A few nights ago (at our W&G Book Group, which was absolutely lovely) one of the readers asked about “what’s hot” with the experienced knitters these days. Laine magazine is the first and most resounding thought that came to my mind. There seems to be unbridled enthusiasm about this new-ish knitting periodical. An intense amount of hype leads up to its release. Mary Sue asked me at an especially appropriate moment, as teasers for Issue 6 of Laine had just recently come out. And it just so happens to Laine Issue 6 is being released today.
The hype is well-deserved. Laine is less like a magazine, more like a treasured book. Published in Finland and printed in Estonia, we look forward to word of its progress and release across the Atlantic. Printed on gorgeously thick and smooth paper, I’ve mentioned before that it smells delicious (to paper-junkies like me, I suppose). The photographs are artful and beautiful. Knitting patterns feature new and renowned knitwear designers alike, and issues always include travel guides, recipes and other thoughtful articles about the fiber world.
When Mary Sue asked about something for “experienced” knitters this especially came to mind. It’s not that Laine magazine isn’t for new knitters. In fact, this is just the type of book/magazine I gravitated toward as a new knitter – it should inspire all of us to be better knitters. It’s format alone is not the instant-gratification-stuff we’ve come to expect from Ravelry and the online availability of patterns. It’s like a book – and with all of its come-hither qualities, it’s asking to be read. That said, the patterns are divine. This issue is gorgeous. Let’s find out some of the highlights.
This new issue contains 12 beautiful patterns, and the projects were beautifully photographed throughout Iceland. An Icelandic travel guide and profiles of Nancy Marchant (the queen of brioche) and Kristen Ford (creator of Woolfolk yarns) supplement the stories told by these patterns.
No doubt, Joji Locatelli’s cabled cardigan pattern is a highly anticipated piece. Sideways features clever sideways, seamless construction for this piece. Worked in an aran-weight yarn, I immediately imagined this piece knit up in Blue Sky’s Extra or Juniper Moon’s Fourteen. Although construction is less than conventional, this piece would be a breeze for any confident cabler. I particularly like the note in the pattern about the importance of swatching and blocking your swatch! Anyone who has talked to me at the beginning of their own sweater-knitting adventure should know that I strongly agree with this.
Elfriede is a cozy, asymmetrical shawl pattern from Shannon Cook, a knitwear designer who has become much more visible since the release of her Veronika cardigan pattern last year. Elfriede features a simple lace pattern. A strong border of reverse stockinette stitch has a clean slip-stitch stripe over it. Written for a worsted-weight yarn, the world is your oyster as you look for a great yarn for this project. Pure Bliss Falkland Aran and Madeline Tosh Vintage immediately come to mind for their great stitch definition and softness. As a Brooklyn Tweed addict, I can imagine heavenly results using either Shelter or Arbor. HiKoo’s Kenzie will still give you beautiful stitch definition with its “fleckled” quality and the hint of fuzz that blooms after blocking. There are so many beautiful worsted weight (or light worsted options) that it’s hard to go wrong on a piece like this.
The cover piece is Selenite, an open cardigan worked in reverse stockinette stitch with a simple lace motif along the raglan “seams”. I love these pieces, and this sort of cardigan is just the thing I want to live in right now, as the weather transitions from summer to fall. Written for a DK-weight yarn at a slightly open gauge, the fabric suggests its meant for just this. Once again, consider HiKoo’s Kenzie for this piece. Also consider Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor, Juniper Moon’s Dromedary or even the new Metal Tweed from Gedifra.
I’m seriously into the bobble sweater by Rosa Pomar. It’s a simple, raglan sleeve pullover made special with its tidy little bobbles throughout. It’s like serious work-horse of a sweater that wants to have some fun. Just my thing! Take a look at Shepherd’s Wool, Arbor, Dromedary, Kenzie once again for this whimsical piece.
My prediction is that Sari Nordlund’s Poet is the big winner of this issue. A gorgeous lace front and back dominate this feminine sweater – it also has half-sleeves and a side neckline. It wears like a blouse and less like a sweater. It also makes people like me, who prefers a more stark aesthetic, want to embrace some femininity for this piece. Written for a fingering weight yarn, consider knitting up Poet in something like Shibui’s Birch, Madeline Tosh TML, Cozette, and Brooklyn Tweed’s Peerie or Loft – to name a few. I know I’m imagining a version of this for myself, and can’t quite hone in one which of these wonderful choices is the best choice for me.
When I first peeked through the magazine, I felt like a drooling cat when I laid eyes on Vav. It’s obvious from a quick glance that it’s knit up in Brooklyn Tweed’s Quarry, which is so satisfying in its softness and quick-to-knit-up qualities. I like the clean straight herringbone lines of this generously sized wrap. I also like that its bulky-weight implies that it’ll be a relatively quick knit. If you don’t feel like working with Quarry, also consider knitting it up in Fourteen or Extra. All will lead to deliciously warm wraps for you.
The other pieces in this issue are as glorious as all the others I mentioned. Please take a look at them for yourself. Issue 4 of Laine was a HUGE hit, and I have a strong feeling that this new issue will be as big a hit – so get yours while you can. Don’t forget – you can buy your issues in the store or online!