Posted on | May 16, 2013 | No Comments
While I never met Kathreen in person, she was someone I “knew”. It’s quite amazing how a computer can bring us crafters together, even when they are half the world away. I’ve read her fantastic site for years and was honored to be interviewed by her for the Knitting Designer series last October.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Kathreen’s two children. According to the site, they are currently setting up an educational fund for them and details will be posted on Whip Up when settled.
Posted on | May 12, 2013 | 3 Comments
It should be only a few short weeks before my book ships and you can hold it in your little knitting hands! This weekend, I managed to sit down for a few minutes and think about where I might like to stop on a book tour. Because of my full-time job (read: a dismal number of vacation days), I’ll mainly be staying in the NYC, NJ, PA area, but I’m sure there will be a few special stops along the way!
This summer is definitely going to be a busy one for me! If you have any suggestions where I should stop, please let me know. I have a pretty good short list, but I’m sure there are other great shops out there that I don’t know about.
Also, if you can’t possibly wait to get the book in hand, the digital download version is now available for purchase in the Knitting Daily store!
Posted on | April 23, 2013 | 6 Comments
Last Monday, I got a call from my husband while I was at work. He had noticed there was a package for me downstairs on his way out, but he was in a rush and didn’t bring it upstairs.
I wondered what it could be. I hadn’t ordered anything recently and wasn’t expecting anything. I told him to call me as soon as he got home with more information.
He called back as promised and told me it was from Interweave. Interweave? Could it be my book? Since it’s due out in May/June, I knew it couldn’t be impossible.
I gave him the Ok to rip the package open and sure enough, the first copy of my book had arrived!
When I got home, he had my book waiting for me. Everything else could wait (who needs dinner anyway). I opened up the crisp pages to see the final product. While I had approved a final PDF on the computer screen, seeing it in print for the first time made it real. The format is a little larger than the Interweave books from the past few years and everything looked perfect. As I slowly turned each page, I revisited each sweater one by one, remembering the excitement as I finished each piece and sent them off to my Editor.
Just a little over 2 years ago, I was in the initial planning stage and this day seemed so far away! Even now that the book is in my hands, it still feels a little bit unbelievable.
I’m not exactly sure when it will start hitting the stores, but my guess is it will be very soon! I hope that you will all be as pleased with it as I am. I’m looking forward to seeing all of your beautiful projects!
Posted on | April 7, 2013 | 9 Comments
A few weeks ago, I headed up to Knitty City for a book signing with Védís Jónsdóttir, an Icelandic knitwear designer. I’ve been seeing Icelandic type yoked sweaters popping up on a few of the runways lately and I wanted to learn a little more about traditional Lopi sweaters. One thing that surprised me was the yoke patterned sweater isn’t quite as old as I thought it was, it’s only been around since the 1950s or 60s.
I brought along a printed copy of Afmæli, an Icelandic sweater pattern by Védís that I fell in love with and wanted to pick up some yarn for. I hadn’t knit for about a month (so very unlike me!), so to be excited about knitting again was, well, exciting. I left that night with about 1/2 the yarn I needed and had to wait patiently for the rest to be ordered. Part of me almost wished I hadn’t chosen the most colorful version of the pattern.
Once the yarn arrived, I cast-on right away. Then I realized my Lopi nemesis was just around the corner, Spring. I was determined to be able to wear my sweater at least once or twice before the weather turned sunny and warm.
When I decide I’m going to finish something by a certain day, I make it happen! I managed to finish my sweater in 9 days, just in time for a bit of a cold snap. I was thankful for the warm, insulating sweater as I walked down the windy streets of NYC. I have the feeling it will make frequent appearances next Winter.
According to some knitters, Lopi has a reputation as being a bit scratchy and harsh, but it didn’t really bother me much while knitting or when wearing the sweater. I’ve also found that after washing, it does soften up a bit. I probably won’t be wearing it without a long sleeve under layer, but it’s the sort of sweater that is meant to be layered anyway. I’ve seen other knitters substitute other yarns for the Lopi, but I’m a stickler for tradition. To me, it just isn’t an Icelandic sweater without the Lopi.
I love my sweater so much, that I’m already planning what my next Lopi sweater project will be. It’s so cozy, comfortable, and the fit is fantastic. I’m officially obsessed.
Posted on | February 10, 2013 | 2 Comments
I was having a bit of fun with my new fancy pants camera today! As I was practicing taking photos of my disaster of a living room, I realized that there were a few finished projects I hadn’t shown off yet. Some were finished last year……nothing like a new camera to inspire you to photograph them!
Rock Island by Jared Flood: Madelinetosh tosh lace in Celedon
I loved this project! It was a bit slow going at first since the edging is worked first, but once you breeze through the lace sections it’s cake. You are rewarded with garter stitch as your decrease your way to the top edge. The grey/blue yarn goes well with so many things in my closet and has been worn quite a bit.
The perfectionist in me would have used a larger needle if I ever knit it again though. The tosh lace is a tad bit thicker than the yarn called for so it tends to shrink up a bit after blocking.
Anais by Norah Gaughan: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light
The knitting on this guy was finished long, long ago. It was a sad case, sitting in a pile waiting for my book to be finished. This was the first project that I finished for me in what seemed like a million years. I made a few adjustments to the fit, but otherwise it was pretty straight knitting. I love knitting Norah’s patterns, she has such interesting construction techniques that look complicated, but are surprisingly simple.
Habitat by Jared Flood: Brown Sheep Lanaloft Worsted
I had just enough yarn left over from one of my book projects to knit up this cute little cabled beanie. I finished it right before it got rather chilly here in NYC and it’s come in handy! The pattern was a perfect instant gratification project for me. Enough stitch interest to slow down the process a little, but small enough to get off the needles quicker than a sweater. Typically, I’m not big on instant gratification knits, maybe it’s because I feel I can’t value the finished item the same as something that took longer? The funny thing is, these are the items of clothing that get worn the most. Some get worn (and loved) so much, they are at the point of falling apart. Maybe I should re-evaluate my policy on instant gratification knitting…
Posted on | January 3, 2013 | 1 Comment
As I sit here reviewing the final draft of my book (yay!), I can’t help but think about the strange and amazing year that 2012 has been. It started off with getting laid off in late January, which brought many conflicting emotions. It turned out that was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time. I was behind schedule on my book projects, and work was eating up more and more of my time and energy.
Having almost 5 full months to do what I wanted and to finish up a huge pile of projects for the book was what the doctor ordered. It was wonderful having some time to myself and to think about the road ahead. It also provided a much needed emotional and creative recharge. At this point, I swore to myself that I would never step foot in the fashion industry again if I could help it. I picked up some tech editing work for Interweave and Clotheshorse magazine, which was a nice change of pace.
By May, funds were getting dicey, but a well-timed call from a friend got me on track to get back into the industry. Even though I had a few month break in the resume, the book project was a well received excuse and I was hired on the spot!
The next few months were a little crazy and I thought I was on the way to a nervous breakdown with the long 10, 12 or sometimes 14 hour days, but I held in there. The hours are MUCH better now and I’m actually loving my job. I never thought I’d be able to have another job in the fashion industry that I could tolerate, much less love!
2012 was about new beginnings, hard work, and many challenges. I completed my biggest knitting project to date, Metropolitan Knits, said goodbye to a job I held for 7 years, and am 7 months into a new job that I love. While the list isn’t long, I feel like it is more than I have accomplished in years!
So here is to 2013 and all the new challenges it may bring. If I could come out on top in 2012, I only know things can get better from here!
Posted on | November 5, 2012 | No Comments
My Rhinebeck recap is a little late, but better late than never I suppose! Hurricane Sandy put a bit of a damper on any normal activities for the last week or so. NYC was hit pretty hard and I was lucky to be in an area that sustained little damage. My love and thoughts go out to all of those New Yorkers that didn’t have such an easy time during the storm. The city is slowly returning to our “new normal”, but it’s certainly been an emotional roller coaster this past week.
But for now, let’s escape to a happier time when sheep filled our every thought and my friend Kathryn and I were kissing our lamb sandwiches!
This year, I stayed close by with a bunch of friends which allowed for a leisurely two days to tour the Dutchess County Fair grounds. The weather could not have been more gorgeous and the leaves on the drive up from the city were spectacular. I love being able to attend on Sunday as well. The grounds are slightly less crowded which makes an already enjoyable experience that much better.
The only thing on my agenda was to snag my Jennie the Potter mug as soon as I arrived. Apparently others had the same idea! Even though I was at the gate when the fair opened and went straight to her booth, when I arrived, the line was already down the aisle. I’m really happy for Jennie and the fan base she’s built up throughout the years, but the selfish part of me wants to scream, “but I found her first!” Her mugs are awesome and I want them all to myself. There, I said it! This time around, I did not end up with a mug. I picked up a cool vase with a scissor design instead. It was made with a new clay base that allows her to be a little more detailed with the sketching. I’ll be interested to see how her designs evolve from here.
I promised myself I would not buy any more yarn, which is my usual resolution. I just don’t need it. I’m particularly drawn to heather grey sheepy wool, but I have quite a collection already, so it makes it easy to say no. Then a skein of skinny bugga from Cephalopod yarns in the most beautiful blush pink caught my eye. I cracked and it came home with me. I’m not sorry.
And of course, a Rhinebeck recap post wouldn’t be complete without cute animal pictures. Until next year!
Posted on | October 29, 2012 | No Comments
And the winner of a copy of November Knits is…..
Thanks for commenting everyone! If you didn’t win, make sure to go check out November Knits at your LYS!
Posted on | October 22, 2012 | 18 Comments
I haven’t had much to report on the design front in a little while, so I’m excited to be able to introduce you to the Thayer Street Cardigan, my contribution to November Knits, a fantastic collection of projects edited by Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley.
November Knits celebrates the changing seasons and all of the good things that come with it. What knitter doesn’t long for the cool air and falling leaves that mean sweater weather is here! The Farm Hands and Ivy League stories focus on projects for cooler weather in the northern parts of the country, however, knitters in warmer climates will be sure to find something of interest as well in the Southern Comfort theme.
For the Thayer Street Cardigan, I was inspired by school colors and rooting for the home team. To me, the Ivy League theme screamed stripes (one of the easiest ways to introduce color in your knitting), but I wanted to approach them in a different way for this classic V-neck cardigan. I decided to use two different stripe patterns and combine them together with the intarsia technique at the center back. Since there is only one color change per row, this makes it a perfect project for someone who has been interested in learning the technique, but isn’t too keen on juggling a bunch of different colors at the same time – yet. If you can twist two yarns together, you can do intarsia! Promise!
I used Green Mountain Spinnery Local Color for this project and I really, really loved it! It really doesn’t get any better than organic wool grown in the USA and dyed with natural dyes. It’s a very sturdy yarn, but definitely has a nice softness to it. It was my first introduction to Green Mountain’s yarn and I will definitely be using it again.
The lovely folks at Interweave have graciously provided a copy of November Knits for me to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below, maybe something about what project you’d like to knit from the book, or what you love most about Fall. I’ll choose a winner on Thursday October 25th via random number generator. In the meantime, be sure to check out November Knits at your LYS!
November Knits Blog Tour Schedule:
10.1: Kate Gagnon Osborn, kelbournewoolens.com/blog
10.3: Courtney Kelley, kelbournewoolens.com/blog
10.8: Jane Richmond, http://www.janerichmond.blogspot.com/
10.11: Green Mountain Spinnery, http://www.spinnery.com/index.php/spinnery-news
10.15: Veera Välimäki, http://100-rain.blogspot.com/
10.18: Laura Nelkin, http://nelkindesigns.blogspot.com/
10.22: Melissa Wehrle, http://www.neoknits.com/blog/
10.25: Tanis Gray, http://www.tanisknits.com/
10.29: Gudrun Johnston, http://www.theshetlandtrader.com/blog/
11.1: Mountain Colors, http://mountaincolors.blogspot.com/
11.5: Melissa Labarre, knittingschooldropout.com
11.8: Lorna’s Laces, http://lornaslaces.blogspot.com/
11.12: Cirilia Rose, http://www.bricoleurknits.com/
11.15: Brown Sheep Yarn Company: http://brownsheep.com/blog/blog
11.19: Carrie Bostick Hoge: http://www.swatchdiaries.blogspot.com/
Posted on | October 6, 2012 | 1 Comment
While attending the Campaign for Wool event last week at Bryant Park, I was surprised to get a text from a friend that my book, Metropolitan Knits, was posted for pre-order on Amazon! Sorry, no extensive sneak peeks yet, but I hope it is worth the wait. I’ve been diligently working on the finishing touches and final edits the past month or two and it’s almost finished. I believe I only have one more review to look over before it goes off to the printer. Very exciting!
Work has settled down a little bit and I managed to knit up a design for the Summer 2013 issue of Knitscene. It will be nice to return to the publishing world once again! I’m also working on a top secret project that is pretty exciting. What makes it even more exciting is the deadline is less than two weeks away! The needles will be flying this weekend, that’s for sure.
I also have way too many ideas swirling around in my head. It’s really nice to be inspired again. The hardest part is deciding what to knit first. What a wonderful dilemma to have!
As I briefly mentioned above, the Campaign for Wool made a stop in NYC two weeks ago and brought along a flock of sheep from Rhinebeck, a carpeted terrace area filled with wool couches, chair, and pillows, and a roving filled fountain. I really loved the fountain with the roving “waves” spilling out of it. The best part? It made everything around it smell like sheep! Quite an improvement to some days in the city. The sheep didn’t quite know what to make of New Yorkers and huddled in the center of their makeshift glass pen for the most part. I don’t blame them, although the crowds were certainly much smaller than at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool!
I wish I could have stayed a little longer, pulled out my knitting, and relaxed at the tables set up by Knitty City, but I had to return to reality and get back to work. That work thing gets me every time. See you in Rhinebeck, sheep!« Recent Entries — Previous Entries »