Archive for January, 2013
If you follow the Kollabora blog, you already know that I made a newbie headband of my own. Team Kollabora was nice enough to send me a kit along with the one that I gave away so that I could put my own spin on the simple design.
The pattern is incredibly simple: just a garter stitch band sewn together. It’s definitely a great beginner project because it’s not something that will live discouragingly on your needles forever like your first scarf did. (Does anyone even like knitting scarves?) But it’s really wearable and would give any level knitter a feeling of accomplishment.
I whipped it up pretty quickly in about an hour so I decided to add a little bow, just to make things a little bit more fun.
Here’s what I did: After completing the headband as per the instructions, I cast on 14 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch for about 8 inches. I sewed the cast on and bind off edges together (as I had for the headband) and then wrapped them with yarn to make a little bow. Finally, I sewed the bow onto the headband. And, voila!
Do give the pattern a go! It’s such a fun project and really easy to customize.
What would your spin on this simple headband be?
Still dreaming about Vogue Knitting Live? Me too. I had a really awesome time this year at my second VKL. I accomplished all of my goals and I wasn’t completely overwhelmed like last year. Of course, I realized that I hardly took any photos while I was there. I was a little focused on shopping (oops).
I met up with Maria of Subway Knits (her amazing VKL post is under that link. She took awesome photos!) and she invited me to the podcaster meet up where I spent some time sharing the haul with Kim, Steph, Sharon, and Dana. It was great to meet some other New York knitters. I hope to get together with them again for the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair!
Let’s talk about the yarn, though, shall we? That’s what you’re here for.
My first stop was at Long Island Livestock. After falling in love with the yarns and adorable alpaca faces that come with them, I had to stop by their booth. (Last year I bought this salve that I put on my lips and cuticles every night. It’s delicious.) This year, I got to chat with Tabitha before things got busy and she told me about the fiber fair. (If any of you in the city are interested in going, they’ve organized a bus from Manhattan and Brooklyn!) I can’t wait to visit her farm. They are lovely people!
I discovered North Light Fibers from Block Island. Their yarns were all really wonderful. I could only afford to buy these two skeins but they’re definitely destined to become a sock. I guess I’ll work them two at a time so I don’t run out of yarn! That orange/brown/cream colorway reminds me of hiking (not that that’s something that I do…hiking around Brooklyn, I guess). It’ll be a really fun way to bring an outdoorsy hunter vibe to the city.
Dropped by to say hello at the Kollabora booth. It was full of people! So great to see. I bought my mom a skein of purple Donegal merino tweed because it’s purple (her favorite color) and from Ireland. (I gave it to her the day after so I didn’t have a chance to take any photos. I can’t wait to see what she makes, though!)
I chatted for a while with Jill Draper. (It was one of the many times during the day when I said “It’s nice to finally meet you in person!”) Her yarns are so cool and she is really sweet. Her booth was twice the size since last year. I couldn’t help myself from picking up this awesome superwash merino. Even her friend who was manning the booth grabbed it from me and drooled.
I don’t think these photos do justice to how fantastic the colors are in here. The pink is really bright and almost fluorescent but perfectly balanced with the other colors. I don’t usually go for variegated yarns but this one was calling me. I can’t wait to buy more of Jill’s yarn. (I was really enjoying the woolier yarns but when I’m buying single skeins – as I do at these things – I like to buy something that could at least be turned into a sock. Socks are my go to when I have a few hundred yards to work with!)
After debating for a while, I also picked up one of these awesome Japanese pattern books. I can’t read Japanese and the charts look intimidating but just looking at the patterns is fun. I really love just every single one of the patterns in those books. Kudos to the ladies at the Kinkokuniya booth for explaining to every other person that the books are not in English, sorry!
The day was exhausting but so much fun. It was great to know my way around a little better and have proper ideas of what I wanted to accomplish and who I wanted to visit. Most of all, meeting so many people (in real life) was so great. I’m all over Twitter and this blog, chatting it up but I don’t really belong to any stitch and bitch groups (yet) and hanging out with some really cool knitters made me realize that that is something I’d like to get into this year. I’m just going to surround myself with you wonderful knitters because I just don’t have enough right now!
Did you go to Vogue Knitting Live? What was your favorite part?
Tags: Block Island, Donegal, Jill Draper, Kinkokuniya, knitting circles, kollabora, Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair, Long Island Livestock, North Light, podcast, stitch-and-bitch, Subway Knits, superwash merino, Vogue Knitting Live
Jon and I are moving to Williamsburg in less than a week! Can you believe it? We’ve lived in Manhattan for three years now and I will be sad to leave our awesome little apartment. When I leave the building every morning, I see people jogging and walking their dogs across the street and I wonder how we got so lucky as to find a tiny home of our own, with the most famous park in the world at our front door. I’m always reminding myself that I’m not dreaming (usually, I realize I’m awake when I trip over the coffee table or bang my knee into the bed frame because, boy, is this place cozy!) and that this is my real life. (Am I gushing? I get really emotionally attached to apartments. I cried the night before we moved into this apartment. So many memories!) I’m sad to let this charming steal go but we couldn’t be more excited about the new apartment and the fantastic neighborhood. It’s changed a lot since I lived there last but so have I!
We’ve been making a lot of plans for the new place. We’re going to build some custom furniture and we’re thinking about painting the walls black again (since repainting the bedroom back to all white, it looks flat and sad). These plans will take some time and we’re on a pretty strict budget. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming! Here are some things I’d put into my dream Knit House.
1. Knit Wallpaper by Fargerike
2. Mid-century Bed Frame from West Elm
3. Tripod Wood Floor Lamp from West Elm
4. Knitter Pouf from CB2
5. Caitlan Chair from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
6. Birgit duvet cover and pillowcases by Ikea
As you can tell, we’re going for a midcentury, dramatic look with lots of neutrals and pretty, maybe reclaimed wood. Our real apartment will rely much more on DIY but that will be a fun project for us! Also, if this were my dream knit house, it would have one floor just or yarn and six tape measures in every room. I couldn’t put those into the nifty graphic, but they’re there.
What would you put in your dream house?
ps. In case you missed this floating around the knitterverse: Ponies wearing Cardies.
Hi, all! I said I was going to announce the Kollabora giveaway winner yesterday. I did not. I had off from work so I spent the whole day packing for our move and repainting the bedroom walls (so we can get our security deposit back). Anyway, being a big fat liar aside, without further ado, the winner of the Kollabora kit is Emma!
In other news, I went to Vogue Knitting Live this weekend. It was a blast. Got to chat with so many knitters, got to introduce myself to so many people that I’ve known through the blog and Twitter but hadn’t met face to face (what a strange feeling that is!). Everyone was just lovely. I touched a lot of yarn. I found some new brands and independent dyer/spinners that I fell for. I said “hi” to a few that I already knew and already love. It was great.
artwork by Jo Hamilton at VKL
In keeping with today’s theme of me being a terrible blogger, I didn’t take any photos of all of the stuff I bought. (I didn’t think I’d buy that much yarn since I didn’t buy A SINGLE THING at Rhinebeck – crazy, I know…maybe I was sick – but being by myself and without the stress of shooting all day, I guess I felt a little more at ease and ready to add to my stash.) Again, guys, I packed up, like, half of my apartment this weekend. I have a really good excuse. But I will post photos as soon as I have some nice light because I bought some really fun yarn that may actually become garments instead of just stash that I like to touch.
Anyways! Congrats to Emma! Enjoy that headband kit! I actually just finished making mine and it’s a really quick, fun project. (The pattern, for those of you who still want to cast on is FREE right here! Did I mention that before? Now you know.) And thank you to Kollabora for supplying the awesome kit!
Were you at VKL? What did you buy? Are you following me on Kollabora?
Not much to write about today since I’m antsy to get to Vogue Knitting Live! I have been SO busy, that VKL completely snuck up on me. I almost wish I had more time to enjoy it. Last year was my first VKL. I had a really awesome time, although I was overwhelmed! I’ve decided to pace myself this year. I’m only taking one, all-day class. I have a (vague, negotiable) budget that I want to stick to so that I don’t buy too much yarn (there’s no such thing as too much yarn).
Since I haven’t loaded up on classes and stash-building, I want to focus on meeting other knitters. Of course, I plan on learning in Connie Chang Chinchio’s sweater design class. But I really want to spend my time meeting up with friends and getting to know other knitters, bloggers, podcasters, dyers, designers, all of you! You know that’s what I’m all about!
I’ll see you all at VKL! I’d love to meet you so please say hello! (I’ll be wearing an Amy Christoffers design, duh!) I have all of these really cool business cards with my logo and I want to give them away! Let’s hang out!
Stay tuned! I’ll report back with details from this year’s Vogue Knitting Live!
Are you going to Vogue Knitting Live? What classes are you taking? Did you decide on what you’re wearing?
ps. You have until noon to enter the Kollabora giveaway! Tell your friends!
I started drooling when I saw November’s Vogue UK photo shoot with Jennifer Lawrence. Beside the fact that I think she’s beautiful and hilarious and she’s the number one celebrity I’d like to be friends with (number two is Amanda Seyfried because, have you seen this?). (Congrats on your Golden Globe, Ms. Lawrence! I didn’t see Silver Linings Playbook because football is boring but I can’t wait to see you and B Coop in Serena!) But this is not just an excuse to talk about how much I love The Hunger Games (because you already know), there were some damn good knits in there.
Everyone, stop what you’re doing and look at this FANTASTIC fisherman sweater by Ashley Williams. I’ve never thought of doing colorwork cables because I haven’t seen any that I’ve liked but I LOVE the way that they look on this sweater. Definitely going to try something similar. I can’t tell you how exciting this piece is to me. Great choice by fashion editor Francesca Burns.
I’m also a big fan of this waffle sweater by Bottega Veneta. It’s something I’d definitely love to make myself in a soft and squishy yarn.
Check out all of the photos by Alasdair McLellan here. There’s a great cabled turtleneck sweater by Christopher Kane that you can buy for the low, low price of $637. Pin all of those damn pictures and droll over them and then use the rest of 2013 to recreate them. Then walk around pretending you’re Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, don’t do that. I won’t be doing that. That would be weird. You can read about the shoot here if you’re curious about any of the other sweaters or accessories.
Which sweater is your favorite? How do you feel about colorwork cables? Are you friends with Jennifer Lawrence?
ps. Have you entered the Kollabora giveaway yet!?
pps. Did you hear that Ryan Gosling loves knitting?
To kick off 2013, Kollabora asked me to be a part of their Learn to Knit Campaign. They’re encouraging everyone to learn a new skill which is awesome. I’ve taught countless people how to knit over the years and I am fascinated by the way that the craft has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s really incredible that more and more people are learning to knit and building their skills through sites like Kollabora, Youtube, and other blogs. I’m definitely always learning new things from the community on Twitter and the comments you leave me here. It’s just the same as how my mother gave me advice on my projects but on a global scale.
As part of the campaign, Kollabora is hosting a beginner project knit-a-long. All of their patterns have great project kits and detailed instructions including videos. I’m going to be making this headband. I just got my kit in the mail over the weekend and I am very excited to cast on and show you my customized headband.
Want to get in on the knit-a-long? Kollabora has been nice enough to supply a kit for one of you lovely readers! Their kit is adorable and the project is fun and quick, even if you’re an advanced knitter.
In fact, this would be a great gift for an experienced knitter to give to someone that’s curious, maybe a daughter or son or a friend that’s always ogling your knitting. Or you could customize the otherwise simple project to make something unique and exciting for yourself.
To enter to win the kit, leave a comment below telling me about the first thing you ever knit (or if you’ve never knit anything at all, that’s even better) by Friday 1/18 at 12pm EST. (Make sure you include your email or some way I can contact you!) I’ll chose the winner by random number generator and announce the lucky knitter next week.
Apartment hunting is so stressful in this city. And I feel a cold coming on. That being said, I don’t have the energy for a proper post today. And I think I could use a laugh.
When Amy Christoffers releases a new pattern, we’re just like:
When another one of my friends asks if I’ll knit them that hat with the beard attached, I want to be like:
I don’t mean to hate on the beard hats. But, come on, people!
Have a great weekend!
When my good friend Allison had a twelve hour layover in New York back in November, I was delighted! She and I, on average, only see each other once a year and this would be our third get together in 2012. (For a moment, I thought it was a sign of the Mayan apocalypse. A chance I was willing to take!) I am so jealous that she is often traveling the world and her most recent trip was to Iceland!
While she originally promised to bring me a sheep, I guess it was for the best that she just picked up yarn since we’re not allowed to have pets in my building.
The yarn she brought me is, of course, made in Iceland. I can’t read anything on the label besides the fact that it’s Lopi Alafosslopi which is a bulky weight 100% Icelandic wool. It’s delicious. It’s wooly and thick and has that tough, warm, scratchy feeling that makes wool so incredible. It’s basically like a big ball of sheep.
Since hearing about Allison’s adventures eating delicious yogurt and seeing beautiful landscapes of Iceland, I’m dying to go there. I’d looove to visit the Textile Museum and maybe hang out with some sheep. Honestly, doing those two things would be a perfect vacation for me. I would be quite content. I’ve heard about some Icelandic knitting cruises. I dream of one day being able to afford a knit-centric vacation.
Thanks for the yarn, Allison! You’re the best! I don’t know what to make with it just but I’m just enjoying feeling it.
Have you ever been to Iceland? What’s your dream knitcation?
Just as I suspected, it took a back seat during holiday knitting season. (And by back seat, I mean I was sitting on it, wedged between the cushion and the arm of the couch because that’s where I store my WIPs. I’m not even joking. I just promised myself that I’d get a proper place for them. Let’s make that happen.) After the blur of the holidays plus a big secret project (sorry, suspense!), I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d worked on it. I was half way through the armhole shaping on the back. Why, oh, why do I always put down a piece when I’m working on the armhole shaping? Then I pick it up and I can’t trust that I marked the proper place where I’d left off and I’m suspicious and double guessing the whole way through.
Anyway, over the past week, I was able to not only finish the back but I also worked on my Zelda cross stitch and knit up a new (but simple) design. Pretty neat, huh? I guess since I spent all of New Year’s Day on it, I got a couple of extra hours.
Here it is, so badly in need of a blocking (and better lighting).
As I’m a professional, I held the piece up to my back (you know, the scientific way of measuring garments) and I’m now a little terrified that it won’t fit. I know I voiced my concerns about the sweater being snug before. Now that I’ve completed the entire back piece, there’s really no turning back. Also, since I’m definitely, absolutely a professional, I didn’t bother blocking my gauge swatch so I have no idea if blocking the pieces will help loosen things up. (I’ll remember that for that “How to Knit a Gauge Swatch” post…)
Since it’s wool and most of my sweaters end up being massive, I can only assume that giving a nice soak will give me about an inch more which would be a big help. That or I need to go on a diet, ASAP. I’m not giving this sweater up. I’m too in love.
Here’s a picture of the wrong side. I like sharing my wrong sides a lot. I feel like it’s not something that’s out there enough and I think that they’re interesting and beautiful in their own way. I’ve also gone on weird OCD searches for them when I’m afraid I’m not doing a technique properly. The backside of a faire isle piece is important the way that the back of a cross stitch is important (says myself, who has sloppy, terrible cross stitch backs). Also, you can see that I have hours worth of ends to weave in. Party!
Anyway, this sweater isn’t the quick, simple project I thought it would be. But are they ever? My only hope is that I have time to finish the front before winter is over. Ok, my only OTHER hope is that it fits. And that I don’t cry. Those are my only three hopes. Oh, and also that I don’t run out of yarn because St. Denis is discontinued. Ahahaha!
Please help me.
My sweater’s going to stretch out, right? Do you like looking at wrong sides? Would you share yours?