I had a fantastic weekend! I hope you all did, too. I got started on a Super Secret Project that I’m very excited about. I can’t wait to show you what it is! I can give you a few hints, but you’ll never guess!
The most exciting part of this project was meeting with the lovely ladies behind Roman Hills! And, as if it could get any better, I finally met Amy of Threadpanda in real life! Roman Hills, if you haven’t read Threadpanda’s interview with Lisa and Amy, is a new, independent dyer based in Brooklyn. Their yarns are fantastic and they are just so much fun!
I don’t want to give too much away but here are some yummy Roman Hills yarn photos from this weekend. There was a pile of yarn. Oh yes.
You know what the best part about an FO is? CASTING ON FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT!
Immediately after finishing the hamburger sweater, I set it down on the couch beside me, picked up my laptop and went through my queue on Ravelry. I guess you could say I’m a process knitter! Every time I cast on, I’m already dreaming of what yarn I will use for my next project and, more recently, collecting sock patterns I can work on during my morning commute.
This choice was kind of a no-brainer.
I’d hyped up Amy and Maria’s Savory Knit-A-Long when Amy had introduced the idea to me on Twitter. This was just after I’d posted photos of my Larch Cardigan. Not to say that I was all Amy Chrisoffers’ed-out (obivously, this is impossible) but I’d had my heart set on making that damn hamburger sweater for so long! This may have been the first time I put my foot down to interrupting the order of my knitting queue.
Well, I got that out of my system. And while I was working on it, something amazing happened! Amy came out with this Pomme de Pin pattern! I once met someone who told me that procrastination isn’t always bad. Sometimes, she told me, you are waiting for when you’re ready and sometimes awesome things happen and you’re all “Phew, glad I was procrastinating! Things worked out so much better for me!” This was kind of like that situation. (PS, I never took that as the advice she was trying to bestow upon me. It’s clearly just a really well-thought excuse for putting things off.)
So, although I missed the KAL deadline, I can participate in the did cast on in February so I’m participating and that makes me happy!
As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew I had to make it. Here’s why:
Numero Uno: Cardigans are awesome. And after riding the high of a 21-day sweater, I felt unstoppable.
2: This cardigan is unlike things that I normally wear. It would be a really fun addition to my wardrobe (Is there a bit of a product knitter in me?!)
C: Lace. The Final Frontier.
I don’t knit lace. I’ve never really tried it. It’s incredibly intimidating even though I like to think that everything is fair game in knitting. Here’s why I’ve never bothered to really give lace knitting a go: I hate shawls. I know, I know, I said, “Oh, I’ll never knit socks!” and now I’m addicted. But I really REALLY can never ever see myself wearing a lacy, frilly, light-weight shawl. If there is one thing that defines my style, the word is utilitarian. I don’t layer with scarves and I’m allergic to belts and I don’t like accessories. I don’t see ANY point in a shawl that makes me look like a grandma that doesn’t keep me warm. Even if I wear it cowboy bandana style. (Disclaimer: I hope no one is offended by how much I hate shawls. I DO think they’re beautiful and I know they take an incredible amount of work because I obviously am afraid of lace. But some things just aren’t for me. Maybe I’m being too harsh.)
I mean, seriously, we all know if I actually tried knitting a shawl, I’d probably freaking love it.
Anyway, this seemed like some entry-level lace knitting. And it is a cardigan, not a shawl.
Long story short, here is a photo of my swatch. Blocking really makes a huge difference. The progress I’ve made on the sleeves looks all puffy and misshappen. But I know that one day when it grows up into a nice, smooth, blocked sweater, it will be beautiful.
I’m using Blue Sky Alpaca sport weight. This color is somewhere between olive green and umber brown. I like greens but I stopped wearing them a long time ago. Maybe it’s time to stop wearing blues and greys always?
I’ll be back with more. Happy knitting and I’m seeing amazing things from the rest of you participating in #savorykal
I wrote this post a few months ago and I realized it wasn’t really relevant since Hugo isn’t really in theatres anymore. But since the film has recently swept the Oscars, this is completely perfect! Hooray!
Over Thanksgiving weekend I went on a movie date with my parents. It was fun and I always laugh at how engrossed my parent’s get in a film. (At one point, my Dad yelled ‘Oh no!’) We saw Hugo which I really loved. The film is a nod to the early days of filmmaking. (The trailers aren’t cut in a way that gives you a real sense of what the film is about. One of my biggest pet peeves is misleading movie trailers!) I thought it was brilliant that this history lesson was tied up in ultra-trendy 3D which brought in an audience that might’ve slept through it otherwise. And, of course, Scorsese is great, Ben Kingsly is just fantastic, film school rant over.
But, I’m going to admit while I absolutely LOVE Robert Richardson’s cinematography ALWAYS (oh my, he’s the best! I’m such a nerd!) the thing that really caught my eye was all of the absolutely GORGEOUS knitwear! Talk about nerding out!
The best part, though, was the knitwear. Let’s drool over that, shall we!?
Hugo’s father had that awesome knit vest. Blue and green and white. Loved it! And he was wearing that adorable striped garter stitch sweater with those great buttons on the shoulder. A few sizes too small.
But the best most delicious looking knits were worn by Emily Mortimer as Lisette! Wow!
Can you believe The Artist stole the Oscar for Best Costume?! Hats off to Sandy Powell for her work on Hugo!
Tags: 3D, beret, best costume, cinematography, Emily Mortimer, garter stitch sweater, Hugo, Jude Law, knit, knit beret, Martin Scrosese, Oscars, Robert Richardson, Sandy Powell, scorsese, sir ben kingsly
It’s done! I’m a little baffled by the fact that I finished Jon’s hamburger sweater in 21 days. That’s less than a month, people. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since the Blue Sky Techno is pretty chunky and I was working on size 8s and it was all stockinette. But I don’t think I’ve ever knit anything that quickly besides maybe a little hat.
Come on. This is a record, ladies and gents.
Alright, I admit, I didn’t block the sweater before we took these pictures. I’ve since done that and it really loosened things up. I think it looks a little snug in the photos and the neck sits weird and the back ribbing kept flipping up. But after the blocking, it looks fantastic. It fits him really well and it’s big and comfy and so so soft.
I hope this sweater has broken my curse with boyfriend sweaters. Now I just have to put that other one back together…
I’m most excited about the fact that he looks like a big hamburger! Couldn’t you just eat him up!?
Tags: baby alpaca, Blue Sky Alpaca, central park, cpw, Elizabeth Zimmerman, FO, hamburger sweater, knit sweater, lantern moon, merino, raglan knit, raglan sweater, seamless, seamless raglan, silk, sweater, Techno, worsted
Remember that sweater that I knit Jon? It was his birthday present and it had special stripes for the date of our anniversary? Well, I realized he wasn’t wearing it because somehow (and I’m pretty sure I did a gauge swatch and all of that good stuff) it ended up being gigantic.
(I’ll chalk it up to being a secret surprise knitted gift. These things should be avoided at all cost. You cannot gift anything that has not been fitted properly. You will spend a majority of the time holding up the piece and thinking “Is this too big?” and having restless knitmares that ask”Is this too short?” and worrying yourself to pieces and then it either fits amazingly and you wasted all that time worrying or – 99% of the time – it doesn’t fit at all and you end up in this scenario. I know we’ve all done it before so don’t even pretend like you haven’t! Let’s promise not to engage in this behavior until Christmas. Then it will be the least of our worries.)
Also, the sleeves are a different dye lot than the body which drives me out of my mind. I suppose it’s some kind boyfriend sweater karma…if we’re still together, the sweater must die! Long story short, I ripped out all of the seams and promised him I’d take it in as much as I could so that it would at least fit okay. (I’m not steeking it, that’s for sure!) That was the biggest mistake EVER and with every stitch I made towards putting that humpdy dumpdy back together, I heard a voice louder and louder saying “I’m just going to make you a whole new sweater.”
And here we are…
I’m in the midst of my first EZ sweater. I attempted the percentage system a few years ago but I was really intimidated by how loose and abstract it seemed. I guess I just wasn’t prepared to do any math. Right now, though, I can’t believe I ever let it phase me. It’s so brilliant and yet so unbelievably simple. It feels as though Elizabeth Zimmerman reinvented the sweater.
Oh haven’t you heard? My boyfriend is obsessed with hamburgers! I wanted to do a single stripe across the chest with color changes that represent the parts of a hamburger. I didn’t want anything too obvious but the colors had to read well and then when someone says “I love your sweater. Did your girlfriend knit it for you? She’s great!” and he replies “Yeah! She is great. It’s a hamburger!” I want them to reply, “It IS a hamburger! That’s so cool! I didn’t notice it but now that you brought it up it’s SO COOL!”
So, you know, subtle.
The problem is, I didn’t take that many photos. I mean, 70% of the sweater was just boring stockinette in this lame tan color. It was pretty underwhelming and not something that merited much reporting. I believe, in the whole body, I knit about 20″ in stockinette. Luckily, with size 8 needles and Blue Sky Alpaca Techno, it went rather quickly.
By the way, Blue Sky Alpaca is CRAZY soft and fluffy and just so light and warm and yummy. I am going to have to make a hat or something with whatever is left over. It’s definitely going on my list of favorites.
Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman Seamless Raglan Sweater
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Techno
My secret plan is finish this sweater over the long weekend. I think I can do it! What are your yarny plans for the holiday?
Tags: Blue Sky Alpaca, boyfriend sweater, Elizabeth Zimmerman, hamburger clothes, hamburger color, hamburger sweater, knit sweater, Knitting Without Tears, raglan sweater, raglan sweater pattern, striped sweater, sweater, Techno, yarn
Guess who is silly enough to leave a bunch of bananas on the counter in our hyper-heated pre-war apartment while she went away for the weekend? This lady. I suppose I was just subconsciously trying to let them get brown and mushy so I could make banana bread.
Yo, bananas, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but banana bread is the best breakfast snack of all time.
Banana Cranberry Bread
adapted from Joy the Baker
4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda (or 3 teaspoons baking powder if you realize halfway through that you don’t have any baking soda and the grocery store is closed!)
1 1/2 cup flour
optional (but delicious) ingredients:
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mash bananas and add melted butter. Mix in sugar, egg, vanilla, and spices. Next add baking soda and salt. Mix in the flour. Add dried cranberries and nuts until just combined. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
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
Happy weekend everyone! WHO IS EXCITED FOR VOGUE KNITTING LIVE!? This girl! If anyone spots me there, come say hey! (I’ll probably be wearing my Larch Cardigan.) I want to meet as many knitters as I can! This is my first VK Live and I don’t even know what to expect. But I plan on petting a lot of yarn and learning a lot.
Last weekend, Jon and I had brunch at Mari Vanna in Union Square with some friends. We’ve had dinner there before but this may have been my favorite brunch ever! $35 bought each of us a buffet of delicious Russian classics and unlimited mimosas! And they were not shy about refilling our glasses. They also infuse their own vodkas which are delicious and they look beautiful. We stayed for four hours…I think that means it’s good! If you’re looking for a fantastic brunch while you’re in town for VK Live, stop by Mari Vanna! Amazing.
What classes are you taking at VK Live? Is this your first time, too?