Posts Tagged ‘family’

11
Mar

My Great-Grandmother’s Knitting

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life

I like to think that I’m a pretty expert knitter. But my great-grandmother’s work was something I can’t even describe. I never met her but I have always admired her skills.

The family story goes that Grandma Lena would knit sweaters for the soldiers during the war. She’d take whatever was given to her in the kit from the Red Cross or wherever and throw it aside in favor of smaller needles and thinner yarn. She’d make them entirely on tiny needles claiming that this would keep them much warmer than that cheap stuff. Then she’d go about making beautiful sweaters that everyone agrees probably never ended up with any privates but went straight to some lucky officer.

My parents still have a few pieces that she made for various family members and they’re absolutely gorgeous. You have to take a look. I can’t imagine this was knit on anything bigger than a size 1 needle. My wrists ache just thinking about knitting a whole vest at such a fine gauge. I’m obsessed with the way the cables decrease at the shoulders for a gorgeous neckline shaping. Isn’t that fantastic?

grandma lena

Here’s a detail from another sweater vest. Do you see how tiny these stitches are? I can’t even believe this was made by a human being. I’m not sure about whether she worked from a pattern. I have a sneaking suspicion that she wasn’t, though.

grandma lena 2

The cable running up the center (which you can see on the bottom of this detail) is actually one of my favorite cables. (I’ve used it on these socks.) It’s nice to know we have similar tastes.

grandma lena 3

It’s so inspiring for me to know that I come from a family of talented knitters! I’m not sure I could ever attempt a piece as detailed as Lena’s work. I’m just not patient and, frankly, I’m a little sore. But it definitely makes me want to challenge myself!

I know it’s tough to tell from my crappy iPhone photos but any guesses to what size needles she was using? Who keeps challenging you when it comes to craft?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

19
Dec

FO: Hanukah Socks

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, FO, gift, holiday, knits, life, socks

You’ve heard of Christmas socks? How about some Chanukah socks?

I wanted to make my amazing Aunt Sherry something for Chanukah. I promised myself (for the sake of sanity) that I would not make gifts for everyone but I made a few exceptions and she was one of them. She is very special to me and I am constantly getting awesome handmade gifts from her. I don’t think socks are ever a terrible gift (ungrateful kids these days!) so I made her these.

chanukah socks

I was inspired by the Purl Soho homespun socks (as I’m sure you can tell by the colors I chose and the style of the sock. I won’t pretend I didn’t rip the idea of a neutral, chunky sock off a little bit.) But I’m a sucker for toe up socks.  So I designed my own toe-up sock.

It’s a simple toe-up sock with a short row heel. That’s kind of my go-to sock pattern. I adjusted it to use size 6 needles and Cascade Eco Duo. (Undyed alpaca, you are my kryptonite!) I thought a nice chunky sock would be nice to wear around the house or with snow boots. And, selfishly, they worked up pretty quickly. (Which is good because the other gifts I’ve decided on are driving me insane.)

hanukah socks

I love the look and feel of the socks. I’m excited to make more with this pattern. And hopefully more for Aunt Sherry!

(Gift knitting also means that I never get proper photos. Hopefully I can update sometime soon with better ones!)

Have you given socks as a gift? Seriously, though toe up or top down?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

22
Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, life, new york city, photos

I wanted to write a bunch of posts this week before the holiday but it looks like life’s getting in the way. There’s so much to do to get ready! I just wanted to take a moment and share this pretty picture of autumn in New York. The weather’s been weird here but the leaves on the ground look so pretty on my way to work.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know we are all thankful for a lot. This year, I’m going to be spending Thanksgiving with Jon’s family which means I’ll be away from my family for the first time ever on Turkey Day. I’m definitely going to be a little sad that I won’t be there to help them prepare but we will be sharing leftovers with them over the weekend (and leftovers are the best part, aren’t they!?). I love seeing different family traditions so I’m excited to see what a big holiday with a different family will be like.

Have you spent a big holiday away from your family before? Was the food different? Did you bring any of your own traditions to their table? Did you take any away? Happy Thanksgiving!

Tags: , , , ,