d selfishly learn so much about how to take things apart and make them my own. An understated West pattern! yes, please!

    But I also vowed to make wearable things (i’m looking at you, grellow yarn!) and understand the appeal of a black pullover!

  7. Do cast on. Knitting should be fun, not a dutiful commitment to your WIPs. I have many many WIPs and UFOs but lots and lots of beautiful FOs as well, and zero guilt. :) My young children remind me it is all about enjoying the moment.

    I do not fancy either the pants or the sweater, but then again I am short and curvy. I think you would rock the Penguono so go ahead and bring your vision to life. Bob has waited many years, he can wait a while longer. ;)

  8. I am totally blown away by the creativity of your neutral/understated Penguono. My vote is for casting on. Whereas the rest is useful knitting, this is art, and as such it will feed your soul in a different way. I see no problem with working on two different “channels.”

    I’m a frequent reader, but this is the first time I’m compelled to post. :)

  9. The Penguono makes me actually like garter stitch again. I made way too many 50′ scarves in garter as I only knew the knit stitch!

    Karen you could totally design/sew a pair of pants like that using your own fabrics and possibly incorporating a bit of fabric panels or binding into the Penguono. Target it for your first project of spring:)

  10. All those different yarns in varying shades of white and off white! Go for it, says I (just because I’m super curious to see what you’ll end up with–especially a boiled wool pocket).

    On the other hand, the rest of your post reminds me that I owe my dad a really nice b-day present and now I have the skills to make a decent, wearable sweater or vest for him. He genuinely loves the garments I make for him and treasures them accordingly, and he’s watched from a distance as my knitting skills have grown over the past year. Time to buckle down and knit a boring man’s vest or whatever and leave the fun (and selfish) stuff for later.

    I still think you should CO the Penguono, though!

  11. An inspired idea. Sounds fabulous to me. I believe in honoring those unusual creative zings from heaven, so I say go for it!

    Oh, and 62 yrs old here, and I absolutely delight in what Stephen West brings to the knitting world.

  12. I have loved this Stephen West pattern since the moment it came out, bought it and yearn over it (and I’m 65 – but an artist, so maybe that changes the preferences… ;) I have no idea if I’d even look good in it. Doesn’t matter! I’m taken with Stephanie’s comment that its extremely addictive. Your idea of muting the colors – that just took me off in a whole new direction and now I must revisit the pattern and my stash with this new view in mind. I, too, LOVE those pants! They would not work for me but I so want to see them on you!

  13. I’m with the devil. Do it! I’ve had the same feeling about this cardigan! I have dreams of making it in grey/black/white so I would LOVE to see your ivory version. I think it’ll look fab. So cool!!!

  14. First of all, I am so happy there are other mature knitters here–I am 66. For the most, I love your aesthetic; in this case, pants no, sweater–oh, how awesome! Cast on!! Do it!
    I refuse to be a 90 year old in my knitting! I love a lot of the fun and funky stuff out there and featured on your blog. I had actually been dying to cast on Bonnie Sennott’s Grille when you happened to feature it. At first glance, I thought the pattern too young! Well, no! Shirt and sweater are a go; leggings, no, but blue jeans will fill in just fine!

  15. Cast on! If we can’t be passionate about a crazy new pattern, life might get very boring indeed.

  16. I am excited to see what you decide and if its cast on looking forward to seeing how your version comes out! I myself have been wanting to make my own Penguino but do not have a large enough stash to bust so would have to buy the bulk of yarn, so sadly this has to wait….

  17. Oh my!!! I have never liked the Steven West aesthetic for myself, but I am always drawn back to this Penguono pattern.. I love the shape, and it seems like so much fun to knit!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of a more monochrome one with textural shifts instead of colors! Why didn’t I think of that! Once again, I thank you for the awesome inspiration. I say cast on! And take lots of pictures please!

  18. Do it if you must, but the pants and the crazy Penguono sweater are seriously ugly. Have you ever considered that these are satires on Fashion? Or maybe just ugly stuff? I still like your blog. :)

  19. The Penguono doesn’t really seem like my style, but that makes me all the more curious to see what you would do with it!

  20. Knit what you want, I say! It’s about the process and enjoying it. Your projects will get done when you are ready to finish them.

  21. I’ve been wearing my eight-yarns-one-sweater a lot during this cold weather, and I have to say, it is really fun to look down and think about the nature of yarn, sheep, the universe. “Natural” as a color is subject to pretty serious genetic dye lot variation!

  22. DO IT!! It will be so fun to knit along with your friend! I can’t wait to see how it comes out in a muted color scheme. I think a lot of people pass over Steven West patterns as “too crazy” but there is something for everyone in there. BTW, thank you so much for your blog and shop and everything you do. It is so inspirational. You have brought many amazing things into my life!

  23. First to Cynthia…What in heavens name are you talking about, there is no “to old”! Woman, close your eyes and Jump in! I promise the water will be wonderful and remember, there are yarns that are inexpensive but nice, I suggest Valley Yarns…but dig in that stash. Stephens designs are wonderful and perfect for stash busting. Karen, Get that Angel or your shoulder to take a vacation, and I suggest you have a bit of a sit down with Bob and teach him to pick up some needles. This is your one chance at a “Captive Student”. If he rebels, I have a Man, and I do mean a persuasive, All American, 6’7″, 275 lb. one, that Knits. He wears a size 17.5 Men’s shoe, try knitting those socks… and while Bob is learning the basics, ( maybe a Craftsy class so you can concentrate) jump in! We’re going to be snowed in for days, well at least where I am in Mountain Home North Carolina (16″ and still counting)! Life should be Fun, OK, at least when you have the chance. I was unable to go to the bank on Friday to get my check deposited and even if I had, nothing is getting delivered…I mean look, I’m already a day behind on you post, But I think you should and if “responsible” you wins out, tell Rebekka, This Mature Woman is Ready! Could be the Answer to major stash busting…..come on, ya know ya want to! I’ll cross my Southern Girl finger and hope! Stay warm, and tell Bob, if a Lefty Like Blaine can do, so can he. I must warn you though, once they start they really get protective of their needles and yarn, Blaine’s favorite Auddi Turbos are not to be touched!

  24. I say knit the sweater with your friend because it will be fun and it will be a fun experience to do together. I wish I had a friend to knit projects with, but I don’t. I’m the only yarn obsessed one in these parts.

    But, I also say have days where you work on your WIPs. Start with your smallest first and knit those. Then move on to the biggest. That way you will be able to max out your time, finish your WIPs, and have fun with your friend.

  25. Wow! I love both the pants and the sweater! If you’re feeling inspired, I say go with it. I sew more than I knit and I really want to make a pair of pants like that now, lol…

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