Liz Hobin Spins a Yarn About Her 5 Favorite Weaves
All in stitches.
You’d think designing—and hand-knitting—scarves could get a little repetitive (translation: blah), but not for Liz Hobin, the woman behind the cozy cowl-focused label Jimmy + Maeve. “I feel so close to each piece that it doesn’t really get boring for me. But to keep it interesting for other people, I am always messing around with different stitches and colorways,” she explains. These are five ways she helps keep the romance alive. —alisha prakash
“This is a classic rib stitch, just jumbo-sized. I love using this stitch to really bring out the piece’s color. I also like how the distinctive folds give it the appearance of a hand-held fan or accordion.”
“This is a classic stockinette stitch—it gives a nice flat look. It is commonly done on a machine, and most garments are made from this stitch. I like it because it’s clean.”
“I like this moss stitch because it appears a little wilder and more natural than others. It gives the illusion of an escalator with its diagonal lines.”
“This is also a rib stitch, but because it’s a tighter knit, it appears to be a stockinette stitch. If you stretch the piece out, you will see the rib.”
“A seed stitch gives the piece a beautiful texture. I love using it for edging on sweaters…or covering a whole piece in it.”
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The People Who Inspired Jimmy + Maeve
A bundle of Maeves and one (T.V.!) Jimmy.
Liz Hobin is the designer behind the ultra-comfy scarf line Jimmy + Maeve. So why the hail did she name it that anyway? “Maeve is an Irish name that ladies have carried for generations in my family,” says Liz. “It means ‘she who intoxicates’ in Gaelic.” As for Jimmy—you’re just going to have to read on… —alisha prakash
“This black-and-white photo is the oldest of the Maeves that I could find. She is my grandfather’s mother, and the photo was taken in Ireland in the early 1900s. She was a knitter and a seamstress who used to make the most amazing capes. Her mother was also Maeve.”
“The newest of the Maeves is Maeve Brown. She is currently three years old and just started preschool in Arizona. She is the daughter of my cousin Jasmine, and she is as sweet as they come.”
“Jimmy means ‘a thing on ice cream’—but that’s not why I chose the name. Besides Jimmy from Boardwalk Empire being fine-as-hell in every way, the name James was going to be my name if I was born a boy. It didn’t happen, but I have always felt a close bond with that name. Maybe my first born boy—or girl—will end up being a James…”
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Jimmy + Maeve
“Making has always just been a part of my life,” says Liz Hobin, the creative force behind the one-year-old scarf-centric line Jimmy + Maeve. Raised by a grandmother who showed her the knitting ropes and a master-quilter mother, Liz, with her “genetic instinct to create,” was pretty much destined to go the DIY route, and, after leaving L.A. to study public health in SF and Portland, she settled down in Greenpoint in 2010 and established her label in 2011.
But, really, why scarves? As Liz explains, “coming from L.A., living in Brooklyn means a big comfort sacrifice that I’m not willing to accept—scarves are like comfort food.” So much so that Liz spent the entire summer knitting scarves on the beach. “I’m inspired by anxiety—if I’m not making something or reinventing a project, I go crazy,” she says.
Don’t let her fool you: Jimmy + Maeve, made of the softest materials Liz can find—wool, alpaca, cashmere, merino—is not just a Xanax alternative. It’s a biz, with a team of three hand-knitting from her studio, which, conveniently enough, happens to be located in her apartment. The ultimate goal: “I want it to be like having a blanket for your neck and face,” she says. —alisha prakash