Laine 5 is here. The magazine itself is a sensory delight. It smells delicious. It feels delicious. The photography is delicious. The designs are delicious. The thing is, I’ve been poring over previous issues of Laine for the past week (in anticipation of issue 5’s release, because I’m a nerd) and what struck me most as I put all of these lovely designs together is that they are the types of pieces you could live in, but they are distinctive. They have unique design elements that set them apart from similar designs. All of this adds up to the stylish insouciance so many of us seem to gravitate to.
Before we get into the knitty gritty of the issue, I do want to tell you that besides some gorgeous patterns, there is also an Edinburgh Travel Guide, a collection of recipes that add up to a delicious and effortless brunch and a profile of Ysolda Teague (future subject of a Designer Crush blog, no doubt). That said, let’s jump in.
Adrift is the first stunner/no-brainer of the collection. Veera Valimaki has brought us countless plays on shape and color over the years in the form of sweaters and shawls (among other things). Adrift is a crescent shaped shawl, worked from the top down with a little less than 900 yards of fingering weight yarn. This piece is a combination of chunks of garter stitch, eyelet and moss stitch, and this adds up to a scrumptious and meditative knit that begs to be knit and worn. Given all the beautiful colors of Baah’s La Jolla we just received, that’s the first yarn I can think of for this project. Of course, Tosh Merino Light is another obvious contender. Birch, Staccato and Cozette are a number of other wonderful choices for this project.
Brennivin is another piece that jumped out at me. This cozy, open cardigan is by Thea Colman (the designer behind Baby Cocktails and another future subject of Designer Crush). Worked in a worsted weight yarn, this piece has inset pockets, a lace panel on the back and flanking the shawl collar. Calling for a worsted weight yarn, I think this piece would be so cozy worked up in Shepherd’s Wool or Falkland Aran. Also consider Kenzie, Woolstok or Shelter for this piece.
Nutkin is a simple pullover with a set in sleeve, with triangular side panels that add a rounded shape to the hem of the sweater, which make for some flattering lines for the wearer. This lovely sweater is knit up with a dk-weight yarn, but at a gauge of 24.5 stitches/4”, I’d be inclined to look at fingering weight yarns for it. This would make for an exceptionally light sweater that could be worn throughout the year. I’d love to see this in something scrumptiously soft like Shibui’s Birch, or in something toothy like Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft.
Elevate is a dramatic bias wrap knit up in a combination of garter and brioche… in two colors. This combination of stitches no doubt yields an incredible abundance of squish. Given the size of this piece, it’s a blanket coat, which is a stylish option because Kate Moss said it is. Elevate is worked up in two colors of dk-weight yarn… and a lot of it. My number one choice for this project has to be Dromedary, which is incredibly light, soft and warm. If you wanted to go all out, can you imagine how dreamy this would be using Shibui’s Maai? I’d probably want to make it in something with a bit more body like Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor, so it’d be a bit more sculptural and hardy. The more I write about this one, the more I want it…
My last favorite of the issue is Svelge, a roomy v-neck pullover with a lace panel. The lace looks like a camisole worn under the sweater, but it’s actually knit into the piece along with the neck shaping. The piece has a drop shoulder, making it an easy fit. You’ll knit this piece up in a fingering weight yarn, using a lace-weight for the lace panel. The sweater is shown with a mohair like yarn used for the lace, and it’s combination would be gorgeous with something like Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft and Shibui’s Silk Cloud for the two parts. But I also think a combination of something like Cozette (wool-free cozy softness) with Brooklyn Tweed’s Vale) would be a wonderful option suitable for warmer weather and climates, but that could be worn all year long. Shibui’s Birch is another go-to choice for the bulk of the sweater, which is astonishingly soft, lovely to knit and wear.
There are five more patterns in this issue and they are all absolutely lovely. There’s a stunning lace shawl and a pair of feminine little socks with the most beautiful little lace pattern. There’s a sweet and chic dress pattern by Marie Greene and two more sweaters that are stunning in their own way. This issue of Laine is, once again, produced with incredible thought and care. It’s a lovely volume for any knitter and fiber enthusiast, regardless of your intent to make something in the issue.
Before I sign off I just want to share an article that made its way through the internet last week about the cost of a knitting pattern. An incredible amount of time and work is put into each pattern, not just by the designer but potentially by a number of other paid knitting experts. Please take the time to, at the least, peruse this article. Too often we hear our knitters complain about the cost of a pattern, or casually offer to make a copy of their own for someone else. The cost of these patterns are marginal, and if we want high quality patterns to be written, we need designers to be encouraged to write them (by getting paid for it).