Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

29
Apr

Help! A Very Special Knit

Written by Sarah. Posted in gift, holiday

In June, my grandmother will turn 90. She’s a really fantastic lady who’s taught me so much, a real maven of the DIY world in her own right. And she’s a hoot and a half and a real tough lady to boot. I’m starting to feel that urge I’ve felt so many times: I want to knit a gift for her.

It wouldn’t be the first time. I want to make things for everyone, we all do. I want to shower people that I love with hats and mittens and cowls. I want my stitches to do what my words can’t: explain in detail how much I love them, how much I appreciate them, how, even though I don’t always know what to say and sometimes I’m forgetful, that I couldn’t imagine life without them. Sometimes I almost feel like I have an endless list of people that I want to knit for, promises I make to myself for years down the road to complete even something simple. There are too many stitches and just not enough time. But I think on the occasion of her 90th birthday, my grandma deserves a little something woolly. 

grammy

I know there will never be enough time to make something adequate. I’ll be stressed out, I can see it already. Of course, my mind immediately goes to sweaters. I mean, this is a big birthday. But I really know that that might be pushing it. I’d like to at least have a fighting chance.

So I’m starting to think of other knitted things. Perhaps a scarf or a shawl? It’s so hard to decide. Nothing seems like enough. I’ve made socks before so I’d like to go bigger. But deep down, I’m dying to make a really nice, simple cardigan. Maybe one of you good readers will have the heart to talk me out of that.

What do you suggest? What have you made for someone important to you?

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03
Sep

Needle Felting!

Written by Sarah. Posted in art, design, DIY, gift, needle felting

The summer is winding down. It’s gone by so quickly! The past few months have been all about craft experimentation for me. It’s been really exciting getting outside of my comfort zone and buying lots of new craft supplies. (Let’s be honest, buying craft supplies is the best part of learning a new craft!) I’ve done some embroidering, a little cross stitch, stuck my toes deeper into the water of design, and even played around with my neglected sewing machine. I just added another craft to my repertoire and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Aunt Sherry made me this adorable little needle felted lamb for my birthday. (Remember the alpaca she made?) Isn’t he sweet?

needle felt sheep

And as part of my birthday present, she taught me how to needle felt! I wasn’t sure I’d be into it but I can totally see why she’s taken it up as her newest hobby. Needle felting is right up my alley. You basically stab at pieces of wool and then they get turned magically into little animals! (There’s a little more to it than that but that’s the gist.) My first needle felted project is this little cow guy from Purple Moose Felting.

needle felt

I have a lot of work to do on my technique but I’ve been thinking about lots of other needle felted projects ever since. Best of all, I had a really lovely day hanging out with Aunt Sherry and my mom learning something new (and eating barbecue. We at barbecue)! It reminded me of when I was a kid and she’d teach me how to make origami Christmas ornaments even though I was super impatient. Although I’ve probably gotten less patient with age.

What are your favorite needle felt projects? Any tips for novices?

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28
Aug

WIP: #kollabsockalong

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, knit-a-long, knits, kollabora, socks, WIP, yarn

Today is my birthday! So let’s talk about socks!

Well, first I want to talk about brunch. And we will because (did I mention) it’s my birthday! I had a really lovely brunch at my place over the weekend with a bunch of my best friends to celebrate (and also as a very belated housewarming). I just felt super lucky to have so many people that I love there and FINALLY being able to have a proper party since we decorated a bit. It felt kind of grown up and lovely! My friend Holly made me a birthday cake which was so super special. I think that as long as I’m surrounded by awesome friends and family, this is going to be a great year!

birthday

Anyway, you’re here for the socks. I’m pretty happy with the way my first Hermione sock is turning out. It’s been a few months since I’ve worked on a sock, boy, I love sock knitting! Did I mention that before? I just love the tiny little needles and the shape. They’re so simple yet so complex!

Speaking of complex, I ripped out the heel flap four times before I was happy. I think that I was reading the pattern wrong but I  ended up knitting the WS on the RS (kind of wish that the pattern had specified which rows were which) a few times and then I was worried that it didn’t look right. I was thinking that it should look like a regular slipped stitch heel (so, more like a faux ribbing) than the eye of patridge (more of a dimple texture). Jill and I chatted about it and she set me straight. I was just over-complicating things.

heel

I’m not much of a top-down sock knitter. I really love my toe-up socks. But this pattern is starting to sway me. The garter stitch edge to the heel flap makes picking up gusset stitches seamless. Everything looks so neat. I absolutely love it! I will be making all of my heel flaps with garter stitch borders from now on, thank you very much.

heel2

Now, I want to talk about turning the heel. Turning a heel is just like knitting magic. It’s like turning a boring tube or a flat piece of fabric into a three dimensional object. I mean, it was always 3D, obviously, but I mean something that goes from being just a blob of stitches to being an actual recognizable garment. It’s like origami with needles. Is there any other knitting technique that is as satisfying and simple yet clever and ingenious!? I’d love to hear what you think. I don’t really know how to explain it but if you’ve done it before, you know what I mean.

The best comparison I’ve got for you (and it’s not very good but, hear me out) is that moment when building a ship in a bottle (I’ve never done this but I’ve seen it on TV) when you pull the string and the whole thing stands up and you’re like, “Yay! Look it’s a ship! Magic!” That’s what turning a heel feels like. (Yes, I Youtubed ships in bottles. It’s my birthday, you cannot judge.)

Long story short, I hope you’re all uploading your sock progress to Kollabora! I want to see more sock photos! I demand sock photos! My birthday wish is more sock photos and world peace and to eat a piece of chocolate cake for dinner. Three birthday wishes!

Also, and possibly most importantly of all! Jill is still offering free shipping to everyone in the US using code KOLLABORATION13. It is not too late to cast on a pair so check her shop out!

How are your socks coming along?

ps. Since we’re talking coupon codes, turns out Bristol Ivy and I have the same birthday! I must encourage you to buy one of her gorgeous patterns since she’s having a birthday sale! 28on28 for 28% off! Happy birthday, Bristol!

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13
Mar

FO: Fluted Cowl

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, FO, gift, knits

I don’t often knit for other people. That probably sounds selfish but every sweater pattern I like, I want to wear. I’ve also found it tough to make sure things fit for someone who isn’t standing in front of me. Mostly, I like to wear the things that I put time into. I should really break that habit since I’m a process knitter. I could really be working on anything for anybody and be happy. But I mainly knit for myself.

Well I made this cowl and it wasn’t for me.

fluted cowl

A few weeks ago, Jon’s grandmother saw a hat that I made (pattern coming soon!) and she just loved it. She was asking me a bunch of questions about it. She also asked me to give her a recipe for cookies that I’d baked and I was just so flattered that Jon’s grandmother who makes that delicious Israeli coffee meringue cake was asking me for a recipe, I just about died. After she left, Jon turned to me and said, “You should really knit something for my grandma. She’d really like it. Her birthday’s coming up. I can buy the yarn.”

To which I replied, OKAY. (I mean, he’s such a good boychick, am I right?!)

fluted cowl 2

I had a few ideas in mind but I needed something that was simple and quick since I had about a week to make the whole thing. I decided on the Purl Bee Fluted Cowl which is freaking gorgeous. (I love the drama of the sample on their site!) And I used Purl Soho’s new Supersoft Merino which is the squooshiest, softest, most delicious yarn ever. (You can probably tell that since the photos where I’m modeling it it just looks like a big blob of yarn porn. It’s fantastic.) This is the second thing I’ve knit with the peacock colorway. It’s fantastic.

fluted cowl 3

It took me a long time to get used to the stitch pattern but it’s simple. It’s hard to tell where you left off just by looking at it. I think most of my trouble came knitting on size 17 needles. (And then I went back to knitting my colorwork sweater on size 3s and, boy, were my hands confused! It’s like after you ride a bike for a really long time and then try walking but your legs still want to pedal.) I decided to cast on 128 stitches for a shorter cowl since I didn’t have time to make the longer version. Shorter seemed more practical, too. I was terrified I’d twist the stitches when I joined in the round. But I didn’t! I really love how both sides are different but work together. I really want to make one for myself. It’s so soft and warm!

Happy birthday to Jon’s grandmother! I hope she wears the cowl in good health (as my grandpa would say).

Do you like to knit for other people or yourself? Have you tried out the Super Soft Merino?

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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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11
Nov

Have a Brunch-filled Weekend!

Written by Sarah. Posted in art, food, instagram, life, new york city, party, photos

It’s been a long week, huh? It’s dark out at 4:30, I’m having a fierce knitting vs. vacuuming battle, and I just burnt my hand on the toaster. That being said, I’m so excited for this weekend! It’s my mom’s birthday and I have all kinds of fun errands planned!

Here’s a photo of the ceiling at The Whitney. Last weekend we had a big brunch party at Untitled. It was wonderful. The place is super cool and small and not too expensive. It’s a great brunch atmosphere and the perfect lead-up to a fun afternoon at the museum.

How cool are those lamps? What are your plans for the weekend?

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28
Nov

First post: Birthday Sweater

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits

I recently finished this sweater for Jon’s birthday and I think he looks great in it! The pattern is from Erika Knight’s Men’s Knits which is such a beautiful book. The navy rows are a special pattern of 2, 14, and 10 which represent our anniversary, February 14th.

It took a long time to finish on size 3 needles and I finished half of it without him knowing. Anyway, I’m so proud of it and I’m excited to keep him warm!

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