We’ve known about this for a week or so, and we’ve been bursting to tell the world: the theme for the next Fringe and Friends Knitalong, which begins on January 1, 2018, will be log cabin knitting.
The knitalongs on Karen Templer’s Fringe Association are exceptionally well done. Karen and her panelists dig deep into the chosen pattern. They explore variations of all kinds. They share their thinking and the work of others in the community. Each knitalong becomes a rich, open-ended group experiment in making.
What’s different about this knitalong is that it’s not for a specific pattern or garment; it’s for a technique: log cabin knitting. Knitalongers can use the log cabin technique to knit a blanket, or apply the technique to make an accessory or even a garment.
What Will I Make?
I’ve knit a few log cabin blankets in my day (cough), and enjoyed every one. I know that a blanket is a challenge for some knitters to contemplate, but for me, blankets are a steady source of easy, satisfying knitting. With log cabin blankets, I can play with color and pattern within the safe confines of garter stitch. They may take a while to get done, but they do get done.
For this knitalong, I want to go outside my blanket-y comfort zone. My mind is racing with ideas about how to make a sweater or top using the log cabin technique. The challenge: making something that I’d wear as a part of my everyday wardrobe, not as a log-cabin badge of honor or stunt.
Karen’s sketch (the one on the left) has me thinking of adapting a simple, flowy top or tunic pattern, such as Vasa or Squareish, to log cabin construction. It helps that I’m mad for Sylph right now, and had already encountered these two designs in my search for great patterns for this luscious, drapey blend of linen and cashmere.
The devil (and the fun) is in the details, of course.
What color of Sylph will make the log cabin pattern read clearly, but not too loudly? (Right now I’m thinking of a single color, or two very close shades.)
Which particular log cabin formation is most suitable to a loose, boxy top? Right now I’m thinking that a vertically oriented Courthouse Steps construction (the second cloth in Field Guide No. 4’s Log Cabin Cloths project), which arranges itself into an hourglass shape, will be more flattering than the classic log cabin square. But it will also create more ends to weave in. I haven’t decided which way to go.
Luckily, I’ve got a couple of months to ponder and dream about this design, until the needles-up date: January 1, 2018. In the meantime, I’ll just finish up all my WIPs, real quick-like. Clear the decks!
What Will You Make?
With weeks to go, this is just the starting point for thinking about which pattern to make, or adapt, or whether to use a pattern at all. Here are some options.
- Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin. This is our latest, most concise thinking on How To Log Cabin, in a pocket-sized book that also includes three projects for your consideration. Is this the knitalong that will get you to knit a Ninepatch Blanket? Or just wing it by taking one of the six Log Cabin Cloth patterns and continuing to add patches or strips until you’ve got the blanket of your dreams? Or do you want to tackle the airy, lacy fun of knitting with gossamer mohair, and making a Sommerfeld Shawl with some company to share the journey?
- Log cabin blankets galore. In honor of this knitalong, we’ll soon be releasing some of our most popular log cabin blanket designs: Fussy Cuts, Star-Eyed Julep, Courthouse Steps, Joseph’s Blankie of Many Colors, and two sizes of Moderne Log Cabin Blanket, in single-pattern download versions. And other log cabin blankets already exist in that format: Mitered Crosses, for example.
- Accessories. Ann Weaver has done amazing work with log cabin construction. Two of our favorites are the Albers Cowl and the Albers Shawl, both of which are full of opportunities for color play, variation, and stashbusting. Log cabin knitting, like log cabin patchwork, yields itself to simple improvisation. Even a beginner can create a scarf or wrap simply by knitting pieces onto each other until the desired shape happens.
- Something we have never seen before. Log cabin is open-ended. It’s modular. The possibilities for using it to construct and shape knitting are literally endless. We can’t wait to see what people come up with!