I just realised that this month it has been a year since I published the Simple House Slippers pattern, and what a year! Writing the pattern was a pretty isolated experience of researching, test knitting and generally just being submerged in the thing. Which was then magnificently contrasted when I gave it over to this great community of people who has picked it up, recreated, build and shaped it a million different ways making it their own in the process. During the year the slippers have been used by several LYS’s to teach people how to knit, it has been translated into Korean and German, and on Ravelry and Instagram an ever expanding treasure trove has been build with images of Simple House Slippers. It also made it’s way around the knitting blogs, podcasts and videocasts at a rate where I must admit to kind of loosing track a little bit. The whole thing has warmed and inspired me beyond what I can actually formulate.
I started working on this pattern because I fell in love with a similar pair of slippers a good friend of mine had bought in a second hand shop. They were obviously old, handknit and felt sooo familiar and classic. I searched for a pattern and even though I found many almosts and not quites I couldn’t find this to me kind of mythical folk basic. So I decided to make my own, and while I definitely added a lot things to it (the toe for example) I don’t think I will ever feel like it came 100% from me. It is a classic, folksy pattern with an actual history and that to me makes it even better. Many of you have commented that your mom, grandma or neighbor used to have and love a similar pair which makes me think that at some point it might have been the kind of model that was spread by oral tradition, from a family elder or maybe even in primary school householding classes etc. as a simple wardrobe basic. Of course I don’t know that for sure but never the less it is now in my, and many of yours, knitting repertoire as a pattern to be revisited whenever there are cold feet to warm or extra TLC to be shown. It is absolutely all the things I love about knitting rolled into one.
Many of you have made the coolest modifications and amongst my favorites are Vanessa/Killtocraft‘s brown pair with added fluffy lining and Dawn/ladybythebay’s purple slippers with the cutest added leather soles that she made after completely wearing out her first pair. The yarn picked for hard wearing items like slippers is super important and both of these illustrate that splendidly. Now I am off to knit myself some new slippers to warm my bare summer feet at night, as I have somehow managed to misplace the “left foot” of all the 3 pairs I knit for myself *face palm*.
Images from the top to bottom/left to right
○ Dawn who writes the blog Lady by the Bay‘s first pair in naturally dyed Moeke yarn
○ Raina/rainingsheep added Pom Poms. POM POMS!
○ Diana Wala used a beautiful subdued marl
○ knit heroine Rosa Pomar‘s saturated teal slippers makes me rethink all my color issues
THE TEST HAS BEEN FILLED!
Like I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve been in the process of finalising a couple of patterns for a while and now it is time to send one into the world! First up is a test knit of my yet to be named Summer top. So if you need a holiday project or a knitting adventure (who doesn’t?) don’t hesitate to write me, I can help! I am looking for 2 testers to knit every size (10 in all) over the next month while of course staying in contact with me. The pattern is simple but interesting, and I don’t suppose the test will be any different. Or it might be like that movie San Andreas in which case I will try to at least get The Rock involved… Ok dad jokes asides here is the nitty gritty.
Some words on Yarn, Gauge and Needles
This pattern is not written for one specific yarn instead I want it to work with Summer fibers like Cotton, Linen or Silk. For this test I would like it to be knit up in a variety of yarns, not just the Silk that I used, and actually also different weights!
How does that work? Well for my sample I used this very skinny lace weight Raw Silk which gave me a drapey, light and just shy of opaque fabric, perfect to wear over bikini tops when it is hot out. Because these kinds of yarns have very little give they won’t fill out the stitch the same way woolen yarns do and generally the stitches tend to be bigger. Which in turn means that knitting with these fibers on small needles will give the same gauge as a woolen yarn on larger needles. For example my lace weight Silk, knit on 2mm needles gave me a gauge equivalent to a Fingering/Sport weight yarn according to Ravelrys standards. Like I mentioned it isn’t 100% opaque, which leaves some wiggle room for other weights. So I wondered wether I might be able to use a heavier but equally unspringy yarn and still get gauge and more importantly a wearable fabric. I tested it with a light fingering weight recycled cotton yarn (400m as oppose to the silks 800m pr. 100g.) from my stash and got exact gauge using 2.5 mm needles! As is to be expected the fabric isn’t as drapey as the lace silk, but has the benefit of being completely opaque. Despite the weight difference both fabrics are great and would compliment the pattern well.
The idea of sliding between different yarn weights and getting more or less open knits as a result is of course nothing new and just a part of knitting. However I want to make sure that it is actually build into the testing process, especially since the pattern is not tied to a specific yarn. Hopefully this will make the whole thing more of an adventure. A rummage through the stash, find a gem and get going kind of adventure.
If you want to know more about knitting with these kinds of yarns, I recommend Elizabeth Dohertys excellent post about linen on the Quince and Co. blog which definitely applies here.
- Gauge: 27 stitches x 38 rows for 10 cm x 10 cm (4″ x 4″)
- Sizes: 80 – 88,8 – 96,2 – 103,7cm ; 31,4 – 34,9 – 37,8 – 40,8″ (bust circumference)
So what do you need to join?
- 80-200g of Summer Yarn (Cotton, Linen or Silk) that will lay flat. It has to be a thinner yarn, anything light Fingering and below should work. Solid/heathered colors work best with this pattern.
- A needle that will get you on gauge. Depending on your yarn anything between 2mm to 3mm (0-2 US).
- Time to knit and finish it over the next 4 weeks and a want to communicate, ask and answer questions. It is also a total plus if you are familiar with ravelry and instagram and like to use it.
- The pattern is appropriate for slightly advanced beginners to intermediate knitters, but for testing purposes it is important that you have at least some experience knitting from patterns.
If you want to join me on this little knitting adventure send an email to email@example.com and I’ll send more information your way!
The brand new ready to wear line Khaite has got me sighing so hard. More specifically that boiled Cashmere oversized cardigan in the above pic *insert moan*. From what I can demise it is produced locally in the US, with at least some of the sweaters knit by hand (!) in New York City, which is a nice touch. It is of course priced accordingly (that sweet as cardi is 1.250 bob…) but I am totally contend with looking at it and drawing inspiration from the feel of the designs. There is something so tactile and soothing about that light camel knit.
In this New York Times article Catherine Holstein, the woman behind the label who apparently used to design knitwear for the Gap talks about rooting her designs in great materials and craftsmanship which is a way of thinking I can definitely relate to. Leaving space for the wool to do it’s thing is something that I am constantly trying to get better at, both when I am choosing what patterns to knit or designing my own. Striking the balance of making something that is clean and not overdesigned while still being interesting is, in my book, way harder and more daring than it is to hide behind loads of bells and whistles. It is all about trusting the material and proportions to work toward something that is ultimately just really pleasing to wear. As I am getting deeper and deeper into this designing thing (I AM! Did I tell you?) these thoughts are in the forefront of my mind. Especially the marriage between simple wearable garments and a pattern that I as a knitter actually want to knit. Not to mention everybody else who might not be as in love with working tons of stockinette on tiny needles as I am. But alas my goal is ultimately to end up with a beautiful and easy wardrobe so that has to be the focus. This suave cardigan would so be a welcomed guest in my closet. Ah dreams.
Last year I wrote a bit about my infatuation with Summer knitwear and more generally Summer knitting. I still think it is the bees knees so I thought I’d revisit the theme and share some of my new infatuations. Up until that time I hadn’t really considered wearing knits as a viable option for warm weather, thinking it too hot and thick and uncomfortable to really work. What I was missing was probably some appealing examples which started popping up all over the place. Not to mention a deeper knowledge of summer yarns like Silk, Cotton and Linen. When I finally got it I fell obsessively in love. In fact it was exactly like that time Freddie Prince Jr. fell for Rachel Leigh Cook in She’s All That. You know after she had that epic makeover of basically removing her glasses and letting down her hair. EXACTLY like that… I am apparently that shallow, never the less I’ve been looking forward to summer knitting all year.
So what am I working on? Right now I am in the process of finalising this summer tank pattern that I talked about in the aforementioned post (yup it took me A WHILE to get to), I hope to have more on that later in the week. As for current projects on my needles, I am deep into knitting the dolman sleeved Kimono of my dreams. It is one strand Raw Silk and one strand Isager Alpaca, which makes it a very soft and drapey knit without it being too warm. My intention is to fill a gap in my summer wardrobe and the shoulder seasons for whenever I need to layer, which is basically all the time. It will hopefully be my companion for breezy walks to the ocean, chilly evenings in the garden or just cocoon like snuggling on the couch. I am making it because I want to wear it but I decided to write down the pattern as well.
As I am nearing the end of my Kimono knit I’ve been thinking a lot about what is next in my summer knitting queue. Besides just generally being inspired by the images here (knitted romper…whaaa) I think that I am ultimately choosing between an oversize T-Shirt in Raw Silk held double (think a drapier knitted version of the Linn sweater) which has been floating around in my mind for a while or Jess Schreibstein‘s brilliant Beach Tank pattern. Both would be perfect pallet cleansers after riding this quite monogamous Kimono love wave.
What are your knitting plans for the Summer?
Photos are from top to bottom
○ Editorial from Zeum Mag
○ Uniqlo x Lemaire top
○ Caumont top from Aritzia
○ Base Range camisole romper (sadly not available anymore)
Oh has it been a while!
First I just gotta say that this is such a weird post to write. The whole quintessential “sorry for the quiet” thing. It is the Mac and Cheese of blog posts. Classic but sooo basic. I’ve definitely read many and most likely written a few myself and now it seems I can’t shape a sentence without it being the absolute biggest kliché. So I’ll keep it simple and let you know what’s been going on so we can get on with the program. I have so many things to share but I feel like a big HELLO AGAIN and a little update is probably in order first.
When I started this site last year I was in the process of moving to Sweden with my boyfriend Christopher. Our rent in Copenhagen was too damn high as it tends to be in the city. So we decided to rethink our situation. If we lived in the country we would have smaller expenses and could increase our time spent on making art, touching fiber and just be in nature. It has always been a dream of mine to be more self sufficient, to grow stuff and actually see the moon every night. We decided that the time was now and borrowed a little guesthouse from Chris’s mom who lives in southern Sweden, our location of choice, and basically spend most of our time searching for a place of our own. On the side we build two small businesses to keep from going broke. I think of the whole process a bit like how people describe the military; break everything down and then rebuild. There was basically no structure or familiar routines to hold onto there for a while, which was equally exciting and scary. As I wrote in my first post here I had been and still was without a home of my own so this site served as a kind private space where I had the ultimate say. My anchor of sorts.
October last year we finally found a house on the coast and fell in love completely. It was (and totally still is) old, big and completely run down. The area is a perfect mix of sea, oak trees and fields lined with stonewalls so I really dont mind. We begun renovating to bring it up to a liveable standard as well as continuing work on our start-up businesses. This is about the time I decided to press the pause button on the blog, there was a lot of life getting in the way. Now we’ve gotten rid of a literal ton of musty 70´s linoleum, relocated a bunch of mice and have happily moved in. I’m starting to feel more and more settled and have even fixed myself an office space to work from. There is time and headspace to knit and design again so I think it is time to press play. I just realised that Temple of Knit turned 1 a few weeks ago and I didn’t even notice. Maybe the best way to celebrate the anniversary is to bring it back to life. I’ve definitely missed it.
Hope you’re all doing great!