Author Archive

16
May

Me Made Mavens

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, holiday, Me Made May

It’s Me Made May which means everybody is busting out their handmade outfits. I’ve always wanted to participate in MMM but I don’t feel like I have enough to wear. I know, right? I can’t believe it either. It’s tough to wear hand knits when the weather is turning warm and I’m dying to bust out my summer wardrobe.

While I’m here making excuses and dreaming of sewing some lovely summer tops, there are plenty of other makers offering daily doses of their handmade outfits on Instagram. Here are just a few!

memademayGinger Makes
Untangling Knots
Craft Sanctuary
Oona Balloona

Mainly, Me Made May makes me want to get on my sewing machine. I am in awe of all of these talented ladies! And there are so many more of them. All of the #mmmay14 outfits are inspiring me. Aren’t they great?

Who’s Me Made May outfits are you coveting? Are you participating? Post a link in the comments! I’d love to see your outfits!

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14
May

The Shepherd and the Shearer

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, yarn

When I heard about The Shepherd and the Shearer, I was all, “Shut up and take my money!” The concept, in short, is a domestic sheep-to-sweater project with two aran patterns by amazing designers Kate Davies and Kristen Kapur. The concept of sheep-to-sweater really had me excited.

We make our clothes so we know the hard work and resources that go into each stitch. But taking that back even further is so interesting. Let’s talk about the mills and the farmers and the sheep themselves! This is something that indie dyers have really embraced (see Jill Draper Makes Stuff) and Brooklyn Tweed has brought it to the mainstream. But we should not forget that even DIY has its roots on a farm, in a mill, and in someone else’s hands.

Susan just announced that there will be another installment of The Shepherd and the Shearer this year. So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share the gorgeous yarn I received from the project last year.

shepherd and shearer
Each kit came with a pattern book featuring the special designs, a project bag, and some of the yummiest fresh-off-the-sheep yarn. Susan’s concept was not only to give buyers insight into the process but to come out with some real, old-fashioned yarn. This is rugged and hard-wearing, none of that silky, slinky yarn. There’s a time and a place for those soft yarns but this is about wonderful, traditional arans and natural colors.

shepherd and shearer
The yarn came to me with that funky sheep smell, still greasy with lanolin. It really felt like I was getting this straight from the shearer herself. Unfortunately, since receiving the yarn, I haven’t had any time to knit it up. I haven’t even decided which of the two patterns I prefer. But I just love the look of this yarn.

This year, there will be a limited release of The Shepherd and the Shearer so keep your eyes on the Juniper Moon blog for more information. It sounds like they’ve worked some of the kinks out of this massive undertaking including changing mills. I’m excited to see what these designers come up with!

Do you knit sheep-to-sweater? Did you pick up one of these kits last year?

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09
May

Further Reading 5/9/14

Written by Sarah. Posted in further reading

anna maltzSceles by Anna Maltz in Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 9

 

While I’m pimping my own pattern in the upcoming issue of Pom Pom Quarterly (now available for pre-order), I feel that it’s only right I show a little love to its friends. PPQ does a great job of curating a limited amount of patterns that are just gorgeous. You should really take a look at them; they’re all going in my queue! Honestly, I’m just so honored to have a pattern alongside these beautiful pieces by designers I really admire!

>>  In case you need a last-minute Mother’s Day gift (I won’t tell), consider making a donation to Action Kivu in your mom’s name. Action Kivu helps train women in Congo to be seamstresses so they can support themselves. They set them up with sewing kits to get started with their own businesses.

>>  Speaking of pre-orders, Amy Christoffers’ amazing new book is coming out this summer. I don’t even have the book yet and I’m already having trouble deciding which pattern to start with!

>>  I love this comic. It’s so adorable!

>>  The super talented Onyee modified a McCalls pattern to sew her own Lupita Golden Globes dress! Her replica of the Ralph Lauren cape dress is pretty spot on. It’s stunning, really.

Very excited to hang out with my mom this weekend. She’s got some great knitting projects that I’m looking forward to seeing. I am dreaming of spending my paycheck on some fabric. Just what I need, more projects! What are you working on this weekend?

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06
May

Creamsicle in Pom Pom Quarterly

Written by Sarah. Posted in cardigan, design, FO, knits, KYC Presents, pattern, yarn

creamsicle cardigan

After all of the complaints about startitis last week, I am super excited about what I have to share today! The preview for Pom Pom Quarterly’s summer issue came out on Friday so you can finally get a peek at my first design for their magazine.

Creamsicle is a summery sweater, slightly cropped with half sleeves and a bobble front. You know I love bobbles. I’m always pleased when I can put my personality and style into a piece of knitwear and this vintage-inspired, whimsical top is exactly that.

creamsicle_4_medium2

The sweater is knit with Kettle Yarn Co’s gorgeous Wimbledon yarn which is the most delectable superwash merino I’ve ever laid my hands on. Working with it is a dream and it’s super soft and silky which is perfect for a light sweater like this. Linda is a really fantastic dyer. The colors were beyond anything I could have imagined. I’m obsessed with how the peach and melon work together.

And, of course, I’m just completely over the moon with how amazing the photos are. The ladies at Pom Pom always impress. They really know how to style things perfectly.

creamsicle cardigan 2

The summer issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is available for pre-order right now in both print and digital forms! I definitely think you should pick up a copy and not just for the purposes of shameless self-promotion. All of the patterns in this issue are going into my queue. Speaking of, you can add Creamsicle to your queue and add it to your favorites on Ravelry. Best of all, Kettle Yarn Co has already opened a pre-order for Wimbledon kits so you can have your yarn on hand when the magazine comes out later this month. Did I mention how amazing this yarn is?

Will you be knitting a Creamsicle? Do you love bobbles or do you love bobbles?

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02
May

I Have Startitis

Written by Sarah. Posted in cross stitch, embroidery, gift, knits, photos, sewing, shirt, sweater, WIP, wip

Welcome, I’m glad you could all join us for this week’s meeting. Who’d like to share first?

Hi, I’m Sarah. I have Startitis.

Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the fact that I read two issues of Molly Makes and the new Martha Stewart Living while I was off on Wednesday. I want to do everything. I want to renovate an old house and start a garden and build furniture. I just want to make stuff.

grettir sleeve

I’m so frustrated because I haven’t had any FOs to share in such a long time. I’m working on everything at once so nothing’s done. I’m just wanting to do it all, I’m exploding with inspiration, I’m running in every direction.

tova

Some of this craft mania is due to the fact the weather is changing. I want to be sewing some summer pieces. I want to get rid of everything in my closet and start fresh which adds this urgency to it. I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing when it comes to sewing. I started working on the Wiksten Tova top. It’s kind of a mess but I really don’t want to get into that. I’m making something.

I’m still working on that Grettir sweater for Jon. There’s a lot of stockinette. ‘Nuff said. I have plans to make something for my grandma’s birthday. (And thanks for all of your helpful suggestions!) I still don’t know what it will be. I think I’ll end up working around my stash because I just did some spring cleaning and the amount of yarn I have should be illegal.

zelda cross stitch progress

And if you follow me on instagram, you know that I’ve picked up my Zelda cross stitch again. It was hidden away for a few months. (Okay, I forgot that I was working on it.) This project has been going forever but I’m actually quite pleased with how far it’s come. I think it’s actually nearing the home stretch. And every time I look at it, I get excited because goddamnit it looks like the real thing! It’s funny, although this has been incredibly tedious and time consuming and I hope I never try this again, I always enjoy coming back to this project. Something about the simplicity of it after doing an intense knit is really satisfying. It’s intricate, I won’t pretend it’s easy but it’s methodical to the point that it’s meditative. And, like I said, look at the result.

So I have a bit of Startitis. I just can’t commit to any one thing. Maybe once I finish something I’ll feel relieved. Maybe I’ll finally be able to figure out what’s next. But until then, I’m just going to keep stitching away.

Because it’s all about the process isn’t it?

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29
Apr

Help! A Very Special Knit

Written by Sarah. Posted in gift, holiday

In June, my grandmother will turn 90. She’s a really fantastic lady who’s taught me so much, a real maven of the DIY world in her own right. And she’s a hoot and a half and a real tough lady to boot. I’m starting to feel that urge I’ve felt so many times: I want to knit a gift for her.

It wouldn’t be the first time. I want to make things for everyone, we all do. I want to shower people that I love with hats and mittens and cowls. I want my stitches to do what my words can’t: explain in detail how much I love them, how much I appreciate them, how, even though I don’t always know what to say and sometimes I’m forgetful, that I couldn’t imagine life without them. Sometimes I almost feel like I have an endless list of people that I want to knit for, promises I make to myself for years down the road to complete even something simple. There are too many stitches and just not enough time. But I think on the occasion of her 90th birthday, my grandma deserves a little something woolly. 

grammy

I know there will never be enough time to make something adequate. I’ll be stressed out, I can see it already. Of course, my mind immediately goes to sweaters. I mean, this is a big birthday. But I really know that that might be pushing it. I’d like to at least have a fighting chance.

So I’m starting to think of other knitted things. Perhaps a scarf or a shawl? It’s so hard to decide. Nothing seems like enough. I’ve made socks before so I’d like to go bigger. But deep down, I’m dying to make a really nice, simple cardigan. Maybe one of you good readers will have the heart to talk me out of that.

What do you suggest? What have you made for someone important to you?

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25
Apr

Further Reading 4/25/14

Written by Sarah. Posted in Uncategorized

fashion revolution day

Lots of links today! But first something a bit more serious.

Yesterday was Fashion Revolution Day marking one year since the disaster at Rana Plaza. I pledged to buy less and make more. It’s been challenging. Before I buy anything wearable, I put a lot of time and thought into it and I have a great appreciation for the few pieces that I’ve purchased. I’ve been working to educate myself, to research and shop with reliable brands, and to spend more on products that will last longer or with companies that will be transparent. I wish I had time to make even more but my focus has turned to building a wearable wardrobe that I really love as well as learning new techniques that will help me create a variety of pieces. Everlane is collecting donations for The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund and will match the first $10k. While not everyone can afford to donate money and not all of us have the time to make every piece of clothing that we wear, I encourage every maker to speak out on this issue.

>>  I was already planning on watching FX’s television adaptation of Fargo since it stars Martin Freeman. But throw in a yarn-bombed bus by Olek and I am 110% there.

>>  Everyone is talking about Nicki Minja’s “make-under” but I’m looking at this knit dress! I love the color of the form-fitting gown she wore to The Other Woman premiere. And you KNOW that I love formal knitwear. Does anybody know which designer this dress is from?

>> Karen at Fringe Association shared a great tip for knitting in the round with interchangeable needles. It is definitely something I’ll be trying out since I have one set of interchangeable needles and more simultaneous projects going on than I’d care to admit. You have no idea how difficult life was when I’d misplaced my size 7s!

>> Did you know that there is a Wikipedia page for the “Sweater Curse”? Now you do.

Don’t forget to enter to win a pattern from the Holla Knits Spring/Summer 14 collection! Contest ends on Wednesday!

photo via @Fashion_rev

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24
Apr

Holla Knits S/S 14 Giveaway

Written by Sarah. Posted in Uncategorized

I’m pretty psyched to be a part of the Holla Knits  Blog Tour because I’ve been eyeing these patterns every since the preview! I’ve probably shared with you all before that I never used to be into lightweight knits. I’ll knit on a sweater whenever I damn well please! But I’ve seen so many adorable knits for spring, I’ve definitely come around. And this collection has really got me dreaming.

cafeaulait holla knits

 

I’m really loving the textures and lace in this collection. It feels very vintage beachy to me. Is that a real aesthetic? I just invented it.

summerhouse holla knits

 

stoneybrook holla knits

You can purchase all of the patterns on the Holla Knits site here. I’m really tempted to have a couple of these designs jump my queue (looking at you, Cafe au Lait)!

Do you love these designs? Today I’m giving away a free copy of one of the Holla Knits S/S 14 patterns. Just leave a comment below before next Wednesday in order to enter to win a pattern of your choice from the collection.

Which is your favorite?

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23
Apr

TV Knitting

Written by Sarah. Posted in tv

I’m back! I didn’t mean to take a break. Life just really got in the way. I guess the Blood Moon is really throwing me for a loop because April has been crazy! Thanks for hanging around.

If you use that calculator, the one that adds how much time you’ve spent watching your favorite TV shows, you’ll know that if you’ve watched every episode of Seasons 1-14 of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (as I have), you’ve watched TV for 13 days, 8 hours, and 8 minutes. If you add in all of the re-runs, the episodes caught after school or the daytime ones I’d play when I worked at the student lounge, the countless weekend marathons, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up watching every episode twice (three times at least for the episode where Martin Short plays a psychic, the story arc where Olivia goes undercover with eco terrorists, and when Alexandra Cabot gets shot). While I will gladly admit that the show is full of cheap thrills, melodrama, and, unfortunately, as of late, a little tasteless, I’ll still always have a big place in my heart for this show. The “dun dun” will always be a pavlovian bell to me.

To make a long story short (too late), SVU has always been my go-to TV knitting show. When I was in school, we had a lot of classes dedicated to just watching films (and discussing them, obviously). I did a lot of knitting in dark, cramped movie theaters. For education. It didn’t stop there, though. I’m still a binge-watcher but I feel less guilt about spending the day on the couch since I can make a sock during a marathon. I’ve never met a knitter that didn’t feel productive during a three season sprint.

svu

I started watching SVU from the beginning in college when it was streaming on Netflix. I would sit cross-legged at my desk in a big chair with a big bag of yarn beside me and knit and knit and knit. Sometimes, when things got stressful, I’d skip class and sit with the window open and a mug of coffee, having my own personal Law and Order: SVU marathon. I’d crank out hats and scarves and so many fingerless gloves. Sometimes I’d sell things to my friends, other times I would offer a certain piece to someone and end up keeping it for myself. I made a lot of movies when I was in school, I travelled quite a bit. I stayed up late and worked long hours and I ate more sterno-tray baked ziti than I’d care to admit. But some of my fondest memories are sitting in the comfy chair in my pink bedroom in my first apartment, knitting with Detectives Benson and Stabler.

taylor swift law and orderme circa 2009

Now it seems like it might be over. It doesn’t look like the show will be renewed. Perhaps it’s for the best. I didn’t finish this last season because it didn’t feel like the SVU I loved that was empowering and thoughtful. It’s certainly grown clumsier and even outlandish to me over the past few seasons. I could give you all of my complicated feelings about the recent years of the show but I’m not really trying to review here. There have definitely shows that went downhill that were worse off for staying on as long as they did (did you guys watch that last episode of Dexter? Christ.) but this feels different. Maybe it’s a sentimental thing but there’s always been a kind of comforting feeling knowing that there would always be SVU. It always seemed like I could work on my needles and click “Next Episode” for all eternity.

benson and stabler

What is your favorite show to watch while you knit? Do you mix things up or do you have an old stand by?

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04
Apr

Thanks, Mom!

Written by Sarah. Posted in FO, gift, hat, knits

Just before the holidays, I went out for fancy drinks with some friends. I had a great time and then something happened that happens to many New Yorkers. I left my hat in the back of a cab. Or maybe I left it on my stool at the bar. Or perhaps it’s floating around in the place where Tina rolled under the bed in my favorite episode of the Twilight Zone also known as the place where adventurous socks disappear to.

Now that wouldn’t be so terrible since that’s how life goes except for the fact that I had been wearing my Olivia sample every day of the season and now I’d lost something I designed and knit myself. I’d never lost something that I knit before, not that I can remember at least. I still have FOs that I made back in high school that don’t fit properly and itch like the dickens but I can’t bear to part with them. I searched all around and came up with nothing. I felt like a real schmuck.

I figured that one day I’d replace it. Maybe in the mean time I’d make something different just to switch things up. Until then, I had some other hats buried in the closet that would be good enough.

oliviamom

But then I got a great surprise. In the mail one day was my hat! Well, not my hat. Even better than that! My mom had knit me a brand new one! It was so perfect, even better than mine. I was so happy, I’ve been wearing it ever since (and being super careful about it). Of course, I always appreciate getting something handmade but it feels really exciting and special that my mom made something for me that I designed. And she’s a pretty great sample knitter to boot!

I definitely don’t knit for my mom enough. She knits for everybody. I really admire how much work she puts into a toy that’s going to a coworker’s baby. Knowing that she stressed over perfecting each stitch for me warms my heart as much as my head! I think she deserves a special knit, too.

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