FO Sightings: Fancy Amber’s heroic vest

Fancy Amber's heroic vest

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.


PREVIOUSLY in FO Sightings: Kathy Cadigan’s Jón hat

2013: My favorite New Favorites and your favorite posts

Best of New Favorites: Sweater patterns

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.

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

Best of New Favorites: Fingerless gloves

Antiquity mitts by Alicia Plummer

Best of New Favorites: Scarf/shawl patterns

left: Flying Squirrel stole by Michiyo
right: Imposter’s Shawl by Amber Corcoran

Best of New Favorites: Sock patterns

left: Climb socks by Jane Richmond
right: Cream socks by cabinfour

The hats I am most persistently obsessed with were both mentioned on the blog, but neither of them in New Favorites. They are the Bray Cap by Jared Flood and Gwyneth by Leah McGlone.


And speaking of favorites, here are the ten posts that attracted the most views over the course of 2013:

1. How to improvise a top-down sweater
2. Holiday knitting cheat sheet: A hat for every head
3. Best summer sweater knitting patterns
4. Double Basketweave Cowl (free pattern)
5. New Favorites: Simply Great Cowls
6. Scarves to start now
7. Wabi Mitts (free pattern)
8. Fast, easy and warm: Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection (free patterns)
9. Knitter’s Delight: Beautifully textured hats
10. Holiday knitting cheat sheet: Cowls all around


New Favorites: Fancy Tiger’s sweet shawl and hat

Fancy Tiger Imposter's Shawl and Radish Hat knitting patterns

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.


This week’s ICYMI post is Blog Crush: L.A. in Bloom — I was excited to see that Heather Taylor is one of the weavers included in the new One King’s Lane collection I keep hearing about, so congrats to her!