I am in endless awe of how prolific Fancy Tiger’s Jaime and Amber are. Their ability to finish garment after garment after garment is both intimidating and inspiring. But I want to single out this vest by Amber (aka @fancyamber). She was posting about struggling with it on Instagram awhile back, but I just now read the full story on their blog, and sheesh, talk about ingenuity and determination! This is Kate Davies’ Tortoise and Hare sweater pattern, which is knitted in a tube with three steeks: one for each arm and one for the neck. (For the uninitiated — and you’ll want to be seated for this — a steek is a patch of knitting that is there for the express purpose of being cut open later on.) Amber got as far as cutting open the steeks and pulled the sweater over her head — a sweater painstakingly knitted, using yarn she carried back from Shetland — only to find that it was gigantic in the shoulders. Whereas many of us would have cursed and ripped, Amber picked her scissors back up, cut it down to size, and finished it as a vest. SO INSPIRING. Read the full story here.
You know there has to be some reflection and projection here as the calendar flips over from 2013 to ’14, starting with the patterns that caught my attention over the course of the year. Pretty much every week, under the heading of New Favorites, I post about the patterns that I not only like or admire but that make my fingers twitch with the urge to cast on — whether it’s great new releases, a designer who’s caught my eye, or some gap in my wardrobe or skill set I’m thinking about filling. Clearly I’m fickle, and some are more passing fancies than others. But some of these picks burrow into my brain and simply demand to be knitted. Here are the ones I’m still fixated on — I hope to cast on at least some of them in 2014.
SWEATERS top left: Stonecutter pullover by Michele Wang (Pattern of the Year, as far as I’m concerned) top right: Dwell cardigan by Martin Storey bottom left: Trillium cardigan by Michele Wang bottom right: Rook pullover by Kyoko Nakayoshi
FINGERLESS GLOVES Antiquity mitts by Alicia Plummer
Months ago, when people were Instagramming from The Makerie (as I recall?), I kept seeing pictures of Fancy Tiger’s Amber Corcoran with her neck draped in a brownish scarf-shawl that I desperately wanted a close-up of. But alas, I was left wanting. Until last week, that is, when the Fancy ladies announced a total of six new patterns on their blog, and HOORAY, one of them was Amber’s shawl. It’s called The Imposter’s Shawl and I like it every bit as much as I expected I would. In fact, it’s all I can do to resist casting on before finishing the one already on my needles. Vying for my attention, though, is the other lovely item pictured above, the Radish Hat by Holly Priestley. Love that combo of cables and super-minimal lace.