The holidays are hardly here and things area already crazy, am I right? I promise to stick with you guys through it all. Let’s not decide to make hats for everyone in our family this year, deal? Deal.
I always like to put together a gift guide around this time of year. I usually hold onto it longer but with the big sales coming up, you ought to be prepared. As I say every year, there’s no yarn in my gift guides. Yarn is a pretty safe bet (I recommend a luxurious, hand-dyed sock yarn) but it’s been done. Get that knitter in your life something else and they’ll really think you were paying attention when they were ranting about their notions bag. If you impress a knitter come holiday time, they might consider going through some excruciating Christmas knitting for you next year!
1. Knit and Let Knit Tote by Fringe Association
2. Pewter Knit Pendant by Furls Crochet
3. Pouch by Mary Buttons
4. Corozo grommet buttons from Fringe Association
5. Sheepish Notebook by Jill Draper Makes Stuff
6. Moving Mud glass stitch markers from Purl Soho
7. Stitched Away nail decals from Jamberry Nails
8. Oval knit stitch earrings by Jennie the Potter
Don’t forget, knitters love handmade gifts! When in doubt, shop local. You can’t miss!
Knitters, what’s on your wish list this year?
Tags: buttons, earrings, fringe association, furls, furls crochet, gift, gift guide, glass, jamberry, jennie the potter, jill draper makes stuff, journal, knitters gift guide, knitting bag, knitting earrings, knitting gifts, knitting jewelry, mary buttons, moving mud, nail art, nail decals, nails, notebook, notions, pendant, pouch, project bag, purl soho, sheep, stitch markers, tote, tote bag, wishlist, yarn jewelry
I must admit, I am probably the most neglectful of notions. I’ve lost just about every stitch marker, I can never seem to find my tape measure, and, though I once had over 30 tapestry needles that I was lucky enough to pick up (for free!) from a craft office that was spring cleaning, they’ve all gone to that magical land where that one double pointed needle hides in the couch cushion. Because of this, I rarely invest in anything. Many knitters own beautiful hand-made stitch-markers from Jennie the Potter, I could just throw a $20 bill in the trash because those will gone before you can stay wrap-and-turn. (More often than not, I use a paperclips because I won’t cry when I lose them.)
What I’m getting at is that when Sarah The Sexy Knitter asked me if I wanted to give one of her Knitter’s Tool Tins a spin, I felt like I’d really put it through the ringer. Actually, my first thought was that it had never occurred to me that I could have all of my notions together in a travel-sized case (with an adorable lamb on it!). Could the answer be so simple?
The Knitter’s Tool Tin really has everything one might need. And I’m proud to say that in the month and a half since I received mine, I’ve only lost two stitch markers. Actually, I started putting any other stitch markers (that still survive) into the tin for safe keeping and it’s seems to have done the trick. (Maybe those Jennie the Potter markers will one day be a reality!)
This seems silly to say out loud but having all of my notions together in a travel-sized case is a pretty brilliant idea. I keep everything I’ve collected in a big bag so it’s not really portable or organized or sense-making. Before Rhinebeck I didn’t have to think “Where’s my tape measure?” and “Did I pack scissors or are they under a pile of junk on the coffee table?” (let’s keep it real). I just threw the tin into my project bag and when someone at the house needed to borrow a cable needle, well, guess who was ready to help!
The Knitter’s Tool Tin comes with a 2 1/2″ stitch holder, a 2″ cable holder, a mini double-ended crochet hook (which is something I didn’t know I needed), a tape measure, 5 origami stitch markers (that Sarah makes herself, they’re very cute, hope I don’t lose any more), miniature scissors (safe for your carry-on), and 3 different sewing needles that live on a magnetic strip on the lid of the metal tin. It’s just a great little kit. I may buy another to leave in my purse or maybe two so I can leave one in the glove compartment of my car. The tins are $25 each and you can get one with a custom picture for $30.
I’m sure I sound like a complete scatter brain but I’m really loving this kit. Thanks for sending me this one, Sarah! They’ll make great stocking-stuffers for all of the knitters on your Christmas list. Just a hint. But really.
Do you have a tool tin for your notions?
Tags: cable holder, crochet hook, gift, knitter's tool tin, mini scissors, notions, origami, sarah wilson, sexy knitter, stitch holder, stitch marker, stocking stuffer, tape measure, tapestry needle, the knitter's tool tin, the sexy knitter, tin, tool tin, travel, travel-size
There are a few things I won’t do. I won’t dye and I won’t spin. I don’t quilt. And, as of right now, I don’t crochet. It’s not that I’m against other crafts, I love even the ones I can’t understand. I just can’t allow myself to have other hobbies. My yarn stash is out of control and, since I started sewing at the beginning of the year, I’m having trouble finding places to store the new yardage I’ve been collecting. One day, when I am a grown up, I will have a house with a craft room and there will be a closet full of yarn and a cabinet of fabric and a sewing machine, serger, floor loom, spinning wheel, and maybe even a knitting machine. But right now, in my one-bedroom, I am bursting at the seams (craft pun) with bobbins, tapestry needles, cross stitch canvasses, etc.
But if I could have a new hobby, if I did allow myself to learn something new, to take time away from that mile-long queue of sweaters and hats and socks, if it were possible to store a little frame under my bed between the sewing patterns and bags of yarn, that hobby would be weaving.
To be honest, I know how to weave. I have a small table top loom that I received as a gift years ago and I made lots of little patterned ribbons with linen thread. When I saw these woven wall hangings coming back into style (they’re really 70’s, huh?) I tried to ignore it. But now it’s too late. The pastel, textured beauties have caught me and I want one of my own.
I’ve considered taking a class (maybe one at the Textile Arts Center or this one at Makeshift Society Brooklyn) but I am the most stubborn kind of DIY-er. I like to think that I can figure out how to do anything on my own. Pickling? Sewing buttonholes? Weaving? I’m sure I can make it work. Besides, I have the internet to help me. Some resources I’ve found for DIY weaving frame, the anatomy of a loom, and a tapestry tutorial. So I might go for it. I mean, it would be a good way to use up my stash, right?
Do you limit your hobbies? Have you caught the weaving craze? How are you learning?
On 364 days of the year, I would never be caught dead wearing an American flag t-shirt or rocking stars-and-stripes nail art. I wouldn’t say that I’m not proud to be an American but I wouldn’t go singing about how I’m free, yadda yadda. To me, America is like an embarrassing parent. It’s great and it doesn’t give me a hard time about my curfew but sometimes I wish it would wear something different when we go to the mall. (Can you go lead the free world away from me and my friends? I’m trying to get Europe to notice me!) To put it simply, I am not an American of the AMURICA variety.
All of that aside, I love Independence Day. I love grilling, I love drinking domestic beers, I love the Founding Fathers (sorry those assholes are always dragging you guys into everything). I want to get drunk and watch 1776 on full volume.
Since tomorrow is AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY, I thought it would only be appropriate to share some yarns that are Made in America. There are lots of amazing yarns coming from around the globe but there is an excitement for me in buying locally and supporting America’s textile renaissance.
Here are some yarns hailing from California to the New York Island.
1. A Verb for Keeping Warm Floating in Transitional Fury
2. Quince & Co. Puffin in River
3. Jill Draver Makes Stuff Mohonk in Bing Cherry
4. Imperial Yarn Columbia 2-ply in Natural
5. Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Almanac
In the spirit of the holiday, I am reminded of the American colonists who eschewed British fabrics and produced their own homespun to boycott unjust taxes. Those are our very own forefathers of American DIY!
I’d love to collect a better list. What are your favorite American-made yarns?
So, first off, Vogue Knitting Live was a success! I had a great time catching up with a bunch of people and learning a ton and, oh, right, shopping. I haven’t had the energy to put together all of my thoughts and photos yet but I promise it’ll come soon! Wonderful seeing all of you there and to those I missed, I hope you had a fab time, too!
I guess 2014 is going to be a big year because I’ve seemed to start off with an adventurous spirit. A couple weeks ago I was hanging out around the neighborhood with Ashley and Kelly after a movie date and some beer. And they just kind of convinced me to spontaneously get my ears pierced. I’ve been talking about it for years now but I’m a scaredy cat. (I had them pierced once before and it was terrible and painful.) So I just went ahead and did it.
Now that that’s happened, I’ve been shopping for every earring under the sun because I can! So I put together a few that caught my eye that you might like, too. I do it all for you, not for selfish reasons at all!
I’ll be buying all of these now, thank you. Is it redundant to wear sweater earrings with your sweaters? (Yo, dawg, I heard you liked sweaters so we put sweaters on your sweaters!) I THINK NOT.
Can you tell I’m still loopy from a weekend of excitement at VKL? What’s your favorite knitted jewelry?
Once the weather gets the slightest bit of chill in it, I am craving pumpkin. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pie. From September 1st to December 1st, I am annually on a mission to ingest as much pumpkin as possible.
Maybe this season we can wrap ourselves in pumpkin-colored sweaters, too! Here are some spicy, warm, and sweet yarns in your favorite flavor!
I’d love a big cowl or maybe a pair of mittens in pumpkin. But a wooly pair of socks sound nice too! There’s just too much pumpkin and not enough time.
What’s your favorite pumpkin treat for the fall?
ps. The winners of the #kollabsockalong were announced yesterday! Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated!
A lot of people are dissing the gown Maggie Gyllenhaal wore to the White House Down premiere. They are wrong. THIS IS THE BEST DRESS I’VE EVER SEEN!
Gyllenhaal wore this Christian Dior dress to the New York premiere. It’s got a cabled skirt with a crocheted peplum. It’s chic and crazy and I don’t think that anyone else could ever pull it off. In fact, Maggie looks psyched about it. High five, girl! Black and white knits are so in. It’s a great piece of knitwear that showcases a lot of different stitches and shows the versatility of knitted fabric
Here it is on the runway for the Fall 2013 collection.
I’m pretty sure the bottom is navy while the top and peplum are black. I’m not sure how I feel about that but I just can’t hate anything about it. This is a thing that I wish I’d made. It’s outrageous in the best way possible. What have I been doing with my life? I quit knitting forever.
What do you think? Do you love it or hate it?
photos via Tom and Lorenzo
I’ve been seeing a lot of great little pouches out there in the world. I really want to buy them all and keep them but I don’t know what I’d do with them! Remember all of that junk in my notions bag? (Just as an FYI I’ve already typed the word “notion” so many times that it sounds weird in my head.) I love the crazy collage bag that I use to store all of my stitch markers and cable needles. It feels durable and it’s the perfect size. While I was in Chicago, I bought a little drawstring project bag (it’s got little embroidered sheep on it!) in the hopes of keeping myself organized.
If I were ever to retire my notion bag or invest in new project bags, I’d probably sew new ones for myself. Of course, I’m an advocate for handmade everything. I see pouches and all I can think of is organizing everything in my life into little decorative bags and mason jars. That would be wonderful. So I’ve been gathering inspiration for bags and here are my three favorites!
Do you keep lots of bags for your knitting stuff? What do you look for in a project bag?
How was your long weekend? I basically did nothing but knit and switch between Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica while drinking beer and eating bacon jam. I actually feel guilty about how awesome it was. But I can’t show you much of what I’m working on because (!!!) it’s a design for Holla Knits’ Fall/Winter collection! Isn’t that awesome? You’re all going to love it.
Between long stretches of knitting, I gave myself a break to check instgram (I have an addiction) and play a game that I’ve become totally obsessed with called Tiny Sheep. I decided to just come out and write about it here because I like to remind you that I am still a 15-year-old girl on the inside and I’m especially shameless when knitting is involved even in the slightest.
Tiny Sheep is an iPhone game (also available for Android) in which players run a sheep farm. It’s time-based so things grow and work while you’re away from the game. It’s a lot like those other annoying games that I was crazy about for a week and then completely abandoned. (I’m looking at you, Farmville. Guys, I played Farmville for a while. It was not the coolest thing I’ve ever done.)
But this time I can be a shepherd on my phone with pink sheep. Pink sheep!
I’m fertilizing grass and sheering sheep and spinning their wool into sweaters and Ugg boots (yeah, I don’t know). It’s pretty addictive. I’m pretty sure that this free app was developed entirely for my own amusement. Like a game of my dream life if my dream life were a game. I’ve never been interested in playing a game where I virtually knit things. I’m not really big into gaming in general because it takes my hands away from knitting. (I do love to watch other people play while I knit, though. Seriously. And when I do game, I get carried away.) But I like that this is a game of management and a lot of patience instead of marathon playing. And I like to dream about being a shepherd even if I have to be one on my coffee breaks at work.
Did I mention there are pink sheep?
ps. The final set of instructions for the Michelle Collar are up on Kollabora! If you were waiting for the whole thing, feel free to cast on now! What are you waiting for?
I’m not really one for celebrity gossip. I love some Jennifer Lawrence but I don’t buy into the tabloids. I don’t really care about who’s dating who. When it comes to the Royals, I’m generally not interested. But when my amazingly talented friend Kelly posted this article about Kate Middleton’s new hobby, I was giddy! The Duchess of Cambridge has taken up knitting while waiting for the next Royal to arrive. Obviously she and I are automatic best friends now. I wonder what adorable little things she is making for the baby. Now, lots of celebrities knit but I thought that it was really sweet that Kate said she could use some tips for improvement. I wish I could go give her a lesson over tea and biscuits!
In honor of Kate’s new hobby, I put together a few yarns that were born in the UK.
And how could this collection be complete without the Knit Your Own Royal Wedding book by Fiona Goble?!
I wonder if we can send Kate some knitting advice. My favorite thing to tell beginners is this: There are only two stitches. Once you know them both you can make ANYTHING so there’s no reason to be intimidated!
What’s your advice for new knitters? Are you listening, Kate? We’re here to help!
ps. Check out Francesca’s test knit of my Olivia pattern. I love the color she chose!