24
Jan

Dreaming about the Knit House

Written by Sarah. Posted in apartment, design, interior, knits, life, new york city, redesign, want

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.

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.

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02
Jan

Emerald 2013

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, holiday, knits, style, want, yarn

Happy New Year, everyone! How did you ring in the new year? We ate tacos and drank champagne in the couch, while overdosing on Law and Order: SVU. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by how much of an old lady I am but I love it.

Did you know that this year’s Pantone color is Emerald? Expect to see lots of emerald accessories! If you’re looking to add a little more of this year’s color to your wardrobe, check out these emerald yarns!

emerald

1. Spud and Chloe Sweater in Billiard
2. Briggs and Little Tuffy in Paddy Green
3. Quince and Co Osprey in Cypress
4. Malabrigo Lace Merino in Emerald
5. Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Douglas Fir

I don’t really own any emerald (not since I played Aunt Em in a high school performance of Wizard of Oz) but I think I might cast on some emerald mittens. Maybe a hat? I’m certainly overdue for both. Knitting accessories is the perfect way to add a little bit of trendiness to your wardrobe without going overboard.

Will you be knitting with emerald this year? What’s your favorite emerald colorway?

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31
Dec

Year in FOs

Written by Sarah. Posted in baby, baby, blog spotlight, design, DIY, embroidery, FO, gift, holiday, knits, KYC Presents, life, new york city, photos, pillow, press, sewing, skirt, socks, style, sweater, tie, yarn

This was a huge year for Knit York City. I am so excited to be here and move forward and I love sharing my work and my life with you guys. It’s not only been awesome to get feedback and help with my questions, but I feel like putting my energy into this blog has inspired me to spend more time making things. Looking back at all of the pieces I made this year, I think this might be my most productive year yet. It’s certainly been my most adventurous and I have all of you to thank for that!

I knit a lot of socks this year. All of the socks I made this year were my own design which is pretty awesome!

triangle sockTriangle Socks
Crux Socks
Loft Socks
Hanukah Socks

I taught myself how to sew. It got off to a rough start but I managed to make a skirt and an adorable little kimono.

sewing skirtFirst Skirt
Kimono

I also practiced my long-forgotten embroidery skills on a wedding present for one of my best friends and a tie for Jon to wear.

wedding gift 2Pillow
Tie

I also made a few sweaters this year. I certainly didn’t make one every month but I am quite pleased with the ones that I finished. I really fell for Amy Christoffers’ new patters and I made one of them for a KAL. And I got to meet her this year!

pomme de pin FO 3Pomme de Pin
Maxfield

And, of course, what somehow became my most notable knit of the year: The Hamburger Sweater. I love the reaction I’ve gotten from this knit.

hamburger sweater 3

On top of everything else, I started a video web series (don’t forget to subscribe!) and I’ve had so much fun meeting so many awesome people. I can only thank my friends again (and again!) for helping make them possible. There will certainly be more episodes in the new year and hopefully I can fulfill my resolution to edit them faster! (It’s been tough with everything else going on so I’m calling in the reinforcements!) Get excited for that stuff.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbl65FjHkdM&w=560&h=315]

I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished this year. I am so proud of myself. And knowing what projects are in the works for the new year, I couldn’t be happier. While I don’t want to set any specific goals for what I make next year, I do want to make more! I will be happy if I keep working hard at it all, keep my fingers busy typing away and shooting videos and clicking needles. I bet that there will be twice as much to talk about by the end of 2013.

What did you make this year? Did you make a lot of sweaters? What are your goals for the new year?

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19
Dec

FO: Hanukah Socks

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, FO, gift, holiday, knits, life, socks

You’ve heard of Christmas socks? How about some Chanukah socks?

I wanted to make my amazing Aunt Sherry something for Chanukah. I promised myself (for the sake of sanity) that I would not make gifts for everyone but I made a few exceptions and she was one of them. She is very special to me and I am constantly getting awesome handmade gifts from her. I don’t think socks are ever a terrible gift (ungrateful kids these days!) so I made her these.

chanukah socks

I was inspired by the Purl Soho homespun socks (as I’m sure you can tell by the colors I chose and the style of the sock. I won’t pretend I didn’t rip the idea of a neutral, chunky sock off a little bit.) But I’m a sucker for toe up socks.  So I designed my own toe-up sock.

It’s a simple toe-up sock with a short row heel. That’s kind of my go-to sock pattern. I adjusted it to use size 6 needles and Cascade Eco Duo. (Undyed alpaca, you are my kryptonite!) I thought a nice chunky sock would be nice to wear around the house or with snow boots. And, selfishly, they worked up pretty quickly. (Which is good because the other gifts I’ve decided on are driving me insane.)

hanukah socks

I love the look and feel of the socks. I’m excited to make more with this pattern. And hopefully more for Aunt Sherry!

(Gift knitting also means that I never get proper photos. Hopefully I can update sometime soon with better ones!)

Have you given socks as a gift? Seriously, though toe up or top down?

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06
Dec

Photovember

Written by Sarah. Posted in apartment, art, cooking, design, DIY, embroidery, food, holiday, knits, life, new york city, photos

I’ve put down my faire isle sweater for the past few days to work on holiday crafting. That’s right. I said I wasn’t going to do it this year but there are a few people I just can’t help but craft for. Since that’s the case, I can’t really share any photos of what I’ve been making until the gifts have been given. And I’ve really been making fun stuff so I can’t wait to share.

While we’re all being patient, I’ll share some photos. I’m trying to take more pictures because I live in the best place in the world where exciting things are always happening and I should take more WIP photos and I love hearing from my followers on instagram. Last month I was pretty successful taking a photo almost every day.

As you can see, a lot of things happened last month, including this and this and this. And a lot of sweatshirts.

Follow me on instagram for photos every day in December!

Have you ever done a photo-a-day challenge?

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03
Dec

Gift Guide: Gifts for Knitters that Aren’t Yarn

Written by Sarah. Posted in art, design, gift, holiday, knits, style, want

Last week, I kicked off the gift guides with some things that any of us would be happy to find under our tree.

But I have to admit to you, because we’re honest here, that most of those gifts were a bit cliche. I said it! Not that I would ever scoff at a skein of yummy alpaca in my stocking! But I want to think outside the box. When I’m gifting for other knitters, I like to find something that’s a little out of the ordinary. Something that they can use that will tell people “I’d rather be knitting.”

Although they can always use an extra set of sock needles (I don’t think I own a full set of any size of double pointed needles, but I’m always finding size 0s in my purse), how about some gifts that the knitters in your life will be surprised to receive?

1. Craft is the New Black tote
2. Tape measure keychain
3. Sweater iPhone case
4. Knit Tom’s shoes
5. Superhero print
6. Notions tote

Which knitty gifts have you received over the years? Remember this adorable mug? What are you giving to your knitters?

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21
Sep

FO: Katie’s Wedding Present

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, DIY, embroidery, FO, gift, holiday, pillow, sewing

Speaking of handmade gifting, I just went to a wedding! The first wedding of my friends, actually, so it was kind of a big deal! Katie and I have been friends since high school and all of our oldest friends took the trip down to Richmond, Virginia for an amazing party weekend.

But, let’s start at the beginning. As you know, I take gifting pretty seriously. Registry? I laugh at your registry. I wanted her gift to be unexpected and awesome and something she didn’t even know that she wanted. I wanted my gift to be memorable. But one can’t gift hand-knit socks for a wedding present. What’s a crafty girl to do?

For a while, I’d resigned to get something from my nemesis the registry. I had a few ideas of what I could make but I didn’t want to disappoint her. Then, at the bachelorette party, Katie turned to me and said that she got a feeling from the questions I was asking her (mainly about her monogram) that I might be making her something and that if I was, she was really excited. So that was that.

I decided it was about time I try my hand at embroidery. I haven’t done any embroidery since I was a kid. But I had a design in mind and I thought a pillow would be a cute gift filled with love for their southern home. And I can finally reveal to you what I’ve been working feverishly on for the past month!

My friends and I starred in our high school production of The Wizard of Oz. (Katie was Glenda, I was Auntie Em.) And since Katie and her new husband Colby live so far away, I wanted to give her something that reminded her that the rest of her friends were always with her no matter where we are.

It was a little too ambitious at first. I, as usual, didn’t really know what I was doing and changed my plans multiple times. But, I’ve realized that’s just how I do things. And I got to do lots and lots of chain stitching. That’s my favorite. The couching in part of the heart is wonky but I’m pleased.

Of course, I’m stubborn and refused to sew only a pillow case so I put together the back of the pillow and stitched the whole thing up and filled it with polyfill which actually makes it really squishy and huggable. Seriously, though, making a pillow case to put onto a pillow form would have been just as effective and probably easier.

I hope that Katie and Colby love it. They are such a lovely couple, it is so exciting to think that they will have this keepsake for the rest of their lives, commemorating their love.

Have you ever made a wedding gift? What is the favorite handmade gift you’ve given?

(instagram by my girl Ashley)

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31
Aug

PATTERN MODIFICATIONS

Written by Sarah. Posted in baby, design, DIY, sewing

I just wanted to share a little about the pattern adjustments for the little kimono that I posted last week. I crossed my fingers and made a wish and I think it worked because it seems to fit!

(I’m also taking the opportunity to use this post for WIP photos since I was keeping the whole project under wraps before.)

 

The pattern is for a newborn. But I loved everything about it so I had to make it. I love the Japanese influence and the shape and I also liked that it looked pretty simple to execute since it’s only three pieces. (My favorite part of crafting is making things that are pretty basic look really difficult and expensive.)

Here’s how I enlarged the pattern: First of all, I still have a knitting mind which thinks that I should just adjust the gauge for a bigger shirt! Wrong! Second, I do not have access to a baby that I can use for measurements or adorable viral dance videos. Therefore I went onto the Google and found that the chest measurement for a 12-18 month baby is about 20 inches. (It would be wonderful if someone with more baby experience could confirm this for me for future reference.)

 Warning: Craft Math ahead…

The back panel of the shirt measures 8 1/2 inches so the chest circumference of the shirt is 17 inches. I found the difference between the 12-18 month circumference and the newborn (20-17=3″) and then found what percentage that is of the large shirt (3/20=15%). Then I photocopied the pattern onto legal paper at 115%. I have a vague memory of someone telling me I could do that to make patterns bigger. Well, you can. I just said you could. (Read: I am not an expert.) I think I settled on 125% to give myself some more room for seam allowances and growth.
Overall, it turned out pretty well. It was a good place to try out a pattern adjustment since it was so small and the shape is pretty simple. I think with all of the challenges, I feel much more confident.
Do you adjust patterns often? Does it make you nervous?

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24
Aug

FO: Baby Kimono

Written by Sarah. Posted in baby, design, DIY, gift, sewing, style

Last week Jon’s nephew (who received this blanket when he was born) turned 1! He is practically a real person now. I thought I’d try out my new sewing skillz (with a z, yes) to make my little boyfriend a birthday present.

This was my second sewing project after the skirt and I challenged myself here but I think I’m really starting to get the hang of this sewing thing! Big pats on the back to myself.

The pattern is the Purl Bee’s newborn kimono. I made some adjustments in terms of size (obviously, he’s not a newborn anymore…more on that in another post) and I tackled a French seam for the first time (it wasn’t perfect but that’s life!). The bias tape was a bigger challenge than expected but I like how it turned out. And it took me four times but I sewed a snap on for the first time. Those little bastards are tricky.

I love the organic fabric from Cloud9. (I think I bought a 1/2 yd more than the pattern called for since I was adjusting the size and I was terrified I’d cut something wrong!) Two of Jon’s brother’s favorite things are fishing and Japan so the sail boat kimono was perfect for his son.

Not too shabby for a beginner, huh? Any tips on size adjustments? Isn’t sewing for babies fun?

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15
Aug

Knitting in the 21st Century

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, knits, sweater, technique

I have an image in my mind of my mom sitting in the armchair in the living room with a baby blanket pattern laid out on the ottoman in front of her, highlighting each row as she completes them. She is meticulous about circling the instructions within the parentheses so that she is sure to knit the correct amount of stitches for the size that she is making. Maybe she even uses an index card to underline where she is while she is marking off tallies with whatever pen she found in the end table. Does this sound right, Mom?

She and I may be very different knitters in this respect. I used to print out my patterns and make all sorts of notations on them. I would fold the paper up and keep it in a pocket of my knitting bag. I certainly lost those patterns on more than one occasion or lost track when I couldn’t find a pencil or if a friend got carried away playing with my red plastic row counter. (Those little clicky plastic row counters have caused me far more grief than help. For some reason, anyone who hears the click of a completed row immediately begs for instructions on how it works and why I need it, always followed by a request to click the following row. And often the promise that “If you let me click it a few times, and I’ll reset it to where you were” followed by completely forgetting where I was. Please don’t touch my things. Ever. I hate you now. I really don’t understand the fascination.)

Needless to say, every knitter is different. The more I’ve found a way that I like to do things, the more I wonder what everyone else prefers. Let’s all share, shall we?

First of all, I’ve almost entirely stopped using printed patterns unless it’s from a book or magazine. The last time I used a book pattern, I photo copied it so I could make notes on it. But I LOVE PDF patterns. Love them. It’s so handy having everything in my inbox or in my Ravelry library. I don’t have to remember what volume of Knitscene (or was is Vogue Knitting?) the pattern was in. I like being able to access my patterns wherever I am.

That being said, I’ve turned to iBooks for all of my PDF pattern reading which means that all of my patterns are stored on my phone which is great because I always have my phone on me (heaven forbid I lose it like a tattered pattern). I don’t like whipping out a paper pattern and a pencil when I’m trying to casually knit and hang out. I don’t like having so much baggage when it comes to knitting.

Since the iPhone has become my knitting ereader, I guess it would be handy to have some other gadgets on there! I use Knit Counter Lite which is free. It’s a pretty handy tool especially because I don’t need anything fancy to keep track of this. You can input all kinds of information, though, and also limit the maximum and minimum number (I use that a lot when counting increases or if I’m just not paying close attention). It’s also great because now my pattern and my counter are in the same spot. (Side note: When it comes to socks, I like to do it the old fashioned way and use pen and paper so that I’m sure the second sock matches the first!) Using this app, I can keep track of multiple projects at once along with different pieces as illustrated below:

(It looks complicated but that’s the row increases of the Maxfield cardigan sleeves. The increases in size medium happen every 12th row 9 times. Breaking that down, it means keeping track of the stripe pattern rows in intervals of ten while also counting separately to every twelfth row when the increases take place so I count those at the same time. The last counter is increased only every twelfth row. Everyone still with me? I had a tough time keeping that all straight when it was done with pencil and paper but this system works for me.)

This seems like enough math for one post. But I want to hear what you do! How do you count rows? Have you seen this? (I don’t know how I feel about it.) Do you use any apps for your knitting?

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