Archive for July, 2009

Weird Yarns: Plastic

Friday, July 31st, 2009

bluesmoothie222-jellyyarnanemoneJelly Yarn! It is a thin round pliable vinyl yarn especially made for knitting and crochet. This fun stuff comes in 14 glossy jelly bean colors and 2 different weights: fine and bulky. You’ve got to love that Jelly Yarn comes in glow-in-the-dark colors as well. That’s bluesmoothie222’s Glowing Sea Anemone (left). What are people making out it? Practical stuff from patterns at the site: bags, bracelets, dog leashes, and belts. You can buy project kits online too. Take a look at the crazy hyperbolic crochet coral you can make with this yarn. Check out Designing Vashti blog for more. Jelly Yarn is the brainchild of Yummy Yarns’ Kathleen and Nick Greco, who are also behind Dimensional Illustrators, Inc. a book packaging design firm. They’ve produced more than 20 craft and graphic arts books, like Yummy Yarns and Carry Alongs. Like the idea of working with plastic yarn? Check out the sknitter post on plarn too. Recycle those plastic bags of yours.

Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 Preview

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

vogueknitting-fall2009Vogue Knitting has really intensified their online presence and amped up the salesmanship of their designs. I’ve posted before about VK360 which allows you to really see their patterns from all angles. VK is previewing the Fall issue’s pattern on VK360. It is really amazing. Whether or not you like the designs (a matter or personal taste), and whether or not the patterns are properly tech edited (a common and persistent complaint about VK) are another mater. The fact that you can really see the patterns on a rotating human model is an incredible resource for selecting the right pattern to knit. Also check out the static preview of the hats (a few above) and sweaters featured in this issue. Maybe download some FREE patterns too.

Handmade Nation

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

sublimestitching-handmadenationFaythe Levine’s much talked about documentary, Handmade Nation, is showing in Los Angeles on August 15th and 16th. The Saturday noon screening will be followed by a Q&A with Levine. Buy tickets here. This 65-minute film, shot in 2006, traces the emergence of a new craft culture in the U.S .that is a marriage between traditional handiwork, punk, feminism, creativity,  DIY and entreprenuerism. It celebrates the weird and the wonderful. There is also a Handmade Nation book and blog. Read reviews here. Go here to see the schedule of other dates/cities (right column, scroll down). After LA, the film opens in several U.S. cities. This weekend you can see it in Philadelphia. By the way, that is Sublime Stitching’s limited edition embroidery pattern (detail above) for the Handmade Nation logo which was designed by Kate Bingaman-Burt.

Interweave Knits Preview Fall '09

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

maplestreetcardigan-interweaveknitsThe preview for the Interweave Knits Fall issue is up. Looks like a good one too. I’m loving the ultra feminine Maple Street Cardigan (above) designed by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. The two other sweaters that caught my eye are Connie Chang Chinchio’s Farmer’s Market Cardigan and the Nordique Swing by Veronique Avery. Although I’ve never knit her designs yet, I’ve got Avery’s book, Knitting Classic Style, and drool over it. The new IK also has some really intriguing patterns  hat feature unusual Fair Isle treatments: Katie Himmelberg’s Felicity Hat and Lisa Shroyer’s Bandelier Socks. Fall is looking very pretty indeed.

Crochet That Poodle

Monday, July 27th, 2009

handmadebymotherJust when I discover the PoodleFest at the new blog, Handmade By Mother, it is over. While it lasted we got the Poodle Tea CosyBoudoir Poodle, and the Poodle Bottle Cover. Nice. This blog, by Victoria Dunn, seems to actually be the brainchild of two talented writers. Real or not, Victoria Dunn has a 70s  obsession and a near OCD compulsion to mock, yet meticulously transcribe, vintage knit and crochet patterns. Happily, she is on to eliminating “naked” household objects at the moment. Stay tuned for that. An occasional garment shows up in the blog like this spiderweb sweater and the granny square halter. Like I said, very nice.

Knit A Watermelon

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

nevernotknitting-watermelonsApparently, I’m all about cute stuff this weekend. So how about watermelon? Blogue voted it last year’s fruit, but I’m into it, so here goes. There are so many hats: PDXKnitterati’s, Spud & Chloe’s, and Let Me Explainknit’s Melonhead (scroll down for PDF).  Kraemer Yarns has a Watermelon Dress and Hat (scroll down), but Never Not Knitting’s Watermelon Sweater (detail above) is my favorite kid garment, well, next to her Haltermelon Top. The Watermelon Blossom Hat and this Baby Blanket are cute. How about knitting a slice or two? Maybe crochet a purse? @KnittingNews found this self-striping hand-dyed Watermelon Yarn (!) from Freshisle Fibers. Just for fun, check out CottonCandyVomit’s and Twinkie Chan’s versions of watermelon scarves. For more fun, maybe make yourself Thoughtfully Simple’s spiked Watermelon Cooler.

The Knitting Twins

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

alaela-twinsaliensAla & Ela have patterns for some of the cutest knitted toys I’ve ever seen. The Twins’ Knitting Pattern Mini Shop is full of stuff that will make you smile. Most of their patterns are $5.00, but there are a few for FREE as well, like the Flower Power Elephants and the Pocket Bunnies. I’m loving: the Amusing Cats with Mini Strawberry Cupcakes pattern, as well as the perky Miss Frog. And sure to please you ComicCon loving knitters, the Aliens (above). I’ve definitely got aliens on the brain these days— my husband is knee deep in casting for his movie that revolves around alien abduction. Creepy stuff. Not like the Twins’ cuddly aliens at all.

Knitting With Boucle: The FO

Friday, July 24th, 2009

texturedcircleshrugtlsWell, here it is. Another sweater that I’ve knit for myself that doesn’t work. Either I can’t measure my body or I can’t measure knitting gauge correctly. Or both. This is the Textured Circle Shrug designed by Stefanie Japel. Please do not judge her design talents by my silly finished sweater. She didn’t specify that yarn, which by the way, looks far better in photos than in person. Read more posts about this project here, here, here and here. I’m thinking no more circle-based patterns for this knitter. My gigantic Pinwheel Sweater, which dominated my winter time knitting this year, was also a circle construction as well as a fit disaster. That one had odd shoulder alignment, this shrug is simply too big for me.

Knit Your Hair

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

doobybrain-beardcapI was talking with some graphic designer colleagues about trends the other day. We live in Los Angeles, and have a west coast bias to be sure, but we all acknowledged that something’s going on in Brooklyn, specifically in the Williamsburg section. There is a design boom happening, what New York magazine calls, “avant-garde yet small-town.” I’m still sorting it out, but I think I’d summarize it as: a kind of non-ironic nostalgia. Which shows up in the bacon craze, the vintage and flowery print hand sewn clothes, and the beards. Brooklyn men are definitely sporting facial hair. Doobybrain tells us you can buy the Beard Cap (above) at Scandanavian Grace. Or maybe you want to create your own hair? Here’s pattern for a Mustache from Instructables and Chicken Stitches has a Crochet Beard. Go to Craftster to see some  Prosthetic Beards. Also check out I Made You A Beard, they are from Potrtland, not Brooklyn, which is a whole other story.

Sweater Knitter

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

mooncalf-makedoandmendWho is this person? It’s Saffron, also known as MoonCalf (Rav name). She has an amazing blog called Make Do And Mend that features great writing and photography about her own crafting, collecting and traveling adventures. She sews as well as knits. Here’s the thing, she is an incredible sweater knitter, and she’s knit a lot of them. Having knit so many bad sweaters for myself, I can tell you that she has true skill. Saffron knits well and fast, but what makes her so good at sweaters is that she has a sharp eye for fashion that looks really good on her. She also matches yarn to pattern nicely if she decides to deviate from the original design specs. Really beautiful. For a special treat, look at her posts from mid June to early July and watch her plan for, then travel from Oxford in the UK where she lives to New York City to get married and go yarn shopping! Romantic and knit geeky. I just love that in a person, don’t you?