As I mentioned earlier, I put my crafting away to get moving done. Knitting is my number one distraction. When I’m working on a project, I can sit for hours watching season after season of Law and Order: SVU, ignoring the rest of the world. Laundry, editing, even friends are all ignored when I’m knitting. I’m sure you can relate. I was really afraid that my craft addiction would keep me from my strict packing schedule. So I put my needles in a box and taped it up so I had no choice but to get the worst of the move over with. It was tough and my fingers felt like they were itching to work. I couldn’t sit still in front of the TV when we were taking breaks. I was going cold turkey from knitting.
After we got into the new place, I promised myself that I’d keep my WIPs out of sight so I could focus on unpacking and getting back to normal. And I was pleasantly surprised by how long I was able to stop myself from thinking about stitching. I got a lot done around the house, I baked cookies, and then I became strangely obsessed with cleaning the kitchen (the building is brand new so I want EVERYTHING TO STAY SHINEY AND CLEAN FOREVER PLEASE.) I finally dragged out a sock who never got a buddy from my stash when the weekend rolled around so I’d have something to knit during the Super Bowl. (My faire isle sweater needed to be blocked before I could move forward and I didn’t think that that was a project that should be tackled with boxes all over the place. We also didn’t have a floor lamp for the living room yet so it was too dark to do any cross stitching. So I decided to go with the hibernating project.)
I realized upon completing this second sock, that I’d never written about the first sock here. I’d posted a few photos on instagram when I made it back in June but other than that, it’s story has not been told. I can’t believe I left the pair unfinished for so long! (But I did start Maxfield right after I completed the first sock. That might explain it!)
The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Solemate which I picked up in a Soakbox at Vogue Knitting Live (2011). This was an early Soakbox so it only had yarn, a small Heel lotion, and a travel-sized Soak wash packet. (I love the new ones with nail polish! I love nail polish, guys.) I have to admit, the Outlast climate-control technology in the Solemate yarn (I still have no idea how it works but it sounds really magical) was what really sold me. I love it when there’s “technology” in things that are otherwise not technological. (I also know that everything involves technology. You know what I mean.)
Here’s the thing: I don’t really like variegated yarns. (Omg, Am I racist against multicolored yarns? I love all yarns. Except cotton. I am a little racist against cotton yarns. Sorry! Just being honest.) I mean, I like hand-dyed yarns and their variations within but I don’t buy yarns with lots of different colors (unless I really like them). I think it has to do with my minimalist style. Also, purple is not one of my favorite colors. But I bought this anyway because it sounded cool and I was at Vogue Knitting for the first time and I kind of assumed this would go into my stash for a long long time.
I can’t tell you what made me pull it out and design this pattern with this yarn I felt so iffy about. It was a long time ago. But I promised myself I’d design a pair of socks that showcased the different colors in the yarn.
Here’s the other thing: when it comes to knitting socks, I refuse to knit cabled/lacework socks with variegated yarn. Makes me dizzy and I really want to show off the stitch pattern. That stuff gets lost with yarns that aren’t solid colors. I guess that’s why I don’t like variegated yarns as much because it means that I either knit a plain sock that looks cool because it’s variegated but is boring to knit or do a variegated/solid stripe which would involve some forethought because I’d have to buy a solid yarn to go with it. Not so good for my fast and loose stash-busting sock-knitting style. So that’s why, when I’m enhancing my stash, I try to stay away from those variegated yarns. (I’ve written ‘variegated’ a lot in this post.)
Long story short (too late) I made these. I used the linen stitch for the first time. I like that it is still elastic but looks totally unique. It really lends itself to the variations in the yarn. (In fact, a lot of people have mistaken my instagram photos for the Broken Seed Stitch Sock which is actually knit with a solid and variegated yarn since this colorway has white in it. You can tell by the toes that it’s one skein but I like the illusion that it might be two!) The pattern is toe up (because I refuse to believe that ankle down socks are a thing, there’s another thing I don’t like!), knit on size 1s with a slip stitch heel. Slip stitch heels are not my favorite and I think they’re kind of baffling but I wanted to break my short-row heel habit. It also has the perfect look with the linen stitch and actually kind of mimics it, too. I like that part!
I’m really pleased with how these turned out. I love that they took a skein of yarn I was otherwise stumped by and turned them into something unique that looks a little complex, too. Maybe I don’t dislike variegated yarns after all! We’re all kind of like variegated yarns deep down inside, aren’t we?
I love designing sock patterns. I recently realized that I’ve improvised more of my own sock designs than I’ve made from patterns. I’m always looking for new projects so I’m tempted to turn some of my sock designs into proper patterns.
What do you think? And how do you feel about variegated yarns?
Tags: broken seed stitch sock, design, FO, heel lotion, linen stitch, Lorna's Lacces, Maven, multicolored, original, oulast, pattern, second sock syndrome, slip stitch heel, soak, soakbox, sock, Solemate, toe up, variegated, Vogue Knitting Live, yarn
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?
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
Tags: Amy Christoffers, baby kimono, brooklyn tweed, Cascade Eco Duo, crux socks, design, embroidery, gift, goals, hamburger sweater, hand knit, learn to sew, loft yarn, Maxfield, new years resolution, Pomme de Pin, raglan, sock pattern, sweater, there's no place like home, triangle socks, wedding
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.
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.)
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?
It’s almost the end of the year and I’m still discovering things that I made in 2011 that were never photographed. This one was a quick knit but I feel like I should have them all up here. That’s the point right? Better late than never, eh?
Last winter, Jon was begging me for a hat that would cover his ears. Mainly because he didn’t think that his boss and coworkers at his grown up job would appreciate the irony of wearing a Communist hat to work at one of the largest privately owned companies in the country. So we looked for something that would suit him and I ended up making this cashmere longshoreman hat.
I guess the idea orginially came out of Steve Zissou as Jon’s a die hard Bill Murray fan.
But it may have something to do with his other hero in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
It really came to fruition after seeing what might be my favorite episode of Bored to Death (RIP) “Two Large Pearls and a Bar of Gold” in which my mom’s favorite actor and long-time crush Rene Auberjonois asks “Why are you dressed like longshoremen?”
So I made him a guard outfit hat. The New York hat (and scarf) pattern worked up great in Jade Sapphire cashmere 4-ply. Any chance I get to knit with cashmere, I take, obviously. You’d be crazy not to.
After wearing it for a season and a half, it’s grown a little bit which is frustrating but it still fits well and keeps him toasty. He loves it but I think he just wants to be Ted Danson.
Do you find that cashmere grows a lot? How yummy are cashmere hats? Why are you dressed like longshoremen?
I finished my Maxfield cardigan! It took my a while but I’m going to blame it on the big break I took to make Katie’s wedding present. No regrets there! But I was just in time because I got to wear my newly finished Maxfield Cardigan to Rhinebeck! But I didn’t take any photos because I was so busy!
Okay, that’s not true. I took this photo with design crush Amy Christoffers! Both of us wearing her designs! Be still my heart!
Hint: There will be a KYC Presents interview coming up featuring a lovely designer who’s name rhymes with Jamy Tristoffers! Did you guess who it is? Are you excited? I am not the only fangirl for Amy’s designs (you know who you are) so I hope there are lots of you looking forward to that!
Anyway, I finished my Maxfield Cardigan. And there were no pictures since that little sleeve teaser and some Instagrams of the front. But here are some photos of the whole shebang.
I love each one of Amy’s cardigans more than the last. This one seems even more wearable than the Pomme de Pin. (I love them both.)
The Malabrigo is so yummy and soft. I am very pleased with how the colors turned out. Just how I’d imagined it! But, honestly, I want to make another one. Maybe grey and black? I think I need more neutrals. And by that I mean to say I’m addicted to neutrals.
Look at that collar! I know that I knit the chevrons differently than the pattern specified (with the dec/inc going through the MC sections) but I like the way it turned out. But, really, the front panels are killer.
I had SO MANY knitters come up to me at Rhinebeck and ask what pattern I was wearing. I was so excited! It is such a compliment to hear other knitters wanting to cast on once they’ve seen your work. But I was mainly psyched to spread Amy’s name. I want everyone to be knitting her sweaters! Make this sweater! It’s so much fun!
ps. You’re looking better than ever, New York! Don’t forget to participate in the Subway Knits Sandy benefit raffle! Lorna’s Laces is also selling sock patterns to benefit Sandy victims through Feeding America.
pps. To all of my American readers, tomorrow is the election! I hope you all plan on going to the polls (or have already voted, as I have!) VOTE!
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)
Tags: and your little dog too, chain stitch, couching, diy, embroidery, friends, friendship, handmade gift, handmade wedding, pillow, present, sew pillow, there's no place like home, wedding, wedding gift, Wizard of Oz
Last week was my birthday. Jon and I finally went to The Dutch. (Try the Devil’s Food Cake!)
Last year we had planned to go to The Dutch, too. In fact, Jon made reservations. But then there was this hurricane that everyone lost their minds over and the whole city shut down and they cancelled our reservation and closed the restaurant for the weekend and we never bothered to go. Remember Hurricane Irene? It wasn’t a very big deal in the city once it was all over but at the time, everyone was freaking out. (I know it effected more people up north and I hope they’ve recovered over the past 12 months!) That was my birthday.
Since the mayor decided to shut down all of the trains, one thing lead to another and Jon was asked to stay in a hotel near his office for the weekend so that someone could be around from his department if no one else could go in on Monday morning. So he called me and asked, “Do you want to stay at the Dream Hotel for free for your birthday weekend?”
Because everything was closed and also because it was my birthday and no one could tell me not to, I spent most of it in a bath robe watching National Geographic shows about being in prison and sipping on wine (so classy, I can’t stand it) while knitting these socks. And I haven’t posted them yet. I didn’t even make a project page for them on Ravelry or take proper pictures. How did that happen?
The pattern is the Traveller sock by Diana Gates. They’re the first toe-up socks I attempted. And, frankly, I fell in love. Toe-up socks FOREVER! I used some stashed Aslan Trends Invernal yarn which is awesome although thick for socks, now that I’ve made a few pair. It’s a worsted angora-merino with nylon so it’s super soft and squishy but durable. I honestly don’t remember which needles I used. The pattern calls for size 5…that sounds right. Who knows!
I wore them a ton over the winter. I’m sure you can tell because they’ve felted a little around the toe and bottom of the cables (It’s kind of gross to picture my socks felting from my sweaty feet rubbing around inside my shoes. You didn’t just come here for pretty yarn photos, did you?) They’re perfect weekend around-the-house socks or perfect throw-on-loafers-and-get-bagels-Saturday-morning socks. And if you follow me on instagram, you probably saw a lot of them. I’d definitely make another pair in a minute. I’m not all about fussy socks so these are just what I like. Pretty simple with a nice clean detail, super soft and cushy, and quick to knit up. Ravelry project page forthcoming!
Have you ever spent a birthday knitting?
Is it too hot to think about socks? Do some of us ever stop thinking about socks? How about remembering a colder time when I started these socks?
Well, I had really terrible second sock syndrome. I just feel awful about it because I love this yarn and the cable pattern is really fun. I don’t know exactly what distracted me after I made the first sock (which I was working on at VKL!) But I was obviously distracted.
I finally had a chance to finish them before Memorial Day. I’m so pleased with how they turned out. I think they look even cooler than the ones I wanted from Toast.
Standing on my fire escape over the weekend, modeling these socks, I was sweating bullets. What warm cozies! I can’t wait to wear them in the snow!
Have you recently overcome second sock syndrome? How do you get through it?
I was doing very well working one project at a time. And then everything went wrong. I got second sock syndrome on my loft socks so I made a hamburger sweater. I’d still had these socks on the needles that I was working on for my dad since December. I dove into the Pomme de Pin but when it came to starting the collar, I got the urge to make these crazy socks.
So I ordered some Quince and Co Finch since I’ve never worked with their yarns before. I was hoping I’d have them in the mail by the time I was finished with my Pomme de Pin. When it came in just a few days later, I thought, I’ll just swatch and block and my swatch will be all finished by the time I finish my Pomme de Pin. But then I thought, well I’ll just test out the intarsia pattern to see if it looks odd. And when that swatch is done, I’ll be ready to start the socks when I’m finished with my Pomme de Pin.
Long story short, I knit a whole sock before I picked up my Pomme de Pin again. I was so ashamed, I didn’t want to tell anyone and I didn’t post about it here. (Though there is evidence on my instagram.) I feel less guilty about it now that my cardigan is all finished. But I had a hard time pulling myself away to set in the sleeves.
Oh but it was so worth it.
These socks look just like my original sketch so I’m really psyched. It’s an odd design that I hadn’t seen before so I had a really strong urge to make them.
Here’s the thing. I’m going to tell you straight up. Because I’m open like that.
I know you can’t do proper intarsia like this in the round. I know how knitting works, guys. But listen up. I don’t care. I did it anyway. Well, I did some ghetto non-intarsia which involved just bringing the red yarn back to the right needle the way I did when I knit my first scarf and I didn’t know how to carry yarn behind. I made sure to keep it as loose as possible so it didn’t ruin everything. I think I did a pretty good job considering it was a less-than-perfect measure. (I should take a picture of the wrong side. It’s a little embarrassing. But I guess the cat’s out of the bag now!)
Listen, you can judge me all you want. I’d probably do the same.
But my socks look dope. You’re just jealous.
Now that I’ve gone over my ghetto intarsia and multiple WIPs, I kind of feel like these socks are the bastard step-children of my recent knitting. But they rebelled by being pretty awesome. They do what they want.
Pattern: my own toe-up sock pattern
Yarn: Quince and Co Finch in Egret and Peak’s Ferry
Needle: size 0