Posts Tagged ‘jared flood’
Welcome, I’m glad you could all join us for this week’s meeting. Who’d like to share first?
Hi, I’m Sarah. I have Startitis.
Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the fact that I read two issues of Molly Makes and the new Martha Stewart Living while I was off on Wednesday. I want to do everything. I want to renovate an old house and start a garden and build furniture. I just want to make stuff.
I’m so frustrated because I haven’t had any FOs to share in such a long time. I’m working on everything at once so nothing’s done. I’m just wanting to do it all, I’m exploding with inspiration, I’m running in every direction.
Some of this craft mania is due to the fact the weather is changing. I want to be sewing some summer pieces. I want to get rid of everything in my closet and start fresh which adds this urgency to it. I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing when it comes to sewing. I started working on the Wiksten Tova top. It’s kind of a mess but I really don’t want to get into that. I’m making something.
I’m still working on that Grettir sweater for Jon. There’s a lot of stockinette. ‘Nuff said. I have plans to make something for my grandma’s birthday. (And thanks for all of your helpful suggestions!) I still don’t know what it will be. I think I’ll end up working around my stash because I just did some spring cleaning and the amount of yarn I have should be illegal.
And if you follow me on instagram, you know that I’ve picked up my Zelda cross stitch again. It was hidden away for a few months. (Okay, I forgot that I was working on it.) This project has been going forever but I’m actually quite pleased with how far it’s come. I think it’s actually nearing the home stretch. And every time I look at it, I get excited because goddamnit it looks like the real thing! It’s funny, although this has been incredibly tedious and time consuming and I hope I never try this again, I always enjoy coming back to this project. Something about the simplicity of it after doing an intense knit is really satisfying. It’s intricate, I won’t pretend it’s easy but it’s methodical to the point that it’s meditative. And, like I said, look at the result.
So I have a bit of Startitis. I just can’t commit to any one thing. Maybe once I finish something I’ll feel relieved. Maybe I’ll finally be able to figure out what’s next. But until then, I’m just going to keep stitching away.
Because it’s all about the process isn’t it?
When we last saw our hero, she was going through a rough patch with a swatch. Can you believe it’s been over six months since I made my first attempt at Timberline? I have good excuses for not getting back to it (see here and here) but to be completely honest, I was intimidated and frustrated and I gave up a little bit.
It seems like Jon has asked me every day this year when his sweater would be coming. What about a nice raglan or an Icelandic yoke sweater? I even tried to tide him over with a pair of socks. No, this boy will not forget about the 2000 yards of Shelter that’s hiding under the bed.
I think it’s time that I give this sweater a second chance.
I’m going on a short vacation next month and I’m super excited about it. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll be a good time to start working on any new designs (though I have ideas coming out my ears right now). Now, the crazy part of me thinks that this is a perfect opportunity to knock out some big chunks of this sweater. Why not? I know it sounds totally crazy to schlep an intensely cabled sweater piece on vacation but I feel like it’ll be a great time to just focus on knitting and not worry about getting laundry done or waking up for work in the morning. At least it’ll give me something to focus on while I’m in the air (I hate the whole flying experience from definitely probably getting cancer in those full-body scanners to everyone in the airport hating you to the roller coaster feeling of take offs and landings). I’ll have some unadulterated time with my needles and no one can tell me otherwise when I’m on my own vacation thankyouverymuch.
Now, the rational part of me thinks that I’ll become terribly claustrophobic and frustrated when I mess up a cable six times on the plane. I won’t be able to get up and take a lap or lie on the floor as I like to do when knitting isn’t working out so I’ll end up stabbing my boyfriend with a knitting needle. Then I will be arrested and probably put on the no fly list (not really a loss there) and maybe a pair of socks would be nicer?
OF COURSE, I could always bring a sleeve AND a sock. Why not both?
Anyway, I have about a month to plan but if I’m taking this show on the road, there is yarn to be wound and some SERIOUS swatching that needs to happen.
What do you think? Do you pack small projects or go all in? Also, somewhat related, any book suggestions for the beach? (I like mysteries, cults, pirates, and young adult dystopias.)
Now that I’ve had some time to collect my thoughts on last weekend’s adventure at Vogue Knitting Live, I am ready to share! I had a really great time but I always do when I have a good excuse to indulge in the knitting world.
I took a few great classes. Lily Chin’s Set-in Sleeve class really made me re-think the way I design them and I feel a lot more confident than before. You can’t scare me, set-in sleeves! I had an absolutely amazing time at Kate Atherley‘s Heels and Toes class which evolved from just talking about a variety of heel flap techniques to trouble shooting socks. In the end, we all went home with advice on how to make the most perfect socks. If you have the opportunity to take a class with Ms. Atherly, DO IT. It was so fun and I can’t wait to put everything she taught me into practice!
I also went to a fun lecture about trends with Lindsey from Kollabora. The Crash is totally on trend, guys! There are lots of other fun things I think I’ll play around with this year like chunky knits and whites. And Jared Flood’s panel on male knitters was great. During the Q&A, a teenage guy thanked everyone on the panel for inspiring him to knit and do it in public. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. You know I wanted to give him a hug.
Men at Work panel (Wish we could’ve been closer!)
There was shopping. That’s what you really want to hear about, right? I think that I was pretty good this time around. I actually stuck to a list for once so that’s exciting. I snagged some Esopus by Jill Draper Makes Stuff that I will maybe eventually use for a Follow Your Arrow shawl (I’ll get around to it). I love seeing Jill at VKL! I can’t leave her booth empty handed.
I also picked up this beautiful skein from Neighborhood Fiber. I was really drooling over their color ways last year at Vogue. I love how saturated they are, like, really bold. This skein happened to match my manicure. I’m not sure if the photo does it justice. It’s a fawny brown with a plum/wine? Really gorgeous. I think it will become a hat. Why not?
And I finally got to feed my craving for earrings with this pair by Cara Romano. They’re so cool! And I like the bright pink. I think it’ll be really fun to wear with an outfit of neutrals. (They’re being modeled by a skein of Rowan since I change earrings for another month.)
Of course, the highlight of VKL for me is getting together with all of my friends! I got to brunch with my New York ladies, Kristen, Kim, Maria, and Dana. Everyone was knitting except for me since I’d JUST finished Faro. Felt like such a loser, I was super jealous! I had a beer with Alanna which was a blast. I got to hang out with Lisa and Rachel and we talked about more secret plans(!!!). There were certainly others I wished I’d been able to hang out with but maybe next time around! Just being around knitters makes me happy. It was a great weekend.
So what do you think? Did I buy enough yarns? Were you there? What classes did you take?
Sometimes. Not often. But every once in a while, I screw up. I’m just kidding. If you know anything about me, you’d know that I’m kind of a disaster but I don’t like to focus on my faults and, when it comes to knitting, I’m pretty good at making a stumble look like a dance. Usually, I don’t screw up in a big way so I can gloss over it. Nobody has to know. But sometimes I just get myself into a mess and I make mistakes.
Coming off of a knitting high of some recent knit-related ass kicking, I dove right into the BT Men’s lookbook, ready for a new challenge. Like I said, I was immediately itching to make a Timberline for Jon before the release day was over, I’d ordered a box full of Shelter. Since the sweater was for Jon, I asked him to help me pick out a color. I want to make sure he wears this damn thing. He liked the color of the Slade cardigan so I ordered Cast Iron. (I really thought he’d want a cream colored cardigan but he wasn’t excited about that anymore. Boys, always changing their minds!)
The yarn came in two days! I never order just one skein and swatch until I like the yarn and then get the rest later. I am all about instant gratification. I want to swatch for a maximum of 15 minutes and then I want to GET KNITTING. I can’t wait. I am not patient. Knitting is not for the patient! So I ordered 15 skeins.
I started getting into the pattern. It’s 24 pages long (a full page of construction notes, three pages of charts, two pages of cast on instructions, etc). To say the very least, it’s intimidating. I’m not sure why but looking over the charts made me feel dizzy and tired and then laugh maniacally.
But I’m very confident. I can knit anything. I’ve never doubted myself when it comes to following a pattern. I’ve certainly ripped out and messed up before but I can’t remember the last time I looked at a pattern and thought, “I can’t do this.” So I dove right in.
I swatched a little bit and I started working up the sleeve and then my worst fears came true. Two things happened: I screwed up some of the cables and I hated the color. I was prepared to frog the piece. It’s not like I haven’t ripped out two days of work before. (We’ve all been there, right?)
So I decided I’d go back and do a bigger swatch to really get a good feeling of the cables. I was really breaking a sweat doing these cables. It was certainly a knitting work out. But the whole time I was looking at the piece thinking that I just wasn’t happy. I know this feeling. I can’t knit a whole sweater with this feeling. The yarn was just too dark to show off the details. It was nice but it wasn’t stunning. I don’t want to put in days and days of work and not get stunning as a result. I won’t even be motivated to finish it.
Last week I decided to exchange the yarn. I’m impatient so it’s super frustrating to have to wait even longer to begin but I think it’s for the best. I’m going to go with Long Johns. I think it would be a better color way, still masculine but bright enough for the cables to really shine. I think it’s the right thing to do.
I made a mistake. Luckily, it’s easy to fix but it’s still a bummer that I have to wait longer before I can get started on this sweater. It’s probably for the best. I have a few projects with loose ends that need tying up (pun intended) before I jump into a big commitment. And, besides, maybe next time I’ll be more careful before I jump in, do more research and really get a feel for the yarn before making a big purchase. And, as always, I need to trust my gut. Jon really liked the dark grey but I knew deep down that it wouldn’t be what I wanted. I’ve got to trust myself!
Do you like to admit your knitting mistakes?
Did you see the new men’s collection from Brooklyn Tweed? Every time a BT collection is released, there’s certainly a lot of oohing and ahhing. But this one really got us into a frenzy. There was a lot of discussion around the blogosphere about men’s knits and it was really exciting!
Aside from swooning over the models and debates about whether sweater-wearing boys look better with beards or clean-shaven (I think my vote is with beards), there was a ton of talk about menswear, shape, taste, and knitwear design. Men’s silhouettes make for a very different canvas. I love how the BT Men collection plays with classic menswear themes (elbow patches, shawl collars, shoulder details).
There was a lot of excitement about new menswear patterns. Aside from a few books dedicated to the subject and some new Rowan patterns and a smattering of older Brooklyn Tweed selections, there just isn’t enough out there in terms of patterns for men. Even male designers are designing for women. Obviously this is because of the demand. I think we can all agree that it wouldn’t be profitable to design more menswear patterns than women’s. So there’s a bit of a drought there. I think that a lot of the menswear patterns I’ve encountered are not classic enough that I’d want to make them. They’re weird and experimental which is cool but (stereotype here) not something that a lot of guys want to wear. And there’s nothing like a dude in a simple raglan sweater.
We all want to see more patterns like these and we want to design more patterns like these but it’s just not really there right now. I’m not sure what would change that…I guess more men who want to knit for themselves? Maybe that’s just the way things are, that women own a greater variety of clothing. But I’d like to see more menswear. I just really love boys in sweaters!
Anyway, I wanted to talk about my favorite piece from the collection which is the Timberline sweater (above). It’s crazy gorgeous. And, if you’re a long time reader you’d know, it is almost exactly what I was looking for to make Jon a Don Draper cardigan. Oh yes! Finally a cream-colored, shawl-collared cabled sweater for him! Every time a new collection comes out with cabled menswear pieces, I’m looking for something that is close to the sweater from season 5’s finale. Now I’ve found it! It’s more modern and intricate and a bit bulkier but I think it’s exactly Jon’s taste. My search can finally end!
That being said, the Timberline sweater reminds me of Michelle Wang’s Exeter from BT’s Spring Thaw collection. (I actually thought for a moment about making Jon that sweater since it seemed big enough. I’m glad I didn’t do it because I probably would’ve been really disappointed.) Obviously, Timberline is different from Exeter. Timberline fits a man’s frame well, the cabling is different while Exeter is double breasted with a folded cuff.
I really like seeing both sweaters side by side. And I’m really tempted to make myself an Exeter to match Jon’s soon-to-be Timberline but I am generally against intentional matching. I’m not sure it’s a good idea since we always end up dressing similarly (“Oh, we’re both wearing striped t-shirts today? Cool.”) since I like to wear menswear-inspired outfits (read: most days I wear boys’ t-shirts with jeans because getting dressed is hard). And I need another cardigan like I need another ten pounds.
But I can dream…
Do you love menswear knits? Do you think more designers will be inspired to produce these patterns? Do you think Jon and I can wear matching sweaters and still be cool?
Let me preface this post by saying that not all of these yarns were actually produced in Chicago. What I mean by the title of this post is that I bought these skeins while I was on my trip. I might’ve gone overboard. But I like to give my money to local yarn stores even when they’re not local to me. I want to help make sure that they stick around for my sister knitters! It’s my duty. Also, I was on vacation. And my mom always says that I can buy whatever I want when I’m on vacation. She’s smart.
On my second day in Chi-town, I visited Loopy Yarns. They have a whole room for hand dyed and hand painted yarns. That’s where I spent most of my time. I was really drawn to the Miss Babs yarns. I hadn’t seen any of it in person. All of the colorways were really gorgeous and unique. As is true for my form, I decided to get a skein of sock yarn. (As I’ve said before, I like to buy sock yarn when I’m buying stash enhancements since I can usually at least get a pair of socks out of it. There’s usually enough yardage for one pair so I don’t have to splurge on multiple skeins. I feel like I can buy a tasting, if you will, of yarns. And it actually gets used instead of just living in my stash for forever.) It’s a really soft merino yarn. Once I’d picked my favorite, about three other women came in and one after the other announced, “I heard you just got some Miss Babs! I’m here for the Miss Babs!” I knew I’d made the right choice. I think I might make Jon a pair of socks with this salmon color. I know what you’re thinking but I think pink socks look awesome on men! (Exhibits A, B, and C.)
I was just going to stop at the skein of Miss Babs but in the sale section I saw this Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace. I had to buy it. (Also Jon said I should treat myself. He’s smart, too.) Aside from the price and it being a beautiful skein of silk and merino, Lorna’s Laces is based in Chicago so how could I not buy a Chicago yarn so close to the source? (Side note: I would have loved to have seen their studio but I’m not sure if they do any tours/visits. If I’m ever back I’ll have to explore that. Their yarns are so pretty, I’d love to just give them a high five.) I don’t really knit lacey lace things so I was hoping the yarn might inspire me. I’m thinking about making Jared Flood’s Rock Island shawl with it because that thing is gorrrrgeous and designed around this yarn.
When I visited Nina, I was having so much fun looking at all of their yarns that I almost forgot to buy something. I know that sounds silly but their shop felt more like an art gallery than a store (I mean that in the best way!) so I didn’t want to disturb any of the yarns. I was also having a post-brunch buzz (banana bread french toast is a thing, everyone, and it tastes as ridiculous as it sounds) so I was having a tough time deciding. All of their yarns are beautiful. For some reason I was really drawn to a basket of Schoppel (Skacel) merino sock yarn. I guess I have a thing for merino sock yarn. This is just a wide self-striping yarn in shades of blue and grey, nothing too crazy.
I really liked that the tag has this big red warning that says, “Stricken kann suchtig machen!” which is German for “Knitting can be addictive!” Now you tell me!
All in all, I’m really happy with my yarn purchases. I don’t buy post cards or magnets or anything (I was looking for local honey but no luck!) so these are perfect souvenirs!
What kind of souvenirs do you like to buy when you travel? (My mom’s favorite is playing cards!)
Tags: addiction, Chicago, helen's lace, honor, jared flood, knit, lace, Loopy Yarns, Lorna's Laces, merino, miss babs, Nina, rock island, schoppel, self striping, shawl, skacel, sock yarn, socks, souvenir, stash, travel, yarn
Is it too hot to think about socks? Do some of us ever stop thinking about socks? How about remembering a colder time when I started these socks?
Well, I had really terrible second sock syndrome. I just feel awful about it because I love this yarn and the cable pattern is really fun. I don’t know exactly what distracted me after I made the first sock (which I was working on at VKL!) But I was obviously distracted.
I finally had a chance to finish them before Memorial Day. I’m so pleased with how they turned out. I think they look even cooler than the ones I wanted from Toast.
Standing on my fire escape over the weekend, modeling these socks, I was sweating bullets. What warm cozies! I can’t wait to wear them in the snow!
Have you recently overcome second sock syndrome? How do you get through it?
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?
I’ve been a busy bee this week (for more specifics, check out my post on The Burgerlution’s blog!) (oh and it’s only Monday). But I have finally had time to sit down and knit. It feels wonderful. I’ve missed you, beautiful afghan squares.
I’ve also had enough time to read Brooklyn Tweed’s gorgeous blog and reignite my flame for his absolutely yummy and unbelievably gorgeous Shelter yarn. I know I’ve mentioned it before. I was dying to knit my afghan with it but I couldn’t justify the price. (By that I mean I was far too impatient to save enough money for it so I went with something I could afford with my Christmas money.)
(photo from the Brooklyn Tweed blog’s mill tour)
But now I need this yarn. I am salivating over it. I check Ravelry for pictures of other projects knit with it. I wonder about what color would look best on me. I’m basically having a love affair with Jared Flood’s American-made yarn and I think the only cure is making this fantastic cardigan by Nancy Eiseman in either Hayloft or Tent…or Homemade Jam. Or Wool Socks.
I do not have a problem.
I am adding this cardigan to my knitting queue which is growing rapidly. I am going to save up and be a good girl so I can have this amazing cardigan and put my rabid obsession for this yarn to rest. Or so I hope.
I am also going to take my lunch hour at Purl Soho, rubbing my face in the different colors so I can finally choose which one to commit to.
I don’t have a problem.
(featured photo by Tara Landry)
I wanted to pick up on something I mentioned yesterday. When I started putting together my afghan, I realized that I didn’t know exactly how to cleanly and invisibly sew it all together. It’s really embarrassing to admit that I’ve been knitting for almost eight years now with sloppy seams. So don’t tell anyone! But it’s not every day that you seam in garter stitch. I certainly hadn’t done it before.
The seams in my afghan, as I mentioned earlier, weren’t simple and straightforward. They really were all different combinations and by that I mean all of the rows I was trying to sew together were headed in different directions.
Now, I think that YouTube is the second best resource for knitters (Ravelry being the first, OF COURSE) so that’s where I headed. I know it’s possible to learn how to knit through pictures and books (I certainly have picked up some techniques and stitches that way, don’t get me wrong) but knitting has been passed down since the Egyptians invented it (at least that’s what Wikipedia says) by one knitter showing someone else; physically showing them to put the needle in the loop, bring the yarn around the back and in between, put the point down through the loop and pull off the needle. It’s like old folktales that were once passed down over campfires and family meals. The internet really seems like the antithesis of this concept but here I am, learning how to seam from a master! That’s downright old fashioned.
Anyway, I think I was rambling there but I’d really like to share with you this video from Domiknitrix doing a crazy seam like the one that I used in my afghan. Hers is actually the under arm seam of a Tomten jacket (like Jared Flood’s adult tomten) but it connects two pieces that seam to be mis-matched.
I hope this helps! Check out her other videos for more seaming advice and some other cool instructional videos (intarsia!).
And I hope somewhere out there, there is another knitter that is embarrassed to admit she has awful seams. You’re not alone!
(photo by knitkid)