Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

11
Mar

Erin Go Yarn

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, knits, want, yarn

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, everyone! I have to admit, I’m not really a big participant in St. Patty’s Day festivities. I’m Irish and I like drinking but there’s something about chugging Guinness with a bunch of dudes from New Jersey wearing backwards green baseball hats in a crowded bar that turns me off of the whole holiday. Also, the arbitrary addition of green food coloring to beverages and breakfast foods really grosses me out. In fact, I have no idea what Erin Go Bragh means. And I just found out that Guinness has two n’s because I’ve never typed it before.

God, I sound like the Grinch who stole Patrick. I have a feeling my Irish card is about to be revoked.

This year, maybe I’ll get lucky and change my mind. I hope I can find a four leaf clover or even catch a leprechaun. And his pot won’t be filled with gold but maybe full of yarn!

gold2

1. Katia Hechizo in Gold with Gold
2. Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Sunburst Gold
3. MadTosh Pure Silk Lace in Gilded
4. Debbie Bliss Cotton in Gold
5. Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Goldmine

And if his pot is full of gold, well I guess I’ll just have to buy the yarn myself. And some beer.

Are you planning on celebrating St. Patty’s Day to the max? Will you be wearing any green knits?

ps. Can you believe Ravelry hit 3 million members last week! Congrats to them!

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08
Mar

Throwback FO: I Knit the Band

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

Good morning, lovelies! Today we are kicking it old school and you get a special treat: we’re going to talk about me in high school. I’ve wanted to write about this for a while but it’s always felt overly sentimental (and there are some photos of me wearing large amounts of eyeliner that I was afraid to share) but it’s time! Happy Friday!

Throughout my high school career, I saw OK Go live somewhere between six and ten times. Always accompanied by my best lady Ashley! Our love affair with their music began just before the treadmills and paisley happened. We were those giggly fangirls who’s parents dropped them off in front of some bar in Hoboken, standing at the very front through all of the opening acts to secure a good spot for dancing. You probably hated us but you were those girls at some point, too. Admit it.

okgo
OK Go has always been really awesome and creative. They would do intricately choreographed dances at the end of their shows. Their music videos have become more and more experimental and wild over the years and they’ve always encouraged the same unbridled creativity from their fans. Last summer they “hosted” a summer camp where they asked fans to submit whatever projects they were working on, all mediums and subjects. Before that, though, back when I was going to their shows on school nights, they used to request fun gifts from fans.

They’d put out a message a few hours before the show like Bring us a hoola hoop! or Tonight we want socks! or something crazy and after the show, people would present their offerings to the guys. I never got into that but I was always jealous of my friends from Livejournal (Livejournal! This post is getting embarrassing!) who got to spend a little extra time chatting with the guys.

So I decided that I would bring them a gift that they’d love that was totally me. Something that could show them that they were really my favorite band of all time. So I knit them scarves.

okgo scarves

Yup! That’s me at age sixteen sweating like a sinner in church, partially from two hours of dancing but also, probably, from nervousness!

I charted their logo myself. (Creating colorwork charts was kind of a hobby for me then.) They were placed awkwardly at one end of each scarf. I made them all from Lamb’s Pride worsted yarn mainly because I had some stashed at the time. It’s definitely not what I’d choose for a scarf now since it’s so itchy but what can I say? The colors were lovely and it was within my slim budget and I didn’t really know anything about wool versus alpaca versus unicorns. I had a lot of fun mixing crazy colors to match their whole paisley thing. (Damian wore bright red pants.) And I really loved crazy colors back then, too.

I approached them nervously after one of their shows and pulled out each of the scarves I’d made. I must’ve seemed crazy but they were so sweet. Andy put his on even though he was totally sweaty from the show. Dan even introduced me to his fiancee who thanked me since he really needed a scarf. Damian reminded me that it was bad luck to knit for your boyfriend (a rule I’ve broken about a million times since but I’m glad he was looking out for me). It was pretty exhilarating.

Best of all, someone on livejournal (livejournal, again) spotted a photo of Tim rocking his pink and black scarf in a Boston paper and sent me the article where he gave a shout out the fan who knit it for him. It was awesome to know that they were actually wearing  them.

OKGOSCARF

Regardless of the knitwear, I still love OK Go. Since that show, I haven’t talked to them. We used to be able to hang around and get a hug or a photo after they performed but they’re not playing those little venues anymore. Ashley and I go to their shows every time they’re in New York. We’re always dancing and singing and flailing around in the front row like we’re fifteen and we don’t care if you’re judging us. I forget everything about being a grown up and trying to act cool and I just let excitement take over. I can’t wait to hear what they’re working on now and I love seeing their fresh ideas. I’ll never not be a fan.

Thanks for being awesome, boys!

Have you ever knit for someone you admire? Do you like reminiscing about old FOs? Is OKGo not the most fun ever?

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04
Mar

WIP Storage

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, no clutter, technique, WIP, yarn

I may have mentioned before that my WIPs are a sad state of affairs when I’m not working on them. Generally I keep everything in a pile on the couch, shoved into the cushions so that I don’t lose odds and ends. I’ve been known to sit on three or four skeins of yarn while I work.

Here’s the gist:

wips

That’s four skeins of yarn, three swatches, a sleeve, and a cross stitch all on one couch cushion.

That was before the move. Since we’re in our fancy new apartment, I promised that I would keep things here under control. I don’t need to grow a crazy yarn monster. So I plan on getting some type of container for my needlework. But what shall I use?

Right now, I have my faire isle sweater in a tote bag that lives on the floor next to the couch. I can keep all of the yarn and the pattern in there. It’s a pretty slick deal. I’ve also been focused on accomplishing one pattern at a time which helps tame the mess.

It’s also handy that I have my stash nearby. In the old place, my stash was kept above our closets in this little storage nook where we kept boxes and things that we generally didn’t need to get into very often. It was about 6 or 7 feet high which meant that Jon would have to get on a ladder every time we needed something from up there. Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled about dragging out boxes of yarn so they stayed put. I started filling my nightstand and bedside table with bags of yarn. It was an unruly mess. Worst of all, it didn’t really encourage me to put excess yarn away after I was finished with it. Now all of my yarn is in a closet about five feet from my favorite knitting spot so I can put things away and (get this!) use yarn I already have in my stash with ease! It’s kind of changing my whole life.

I’ve been searching for a great vessel to keep my WIPs in. I have a yarn bowl but it isn’t really conducive for transportation or colorwork. I’m hoping for something big enough to hold a sweater but not too big as to condone couch-side yarn hoarding. Things that aren’t going to be worked on need to stay in the closet! I do plan on sewing some project bags but I want a box of some sort to live near the couch.

I think I’ve found my new WIP bin. It wasn’t what I was expecting (I was really looking for something with a lid) but I was browsing the Fringe Supply Co site and I kind of fell in love with these gorgeous baskets.

basket

What do you think? Perfect, right? A good size and really handsome. Our apartment has some nice wood pieces so the color will be great. And Jared Flood has them. I’m sold. I can’t wait to buy them and put them next to my spot and fill them with yarny things!

But this all gets me thinking: How do you lovely people store your WIPs from day to day? Do you have a couch full of yarn or are you super organized? (No judgements!) Baskets, bins, or bags?

ps. I made a playlist to craft by for Kollabora. Check it out here.

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01
Mar

A Pattern by KYC: Fingerless Heart Mitts

Written by Sarah. Posted in accesories, design, DIY, FO, gloves, knits, kollabora, KYC Presents, yarn

When Kollabora asked me to create a project using their yarn, you can imagine how excited I was. First of all, I’ve been creating my own accessories for a few years and I was ready to share with the rest of the knitting world.

Second, I got to dive into a giant box full of yarn and pick whatever colors I wanted. (I warned them ahead of time, this was a dangerous move.)

Well, here it is!

MITTS

 

The mitts are knit in the round with Kollabora’s Alpaca au Natural and Nora’s Pantry yarns. The yarn is super soft and yummy. (The alpacas are raised in cold temperatures in the Andes!) I love the colors of the Nora’s Pantry yarns and, you know me, I can’t say no to an undyed alpaca! Making this was a lot of fun!

Coming up with a beginner/intermediate pattern was actually a bit of a challenge for me. I didn’t want to make something so simple that it had been done before or so easy that it was boring. But I definitely didn’t want to over complicate it. I realized that it’s difficult for me to gauge what is easy and what is “hard” (or, let’s say ‘advanced’) after so many years of knitting. When it comes to knitting, I am fearless; it’s just combinations of one stitch and it’s mirror, if you will. But newer knitters can easily be intimidated and patterns can quickly begin to look like complex calculus formulas.

Colorwork was something that I wanted to do when I first started knitting. So I thought that it would be a fun project. Also, it involves knitting in the round which is my favorite thing to do!

The pattern is available for free on Kollabora! You can even buy all of the supplies you need through their shop. I’d love to see your fingerless mitts!

Have you worked with the Kollabora yarns yet? What do you think?

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11
Feb

FO: Linen Stitch Sock and Variegated Yarns

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, DIY, FO, knits, life, photos, socks, yarn

As I mentioned earlier, I put my crafting away to get moving done. Knitting is my number one distraction. When I’m working on a project, I can sit for hours watching season after season of Law and Order: SVU, ignoring the rest of the world. Laundry, editing, even friends are all ignored when I’m knitting. I’m sure you can relate. I was really afraid that my craft addiction would keep me from my strict packing schedule. So I put my needles in a box and taped it up so I had no choice but to get the worst of the move over with. It was tough and my fingers felt like they were itching to work. I couldn’t sit still in front of the TV when we were taking breaks. I was going cold turkey from knitting.

After we got into the new place, I promised myself that I’d keep my WIPs out of sight so I could focus on unpacking and getting back to normal. And I was pleasantly surprised by how long I was able to stop myself from thinking about stitching. I got a lot done around the house, I baked cookies, and then I became strangely obsessed with cleaning the kitchen (the building is brand new so I want EVERYTHING TO STAY SHINEY AND CLEAN FOREVER PLEASE.) I finally dragged out a sock who never got a buddy from my stash when the weekend rolled around so I’d have something to knit during the Super Bowl. (My faire isle sweater needed to be blocked before I could move forward and I didn’t think that that was a project that should be tackled with boxes all over the place. We also didn’t have a floor lamp for the living room yet so it was too dark to do any cross stitching. So I decided to go with the hibernating project.)

linen stitch sock

I realized upon completing this second sock, that I’d never written about the first sock here. I’d posted a few photos on instagram when I made it back in June but other than that, it’s story has not been told. I can’t believe I left the pair unfinished for so long! (But I did start Maxfield right after I completed the first sock. That might explain it!)

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Solemate which I picked up in a Soakbox at Vogue Knitting Live (2011). This was an early Soakbox so it only had yarn, a small Heel lotion, and a travel-sized Soak wash packet. (I love the new ones with nail polish! I love nail polish, guys.) I have to admit, the Outlast climate-control technology in the Solemate yarn (I still have no idea how it works but it sounds really magical) was what really sold me. I love it when there’s “technology” in things that are otherwise not technological. (I also know that everything involves technology. You know what I mean.)

linen stitch detail

Here’s the thing: I don’t really like variegated yarns. (Omg, Am I racist against multicolored yarns? I love all yarns. Except cotton. I am a little racist against cotton yarns. Sorry! Just being honest.) I mean, I like hand-dyed yarns and their variations within but I don’t buy yarns with lots of different colors (unless I really like them). I think it has to do with my minimalist style. Also, purple is not one of my favorite colors. But I bought this anyway because it sounded cool and I was at Vogue Knitting for the first time and I kind of assumed this would go into my stash for a long long time.

I can’t tell you what made me pull it out and design this pattern with this yarn I felt so iffy about. It was a long time ago. But I promised myself I’d design a pair of socks that showcased the different colors in the yarn.

linen stitch sock 2

Here’s the other thing: when it comes to knitting socks, I refuse to knit cabled/lacework socks with variegated yarn. Makes me dizzy and I really want to show off the stitch pattern. That stuff gets lost with yarns that aren’t solid colors. I guess that’s why I don’t like variegated yarns as much because it means that I either knit a plain sock that looks cool because it’s variegated but is boring to knit or do a variegated/solid stripe which would involve some forethought because I’d have to buy a solid yarn to go with it. Not so good for my fast and loose stash-busting sock-knitting style. So that’s why, when I’m enhancing my stash, I try to stay away from those variegated yarns. (I’ve written ‘variegated’ a lot in this post.)

Long story short (too late) I made these. I used the linen stitch for the first time. I like that it is still elastic but looks totally unique. It really lends itself to the variations in the yarn. (In fact, a lot of people have mistaken my instagram photos for the Broken Seed Stitch Sock which is actually knit with a solid and variegated yarn since this colorway has white in it. You can tell by the toes that it’s one skein but I like the illusion that it might be two!) The pattern is toe up (because I refuse to believe that ankle down socks are a thing, there’s another thing I don’t like!), knit on size 1s with a slip stitch heel. Slip stitch heels are not my favorite and I think they’re kind of baffling but I wanted to break my short-row heel habit. It also has the perfect look with the linen stitch and actually kind of mimics it, too. I like that part!

linen stitch sock 3

I’m really pleased with how these turned out. I love that they took a skein of yarn I was otherwise stumped by and turned them into something unique that looks a little complex, too. Maybe I don’t dislike variegated yarns after all! We’re all kind of like variegated yarns deep down inside, aren’t we?

I love designing sock patterns. I recently realized that I’ve improvised more of my own sock designs than I’ve made from patterns. I’m always looking for new projects so I’m tempted to turn some of my sock designs into proper patterns.

What do you think? And how do you feel about variegated yarns?

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08
Feb

Guest Post at the Kollabora Blog: Upcycling

Written by Sarah. Posted in kollabora

kollabora upcycling

 

In case you haven’t seen it yet, my first guest post for Kollabora was published on Wednesday. I’m so excited to see it up there! It’s about upcycling! Check it out!

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07
Feb

Box of Chocolates

Written by Sarah. Posted in gift, holiday, knits, want, yarn

Listen, Valentine’s Day is coming up. I know a lot of people that hate the holiday. A lot of single friends don’t like to be reminded of that fact. A lot of partnered friends don’t want to spend time and money on gifts and dinners for a made up holiday. I get it. I hear you. My anniversary with Jon happens to fall on V-day. (Our first Valentine’s Day together, he bought me a bag of Haribo Gold Bears which was my favorite food on a tip from my best friend. I thought it was very romantic.) So I like the holiday.

But I’m sure that we V-day haters and celebraters can all agree on one thing: Chocolate is awesome. You don’t need a special someone to enjoy chocolate. (One year, a boy I was seeing bought me a Hershey bar for Valentine’s Day. Not a box of chocolate or a flower. Just a BAR OF CHOCOLATE. Like from a vending machine or something. It was pretty awkward. But, chocolate, right?)

Anyway, here are some chocolate colored yarns to binge on instead of eating your feelings:

chocolate

1. Lorna’s Laces Sportmate in Chocolate
2. Dream in Color Classy in Chocolate Night
3. Kollabora Alpaca Au Natural in Chocolate
4. Handmaiden Fine in Chocolate

Seriously, though, if you’re not into St. Valentine’s Day, look on the bright side: soon chocolate and Necco hearts will be on sale! And it’s Restaurant week!

How do you feel like Valentine’s day? Would you prefer chocolates or chocolate-colored yarns?

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22
Jan

Kollabora Giveaway Winner!

Written by Sarah. Posted in giveaway, knits, new york city

Hi, all! I said I was going to announce the Kollabora giveaway winner yesterday. I did not. I had off from work so I spent the whole day packing for our move and repainting the bedroom walls (so we can get our security deposit back). Anyway, being a big fat liar aside, without further ado, the winner of the Kollabora kit is Emma!

winner

 

In other news, I went to Vogue Knitting Live this weekend. It was a blast. Got to chat with so many knitters, got to introduce myself to so many people that I’ve known through the blog and Twitter but hadn’t met face to face (what a strange feeling that is!). Everyone was just lovely. I touched a lot of yarn. I found some new brands and independent dyer/spinners that I fell for. I said “hi” to a few that I already knew and already love. It was great.

Jo Hamilton

artwork by Jo Hamilton at VKL

In keeping with today’s theme of me being a terrible blogger, I didn’t take any photos of all of the stuff I bought. (I didn’t think I’d buy that much yarn since I didn’t buy A SINGLE THING at Rhinebeck – crazy, I know…maybe I was sick – but being by myself and without the stress of shooting all day, I guess I felt a little more at ease and ready to add to my stash.) Again, guys, I packed up, like, half of my apartment this weekend. I have a really good excuse. But I will post photos as soon as I have some nice light because I bought some really fun yarn that may actually become garments instead of just stash that I like to touch.

Anyways! Congrats to Emma! Enjoy that headband kit! I actually just finished making mine and it’s a really quick, fun project. (The pattern, for those of you who still want to cast on is FREE right here! Did I mention that before? Now you know.) And thank you to Kollabora for supplying the awesome kit!

Were you at VKL? What did you buy? Are you following me on Kollabora?

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18
Jan

Vogue Knitting Live! NY 2013

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, new york city, photos

Not much to write about today since I’m antsy to get to Vogue Knitting Live! I have been SO busy, that VKL completely snuck up on me. I almost wish I had more time to enjoy it. Last year was my first VKL. I had a really awesome time, although I was overwhelmed! I’ve decided to pace myself this year. I’m only taking one, all-day class. I have a (vague, negotiable) budget that I want to stick to so that I don’t buy too much yarn (there’s no such thing as too much yarn).

vogue knitting live

Since I haven’t loaded up on classes and stash-building, I want to focus on meeting other knitters. Of course, I plan on learning in Connie Chang Chinchio’s sweater design class. But I really want to spend my time meeting up with friends and getting to know other knitters, bloggers, podcasters, dyers, designers, all of you! You know that’s what I’m all about!

I’ll see you all at VKL! I’d love to meet you so please say hello! (I’ll be wearing an Amy Christoffers design, duh!) I have all of these really cool business cards with my logo and I want to give them away! Let’s hang out!

Stay tuned! I’ll report back with details from this year’s Vogue Knitting Live!

Are you going to Vogue Knitting Live? What classes are you taking? Did you decide on what you’re wearing?

ps. You have until noon to enter the Kollabora giveaway! Tell your friends!

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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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