Posts Tagged ‘wool’

15
Nov

Further Reading 11/15/13

Written by Sarah. Posted in further reading, Uncategorized

Knit York City and Threadpandaphoto via Threadpanda

I just found this photo that I might have stolen from Amy’s Rhinebeck recap. I realized that I basically have zero photographic evidence that I was there at all. That has changed now! Here I am with Panda in her Long Sands cardigan and me in The Crash. That’s right! My sample made it back from Holla Knits just in time to be worn at Rhinebeck. I can’t tell you how many people caressed my shoulders that day and, honestly, I wasn’t even the slightest bit upset about it. My damned sweater is nuts.

>> Sheep in the small village of Grazeley, Berkshire are eating flowers off of graves in the churchyard and everybody’s upset about it. Come on, people, they’re basically being left a buffet. You should not be surprised!

>> My lovely aunt sent me this really weird commercial for walnuts. It’s kind of hilarious and totally bizarre so you know I’m on board. I want to knit you an afghan.

>> If you’re in Manhattan next week, you might want to RSVP for this event with Ann Hood on her book Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. I haven’t read the essays yet (too busy knitting to read about knitting, I guess!) but it sounds like something I’d love and I’m excited to hear her speak.

>>  Workers in Bangladesh are protesting the new minimum wage which still leaves them making 14% of what is considered a living wage. According to the ThinkProgress article, improving factory conditions would only cost consumers 10 cents more on each garment made in the factories. Think about that for a minute.

>> A fascinating article about vicuña garments – the most expensive wool on earth. It sounds like magic. I’d love to pet one in real life and see the shearing ceremony!

>> Yarnbomber Magda Sayeg is looking for help installing her next piece in Manhattan next month! I’m tempted to play hooky from my job because her work is just so amazing!

Hope I’ll be back to my needles this weekend. I can’t stand resting so long. What’re you working on?

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31
Oct

Rhinebeck 2013: The Goods

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, holiday, knits, life, Rhinebeck, yarn

Alright, I’ve held out on you long enough. It’s time to show you what I snagged at Rhinebeck!

I was a really good girl this year. I think that looking my stash directly in the face (that’s for another post) the week before Rhinebeck along with the pressure of numerous deadlines really helped me put things into perspective. I really love yarn. But I seriously need to be careful about what I’m purchasing lest things get more out of hand. (I’d also had my hopes that I was getting a big bonus at work the Friday before but that got postponed so my budget was a little tighter. Probably for the best! Custom couches don’t just pay for themselves, you know.) On top of it all, I felt like I was chatting and catching up so much on Saturday that I hardly had time to shop. Shopping was not the goal for the weekend, as I mentioned before, I felt super pumped after spending the day with all of my friends. I was literally still browsing through what was left at Into the Whirled when they announced that the fairgrounds were closed and I didn’t have to go home but I couldn’t shop for more yarn here. So I only bought two skeins of yarn for myself!

Within my first fifteen minutes, I’d already gotten a lovely compliment on my sweater (oh, Rhinebeck, you always know how to make a girl happy) and fallen deeply in love with this skein of DK BFL dyed by Jan Marek Raczkowski. It’s a gorgeous pink with just a little bit of red. I didn’t want to buy anything until I’d made my rounds so I waited until the end of the day to pick this up but I was thinking about it all day. It’s soft and squishy and the color has me swooning. I’m planning on making the Hierro mitts from Pom Pom’s Autumn 2013 issue and I had my eye out for the right yarn. This is it.

Jan Marek Raczkowski

 

I’m really excited to start those mitts and I’m already thinking that I want to get more yarn from Jan Marek Raczkowski. Apparently he only sells at shows, nothing online! Although a little birdie did tell me that I could email him to order. I’ll definitely be thinking about that!

into the whirled

 

The other skein I bought is by Into the Whirled. Now, I was a little bad. After going through my stash, I realized that I have enough sock yarn to last me a hundred winters (possible slight exaggeration but it’s serious). I’ve said again and again that I love buying sock yarn because it’s a great way to purchase yarn without worrying about having the right quantity for a random project- one skein of sock yarn is enough for a pair of socks. I love knitting socks! But, alas, I’ve seemed to have followed my own advice  a little too closely and now I have a billion skeins and zero minutes to cast on socks. Then Lisa showed me these yarns and there was just no turning back.

But when I saw this color way, I just really couldn’t say no. It’s Inara and it’s in the SW merino/nylon base. It’s just so pretty. I might make socks for Jon with it. I think that is what I say every time I buy a skein of sock yarn. And he only has one pair of socks that I ever knit him. Poor thing.

The more I think about it, the more I’m regretting not also picking up a skein of Bigger on the Inside because the colors are just gorgeous and who doesn’t want Doctor Who-themed socks?! Maybe next time. I really was trying to be good!

Did I do good? Or should I have really broken the bank this time? What did you buy?

ps. Happy Halloween! I’ve been so busy, I’ve forgotten to be festive. Last year I wrote this Halloween poem so check that out.

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23
Jul

Sometimes I Make Mistakes

Written by Sarah. Posted in cardigan, knits, WIP, yarn

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.

Timberline swatch

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?

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22
Mar

Unleavened Skeins

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, knits, that gif post, yarn

Passover is beginning soon. Are you getting prepared? It’s one of the most important Jewish holidays and it’s one of my favorites for these reasons: a) the story is epic, b) the Rugrats made a really good  holiday episode, c) you’re supposed to drink a lot (like, a lot, guys), and d) it’s supposed to be very personal. It’s the story of how our ancestors escaped slavery in Egypt. And when I was a kid, I wanted to be an Egyptologist so the whole Jews building pyramids thing was pretty exciting.

Here’s the story of Passover and my ancestors (I imagine they look like me but with way more epic eye make up).

We were slaves in Egypt. It sucked. Moses came and was all, LET MY PEOPLE GO which is probably the best catchphrase ever. The Pharaoh was all like, “No Way, Jose.” Then the ten plagues happened, yadda yadda yadda.

When the Pharaoh told the Israelites that they were free to leave Egypt, they left as fast as they could. They knew he was kind of a fickle bitch and was constantly changing his mind. Like, one day he would be like, “Guys, this is where I the pyramid should go,” and then halfway through building it, he’d be all, “I think it would actually look better over there. Don’t you think it’d look better over there?” And then they’d have to go and start all over again.

So when the Jews were freed, they hauled ass out of there. They packed up so quickly, they didn’t even wait for their bread dough to rise! That’s why we eat matzah. (Don’t have any idea what the geflite fish is all about. Don’t ask.) My ancestors packed up so quickly that they didn’t even wait to finish all of their WIPs! They just took whatever stash yarn they could carry and GTFO. Moses was all like, “Um, I don’t think you’re going to need a scarf in the desert” but they were all like, “It’s not a scarf, it’s a 10 Commandments cozy. By the way, did anyone pack stitch markers? I left all of my notions in Egypt.”

Then, the whole Egyptian army showed up because the Pharaoh had changed his mind (so predictable, this guy!) and so they were all like chasing the Jews to the sea. My ancestors were like, “Oh crap, I don’t think salt water is very good for wool.” But Moses was all, “Guys, don’t worry. I have a plan.” And, guess what. He OPENED UP THE SEA so everyone would just walk across. I know, crazy right? And when they got to the other side, all of the Egyptians drowned and the day was saved.

And somebody was like, “Hey did anybody bring a map?” and my ancestors were like, “I have a pattern for a nemes. Would that help?” And Moses was all like “OMG WE’RE GONA BE IN THIS DESERT FOREVS.”

The end.

passover

Lion Brand Alpine Wool in Oatmeal

Anyway, the point of this story is that, just as we eat unleavened matzahs to commemorate our ancestors time in Egypt, I will knit with matzah-like yarns to commemorate my ancestors who were probably walking around the desert like, “Are we there yet? I’m hot. Golden donkey? How about a golden sheep? Maybe it can send more yarn.”

This unleavened yarn will probably make you a lot less constipated than matzah.

Happy Passover!

ps. If you stuck it out and read this whole story, you’re a real champ. It was ridiculous but I made myself laugh.

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09
Jan

Stash’ed: Icelandic Yarn

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, yarn

When my good friend Allison had a twelve hour layover in New York back in November, I was delighted! She and I, on average, only see each other once a year and this would be our third get together in 2012. (For a moment, I thought it was a sign of the Mayan apocalypse. A chance I was willing to take!) I am so jealous that she is often traveling the world and her most recent trip was to Iceland!

While she originally promised to bring me a sheep, I guess it was for the best that she just picked up yarn since we’re not allowed to have pets in my building.

lopi yarn

 

The yarn she brought me is, of course, made in Iceland. I can’t read anything on the label besides the fact that it’s Lopi Alafosslopi which is a bulky weight 100% Icelandic wool. It’s delicious. It’s wooly and thick and has that tough, warm, scratchy feeling that makes wool so incredible. It’s basically like a big ball of sheep.

lopi yarn 2

Since hearing about Allison’s adventures eating delicious yogurt and seeing beautiful landscapes of Iceland, I’m dying to go there. I’d looove to visit the Textile Museum and maybe hang out with some sheep. Honestly, doing those two things would be a perfect vacation for me. I would be quite content. I’ve heard about some Icelandic knitting cruises. I dream of one day being able to afford a knit-centric vacation.

Thanks for the yarn, Allison! You’re the best! I don’t know what to make with it just but I’m just enjoying feeling it.

Have you ever been to Iceland? What’s your dream knitcation?

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07
Jan

WIP: Faire Isle, Slowly

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, knits, life, sweater, WIP

Remember that sweater I cast on during my hurrication? It’s still here, guys.

Just as I suspected, it took a back seat during holiday knitting season. (And by back seat, I mean I was sitting on it, wedged between the cushion and the arm of the couch because that’s where I store my WIPs. I’m not even joking. I just promised myself that I’d get a proper place for them. Let’s make that happen.) After the blur of the holidays plus a big secret project (sorry, suspense!), I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d worked on it. I was half way through the armhole shaping on the back. Why, oh, why do I always put down a piece when I’m working on the armhole shaping? Then I pick it up and I can’t trust that I marked the proper place where I’d left off and I’m suspicious and double guessing the whole way through.

Anyway, over the past week, I was able to not only finish the back but I also worked on my Zelda cross stitch and knit up a new (but simple) design. Pretty neat, huh? I guess since I spent all of New Year’s Day on it, I got a couple of extra hours.

Here it is, so badly in need of a blocking (and better lighting).

 

faire isle back debbie bliss

 

As I’m a professional, I held the piece up to my back (you know, the scientific way of measuring garments) and I’m now a little terrified that it won’t fit. I know I voiced my concerns about the sweater being snug before. Now that I’ve completed the entire back piece, there’s really no turning back. Also, since I’m definitely, absolutely a professional, I didn’t bother blocking my gauge swatch so I have no idea if blocking the pieces will help loosen things up. (I’ll remember that for that “How to Knit a Gauge Swatch” post…)

Since it’s wool and most of my sweaters end up being massive, I can only assume that giving a nice soak will give me about an inch more which would be a big help. That or I need to go on a diet, ASAP. I’m not giving this sweater up. I’m too in love.

faire isle 2 wrong side

Here’s a picture of the wrong side. I like sharing my wrong sides a lot. I feel like it’s not something that’s out there enough and I think that they’re interesting and beautiful in their own way. I’ve also gone on weird OCD searches for them when I’m afraid I’m not doing a technique properly. The backside of a faire isle piece is important the way that the back of a cross stitch is important (says myself, who has sloppy, terrible cross stitch backs). Also, you can see that I have hours worth of ends to weave in. Party!

Anyway, this sweater isn’t the quick, simple project I thought it would be. But are they ever? My only hope is that I have time to finish the front before winter is over. Ok, my only OTHER hope is that it fits. And that I don’t cry. Those are my only three hopes. Oh, and also that I don’t run out of yarn because St. Denis is discontinued. Ahahaha!

Please help me.

My sweater’s going to stretch out, right? Do you like looking at wrong sides? Would you share yours?

 

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30
Nov

Gif Friday

Written by Sarah. Posted in that gif post

It’s Friday. Let’s get the weekend started early.

When my friend says that wool is too itchy, I’m like:

When I read the Olympic Committee’s cease and desist letter to Ravelry, I was like:

When I’m shopping for yarn online, it’s like:

Christmas knitting this year:

When a teacher said I couldn’t knit in class, I was like:

When I see someone else knitting on the train, we’re just like:

Happy knitting this weekend! Are you making progress on your holiday knits?

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29
Oct

Sandy Knit-a-Long

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, knits, life, new york city, photos, style, sweater, technique, WIP, yarn

Hello, East coast! Are you having a hurrication day? Pretty much everything in the city is shut down since the trains and buses aren’t running. I hope you’re all stocked up on snacks and beer!

Anyone up for a Hurricane Sandy Knit-a-long?

When I found out last night that my office would be closed today, I took the chance to cast on the swatch for this Debbie Bliss faire isle sweater I’ve had my eye on for a while. I’m obsessed.

The pattern is from Debbie Bliss Magazine’s Fall/Winter 2012 issue. I’m using St Denis Boreale yarn which is some super soft American Wool. The MC is this great gunmetal grey Pewter colorway, CCs are Champagne, Spicy Rose, Gray Card, and Blue Eggshell. Sadly, the St Denis lines are being discontinued. The yarn is gorgeous and I’m disappointed I discovered it too late. Also, I might be stocking up and hoarding whatever I can find especially since it is on sale until the stock runs out.

I’ve since cast on for the first sleeve. I love the way these colors look. I’ve been dying to make a faire isle sweater with some neutrals mixed with neon. That Spicy Rose is absolutely perfectly bright. So much fun. I’ve decided to use only size 3s (the pattern calls for 3mm and 3.5mm needles) and I hope that works out.

I’m having a few issues with the pattern. I think I’m reading it properly but I’ve caught a few wonky spots. I may need to consult with some other knitters. And there’s no Rav page for the pattern yet. Eek! Anyway, I’m working through that. Still a big fan.

I’m not sure right now if I should be carrying the CC up the sides or cutting and rejoining. I’m leaning towards (especially on the advice from  a few friends) carrying them very loosely. I’ll do anything to avoid weaving in ends. What would you do?

More updates when there’s some nice light for photographs! Until then, follow me on Twitter and Instagram for pics of my #sandykal.

Are you knitting the hurricane away? What are you making? Are you prepared for the storm?

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22
Oct

Rhinebeck and Back Again

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, KYC Presents, movies, new york city, photos, Rhinebeck, travel

What a weekend! I’m still reeling. I took Jon and Ashley upstate to shoot at Rhinebeck and we had so much fun!

We spent all day filming the festival. And we were so busy, I see now, that I didn’t even take photos! But we do have some awesome video that will be coming up soon!

Much of the day was spent doing interviews but we did get in some time to pet furry animals. It was magical to meet so many people from Ravelry and overwhelming to see so much yarn in one place. I wish I’d had more time (and better cell reception!) so that I could have met with everyone. All in all, it was an amazing time. Next year I think I’ll have to split the fun between two days!

Stay tuned because there will be some Rhinebeck videos coming up.

Were you at Rhinebeck? What did you get? Did you pet any animals!?

 

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10
Oct

Steal This Knit: Madewell Sheep Sweaters

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, Steal This Knit, style

While owls, deer, and foxes have often been considered the animal darlings of the Urban Outfitters hipster set, I think that sheep are getting some spotlight this season. These adorable lamb sweaters over at Madewell have predictably caught my eye. They seem like the perfect addition to my fall wardrobe.

While the left sweater is $88, it seems a little disingenuous of me to buy a machine-made tribute to my favorite furry friends. And, as the Campaign for Wool has taught us, it really bothers me that both of these are blends of cotton, nylon, viscose, and, oh yeah, there’s a little wool in there, too. (I won’t pretend I’m as much of a snob for natural fibers as I’d like to be. But is it too much to ask for a sweater that costs over $100 to be made of something yummy? I mean, it has a sheep on it!)

How do I get a sheep sweater of my own? You may be asking, checking the calendar out of the corner of your eye, wondering if you could pull off a whole sweater before Rhinebeck.

Sangmi Lee has a free pattern on Ravelry that is exactly what you’re looking for. I love the similar look. Perfectly on trend. Awesome. The test pattern that’s up now is a 36″ bust test but the charts are there so adjustments could be worked pretty easily. It’s knit on size 2s so it’s definitely not something that will happen before Rhinebeck!

I also love that the pattern is based on a cardigan that’s based on a steal! It’s from a Chloe cardigan that was in stores a few years ago. maybe it’s time for me to whip up a true Madewell steal!

Seeing lots of sheep this season? Want to see more? Plan to cast on some sheep-inspired sweaters?

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