Archive for February, 2009

Finished: Pinwheel Sweater

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

pinwheel1It was the moment of truth. No sooner was the last stitch off the needles, the sweater was on my back. The verdict: not happy. The fit is unflattering from the front, hitting me higher on the hip than I anticipated. The shoulders are too tight and therefore the sweater doesn’t rest comfortably on my back. It is beautiful yarn and the spiral is fun, but it doesn’t really work. Oh well.

Milan Fashion Week Knits

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

missoni fall09The catwalking continues. It’s Fashion Week in Milan, Italy through March 4th. Apparently attendance is down, there are 20% less shows happening, and everyone is in a funk due to the global financial crisis. Gloom and doom, yes, but some fashion houses soldier on. Designer Angela Missoni carries on her family’s tradition of creating beautiful knitwear since 1953. This year Missoni presented a collection dominated by piles of scarves and accessories (left) proving that cheap chic is possible— just add a ton of fiber. See images from Milan Fashion Week here. Definitely also check Burberry Prorsum. Want to knit up some Missoni-inspired stuff? Hello Yarn’s Irish Hiking Scarf is a great cabled scarf, Smariek Knits’ Triumph Cable Scarf is also lovely. The Ribbed Cowl from Caron and the EDI Cowl are close. And here’s a FREE pattern for some plain but nice Annlina Gauntlets. Looks like you’ll need to knit these patterns up at a larger gauge, maybe adding width and/or rows to get that over-sized look. Plus, those appear to be some pretty swanky yarns. I.T.E. (In This Economy) it may need to be a cozy wool blend and not the silk/cashmere.

Still Knitting The Pinwheel

Friday, February 27th, 2009

pepperknit-swirlpentagonnorahYes, I am still working on my Noro Kureyon Pinwheel Sweater. Thirteen skeins and eight weeks on, I’m still at this thing. However, it will be done this weekend. Meanwhile, take a look at this lovely sweater with a pinwheel motif designed by the great Norah Gaughan. Pepperknit (left) has made this sweater beautifully. Want more Norah? Sign up for Berroco’s FREE newsletter KnitBits, look at this, and this, and go get a copy of her book, Knitting Nature, where you’ll find the Swirled Pentagon Pullover pattern. And yes, when my husband returns from the UFO conference, where he’s doing research for a story, I’ll have him shoot me in my much anticipated, thought-I’d-never-finish-it, Pinwheel Sweater.

Listen While You Knit

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

letknit2gether1Want to listen while you knit? Try a great audio book, or maybe a great audio book about knitting. Or there are several interesting knitting podcasters, like CraftSanity, Brenda Dayn’s Cast-On, YKnit, Lis Aker’s Be Still & Knit, Stash and Burn, and Marie Irshad’s KnitCast. I like the Lion Brand duo of Liz and Zontee. Video podcasts at LetsKnit2gether, like the one on Fair Isle Knitting (above), are well done. Want to make your own podcasts? Suite101 is a good tutorial. Me? I turn on History Channel, Nat Geo, or Discovery, especially ones about archeology or true crime.

Knitted Trim

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

lionbrand-knittrim1Say you’ve just finishing a sweater and you want to put your own mark on it. Or maybe you want to jazz up a simple scarf. One way to accomplish the personal touch, add beauty, and have some fun is to knit up a lace trim or edge, like the Garter Stitch Loop (above), to add to your work. Lion Brand and About.com both offer us a library of knitted edge stitches. Sarah Bradberry has a list of links, including an elaborate edge from the 1880s called Leaf and Berry Pattern Lace. Nicky Epstein has written some great books on the subject. TECHknitting, always an amazing technique, gives us a tutorial on creating simple non-roll edges if lace knitting just seems too daunting.

Crafty Cathy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

cathyofcaliforniaCathy of California is a delight. If you love crafts of the 60s and 70s you are going to enjoy Cathy Callahan’s work. She makes these fun flowers (left) with vintage flower looms and also sells the kits with tools and vintage materials so that you can make them too. By the way, you can use yarn, and add these pretty posies to your knitwear as decoration. Watch this podcast to see the flower making process. She’ll be on Martha Stewart’s TV show soon. You can take class with Cathy on February 28th at The Craft Kitchen. Cathy of California makes other types of craft items as well. She shows/sells her work at Los Angeles’ premier craft marketplace called Felt Club. Other interesting craft sale venues for you to check out are Zanzabelle and BazaarBizzare.

Teeny Tiny Micro-Knitting

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

altheacrome-coralineIf you have seen the movie Coraline you have seen the work of Althea Crome who created the miniature knitwear. Crome designs and knits some of the world’s smallest garments. She also sells micro-knitting patterns. a Go here and click on the top drawer of the white chest to see a little movie about the designer’s work on this film. Clicking the bottom drawer gives you a kid-sized pattern of Coraline’s starry sweater. Largely Unrepeatable gives us a FREE pattern for Coraline’s Gloves. Here they are on Coraline. Here’s more about Coraline’s look. Here too. Want more miniature crafts? Check out Mini-Mum, Cynthia Howe, and the Miniature Needlework Society. Oh my, I guess it really is a small world after all.

Knits at Home

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

sweepercover-needylThere are all kinds of things to knit to make your home cozy and bright. Traditional and not-so-traditional afghans of course, plus pillows, placemats, tablerunners, and rugs. I really like the BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) designed by Moira Ravenscroft to eliminate the paper or plastic grocery bag dilemma. Here’s a way to also make your home nice and clean: Needyl’s Sweeper Cover (above). Just pop the cover on to one of those Swiffer thingees and best of all, you can wash and reuse it.  Knitting housewares can make life easier and greener!

Glampyre

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

glampyreStefanie Japel is one of my heroes. She’s a knitwear designer who manages time and again to create patterns that are fun to knit and look good on women. Her designs are both sexy and wearable, like LeCirque (left) which will soon be available at Stitch Diva Studios. Her book Fitted Knits unlocked seamless top-down sweaters for me, and that changed my knitting significantly. Glam Knits, her second book, is an inspiring collection. My only objection to that book is the rather overwhelming photo styling and art direction that in so many instances distracts from the knitted objects. Makes you wonder, why not just show the lovely sweaters and get out of the way? Japel is prolific. In addition to her books, she has a blog and an Etsy store.  Love that she is/was a Physics professor too.

Knitting for the 4-Legged

Friday, February 20th, 2009

petprojectsThis book, Pet Projects, by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne is full of so many cute projects for the furry friends in your life. Sure, we’ve seen some great dog sweaters over the years, like Sarah Wilson’s Cables + Bits, Caron’s stripe Rainbow Sweater, and MidnightKnitter’s Pup. There’s even hats and a cool vest for kitty. Muir and Osborne have designed patterns for canines and felines, plus  go beyond the obvious critter wrappers to give us things like this Hamster House (left), a Carrot Curtain for bunnies, and a very special circus-style Hibernation Tent for your tortoise. Serious business, let me tell you. Our desert tortoise, Touché,  is currently asleep in our backyard shed. It’s that long winter’s nap and it happens every year. So why not let them be stylish when sleeping?