26
Sep

BENETTON: THE ART OF KNIT

Written by Sarah. Posted in art, knits, new york city, photos, style, travel, want

Last week I stopped by the awesome Benetton Pop-Up Shop in SoHo. It felt a little bit like a knitted Wonka Factory! The shop is only selling knits and it’s full of wooly goodness and some pretty awesome knitted decorations. (Caution, somewhat NSFW…I guess. I never thought I’d be saying that on this blog.)

Hanging on the walls are yarn bombs of everything from telephones to wrenches. And some literal yarn porn. (Sorry, Mom!) Little knitted buntings hang under instructional ‘how-to-knit’ decals and drawings of sheep wearing faire isle sweaters.

While some of the exhibit is raunchy, it’s really a tribute to all things fiber. I spent probably an hour just admiring the details of what could have otherwise just been a sweater shop.

Although I didn’t pick up any sweaters (I may have touched every single item of clothing in the store, though, yelling OH THIS ONE IS SOFT TOO!), I might be heading back there to grab something warm or discover new details. The shop will be up through the end of the year and if you’re a fiberphile (literally here, I suppose!) in New York during the holidays, I suggest you take a look for yourself. Bring your pearls so you have something to clutch!

What do you think? Does this nasty knitted art make you blush or laugh!?

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13
Sep

ANIMAL NEEDLE FELTING

Written by Sarah. Posted in art, DIY, gift, life, photos

I’m all about giving hand made gifts. I like seeing genuine excitement instead of looking for a gift receipt. That feeling of pride as they unwrap it makes it just as much a present for me as it is for them. I like that my friends know that I really took the time to think about them and put lots of love into what I’ve made for them. And when they like something that is so full of love, it makes my heart swell.

That being said, I don’t often receive hand made gifts.

It’s a strange phenomenon, right? I’ve got a passion for things that are made from scratch. I know how to appreciate a good handmade gift! Well, my wonderful and talented Aunt Sherry made me an awesome handmade present for my birthday!

Isn’t he adorable!? She made this little guy after taking a class at an AENJ conference. (She’s always got the coolest crafts! And I’m still fascinated by the swag she brings me!) He’s made of alpaca from Back to Back Alpaca where you can also find a kit! I just want to cuddle him! It’s so exciting to get something so fun and so full of love from someone so close to me. (Love you, know you’re always reading!)

I was so excited to give him a spot on the shelf above my sewing machine. He looks very proud! Link is keeping him company.

I really don’t know anything about needle felting but it’s a craft so I’m obviously curious to learn more! (This book looks adorable!) Maybe my next present can be a lesson from my Auntie?

Do you know how to needle felt? What’s the skinny? Do you receive any handmade gifts?

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05
Sep

THROWBACK FO: IRENE SOCKS

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

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?”

Um. Yes.

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?

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29
Aug

I CAN’T TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT THIS

Written by Sarah. Posted in embroidery, gift, instagram, photos

But this is a photo of what I’m working on right now. It’s going to be really awesome. It’s an embroidery and it will involve some sewing. It has a deadline. I started way too late. It will be really cool when it’s done. I fricking can’t wait to tell you more.

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09
Aug

Summer in the City

Written by Sarah. Posted in food, holiday, life, movies, new york city, party, photos, summer, travel

It’s already August which means that the summer is almost over. I haven’t posted much about what I’ve been up to. I feel like I focus so much on the work I’m doing here and I would like to inject a little more personal fun stuff because why not! I’ve been looking back over my photos of all of the fun I’ve had and I sometimes have to wonder is this my life I’m living? Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of work, heavy lifting, and anxiety (I’ve learned that going to sleep early is a necessity. Even when it means skipping out on some fun) that goes on in the day to day but I somehow manage to pack a lot of adventures in to a little bidget and less free time.

Jon’s parents threw a big July 4th bar-b-que and my family got to join us for a day of drinking and swimming. And I made a tart. It was
really wonderful having so many people that I love celebrating together.

After seeing War Horse and getting a special backstage tour from our friend Holly, we dined at Strip House and joined Ashley and Andrew to
watch the fireworks in a special private party that we threw for ourselves atop Hearst Tower. What a view!

We picked cherries. Which was delicious and adorable. We picked vegetables which was hot but so rewarding especially as city folk. We ate at Googa Mooga and we went to a lot of brunches (but not enough, never enough).

We saw a movie in the park with Andrew and Holly. I’d never done that before and I can tell you it was because of the heat and the crowds but it was so much fun!

Jon and I joined Ashley in seeing OK Go. Ashley and I have seen them about once a year since we were 14. It’s still magical. We still sing every lyric and dance like crazy. It’s amazing that we are still who we are and they are still who they are after all of this time.

This past weekend was my friend’s bachelorette party which meant lounging and drinking on the beach with my closest girl friends from way back. It’s so wonderful to see that we are all living it up and I’m so proud of us for all being successful ladies!

As our friend Alex said, quoting White Knuckles, “Nothing ever doesn’t change, but nothing changes much.” It’s been a wonderful summer.

What have you done this summer? Are you still packing in memories before it’s over?

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30
Jul

KYC Presents: Ysolda Teague

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, KYC Presents, movies, photos

The time has finally come! I’ve had a hard time keeping up but the second short is finished! A lot of really wonderful knitters were involved in the finished short and I wanted to say here a huge thank you to all of you. It is so awesome to talk to people that love to knit and I find it so amazing that are willing to lend a hand on that basis alone.

My goal in this series is to really get knitters to meet, in a sense, the people behind their yarns, patterns, shops, etc. But I admit, my ulterior motive was to meet the people who’s work I’ve always admired and this was certainly true in this case. I’ve been a big fan of Ysolda’s since I started knitting and finally having a chat with her was just great. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Of course, big thanks to Jon for physically being there to make this short happen and to Andrew for the fab theme. Also to Ysolda’s assistant Sarah for setting us up! Enjoy!

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19
Jul

Maxfield Cardigan WIP

Written by Sarah. Posted in cardigan, design, knits, photos, WIP

When I posted about the Ishbel shawls, I was worried I would have to wing it! But the response that I got was overwhelming! I reached out to a lot of knitters on Ravelry and so many people were happy to be involved. I’ve gotten really supportive comments. You guys are the best! It’s really fun seeing my videos come together but when I feel that others want to be a part of it, it is even more meaningful. Thank you all!

Aside from editing up a storm and cooking some yummy stuff, I’ve been working non-stop on my Maxfield Cardigan. As predicted, I am obsessed with it. I am lucky I’ve left the house to go to work.

At first I was very nervous. I thought the stripes were too subtle especially with the variegation of the hand dyed MC. But the more I work on it and the more I see it in the sunlight, the more in love I become! The Malabrigo is softer than I could have dreamed. It’s really going to be wonderful to wear.

I’ve made a few mods in this first sleeve. I began with the 1×1 rib on size 2 needles instead of size 3. I’ll be honest, I did it because I wanted to cast on and I didn’t have any size 3s or time to swing by my LYS. But I rationalized this decision because I’ve been wearing my Pomme de Pin a lot recently and the sleeves are way too long and a little too wide for my taste as well. I think the smaller needles will make the cuff a little more secure. Since I was working on smaller needles, I added 3 rows of ribbing just for good measure.

The other modification I made (which you can’t see in this photo) after completing the increases, I decided to continue with the chevron pattern in the MC only. The pattern has you continue with the CC chevrons (making 6 sets total) but I wanted to make sure that the last set of chevrons didn’t look less pointy as I continue with stockinette stitch. I believe the sleeve length is 18″ where Amy suggests 19″ but, like I said, I was erring on the side of caution. Also, I’m very short.

This next picture is just because I’m obsessed with a nice shallow depth of field:

It could use some better exposure, though.

I think I’m off to a good start. I am loving the yarn and, of course, the pattern is fantastic. I think I’ll have this cardigan done in no time.

Have you cast on your Maxfield yet???

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11
Jul

FO: Cabled Toast Socks

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, DIY, FO, knits, photos, socks, style, summer

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?

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09
Jul

Lattice WIP, etc

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, knits, life, photos, style, summer, tank top, travel, yarn

I’ve been so busy over the past month yet I’ve done so much knitting! But I haven’t had any time to write about it. Really strange! I really need to do some catching up, though. So let’s start with what I’m working on right now.

As soon as I saw the pattern for the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top on the Purl Bee, I was obsessed. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was right in the middle of a pair of socks but I decided that I’d put them aside and run down to Purl Soho and buy some Madeline Tosh. I mean, there are only so many months that I can wear this thing and summer’s halfway over! And the pattern was written for MadTosh. How could I say no? I was leaving for a weekend trip to western Maryland so it would be easy road trip knitting. (Jon and I had never gone one a road trip before! It was very exciting and we saw a lot of cows and also a lot of signs about Jesus. Also, there are NO PARKING signs on the shoulders of I-78 in Pennsylvania. Who is parking there that they needed to go through so much trouble?)

Also, I generally hate summer knitwear. I like so few designs with short sleeves. I just think that they look awkward or I think, “Oh that would be really cute with long sleeves like a normal sweater!” Listen, I need cardigans and sweaters in the summer. It’s cold in restaurants and offices. And I don’t feel ashamed that I like having these things all year round and I don’t feel obligated to cast on tee shirts and the like just because the temperature is up. (Wow, am I a grouchy knitter or what?) This one, though, I think it’s really elegant and beautiful. Maybe I’m about to be converted!

 

Here’s what happened. I knit about five inches of the first side over the eight hours we were in the car. And I was pretty pleased with it although I would have liked something a little more challenging than stockinette. Then I got home and I started looking on Ravelry and I found diannabolical’s project page. I really like her style and I loved how her lattice top turned out. I really appreciate that it seems to fit her well. I think that some of the ones I’ve seen are sitting a little low and I’d like the lattice to start above where my bra ends. I also like shirts that are long so I don’t feel like they’re riding up all of the time. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. But diannabolical knit hers in the round and then put half on waste yarn and worked the top one half at a time, adjusting amount of bound off stitches.

Well, why didn’t I think to knit it in the round! I remembered thinking to myself how I wished it was knit in the round when I cast on but I was rushing around about the trip and didn’t bother putting my mind into the math. So I had that dilemma that I’m so often faced with: frog eight hours of work or finish the top and deal with the unsatisfactory construction forever. I agonized over it for about five minutes and then was reminded that I’ve been known to rip things out no matter how far along they are. So I did.

I cast on again, this time with 215 stitches (size medium calls for 109 stitches per side so I figured 218 total and subtracted 2 stitches which would be lost in seaming the two sides together. I went with 3 stitches in the end to keep the ribbing pattern consistent) and began again in the round. Of course, now I’m only about maybe eight inches into the body but I’m going to have something I’m very happy with. I often cut corners and deal with imperfections so I’m giving myself a big pat on the back for going back and doing things the right way.

Like I said, it’s not terribly exciting right now since it’s about a million rows of stockinette. But I push forward.

I am using Madeline Tosh Sport in Calligraphy for the body. The top lattice will be in Espadrilles because I’m really into this neon trend that’s going on this summer. Not that I’ll ever stop wearing neon when it goes out of fashion and not that I wasn’t wearing it in high school before it was cool (Disclaimer: I’m not cool nor was I ever).

Honestly, I’m really second-guessing my color choices. I feel like the pale pink of the Calligraphy is really nice but I’m not sure how it’s going to play with the neon pink up top. I keep trusting my gut, though, because it seemed like a really good choice when I bought it and I’d thought a lot about putting the neon up top and a neutral in the body for a while. I think I just get nervous especially when I have nothing else to focus on since I’m just doing rows and rows and rows of stockinette stitch.

Basically,

I’ve got more WIPs on my needles right now and I’ll show them off soon! How do you feel about summer knitting? Or have you given it up for the sewing machine?

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11
Jun

Yarn Bombs and Hot Tea

Written by Sarah. Posted in art, Brooklyn, design, DIY, holiday, knits, new york city, party, photos, summer, yarn

Some of you might have forgotten that Saturday was International Yarn Bombing Day. Did you do any crafty vandalism? While I thought about yarn bombing my own fire escape (wonder what my neighbor would say…), I was actually stuffing my face with bar-b-que at the Big Apple Bar-B-Que Block Party. I can’t say no to free food festivals.

But, while I was in Williamsburg on Friday, I saw a yarn bomb by Hot Tea. When I read this article on Gothamist, well, be still my heart! Check out this fantastic yarny art by New York’s newest yarn bomber. While I love Olek’s use of crochet in her bombs, Hot Tea’s work is really awesome. I love the geometric patterns and very cool utilization of straight lines.

More photos on his flickr!

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