To kick off 2013, Kollabora asked me to be a part of their Learn to Knit Campaign. They’re encouraging everyone to learn a new skill which is awesome. I’ve taught countless people how to knit over the years and I am fascinated by the way that the craft has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s really incredible that more and more people are learning to knit and building their skills through sites like Kollabora, Youtube, and other blogs. I’m definitely always learning new things from the community on Twitter and the comments you leave me here. It’s just the same as how my mother gave me advice on my projects but on a global scale.
As part of the campaign, Kollabora is hosting a beginner project knit-a-long. All of their patterns have great project kits and detailed instructions including videos. I’m going to be making this headband. I just got my kit in the mail over the weekend and I am very excited to cast on and show you my customized headband.
Want to get in on the knit-a-long? Kollabora has been nice enough to supply a kit for one of you lovely readers! Their kit is adorable and the project is fun and quick, even if you’re an advanced knitter.
In fact, this would be a great gift for an experienced knitter to give to someone that’s curious, maybe a daughter or son or a friend that’s always ogling your knitting. Or you could customize the otherwise simple project to make something unique and exciting for yourself.
To enter to win the kit, leave a comment below telling me about the first thing you ever knit (or if you’ve never knit anything at all, that’s even better) by Friday 1/18 at 12pm EST. (Make sure you include your email or some way I can contact you!) I’ll chose the winner by random number generator and announce the lucky knitter next week.
Happy New Year, everyone! How did you ring in the new year? We ate tacos and drank champagne in the couch, while overdosing on Law and Order: SVU. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by how much of an old lady I am but I love it.
Did you know that this year’s Pantone color is Emerald? Expect to see lots of emerald accessories! If you’re looking to add a little more of this year’s color to your wardrobe, check out these emerald yarns!
I don’t really own any emerald (not since I played Aunt Em in a high school performance of Wizard of Oz) but I think I might cast on some emerald mittens. Maybe a hat? I’m certainly overdue for both. Knitting accessories is the perfect way to add a little bit of trendiness to your wardrobe without going overboard.
Will you be knitting with emerald this year? What’s your favorite emerald colorway?
I’m sure you need no reminder that Christmas is around the corner. (Chanukah is already here and I am somehow prepared for my upcoming gift exchange! Chanukah is all about miracles, though.) I keep finding adorable little things that I’d love to make as gifts but I won’t have time to make them all before the holidays are over. (By the way, have you been following my current crazy holiday WIP on instagram? I’M INSANE.)
In case you just realized you forgot to make something for Kevin or you just pulled your boss’s name in the office Secret Santa and you’d love to make them something that would make them forget all of those times they caught you searching for cardigan patterns on Ravelry instead of doing your job (not that that’s ever happened to me, I’m speaking hypothetically here), this gift guide is for you.
1. Purl Soho Homespun Boot Socks
2. Red is Best glitten pattern by Jane Richmond
3. Cowl a la Americaine by Amy Christoffers (There’s a sale on this pattern ebook! Do it!)
4. Lion Brand Houndstooth Check Tie
5. Stjarna by Karolina Eckerdal
I take gift knitting pretty seriously and I suggest that we all do. It’s very easy to get carried away, picking out knits for all of the people in your life. If you’ve received something hand made from me, you are very special to me. Even if it’s something ugly, even if it doesn’t fit. (True story: when I was fifteen, I knit a gigantic mushroom-shaped hat for my friend that had a big fro and it was awful and I think I used Red Heart acrylic so I can’t believe I just acknowledged its existence. It was horrifying. If you are reading this and you saw it in real life, please don’t leave a comment making fun of me. If you have photographic evidence, please destroy it.) (Second story: I knit a sweater for Jon and it was gigantic so ripped out the seams and promised to fix it but I never did and he is still pretty pissed that it is in four pieces in a box. I’m thinking about steeking it so it will be the proper size but that isn’t going to happen for a while. Sorry, hun!) If you haven’t received something hand made from me, keep hanging in there (maybe you’ll get a gigantic acrylic hat – it’s worth the wait). Take pity on us. It is a heavy burden being a Christmas knitter!
DON’T FORGET, TEACHING SOMEONE HOW TO KNIT MIGHT BE THE BEST PRESENT OF ALL. I’m sure everyone would love a pair of socks this holiday season. But as they say: “If you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. If you teach a man to knit, I hope he’s not hungry because he’s going to spend all of his money on yarn.”
Who are you knitting for this holiday season? What are you making? What’s the biggest Christmas knit you’ve successfully tackled?
ps. Happy birthday, Ashley!
Tags: Amy Christoffers, christmas, Cowl, gift guide, glitten, hand knit sock, Houndstooth, Jane Richmond, knit, knit Christmas ornament, knit tie, lion brand, mitten, purl soho, Red is Best, sock, sock pattern, stjarna
I wasn’t going to write about Sherlock because I feel like I came late to the party. I finally got around to watching Sherlock over my hurrication but I’m a little bit hooked and I’m currently re-watching both seasons to keep myself distracted from the fact that the next series is not coming out anytime soon. I feel like I’ve tweeted about the show plenty and I’ve been teased by Jon every day since I saw “A Study in Pink” (he calls Moriarty “Mariachi”) so that I think maybe I should take it down a notch with the nerdiness.
But, it’s Christmas. And Christmas means sweaters. And John Watson knows about Christmas sweaters. So this is happening.
And, besides, The Hobbit is about to come out so Mr. Freeman is absolutely relevant right now.
While looking for screen caps of the ridiculously awesome Christmas sweater that Martin Freeman rocks in “A Scandal in Belgravia” I discovered that there is an entire John Watson sweater fandom. Which includes this recipe for a John Watson Earl Grey sweater cupcake. Why not?
It seems the Watson sweater is more beloved than the Sherlock popped-collar jacket. Perhaps I’m not the only one that instinctively thinks “The Richenbach Fall” is pronounced the “Rhinebeck” fall (which is when you jump off a building into a pile of wool, duh). (It probably has nothing to do with that.)
I think Watson’s go-to fisherman sweater is my favorite of his jumpers. You can never go wrong with an oatmeal cabled sweater. Never.
If you’re looking for the ultimate fangirl knit, Trudi Brown has a basic free pattern for the iconic sweater on Ravelry which includes a kind of really adorable drawing of Watson knitting his own jumper and some cool details about knitting and the military.
How do you feel about Sherlock? Are you a Watson sweater fangirl? Will I ever shut up about this show? Do you see how I made it about knitting so I could write about it? Do you want to talk about The Hobbit or Star Trek instead? Would that be better? Is my nerd showing?
Tags: BBC, christmas, cupcake, famous knits, Fisherman Sweater, John Watson, knit, Martin Freeman, Moriarty, nerd, pattern, ravelry, recipe, Scandal in Belgravia, Sherlock, sweater, Watson sweater fandom
Last week, I kicked off the gift guides with some things that any of us would be happy to find under our tree.
But I have to admit to you, because we’re honest here, that most of those gifts were a bit cliche. I said it! Not that I would ever scoff at a skein of yummy alpaca in my stocking! But I want to think outside the box. When I’m gifting for other knitters, I like to find something that’s a little out of the ordinary. Something that they can use that will tell people “I’d rather be knitting.”
Although they can always use an extra set of sock needles (I don’t think I own a full set of any size of double pointed needles, but I’m always finding size 0s in my purse), how about some gifts that the knitters in your life will be surprised to receive?
Which knitty gifts have you received over the years? Remember this adorable mug? What are you giving to your knitters?
Tags: Artizan work, craft is the new black, gift, Irena Sophia, knit gift, knit iphone case, knitting, notions tote, ravelry, spud and chloe, superhero print, sweater iPhone case, tape measure, Tom's shoes, tote, yarn
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