Archive for November, 2009

Knitting Scandals

Monday, November 30th, 2009

canadianolympicsweatersI know. You didn’t think that happened, but oh yes, we do have the occasional scandal in the world of knitting. There’s the recent Cowichan Sweaters Olympic incident— where the famous tribe was snubbed by the Canadian Olympic Team, but their design style wasn’t (photo above). How about Annie Modesitt lifting the veil on the less than stellar compensation for knitwear designers? This holiday weekend another one— a disgruntled member of the Intentions Yarn Club, created by the popular podcasters Lime & Violet, let loose about her frustration with their lack of customer service in dealing with unmet promises. Oh my, my, my.

Tin Can Knitting

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

ehow-tincanknittingloomNot sure if this is a good idea or not because I envision sharp cutting edges, but Disney’s FamilyFun website/magazine has a how-to on tin can knitting. So does eHow (image, above) and Unplug Your Kids. It’s essentially the same concept as using a Knitting Nancy or spool knitter, which are mini versions of those popular plastic circular looms. Here’s how to control the gauge by spacing the pegs on your loom. Definitely check out Loom Knitters Circle magazine, Anne Bipes’ Loom Knitting blog and some FREE loom patterns here and also here.

Recycled Sweater Scarves

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

kelleydealKelley Deal takes old sweaters, cuts them up, and puts them back together again in interesting ways to create unique one-of-a-kind scarves. I like this idea of patchworking knits. For all us who knit and crochet, it’s an idea that we can easily interpret for ourselves, minus all that pesky sewing. Man, I hate to sew—anything. The scarf above features a mix of knitting stitches. Deal has others that combine patterns, including stranded color work. Overall, Deal handles color really nicely in her work. Too bad she hasn’t made a bunch of snoods that are all the rage. Made one yourself yet? I love these ones from Cut Out + Keep and The Daily Chum.

Many thanks to Tina Roth Eisenberg, also known as SwissMiss, for pointing to Kelley Deal’s work.

Knitting and Turkey Day

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

matthewsknittingturkey-katbaroIt’s the day in the U.S. when we celebrate our country’s early heritage by eating too much. Perfect, no? This is a warm and family-oriented holiday for so many of us. Here’s wishing you a happy day. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it’s a good moment to stop and give thanks for all you’ve got. Maybe also give thanks for 2 ply cashmere, Addi Turbos, your favorite LYS, designers who chart their complex lace patterns, and the unsung heroes of our knitting bags: the little stitch markers.

No your eyes do not deceive you, that is Matthew’s Knitting Turkey (left) from katbaro’s Flickr!!

Color Schemes in Knitting

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

donna-hannefalkenbergThe other day when I was working on the post about mismatching on purpose, I was thinking more and more about how yarn colors can work together to create some completely different looks. It’s kind of rare to see a designer present the same garment in several colorways as Hanne Falkenberg does with her Donna cardigan (above). What a difference color makes! If you are unfamiliar with this Danish knitwear designer, HK to her fans, you’re going to want to check out her work. Her projects are sold in kits that include the yarns required. It’s beautiful stuff.  By the way, the HK KAL blog, hannealong, is looking for a new moderator. Fun for the right person.

Gauge, Baby, Gauge

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

altheaharper-projectrunwayIt’s clear upon taking a close look at Althea Harper’s Project Runway collection that the designer has a way with knits. Scroll through and look at quite a number of really interesting ideas happening throughout. The distressed tanks and the no shoulder spaghetti strapped pullover are intriguing. A bit odd, no doubt, but still very wearable. The ones that have me scratching my head are the over-sized cardigans, like this black one (left). Those sleeves go on for days. The knitter in me is simply screaming, “Gauge, Althea!” Of course, Fashionistas everywhere are asking, “Where can I get one?”

Want more  info on Althea? Checkout her hometown newspaper, the Dayton Daily News’ stories on her.

Mismatched Knitting

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

klippity-mismatchsocksSometimes you mismatch without meaning to. Like when you use those variegated yarns and think you’ve got the color sequencing just right, only to discover a few rows later that you didn’t quite nail it. How about knitting mismatches on purpose? It’s a great strategy for using up that leftover yarn. Barbara Albright even wrote a book, Odd Ball Knitting, that might inspire you. The Socklady has a whole collection, and Patternworks is offering Argyle Mismatched Sock Kits. Kooky idea that just might work. A key factor in getting the mismatch to work well is a pleasing interplay of color. Check Kristin Roach’s Craftzine piece for good information. By the way, Klippity, complains that her cute socks (above) don’t quite match on her Flickr, but I think it gives them a quirky personality. Search Klippity on Ravelry to see some truly amazing knitting!

Twist Collective For Winter

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

twistcollective-kelmscottAfter having complained about the IK redesign, you might be thinking, here she goes again, slamming another favorite knitting magazine. Nope. Can’t do it. Twist Collective is just too darn good—the photography, the writing, the patterns are all amazing. This Kelmscott cardigan by Carol Sunday(left) is just one of the gorgeous designs featured in this issue. Feast your eyes, knitters.

Knitting For Baby

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

keepontruckinOne of the best things about being able to knit is having the ability to create handmade gifts, especially for brand new babies. I just completed this Keep On Truckin’ Baby Cardigan for Craig & Brooke’s little boy, who was born last month. The sweater was designed by Elizabeth Smith for her blog, The Brown Stitch. It is the biggest intarsia piece I’ve done so far, and of course, I made mistakes in the color exchanges, but fixed it in the finishing. It’s a top down seamless construction and a pattern that is well written and easy to follow. Smith’s Baby Blueberry Cardigan and Little Coffee Bean Cardi are also super sweet. By the way, you could easily swap a different intarsia image for the truck, something neutral like a heart, or girlie, like this flower.

A Redesign At IK

Friday, November 20th, 2009

norassweater-interweaveknitsSometimes art directors and editors of publications like to shake things up. They’ll say, “it’s to increase ‘x’” —with “x” being ease of use, subscribers, ad space and/or else page count reduction—whatever. Usually, one of the audiences (subscribers, advertisers, etc.) ends up hating it, simply because it is different. I”ll stand in line as a hater of the redesigned Interweave Knits. They’ve eliminated the “well” (that center core of features pages unmolested by advertising) in favor of a more episodic presentation. They’ve put the pattern instructions closer to where the garment is first introduced, and peppered the pages with ads. Almost as if the magazine is several pamphlets bound together (probably better for the PDF versions they’ll sell later). The effect is a fragmented and distracting magazine with instructions that are not as clearly presented. Too bad, because the designs in this issue are really terrific.

That is a back detail of the Nora’s Sweater designed by Pam Powers which graces the IK cover.