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.
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!
I meant to have a proper post for today but this tedious but hopefully awesome project got in the way. You understand. So there is not a cool graphic as I’d hoped. C’est la vie!
After my post about Madewell’s animal sweaters (so hot right now), Amy sent me this photo of Princess Diana rocking her own awesome and famous sheep sweater. Or, I mean, jumper because that’s British for sweater. (Right-o!)
Great color, totally on trend with the animal print. She’s even got a peter pan collar which is the accessory for this season (though I’m sure hers isn’t a separate which is a trend I’m not sure I can get behind.)
And sheep. I didn’t think it was possible to love her more but here she is wearing a sweater that’s covered in sheep.
Are you making your own sheep sweater? Animal sweater? Are you making these collars that are not attached to shirts? Who thought of that? How do we feel about them?
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!?
Oh goodness, am I turning into Amy over at Threadpanda? I’ve been bitten by the sock bug! But who could blame me? My fantastic boyfriend bought me three skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft for Chanukah (with three skeins of Shelter…I’m still not sure what those will grow up to be). What’s a girl to do when given 825 yards of all-American fingering weight wool yarn (in that creamy-grey-brown Barn Owl colorway)? MAKES SOCKS, OBVIOUSLY.
I’ve had my eye on these gorgeous mustard socks from Toast for a while. I considered holding out for a similar mustard color but I realized I just really love neutrals so this is perfect. The minute I saw those gorgeous socks, I knew I had to make a pair of my own. I feel like I’ve been looking for a lot of knit-spiration recently and for a minute I felt ashamed that I hadn’t thought of this pattern but I am no longer.
Honestly, if there is one reason girls start knitting when they are fourteen it is because they want to make things that they can’t afford to buy. And while I’d love to just throw down the cash for these beautiful knee socks (oh, God, they’re on sale now, too!), I can’t be spending on things like socks when there’s yarn to be bought (clearly, the logic is flawed there but priorities are priorities). I will frankly have way more fun making a pair myself than just buying them. That’s cheating.
Here is one of the first photos of my WIP. Size 1s again with the Loft yarn. And I’m once again using a toe-up pattern I’ve formulated. I don’t think I ever want to knit socks ankle down again. Toe-up is the way to go! It looks kind of sad and shriveled up on the needles but the first sock is now finished and I think it turned out beautifully. My pattern has no cables on the bottom of the foot (cables where you walk sounds just awful to me, I can picture the freaky indentations on my soles). I’ve also included a little twist rib between the big cables since the garter stitch portions don’t look as clean. And also because I just wanted to add as many cables as I could squeeze on there.
I was so afraid that this first sock wouldn’t fit! The cables look so tight, probably from speed-knitting during my pre-coffee train ride. Some of the twists are sloppy but I’m going to change them on the second sock. They won’t match but the second one will look fantastic. Fortunately, this sock is perfectly snug and the yarn feels a lot softer on my foot without a wash than I was expecting. This has kept me from my first case of Second Sock Syndrome. I am knitting on!
Once sock numero dos is finished, there will be pictures a-plenty. These shriveled cables are making me think, I need a sock blocker, pronto. Any suggestions? Do wooden ones really get moldy from damp socks?
Okay, I’m getting behind so I’d better show you my first FO of the year! Of course, I haven’t even posted all of my FOs from 2011 but that will have to wait if I want to stay up-to-date in the new year! If you follow me on instagram, you’ll already have seen these little socks being worked up.
I haven’t written about it much here since the first post but I really am obsessed with knitting socks. They’re just great to have around! I could always use more socks and they’re small so I can work on them on the train and they’re simple so I can work on them while watching a movie without worrying about reading a pattern. They are kind of like little swatches so it’s the perfect place to play around with colorwork and cables.They are just the best thing to keep on the needles. And while I agree with Allyson of Sweatshop of Love that socks are not easily shown off to friends, co-workers, strangers on the C train or in line at the grocery store, it is really impressive to turn a heel like it ain’t no thang while carrying on a full conversation. I knit about five pairs over the last six months of 2011 and I’m pleased with every one of them.
Just before Christmas and the big move, I cast on this pair. I had high hopes for them but I think they got lost in the shuffle of packing and unpacking and the holidays. I carried them around too much and I put them down for a while. My big plan was to make these little beauties for Jon. I worked out a toe-up pattern with a quick gauge swatch I knitted up and I got to working and everything was fine. I guess I was dizzy with overwhelming thoughts of sugar plums that were going to forget to buy wrapping paper on Christmas Eve so somewhere around the heel I cut things short. At least I think that’s what happened. It could be that my gauge was too tight, as it tends to be with colorwork. Anyway, when I finally bothered to force it onto Jon’s foot, it didn’t fit.
So these socks are mine now. A little big in the heel for me but you can’t tell when I’m wearing shoes.
Obviously, these socks are inspired by the gorgeous Pia Wallen Crux Blanket. I, like so many others, am drooling over those gorgeous symmetrical crosses. So simple and beautiful. Recently, I’ve been using heavy inspiration in my knits. Socks are a great canvas for that, aren’t they?
You can really see the saggy heel here. Oh well!
Let’s see. These were knit on size 1 needles with Lion Brand LB Collection Baby Alpaca in black and natural. I’m sure I’ve said it before but I love LB Collection yarns because they’re soft and the colors are super classy and I like them especially because they’re inexpensive.
How do you feel about colorwork socks? Pay attention to your tension!
Thanks, Jon, for taking these beautiful photos of my socks with a real camera while I stood in the windowsill like a crazy knitter! I owe you a pair of socks…that actually fit!
Tags: baby alpaca, black and white, Crux Blanket, crux socks, FO, gauge, hand knit socks, Instagram, knit socks, knitting instagram, lb collection, lion brand, minimalist socks, natural, Pia Wallen, sock knitting, swatch, Sweatshop of Love, Threadpanda, toe-up sock pattern, toe-up socks
My dad always talks about a scene in the movie Moscow on the Hudson. I’ve never seen the whole movie but it stars Robin Williams as a Cold War Russian who defects and lives in New York City. In this scene, he goes to the grocery store to pick up some things for the family he is staying with. He asks the cashier where the line is for coffee, expecting to wait as he did in his homeland, and he’s directed to the coffee aisle. Seeing such a bountiful variety of coffee available in the American supermarket, he starts screaming “Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!” and has a bit of a nervous breakdown.
Walking into the Marketplace at Vogue Knitting Live was kind of the same experience for me.
I wanted time to browse the booths to I arrived about an hour and a half before my first lecture. The first thirty minutes there, I didn’t stop at any of the booths. I just walked around and saw yarn everywhere I turned. Wow. After the initial shock wore off, I actually managed to make it to the Soak booth where I got a temporary tattoo and bought one of those amazing Lorna’s Laces Maven and Heel gift sets I’d been seeing on instagram. I also bought a set of temporary tattoos (about which our friend Andrew said “Knitting-themed temporary tattoos? That’s quite a niche they’ve cornered”). I’m not sure why I bought them since I don’t rock temporary tattoos regularly but I had to.
I made a stop at Mochimochi Land and picked up a tiny hamburger kit! I told Anna all about why a tiny hamburger is the perfect thing to make Jon, about the movie, and the hamburger art I’ve been collecting for him.
I also checked out Stitchuary. I was really looking for unique yarns and spinners, less interested in LYSs. The ladies at Stitchuary were really lovely and their yarns are fantastic. All from local farms which I love. And they almost talked me into buying 2000 yards of this gorgeous undyed grey and brown alpaca for an aran sweater (as if it’s difficult to almost talk me into buying yarn). But I was good. I’m going to wait on that one but I will absolutely be buying from them in the future.
Long Island Livestock Company was one of my favorite booths. Their yarns are delicious but I couldn’t pass up this gorgeous skein. I love the idea that all of the alpacas and sheep are owned and sheared by the same woman. It’s a very traditional feeling. I’m also a sucker for small-batch undyed yarn. I’m not sure if it’s because neutrals are my favorite colors or if it is that I love the animals and I want to show off their natural beauty but I really love undyed yarn!
Each skein has a tag with a photo of the alpaca whos fleece was used in it. I think it’s brilliant. It really shows you how much they care about their animals and how much care goes into the yarns’ production. And, besides, how could I not buy yarn with these adorable little furry faces! And they’re kissing! Take my money, please.
I went to three lectures and one class. (I really went all-in since it was my first VK Live.) Two lectures were about business. One left me feeling discouraged. The other was pretty dry and very technical. I also heard Debbie Bliss speak about designing for babies. I think she’s just adorable and British and she calls diapers nappies. I really enjoyed the Perfect Fit class. Carla Scott of Knit Simple made garment fitting super easy and I actually had a lot of fun drawing little scale drawings of my measurements.
Overall, it was a bit overwhelming but what fun. It was really fun to see so many other knitters and to hear more and more similarities between us. I was sad that I didn’t meet more people. I chatted it up with a few people and a bunch of vendors but I would’ve really liked to meet up with some other knitters. Hopefully soon I can do that, though, and next year I’ll be cruising VK Live with some of you! What did you think? Did you have fun?
Oh, and, this is me:
Tags: alpaca, Anna Hrachovec, Carla Scott, hand dyed yarn, Knit Simple, local yarn store, Long Island Livestock Company, Lorna's Laces, Maven, Mochimochi Land, Moscow on the Hudson, natural yarn, Soak Wash, Stitchuary, temporary tattoo, undyed yarn, VK Live, Vogue Knitting Live, yarn, yarnaholic
What are your stash-collecting rules? I’ve been really good recently! To be honest, I read Yarn Harlot and I got a little nervous about my stashing tendancies! I’ve been very careful to only buy yarn that I actually need for projects. So I’m proud of myself.
But when Susie of Juniper Moon Farm tweeted that her friend was having a sale, I couldn’t pass up the Aslan Trends Invernal (50% Angora, 25% Merino Wool) that was $6/skein. I bought 3 skeins of Rouge and Raspberry each. I figured that it was enough yardage to make a striped sweater and the colors go quite well together. I hate stash of an awkward-weight single skein I can’t do anything with. But I might just break down and make six pairs of socks using it..
How much stash do you have? Where do you keep it?
Have you seen This New House on DIY Network? Instead of fixing up old houses, this show highlights modern homes with the latest greenest technology. Jon and I have been watching it and we’re so inspired. Jon loves all of the gadgets, I love the modern design. And you can watch it online!
We caught an episode over the weekend and our new dream home is a monolithic dome. They’re super energy efficient and can last 500 years!
They aren’t all curves on the inside. The interior floor plans are customizable and can be multiple floors with regular rooms. Some homes are even two or more domes built together!
Jon says he’d like a big cylindrical tropical fish tank (like the magical one at the Dream Hotel in midtown) going right down the middle.
I think I’d prefer a big cozy fireplace! How amazing is this one?
You have to see their amazing construction. The episode with the amazing Dome Houses is here!
Would you live in a dome house? Would yours be ultra modern or more traditional on the inside?
Tags: cement, DIY Network, dome house, dream home, Dream Hotel, fire place, fireplace, fish tank, green home, interior design, modern design, modern home, monolithic, monolithic dome, monolithic dome institute, This New House, TV
Do you not love Beyonce?! I think she’s one of my heroes. She’s so fierce and confident! Don’t you want to be like her when you grow up? That being said, I think I’ve watched the new “Countdown” music video about 100 times! I love the homages to Funny Face mixed with modern hip hop dance.
I’ve collected a few things if you want to grow up to be Beyonce, too!
Oh my I really have had interior decorating on my mind recently! After spending so much time flea-marketing and boutiquing (are those verbs? Are those even words) I haven’t been able to stop dreaming about a sunny, impeccably-curated collection of furniture and art.
We bought a lot of furniture recently. And I’m proud to say it’s real furniture, none of that Ikea business. (Don’t get me wrong, Ikea is fab and cheap and good looking but if I never see another Malm dresser, I would not miss them. What I’m trying to say is, everyone owns Ikea furniture and it makes the design aspect feel less authentic.) The pieces we bought are really unique and they were a steal.
Anyway, ever since our new stuff was delivered, I’ve been staring at Eames chairs and wood re-finishing DIYs. And this chair. I think this Bookhou chair is everything I could ever want. But, of course, it only comes in a children’s size! If this were a big person chair, think I could throw out every other piece of furniture I own and just sit on the floor looking st this chair. It’s gorgeous and simple and it’s covered in felt. I also think that Bookhou is my new favorite store.
Check it out!