Double the Fun: Knit Two Socks at Once

Karen Clements the brilliant designer behind Knit 1 LA is up to something interesting on her blog. She has a tutorial going on with step-by-step instructions, along with photos and videos, on how to knit two socks at one time. She doesn’t use the same method that Melissa Morgan-Oakes does in her book 2-at-a-time Socks (i.e. a long circular needle). Karen knits one inside the other with traditional DPNs. I know. Pretty darn clever. Like anything in knitting, it takes a bit of practice, but this handy method can have some serious benefits in  terms of speeding up the process. Just imagine how much easier the holiday gift rush can be!

Noro Lovers Can Help Japan

Knitting Noro by Jane Ellison (paperback book cover)

KFI (Knitting Fever Inc.), the American distributor of the gorgeous Japanese hand-dyed yarns, Noro, has set up a matching funds contribution offer to aid disaster victims. Sion Elalouf, founder of KFI, posted to Ravelry today that their company and affiliates would match dollar for dollar made to The American Red Cross (up to $50,000). Checks should be made out to The American Red Cross and earmarked for the Japanese earthquake relief fund, then mailed to KFI: 315 Bayview Avenue, Amityville, NY 11701. All contributions will be made in the name of the knitting community. By the way, yarn manufacturer Noro is located in the central/south of Japan, far from the northeastern area devastated by the tsunami.

Knitting Spring

I’m currently still in a hat obsession phase. I’ve made a bunch of slouch hats. They are amusing to knit and fun to wear. However, it’s turning warmer here in Los Angeles (after a hail storm last weekend!) and I’m starting to think Spring. I should be thinking of finishing my pink cotton Amelia cardi, but of course, I’m thinking “NEW.” What’s got me all worked up? The Vogue Knitting Spring Preview. That’s a few of their “Postcards from Rio” patterns (left). However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: do not knit your dang bathing suit. (Come on VK!)

Free Knitting Patterns I Downloaded

There are so many generous designers, not to mention yarn companies, that post free knitting patterns. My favorite free pattern aggregator is Knitting Pattern Central. I also subscribe to a variety of yarn company and knitting magazine newsletters that also share patterns. Here are the patterns that I downloaded this week:

Gingko Shoulderette Shawl at Fragrant Heart Creations. A delicate triangular shawl with just a touch of leafy lace at the edges.

Lowell Cowl designed by Antonia Shankland for Classic Elite Yarns. A big mobius cowl that looks like an awesome stash buster. (Surely its not CYE’s wish for us to use our stash!)

Astra – Lace Collared Cardigan from Patons Yarns. I don’t like the construction or ruffle, but I am interested in making  a long lean cardi, so I want to check it out.

Pressed Flower Mitts by Meredith Ramirez at A Knitting Blog. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Lacy Ruffle Cardigan from Rowan (photo above). I want a Kid Silk Haze sweater. I ‘m not sure I want this one, tho. Does the model look odd to you? Something’s off there, no?

Flipping My Lid

I’m back. I have been doing lots and lots of knitting, I just haven’t been talking about it. Lately I have been on a hat making craze. It was kicked off when I took a class at The Little Knittery in making a reversible hat called The Knit 1 Lid designed by Karen Clements of Knit 1 LA. Karen is a genius. Her design calls for 2-sided stockinette, but I was inspired to mess with a good thing, and do one side in stockinette and the other in a lace pattern. The photo (above) shows the Lid I made for myself out of a green kettle dyed wool from Uruguay called Rio De La Plata and black Patons Classic Wool (boring, but so practical). You can see the black lace side with the green side peeking through in the photo (left). The pattern I used in this case is based on KnitPick’s Georgian Lace Cap. The trick is to use a lace with the same stitch count as the stockinette side so that the two sides match up when tucked into each other. I like knitting this hat and I also like wearing it a lot. That rarely happens to me to be honest! I’ve also knit this hat for a friend’s birthday gift in orange yarns and a different lace pattern. In both cases the slight bell-like shape to this hat is very pretty.

Let Them Knit Cake (Or Not)

If you are a regular reader you may know that I have 3 books coming out this year: two on managing the graphic design process and a baking cookbook. I’m pleased to tell you that Booze Cakes is now available. The publisher, Quirk, tells me it is getting a good response. That’s is the cover, above. My co-author is Krystina Castella. Check out the Booze Cakes blog if you want to read more about baking with wine, beer and spirits. There you can get our recipe for the Tequila Sunrise Cake which is one amazing Summertime cake. If you really want to knit cake, go to Bitter Sweet’s website. Maybe eat booze cake while knitting a cake? Less stitch error than imbibing.

Cozy Crochet Bike

While I’m being a lazy blogger, I may as well go with the vehicle theme again today. This time, it’s a photo by Zontee from the Lion Brand Blog— a Crochet Bicycle found on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. That is crazy. Here’s a little knitted bike on Instructables. Yes, bike love, indeed.

Classy Knitted Hood Ornament

Sorry, not much to say this weekend. Spending all my time knitting Amelia. Here’s an amusing photo from a tumblr called “Nick Holmes… “ (via the always entertaining blog, Neatorama). Oh, for any of you thinking about knitting Amelia and are clueless as how to Knit Through The Back Loop (K tbl) and Purl Through The Back Loop (P tbl) iknitwithcatfur’s videos should help you out.

Always Surprising Knitty

Did you catch the two new patterns up on Knitty?  Fluidity is a lace tank designed by Jennie Pakula (that’s a detail of the garment, left). The second “Surprise” is Susanna IC’s beauty of a shawl which is called Annis. I’ve finished my Cropped Cardi and really like it. Now I’ve started another Knitty sweater that caught my eye a while back— Amelia designed by Laura Chau. She’s a very talented designer who also blogs at Cosmicpluto Knits.

Weird Yarn: Steel Wool

No, it’s not the latest thing available at your LYS.  Steel wool is the sculptural media used by artist Krysta Olson in her thought-provoking piece, The Steel Wool Sweater (left). Olson works in a variety of media to investigate her attraction to vulnerability, intimacy and sadness. Her works plays with a kind of awkward tension. View her videos, photo projects, and painting. If you’d like to knit with steel, I’d suggest something from Habu Textiles or LB Collection Wool Stainless. A bit more user friendly, and infinitely more wearable.