27
Mar

Equality for All!

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life, want

I think knitting can and should be political but I try not to do that too much here. This is a happy place for yarn and socks. But I can’t be happy making socks until justice has been served. I don’t know how the SCOTUS will rule but I can only join in with my friends around the country who agree that it’s time for marriage equality. While there is still a lot of work to be done to make this country truly equal for everyone, it hurts me to see so many of my best friends living without some very basic rights.

My parents come from different faiths. While it’s hard to compare their marriage to current events, I’ve always felt a kinship with those who are not in traditional relationships. I learned from my mom and dad early on that family doesn’t have a strict definition as long as there is love.

equality

I made this little rainbow to show support for marriage equality in my own, yarny way. Let’s spread the love.

Knitters for equality!

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26
Feb

Sheep Humor

Written by Sarah. Posted in kollabora, life, that gif post

It’s already turning out to be a rough week. I’ve spent a few too many nights building Ikea furniture. (I really can’t stop myself when I go to Ikea.) Anyway, since there’s not much to report on my knitting front (still working on that damn faire isle sweater), let’s just have a laugh.

If you haven’t seen this video of goats yelling like humans, do so now. God I love goats. If you liked that, you’ll love this:

Okay, I promise there will be actual posts about actual things this week. Stay tuned. I’m going to go drink some tea.

ps. Check it out, I was featured in Kollabora’s Meet the Maker profile!

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21
Feb

The Un-Knitting Machine

Written by Sarah. Posted in art, design, DIY, knits, life, yarn

Now, I know what you’re thinking. An un-knitting machine is hardly the kind of thing that you should expect to see on a knitting blog. It seems a little counter productive. I, too, have felt the disappointment that is frogging a big piece of knitwear. It’s like watching your life flash before your eyes in reverse. But with a lot more swearing. And hopefully there’s alcohol to ease the pain.

But a few things caught my eye about Imogen Hedges‘ un-knitting machine, and I’ve been meaning to share it with you all for a while now. Wouldn’t the hurt of ripping out a sweater be made a lot easier by doing it painlessly and fast? And aren’t those bike pedals nifty? It looks like it’s about as fun as making the sweater itself.

Imogen Hedges from Rachel Mc Closkey on Vimeo.

What really struck a chord with me, though, is the recycling trend that I’ve seen on the rise on Ravelry. Knitters are salvaging old thrift store finds for their yarn, un-knitting them (if you will) and making brand new things with the yarn. There are some Ravelry groups dedicated to the techniques of upcycling sweaters. Some especially resourceful makers on Twitter and instagram are hand dying the yarn for an even more interesting look!

And the best part is that knitters can score a sweaters’-worth of  nice fibers like cashmere and merino for $4 thanks to their local Goodwill and a little ingenuity.

Besides the price and the thrill of the hunt, this movement is really exciting for me. We knitters are innovative. (I mean, somebody invented a bicycle that unravels sweaters, for goodness sake!) We may not always mean to but making our own clothing helps take back from the industrial cheap fashion behemoth that is so omnipresent these days. We are investing time and love into custom pieces of clothing that will receive proper care and be worn for years. But why not take it a step further? Green DIY conjures up images of sock puppets and toilet paper tube Christmas wreaths but we can make it glamorous. We can take things that we already own (or someone else owned) and we can give new life to them. We can mend and alter our clothing instead of throwing away cash on cookie cutter closets. And we can get a sense of the work that our favorite independent dyers and spinners are doing.

My dad recently gave me one of his old wool sweaters. (It started as a request for a custom sweater since his was ruined and ended with me begging him to donate his moth-hole-ridden jumper for me to experiment with. He may have gotten the better end of the bargain.) I can’t wait to give un-knitting a try. I am ready to make brand new recycled clothes!

And to top it all off, now I can add to my stash (on the DL) when I’m away from the yarn store. And that’s a gift in and of itself.

Have you ever un-knit a sweater? What are your tips?

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19
Feb

FO: Great Divide Shawl

Written by Sarah. Posted in accesories, blocking, FO, knits, lace, life, photos, shawl, technique

Wow! I had such a productive long weekend! While most of it felt relaxing (because I was knitting), I got so much done (mostly in the knitting department…I also made cookies). One of the things that I finished was my Great Divide shawl. And I’m in love.

great divide

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really into wearing shawls. That is definitely going to change. It’s exactly what I need for chilly spring days. (Speaking of, it was way more than chilly while taking these photos. Oh my god was I freezing. Can you tell?) I’m psyched that I had these colors in my stash. I’m one happy camper.

I’ve recently discovered that I totally love blocking. I used to really hate it (I might’ve mentioned it here). In an effort to change my ways, I’ve had a tub for blocking for a while now and I bought some proper wool soap (though I’ve used Doctor Bronner’s – which my aunt Sherry said she used to use on embroideries, thanks for the tip! – the past couple of times since my wool wash was packed away and I’ve enjoyed the results!). I guess having some space in the new apartment to lay out the pieces without being totally in the way is encouraging. The blocking kit my mom got me helps too, though I’ve had that for a long time, too.

great divide 2

 

Although this wasn’t lace per se, this piece really needed a good blocking and everything opened up beautifully! I’m totally learning the merits of blocking my knits and I don’t hesitate to do it any longer!

I’m very excited about this shawl! It looks like I’m still growing as a knitter! Knitting shawls and blocking things! What a change! Maybe I’ve been replaced with an alien or a robot? I like cleaning the kitchen now, too. I’m definitely sick, guys.

Brb, going to check WebMD.

How do you feel about blocking? What’s something you made that surprised you?

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11
Feb

FO: Linen Stitch Sock and Variegated Yarns

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, DIY, FO, knits, life, photos, socks, yarn

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.)

linen stitch sock

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.)

linen stitch detail

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.

linen stitch sock 2

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!

linen stitch sock 3

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?

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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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07
Jan

WIP: Faire Isle, Slowly

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, knits, life, sweater, WIP

Remember that sweater I cast on during my hurrication? It’s still here, guys.

Just as I suspected, it took a back seat during holiday knitting season. (And by back seat, I mean I was sitting on it, wedged between the cushion and the arm of the couch because that’s where I store my WIPs. I’m not even joking. I just promised myself that I’d get a proper place for them. Let’s make that happen.) After the blur of the holidays plus a big secret project (sorry, suspense!), I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d worked on it. I was half way through the armhole shaping on the back. Why, oh, why do I always put down a piece when I’m working on the armhole shaping? Then I pick it up and I can’t trust that I marked the proper place where I’d left off and I’m suspicious and double guessing the whole way through.

Anyway, over the past week, I was able to not only finish the back but I also worked on my Zelda cross stitch and knit up a new (but simple) design. Pretty neat, huh? I guess since I spent all of New Year’s Day on it, I got a couple of extra hours.

Here it is, so badly in need of a blocking (and better lighting).

 

faire isle back debbie bliss

 

As I’m a professional, I held the piece up to my back (you know, the scientific way of measuring garments) and I’m now a little terrified that it won’t fit. I know I voiced my concerns about the sweater being snug before. Now that I’ve completed the entire back piece, there’s really no turning back. Also, since I’m definitely, absolutely a professional, I didn’t bother blocking my gauge swatch so I have no idea if blocking the pieces will help loosen things up. (I’ll remember that for that “How to Knit a Gauge Swatch” post…)

Since it’s wool and most of my sweaters end up being massive, I can only assume that giving a nice soak will give me about an inch more which would be a big help. That or I need to go on a diet, ASAP. I’m not giving this sweater up. I’m too in love.

faire isle 2 wrong side

Here’s a picture of the wrong side. I like sharing my wrong sides a lot. I feel like it’s not something that’s out there enough and I think that they’re interesting and beautiful in their own way. I’ve also gone on weird OCD searches for them when I’m afraid I’m not doing a technique properly. The backside of a faire isle piece is important the way that the back of a cross stitch is important (says myself, who has sloppy, terrible cross stitch backs). Also, you can see that I have hours worth of ends to weave in. Party!

Anyway, this sweater isn’t the quick, simple project I thought it would be. But are they ever? My only hope is that I have time to finish the front before winter is over. Ok, my only OTHER hope is that it fits. And that I don’t cry. Those are my only three hopes. Oh, and also that I don’t run out of yarn because St. Denis is discontinued. Ahahaha!

Please help me.

My sweater’s going to stretch out, right? Do you like looking at wrong sides? Would you share yours?

 

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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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27
Dec

December Photos

Written by Sarah. Posted in cardigan, cooking, DIY, faire isle, food, holiday, knits, life, new york city, photos, style, yarn

How was your holiday? I hope you got some time off even if you weren’t celebrating. Jon and I cooked Christmas dinner for my mom’s family. It was overwhelming but it turned out great. It felt so wonderful to take the pressure off of my grandma who has made us many many Christmas dinners and deserves to have some time off from all of the fussing. Besides,who else can cook a better Christmas ham than a couple of New York Jews?

December has been a really wild month and I’m excited to see what is in store for next year. I don’t think I’ve ever said that before! (I actually feel nervous and sad around the end of the year most of the time. I think I get a little bit too nostalgic. This year, I’m looking ahead and excited by what’s on the horizon!) I’ve been very good about taking photos, as I promised.

The month is certainly not over yet but here are a few of the pictures I’ve taken in December.

december

A lot happened this month. And there are plenty more photos on instagram where you can see all of the crazy projects I’ve been working on. I can’t wait to reveal them all!

Did you have a busy holiday? Are you excited for next year? Do you have any knitting goals lined up?

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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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