Archive for January, 2012

30
Jan

WIP: Steal this Knit: Socks

Written by Sarah. Posted in blog spotlight, design, gift, knits, life, socks, style, want

Oh goodness, am I turning into Amy over at Threadpanda? I’ve been bitten by the sock bug! But who could blame me? My fantastic boyfriend bought me three skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft for Chanukah (with three skeins of Shelter…I’m still not sure what those will grow up to be). What’s a girl to do when given 825 yards of all-American fingering weight wool yarn (in that creamy-grey-brown Barn Owl colorway)? MAKES SOCKS, OBVIOUSLY.

I’ve had my eye on these gorgeous mustard socks from Toast for a while. I considered holding out for a similar mustard color but I realized I just really love neutrals so this is perfect. The minute I saw those gorgeous socks, I knew I had to make a pair of my own. I feel like I’ve been looking for a lot of knit-spiration recently and for a minute I felt ashamed that I hadn’t thought of this pattern but I am no longer.

Honestly, if there is one reason girls start knitting when they are fourteen it is because they want to make things that they can’t afford to buy. And while I’d love to just throw down the cash for these beautiful knee socks (oh, God, they’re on sale now, too!), I can’t be spending on things like socks when there’s yarn to be bought (clearly, the logic is flawed there but priorities are priorities). I will frankly have way more fun making a pair myself than just buying them. That’s cheating.

Here is one of the first photos of my WIP. Size 1s again with the Loft yarn. And I’m once again using a toe-up pattern I’ve formulated. I don’t think I ever want to knit socks ankle down again. Toe-up is the way to go! It looks kind of sad and shriveled up on the needles but the first sock is now finished and I think it turned out beautifully. My pattern has no cables on the bottom of the foot (cables where you walk sounds just awful to me, I can picture the freaky indentations on my soles). I’ve also included a little twist rib between the big cables since the garter stitch portions don’t look as clean. And also because I just wanted to add as many cables as I could squeeze on there.

I was so afraid that this first sock wouldn’t fit! The cables look so tight, probably from speed-knitting during my pre-coffee train ride. Some of the twists are sloppy but I’m going to change them on the second sock. They won’t match but the second one will look fantastic. Fortunately, this sock is perfectly snug and the yarn feels a lot softer on my foot without a wash than I was expecting. This has kept me from my first case of Second Sock Syndrome. I am knitting on!

Once sock numero dos is finished, there will be pictures a-plenty. These shriveled cables are making me think, I need a sock blocker, pronto. Any suggestions? Do wooden ones really get moldy from damp socks?

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27
Jan

First FO of 2012

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, DIY, holiday, instagram, knits, life, new york city, photos, socks, style, want

Okay, I’m getting behind so I’d better show you my first FO of the year! Of course, I haven’t even posted all of my FOs from 2011 but that will have to wait if I want to stay up-to-date in the new year! If you follow me on instagram, you’ll already have seen these little socks being worked up.

I haven’t written about it much here since the first post but I really am obsessed with knitting socks. They’re just great to have around! I could always use more socks and they’re small so I can work on them on the train and they’re simple so I can work on them while watching a movie without worrying about reading a pattern. They are kind of like little swatches so it’s the perfect place to play around with colorwork and cables.They are just the best thing to keep on the needles. And while I agree with Allyson of Sweatshop of Love that socks are not easily shown off to friends, co-workers, strangers on the C train or in line at the grocery store, it is really impressive to turn a heel like it ain’t no thang while carrying on a full conversation. I knit about five pairs over the last six months of 2011 and I’m pleased with every one of them.

Just before Christmas and the big move, I cast on this pair. I had high hopes for them but I think they got lost in the shuffle of packing and unpacking and the holidays.  I carried them around too much and I put them down for a while. My big plan was to make these little beauties for Jon. I worked out a toe-up pattern with a quick gauge swatch I knitted up and I got to working and everything was fine. I guess I was dizzy with overwhelming thoughts of sugar plums that were going to forget to buy wrapping paper on Christmas Eve so somewhere around the heel I cut things short. At least I think that’s what happened. It could be that my gauge was too tight, as it tends to be with colorwork. Anyway, when I finally bothered to force it onto Jon’s foot, it didn’t fit.

So these socks are mine now. A little big in the heel for me but you can’t tell when I’m wearing shoes.

Obviously, these socks are inspired by the gorgeous Pia Wallen Crux Blanket. I, like so many others, am drooling over those gorgeous symmetrical crosses. So simple and beautiful. Recently, I’ve been using heavy inspiration in my knits. Socks are a great canvas for that, aren’t they?

You can really see the saggy heel here. Oh well!

Let’s see. These were knit on size 1 needles with Lion Brand LB Collection Baby Alpaca in black and natural. I’m sure I’ve said it before but I love LB Collection yarns because they’re soft and the colors are super classy and I like them especially because they’re inexpensive.

 

How do you feel about colorwork socks? Pay attention to your tension!

Thanks, Jon, for taking these beautiful photos of my socks with a real camera while I stood in the windowsill like a crazy knitter! I owe you a pair of socks…that actually fit!

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18
Jan

In Which We Drool Over My VKLive Haul…

Written by Sarah. Posted in instagram, knits, life, new york city, photos, Uncategorized, want, yarn

My dad always talks about  a scene in the movie Moscow on the Hudson. I’ve never seen the whole movie but it stars Robin Williams as a Cold War Russian who defects and lives in New York City. In this scene, he goes to the grocery store to pick up some things for the family he is staying with. He asks the cashier where the line is for coffee, expecting to wait as he did in his homeland, and he’s directed to the coffee aisle. Seeing such a bountiful variety of coffee available in the American supermarket, he starts screaming “Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!” and has a bit of a nervous breakdown.

Walking into the Marketplace at Vogue Knitting Live was kind of the same experience for me.

I wanted time to browse the booths to I arrived about an hour and a half before my first lecture. The first thirty minutes there, I didn’t stop at any of the booths. I just walked around and saw yarn everywhere I turned. Wow. After the initial shock wore off, I actually managed to make it to the Soak booth where I got a temporary tattoo and bought one of those amazing Lorna’s Laces Maven and Heel gift sets I’d been seeing on instagram. I also bought a set of temporary tattoos (about which our friend Andrew said “Knitting-themed temporary tattoos? That’s quite a niche they’ve cornered”). I’m not sure why I bought them since I don’t rock temporary tattoos regularly but I had to.

I made a stop at Mochimochi Land and picked up a tiny hamburger kit! I told Anna all about why a tiny hamburger is the perfect thing to make Jon, about the movie, and the hamburger art I’ve been collecting for him.

I also checked out Stitchuary. I was really looking for unique yarns and spinners, less interested in LYSs. The ladies at Stitchuary were really lovely and their yarns are fantastic. All from local farms which I love. And they almost talked me into buying 2000 yards of this gorgeous undyed grey and brown alpaca for an aran sweater (as if it’s difficult to almost talk me into buying yarn). But I was good. I’m going to wait on that one but I will absolutely be buying from them in the future.

Long Island Livestock Company was one of my favorite booths. Their yarns are delicious but I couldn’t pass up this gorgeous skein. I love the idea that all of the alpacas and sheep are owned and sheared by the same woman. It’s a very traditional feeling. I’m also a sucker for small-batch undyed yarn. I’m not sure if it’s because neutrals are my favorite colors or if it is that I love the animals and I want to show off their natural beauty but I really love undyed yarn!

Each skein has a tag with a photo of the alpaca whos fleece was used in it. I think it’s brilliant. It really shows you how much they care about their animals and how much care goes into the yarns’ production. And, besides, how could I not buy yarn with these adorable little furry faces! And they’re kissing! Take my money, please.

I went to three lectures and one class. (I really went all-in since it was my first VK Live.) Two lectures were about business. One left me feeling discouraged. The other was pretty dry and very technical. I also heard Debbie Bliss speak about designing for babies. I think she’s just adorable and British and she calls diapers nappies. I really enjoyed the Perfect Fit class. Carla Scott of Knit Simple made garment fitting super easy and I actually had a lot of fun drawing little scale drawings of my measurements.

Overall, it was a bit overwhelming but what fun. It was really fun to see so many other knitters and to hear more and more similarities between us. I was sad that I didn’t meet more people. I chatted it up with a few people and a bunch of vendors but I would’ve really liked to meet up with some other knitters. Hopefully soon I can do that, though, and next year I’ll be cruising VK Live with some of you! What did you think? Did you have fun?

Oh, and, this is me:

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13
Jan

This Weekend: Vogue Knitting Live!

Written by Sarah. Posted in food, knits, life, new york city, photos, travel

Happy weekend everyone! WHO IS EXCITED FOR VOGUE KNITTING LIVE!? This girl! If anyone spots me there, come say hey! (I’ll probably be wearing my Larch Cardigan.) I want to meet as many knitters as I can! This is my first VK Live and I don’t even know what to expect. But I plan on petting a lot of yarn and learning a lot.

Last weekend, Jon and I had brunch at Mari Vanna in Union Square with some friends. We’ve had dinner there before but this may have been my favorite brunch ever! $35 bought each of us a buffet of delicious Russian classics and unlimited mimosas! And they were not shy about refilling our glasses. They also infuse their own vodkas which are delicious and they look beautiful. We stayed for four hours…I think that means it’s good! If you’re looking for a fantastic brunch while you’re in town for VK Live, stop by Mari Vanna! Amazing.

What classes are you taking at VK Live? Is this your first time, too?

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05
Jan

FO Larch Cardigan

Written by Sarah. Posted in cardigan, knits, sweater

I’m not really sure where to start! I’m trying to revamp everything for 2012 and I have a lot of new projects coming up in the new year. I guess let’s start by saying that I hope everyone had a great start to the New Year. It sounds like a lot of people were doing the low-key thing this time around. We did too.

Becaaaause we’re so exhausted/exhilarated/busy from our big move. I can’t wait to show you the new apartment. This year is going to be all about redesigning this little gem.

Anyway, maybe I can start by showing you a long-overdue post about my larch cardigan? Tie up the loose ends of last year. It’s been such a long time since I finished it. (Before Thanksgiving!) Let’s see…

The construction of the collar really confused me the first few times I read the pattern. When I finally got my head around it, I realized how brilliant it was! The collar is worked around the neckline and then back and forth picking up a little more on either side to make a really beautiful roll collar. I’ve never knit anything will a roll collar so I love it!

The beautiful tortoise buttons are from an adorable little you’ll-miss-it-if-you-don’t-know-it’s-there button store on the Upper East Side called Tender Buttons. I’m so in love. It’s one of those shops that doesn’t really exist anymore and is so small and unique it feels like magic. They are just wall to wall buttons! And all kinds including some vintage and antique wonders. I bought about 4 buttons just in case something unfortunate happens to the ones I put on.

I’m not terribly pleased with how the cardigan fits across my chest when the buttons are done. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not the size I thought I was or if my gauge wasn’t spot on. Maybe the length isn’t right? I was going for something tighter than I usually wear as I’m trying to break the giant comfy sweater habit (at least when I’m going out.) It’s not that bad but I think another more serious blocking will do the trick on it. I’m pleased otherwise.

So love how this MadTosh knit up. How many times can I say that? I’ll say it again. It’s tops.

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