Archive for August, 2014
The weather is getting mellow here so I’m starting to have those dreams of sweaters and cardigans. It started early this year! I really hate to jinx it since last winter was so rough, like, so very very terrible, but I’m craving pumpkin pie and apple cider and it’s still August! I can almost taste Rhinebeck and it’s making me go crazy for big sweaters. When I saw the Blackberry Stitch and Cable sweater designed by True Brit Knits for Debbie Bliss magazine, I just fell in love. It looks so deliciously comfy yet sophisticated. And that color is just gorgeous. Welcome to the queue, Big Pink Aran!
>> Lion Brand’s blog has some handy instructions on carrying vs. cutting yarn at the end of rows. I had a huge debate about this when I was working on the Hurrication sweater since there were so many colors but also a ton of rows to carry them over. Sometimes, you just have to throw all of the rules out the window and make it work.
>> Stevie Nicks is holding a shawl-design competition. Will you be making a mystical shawl for the legend to use on stage?
>> I’ve written a lot about how I want to do stop motion video with knitting. Miho Yata’s stop motion film is absolutely amazing. Can you imaging knitting all of those frames? Fantastic!
>> Olek might be in some trouble for her latest installation piece. Underwater crochet is pretty cool, though!
>> This beautiful photo of French sheep in 1930 is from the New York Times’ tumblr featuring photos from their basement archive. I love looking at old photographs and it’s really cool that they are sharing these pictures in the digital age. (I’m also a big fan of this photo. #yesallwomen, am I right?) This blog is a very fun place to get lost for an afternoon.
>> Design Sponge is tackling one of my favorite subjects: conscious consumption. Some really beautiful points and good ways to talk about handmade vs. store bought (are they really that different?) to those who are not makers.
What a week it’s been! I came down with a bit of a cold which has really made for a rough few days. Good excuse for a weekend of tea and knitting, though! I’m finishing a pair of mittens I started in November! Are you working on any UFOs this weekend?
I’ll be very up front with you, I don’t really go out for Kickstarter fundraisers. It is very rare that something catches me enough to back and even more that I would share and encourage others to contribute. (What can I say? I am a grumpy cat.) But when I saw the Kickstarter for Knit Wit Magazine, I was like, “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”
Knit Wit Magazine is an upcoming print-only lifestyle mag about fiber arts. It looks absolutely gorgeous and will feature some great stories including an exploration of weaving in Oaxaca and behind the scenes at Wool and the Gang. It seems like it will really speak to the modern aesthetic that I so love.
I’m very excited to get my hands on the first issue. I appreciate that it is going to be a real-live magazine. While I love digital publications (I haven’t bought a book in two years), there is something about a thoughtful, well-exectued print that really brings out the design nerd in me. Besides, launching a print-only fiber art publication is a pretty bold move. Heck yes.
You can back Knit Wit Magazine through their Kickstarter through September 10th. Aside from pre-ordering the magazine, there are also other great pledge gifts including scarves, totes, and classes. They have already reached over $11k! Will you be backing?
all images via Knit Wit Magazine Kickstarter
Last week I attended the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s first ever customer fashion show. It was such a blast! I’ve always enjoyed visiting the LBY Studio. The vibe in there is just always very fun and friendly. The fashion show was the same times a million. Here are a few of my favorite garments (but you’ll have to excuse the crappy iPhone quality).
Anyone could enter a knit or crocheted garment as long as it was made with Lion Brand yarn. Most of the participants had attended classes at the Studio and were showing off their projects. Some of them were sporting their first-ever garments while others showed off their own designs. It was a great mix of projects and everyone was excited to share.
It was a great reminder of how creative knitters and crocheters are and how we makers really love being together. Even strangers can get together in a knitting circle or any LYS and have that bond. But what really stuck with me was how much we love to share. We love to show others what we’ve accomplished whether it’s through instagram, our blogs, or Ravelry. It’s very satisfying to complete a sweater, but when we share what we’ve done with someone else who can appreciate the story behind the piece – whether it had special inspiration or it was a particularly uncooperative project – it feels even more exciting. That is really the driving force that makes us want to make more and more. At the fashion show, it was literally coming in the form of applause which was very exciting even as an audience member.
While knitting is such a huge part of my life, I don’t get to interact with knitters face-to-face as much as I’d like. Sure, I think about knitting 24/7 but most of the people in my day-to-day are not knitters. I feel so lucky to have an incredible network of talented, generous, hilarious knitters that I call my friends and the best part is that they live all around the world! But sometimes it’s and inspiring reminder to get in a room and feel the energy.
Anyway, I got all sappy at the end. Does your LYS put on any fashion shows? Do you share your projects with other knitters in real life?
Sheep Week flew by, huh? I wish I had more sheep-tastic things to share. Maybe, by next year, it’ll catch on? I have to admit, with the gorgeous weather we had yesterday in the city, I’m getting ready for fall. And you know what that means! It’s almost time for sweater weather and yummy wool socks and pumpkin pie and hot apple cider. Am I getting ahead of myself? Most importantly, it means that it’s almost fiber festival season which means SHEEP! Sheep that I can pet and hug in real life!
Sheep Week doesn’t need to come just once a year! I’ve got a hot tip on where to get your wooly fix 365 days of the year.
Benjamin Hole’s instagram is by far my favorite place to day dream. Hole’s picturesque Dorset farm is home not only to some gorgeous views and lovely sheep but a number of other creatures including a little dog named Ochre. His photography really makes me long to run away from city life, put on a pair of galoshes, and run around in a field. (Isn’t it cool that we live in a time when a farmer can share his day-to-day with a Brooklynite?)
Aside from bringing you the very best farm photos, the Hole farm is starting a new venture that I couldn’t be happier about! There will soon be yarn from these beautiful sheep under the name Hole & Sons. The yarn looks absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Their site also has a wonderful history of the Dorset breed as well as the Hole family farm.
I am just in love with these pictures. I could look at them all day, imagining petting those little lambs! Do you follow any farmers for a taste of life outside the city?
It’s Sheep Week! So let’s talk about some sheep, shall we? Even non-knitters are vaguely familiar with the Merino breed of sheep so I’d like to introduce you to the Bluefaced Leicester. If you haven’t encountered the BFL yet, give some of their fiber a try! BFL yarn has recently become one of my favorite to work with and it’s been gaining popularity among spinners, dyers, and knitters over the past few years.
This British longwool breed has no wool on its neck or long face. It’s a relatively new breed of sheep, developed in the early 20th century. BFL is known for being tougher and less elastic than merino while still being rather soft. Its soft drape makes it a wonderful fiber for shawls while its hard-wearing wool makes it a great option for socks.
Have you knit with BFL yarn? What did you like about it? Do you have a favorite sheep breed?
ps. Don’t forget that The Crash is on sale for $3 all week!
Taking a break from our regularly scheduled Sheep Week programming, I just wanted to give you a heads up! The Crash is on sale all week! You can download a copy for $3 for a limited time only! Amazing, right? And don’t forget to check out the Holla Knits blog where I will be guest blogging about this big-shouldered beauty!
More Sheep Week tomorrow! See you then!
It’s currently Shark Week out in the television universe. Of course, we might not have our own network but I am envisioning seven days dedicated to our wooly friends that make yarn happen. That’s right, here it is Sheep Week! This week’s posts will be dedicated to sheep, lambs, ewes, etc etc.
I figured I’d kick off Sheep Week with a few lamb-inspired patterns!
What are your favorite sheep sweaters? Are you looking forward to Sheep Week!?
It’s already August. Crazy right? Let’s look at some fun stuff.
Polish artist NeSpoon is doing some lace-bombing that you can see above. Her “public jewelry” includes lace imprints and stenciled doilies. I’m really loving that lace-turned-spider web. It looks fantastic! I’ve actually always thought of spiders as little craftspeople since their webs are so beautiful.
>> Jezebel shows us how filmmakers use cardigans to make their leading ladies frumpy. Pretty hilarious. Cardigans are my favorite.
>> Staying on the movie theme, here’s a slideshow of knitwear in our dystopian future. Why is it that knitwear lends itself so well to that grungy cyber warrior look?
>> Here’s a great tutorial for making yarn bras out of old tights! It’s pretty brilliant though mine probably all have holes in the toes.
>> Or maybe you’d prefer your yarn to come from a VHS? Remember the Nickelodeon VHS tapes were orange? That would make an awesome one!
>> Can someone find me a print of this?
I’m hoping to jump-start myself on a few projects this weekend. And there might be spray paint involved. What’re you making?
ps. Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of New American Knits!