21
Dec

Famous Knits: Elf

Written by Sarah. Posted in famous knits, holiday, knits, movies, new york city

There have been a bunch of these Famous posts recently. But Christmas movies really are like a big knitted pageant, right?

Before the season runs out and we all start talking about how we promise that next year is the year we start going to the gym (Remember that time I had a gym membership and hardly ever went to yoga? Oh, I mean now.) I will share one last holiday movie knit. And it might be my favorite.

Because Elf is obviously the best Christmas movie to come along since Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s a new classic. And I delight in quoting it non-stop after Thanksgiving.

 elf hat

Every year, without fail, I fall in love again with the hat worn by Zooey Deschanel’s character Jovie. I’m quite sure every knitter has. It’s gigantic and creamy. And that pom pom!

elf52hat

I’ve  been dying to make this hat since I first saw the movie but I still have not. I think a nice natural alpaca would be great (like I’ve said before, my weakness!) but a chunky merino might give the cables a little bit more definition. Her hat doesn’t quite have the halo that alpaca yarns do.

Either way, if you get to picking up your needles for this project before I do (one day!), there are two free patterns on Ravelry. So you don’t have to spend all afternoon pausing and rewinding and pausing the movie again to get a good look at that hat!

Are you doing anything for Christmas? Did you finish making your gifts? Why am I sitting on paper? Can I listen to your necklace? Why is there a skeleton over there? Does he have a name?

ps. Happy holidays, guys! Whichever holiday it may be or even if you aren’t celebrating anything, I hope you all eat some yummy food and relax and just enjoy the season. Jon and I are going to spend the weekend making latkahs (who said Hanukah is over?) and then preparing a big Christmas dinner. We’re multicultural like that! So I’ll be back, and exhausted, after the holiday.

pps. Feel free to fill the comments with Elf quotes.

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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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17
Dec

Christmas Gifs

Written by Sarah. Posted in gift, holiday, that gif post

When it’s the week before Christmas and none of my holiday knitting is finished, I’m just like:

emma stone crying gif

jennifer lawrence gif

harry potter gif

home alone 2 gif

the room gif

How’s your holiday knitting going?

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14
Dec

Gift Guide: Gifts to Knit

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, gift, gloves, holiday, knits, life, socks, tie, want

I bet you thought there was only going to be one gift guide here. Well, surprise! Here is another.

I’m sure you need no reminder that Christmas is around the corner. (Chanukah is already here and I am somehow prepared for my upcoming gift exchange! Chanukah is all about miracles, though.)  I keep finding adorable little things that I’d love to make as gifts but I won’t have time to make them all before the holidays are over. (By the way, have you been following my current crazy holiday WIP on instagram? I’M INSANE.)

In case you just realized you forgot to make something for Kevin or you just pulled your boss’s name in the office Secret Santa and you’d love to make them something that would make them forget all of those times they caught you searching for cardigan patterns on Ravelry instead of doing your job (not that that’s ever happened to me, I’m speaking hypothetically here), this gift guide is for you.

1. Purl Soho Homespun Boot Socks
2. Red is Best glitten pattern by Jane Richmond
3. Cowl a la Americaine by Amy Christoffers (There’s a sale on this pattern ebook! Do it!)
4. Lion Brand Houndstooth Check Tie
5. Stjarna by Karolina Eckerdal

I take gift knitting pretty seriously and I suggest that we all do. It’s very easy to get carried away, picking out knits for all of the people in your life. If you’ve received something hand made from me, you are very special to me. Even if it’s something ugly, even if it doesn’t fit. (True story: when I was fifteen, I knit a gigantic mushroom-shaped hat for my friend that had a big fro and it was awful and I think I used Red Heart acrylic so I can’t believe I just acknowledged its existence. It was horrifying. If you are reading this and you saw it in real life, please don’t leave a comment making fun of me. If you have photographic evidence, please destroy it.) (Second story: I knit a sweater for Jon and it was gigantic so ripped out the seams and promised to fix it but I never did and he is still pretty pissed that it is in four pieces in a box. I’m thinking about steeking it so it will be the proper size but that isn’t going to happen for a while. Sorry, hun!) If you haven’t received something hand made from me, keep hanging in there (maybe you’ll get a gigantic acrylic hat – it’s worth the wait). Take pity on us. It is a heavy burden being a Christmas knitter!

DON’T FORGET, TEACHING SOMEONE HOW TO KNIT MIGHT BE THE BEST PRESENT OF ALL. I’m sure everyone would love a pair of socks this holiday season. But as they say: “If you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. If you teach a man to knit, I hope he’s not hungry because he’s going to spend all of his money on yarn.”

Who are you knitting for this holiday season? What are you making? What’s the biggest Christmas knit you’ve successfully tackled?

ps. Happy birthday, Ashley!

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07
Dec

Famous Knits: Sherlock

Written by Sarah. Posted in famous knits, holiday, knits, life, style, sweater, tv, want

I wasn’t going to write about Sherlock because I feel like I came late to the party. I finally got around to watching Sherlock over my hurrication but I’m a little bit hooked and I’m currently re-watching both seasons to keep myself distracted from the fact that the next series is not coming out anytime soon. I feel like I’ve tweeted about the show plenty and I’ve been teased by Jon every day since I saw “A Study in Pink” (he calls Moriarty “Mariachi”) so that I think maybe I should take it down a notch with the nerdiness.

But, it’s Christmas. And Christmas means sweaters. And John Watson knows about Christmas sweaters. So this is happening.

And, besides, The Hobbit is about to come out so Mr. Freeman is absolutely relevant right now.

While looking for screen caps of the ridiculously awesome Christmas sweater that Martin Freeman rocks in “A Scandal in Belgravia” I discovered that there is an entire John Watson sweater fandom. Which includes this recipe for a John Watson Earl Grey sweater cupcake. Why not?

It seems the Watson sweater is more beloved than the Sherlock popped-collar jacket. Perhaps I’m not the only one that instinctively thinks “The Richenbach Fall” is pronounced the “Rhinebeck” fall (which is when you jump off a building into a pile of wool, duh). (It probably has nothing to do with that.)

I think Watson’s go-to fisherman sweater is my favorite of his jumpers. You can never go wrong with an oatmeal cabled sweater. Never.

If you’re looking for the ultimate fangirl knit, Trudi Brown has a basic free pattern for the iconic sweater on Ravelry which includes a kind of really adorable drawing of Watson knitting his own jumper and some cool details about knitting and the military.

How do you feel about Sherlock? Are you a Watson sweater fangirl? Will I ever shut up about this show? Do you see how I made it about knitting so I could write about it? Do you want to talk about The Hobbit or Star Trek instead? Would that be better? Is my nerd showing?

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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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28
Nov

Gift Guide: Gifts for Knitters

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, gift, holiday, knits, want, yarn

Here we are in the holiday season. Let’s not talk about holiday knitting. You have plenty of time to finish all of these gifts! So let’s not focus on the stress of the holiday season matched with your well-intentioned yet over ambitious insanity. Let’s talk about you. What would you get you for the holidays? You are a devoted, thoughtful, wonderful friend/spouse/parent/child/aunt/uncle/niece/nephew/cousin. You are spending all of December working on gifts for these wonderful people that you love so much.

No, no, it’s okay. I know you were swearing about how you can’t believe you’re making another gift for Aunt Kate even though she never even shows up to Christmas dinner. You didn’t mean that. You’re just a little over worked. I mean, you’re still making cousin Joe’s baby some booties even though they didn’t invite you to the shower. See, you’re a wonderful person!

Here are some gifts that YOU deserve.

1. Kollabora Alpaca Au Naturale Superfine Yarn
2. Purl Soho tote
3. Lantern Moon Sox Stix
4. Soakbox

What do you want for the holidays?

More gift guides coming up!

ps. If you are still looking for patterns for gift knits, Amy Christoffers is offering 20% off her fantastic patterns for accessories! No coupon code necessary! Buy Savory Knitting patterns! You will not regret it!

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26
Nov

WIP: Faire Isle Sweater Frustrations

Written by Sarah. Posted in faire isle, holiday, knits, life, sweater, technique, WIP

How was your Thanksgiving? Jon and I cooked dinner for our family (with help from my mom and Aunt Sherry!) and his first turkey turned out fantastically! It was such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and I was so pleased to be able to do something small for my family who has done so much for me.

After Jon and I spent all day working on turkey and mashed potatoes and other yummy awesome Thanksgiving goodies, he and my parents fell asleep on respective couches and I sat down to work on the back of my faire isle sweater as a little treat to myself for keeping my energy up all day and also because I was having a dessert/tea sugar/caffeine buzz. I guess the buzz was insufficient because I ended up casting on 120 stitches instead of 130. I counted it at least five times before I started knitting. But about three inches in I realized that I was missing an inch of width.

So I ripped that whole piece out. It was only about a day’s worth of work but I was pleased with how it looked. It’s always disheartening to frog a good chunk of knitting. And it’s embarrassing when you find yourself cursing the pattern when really you’re the one that can’t count. That’s about where I am with the progress on this sweater now. I always kick myself because I post photos of the beginnings of things and the FOs but it’s tough to show the middle part without looking like a pile of stitches.

RIP

In my fit of frogging, I began to worry that the sweater will turn out too tight. As I mentioned before, the difference between all of the sizes is 4 1/2″which left me with a difficult choice, somewhere between fairly snug and possibly awkwardly large. (I’m really trying to hold back in the oversized comfy sweater department. I love them but I should really be wearing proper outfits now and then.) I’ve started kicking myself that I should have been using size 4 needles instead of size 3s to give myself a little extra breathing room. With both sleeves finished, I am going to continue crossing my fingers that a good blocking and some good old-fashioned wear will make everything just right. I do hope it turns out. I like to think that I’m a process knitter but I’ve been really looking forward to styling this sweater.

Anyway, stick around this space because there will be some fun gift guides coming up soon!

Any crafting catastrophes recently? What holiday crafting are you doing? What do you want for the holidays?

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31
Oct

The Work In Progress

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, knits, life, new york city, photos, WIP

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I stitched quick and cheery,
On a sleeve cuff and ribbing I’d made once before,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone  gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
‘Tis some knitter,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door!
Only this and nothing more.’

Ah, and still I remember, it was just last December,
When I began this great pattern for
A sweater v-neck, warm and cozy,
For the pattern rare and radiant the designer called Lenore,
Nameless here for evermore.

Presently, my soul grew stronger; stitching then no longer,
‘Sir,’ said I, ‘or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was knitting, and so gently you came flitting,
That I scarce was sure I heard you’ – here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
‘Surely,’ said I, ‘surely that is something at my window lattice,’
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’

Then I tore into my stash, throwing the yarn with feelings quite brash,
And in that bin an old work in progress,
Forgotten on the needle as I left it, small and feeble,
And there this wooly sweater back sat upon the floor,
Quote the work in progress, ‘Nevermore.’

ps. I was a little glib the other day about my hurrication but that was before the worst hit. It’s really wiped NYC out, tens of thousands of people here still have no power, not to mention the numbers in New Jersey, Long Island, etc. We are lucky to have power and be safe and snug here (I won’t complain about the cabin fever) but it breaks my heart that many small businesses are losing money from being closed on top of whatever damage they might have sustained.

Maria at Subway Knits is currently running a Sandy Relief raffle and I want to urge everyone to join in! Make a donation and send her your receipt to be entered into the raffle. Lots of amazing prizes going on right now including hand dyed yarns, patterns, online classes, and a gift card to Knitty City. Not that you should need an incentive to donate to a worthy cause, but I think it is wonderful to see knitters rallying and the donations to the raffle are still coming in. It warms my heart.

The full raffle details are here. Stay dry and happy Halloween!

photo via The Library of Congress.

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